techsoul

Lighter Thief - Ahead techsoul

March 26, 2018
Supasense seems to use vocals from Ron Hardy's "Sensation" on Trax. Dope record indeed.=)
techsoul

Various - Minimarista (Background Records Compilation) techsoul

October 13, 2017
Great compilation, solid early tracks from the Background stable.
But don't feed those Discogs sharks.
Got this for 30 bucks.
techsoul

Leftfield - Alternative Light Source as reviewed by techsoul

November 19, 2016
Given Leftfields sixteen year hiatus and Paul Daleys departure from the project, this album is a different take on the Leftfield sound. "Alternative Light Source" iilluminates the project from a completely new angle. It's a mighty and fabulous album with a slight pop patina, great production and apparent knowledge of its roots. Not a stone-cold future classic, but a solid and self-conscious comeback all the way.

Why petrify the good old times in memory amber?
Open your ears and listen to Leftfield tearing EDM a new one.
techsoul

YMC - Orange Peel as reviewed by techsoul

June 25, 2016
Fabulous Deep House album.

If you're into seriously deep 5 A.M. club slammers on a jazzy tip with some smoothly stoned vibes on top - hey, this one's definitely for you! YMC's first album is the standout effort in their back catalogue and has beautifully aged to perfection.

Lush goodness all the way.
Wow.
techsoul

Dj3000* - Sälis as reviewed by techsoul

March 23, 2016
Franki Juncaj aka DJ3000 rarely doesn't deliver the goods, and this compilation is no exception. You just gotta love the man for his mighty fresh and cosmopolitan take on the Detroit sound. His tracks always have that certain kind of serious euphorism no one else could pull off like he does it. Real "World Music" in the best sense of the term, spanning an incredible range of influences and sounds, all packed into a disc full of relentlessly funky Techno for the floor.

Stunning stuff - straight outta the D.
techsoul

UVB (2) - Life as reviewed by techsoul

February 3, 2016
Amazing from start to finish.

Strong Birmingham feel to this album, although UVB has definitely carved his own distinctive sound out of those obvious inspirations. Driving, hypnotic, spherical and relentlessly tough Techno, running on straight and broken beats.

Clear nods towards Oliver Ho's early stuff too. Check the immaculate flow of the percussion and the clever use of vocal sounds which seem strangely disconnected from their original sources, yet remain deeply human and touch something inside you while you focus on them. A pleasure for listening, an even greater pleasure on the decks, played out loud.

This might as well have been released 20 years ago.
Sounds far out nowadays anyway, though.

Mandatory Techno album.
techsoul

Heiko Laux - Waves as reviewed by techsoul

January 25, 2015
Quite many people found this album to be too much of a departure from Heiko's earlier "Kanzleramt" sound at the time it was released. I guess it's all up to personal taste in the end, but in my opinion, this has aged far better than his older albums and is by no way just a collection of tools. While most tracks are proper DJ material, there's a lot of detail weaved into the structure of these tracks. "Waves Ahead" is a cool opener, and "Sharpened" with its relentless, tough groove is my favourite, And don't forget to spend at least two minutes of your life by admiring the clever little cinematic theme which "Fire At Will" provides in the middle of the album.

Great to dance to, great to listen to. Ace Techno album, still sounding fresh 8 years later.
techsoul

Theo Parrish - Sound Signature Sounds Vol. 2 as reviewed by techsoul

January 18, 2015
edited over 3 years ago
I've been trying to reach Theo by email about this repeatedly, but got no response.

As already mentioned, the "weird" sound of the CD is partially due to the signal polarity being out of phase, which can be corrected by inverting one channel's phase.
However, the sound quality is - probably deliberately - fucked up even further.

All tracks are completely in mono, while at least some of the "original" versions (I cross-checked "Rain For Jimmy" and "Dirt Rhodes") clearly have stereo content on other releases (CD and vinyl).

Heavy limiting is put to work throughout - for example, on the CD, the bassdrum in "Dirt Rhodes" basically is truncated into a square waveform, while a vinyl rip shows a nicely rounded waveform with no limiting at all.

In the end, even with the signal polarity corrrected, this is distorted audio crap compared to the original versions.

Do your ears and your respect for Theo Parrish as a musician a big favour by not buying this scam of a compilation.
techsoul

Rok - Defender as reviewed by techsoul

January 11, 2015
Classic Berlin Techno that easily stood the test of time.

Not one weak track on here - expect maybe for "Silky" and "Cycle Sluts", the "big hits" of the bunch, which - despite still having their charm - come across a bit too formulaic today.

Warm analogue phattness reigns all the way ("Emma Peel", "Sharks", "The Lure" "Luna Park"), and there is a fair amount of disco-infused tracks too ("The Cheap Stuff", "High Menergy" and - of course - "Silky").

And let's not forget about "Discraft Ultrastar" - slow, hot, brooding techno which still is the perfect soundtrack for any pit filled with steam and sweat like the ominous "Tresor" club.

An ace collection of Rok's best works.
techsoul

Laurent Garnier - Club Traxx EP as reviewed by techsoul

November 12, 2014
A very impressive little package here, showcasing Laurent in straight club mode. Great tracks for the dancefloor with that typical flow we all love him for. "Rachando O Bico" sounds like the cute, funky little brother of "Crispy Bacon". "Pigalle" indulges us with tasty moaning red light Techno frenzy, "Pervert" goes down the housey route for nice n' slow eroticism. "Dance 2 The Music" is a hymn like they just don't make 'em anymore, "Aquarius" evokes Detroitian goosebumps all the way, and "Side Effects" leaves a lasting impression with rough drum machine workouts.

A treasure trove of mid-nineties Techno - not to be overlooked!
techsoul

Rocketmann ! - Rocketmann ! as reviewed by techsoul

April 17, 2014
Imagine everyone's favourite French electro pop darlings Air remaking Felix The Housecat's "Metropolis Present Day", and you're quite close.

"Rocketmann" is like a mirror image of Felix' classic album, flipping it around 180 degrees. The club aspect shifts mostly to the background (not on "Black Hole" though, which is a funky club track with dope vocals), and those wonderful melancholic miniature pop songs and experimental interludes which where only hints on "Metropolis" suddenly take the main stage and bloom in spaced-out sonic beauty.

"Rocketmann" is a funky electronic space drama with a good measure of afro-futurism. The figure of the space traveller works as a canvas on which emotions are thematised.

Melancholia, loneliness, hope, loss, wonder, love, paranoia, nostalgia ... its all here, wrapped into rather short musical pieces, all of which showcase a very diverse and distinct musical ideas on their own, but nonetheless also drawing a very coherent "big picture" across this fabulous little album.

Vocals are omnipresent, but applied in quite different ways - be it as a meditative mantra ("Rocketmann ... take me home ..."), a sung poem ("Stars We Saved"), spoken word ("Cyber Talk"), in a ballad ("Visions Of Utopia") or classic uplifting vocal house style ("Black Hole").

If you loved "Metropolis Present Day", be sure to add this little overlooked jewel to your collection.
techsoul

Various - Soul In Motion techsoul

March 5, 2014
I fully agree - this is a top notch compilation, not one filler on here! One of my alltime favourites!
techsoul

Leif - Dinas Oleu as reviewed by techsoul

February 9, 2014
Extremely jazzy vibes all over this stunner of an album.

Apart from that, "Dinas Oleu" has a very destinctive sound - spacious, mystical, warm and organic. Actually, just take a look at the sundrenched cover photo, which perfectly illustrates the sonic beauty awaiting the listener.

Finally releasing his debut album after almost ten years of providing tight quality beats with a constant focus on the dancefloor, Leif Knowles surprises us by suddenly broadening his sound spectrum to panoramic widescreen format.

He combines straight and broken beats, dubby techno goodness, genius bass workouts, a slightly balearic patina, beautiful rhodes chords, minimalistic expressionist synth solos, dreamy vocal snippets and tons of good groove into an extremely mature signature sound which constantly morphs back and forth between its polarities - be it density and spaciousness or highly "natural" and boldly artificial sounds.

"Dinas Oleu" has an intimate, meditative quality to itself.
Nothing feels rushed or forced here - calmness reigns, while we observe a constant state of vivid sonic flux without getting attached to it.

A wonderful album from start to finish.
Makes me smile in wonder and delight, again and again.
techsoul

Jeff Mills - The Jungle Planet as reviewed by techsoul

October 1, 2013
edited over 5 years ago
Sheer audio-cinematic beauty and a mature body of work.

Hands down the most ambitiuos and amazing part of the "Sleeper Wakes" series so far.
A perfectly grounded, astonishingly lush counterpart to the rather cold, sparse and tension-ridden "Sleeper Wakes" album - another highlight in the series.

Musically, "The Jungle Planet" - as the beautiful artwork by Julien Pacaud suggests - is very diverse in style and structure,. It shows a world which changes quickly and often in unexpected ways. This corresponds to a jungle as a biological habitat, pushing natural selection towards rapid growth, massive competition and great diversity.

Arpeggios are very prominent throughout the albums beatless tracks ("Descending Micro-Terra", "Rainbow Clusters", "Dream Mechanics"), and there is a stronger focus on melody and harmonical changes than on any of the other albums in the series.

"The World Of Worlds" perfectly pictures the view at a new world which so far was beyond the viewers imagination. "Human Dream Collectors" sounds a tad like Mills' classic "Gamma Player" being re-invented, displaying the same calm, meditative mood over nice beats. "Translucent Plants" and "Four Hour Days" take Mills' well know "straight beats, weird bleeps" route, using extreme frequencies to create an otherworldly feel. "Approaching Magnesium Towers" goes even further back - classic Axis sound circa 2000.

The black USB cube, housed inside another black box, is a nice object since it is connected to the story. The outer box is numbered in handwriting, and the USB stick itself has the album title embossed in red. The PDF artwork and booklet on the USB stick are not provided in high resolution and suffer from pixelated aliasing, which is kind of disappointing.

I certainly hope this album will find an unlimited release in CD format.
Being the highlight of the series so far, I feel it should be available to a broader digital audience - like the other parts of the series.
And that gorgeous cover artwork surely deserves to be printed.
techsoul

Kid Loco - Kill Your Darlings as reviewed by techsoul

August 8, 2013
edited over 5 years ago
I'll keep it short n' sweet: To me, this one is quite like a tarantinoesque 2000 remake of Lou Reed's landmark album "Transformer".

While "Transformer" took us on a "Walk On The Wild Side", Kid Loco describes his album as "Ten ballads for the tits, bums and mickeys of the Beverly Pills". Sex, drugs and Rock n' Roll with a slightly stoned Trip Hop edge and sleazy, twisted humour throughout the lyrics.

Fantastic songwriting, fantastic music, fantastic album.

"So I'm off to dedicate my life
to the death of Rock n' Roll;
noone gets their money back,
and I'll just keep my soul."
(from "Cocaine Diana")

This one is a timeless keeper I never get tired of.
Highly recommened if you're into good music.
techsoul

Lazonby* - Sacred Cycles as reviewed by techsoul

February 19, 2013
The speaker heard in the beginning of the original version of "Sacred Cycles" is not Gandhi - although this is often assumed.
Talk about western stereotypes - "Hey, listen - there's a man babbling about tolerance with an indian accent! Must be Gandhi."

Not quite so. In fact, it's Osho - a controversial indian guru who had many western followers in the 1970's. The bit heard in "Sacred Cycles" is an excerpt of a longer recorded talk where Osho discusses the problem of different beliefs dividing human beings from each other:

" ... and it is good that not all are roses, that not all are lotuses.

But something very mysterious is happening here, Darius, you can see: all kinds of people are here, from almost every country, from every religion, and nobody teaches them to be tolerant and nobody teaches them to be respectful of the other's religion. These things are simply not talked about, and still nobody is intolerant. In fact, nobody thinks in terms that the other is other. This is a totally different vision.

My approach is that you have to drop ... "

This is where the speech sample ends in the track, while the continuation would be:

" ..., not to imbibe tolerance, not to imbibe a certain synthesis, manipulated, man-made -- you have to drop this whole nonsense of the American way of life and the Indian way of life and the Chinese way of life. You have to drop this whole nonsense that "I am a Hindu, Mohammedan, Parsi, Sikh." You are just a human being!"

And "Sacred Cycles" is just a great early Trance track.
techsoul

ADNY & The Persuader - Quarter Of A Century as reviewed by techsoul

November 13, 2012
Gorgeous, deep and sexy music. Raunchy percussion, lush pads, feverish jazzy organs, sultry basslines and slick, housey beats with a Techno edge.

Not too far away from what Alexi Delano and Jesper Dahlbäck were doing on Stephan Grieders legendary "Svek" imprint at the time. Same quality for sure, maybe even a tiny bit more diverse and melodic.

Personal favourites include the opener "Omnipotent" with its delirious organ jam, some musings between poetry and dirty talk on "Supple Her Skin" and the warm, dubby Techhouse grooves of "Sun Dried" and "Indulgements". And let's not forget "On The Veranda", a cool slice of late night jazz with dreamy sax solos on top.

Loved the "Svek" stuff back in the days?
Then you shouldn't sleep on this one ...
techsoul

Tadeo - Contacto as reviewed by techsoul

November 11, 2012
edited over 5 years ago
Something in the sky - and ain't Jeff this time. With "Contacto", Tadeo offers us his take on eerie sci-fi Minimal Techno.

"Contacto" celebrates and concentrates on the clash of the paradox elements in its tracks. Like molecules, they collide, bond and dissolve. Chaos and order alternate. Simple elements engage in everchanging, complex interaction with each other.

But Tadeo's sense for dramaturgy goes beyond the single tracks. This is an album, and every track is in it's right place from start to finish. In this discipline, he clearly excels his most obvious inspirer.

Tadeo's arrangement skills are asteroid-solid throughout. Most tracks are heavily reduced, stripped and condensed, but nevertheless absolutely relentless floorshakers - clinically clear and crisp in production, but still lively and organic in their musical structure.

Poetry.
Science.
Sweat on the dancefloor.
"Contacto" is truly stellar.

Keep watching the skies, Jeff ... Tadeo's coming!
techsoul

Moodymann - Shoes Of Jae (Bangin' Edit) as reviewed by techsoul

August 5, 2012
A "Bangin Edit" indeed. All the charm and momentum gets banged out of the original without even the slightest sense for dramaturgy here. As if that wouldn't already destroy the track enough, the additional 808 bassdrums added on top after four minutes perfectly conclude the damage done.

That's because "Shades Of Jae" is not just about the bangin' - it's also about the yearning!
And without the yearning, the bangin' isn't any fun either.

Yes, the original "Shades Of Jae" playfully builds around the moments when the bassdrum kicks in. However, it's not the presence of the bassdrum itself which sets the dancefloor on fire.
It's the moment when it kicks back in, in context with the whole build-up before, with the constant change of the mix throughout the track, with that relentless "stop-and-go" groove permanently surprising the dancer into complete submission.

The male vocal (which, interestingly, the clumsy edit mostly omits) subtly supports the frenzy the original track creates on the dancefloor:
"You know I love you ...
and I missed you, baby ...
when you left ...
and I yearned all week, baby ...
for you to come home!"

Funny enough, these longing words of love might also mirror the feelings of the people on the dancefloor yearning for the beat to come back.
But there's definitely more to it than just a bassdrum.

Go for the original!
techsoul

Moodymann - Shoes Of Jae (Bangin' Edit) as reviewed by techsoul

August 5, 2012
A "Bangin Edit" indeed. All the charm and momentum gets banged out of the original without even the slightest sense for dramaturgy here. As if that wouldn't already destroy the track enough, the additional 808 bassdrums added on top after four minutes perfectly conclude the damage done.

That's because "Shades Of Jae" is not just about the bangin' - it's also about the yearning!
And without the yearning, the bangin' isn't any fun either.

Yes, the original "Shades Of Jae" playfully builds around the moments when the bassdrum kicks in. However, it's not the presence of the bassdrum itself which sets the dancefloor on fire.
It's the moment when it kicks back in, in context with the whole build-up before, with the constant change of the mix throughout the track, with that relentless "stop-and-go" groove permanently surprising the dancer into complete submission.

The male vocal (which, interestingly, the clumsy edit mostly omits) subtly supports the frenzy the original track creates on the dancefloor:
"You know I love you ...
and I missed you, baby ...
when you left ...
and I yearned all week, baby ...
for you to come home!"

Funny enough, these longing words of love might also mirror the feelings of the people on the dancefloor yearning for the beat to come back.
But there's definitely more to it than just a bassdrum.

Go for the original!
techsoul

Spacetime Continuum - Sea Biscuit as reviewed by techsoul

August 1, 2012
An untouchable Ambient classic.

Endless layers and spheres of sonic beauty.
Uncountable variations, shapes and forms of sound from all kinds of sources.
All falling into place within one solid body of music and art.

Incredibly complex, yet weightlessly floating ear candy.
Right up there with FSOL's "Lifeforms".
techsoul

Dave Angel - Frame By Frame as reviewed by techsoul

July 6, 2012
edited over 6 years ago
Eleven floorpleasing Techno goodies. Soulful and very funky all the way - from the crazy hooklines right down to the bone of those relentless, pumping grooves.

No interludes. No "Look, mum, I can do ambient, too!"-fillers. No street credibility-seeking superdope downbeat skits. Just good old straight beats here.

"Counter Wave" and "Zulu" are two heavy, clearly Saunderson-inspired Detroit bombs. "On Point" and "Jet Stream" ooze positive energy and bring some good vibes to the floor with their cool breakdowns and twists. "Drop Top" and "Scots Warriors" take a stroll down Minimal Lane, but still keep the warmth which makes this whole album very enjoyable and accessible.

This collection of tracks has everything that made me fall in love with Techno around 1992. Genre boundaries were still vague back then, and you would hear elements of House, Trance, Progressive and Techno in the very same set - and just welcome every new tune with open ears and dance your good damn ass off to the music. I would not really call it an album - the order of the tracks works well, but more in the vein of a consistent deejay set (it's not mixed, however).

"Type E", produced together with Ken Ishii, even has the balls to (reponsibly) lean towards Trance aesthetics - snarerolls, anyone? - and boy, does it sound great! No nostalgia dust on this one, though - this sounds just as fresh as Techno should in 2012.

On "Frame By Frame", Dave Angel achieves far more than simply showing off his influences. You need roots to make a collection of eleven tracks bloom like this. No doubt he has 'em.
techsoul

Nina Kraviz - Nina Kraviz as reviewed by techsoul

June 21, 2012
edited over 6 years ago
I agree with my fellow reviewer - this is a quite introspective, overall solid debut album. Many great moments, some obvious flaws. Not groundbreaking, but certainly an artistic achievement which deserves respect. Far more personal, honest and "self-made" music than the average faceless minimal fare. It makes sense that she named the album after herself, making a statement, saying: "This is MY take on music".

What happens here is basically:

1) A female artist makes good music.

2) The music gets promoted on the female artist being a woman and her good looks.

3) Media do the math: good music AND a woman AND good looks = switch on the hype machine!

4) People who haven't heard the female artist's music yet do the math: a woman AND good looks AND media hype = "... the music must be pretty shite if they have to promote it on her looks and sex ..." "... she's probably just another model muppet trying to gain ground in the music world ..."

5) Finally, the good music the female artist has made is met with a certain negative prejudice by people who hear or read about it in the media first.

6) The more hype something gets, the more tempting it becomes for people to make themselves look like true connaisseurs by flaming and hating it without even knowing about it.

Who's fault?
No one's, of course.
Just the way the world works ...
techsoul

Petar Dundov - Ideas From The Pond as reviewed by techsoul

June 17, 2012
edited over 6 years ago
"Ideas From The Pond" seems like a logical progression after "Escapements" - putting even more focus on harmonic progression, Dundov confidently gives his wide, scenic slabs of synth-washed Techno goodness the time they need to do their magic.

Listening to the album for the first time, I had that rare feeling to hear music which somehow had already been there and always will be there. Every note falling into place, every sound making perfect sense - universal flux blurring any sense of time.

Not as "trancey" as the reviews in many mags may make you think. Personally, I hear a lot more references to instrumental synthesizer music from the 80's. Think Vangelis, but without all the cheesy hymns cluttering the hypnotic potential beneath.

"Together" is my favourite track on here, with its positively melancholic mood somehow being reminiscent of Kenny Larkin's epic "War Of The Worlds" to me. That said, the remaining six tracks are also pure ear candy, made by an audio craftsman who obviously knows what he does, fusing Ambient and Techno without falling for the obvious, overdone Dub Techno scheme.

When putting on "Ideas From The Pond", it instantly sucks you into the journey it has to offer - like a good album should.

I consider this an untouchable classic for the years to come.