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Electric Independence

VICE never made it to to the special CHAPMAN BROS All Tomorrow's Parties down in Camber Sands but we heard good things about it. Everyone who witnessed it says the freakiest incident happened during Peaches' performance when she started crowd...
Κείμενο Raf + Vince

First off, I know it’s been out for a while, but if you haven’t picked up the latest self-titled full-length by NJ duo Metro Area, run the fuck out and grab that shit now. This has been one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year and the wait was well worth it. While everyone with a vocoder and an arpeggiator function on their synth is busy hammering into our skulls the “lost sound of the ’80s,” these guys (Morgan Geist and partner Darshan Jesrani) have been digging deep into the other “lost sound” of two decades ago—black disco. Far from the proto-ironic fashionista glam currently rehashing new wave and EBM, Metro Area excavates the deep sound of ’80s disco, where wispy synth lines and jazzy piano chords meet punchy bass, percussion, and a mid-tempo four-on-the-floor techno beat. But rather than just straight-up biting the sound pioneered by names like Patrick Adams and Luther Vandross, Metro Area use these soulful originators as a reference point and put their own teched-out spin on the sound. The result? An undeniably understated and funky album of atmospheric and groovy electro-techno-disco that is a definite must-own for lovers of all things deep and funky. Although the recent flood of electro acts has definitely pushed the whole sound ever closer to “played out” status, there are still some hot releases out there worth checking out. Recently Dutch electro label Bunker—who in September protested against what they called the current “mediocre” state of electro by replacing their website with a statement calling certain “fake Gigolos” “pretentious wannabe rock stars with inflated egos”—put their music where their mouth is with several hot new 12”s. For those into the darker side of synth pop, check out the latest Bunker release by Rude 66, whose “De Wraak Der Wegpiraten” is five tracks of distorted electro-funk. Also fresh from Bunker is the latest from everyone’s favorite electro-italo-disco producer, Legowelt, with his tribute to everyone’s favorite unstable genius actor, Klaus Kinski. This EP ranges from bubbly and melodic electro to moody synth work. Very nice! Munich musician and DJ duo Munk, along with Gomma Records (the dudes behind the amazing Anti NY comp from a few years back) are once again looking back to the influential sound of the early ’80s no wave scene with their latest compilation, Teutonic Disaster. Featuring exclusively German bands, this is a rare glimpse into a scene that mashed psych rock, new wave, and disco. Not solid all the way through, but worth checking out for the four or five gems. In the early ’80s in the UK, three Bristol youths (Miles Johnson, Grant Marshall, and Nellee Hooper—who would later go on to form Massive Attack) were busy causing a serious ruckus with their own blend of hip hop, funk, disco, breaks, reggae, and soul selections as the infamous Wild Bunch DJ crew. Now the team down at Strut Records (the label that brought you the Tony Allen Afrofunk reissues and the massive Disco Not Disco series) is ready to bring the story of this groundbreaking DJ collective to the masses with a new mix CD, The Wild Bunch: Story of a Sound System. Mixed by Miles Johnson (DJ Milo) himself, this hour-long mix veers from old-school hip hop to electro to disco funk and soul, with highlights that include tracks by Man Parrish and funky classics by Fresh Band, Evelyn “Champagne” King, and Teena Marie. There are even some early productions by the Wild Bunch themselves. Speaking of rootsy, anyone into the dubbier side of techno has to check out Montreal producer Deadbeat, whose latest album on Pole’s ~Scape label is a masterful chunk of some of the heaviest minimal dubs you’ve ever heard. Moving away from the linear, processed sound of his previous effort Primordia (Intr_version), and towards a melodic song-oriented approach, Deadbeat uses balls-deep bass lines, haunting organ-like melodies, and stuttering echoplexed microrhythms to amazing effect. A subtle dub influence can also be heard on the latest release by producer/DJ and Cynosure Records head Mike Shannon. For the last several years, Shannon has been establishing himself as one of Canada’s premier electronic-music ambassadors, releasing 12”s for various local and international imprints, managing a booking agency for an impressive roster of international acts, and freaking the fuck out of people on the dance floor at festivals and clubs worldwide. His new offering, Sleight of Hand (on German über label Force Inc.), is eleven tracks of minimal tech house guaranteed to get the party bumpin’. One album that always finds itself on repeat in my CD player late at night is the debut effort from Mileece. According to her elegant and beautifully designed website (, Formations (Lo Recordings) is an album inspired by nature. This makes sense, as Mileece’s delicate tonal compositions (written using a self-generating music program on Super Collider software) bubble and trickle with vibrant life. The seemingly random cascading tones collide as quickly as they split, forming fragile melodies and complex harmonies that in the end make beautiful sense. Never too dense or too sparse, Mileece has created a shimmering and balanced album of simplicity and sheer innocent beauty. Absolutely brilliant and a must-have for quiet times at home. Those of you with a sense of humor and an ear for dope production should check out the latest from the mysterious GI Joe Killaz. Taking gangsta rap to its illogical extreme, GI Joe Killaz (MC Destro, Baroness, and DJ Cobra Commander AKA Tomas Jirku) spit out tales of Cobra’s ventures into disorganized crime over some ill laptop hip hop and digital electro tomfoolery (thanks to Jirku). Subjects range from the global (“Money to Burn,” featuring Cobra’s brilliant plan to replace the Earth’s currencies with “Cobra Money”) to the more intimate (“Who Spilled the Juice?” is a rap about the consequences of staining the Cobra HQ’s prized camouflage couch). If you take shit too seriously then you might want to skip this one, but if you’re looking for a laugh, seek it out (