Combining the eloquence of classical instrumentation together with a passion for contemporary electronic music Tim Engelhardt is the latest in line to offer an interpretation from Poker Flat’s indispensable back catalogue, celebrating twenty years in existence. Despite being recorded back in 2007 this remix adds fresh life to Ane Trolle’s timeless vocals as they drift effortlessly across a sea of poignant yet life affirming sounds which are as evidently 2021 as they are enduring.
Dance Music is as much a celebration of rhythm as it is about a host of other definitions from independence of thought and expression to striving for electronic innovation and the fulfilment of history. The unwelcome yet potentially freeing aspect of not having dancefloors to define what you do always was going to ask questions in terms of artistic possibility, while not being tied to arrangements most suited to that particular pleasure. Steve Bug’s latest album criss-crosses styles, discarding the restriction of genre boundaries, resulting in a set of music which dances, teases and plays with sound. From the twisted techno of the opening Ludic Loops to the proceeding electro flair of A Conscious Machine to the warmer, deeper pulse of The Clock Is Ticking the album is very much about exploration – hence the choice of title at a guess. Subsequently, Hijacked Minds has the feel of early eighties electronica while The Awakening pulses with soulful introspection. The chime of melody inspires the final number Upon Mountains containing its message of hope for the future, a prayer free from restriction.
Bassline. Syncopation. Funk. Are three word which readily fit the description of Argy & Ernest & Frank’s remix of Alex Niggemann’s exquisite gem from last year. The sparkle of captivating keys remains intact as does the exhilarating sense of melody they provide but it’s the unadulterated brute force supplied by the drums and bass that really drive this. Breathless.
The key to this production is tension. As layers of sound are introduced so does the pressure increase. And yet you can feel an almost improvised Jazziness at play here too with piano strikes contrasted by a chorus of heavenly voices. The drums are typically smouldering while sound effects and treatments pick out spaces creating further dialogue, all in all this is an excellent piece of music. Then, Satellite delivers a message in words that captivate and inform as taught beats and keys punctuate the intention in four-four time, feeling like contemporary Acid could and should.
A stunning piece of electronic music from Tim Engelhardt. First Contact, is soulfully resonate, forward-thinking capturing the essence of an imagined reality with its smouldering drums, cutting synthesizers plus probing bass. Creating a sublime atmosphere in the process while punching its weight in gold, this resolute production will serve both the dancefloor and your heart. Just to highlight that perspective a Beatless Tool proves the point with blazing keys setting the world alight. Second original, Light The Fire then carves out deeper grooves with more thought-provoking sights and sounds feeling just perfect.
It’s almost all in the way the bassline grooves and moves you in inevitable ways when something smoulders as much as this does. Driven by punchy drums the unfolding sensation of drama soon gathers pace with the addition of grainy synthesisers capturing the ever evolving sense of adventure. Apart from occasional vocal touches it’s pretty much all down to the addictive rhythms, and they are certainly irresistible. Francesca Lombardo then adds sparkle into the remix with punctuating keys bouncing off Acid attitude and effervescent melodies.
If you feel that music still has the power to excite, educate and define life then Francesca Lombardo’s wonderfully compelling Flumen is for you. An exciting piece of music that touches the soul, as much it may damage the dancefloor, while washing the stereo in the mood of anticipation. Its futuristic fusion of electronic sounds plays fast and loose with tantalising rhythms, alongside the melodic punch of humanity as the final moments of heavily treated guitar-like plucks infuse a timely, intense refrain. Psycho, then flips the coin to reveal energetic, twisted Techno beats, bass and keys all flying high.
Does twenty years feel like a long time to you? Perhaps not if you’ve reached a certain vintage, but in the end it’s all about the music and how it survives exposure to the ticking clock. Celebrating that timespan then is a series of remixes with this from Tim Engelhardt beginning the sequence in two parts. Saluting, Keep On and featuring the unmistakable time honoured voice of one Robert Owens, Remix A highlights all of the vocal goodness on offer, alongside its timely message, over a bed of electronically charged rhythms feeling that bit loser with an addictive, shuffling funkiness very much in evidence. Remix B injects a little extra energy rearranging the song over brisker drums and freshly squeezed sounds. Although, either way this is a classic moment to add the labels already robust canon.
Frank Beckers alias delivers music that should have you jumping in the aisles as its startling succession of fiery drums and hot-wired electricity does pure damage to the senses. The title track unfolds with layers of dangerous keys alongside a probing urgency that resolves somewhat upon the arrival of tripped out vocal, but not before creative juices flow in excess. Clocking in at almost nine minutes of pure solution this has anthemic stamped all over it. Next, Rotary sequences a series of melodic notation that is all at once addictive and yet soulfully satisfying. What more is there?
A stunning production of music from relative newcomer Thales Boutroumlis. Beginning with the title track, Perpetual which positively simmers with the sort of energy to tempt you into oblivion this release for Poker Flat hits all the right notes reaching for hints of melody and proportion, while actively exploring an array of electronic sensory delight. Capturing the imagination is key here as the sounds create a wealth of images in the mind but these are never far from the drums that fuel movement either. The equally impressive, Aether follows this time with tougher basslines igniting the airwaves while resolutely brisk drums take care of the rest amid the pulses of Acid. Excellence.