Archive for September, 2011

Cat no: Hand 008
Release date:
Get it from: Beatport

The Melbourne 303 professor returns, this time on Hand Made Acid, an intriguingly idiosyncratic label run by Melbourne’s David Haberfield, who records as Honeysmack. The fit is a good one. Navigate to the the Hand Made site and you’ll find a label philosophy that ’embraces Acid and Techno music made the traditional way, with hardware. We celebrate electronic dance music produced with contemporary and vintage gear,’ which is just what dyLAB’s all about. His last EP was the Filter In set, an exercise in ascending weirdness. Here, he has reined in the experimentation, with each of the three tracks, Play, Manual Play and Pattern Write (all 130 BPM), carefully sculpted and finessed tributes to the crystalline ticking of the 808 (the tracks are named after modes on the 808) and by extension to Chicago. Why, it’s even got cowbells. There’s a warmth and depth to the tracks that though they’re more dancefloor ready than Filter In, and groove accordingly, give them an enveloping, ambient quality, making them essential gear for the discerning acid head. Here’s hoping there’s an album in the works.

Cat no: Bang 047
Release date:
Get it from: Juno

Seven tracks, all at 128 BPM, getting gradually more handbag-friendly as the EP wears on – which means it’s the Acid One original for this evil twin: dark, tough and echoey, with a chunky acid line, warring synths and malevolent sawing sounds, it builds to a superb, speaker-shagging crescendo midway through the track then drops away leaving just that fat, fat acid line chuntering away. Excellent stuff –  fans of D.A.V.E the Drummer and Sterling Moss, in particular, will love it. If either were to remix it, the results would be devastating. A monster of a tune.

None of the tracks that follow bother to try and reshape the amazing crescendo, and most concentrate on the track’s housier elements. Put it this way, there’s a lot of piano going on. So it’s left to DJ Pierre to turn in the best of the remixes on, Acid One (DJ Pierre’s Afro Acid remix). He does at least retain the sinister overtones of the original, and as you might expect, adds some funkier acid patterns of his own, otherwise keeping the sound spare and spacious.


In the meantime, you can find Acid One on 2011’s Autumnal Acidity mix, which be downloadable here…

Tracklisting is:

China White – Theme From The Underground
Robotman – Do Da Doo (Plastikman Acid House Remix)
Saint Etienne – Like A Motorway (The David Holmes Mix)
X-Press 2 – Rock 2 House (Plastikman Acid House Remix)
Bassheads – Is There Anybody Out There? (Hardfloor Remix)
The Aloof – Mind
System 7 – Alpha Wave (Plastikman Acid House Remix)
Chris Liberator & Sterling Moss – Impact
The Orb – Asylum (Kris & Dave’s You Are Evil But I Like You Remix)
Rozzer’s Dog – The Pusher, The Pimp & The Panther

Cat no: SUF Projects 0045
Release date:

BPM: 148
AVP’s a cracking track. Plundering the original Predator for its sound-effects, rather than as the name suggests the wretched Alien vs Predator, it’s full of menace from the beginning. A low-slang acid line burbles and a higher one whipcracks away while Dutch and the boys venture deep into the jungle looking for something that’s out there, that ain’t no man. But for once the true magic lies not in build-and-release or bruising power but in the atmospherics. Mills has integrated Predator breathing, then war cries and even synthesised speech with the music itself to supremely shattering effect, creating a piece of work that’s as creepy and immersive as it is banging – and what’s more, truly original.

No Turning Back
BPM: 148
You can’t have everything, and in this case you can’t have a B-side that matches up to the majesty of the A-side. Maybe I’m bored of The Matrix samples or maybe I’m just wrung out by the essential AVP, but No Turning Back seems to lack a certain dynamism. It’s a great tool, no doubt, and the echoey vocal is really effective in the mix, but it’s not the main event.

Get it from909 London

Meanwhile, the magnificent AVP appears in this mix…

Cat no: Coaxial007 
Release date:

OB1 – A Little Something
BPM: 147
Two very different tracks here, but both bang like a barn door in a hurricane, fizz with a raw, punk spirit, and sound like they mean it. The kick that lifts off A Little Something, for example, is truly earth-shaking, and when the acid drops by at 2.11 it’s a dark, untamed thing. A contained rage holds the track together, though, even as it shifts into a third phase at 3.55, an extended break introducing all manner of synthy siren stabs and an evolving acid line that works itself into a frenzy before dropping out for a long outro. You want to hear it? You should. Click below for a sound sample.

A Little Something sound sample

Tik Tok – Fucka Hooka (2011 mix)**
BPM: 145
Hooligan and berserk, Fucka Hooka’s the volatile enforcer to A Little Something’s implacable boss. Its 303 seems to spin and giggle like cracked-out carnival music, while savage, goggle-eyed noises saw away in the background and mad drums constantly threaten to send it out of control. The overall effect is like that scene in Goodfellas where Joe Pesci goes, ‘Funny, how?’ but set to music, and it’s a perfect yin to A Little Something’s yang – the Pesci to its De Niro. Which is 007’s nominal A-side and which is its B-side, I couldn’t say, but it doesn’t matter because they’re both essential. I’m told the next Coaxial release is OB1’s Olly Berry remixing Fucka Hooka, and Tik Tok on A Little Something. Fingers crossed the results are as devastating as the pairings suggest.

Fucka Hooka (2011 Mix) sound sample

Get it from: Fentek 303

Cat no: Av001 
Release date:

Raves like This
BPM: 143
The first release on Acid Steve’s new label uses media samples of the Holborn Halloween Rave of 2010 to kickstart a determinedly old-school track with a dirty acid line that creeps in at about 0.30 and gradually makes its presence felt, morphing into full-blown assault by the track’s end. The spoken-word samples are dropped in deftly and without interrupting the overall bangingness of the whole thing – all of which adds to the 90s feel.

Winning! (feat MC Sheen)**
BPM: 143
Personally my tastes go to the dark rather than the fun side of Acid so I shouldn’t really like a track called Winning! that samples Charlie Sheen. And at the time of writing, with the world well and truly over his antics, it probably does look a little gauche. But actually I think the track will date well. As is the fashion, it has a long breakdown featuring a portion of a TV appearance, an interviewer asking, ‘Tell me about the last time you took drugs,’ and Charlie asserting that the last time he took drugs, he took more than any human being could survive. Any human being other than him, obviously. Yet instead of laughing and making wanker signs at him, she earnestly asks, ‘How do you survive that?’ ‘Because I’m me,’ he says, after a pause to reflect on the sheer fucking awesomeness of being him, ‘I have one speed: Go.’ And because Acid Steve and DDR are no slouches when it comes to calibrating the precise dynamics of their breakdowns, that ‘Go’ signals fierce wet splashes of 303 that build in excitement to a second breakdown where all hell breaks loose in all manner of kaleidoscopic patterns. The fact that it’s called Winning (feat MC Sheen) will no doubt put people off and put me off at first – it makes it sound like a YouTube skit, for one thing. In fact it simultaneously celebrates and lampoons the year’s biggest arse, doesn’t once use the word ‘winning’, thank God, and features some of the most arresting acid of the year.

Get it from: 909 London

Realising that it would be good to actually hear the tracks I’m wibbling on about, I’ve been trying to embed sound samples from 909 London, but without any luck. So either go directly there to hear them via the link above or, alternatively both tunes appear in this mix (mine — consider yourself warned), now up on Soundcloud.