Album Review: Siriusmo / ‘Enthusiast’ (Monkeytown)

Siriusmo Enthusiast


In granting electronica carte blanche and giving freedom to a techno essence, Siriusmo’s avoidance of the abstract stays up for pushing the boundaries as well as his luck. Thirteen tracks aren’t joined at the hip — some are several cousins removed — but work as a loosely-bound team. The German’s maverick make-up balks at becoming a mad professor — though perfectionist and tinkerer are both applicable after the follow-up to Mosaik underwent numerous modifications – in exchange for changing lanes from the slow hard shoulder to the autobahn’s fastest route.

It’s party-hardy, emphasised by a Q-Tip soundalike anchoring “Plastic Hips” and “Congratulator” starring as the kind of disco dazzle you wish Daft Punk had recently committed more to, showing that the album’s title wasn’t happened upon by chance. “Rantanplant” is like grainy vaudeville techno, between cheeky and giving you the evil eye as it loosens a few screws, with “Leftovers” equally as capricious but with a sense of pride about it.

“Tränen Aus Bier”, on some slumped, Dilla-esque head-dunking, is one wrench to the left Moritz Friedrich is comfortable committing to as a total odd-jobs man. He proceeds to go after more sterile electro pop-ups on “Itchy” and jazzy floor show solos that turn the spotlight on “Liu.” Reputation escalating as one-man band, clarity is still needed as to whether he’s a versatile music lover or running Enthusiast up the flagpole.

File under: Modeselektor, Boys Noize, Michael Fakesch

Album Review: Otto von Schirach / ‘Supermeng’ (Monkeytown)


Booty and Miami bass used to be about unspeakable acts of partying. Otto von Schirach has turned it into a permanent appointment with the ear doctor. Whereas most pump bass from the trunk of their car, OvS has frequencies on smash from an octaned-out juggernaut. Versatile may be an overambitious label to employ, but you can say that he’s loud in whatever he bangs his iron fist to, the Cuban-German-Floridan more a (horse)power-crazed villain than superhero figure but taking pride in keeping it surreal and a little cartoonish.

The suggested versatility concerns the throwaway rock n roll of “Ultimate Universe” and bafflingly camp “Mind Power” — the album’s weak links, though they still fasten seatbelts. Then there’s Atari Teenage Riot rupture (“Reptile Brain Wash”) and devouring, freaky-deaky dubstep (“The Blob” and bro-step beam-up “Quasar”). With a natural affinity towards original B-boy electro and its sci-fi theories, the title track and “Breathe the Beat” show that new skool sonic booms owe a debt to Planet Rock inhabitants and innovators, while there’s still room for lazer-powered sleaze and Armageddonistic seduction. As he’s been uncompromising with everything else, von Schirach may as well have a go at making monstrous bedroom “Diamond Eyes.” A messy, square-eyed sprawl that slingshots out of speakers therefore it’s a hit for today’s headbangers.
File under: DJ Assault, Venetian Snares, Miami Bass Warriors

Compilation Review: ‘Modeselektion Vol. 02’ (Monkeytown)


If you were a fan of Modselektion Volume One, you’ll love Modeselektion Volume Two. Review over. Care to elaborate you say? Well this one has got more twists and turns, though no dead ends, than a madman-designed maze. Qualms about remaining unmixed don’t apply, as it’s best to soak up each ear-rattling cut individually given the topsy-turvy tracklist that has banished the word subtlety from its vocabulary and is found permanently hovering over the destruct button.

Fronting the charge are strong-silent assassins Phon.O and Egyptrixx, smouldering with a punishing smoothness, amidst the dawn raids peddling 50 shades of bass and with the whiff of napalm in their nostrils. Modeselektor’s duty is to match the calculated with the less exact, comparing Monolake’s position on the edge of chaos to Clark’s arcade frenzy hurtling over said ledge and Mouse on Mars showing equally kamikaze footwork/juke tendencies. The battlegrounds are tailor made for Lazer Sword and even tumbledown beatsmiths from further leftfield such as Prefuse73, who serves up something of a red herring (or Herren). That is until Jan Driver audaciously reinvents a William Orbit/Tiësto classic.

The firing range also considers bare-bone booms (Dark Sky, offering a degree of salvation in the form of a 4×4 rhythm), to busyness approaching breaking point (Diamond Version, sounding like they’ve electro-pimped an AT-ST Walker). This is a compilation cage rage that’ll smash down defenses.
File under: Addison Groove, Anstam, Siriusmo

Album Review: Lazer Sword / ‘Memory’ (Monkeytown)


Capitalizing on bass music’s extended reach, Lazer Sword lock in on a sound where the walls are closing in. You have “Point of Return” bashing away, and “Out the Door” really putting the squeeze on you. Through kindheartedness or luck the San Francisco swordsmen then let you push out into freedom, creating an LP programming a kind of concertina effect for speaker stacks, thrusting then recoiling. Mastering the lithe yet heavy, the hammer and tong of juke in near casual cruise control will never give you a moment’s peace – this is a Monkeytown product after all and quiet still means loud.

While using some stock sounds, effects and techniques in upholding bass/footwork’s share and share alike policy, there’s more to the all round game of Lando Kal and Low Limit, perhaps less satisfied than most with just raiding the sonic pantry from a future-underwater setting. Factoring in deep house breakouts, “Let’s Work” is tailored around Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum almost inevitably turns up to lend a hand on “Chsen,” plus there’s booty-bulked electro (“Sounds Sane”) fizzing from a hive of activity. While Memory lacks a killer track to rewind, Lazer Sword have plenty to say in the bass shake-up.
File under: Sepalcure, Pinch,Martyn