Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Diskjokke is electronic disco delight

June 22, 2010

I had never heard of Diskjokke before I was handed a copy of his 2010 release En Fin Tid, which drops today. Doing a little bit of Internet searching, I found that Joachim Dyrdahl (the man behind Diskjokke) has put out remixes and is planning to release remixes for some relevant names (Crystal Castles, Bloc Party, the xx, etc.). Remixes are some of my favorite things that electronic artists do, but I feel that sometimes content and quality control of solo albums creates a product that is a bit less accessible.

With En Fin Tid, I was afraid of getting such an album with the 9-minute-long opener “reset and begin.” I like my electronic music to be dancy, and this track is more ambient.  It’s a gentle introduction to an hour-long groovefest, though.  Diskjokke’s buildups are incredibly tight, and I don’t think I can compare his style to anything else out right now. That’s an incredibly good thing in today’s oversaturated electronic market. On “Big Flash,” a conga-sounding drum loop rides along with wobbly synths, giving the tune a jungle theme while still being very electronic. On “1987,” the listener gets bass grooves reminiscent of 80’s pop that are chopped up and manipulated.

I would say that En Fin Tid is an interesting release for this year. At first listen, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. But like all good electronic albums, it’s got depth that allows one to listen to it repeatedly.  The tracks slide in and out of each other while all being unique. Diskjokke has created a pretty cohesive album. Let’s see if he will give us more releases like this in the coming years.

Warp Records keeps it coming, Polyfolk Dance EP sure to please

March 31, 2009

Scotland born and hip-hop oriented, Hudson Mohawke is an interesting listen. His newest release Polyfolk Dance EP could be labeled as electronic, dance, and experimental hip hop. It’s a little EP that’s short, but packed full of complicated, grimey beats. Hudson Mohawke immediately sounds that he’s coming from the same vein as Flying Lotus. This makes sense, as they are both backed by Warp Records, which seems to be focusing on experimental hip hop instrumental producers and has signed some competent people.

Hudson Mohawke’s beats are incredibly diverse, and are so thick that at times it’s hard to keep track of what exactly is going on. Imagine somebody putting a bunch of different items in a blender, setting it on “high,” and walking away from it.  But it’s this variation of flavor that makes Hudson Mohawke’s beats have an incredible amount of lasting appeal.  Most tracks are hip-hop samples layered upon  electronic beats; that allows for a one-trick pony with a lot of lasting appeal. Guitar riffs and horn pieces blaze above heavy drums on “Overnight,” while beats play with synths on “Velvet Peel.”

Hudson Mohawke is a new blood on Warp Records that has enough skill to be able to be around as long as there’s a beat machine. The PolyFolk Dance EP is only a small taste of what an LP could be and do with Hudson Mohawke as the pilot.

Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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