Dance Tracks of the Week: Paul Woolford Takes Disclosure to Piano-House Heaven
Plus: Dopplereffekt return, Pachanga Boys remix Jagwar Ma, Yves De Mey goes CD-only, and Y-3 gives away tracks from Larry Heard, Maurice Fulton, and Rub-N-Tug
Disclosure, “Help Me Lose My Mind (Paul Woolford Remix)” (PMR/Island)
So far, the remixes inspired by Disclosure’s Settle have generally avoided anything approaching a straight-ahead dance floor (save, perhaps, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ trim, kinetic “F For You” remix). Flume’s “You & Me” re-do flopped around like a carnival seal on a cocktail of nitrous and helium; Hudson Mohawke’s “White Noise” update tangled bit-crushed synths with AlunaGeorge’s peppy, sped-up vocals in a way that seemed almost willfully sloppy (or at least gangly, like a teen in mid-growth spurt who hasn’t quite figured out his new center of gravity). So it’s something of a surprise that the latest remix, of “Help Me Lose My Mind,” comes from Paul Woolford, who sets aside the turbulence of his Special Request work for easygoing piano house. Fortunately, he doesn’t keep it too clean; the bass synth has just enough grit to balance out London Grammar’s swoonworthily dulcet vocals, while the pianos — shades of Shed in extra misty-eyed mode — hammer the heartfelt vibes home. It’s out October 28, with further remixes still to be announced.
Jagwar Ma, “Save Me (Pachanga Boys Remix)” (PIAS) The Pachanga Boys (Superpitcher and Rebolledo) don’t do half measures. Not too long ago, they played a 25-hour DJ set, fittingly called “Lost Track of Time,” in Mexico City. The hypnotic single “Time,” their crowning achievement to date, runs more than 15 minutes, and their radical reinterpretation of Bot’Ox’s “Basement Love” stretched a four-minute, yacht-rock ditty into 12 minutes of gothic grandeur. Once again, they pull out all the stops on this 12-minute remix of “Come Save Me” by the Australian band Jagwar Ma. The original song stakes out a place halfway between the Stone Roses and Animal Collective, but Pachanga Boys mute the guitar tracks, tamp down the drums to a housey, tambourine-accented shuffle, and flood the midrange with bubbling pads and arpeggios; part Beach Boys, part Conny Plank, the whole thing just goes and goes, egged forever upwards by rocket-launch glissandi and high-necked bass stabs. Put it on a loop, and watch the day disappear in an endless sunset glow. (This video only features a 7:44 edit of the song, but it’s enough to give you an idea of how smoothly its perpetual-motion machine runs.)
Dopplereffekt, Tetrahymena EP (Leisure System)
After six years of radio silence, Dopplereffekt are back. At least, that’s six years if you go by linear time, which, like conventional biography, seems rather beside the point when it comes to this mysterious, possibly not even carbon-based entity. For years, little was known about Dopplereffekt; according to the center label of its 1995 debut EP, Fascist State, the group’s members were named Kim Karli, Rudolf Klonzeiger, and William Scott, while an address and fax number placed the act in Detroit. The music’s snapping, twitching cadences were in keeping with the decade’s electro revival; in style and general Weltanshauung, they could have been described as “Kraftwerk, but more evil.” “Plastiphilia” perverted the “Showroom Dummies” concept with creepy, manipulated vocals (“I want to fuck a mannequin”) while “Superior Race” twitched with the pulse of dead-eyed robots. It’s now commonly accepted that Gerald Donald — the surviving member of Drexciya, and the core member of Der Zyklus — is the project’s mastermind, which makes sense; Dopplereffekt’s music certainly sounds like a chip off the old reef. And so, too, does this new one, released on Berlin’s Leisure System label. The title track is electro to the core: 140 beats per minute, with a syncopated boom-thwack groove and a high-end that sounds like the chattering of malevolent insects, plus voluminous choral pads to amp up the grandeur. “Gene Silencing” dreams sorrowfully of electric sheep, with languid arpeggios chirping over sandpapery shakers set ever so slightly out of phase; the whole song is proof that no one does circuit-based melancholy better than Detroit. “Zygote” comes closest to Der Zyklus’ analog dystopia: Its pulse is practically cryogenic, and its pink-noise exhalations show all signs of a system shutting down. Chronicles of obsolescence foretold don’t get much more seductive. (Listen to “Tetrahymena” in full on Soundcloud.)
Various, Y-3 Ten Year Anniversary Compilation (Y-3)
Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 line for Adidas doesn’t come cheap, but perhaps we can forgive them their $300 sneakers now that they’ve made this 14-track compilation available for free download. Ralph Lauren’s Denim & Supply Co. may have picked Avicii to represent the brand, but Y-3’s tastes are more in keeping with those of Japanese crate-diggers and the furry-short-wearing wraiths who shop at LN-CC, with an emphasis on nouveau boogie, luminous deep house, and Balearic oddities from artists like Maurice Fulton, Larry Heard, and Quiet Village. Fulton’s “Asteroids Playing Ping Pong” is an obvious highlight: It sounds just like the title promises, with ping-pong-ball rhythms tossed into elliptical orbit around a slow, stonking machine groove. Disco acolyte Daniel Wang teams up with Jules Etienne for a dreamy slice of bossa nova that would have gone over well at the Paradise Garage, while Innervisions’ Frank Wiedemann’s elegant “Moorthon” streaks through the sound field like the Perseids meteor shower, and Karou Inoue explores Detroit techno at its most supine. Rub-N-Tug’s “Jug,” meanwhile, mashes up hip-hop and disco like a daub of newsprint-streaked Silly Putty. (Download each track individually from the Y-3 SoundCloud page.)
Yves De Mey, Frisson (Archives Interieurs)
You can forget your colored vinyl and your Cassette Store Day; Yves De Mey and Peter Van Hoesen’s new label Archives Interieures is all about that most recently retro of formats: The humble CD. They’re not doing it to be precious; the musicians say that in the softer passages of their recent outing as the duo Sendai, the surface noise of the vinyl interfered with the music itself. There’s definitely a bit of DIY stubbornness in the decision to release CDs but not downloads, of course, but hey, that’s their ideological decision. It’s not like they’re the only label to eschew downloads. (Backing up their stance, there’s also no label website, SoundCloud page, Facebook presence, or any other sort of digital shingle. From what I can see, the musicians haven’t even mentioned the project on their private Facebook pages.) And if any record were to represent the values of slowness — you know, going to the record store, buying the thing, bringing it home, and sitting down to absorb it — you could do worse than selecting this one. Made entirely with the Roland SH-101, Korg MS-20, and Roland System 100 sequencer, the five tracks that make up Frisson play elastic pulses off yawning expanses of near-silence, graphite-slicked static, and bass swells experienced mostly from the ribcage down. Demdike Stare’s Miles turns in a remix seemingly predicated on extensive abuse of a spring reverb unit, while Peter Van Hoesen’s “Rough Dub” of “Isorhythmia” sounds like Porter Ricks de-boned. The CDEP, out October 14, will be distributed by Clone and made available at the usual online retailers.