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

Good news for fans of Brazil-born Amon Tobin: it's taken almost two years, but he's now followed up his Bricolage and Permutation albums with Supermodified, a new full length (CAN/UK Ninja Tune; ninjatune.net). As expected, Tobin brings on plenty of frantic beats--created by him, not stolen and looped, thank you very much--but he's also mellowed a bit for some well thought out, more sombre moments. As a whole, it's easy to appreciate and good to have him back. Once you've grabbed this new one, you're advised to check out his underappreciated Adventures In Foam LP under his Cujo guise. Mentioned in this column 3 years back, it was released on the Ninebar label and still holds its weight.

Mitchell Akiyama is my favorite new Canadian artist. His Intr_verse (CAN Intr_version; intr_version@hotmail.com) brings back fond memories of seminal groups like Reload (the UK's Black Dog is cited as a favorite) with its juxtaposition of dense rhythmatics and memorable melodies. This will be given a full CD release in the summer, but you can contact Akiyama now to buy a CDR copy.

A new compilation out of Toronto, The Blue Night Network (CAN Public Transit; ptrmusic.com), showcases new material in a variety of styles; from the taut techno of Rainfield (Chair Recordings head Daniel Lui), to the sublime tech house of Matt Thibedeau, turntablism from M-Roc, and plenty of drum n bass. While most of the contributions are from Canadians, Dollis Hill England's Cold Mission (4 Hero's Marc Mac) and Columbus Ohio's Monochrome also put in an appearance.

Greece-based artist Savvas Ysatis chases last year's Highrise album--released under his own name on Berlin's Tresor--with The Cooler (US Caipirinha; caipirinha.com). Recording as Sound Track, here Ysatis presents more of his glacial tech house and techno side, just one facet of his prolific output. 8 tracks on CD, there will be a limited edition 12" featuring 3 cuts and a remix from California's Kit Clayton. And from that sunny State comes O.S.T. with Deflect (US Emanate; syncopated.net/emanate). The man behind this original sound track is Chris Douglas (Rook Vallade is another name under which he records); this recording is a dense splattering of atmospherics, textures, and experimental soundscapes. Anyone into on-the-edge electronic music, and especially fans of Low Res/Crank, ought to hear this.

Any must-have British releases this month? Yep. Descent from The Rise (UK Pagoda; pag-records.com) is a superb collection of morbid drum n bass; the artist behind The Rise is Simon Wells, who's lead the punk band Snuff and with his background brings a new perspective to this electronic form. 21st Century break beat, indeed. For something with a more organic feel, whether you're into downtempo musings, heady breaks, or deep house, Universal Principles' Inspiration & Light (UK Soma; somarecords.com) will soothe your soul.

More groovey goodness can be found on Syrup's Different Flavors (DM Compost; compost-records.com)--think Average White Band with a healthy injection of Parliament--and, on the same label, Peter Kruder's "Root Down" one-sided single and Coldfeet's "Pussyfoot" remixed by Truby Trio. Also worthy of attention is Exit All Areas from Cinerex (BE Downsall Plastics/Lowlands; lowlands@innet.be), a moody slice of slithery downtempo with feisty attitude. Not at all a copy of Tricky or Massive Attack, but likely to appeal to fans of those groups.

For those looking to explore further the possibilities of minimal computer music, New York artist Taylor Deupree's .n (DM Ritornell; force-inc.com) is an excellent choice. And for found sound manipulation par excellence, grab Elevator 3: Digitalanalog Mood Music from Curd Duca, a German living in Miami (DM Mille Plateaux; force-inc.com).

Bevan Smith, the man behind Aspen, returns with a delicious techno/tech house album as Signer with Giving It Up To Feel Effected, a co-release between his Involve imprint and fellow label Kog Transmissions (NZ Involve/Kog Transmissions; involve.co.nz; kog.co.nz). Soon come from Involve is the "So You Wanna Be A (Death) Star" EP from Andrew Thomas, twelve short untitled tracks available on limited edition CDR, and a dark ambient selftitled release from All The Pretty Things.

Cognition's Electronics Top 15 for May 2000 (compiled April 10, 2000)

1. Signer--Giving It Up To Feel Effected (NZ Involve/Kog Transmissions CDR)
2. Taylor Deupree--.n (DM Ritornell)
3. O.S.T.--Deflect (US Emanate)
4. Sound Track--The Cooler (US Caipirinha promo)
5. The Rise--Descent (UK Pagoda)
6. Universal Principles--Inspiration & Light (UK Soma)
7. Peter Kruder--"Root Down" 12" (DM Compost test)
8. Amon Tobin--Supermodified (CAN/UK Ninja Tune)
9. Various--The Blue Night Network (CAN Public Transit)
10. Mitchell Akiyama--Intr_verse (CAN Intr_version CDR)
11. Ewan Jansen--unreleased sampler (AU Red Ember CDR; redember.com.au)
12. Curd Duca--Elevator 3: Digitalanalog Mood Music (DM Mille Plateaux)
13. Steb Sly--Demo Disc (CAN Independent CDR; stebsly@homepage.com)
14. Bebel Gilberto--Tanto Tempo (US Six Degrees/BE Ziriguiboom/Crammed promo)
15. Cinerex--Exit All Areas (BE Downsall Plastics/Lowlands)

Check out Andrew Duke's In The Mix (weekly internationally syndicated radio/net show) and Cognition [techno.ca/cognition] for interviews, exclusive live PAs and DJ mixes, world premieres, prereleases, classics, news, and reviews. Send tests (double copies please) for broadcast and review consideration to:
Andrew Duke Cognition/In The Mix 1096 Queen St #123 Halifax NS Canada B3H 2R9 [cognition@techno.ca] [techno.ca/cognition] 2000 Andrew Duke/Cognition. All Rights Reserved.


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