"CONTEMPORARY & PROGRESSIVE (ELECTRONIC) BEATS"
review page 1

iso68 ('05-'07)
V.A.: Pingpong blows:the Brass ('06)
Submerged ('08)
Miimo ('09)
Drifting In Silence ('09)
Badun ('09)
Peter Presto ('09)
Hey-O-Yansen ('09)
V.A. : "Springintgut" ('09)
Kush Arora ('09)
Nommo Ogo ('09)
Assorted Performers ('10)
Amon Tobin ('11)
Connect_Icut ('14)

Venetian Snares ('01,'02,'05,'09,'10,'11,'12)
(moved to seperate page)

grading : * ok ** g  ***vg ****perf *****no better example than this: must-have heard, classic
with additional ° some tracks better  ; with ' possibly better for some (viewpoints)
Pingipung   iso68 : Space Frames (D,rec.2005-2007/pub.2008)***°

iso68 is Thomas Leboeg with Florian Zimmer, with guests Carsten Netz on clarinet, Sebastian Bartsch on double bass, Johannes Huth on double bass, Andreas Haberl on drums, Roswitha Killian on viola, Ilona Kind on cello.

While on their own, the duo makes much more modern and moody instrumental partly programmed electropop, with laptop, keyboards and piano, the double bass added is already from a jazz approach, quickly they evolve with the other members over nu-jazz to more jazz and acidjazz and lounge very easily.

The most special track is “autistic insect”, with contemporary, prepared piano and double bass, and a second layer with a jazzy piano playing and more double bass, with a nice orchestration to it, but also the last two tracks with full jazz band shows the talents for a feeling for groove and mood well.

Audio on http://www.junodownload.com/...
& with info on http://www.myspace.com/iso68
Label : http://www.pingipung.de/
Other reviews : -
PingipungV.A. : Pingipung Blows : the Brass (F,B,S-KO,S,D,2006)****/***'

The Pingipung label asked a lot of mostly electronic beats musicians to interpret their new compilation title for a contributing track, not interfering further with their interpretations. Luckily, this seemed to have worked successfully, as if this is done by one well cooperating community of musicians with lots of ideas, which was then mixed by a DJ with an ear for what fits together well. The artwork (with introduction) is in fact also very successful because it describes pretty much what we can expect from brass arrangements in new laptop and more old school electronic music and subtle electro music. The horns could have been sampled, become keyboard tones or laptop sounds to rearrange, or are just actual arrangements. The effect mostly is from ska quickness to triphop slow jazziness but mostly the effects of real arrangements are extraordinarily playful.

The early tracks are better dancefloor related tracks, where the trumpet and kazoo and voices like kazoo come close in range (Hey O Hansen). On Harald Sack Ziegler track we hear a crowd with hunting horns arrangements which is electronically deformed and rearranged to something more atonal. Peter Presto’s comparable approach makes so much deformation, the brass sounds almost become electronic themselves, a form of elephantitis-brass, then the general sounds becoming like the snoring of a human being under water, sinking before a bit of dub effects takes the shape of one more reality. His track especially fits the illustrations well. Gangpol und Mit’s track of programmed electronic music, like moog driven roundabout wind-up organ, combines slower trumpet with kazoos, and close to balloon sounds blowing brass, like hand shaking fast barrel organ fun. One step further to programmed fun, with the old time Commodore’s ? is the next track by goto80, a track with trumpet arrangement and an ending with a whole group singing along, real fun making dance-related music. Many of the following couple of tracks continue to be playful. Just Vanishing Breed’s contributed the only track without brass, and only with spoken word, and backgrounds of plucked and amplified guitar, like a meditation where the listener needed to imagine the brass himself. That fact did not disturb me really. Mouse on Mars sampled a trumpet to ska effect fastness, without forgetting a slower trumpet solo on top, combined with bass, shaking electronic rhythms, keyboards, beeps, sounds, and playful electronica, children-friendly sounds as if from computer games. DJ Elephant Power with Nico Uské (from Uské Orchestra, once reviewed here) follows a whole different approach, of a scratching DJ, slowing down vinyl to the limit, with samples of jazz sax, breaking it further apart in a playful way so that in the end the result sounds as if it is based upon jumping plastic balls mixed with a few other ideas of triphop jazz and laptop rhythms. Springintgut’s track is a bit more descriptive like film music. The last two tracks are the most easy going electronica pop examples with more clear use of keyboards to it.

With no doubt this is a nice cd to listen to from start to finish. Many tracks will work well to create a more happy playful time on a night out enjoyment.

Audio : Mister Tingle : "Vertigo" on http://www.klicktrack.com/...
Label info : http://www.pingipung.de/_music/info_brass.htm
& audio : http://www.myspace.com/pingipung
Review with audio : http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=31202
Other review : http://www.digitalisindustries.com/foxyd/reviews.php?which=2213
Ohm ResistanceSubmerged : Violence as First Nature -2cd- (US,2008)***°°

Submerged is the artist owner of the Ohm Resistance label. He played with Bill Laswell, John Zorn, Mike Patton and others. This compilation is of previous vinyl only material (which includes a remix by Scorn and Technical Itch, and a Bill Laswell produced track) and a full remix CD.

On the compilation album you can hear a more or less backwards in time evolution and ideas (2008-2002), of which the most recent tracks show the best feeling for drama, use of contemporary sounds (like Laibach used to sample Ligeti, remember) and with playstation/X-box game like dynamics. You feel that something is happening here, outside the melodic-rhythmic driven drum&bass and intelligent beats and patterns, also thanks to the produced mix, and the use of some mixed in voices and spoken word. There is “consciousness” involved indeed. Back in time however there also is occasional electropop (10) or more more normal drum&bass melodies and dance loops (9,10), rather uptempo moody.

The remix album starts with full aggression, an avant-moods collage with heavy beats, like with a “trance-aggressive” beat, (and with a short blink to the cursing words of hiphop), as an attack to the senses. Thoroughly some real powerful tracks and tensions build up, becoming overwhelming, but then you have to play it loud to give it that effect. It begins to work like a beat-you-up sonic soundtrack. If only a real dramatic soundtrack would have been involved as well this could have blown the listener completely away, although there are some filmic parts with such an association, but only occasionally. It remains a bit more abstract with some great effects. The starting point and ending however contain some more inhumane aggression, making this second sonic concept compilation not for the faint hearted.

Audio : "Consciousness","A Bad Time For the Empire","Homicide Bomber"
& www.myspace.com/theonlywaytogoisdown
& http://www.juno.co.uk/products/336912-01.htm
Label : http://www.ohmresistance.com/
Info : http://www.lavibe.org/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=15008
& http://www.darla.com/catalog/exclusive_Label.asp?mfgid=1866
Other review : http://wildysworld.blogspot.com/2009/...
& http://www.regenmag.com/...
privateMiimo : 2 (JAP,2009)***°

Miimo’s second release, their first cd since they were formed in 2005, after another, cdr release, perform music which they call Post-Dub electronica. Members are Yoshio Machida (steelpan/ electronic steelpan or pankat & compositions), Tatsu (on electronic upright bass, known in Japan for his contributions in Ska, Reggae & J-pop genres), Norihide Saji (drumming/laptop).

Some of the tracks are laptop-electropop with different colors of more or less simple brushes of melodies on keyboards (like spacey whirling-echoes-in-the-air keyboards on track 1, but fastened baroque melodies in crystal sounds on track 2), with different beeps and clicks rhythms, also in different colours, and with partly some intelligent spacey effects on it, more subtle and varied than dub ususally uses, on a smooth lounge-trance electronic/bass rhythm fundament, and (often electronically processed) steelpan improvisations, and an occasional melodica (track 10).

A few tracks have a bit more a indiepop flavour, with singers, on vocoder on track 3, with a Brasilean vocalist on track 6, and with two female guest singers on perhaps the most poppy track 10: which is Towa Tei (Deee-Lite) and Yuiko (J-pop related) singing “Happy Birthday”. Two of the tracks (track 5,8) are more clearly influenced by dub, using its genre patterns on bass, keyboards and echo effects, adding subtle colourful laptop rhythms and steelpan. Last track smoothly fades in trance, leaving its rhythms behind for a while. Smooth inteligent beats with a polyphonic range of expressions.

Audio and info : http://www.myspace.com/miimomusic
Video : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbNkgwWyTeI
Homepage : http://www.miimo.jp/miimo/
Description : http://www.darla.com/catalog/search.asp?id=14657
Review of first album : http://www.lefthip.com/albums/1093
Other Yoshio Machida releases were reviewed on http://www.psychemusic.org/prog13.html
More info on the Pankat : http://www.alternatemode.com/pankat.shtml
Labile Rec.Drifting in Silence : Facewithin (UK,2009)****/***'

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Derrick Stembridge has described his own music of ‘Drifting in Silence’ as "post-ambient", but it’s much more dynamic than that. It sounds as if it is being rooted in ‘Body Music’ from the 80s (do you remember this area, with examples like Front 242 ?), with use of heavy sequenced sounds and such but in a much more expanded, modernised and also more spacey version, in Electropop with use of vocoder and such, and in the new, advanced electronic & Electro Dance music music, but then like a drifting soundtrack, as listening music. Also this music has a body, of sequenced drum & bass and drifting spacey keyboards surrounding like a listening mood, as a great mix of ‘hard’ and ‘subtle’, with at least some use of laptop DJ dynamics.

Three totally different intelligent remixed tracks are added as well, of which the Drev Remix especially is expanding the area even more with his own ideas of spatial remixed beats, the addition of a heaviness of electric fuzz guitars, some piano, and dynamic changes in the evolution. The other two remixes are more smoothly swinging.

Very enjoyable.

Audio : here and with info : http://www.myspace.com/driftinginsilence
Info : http://labilerecords.com/drifting-in-silence/drifting-silence-facewithin
& http://labilerecords.com/store/artist/drifting-silence-facewithin-cd
Homepage Drev : http://drevmusic.com
Cactus Island Rec.Badun : Tandoori Tentacle -12"-(DK,2009)****/***°

I used to skip new instrumental electronic music when there were no voices or at least as much acoustic elements involved, but the electro scene has evolved a lot since the 90s, with more complexity and subtle moves within the genre, the result is more often something of a more universal quality. Also Badun’s sonic soundtrack has something very attractive to offer, a combination of intelligent drum & bass with ambient electro and post-jazz fusion beats, with colourful arrangements, arranged by tabla (track 1-2), electric & electronic bass, Rhodes piano, intelligent laptop beats and remixed sounds in moody sound beat-formats. “Swup” smoothly grooves with richness of sonically and rhythmically breathing colours. This is vivid music which is a pleasure to the ears, a successful experience.

Available as 12” and as download.

Audio : "Cola jeff", "Tandoori tentacle", "Swup", "Silk office"
Info & audio : http://www.myspace.com/badunband
Info : http://www.cactusisland.net/?p=25 or http://www.handstitched.net/
& http://www.nabble.com/forthcoming-on-cactus-island-td23100359.html
Pingipung/Kompakt Distr.Peter Presto : Schön, dass du einmal reinhörst...
  (= nice that you give it a listen) (D,2009)**°/*°

This seems to be a compilation of Peter Presto’s works. Especially the earliest tracks are most creative and fit well with the funny front cover. Peter uses very playful and contrasting colourful sounds on his organs, ranging from moog-like sounds to Rhodes-like melodies and theremin-melodies, with occasional drum effects or a few poing poing rhythms or other peaking-a-boo sounds, fitting perfectly with the name of the label, pingipung. Then we have also some songs with vocoder, slightly more popular in sound, and with some sequenced notes peeping through. Then slow dub or reggae rhythms are first introduced, then settle in and then become dominant, with an electric bass and never leaving, no.. even increasing to an even more laid back relaxed mode. The playful barrel organ with 'found' funny contrasts totally disappeared on the last tracks which sound like a more commercial commitment, where making music became as easily easy with the music. Enjoyable.

Info & audio on http://www.myspace.com/peterpresto
Audio on http://www.boomkat.com/... & http://www.klicktrack.com...
& http://www.smallfish.co.uk/... & http://www.juno.co.uk/...
Label : http://www.pingipung.de/
Pingipung/Kompakt Distr.Hey O Hansen : Sonn und Mond
- Rare and Unreleased Austrodub Tracks 1995-2009 (Ö,2009)***°/**°

In Hey-O-Hansen the label found another like-minded musician/band. When they invited him/the project leader for a living room-party inn they found out they had been in school together sitting next to each other. Well, the approach on the release that followed hereafter surely fits several other releases on the same label Peter Presto especially). Labelled as Austrodub (Austrian dub), the arrangements and songs of a big part of the album remains light and clever, shaky-danceable, with unusual surprises provided by harmonica, sweet-erotic voice, harp, playful use of arrangements. Also on this album (compared to Peter Presto) the most creative songs are put in the first half, and the a bit more normalised and relaxed dub becomes more to the fore towards the end of the album. Ranging from dub-to reggae and ska-rhythms their approach however remains different in sound compared to the Anglofilian colleagues with interest in these genres, Hey-O-Hansen succeeds to keep an overall fresh and enjoyable feeling.

Audio on http://www.klicktrack.com/... & with review : http://www.boomkat.com...
Label info : http://www.pingipung.de/_music/info_heyohansen.htm
(from  http://www.pingipung.de/)
Homepage : http://www.heyrec.org/
Other review on http://kompakt.fm/releases/sonn_und_mond
PingipungSpringintgut : (Posten 90) (D,2002-2004)***°

It is really great to hear how laptop electro and new sampling techniques were able to change completely the subtlety, range and sonic depth of expressions for electro music. This is another, playful example having created instrumental music with an intelligent use of rhythms, a wide range of colourful well fitting sounds, including either sampled acoustic or other interesting sounds or loops or real acoustic arrangements added to the range of keyboards in such a varied way every part of it sounds like having the range and expression possibilities of only acoustic music (something earlier electronic pop and dance music hardly ever were able to achieve except with analogue synths). It ranges from smooth listening music to happy living room danceable music. Some of the used sound are given a spatial effect, they are all hanging perfectly together as if a small orchestra with many hands are playing the tunes. One of the acoustic instruments I recognised were sampled guitar, accordion (?), glockenspiel and an orchestrated part with cello. Springintgut is a one man band led by Andreas Otto.

Audio on http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=114134
Audio & audio : http://www.myspace.com/springintgut
Label info : http://www.pingipung.de/_music/info_springintgut2.htm from here
Record Label Rec.   Kush Arora : Boiling Over (US,2009)***°

I received this album from which I thought on hearing the first track that it was a good example of well mixed ideas consisting of a loop from Punjabi origin, sounding almost like electronic music, (acoustic and electronic) with drum and bass, electronic beeps and well produced dynamic studio mixes, some of it from originally acoustic sources. Elsewhere, on several tracks, I also heard occasional flutes and flute sound processing. On the second track there still are well adapted ethno-original ideas transformed into electronic music. The dynamic space, first ambient-like on the next track sounds interesting. Thoroughly, since the fourth track more repetitive dance-related rhythms are used, like modern electro and also dub (echoing effects) makes its entrance. Musically this might be less renewing, but the effect still is, in a lighter and as more dynamic physical experience, still highly enjoyable, for my radio show it’s slightly easier effects could show less sonic challenge progression, but in general and throughout the album the DJ/musician in charge does not forget its range, a voice from Punjabi origin peeping through in the production process, which in the end remains rewarding.

Intro & audio track : http://globalnoize.blogspot.com/2009/08/kush-arora-boiling-over.html
Label info with audio : http://www.recordlabelrecords.org/
Homepage : http://www.kusharora.com/
Review with audio : http://www.boomkat.com/artist.cfm?a=16384
Record Label Rec. Nommo Ogo : Across Time and Space (US,rec.2002-2007,pub.2009)****

This is a really good example of how music based upon a studio fabricate sound manipulation with an electronic music effect really works. This sounds like an ever evolving, changing soundscape organism, evolving with pulsations of sounds, with once rhythmical, then more melodic, then more sonically evolving pulses, produced with spacey dynamisms, layers of keyboards and manipulated acoustic sounds, like an occasional acoustic guitar or a tempura (evolved from one sound spectrum to this sound and again away from this) or a vocoder voice. Some of the rhythms seems to brushed, then even bips and bleeps evolve in such a way they almost seem to create different sorts of wind-like effects, weather conditions if you like that change from moment to moment, a real soundtrack of sonically rich and musically interesting ideas, an intelligent environment with organisms moving, like the title says across time and space. At a certain point the rhythmical pleasures are more flourishing, then the space descriptive parts shows the colours best. Another great example of what a talent of modern studio control is able to achieve. Like a sonic movie, 70 minutes of bliss. Recommended.

Homepage : http://www.nommoogo.org/
Label info & audio : http://www.recordlabelrecords.org/
Audio on http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=213543
Timesig Venetian Snares : My So-Called Life (CAN,2010)*****
Planet Mu Venetian Snares : Filth (CAN,2009)*****
Planet Mu Venetian Snares : Winter in the belly of a snake (CAN,2003)****°
Planet Mu    Venetian Snares : Meathole (CAN,2005)****°
Planet Mu Venetian Snares : Cubist Reggae -EP 12"- (CAN,2011)*****
Planet Mu/digital Venetian Snares : Affectionate -EP digi"- (CAN,2012)****°

these reviews moved to a separate page:
http://www.psychemusic.org/VenetianSnares.html

Record Label Rec. Assorted Performers : Electric Carpets (US,pb.2011)****

Assorted Performers is a communal project by the label. I heard two of their three releases. It seems that both are showing electronic music from a different angle. This album is diggig into different versions of rhythmical electronic music. In the beginning, like by Cubus you hear visions of electronic music approached like rock music with fuzz-like sounds, then a couple of popular music rhythms are incorporated with easy melody and sound effects, and where the use of voices are used like looped samples of sounds. Those used contrasts are vivid and with interesting sound manipulation, outside normal pop music, on Terminal's track with a element of cosmic music blips and beeps mixed with robotic rhythms. Here and there elements of drum and bass occur, the layers are used as sound collage as well. On the wAgAwAgA track we even hear an element of breakbeat and the use of dub echoes. Indentity Theft's track is like a Kraftwerk-clone  or that sort of instrumental electropop. The contrasts and elements throughout the tracks varies well, which makes also this album from the Assorted Performers an interesting album to check out which gives an idea of some possibilities of expression with a modern rhythms association.

The cast for this release was Kush Arora, Cubus, Dr. Strangeloop, Kcinsu, William Braintree, Future Image, Identity Theft, Kossak, Scuzi, Brian E, Exillon, Dimentia, Not Breathing, Terminal 11, BD1982, Fluorescent Grey, Mike Dunkley, and wAgAwAgA.

Label info : http://www.recordlabelrecords.org/assorted-performers-electric-carpets.html
Other album reviewed on http://psychemusic.org/electronicmusic5.html

Ninja Tunes Rec. Amon Tobin : Isam (US,2011)****'

Years ago, when hearing Amon Tobin’s release in a shop, I was surprised by its dynamisms and movements. Amon Tobin has a vision on the mixing desk and DJ equipment and techniques, like a musician, he is more like playing with sounds becoming compositions. When I saw his latest work had a show (which I just missed) with a computer programmed 4D sculpture of design with the music I was amazed at the results. This stage project was designed in conjunction with Blasthaus, VSquared Labs, Vita Motus Design, Leviathan and others, with a result that could only be made with the latest developments of techniques and with an aesthetic result in our times, this became a must-see. THIS is the kind of project that should be in the newspapers instead of all the nonsensical primitive rock repetitions of all that happened before but better, or than to the fashion-based preposterous decadent commercialities of the slut-divas gossiping, a project like this is a contribution to the modern world. For this reason I had to mention this new album, which has all qualities of a vividly moving sound again, not in the same way as I heard it on “Supermodified”, which also knew almost psychedelic movements in composition, this evolved onto something different. I also preferred to go for the limited book with photographs of insect sculptures by Tessa Farmer. They are printed a bit dark, but it’s still nice to have this added.

I had to listen a couple of time to the album to discover and understand the process behind it. The dynamics progressed inwardly, the compositions evolve between an open and more experimental structure of improvisation to more rhythmical dynamics, and also some song contexts or singing is added in a few tracks. The sound dynamics are broadened but it’s not just effect and all that, the rhythmical progressions and surrounding arrangements gives it enough vivid and vibrant evolution. Great is that some acoustic elements were used, and sounds that aren’t too harmonious or that are irregular which give these a more natural beginning when using them with the drier and more exact use of electronics and keyboards. There are handclap alike dynamics (5), a couple of pingpong broadenings, here and there a pop ability context. Great to hear in the last tracks is when synths are used the sounds are warm, between glockenspiel, vibraphone and electric-piano and glass-like sounds. A rewarding soundtrack alike album.

Label info : http://ninjatune.net/release/amon-tobin/isam
Artist page info : http://www.amontobin.com/store/album/isam
Info on visual project : http://www.youtube.com/...
Video : http://www.youtube.com/...


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Aaagoo Rec. Connect_Icut : Small Town By The Sea (CAN,2014)***

While I listed the previous album of Connect_Icut in the progressive ambient review page, I needed to list this album in a different category.

For a larger part, this new album used loops of sampled electro-acoustic recordings (in a more typical for the late 80s way), with this not-too-complicated and well-recognisable idea/technique of electro-pop collage they still choose nice combinations of softer breathy sounds or ticking and clicking sounds, bass rhythms and also a few natural sounds like birds on the first track, or like a combination of rain sounds with bubbling Rhodes-like electronics and click sounds with bass on the third track. On the fourth track we hear acoustic pickings with the clicks of opening old travel cases, mixed with loop-like electronics, which are colouring the track further. More of such loops and rhythms can be found on the other tracks too, which are all groovily constructed. New for the band is also a song track with a female vocalist (track 2), which is mixed nicely with Rhodes-like backgrounds and clicks and rhythmic loops of sounds surrounding and wrapped around the singing.

For it’s change of direction, I will list the album into a descriptive category of instrumental electro-pop as grooves and mood-creating music.

Info: http://fiverosespress.net/connect_icut-small-town-by-the-sea/
& http://www.aagoo.com/records/








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