July 27, 2005

The new millennium has seen Berlin blossom into what is perhaps the most musically fertile landmark in the Western world. And no doubt with such prowess comes a handful of great independent labels. City Centre Offices may not be the most thriving and successful of these imprints, but quality-wise and as far as rock-solid rosters go, it’s certainly among the most notable. The following are selections from four recent releases from City Centre’s increasingly eclectic catalog.

The Remote Viewer- It’s Funny How We Don’t Talk Anymore

As founding members of Leeds-based post-rock outfit Hood, one might expect Craig Tattersall and Andrew Johnson’s Remote Viewer project to follow the lush indie electronic stylings of their parent band. That much would be a fairly precise assumption. Although The Remote Viewer isn’t quite as song oriented as Hood, it abides by the same hybrid formula: lush post-rock instrumentation blended with leftfield electronics, complete with the occasional vocal spell. “It’s So Funny How We Don’t Talk Anymore” finds tapping percussion sweeps married to sultry, soul-aspiring key progressions. It could pass as the best Arovane outtake you’re likely to ever hear. This selection comes from the duo’s latest full length endeavor, Let Your Heart Draw a Line, which dropped in mid May.

[buy stuff here]

Cyne - Soapbox

The fashion of leftfield electronic labels peddling the occasional hip-hop record is by no means a new vogue. Warp and Skam have both jumped on the bandwagon, and City Centre is not far behind. Surprisingly, Cyne’s debut full length, Evolution Flight, dropping in late August, isn’t much of a compromise for the label in terms of genre. It’s a hip-hop record through and through, no additives, no preservatives. The record only utilizes tiny traces of the experimental gooberisms associated with Shadow Huntaz and Antipop Consortium. For the most part, the two-MC, two-producer collective maintains a very straightforward appeal. “Soapbox” comes off like a Little Brother joint remixed by a younger, more clear-cut Scott Herren. If the beat bores you, perhaps you’ll find sanctuary in the too-many-to-count four-letter obscenities present on the track.

[buy stuff here]

Boy Robot - Super Scorer

Boy Robot is the collaborative enterprise between Hans Möller (aka Boulderdash) and Michael Zorn (aka Zorn). Released late last month, the acclaimed Rotten Cocktails has been serenading critics with its melting pot of uptempo dance gems and quirky, melodic IDM. With track titles like “Bass & Booze” and “We Accept All Our Parents’ Credit Cards,” the album upholds a certain youthful friskiness not usually associated with experimental electronic music. This is especially the case with “Super Scorer,” which is easily the album’s most accessible number. It sounds more like one of this year’s beloved Daft Punk copycats (Mylo, Vitalic, etc.) than something you’d expect off City Centre. It would be an ideal way to liven up a stagnant microhouse set without getting on too much of a tangent.

[buy stuff here]

Studio Pankow - Jungfernheide

Somewhere between the dubby IDM exercises of the ~Scape roster and the cold song structures of Pan Sonic lies ambient techno supergroup Studio Pankow. Consisting of Move D, Conjoint and Rawell, this multinational trio enlists raspy percussion samples, humming synth chatter, a mockup celestial choir and, of course, dubbed-out bass. A slight Detroit techno lean can be detected if you’re listening for it. The act’s full length Linienbusse, which found its way to shelves in late May, continues in this spirit.

[buy stuff here]

Will Simmons | 8:00 am

 
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