since my home music collection recently past 20 gigs i guess i've felt pangs of guilt about all the artists i really like but haven't actually supported- so i've started buying CDs again for the first time in about 3 years.
following are thoughts on what i've recently acquired:
nigo - ape sounds
track 8, march of the general, caught my ear because it uses the same bassline sample as src's breed. the tempo is nearly the same as well, but similarities end there- a wide range of flowing hip-hop breaks, scratches, and samples indicative of a childhood steeped in network television comprise this track that somehow manages to seem more like a seven-minute scratch demo, and yet still holds together as a cohesive piece of music.
kung fu fightin' is another excursion along these lines, but download monster or too much and you'll find out that's not all there is to this album at all. i'll recommend this one as a buy, it's Actually Worth The Money.
looper - the snare
also picked up because of this hip-hop kick i'm on right now; this 3rd release from the belle-and-sebastian collaborator is decidedly more minimal than the above album; still of good quality but i'd liked to have heard a little more variance. tracks to look for are good girls, sugarcane, and see if you can find the non-album releases ballad of ray suzuki or ray's golden fist.
n.e.r.d. - in search of...
ok, not exactly a latest-release, but i wanted to hear something other than t.reznor's remix of lapdance. too often, social-commentary pieces compensate for lack of talent with extra ranting; not so here. starts with a basic hip-hop framework and goes in a different direction with each track (with the exception of the oddball, brain, which almost seems rap-metal-influenced, but is tolerable nonetheless). strangely enough, i found myself preferring the tracks the group did without collaboration from outside artists. provider and rock star came out on top as my favorites from this album.
if you dig n.e.r.d., also download memories by masterminds.
danny tenaglia - backtobasics
the two hour-long mixes in this set will serve frequent duty as road-trip fodder once my car actually has a CD player. short track times (a few barely over four minutes) indicative of aggressive, deep, "forget it's two records" mixing. the second disc finds its way into some excellent darker, slightly brooding tech-house. i only wish he'd start spinning hard-stepping minimal tekno... you have the skills, danny! house is too easy. move on up ;)
orbital - the altogether
this album's also not new by any means, but i wanted a full-quality copy of tension (sampling the bananamen... pure genius). i can't come up with a better term for what these two artists do than "audio vivisection". if you've already heard tootled, you know what i mean. the 2nd cd contains remixes of older orbital work that i haven't been able to fully get into because of how much i've overplayed the originals over the past half decade.
laurent garnier - unreasonable behaviour
not what i was expecting, but given my harsh review of the carl cox mix below, perhaps that worked out in mr. garnier's favor. 98-second-long ambient intro track piques the interest, and is followed with tweaky beats and breaks that maintains a consistent theme while managing plenty of variations on style, and includes lots of hints from other more accessible genres of electronic music.
it's hard to hold up one track on this album that's really good in and of itself; this is the kind of album best experienced all at once rather than shuffled into your playlist.
if you're looking for something odd to fill out that hundred bucks you're about to blow on 5 CD's, this tekno/electro work will fill a slot much better than something you've already heard before.
roni size - through the eyes
an interesting approach from the reprazent artist on this one- also a 2-cd set, the second of which is a full-length mix as a single track (which is the way a full-length mix should be done). the first contains several (not all) of the tracks from the mix in full-length single form, and a few others that i guess were deemed worthy.
this is cool of him because, as a dj, i've often wished for a complete and unadultered copy of a track from a mix.
getting down to actual music content- i wasn't blown away, but it's pretty good. maybe i'm just not in the mood for it (read: high) right now. i'll stop short of saying run out and buy it this very moment, but if you're a d'n'b enthusiast, the mix set is worth the download.
thievery corporation - richest man in babylon
this second release from the ubersamplers wouldn't be a disappointment, even without the nifty booklet of photographs. my only gripe is that the tracks are all so short... but i'd rather be left wanting more than wishing for less, so buy it. 'nuff said.
kruder and dorfmeister - conversions
honestly, i was expecting something with a little more flavor from K&D. idunno, atmospheric d'n'b doesn't sit well as anything other than background music in my mind, and i was hoping for some "original bedroom rockers" style with this purchase. it's enough to stimulate the ear, but falls short of engaging the mind.
carl cox - mixed live @ the crobar
i was a bit disappointed by this one, considering the price. technically it's near flawless, but content-wise, there aren't many records on this mix i haven't already heard in the loads of live mixes i've already downloaded from p2p apps. if there are such things as "tekno anthems", you'll find them here. overall, there's nothing bad about the album, in that same way that there's nothing really *bad* about gum that's lost its flavor...
man, that took a while. i'm gonna try and make this into a regular feature of sorts.