Various Artists - Referenzkalibrierungsorgasmusmagnettonbandkassettentechno [Raketenbasis Haberlandstrasse 005 Promo]
Tape culture is great and did quite a lot for the electronic music movement - everyone grown up while listening to underground music throughout the 80s and 90s will agree on that, especially when it comes to the medium of choice for spreading DJ mixes in the pre-internet era. So it's pretty nice to see that tape releases are more commonly put out in the electronic music underground of today again, with labels like Raketenbasis Haberlandstrasse kinda exclusively focusing on cassette tapes as their medium of choice. With the latest addition to their catalogue, the 22 track compilation album unpronounciably and immemoriziably named "Referenzkalibrierungsorgasmusmagnettonbandkassettentechno", we see the label releasing a massive collection of mostly super dry, banging and tool'ish Techno tunes crafted in the - probably very basic and rotten - studio vaults of underground creatures like Fagottmädchen, Bidol Cath, Rgyeue DF, Genoveva DMS, David Sardelle, Ausgewanderte Energetik and more which are likely to be closely connected to the Hardcore-, Breakcore-, Acid- and Rhythm Industrial-scenes of Germany due to their raw and uncompromisingly functional approach. And although quirky track titles like "Sparprogramm1" ,"Pauschalrespekt" or "Elbaale Verheddern Sich In Plastiktüten" actually might be a reflection of a weird sense of humour the music itself is the total opposite of being funny as all tunes show off an intransigent "no bullshit"- / "no prisoners are taken"-attitude well matching with the merciless pounding drums found in illegal bunker raves or spiralling teknivals running for weeks. If you're a regular at events like these or circling around areas influenced by AcidTechno squatters or other well-suspicious creatures of the night you're defo recommended to check this one out - if your home, car or tank stereo tape deck is still working right.
It's been like seven years since the Atlanta-born and now Berlin-based producer Stewart Walker catered his last longplay effort named "Concentricty" on his very own label Persona Records in 2007, known as one of the main imprints that shaped the sound of US-rooted MinimalTechno for quite a few years. Very few single releases followed but it seemed like the creative river had run dry or Mr. Walker had turned his head into something totally different than providing the soundtrack for a new generation of ketamine-induced Berlin ravers. But no matter what finally caused this long hiatus, Stewart Walker is back with a new album and some things have changed for sure. Instead of shelling out the next 4/4 drum based dancefloor assault his approach to production and textures turned towards more organic structures, broken, mostly Electronica-infused beats and - as explained in the video above - the use of real, though recorded and modified, hand-played instruments sent through tricky effect chains as sound source instead of focusing on a straight DAW environment which essentially means being stuck to a given, sterile CPU that neither allows off-kilter FX nor the mystical, sometimes even misty vibe that is to be found in kinda quirky, underwater tunes like "Candycoated" with its washed out echoes fraying all over the place.
This whole new approach to production is well reflecting all throughout the new longplay piece named "Ivory Tower Broadcast" released via the Swiss label Mundo Recordings and surely is about to puzzle the main part of his former fanbase - especially when it comes to the twanging romanticism of "Something I Can't Remember" or the deep, intimate, almost shoegazing vibe of "Rose Machine" - but, whilst making the connection to the albums title which implies a change of perspective, like watching the (electronic music) scenery from a distant, more faraway point, might be seen as an album in which two different musical journeys - the sterile electronic sound and the organic, handmade, down to earth approach of real drums, guitars etc. - have come full cycle now with weighing in the best from both sides as, although many might not know, Stewart Walker has roots in the second mentioned world that go back to pre-1993 when he began to assemble electronic studio equipment. Time will tell if the fans of his former, more dancefloor focused musings are able to cope with the musical challenge they're confronted with here but we're sure that the "Ivory Tower Broadcast" will be picked up by many aerials based in territories ruled by Indietronics or even avant garde PostRock or Shoegaze for a reason.
[baze.djunkiii / www.nitestylez.de / #scrt_brln]
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