Thursday, December 31, 2009
It's that time of year, where every music media outlet offers their obligatory "Best of 2009" list. As our own self-proclaimed authority on all things music related, we felt it was appropriate offer our own perspective on 2009's year in beats...... and probably because we didn't agree with most others. Here is our assorted favorites, in no particular order:
FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2009:
Andrew Weatherall - A Pox on the Pioneers - Rotters Golf Club
Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue - Warp
Yppah - They Know What Ghosts Know - Ninja Tune
Chico Mann - Analog Drift: Muy...Esniqui
Lusine - A Certain Distance - Ghostly International
Moritz Von Oswald Trio - Vertical Ascent - Honest Jon's Records
Lukid - Foma - Werk Discs
Architeq - Gold + Green - Tirk
Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms - Lefse
Paul White - The Strange Dreams of Paul White - One Handed Music
Deastro - Moondagger - Ghostly International
The Flaming Lips - Embryonic - Warner Bros.
Black Moth Super Rainbow - Eating Us - Graveface Records
Stoopz N Breeze - Turn Up the Smooth - Butter Made Music
Pink Skull - Endless Bummer - Rvng International
FAVORITE LABELS OF 2009:
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
An early morning scan of the internet resulted in a fascinating discovery over at the RBMA Radio. This week's radio spotlight is paying homage to the contributions of Detroit electronic music, covering the gamut from early innovators like Derrick May to Detroit's next house generation via Patrice Scott and Kyle Hall. In addition, RMBA provides a list of sets from notable Detroit luminaries, including Todd Osborn and BMG of Ectomorph. Highly Recommended!
Visit the website HERE.
Monday, December 21, 2009
School has finally ended for the semester, so it was nice to catch an easy weekend for a change. Moreover, I've been able to spend the past couple of nights playing catch up on my music reconnaissance. The result? I must say..... my insatiable appetite for great music was overwhelmingly satisfied. A few notable artists that stimulated the senses include Maxmillion Dunbar, FaltyDl, and Singing Statues, who recently announced their collaboration with the Ann-Arbor based label, Ghostly International. Definitely a cast of characters to watch in 2010.
Friday, December 18, 2009
From: Stones Throw
Mayer Hawthorne grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, and vividly remembers, as a child, driving with his father and tuning the car radio in to the rich soul and jazz history the region provided. “Most of the best music ever made came out of Detroit,” claims the singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, who counts Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson, Mike Terry, and Barry White among his influences, but draws the most inspiration from the music of Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, and the legendary songwriting and production trio of Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland, and Eddie Holland Jr.
The “retro” tag is added to almost any contemporary work that sounds like it was originally recorded between 1966 and 1974, and Hawthorne, among the newest contributors to the genre, is aware of how trends come and go. After being introduced to Stones Throw label head Peanut Butter Wolf by mutual friend Noelle Scaggs of the Rebirth, even his current boss was skeptical. “He showed me two songs and I didn’t understand what I was listening to,” Wolf recalls. “I asked him if they were old songs that he did re-edits of – I couldn’t believe they were new songs and that he played all the instruments.”
And after meeting in person, it was even harder for Wolf to believe that Hawthorne was also the lead vocalist. Few expect such heartfelt sentiment to come from a 29-year-old white kid from Ann Arbor, but he has caught the ear of his family at Stones Throw, as well as BBC Radio 1 host Gilles Peterson and producer/DJ Mark Ronson. Expectations are high for the admitted vinyl junkie who never planned on taking his crooning public. Hawthorne’s hanging-by-a-string falsetto and breakbeat production on his first recorded effort, the tender “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out,” are simultaneously Smokey and J Dilla – equal parts “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Fall in Love.” “It’s soul,” he explains, “But it’s new.”
Hawthorne has produced and played instruments for much of his life, but never intended to become a singer. He isn’t formally trained, and never sang in the church choir or in any of the bands he was in before founding the County (formerly the County Commissioners). But here he is, new school soul sensation, who has taken the Motown assembly-line production model and eliminated nearly every element but himself and a few hired hands. “I think Mayer is the only artist in the history of the label that I’ve signed after hearing only two songs,” says Peanut Butter Wolf. “Sometimes, you just know it’s the right thing to do.”
Saturday, December 19th 2009
Doors @ 8pm / $13 Presales
The Magic Stick
4120 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201-2027
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The Blank Artists Five Year Anniversary
February 5th, 2009
Celebrating Five Years of Musical Diversity
Agents of Woe - Memphis/NYC
Matt Abbott - between sets
With an extended set from Detroit radio icon Judy Adams
2040 Park Ave. Detroit, MI
$8 before midnight / 18+
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Friend and Detroit ex-pat Milieu recently finished a track to accompany Hans Richter's 1928 film, Ghosts Before Breakfast. Entitled, "Ende", this song offers remnants of jungle, glitch, and ambient..... the kind of stuff that Richter probably would have salivated over, nearly a 100 years ago. Give it a view and feel free to show Milieu some love over at his blogspot, In the Burrows.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I was browsing the vast interweb frontier this afternoon and happened to stumble across this live video of Kevin Reynolds, courtesy of Famzine. Reynolds, who is owner and operator of Todhchai Records, is also one of Detroit's best kept secrets. His eclectic style of of electronic soul dabbles in and out of Latin, funk, house and Detroit techno inspired grooves. Moreover, his high energy live sets are a sight to behold. He's amassed a long resume of collaborations including projects with Alton Miller, Malik Alston, and a 2007 rework of compositions from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
If you happened to catch wind of his whereabouts on your next trip into town, don't sleep on the tip. Oh.... and be on the lookout for some remix work by Mr. Reynolds, due out on Blank Artists sometime in the Spring of 2010. Check it!
Baltimore, Maryland: A city often shunned from the musical spotlight, overshadowed by the likes of their northern neighbors - New York and Philadelphia..... and even more so, for electronic music - a mere schism or non-existent dialogue in its music history. To the contrary, we're romanticizing about the idyllic spirit of Bmore's musical future - one that doesn't have to dream about a Matmos or Wham city..... yeah, that's just a start. Or maybe even imagine a mini community dedicated to the gospel of electronic music, amongst othr stuff and things.... but then again, you have More or Less.
More or Less started as a monthly, in conjunction with the Bmore-Electro community, nearly three years ago. It helped to replace the void of electronic music in Baltimore and has inspired countless local derivatives. In times journey, MOL has spawned a healthy catalog of dancefloor jams, including productions from Outputmessage and label mate, Craig Sopo...... in addition to the aesthetic and creative vision of label director, Pat Brander. His functional design and uncanny tact for best in esotericism, has elevated both the musical and visual content of the label above most other American independent techno imprints.
As our own expression of gratitude, we would like to give a shout out to the bizarre and genius design brand of Mr. P.Brander. His works encompass the entire MOL flyer catalog and various freelance projects, including the Blank Artists logo. The image above depicts, which may or may not be, a Subura Outback and fifth of Jameson in the midst of a collision. Perhaps a common theme in the abominable nature of Detroit and Baltimore - cities that both resemble the tenebrous tendencies of the wild wild west. At any rate, knock your senses to high heaven with this huckelberry's hand of FANCY DESIGN. Check it!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
From: Juno Plus
Scott Ferguson has made some of the most captivating deep house records of recent times, from his collaborations with Marvin Belton to his own solo productions that echo the likes of Theo Parrish and Moodymann. In a revealing interview, the Ferrispark boss spoke to Juno Plus editor Aaron Coultate over a pint of Guinness in one of Camden’s backstreet boozers. Read the entire interview HERE
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
NWW offers up this full length cd, which has just been released on the United Dirter label. This newest album from Steve Stapleton is a compilation of nearly 30 years of work, all for the low price of 99 pence - inspired partly by the 49p edition of The Faust Tapes that Virign records released in 1973. If you're a fan of Stapleton's haunting and sinister electronics than you'll definitely want to indulge in this latest outing from the master of mind bending.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
FEATURING THE ANIMALS:
Derek Plaslaiko - the bunker/spectral NYC
Eric Cloutier - bunker NYC
Secrets - secret mixes/fixes-blank artists
Kyle Hall - wild oats-FXHE
Rev. Robert David Jones - tour detoit-scrummage univ.
Saturday, November 28
E&B Brewery Lofts
Detroit, MI 48207
Saturday, November 21, 2009
\the Few Records will be celebrating their 1 Year Anniversary and throwing a party to reflect their newly diverse and talented artist roster. With the recent signing of Silverghost, New Music Detroit, Steven Robert and Patrick Russell, combined with the Few's artists Will Sessions and Adieu, there is no better time to get down with the Few Records. Grammy nominated and Movement's 2010 Creative Director Carl Craig headlines the mini-music festival. ACCESS Arts will be creating multiple art installations as well. Both rooms are musically curated by the Few Records’ label head Dominic Arellano.
Magic Stick Side:
- Carl Craig (Planet-E)
- Will Sessions Funk Big Band (the Few)
- New Music Detroit (the Few) (Performing Marc Mellits' piece, "Smoke")
- Kevin Reynolds (Todhchaí, Yoruba)
- Patrick Russell (the Few, Circus Company)
Majestic Cafe Side:
- Silverghost (the Few)
- Zoos of Berlin
- Steven Robert (the Few, Tour Detroit)
- the Replicas
- Adieu (the Few)
November 21, 2009
$8 before 11:30pm, $10 after
4140 Woodward Detroit, MI 48201
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Last week's Chain Reaction Showcase was one of our best events yet, and much appreciation goes out to all the friends and music aficionados in Detroit who made this party happen!
As always, we would like to thank our team of friends who contributed in helping to run last Friday's event. Your tireless efforts are highly valued and you're a huge part of the reason why Blank Artists can evenly focus its energies into the many different facets of event production. Another thanks to Tony at Bully Audio for devoting his entire day to sound preparation and sound reinforcement. It sounded great, per usual. An especially huge thanks to the talented cast of performers. Patrick Russell's proven many times over why he's one of the most gifted dj's in the city of Detroit and the showcase opening was no exception. René and Pete, WOW!..... an amazing live performance and two ass-shaking dj sets to follow. We hope to see you visit Detroit again. Also, we would like to extend a thank you to Brendan, Erica, and the Interdimensional Transmissions crew for playing hosts and helping to make the Chain Reaction booking possible. Lastly and a intrinsically, we would like to thank all other friends, fans, and listeners. Your energy and support are a major source a inspiration and a main reason why we will continue to move the future of Detroit to a beat. Til next time......... when we shall rendezvous for our 5 year anniversary!
Photo Cred: Christine Abuel Pompa
From: Clone Records
Jared Wilson is keeping the acid alive in Detroit. ''Ghettoblaster'' is Jared's second release on his label 7777. ''This Love,'' is a slower deep track with haunting 303 bassllines and a a voice chanting This Love. The title track, ''Ghettoblaster'' is an jacking stomper for the floor. ''Last Two,'' is a very nice Chicago influence acid beat track. Our favorite is the intens This Love with amazing 303 which sounds like Aphex Twin doing chicago house. Also included in this 12 inch is the "Office Analogue" cut, taken from last year's Blnk-10 release. Listen and order a copy HERE.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Video and Performance Studio
Duderstadt Center, University of Michigan
2281 Bonisteel Blvd
6 - 9 p.m.
This special audio-visual live electronics presentation features a North American exclusive: an appearance by Markus Guentner, a German artist known as an innovator of the pop ambient sound for Cologne's Kompakt label, with Detroit-based digital dub stylists nospectacle.
The performance, Collapsing Borders - Einstürzende Grenze, at the University of Michigan's Duderstadt Center will include composed and improvised music and video, mixed and sequenced by the artists. The point of focus is to show how art and entertainment technologies play a crucial role in transcending political, cultural and psychological borders. It is part of a series of events at the University of Michigan this fall commemorating 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Guentner is best known for his work on Kompakt, which released his full-lengths In Moll (2001) and 1981 in 2005, and various single tracks on its annual Pop Ambient series. He has also released minimal house and techno music (Audio Island, Lovely Society) on the Ware label, also based in Cologne, and has a new LP, Doppelgaenger, released this fall on the Dutch Sending Orbs label. He has produced soundscapes for Ambient Works, a comprehensive workstation for creating cinematic atmospheres for feature films, documentaries, commercials and new media project applications. Guentner's only other area appearance was at Movement, Detroit's Electronic Music Festival, in 2006. He lives in Regensburg.
nospectacle is an electronic music, video and DJ hybrid project based in Detroit. The group is made up of Christopher McNamara, Jennifer A. Paull and Walter Wasacz, and performs original works by McNamara, a founding member of the Windsor-Detroit laptop group Thinkbox, re-shaping the source material into drones, dubs, disembodied voices, subsonic bass immersion and streaming images. McNamara's new release Vague Cities includes a remix by Guentner.
The group has performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Detroit Institute of Arts and at the Movement Festival. In 2008, nospectacle hosted Klimek, another German pop ambient artist, at the Cranbrook Art Museum. Listen to nospectacle live at Cranbrook 2008 here.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
As the weekend nears closer, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of Friday evening's Chain Reaction Showcase. The event, which features individual dj performances from René Löwe and Peter Kuschnereit, and then a live set together under the alias Scion, has not only garnered our own personal interest. Rather, local media outlets around Detroit are also excited about this rare appearance from two of dub techno's most respected innovators. Both Model D and Metro Times featured the Chain Reaction Showcase among this week's top musical events. Access the news hits below.
Photo Cred: Seze Devres
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Patrick Russell (Mentalux, The Few, Circus Company), exists at the intersection of abstraction, archaeology, and construct, where he builds complex sensual jacking dancefloor environments through the careful selection of widely varied audio artifacts. Through these tools, he seeks to extract the intangible subtext of electronic music's history and present it in its raw and most purest form.
A Detroit-bred DJ, artist and producer since the early 90's, Patrick has played countless clubs, parties, and high-profile events throughout his career. His resume highlights include everything from performing at the 2001 & 2008 DEMF/Movement festivals to an exclusive opening for Jeff Mills in Detroit in 2007. His latest release on Circus Company, "Valt Trax", has been praised by the likes of Laurent Garnier, Dan Bell, Matthew Dear, and Cassy, and showcases the depth and perspective of a producer gaining momentum.
For the first Blank Artists podcast of 2009, we offer you this very special mix by Patrick, on the eve of extraordinary performance for this week's Chain Reaction Showcase event. In addition, we recommend that you browse Mr. Russell's November chart for Resident Advisor. It is chocked full of burners!
Mixed By: Patrick Russell
Bit Rate: 320 KBPS
Friday, October 30, 2009
Alpha 606 (live) Miami
BMG - Interdimensional Transmissions
Chuck Hampton aka Gay Marvine / Secret Mixes/Fixes
Erika of Ectomorph - Interdimensional Transmissions
Bohemian National Home
$5 before midnight; $10 after
Entertainment provided by Macho City / Disco Secret DJs:
Along with a live performance by:
The Wolfman Band
4454 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
$8 advance, $10 door, $20 without costume
Dam-Funk - Live/DJ | Stones Throw
Kevin Reynolds - Live | Todchai
Secrets - Live | Blank Artists/Secret Mixes Fixes
1456 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
$10 Pre-sales, $15 At the Door, $10 w/ costume
Thursday, October 29, 2009
This article's a few months old, but it's never too late pay homage to one of the most righteous hombres from the barrio. If you're ever tipping a horse feather at the Atlas Bar in Hamtramck or rockin it low key to some jazz funk grooves at Northern Lights on Wednesday, than you've probably found yourself entangled inside a web of bizarre but enlightened ramblings from Richard Wohlfeil. Whether it pertain to books or records, this modern scribe has all the goods, and he's willing to share them. Like the time he literally forced me to borrow his mint condition Cannonball Adderley and Brother Jack McDuff albums. Hot biz, for sho!
Travis Wright from the Metro Times sat down with Richard in July to talk about Aldous Huxley, osmosis, and monkey brains. Read the entire interview HERE.
Photo Cred: Alicia Gbur
Monday, October 26, 2009
Along with Rene Lowe and Thorsten Profrock, Peter Kuschnereit became involved with the camp of individuals composing the Hard Wax record store in Berlin, eventually finding himself a member of the camp's primary label, Chain Reaction. But before Kuschnereit began releasing his records on the label, he spent his days working at the Hard Wax store, immersing himself in the world of electronic music. It was there, working alongside other forward-looking artists including owners Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus of Basic Channel fame, that Pete soon began looking beyond the traditional sounds of Chicago house and Detroit techno.
Kuschnereit began releasing music as Substance in the mid-'90s, resulting in the Session Elements album. When he collaborated with fellow Hard Wax member Rene Lowe for the first Chain Reaction record as Scion, the duo's revisionist aesthetic which looked beyond the standard synth, 303, 808, and 909 sounds of house and techno set the precedent for the label's innovative sound. Though his production output has been quite sparse, Kuschnereit has also appeared live alongside Lowe and Tikiman, performing many of the songs found on the many Hard Wax-affiliated records.
Resident Advisor conducted and interview with DJ Pete last spring, when he was featured for the 147th RA podcast. Read the entire interview below. In addition, you can listen to this mix by DJ Pete, recorded last year at the Plex in London. Download HERE.
What have you been working on recently?
Mainly I was selecting records for my DJ crate for various DJ gigs. I like to spend a lot time on that, because I play many different styles. Lately, for example, I play house classics one night, industrial related techno and IDM another night and things between classic minimal techno and dubstep with a broken hard techno feel at Berghain. My last music production was a remix for Scuba on Hotflush Recordings.
How and where was the mix recorded?
This mix was recorded at my home studio in Berlin. It's a classic vinyl mix, that hasn't been edited digitally. I'm using two turntables and a DJ mixer with kill switches and an external digital delay.
Can you tell us a little about the mix?
It is an attempt to mix tracks that are not necessarily from the same genre or era, obviously not matching, but then you feel a good match about certain colors and atmosphere. Dubstep on the way to techno plays a big role in that mix. I wanted to do an unusual and cool mix.
Both yourself and the Hardwax store have been notable for pushing dubstep sounds in Berlin. Do you remember what it was about the genre that first caught your attention?
It was grime that first came to Berlin, and I was interested until it had too many similar riddims, bad production and too much MCing. Mainly, it was drum & bass related stuff like productions from Search & Destroy and Toasty that led me to dubstep. Labels like Hotflush, DMZ, Tempa, Texture and Planet Mu got my full attention then. Thank you England for dubstep!
You recently reprised your Tresor partnership with Surgeon at Corsica Studios in London. How was that?
One of the most memorable nights for me! Surgeon and I have been friends since 1996. Back then, he invited me to play in Birmingham for one of the famous House Of God nights. Later, we played together at Tresor club for the Dynamic Tension nights, where we were the only DJs all night—a perfect match. It's quite rare that you can play at the same night with one of your favourite producers, so it was a real pleasure to pick up the idea and do a "revival" in London. Additionally, Scorn live! It was incredible. I'll never forget that event. We'll do it again at Corsica Studios on December 11th.
Your last solo effort that wasn't a remix came out eight years ago now. Can we expect some in the near future, or do you prefer working on original material with René?
Since I've been remixing quite a lot, I'm actually into kind of remixing myself, resulting in new tunes with the "old Substance" feel to it, I hope. It was really nice to see what was possible with just some dusty samples and sequences from old Scion material, resulting in Scion Versions! Why not do that with Substance? Since I've started playing live as Substance, I'm on my way to new material.
What are you up to next?
I'm starting a remix for a Canadian industrial band, Orphx, as well as my residency at Berghain and more DJ gigs in the UK and Europe. Hard Wax is also hosting a monthly Sunday night at a new club in Berlin: Wax Treatment at Horstkrzbrg.