v/a: 50 Weapons Of Choice #30-39 (50 Weapons, 2013)
Latest comp of tracks from the limited 12″s on Modeselektor’s 50 Weapons label, which started in 2006 but didn’t really pick up steam until a few years ago. Dark Sky starts the comp off with some slow, heavy bass eruptions and shuddering claps, then picks up a 4/4 beat which skips a beat every other bar, and ticking hi-hats, and some light pads, not too much of a melody. Phon.o’s “Schn33″ starts with a classy disco-house beat, then builds to a dramatic progressive house melody. Addison Groove’s “I Go Boom” continues his melding of Chicago juke/footwork with UK bass, looping the titular phrase over mellow synths and detailed, slightly aggressive percussion. Bambounou’s “Deepstaria” has burbling, Drexciyan synths (think “Bubble Metropolis”) and a kicking beat, but doesn’t add too many other elements over its 9 minute running time. Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peace project appears in remixed form, with the “Stuck Together” mix of “Other Side”. It starts with quiet, clicky beats and bass, and some hard-panning synths bubble up into the beat pattern, and gradually Thom Yorke’s voice sneaks its way into the mix, albeit mangled and looped. The track stays minimal, but it keeps growing and changing, and ends with some vocodered vocals and a pretty synth melody. Really an impressive track, definitely more interesting than anything else I’ve heard fromt his project. After this is a typically mindblowing track by Anstam, who is easily the secret weapon of 50 Weapons. It starts out with a huge blast of almost breakcore-intense beats, then turns into a slower, glitch-heavy tempo, with dialog samples, and sung vocals saying “hey boy, don’t you wanna dance?”, tabla-sounding percussion, and some ecstatic synthwork. Really not sure why people don’t talk about Anstam more, everything I’ve heard by him has been fantastic. Next up is a track by 2562′s alias A Made Up Sound, a clunky, disjointed techno track called “Malfunction (Despair)”, which starts off with a flickering synth pattern which makes you wonder which direction the track is going to go, but then it completely changes direction once the beat comes in, although the flickering sound does reappear underneath the beat, along with some synths providing a hint of light. Cosmin TRG’s “Sommer” is typical of his recent output, steadily building techno with lots of snare rushes and some dubby echoes. Marcel Dettmann’s “Linux” keeps it minimal with a loud thumping beat, but a solitary synth sequence repeating throughout the entire track. Benjamin Damage’s “Swarm” is another minimal techno track with synths that do swarm a little bit, but not as overwhelming as you might expect a track called “Swarm”. Newcomer Datei42′s “They Explore Themselves” is one of the comp’s exclusive bonus tracks, and is slightly dubby minimal techno with an emphasis on sweeping, static-y percussion sounds. Truncate ends the comp with another exclusive track, “Switch”, a big thumping minimal track with a clipped voice repeating something that sounds like “gather”, or maybe “gabber”. So basically, the comp starts out a little moresong-based and varied, and gets more minimal and track-y during its second half. But I guess these are relative terms. Anyway, interesting stuff as always from 50 Weapons.