The Oliverwho Factory “Past, Present & Future” Madd Chaise Inc
Ever since I came across their releases a while ago, I’m a fan of this elusive couple from Detroit. Were their previous tracks often weird and wild, heaping ideas on top of each other that could supply other current house (and techno) producers with a year’s worth of material, this EP is rather smooth, even if some of their earlier tracks already showed their skills in that area. Subjective as it may be, on these tracks they manage to utilize elements that usually put me off house records right away: nujazzy offbeat rhythms, afro percussion, synth noodlings, this harmony singing that Blaze once brought into the scene (but it certainly wasn’t their fault, bless). In short, I have a whole range of unpleasant associations I normally connect to this certain kind of “spiritual” house that was predominantly championed in the New York scene of former years. That kind of house that wants to lift you up with its soulfulness, when it actually drags you down with weak songs, stereotypical arrangements and deepness by numbers. It speaks a lot for Oliverwho Factory that they take exactly these ingredients and make them shine in a different light, whilst maintaining their own way of establishing their signature rough moods and original details. Judging from the variety between house, techno and beyond they have covered so far, they are definitely on the surprising side of club music, and I trust them to stay there.
Anthony Shakir “Frictionalisms 1994 – 2009” Rush Hour
Where other Detroit originators struggled to keep up their standards for whatever reason as time passed by, Anthony Shakir never failed to deliver releases full of stunning ideas and sounds, rhythmic complexities and style-bending adventurousness. Nevertheless a lot of his output seemed to fly underneath the radar and so a bigger spotlight was long overdue. And like with Daniel Wang before, Rush Hour did a spectacular job in switching it on. There are many more gems to explore in Shakir’s back catalogue, but I can’t imagine a better place to start from than this retrospective (even if admittedly there is no other available anyway). I bet a lot of people will discover blueprints for other success stories in house and techno while hearing this, and it sure does no harm to point in the direction they’re coming from, and lick the funky emotions in the process.
nsi. “eitherway” non standard productions
Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer surely have enough talent and vision to get away with borrowing from Haruomi Hosono for their brand name. With this EP they pick up where “Squelch” left, again eliciting an interesting plethora of sounds and rhythms from their presumably vast supply of machines, and arranging them like only those can do who invest a lot of thought and experience in what they do. Preset-free experimentalism with production values that shame most laptops into implosion, and truly in a league of its own. I really wouldn’t mind more current electronic music daring to take chances the way this music does, but I also absolutely don’t mind listening further into their space while waiting for that to happen. Non standard productions indeed.