Tale of Us – Alla Sera (Kettenkarussell Triangle Player Remix)
When Tale Of Us dropped their debut 2017 LP, Endless, it wasn’t what the public had come to expect. Resident Advisor claimed it contained ‘meandering music that tries desperately to tug at your heartstrings, but never quite gets a good enough grip’. Released on Deutsche Grammophon, a classical label starting in 1898 that has also released Moritz Von Oswald and Carl Craig’s classical reshapes of their electronic tracks, Tale of Us’ was a first fully original electronic release. Whatever your thoughts on it was, you can’t fault the effort of the duo trying something more beatless. Dropping on the remix LP, featuring remixes Rødhåd, Scuba, Sebastian Mullart plus other Afterlife label mates, Kettenkarussell x Tale of Us was a match made in heaven. Their brand of quaint, mystical house you can normally find in Giegling‘s roster that has included Edward, Dwig & Traumprinz, leaks its way on ‘Alla Sera’ to provide a sanctum for deep contemplation.
We first heard Kettenkarussell, a duo consisting of Herr Koreander & Leafar Legov, in 2010 on a Little White Earbuds podcast. They describe their music being ‘so easy to develop tunnelvision listening to their calming, organic style of hypnotism — maybe a bit like ‘witnessing the scenery shifts on a lengthy train journey atop that constant click-clack’. This hypnotism is found from the off, with the moody classical piano line, enveloping the ears with gravitas. It adds a nonchalant aura than to the originals as-hoc sullen, morose nature. Soundscapes pan across the track, with a nimble version of the IDM style bass found on Plastikman’s Closer LP. Hats latter across the top, quiet enough to give the other bleeps, thunder strikes and tiger screeches time to add to the abstract nature. The brooding pulsations before the breakdown truly makes this a homelisteners delight. Letting the piano do the talking again, in a minor harmonic. The track then takes a deep dive into the abyss of the mind, as the swirling, ghostly pads create a parabola around this magical world. Continue reading
Alex Smoke – Dire Need (Tale of Us Remix)
‘What you sew you shall reap’ as Jesus Christ states repeatedly in the bible. After recently attending their Afterlife party at Hi Ibiza it was amazing to see the fruit of Tale of Us’ hard graft. Incredible sets from Maceo Plex, Adriatque and KiNK alongside second to none production, it was a display of acute attention to detail. Wade through all the hip of Afterlife itself, and the root of it all is the Life and Death co-founders. As my friend claimed, they went from being the influenced to becoming the influencers. What a contrast they are from their break out druggy ‘ket house’ cuts like ‘Dark Song‘ and their remix of Who Made Who’s ‘Every Minute Alone‘. Fast forward to now and their at times beatless, ariose, brand of techno has sprouted new talents such as Mathame, breathed new life into old heads like Stephan Bodzin and drawn in purveyors of harder styles like Kevin de Vries. Trawl any profound music blog comments section, and you’ll quickly find this style has it’s detractors due to it’s perceived cannibalism of itself (similar to 2010-2012 tech-house craze). None the less, when it works, it is cataclysmic. Alex Smoke is renowned for his abstract brand of minimal techno mostly on Soma and Vakant Records. Here, as DJ Mag state, they recalibrate Smoke’s ever-morphing original into a ‘driving and hypnotic remix, complete with wonky synths.’ A 2016 release on R&S Records, it’s peak Tale of Us showing their production prowess at its best.
‘Dire Need’’s monotone drawls and rich moody soundscape is fertile land for Tale of Us build upon. It’s Depeche Mode or an EBM low-pitch style vocal that merges perfectly with it’s Ellen Alien lurked beat. Where the original is like a hulking mechgiant taking strident steps across a dystopian land, this remix is like a USS Starship Enterprise hurtling through space. A pulsating beat kicks the track off alongside a staple stringed pad causing stress to the senses. Like Joris Voorn, Smoke is a well know classical musical loving instrumentalist. And the brassy toned, railing synths that punish in the original are stretched to taking the remix to a more euphoric landing spot. There’s a sense of iciness to the track, with the cold knocks of the percussion. As the breakdown hits, the anarchy taking place in the vocals add to the solemn nature. ‘Why do they notice/Why do they listen’ he chants with it’s political undertones. It is extra pronounced during the breakdown daring to assimilate the dancers to freedom its seeking. The charge of the ravenous sonic palette as it ascends back in brings an air of cogency in its exhilaration. Continue reading
Agents of Time – Lost Dreams
The subconscious state of dreaming has never failed to titilate humanity. As Steven Kloves writes “In dreams we enter a world that’s entirely our own”. The state of lucidity, irregularity and incertitude has led some of the more avant-garde underground artists influence their production. Fittingly named Italian trio, Agents Of Time, take the concept of alternative dimensions even further in this track titled ‘Lost Dreams’. Andrea Di Ceglie, Fedele Ladisa & Luigi Tutolo come together in their debut track released by the New York label Stone Records in 2013 to create an experience that’s emerges the innermost self.
Noticeably, the introduction of the track features an electric guitar strumming over a Cliff Martinez-inspired ambient prologue that’s underlined by a satiny kick loop. The resulting sound parallels the outro track of an action melodrama from the late 2000s. The delayed lower ends tabs are reminiscent of their fellow countrymen Tale of Us label Afterlife‘s soundscapes with their molded asymmetry. Plagued with contorted chord progression, the freeroam of the leading synth is kept in line by the insomnolent bassline that dances in reversal. The breakdown, absent of a kick, does eventually enter the picture around the midpoint. It is more more sonically expansive, tampering with an element of elixiring cosmos. Refusing to dwell upon the outer space for too long, the primary baseline kicks back-in, returning the capering groove that zeniths the track to its destiny. Continue reading
DJ Tennis – Monocraft (Your Love Is Alright)
The A2 on his brilliant debut EP, Make It Good. With Remixes from Larry Heard, Ostgut Ton regular Ryan Elliot and Tale of Us, it was an exercise in Electronic Art, at Picasso Levels. Monocraft (Your Love Is Alright) is a mix of Tech, Deep, Indie and Prog Rock. One thing people can agree about Electronic Music is it can hit every emotion. And having such different genres mixed in hit different parts in one track. Released in 2012 by the Life and Death label co-founder Manfredi Romano, this DJ Tennis cut is a wonderful track completely synonymous with other sombre label cuts.
In this interview with Magnetic Mag, Manfredi mentions ‘I grew up with indie, punk rock, post-punk and hardcore.’ Instantly this is felt within the vocals. Sounding a touch like Caribou or The/Das, it’s bleak and melancholic. It’s hits the crest of the wave at the 4.30min mark with the spine tingling ‘Your Love Is Alright’ motif. Up until this point, there’s been a real buildup. Prog-band bass not too dissimilar to Dubfire’s Deep Dish bubbles underneath. Manfredi’s also said later in the aforementioned Magnetic Magazine, The first artists that got really interested in electronic music were people like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada. This was my approach to electronic music – brain-dance I would say.’ And boy does his synth work just do that. Horn like chords are played airily. Midway, downtempo strums are played with orchestral strings. It teases the brain before a scattergun single note comes in not too dissimilar to Patrice Baumel’s ‘The Hatchet’. Clearly Tale of Us shows Tennis a thing or two, because the staple laser soundscape of theirs, such as the one in their remix of Who Made ‘Who’s Never Alone’ makes a welcome appearance. A track that sends your brain into a frenzy, it’s great for home listening as much as a Fideles set at Hi Ibiza on a Thursday night.