Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Moderat - II (Album Review)

Ah, Moderat. I really wanted to love their self titled debut but some parts of it just left me sour. This time the Modeselektor lads and Sascha Ring better know as Apparat have come together to make another LP which has much less of a minimal edge this time around, but still has that great artwork and illustration by Pfadfinderei collective. Join me as I work through a select few tracks from the LP after the main art.

Click for huge (2000x2000 px)

A droney intro punctuated by warbles and rolling sine waves of bass flows perfectly into the second track which was teased a few months ago, Bad Kingdom; Modeselektor's influence is obvious from the get go, much moreso than on their debut I find. Apparat's vocal contributions go down a treat too, at first I thought this would be a re-tread of Rusty Nails and the rest of the album would be minimal meets IDM a la the debut, but the sound has evolved much in that four year gap and I am pleased to say that is not the case.

I also thought Modeselektor's Monkeytown vibes might be too prominent after Bad Kingdom, but the game is changed pretty frequently with each track. Let In The Light starts with the scratchy dirty sounds that Apparat is so fond of before bringing in a vaporwave-esque slowed vocal, then backed by some hazy garage lines before finally letting the lumbering drums loose on us. The whole thing comes out like a half remembered dubstep tune on a comedown. And I absolutely love it.

Not to say they've entirely abandoned their roots though, Milk clocks in at a hefty ten minutes and is by far and away the longest track here. Their evolution has been kind to them though, Milk layers on the variety much more frequently than the last record including a tactical break around 4 minutes in. They've taken a leaf out of Clark's book as well as around the 7 minute mark the distortion starts to get cranked up ending in a beautiful climax around 8:40 and an almost ravey fade to finish.

The fist listen of this was a bit confusing, it felt a little like Apparat's vocals had been ripped from a separate track and hastily put on this one and I wasn't feeling the noise fest around 1:20 which was a shame and kind of spoiled it for me. I came back to it a few days later which had the benefit of giving me almost a fresh listen; the intro is golden and everything past that little hiccup at 1:20 is too, and something about Apparat's vocals clicked and now I wouldn't have them any other way.

The second of the two interludes next, the opposite of Milk at just a little over 1:30. It features some really lush synths throughout, reminding me a little of the Modeselktor/Siriusmo collab Green Light Go, and Modeselektor's own I Love You. There's probably some really nice visuals to go with this one too, I can't wait to see what Pfadfinderei do with this one.

Ilona sees the return of those lovely slowed down vocal lines, this time with some more pitch shiftery going on making it sound like a busted turntable or something from Fever Ray or Oneohtrix Point Never's Returnal. The garage/dubstep styling is still strong in this one, the little break before the beats come cascading back into the mix around 1:30 definitely has a burial vibe to it. Another one for the favourites pile.

There's a select few tracks that are getting a lot of press from the LP, I initially wasn't going to cover them but this one stood out. It has much more of a conventional edge to it than the last few tracks we've been through; think Bad Kingdom, Rusty Nails etc. It's the most downbeat tune so far and wouldn't sound too out of place on Apparat's Walls.

The finale does not disappoint either, dripping with influences from both sides it's pretty much a perfect example of what makes Moderat: Chock full of lovely sounds and carefully crafted peaks and breaks it summaries and closes the album brilliantly. It was the track that caught my attention in the promos (again due in part to the visual contributions of Pfadfinderei). It almost makes me sad as the last fade out comes and goes, it may be another four years before we hear any more of Sascha, Szary and Gernot combined.

And that brings us to the end. I definitely feel like this is a better album than the self titled debut, it feels much more concise and focused in it's sound, while having enough variety to stay interesting. I imagine the overall melancholy vibe to the album might turn a few people off like with Gorillaz's Plastic Beach but Moderat do it so well I can hardly complain. Moderat's II adds another notch to the troves of quality albums released this year and is out now worldwide on Monkeytown Records.

A Moderat Amount,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Thursday, 18 July 2013

What I'm Feelin'

After teasing us for nigh on two years the wax man has given us the very first look into what he's been tinkering with all this time. Taken from upcoming LP with the typically NOW title Feelin' Good it looks promising for sure, the little teasers he's posted before have been pretty good for 3 second samples, and this had me grinning form the moment I pressed play, an excellent return from my hometown hero, catch it on his soundcloud below.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

AT / AA 16

Tony Oursler - Bluerialisation with Head (2007)

Another from the archives, vocoders are till the best thing ever to my ears, and this is by far the finest example of it from Vitalic's catalogue from his amazing debut OK Cowboy reminds me a little of some stuff from Bag Raiders if I'm honest, definitely check it out if you missed it the first time.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

AT / AA 15

The Designer's Republic Vs. MX Norway

Another bit from Apparat, this time with added assistance from Berlin dwellers Modeselektor, together making Moderat geddit? Anyways, they do have a particular way with sound which is only amplified when they collab, this tunes just as striking as Useless Information and just as intense perhaps even more so. It has a killer main melody and Apparat on the vocals to boot. Well produced and with pleasant noises. What more could you want?

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

AT / AA 14

Chris Cunningham - Still from New York Is Killing Me (2010)

Apparat really made an impact on me with 2008's Walls, being only familiar with his remix work for people like Boys Noize the sounds on the LP came as quite a surprise, orchestral tinged 'IDM' style number in the vein of Venetian Snares' Rossz Csillag Alatt Született or The Flashbulb that have a great deal of power behind them. Here's an early standout.

Old York,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

AT / AA 13

Goldie - Crying Phase

Another art/tune combo this time, I've mentioned before Goldie's moved back into graffiti. Back in the day he was involved with Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, their styles are quite similar now with Goldie adopting stencils into his freehand work as opposed to his old wildstyle tags, though compared to Robert's stuff Goldie definitely has more of a Blek Le Rat vibe going on with his stenciling style. Anyways, enjoy another bit from Goldie's landmark self descriptive debut. Timeless

-Claude Van Foxbat

Sunday, 26 May 2013

AT / AA 12

The Designers Republic - Re:mote

Another old one this time, an old favourite I stumbled across and downloaded a long while back. Probably at 2AM by the flicker of the CRT juding by how long I've had it. I've searched high and low for a legit copy of the EP that this is from - Misstress Barbara vs. Barbara Brown, Vol. 1, but annoyingly nowhere has a legal 320 copy of it to buy, only volume 2 it seems. I kinda like it though, I just love that techy house sound aside from Golden Boy's Or, I can't find much that sounds like it; any recommendations would be appreciated!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

AT/ AA 11

Robert Del Naja - Four Noble Truths

Double whammy today, as the bloke who does the art also has a hand in the tune itself. Robert Del Naja, better known as 3D of Bristol based Massive Attack does a lot of stencils among other things, he's gone from wildstyle tags in the Wild Bunch Soundsystem days to these politically loaded spray pieces. I can't say his art is a perfect compliment to his music, but it's still interesting to browse through, if a bit hard to come by. Enjoy it with the darker turn that Massive Attack took on their third LP Mezzanine.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

AT / AA 10

Sayuri Michima - Untitled

A week in and one week to go, this series has been alright so far hasn't it? Fast running out of art to put up like, but no matter, onto today's tune; another bit from Richie Hawtin's short lived F.U.S.E alias. The one LP under this name is pretty sweet, hard techno stuff against Warp's trend around the time for 'electronic listening music' (fitting, s this LP is part of the {Artificial Intelligence} series). The hard stuff has its own merits, but I have the biggest soft spot for that smooth sound that is trademark Warp, sit back and enjoy.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

AT / AA 9

Chiho Aoshima - A Contented Skull (2003)

Shinichi Osawa's The One is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to pressings, there's a bunch of different ones out there as I found when I picked up the expanded version with a ton of remixes on it. There's some strange changes on there too, like swapping out The Golden for a longer, alternate mix just called The Golden 2. The story's the same with Our Song, but in addition to the altered mix, the Japanese vocals of the original (A Lonely Girl Version) are swapped out with some different english ones along with a different subtitle (We Are All Innocent). There's both pretty stellar tracks, but the original is the one I fell in love with and am sharing with you lot today!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

AT / AA 8

David Firth - Coffeeshop Confidential (2009)

Sad news on Monday, as house mogul and defining voice behind Daft Punk's cult hit One More Time Romanthony passed away. And I feel like giving him just one song would be a disservice, so instead enjoy three of my choice cuts from Romanthony.

Monday, 20 May 2013

AT / AA 7

Kid Acne - The Chosen One (2013)

One from my early dubstep days this time. Back to 2008 when Rusko wasn't shovelling out bro-step and had just released Babylon Vol. 1. It still stands up today ad pretty much embodies the sound that I fell in love with dub for. Shame how it all turned out, but at least we have some good tunes to remember it by.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

AT / AA 6

Takashi Murakami - Melting Dob E (2008)

Commix have come back into my playlists again recently. Both because its been a while and to remind me to pick up their new stuff. Tucked away at the end of their debut LP Call To Mind is a remix by techno pioneers and living legends Underground Resistance. It's more techno than the drum & bass/house vibes of the album, but it fits in quite nicely.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

AT / AA 5

Jason Cawood - Salvaged (Untitled), 2009

Real rough day today. As much as I don't feel like posting there's one song that keeps on repeating, the haunting re-imagining of Olson from Boards Of Canada's Peel Session EP. A fitting compliment to the original, but no less full of all things Boards. Lends itself well to repeat playings alongside it's original counterpart. Enjoy.

Friday, 17 May 2013

AT / AA 4

VitaliV - Elvis

I must admit, for a long time I wasn't big on the Chem Brothers, aside from Star Guitar obviously. But I've picked up a few pieces here and there and back when a friend was kind enough to lend me his copy of Push The Button, and that's where I found this tune here. If we're talking progression, this tune nails it completely unlike the Deadmau5 method of builds, fakeouts and breakdowns. As an album closer, it's pretty much perfect.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

AT / AA 3

Copyright - Filth / Purity, 2010

Lotta history behind this one. Heard it a long time ago when I was a little Foxbat on Grand Theft Auto III, I probably shouldn't have being only around 6 or 7, but hey that's what older brothers are for isn't it? Fast forward to now, Omni Trio is one of my favourite drum & bass crafters, and the tune still sounds sweet as even 12 years later. It's also used in spectacular form as the opener of the Moving Shadow 01.1 compilation, track it down and give it a listen, the tracklist does not dissapoint.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

AT / AA 2

Kiki - Plate from Ballet Mecanique, Dudley Murphy & Fernand Léger, cinematography by Man Ray, 1923-1924

Old one from one of my favourite ambient dealers Oneohtrix Point Never here, from a cassette simply called Ruined Lives back in '08. The title track is a standout, a rather somber trip through a lot of synthesized goodness, a nice demonstrator of OPN's overall sound and one of his more accessible tunes at least until his love for arpeggiating comes in towards the end.

3 Juno,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

A Tune / An Art A Day

In the interest of keeping things fresh, I'm gonna switch to a pseudo-microblogging style for a bit. So I present to you my new idea: 1 Tune and 1 Piece of art a day for however long it takes for deadlines to be over (timetables are depressing). We'll get into bizness afeter the aforementioned art.

Tom Wesselmann - Smoker, 1 (Mouth, 12) 1967

Leading this is a little number from Simian Mobile Disco's second LP Temporary Pleasure. It suffers like many second albums, there is real gold on there in tracks like Audacity Of Huge, but they've been blogged to death. Here's a recent repeater of mine that comes in towards the end of the album, Bad Blood

Pop Is Dead,
-Claude Van Foxbat

Monday, 29 April 2013


This year is turning out phenomenal for new album releases, just today Warp Officially announced a return from Scottish electronic wizards Boards Of Canada,with Tomorrow's Harvest dropping June 10th (sadly not June 9th) in europe, and the 11th in NA. After a cryptic vinyl release on Record Store Day followed by some activity on a youtbe accunt labelled 'Hell Interface' (BoC boffins will recognise it as a past pseudonym of the duo) and a video teaser on Adult Swim I had my suspicions that something was going on and I was right! It might not be the BoCSet of their old unreleased albums we were promised but I'd argue the first new LP since 2005's The Campfire Headphase is even better. Check out the Adult Swim teaser and an unlisted lovely lo-fi preview of the numbers station laden vinyl track after the released artwork.