Beau (Wanzer), Jason (Letkiewicz) and Misha (Khokhlov) are Frantic Excess and they’re here to sour up your night. Very good for any mutant hideout or humid dungeon.
The triad of Mutant Beat Dance brings an entirely different approach with numerous vocal appearances and raw funkiness. The kind of sound that brings images of dark and dirty city streets to mind that would not feel out of place as the soundtrack for an cult 80s film about about street gangs i.e. the Duke from Escape From New York…or Style Wars. The Wave and House sounds are present but then there’s distorted walking bass guitars and snapping drums give it this more swampy sound, and also the more punk rock sound of The Stooges or The Cramps. This release is the feeling of listening to a band and not just some guys who are making electronic music. This is an excellent juxtaposition of styles that is effective in both manners.Continue reading “Mutant Beat Dance – No Comfort For Control [NAT020]”
Steve Summers delivers his long anticipated debut double LP for L.I.E.S. Stepping up with 13 tracks, Summers goes across the board exploring all ends of the long lineage of Chicago House music. As a member of Mutant Beat Dance with Traxx and Beau Wanzer or under his Rhythm Based Lovers alias Summers has always managed to tread the line between classic Chicago styles and modern psychedelic Jakbeat floor beaters. On the aptly titled “Generation Loss” we get the the full spectrum; from the old school 80s acid of “Who Knows” to the long form lysergic blackhole of “Boxed In” or the dx funk of “Unknown Origin” Summers cements his signature style which he has refined over years throughout this LP.
Two Dogs in a House is Jason Letkiewicz and Ron Morelli. This is a collection of Two Dogs in a House tracks from the archives spanning 2009-2013. Tracks 1-5 previously unreleased, track 6 released on vinyl on Lets Play House Records, track 7 unreleased remix of Black Deer and tracks 8-10 recorded in 2013, released on vinyl in 2015 as Doomsday Initiative II, with blessed permission from Nation.
It’s been a while since we last heard from Steve Summers, one of the many musical aliases of producer Jason Letkiewicz. When he last landed on proudly Chicagoan imprint CLEAR with the robust and unearthly “Artificial Light” EP, it was on the back of nine years spent building up Steve Summers as a purveyor of forthright club cuts that pushed at the limits of acceptability. Now Letkiewicz’s return with his Steve Summers pseudonym on CLEAR is defiantly intense and otherworldly in tone. “Counter-Factuals” is powered primarily by the kind of psychedelic acid lines and thrusting machine drums that have long been a hallmark of Chicago house. This is no nostalgia-fest though, with Letkiewicz’s take on “acid” being more abstract and unorthodox than the music of his predecessors.
Over the last decade, we’ve come accustomed to Jason Letkiewicz releasing material under a dizzying array of aliases, each utilized to explore a different side of his multi-faceted musical persona. Now, some 14 years after he made his recording debut, Letkiewicz has joined forces with Into The Light Records to release his first album under his real name. ‘The Reflecting Pool’ sees Letkiewicz exploring the uncomplicated and uncluttered in the pursuit of pure aural beauty. The album is stripped back, quiet, melodious is drawing more on Letkiewicz’s love of crystalline ambient, slow burn synthesizer soundscapes, early ’80s library music and the kind of obscure electronic new age music. The set’s 12 tracks gently ebb and flow, with Letkiewicz making great use of dusty old drum machines, effects units and a range of vintage analogue and digital synthesizers. With ‘The Reflecting Pool’, Letkiewicz has provided us with a much-needed dose of stress-free musical escapism, at the same time offering hope that in these troubling times, love may still save the day.
Jason Letkiewicz has always swum against the musical tides, flitting between different solo pseudonyms (including Steve Summers, Death Commando and Alan Hurst) and collaborative projects (most notably Mutant Beat Dance) in order to explore different aspects of his leftfield inspirations. With his latest release, a first full-length outing for Artificial Dance entitled ‘Mirage Information’, the Chicago-based artist is operating under an alias that celebrates this approach: Opposing Currents. It’s an alias he’s used once before – for a track featured on Chronditic Sound’s 2015 cassette compilation Non-Christian Referent – but ‘Mirage Information’ sounds like an artistic rebirth. Densely layered, mind-altering and often intense, the album’s seven tracks update the Cold War paranoia and pulsating electronics of EBM and industrial music for today’s complex and chaotic political climate. Throughout, Letkiewicz smothers off-kilter drum machine rhythms and throbbing, body-jacking synthesizer basslines in untold layers of hazy audio detail, creating a dystopian sound soup out of which alien electronic melodies, psychedelic acid lines and barely audible vocals emerge. At times, such as on angry opener ‘Lying Awake’, the extra-terrestrial ‘Dissolve’ and foreboding ‘Shallow Grave’, we’re invited to dance in the darkness in celebration of impending doom. On other occasions, such as the poignant and melancholic closing cut ‘It Awaits’, Letkiewicz simply seems exasperated at the chaos that is life in the 21st century. It makes for a genuinely arresting and thought-provoking listen.
Mutant Beat Dance has returned to Rush Hour. The debut album from renegade trio Mutant Beat Dance (Traxx, Beau Wanzer and Steve Summers) takes the wild and free sound of Chicago’s Music Box era into the 21st Century. Over 25 tracks the album mines an oft cited but rarely understood ground at the intersection of Post-Punk, Minimal Wave, Industrial, Disco Dub, EBM and proto-House / early-House. “Mutant Beat Dance.” is an epic journey into a classic American ideology that had its apex in Chicago. Traxx has been working on this concept in various forms throughout the last decade on release for Discos Capablanca, Rong Music, Hour House Is Your Rush Records, L.I.E.S. (Long Island Electrical Systems), Light Sounds Dark, Rush Hour and his own Nation label finally refining his concept into its most thoroughly developed explored on this the debut M.B.D album that was started in 2015. Mutant Beat Dance was originally a duo made up of Traxx, and self-described weirdo, Chicagoan Beau Wanzer. Given the scope of the new project it became logical and necessary to expand the unit to include its newest member Brooklyn based Steve Summers. Together this hard-working trio has completed an album with an enormous diversity of song styles unlike anything they have ever done before. Unique in its musical range and content from obscure electronics with subliminal messages to funk laden machine grooves, industrial soundscapes, Detroit dirge, cryptic ankle bitter anthems and beyond this is a genre-bending challenging epic of an album.
The prolific Jason Letkiewicz returns to his Steve Summers alias for a suite of post-apocalyptic jack tracks. Across labels like L.I.E.S., Future Times, Echovolt, Nation and Clone, Letkiewicz spent the last decade exploring dimensional rifts between techno, house, noise, ambient and more. After occupying nearly as many cities as monikers he’s landed in Chicago and on local outpost Clear.
Jason Letkiewicz isn’t some fashionista. His efforts predate whatever you want to call the current wave of interest in club music. For his first release on Valcrond Video he offers two tracks as Steve Summers. “Always” builds up as a web of metallic syncopation pulsing with threat. A dangerous motif swerves in like pissed-off porpoises, slick with black grime after an oil spill. Vocals show up: they sound like somebody kidnapped a larynx and forced it to MC at the center of a badass board game. A disembodied voice box in the middle of a cardboard landscape. On “Resist” that same captive voice rings through a metal hockey mask, as the instrumental elements seem to narrate an assault in progress. We’re taping you down to the table, don’t bother to resist. On the B side a Torn Hawk remix takes “Always” to never-never land; the malice of the original track gets dressed up with puffy orange clouds (Cheetos). Traditions go in the toilet, return to the fundamental river, only to wash up in the reeds, fresh again . A melodic explosion hides at the center of the progression under hospital-grade gauze; C-4 strapped to the chest of a stuffed bunny suicide bomber.
BANK Records 7 series continues with a two tracker by Steve Summers and Bookworms. Side A features a track from long time collaborators Jason Letkiewicz and Nicholas Dawson who have showcased their signature free form sound on Letkiewicz Confused House imprint. Side B is a solo cut by Bookworms. The menacing sound of this recording is reminiscent of Dawson’s work you may have heard on his Nord release, Compact Visual Nature. Classic tracks from two of BK’s finest.
Rhythm Based Lovers aka Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers is back on Future Times with a new 12”. Once again the songs are split up in an RBL style, on the Dance Side we have ”Frequency Illusion,” a glorious slap of vibro-house for the deejay crew, coming in hot like a rugged Pal Joey tune, and on the Romance Side we have the slow hypnotic funk of ”Number Games,” complete with dope mantra vox and Italian slo-house chug.
The Doomsday Initiative is a musical concept that the end of the world was here and doom was plunging to terrible sadness. Selected artists 2 Dogs In A House (aka Steve Summers and Ron Morelli) produced and created ideas of this planet we live on in an ideal landscape of doomsday.
After the tense and dramatic soundscapes of Jason Letkiewicz’s Nzambi LP under his soundtrack guise Alan Hurst, Emotional Response have put the tracks to the test for three appropriately oddball remixers. Fellow L.I.E.S. affiliate Terekke turns out a heavily sedated dub of “Nzambi” that rides a pacey house beat but buries everything in delay and reverb. Timothy J Fairplay brings some serious sleazy 80s electro tones to “Parallel Sensations”, complete with predatory vocal and thick ladles of synthy goodness. Finally, Jonas Reinhardt cools off the intensity with a blissful ambient version of “Before The Dawn” which plunges headfirst into a warm bed of melodic drones.
HotMix Records presents “Flashing In The Lights”, a limited edition with Steve Summers.
The debut release on Emotional Response comes from Alan Hurst – aka Brooklyn based producer Jason Letkiewicz – with a deeper exploration in to the experimental, ambient electronics first seen on his debut work ‘Processed World’. The results are a darker mixture of hypnotic rhythms and uncertain soundscapes, hinting at soundtrack and library forms. Known for his productions under a series of alias’, including Steve Summers and Innergaze, this is Jason’s sophomore album under his Alan Hurst moniker and is the perfect way to launch the label.