As we always do at the end of a year, we take the chance to thank you, our readers, for your continuous support and we also have a look at what you enjoyed the most on hipodrome. This is a summary of the top 3 albums, compilations and recordings that you liked the most this year. I’m really happy and proud to see that we have very similar taste in music.
We are starting this year’s retrospective with some “musical gifts” we discovered on the net. Music shared for free download / pay-what you want from artists and label we admire.More
A Philosophy of Tracking was a vinyl LP album that came with the Legowelt Polyend Tracker hardware sequencer/sampler released in 2021. All songs were made on this machine. This digital release has a bunch of extra tracks that were not on the LP. The Polyend Tracker is a Polish electronic music instrument, a hardware version of 1990s tracker music software like Protracker and Octamed. Originating mainly on the Commodore Amiga and PC computers this software could extensively sequence sound samples. Starting thousands of music careers, they enabled more then ever anyone with just a cheap computer to make releasable music in their bedroom without the need of expensive music gear. It played a vital role in the development of many electronic music styles: Jungle, Gabber, Breakcore and The Hague electronix to name a few. In 2021 Polyend released the TRACKER Legowelt edition. Sporting a custom faceplate designed by Legowelt and including 5000 samples from his studio. it also came with a bunch of tracks: “.mod files” that could be studied, altered or whatever you waned to do with. This album is mainly a selection of these tracks with some vocoder/vocals added. All songs.were made on the tracker, except vocals and vocoder which were done on a ZOOM1201, Korg RK100S, Roland VT-5 and some reverb and delay effects from an Alesis Midiverb 4.
Timothy J. Fairplay presents ‘Dungeon Module Volume One’ an eight track compilation of tracks made by occasional visitors, Alias’s, pseudonyms, mystery producers, assumed names and alter egos who make music in Timothy’s Dungeon Module studio. Some of these tracks have appeared in Timothy’s dj sets and radio shows over the last year.There’s Timothy himself with ‘88 Manchester swimming pool party jam ‘Soap’. ‘Brain Wave’ by Humberside synth pop/new wave outsider Roland Telescopes. The robotic electro of ‘Northeast Sector’ by Zentraedi and closing side one with some deepspacetechno is MR. R.I.N.G. with ‘Mick’s Broadcast’ – taking its cue from a cut from the Running Man Soundtrack with a similar name. Side B begins with Main Street Mining and the flanger heavy jackbeat of ‘Main Street’, then we have the long over due return of Antoine Rouge with the stomping euro dance of ‘Street Sucker’. Berlin school from Longo with its disco beat and monotone ‘Dancing Boys’ refrain. Finally the raw electro of Effectron ll ‘One More Day’ made with just an 808 and a Transcendent 2000.
Zement welcome back Ole Mic Odd and Alonzo for another punch of high impact tunes aimed squarely at the floor. There is plenty of cosmic urgency to the electro-tech of ‘B-A-D’ and all its withering sci-fi aesthetics. ‘Automate Your Mind’ bristles eve more with brilliantly tight drums and hits and mystic pads up above. ‘Body Rocking’ gets busy with pixelated melodic arps and vocoder vocals with punchy kicks and ‘Smoke Break’ is a more mindful and slower jam for thoughtful reflection.
Cucina Povera and Ben Vince’s debut full-length collaboration deploys an engrossing suite of noirish nocturnes based around Maria Rossi aka Cucina Povera’s muzzy vocal loops and Ben Vince’s accompaniments on saxophone, synth and piano. Born out of wonder, innocence and creative discovery, it’s the sound of two exploratory collaborators swimming into each other’s ideas, from Terry Riley-esque transcendence to late-night sax swirls shrouding Rossi’s distinctive voice in dimly lit psychedelic smoke.
The sum to infinity of a sequence is the sum of an infinite number of terms in the sequence. It is only possible to compute this sum if the terms of a sequence converge to zero. “sum to infinity” is also the second release from gamut inc, the retro-futuristic ensemble around composers and curators Marion Wörle and Maciej Sledziecki. This second album by Gamut Inc combines custom-built autonomous music machines with haunting classical synthesiser sounds to create a dense musical kaleidoscope. The core of the album is formed by Risset rhythms – cyclic accelerations and decelerations, in which rhythmic layers repeatedly fade in and out, setting in motion a seemingly endless process of rhythmic movement. The motifs are taken from geometric and arithmetic series that create urgency and restlessness. The rigour of the construction is obscured by an orchestra whose timbres are reminiscent of a retro-futuristic indigenous ensemble. Gamut Inc translate strategies of electronic music like pulse-width modulation to music machines such as automated accordion, automated percussion or glockenspiels and create an intense atmosphere that is idiosyncratic, original and modern at the same time.
After more than 45 years forgotten in the personal archives of Jean Schwarz, Transversales Disques is releasing this previously unpublished recording which brings together the great Don Cherry and his friend, composer Jean Schwarz, pioneer in electro-acoustic music and member of G.R.M. This concert was recorded in 1977 at the Paris MIX festival (Théatre Récamier) organised by G.R.M and hosted by director François Bayle. An elegant mix of spiritual jazz and electronic sounds around this astounding quintet made up of JF Jenny Clark, Nana Vasconcelos and Michel Portal.
Ma Spaventi is a wonderfully versatile artist. Over his decade-long career, the Italian musician has turned his capable hand to everything from ambient to techno. Once again, he is expanding his sound palette and challenging expectations with “Vicino Lontano”.
In a future that is closer than it may seem, a vessel is sent back to earth, to find out what caused the final demise of human kind. Reporting and recording their findings, Lords of the Future are sending us tunes of sad robots, lonely algorithms and artificial intelligence in moral conflict with itself.
Glasgow’s Seated Records return with more archival Scottish New Wave material; this time, in the form of Pop Wallpaper’s disco-not-disco interpretation of the Shuggie Otis classic, ”Strawberry Letter 23”. The Edinburgh band first released ”Strawberry Letter 23” in 1986 as a double A side 12” alongside original song, ”Nothing Can Call Me Back”.
Bristol’s Gilbert turns in a very classy EP of deep and nostalgic IDM cuts – just how M>O>S like it.
Super Rhythm Trax welcomes back Glasgow’s Fear-E for his second full EP on the label. 4 fresh tracks each designed to tear the club up.
Sticky Plastik returns with its second release featuring a Prince de Takicardie solo EP. The French artist known for his distinctive raw and acidic, yet full of melodies and baselines tech/electro analogue sound won’t disappoint you with these 4 gems.
A hard to find sci-fi Detroit techno classic gets a timely reissue complete with a new, super solid Delano Smith remix. It’s hard not to love the original in all its futuristic glory, led by a sturdy four-to-the-floor pummelling but boasting a throbbing neo-disco bassline – imagine a lost Gorgio Moroder classic being remade by Jeff Mills in PurposeMaker mode. But the Delano Smith remix updates it for modern palates, ironically by delving back even further, to the early 70s model Kraftwerk from whom he borrows some very austere but classy synth sounds and a touch of electro syncopation.
Neapolitan producer Partenope certainly wears a big Underground Resistance influence on his sleeve in the case of ‘Odysseya’ – it’s even mentioned in the press release, and we’re not going to argue either. But it’s no bad thing, especially as it’s a general love of the soulful, uplifting, musical end of the techno scale rather than a creative plunder of any UR track in particular. The label has pulled out the big guns with a Gerd Janson remix to accompany it too, and Janson certainly delivers with his warm production bringing out the best via three way acid trance techno hybrid.
Planet People have love for Chicago & New York House, Detroit techno & 90s UK ambient. The crew is coming from the UK and this is their first chapter.
‘Advanced Process’ presents itself as a distinguished LP, oozing with Marcello Giordani’s innate talent to evolve the classic Italo Disco sound into consistently ear catching productions of the future. Crisp, analog drum machines and glistening synthwork are a constant. Giordani captivates you with compelling arrangements and considered hints to electro in the likes of ‘Metamorphosis’. Powerful vocals from Fred Ventura and Ready In LED feature on the two alluring singles ‘Mysterious Calls (In The Night)’ and ‘Fase Rem’. Encapsulating, intelligent acid work is heard in ‘Forbidden Pleasures’. Marcello’s clear love for analogue authenticity is at the forefront of this LP. Crisp, analog drum machines and glistening synthwork are a constant.
Members Only is back at it with a double 12″ featuring 8 previously unreleased tracks of the off the wall lo-fi edit madness they’re known for.