Pär Grindvik – Isle Of Real

Pär Grindvik - Isle Of Real

After nearly 14 years of producing music, the native Swedish musician and label owner Pär Grindvik has released his debut album on his own Stockholm LTD imprint. His appearances on labels such as Drumcode, Truesoul and Spectral Sound have shown his ability to deliver groundbreaking techno, but for me, it was mostly Grindvik’s collaboration with Dustin Zahn for the remix of Truncate’s “Mira Mar” that made me lose myself on an outdoor rave in Cologne a few months ago. Therefore, it was a big honor for me to get the opportunity to review his new album “Isle Of Real”.

The most interesting part of this album is definitely the variety it offers. Grindvik has left behind his usual style of heavyweight techno and created beautiful and melancholic soundscapes instead. As the now in Berlin based producer pointed out himself, the album is inspired by “spaces once inhabited, long since abandoned and reclaimed by the creep of nature”. For those that crave some new DJ material to devastate dancefloors, you won’t be disappointed.

Never Give In:

As I mentioned, Grindvik shows his capability of producing spherical electronica pieces with serious potential to dream away. The album also starts out this way with “Never Give In”. It’s a drumless piece of music, which builds on a floating pad sound. Although it’s one of the lightest tracks on the album, it still sets the tone with an ambient feel for the overall dark vibe of the LP.

Headland:

The second track “Headland” combines devastating drums with hypnotic synth patterns. The most interesting part of the track is the unique bassline that brings a lot of momentum to the track. It kinda reminds me of the sound of a boomerang that cuts through the air. A swingy layer on top emphasizes this feeling. A xylophone-esque synth-lead, which seems to blend in when it wants to, adds the final vitality to the track.

The Marlton:

“The Marlton” offers a groovy combination of reverbed bass and white noise cuts from the beginning. An arpeggiated synth pattern and a creeping saw lead into playful brass chords, which form the main theme of the track. A whipping hi-hat pushes the track forward until it reaches its climax with an additional pad. Overall, it’s an unique piece of techno that will captivate you with its unconventional weirdness.

Shine:

For “Shine”, Grindvik has experimented with drum patterns as to create a liquid dum & bass loop, which fades into warm pad layers. A fast playing top melody rounds off this little excursion into foreign soundscapes.

Isle Of Real:

With “Isle Of Real” we are getting to my personal favorite of the album. Grindvik has teamed up with the Swedish synth-noir master Roll the Dice to create a moody piece of melancholy. You can definitely hear the Berlin influence as it amounts to a modern tribute to David Bowie’s soundtrack for “Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo”. Personally, I imagined a morning walk home from a mystic night in Berghain.

Limits Of Real:

As I mentioned earlier, Grindvik demonstrates his capability of producing music in an album context rather than just collecting tracks. This seems to reflect in the relationship between “Limits Of Real” and the previous “Isle Of Real”. While “Isle Of Real” shows the ambient influence on the LP, “Limits of Real” finds its way back into functional club techno.

Holy Nothing:

“Holy Nothing” can be classified as another banging techno anthem that captivates you through different sound characteristics. Instead of using mesmerizing arps, Grindvik uses metallic techno stabs.

Shelter:

After two serious techno anthems, the Swedish musician gets back to deep ambient music. “Shelter” uses a relaxing pad that contains a bouncy drum loop, consisting of a dull kick drum and some shakers. Suitable for a night drive on a highway or a train ride while you enjoy the landscapes that are passing by!

Tide Us Apart:

“Tide Us Apart” is by far the most interesting piece of the LP. The track uses arped drop sounds, floating pads with a cello-esque sound characteristic and likely field recorded percussion elements. One minute and 35 seconds to zone out completely.

Changes:

For the outro of the album, Grindvik has chosen another functional techno track. A shuffling hi-hat and a peaking synth deliver a constant groove and a dark warehouse feel. Certainly finishing the LP with a bang!

“Isle Of Real” is out now on Stockholm LTD. The album can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp.

Michael Klein – Metals EP

Michael Klein – Metals EP

Second State kicks off 2016 with a diverse release by Berlin based producer Michael Klein. The new year started more than satisfying for Klein with a Boiler Room debut and now he has released his new “Metals EP” on Pan-Pot’s imprint. The release delivers four originals that reflect Klein’s wide range of production and a groovy remix by Fachwerk’s Roman Lindau.

The EP starts with “Silver”, a track that has a mood that’s hard to define. The drum sounds are definitely characteristic for Klein’s productions. A dull kick drum, a snare that sounds more like someone missed the drum, but struck the wooden floor underneath and some finely sliced hats, which create a subtle, but forward groove. The track’s lead stab seems to have similar origins as the kickdrum and the wooden snare, dry and dull yet uplifting somehow.

“Opaque” seems to be the pendant to “Drawing”, the title track of Klein’s previous Second State release. It comes in a more stripped down shape. A pounding kickdrum, shuffled hi-hats, a clap and some playful metallic chord-stabs carrying through the whole track. Nothing more is needed to create minimalistic dancefloor euphoria.

With the third track of the EP, “Outer Shell”, Klein keeps the mood deep and melancholic. A percussive bassline sets the groove and the drum elements blend into a shaky pattern, while a deep transposed chime plays a meditative melody. A rough saw wave crawls throughout the track and binds the elements together.

“Dura” is a downtempo electronica piece which features aGhost. A four to the floor kick drum and a subby bassline form the base of the track, while a dirty shaker adds groove to the loop. A little drop sound and some well-placed, perfectly chopped vocals create a dreamy melody that has the potential to take you on a trippy journey.

A remix of “Dura” by the German producer Roman Lindau rounds up the EP. His interpretation takes the track to a whole new level as Lindau uses the vocals to create an almost funky groove. The distorted bassline and the snappy clap are a perfect match. The Second State label bosses describe the track as exceedingly groovy and I certainly agree with them.

Michael Klein‘s “Metals EP” is out now on Second State Audio.

Guy Mantuzur & Sahar Z – Small Heart Attack (Agents Of Time Reinterpretation)


We’re a bit late on this one, but this track really deserves all the attention it can get. Late last year Guy Mantzur & Sahar Z released their critically acclaimed ‘Time’ Album on Guy J’s Lost & Found label (which is so underrated, by the way!). Now we see a remix interpretation EP with some of the best of the best from the album, including ‘Small Heart Attack’ taken on by Agents of Time, consisting of the incredibly talented Italian trio Andrea Di Ceglie, Fedele Ladisa and Luigi Tutolo. Agents of Time is really on the verge of blowing up and its remixes and originals like this one that solidify their place in the scene. The reinterpretation blends strong electronic, techno, and ambient influences into a stunningly polished piece with brooding sounds, on point vocals, and beautiful synthwork reminiscent of Mind Against.

The Agents of Time Reinterpretation of ‘Small Heart Attack’ is out now on Lost & Found.

Bob Moses – Days Gone By LP

We are huge fans of Brooklyn based Bob Moses, and after seeing them in Boston back in May, we knew we’d be grabbing a copy of their 10 track album again released on Domino Records. ‘Days Gone By’ is now out in full, after a stream of singles released in the past few days like ‘Tearing Me Up,’ ‘Nothing At All,’ and ‘Too Much Is Never Enough.’ We really loved ‘Tearing Me Up,’ but we really want to highlight the new tracks ‘Like It or Not’ and the title track ‘Days Gone By.’
It’s pretty clear that ‘Like It or Not’ had to open the LP. It’s sound is what epitomizes Bob Moses and made us fell in love the first time we heard any of their music. The track is flawlessly produced and you can really hear each kick, pluck, and clap. The soulful vocals are laid down so smoothly over the crisp percussion.

We also loved ‘Days Gone By.’ We are happy they saved it for the full release. ‘Days Gone By’ showcases the amazing lyrical prowess of Bob Moses and tells a fantastic story. We all got such a sense of longing after listening to it.

Be sure to check out ‘Talk,’ ‘Tearing Me Up,’ and ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’ below.

‘Days Gone By’ is out now!

HVOB – Tender Skin / The Anxiety to Please (Remixes) EP

You may recall that earlier in April of this year the Austrian duo of Anna Müller and Paul Wallner, known as HVOB, released their second full length album ‘Trialog’ on Stil Vor Talent. If you’re not familiar with ‘Trialog,’ we encourage you to take the hour to listen to it in full.

Since then, HVOB has released ‘Clap Eyes’ off the album as a stand alone single. Now two more tracks are out ‘Tender Skin’ and ‘The Anxiety to Please’ alongside killer remixes from DJ Tennis and Scuba. We first came across the DJ Tennis remix of ‘Tender Skin’ in his September episode of Beats in Space (which, by the way, also features some of his forthcoming material on Life and Death). The bassline in this remix is stunning and provides a perfect backdrop for the dark and moody vocals. Scuba’s remix of ‘The Anxiety to Please’ takes a softer approach but again does a fantastic highlighting the vocals. Check out both remixes and the originals below.

Tender Skin / The Anxiety to Please (Remixes) EP is out now! Grab your copy over at Beatport today.

Kuedo – Assertion Of A Surrounding Presence


The ever-brilliant Jamie Teasdale is back after something of a hiatus, with a rather gorgeous and excitingly diverse EP on his shiny new Knives imprint. Now I’m no diehard Kuedo fan, but for me this release exemplifies a very compelling evolution in Teasdale’s aesthetic, one that we’ve been seeing for quite some time now. If Severant was a languid swim, Assertion is a grand ascent. The leftfield-Trap-and-footwork-meets-conservative-IDM context of Severant is largely absent, the emphasis receding from the beat of the drum and bringing Teasdale’s knack for texture and timbre to the forefront.

Which is not to say the man has moved entirely away from machine gun hi-hats and deep kickdrums entirely – Eyeless Angel Intervention is a lesson in otherwordly dancefloor aggression.

But what this EP really showcases is the development of some of the more ambient strains that we began to hear in Teasdale’s later work as part of Vex’d. From the intimate Ghost In The Shell percussion of Case Type Classification to the triumphant barrage of noise in the closing track, Cellular Perimeter, this record is all about layered, mile-wide soundscapes.

Grab this EP at Kuedo’s bandcamp (or any of a panoply of other music retailers).

WhoMadeWho – There’s a Way (Remixes)

We first discovered the Danish trio WhoMadeWho when Maceo Plex put out his remix of their track ‘Heads Above’ last summer. More recently, the group released their six track ‘Ember’ EP in May of this year, which made waves in the scene. Now, remixes are slowly trickling out on Get Physical. Up for this package for ‘There’s a Way’ are three strong contenders offered by andhim, newcomers T.M.A., and Jazzuelle.

Up first is the offering from German duo andhim. Their take chops up the impressive vocal with a clap like percussion and rhythm. The track is perfect for a midday outdoor set and unsurprisingly fills the whole area.

No stranger to Get Physical, South African producer Jazzuelle was a great choice for remixer. Jazzuelle maintains the beauty of the nearly untouched vocal with a groove focused bassline. This is clearly the danciest one out of the package.

Closing things out is something fresh and lively from the Berlin based trio T.M.A. They inject a sound with impressive live instrumentation into the track. Well produced, their version is something different and we are curious to hear what you think.

‘There’s A Way’ remixes are out NOW on Get Physical!