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Net Decks 10

img  Tobias

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news & new releases

The Netaudio festival Berlin is well on its way. The festivities will be held from the 5th to the 7th of October at the RAW temple in Berlin. Conceptualised as a meeting of the European netlabel scene, it holds both an inward- and an outward function:
For fans and listeners, it offers three days of discussions, presentations and, of course, music by leading netlabels such as Antitirmo, DeepInDub, iD:EOLOGY, Idealtechno, Intoxic, Tonatom and Pentagonik. There will also be workshops, including contributions from the organisors of Netaudiolondon 06, the event preceeding this one, which helped lift the scene to a new level. Topics are very practical and range from “Challenges for Netlabel-Heads” to “Creative Commons - Licence Models“.
The inward function consist in establishing eye-to-eye contact between the label heads and their artists – and physically bringing together people who, until, now, may only have known each other by email. The main message of the festival is simple: NetAudio has emancipated from a quirky trend to a major creative motor and a splurging, imaginative industry.
www.netaudioberlin.de/

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reviews


Mikel Mendia is turning increasingly prolific – great! After all, Mendia is constantly reinventing himself, withholding not even a single idea and treating each release as if it were his last. The “goierria ep” is certainly a drastic change from his last effort on inoquo (reviewed in “Net Decks 4”), but that should not come as a suprise, but rather as further proof of his imaginative mind. Again, bass and echo are noticeable up-front flavours, but they are so in a less obvious manner than last time. While “Clouds Melting” had a lot of seems and cracks, his latest effort comes to us much smoother, more fluent and organic. On second track “jalak”, an acoustic guitar makes its entrance and only fades away mid-piece to make way for various delayed stabs falling over each other in trancy ecstacy. Summer and hazy daydreams from spending hours in the sun are prominent associations (quite perfectly blending in with the general philosophy of the tropic netlabel) and the tracks are equally linear and lazy. What lends them that deciding edge are the excuisite sound design, which binds everything together under the banner of a recognisable handwriting but offers juist the right amount of individuality to each piece to keep things varied – as well as the short melodies which regularly keep popping up from the flow, disappering just as quickly as they arrived. Only “ostargia” bends into weirdness halfway, twisting its bass line into conturted figures, but a superslow remix of the titletrack (complete with hissy hihats and a one-tone piano motive) returns the listener into the security of the flow. Let this man release as often as possible, please.

Pep Gaya’s “misty ljubljana ep” has a lot in common with the work of Mikel Mendia. Pep, too, has come to see Dub as the foundation of his music and enjoys using the genre’s templates as a starting point for totally impredictable exursions. “d’achord” begins with nothing but bass vibrations, grows slowly into a soundscape of beats and echoes, then builds up new momentum with a filter exercise on a rhythmic pattern taking on silently majestic power. “da’chord” is more propulsive, but filled with the same subcotaneous tension, a mystical current running underneath the track like a vitalising source. Gaya operates with quietude and subtlety, some of the harmonies and most obvious elements are mixed way into the background, while dark scratches lift off into the fore and into mysteriously monumental skies. The beat is merely the messenger, Pep Gaya seems to suggest, and one listens to his music as if it were playing in the room next door: With the ears pressed to the wall, anxious not to miss a single second.
www.tropic-netlabel.de

To stay with the theme of summer: Mixotic is fast approaching their 100th free DJ Mix with the warm and radiating tunes of DJ Kirill Sergeew’s “Backyards”. This is just the right music for your garden party, the sound to roasting corn, peppers and onions on your BBQ and gazing into the night with a drink in your hand. Sergeew focusses on sweet ambient soundscapes with loving melodies and deep, lush harmonies as well as ethereal folk, such as the hushed whispers of 28 Degrees Taurus“Would You Like To Dance”. He uses the more spacey moments both as transitions between songs as well as to intensify a certain mood. His mix is not without its breaks and no simple affair of fading in and out. Every now and then, he opens up the texture to replace timeless, drifting moments with concrete beats and slow, but groovy rhythms. BPM indications and genre indications mean little to this man, Sergeew follows a mood vector, keeping his tracks well in the territory of melancholia and displaying a naive, childlike view of the world. “Backyards” doesn’t even sound like a DJ mix at all. Instead, it is like a multitude of possible albums, of continuing down paths the contributing artists did not decide to tread and of taking their material to beautiful extremes. Girls will love this – and boys will, too, if you ask them in private.
www.mixotic.net/

Melmono’s “One”, meanwhile, kicks off like a DJ set in perfection. The album starts with the aggressive bass slaps and atmospheric ambiances of “Metropolitan Culture” (sampling aeroplane slipstreams to great effect), which organically melts into the future trance grooves of “Love is a Gun”, with Dorothee S’ innocently sexy vocals contrasting with the scifi tectonics of the beats. “Dare” however, slows things down again with a filtered bassline, undulating electronics and a hypnotic melody. Quite clearly, David Höfgen and Maria Tarus are never satisfied with just throwing in a drum and going from there. Their music draws from a multitude of influences and is always aimed at different moods and listening modes. Höfgen and Tarus know how a great club tune works and their danceable pieces are as persuasive as anything we’ve heard over the last few months. And yet, the duo has understood that by enriching their arrangements with myriads of details, they naturally tap into a universal language. “Respiration” is a perfect example, a track which paces forward on a monotonous pulse and simple percussion structures, while delicate bells and sultry pads send the track further and further into a dark and alluring vortex. Melmono definitely have the potential to turn into a major act.
http://dcc-records.de

By Tobias Fischer


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about

“Net Decks” is a weekly feature of tokafi.com covering Netlabel releases from the techno and electronica scene. It is published each Monday. For including your infos, please contact us at tobias@tokafi.com

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