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DEKMANTEL

For Dekmantel Festival 2019, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision’s RE:VIVE initiative and Dekmantel teamed up for the third time to invite four artists to bring fresh music to a curation of Dutch archival films. As debuted live in Amsterdam’s Eye Filmmuseum, 2019 featured new scores from Safe Trip eclectic left-of-centre DJ / producer, Max Abysmal, 80s pastiche, keyboard wizard duo, Lamellen, Italian contemporary composer and saxophonist, Laura Agnusdei and heavy-hitter, Identified Patient. 2019’s films were as diverse as the invited artists. Three of the films come Academy Award winning Dutch producer, Nico Crama whose collection is held by The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision while Comeback (Poppenfilm) was made by amateur Dutch filmmaker, Otto Laan.


Nerve Deposit is the new EP from Identified Patient on Dekmantel’s sub-label UFO. The record is a lysergic stew of industrial, electro, breakbeat hardcore and synth-rock, with the purpose to get under your skin and set your nerves tingling. While extending his signature sound, the Dutch producer upgrades his process and marshals a new complexity from his machines. The result is five tracks which stalk shadowy hallways but never lean too far into the darkness, at once menacing and lively. With a laboratory’s worth of sleazy synths, bubbling effects, raking textures, plunging bass and rhythmic left-turns, Nerve Deposit suggests we are in the court of a Professor, not a Patient. Tantalisingly, the best feels yet to come.

Dekmantel's hot streak continues as the imperious Dutch imprint follow up that killer Epsilove 12" with this blistering debut from Neon Chambers, the new collaboration between Kanding Ray and Sigha. Aiming to expand on their already impressive solo careers the two men have pooled hardware, sonic know-how and club experience to create this new audio-visual vehicle for studio and live enjoyment. 
The duo’s debut EP, "One" is a whirlwind of crushing modern sonics, that is equal parts jagged rave, progressive dub-fuelled two-step and night time-ethereal IDM. Throughout all five-tracks, the producers wield a wicked awareness of state-of-the-art sound design, that makes each kick cerebral, every bass-sound an epic vibration, and every synth a futuristic cacophony of finely-tuned noise. The sounds are an amalgamation of everything that has made each artistic unique in their own right, while correspondingly helping create something new. ‘Apollo’ is a prodigious working of melodic synthesis, with delicate, and rolling breaks, while ‘Cascade’ moves into a more grandiose, heavenly territory, befit with trance-like, precision synthesis. ‘What It Takes’ brings on board a more UK, post-dubstep sound, albeit one with more craft, and sonic mastership. ‘Your Touch’ toys once more with atmospheric rolling breaks and solemn vocal samples, while ‘Helles’, the closing track, is an excursion into more compelling, auditory realms.


STAFF COMMENTS

says: Yup, it's Dekmantel, so you know it's gonna bang! Neon Chambers is a new one on me, but under the reasuring guidance of the label, they have of course, tickled my feathers somewhat here. You should also check it out.

French wielder of exotic machine music Epsilove debuts a full EP of sensuous, melodic electro on Dekmantel. Formerly one-half of Syracuse, Isabelle Maitre depicts a vision of daring, yet euphoric vocal-led, dreamy electro that oscillates with sturdier, warehouse sounds full of heaving 808s, and experimental qualities.

‘Time is the longest distance’ preaches the qualities that brought Antinote’s Epsilove to the distinguished status she has today. It is the sound of chic dancers, shuffling-together leisurely under neon lights, pressing against each other along to nostalgic acid basslines, interstellar synths, and dreamy, cinematic vocals. Rich with harmony, emotion, and cold-wave sensuality. ’Sea Snakes’ pulses faster under a Drexciyan dream-state, painting kaleidoscopic motifs, as the 808 rattles out multi-paced tempos, driving levels of uncompromising Detroit velocities, through to Lynchian-mirror-world listlessness. It’s an acid-acid test of colourful, pulsing electro.

On the remixes are fellow Parisian’s Ali Bobo (Bruits De La Passion) and Shelter (Bigwax Records), who rework ‘Time is the longest distance’ into something more sinister, reflecting the dystopic IDM aesthetics of early Rephlex Records with playful, darkened electronics. The more elusive pairing of French producer HAJJ (Dawn Records) and Lastrack (BFDM) meanwhile, team up to turn ‘Sea Snakes’ into something that harkens towards the world of Warp-like experimental and progressive contemporary post-trap, and breakbeats.

"À dix mètres sous moi, l'eau invisible. Entre l'eau et la brume, pas de frontière, la brume aussi lourde que l'eau, l'eau aussi irréelle que la brume. Passage dans un autre monde, transition par une osmose où toute forme ancienne est désagrégée et dissoute.” Raymond Abellio, Heureux les Pacifiques (1946)

STAFF COMMENTS

says: Dekmantel mine the fertile French scene for their latest release, inviting Epsilove to work her cosmic, coldwave magic across two electro-influenced cuts. The A1 brings the interplanetary drift for the cosmic clubkids, while 'Sea Snakes' is a snapping electro banger with a wriggling bassline. Featuring HAJJ, Lastrack, Ali Bobo and personal fave Shelter on remix duties, this is the complete package folks.

The second edition of Dekmantel’s foray into the era-defining, trans-Atlantic, cult techno label that is Djax-Up-Beats, comes another re-issue of classic 90s cuts.

The label say 'The Dutch label was responsible for releasing some of underground’s most foundational dance music, mixing together Chicago and European artists alike, and acting as the launchpad for some of today’s biggest producers. Featuring offerings from luminaries such as Felix Da Housecat, and Glenn Underground, alongside veterans such as Steve Poindexter, and DJ Skull, this second EP highlights the classic label’s old-school’s sound, while showcasing its diverse range, from dubbier, ambient moments, to wall-thumping, body crushing house force. Timeless music, repressed, and re-released for a new generation of DJs who covet the classic machine music.'

This second volume offers a more introspective look at the label’s earlier releases. Terrace’s "Bewitched" kicks us off, to which DJ Richard has described as being the defining track of the label’s beginnings with its dreamy, Detroit-style techno mixed with the harder rave elements of Northern Europe. Glenn Underground’s bass-roller "Real Space" weaves together soulful passion and primo beats Chicago beats, while Felix Da Housecat’s "Temptation" - originally from 1993 - gets a well earned re-release, reminding us of the soulful, deep and lustful energy the producer once had. China White, whose name doesn’t get banded around as much as it should nowadays, see their ethereal hit "Theme from the Underground" get another opportunity to bliss out the more upbeat rave community before disc one comes to a close...

The energy turns darker with Frank de Groodt’s The Operator alias, breaking the outer-most barriers of electro-techno, with "The Mind Strike". Chicago and Dance Mania’s Steve Poindexter turns out the shoulder-rolling, dance-energy bomb "Body Jam", while Mike Dearborn’s deliverance of unreal, dry techno in "Deviant Behaviour" runs aplomb with classic drum-machine pulses, claps, and uncomfortable, yet punishing melodies. DJ Skull’s "Don’t Stop The Beat" rides the EP with gushings of hand claps, and gentle, early 90s warm techno color, that transport you back to a time of more informed, and conscious electronic musings, a feeling that embodies Djax’s heyday.

Founded in Eindhoven at the turn of the 90s, Djax-Up-Beats quickly earned an international reputation for being a key source of Chicago house, acid techno, and floor-filling, heavy-hitting, straight up underground 12”s. 


Last year, Dekmental got together with The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision’s RE:VIVE initiative for the second time, inviting four local artists to breathe new life into four archival films from the Sound and Vision and EYE Filmmuseum archives. Jordan GCZ, Suzanne Kraft, Parrish Smith and Upsammy were all assigned short animated films dating back to 1921. The films and their new scores debuted at EYE on August 2nd as part of Dekmantel Festival 2018. Unsurprisingly, each artist imparted their unique styles onto the films that they previously had no relation with. From Suzanne Kraft's sparse atmospherics that have become more apparent in his new SK U KNO project to Jordan GCZ’s free flowing hardware jams. Parrish Smith showed his contemplative side and sparse orchestrations that he demonstrated on his RE:VIVE release, "Genesis Black", a sonic departure from his bombastic releases and DJ-sets while upsammy showed yet again her deft hand for melody and texture, a style that dominates all her releases to date.

These four scores can live apart from their films, fitting seamlessly into each artists' growing catalogs of work. But when combined, it’s as if the films and music were made simultaneously with the artist and filmmaker together in the same room. It shows off a more contemplative, dare-I-say-it, artistic side to the label that could be misunderstood as just a young person's dance music brand and festival. Dekmantel seem eager to add to the creative forces existing in dance music, reinventing and improving on areas and preventing themselves becoming tried and stale. They should be celebrated as solid baton bearers of the scene, even as they achieve more commercial success. 


Bufiman

Peace Moves - Inc. DJ Normal 4 Remix

    Piccadilly favourite, video game fanatic and former breakdance champ Jan Schulte makes his Dekmantel debut with "Peace Moves", an EP of percussive soul, that captures the Salon Des Amateurs resident in full, tribal swing. Blasting out the A-side with tough body moving breaks, rasping vocal idents and skewed synth riffery, the main mix of "Peace Moves" harnesses the 5 a.m. insanity of a mushroom fuelled romp, deploying a Tri Atma style 12 string riff to totally trip the hippie dancers out. Breakbeat king and previous collaborator DJ Normal drops by on the A2, taking the intensity up a notch with a 'back to the oldschool', 'carpark in North Manchester', 'pocket full of pingers' 'ardcore mix complete with nagging bass, synth strings and more energy than a whizzed up all nighter at R&S HQ, 1993. Over on the flip, Bufi brings the euphoria with a medicated, manipulated dream-house flip on "Peace Moves", infusing the OG with doped up sequences and sultry incense tinged pads. Saving my personal favourite til last, Jan hits us with "Graffiti Moves", a kaleidoscopic vision of cut up funk breaks, tribal percussion, ring modulated leadlines and well wonky fx abuse. Expect to hear this on the Talking Drums dancefloor very soon.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    12" Info: 1 COPY FOUND!

    Now for a trip into an impossible land, generated on a hacked copy of Populous, wrought out of melting circuitry and bootlegged YMO LPs, projected on early green screen and filled with failed CGI from the Waterworld era. Panagiotis Melidis and Stathis Kalatzis are Territroy, the newest member of the Dekmantel family, and the creative insanity behind the newest UFO release, "Skulls & Plants". Now, I don't recall taking a massive dose of 4-AcO this morning with my cornflakes, but that may well have happened, as this is one trippy listen. At various points EBM, tropical house, machine voodoo and shamanic breaks are twisted, warped and frazzled, all achieving the demented sound signature of this lunatic Grecian duo. Rhythms collapse, stutter skip and slur, crispy distortion coats otherwise healthy melodies and oddly exotic idents flutter across the landscape, though you could never be certain they were there. Highly psychoactive electronics and primal rhythms for fans of Helena Hauff, Detlef, Lena Willikens and the Silk Road.


    It's a Piccadilly debut for Dutch production Lamellen here, who join the ever swelling ranks of the Dekmantel family with a five tracker of atmospheric, emotive and groovy Balearic house. Keeping true to the original island ideal, the duo barely break a sweat over 100bpm, keeping it easy and breezy as they provide the perfect soundtrack for sundowners the globe over. 
    A tranquil and trippy opener, "Horse Massage" calls to mind the cosmic explorations of Farbror Resande Mac, all space port idents, sparkling sequences and slow moving bass tones. "Spider" ups the tempo to a comparitive sprint (though still in reality glacial), injecting a little 80s Italo funk into the bassline, toughening the percussion up a bit and adding some glassy mallet tones for a nu disco-tinged heater. "Oyster" takes the intensity back down, savouring the same nebulous vibrations as the opener, but with a fresh Oceanic twist - think A Vision Of Panorama and you won't be too far away. 
    So far so 4/4, and the duo throw us a curious curveball with the skipping rhythm, tropical bubble and chiming chords of proggy pearl "Railrunner". We're back in the deep to close as the duo deliver "Pippo Denemarken" a downbeat shuffler decorated with insistent organ tones and bright and glassy synths. Luscious stuff from the Dekmantal debutants.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: The eagle eared selectors at Dekmantel introduce us to more fresh talent, namely Dutch duo Lamellen, who drop the tempo and up the groove for a quintet of synth heavy Balearic jams. Cocktail killers folks.

    Moving on from their time holed up in a leisure resort relic, the Dutch retrogressive, analogue synth machine obsessives and tape fanatics Betonkust & Palmbomen II have teamed up together once more for a new EP.

    An immediate follow up to their debut LP "Center Parcs", the new EP pays fictional homage to a now deceased famous TV star, who instead on working on the screen, took up a new direction in making music. More replete with esoteric experimentalism, analogue jams, drums machines, synths, and a healthy dose of acid basslines, the production duo advance upon their aesthetic with a new extended EP of nostalgic, melancholic electro.

    With Palmbomen II aka Kai Hugo, based out and working in Los Angeles, collaborations with Dutch-based partner Betonkust happen less frequently than they should - especially when you acknowledge that they do not use, or record to computers. When they do happen though, their distinctive sonic palette of saturated distortion and warm melodic waves shine through. This time recorded in a bungle somewhere in the Dutch countryside, the two producers have created a concept record about Bart, a local hero and his imagined life in a parallel universe. In this reality, instead of making it in TV, Bart is a successful music producer, the track titles detailing his journey through this new and imagined life. "Bart Is Alone Again" kicks off the record with its wistful melodies, and harmonic leads, before "Underground Dance Floor" kicks in with its predominate bassline, and squelching deep-rooted, undercurrents of hardcore. Along Bart’s odyssey there are moments for "Bart's Jam", an early days Warp Records / Detroit belter; "Rejected Demo Tape" a downbeat moment of anguish; ending with "A Series of Bad Decisions," in which the EP plays out to somber, yet harmonious conclusion.


    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: Lo-fi tape sizzlers from this creative pairing who impart a level of evocative narrative through the six track journey. A must for fans of Legowelt, Person Of Interest & Ed DMX, fans of the recent RAMZi are also gonna enjoy this.

    Randomer

    Slicing

      UK DJ and producer Rohan Walder, aka Randomer furthers his exploration into deep, spatial techno on Dekmantel’s UFO imprint. Fusing together two-step rhythms, cavernous beats, distortion, layered kicks, and an attentive detail to sound design, Randomer delivers an uncompromising array of abstract and destructive techno tracks.

      Randomer’s approach to techno has always maintained a bassier, obtuse approach to sound, with polyrhythmic beats that have helped set his sonic identity apart from his peers. Having released the "Running Dry EP" on DKMNTL UFO in 2016, Randomer is firmly establishing himself as one of the label’s favourite artists, with a resounding appearance at the Dekmantel festival in São Paulo, and a prime slot awaiting for him in the UFO tent at this year’s festival in Amsterdam (happenin' this very weekend! - ed)

      Kicking off with "Van Pelt", which skips along at just over 130bmp and textured with kicks that sound like two robust, metal dumpsters being hit together. Littered in the background are gongs, random percussive sounds, and something very alien, making it the perfect track for the UFO tent. "Shadow Harp" is quintessential UK techno, with yet more thudding, dark-kicks layered against a syncopated plucked and jarring bass. Birmingham would be proud! "Dissolve" drips and oozes with a sunken undercurrent of dystopic-melancholy, driving in ruptured reverb with a tribal percussive foundation. Final track "Slicing" dares to take things a little further, as the rounded-hollow kicks punctuate against more metallic, and analogue sounds - like a war of machines, set to a rhythm of abstract, free-flowing gust of techno cuts. Throughout the four-tracks, Randomer showcases his innate ability to excite and surprise with dynamism, and cutting sounds, with a technique that has been well-honed throughout the years. As he stated in an interview with Resident Advisor in 2016; 'Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.'


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      12" Info: One copy available


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