Exclusive: Cold Room by Open Source!

By Open Source

djElevenA huge exclusive coming from Matt Antico currently producing as Open Source and better known by his techno handle DJ Eleven. You may know that Matt was also a part of New York’s premier acid techno tag team PS11 joined by Preston Space. (In fact, both were covered on trak.fm in the past, most recently with their live video set from DownShiftRadio, which includes a special guest, yours truly.)

Anyhow, I’m thrilled to present Matt’s latest work: Cold Room which, while a departure from his techno ego, maintains the dark and perfectly arranged elements characteristic of Matt’s prior works, though transformed now into the Dub Step format.

We look forward to future releases from Matt, and in fact may have another one here pretty soon.  Enjoy.

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Download: Cold Room (mp3)

Exclusive Video Set: Alek Biotic and PS11 Live at DownShift Radio

DJ Eleven and Preston Space, aka the acid techno tag team PS11 had a weekly Sunday School show on DownShiftRadio.com – the original NYC dance music podcast! I was fortunate enough to join them on a couple of occasions and will now subject you to the video recording of the first of those.  Apologies for the low-res’ness of the footage – the sets are pretty long and I tried to keep the audio quality decent. Anyhow, back then the sets were faster; records hand-mixed; beats packed with tribal elements and sounds of the techno house producers from Naples were all over my crates.

By the way, previously featured on trak.fm was the awesome Time4Machine set by Preston Space. If you missed it, go back and check it out. I’m happy to report that Matt aka DJ Eleven (sporting the Brazil soccer jersey in the video) is now producing new material under the handle Open Source, and has branched off into Dub Step as well.  I’ve heard some of the latest works and was 100% digging it. The word is that some of those works might grace trak.fm pretty soon. Word.

Lastly, it appears that downshiftradio.com is no more.  It now sends you to its founder Dan Bino‘s MySpace page which is definitely worth checking out.

Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…

Here’s what I’ve been listening to a lot lately, and therefore recommend:

My Brightest Diamond: Bring Me The Workhorse
Pawa Up First: Introducing New Details
Santigold: Santogold
Massive Attack: Heligoland
Autechre: Oversteps
Scuba: Triangulation
Chevelle: This Type of Thinking Could Do Us In
The Black Keys: Attack and Release
Apparat: Walls
MGMT: Oracular Spectacular
Soap & Skin: Lovetune for Vacuum

And these podcasts:

CLR Podcast
Favorites are mixes by James Ruskin, Sian, Phil Kieran and Jerome Sydenham.

SUB.fm
In particular the Ale Fillman vs. Aporia mixes from last fall.


James Ruskin
Phil Kieran

Exclusive: Balkan Express

By Alek Biotic

balkanexpressBalkan Express is a 2002 effort with a driving groove which earns it its name. The track has a very clean, unprocessed quality and would probably benefit from either further post-production or just plain old loudness(!), so keep that in mind when listening.

High quality wav is once again available.  Enjoy.

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Download: Balkan Express (mp3)

Download: Balkan Express (wav)

Assignment 9.2 (Jazz Guitar)

steinbergerI apologize for the lack of updates in recent weeks. Work has been out of control and lots of things are happening on the side as well. But I expect to back on track very soon.

In the meantime, here’s a relaxing jam which was recorded during my Jazz course at Berklee, taught by the fantastic Bruce Sanders. The lead was an improv played by me, the rest was performed by Bruce and an unknown drummer. (I’m planning on taking Bruce’s follow up course, but time hasn’t permitted that, yet.)

The photo is of the guitar used on this recording. I ran it through a Black Finger, and a small Tech21 amp (made right here in NYC. Represent!), into a Motu 828, then the RME Multiface (my sound interface – most highly recommended) and finally into Nuendo. Yeah, I know this sounds crazy complicated, but there are actually good reasons for this signal path. Well, there seemed to be anyway.

Enjoy.

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Stack Trace Common Ground

By Alek Biotic

Due to a mixup with the label, the title of this track on the record is Common Ground, instead of its actual name: Stack Trace. (Common Ground is a different track, now titled Stack Trace, which I’ll cover here in the future.)

KAZ39Common Ground appears on the Kazumi label’s 39th release, titled Afterglow. A focused three track record, Afterglow EP is likely the release I’m most pleased with overall and having it out on Brixton‘s awesome Kazumi label was a real treat. Its long repertoire also features releases by Headroom, Invexis, Andreas Kremer, Robert Natus and Yamaoka, just to name a few.

The track itself is an unusual introduction to the release but I haven’t heard it in years and sort of stumbled on it so I’m sharing it here. Its a hard loopy banger based around a sample from an old Jeff Mills record. About 5 minutes into it the track takes a small departure from its driving, loopy vibe and breaks the beat down before getting back to work.

I haven’t seen any sites which sell digitized versions of this release (or other Kazumi releases for that matter), but a few vinyl copies should be in circulation; in fact, there’s one on eBay (UK) at the moment. But if you just want to listen, here you go:

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Exclusive: Blasted

By Alek Biotic

blastedIts time for another exclusive! Blasted is a hard track with all of the ingredients I like in my techno.  Groovy kicks, crispy hats, dark metalic samples and vocal stabs.  If you remember the track Dirty Yellow (covered here a few weeks ago) the shuffled hi-hat should sound familiar, very likely since its was sampled right from it! Blasted also has a nice breakdown mid-way through the track which features the Enigma effect from the awesome Waves collection.

The cover image is a result of some experimenting with Photoshop back in 1998. It seems appropriate.

Download: Blasted (mp3)

Download: Blasted (wav)

Handcuffs and Raspberries

By Montaz

Not sure what I can say about this one. Its a weird, barely finished concoction from ’03. Aside from mangled beats it also features a few samples from John Cage’s Prepared Piano. The plan was to put those to better use at some point, but that still hasn’t happened.

If the title makes no sense to you, that makes two of us. Otherwise, fill me in. Either way, I hope you enjoy.

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Download: Handcuffs and Raspberries (mp3)

Barrel Bottom

By Alek Biotic

barrelBottom

Barrel Bottom is a fun track that took a while to get to sound right, and I’m still not totally happy with the final cut. However, the groovy beat and catchy synth riff earned it a spot on an Alek Biotic record released on the French ExtraBall label and featuring three other tracks including the title track: Idiom. (See cover on left).

idiom

The voice sample used in Barrel Bottom is by Alex Peace and was pulled off a Subliminal release by CZR & ITO titled Bringin’ The Funk. Chicago based producer and DJ,  CZR is probably my favorite house producer and while I haven’t kept up with his recent releases I used to buy his vinyl without even listening to it first, knowing that the production and grooves would always stand out above the rest.

Samples from Alex Peace’s accappella on Bringin’ The Funk record also ended up in a few Biotic tracks. I’ll try to point them out as we go forward.

Back to Barrel Bottom. Again, no download links since this record is available for sale, for example here.

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Dirty Yellow

By Alek Biotic

R-296099-1124632517Dirty Yellow was released on the German imprint PlanetNatus in 2004.  The label, run by Robert Natus features a collection of “Favorite Tools” records, with this track appearing on the first such release along with tracks by Bjorn Bommersheim, DJ Mahatma as well as Robert himself.  A well-rounded hard techno release, Favorite Tools is available for purchase on iTunes and elsewhere.  I’d bet that if you tried a little harder, you might even find yourself a vinyl copy. (Its very likely that I gave away all of mine.)

Anyway… the track has a nice, crispy groove driven by the shuffled hi-hats and rolling bassline.  It features some vocal samples mangled into a new phrase which I tried to understand and struggled until my girl said that it sounds like “Dirty Yellow”.  So that became the title.

The track also features a nice break around the midpoint which follows the bass theme more directly and hints at the inspiration for the track which is (loosely) a traditional Eastern European beat.

Say What?
It appears that this track has been re-released just last month (!) on a compilation titled: Tretmuehle Pres. Connected Vol. 1 – Real Techno Guide, which also features tracks by some of my favorite techno artists, including John Acquaviva, Lars Klein, Redhead, WJ Nenze, Neil Landstrum, Basic Implant (Sven Dedek & Alex Bau), Dave The Drummer, Henry Cullen and others. Pretty ridiculous collection. I’m thrilled to be included in that mix.

No downloads here, but you can listen to Dirty Yellow right now:

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