Cognition's June 1999 Electronics Report and Chart
by Andrew Duke

Fresh off the classy electro and tech house of his recent “Series Two” EP on the Welsh Headspace label, British artist CiM returns with “Service Pack”, 8 cuts of introspective, experimental fare for Amsterdam’s Delsin imprint. There’s a piece or two here for the adventurous techno DJ, plus it’s all extremely listenable. Winning material from New Zealand and Australia comes in the form of album releases from Aspen and Thug. The former’s “Are You That Retail Snob?” full length is the first for the Involve label, while the latter comes correct with material for Aural Industries. Both skillfully juggle techno and IDM oriented rhythms and melodies for releases well worth the hunt.

Domestic choices deserving investigation include the latest from New Hampshire’s Kracfive, the “Mapping Music” LP from Colongib, a busy rhythmatic affair with plenty of depth, and the Oval-esque “Amorpheus” affair from Cathars. Better known as Kurt Ralske, this shows there’s still much room to explore the ghosts in the proverbial machine. Getting the remix treatment from Third Eye Foundation, Twisted Science, Horse Opera, and Spymania’s Hardy is the Leeds based Hood; this ain’t gonna hit you over the head with musical acrobatics, but pay attention to this while it plays and you’ll be rewarded. Exploring a romantic vibe through electronic music are albums from Bacuzzi (“Flower Lodge” on the Swedish King Syndrome Sounds) and Marumari’s “Ballad Of The Round Ball” (don’t ask me what it means) on the prolific American Vinyl Communications. I’m still trying to get my head around the latest from Rephlex: “Maxi German Rave Blast Hits 3” from Bodenstandig 2000 is sorta like a soundclash between a high school band (playing exclusively electronic music) and a busload of toy throwing kindergarten attendees. And the scant vocals are all in German. Not sure if that’s a good thing or not, but it’s cheeky enough over all to likely win me over.

Can’t forget about the beats and rhymes, so make sure you check out the newest offerings from the WordSound stable: Slotek’s “Hydrophonic” and “Corner The Market” from Sensational. Lo fi, yes, but high quality all the way if you’re smart enough to understand that glossy productions are usually employed to hide a lack of talent. This is pure to the bone. Bomb Hip Hop is busy with Krispy’s “From The Country” (some oldies from the band, plus some new bits) and some East Coast action from Kreators on “No Contest”. Check out this list of names: Beat Junkies, Defari, Kool Keith, Mos Def, Planet Asia. These are just some of the many featured on M-Boogie's “Laid In Full” mix CD, packed full of exclusive material, drops from the likes of KRS ONE, and sliced, diced, scratched, and broken down with a buckletload of flare(s). Essential.

Drum n bass fiends should dig into Palm Pictures’ pieces from Sly And Robbie (“Fatigue Chic” gets remixed by the Dub Pistols and paired with the Flytronix rub of “Superthruster”) and Mocean Worker (“Heaven @ 12:07” gets a Technical Itch makeover, plus there’s the original take and “Times Of Danger”). Art Of Noise have a saccharine dose of d n b going on throughout their ZTT album “Seduction Of Claude Debussy” (along with an appearance by Rakim), but fans who know AON from way back when might be shaking their heads after playing this out.

The funk is well represented by Bronx Dogs, Nine Bar, and crew on Marble Bar’s first compilation (“Marbles Volume One” out through the British Distance), while Meat Beat Manifesto, Omnio Trio, Gus Gus, Q Burns Abstract Message, Tranquility Bass, and others wave their magic wands over classics like “Watermelon Man” and “Jump Jive And Wail” to mostly pleasant results on “Electro Lounge: Electronic Excursions In Hi-Fidelity” (The Right Stuff/Capitol).

Cognition Electronics Top 20

1. CiM—“Service Pack” EP (NL Delsin test)
2. Aspen—“Are You That Retail Snob?” album (NZ Involve CDR)
3. Thug—“Isolated Rhythm Chock” album (AU Aural Industries)
4. Colongib—“Mapping Music” album (US Kracfive CDR)
5. Slotek—“Hydrophonic” album (US WordSound)
6. M-Boogie—“Laid In Full” mix CD (US Blackberry)
7. Cathars—“Amorpheus” album (US Miau Miau International)
8. Hood—remixes EP (US Drop Beat)
9. Marumari—“Ballad Of The Round Ball” album (US Vinyl Communications CDR)
10. Bacuzzi—“Flower Lodge” album (SE King Syndrome CDR)
11. Joshua Kit Clayton—“Live @ CCAC 3/11/99” (US Cytrax unreleased CDR)
12. Turner—“Multiorgel und Porze” EP (DM Ladomat test)
13. Lobe—“Hibernation” album (UK Swim~)
14. Baretta--EP (US Hydrant unreleased CDR)
15. Bodenstandig 2000—“Maxi German Rave Blast Hits 3” album (UK Rephlex)
16. Kreators—“No Contest” album (US Bomb Hip Hop promo)
17. Various—“Marbles Volume One” (UK Marbles/Distance)
18. Various—“Electro Lounge: Electronic Excursions In Hi-Fidelity” (US The Right Stuff/Capitol CDR)
19. Mocean Worker—“Heaven @ 12:07” (Technical Itch remix) (US Palm Pictures)
20. Hydrophonix—“Rollin’ A Hard Six” 12” (US Bottom Heavy)

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