Saturday, June 11, 2011

Random electronica

Here is a collection of tracks unrelated by themes and generally by lesser known or newer producers which caught my ear recently for one reason or another.

Italo Johnson.

The third single by this unknown producer Italo Johnson has just come out on his own eponymous label and is as great as the two preceeding it. Johnson’s style is in a certain way unambitious. By that I mean instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, he prefers to tinker with it to make it work as fluently and elegantly as possible. Well made, catchy, but deceptively simple and even obvious, a path many forsake by trying to be too clever.


Not really an unknown, but Ramon Lisandro Quezad aka DJ Qu’s work has gradually been accumulating more prominence of late. His most recent output includes an album of four 12”s called “Gymnastics” on his own Strength Music Recordings label, shown here as a series of highlights from each track.

In addition, the New Yorker has been working on a commission for Nike with P Funk and has several other recent and acclaimed releases such as a split single with Jus Ed on the later’s own Underground Quality label (shown below) and a single for Deep Vibes that sports two exceelent and lengthy remixes.

P. Laoss

P. Laoss aka German producer André Müller first came to my attention for his Back Diffusion” e.p. on the Barcelona-based Pong Musiq label last year. The opening track “Additive effect” was one of my favourites of the year for its sublime blending of minimal and dub techno into a seedy and sleazy late night track perfect for drifting away into states of dream and confusion.

2011 has seen him release the debut single “Bamboo Mat” for US based label Pronounce which sees him delving into deep house territory with occasional well-timed dub embellishment.

Alteria Percepsyne

Dub techno gets a bad rap for generating too many artists that follow the same generic mould of whispy, sexless beats made for nerds, but in truth, the same could be said for any genre from techno to house: there are few innovators and plenty of decent enough artists just holding up the background. But while generic dub techno is a dime a dozen, the great tracks and well-produced ambient pieces still have a tingling effect when you come across them. Alteria Percepsyne’s limited CD-R album “Cloaks of Perception” on Belgium’s Other Heights label is one example of the later. While it won’t turn heads for challenging the established paradigm of dub techno, it is undoubtedly one of the better quality dub techno albums to come out recently. It escapes the shackles of mediocrity by playing up its moodiness and weaving through the mix enough changes to make it progressive and not monolithic.

Textural Being

Sticking with dub techno is a recent album by US producer Sage Taylor under his Textural Being moniker entitled “High Speed Travel” which came out on the French net label ZeECc. I must confess to not being overly impressed by the album as a whole after only one listen, but the first track “High Speed Travel Part 1” has a pleasant warmth and attractive simplicity to it, especially if you are a dub techno fan.

Bill Youngman

Another fledgling Berlin techno label is hardly what the world needs, but this one is a little different as its source is the legendary Killekill night (German for tickle as well as punning on “kill” in English). The night is run in part by Nico Deuster (aka DJ Flush), who is one of the men close to the heart of Shitkatapult, in addition to Tobias Schleinkofer. Together they are also the masterminds behind the Krake Festival shown here in preview from 2010

The modus operandi behind the Killekill label is a blending of experimentalism with dark edged techno such as on their latest release by Bill Youngman which also features a fantastic Sandwell District mix.

Kassem Mosse

Another not-so-unknown producer,but  Gunnar Wendel aka Kassem Mosse has been wearing away at the fringes of experimental house for some time, the centre of which seems to belong to Actress, at least for the moment. But the Workshop labels unique and beguiling sound is the perfect playground for Mosse’s patient explorations of the abstract dancefloor. The recently released Workshop 12 is another fine example of his fascinating sound, here on the B side

and also from last year’s 12” for the Nonplus label

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