Canadian DJ and producer NOAH PRED has a knowledge of techno that is truly mind boggling. Following a move to Berlin in the mid-naughties, Pred’s THOUGHTLESS MUSIC imprint has gone from strength to strength, having just marked their 100th release with a fifty-track compilation from the label-head himself, entitled ‘ERA TWO’. Here, he shares with CTC five of his favourite flashback tracks from the glory days of 90’s techno, for our debut instalment of ‘Flashbacks 101: Remembering Music That Was Actually Good’.NP: I was deeply influenced by techno in the late-nineties. A new generation of Scandinavian, Dutch and British producers had been inspired by Detroit and took that inspiration down a path all their own. It was still very much a decidedly underground sound: there were very few rules, a certain abstract soulfulness was encouraged, and every record meant something. Here’s a few treasures from that golden era.
1. Thomas Krome – Burning Chrome – Loop
Thomas Krome was part of the first wave of Swedish techno producers, and this was one of the tracks that got me hooked on techno. Relentlessly bouncing low end, tight high-hats, clever drum edits, and that huge chord sound: wait for the drop after the breakdown – I’d never heard a single chord sample worked quite so exquisitely.
Minimalistic without becoming a caricature of minimalism, each carefully chosen element was absolutely essential to the structure of the track and demanded to be worked to the limits of its potential.
2. Ignacio – Organa – Musicman
Another exercise in less-is-more, this early Steve Rachmad side project explores the fine balance between hypnosis and cogent narrative that defined so many records of that time. Distilling Detroit with dexterity, he works a one-bar synth pattern into a lather with simple filter and delay modulations, employing no drums but a solitary 4/4 kick until just before the halfway mark. The subtly effervescent breakdown takes me right back to the rapturous warehouse parties of the day.
3. UK Gold – Agent Wood – Primevil
There were all too many records making the rounds back then propelled by fairly bland conga patterns, African chants, and other misappropriated “tribal” signifiers – most of which I avoided. This seminal record on Primevil merged the latin-influenced drum programming of the time with glistening bells and an eerily mystical vocal that conjures delightfully unhinged images of bacchanalian transgression while retaining a soulful impulse that gives it a sense of true depth.
4. Cari Lekebusch – Reverted – Hybrid
Still going strong today, Lekebusch is one of those producers who made his name with an uncompromisingly distinctive sound – his diverse side projects and aliases should be an inspiration to anyone making records.
This release is probably most famous for the “Stop fighting, start uniting” vocal sample on the A-side – somewhat of an underground anthem at the time – but the B-side utilizes the same sharpened guitar chord samples in service of a propulsive, dystopian dub techno vision that’s as compelling as it is infectious. Anyone who wants to hear an innovator at work should explore Cari’s discography from back then onward.
5. Oliver Ho – Seduced – Meta
I played a few cuts from this double-pack quite a lot when it came out – primarily this one and the Miles Davis-influenced “Moonlight”, which I was a bit sad I couldn’t find a video for.
Jazz-influenced house music was old news and already played out back then, but cleverly merging overt jazz influences and samples with harder-edged techno was new territory at the time and remains largely unexplored even today. The dizzying vocal sample editing on this track effectively embodies the pleasantly disorienting experience of a dark warehouse swirling in exhilarating abandon.
Joel Mull – Infected (A2) – Inside
Another luminary of the Stockholm scene, Mull’s heady blend of rumbling subs, dubby stabs, skittering percussion, and hazy doo-wop samples was a revelation, emblematic of how few boundaries existed for creative producers at the time.
Careful attention should also be paid to the dynamic arrangement, never losing interest while the mutant bass line ebbs and tugs beneath it all. A timeless late night classic.
October 20, 2014
WORDS BY IAN HOWLING
When RENATO RATIER picks his remixers, he tends to do so in a meticulous and exacting manner, intent on selecting only the finest of the electronic music crop. Of course, that’s no bad thing, especially when the cast he assembles is as quality-laden as the one he’s chosen for the second round of remixes of his Black Belt project. Simply titled Black Belt Volume 2, the latest from his D-EDGE label sees the likes of Laura Jones, Anderson Noise and Mike Shannon offer up remixes – supplying something for almost every school of house and techno lover.
Speaking of LAURA JONES, her remix of ‘Guixestar’ isn’t just one of the finest moments on this heavyset EP, but it’s also the first out of the traps. Tech-house with a vehemently underground edge, it’s clean, refined and sure to proverbially decimate any dancefloor its let loose on. The highlights are numerous from here to the finish line. Dutchman BORIS WERNER goes all hypnotic on his take on the title track, Phil Kieran delivers a beautiful piano-led effort on the wonderfully named ‘Jamaicanese’ and M.A.N.D.Y remind us just why they’re so highly regarded during their interpretation of ‘2 Bulls’. All this and we’re only at the half way mark!
The second half is just as enticing. Cynosure man Mike Shannon goes all emotive on the cheeky little number that is ‘Tea Time’, while KATE SIMKO reminds us of her well rounded and thought out musical prowess on ‘Kozaboa’, arguably one of the album’s more introspective and charming remixes. Ryan Crosson’s voyage through the cosmos on ‘Red Light’ is a real off-kilter gem and Nuno Dos Santos of Trouw fame comes up trumps with his spirited take on ‘Miss Stereo’.
With something for all house and techno persuasions, Ratier has again proved that he’s just as adept at A&Ring as he is a production force. Viva Brazil!
October 15, 2014
Influenced by jazz, downbeat, disco and funk, RAMIRO LOPEZ isn’t your average techno innovator. Flirting with house and techno since 2006, Lopez has released on a tapas of respected labels – from Monika Kruse’s TERMINAL M to Solomun’s Dynamic – evolving and reinventing himself along the way.
Originally hailing from Toledo, Spain, Lopez has just released a brilliant new EP on Carl Cox’s INTEC DIGITAL called ‘Backtrip’ which is hard and dense in the very best sense – it’s bound to make your eyes water! CTC got the chance to sit down with Ramiro this week to quiz him on some of his favourite tracks, for another dose of CTC’s Five for the Floor.
1. Audion – Mouth to Mouth – Spectral Sound
I remember this track drove me crazy the first time I listened to it. It’s been in my bag since then.
2. Joey Beltram – Slice 2010 (Carl Cox remix) – Bush Records
We’ve got a winner here. Whenever I wanna turn the floor upside-down I play this. Great final touch for a set.
3. Angel Alanis – Do you like the way you feel when you shake? – A Squared Muzik
A classic from Angel. Amazing groove. I played it a lot years ago and I havestarted to play it again recently.
4. Bart Skils – Shadowpoint – Drumcode
It was only released a few months ago but I’m playing it almost every set. Fat techno groove, just the way I like it. Massive tool for me.
5. Theo Parrish – Falling Up (Carl Craig remix) – Third Ear Recordings
Was one of the first vinyls I ever bought. Carl is a master of remixing and this is one of my favourites. Classy.
Stream the Backtrip EP below.
October 13, 2014
The Bricolage EP marks Visionquest’s 45th release, delivered by the unfaltering, and 1/3 Visionquest’er, RYAN CROSSON – only his second solo effort since the label’s conception back in 2011. His productions always manage to bridge the line between traditional and leftfield, and can to cite the likes of M-nus, Soma, Wolf+Lamb and Supplement Facts as only a handful of labels who have requested his dancefloor-focused expertise.
‘Bricolage’ see’s two solo tracks take on very different paths, with the third, a joint effort between him and frequent VISIONQUEST collaborator Cesar Merveille ramp up the levels to indescribable amounts.
‘Spoons’ begins by doing a mighty fine ‘Thriller’ impression, which thankfully subsides to become propped up by a funky, bubbling bass rhythm, effected keys and tight hats. This ones a builder and also probably the funkiest side of Ryan we’ve heard in a while too (see album ‘DRM’ part 1 and 2), but keeps enough tech sensibilities to keep things on track. A solid roller, but not pick of the bunch.
‘Close To Danger’ picks up the energy levels with a pounding synth-laden, proggy soundscape, perfect for debauched peak time rug cutting sessions. Again, expert attention is applied to the hat-work, percussive parts compliment a solid low-end and a thumping, tight kick and shuddering bass line provide the foundations. He delivers a perfect slice big-room tech-house here.
It’s no secret that when Cesar Merveille joins either individual members of, or Visionquest as a group, only good things can happen (if you weren’t aware then now you are. You have been warned). ‘Club Chimes’ is that wild, groovy and face contorting type of tech-house that makes ceilings drip sweat and windows shudder in fear. The pair delivers a mesmarisingly deep build-and-drop number. It’s simple and incredible effective, teases you in all the right places and leaves you hanging out to dry, all within the space of 7m30s.
The Bricolage EP is certified wizardry. Do not let this pass you by!
October 10, 2014
SEEKAE need no introduction. The Australian trio are on fire at present, currently on a world tour promoting their outstanding new LP, The Worry. After picking up a lofty 4.5/5 on Resident Advisor as well as a slew of other accolades, the boys are set to hit London this month, a gig for which, we truly can’t wait! We caught up with the very witty and affable John Hassell from Seekae earlier this week for a chat about some of his all time favourite tunes, for another edition of CTC’s interview series, A Week With.
Monday Morning Sounds Like: Don’t Stop Me House Now – Queen
What a terrible day. Normally, this is spent at Costa Coffee, drinking frappuccino after frappuccino and lamenting the weekend passed. A few rotations of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and I’m out on the street, full throttle, strutting like one of the Gallaghers to the next Costa. This process repeats itself until nightfall.
Tuesday, Wednesday Afternoon Sounds Like: Thuggin – Freddie Gibbs
By this point of the week, it’s time to take those sweaty hands off the Microkorg, and say ‘what would life be like if I was a rap star, telling people what I really think about certain situations’. Cue Freddie Gibbs. The mid-week pep-talk you need to make filing tax returns that little bit more fun.
Thursday Night Sounds Like: Philip Glass – Floe
After a Skype talk with Mum and Dad further discussing my tax return, it’s time to take things to the next level. Since I’m already thinking figures, equations, tax brackets, I want to remain in that abstract realm and have something beautiful come out of it. Look no further than Philip Glass. Lovely poly rhythms and croaking woodwind. The weekend is just round the corner.
Friday Night/Saturday Morning Sounds Like: John Williams – True Blue
It’s that time again, and after a shandy at the Prince Albert, this goes straight on the iPod shuffle. Someone tried to convince me once that Australiana and Gabba could never work. Well I’m sorry mate, but Twizel Street Thumpers are the remedy for your clearly diseased brain. Notice the clever, yet infrequent use of delay on key phrases, along with tasteful pitch shifting throughout the chorus.
Sunday Morning Sounds Like: Sonic Youth – Disconnection Notice
Put your feet up, finish that half-full Red Stripe from last night, and enjoy Thurston Moore’s straightforward lyrics about receiving a disconnection notice. It all helps to calm the nerves.
October 10, 2014
If you’re an avid electronic music lover, buying a new pair of headphones is a pretty big deal. With so many trendy headphone brands on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what model to go for, particularly when you’re looking for a balance between functionality and style.
Thankfully, electronics giant Philips have come to the rescue, with a new range of bike inspired headphones called the CitiScape Foldie. As the name suggests, the headphones are perfect for busy, city dwellers looking for superior sound and portability, with the headphones folding down gracefully in to a compact case in just a few seconds.
For those who don’t know, PHILIPS has also teamed up with VICE to create the music-centric news site, You Need To Hear This, which centres on promoting underground talent and new music releases from the UK and beyond.
We’re particularly enamoured with the teal and brown pair of CitiScape Foldies (trust us, it’s a surprisingly attractive combination!) and you can check out the full Citiscape range at Philips.com or over at You Need To Hear This.
October 9, 2014
To celebrate CTC’s fast approaching trip to Amsterdam Dance Event, we’ve drafted in a pair of Dam’ locals to show us how it’s done! Drawing inspiration from artists like M83, Empire of the Sun and The Chemical Brothers, we couldn’t think of anyone better to whip up our ADE Special Guest Mix than Dutch duo, THE HIM. With a sound that flirts between indie, electro, nu disco and pop, THE HIM are chock full of fresh, experimental sounds that are bound to make you want to bounce!
Are you an producer, writer or just really really friendly? Are you going to ADE? Want to hang out with CTC? Hit us on our beeper – email@example.com to say hi. Don’t be shy, we’d love to hear from you.
You know the drill, stream it below from Soundcloud or LIKE the CHASE THE COMPASS FACEBOOK page to get the mix for free.
TRACKLIST –> COMING SOON