Monday, August 11, 2008

Six months off: some reviews

Well, obviously, tunetourist has been on holiday. We had a nice tropical break but now we're back to the coalface in London.

So, whilst you can expect a few more Brazilian tips it's largely musical business as usual here. We'll try and resume some sort of service in the coming weeks and months - starting with a few reviews yet to be published by Uncut magazine.

The Luciano mix has rarely been off the stereo since I saw him play outside in the morning at Sunday Adventure Club in Berlin; a really nice balance of house and techno with lovely organic patterns and groove. Dettmann's Berghain mix is as staunchly techno as you'd expect and a few 'difficult' transitions creep in but that's kind of the point. No Ableton and a refusal to conform to the monotone unanimity of many mixed comps. All power to him.

Luciano, meanwhile, probably grew-up listening to Gilberto Gil and Tamba Trio; "Frevo Rasgado" may just get called 'the Brazilian Sgt Pepper' with as much lazy (and condescending) regularity as Caetano Veloso gets called 'the Brazilian Bob Dylan'. A wicked intro to Tropicalia anyway and, as I allude to in the review, one less obviously sanctioned by Beck, Stereolab et al than the oiginal 'Tropicalia' LP.

VARIOUS - Fabric 41: Luciano (FABRIC)
Mustachioed Chilean electronic figurehead in the mix
Emerging as one of the key expat Chileans behind the thriving European dance scene, Luciano has long shared billing with Ricardo Villalobos. It’s a misleading association as the Cadenza label boss’ sound is neither as proggy nor ‘difficult’. In recent years, Luciano has worked more and more Latin groove into his pristine sound and this restrained mix proves one of Fabric’s most rewarding recent offerings. A clear personal aesthetic colours the selection which flows as if time were no object through highlights like Galluzzi and Schneider’s unavoidable “Albertino” and Johnny D’s “Orbitalife”. A perfect soundtrack to Easy Jet Sundays in European sunshine.

VARIOUS - Berghain 02: Marcel Dettmann (OSTGUT)
Whilst the average DJ at London’s Fabric club is lucky to exceed two hours, Marcel Dettmann starts work at six AM and plays for 12 at Berghain. It’s a commitment to a borderline purist notion of the techno aesthetic that finds its ultimate expression on this Berlin dancefloor. This refreshingly rough-hewn mix manages to capture a little of the magic.

GILBERTO GIL - Frevo Rasgado / Cérebro Eletrônico (EL RECORDS)
Hipsters head straight for the Tropicalia LP and Os Mutantes’ debut but the second from Brazil’s culture minister, released in 1969, is as perfect a summation of the scene’s seamless blend of pop, politics and unhinged experimentation as you’ll find. Created by the dream team of Gil, Mutantes and Tropicalia’s resident arranger, Rogerio Duprat, this ranks amongst 60s Brazil’s finest.

TAMBA TRIO - The Miraculous Tamba Trio (EL RECORDS)
A selection culled from four releases by this early 60s bossa trio famed for their version of Jorge Ben’s “Mas Que Nada”, this is Brazil as painted on innumerable chill out albums. Later efforts prove they could play hard enough to clear a hotel lobby - “Consolacion” in particular is an astonishing reconfiguration of the possibilities of the trio format.