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Efdemin, "Efdemin"

Rubbernecking forum jockeys and slobbering music reviewers alike have all but hailed this record as all but the Second Coming of Techno, with many hastily adding it to their "Best of 2007" lists. For all of its bandwagon hype and post-Detroit sleekness, this self-titled full-length comes off remarkably good but not astonishingly great.

 

Dial

Dispensed in both CD and double LP formats, Phillip Sollman's first album as Efdemin makes frequent, almost casual references to early naughties Force Tracks tech-house as often as more recent Kompakt electronic dance music.  Working capably within a manifestly derivative style, Sollman eagerly inches his way towards grand peaks and windswept valleys on "Lohn & Brot." Tracks like "Back To School" are meant to lift the spirits on the dancefloor, utilizing emotive layered sounds replete with carefully crafted hooks.  It is abundantly clear how much Sollman adores melody; when trying his hand at asceticism, as with the bleak "Stately, Yes," he can hardly resist nearly four minutes in to let rays of sparkling light burst through.  The slowing metamorphosing "Bergwein" adds some of that old school Artificial Intelligence warmth into the mix, while "April Fools" disrupts its own sense of calm with pinprick percussion, militantly rigid stabs, and camera shutter snares.

Founded by a trio of well-regarded producers, Dial rightfully earns considerable respect from anyone following minimal techno and house.  Since 2000, the label has output a fair number of memorable releases on vinyl and compact disc, among these one of my favorite albums of the last few years: Pantha Du Prince's superlative Diamond Daze.  Fans of that record, his recent follow-up, and the rest of Dial's roster will assuredly find plenty to like in this project, as will those who still romanticize tech-house’s past.  Those hoping for a progression worthy of the attention presently being paid to this album, however, will likely find that it's hardly the brilliant masterpiece it's been previously been chalked up as.

 

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Mark Gardener

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Review of the Day

COCK ESP, "THE PRIDE OF NORTH AMERICAN NOISE"
Cock ESP are very silly. The core duo of Emil Hagstrom and Matt Bacon have earned themselves some small reknown by donning fancy dress and delivering very short random noise sets which usually end in some kind of violent chaos. After thrilling to the sound of Cuban screamer Elyse Perez shrieking whilst cracking the bald skulls of drunken beach bums with a gnarled stick of driftwood, they asked her to join them. The theme of this album appears to be the comedy of pain, as most tracks sport corrupted cheesy song titles with one word obliterated by the word 'pain'. During the twenty minutes of quick choking noise bursts there is also a little violin, although you'd hardly know it, and Flying Luttenbacher Weasal Walter blows some honking clarinet blasts over six lucky maelstroms. If anyone out there is still mad enough to be a V/Vm completist then you're going to need this, as the Edgely masher does a mix up on the longest track, and brings his own saxalicious stamp of hacked pompous poptone plunder to the din of the screaming Cock. Rushing through 18 splurges of ridiculous riot noise, Cock ESP kick up a racket that never sticks around long enough to irritate and after the first few tracks shows the kind of irreverent illogic that only a man in a donkey suit could really deliver. Without the live show shenanigens, the Cock ESP experience is of course incomplete, but there is a lovely collection of on stage snapshots on the insert to help your earmagination along. If that's just not enough they'll be touring the US and Europe early next year. There are still more pictures and on the Cock ESP website where you can also find three full short bursts of noise from this release and a selection from their many other spewings. There they also display their various accolades with pride having been described as idiot noise, performance-noise wackos and a bunch of sad twats.

 

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