Monday, November 9, 2009

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Doom – Unexpected Guests (Gold Dust Media/Inertia)

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 11:24 AM PST

Doom - Unexpected Guests

With a new full length album, Born Like This, just this year, we should feel spoilt to have this new compilation available so soon after its release, and although a compilation of older tracks where Doom has appeared as a guest MC, and some hard to get gems, its still an outstanding compilation. Dooms crazy off the wall flows add so much to the artists tracks, takes them to a whole new level. Dooms take on poetry and the crazed mind of a man who has such a loose flow, but one who sits just right in the mix. There really is no one like Doom in the lyrical department.

A few of his own classics are here, some different versions than I’ve heard previously. "?" featuring Kurious, "All Outta Ale", "Bells Of Doom" and "My Favourite Ladies" that still bumps to this day, "…Ali is always there to help me get back on…"

The guest appearances Doom has appeared on are spread over a few years, "Rock Co. Kane Flow" by De La Soul, "Get 'Er Done" and "Trap Door" by Jake One, "Fly That Knot" by Talib Kweli, "Sniper Elite" by Dilla, "Sorcerers" by John Robinson, "Da Supafriendz" by Vast Aire, "Quite Buttery" by Count Bass D, "E.N.Y. House" by Masta Killa and "Street Corners Remix" by Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck and the mighty GZA.

No other words but fantastic. The man in the mask stands alone, but he does sometime share his genius with others. Buy on sight.

Wayne Stronell

Doom – Unexpected Guests (Gold Dust Media/Inertia) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Various Artists – Strange Breaks & Mr Thing II (BBE/Inertia)

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 11:24 AM PST

Strange Breaks & Mr Thing II

As the subtitle states: More Rock, Funk, Soul, Jazz & Soundtrack Breaks For Modern Living, Mr Thing brings us the second installment in a five part series compiling rare and sought after breaks from disparate genres. A double CD package, disc one contains the compiled tracks, and disc two is the mixed companion, as always expertly and lovingly mixed by Mr Thing. Although many mixed CD's showcase a DJ's skills, this is more about the tracks, Mr Thing hasn't tried to cram on dozens of breaks, but 16 tracks, cut, scratched and mixed to make the perfect Sunday afternoon companion to catching up with friends.

Some stone cold classics here, and some lesser known gems, you would have heard some of these songs before, cropping up in mixes by Andy Votel and The Gaslamp Killer to name just two. Every track is a killer, no filler, Frank Pleyer Big Band, Dick Walter, Jake Wade & The Soul Searchers, Art & Ron, Kalyanji Anandji, Johnny Griffith Inc., Roy Head, Ruby Andrews, Jerzy Milian Orkiestra, Hot Butter & Soul, The Generation Gap, Oscar Harris & The Twinkle Stars, The Rias Orchestra, Val Merrall's Orchestra, Hot City Bump Band, and The Alan Tew Orchestra.

Favourites here are "Back Ground Music" by Kalyanji Anandji, the recording suffering when the female wail come in, but nonetheless a great track. "She's About A Mover" by Roy Head is just incredibly funky, as is Hot Butter & Soul's version of "ABC". The wacked out synth lines of "Pru Urebu" by The Rias Orchestra propel this disco number to outer space, while the crazy funk filled version of "Pink Panther" soundtrack by The Alan Tew Orchestra is one of the better I've heard.

As usual, another great compilation by the BBE and Mr Thing team.

Wayne Stronell

Various Artists – Strange Breaks & Mr Thing II (BBE/Inertia) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Matt Bartram – Left To Memory (Drifting Falling)

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 11:23 AM PST

I’m pretty much a complete sucker for distorted guitars deployed in waves of beautiful warm ooze. The old shoegazer in me has trouble turning on critical faculties when faced with the well textured peacefulness that is at the centre of the maelstrom. And so my immediate response to my first hearing of Matt Bartram was very positive. He knows how to wield his effects pedals. I remember reading an interview of Andy Bell and Mark Gardener of Ride fame many years ago. They said that experience had taught them that layers and layers of guitar in recordings meant that each one had to be turned down, diminishing their impact. So they generally stuck to one guitar track each within which they explored all the fuzz, wah and reverb they could muster to full impact. Matt Bartram goes by this same philosophy. Rarely do more than two guitar lines feature, giving each the space to breathe and buzz, creating wonderful soundscapes.

The problem with Left To Memory, however, is all the other bits that go into making music and songs. Bartram leaves all the rhythms at program-by-numbers drum machine. By neither using live drums, nor letting the drum machine be a drum machine, but to merely deploy it as a bland, plodding imitator of live drums, he abandons the chance to have what is best about either. Likewise, vocals are all fey indie musings pushed through a long tailed reverb preset, offering nothing in light and shade, just a sub-Jesus and Mary Chain nothingness. These things completely undermine the exquisiteness of the guitar textures, which have obviously been intricately crafted.

The best moments of Left To Memory, then, are those where everything is pretty much turned off apart from the guitars. And there are a few of these – the two interludes ‘Vision Pt 1′ and ‘Vision Pt 2′ in particular, or ‘Twelve String Loop’, the real highlight, which demonstrate Bartram’s strengths without diminishing them via the parts of the process for which he doesn’t possess the same passions. At other times, I sometimes find myself beginning to be blissfully lost in the haze, only to be snapped back to the mundane by an annoying ride cymbal preset or a slightly off-key non-melody that echoes off into the canyons seemingly forever. What could have been…

Adrian Elmer

Matt Bartram – Left To Memory (Drifting Falling) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Northerner – 1976 (Hibernate)

Posted: 09 Nov 2009 02:46 PM PST

Everything about UK producer Martin J Cummings’s ‘1976′ screams ‘winter’, from his nom de plume Northerner on the Hibernate label to the frosted leaves adorning the cover, yet it sounds anything but. Rather, the glistening, buttery synths, washed up alongside barren tufts of guitar and hazy static recall a blissful summery sunset, stoned on tropical grass, Mai Tai in hand, swaying gently in a hammock. Well that’s the first track, ‘The End of December, and if the remaining pieces fail to reach that near-sublime level of sunkissed languor they all evoke similarly drowsy summertime settings. In the title track a throbbing low-end hints at Tim Hecker while glitchy snatches of harmonica lap the sides, ‘Can’t’ pits watery guitar chords against Pole crackle and sparkly synth blips, while ‘If You Could’ takes to the desert, brief snatches of Sergio Leone twang over flickering gusts of wind. Each piece flows freely into the next, bringing added consistency to an already taut album, making the enjoyment even more effortless.

Joshua Meggitt

Northerner – 1976 (Hibernate) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.

Deepchild – Shameless In Seattle EP (Sub Continental Dub)

Posted: 08 Nov 2009 07:52 PM PST


Deepchild has progressed much further than most have expected since his debut in the late 1990s. His latest releases have begun enveloping many aspects of bass music culture, and has shown he is now even at the forefront of home grown dubstep and newer ‘funky’ styles.

"Shameless In Seattle" picks up the funky tag, mixed with heavily chopped and screwed hip hop lyricism, reminiscent of artists like Shadowhuntaz, while "Wannado" injects an Asian flavour over warm synth washes and detached house vocal refrains. Gravious from the Highpoint Lowlife label add a bed of percussion and rolling bass interlocking with crisp Detroit synth melodies, showing another side to their darker beast within. Sydney's Westernsynthetics add a darker edge to "Shameless In Seattle", keeping the chopped vocal, stripping down the rhythm and adding an almost Autechre style machine melody, intricately weaving its way through the mix.

This is a world class EP that needs to be checked out, you just have to support Australian, especially when it’s this good.

Wayne Stronell

Deepchild – Shameless In Seattle EP (Sub Continental Dub) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.