Thursday, April 24, 2008

Assorted WARPness

...more from our trusty Nottingham correspondent. Thanks Chris!

I ran these through some audio processes to get the levels up, but besides that they sound pretty solid!

One of the first record of the bleeps genre was “The Theme” by Bradford’s Unique 3 in 1989. LFO’s “LFO” was released on Sheffield’s Warp Records in 1990. Nightmares on Wax next released “Dextrous” on Warp Records in 1990. The label went on to release the club anthem “Testone” by Sweet Exorcist (DJ Parrot, and Richard H. Kirk of Sheffield avant-garde experimentalists Cabaret Voltaire), a track that went on to define the Yorkshire sound, and also the rather silly “Tricky Disco” by Tricky Disco. These were followed by a string of releases on the short-lived Leeds label Bassic Records, including the “Ital’s Anthem” by Ital Rockers, a Chapeltown dub reggae band diversifying into techno, and Juno’s “Soul Thunder”, an understated track now recognised as a techno classic.

The music scene in England changed, as piano house anthems took over northern clubs and the breakbeat hardcore scene grew in London and the West Midlands.

Bassic Records folded in 1991, taking most of their acts with them. Those who survived changed styles, with Ital Rockers going back to dub reggae and LFO shifting to techno.

Check out this blog for more info

Forgemasters - Shall we..
Forgemasters - Track with no name
LFO - LFO (remix)
LFO - Mentok 1
LFO - Quijard
Man Machine - Man Machine (Cyber-Subsonik)
Man Machine - Man Machine (Electronik - Automatik)
Man Machine - Man Machine (Electronik - Genetik)


Nightmares on Wax - Aftermath series

* submitted by our lovely Nottingham correspondent Chris Ward. Thanks, Chris!

Nightmares on Wax - Aftermath 12"s
Label - Warp/Outer Rhythm
Released - 1990
Style - Bleep, Electronic, Techno, Electronic

Seminal early Warp releases; Aftermath original + remixes + couple other tracks. This is the definitive Warp sound! Bleepy, uneasy warehouse techno c. 1990. Very very good stuff here. Download on sight! Buy it if you can, but these vinyl releases are not easy to come by...

The LFO remix of Aftermath is the best of the bunch, perfectly matching the early Warp bleep bass blueprint. Strangely eerie, and really capturing that Warehouse feel.

Re: Aftermath/I'm For Real: Both these tunes sample from Newcleus' 'Jam On It', Aftermath uses the female sweepy vocal off it, and 'Im For Real' uses the arpeggio'd bleepy loop.

NOW - Aftermath (LFO remix)
NOW - Aftermath
NOW - I'm for real (remix)
NOW - I'm for real
NOW - In two minds
NOW - Sal Batardes


Deep Space Network Meets Higher Intelligence Agency

Deep Space Network Meets Higher Intelligence Agency
* Submitted by Anonymous

Label - Source
Released - 1996
Style - Electronic, Ambient

Thanks, Anonymous! for submitting this to ICOOYS. I would have never found out about it otherwise :)

A collaboration between Birmingham's Higher Intelligence Agency and Heidelberg's Deep Space Network.

11 tracks, recorded in two sessions, Oct 95 and Jan 96.

1 Psyphonic (5:51)
2 Hexametre (8:07)
3 P.A.K. (6:17)
4 E-Z Wider (8:52)
5 Under Water Looking Up (8:49)
6 Zener Diode (4:27)
7 Ramp One (7:00)
8 Chai (8:33)
9 Baikonur (6:19)
10 Majoun (8:37)
11 T. Mat (4:57)


Monday, April 21, 2008

Re-ups: Blue Brazil Vols. 1-2

New links added at original posts. Thanks for the patience:

V/A - Blue Brazil Vol. 1
Label - Blue Note
Recorded 1960s-1970s
Style - Brazil, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Latin Jazz, Lee Library

V/A - Blue Brazil Vol. 2
Label - Blue Note
Recorded 1960s-1970s
Style - Brazil, Bossa Nova, Latin Jazz, Lee Library

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

V/A - Artificial Intelligence II

V/A - Artificial Intelligence II
Label - Warp
Released - 1994
Style - Electronic, IDM, Electro, Bleep

1 Mark Franklin - Release To The System (Beaumont Hannant Remix) (8:37)
2 The Higher Intelligence Agency - Selinite (7:01)
3 Link - Arcadian * Remix [Uncredited] - Global Communication (9:32)
4 B12 - Scriptures (6:58)
5 Autechre - Chatter (7:36)
6 Speedy J - Symmetry (6:08)
7 Beaumont Hannant - Utuba (8:12)
8 Richard H. Kirk - Reality Net (6:47)
9 Balil - Parasight (7:34)
10 Seefeel - Spangle (7:20)

download Pt 1
download Pt 2

V/A - Artificial Intelligence

V/A - Artificial Intelligence
Label - Warp
Released - 1992
Style - Electronic, IDM, Techno, Ambient, Electro, Bleep

This is one of those comps that set in motion my musical tastes for the rest of my life. I remember the day I bought the Artificial Intelligence comps - I was working at a bakery (FELIX!) and Tower Records was right around the corner. I went there after getting my first major paycheck - spent hours at Tower. Decided to look underneath the CD Racks in a secret little cubby, and came across a stack of these Warp CDs. I bought them all on sight. They remain the most influential comps in my collection.

1 The Dice Man aka Aphex Twin - Polygon Window (5:10)
2 Musicology - Telefone 529 (4:09)
3 Autechre - Crystel (4:36)
4 I.A.O. aka Black Dog - The Clan (5:07)
5 Speedy J - De-Orbit (6:11)
6 Musicology - Preminition (4:03)
7 UP! aka Richie Hawtin - Spiritual High (7:41)
8 Autechre - The Egg (7:32)
9 Speedy J - Fill 3 (3:53)
10 Dr. Alex Paterson - Loving You Live (4:00)

(From wiki)
Artificial Intelligence was a compilation album released on Warp Records on July 9, 1992 (see 1992 in music), and subsequently for America in 1993 on the Wax Trax label. The album is the first release in Warp's Artificial Intelligence series.

Artificial Intelligence is unique in that it was one of the first electronic music releases that was supposed to be listened to, not danced to. The album art conveys this message. The armchair in the picture, the lone figure listening to the music, and the non dance music LP sleeves stewn across the floor all acknowledge that this is a new way for electronic music to go. "...We realized you could make a really good album out of it. You could sit down and listen to it like you would a Kraftwerk or Pink Floyd album. That's why we put those sleeves on the cover of Artificial Intelligence - to get it into people's minds that you weren't supposed to dance to it!"


Seefeel - Polyfusia

Seefeel - Polyfusia
Label - Astralwerks/Too Pure
Publish Post
Released - 1994
Style - Abstract, Ambient, Electronic, Shoegazer

1 More Like Space (8:45)
2 Time To Find Me (Come Inside) (5:07)
3 Come Alive (5:06)
4 Blue Easy Sleep (4:42)
5 Plainsong (7:02)
6 Moodswing (5:45)
7 Minky Starshine (10:43)
8 Time To Find Me (AFX Fast Mix) (7:35)
9 Time To Find Me (AFX Slow Mix) (9:33)
10 Plainsong (Sine Bubble Embossed Dub) (8:46)

(review from AMG)
Mark Clifford (Disjecta, Woodenspoon) combines two earlier Seefeel EPs for domestic re-release on the Astralwerks label. First are four tracks from More Like Space, followed by five more from Pure, Impure. The latter (and slightly more interesting) EP is put mostly in the hands of Clifford's peers, recruiting the remixing and engineering talent of Mark Van Hoen (Locust), Sine Bubble, and Richard James (Aphex Twin), who contributes two very respectful and similar-sounding mixes to the track "Time to Find Me" (both his "AFX Fast Mix" and "AFX Slow Mix" are must-haves for collectors). All in all, Polyfusia is one of the group's more guitar-oriented albums, though still heavily garnished with atonal keyboard ambience and minimalist loops, due in equal parts to Clifford's own aesthetics and the reworkings on the latter half of the CD. Sometimes the minimal and repetitive elements of the tracks test the listener's patience, but it's one of the things that sets it apart from other bands in the same genre. Seefeel trusts that the sound is interesting enough as is, without cramming too much into each measure. It breathes steadily enough; it's music for a dream you can't understand yet, but you know it means something important. ~ Keir Langley, All Music Guide


Monday, April 14, 2008

Cabaret Voltaire - Eight Crepuscule Tracks

Cabaret Voltaire - Eight Crepuscule Tracks
Label - Les Disques Du Crépuscule
Released - 1988
Style - Electro, Experimental, Industrial

1 Sluggin' Fer Jesus (Part One) (5:03)
2 Sluggin' Fer Jesus (Part Two) (4:21)
3 Fools Game (Sluggin' Fer Jesus Part Three) (7:13)
4 Yashar (5:02)
5 Your Agent Man (2:39)
6 Gut Level (9:37)
7 Invocation (6:23)
8 Theme From "Shaft" (4:11)

Review by AMG:
An expansion of the original Three Crepuscule Tracks, Eight compiles a variety of slightly random tunes from the group's early eighties days for general consumption. The main cuts are the first, namely the three parts of "Sluggin Fer Jesus." If this cut wasn't the first attempt at what would become one of the most common and ultimately most cliched elements in eighties industrial/EBM -- a found-sound tape of an American evangelist over a dance groove -then it was close. Admittedly, at this stage Cabaret Voltaire wasn't dealing in the kinds of massive 'up yours' rhythm assaults later groups like Front 242 would perfect, but the jittery, reggae/dub-touched beats and arrangement on the first part are still fine stuff from the group. The second part starts with just the preacher (or perhaps another one) asking for yet more money, followed by instrumental snippets of the band fading up and then cutting out back into low synth/production murk. The final part, titled "Fools Game," has a heavily tweaked semi-rap and more crazed pastoral ranting floating around a combination of an older, emptier style of Cabaret Voltaire sonics and slight, but only slight, touches of the electrofunk then making waves. The remainder of the collection is a bit of a mixed bag, but still has some sharp bits. "Yashar," unexpectedly reappearing here from 2 x 45, kicks out a stiff beat and jam pretty well, while much of the latter half of the collection explores the balance between shadowy and more 'smooth' beats and production. The unexpected but still successful surprise wrapping Eight up is nothing other than a surprising faithful if still murky cover of Isaac Hayes' funk classic "Theme from 'Shaft'." Hearing Mallinder go on about the guy who's 'the sex machine to all the chicks' via vocal trickery that makes him sound like he's in a cave is amusing no matter how you slice it. ~ Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

download *sorry AAC format

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Boozoo Bajou - Satta

Boozoo Bajou - Satta
Label - Stereo Deluxe
Released - 2001
Style - Downtempo, Dub, Nu-Jazz

On the Nuremberg based Downbeat/Lounge/Nu Jazz Label Stereo Deluxe, Boozoo Bajou released their 10 track debut album Satta. Since 1997 the duo Peter Heider and Florian Seyberth aka Boozoo Bajou caught the eye of DJ's through the release of three twelve inch records, Night over Manaus, Under my Sensi and Divers, which brought a whole lot of club-play and smaller notification all over the world. The album has turned into a classic and is described as a milestone for the downbeat scene. Those 10 tracks from Satta can now be found on more than 120 CD compilations worldwide and the music was used on half a dozen top class tv adverts.

1 Yma (6:30)
2 Camioux (5:32)
3 Night Over Manaus (6:19)
4 Divers (5:02)
5 Bakar (5:14)
6 Down & Out (6:06)
7 Yoruba Road (5:40)
8 Under My Sensi (6:01)
9 Lava (4:51)
10 Satta (5:42)


Microstoria - snd

Microstoria - snd
Label - Thrill Jockey/Mille Plateaux
Released - 1996
Style - Minimal, Electronic, Experimental

(review from Outer Sound):
Like a sound check for the Big Bang, Microstoria's snd simmers at a level just below consciousness and leaves you teetering on the edge of an explosion.

The album's eight tracks screech, swell, hum and bubble like a cat sauntering along an abandoned Moog. Everyday sounds, from the morning alarm clock to a siren passing under a window, swirl through the tracks as if through barely boiling water. Microstoria could be brainwashing you into donating your dog to the Jehovah's Witnesses, and you'd never know. Your conscious mind would be too busy trying to figure out what that noise was or where one track ended and the next began.

Tracks like "Teil Zeit" and "bpi" have no melody, no rhythm, no discernible instruments apart from the (unidentifiable, at least to these ears) electronic pantheon. On the other hand, Microstoria's defiant antistructuralism can be really rather soothing. Notes infiltrate thought and perception; the walls look a little stranger, outside noises become just another element of the composition.

1 Sleepy People / Network Down (5:27)
2 Teil Zeit (5:40)
3 Per Formal (5:10)
4 Feld 1 (4:47)
5 Endless Summer NAMM (4:39)
6 Work Place (5:07)
7 BPI (3:57)
8 Quit Not Save (2:50)


V/A - Ingredients: Step 4

V/A - Ingredients: Step 4
Label - Cookin
Released - 2002
Style - Downtempo, Future Jazz

1 Earth Leakage Trip - Glow Worm (4:39)
2 Nebo - iquid Sky (7:39)
3 Cedar - Amanhã De Manhã (6:20)
4 L. St. Amane - Fin Gourmet's Doubts (6:56)
5 Solaris - How Far (5:21)
6 Les Voleurs - Better (4:51)
7 Mystery School Ensemble - Soullous (6:38)
8 Rebirth Of Conscience - Bottom-Line-Sentiments (Vocal - Radio Edit) (4:44)
9 Sonic Generation - Funky Solution (5:07)


V/A - Ingredients: Step 3

V/A - Ingredients: Step 3
Label - Cookin
Released - 2002
Style - Future Jazz, Downtempo

1 Earth Leakage Trip - String Thief (7:07)
2 Cedar - Elusive Tides (6:23)
3 Earth Leakage Trip - Magic Horse (4:31)
4 Sonic Generation - Back In Time (5:57)
5 Realside - Higher (5:54)
6 Vincent - Spectral Bullitt (4:39)
7 Solaris - Timed Reality (6:45)
8 Longers - Winter 98 (6:38)
9 Rolling Stock - The Abdominal Snowman (6:13)


V/A - Ingredients: Step 2

V/A - Ingredients: Step 2
Label - Cookin
Released - 2001
Style - Future Jazz, Downtempo

1 K-Scope - Sleight Of Eye (05:31)
2 Lacarno & Burns - Bossa Perduta (05:06)
3 Artemis - Jupiter In Taurus (05:56)
4 Cedar - Golden (05:41)
5 K-Scope - Dawn Of A New Age (08:34)
6 Aphratec - Quebec (07:31)
7 Meeting Minds - Strong Nature (07:32)
8 Life On Mars & Mantavani - Buckweed (07:36)
9 Realside - Reality (04:58)


V/A - Soulfood

VA - Soulfood
Label - Cookin
Released - 1999
Style - Future Jazz, Downtempo

Cookin Records (a subsidiary of LTJ Bukem's Good Looking Records) was created in 1999 to showcase artists on the Downtempo tip. These comps are great if you're into the more Downtempo/Jazz stuff...

1 Intersperse - Du Bi True (8:44)
2 Blame - Fifth Sun (4:57)
3 Artemis - Second Sight (5:13)
4 Vincent - Golden Gate (4:39)
5 Blame & Odyssey - Twin Moon (5:45)
6 Blu Mar Ten - Special Thermometer (4:45)
7 Odyssey - Solstice (5:17)
8 Flying Fish - Lucy's Song (5:05)
9 K-Scope - Sonic Street (5:35)
10 K-Scope - Orientations (5:15)
11 The Architex feat DJ Ink - Give Me Some Time (7:40)
12 Bjorn - New Form Of Life (5:10)
13 Longers - The Brain (4:30)


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Andrea Parker - Here's One I Made Earlier

Andrea Parker - Here's One I Made Earlier
Label - Touchin Bass
Released - xxx
Style - Breaks, Electro, Ambient

(review from Boomkat)
"Here's One I Made Earlier" brings together some of Parker's most sought-after and long unavailable material for the likes of the Infonet label, tracks like the immense Angular Art (written with David Morley and now an astonishing 12 years old) or the incredibly spacious "Invasion". In fact every track here is pure goodness - and it's about time they were made available again for a new generation of listeners who no doubt have long abandoned hope of finding the originals. A brilliant, inspiring selection of tracks.

1 After Dark (8:49)
2 Undercurrents (7:17)
3 Invasion (5:34)
4 Too Good To Be Strange (7:17)
5 Time Zones (7:19)
6 Frogspawn (7:45)
7 Empty Words (5:06)
8 Unconnected (7:03)
9 Nearly There (3:02)
10 The Swamp (5:26)
11 Angular Art (7:24)
12 Too Strange To Be Good (6:17)

download part 1
download part 2

Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp Instrumentals

Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp Instrumentals
Label - Mo Wax
Released - 1999
Style - Electronic, Electro, Abstract, Instrumental, Downtempo

GRAB THIS! It's so good. Shouts to Michael for hooking it up!

1 Breaking The Code (Instrumental) (6:29)
2 In Two Minds (Instrumental) (5:59)
3 Clutching At Straws (Instrumental) (5:14)
4 Melodius Thunk (7:16)
5 Some Other Level (Instrumental) (6:57)
6 Ballbreaker (10:20)
7 Elements Of Style (5:03)
8 Going Nowhere (Instrumental) (5:33)
9 Sneeze (1:55)
10 Lost Luggage (Instrumental) (5:48)
11 Return Of The Rocking Chair (Instrumental) (7:06)
12 Exclamation Mark! (2:05)


Sandoz - Digital Lifeforms (Redux)


Sandoz - Digital Lifeforms (Redux)
Record date: 1992-93
Genre: Electronic
Style: House, Techno, Experimental
Credits: Artwork By [Sleeve] - Designers Republic, The
Mastered By [Original] - George Peckham
Mastered By [Remaster] - Dennis Blackham*
Producer - Sandoz
Written-By - Richard H. Kirk
Notes: Recorded at Western Works Studios, Sheffield (1992/93).
Similar to CV's Plasticity. Disc 1 was originally released as 'Digital Lifeforms' in 1993 on Touch. Disc 2 contains bonus material to this re-release, recorded in the same years. Track 8 on disc 2 ("Medium Cool") is the very first track recorded by Richard H. Kirk under the name Sandoz, in 1992.

1-01 Armed Response (7:43)
1-02 Chocolate Machine (7:34)
1-03 Digital Lifeforms (8:05)
1-04 Human Spirit (7:00)
1-05 Drum Meditation (7:01)
1-06 Limbo (8:47)
1-07 Zombie Astral (8:27)
1-08 Beam (6:47)
1-09 Steel Tabernacle (7:52)
1-10 White Darkness (9:10)
2-01 Communicate (With The Future) (7:03)
2-02 Ocean Reflection (8:53)
2-03 Tribal Warfare (7:43)
2-04 White Tab / Steel Darkness (Tetrodotoxin Mix) (9:27)
2-05 Erzulie (7:27)
2-06 Human Spirit (Original Dub And Roll Mix) (6:59)
2-07 Zombie Savane (7:02)
2-08 Medium Cool (10:15)
2-09 Shanpwel (6:04)
2-10 Mirror (3:37)

download 1
download 2
download 3
download 4

Monday, April 7, 2008

Andrea Parker - Groovetech Radio sets (RARE!)

For those who don't know, Groovetech was an online powerhouse of electronic music - featuring a record shop and internet radio entity which spanned many cities across the globe. They had some of the best DJ sets featured weekly (live) including the Electrochair Sessions, bringing DJs like Andrew Weatherall, Radioactive Man, Tipper and Andrea Parker to name a few. I was lucky enough to find someone in Canada who somehow had amassed a handful of the .rm files from select radio sesssions. I got the DVD, and spent at least 2 months painstakingly going through the .rm audio and taking out the little pops and clicks, cleaning up the audio and converting to mp3. Even with my seemingly expansive knowledge of underground Electronic/Electro tunes, there are only a few tracks from all those sets that I recognize! These Andrea Parker sets are some of the best from that batch. She plays a ton of classic Electro and Miami Bass, including 2 Live Crew - along with a bunch of obscure dark Electro that I had never heard before.

So grab these sets - I seriously doubt you will ever find them anywhere else! Groovetech went out of business seemingly overnight (sometime in 2002 I believe) and there's hardly any record of them existing anywhere online. Maybe one day someone will release a huge archive of the DJ sets from Groovetech Radio, but right now it seems I am one of the very few who has archived sets. Enjoy!

Andrea Parker - GT Radio 2002-03-22 Part 1 download

Andrea Parker - GT Radio 2002-03-22 Part 2 download
Andrea Parker - GT Radio 2002-07-04 Part 1 download
Andrea Parker - GT Radio 2002-07-04 Part 2 download

Here's a short bio, well written by John Carney for

I guess that in the same way Kent Records took soul music beyond the clubs, then in the early ‘90s labels like Warp took electronic music into new surroundings with a series of active listening full-length sets. These recordings by the likes of LFO, Nightmares In Wax, Black Dog, B12, Autechre, Speedy J, Aphex Twin, Seefeel, and Sabres of Paradise seemed to open up all sorts of new possibilities. This was the future.

Back in the clubs some of the old soul crowd had been converted to the new electronic sounds. Neil Rushton ran the Inferno label, and in 1980 released the Out On The Floor collection, which featured northern soul favourites like Gloria Jones’ 'Tainted Love', Barbara Mills’ 'Queen of Fools', and Eloise Laws’ 'Love Factory'. It also featured 'They’re Talking About Me' by Johnny Bragg, whose story would be told in passing in Jonathan Lethem’s monumental Fortress of Solitude. By 1990 Rushton was running Network Records, and released the Bio Rhythm collection. In his sleevenotes John McCready wrote: “This is the sound that Salvador Dali would have made had he bought an 808 drum machine instead of a paint brush. This sequenced surrealism is a new music for an old age, the kind of sonic art created when human beings fall in love with machines and computers. This is special.” He went on to draw specific links between the new music and Joshie Jo Armstead’s 'I Got The Vibes', a northern soul classic, and 'Tell Me' by Life, an early ‘80s electro torch song on the Factory label.

Jeff Barrett, of Heavenly Records, was a huge fan of 'Tell Me' by Life, and he was the first to tell me about Andrea Parker. This would have been in 1993, and then Andrea was going to do pretty much everything better than anybody else. She was from Kent originally, and knew the classical avant garde, could DJ and create the best techno, electro, hip hop, and just about anything. She could sing with the best of them, and had the looks and presence of a star. He would have signed her but for some contractual difficulties, and anyway she was involved with the Fat Cat crew, at what was then an ineffably cool record shop in a Covent Garden basement selling the most essential electronic adventures on anonymous 12”s.

Andrea’s career never quite took off in the way it should have. Early on she collaborated on some electronic adventures for the Sabrettes label as part of Inky Blacknuss, producing gems like 'Drumulator', which still sound great. This was an incredibly productive period for underground music in the UK. In time she signed to Mo’Wax just about when it was the coolest thing on the planet. A couple of early singles ('Melodious Thunk' and 'The Rocking Chair') hinted at all sorts of possibilities. It would, however, be another frustrating few years by the time a full-length set, Kiss My Arp, was released. Mo’Wax was no longer the centre of attention. DJ Shadow’s moment had passed, and people were looking elsewhere, and sadly not at Andrea. In fairness though some of the best and most visionary Mo’Wax releases also came late in the day, like Urban Tribe, Blackalicious and Quannum, the Divine Styler, and David Axelrod.

Kiss My Arp remains one of the all time great records. Its scope is impressively vast, and its stance refreshingly obtuse. Andrea mixes doomed bass lines, forbiddingly broken beats, elegantly bruised melodies, found sounds, and stately string arrangements (partly courtesy of Will Malone, of 'Unfinished Sympathy' fame and his own works like the Death Line soundtrack). There was also a complementary instrumental set, but for any number of reasons it didn’t sell well. Close collaborator and fellow electronic imaginary David Morley is credited with providing the creative space and occasionally archaic kit to produce this remarkable work. Morley’s own contemporaneous classic, Tilted, was even more cruelly overlooked.

A set for the !K7 DJ Kicks series preceded the Kiss My Arp release, highlighting Andrea’s DJ/mixing skills. The set veered consciously towards the dark side, and she seemed to be playing up this perverse side. An EP, The Dark Ages, a few more years on for Quatermass made this much more explicit. It was as though Andrea had tossed out of the window the rule book that talks about commercialism, concessions, and crossovers. This was spectacularly stubborn inventiveness at its best, and Andrea was the awkward and much needed mischief maker, who still somewhere along the way managed to get herself sponsored by Adidas and Ghost.

Over the next few years Andrea would stick to her guns, having fun DJing where and when she wanted. Rather like fellow maverick J Saul Kane with his DC Recordings, she also ran the fiercely independent electro label, Touchin’ Bass, which provided an outlet for occasional and adventurous, playful and provocative 12”s by her and Morley, as well as providing a platform for like-minded underground souls. A couple of compilation CDs released in 2005 showed that the label’s output was consistently of an incredibly high standard, and representative of what remained important activity in the shadows of popular culture.

Significantly Andrea became close friends with Mira Calix, another gifted electronic expeditionary. Mira released a series of great records for the Warp label, which were up with the best of any active listening full length sets, but they did not receive the approbation that they should have either. I guess that’s what you get for being ahead of the game. Or I guess it’s the price you pay for not properly playing the game.

© 2006 John Carney

For more info on Andrea Parker, or her label Touchin' Bass - check these links:

Andrea Parker - The Dark Ages EP

Gotta give a huge shout out to Baroquedub for sorting this one out. I didn't know about this EP before, but it's PURE electro - full of analog expression - heavy 808s, tons of bass and discordant atmospherics. I immediately recognized some of the tracks from her Groovetech Radio sets (which I will be posting shortly). If you like oldschool Miami Bass and real Electro (i.e. NOT fischerspooner or any of that hipster bullshit), you absolutely must download this EP!

Andrea Parker - The Dark Ages EP
Label - Quartermass
Released - 2001
Style - Electro, Bass

1 Empty Words (5:08)
2 The Swamp (5:29)
3 Expedition (5:31)
4 Invasion (5:36)
5 No Excuse (4:46)

Review from Forced Exposure:

"Inky Blacknuss, Two Sandwiches short of a Lunchbox [R&S], Angular Art [Infonet], an acclaimed album Kiss My Arp on Mo' Wax.... these are some of the many projects in which you may find Andrea Parker's touch as composer. Beside an impressive discography, she is of course, a unique DJ, find traces of her ability in the Studio! K7 'DJ Kicks' series. another aspect of her work is the art of 'remixes': Depeche Mode, Patrick Pulsinger, Lamb, Mira Calix (Warp) , The Orb, Tipper, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Steve Reich... another non-exhaustive list. Along with live work with Philip Glass and Bang On A Can. How to define Andrea Parker's particular electronic universe? One might think about some amplified heartbeats recorded during a tribal ceremony, some dry waves of sounds recycled from Andrea's environment, floating sonic ghosts grabbed from vintage machines. If you listen closely, depth is obvious. In the forefront, bass, snares, hats and other rhythmical elements are moving in some kind of molecular agitation, creating a massive structure in which the subtle abstract touches are floating in a non-randomatic disorder. This is surely the purest electro sound you'll find, but don't expect Andrea Parker to make music for dancefloor addicts only. These tracks are ready to make you move, but the more you pay attention the more you get. This might be the missing link in the mutually exclusive worlds of 'techno' and 'experimental music', now breathing side by side. danger is a duty."


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cabaret Voltaire - Plasticity

Cabaret Voltaire - Plasticity
Label - Plastex
Released - 1992
Style - Electronic, IDM, Experimental, Ambient, Electro

This is one of those albums that we used to play over and over and over again. Mainly because of the movie dialogue about Sherm or PCP and 187s (Track 1 "Low Cool"). The movie apparently never came out due to high production costs, but would have been cool to watch. I gather it was some sort of documentary on gangs/street life or something like that. Even without the movie, CV does an excellent job of creating a soundscape that compliments the dark underbelly of inner-city life. I had lost my copy of the album years ago, but it just recently re-appeared so here it is....

AMG Review:
Re-emerging with a much more original sound after their 1990 house album, Kirk and Mallinder for the most part rely on abstract electro-inspired ambient-techno with extended voice-over samples for Plasticity. It certainly wasn't the first time CV had remade themselves without losing elements of their past work (even re-sampling a passage originally recorded over ten years earlier on "Soul Vine [70 Billion People]"), and Plasticity was an excellent reworking of the house blueprint into the growing fringe of techno not necessarily produced for the dancefloor. The tribal flourishes of "Deep Time" and the obvious signal track "Inside the Electronic Revolution" showcase the duo as continuing visionaries. ~ John Bush, All Music Guide

1 Low Cool (6:31)
2 Soul Vine (70 Billion People) (7:50)
3 Resonator (5:54)
4 Inside The Electronic Revolution (5:29)
5 From Another Source (6:49)
6 Deep Time (7:42)
7 Back To Brazilia (6:10)
8 Neuron Factory (4:58)
9 Delmas 19 (6:05)
10 Cooled Out (2:26)
11 Invisible Generation (5:58)
12 Soulenoid (Scream At The Right Time) (8:45)

Notes: Recorded at Western Works Studios, Sheffield, England.
The front cover has a reference to a "Plasticity" 60-minutes video by Ikon under Plastex license ( IKON37 / EXLV04) but the video has never been released, most likely for lack of funds.

Tracks 2 and 12 contain samples taken from "Demon With A Glass Hand" (an episode from the mid-sixties american TV series 'The Outer Limits'). Samples from the same episode had been already used by Cabaret Voltaire in the early 80's in the songs "Stay Out Of It" (The Voice Of America, 1980) and "Yashar" (2X45, 1982).


Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp

Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp
Label - Mo' Wax
Released - 1999
Style - Electro, IDM, Abstract, Downtempo

Another old CD of mine that was misplaced years ago and recently re-emerged. Andrea Parker has been one of my favorite (and most underrated) DJs ever since I caught the few electro sets she dropped on the now defunct Groovetech Radio. I received a promo copy of this when I worked at the radio station, and I remember loving it to death.

Upon sober listening, I must inform you to SKIP tracks 1 and 3 ('The Unknown' and 'Breaking The Code') if, like me, you prefer things Instrumental. The rest of the tunes are just great. My personal top picks from this album are tracks 4, 5, 6, & 7. Amazing stuff!

Perhaps I should post those Andrea Parker sets? If anyone cares, leave a comment and I'll post those. They are rare and I haven't seen them anywhere - not to mention they are extraordinary. Like a cross between classic Electro, Miami Bass and IDM. Her mixing is killer.

Review from The History of Rock & Roll:
Andrea Parker is a classically trained cellist, a disc jockey and, last but not least, an electronic composer with a penchant for analog synthesizers who collaborated with Philip Glass and Steve Reich. She started recording under monikers such as Two Sandwiches Short Of A Lunchbox, and mentored by producer David Morley. After recording Melodious Thunk (Mo Wax, 1995) in an ambient drum'n'bass vein, the following single The Rocking Chair (Mo Wax, 1996) was more like a concert for 40-piece orchestra (reminiscent of Albinoni's adagio) and creative samples than a hip-hop track. The brutal techno of Ballbreaker (1997) established her credentials for punchy dance-music and completed the formative period.

The twelve tracks of Kiss My Arp (Mo Wax, 1999) better highlight her passion for David Sylvian's decadent/exotic elegance and Dead Can Dance's eerie/gothic atmospheres. Parker mixes string orchestrations, hip-hop percussion and heavy bass to create music that is highly seductive. The minimalistic Elements of Style (a Steve Reich-ian concerto of virulent jazzy drums, Caribbean percussions, standup bass), the suspenseful voodoobilly of Going Nowhere (ghostly noises, wild dissonances, tribal drumming) and the ritual music of Clutching At Straws (mournful cello, delicate harp, martial drums and tambourines, eerie electronic noises, metronomic percussions, and a dejected litany), three elaborate compositions that bridge several different genres, coexist with the instrumental Kraftwerk-ian ballets of In Two Minds and Some Other Level, with the pounding syncopated dance music of Breaking The Code, and with the ethereal cantillation, the futuristic polyrhythms and the baroque orchestration of The Unknown (Enya + Bjork + Richard Strauss). The orchestra has rarely been used in such an effective way by a popular singer. Rather than merely enhancing the melody, it provides an ominous emotional counterweight to Parker's delicate vocals. The other significant component, the rhythm, is channeled through terrible schizoid spasms.

1 The Unknown
2 Clutching At Straws
3 Breaking The Code
4 In Two Minds
5 Melodious Thunk
6 Some Other Level
7 Elements Of Style
8 Going Nowhere
9 Sneeze
10 Return Of The Rocking Chair
11 Exclamation Mark!