The disco renaissance seems to gather steam with each passing day, and the duo of Stephen Fasano and Vito De Luca are right at the front of it. Aeroplane has only been making music since last year, but the duo’s discography already boasts some serious jams. The self-titled 12” from last August caught fire right around the turn of the year, and this May, their single “Whispers” got the remix treatment from Hercules and Love Affair. Being disco DJs themselves, they’re no strangers to working with other artists’ material. They contributed a killer remix to Eskimo’s Allez Allez compilation (reviewed here) and have an edit for Lindstrřm in the pipelines. A greatly anticipated LP is still scheduled for late 2008, so cross your fingers.
Fasano and De Luca wanted to do a Listed for us, but weren’t too keen on writing out sentences about each pick … so they just sent us a mix of the whole thing. Here’s the track list:
1. They Came From The Stars - "The Gospel (Mungolian Jet Set Mix)” (TINAE Promo) 2. Aeroplane - “Pirmas Finns” (CD-R) 3. The Shortwave Set - “Now Til 69 (Aeroplane Remix)” (Wall Of Sound) 4. Ein Klein Nacht Muzik - “La Serenissima” (Modular Promo) 5. Bostro Pesopeo - “Communquis” (Permanent Vacation Promo) 6. Grand Popo - “My Territory( Joakim Dub)” (CD-R) 7. Quixote Feat Lisa LI-Lund - “I Started To Dance (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)” (Versatile Promo) 8. Simon Baker - “Plastik (Todd Terje Remix)” (Playhouse) 9. Henrik Schwarz / Âme / Dixon - “D.P.O.M.B.” (Innervisions)
Forget about New York’s Dub War – dubstep’s expansion gets much more interesting the farther East you go. First, The Hague’s 2562 released what many consider the genre’s best LP of 2008, and now we have Viennese producer Christian Sperl, a.k.a. IZC. Sperl is one of a growing number of dubstep practitioners operating far outside the London nexus – in this case, Central Europe. He also runs the Dubsquare label, which released its first record – his stellar 12” “Sand” – last month. Sperl’s sound incorporates everything from reggae and West African music to 2-step garage, without losing that quintessential dubstep sound. He’s doing his part in spreading the gospel, too, slinging his crates to Bratislava and Budapest. If you’re ever in Vienna, swing by Rhiz and say hi.
- “Brut Force” (Full Cycle, 1996) At least to me, this record marks the transition from the days of jazzed-up Jungle to the genres’ dark tech-funk-side of the late ‘90s. Still compromising both worlds, I think “Brut Force” is one of the strongest drum ‘n’ bass tunes ever built.
- The Driving Memoirs (Clear, 1997) This classic double EP is dating back to a time when drum ‘n’ bass had became too boyish and too dark, eventually leaving some people a bit lost. EPs such as this one, with its playful 808 funk, saved me from drying out.
- “Triplets” (Social Circles, 2001) I heard this tune for the first time on a radioshow by Dreem Teem on BBC Radio 1 in 2001 and it left me pretty stunned, as it was the first time I came across this weird combination of socca-rhythm staccatos, arcade melodies and heavy basslines. Basically, from the moment I heard this tune, I was grabbed by UK garage.
- Wiley Kat series, 2001-05 This series of 12" white-labels Wiley put out is quite remarkable. With its unique sound-aesthetic, radically uncompromising instrumentals – some with beats, others without – his output was highly formative for the UK grime scene.
- Harnessed The Storm (Tresor, 2002) Being pretty much absorbed by 2-step garage and grime at the time this record came out, it took me quite a while to discover Drexcyia – and with them, the whole complex of Detroit electro and experimental techno. Not that it hadn’t always been around me in some way, as I remember attending numerous gigs with acts such as Ectomorph or Pansonic – just that I probably consumed these more than actually spending much thought on them.
Mark One vs. Plasticman
- “Hard Graft” (White, 2003) Probably being considered a weird prototype for dubstep’s darker side, “Hard Graft” is employing a 808 drumset (cowbell staccato!) on top of industrial rave-sounds, delightfully contrasting the champaign-drenched 2-step scene of that time.
- Full On Volume 2 (i!, 2003) Oddly enough, New Jersey-based Todd Edwards has pioneered the return of 4x4 into UK garage, achieving a status close to legendary. Most famous for his strangely de-tuned voice cut-ups on top of always beautifully mixed 4x4 bassdrums and slightly sluggish house-skanks, only his religious fixation has been alienating.
Kode 9 & The Spaceape
- “Backward/9 Samurai” (Hyperdub, 2006) One of the few records I bought despite thinking that I’ll never be able to play it out on a dancefloor. Turns out, I can be fooled pretty easily. With its galloping beats contrasted by Spaceape’s stoic voice and a cinematic structure, this record tends to reach even to the darkest nook of the dancefloor.
Cyrus (Random Trio)
- From The Shadows (Tectonic, 2007) With its ultra-minimalist setup – ghostly atmospheres on top of a massive sub-bass foundation, structured by monotonously forward-skanking drums – this remarkably consistent LP is something really special to me.
- “Lean Forward/Learn” (DMZ, 2007) There’s a certain magic on almost all of Mala’s productions, with this EP probably being one of the best examples. Even after listening to it around 200 times, I’m still discovering new subliminal grooves and tiny sounds in the background. In terms of sound-engineering, this is a benchmark for any dubstep producer.