We don’t need ADE. While everybody was in Amsterdam engaged in some frenzied activity of handing out business cards like candy at Halloween, trying to galvanize each other in a sea of banality, we were at Filter Musikk… buying records. As people cooed over the latest social media DJ sensation and bookers, agents and managers were trying to dictate market trends and influence music, we were more concerned about whether a record warranted the 150kr we were about to shelve out for it.
There’s no amount of likes shares or blog articles that will influence our decision to buy the record. It’s an intimate exchange between the listener and record, and even Roland Lifjell, a DJ and consumer of impeccable taste couldn’t sway a decision when we strap on a set of headphones and put that needle on the outer (or inner) disc. What the people at ADE fail to realise is that nothing they do, or try to manipulate will ever be able to stand between this interaction.
We don’t buy records because a DJ and producer has a lot of Instagram followers, and we definitely don’t buy a record because that same entitled, egotistical maniac who gets paid €3000 a pop to play, might bring out a record during his/her set. In fact, we’re more likely to avoid that record, or any other record that DJ is associated with for that matter. Especially for a person making the same in a month as what that DJ gets paid for two hours of sonic drudgery.
Buying a record is a very personal endeavour between the listener and that single piece music. So you can keep ADE and all the industry that surrounds it, because we have Filter Musikk and I doubt you’ve even seen the inside of a record store, especially one as unique as this one. This is the cut with Filter Musikk.
Theo Parrish – What You Gonna Ask For (Sound Signature) 12″
Discogs user: “My friend Duncan Tompkins came round the other night to see me, and he brought this record along as he wanted to play it to me. I found its nice blend of jazzy keys and laidback, bompity house beat easy on my ears, and it wasn’t very long before me and Duncan had both stripped down to our underpants and were dancing, and grooving, together!!”
Wow that escalated fast, but nobody does “laidback bompity house” quite like Theo Parrish. The US stalwart always manages to infuse his productions with a primal urgency that few can match. It’s a kind of funk associated with human imperfection that usually occurs in the no-man’s land between quantised forms and quarter note beats.
“What you gonna ask for“ is an infectious call to the dance floor, with Jazz-infused keys hovering over syncopated rhythms that move between live drums and bass-lines snapping at the heels of the kicks like a rubber band. The track has a very live feel, and Theo Parrish’ rough and ready approach to production is sprinkled all over the track in analogue noise and vintage warmth. There’s little separating the two remixes, besides perhaps that Dego’s interpretation is possibly more functional in terms of its arrangement.
Are you in your underpants yet?
EOD – Warmwoods (bbbbbb) 12″
EOD played Kafé Hærverk on the same Friday this record rolled into Filter Musikk. I stayed in and listened to this record. Wormwoods is the first release from the Norwegian artist since releasing his LP Named and it seems he has found a permanent home for his musical indulgences at Bjarki’s bbbbbb records.
Warmwoods finds him indulging more of an Electro palette than the squirmy brain dance breakbeats of his last album for the label with lysergic bass refrains and silky pads navigating the tumultuous rhythms of hurried drum machines. EOD’s music operates at a mile a minute and it feels like you’re always trying to catch up to his genius at work, but with tracks hardly breaking the four-minute mark, the song has ended before you realise what has happened.
The most enticing moment comes at the end of the record with “CQC” where EOD slips into a more reserved version of himself with a simple melodic theme, progressing at a leisurely rate throughout the track. Alluring pads enrapture a drum machine moving at a more reticent pace, while those permanent acid bass-lines move through the track in their frenzied pursuit of a melodic refrain that remains intangible throughout. EOD bathes the track in voluptuous synthetic atmospheres coaxed from large polyphonic vintage synthesisers, with that same undeniable charm echoing through his music.
If the Named LP was a bit much for some, this will certainly bring you back to the majesty of EOD’s productions.
Zenker Brothers – Spiritual Priority (Ilian Tape) 12″
Yes, they are indeed brothers and brothers working together in electronic club music, in the latest iteration of a tradition stretching back to Octave One. There’s a kind of natural flow to family groups that encourage some prolific careers and the Zenker Brothers are no exception. Although they’ve been making music separately since the mid 2000’s, when they started making music together, they touched on an incredible sonic assault which they’ve directed through the likes of 50 weapons and their own label, Ilian Tape to disastrous effect on the dance floor.
Ilian Tape’s reputation for uncompromising and assertive dance floor tools extent to the Zenker Brothers on this release as they deliver two formidable Techno tracks on Spiritual Priority. Composed of little more than rowdy drum machine/sampler “Sorting Peanuts” and “Sample Predator” walk a narrow line between Techno and Hardcore, but where others might indulge retrospective tropes in this style of music, the Zenker Brothers opt for a more tantalising forward-facing approach to these beat monsters.
It’s the rhythms of “Sorting Peanuts” and “Sample Predator” where Spiritual Priority offers more than just the familiar. An onslaught of kicks landing between off-beats and regular beats, accented by a gamut of contrapuntal rhythms forged in sonics derived from metallurgy. The spartan tracks are predestined for the cavernous spaces Europe’s clubbing scene where large sound systems punch bigger holes through empty spaces.
John Daly – Safe EP (Craigie Knowes) 12″
Craigie knows that we love the Craigie Knowes label. We’ve almost featured a release per issue since the Burrell Connection introduced us to the UK label, and we’ve been amazed by the versatility that they featured in their discography. From the bawdy acid of Post Human to undefinable Balearics of Fabio Monesi, there isn’t so much a sound, but a feeling that underpins the label. There’s a certain craftsmanship to these records, that no matter what genre or style they indulge, they do it with a unique flair and idiosyncratic artistry.
Take this latest record from John Daly. You might be inclined to call this music Deep House, but the bass lines that jut out at you from the middle of the mix; sequential bass-lines that run on the fringes of Italo; and deep chords that boulder up from way beyond the surface, are more confrontational than the more subtle arrangements that dominate the sound of Deep House today. There’s a mighty shunt from analogue synthesisers and drum machines that accentuate a corporeal dimension. The big sub-bass-drawl of “Moving-On,” the penetrating Juno bass figure of “What if” and the bubbling atmospheres of “For the sake” all have their origins in some machine.
John Daly accentuates these features in his music, with each element clambering to the next in some Sisyphean battle for supremacy that yields no victors. It confronts the listener with a wall of sound that ranges from the deepest frequencies right to the heavens where hi-hats glimmer.
Jaime Read – The End Of (For Those That Knoe) 12″
Taken from Jamie Read’s classic 1997 House LP, The End of the Beginning, “the End of ” is the first of a triptych of 12” releases re-issuing the LP courtesy of the UK label For Those That Knoe. “After the rains,” “Collective Consciousness,” “on the Surface of the 9th Moon,” and “Time Wave” have aged exceptionally well, and the first time I heard it being played at Filter Musikk, I was convinced it was a new release.
Like John Daly’s record, it’s the shot in the arm that House music needs, but this time it reaches the contemporary landscape, an echo from the past. The remastered versions of the originals merely refurbishes the originals so they can sit alongside their modern counterparts. Everything sounds just a little fuller, richer, without taking away from the textural delights that the tracks rely on. Layers arrive and dissipate around continuously evolving percussive arrangements, coaxed from Roland X0X range.
The drum sound are left in their raw forms, flimsy and sharp, cutting through 303 bass-lines and luxurious pads that dominate the harmonic ranges of the tracks. Sparkling melodic structures, bounce between the beats and the atmosphere like ping pong balls being passed around on a lazy Sunday afternoon with everything in Jamie Read’s music instilling a sense of calm and temper around percussive parts that buoyantly travel through the tracks.