Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Shut Up and Dance

Five long tracks here, on a compilation that is not designed to be danced to by the average punter, but rather by professional dancers and ballet troupes.

First up is NSI, with "Bridge and Tunnel People". It's a 14-minute ambient piece, with no beats until three minutes in. At the point the beats kick and pop with irregular beats, and stabby, chopped melodies. It's very bass heavy. In the middle it breaks up into random, abstract sounds before returning to a jazz-influenced section, with plenty of work on the ride cymbal and cowbell. It's pretty intense.

Next is Sleeparchive, with a buzzy, slower minimal techno track. There's a lot of acidic noises. Not bad if you like that style.

Ame centres the compilation with "Fiori", which has been creating a huge buzz. The 17-minute track begins with a long, beatless opening, before the beats kick in around 8 minutes. From there, it's a long, epic progressive house track. Is it like Rej, which destroyed dancefloors everywhere last year? Yes, it's big and it's quality, but it's not quite as catchy.

Luciano follows Ame with the most club-friendly track, the techno "Drunken Ballet". It's fairly straightforward, and not as complex as some of his recent productions and collaborations. But the vocal and melody samples are chopped up in an interesting, cute way that will bring a smile to your face.

Luke Slater, working under his The 7th Plain pseudonym, ends the album with a long ambient piece, "Symphony for the Surrealists". It's pretty much a symphony, with different movements. At the beginning, the strings are quite lush, and are underpinned by breathy choir sounds and gentle synths. Then it breaks up and goes a little crazy, with bleeps, reversed blips, clicks and other sounds. Then comes a piano interlude, before it goes into icy ambience, and finishes with some experimental beats. It's a very good piece.

Overall, it's great a selection of modern dance music. I like it a lot and think the best tracks are from Ame, NSI and Luke Slater.

The plan is for the Staatsballet Berlin to perform live to these tracks on June 29, in Berlin at th Berghain club. Sounds like a very interesting show.

It will be out as an album on May 29, 2007, on the Ostgut record label.