Friday, August 28, 2009

systems breaking down

absolute classic early 80s female-led synth dirge by the mysterious Anna. File under spookiness like "Take My Breath Away" by Berlin, or "Faith"-era Cure. Note the killer outro, with wild drum fills and background screaming, everything melting like a comet descending into the ocean. Anna sings lines like "Wish my boyfriend stayed around...I think my system's breaking down," the whole thing expressing psychic turmoil, metropolitan alienation, shadows in the neon wilderness, empty streets in the dead of night, the faces of passersby like blood-drained specters. Also a tinge of intense hysteria like in Polanski's "Repulsion." Included here is also the dope tech-ed up dub version, where you hear a quiet child's voice, like some lost guardian angel, imploring "don't cry anna..."

you be the judge

"This review is a load of pompous, pseudo-intellectual tripe."

"This review is an absurd pile of pretentious garbage"

"absolutely stunning review"

Thursday, August 27, 2009

spectral empire - black shark

video for a new jam by my esteemed labelmates Spectral Empire. Images by Tommy Boy from As Restless As We Are - rugged sci-fi John Carpenter suspense on the high seas. I'm glad to have Night Plane on the same label as these guys, it's a wondrous fit. The Black Shark 12" is out this week.

night plane - drug sub mix

All tracks/edits by me aka night plane, Berlin July/August 2009, mixed together into a twenty-minute voyage of trippy disco and slow-mo house. It's the imaginary soundtrack to drug sub: the movie, the hollywood saga starring everyone's favorite homemade narcotics-smuggling submersible. The story follows the construction of a drug sub in the colombian jungle, its journey to deliver cocaine, capture by coast guard, and the final raid on the drug cartel headquarters

night plane - drug sub mix

1. out of the jungle, into the deep
2. coast is clear
3. caught by icebreaker
4. silent invasion
5. bamboo pentagon

oh and you can order the night plane record here: phonica

Saturday, August 15, 2009

mathias aguayo - walter neff

mathias aguayo - walter neff (from Kompakt Total 10)

another brilliant avant-pop dance track from aguayo, who as one-half of Closer Musik gave Kompakt some of its most original, creative releases. Aguayo has his hands and head in electronic dance music but his heart and spirit are fuelled by a savant sense for unknown pop pleasures, goofy and totally spot on at the same time, he's like a South American Arthur Russell. One of his more recent songs, "Minimal," skewered the stripped-down serious pretense of the subgenre, but it's clear that aguayo is no armchair critic, content to tear down something that he himself cannot improve on. One way out of minimal techno was into the luxuriant but essentially nostalgic grooves of deep house, another way is what aguayo along with villalobos, jamie jones and others are tuned into, a kind of mind-bending future pop radio music that doesn't exist yet. exciting stuff.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

bedroom bliss

washed out - feel it all around

M/A/R/R/S - anitina

washed out is the latest in a string of lo-fi indie acts, like neon indian and memory cassette, matching outer-space shoegaze vocals and shimmering melodies to loping machine beats. But what to call it? There's no shortage of possibilities, including chill wave, gaze wave, and Pitchforkwavegaze, but we're gonna call it 'bedroom bliss,' because it sounds like being half-passed out on your bedroom floor, drooling on your four-track.

Now that one of the forefathers of this sound is arguably, wait for it, 80s dance act M/A/R/R/S, best, or perhaps only, known for their landmark tune "Pump Up the Volume," considered the first UK number one hit to be sample-based. The group was in fact a collaborative effort between two acts, the rock-based A.R. Kane and the electronic-leaning Colourbox. "Pump Up the Volume" was essentially a Colourbox track with added guitar from Kane. The mega-hit's b-side, "Anitina" displays inverse proportions, being by and large a MBV shoegazy tune with added techno drums. It's a solid garage-y JAMC meets 80s house tune and definitely worth a "wtf, this is M/A/R/R/S?" mental hot-foot.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

night plane - "chinese shadows" out August 17th!

In 1982 Glen Larson and Stu Phillips brought you the high-tech wizardry of Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT). 1984 saw Jan-Michael Vincent and Sylvester Levay's Airwolf. Fuelled by Tangerine Dream’s synth anthems, the laser-guided Street Hawk motorcycle appeared in 1985. In July 2009, Thisisnotanexit presents Night Plane’s state-of-the-art dark disco that welds cosmic, italo and house grooves onto druggy, atmospheric rock songs. Night Plane’s debut, “Chinese Shadows,” offers three dancefloor-ready tunes teeming with cinematic suspense, conjuring up scenes of geopolitical conflict, substance abuse, underworld intrigue and sci-fi hallucinations. The sound is the result of a meticulous engineering process: to forge the Night Plane prototype, Brooklyn-based producer, DJ and critic William Rauscher took his decades of studying jazz piano and twentieth-century minimalism and applied them to the decadent energies of Fleetwood Mac and Patti Smith, the long-form disco structures of Giorgio Moroder, Gino Soccio and Patrick Cowley, and the visceral noir of Michael Mann and Brian de Palma. But Night Plane is just as much the product of the times Rauscher spent both in Germany and the US studying for his PhD – on “Chinese Shadows” one can hear the cyborg rhythms of Berlin churning alongside distinctly New York-style scuzzy rock tunes.

Chinese Shadows: On the title track, a grizzly, Rhodes-driven disco throb gets chased by a relentless incandescent dragon, barreling through a labyrinth of gangland haunts, opium dens and rain-soaked ports of call. Suffused with a neon narcosis, the track weathers bursts of electric light mixed with the strung-out howls of the half-alive, swelling into a hypnotic rollercoaster that plumbs the depths of a drug-addled netherworld.

Wave Haze: Tropical depression. A sprawling rock-tinged Balearic-disco triptych offers visions of the morning sea - a sun-soaked following a sordid all-nighter, laying face down in the sand for some bleary-eyed solace, then baptism in a saltwater tide. But in a testament to romantic longing, no amount of sweet beach relief can quell the aching in a grifter’s heart.

Walls of Stone: The EP closes with a nocturnal passage through the Lower Manhattan financial district: those grand, desolate atriums lined with marble and bejeweled chandeliers, gates of gilded bronze, monumental and inhuman, all encased in late-night solitude to form a post-punk Chirico nightmare.
Night Plane was discovered by Thisisnotanexit Records, the cult UK indie that has previously brought you releases and remixes from the likes of They Came From The Stars I Saw Them, Detachments, Parallels, Optimo, Emperor Machine, Hatchback, Prins Thomas, Professor Genius, Brennan Green, Naum Gabo, Capracara, Serge Santiago, Mungolian Jetset, Holy Ghost and Brain Machine.
Clash Magazine recently called the label “the most enigmatic and consistent new label in the UK” and “the UK’s answer to Italians Do It Better”.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

hungry for the power

azari & III - hungry for the power

a serious burner, an infectious, brazen, retro-style house anthem on Cosmo Vitelli's lauded I'm a Cliche label, a classic Chicago track that never was but should have been. Canadians azari & III present you a track that is quite literally, to follow Deleuze, a desiring machine: it churns and grinds and piston-pumps towards an unreachable target of lust: "I'm crazy for your love...but your love is not enough...I'm hungry for the power!"

in this way it's a dance song about dance songs, which are always about making you hungry for the power, inducing desire in you for something inherently sexual but not reducible to purely sexual terms, that obscure object of desire. Get on and ride.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dog Days: The Refinery 29 Summer Playlist

refinery 29 summer playlist mix

curated by the good folks at ref29, with commentary by J Forgang aka Jonny Bocce aka my Glacial Lakes pardner, and done mixed by me as Night Plane. All the latest gauzy/bouyant/effervescent summer jams - please enjoy!