Andy Warhol was right, everyone does get their 15 minutes of fame. But who would have known his forecast was actually a caution that would turn our music scene into a dump of regurgitated hacks. A trash can of trends that are born to die in weeks, crowding the charts with pedlars of social networks and void of groundbreaking acts. How do you dig when the overseers of the industry recycle rubbish to fuel the machine of consumption over Da Vinci, only to be tossed full circle into the scraps where it rightly belongs. It's noise that overshadows those that give a damn, and when the debris settles — their pockets still strapped and their innovations, mugged. Sounding the call for someone to set the standards and sort out the genuine. theduke's Next of Kin, a feature to cut the fat. 5 EPs you'll need to keep, every week. Handed to you in a closed fist because you know where to find them. No compromise and completely pretentious.
Boys Noize & Erol Alkan
Roland Rat / Brain Storm Remixes
Boysnoize Records; 2012-07-22
Boys Noize and Erol Alkan, whenever you see these two names together you know you're looking at the hit of the summer. This year it was the analog driven banger "Roland Rat" with the manic techno frenzy "Brain Storm" and for the remix package they've enlisted they're own legendary techno idols to make an exceptional return back to the mixing desk. Sheffield pioneer LFO being first to bat, in case you don't know that stands for Low Frequency Oscillator a modulation component in synthesizers that makes the bass go wamp or the leads go bleep. Technics aside, LFO also known as Mark Bell is responsible for this 90s techno anthem. No doubt his most timeless number and the most successful singles in early techno history. His take on "Roland Rat" channels the same direction as his early works, pitching a jam that is ripe with modulation and on the brink of short circuiting. Expect anything but structure as he throws electronics onto a blank and seemingly never ending canvas. "Brain Storm" also receives the remix treatment by Brighton's Dave Clarke, a respected name that has been tastemaking since the late 80s. Dabbling his fingers in the fruits of acid house, techno, rave, and hardcore at their beginnings with releases on R&S and XL Recordings. His remix is a straightforward bare to the bones warehouse mauling, and it wraps this EP into an aural beatdown by the curator's esteemed favourites.
Venezuela's Cardopusher has rubbed up against all sorts of genres from dubstep, hardcore, house, and breaks on revered labels like Hyperdub and Tigerbeat. He's since moved to Barcelona and established his own label with another like minded Spainish producer Nehuen. It's called Classicworks and judging by the name along with the sound of their first release, the imprint is looking to flesh out driven dancefloor hits with some old school flair. Split 01 is the label's world debute and it certainly makes a flamboyant entrance. 4 originals split between the artists on tap with remixes by Cubic Zirconia's Nick Hook and Hyperdub comrade DVA. Usually when someone tries to chase the Chicago sound the fear of corniness over comes them and they leave out key things like the eerie sci-fi pads or the pissing vocal chops that seemingly have no relation to each other like in Cardopusher's "Wave Function". You could even accuse him of huffing the cake whole, but what's wrong with taking an antique and brushing it off so it doesn't sound expired when a DJ wants to cue up some retro grooves at night. Then there's Nehuen's "I Can Only Be Myself", a jacking acid house tune that tips its hat to early 90s England. A time where you could throw house and techno together and slap on a catchy vocal to see your track fly to the top of the charts. And that's what makes this EP stand out, it encapsulates the warm nostalgia from the past and gives it another much needed run in the nightclubs.
A Parisian juvenile with a cut that tips toward the future. Bambounou gives his face the light of day on only the most forward thinking labels like ClekClekBoom and Sound Pellegrino. Dabbing from a palette of genres, his catalogue is nearly indescribable as he paints outside the lines of deep house, future garage, UK funky, and now — techno. Wide eyed as it may seem, the ripe producer will now hone Modeselektor's radical sister label 50Weapons to his name. An imprint that dances on the cutting edge of contemporary, it couldn't be a better fit. But the surprise comes in the sound, it's eerie, reclusive, as if it was made by an exile in deep space. Sentenced right from the get go, "Chrome" opens with dissonant pads that vibe like they were ripped out of a Kubrick score and the sinking lead ripped out his own works like "W00t" and "Fake Jake" that have become trademarks to his sound. Although this EP plays like a new direction for Bambounou each of these tracks carry a few pieces from the past. Shedding his shell and extending his reach for more avant-garde to come.
Last summer it was the Hudson Square EP, this summer the Dutch duo Homework have put out another well strapped release on where else but their neighbouring country's pivotal deep house label Exploited Records. Conversation Piece marks only their third original piece as the duo went on a year long hiatus, only enlisting themselves to remix duties and touring around the world. The boys have grown quite a bit since, relying less on samples to drive their tracks and more on canny synth work as heard in the title. But of course what is a Homework release without some cleverly sampled monologues, like the preaching of Blaze's "My Beat" in track 2 "Ask Yourself" and bourboned novelist Charles Bukowski in "Redendo Beach, CA". As a whole, Conversation Piece continues where Hudson Square left off bathing in the same soothing vibes, the same rhodes piano. It makes for another savoured release but one can only wonder how long the duo can hold onto this sound before falling into redundancy. For now, we'll see as they have a follow up EP on 2020Vision in the near future and a full length album slated for next year.
South London Ordnance
What To Do
Well Rounded Records; 2012-07-23
You can guess where he's from, South London Ordnance is now a pup on the rise having released his second EP on Well Rounded Records. An imprint that has thrusted the likes of venerated acts as Julio Bashmore, xxxy, Deadboy and Hackman into the spotlight. It's releases like these that make you shrug your shoulders when you want to attach a genre. "Trojan" is based on a four on the floor house groove but its running rhythmic percussion bends on techno while the layered low end points to DnB and dubstep. Add to that a deep catchy vocal, and the floor's hooked regardless of what you want to call it. On the flipside "Pacific" is a wave of warehouse thrills, taking you up onto the skyline with lush chords on the breakdown only to drop into the wells of gooey bass line and mushy hats. All in all this EP makes a budding producer shine as he hones his own finesse. London is burning with this collage-like sound and this is definitely a record you'll point to in the future to say this is part of where it all started.