Posted by: Dominic Umile | 04/17/2009

April Commutes II: Ben Klock, Boom Bip, Skream

Brooklyn, Stand UPThere were more than a couple of moments this week that felt like things couldn’t get any worse. I’m looking forward to a little time away from bad news this weekend, although I can never really seem to swerve out of its way. Here are a few words on the music that I attempted to lose myself in when lousy currents blew in from D.C. and Philadelphia, and when I encountered the general odor that occupies the 6th Avenue Local train, all hours of the day.

I am just now absorbing One, the debut full-length from Germany’s Ben Klock. It’s a hefty serving of clean, sometimes dark techno and ambient work that’s so far been an exhilarating a.m. listen. I’ll hopefully have more to say about it later, but for now, check out his magnificent March 2009 contribution to Fact Magazine’s mix series — I wager you’ll be hooked within minutes. [UPDATE: I’ve changed the link for Klock’s FACT mix — it’s now updated to reflect the new place it has over at FACT’s recently revamped site. But grab it quickly. They don’t stay up forever, you know.]

Blue Eyed in the Red RoomBoom Bip’s “The Matter (Of Our Discussion)” is four years old. It closes Blue Eyed in the Red Room, the West Coast producer’s polished 2005 LP, which adheres to no detectable sonic pattern and is really worth scooping up. “The Matter” features a vocal performance from singer/songwriter Nina Nastasia that has always made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. That’s a lot of hair, too. A great deal of hair there. Nastasia’s announcements, resting on a beatless arrangement of chimes and pearly drones, are earthly and informal but deeply saddening — she finds herself imagining an eternity spent with her lover, but the fantasy is gone almost as quickly as it materializes. It’s one of the more grim morning songs I’ve turned to, but this week, with the passing of an important Philadelphian and the disclosure of even more, ample evidence of the war crimes that our nation committed under fictional law (paired with a slender chance of ever prosecuting anyone involved), I needed it. Listen here.

SkreamOllie “Skream” Jones is a Croydon, UK-based dubstep producer who at one point confessed that he simply couldn’t leave his computer, and that he’d become addicted to developing what would become a signature sound in one of the most innovative strains of contemporary electronic music. I’ve written about him before a few times, and since Tempa issued his 2006 full-length, his work has improved immensely (the 2007 Radio 1 Essential mix, for one, is consistently powerful, and loaded with his own work; eMusic just got his Skreamizm series and more). This glimpse is a showcase of what’s to come on his Disfigured Dubz label — grab it now.

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