Overheard at Filter Musikk: “Yeah, he’s a nice guy, he bought all my Tech-House records back.” Roland Lifjell is a nice guy and will buy a record back from a customer, even if he might not have sold it to said customer. It says something about the calibre of the proprietor of Filter Musikk, but also it says something about the calibre of the music that comes through the store. He’s so secure in the handpicked selection that he permeates through the store, that even if it is only a passing fancy for one punter, he’d happily absorb it back into the collection, where it will bide its time waiting for a new fan.
Disclaimer: The words expressed here within are the creative ramblings of Jaeger Oslo’s editor, and in no way, shape or form do they reflect the opinions or practises of Filter Musikk.
New records might sit on his shelf for a little longer than expected, but as they migrate into the selected label shelves or even further back into genre specific crates and maybe even later in the bargain bins, eventually some doe-eyed future selector, with a fresh pair of ears will pick up on the record and present it in a new light to a future generation.
Every record at Filter Musikk has an ear waiting to hear it, from the latest hyped fancy that sells out in a matter of minutes to the more obscure curiosity for the more adventurous listener and DJ — the records that usually stand the test of time. Even these new records that we feature on this segment, they might not be exalted until later in life, even after death sometimes, but the fact that they are adorning the shelves at Filter Musikk merits their own worth in every respect.
Who knows, maybe Tech-House too will eventually get its just deserts… although does it deserve it? Hand picked by one of the finest selectors of our generation, Roland Lifjell, this is the cut with Filter Musikk. We dig through the latest arrivals at Filter Musikk and where our tastes converge with the man behind the counter, that’s where you’ll find the cut with Filter Musikk.
The Hypnotist – Hardcore U Know The Score 2019 (Rising High Records) 12”
There was never anything quite hypnotic about Caspar Pound and Peter Smith’s Hypnotic project; unless their idea of hypnosis was being repeatedly hit over the head with a blunt object. The bulstruous, but short lived project that also spawned groups like Dominatrix UK; A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd, Talisman and Temple of Acid had made a prominent contribution to the post-rave-hangover Hardcore generation through their music and through their label, Rising High, but like the genre itself quickly flickered out into obscurity after mid-nineties, until recently.
With Hardcore’s recent resurgence, it’s only natural that a track like “Hardcore You know the Score” get its time in the limelight again too. The brutal intensity of the record has waned little and it’s curious, and a little cheeky to hear the original there in its original form on B2, completely untouched by the modern processes of the digital mastering age as far as I can discern. I guess the record is all about the remixes on this occasion — there are original copies floating around for a fraction of a hoover sample all over Discogs anyway.
Remixes by Disintegrator and Innercore dust off the cobwebs, apply a little sonic polish to bring back its original glean and then violently hurl it out at the dance floor where chaos ensues. Applying some modern touches in the production process without losing the essential elements of that hardcore sound, the tortured keys, the cacophonous broken beats and the lysergic bass lines. It’s a very robust and intimidating record, but then again you said you wanted hardcore…
E.R.P. / Duplex – Fr-Dpx (Frustrated Funk) 12”
It’s a split 12” from two of the most unwavering artists in the Electro genre on one of the busiest labels currently working in that field. E.R.P and Duplex (although they appear as DPX on the inner disc) adorn the two sides of this latest Frustrated Funk release, and if you’re expecting anything other than Electro, I do not know how to help you.
What’s interesting about this record is that the DPX track is actually a remix by Ovatow, aka Klen (real name, Wilco Klen van Bennekom), the enigma behind the controls of the Frustrated Funk label. On what is a rare occasion on the label, the wizard pulls back the curtain and appears on his own label, with a glitching remix of Duplex’s “Molecular” taken from a 2016 DPX record. The Ovatow remix strips the original back to an austere husk for a stuttering, bleep version of the lush original.
It’s a record that otherwise seems purely coincidental, with an E.R.P track that just happened to be lying around, but didn’t have the right vehicle or was cut somewhere from another release; perhaps event the last LP for Forgotten Futures (which is also at Filter believe it or not). E.R.P creates a salacious undertow to the other side with big bouncing bass-lines and his unique layered approach to the Electro genre.
Like every record in Frustrated Funk’s discography it simply exists for the sake of existing and it’s only pursuit it seems to keep the momentum of Electro going, and for that reason alone the work that Wilco Klen van Bennekom and Frustrated Funk is worthy of a finding a place in a few record collections.
Various – DE:10.03 (De:tuned) 12”
“What about this?” asks Roland Lifjell… “Belgian label awakens old timers and the tracks are usually on a 90’s level of quality.” I can’t tell if he’s joking or if “90’s level of quality” is supposedly a good thing, but I trust Roland emphatically… when it comes to music at least.
In the world according to De:tuned, it’s like the rest of music has finally caught up to the timeline of acts like Future Beat Alliance, and it’s that sound, that idealistic nineties pursuit of the music of the future that the Belgium label instills through their discography today through new music from these past monoliths of the Techno genre.
These aren’t re-issues or some forgotten demo seeing the light of day for the first time, but new music in pursuit of “reanimating the sounds from electronic music’s early days.” It’s music that stands the test of time, and as Future Beat Alliance, max 404, John Beltrane, and Mark Archer prove on this collection of tracks for this latest De:tuned release, it’s music that lives beyond time. Those familiar sounds of drum machines and synthesisers which dominate almost all of contemporary music remain and in the hands of these master craftsmen they still sound like the music of the future, especially in an era dominated by perpetual loops and bland consistency.
It’s “a shame it probably does not sell” says Roland but it would be “very promising if they work more with these artists and get them to release whole albums.” Roland should know, after all.
Alessandro Adriani – Embryo (Stroboscopic Artefacts) 12”
Alessandro Adriani has made one of the most significant and unique contributions to Techno, but not entirely as an artist. His record label Mannequin recordings has been a touchstone for music enthusiasts and DJs alike as the last vestige for the EBM and industrial strain of Techno of the last decade. Prominent Techno DJs like Silent Servant and Freddy K talk about Mannequin in revered tones for the label’s contribution to a particular kind of Techno, from the new music Adriani has released via the label to the very selective and specific re-issues from groups like Din i Testbild.
It’s only in recent years that Adriani has started to etch his name into the label’s own discography, but only minimally, and he still favours releasing his own music via auxiliary labels like Edit Select, Pinkman and Jealous God. In 2019 his career as a recording artist has been marked by a renewed partnership with Stroboscopic Artefacts with an LP and an EP coming out via the label. “Embryo” preceded the LP, “Morphic Dreams,” with the Italian producer’s flair for the dramatic at the core of the industrialised electronic soundscape he conjures from unruly machines.
Noise and stoic percussive arrangements conspire on the fringes of the dance floor as Adriani runs sequences through the progressive forms, cutting through languid pads like barbed wire. Adriani’s sound design is what sets him apart from others working in the same field. That Italian tradition for the flair of the cinematic is very prominent throughout this EP, suggesting perhaps these were some of the tracks that never made it into “Morphic Dreams.” It’s not just a sense of atmosphere he cultivates however, but also a sense of nostalgia, like on the last track, “Aria (New Beat version).”
Moving away from the predominant sounds of processed 909 kick drums saturating Techno at the moment, Adriani’s use of hollow kicks and gated snares, take you a long way back to the origins of EBM and European Techno, back to groups like Nitzer Ebb and Front 242 and the music he perpetuates through his label from artists like //TENSE//.
Florian Kupfer – 4Ever EP
After a little hiatus that saw Florian Kupfer release some cassettes, most notably for burgeoning Norwegian label, Hjemme Med Dama, the German producer is back on the vinyl medium with a 12” for Axe Traxx.
4Ever EP picks up the thread laid down on previous records by Kupfer on labels like L.I.E.S and WT Records. Kupfer continues to play on that contrast between overzealous percussive workouts and deep benign electronic textures. With kick drums creaking under the weight of distortion and hi-hats splashing between noise and harmony, there’s an evident energy that pulses through the record, but it’s somewhat restrained by the deep, modulating keys that weave their way through the minimalist productions.
Besides the scattered breakbeats of “Why,” Kupfer’s sights remain on the dance floor for this record, with form-hugging four-four kicks setting the pace for syncopated percussive jaunts and languid harmonic and melodic movements created from sensuous warm analogue tones.