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Beat Report

Electronic Music Reviews

Alveol — Glitter Path
Released by Mule Electronic, December 2010
DJ Sprinkles’ Midtown 120 Blues has been my go-to house record since its 2009 release, a shining example of that warm deep house sound executed with confidence, melody, and a subtle hand. Sweden's Alveol is likewise dialed into this lethal brew, Glitter Path EP is much lauded by Terre Thaemlitz, Mr. DJ Sprinkles himself. Although seated on the B-side, the record truly begins with the Kassem Mosse “Glitter Path” rework, this version a sparkling, aquatic deep house number raging like the most lavish waterfall.

The machinations of hollowed, metallic drums serve as the underpainting of this idyllic scene, while Alveol's original “Glitter Path” is subdued and spare. “Mariposa” flaunts a lush, chilled elegance that’d do well with many a Dial Records fan. Stunning from the outset, these three tracks are sweetly reminiscent of Murmur, Joseph Auer, and John Roberts at their finest. Crucial!

Jacques Greene - The Look EP
Released by LuckyMe Records, December 2010
Montreal-based Jacques Greene secured a pretty lofty spot in my heart with “(Baby I Don't Know) What You Want” on last year’s Night Slugs Allstars, a collection of UK funky and house numbers presently blowing up dance floors at the Night Slugs club nights across the pond.

While there’s little known of the elusive young producer, what we do know is he’s one to watch, and one of the few North American producers pushing the limits of the sound that's so prevalent on UK soil. The Look EP is the labor of the young producer’s love affair with techno, R&B, ukf and Chicago house, and there’s an unabashed, energetic love of life that flows from the core here, harnessed via Greene’s polished production into four hefty dance floor slayers that Joy Orbison or Deadboy are no doubt aching to top. Highest praise, certainly.

Redshape — Future Shock EP
Released by Delsin, December 2010
Let’s set the scene: Nightfall. A top-secret research station on the outskirts of some deserted, snow-covered expanse, the crimson lights of radio towers blinking dimly around the perimeter. Inside the compound sits a man in a red mask, seemingly holding down the fort before a vast panel of knobs, screens, and buttons. Wait a second — I see a Moog! The man is Sebastian Kramer, and what you don’t know is he’s really having a bit of fun in that there power chair, summoning the dark magic that is Future Shock, the fifth release on Delsin Records.

This is classic Redshape fare, and thank f**k for that. “Kung Fu” is a more novel spot on the EP, where the ribbons of degraded, 70s film flutes (think Enter The Dragon) tie smartly into that dense and plodding drum programming we’ve come to know and love — a formula that, at the very least, can be always relied on to get one dancing. “Manhattan” cools it down to a Basic Channel kind of tempo, keeping it spacey all the while.

Paul Frick feat. Emika — “I Mean” (Single)
Released by Doppelschall, January 2011
While it's easy to get lost in the haystack of quality electronic music coming out of Germany right now, a clever pairing is far harder to miss. Enter Paul Frick, one-third of Berlin-based techno fixture Brandt Brauer Frick, and Emika, the Bristol/London-based songstress whose ethereal, dulcet tones have featured on a number of dub/techno collaborations of note.

Given these releases have been on more of the broody end of the spectrum (check the Scientist and Scuba remixes if you haven't), the pop sensibility of “I Mean” shines all the more brightly. It's Emika's elegant vocal stylings that serve as the bread and butter here. Paul Frick's tech house fades to the background a bit, leaving the limelight to Akufen and Dollkraut's respective remixes. While the single version is a shuffling, lighthearted dub-tech house number, Marc Leclair steers things into a more soulful, East Coast vibe on the Akufen remix, and Dollkraut's reinterpretation is a whimsical indie-electro pop nugget that's got me digging out all my dust-covered Broadcast and Nancy Sinatra records.