Future Sounds of 1990’whatever | A retrofuturistic IDM.bient Playlist for the oldschool Dopeheads

With a new vinyl edition of Autechre‘s “Amber” LP and B12‘s “Time Tourist“, Warp Records already revived two unforgettable milestones of an alternative future last year. Now Global Communication‘s “76:14” is moving up and Future Sound of London are providing an update from archived data sets with “Cascade 2020“. 

Time to take a look back for a glance at the future of the day before yesterday. Always with a couple of long papers in your luggage, of course!

As someone who, in the heyday of Berlin’s techno culture, mostly acknowledged electronic music with a critical sideways glance, pepped up by psychedelic rock and MPC hip-hop, my IDM entry-level drugs came more from the direction of Boards Of Canada and the typical Ninja Tune gimmicks. In order to expand my sonic emotional spectrum, it took less of a warm hug than an ice-cold lesson. And so I still remember pretty well how I nearly pissed my bell bottoms when I first listened to Autechre‘s “Tear Tear“. Just to understand that music can be much more than a mere confirmation of my emotional longings. That it could be a challenge, a profound process and … one hell of a trip.

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Tentacle Loot #24 | Titch Thomas

“[…] music for humans and others with formidable frontal cortexes.”

Noviellion (Discogs User)

The Titch Thomas Tape Trax had a constant spot on my hard drive for quite some time, a recurring companion for stimulating my frontal cortex, until the latter finally formulated a comparatively simple thought: Where that comes from, there must be more!

Lo and behold, at Titch’s Bandcamp a Pandorian can is just waiting to be opened with a handful of old IDM spells to be brought to life. If you look over the quickly put together album covers, you come across well-known ingredients from Acid, IDM and Braindance hold together by a very special cement called Talent. Unforgettable melodies twist out of the creaky goo. The rhythm section always acts on the verge of physical feasibility and these acid sequences work hard on prophecies of an approaching Apocalypse.

It’s been a bit quiet since his split EP on the beloved Mindcolormusic label, but his Facebook profile gives some hope for continuation. Until then, I would advise you to throw a few voluntary coins into his Bandcan: Perhaps just one or the other battered 303 has to be replaced to make him continue his journey 😉

Tentacle Loot #21 | Metadata – TRANS EP

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 😉

Octobird Salad #8 | Super Acid Adventure

It’s cold and rainy outside and I’m not particularly willing to stand up against the gravity of my couch.
Instead, I slide the “Super Acid Bros” cartridge into my NES with pizza smeared paws and give the power button a kick.

The first two levels are still pretty easy. Actually a bit uncommon for a Klasse Wrecks release, who usually turn the difficulty level straight to the top stop. But from level four onwards, things really get going. Led by FRANCO.D’ , whom I’ve already praised in my last Tentacle Loot, past some absolute nobrainers from D’Marc Cantu, LFO and Ceephax until Level 8 finally gets brutal and dirty.

Im Kellar is probably more of a bonus level with David Vunk as the endboss – the owner of Moustache Records where the only two EPs by the duo Vunk and Spanish has been released. These were duly hyped and Im Kellar is probably back in the basement now. Hopefully not for too long.

Little by Little is another classic Bandcamp stumbling block. While fresh on my radar, the Frenchman already has a pretty busy portfolio, filled with wonderfully functional club standards. But with the special feature that Little by Little has a knack for letting individual elements slide through these pretty pounding tracks with unheard lightness and dynamics. A handwriting that is not only immortalized on I’m Doing My Thing, but also curls more or less through all of his tracks. Next Level Shit!

Well, and then a large portion of Unknown To The Unknown, because life isn’t hard enough yet. A little bit of 808 State, whose comeback has been celebrated properly already, because they do it right and don’t just dust off their party hats.

And last but not least, the absoloute final boss! Rude 66My 909 – exactly 20 years old and still a secret anthem. With such a deep rolling bass that this number doesn’t actually work too well on a home listening set, but it definitely works out there in the wild. Promised!

Ah shit, I ran out of potato chips. Now I have to get up in the end… GAME OVER

TRACKLIST

TRACK
Basical
I Dream About Acid
Let Go Of This Acid
Total
Maddance
Tan Ta Ra (Moby Remix)
South Bank
The Scene
I’m Doing My Thing (Original Mix)
Hell Is Other People (feat. Si Begg)
Tokyo Tokyo
The Black Night Is Calling My Name
Antipodean
My 909

Octobird Salad #7 | Pacific Planets

I tend to go off topic. No 2020 dystopian megafuture, no winterly cold digital abysses. Instead: Which instrument would you bring on a desert island? … on a strange planet … to communicate with people there … or at least to just hang out and watch the two moons …

…fairly stoned.

In the variety of experimental house music, a handful of artists have emerged in recent years, who have given a very own coloring to the washed-out concept of world music. Far from squeezing cultural assets of non-Western cultures into banging club tracks, but also from subordinating themselfes musically to the researched cultural heritage in false humility by simply creating a prettied blueprint. Instead they trace back their own club culture as a contemporary kind of rite and ecstasy to the origins of this music, which functions far from egocentricity and self-expression. Be it as a musical concept or just as an ingredient in experimental club music.

Probably the most consistent in this ranks are Don’t DJ (which I unfortunately stupidly DJed twice in this set … sorry; /). With their percussive polyrhythms and impulsive monotonous structures, they build bridges between non-western tribal music and the raw idea of techno. The 12th Isle label preferably uses color palettes and publishes wonderfully quirky tracks, impregnated with pale pastel memories from a imaginary Caribbean vacation in 1974(ish). And then there are formations such as Groupshow (with Jan Jelinek), Tru West or even Transllusion that are deeply influenced solely by their clearly audible improvisational character.

TRACKLIST:

Pacific
Untitled (Blue)
Fly Timoun
Repercussion
Silent Elektro
Speedway
Chilazon 2
Syrian Rue
Pet Hair Magnet
Alternative Currents
Forget About It
Moment 4
Chasing The Loophole In A Relentless Spiral Of Self-indulgence

Tentacle Loot #13 | Neurolucifer – Keygen

Finnish producer Neurolucifer has been diligently spreading his driving Breaks and Braindancers over various net labels during the past year. For the various label cross-references alone it is worthwhile to travel with him from Cyberia via Sun Hole to the New World. With his latest release on Pr0gramma, he now has a sojourn at the label that has already given me shelter once or twice.

On Keygen he guides us through 4 tracks and 3 remixes of Braindance and Breakcore tracks with a classic Planet-µ coloring. Tense, nervous, but always optimistic enough to give the twitching brain little strikes across all emotion sectors.

And since labelhead Ismael Stein (as always) wrote a wonderfully rich accompanying note for the release, there’s not much more to do than pass on the computer keyboard in awe …

“Adopting a mythical namesake, Neurolucifer opens with some low-flying early harsh Aphex Twin-ambient/DnB fusions. These early hints of DnB and 90’s club are refined to a T with stuttering bit crushed breaks, resonating 303 lines, and space documentary friendly sound design. Heartblead and Chrysopoeia both balance this advanced-level puzzle like composition style arranging ethereal pads with fiercely chopped breaks and a squelching lower register. Three remixes round out the bottom end of the album with an initial well deserved chilled take on Heartbleed followed by two versions of Irtauduttuani – one more bass and break driven while the other floats around textures of echoing arpeggios and breaks.”

Tentacle Loot #9 | Mindcolormusic aux4410

Mindcolormusic’s one man label mastermind DJ mnvr has been pretty busy releasing wonderful little mindbending braindance gems since last year. Sympathetically he skips back and forth between Compilations, EPs and Split-Eps on which he relies less on proven formats than on his sense of coherent track compilations. And so – behind the superstructure of Braindance, Acid and IDM – his publications  always tell a flush story beyond genre boundaries.

The fact that we are choosing the aux4410 from these short stories is, of course, due to the fact that Veglord Vodor L Zeck contributes his part on the knobs here. But together with Quadratschulz, Bromic, Sonornote, Bovaflux and a few others, it creates a wonderful something of nervous drum shuffle, sprinting acid lines and hovering disharmonic megarave emotions.

May the end of this story remain open for a long, long time!

Tentacle Loot #8 | Oxvac – Partials

As part of the American electronic music collective Pr0gramma Oxvac has been releasing his music since about 2015.

On his latest release “Partials” he clearly demonstrates references to abstract rhythm constructs as they were cited by greats like Autechre in the Warp era . However, he neither tries to make himself comfortable in homage nor in practising some kind of beatmashing-competition but adds a very personal coloring. Which, in its warmth, happily stands out from the cold, mathematical IDM sound. The warm analog origin of the modular system responsible for most of the synth sequences is clearly audible and the background noise that accompanies us throughout the whole album sets itself like a little piece of meadow under the tracks so that the organic melodies may writhe on it. The beat structures also seem to hover between complex patterns and a wide-breathing 4/4 bass drum.

So yet again another happy accident to find such beautiful electronic music from the U.S. of A. From this side of the Atlantic’s perspective I can  just say it’s nice that you’re no longer necessarily get overpowered by EDM-Metal-Dubstep, but can also lift the actual treasures (which have always been there!). At least on platforms like Bandcamp and Co.

Tentacle Loot #5 | Beathaven – Electro Sonatas

The mighty Beathaven himself labels it Devonshire Electronic Music.

“Unknown to the masses, techno and electro was invented in the dangerous back streets of North Devon. This music is in our veins, brains and hearts.”

Like most of his releases he published Electro Sonatas on his very own playground Midievil Records. And it’s yet another excellent example of the healthy diversity of acid infected, machine loving, intelligent dance jamming scene you can find under the hood of Bandcamp, Soundcloud and on various smaller Vinyl Labels.

It’s stunning how Beathaven keeps his tunes from the straight Four-To-The-Floor recipe but still gives you no other choice than follow with your body like a wigglely worm. Add some detuned Synth Lines on top and you can imagine how life was back in Midievil times. Dark but adventurous, rough but also spontaneous. So hopefully Beathaven will keep on leading us the way trough Devonshire Forest.

Tentacle Loot #4 | Ghostband – Grime Synthesis

Got that little scamp! Ghostband is not a band! It’s a kid in a candy store smearing his tunes with glittering melodies and evil plans to put you on one leg. And before you know it you are in the middle of a breakcore massacre.

Ghostband is throwing out self released recordings since 2011 but came first into my consciousness with his Tape Release Acid Deco which got some promotion via the legendary Bleep Store (Which is an offshoot from Warp Records as far as I’m aware). It had “Acid” in it’s name, so what could you do wrong by grabbing it. But it sure wasn’t an Acid Album. It reminded me somehow of Venetian Snare’s early sample based Breakcore mayhems, that always contained this errant wicked humor. But it wasn’t a Breakcore Album by definition. Instead it took all these ingredients and tossed them around with a very playful attitude.

Grime Synthesis takes this musical diversity even further (let alone that it’s not a Grime Album). It feels like AFXs Donkey Rhubarb on heavy rotation. Rhythmically it feels like a bouncing ball that refuses to listen to the laws of gravitation and while the melodies always start kinda fluttering around friendly, you know that this ain’t gonna end in peace.

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