Rat Life Records is back with more music to accompany the end of the world. Here are six tracks by Roman citizen Alessio Di Mezza (also known as Religius Order) that make you feel like it’s the Fall of Rome all over again. Excellent timing, considering the state of modern civilization on this planet right now. Luci Nere is the perfect soundtrack for your Apocalypse Afterparty.
Three is the magic number and continues the Connection Lost series by Massimiliano Pagliara on Uncanny Valley. The series is a highly emotional project for the masterful Italian DJ and producer with music that is deeply inspired by thoughts on how to cope, once the connection with loved ones is cut. As wide as the feelings and emotions in those situations are, as varied is the sound palette with tracks between Acid, House, Disco and Downbeat.
Snow white cassette in a special neon green snap box with printed foil inlay. The album is a relic of three sessions that were created next to or in bed. A small case equipped with a looper, an EQ, a chorus and a delay is the basis. Each track is unique due to the different sound devices used, whether it is a synthesizer, microphone or tablet. Searching for the mood of the moment, even if the next moment can be completely different, if not even should. A field recorder is an infinite tool for capturing these moments. Also, these songs are indeed infinite. In the sense of a spiral-shaped interplay of musical influences, states of the moment, errors and coincidences, almost like the magnetic tape of a MC. Fortunately, the acoustic proof of this creative process is now available on an appropriate sound carrier. Expect swirling excursions into brightly illuminated Ambient territories, Lo-fi beat adventures in the outskirts of hidden rave countries and inverted Hip-Hop-experiments from the parking lots of long forgotten shopping centers. ”Das unendliche Konstrukt” translates into ”The Infinite Construct”. And that is what this tape here truly is. Constructs are facts that are intellectually claimed but not directly tangible. The same can be said about the music that Jacob Stoy made in 2020 instead of writing Corona diaries. This is music that must be felt. But if you try to grasp it only with your mental powers, it will slip through your fingers.
The Uncanny Valley crew presents a new bright chapter of the Polish-German friendship which resulted in Chino’s Autostrada. The musician, graphic wizard and all around good guy from Krakow carved four raw and gloomy soul anthems out of his machines to create a record that features a wide range of music which is still connected by a common feeling. ‘Autostrada ‘ isn’t just a hard-rocking Electro track in its own right but also an aural reminiscence to the long but fun hours Chino spent on Autobahnen or Autostradas to drive to gigs, for instance at Uncanny Valley’s home base Dresden. With ‘Dyscyplina’, he turns to a wave/EBM approach. The result is a track that encourages anything but disciplined behaviour on the dance floor. ‘Carabo Cruise’ on the other hand is his take on Italo anthems, but with a special Chino-touch that is impossible to resist. Think of sunrises in industrial areas. Finally, we got ‘Alwernia’ which is heavily inspired by dark sci-fi movies. If Tarkowski met a bunch of 24-Hour-Party-Robots, this could be the soundtrack.
Serial Error was founded as a New Beat project when Jacob Korn was asked for a submission to the ‘Our Beat Is Still New’ compilation series on the Belgian We Play House label in late 2014. Knowing the retro-experienced skills of his label mates from Uncanny Valley, he teamed up with Credit 00 & Sneaker and they produced Drum Abuse, a track that finally became the cue for their first full 12” maxi single in 2018 on Rat Life Records; a label curated by Credit 00. Now they keep on malfunctioning with a 4-tracker featuring the bizarre title Afro Gothic. The eponymous track was the first shot when they got together for a second EP in Jacob’s studio in now demolished premises (the typical daily Rat Life). The slow, steamy roller captures the amateurish live percussion skills of Credit 00, while – on the other hand – he played one of the manuals of Jacob’s ‘Son of GX’ organ along with Sneaker playing the other manual of the leading voice synth. On top, they added a classic acapella – a sudden strike of genius – ‘perfectly matching the solemn vibe’ (in their opinion; artist quote). A2 ‘Unter den Helmen’ is ripping off the same organ’s preset drum patterns run through a brutal EQ. Talking of the 70s – a duet by two anti-nuclear activists from the German Sponti movement of the time became the theme of this politically charged protest song! Oh yeah, somewhere I had to paste the striking fact that all is mastered & sent via reel-to-reel at our TailOut studio. Check! B1 and B2 are two versions of the same song who share their lyrics drawn from school days. To be precise from the tacky Dresden art academy they both – Sneaker and Credit 00 – visited. The B2 of ‘Art Academy Talk’ features the typical Sneaker vocals on a 4/4 beat, while – due to Credit 00’s lean towards electro – the B1 got the vocoder treatment while Jacob and Sneaker went for lunch. As Jacob came up with the bass riff on his Chroma Polaris, Credit fiddled the knobs of his Ensoniq ESQ1 like a rusty raver. The freaked out FX-sounds we can cherish thanks to the Pearl DRX drum machine; modded and played by Jacob Korn. Due to the odd look also fondly nick-named ‘the VCR’. The Pearl, of course, not Jacob.
This is the second to last UV050 compilation records. Purple kicks off with Krakow’s Chino, who shows us how to balance perfectly between straightforward urgency and mystic playfulness. His acidic “Forbidden Voices” sports just the right amount of chaos to make you go crazy on the dancefloor. Berliner Johannes Albert brings his debut releases on Uncanny Valley with his “Vision Utopia”, a subtle House bomb, that pushes just the right buttons to trigger your desire to escape into cosmos. Also from Berlin comes Lake People, who does what he does best with “Roaming The Streets”. A subtle and razor-sharp track that points out that good dance music can sweeten your life everywhere, not only in the club. Finally, RVDS, one of Hamburg’s finest, blesses us with “Moon Operator”, a deep and masterful dive into sonic sceneries.
The clouds pile up in the Dresden autumn sky, but Uncanny Valley still sees a little bit of blue on the horizon. And why not looking on the bright side of life for a change? It’s appropriate. At least if you have five killer tracks in your bag. Anyway, the collaboration with the Leipzig graphic designer Doppeldenk proved to be very fruitful and has now produced the fourth of seven children. So, after PINK, RED and ORANGE, here is BLUE. May life be good to you. The record opens with the aptly titled, Chicago-inspired ‘Mind Trip’ by Credit 00, the Aldous Huxley from your neighborhood. The Leipziger takes you on a journey on your own nerve pathway with occasional stops at the hottest spots in your body. Local buddy Gnista is piling up layer by layer for the UK meets Electro affair that is ‘Playtime Worktime’. It’s an atmospheric monster that needs to be climbed first. But as soon as this is done, a fresh breeze blows around your nose. In ‘Brecht Hat Er’, the mysterious Dresden underground formation AGB spreads wisdom in staccato mode, accompanied by Cold Wave-like music, which could also have been created in the shadows of the Berlin Wall. After a long time of hiatus, there is also a sign of life again from Uncanny Valley’s Break SL, who proves with ‘Bye Bye 627’ that he still masters the art of producing House music that is as edgy as it is catchy. In similar veines comes ‘In Treansit’ from Qnete who channels the ghosts in his machines into an emotional and powerful House track.
Greetings from Sucksonia! This is Rat Life number 17 – straight from the arse end of nowhere called Saxony. Westlake & Hayter dedicate their debut EP to this not so special part of Germany. Moving here voluntarily from the western sector pissed off their parents and friends, so they had to join the local freak music underground. Apart from this, what other option do you have as a free spirit, in a place that is controlled by crazy old men and their weird ideas? Right! You deal with the messed up reality by making some beautiful messed up music. And the two did very well! Spreading their Mutant Freak Funk over four tracks that will make your nice little suburban homestead collapse, this way it will fit in perfectly with the industrial ruins in the neighborhood!
After 1/2 GOTT comes GOTT. Once again, Sneaker from Dresden/Berlin and Scannoir from Zurich have locked themselves up in the studio to translate their love for EBM and dark synth pop into striking dance floor material. The successor to their debut EP on Uncanny Valley, which introduced open-minded dancers to the self-proclaimed New Swiss Wave last year opens up with TOTAL KOMMANDER, a hard rocking drum workout that makes you want to march ahead of a demonstration after you’ll leave the club. EN BLICK UFS MATTERHORN is a tribute to playful Minimal Synth and a declaration of love to the fun that two like-minded people have when producing music. And then we have PASSION, a 15-minute monster of a track, that carries all the qualities of GOTT to the extreme: unique arrangements with a surprising build-up, whipping drum work and an atmosphere that can be both intimidating and soothing.
Rat Life Records presents Various Rats. A compilation of ultimate Party Hits for the downfall of society. Happy Doomsday everyone. If there is a rat there is life.
1/2 GOTT is the new project of Sneaker from Dresden/Berlin and Scannoir from Zurich, who share their love for EBM and Synth Pop not only when DJing but also when producing. In several nights and with the help of a decent group of instruments, they have evoked a series of tracks that can certainly be subsumed as New Swiss wave. The first record is entitled 1/2 GOTT and will be followed by GOTT in the foreseeable future. The result is music that sounds as if the Iron Curtain had never fallen. Although Sneaker likes to step to the microphone, he leaves the vocals to Scannoir, who gives the perfect counterpart for the menacing beats with his deep laments. The tracks are little masterpieces in the matter of repetition with whipping drums and off-beat percussions. However, they cannot disguise their hymn-like gesture. This must be the sound of a sunrise over the industrial area.
Chino from Krakow is one of Poland’s most distinctive players when it comes to providing a good amount of darkness into your nightlife experiences. With the Radar crew he’s hosting some of the wildest nights of Underground Dance music in Poland. When producing he has a knack for ice cold rhythms and sharp synth lines. His ever-changing, gear-heavy live sets have earned him a reputation as a tour de force in electronic beat music. Chino delivers an impressive five-tracker for shtum out of Dresden, a city he maintains a well-established connection to. From the hard hitting rhythms of “Kolaps” to the gloomy sound excursions of “Plattenbau”, you’ll feel in every note that this music comes straight from the heart. These are tracks that are interwoven by everything that surrounds Chino, whether it’s friends, drum machines or FM synths, architecture or just the mighty Tatra mountains. Dance the pain away.
The new shtum comes from Planet Underground, a veteran Dresden resident who already contributed to the fact that the city was called “Little Detroit from the East” back then in the middle of the nineties. Since then, he has constantly been producing stripped to the bones tracks mainly for his own Elektrokuehlung label in his legendary place of retreat in Dresden-Striesen. Recorded between 1996 and 2010, the four tracks oscillate between raw Acid, classic Basement House and artful distortion. Bouncing and scrappy stuff at the same time. “Elektromat” was previously released on an obscure Dresden techno compilation and it took a while to find the master tape in the dust of the past.
From Conrad Schnitzler in the 1960s to the pioneers of Detroit techno in the 1980s, experimental sonic artists were often inspired by the metallic noises of industrial factories. Schnitzler wanted to recreate the sounds he heard in his apprenticeship as a locksmith with musical instruments, and the sons and daughters of the midwestern automobile-industry generation programmed the motown soul into Japanese electronic music equipment. With his new piece The Metal Beat EP, Credit 00 wants to get in line with this tradition of transforming factory sounds into music. Each of the three tracks reflects on the role of the human being in an industrial environment. The never-ending movement of the machine becomes the rhythm, while the melody embodies our forlorn voices in the vastness of the factory site. The blues played by machines–modern work songs for a post-industrial society.
For the first time Iron Curtis enters the ring over the full EP length for Uncanny Valley. There hasn’t been much of a discussion whether or not this is something for Uncanny Valley when Iron Curtis approached the four label heads with this new pile of dance floor material. These tunes are too good. Iron Curtis must have been particularly inspired by the muse while producing these four outstanding House tracks. You’ll feel a comprehensive knowledge about Dance music’s history when listening. No doubt, the Franconian who is now based in Berlin has spent a good time of analysing House music’s techniques. “Sweet Romancer” is the best example for his studio eloquence. Modulated synths, a classic bass line and a whole batch of drum ideas are combined into a wonderful track. The interplay between subtlety and vitality characterizes “Nixdorf Danse”. Plus, you won’t forget those strings. On “Triroom” he proves that he has a knack for melodies as well. Finally, “Take Me Home” should provide a lot of emotional moments on the dance floor with its dramatic piano and crescendo-like synth line.
Rat Life Records presents Serial Error a Project by Credit 00, Jacob Korn & Sneaker. This outfit was brought to life in 2013 when Red D called for some New Beat style tracks for his “Our Beat Is Still New” Compilation. Flying a bit too low under the radar ever since Rat Life decided to reissue Drum Abuse on a Super Sound Maxi Single. The Track was made in Jacob Korn’s headquarter studio / synthesizer museum. The task distribution was hit quickly: Jacob squeezing the acid out of his huge Formant modular system, Credit 00 beating the drums on the Boss DR 660 and Sneaker throwing his unique vocals on top.
Perm has turned just the right knobs to give you the perfect soundtrack for your personal journey into Techno wonderland. The Leipzig based wizard simply knows how to leave dancers both dizzy and beatific. When those strings in “03-VIII” come together to its climax you’re more than ready to embrace the night. The focus in “03-IV” is more heavy on the drum work with just the right amount of subtle tripping hazards. “03-III” builds and builds without ever bubbling over while the mighty “03-VIII” comes with a Boom-Tschak-Electro feel to it.
Rat Life is back with more unheard material from the hidden bedroom studios of East Germany. One Day In Metropia – is a project that was active around the year 2008 – operating out of the concrete suburbs of Dresden. Its main focus were live appearances in the citie’s underground electronic music circle. Just a few signals of its enormous creative output were published on various sound carriers to this day. So it was time to release some more of this large bulk of data that has been lurking on storage devices for years. Rat Life’s operator Credit 00 is proud to be allowed to contribute a remix version to this sonic document.
Credit 00 delivers his debut album “Game Over”. After four EPs for Uncanny Valley the Leipzig based musician is now ready to let loose his electronic visions on full length. As everybody can confirm who saw him playing live or DJing, the head behind Uncanny Valley’s sub label Rat Life is a slave to the rhythm on a full-time basis. Obsessed with sound, he can’t stop pushing the buttons of his synthesizers and drum machines like someone torturing the controls of an Arcade machine. “Game Over” is an electronic love letter to the romantic fantasy worlds of classic video games and their bleepy and clonky sounds which used to be common also in repetitive electronic dance music.
Collecting tracks from the last six years, “Game Over” is also a passion project that channels all his influences. You can get a glimpse of the ingredients that make up his record collection. Whether it is Hip Hop,Techno, Electro Boogie, New Beat, Italo, Jungle, Reggae, House or Chill Out. Though, all those different sounds and styles do not tear this album apart. It’s a bit of a miracle that it feels so flawless for what happens between the appetizing “Level One” and the final track “The Last March”. Those beats on “Game Over” can be brutally effective like the fatalities in Mortal Kombat while the overlying sounds can be smooth like the lemmings’ animations in the eponymous Amiga game. Just listen to the title track. Or the instant hip shaker “Breakers Revenge” that comes with a little help from friends like Sara Stammburg on vocals and Max Rademann on Rhodes.
Without losing sight on the dance floor Credit 00 creates an electronic wonderland that delights dancers and connoisseurs at the same time. To top things off the wonderful artwork was created by Alexander Dorn a.k.a. Credit 00 himself.