Cognition's February 2000 Electronics Report and Chart
by Andrew Duke

New York's Caipirinha label start 2000 with Early Modulations: Vintage Volts, a compilation featuring recordings from 1939 to 1967 from electronic music pioneers John Cage, Pierre Schaeffer, Vladimir Ussachevsky, Otto Luening, Iannis Xenakis, Luc Ferrari, Max Matthews, Vittorio Gelmetti, and Morton Subotnick. It is names such as these that have made possible the electronic music of the artists who followed and inspired the musicians of today. Major kudos are deserved for issuing this lovingly packaged, well research audio document. Soon come on the imprint are releases from Atau, Panacea, and Savvas Ysatis as Sound Track. A compilation of now material featuring previously released and unreleased recordings from Holland's DUB (Djak Up Bitch) label, Nummer Een is the first release on Ottawa's Phonics label and an essential purchase for those who appreciate both the melodic and abstract in their electronic listening.

3 other new labels worth watching this year are Tigerbeat6, Orthlorng Musork, and Carpark. Kid 606 is the artist behind the first label; grab Kid 606 And Friends Vol. 1-featuring remixes and collaborations between the Kid and established luminaries and new wunderkinds including Hrvatski, Underwood, Matmos, Marumari, Lexaunculpt, Chessie, Aube, Jake Mandell, Cex, Solvent, Max Tundra and many others-and be on the look out for Vol. 2. Speaking of Mandell and Marumari, releases from these two (the "Placekick" EP from the former and the Ballad Of The Round Ball from the latter), plus So Takahashi's Nubus kick off Todd Hyman's NYC-based Carpark enterprise. Future releases are slated from Toshoklabs (a big Electric Indepedence fave), the aforementioned 606, and California's Kit Clayton. And the ever-busy Clayton is the brains, along with partner Sue Costabile, behind Orthlorng Musork. OM promises to be another powerhouse in the growing California electronic music scene of labels, artists, and DJs who continue to provide a needed push forward. Timeblind's brave 6 track "Bloatware" EP is the label's debut; the work of Chris Sattinger, (whose varied musical resume includes work for Drop Beat, Kanzleramt, Missile, Communique, Synewave, and Head In The Clouds), this will be followed by material from Blectum From Blechdom, Full Swing, and the practically ubiquitous 606.

For Mandell's more techno-oriented side, investigate his Quondam Current full length on Germany's Force Inc. Sister label Mille Plateaux brings together 24 pieces of sound exploration on the Clicks + Cuts package, while Ultra-Red's Structural Adjustments is much different in focus. The follow up to their Second Nature, this second full length features recordings from the July 24, 1999 protest surrounding the Los Angeles Housing Authority's ineptitude in dealing with public and low income housing in the area. Ultra Red is comprised of electronician Marco Larsen and conceptual artist Don't Rhine, founders of the seminal LA spot, Public Space.

Three of my favorite American music labels have new releases on the shelves. From Texas' Mad Monkey comes Neutral's Font Translation Errors, a winning combination of out-there ramblings and vibrant electronic finesse that includes splendid bonus remixes from Burning Rome and Solenoid. New York's Toshoklabs unveils an EP from London's Mark Hadley recording jagged breaks and atmospherics for fans of Photek, Black Dog, Mick Harris, and lovers of good music. As Spectre, Wordsound head Skiz Fernando (aka The Ill Saint) shows us his vision of The End, complete with guest spots from Mr. Dead, Sensational, God Albino, M. Sayyid, Guess, Mentol Nomad, Sebastian Laws, Honeychild, and Oku Onuora.

Saving the best for last, "just buy 'em" sum up a brief word on Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players' Just Landed on Germany's ~Scape and Kid Koala's long awaited Carpal Tunnel Syndrome debut full length for Ninja Tune. Friedman is an integral component in Drome, Nonplace Urban Field, and Ntone's Flanger, and takes his version of the dub stylee to a new level here, while Koala uses his 38 minutes to spin all concepts of turntablism on its ear over these 14 cuts of comedic, manic mania.

Cognition's Electronics Top 10

1. Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players-Just Landed (DM ~Scape test)
2. Kid Koala-Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CAN/UK Ninja Tune)
3. Timeblind-"Bloatware" EP (US Orthlorng Musork test)
4. Various-Early Modulations: Vintage Volts (US Caipirinha promo)
5. Ultra-Red-Structural Adjustments (DM Mille Plateaux)
6. Neutral-Font Translation Errors (US Mad Monkey CDR)
7. So Takahashi-NuBus (US Carpark)
8. Kid 606 And Friends-Kid 606 And Friends Vol. 1 (US Tigerbeat6)
9. Headshell-"Headshell" EP (US Toshoklabs)
10. Spectre-The End (US Wordsound)

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