One thing I can say about this Aphex Twin that I could not about previous efforts, and that few on the internet seem to have mentioned explicitly, is that Syro is, by far, his most accessible record to date. Warp didn’t have the Bleep superstore when his last album was released. The masses hadn’t yet been offered today’s cornucopia of streaming options, e.g., Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, iTunes). At least not in the ‘on-every-device-I own’ capacity that we currently enjoy.
Due to the explosion of all manner of internet content, it is difficult to speak about Syro, and Aphex Twin, in the ‘this guy is so underground’ and ‘I can’t believe you haven’t heard about Aphex Twin’ way that once prevailed. I mean, Resident Advisor has a great review, but you’d expect that, right?
What you wouldn’t expect is an NPR article about Syro. And Twittter and Facebook and all the other channels…so many likes, so many retweets.
Also, a Fader interview and a Rolling Stone interview.
It is with all of this in mind that I say “Congratulations!” to Mr. James and the Aphex Twin moniker, on the release of something special that nearly everybody on the planet can easily get. Any fear of stores and online repositories ‘running out’ of this album is ridiculous. The moment physical and digital copies were available, Syro was making the rounds on the multitude of streaming music services.
And that’s a true feat for someone that has been in the game for so long. Top outlets are giving it top ratings and everyone can join in on the fun that so many of us techno geezers were keen on 20 years ago.
I’m a longtime fan of John Tejada’s work. I visit his Bandcamp page and label’s website. And I continue to jam his remix of the Field’s “No. No…” (Kompakt) and his dublab live set from this summer.
All this to highlight the fact that news of his vinyl-only EP on Barbara Preisinger’s Slices of Life label was received with significant joy. A bit of applause even.
The 12″ EP, entitled Times Like This, contains three tracks. “Times Like This” contains a slightly-too-repetitive vocal sample and is perfect for a big-room techno set. This one recalled a few similar tunes, such as Green Velvet’s “La La Land” or the Dubfire remix of “Transit Time” by John Selway and Christian Smith, both of which mix quite well with it.
On “A Slice From The Past”, the title really says it all: Classic 90’s techno sounds of the Detroit/Germany variety (which seem to be all the rage these days, no?), stitched together with some steady, but not boring, deep house elements. This is a sublime tune perfect for a 5am loft party set.
“From A Slice To A Draw” is my favorite of the three. Tejada employs just the right amount of slick percussion and tech-house sensibility to beckon folks to the dancefloor. Again, easy to mix, steady without being boring, and straddling the big-room and loft environs.
You can listen to snippets of the EP via the Slices of Life SoundCloud page.
If you’re in Los Angeles for Halloween, check out John Tejada with Doc Martin, Daniel Bell, and Douglas J. McCarthy at Sublevel.
One last thing…keep your eyes and ears open for news about Tejada’s upcoming album, expected sometime in early 2015.
Martyn’s The Air Between Words was released earlier this year on the formidable Ninja Tune label. Martyn brings his rugged, yet melodic blend of classic techno and house elements to Chicago’s Smart Bar tonight and tickets are available. Steve Mizek and Olin provide DJ support. You should definitely check it out.
$14 Before Midnight / $16 After // 10PM // 21+
Say what you will about Black Lips, they are still a formidable live act and Chicago fans are lucky enough to see them in not one, but two venues across the city. The boys from Atlanta will be at the Logan Square Auditorium for a sold out show tonight with The King Khan & BBQ Show and Heavy Times. Tomorrow (Sat. Sep. 20), they will be at Thalia Hall with The King Khan & BBQ Show, NE-HI, and The Get Drunk DJs for an 8 PM show (Doors at 7 PM). Get tix for the Thalia Hall show.
Some new tunes, some old tunes…Droopy recorded a drum n’ bass mix late last month.
Did you like The Books? I liked The Books. And I also like Zammuto, the new band by former Books frontman, Nick Zammuto.
There’s a great write-up of the band on NPR that will get you in the mood for their upcoming show at Schuba’s this week (09/09/2014).
Not sure if the catapult will fit on that stage though…