no boundaries – modular pursuits – daphni mix (planet e, 2011)


What a marathon of a track. Again, Daphni blows us out turning the dancefloor into a steamy and sweaty exercise in syncopation of movements. Relentless and spellbinding define this uber limited vinyl on Carl Craig’s Planet E. The A Side is a gem of a track. Loving the vocal snippet and the fast pace. Is it techno? It is very quick indeed but it is so warm and playful that would melt well into any set. The intriguing tonalities and different scales make the track challenging at first but then you get used to it and you can’t resist it. You start moving along the universe of effects, sounds, melodies and rhythms. Just to notice that the track is about to finish. Being so good and clocking a mere six minutes, it makes you wonder why so so short. Well you have the B side to extend it, with more emphasis on rhythm and dubby effects, he leaves out the main melody and vocal sample that runs along on the A Side summon us to get into darker territories of this muscular beast. Get two copies if you can or rip it and create. Pure glory again from the maestro of 2011. Consecrated up there with the most prolific, inventive and musical of electronic music creators. We can’t wait for his next offering on Domino Records coming out very soon. A revision of a Junior Boys track. Finger lickin’ wax. Warned.


harmonious thelonious – mokambo (diskant, 2010)

Harmonious Thelonious…. gorgeous name indeed. Behind this alias there is no other than good old Antonelli Electr. A groundbreaker of minimal techno or house sharing the podium with the likes of isolee or basic channel. Antonelli was more clicky. More on the academic side. Monotonous, hypnotic yet playful and provoking would be the words that go hand in hand with the Italic label and himself. Well past a decade after his first releases, Antonelli reappears with this project which is better summarised as this: american minimalists vs. african drumming vs. european sequencing. Totally mind-blowing and entrancing. I will not try to be erudite here and just plain honest. I would have never discovered Harmonious if it was not for the finest of the mixes I have enjoyed this year. In February, my idol Caribou / Daphni came up with a mix for Resident Advisor. I have canned it to death and I have all the tracks now. He threw the Harmonious Thelonius melodies twice. Briefly and so well melted with the tracks preceding and following that was difficult to know which tune was what if there was no track listing to know.
If you listen to this album in its entirety you will find it both warm and melodic but you will sooner rather than later notice that these tracks are mainly tools… Caribou did make perfect use of them and they sounded brilliant in what I consider the best mix of the year by a mile. Full of energy, and at the time all the tracks were unreleased and total gems ready to be dug out and played very loud. I leave you now with a slice of this cake: the great ‘Mokambo’

art department feat. soul clap & osunlade – we call love (crosstown rebels, 2011)

Things might have been slow on the big release front lately, but the past fortnight has seen a deluge of quality records fall into our laps. This is one such blinder.

Art Department came to prominence with last years moody druggy groove ‘Without You’. A dark and sprawling late night odyssey underpinned by a repetitive bassline and rhythm that took global soundsystems by storm and polled at top spot on RA’s tracks of the year. Well, they’ve done it again. ‘We Call Love’ is the standout track from their recent long player ‘The Drawing Board’ and is similarly dark, custom made for sweatbox clubs. It takes you on a trip deep into the middle of the floor, updating a chicago warehouse sound with a hellish kick and some dark vocals. However the track’s real appeal is in the magnificent bass sound with square waves rounding out and filling the frequencies.

On remix duties are man of the moment Caribou, in his Daphni guise and the legendary DJ Harvey. Daphni serves up a oddball psychedelic revision of the track incorporating syncopation, free jazz and a oizo esque bassline. Oh, and some flat saxophone. It’s not for the fainthearted, and whilst it’s not for me to question innovation, I’m not sure we’re ready for this. Maybe our kids will love it.

Harvey on the other hand keeps things fairly close to the original, but supercharges the track. The vocals are dubbed out and the bass line is turned way up for maximum body movement. He extends the psychedelic synth breaks and adds otherworldly vocal effects and guitars, stretching the track out and pulling all the power out of the original parts. This is huge remix, completely stealing the show.

The record is available in all good retailers as we speak, and you can check out a youtube video of the brilliant Harvey mix below.

four tet ‘pinnacles’ / daphni ‘ye ye’ (Text, 2011)

We have been heartily tucking into the Caribou RA Mix lately and so I was delighted to discover that the standout cut from that mix was going to be seeing the light of day under his new Daphni alias on a split 12″ with Four Tet, on Kieran Hebden’s own Text imprint. I bought the record this morning, and it is superfly. Arpeggiating synths get things moving, then the evil lead line comes in and puts you right into head down dance territory. This is a tech house stormer.

(if soundcloud lets you down as it has been the norm lately, try this other link)

The Four Tet side is equally wicked, based on a looped up live bass straight from a parisian cafe, Pinnacles has more of a Theo Parrish vibe, with a deft use of kick drum and a beautiful piano part which really opens the track up.