Lone – Emerald Fantasy Tracks [2010]

Posted in ambient techno,electronic,idm,instrumental hip-hop by deek on December 11, 2010

Matt Cutler, AKA Lone, first turned my head in 2009 with “Joy Reel / Sunset Teens,” which refracted the burgeoning sense of classic-rave redux (think Zomby) through the dewy ambience and nostalgia of Boards of Canada—a surefire combination, basically. Both tracks stayed in my head even though what was great about them was how they sounded, even more than the tunes per se. Nevertheless, as Lone has progressed since then—from Ecstasy and Friends and “Once in a While / Raptured,” both for Werk, to “Pineapple Crush / Angel Brain” and now Emerald Fantasy Tracks, both for Cutler’s own Magic Wire—he’s created a body of work that forms a continuous line. Which is funny, since one of Cutler’s real gifts is in his packaging; putting his singles on one of the albums would upset their balance as discrete works, carefully planned and executed. Yet everything is immediate: Lone’s riffs tend to grab and hold, and even when he’s muddying the waters with blobby bass and synths that seem daubed on, like bingo markers, he always presents a big picture with details. Emerald Fantasy Tracks bears a similar relationship to “Pineapple Crush / Angel Brain” that Ecstasy and Friends did to “Joy Reel / Sunset Teens”—it’s a slightly softened variation and expansion, more luxurious and therefore more adaptable for settling in for 40 or more minutes, rather than the zig-zag joy-buzzer feel of the singles. Relaxing the ear-grating quality of “Crush”‘s super-sharp synth riff, EFT is every bit as agog, as ravey—only this version is far more Detroit-centric than it is indebted to breakbeats and pitch-shifted divas. Just listen to the snare and hi-hat programming of “Cloud 909,” “Aquamarine,” “Moon Beam Harp” and “Rissottowe4,” whose accents and touches owe the Motor City, not to mention the industrial English North—to say nothing of the loosely lovely synth figures, calm string pads and a feel pitched between rock-the-house and know-thyself. Cutler’s ear for timbre and knack for sound treatments makes the entire album hum. At the center of “Reschooling” is a riff (played on a wooden xylophone?) that’s been treated to just enough filtering to make it go in and out of focus, giving the track even more of an undulating feel. So does the rolling bass of the finale, “The Birds Don’t Fly This High,” which provides an anchor for all that dazzling stuff before it; give Cutler credit for knowing how to come down as well as take off. -Resident Advisor

Pantha Du Prince – Black Noise [2010]

Posted in ambient techno,microhouse,minimal techno by deek on March 9, 2010


Pantha du Prince, also known as Hendrik Weber, is a minimal artist signed to Rough Trade Records. His music is often characterised by a hypnotic, intricate combination of melodic chimes and dark, heavy techno beats, but does not confine itself to a single sound or strain of minimal techno. Arrangements are lush and textural, energising yet melancholy; a plethora of sounds and ideas unified by a consistent underlying tech-house beat. Dreaming music.

Autechre – Oversteps [2010]

Posted in ambient techno,electronic,idm by deek on February 24, 2010


Autechre is an English electronic music group consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both natives of Rochdale (near Manchester, England). The group is one of the most prominent acts signed with Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic artists. Booth and Brown formed the group in 1987 while they were both living in Rochdale. They began by making and trading electro and hip-hop mixtapes, but gradually collected some cheap equipment (most notably a Casio SK-1 Sampler) and moved on to their own compositions. By the time Warp Records released their debut, Incunabula, they were employing a variety of electronic instruments to create their evolving style. Booth and Brown have explained that the name Autechre can be pronounced in any way anyone sees fit. They pronounce it “aw-TEK-er” (IPA) /ɔ ˈtɛk ɚ/. Autechre helped initiate the music festival All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2000, and were responsible for curating the 2003 festival. Autechre utilize a wide array of analog synths in their production as well as analog and digital drum machines and samplers. They have also made extensive use of a variety of computer based sequencers, softsynths, and other applications, such as Max/MSP.