Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Records in a bag from Hard Wax, Berlin


After a slightly dry period last month the shelves of Berlin's famous techno shrine, Hard Wax, are once again brimming with detailed, clinical audio goodness. Winners this month come from the mysterious Pom Pom with another of their black label industrial offerings, a fine release from the Trapez label and a minimal meets Basic Channel dub-fest courtesy of Rome's S.M.B.P.

Here you have it:

B2 - Pom Pom (Pom Pom 24)

Anyone who's followed the steady flow of these releases from the utterly inscrutable Berlin-based Pom Pom will be aware that they're long past their twentieth release and still going strong. (Amusing techno fact: it wasn't until number 15 that these all-black records featured so much as a catalogue number). The latest is a simple, stripped-down techno track that uses bleep, echo, machine noise and spectral, suggested melodies to make its point. Sound familiar? Well, if it's more along Sleeparchive lines that you're looking for, check this next one:

Kuvio 3 - Philus (Sahko)

If you're new to the Sahko label, prepare to hear much more over the coming months in the Technosphere as this Finnish imprint is Sleeparchive's favourite and the place that he's quick to point visitors to his website at. This sounds like it's been scrubbed with Flash until the hypnotic, bleeping melodies have become so sleek that they bounce off each other. It's a reissue and, believe it or not, most of the Sahko stuff was happening around '93 - this one is in fact from '98 - only begging the question of why it took the minimalist aesthetic until now to catch up. Amazing.

To Here - Shane Berry (Trapez)

Bit of a monster this one, frankly. A great big, growling builder of a tune that washes around you like a subtle but treacherous current. A tantalisingly clipped vocal snippet is introduced around the 7 minute mark (when most tracks are finishing) that really gets its hooks in and the treble sounds get beautifully mashed up as the track grows. One to hear out.

Matt John - "Urban Wind" (Perlon)

More from the ubiquitous Matt John on Perlon - if you're in Berlin over the weekend just take a look at the line-up at Berghain this weekend - this finds his Villalobos-y minimal palate trying out some more adventurous sounds. Any track that dares to use as its break the sound of a bunch of Grandfather clocks going on the war path, has to be worth a punt.

Damien Schwarz - Uno Track (Mupa)

From Spain's Mupa, this is taken by the Hard Wax crew to be further evidence of the influence of Sleeparchive and, in turn, his forebears, the Finnish Sahko label. If 'bleeps' constitute the primary quality we're expecting from them, then so be it. Does that make early Warp Records the precursor of Sahko??

S.M.B.P. - "Stars Falling" (City Morb)

On the Rome-based City Morb label, this does more than tip its hat to Maurizio and Basic Channel. In fact, it takes their dub template and creates nicely glitching comtemporary House sounds from the parts lying scattered about the studio.

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