Cobblestone Jazz - DMT
Cobblestone Jazz - Put the Lime in da Coconut
Joel Mull - Begun the End Has (Mathew Jonson Tiger Remix)
If previous years were infested with absolutely killing Mathew Jonson tunes then 2007 is turning into a grand cru year for Cobblestone Jazz. It helps of course when said Jonson is one of the three Jazzers. The single-sided 'DMT' is probably the darkest minimal tune to hit the decks in 2007. Rightout creepy with those muffled voice samples but well worth your money.
Regular 12" 'Put the Lime in the Coconut' combines the best of Jonson's wobbly techno rhythms (think 'Put Your Booty Shorts On') and the trio's jazz-inclined melodies. Don't care too much for the flip, though.
Jonson's Mull remix has been out for some time now but it is surely his best remix ever and one of the best dance tracks of the year. A cosmic delight from beginning to end.
Kelley Polar - Chrysanthemum EP
Henrik Schwarz - Walk Music
Osunlade - Elements Beyond
House is in a state of resurrection after years of slowly bleeding to death. But it is striking how most good house records have taken in a lot of techno influence. Kelley Polar strikes again with a beautiful three-tracker that, apart from the electro foundation, is rife with Age of Aquarius-style disco choirs and achingly beautiful melodies all around. Stunning as usual.
Henrik Schwarz's newest is, I humbly dare to state, without a shadow of a doubt his best yet. A tad more techno than house in a pumped up Basic Channel way and proving that Schwarz is one of the best producers in dance music right now.
The new Osunlade (on Strictly Rhythm of all labels) was a mighty surprise after years of Afro-tinged noodling from the man. There are at least five masterpieces on his new longplayer. This guy understands house (i.e. he knows that techno and house are an eternal twin) and that kind of understanding is growing rarer with the year. Amaze yourself and take a listen.
UR - Electronic Warfare 2.0
UR - Ma Ya Ya
Apart from some mid-nineties posing by Alec Empire Mad Mike's Underground Resistance remains the one and only truly political project in the whole of techno. The second episode of Electronic Warfare, as ever, makes no concessions at all, be it on the sonic or on the ideological side. Knife-sharp analog terror beats go hand in hand with soulful - albeit noisy - Red Planet-style techno. With lyrical snippets like "I'm gonna kill my radio station before it kills me" and "I am / U R / We will / Re-sist" it would be all too easy to point out the militant naivity. But only those who do not realize that every revolution requires an honest dose of naivité would come up with that kind of judgement. Essential as ever and comes with a nifty 7-inch sporting a raucous bonus track and an a capella of standout track 'Kill My Radiostation'. Judge or be judged!
'Ma Ya Ya' is from a few years ago but I only managed to lay my hands on it a few weeks ago. The combination of funky electrobeats, afro chants and accordion is just pure genius. Underground Resistance forever!!!
Q Lazarus / The The - Dark & Lovely 6
More tasty edits from Pilooski, here assisted by Krikor, who comes up with a heartbreaking electro edit of the Q Lazarus track, once part of the original Silence of the Lambs soundtrack. Pilooski himself beefs up The The's 'Giant', a track that was waiting to be reintroduced to the new dance generation.
Marc Ashken - Skream Remixes EP
Skream - Box of Dub
Andy Stott - Fear of Heights EP
Mala - Lean Forward
Dubstep's zenith is far from reached when someone like Skream (a genius that youngster) keeps providing the dope. The two remixes for Marc Ashken, originally minimal techno, are among his darkest tracks ever and they are oozing bass like snails ooze slime. The sample that rightly decries "R&B shit" is an added bonus.
The 12-inch drawn from the Box of Dub compilation on Soul Jazz sees him in straight-out dub mode. One might have doubts when there is only one extra track on this two-tracker, but 'Pass the Red Line' is one of the dubbiest tracks to ever emerge from the movement and certainly essential.
Andy Stott is the guy who cannot choose between techno and dubstep and it should come as no surprise then that the sublime Fear of Heights refrains from crossing the divide and insteads bridges both styles. Melancholic like Detroit techno and meditative like the best of Deep Chord, with, of course, deeeeeep bass.
The new DMZ comes courtesy of Mala who returns to murky dub waters after the techno cross-over of 'Left Leg Out'. 'Lean Forward' is the more dancefloor orientated track with a skanking climax after the Haile Selassie invoking break, while the slower 'Lean' reminds of Loefah's classic 'Mud' . Another topper indeed.