29 April 2005

Igloo magazine netlabel review column by Mark Teppo

just got the info in the mail and thought i'd share it with the rest of you. Igloo magazine, which had a nice netlabel feature a while ago, started up Bitflashing, a netlabel review column headed by Mark Teppo which focuses, it seems, on dronish ambient glitch type of music. thats nice cause it covers the opposite spectrum of netmusic and will complement (if i may be so bold to say so) .phonq's reviews.

read the first column here...

Sarah Goldfarb - Absolut Funk EP [SN018]

18th release from a spanish based, minimal oriented netlabel called sinergy networks.

absolut funk ep is a debut of the french Jean-Vince going under the moniker of Sarah Goldfarb, and, man, he's got the funk. the ep is made of two original pieces and 4 remixes of the title track by the likes of lod, abstract groove, funzion and marko fuerstenberg.
the french artist features a deep trance-like funk groove on the title track and gets all funky on kagneton, a bouncing with shuffled rhythms slightly chilled with trancing synths. absolut funk then gets thouroughly deconstructed into a robotic electroid version by lod, crazy clicky noisy rework by abstract groove after which funzion gives us a hypnotic repetitive interpretation, but the real reason you're reading this review is marko fuerstenberg. his remix kicks you in the groin and makes you groove with his detroit synth filled funk pearl, it starts minimal and shuffly and just when it starts to be to repetative marko f. lets those synths roll and you can feel it inside you, you can feel the true funk and you cannot fight it, you just have to dance.

recommended track: absolut funk (marko fuerstenberg remix)

all in all, SN018 is a funk filled minimal collage owing that to a large number of remixers that stamped absolut funk with their distinct rhytmic signature.
beware that the tracks are encoded in 256kbps and are bit heavy on the bandwidth but its worth it if you enjoy clicky minimal beats!

despite the large number of netlabels, quality stuff is a bit thin (unless you enjoy noise and drones - there are plenty of those on archive.org, but we're keeping it funky, melodic, rhythmic, & lush here on .phonq). recommendations for reviews are welcome!

27 April 2005

Daniel Stefanik - Silent Whisper EP [instabil04]

here we go with another unknown netlabel - instabil!

4th release on this fairly new netlabel and its a beaut (as the aussies would say). full 45:00+ minutes of ambient music with just enough kickdrums to classify it as dubtechno.
silent whisper ep is a tight package of 5 tracks plus a contribution from thinner's marko fürstenberg and his remix of the third track in a minimal trance way.

the album itself is very well produced with Experience starting and finishing in two slighty different edits thus giving the album a sense of whole. the central point has to be the 14 and a half minute long Earth View with its space transmissions and repeating theme that borders with droning but keeps its lush minimal vibe with heavily subdued beats. surrounding this behemoth are silent whisper, the track marko chose to remix and microfunky Fallout.

recommended track: Fallout

for all purveyors of microbeats, silent whisper ep is a delicacy. night listening material that drones in the background while working on something (like this review). time to leech instabil 01, 02 and 03.

twas a while since the last review but my laptop was in the shop. its fixed now so we can continue with the programme!

22 April 2005

Bad Loop - Luo [one018]

bad loop is back after three years and he's better than ever on Luo, released on one, yet another netlabel (tm)!

luo is a carefully thought out, well prepared and rounded album. what did you expect from bad loop? the sound of the album nurtures the melodic side of laidback electronica. be it shuffled lush analogue pads in nio and eri valerie or rubber bass with houselike beats in kauniit ihmiset, even kraftwerkian funk of mmin transiting through drones of 3b or t into ambiental sparsness of kannas nsp, each track merges nicely with the other establishing a nice flow from start to end.

recommended track: nio

another notch in the quality electronica section. i've never heard one's releases before, but now i regret it. time to hit their backcatalogue and check their quality level.

21 April 2005

VA - Communication [nore005]

without any fear of being repetative, i present to you another compilation, another 5th release by another new(ish) netlabel. are you bored yet? you won't be when you hear the music featured on no response's compilation.

fresh from the no response collective comes communication ep - a huge iceblock of chilled minimal techno grooves. all the tracks are excellent pieces of dubtechno but i have to notice that Sad Track is a black sheep amongst the flock cause of its unfitting crawling clickiness amongst the sea wavy dubness featured on other four tracks. Schlittenfahrt is my personal choice cause of its bright beats that made me bop my head unconsciously.

recommended track: Kollektiv Turmstrasse: Schlittenfahrt

me likes this compilation very much, its a finely rounded, finished product with its own vibe. it first caught my attention with familiar names of neurotron and yatsuo motoki but the rest of the no response lineup didn't disappoint.

to end this tirade as we begun... yet another quality netlabel with high quality music, yadda yadda, download it! i really have to think up some new lines!

20 April 2005

VA - Elevation [dt005]

elevation is a lovely crafted idm electronica compilation released on yet another new(ish) netlabel - dewtone. serving triple duty as a netradio and news site for netmusic they also have a line of their own releases. this is the 5th release and it is their first ep.

we're starting with phortran's melancholic Switch On and Switch Off filled with mesmeric beat programming. next comes quone and Seeking New Advances, a glitchy uptempo track with broken beats happily stomping away in the background. in the midsection we hit headphone science's melodic electroid Endoh Michyo and its enchanting atmosphere. bend, sinister "jazzez" it up in the laidback Leave Her Good Graces. outroducing the album, is ontagon, on a vocal trip in the mellowland with Forget to Remember.

recommended track: Ontagon: Forget to Remember

damn, i'm glad i stumbled upon this label. it serves fresh melodic electronica, just the way i like it.
there is one thing i'd like to mention. their site isn't very firefox friendly. i hope they're gonna fix that soon!

it seems to me like there's a new label popping up every day and its getting really hard to separate chaff from quality stuff. hopefully .phonq helps you out in that particular area! stay tuned for a couple more new netlabel finds! coming thru this little project during this week!

18 April 2005

Moe Lodin - rwb012 [rwb012]

new release after ages for racewillbegin. a virtual 7", complete with b-sides and all, of indietronica's finest offering in the netlabel world.

on the a side we find the hazy vocals of Hello Snow, laidback in its beat, playful yet somehow sad. on the flip side are two tracks: Come Glockenspiel, a simple melody played on a casio synth that misses the beat here and there just to accent the childish playfulness of the track. if you remember our tip a couple of posts lower (actually its only 2 but that sounded better) about Ella Glockenspiel, I Killed Out Love Before You is a cover of one of Ella's songs. synth based simple beats and melodies with the title of the track as the chorus. its so 80's and its too short :)

recommended track: Hello Snow

yep, its been a while since racewillbegin released anything but it was worth the wait. this one's on repeat for days people! and i'm still not bored with it.

15 April 2005

Christan Walt: After the Rain [id10]

heh, the irony. the rain has stopped and in my inbox pops up the announcement of interdisco's 10th release.

Christian Walt is blending house beats, pop vocalism and electronica melodies into true lovemusic of tomorrow, on his latest ep. Promise puts it into gear with daft vocals and love lyrics. second track, Light at the End of the Tunel, keeps it easy until the punky Sooner or Later (Once Again), with vocals lost in static and plenty of heavy acid. for closure, After the Rain builds just a simple piano tune into a finisher track that ends this release on a higly positive note.

recommended track: After the Rain

another treat from interdisco! even if you don't like house music, give it a try, cause the entire release has an overall idm-ish feel and strays quite a bit from the norm. don't miss this one! really! DON'T!

two liner reviews

time for some sweet short reviews

Julien Love: I'll Be Your Waterfall
sexy tune full of soul and true funk sound. not funky but the real deal, THE funk.
another different release by the everlasting "some kind of label" ageema!

Drei Farben House: Stadtarchiv EP [corpidex003]
Corporate Identity's 2 track ep of deep techy house extravaganza. perfectly mellow. a.m.-ish type of muzak. vocals included.

Ella Glockenspiel - singhappysing!
just a little tip for the end. not a netlabel release per se, but a demo from swedish author/singer Ella Glockenspiel. some of the finest indietronica on the net. really. wonderful. music.

12 April 2005

Confused Man: Floating Deluxe [sof010]

Sofasound is an excellent label with major presentation issues. their english page lists only 5 releases while the german one hasn't been updated for a month. fortunately, their archive.org space is in good care cause that's the only place you'll find this release.

lounge beats with a distinct Vienna sound is what you'll find on this one. overall quite an acoustic album with french accordions, acoustic guitars and sitars. Breathing (AddSmokeDub) (a remix of Calm Be's track from Sofasounds debut release) cracks the mold slightly with frenzied chipness and reverbed vocals finely vowen in a lounge atmosphere.

recommended track: Breathing (AddSmokeDub)

remind me, why is this free? i feel like i should be paying for this! so finely produced set of lounge beats they are!
and they make excellent listening for these gray, rainy days (its raining like its fall again here).

no cover this time cause its really bad... baaaad. but its the music that counts, right?

11 April 2005

Nicorola: Bitstick EP [1bit003]

1bit wonder is yet another new netlabel in the scene which caught me by surprise with its first two releases and truly amazed me with the third outing by Nicorola.

the 5 tracker Bitstick is a playful melodic downtempo package that has a distinct springtime feeling about it.

Popstar's melancholy is superseded by Hijseenpipo and Schmukkel; two songs that shine a bright light upon your spirits with their quirkiness, coquetty vocals, playful melodies and popping beats. the album then travels into beat oriented Timber in which hiphop beats flirt with idm melodics. at the end Nicorola brings it home with a sparse beated, full bodied idm Stillstand.

recommended track: Hijseenpipo

when listened in its entirety, the album sounds like a soundtrack for... er... something, but something beautiful.

btw if you're handy with german or speak babelfishian, Nicorola has his own blog here.

09 April 2005

Disrupt: Roots Matrix EP [JTREP01]

who would've thought! chipmusic and reggae dub... welcome to the sid rastafari empire of Jahtari, home of "digital laptop reggae".

4 raw and dirty tracks of delay madness on this release. jah, it sounds just like your c64 got stoned and damn it sounds good.

disrupt can describe it better that i can:
The EP starts off with 'ROOTS MATRIX', a constantly tranforming dub of the classic 'Drum Song' riddim. 'THC 1138' is a hauntig piece based on the digital version of 'Fade Away', driven by a bone-dry bassline and SciFi-movie sound bits. Following up is 'BOMB 20', with the great philosophic discussion between Bomb #20 and Doolittle, Captain of the star-destroying space vessel named 'Dark Star', over Lee Perry's 'Doctor On the Go'-riddim. A haunting melody within layers of tape delays! Last then is 'FOUNDATION BIT', an ultra-heavy, steady-evolving dub with exploding rooms, a membrane-crunching bassline and lots of surprises coming up. Deep, wide and broad - makes you wish you had a third ear! :) ENJOY!
recommended track: Foundation Bit

good ole SID sounds in a spliffy new world. well, please sir, can i have some more?

08 April 2005

Miguel Graça & Trevor Walker: The Radically Free Remixes [TGG001]

The Radically Free Remixes features three, more dancefloor oriented, remixes of tracks released on the cd album 'Free Radical' by Cravo e Canela (actually Miguel Graça & Trevor Walker in disguise), published by Trigger Recording, newcomer to the netlabel scene which is already firmly rooted in the vinyl/cd world.

i haven't heard the cd from which they pulled the source material but these 3 tracks are gorgeusly deep, early hour groove material accompanied by lovely vocals on each track.

chanting poetry mingled with hypnotic hip swaying of Right the Wave heats you up for the 16 minute marathon of dirty analogue funk and divine vocals in Miguel's remix of Our Control. after a monstrous second track comes the tribal moving I Go surprising you with the introduction of a mediterranean guitar.

a refreshing departure from the dubby minimal tech domination of netlabel scene. this album is lush with grooves and vocals, genuine dancefloor house with very high production level. Trigger Recording is a label i'll be watching closely in the future.

recommended track: I Go (Miguel Graça & Trevor Walker remix)

06 April 2005

Alliance Division: Life Escape [ego016]

there aren't many people that can hop through genres like Alliance Division does on his debut LP released on egoboobits. mainly downtempo album dips into various styles to create a collage of electronica genres.

lounged up vocoded opener La Belle et la Bete deceives you and leaves you wide open for the onslaught of styles that awaits you. funk guitar licks of Funk Frame Rate, Departure's samba beats and cheesy piano house of yesteryear in Despite My Appearance are just a tip of an iceberg.

things calm down a bit with Passive which, sort of, starts the downbeat section of the album, continued in the amazingly lovely Homeland's ethnodub reminiscent of Thievery Corporation, only to be broken by the inappropriately placed Electric Highway, an electro/trance wannabe track that could have been placed closer to the start of the album or better yet, completely omitted. thankfully, jazzified slow breaks of The Small Tooth Dog together with The Lizard Husband put the vibe back where it belongs.

before the end comes a cheerful house tune named Name That Tune, heh. Deckard concludes the album in an atmospheric trance (no, not the commercial bullshit called trance, think Orb and 'pulsating brains') state.

what a ride: funk, jazz, house, ethno, breaks, downbeat! there's truly something for everyone on this excellent album. Alliance Division has a firm grasp on all the genres
one thing bothers me tho. tracks are ordered in a peculiar way, without any afterthought so the mood switches are a bit abrupt. but that's nothing that cannot be fixed with a pair of clicks on the playlist - ah, the beauty of netaudio!

recommended track: Homeland

second review and again a release by the same label. biased? maybe... but definitely localpatriotic!
and the releases are low profile and someone had to spread the word.

zvukbroda: btc [ego071]

this release looks like a conceptual album (unlike their acclaimed tTRI album) on which zvukbroda take a string quartet as the central point and gradually develop a story composed of 6 tracks around them in a subtle, deep, yet dancey way.

album starts with a clicky, minimal, beatless and incredibly atmospheric btc-01, which introduces us to the string samples we're going to listen to throughout the album.

btc-02 takes those strings for a dubby ride and further into more danceable territory with btc-03, btc-04 and btc-05 and culminates in my personal favorite btc-06.

btc-06 combines the entire album into one magnificent dub techhouse outing closing the release with grace.

recap: yet another quality release from croatia's most prolific electronica act and be sure to check out their older releases and tons of live sets, all available on their page.

05 April 2005

it has begun

time to get infected with the blogger bug

i was pondering the idea for quite some time since it is really difficult to find some quality netlabel release reviews in english (kudos to mari posa and phlow.net, but babelfish and google sometimes spit out only incomprehensible junk)

so prepare for reviews of some of my fav picks out of the vast netlabel scene. from minimal to chip tunes, its all gonna be here...