Monday, 19 November 2018

ROBERT HOOD


























"internal empire"
Year:    1994
Country:    US
City:  Detroit, MI
Label:    Tresor
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    10
Time:    60 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Techno













Before I got into this music I wanted to be an originator ; I wanted to be original". Founding member of the legendary group Underground Resistance as a 'Minister Of Information' with ‘Mad’ Mike Banks & Jeff Mills, his seminal works on Jeff Mill's Axis and his very own M-Plant imprint paved the way for a wave of stripped-down dancefloor minimalism that directed much of techno's path throughout the late Nineties. Robert Hood makes minimal Detroit techno with an emphasis on soul and experimentation over flash and popularity. Growing up in Detroit, I grew up with Motown in the house - a lot of Motown and Philadelphia soul, artists like Marvin Gaye of course and Curtis Mayfield. I remember Isaac Hayes, the soundtrack from ‘Shaft’ had come out. My father was a jazz musician; he played piano, trumpet and drums. My mother was in an R’n’B group. We listened to a lot of Motown - in fact, my grandfather’s first cousin is Berry Gordy. "I was influenced by my father - I wanted to play trumpet like he did." Robert's father tragically died when he was just 6. The photo of Robert siting down holding a trumpet is his fathers. "I had to beg my grandmother to let me borrow the trumpet to take a picture with it". In the early 90's he began to concentrate on his own production 'Vision EP', the 'Riot EP' and X-102 were big stepping-stones for him as they were the first releases he worked 100% on his own. The X-101 to X-102, were Waveform Transmission projects with Mills for Tresor. He slowly progressed to work more and more on his own, but collaberated on some of the first Axis releases with label owner Jeff Mills as H&M (Hood & Mills) with ‘Tranquilizer EP’ and ‘Drama’. He soon decided it was time for him to start his own label to focus on what was in his soul musically. M-Plant started in ’94. I had developed this “grey area” sound - what I mean by that is that in Detroit, even when the sun is out, there’s something in the atmosphere. I don’t know if its pollution or whatever, but the sky has that grey haze over it. It’s got to be something from the industrial factories there. I’d never really heard a sound like that before and it came from a Roland Juno - it was a chord sound that really went along with my depiction of what Detroit was at that time. A lot of buildings were abandoned and there was a lot of lifelessness in the city, especially downtown. The M-Plant, in minimalism, kind of reflected that. I remember thinking of Detroit like a museum. You know, like a work of art standing still, suspended in time. There wasn’t a whole lot of activity going on. Releasing singles such as "Internal Empire,", “The Protein Valve” "Music Data," and "Moveable Parts", "The Pace", more recently "Range", "Alpha" and that isn't even touching his other monikers Floorplan, Monobox, The Vision, etc. "M-Plant is what I've always wanted to hear: the basic stripped down, raw sound. Just drums, basslines and funky grooves and only what's essential. Only what is essential to make people move. I started to look at it as a science, the art of making people move their butts, speaking to their heart, mind and soul. “It's a heart-felt rhythmic techno sound. M-Plant is just M. minimal. “ Although his desire to remain underground has been replaced by an urge to reach a wider audience, mainly via his housier, disco, gospel moniker Floorplan with his daughter Lyric Hood, Hood remains fiercely critical of artistic and economic movements destructive to inner-city communities and has combined his musical enterprises with outreach and social activist ends.
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Friday, 9 November 2018

SKEE MASK


























"compro"
Year:    2018
Country:   Germany
City:   Munich
Label:    Ilian tape
Format:    2 x LP
Tracks:    12
Time:    60 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Breakbeat            Ambient            Techno












Skee Mask is a versatile producer from Munich, who doesn’t want to be identified. He got influenced by a lot of different types of music over the last years, which made his productions pretty various. Skee Mask’s direction is mostly rolling rhythms, combined with electronic soundscapes, always forcing to create a deep vibe. His influences mainly are from “old” techno labels like Chain Reaction, Warp Records or Counterbalance. He’s still developing his procedure in making tracks, but always staying himself. In his DJ sets he tries to create a deep trip, constituted of organic grooves and diverse clang accompaniments. Skee Mask would describe his DJ-Set variations as techno, ambient and mostly experimental, forward thinking. One of the best Album in 2018 - Skee Masks endless search and fascination for fresh music, weed and burgers channeled into his own vision of sound. Enjoy the ride through his second album, a detailed experimental universe of a young dedicated hustler.
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https://ia601508.us.archive.org/16/items/sm_2016/s.jpg

























"shred"
Year:    2016
Label:    Ilian tape
Format:    2 x LP
Tracks:    12
Time:    60 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Breakbeat            Ambient            Techno












Shred is cleverly titled, with both ironic and soul-seeking implications. To explain, “shred” is synonymous with high-octane skiing/snowboarding, though - and German techno producer Skee Mask might agree - the real thrill is more far-reaching than the snow and trees immediately in front of you. Often, the intensity of Skee Mask’s rhythmic manoeuvres are counterbalanced by the weight of the ambience, without exactly being ambient music. It’s spiked adrenaline waned by constantly looking over one’s shoulders, where the sensation of losing oneself is fuelled by offsets of both internal and external energies. Opener “Everest” is an ascent, as the sounds of a heightened pulse synch up with each step, while the ambience mimics an environment that is both serene and impending. From then on, each track is a finely-crafted unity of man-made ambition and natural (though, synthetic…) draw. Some of techno’s strongest producers are capable of music blurring the line between mechanical and organic; here, Skee Mask’s is also geographic. The more you navigate Shred, strangely, the less you care about the finicky details of source material. Riding the high becomes more important than relishing the unpredictability of the beat work. Most songs, like “Zenker Haze Trak” and “Reshape”, operate at two frequencies: an energetic, rhythmic bliss and a series of sedated cascades. As some point in the tracklist - maybe album highlight “Melczop 2” - the latter frequency becomes more powerful than the former, regardless of how pronounced the beats are. On “Japan Air”, the punchy bass kicks are almost secondary to the wispy synths imitating the sensation of “surfing” the air with your hand through an open car window. That sums it up, really. Shred captures the satisfaction of little breaks in the chaos, where time dilates a bit as you remove yourself from the methodical pace of your immediate surroundings only to plunge back in, renewed.
 (*Review by Tristan Jones ).
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Wednesday, 7 November 2018

LEGION 76


























"banners fall"
Year:    2017
Country:    US
City:    Philadelphia, PA
Label:    Contra
Format:    CD
Tracks:    12
Time:    34 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Oi!

 













in 2012 four friends (Eric, Chris, Justin, Brennan) from Philadelphia decided to form an Oi! band in the vein of classic bands such as: The Clash, Angelic Upstarts, Banda Bassotti or Red London to mention just a few ones. In this CD from 2017 their compiled their twelve first songs and was issued though german record label "Contra". After a demo and two EP's, they recorded this debut album which in the second issue includes also two bonus songs. Rude voice, few distorted guitars and mid-tempo, are the simple elements to make this simple, basic, short and direct Oi! music.
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Monday, 29 October 2018

REFUSED


























"the shape of punk to come"
Year:    1998
Country:    Sweden
City:    Malmo
Label:    Epitaph
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    12
Time:    55 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Experimental            Hardcore            Punk












Just when I was starting to lose hope in Epitaph, they pick up Refused - and release The Shape of Punk to Come (which is I believe their only release on Epitaph, aside from the New Noise Theology single). That was three years ago. Refused has long sense been dissolved, but they have left their make in the history of punk rock. It's not often I think a band should get a "10", usually it has to be really fucking good (like Ignite's A Place Called Home) or damn influential (like Bad Religion's "suffer" or anything from the Dead Kennedys). This hasn't exactly been an influential album, or at least not yet.

While most bands have to stay true to their roots, Refused decided to be different. Powered by their strong political beliefs and their already popular hardcore sound (like Earth Crisis), they added another dimension to their music. You can't really put a finger on it... but it's a mix of jazz, electronic, remixes, classical music, very distinct distorted and acoustic guitar riffs and everything else you'd expect not to hear in a punk record. 

You have to admit to yourself that punk, especially hardcore punk, is a very stagnant genre of music. I love it as much as the next guy, but musically it's not going anywhere. Refused is/was hoping to change that. This is one of the most unique albums I've ever popped into my cd player, and you owe it to good music to check out at least a few good tracks. Their single, New Noise attracted me to the album. It's a 5-or-so minute song, which was the first odd thing about it, and it had a nice bass/guitar line to start it off. About 50 or so seconds through the song, it went fucking techno! I wasn't sure if I was supposed to hate it because it was different, or love it. I kept listening. One minute and three seconds later, you hear Dennis Lyxzèn yell at the top of his lungs: "Can I scream?" The song has my attention, and then I wanted to check out the rest of the album.

I didn't even need to go past looking at the titles to understand this is some politically charged individuals. With songs like "the apollo programme was a hoax" and "the deadly rhythm (of the production line)"... I knew it'd be interesting. Besides their strong beliefs, the music itself is incredible, as I mentioned above. I literally got goose bumps whenever I'd listen to the CD all the way through. I must admit, that never happens when I listen to a NOFX CD. With short narrations from the lead singer, rambling about such matters like how "capitalism is like organized crime", I fell in love with this album. Calling it just "punk rock" doesn't do them justice. Just call it music. And shit, I really hope this is the shape of punk to come. 

You might always want to check out their website, it's got a ton of interesting information including their "final communiquè". Here's what they have to say about their own record, and despite being very condescending... I can't help but agree:
Stronger than ever and with their third album "The shape of punk to come" they're showing us what the punk is supposed to be. They have spent months in the studio, Tonteknik, together with Eskil Lavstrom, and out came the best record ever. No boasting! They deliver revolutionary songs with intellectual beats that goes deep and get their influence from many different sides. They are innovaters and creators of the new noise and they refuse to stay at a stop.

Dennis Lyxzèn is now currently with his new band, the International Noise Conspiracy, which is not a bad band at all. But they're not trying to be another Refused. So, this is the last full length album you'll most likely ever hear from these guys again (*Review by Damien Lynch ).
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Friday, 28 September 2018

THE SLITS



























"cut"
Year:    1979
Country:    UK
City:    London
Label:    Universal
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    11
Time:    34 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk            Dub












Here are some things you might already know about Cut, even if you haven't heard one note of the Slits' music: This is the first time the album's been released domestically in the U.S. on CD (with the obligatory bonus tracks). The album cover features three members of the group wearing nothing but mud and loincloths. When the group first formed, they couldn't play their instruments for shit. The songs on the album offer an amalgam of punk's abrasive DIY WTF-ness and the spacious relaxed rhythms of dub reggae. This album is a keystone for any and all punk-based grrrl movements. And-- though it goes without saying, it's often said anyway-- this album is terribly, terribly important in the history of the rock music and the grand scheme of canonical flippity floo flap.





Funny thing is, for all its import, Cut is actually a lot of fun. Fun in the way Ari Up trills and coos and yelps across the songs like a precocious schoolgirl taunting all the boys and teachers. Fun in the way Viv Albertine scratches and waxes her guitar. Fun in the way Tessa's bass and Budgie's drums slip in and out of grooves like lovers test-driving the Kama Sutra. Fun in the way the group turns every subject it touches into a giddy playground sing-a-long, whether it be a diatribe against pre-set gender roles ("Typical Girls"), a story about Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten butting heads ("So Tough"), a cautionary tale about PiL's Keith Levene's drug use ("Instant Hit"), or songs tackling other didactic topics like invasive media propaganda, shoplifting and the idealized love of a new purchase. Fun in the way producer Dennis Bovell employees spoons and matchboxes as beat accents (in "Newtown"), centers the group's meanderings with a little piano or more traditional percussion, and allows the band to occupy both punk and dub at the same time. The Slits don't destroy passerby: They stop them, dance around them, sing songs to and about them, playfully taunt and tease them, and then pass them the dutchie.





The bonus tracks are OK add-ons-- the group's version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was slated to be the record's first single way back in the day, and would have served fine as another respectfully disrespectful punk cover, but appropriately ended up as the B-side to the actual first single, "Typical Girls". "Liebe and Romanze (Slow Version)" is an instrumental version of "Love Und Romance" bathing in the hot and welcome tropical sun outside of Lee Perry's studio, and serves as a pleasant cool down after the frenetic shenanigans that preceded. But, of course, if you're giving this album a spin, it's for the first 10 tracks, and if you're coming to them for the very first time, then I envy you. Yes, this is an important document, and part of any balanced popular musical diet, but this isn't a multi-vitamin-- this is skipping school as spring turns to summer to spend an extra-long lunch with friends driving to the not-so-local Jamaican bakery for a few beef patties and some much-needed fresh air. Take a long, deep breath, and enjoy the moment while it lasts (*Review by David Raposa ).
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"return of the giant"
Year:    1981
Label:    Universal
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    8
Time:    40 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk            Dub












Return of the Giant Slits is the second studio album by The Slits, released in 1981 by CBS Records on LP and cassette. In comparison with its widely acclaimed predecessor, Cut, released in 1979, it showcases a softer, more experimental sound, inspired by African music. Several months after its release The Slits disbanded. The album was out of print for more than two decades until being reissued on CD by CBS Japan in 2004 and then by Blast First in 2007 with a bonus disc featuring alternate versions of songs from the album.
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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

BUILT TO SPILL



























"keep it like a secret"
Year:    1999
Country:    US
City:    Boise, Idaho.
Label:    Warner
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    10
Time:    47 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Indie Rock












Keep It Like a Secret is the fourth full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill, and their second for Warner Bros. Records. The original tracks for the album were recorded on Nov 1997 at Bear Creek studios in Woodinville, Washington by Phil Ek, with overdubs recorded on mid 1998 at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington.[1] Keep It Like a Secret was released on February 2, 1999. The album spawned two EPs: Carry the Zero and Center of the Universe. Pitchfork ranked the album at #41 on their "Top Albums of the 90s" list (1999)
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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

GASOLINE



























"a journey into abstract hip-hop"
Year:    2002
Country:    France
City:   Paris
Artist:    Yoann Letard
Label:    La Fondation
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    14
Time:    70 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Breakbeat            Trip-Hop














Gasoline is a music group formed in 1998 by Yoann agency. The musical style of Gasoline, under the abstract hip-hop and hip-hop is characterized by scenes from noir films. Gasoline released two albums, "Journey Into Abstract Hip Hop" and "Snap Your Neck Back". This Hip-Hop DJ has very good skills on the decks and plays downtempo as well as crude uptempo breakbeat. His sets are made of scratches and pass-pass for the pleasure of the Hip-Hop instrumentals' lovers. He likes crude beats and deranged samples. Nevertheless Gasoline is an excellent music producer. He is involved with many Hip-Hop underground projects in France.
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Thursday, 6 September 2018

ZOMBIE NATION


























"leichenschmaus"
Year:    1999
Country:    Germany
City:    München
Label:    International DJ Gigolo
Format:    CD
Tracks:    11
Time:   50 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Techno            Breakbeat












Zombie Nation is a German techno and electro project of the Munich based DJ and producer Splank!. Until 1999 Emanuel Guenther (aka Mooner) was also involved in the project. The track Kernkraft 400 taken from the debut EP was licensed a number of times and one remix version even entered the charts. Since 2001, Florian Senfter has released tracks on different labels under his new pseudonym John Starlight. In 2002 he did not renew his contract with Gigolo Records and decided to start his own label, Dekathlon Records. In early 2005, the sublabel UKW was launched as a new platform for Zombie Nation and John Starlight releases.
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