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Electric Independence

They say only two things come out of Texas: steers and queers. But now that Dallas label Downlow Recordings has just released their latest bomb electro-disco EP you can also add “top-notch techno label” to that list.
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Κείμενο Raf + Vince
01 Δεκέμβριος 2002, 12:00am

They say only two things come out of Texas: steers and queers. But now that Dallas label Downlow Recordings has just released their latest bomb electro-disco EP you can also add “top-notch techno label” to that list. Label heads JT Stewart (AKA $tinkworx from TX) and Minto (from NC) met on an Internet rave chat room. A shared interest in the same types of music blossomed into a full-fledged label. Three years, two 7” singles, and three solid 12”s later, DL’s most recent offering is the

Muffler Strut

 EP by mysterious French Guyanese duo Macho Cat Garage (who sound uncannily similar to electro team Legowelt and Orgue Electronique), dropping four tracks of italo-disco-inspired electro-house that is guaranteed to get bootys shakin’. Not one to be pigeonholed as a label riding the retro-revival bandwagon, Stewart is quick to set the record straight via email. “We don’t consider ourselves an electro label, really. It’s just one ingredient. Really, we think it’s a little strange things like MCG and Parallax Corp are getting called electro because they are really inspired by old Chicago house and disco.” Stewart adds, “We’re sort of an eclectic label. We just want to release deep, personal music.”

Before we go further, run, don’t walk, to your nearest record pusher and pick up the new “Misinterpreted” 12” (Ersatz) from Adult. Remember playing telephone as a kid? The concept for this 12” is much the same (except this time you don’t get to fuck shit up by changing the message from “monkeys buy bundles of bananas” to “Craig pissed his pants”). First, we start off with Adult.’s latest dancefloor-killing electro-punk bomb “Don’t You Stop,” where vocalist Nicola Kuperus is in full form over the duo’s trademark hard minimalist beats and catchy synth lines. Then pass it to Toronto’s analog junky Solvent, who pushes the vocals back in favor of warmer more melodic synth lines. Pass that remix onto Florida experimental duo Phoenecia, who granulate the Solvent’s “Toy Chop Mix” into oblivion and spit out a cut-up track of fragmented experimental hip hop. Now take Phoenecia’s “Trickmommy Transplant” mix and give it up to Detroit duo Alder & Elius from the SKAM camp, who bring up the tempo and add a smidgen of acid for their “Get Outta Dodge” mix. Fuck’n brilliant! Once again a release that further establishes Adult. in their rightful seat at the head of the electro movement. Also, keep an eye out for the very limited edition Adult. 7” “Run Run Crying” (Ersatz) that marks the seven-year anniversary for the Detroit label, as well as future shit by Toronto’s Lowfish and Chicago’s Magas, also on Ersatz.

On the conceptual tip, England’s deans of distortion and noisy resurrectors of pop music graveyard V/Vm have just released Sometimes, Good Things Happen. Not widely known for their conventionality, V/Vm have released two versions of SGTH. Both versions have the same song titles, same number of songs, and even the artwork is the same (this time in a regular jewel case and not the usual lo-fi Ziploc-baggied affair). The only differences are that 1) one version is yellow and one is blue and 2) the two CDs sound completely different (one easy and melodic, the other fucked up noise). To quote their website, “One disc is right, the other disc is wrong, but they are both the same thing. Which disc is right and which disc is wrong depends solely on the listener. For us they are both right and wrong, depending on when we listen to them.” Confused yet? Don’t worry, it’ll all become obvious soon, or maybe not. Either way, check out brainwashed.com for more info on these plunderphonic pop music pirates.

Alongside Blechtum From Blechdom and Matmos, Kid 606 (see p.39) lends a hand on the latest electro future pop offering by Lille France’s laptop quartet Dat Politics. After albums on Mille Plateaux and A-Musik, Plugs Plus (Chicks On Speed Records) is 13 tracks of lo-fi glitched-out micro rhythms colliding with playful digital melodies combined with an occasional smattering of distorted vocals; punky, crunchy 8-bit pop at its best. Living proof that experimental music doesn’t necessarily have to have its head up its own arse.

With tracks like “Gino Cummin Thru” and rhymes like “I’m seeing the duality in the minds of human beings / Intermingling in your thoughts like Neanderthals interbreeding with Europeans,” it’s obvious that Mocky doesn’t take himself too seriously, either. Infamous for his live shows (sometimes performed at zoos), which include the world’s largest doo-rag-wearing (measuring over 7 feet) rapping puppet MC Marionetti, Mocky joins big-in-Germany ex-pats Peaches and Gonzales (who also lend their vocal talents on his album) in representing the irreverent side of Canadian hip hop worldwide. The album Mocky in Mesopotamia, released on Rotterdam’s Clone Distribution, is 50 minutes of complete insanity ranging from gangsta poseur to crooning madman thrown on top of a solid, fat, and funky rhythmic foundation. See this guy live and buy the album. You won’t regret it.

[sic] is the nom de plume of Montreal producer Jen Morris, who after a limited-run self-titled EP is set to launch her first full-length album. ...And Rabbits Named Friday (Squirrelgirl) could easily be the alternative soundtrack to Japanese cyber-punk shock film Tetsuo the Iron Man. Mechanical rhythms churn under noisy drones and frigid melodies. Highlights include the dissonant symphony for alarm clocks “puddles” and the electronic invasion of wind-up toys that is “royk.” The sparse, dark atmospherics and the admitted lack of funk will probably not appeal to many fans of what’s coming to be known as the Montreal minimal sound, a fact that suits Morris just fine. “Oh yeah, they’ll hate it! That’s okay, though. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of a lot of the minimal tech-house out right now. There’s this one sound that almost everybody uses. It’s like “waaooow.” Seriously, you can hear it on 99 percent of the albums out now!” One listen to …And Rabbits and it’s obvious that sound and texture are paramount in all of [sic]’s compositions. Contrast, dissonance, and tone are reoccurring themes in every track. Watch out for this one!

Send promos to Raf + Vince c/o Electric Independence, 264 Ste. Catherine Ouest, Montreal PQ, Canada, H2X 2A1.