Tentacle Loot #25 | Fuewa – Complete Earthworks

Fuewa‘s second-born Complete Earthworks already celebrated its fifth birthday recently. And, given today’s musical attention span, it should probably be in a sub-category of unheard classics. But as much as releases suffer from those brief attention peaks nowadays, I also have the feeling that the ephemeral trends of these days no longer really disappear from the scene, but rather retreat to niches where they are still celebrated and loved. And therefore are worth being mentioned even if they weren’t exactly fresh from the eaves.

In addition, Fuewa has put together a completely timeless album with his still most recent work, which despite all this has received far too little attention. At least if you believe the numbers on Bandcamp, Spotify and elsewhere. And that regardless of the fact, that Fuewa‘s label of choice, Sonic Router, did took the right turn at a time when the word Future Garage was already part of our collective memory and went on towards something … well … I guess more post-future. Once again they deconstructed the well-worn legacy of Dub- and 2-Step, Garage and IDM and explored alternative timelines with great tape releases by Broshuda and Fuewa. But while Broshuda dismantled his drum patterns until he produced more or less ambient from beats, Fuewa‘s strength lies in the discipline of not achieving musical renewal through limitless complexity. As much as his pieces are influenced by the pioneers of Dub, Jungle and IDM, he retains very driving and repetitive structures and thus leans on a sound that at the same time was mainly shaped and released on Livity Sound (above all Kowton‘s Utility), who married UK garage and driving techno in equal measure. And yet one can clearly hear that Fuewa doesn’t only have a club surrounding as the cathedral of its sound in the back of its head, but also us aging home listeners. Therefore he weaves timeless melodies into his earthy sound textures, lets ambient pieces flow in and takes us on a journey across a planet that seemed so familiar to us.

For me personally, Complete Earthworks – along with the already mentioned Utility by Kowton – is one of the most elaborate albums of this very special straightforward form of UK Garage and should therefore be brought to the mind especially of those who haven’t sorted it into their memories yet. Especially since we are slowly but surely facing a wildly gesticulating drum & bass revival.

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.

Read on...

Octobird Salad #11 | Muscle Memory

Even if the vinyl supplies in my apartment are slowly starting to displace me, I’ve always been a fan of digital DJing. At least when I’m standing behind the wheels myself. And in this playground I’m finally in the process of replacing my totally undersized MP3s with Flac files once and for all. And again in the same process I got infected with a serious case of audiophily and catch myself diggin for all these ultra polished electro tracks to convince myself that all the effort of re-encoding and re-recording is worth the effort. So Instead of the usual insider tips, this time I simply present a best of electro on steroids.

As an old friend of trashy sizzling acid music with a constant allergy to perfection, I am still quite reluctant when basses fly by slightly over-inflated. But there are a few who have mastered the double game of knocking out perfectly produced tracks that stand the ravages of time without getting tired.

Morphology have been part of this group since their very first releases on Zyntax Motorcity in the early 2010s. And my good friend Vertical67 with his label Vortex Traks was lucky enough to get some of their great pieces a few years ago.

Also part of the immediate vicinity are Mechatronica, who have set a well-guarded milestone in Electro when they released their “I Am Mensch” 12 “inch by Zeta Reticula and Helga Neuer.

Marco Bernardi is one of my absolute favorites next to D’Marc Cantu (who for once does not appear here). His efforts to produce club tracks in which he explores the rhythmic fringes, exposes us to dystopias and at the same time puts us into a deep trance, are unparalleled.

And from that point it gets dirty again with circulating, endless loops of drooling acid by Boris Divider, Isabella and Clatterbox. Including the title track of the Murder-Capital full length masterpiece by Gesloten Cirkel “Submit-X”.

TRACKLIST:

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 😉

Octobird Traxxx on Major Streaming Platforms and Digital Stores

Well, I guess that’s called a sellout without income. In a better future, we would all be busy squandering our pocket money on Bandcamp and in record stores. But streaming platforms like Spotify have probably changed our listening habits permanently. And no matter how you understand the statements of a generation of poor bedroom producers, it may not be so much about paying for music, but rather about giving it a value.

No matter! Octobird is on Spotify and all these other Major Players now. Because, well … everyone else is there too … and admittedly I also use Spotify. So go along, click all these links, push all these subscription buttons and give your thumbs up at the checkout.

SPOTIFY | APPLE MUSIC | TIDAL | YOUTUBE | GOOGLE

I love you all!

Tentacle Loot #22 | Lesinge – Plic Ploc

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!!!

Tentacle Loot #16 | magnetisme obscur: mondo hybrid

Soundtracks for dystopian cyperpunk movies that don’t exist. In the retrofuturistic realms of LoFi-House and Electro, a lot is already out of stock at the video shop around the corner. Whether as a stringent concept or as a flowing aesthetic of sound. And yet it is always surprising how new and independent ideas and color palettes result from this world of sound.

The French producer Magnetisme Obscur has been concentrating on his well-chosen hardware tool-set of driving drum machines, washed-out synths and grated vocal samples since around 2016 and publishes the results on his DIY in-house label CPSL records.

On the current release Mondo Hybrid, he adds an ingredient to his sound spectrum, which he himself describes as a “liquid aspect”. And indeed, a viscous yellow smear flows through the entire length of the EP, extracted from kitsch and stored in darkness for decades. The poison of an unfulfilled hope that distorts into a nightmare of lonesome dreams . A sound that I only experienced so clearly from Danny Wolfer’s (aka Legowelt) side project Polarius. But while Polarius likes to digress and stroll into the unknown, Mondo Hybrid seems pleasantly focused. Mind Surf in particular comes up with a hookline that winds its way through the entire track without any problems and still nudges your finger towards track-repeat at the end.

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 #12 | Mætadata – Simulacra & Simulation

Simulacra and Simulation is synonymous with Jean Baudrillard’s book of the same name, a thing that’s no longer a thing. Something completely born out of virtual building blocks, refusing any reference point from the real world.

In an already alienated world of electronic music, one searches in vain for crutches, created by the artist to carry us back into the real world. Although it is “Electro” in the distant sense, it does not want to make us believe that it was written on analog sound generators with buttons, rotated by human hands. And although it sounds damn “funky”, every note, every beat is set by artificial intelligence. The only remaining reference is the core of this human tragedy: the loss of any reference point, wandering around in a hyperreality with the remaining question of whether this is the next logical step or the last step…

… and all in all, it’s damn funky, polished and suitable for clubs. Five out of five stars, desperately searching for their place in the vault of heaven.

“Tram Komputer” out on Zanderhythm

Tram Komputer is the first compilation put together from a vast number of eight-track-sessions recorded at Vodor L. Zeck‘s Studio over the last five years. On a regulary basis Vodor L. Zeck, DBH and Octobird (and who ever else wanted to join in) came together, simply to create portions of energy made with electronic machines, press record and catch some magic.

The tracks captured on this tape were cut and edited as less as possible and then mastered by Octobird. While all these sessions over the years spit out a vast variety of sounds and styles ranging from Hi-Speed Acid to Trippy Downbeats to Speed-Ambient, this first release represents the more melodic Brain Raves.

A special note of thanks also goes out to Vertical67 for the Tape Cover Design visualizing the different Tram stations it took to get to the Zanderythm studio in Berlin Marzahn.

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