November News

  • Posted by: Thomas on Nov 23, 2011

    Last year Planet Mu released 'Bangs & Works Vol.1’ . It was a carefully curated, first of its kind compilation of Chicago footwork, a style of music which is possibly some of the most genuinely future-facing, innovative new electronic music on the planet. Simon Reynolds recently noted in an interview for his book 'Retromania’ that "one thing I thought was really innovative was all this stuff from Chicago, the footwork stuff...That’s one of the few things in recent years that has made my jaw drop a little bit—the Bangs and Works CD that Planet Mu put out. "I put on one of my blogs that Mike Paradinas [who compiled the CD] deserves a knighthood for this, because he went through a lot of stuff and there must have been a lot of quite indifferent material."
    Since the release of that album, the attention paid to this little known local scene has increased drastically, so much so that we were able tour DJs Rashad and Spinn plus footwork dancers in the UK and Europe. What's more the music has been adapted for different uses by people outside Chicago, and has influenced new productions not only by Planet Mu artists such as Machinedrum and Kuedo, but by many others as well.
    'Bangs & Works Vol.2' brings the focus back onto Chicago's own producers, showing where the real innovation in the scene still lies. The album attempts to show different sides of footwork to Volume 1. Where the first compilation showed off some of the more hallucinatory and leftfield elements, this cd has a wider remit, covering mad techno-style tracks such as DJ Metro's 'Tekno Bangz' or DJ T-Why’s immense ‘Juice’ and ‘Finished’, to tracks that sound like Musique Concrete gone footwork, like Young Smoke’s 'Space Muzik Part 3' or tracks built around long forgotten europop songs, soul and hip hop.


    To celebrate the release of Kuedo's album 'Severant’ we have decided to give away 1000 downloads of a remix by our very own Drew Lustman. Falty has infused the original's gentle ambience with the subby bom-bap of new york hip hop for an altogether different experience.
    Click 'HERE’ for the download on our soundcloud or hit the sleeve image to take you to the link to buy the original.

    Coming Soon

    Hailing from Greece's capital, the duo 'Keep Shelly In Athens' have been the toast of the blog world for a while now, and their first 'EP’ for Planet Mu is in keeping with a consistent level of odd synth-pop that the label has released this year from'Tropics’ to 'Vezelay’,'Heterotic’. to 'Solar Bears’.
    With several releases under their belt they first came to our attention with their remix of Solar Bears 'Cub', an awesome re-imagining of the track from the boys debut album. The remix is a monumental slice of cold but blissful synth pop, with stadium-sized reverbs and punched-in repetitive vocals over rumbling guitars and punchy drums.
    'The Chains' has all the off-key atmosphere of an Italian horror film soundtrack with the band's female singer intoning a melody that could come from a 'Violator' era Depeche Mode song. The whole song breaks down towards the end into an intense finale.
    Title track 'Campus Martius' has a giant humming bassline, with electronic drums scratching away like insects flying at windows, as a gentle piano line ripples over the top painting a feeling of airy pleasure while vocal samples drop a melody at altered pitches. A scene of tentative bliss.
    Finally, 'Struggle With Yourself' pits Sarah's raw singing over a weird acidic bassline that could easily sound at home on a Coil record along with loose guitar strums, before the track breaks into light spoken word and angelic vocals, finishing off as it started, but with a stark warning.

    Ital Tek shows a massive shift in sound on the 'Gonga E.P’. , inspired by the recent spate of footwork and mutant footwork that Planet Mu has been releasing, creating exit strategies from the current virus of the 90s inspired retro house fad.
    'Gonga' is an extremely powerful track, rolling out weird, syncopated tabla-style drums over tough dancehall-style rolling kicks and rising clavs, building up a huge vertiginous rush of ascending synth lines that leave you breathless. 'Pixel Haze' uses deep layers of 8-bit synth and lush melodies to create a huge swelling sea over which footwork kicks and basslines roll.
    'Cobalt' takes things darker and colder, with a pumping kick drum reminiscent of technoid drum'n'bass. With some of dubstep's elegant spaces, a swelling metallic sound and 808 drums it leaves a dark and oppressive feeling. µ-Ziq's take on 'Gonga' is more minimal than the original, throwing in odd syncopations, diva vocals and a more jungle-inspired drum sound, layering rhythms in syncopated patterns over the pitched-up tabla sound of the original. Altogether a thoughtful and brilliant new sound.

    We have a new signing 'Ital’ (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH ITAL TEK )
    If you’ve heard Daniel Martin-McCormick's name recently, it would probably have been either in association with his disco/punk/echo band 'Mi Ami', or as 'Sex Worker' on the Not Not Fun label, or finally as 'Ital' on NNF’s sister label 100% Silk, recording quite different sounding house music to this album. Raised in Washington DC, Daniel has a history in the city's hardcore scene, he was in the Dischord records signed 'Black Eyes', but was also making dance inspired tracks at the same period, but coming from a very different angle from your average guy with a copy of Logic and a working knowledge of dance music’s history.
    Daniel's music is a stranger thing. Working best at high volume, it uses house’s easy going 4/4 structure as a kind of camouflage for more out-there sonic explorations; subverting expectations, seeking out the links between the space and the sound-bending of dub & industrial’s unsettling sonics with the grooves of classic house and the effects and black holes of minimal at it’s weirdest. The album has a sculptured feel; sounds twist in space, feeling almost three dimensional and melodies pitch-shift in an unsettling way; voices dissolve in and out of these frameworks and the whole album has a unique, haunted feel; nothing is ever allowed to settle totally comfortably, everything vibrates. 'Hive Mind's' titles also hint at such themes as how culture insinuates itself on you and the meaning of pleasure, it’s ironies and forms, drawing in creeping fears of the internet age.
    Opener 'Doesn't Matter (If You Love Him)' sounds a bit like Tackhead if they had made house music, using a flickering and confidently repeated phrase over a lumbering drum and bassline, introducing swirling and bombing synths into the mix – once the secret comes out. 'Floridian Void's' strange marrying of treated voices and swelling, pitch-bent chords and effects draws the listener into its strange atmosphere; it’s an ambient house track of sorts, but the ambience here is a swirling, confusing, watery vortex rather than being fuzzy and new age. 'Privacy Settings' builds creepy wolf howls over a slow bassline and cold faraway banging drums, estranged from their usual disco setting. Next, 'Israel' picks things up again, with weird, pitch-shifting edited bells over dubby toms, all the while cold chords rushing in and out over this unsettling backing track. The closer 'Final Wave' restores the album back to something resembling normality, with a disco-like swing that recalls Moodymann’s beat down productions but slid through brutal dub-like FXs that bring out a shade of strangeness in an otherwise happy groove.


    On the 29th of November Planet Mu Records will be taking over 'BOILER ROOM TV’. You can watch µ-Ziq / Mike Paradinas DJing the latest Bangs & Works plus Ital Tek live promoing his new single 'Gonga', Machinedrum previewing his new material and Chrissy Murderbot live. Make sure to tune in for an unforgetable evening.

    We have also just taken delivery some new merchandise including new hats as well as'THESE’ laptop bags. Good night.

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