Thursday, March 11, 2010

DJ Mixes, and Traum Records

I've been meaning to make a fresh mix for the last couple of months, but been held back thinking of the enormous gap between supply and demand when it comes to demo mixes. So instead of contributing to it, I've deliberately taken a break to digest other DJs' work - Resident Advisor sets, live recordings from rapidshare, and a load of mixes by local people. There's some exciting music for the discovering if you're willing to hunt for it, and resign yourself to downloading some very deletable beatport-progressive trainwrecks in the process. If you're too busy for that, I endorse the following:

James Holden Live at Five Days Off - Cavo Paradiso, Mykonos

Ben Watt on John Digweed's Transitions Show

Daydreaming with The Long Lost

Now that I've done my tiny bit towards adjusting the supply-demand balance, I've started working on a new mix. It's going to be quite a stripped-back one, with plenty of editing, original synth clips, and layering, as well as a strong German influence. A big part of this German influence is Traum Records, an excellent Cologne-based label pushing rich, warm, atmospheric techno. They've released forward-thinking music by Dominik Eulberg, Ricardo Tobar, Max Cooper, Extrawelt, and Moonbeam. Here are some personal favourites:

Max Cooper - Dischordance

Extrawelt - Mit Liese Auf Der Wiese

Max Cooper - Automnemonic

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Ben Smith and Phil Rogers, the two Adelaide-dwellers that make up FlowerPot, have been musical since childhood, and it's easy to tell when you hear their music. Throughout their rich, murky techno landscapes are little patches of vibrant melodic and harmonic energy, ducking in and out and spilling something human over an alien, mechanical backdrop. It's quite rewarding stuff, and if you've ever resonated with labels like Kompakt, BPitch Control, or Poker Flat, then FlowerPot will make a lot of sense.

Here are some pleasantly self-effacing words from Phil -

Joe asked me to write some sort of insightful thoughts about music/scene for his blog...

I'm thinking about shameless promotion for local producers... How bout that! Everyone needs more Adelaide music in their lives!

Here is 5 local lad’s that make great tunes.

1. Tace - Simon has been making music for years, playing live sets at club parties and has had vinyl releases. I've only heard his tracks recently but they have blown me away. He had great production skills, and writes diverse music, ranging for stomping industrial techno to melodic almost french style house. Great listen!

2. Jayde - Jayde has oodles of talent. A slick ear for tasteful music. His productions, his art (check the profile pic: which was one part of his artwork in the mens room at Cuckoo) and his Dj'ing all have a "no bull" feel. His most recent tracks have had a real "detroit" sound, plenty of space, great sound design. The tracks that he has on the myspace are a little old but they still got it!

3. Sidearms - I don't know a lot about "Sidearms" but i kind of like it that way. When you start to flick through all the tracks available for listening you realise that he has been around for a while. Adelaide has a rich history in Techno, House, Electro (if you don't know the original meaning of Electro, wiki that shit!), there are many producers from the earlier days of Adelaide’s electronic music scene that are still making music today but much of it doesn’t see the light of day. It’s encouraging to hear how relevant the music sidearms makes is at the moment, it's tasteful, melodic, using real analog synths and drum machines.

4. Martin - Some people may say I’m biased towards some of these lads, and I am. I’ve Dj’ed with Martin and made music with him for a few years now. He has immense knowledge of electronic music, and knows what a track needs to make it work. The tracks on his myspace vary from preaching deep house (check, Greenpower) to great peaktime tracks with a true techno feel (transparent city), right back to break beat “space hop-ish” downtempo tracks (loopercise). It’s easy to tell there are plenty of influences in his production.

5. Glenn October - Although not IN Adelaide, he is very close to us, residing in Mildura. I don’t know what it is about that place but he has some great inspiration. His tracks are always unique, sometimes dark minimal excursions, such great vibe. Always a great treat listening to his new work.

Wouldn't it be great to have some (if not all) of these producers on a various artists release........
That would be sweet

Phil Rogers

You can check out FlowerPot's productions on their soundcloud page or myspace. Distractions and their remix of Marek Bois' Memento Moments are my favourites.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dr Bozo is an eclectic sort, with a good many years of music-loving, producing, live performance, and DJing under his belt. This means that his DJing is holistic - he brings all those hours fiddling with samplers and experimenting with sound design to the decks, and the result is always exciting. The latest mix he's given me is on the indie/disco side of things, and there are some absolute rubies...

Dr Bozo's Mix

1. Empire of the Sun- Standing On The Shore (Loosers mix)
2. Who Made Who- Raveo
3. Ladyhawke- Magic (the Swiss mix)
4. Lost Valentinos- Serio (Knife Machine mix)
5. Royksopp- The Girl and the Robot (Joakim mix)
6. Friendly Fires- Paris (Aeroplane mix)
7. Lost Valentinos- Thief (Nile Delta mix)
8. The Juan Maclean- One Day (the Emperor Machine mix)
9. Laurent Garnier-Pay Tv (Emperor Machine mix)
10.Phoenix- Lisztomania (Yuksek mix)
11.Emperor Machine- What You Want

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Erast aka Nikakoi

I just got back from the magical land of Adelaide, overcast and thick with summer humidity. We went to the Taj Tandoor for the most delicious Chicken Madras and then headed to Cuckoo, where the 12 inch Phildo was playing some of his slightly more upbeat selections, including a new track by Pépé Bradock. He's put out some very groovy and bass-led tracks through BBE, and well worth some investigation if you like house music with intelligent rhythms and a bit of funk influence. He's also remixed some respected names in the darker avenues of house - Charles Webster, Manuel Tur (Freerange), and, in a more leftfield vein, Pete Namlook.
Otherwise it's been a quiet week of sonic experiments. I've been putting a lot of work into a new track called "Magnum", that's based around a microkorg arpeggio. It's a beautiful creature and I hope it will be the first of many bits of hardware that I can work into compositions and bring along to DJ sets.
There have also been some nice musical discoveries - a charming couple who call themselves The Long Lost, and specialise in indie pop with an electronic influence and a lot of soul. The other discovery is Erast, who also goes by the name of Nikakoi (his real name is Nika Machaidze, and he's from Georgia). He's signed to Laboratory Instinct - check out - and his artistic focus is film direction, which makes for some fascinating and unique composition. His latest album, "Selected", is a crunchy and diverse experience that spans 30 tracks. There's conventional chillout reminiscent of Afterlife (City Lights [Tutta2]), but also experimental electronica - Krasnagorsky Dream is a rich, organic piece with textures that recall The Field. He's also comfortable with string arrangement - you can get a taste of this on "My Right Hand". The rhythmic elements reminded me of Apparat (from BPitch Control), but the production was a little more satisfying.

You can check out one of his more delicate tracks here

Tin Soldier

and there's much more to be had on myspace and the regular online stores.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Declaration of Dependence

After listening to their third album, it's tempting to say that Kings of Convenience have come a long way since "Riot on an Empty Street". But that expression implies improvement, and "Declaration of Dependence" isn't so much an improvement on Eirik and Erlend's first recording as a very natural and organic development. They've grown older, and the subject matter of their lyrics has widened to incorporate politics and morality ("Rule my World"); life-philosophy, complete with a reference to Plato's Cave Allegory ("Freedom and its Owner); and something more indefinable and mystical that used to stop at actually permeating the duo's lyrics ("Scars on Land"). They're also more comfortable playing with silence and sparse arrangements - "My Ship isn't Pretty" is more understated than anything from the past two albums. But there's nothing in this development that jars with the spirit of their earlier work. Eirik's innocently vulnerable voice makes as much sense in this bleaker, older territory as it did in the thwarted love songs from "Riot", and the guitar composition is typical Kings of Convenience (you get the feeling they could keep this up for several more albums without repeating themselves). In short, "Declaration of Dependence" is an extremely satisfying and delicate album that somehow manages to flow seamlessly out of KOC's previous work whilst taking on new musical and conceptual concerns. It's also my favourite album in quite a long time.

Check them out at:

You can also get their albums at JB HI-FI and all the mainstream online stores.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another blog specialising in deep house and techno, disco, indie, art, philosophy, and the twenty-foot reticulated shetland pony? But why? Has this niche not been adequately addressed for many years? A little bit - and here I heartily endorse - but there's a pretty endless source of good music, and only a slighly less endless supply of interesting ideas. Exciting artists - spotty teenaged moog afficionados pushing electronic music to places it wouldn't otherwise have been for another decade, and haggard disco wizards with their three million rare disco gems from before I was born - slip through the spidery fingers of Old Father Internet, and it would take more than a few fresh blogs to undo this great evil. (Note the subtle shift of focus away from philosophy and squarely onto music - I think this will be more of a music blog). To undo the great evil, I'm going to be putting up snippets from the artists I discover in my weekly quest for something that actually affects me, and snippets from old ones if they're really special. I'm also hoping to host some work by locals, so hit me up with tracks, mixes, philosophical musings, poems, whatever, and they might end up on here. The only criterion is that you have to be a bit obscure, possibly 26 and still living in your mum's house so you could pay off all those synths and sequencers. I won't tolerate anyone who's actually making it.
Farewell! I'm looking forward to this.