Mixed by Octobird.
Mastered by Octobird.
Artwork by M8.
Wagawaga has been a silent companion in my musical metacosmos since the very early days. With his first releases on Acroplane – where I also had my first flying lessons – he absorbed the quintessence of dubstep very early, freed from its bursting clichés and reassembled from a fund of unbridled creativity.
While early albums like JinJaNoonBus still shot from all directions with genre references from Dubstep, Breakcore and Acid, his wobbly sound now seem to spring from a center point. That’s neither good nor bad, because Wagawaga has always been somehow … eh ….. Waga Waga … has always been fun, but it offers a different approach to his world. You may stumble and dissolve, change your physical composition, threaten to give up your body in a literal jungle of bass and swelling drums but finally are caught again with a swing. He utters you the desire to use awareness and control as a crutch and fulfills the unspoken desire to be reborn as a rubber ball. Musically, he puts the complete dubstep manual aside and relies entirely on a breathing carpet of bass and natural field recordings. On this he lets his stumbling jazzy drum patterns swell up and down, weaves in sound effects and mantra-like melodies.
What a wonderful late summer!
Okay, I’m getting old… starting to repeat myself. But in the case of Plic Ploc, you can’t repeat yourself often enough. Just as I can’t stop treading the repeat button on my tape deck for this great Acid Waxa tape.
The quirky French man Lesinge had his album debut with Slide Blinders 2017 on Acid Waxa and in a peculiar way his sound spectrum developed parallel to that of his label by laying on quite a bit thicker. Because just as Acid Waxa slowly and skillfully pulled itself out of the LoFi love affair (a bit), Lesinge has also served a lot of butter since his debut. Always with a base dough made from pure organic Acid, of course.
When listening to his debut one always got the feeling that this was an extremely talented rookie. For example, when he lets entire tracks sink into a swamp of effects on the master track and all these YouTube tutorials mentally impose that taught us that we should never do something like that … still it somehow worked perfectly fine.
With Plic Ploc Lesinge is now delivering a Christmas tree that can barely hold up to all these presents underneath. With generously friendly gestures, he takes us on a journey through (almost) all the playing styles that made us love acid. From funky super hooks on Une Verte Deux Blanches to dystopian Leftfield House on Eruption. From melodic space night jams on Chain to this nervously whipping IDM aggression training a la AFX on Bless.
The whole thing is neither a blueprint nor a retrospective, but simply rounded off extremely neatly. There will certainly be a lot more to be heard in the future. Je ne peux plus attendre!!!
Open your ears and tip your toes for this handy 2-Track-Banger from Metadata!
The Argentine label Infinit Records dropped their third EP into the realsm of Bandcamp in notime. And slowly but steady the musical cornerstones that pull the two labelheads Franco ‘D and Cruz Coronado together emerge. Trippy acid jams, analogue breaks and a balanced preference for classic MPC Downbeats without committing to the 90s all too much – at least not in terms of BPM.
Quite the contrary – Metadata’s TRANS EP (a side project by Cruz Coronado and Lan) raises the pace bar siginificantly. Stubbornly impulsive and yet somehow playful, more drum machine than sample chop, the drum carpet whizzes over the almost 10 minutes. The melody part, meanwhile, jumps happily irradiated alongside. Grinning broadly without noticing how the warning tempo limit signs roll by. It all sounds kind of like Plone at a 90s jungle party, but it’s a fun portion of braindance that warms up for the next group activity.
J’s rolled with fingers crossed 😉
Ahhh … it’s been a while since the last time I gave these virtual turntables a physically modeled spin. Pretty busy grinding down home made rhythm exercises so that they could see the light of the ether as soon as possible. And of course vacation. In dream states around the globe. I wished myself everywhere. As a lively, vibrating disembodied being that flows unabashedly through the bars of the present. Dancing, dreaming, slowly fading.
With their debut EP Seasick in Salts, uh just recently built a wonderfully suitable runway for these dream trips. Somewhere between trippy Acid Ambient spheres of the Orb and free-spirited pop designs of the late Roisin Murphy, uh embark on a journey that never ends in just 30 minutes. Located somewhere between 1990 and infinity.
Klasse Wrecks also brilliantly mastered the art of lifting genres everyone knows and has never heard before from the depths of our subconscious . Their recent releases are basically the blueprint for everything that buzzes around in this OS episode. Endlessly reverberant hooks, tripping breakbeats and sprinkles of classic rave vocals. And with their latest (and for some inexplicable reason purely digital) Homeboys EP, the two Klasse Wrecks masterminds Luca Lozano and Mr Ho simply nailed it (…to the point where describing words become totally redundant).
In order not to slide into oblivion of interwoven dream sequences, a special magic is required. Lesinge, who already made a lot of promises on his Acid Waxa debut in 2017, has now set up his own acid hit list with Plic Ploc. The melodies play ping pong, the bass runs bowl and the beats make cricket. If he continues to grow so steeply, we urgently need an initiative against home sports.
#staysave dream dancers, headphone ravers, virtual snake creatures…
Play with Me
New Jack the House
Une Verte Deux Blanches
Regardless of whether you are fully immersed in global insanity or just chilling out with a tequilla on your hermetically sealed veranda. It’s good to be on acid!
I could expand this cliffhanger now. With pupils dilated in surprise, ponder where the omnipotent influence of psychedelic sound roots comes from. But the real reason for this list is that I generally have a hard time writing extensive reviews for people who are close to me personally. It is obvious! You’re just too scared of hurting your dear friends feelings.
So let’s keep it short and sweet! Shall we?!
My dearest musical colleague and friend Vodor L. Zeck gets busy! In addition to countless releases on his own Zanderhythm, he pours out some funky quirky acid stoners on Acid Waxa and Sitdownanddance!
My new favorite Argentinean trip sitters Franco ‘D and Cruz Coronado have a brand new label! The first long player on Infinit Records features wonderfully trippy downtempo acid jams. Stoned to infinity!
I only met Briain recently when he sold me his Elektron Octatrack on Ebay. Damn nice chap, part of the Berlin Skizze Crew, who (kinda like my good old Various Veterans) do their part to keep the Berlin club culture diverse. And a pretty talented Amen Breaker too!
My best pal Vertical67 has already made way too much acid. Now he lies horizontally and creates a nice ambient. I like it very much! I guess I’ll leave him there for a moment.
Gajek – a companion from the early days of our acid diaries. And someone who had obviously already way too many Kraut! I guess it helps him not to be so cerebral. But it’s the mixture of both that makes his music so great. Cerebral Kraut!
And me … Octobird. Oh, I’d rather not say anything. I am afraid to hurt my feelings!
The Argentine label Guerilla Tunes has woven its very own sound carpet over the last few years. A knitting pattern bursting with colorful joy, and yet permeated with patterns that you have to look at from some distance before you understand them. With a mixture of nature-loving field recordings, interwoven yet friendly rhythm experiments, straight acid house and great artworks they celebrate sonic diversity like hardly any other (musical) island. And yes … it all fits together somehow … thanks to this very fine pinch of Balearic gentleness … just in Argentinian … and straight in your face … know what I’m sayin’?!
Or no…don’t you? Then perhaps Nicolas Spampinato’s 0000 Drama could provide a smooth introduction to this complex unity. His recently released 4 track debut is one of the more accessible releases on Guerilla, which does not mean that they have gone too far off the beaten track here. Because although we are dealing with 4 house tracks, which cling to the lingering 90s nostalgia by rolling along quite funky with a manageable number of elements, all tracks have a personal signature. Nicolas Spampinato appears on this EP as an artist whose personal note nestles in the details. Consistently in the tradition of the old school, somewhere between old Traxxx Records, early LFO tunes and refreshed L.I.E.S records and yet never completely cliché, but always idea first. And so all the musical elements constantly urge to get out of hand to escape the rhythmic bars, but are always reminded of their task just at the right moment: Serve the groove! And that’s good! Because the result is a playful design, a stubborn head soaked in sunlight.
Braindance with a parasol.
When you experience this compilation, it quickly becomes clear that this is not a well-researched subcultural gem from the history of niche techno. These are contemporary witnesses, those who have been there and who look back on an imprinted fragment of their past with a well-deserved and balanced portion of nostalgia.
Over 12 tracks from the back catalog of the few main players from Steel City Records, we explore a pool of acid tracks that are as uncompromising as they are experimental, and to which the sweat of blurred Warehouse Club nights generated by them is still clearly attached.
Anyone who has ever stretched out their sensors between Detroit and Manchester cannot avoid recognizing musical parallels. However, these tracks are far too honest, truthful and stubbornly naive for a result of quotation and imitation. Rather, the same spirit speaks from them, which also drove the disoriented youngsters from Detroit and Manchester. For them (unlike 90s Techno in Berlin, for example) the awakening of techno was not the soundtrack for (spiritual) liberation, but a tool of escapism from their bleak, industrially colored world. This can especially be recognized from the fact that these producers represented here were striving for a much more driving, minimalist and hypnotic sound. While there are excursions in typical Berlin high-speed techno from time to time (such as Opgang 2 “DeChirico”), the naive testing of musical limits infected by experienced freedom does not occur. These Tracks had a task, a clear function (and still do!)
The attached PDF Liner Notes are very much recommended and yet too quickly overlooked. In the brief history of Steel City Records and the associated techno enclave of Canada it becomes clear that Detroit and Manchester were indeed important cornerstones of the musical orientation. Pleasingly, the written transcript of the SCR history is not a hedonistic celebration of better days, but rather an honest review of missed opportunities, youthful egocentricity and loyalty to ideas. The explanations are also exciting as a contemporary document of the pre-Internet hypes, from a time when the social networking of different local subcultures was still so completely different from today. Especially since we are now at a point where the dream of the Internet as a tool for cultural independence has been swept away in many ways and we are once again asked to reinvent ourselves.
Without a doubt, “Steel City Records 1995 – 1997” would be worth a vinyl release. But as usual you would probably have to seize the opportunity to create a musical hype. Maybe you should miss this chance a second time? I guess so!
Danny Wolfers, better known as Legowelt or Bontempi 666, Calimex Mental Implant Corp., Clendon Toblerone, Commanchee’s Revenge, Coverti World, Danny Blanco, Dickie Smabers & The Moerwijk Crew, Florenza Mavelli, Franz Falckenhaus, Gladio, House Of Jezebel, Jackmaster Corky, Klaus Weltman, Lords Of Midnite, Nacho Patrol, Nomad Ninja, Occult Orientated Crime, Phalangius, Polarius, R-Zone, Raheem Hershel, Ray Escortienda, Rising Sun Systems, Saab Knutson, Salamandos, Sammy Osmo, Satomi Taniyama, Seaside Houz Boyz, Smackos, Squadra Blanco, Star Shepherd, The Psychic Stewardess, Twilight Moose, Ufocus, Venom 18, Westside Box Savants is a man who needs no introduction, but a separate Wikipedia page.
Usually, if you are a musician with only half as many identities, you can be sure that you have lost any prospect of any kind of musical career. After all, the musical identity of one’s own alter ego is usually the creatorˋs greatest asset. And once a recipe has been found that will keep your place in the queue of abundance free, you have to stay tuned and repeat formula X-Y until you get bored and get back into freelance poverty.
So it seems that the only conceivable way to escape this creative one-way street is to have a musical output that a single imaginary identity simply cannot cope with on its own. Regardless of the question how a real person can handle this
… because Danny can.
Where (contrary to popular preferences) I enjoy to hear musicians like Kid606 or Mark Pritchard keep breaking their blueprints constantly and pushing me into completely new worlds of sound, the wondrous “Aha!” moment with Legowelt always arises when someone from my musical arena comes back to with something like: “Oh … yeah, that’s good shit, right ?! Thatˋs actually a Legowelt Track.”
All the more I blossomed through a random Bandcamp fanmail thing from Danny Wolfers, which (far too late) made me realize that another incredible treasure trove of musical parallel identities lives on his very personal Bandcamp site. And even more, mostly on a pay-as-you-please principle. While I recently bought one of the records listed there for a ridiculously low price on Discogs, I guess I will be busy looking at this level of musical effusion even approximately for quite a while now.
Overall, Danny Wolferˋs Legowelt Bandcamp site is a little bit of a personal cabinet of loving curiosities.
Among countless hand-painted, fluffy album covers that reflect a uniquely sympathetic, deliberately naive DIY ethos, circulating Tape Acid Jams and warm, analogue ambient treasures abound, which alternately plant stories of elephants in city parks, extraterrestrials in fast-food restaurants or retro-futuristic vampire societies in the listener’s imagination. And probably the greatest achievement of Danny Wolfers is that you can believe all of these stories. Because he believes in them himself. Because he chose to believe all of these stories. And so with each release you understand a little more that Danny is a great role model for the eternal child in us. Someone who takes well-groomed naivety and an exorbitant knowledge of kitschy micotrends of underground culture to create his dream worlds uninhibited. Someone who does not criticize or condemn exaggerated musical clichés like coolness, but simply soaks up everything and let his robots translate his own version of it.
Danny Wolfers, the man who makes music faster than others can hear it.
As much as I try to avoid mentioning the C-Word these days, opportunities often do lead to inspiration. And so we start this review with a figuratively clichéd thesis once again:
“Isolation is a warm place.”
Not just since his Nocturna Tracks releases I+II Poisson Chat cultivated a very deep and warm sound. In his minimalistic Deep-House compositions he takes us into the comforting realms of pure emptiness that only someone with a truly introverted mind can empathize.
“What I’m looking for when I’m composing music, is an isolated, quiet, and peaceful environment (like the deepness of the ocean). Going like a fish (-cat) to a new world to express what I feel. With my music, I think people can imagine their own underwater stories, and swim into some nice places.”
This is how the artist himself described his musical world of inspiration in one of his rarely seen web appearences – a DJ-Set Podcast / Interview, which was published for the Italian online magazine Electronique.it in 2014. And these ambitions can still be recognized as a driving force in his releases. In the same interview he also described his efforts to strip down his sound as much as possible in order to archieve a clear idea. And indeed, precisely these ingredients lead him to an amazingly focused sound, well-placed in genre terms such as Minimalism, Deep House or LoFi House, but skilfully eludes the corresponding genre clichés. His driving grooves, warm sound carpets and resting melody sequences, create tracks that work on dreamy, lost dance floor escapades as well as on peacefully exhausted six-hour drives back home from the latest festival weekend (which will definitely come ;).
Those who take the rewarding venture to dive deeper into the Poisson Chat‘s catalog will also discover a handful of downtempo treasures in which he has clear evidence for a fluid connection between the early Lofi masterpieces by Boards Of Canada and contemporary LoFi House Trends. This preference is particularly evident on his Unidata alias (which I almost certainly suspect is his creation too, even if this is not clearly written anywhere).