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Mon, 30 May 2005

Natalie C June 2005

Natalie C - Underground house/tech-house record reviews - June 2005

Urban Torque (URTR019)

There's been a lot of hype surrounding this release not to mention
comparisons with Underworld and Joy Division. Relation are a pairing
of Andy Leary who is the knob-twiddler and Oliver Keech the vocalist.
Together they form this mid-nineties styled, low-fi cross-over which
was a popular DJ choice at this year's WMC and is sure be huge in the
clubs this summer. Circulation beef things up and add a touch of prog
in their traditional manor whilst keeping the chords and vocals.
'Moral Code' completes the pack and reinforces all the Underworld

Eli Bingham/NDL/Ty Tek
This is Fresh Meat Vol II
Gourmet Recordings (GOUR026)

The second release in Gourmet's Fresh Meat series is introduced by Eli
Bingham. His 'Bonus Beats in F minor' is a percussive and energised
instalment of tech with a cunning breakdown that builds just the right
amount of tension. Over to side B for the dark, head-nodder 'Distal
Embrace' courtesy of NDL. Slightly darker and exactly what you'd
expect from Ty Tek is his 'Dirty Fusion'. Gritty electronic bass and
synths are coupled with his hallmark hip-shaking drums. The pressure
continually mounts throughout and just over halfway a rumbling
bottom-end kicks in. This will shake your brain when heard on a big

Funk D'Void & Phil Kieran
Lost in Belfast
Soma (SOMA169)

The title track is an intriguing slice of big room techno with drums
that are highly comparable to and more than possibly sampled from Dave
Clarke's classic 'Southside'. Put together with this are chaotic synth
patterns with a smattering of sparkly keyboard riffs. 'Black Worm' is
decidedly more tech-house and a somewhat remarkable creation at that.
Fatter than your obese aunt's backside, it's a fantastic layout of
funkin' syncopated beats. An incredible array of audio, superbly laid
out and possibly the best arrangement I've heard for some time. Check
it without delay!

Gene Farris
Take Me Back
Industry Recordings (INRE001)

Chicago based Farris returns with a slamming chunk of moody house.
Thumping drums , old school claps and occasional rolling snares ride
together with intent to punish anyone not paying attention. Added to
this is a dark vocal used well throughout. The dub mix is a creative
re-work looping in some extras to make a tracky piece that's a good
alternative to the original.

Chardronnet Vs Afrilounge
Poker Flat (PFR57)

Two of Stuttgart's finest come together to create two typically avant
garde tracks plus a dub mix thrown in for good measure. 'Phonix' is
sharp and minimal piece with funked rhythms riding merrily beneath
staccato acid snips and simplistic three note melodies. Check the dub
mix for a stripped-down take on things. 'Shake it' on side B is made
up of household appliance samples, perhaps inspired by Doctor Rockit's
similar antics. The outcome is enchantingly unique and let's face it,
the likelihood of anyone using exactly the same instruments is highly
unlikely. Sure to appeal to those seeking an anomalous sound.

Mass G & Matt Thomas
Who's Bad
Essential Beat Recordings (EBR002)

London based Mass G and Matt Thomas serve up some no-nonsense, driving
sounds in the shape of 'Who's Bad'.  Some may think that although
topical, the use of a Michael Jackson sample is not a good choice
however these guys are out to prove us wrong. It's used well and not
too often retaining the symbolic Croydon sound along with a prog
bassline and a hint of tribal percussion. Grant Dell's mix lifts the
theme noticeably through the use of springy beats. Although this side
is a lighter reflection the bottom end is still fat enough to offend
any sound dieters. Without a doubt this both sides are designed to
work the floor.

Codebreakers Vs Bobkat
Agave Records (AGAVE0508)

This US label is on a top-quality release roll. Joining the impressive
catalogue of artists, Codebreakers and Bobkat form a solid party
stomper. A funk-heavy bass and cheeky vocal FX are expertly laid out
occasionally interspersed with rock guitar licks. Man of the moment
Joey Youngman lends his hand in expertly remixing 'Suntan' on the
flip. An aptly titled tune for Mr Youngman's style as he seems to
inject natural UV rays into everything he touches. This is no
exception, brimming with beams of summer sunshine it's a healthy dose
of feel-good medicine guaranteed to chase off the blues.
Promos: Open House, PO Box 50028, London SE6 2WW

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