Saturday, July 26, 2008
ROCK DAT SHIT
ALBUM`````BOGGY BYTES VOL. 3
GENRE`````ELECTRO, TECH-HOUSE, DUB, MINIMAL, EXPERIMENTAL, FUSION
One fearless mix. Top-notch production. New club music. Yeah!
GREAT AND DETAILED ALBUM REVIEW FROM IGLOO MAGAZINE:
Every generation gets the electric guitar it deserves -- the device that a million kids run out and buy and use to make music that drives their elders to ranting about "old school" this and "back in the day" that. So now we have new rave and mashups and DJ mixes that don't require the ability to beatmatch, and we have Ableton Live to thank.
Take Modeselektor's new mix CD Boogy Bytes Vol. 03 for Bpitch Control. I can't say for certain the German producer-duo used Live to sequence all the mixes, but it sounds like they did. Really, it doesn't matter how they made this; they made it to sound like right now. This mix is a touchstone for today's left-of-center dance culture. Why? It's all about the math. Math Problem #1. The album features 27 tracks in just over 65 minutes. Divide. That's one track every 2.407 minutes. But many tracks come in at under a minute, serving as bookends for the standout songs. Digital tools make such breathless mixing possible. But a new problem arises because some tracks even feature multiple songs. Math Problem #2. Track 11 contains 4 songs (Errorsmith's "Free For All," Robag Wruhme's "Papp-Tonikk," Female's "Cally 2," and Krause Duo's "Tigerbett"). Another division problem? No, this is a mashup, using German magic to turn 4 into 1. I know everybody says mashups are no longer cool, but this isn't Britney Spears mixed with Cannibal Corpse. It's a creative layering of some lesser-known electronic music to create something wholly original, and something that blends seamlessly with the rest of the mix. Thus digital mixing allows DJs to transform their material, making new music that is uniquely theirs. Math Problem #3. This is the complex interplay of algorithms that Modeselektor use to create beautiful ripples of reverb and waves of delay and tsunamis of other effects, sometimes as transitions between tracks and sometimes within the tracks themselves. Although I wish Modeselektor did not rely so much on massive filter sweeps in their mixes, how else are you going to go from IDM to hip-hop to techno? It's a problem.
In the end, I worry that with the rise of digital tools like Ableton Live, producers will start to forget how to take chances that are not pre-programmed. After all, there is a plugin for Live that has a knob called Chance. But these tools also give DJs an enormous amount of freedom. As they always have, most DJs will continue to make terrible choices, and we will be constantly reminded that indeed freedom isn't free. But then something like Boogy Bytes Vol. 03 will come along and remind us why we liked dance music in the first place.