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short info:

  • Cat.No.: US010
  • Title: Now 03
  • Artist: Bogger, Dalezy, Everest, Frank Bretschneider, Menu:Exit
  • Type: 12" (lim.500)

Now 03

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Following the on-going series on Underscan Records, "NOW," comes the 3rd installement featuring tracks by Raster-Noton founder Frank Bretschneider, Everest from Bern Switzerland, new artist Bogger as well as long time Underscan companions Dalezy and Menu:Exit.

BOGGER is Oliver Kiesow from Berlin who kicks off the release with a driving electro track,"Honz," featuring dubby delayed synth lines with chopped up vocal parts. Oliver runs Digital-Gadget/Front Records from Berlin and has previously released an EP on this label. His second EP called "Glenn Dambo" is in the making and to be released soon. He is furthermore part of the duo Taktik (also on Front Records).

DALEZY's "Silkweed" is pure console entertainment, recalling classic arcade style music. For years he has been working with his old Commodore 64 computer to produce his work, through which he offers a reassuringly unique listening pleasure, creating catchy pop tunes that seem to have emerged from an old arcade game. Dalezy is Ronny Engmann from Berlin who was the first artist to ever release a record on Underscan (Face On Mars EP) which has since become a classic. He is an active member of the Demo Scene which has obviously had a huge influence on his music making and he has released tons of music all over the web.

FRANK BRETSCHNEIDER's dub oriented "Polaris" delivers a wonderfully hypnotic bass line fused with mesmerizing percussive noise elements. Berlin based musician Frank Bretschneider is well known for his various works on labels like Mille Plateaux, Raster-Noton, 12K or Audio NL. He released the "Party of Two Parts" EP on Underscan in 2003.

EVEREST's "Separate Room" offers a beautifully melancholic melody combined with uplifting energetic beats that results in a stirring and deeply emotional track. Everest are Matu Hügli and Michael Meienberg from Bern (Switzerland) who also run Everest Records and have been actively taking part in the swiss electronic scene for some years.

MENU:EXIT close the release with "Querverweis," a track that offers an unsettling journey into a place where deep dub meets driving beats, dissolving and collapsing yet resolving into a hypnotising convolution. Menu:Exit comprises of Ralf Pytlik and Markward Wagner who are the founders of Underscan Records. So far they have released two EPs and contributed tracks and remixes to various other labels.

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Published in:

Naysayers continually muse on the demise of electronic music in general and IDM in particular but, by regularly issuing fabulous tracks, labels like Germany's Underscan handily silence such doomsayers. The label continues its Now series of four 12-inch EPs with the second and third installments, 20-minute discs that extend the stylistic range far beyond strict IDM.
Bogger (Berliner Oliver Kiesow), Dalezy (Ronny Engmann), Frank Bretschneider, Everest (Bern 's Matur Hügli and Michael Meienberg), and Menu:Exit (Underscan founders Ralf Pytlik and Markward Wagner) appear on Now 03. The strongest tracks bookend the disc, with Bogger's “Honz,” an incredible slice of reptilian electro-boogie destined to top 23rd century playlists everywhere, opening the set and Menu:Exit's awesome “Querverweis,” which starts out resembling an escapee from Pole's bunker before morphing into a crushing, convulsive groove of hammering machine dub, closing it. In between, Dalezy coaxes a driving if brief sample of robot music entitled “Silkweed” from an old Commodore 64 computer, Bretschneider merges serpentine bass lines, voice samples, and twitchy percussive elements in the loose, dubwise “Polaris,” and Everest pair delicate melancholy melodies with thwacking electro beats in “Separate Room.”

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One flashback aside, even though this compilation series is called “now” it is actually more about the future. Because somewhere in between those beats, mutated vocal samples, noise-bitparts, basslines, melody cycles and spheres is a hint at how or world will be in five years ahead. A complex but peaceful, lanquid but interested, technical but humane place that is filled with colourful sounds and experiences. Is that anywhere close to the truth? It sure doesn’t look that way, when watching the news on tv, but when leaning back and closing your eyes, wether at home or in a friendly club, and listening to these tracks it doesn’t seem so far away.
Sometimes it seems to me that everyone producing electronic music is also doing something music related on the side like a label, a zine, a radioshow and ever so on. Mostly labels, though. And these labels all release records by people who run other labels where they release records of people on whose labels they have released. Yeah, I am exaggerating right now. Moreover, this isn’t really a bad thing. Most commonly, people with similar interests will get together with time. This kind of incestuous structure of a musical scene – also surveyable in punkrock/hardcore or what has been termed avantnoise lately – is a good thing for a thriving, lively and productive scene. The whole “now”-series by Underscan records is proof for that. First of all it is a great series (and we are covering part three of it here) that showcases danceable electronica or idm tracks and artists from all over the place and thereby shows the fine level of this genre. The tracks chosen are finely picked and all live up to a certain standard. The reduction to a 12” vinyl EP with four to five tracks is also a good idea, in opposition to the overboarding load that is put onto some other releases in this genre. And four of the five artists featured on part three are affiliated in some way or other with a record label.
Frank Bretschneider might be the best known of all on here. Of course for his solo work as well as for running the almost legendary Raster-Noton-label. “Polaris” is rather short for a dub-track, which due to its straight, laid back beat and pulsing bass line it most definitely is, even if there is quite a heap of noise-bitparts interfering. It seems to be new territory for Bretschneider, but since I haven’t good any idea of what is on the whole, massive volume of his work and releases, this statement might be quite superfluous if not completely wrong.
Menu:Exit should also be quite well known, because Ralf Pytlik and Markward Wagner are the founders of Underscan Records (there is also a long history of people founding record labels to release their own stuff). Their track “Querverweis” features interesting bass-noises that sound as if they are being sucked backwards into time while being mixed into a convulsing beat and some more noise. How they manage to make it sound pleasing at the same time – especially when reading this description – I don’t know, but it all seems to smoothe out somehow and then finally disappear into a lot of complacency without much ado.
The other contestants are equally interesting. Bogger is Oliver Kiesow from Berlin, Germany, who runs Digital Gadget/Front Records. Everest are Matu Hügli and Michael Meienberg from Bern, Switzerland, who run Everest records. Fifth and final is Dalezy aka Ronny Engmann from Berlin, Germany, who doesn’t run a label, but uses his Commodore 64 instead to bring arcade game music to new and progressive heights. The last mentioned track is called “Silkweed” and is the most outstanding one on the whole compilation due to its different production values and thereby aesthetics. It is only close to two minutes long but with its melodious, eighties-influenced basic synth-lines and those bleeping sounds and basic humming keys it is in such a sharp contrast to the rest of the tracks on here, that it just has to be remarked on and mentioned. Or maybe it is just me having flashbacks of sitting in front of that tiny tv-screen trying to kick the butt of some end-level-boss consisting of about 128 pixels while the musical score works itself up to an unbelievable frenzy in an incredible endless loop. Well, “Silkwood” is closer to a starting level, but starting a new game was pure bliss back then as well. I’ll never have that feeling again.
If you are interested, please check out part 1 (with funckarma, gram, somshit and pytlik) and part 2 (with scanner, onethema, quench and rod) of this series as well.

Published in:

Avec cette mini-compilation, le label Underscan, a voulu dresser, comme il en a l’habitude à présent avec la série Now, dont c’est ici le troisième volet, un état des lieux de l’électronica, en développant à chaque fois une direction bien spécifique – presque une proposition, en fait.
Et, une fois n’est pas coutume dans le petit monde de l’électronica, les cinq propositions exposées ici parviennent à dépasser le stade de la théorie et se révèlent viables pour chacune d’entre elles, sans qu’un projet esthétique commun vienne pour autant unifier l’ensemble, tant les options de chaque artiste s’affirment par contraste avec les quatre autres et s’en démarquent tour à tour. C’est en somme le seul reproche à formuler, celui d’une moindre cohérence, comme si le projet ne portait rien, dans sa globalité, qui justifie pleinement son existence (même si, oui, la qualité musicale est un justificatif suffisant, bien entendu).
On passe ainsi sans transition d’un morceau d’obédience techno entraînant, qui fait grand usage du synthé passé au delay dans un esprit dub (Honz), à des terres plus contemplatives (Separate Room et Querverweiss) en passant par un morceau purement mélodique, sorte de point de jonction entre l’électronica des premiers âges et le 8-bit (Silkweed) avant le click’n’cut hypnotique de Frank Bretschneider qui s’y entend toujours lorsqu’il s’agit d’organiser des constellations à géométrie variable de graves et d’aigus (Polaris).
Si une approche commune se dégage des cinq titres, elle se situerait alors – peut-être – dans une même manière de capter l’attention de l’auditeur par une séduction, une efficacité des textures sonores, hameçon idéal vers une musique qui concilie avec équilibre exigences et facilité, futur immédiat et présent. Ce qui donnera peut-être le sentiment, parfois, que la prise de risque est moindre dans cette réunion de talents et qu’on est encore en terrain balisé, malgré la désorientation imposée par les changements d’approche d’un titre à l’autre. Mais rien qui doive réellement interdire aux amateurs de bouder leur plaisir.

Published in:

È frutto del viaggio, il nuovo disco di Lawrence English. Un viaggio che lo ha condotto dalle parti dell’Oceano Pacifico e per la precisione nella sua terra natia (l’Australia), in Nuova Zelanda, nel sud dell’India e a Singapore. Un viaggio in cui ha collezionato suoni, pur se poi il contenuto di ‘Happiness Will Befall’ non è così radicalmente concreto, ma cerca di miscelare le due diverse anime, che sono, da un lato quella ambientale, e dall’altro quella industriale. Il tutto non viene mai spinto ai confini con il noise, e se nei momenti più “calmi” si avverte un vuoto creativo notevole (siamo al limite della micro elettronica inespressiva), va meglio quando il musicista/scrittore smuove le acque e grazie a stratificazioni e associazioni strumentali riesce a comporre tracce dense e dinamiche.Direi invece che potete tranquillamente dimenticarvi, in tempo zero, della coppia formata da Kodi (Natalie Bruys) e Pausa (Lukas Simonis), visto che il loro disco è inconcludente e privo di significato (sperimentale, “strano” o freak che sia). Un collage di suoni e strumenti diversi, che fallisce sia quando cerca di creare “canzoni” (in tal senso salverei solo ‘Moment Ultime’), che quando vuole far prevalere l’opzione avanguardista (e qui l’unico pezzo positivo è ‘Leef Je Leven’). Per fortuna che a risollevare il morale di noi poveri ascoltatori affranti giunge il terzo capitolo della serie di 12” denominata ‘Now’ e pubblicata dalla Underscan, label evidentemente gestita con cognizione di causa. I cinque artisti coinvolti sono: Bogger (electro ritmata a metà strada tra Warp e il dub più sintetico); Dalezy (un tuffo nel passato dei videogame anni ’80…); Frank Bretschneider (pura ipnosi ritmica dilatata); Everest (beat astratti e ambientazioni da microchip); Menu:Exit (ovvero Ralf Pytlik e Markward Wagner, i fondatori della Underscan; come se il dub venisse suonato dentro un congelatore con problemi elettrici, e per questo destinato a scongelare il ghiaccio formatosi al suo interno). Un ottimo campionario di artisti che meritano tale denominazione!

Published in: Vital Weekly

Under the banner 'Now', Underscan, the Berlin label, produces 12" compilations of techno and related music. First they introduce us to Bogger, (Oliver Kiesow from Berlin), whose 'Honz' track is a electro piece, with some wacky fat analog synth lines underneath. The vocals are sent through gated filters slicing up the release. A powerful piece. Ronny Engmann, aka Dalezy, was responsible for the first ever release on Underscan and his 'Silkweed' sounds like a runaway track from a computer game - no surprise for someone who worked a lot with Commodore 64. A short piece, but with a nice melody. The best known person here is Frank Bretschneider, who released an EP on Underscan in 2003. He is known for his love of dub like sounds, and goes further into the field with a particular catchy dub tune, using percussive elements (shakers! toms!) on a bed of echo. Everest from Switzerland have had a couple of releases on their own Everest label and cook up an IDM track, with harder beats but melancholic synths, but failing to surprise beyond the ordinary. Labelowners Menu:Exit also love their dub, but in a more modern sense, with digitized beats colliding. A nice ending to an otherwise most enjoyable piece of various directions in dance music. (FdW)

Published in: XLR8R

This five-artist compendium-available on vinyl, CD or MP3 download-sees the likes of Menu:Exit, Frank Bretschneider and others exploring techno's experimental possibilities with as many mutations and intentional errors as possible. New artist Bogger's (Berlin's Oliver Kiesow) electro drums bite like shark teeth, while Everest plumbs Ghostly Records' new-school handclap IDM.  M:E provides another highlight with his Deadbeat-ish dubstyle polyrhythmic freakout.

Published in: Debug

Die dritte Folge der 12"-Compilations von Underscan kommt mit Bogger aus Berlin, den wir unter anderem Namen auch aus anderen Zusammenhängen, der hier einen straighten Track vorlegt mit vielen digitalen Ungereimtheiten, die ihm einen unglaublichen Drive geben. Kennen sich Ed Rush und Autechre? Man weiss es nicht. Dalezy, der damals die erste Underscan machte, packt die SID-Chips aus, Frank Bretschneider legt mit "Polaris" wahrscheinlich den ersten echten angeclickten Reggae-Track vor, Everest aus der Schweiz sind klassisch schön und Elektronika-verliebt, und schließlich Menu:Exit, die Macher des Labels selbst, routen einen Vocoder-Dub durch eine stotternde MPC und gewinnen. Feine 12".
thaddi •••••

listen to tracks:

Honz buy
Silkweed buy
Polaris buy
Separate Room buy
Querverweis buy