Headphone Commute's Sound Bytes (November)

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5 Nov 2010, 11:52

Please don't blame me if it looks like I've abandoned my posts on last.fm - it's not true! I've just been a bit overwhelmed with all the work I put into the main site at Headphone Commute. There are the latest mixes on our Podcast, the guest Sound Postcards from your favorite artists, and the Label Profiles. So I apologize for staying quiet on here. As usual, I would appreciate a comment or two, and recommend that you Subscribe to RSS Feed.

Here's our Podcast!!!


In this entry of my last.fm journal, I present you with seven entries from my Sound Bytes feature, that you may have missed on Headphone Commute. Be sure to stop by the main site for the latest entries and sound samples embedded alongside the reviews!!!


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Sound Bytes : Blue Hour Sounds, Mille Plateaux, and Sutemos

In this installment of Sound Bytes, I wish to cover a few compilations that recently grazed on the cones of my speakers. I've got some ambient, downtempo, and IDM here for you to munch on. And what's more delicious about this organic cocktail is that a lot of it is FREE! Bon appetit!


Made of Dawn (Blue Hour Sounds)
Kicking off this label's birth is a chill-out 10-track compilation titled Made of Dawn. This very first release from the Italian Blue Hour Sounds label features many well known artists in the downtempo scene, as well as a few newcomers. Followers of psychedelic and morning trance should recognize a few names on here, such as Sebastian Taylor (Digitalis, Kaya Project, Shakta etc.) appearing here as Hibernation; Eliot Morgan Jones and Nick Woolfson appearing as Sounds From The Ground; Michael Hodgson and Paddy Free as Pitch Black; René Gundel Nielsen & Martin Spanner Zimmermann as Beat Bizarre and many others... This is a beautiful selection of psybient vibrations, perfectly curated for the fans of Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 Music For Awakened Spirits And Open Minds. The founders of the label, Luca and Jasmine plan on following up this downtempo release with a psytrance compilation, The Garden of Delights. And if you're not a fan of psychedelic music, well maybe now is the time to check it out, because this compilation is 100% FREE!!! A 128kbps MP3 version is available for download in exchange for your email.


Clicks & Cuts 5.0 - Paradigm Shift (Mille Plateaux)
Mille Plateaux is back!!! That's right, kiddies, this is the influential German label that introduced us to genres like click-hop, glitch-pop, clicks and cuts! Kicking off back in 1993, Mille Plateaux brought us compilations like Modulation & Transformation with appearances by Aphex Twin, Cristian Vogel, and Air Liquide. In 1996, the label released the infamous Gas record, and in 1999 they catapulted SnD. In 2000, Vladislav Delay joined the roster and introduced us to the Clicks + Cuts series! And Alva Noto's debut, Prototypes also came out on Mille Plateaux. In 2004, the label went into hiatus, and now, four years later, it's back with it's fifth installment of Clicks & Cuts, subtitled Paradigm Shift! Now it should be no wonder to you, why I am so excited about this release! Many new and familiar names on here, like Kabutogani, Aoki Takamasa, Kiyo, Gultskra Artikler and of course, Ametsub! As the series suggests, this is a selection of fresh glitch sounds: "from Minimal Clicks to IDM-/Dub-ish tracks via Ambient and Sound Art to the 2 'Evac' tracks going to the Artcore and Organic extremes" that should get your taste buds wet for all the music to come!


Intelligent Toys: We Make Music (Sutemos)
I'm going to start off and state outright that Sutemos is one of the most influential net-labels! A lot of new and established talent has come through the doors of this Lithuanian purveyor of electronic and experimental sound! Its ability to spread the music far and wide, is what makes it 'influential' in the scene - especially since all of the releases can be downloaded for FREE! What better way of putting the music in your ear? The very first volume of Intelligent Toys series was released back in 2004. Eight years later we say the fifth installment, featuring artists like AGF/Delay, Deer, Monoceros, Ulrich Schnauss, Yagya, Swod, Miwon, Funckarma, Sense, Praveen, Kero, IJO, Ruxpin and many many others! This sixth entry, subtitled We Make Music is a three volume compilation with over 50 tracks! That's right, it's over 4 hours of music available to you for free! And the roster? We've got AGF, Monokle, krill.minima, Maps And Diagrams, Jan Jelinek, MINT, Sabi, Esem, Sleepy Town Manufacture and more than a handful of debuts - I can't possibly list all of them here! As with all Intelligent Toys, this release is accompanied by a gallery of nearly 30 images, which in itself makes this compilation a collector's dream. So don't delay, and experience the sound of evolving electronica for yourself! Remember, it's FREE!


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Sound Bytes : New Blood, Autonomic and Sub:stance

A lot of great music in this one! In this installment of Sound Bytes, I want to cover a few compilations across a spectrum of genres. Not only do these showcase the latest in dubstep, drum'n'bass and techno, but I promise you that this sound is unlike anything else you've heard before. In all cases, the compilations feature a newly defined stylistic branch of the ever growing music tree. I am incredibly excited to see these releases cross the genre boundaries, push the envelope further and contribute to the evolution of electronic sound. Hope you'll feel the same way.



VA - New Blood (Med School)
First up is a compilation from Med School showcasing new talent, appropriately titled New Blood 010. Med School has been on the edge of ground breaking micro-minimal drum'n'bass since it's been launched as an offshoot of London Elektricity's London-based Hospital Records back in 2006. This is where d'n'b meets glitchy IDM, dubstep and breakbeat, redefining boundaries as delicate cut ups, glitchstep, and half-tempo stompage. New Blood is a series designed to bring the up-and-coming artists to the frontlines before they graduate to become professional 'sonic surgeons' operating in the world renowned Hospital rooms. "These young practitioners have checked your vital signs and are ready to deliver the next prognosis with an array of scalpel-sharp sounds and rhythmical remedies." The roster of appearances includes contributors from all over the globe: UK, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Germany and even Ukraine. Lots of unknown names on here, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying this exhilarating ride.


D-Bridge & Instra:mental Present Autonomic - FabricLive. 50 (Fabric)
Moving on to a selection of more established artists in the drum'n'bass and dubstep arena, is an impeccable mix of over 30 tracks from D-Bridge & Instra:mental. This is the 50th installment in the Fabric's FabricLive series, and it instantly shoots up to the list of my favorite mixes from this London based label. Compiled by Darren White (aka D-Bridge and former member of Bad Company) and Alex Green & Damon Kirkham (collectively known as Instra:mental), the sound traverses the depth of deep and vocal micro d&b, to hip-hop influenced dubstep and smoky intelligent downtempo. Inspired by their Automic club night and podcast, the mix takes that club sound into the spacey head-nodding lounge or air tight headphones. Featuring a wide roster of artists, mostly from the Exit and NonPlus+ labels, we are treated with top notch selections from Consequence, Distance, Alix Perez, Vaccine, Scuba, Meleka, Skream, Genotype and of course, D-Bridge and Instra:mental. Another important note: all of the tracks for this mix were written exclusively by invitation, so they have not been previously released as singles. "The people behind it are not setting out to make a drum & bass track; they are setting out simply to make music, producing compositions that are emotionally charged, personally edifying and organic."


Scuba - Sub:stance (Ostgut Ton)
Since I've touched on dubstep, it only makes sense that I navigate you towards its deeper territory, approaching atmospheric, minimal and dub techno. Mixed by Paul Rose (aka Scuba), the man behind Hotflush, Sub:Stance "is the collision of two worlds – the vitality of UK bass music intertwined with Berghain and all it’s sensory exhilaration and unique atmosphere." I couldn't have said it better. Released on a label of Berlin's Berghain club, Ostgut Ton, the 24-track mix features some unreleased and exclusive tracks from Scuba himself, as well as Sigha, Pangaea, Untold, Surgeon, Digital Mystikz, and Joker among the many. The journey traverses through minor progressions of bass heavy dubstep until the 4/4 kick picks up the pace with its hollow punch, attributed to Surgeon's style. And now we're in that creepy, cold, and industrial territory of abandoned warehouses turned into clubs turned into temples of aural worship, where frequencies rise from the basement, up through the pipe organs, and drop back to the floor. I only wish that I could hear this in Berghain.

Techno: In Perpetual Motion
As a postscript to this entry of Sound Bytes, if you are interested in going further along this evolutionary trip and move on to a pounding, hypnotic and mesmerizing techno territory, I recommend that you check out the 14tracks.com installment, Techno: In Perpetual Motion, featuring a selection of rare 12-inchers and remixes by Marcel Fengler, Planetary Assault, Ben Klock, Mike Dehnert, and Delta Funktionen. "Techno is forever in flux, and this is just a snapshot of where it is at this particular place, in this particular moment in time..." Yes. Put that in your pipe.


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Sound Bytes : Hyperdub Special

This special installment of Sound Bytes features not just three, but five quick entries covering the very latest releases from one of the ground breaking, boundary pushing, genre bending labels, Hyperdub. This UK label is run and operated by Steve Goodman, aka Kode9. It is Hyperdub that introduced us to William Bevan - aka Burial - back in 2006 with his debut self-titled album, Burial. It is Hyperdub that broke all rules again with King Midas Sound and the critically acclaimed Waiting For You... The reviewed 12"s, released all in 2010, are not your typical dubstep wax. This is chiptune bleepy, breakstep grimey, syncopated goodness, oozing with bass and mind bending rhythms. Now hear this!



DVA - Natty / Ganja
We begin our exploration of the latest releases from Hyberdub with DVA (aka Diverse Arts and Scratcha). As an x-member of Aftershock crew (alongside Terror Danja), the tracks are bass-driven, dubstep riddems with a housey flavah. Natty starts off with a 4/4 kick and falls right into a square toothed bass ride with low rumbling snare hammering out tribal rhythms. Ganja is my favorite track on this 12" - employing Benga style sliding, octave walking, gangstah whistle, simple kick heavy pattern, and incredibly persistent melody, it's surely to become a winner for ringtone collectors. Check out DVA's previous releases, My Style / Africe and The Jelly Roll EP on his own, DVA Music. Did you know that the word 'ganja' is a Sanskrit word for "hemp"?


Terror Danjah - Acid / ProPlus
Old skool rave stabs are at the front-line of the appropriately titled track on A side, Acid. This is a first release for Terror Danjah on Hyperdub, previously appearing on UK's garage label, After Shock and even Planet Mu. For ProPlus, the "grime don" is joined by DOK (previous member of Aftershock), showcasing their classic sound of twisted synth notes landing somewhat sporadically across the syncopated drums, creating one of the most infectious deep grinding melodies. I love rolling down the street to this one, with the volume cranked up and the windows down! I only wish this track was about 5 minutes longer! You feel this?


Kyle Hall - Kaychunk / You Know What I Feel
Here are two tracks from Kyle Hall, with his first appearance on Hyperdub (after a remix of Darkstar's Aidy's Girls Is A Computer). Hall is an 18-year old Detroit resident with a few releases on his own label, Wild Oats. Kaychunk offers more of that 8-bit bleepy mechanical wonkiness, with a Detroit influence of hip-hop, syncopated drums and even UK funky. On Side B, You Know What I Feel approaches 2 step territory, with a vocal controlled melody and a square wave bass line. Hollow kick, stumbles over a backdrop of synth pads, and a clicking rim shot slash claps combo. If you like the sound, also pick up Hall's 4-track Must See EP ou on Third Ear Recordings.


Ikonika - Idiot
This arcade style bleepy molded, dubstep layered, beat stomped track hides an intricate melody shifted into 8-bit territory of toytronic chiptune. Pushing the boundaries once again, Hyperdub brings us the latest from a female producer, Sara Abdel-Hamid, going by the name of Ikonika. The flip side of this 12" features a housey mix by Altered Natives (aka Danny Native), that transforms the sound into a four-to-the-floor beat. The main track, Idiot, is taken off of Ikonika's debut LP, Contact, Love, Want, Have, recently released on Hyperdub. If you dig this, see also Ikonika's 2009 EP, Smuck, released on Planet Mu.


LV & Quarta 330 / Dong - Hylo / Suzuran
Here's another 12" split with only two tracks. On the logo side is the track Hylo, written by LV & Quarta 330. A fast paced beat splatters after the gameboy intro, with a super lo-fi percussion and a sonar melody that challenges the higher frequencies of my studio monitors. On the AA side is a remix by the duo of Suzuran, originally produced by Dong, which splatters in your face off the first beat. This is an uncharted territory of Japanese style chiptunes meets electro pops meets vocoder meets syncopated drums and off-key bleeps. Pretty alien sounding, if you ask me.


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Sound Bytes : Planet Mu Special

I really enjoyed covering Hyperdub in my last special edition of Sound Bytes, so this time I'm turning my ears towards Planet Mu. I'd rather not spend the time on words praising this amazing label, run by none other than Mike Paradinas (aka µ-Ziq). What's interesting to note though, is that in the last few years the label not only adapted to the latest trends in dubstep, but rather grabbed the reins of this unstoppable machine and began seeding the scene with some outstanding quality titles. Even Meat Beat Manifesto put out a dubstep record on Planet Mu (see Autoimmune, 2008). And it was the same label that brought us compilations from Mary Anne Hobbs, as well as the excellent latest releases by Slugabed, Boxcutter, Kuedo, and many others. I think I've said enough, so let's dive into this installment of Sound Bytes, covering the latest 2010 twelve inchers from Planet Mu.


Ital Tek - Moment In Blue EP
Alan Myson, releasing under Ital Tek, joined the label back in 2007, with his Blood Line EP. Since then, iTAL tEK (an inverted capitalization version of his moniker), dropped his debut album cYCLiCAL in 2008. Last year, we saw his Massive Error EP, and now Myson teases us with another EP, titled Moments In Blue. In addition to the two tracks (also appearing on the album), the 12" features two remixes by Ikonika and FaltyDL; while the digital release contains an extra track, Moment In Blue V.I.P. This is a solid dubstep release, with deep rumbling bass, chirping glitchy twists, minor chords, and a heavy kick. FlatyDL's remix, comes in with a solid beat and ghostly vocals, approaching 4/4 territory towards the end of the track. While Ikonika's remix features her staple syncopated snare rhythms (almost Latin sounding - I think I hear marimbas in the background!). Make sure to pick up Myson's sophomore release on the label, Midnight Colour, dropping on the street on June 7th, 2010.


Swindle - Airmiles EP
Blending elements of UK Funky with grime and dubstep, Swindle layers pulsating bass with almost tribal percussion and driving dance floor rhythms, creating his own flavor of synthed-out funk. On this Airmiles EP, the tracks, "Coffee" and "Molly" in particular, feature a vibrant confetti of funkadelic kaleidoscope, in stereo-sound of spacey guitar, lo-fi filters, 80s soaring synths and all. Super smooth! Quoting influences by Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis, George Benson, Bob Marley and even Michael Jackson, it's no wonder that his style leans heavily towards a blend of reggae and jazz. In the past, Swindle [who's real name remains a mystery] has released a grime compilation, The 140 Mixtape (2007), and an album, Curriculum Vitae (2009) on his own, Swindle Productions. Let's hope Planet Mu serves as a cannon to catapult this rising artist onto the scene. See also Swindle's remix of Terror Danjah's track, "Zumpi Hunter", appearing on Industry Standard Part 4 (2009).


Rudi Zygadlo - Resealable Friendship
In May, Glasgow (UK) based producer, Rudi Zygadlo released his debut album, Great Western Laymen, but right before that, in late March, he teased us with a four track single, Resealabel Friendship. For this installment of Sound Bytes, let's concentrate on the EP. Let's see, how do I describe Zygadlo's sound? It's as if Frank Zappa started baking pop pastries within the dubstep cookie cutter's template, twisting and stretching the dough in every direction, then slapping you upside the head. This release is complimented by two remixes from Planet Mu's rising stars. Starkey neatly folds the track into a deeper bass dance track, while Slugabed drenches the vocals in a mixture of 8-bit synthed out potion, that spices up the flavor and kicks it up a notch. BAM! So don't forget to pick up that full length, Great Western Laymen, ok? I don't want to ruin it, but the credits contain contributions by musicians on trumpet and alto sax.


FaltyDL - Phreqaflex
On this three track 12", NYC based Drew Cyrus Lustman, aka FaltyDL, returns with a flavor of housey minor chords, glassy pads, and shuffling 2-step rhythms. Gearing up for yet another full length, Planet Mu will release another EP, Endeavour, scheduled for September 2010. Meanwhile, Lustman's last year album, Love Is A Liability received some critical acclaim, including a selection for Headphone Commute's Best of 2009 : Music For Vibrating Your Neighbors’ Dusty China. On Phreqaflex, Lustman flexes his freakishly versatile muscles to squeeze out some nostalgic garage, sub-bass rumbling frequencies, with dusty fading vocals, and heavily layered vibe. Fans of Burial will be in for a treat once they hear "My Friends Will Always Say..." - I particularly dig the use of lip smacking in between the words, which are usually muted out by the producers from their tracks, leaving something empty, non-human, behind... This is a dance floor hit for sure!


Oriol - Coconut Coast
Wrapping up this installment of Sound Bytes on Planet Mu Special, is a newcomer to the label, Oriol. On his very first EP, Coconut Coast, Barcelona born and Cambridge based Oriol Singhji mashes up grimy beats with saturated synths, syncopated rhythms and elements of 70's soul, disco, and mid-80s electro. Preparing for his debut album, this four track teaser release features a remix by FaltyDL as well as an appearance by Mike Paradinas himself, disguised behind his Jake Slazenger alias. We are also treated with a remix by Shortstuff who released a collaboration EP with Geiom last year, No Hand Signals (2009). "[Oriol's] music connects the dots between his musical tastes, from the 70’s fusions of Herbie Hancock and Stevie Wonder to Theo Parrish, and Larry Heard to Recloose, drum 'n' bass and dubstep". This is something completely out of this world, so you better keep your eyes out for Oriol's upcoming, Night And Day hitting the streets this summer.


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Sound Bytes : Baconhead, Anodyne Industries, and Mormo

This installment of Sound Bytes features some of my latest picks among the net-label community. Distributing music digitally, and mostly for FREE, net labels are a collection of artists sprinkled across the domain of intarwebs with one goal in mind: make great music and spread it far and wide! Back in the early 90s even I was a member of a subculture of artists, musicians and hackers, known as the 'demoscene', uploading MODs to European elite HQs over a 1200 baud modem. Sigh... Am I dating myself here?


Baconhead - Soap EP (Acroplane)
What's that rumbling in the caverns of an abandoned tunnel? Why, it's the evil bass monster! C'mere, you poor creature, let me feed you some digital scraps. Whoah, don't be greedy! Let go of my 8-bit console! What's your name anyway? Oh, it's Baconhead, now, is it? And wipe your dirty bleepy mouth, or I may have to wash it out with Soap. So, who is hiding behind that green skin unleashed by the Irish net label, Acroplane Recordings? It's Ben Hudson (aka Ebola) and Paul Bee (Autobee). This is their first collaboration together, producing saw wave synth stabs, laser sweeps, and deep bass sci-fi beats to wake you out of your day dreams back into nightmares of cartoon flowers and cutout trees. The six track Soap EP, is a nice addition to Acroplane's catalogue of digital releases, previously featuring Igorrr, Somatic Responses, and Barry Lynn (Boxcutter). While visiting the label's site, be sure to pick up Ebola's Brodmann Area available for FREE! Check out the track Wookie, to get your woopie wonking...


Anodyne Industries - The Gateway EP (IDMf)
A newcomer to the scene of digital bass is Aaron King, releasing under the moniker Anodyne Industries. Hailing from the Bay Area of the States, King lands his first EP on IDMf Community, a net label spawned off of IDMforums. With solid production, breaky beats, and beautiful harmonics, King climbs to the top, among the label's previous seven EPs and compilations. The Gateway EP collects five tracks across a few genres, including dark and crunchy IDM, melodic-vocal-anthem dubstep, and even drum'n'bass. The mood shifts from light to dark with appropriately titled Make It Darker, showcasing King's ability of combining ethereal synth chords with nasty bass stabs. The best part is that this and all previous label's releases are available for FREE - so point your clickers and download legally away! For a taste of IDMf, pick up the first few compilations, featuring tracks from the members of the forum community. Here's my advice to established labels: always keep your eyes on some of this fresh talent... Download 320vbr MP3 or FLAC version.


Mormo - Epicurean Swerve (Bedroom Research)
Navigating through the web of net releases, I land upon a glitchy and abstract sound of Tomasz Kaye, aka Mormo, with his mind-bending experimental 8-track mini-album, Epicurean Swerve. Think Funckarma, Phoenecia, and dare I say Autechre. Put out by French collective of artists, Bedroom Research, this release features a taste of bleeps, clicks, and heavily processed rhythms as warped, swirled, and bit-stretched by this Holland-based artist. At times chaotic, mind-bending and bizarre, Kaye's sound pushes the envelope further, past intelligent design and dance oriented beats. Always complex and never revealed at face value, the album begs for numerous returns, to peel back the intricate structure for a closer look at the splintered sound. Be sure to also check out Mormo's debut album, Wasting 500 Sounds, released by Low Impedance Recordings back in 2006. If you have more bandwidth, crawl around the net-label's site, and fill your queue with more freebies.

More net labels to explore...
If after this bass-heavy entry you're still hungry for more, check out this list of my favorite net labels to visit : Sutemos, Serein, Thinner, Kahvi Collective, Monotonik, Controne, zymogen, Stadtgruen, Polymorphic Music, 12rec, and last but not least, one - yet another netlabel.


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Sound Bytes : Kuedo, Eskmo, and VibeSquaD

I sat down to cover the latest release from Planet Mu by Kuedo, and my mind migrated over to the bass sounds from Eskmo which then reminded me of an album by VibeSquaD. This is a perfect example of why Sound Bytes makes sense in that nonsensical kind of way. Three releases tied together by nothing more than my mood, yet thematically intertwined through more than just an evolution of sound. There's only two degrees of separation here, kids! It's almost as if I'm forming a certain path, and then dragging you along by your ears... Enjoy.


Kuedo - Dream Sequence EP (Planet Mu)
Have you met Kuedo? Yes, you have... It's Jamie Teasdale, also known as Jamie Vexd, who along with Roly Porter have already dropped a few dubstep bombs on Planet Mu, together known as Vex'd. With Dream Sequence EP, Jamie stumbles across lazy and almost drunken two-step beats, with 8-bit arcade game chords, twisted bit-crushed synths and degenerated vocoder. This four track EP features deep rumbling bass, almost bubbling to its own suffocation, and sluggish percussion, ideal for those nightmares when you're struggling through the swamp as the ghostly vocals pull you back in reverse delay. The winner on this release is the track titled Starfox, which the EP was originally named after. Another highlight, Shutter Light Girl, is a minute long vignette of a beatless sound exploration to the likes of Burial. A little birdie has also told me that there is another upcoming full length, titled Cloud Seed, coming out soon. Pick up this, and previous Vex'd releases, such as Degenerate (Planet Mu, 2005), directly from the label's site. This is bleepy, this is wonky, this is Planet Mu.


Eskmo - Hypercolor EP (Ancestor)
I've had my eye on the West Coast sound of San Francisco, Portland and LA, for a while now. The Glitch Mob, in particular, featuring Justin Boreta (aka Slidecamp), Edward Ma (edIT) and Josh Mayer (Ooah), have been producing some glitchy, breaky, and instrumental hip-hop. I'll bet my money that Brendan Angelides, who has two monikers, Welder and Eskmo, has been hanging out with them. Releasing the Hypercolor EP as a digital download on his very own label, Ancestor Media, Angelides mixes up the sound dubstep with deep rumbles of hip-hop, where the crowd sways with the rhythm, clapping their hands with the beat. And his sound has already caught the eye of some heavy hitters. See, for example, his remix of Bibio's Dwrcan on Warp, and his 12", Let Them Sing released by Planet Mu in 2009. What a great roster of labels to have in his biography! Although this EP is almost a year old, I still return to it, for its solid, polished sound. Be sure to pick up his latest split single with Eprom, Hendt / Lands and Bones (Warp, 2010), and, even more exciting, his collaboration with Amon Tobin, calling themselves ESKAMON, Fine Objects (Ancestor, 2010), which comes with a free WAV samples and Ableton pack along with the release! Sounds like a remix invitation to me! Recommended for the likes of the above, as well as Prefuse 73, Daedelus, Richard Devine, Nosaj Thing and all the usual West Coast suspects.


VibeSquaD - Joyful Noise (Vibesquad)
Well, since I'm in the mood for crunky bass, it's only appropriate that I bring up this gem by Aaron Holstein, who goes by the name of VibeSquaD. Welcome to the world of crunkadelic basstraveler! I first came across Holstein's sound with his debut, Return of the Pudding People on Bluetech's Native State. Since then, Holstein scored a release for Proboscis (that's KiloWatts' digital label), a remix on Addictech and an appearance on Interchill. Oh, and Holstein is very good friends with the above mentioned members of The Glitch Mob - playing at many venues with them. So, we're all in the family here. Joyful Noise is a collection of thirteen tracks, self-released in digital format. In terms of sound, VibeSquaD is raw, loud, and rumbling. Open up your ears to square-wave bass, solid punchy beats, and mind-twisting melodies that make you cringe your nose. Classification is pointless, unless you prepare yourself to skip over glitch-hop, dope-step, and and funk-bass. Production is crunchy, tight and top notch. This is a serious treat for fans of dubstep and IDM alike. Recommended to be listened to alongside Eskmo, Bassnectar, Heyoka, and the rest of the mob...


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Sound Bytes : Limaçon, Luke Hess and Hobo

With this another installment of Sound Bytes, I share with you my latest favorite selections in minimal-dub-tech-house and funky polished beats. First up is a brand new release from Thoughtless which should keep your heads bopping, rolling into the latest from Echocord, and when you're all warmed up, confidently stepping into the darker territory of M-nus output. By now it's no secret that I enjoy the mind cleansing minimal beat - I have always been hypnotized by the kick-click-tick-tocks. I hope you enjoy this mini itinerary for your upcoming trip.


Limaçon - Tarry Not (Thoughtless)
Deriving from the Latin limax ("snail"), a limaçon is a geometric circular pattern, similar to that of a cardioid. Santa Cruz based Christopher Lee, adopted the name Limaçon in 1997, to create a solid, minimal, and driving sound of tech-house, that cleans out the crevices of my mind, previously occupied by all noisy thought. Yes, this extremely hypnotic, four-to-the-floor beat, is relaxing for me. Once your focus latches onto the repetitive patterns, it leaves no room for worries, anxieties or concerns. There is just this sound, rolling forward with the clean, polished, granular synthetic sounds. In his bio, Lee talks about his production : "I try to keep a balance between something for your mind and something for your body, between experimenting with new sounds and giving people something they can grab onto." With a few digital releases and 12-inchers behind his belt, Tarry Not is Lee's debut album, on Canadian digital label, Thoughtless Music. The latter, by the way, is part of the extended Native State family, with a few excellent releases by Noah Pred, Evan Marc and KiloWatts. Recommended for the minimalists and followers of Steve Bug, Claro Intelecto, and Surgeon. Be sure to pick up your digital copy directly from Beatport [preferred], also available on Bleep, Juno, and of course, iTunes.


Luke Hess - Light In The Dark (Echocord)
Following a half a dozen of 12" EPs, Detroit raised Luke Hess lands his debut full length on Echocord. The Copenhagen based label is famous for its minimal, deep, and dubby output with releases from Rod Modell (aka Deepchord), Quantec, and Mikkel Metal among the many. Embedded deeply in the names of the nine tracks, and the title of the album itself, Light In The Dark, Hess projects a few spiritual connotations behind his music and the central theme. If the search for enlightenment is not your cup of tea, then perhaps the sound of light rolling tech-house beat, deep bass, and echoed minor chords will show you the way. Full of Detroit minimalist elements, the album trots on through lush textures and spacious atmospheres, measured by a tight and punchy kick. Light In The Dark is a steady, meditative, cleansing, and an eye/ear opening experience. Great for the headphones and dance-floors alike. Be sure to also check out Ignite The Dark Remixes EP with reworks from cv313, Marko Fürstenberg and Mikkel Metal.


Hobo - Trackz (M-nus)
Since I'm in a minimal kind of mood, it only makes sense that I turn next to Richie Hawtin's Canadian label, M_nus. By the way, Hawtin has recently announced the return of Plastikman with a new album in the pipeline. One can only hope that it will live up to our expectations. But back to Hobo, whose real name is Joel Boychuk. Along with Adam Young, Boychuk has already released as Tactile, see Silent Movie (M_nus, 2007). For his solo project, Boychuk collects four tracks on a 12" (and eight on a digital release), showcasing extremely clean and minimal techno, with polished production skills and an ear tuned to perfection. Look, this is mind cleansing, shamelessly stripped, pounding techno, and I'm not at all embarrassed to be in love with it. Boychuk's bio on the label's page begins with "Sometimes you have to lose yourself in order to find a better way. It’s not a conscious decision, it can’t be forced – it’s just the way of the wanderer…" And that is precisely how I feel when listening to this music. Recommended for the likes of Geiser, JPLS, Heartthrob, Ben Klock and Redshape.


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last.fm artist and label cloud mentioned in the above post: Meat Beat Manifesto, µ-Ziq, Mary Anne Hobbs, Slugabed, Boxcutter, Kuedo, Ital Tek, FaltyDL, Swindle, Terror Danjah, Rudi Zygadlo, Starkey, Oriol, Mike Paradinas, Geiom, Shortstuff, Jake Slazenger, Digitalis, Kaya Project, Shakta, Pitch Black, Beat Bizarre, Aphex Twin, Cristian Vogel, Air Liquide, SND, Gas, Vladislav Delay, Alva Noto, Kabutogani, Aoki Takamasa, kiyo, Gultskra Artikler, Ametsub, AGF/Delay, Deer, Monoceros, Ulrich Schnauss, Yagya, Swod, Miwon, Funckarma, Sense, Praveen, Kero, IJO, Ruxpin, AGF, Monokle, krill.minima, Maps and Diagrams, Jan Jelinek, Mint, Sabi, Esem, Sleepy Town Manufacture, D-Bridge, D-Bridge & Instra:mental, Instra:mental, Consequence, Distance, Alix Perez, Vaccine, Scuba, Meleka, Skream, Genotype, Marcel Fengler, planetary assault, Ben Klock, Mike Dehnert, Delta Funktionen, DVA, Scratcha, Terror Danjah, Kyle Hall, Ikonika, LV & Quarta 330, Dong, Baconhead, Igorrr, Somatic Responses, Barry Lynn, Boxcutter, Funckarma, Phoenecia, Autechre, Mormo, Anodyne Industries, Kuedo, Eskmo, Burial, Vex'd, Vibesquad, The Glitch Mob, Welder, EDI, Ooah, Prefuse 73, Daedelus, Richard Devine, Nosaj Thing, Amon Tobin, Eskamon, Eprom, Kilowatts, Bassnectar, Heyoka, Noah Pred, Evan Marc, Limaçon, Steve Bug, Claro Intelecto, Surgeon, Luke Hess, Rod Modell, Deepchord, Quantec, Mikkel Metal, cv313, Marko Fürstenberg, Richie Hawtin, Plastikman, Geiser, JPLS, Heartthrob, Ben Klock, Redshape, Planet Mu, Hyperdub, Blue Hour Sounds, Mille Plateaux, Sutemos, Med School, Fabric, Ostgut Ton, Hotflush Recordings, After Shock, Third Ear Recordings, acroplane, IDMf, bedroom research, Sutemos, Serein, Thinner, Kahvi Collective, monotonik, controne, zymogen, Stadtgruen, Polymorphic Music, 12rec., ancestor, Warp, interchill, Native State, Thoughtless Music, Echocord, m-nus

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