Covering Tracks is a regular series in which we ask our favorite producers and DJs to recommend around 10 new (and not so new) releases. We’re capping off the week with ALSO, the duo formed by bass kingpin Appleblim and newcomer Second Storey, who have a record out November 24 on legendary Belgian outpost R&S. Second Storey started the session with five heaters.
RSD – “Over it” [Tectonic]
I first heard this track at Berghain when Laurie played Substance in 2008, and it blew me away. Up until that point, I wasn’t 100 percent into Ddbstep, as I came from a more electro- and techno-orientated background, but upon hearing this (and especially on that sound system) I totally got it. It changed the course of my music in many ways.
Drexciya – “Under Sea Disturbances” [Tresor]
I love pretty much everything Drexciya has ever done and have been obsessed since I first heard their music at age 17. There’s an understated genius vibe in so much of their work, so it was hard for me to pick one track. This is definitely one of their lighter and jazzier moments. The way the melodic elements dance around the ridged beat is so satisfying.
Mathew Jonson – “Symphony for the Apocalypse” [Wagon Repair]
This is an intense and inspiring piece of music from Mathew Jonson. He’s always had a such a knack for those melancholy Eastern melodies, which always get me. The way it just builds and builds and then completely explodes…
Isolée – “Beau Mot Plage” [Playhouse]
I played this at the party where I first met Laurie. He had it as well and it became a kind of anthem for us. Isolée has written many amazing tracks, his album We Are Monster is a good example. The structure, sound design, and overall mood of this track really stand out.
Erik & Fiedel – “Donna” [MMM]
This is another track that’s been a big influence on us both. I’ve got three copies of this record. All of them are fucked.
And now we hand the reigns over to Appleblim for five closing tracks.
Villalobos – “Panpot Spliff” [Perlon]
This is one that Al [Second Storey] introduced me to when we were were fist bonding over techno and all night DJing sessions! I didn’t really “get” all the early Perlon stuff at the time it came out, but now I’m realising how influential and experimental and FUNKY they were, and I just love the wandering melancholy melody on this—deep and yearning and psychedelic.
Vessel – “Silten” [Tri-Angle Records]
I think Vessel and the Young Echo crew are a great example of Bristol’s quietly pioneering spirit. They are really varied in what they do, and Vessel’s first album had a big impact on me when I was thinking that maybe the bass scene had dried up a bit for me. It conjures up a similar starting point of, say, Pinch, Peverelist, and Shackleton, but through a sound world which is all Vessel’s own. His new album is amazing too, but very different, again pointing out the restless spirit of Bristol music.
Autechre – “Fold4, Wrap5” [Warp Records]
I could have picked any Autechre track, really. Even if I don’t fully feel one of their songs straightaway, I always end up coming round to them. I’m often about two albums behind them in terms of getting what they trying to do, so I sit with the albums for a while, then at some point, maybe even a few years later, I suddenly find the groove and funk within it, or get the vibe of the melodies they’re creating, even if they seem buried or hard to find on first listens. “Fold4, Wrap5” is one the I always go back to for inspiration, because I love the way it’s like a symmetrical sculpture or something like a Mandelbrot Set, constantly folding in on itself and seeming to perpetually slow down.
MM/KM (Mixed Mup and Kassem Mosse) – “Galagonmixdown” [The Trilogy Tapes]
Again, I was fairly late on the Workshop stuff. I was so deeply into the bass music thing it wasn’t on my radar, but once Boddika told me I should check it out, and then I heard Fred P drop Workshop 12 (forever known as “Enchillada Enchillada” to me) on the monster sound system at Labyrinth Festival, I got hooked in. This EP was very inspiring for both of us, as I think it has this psychedelic playfulness and disregard for any perceived or imposed rules of sequencing/arrangement/ melodic content..but is still completely catchy and keeps the groove and funk intact. It feels very loose and jammed, so I would love to have sat in the studio while they were working on it to see their method.
UR – “Journey Of The Dragons” [Underground Resistance]
These days, it’s almost a cliche or unnecessary to say you’re influenced by Detroit, as it’s rightly pretty much a given if you’re making techno. When I first started working in a record shop, pre-internet, UR were still a mysterious crew surrounded by myths and legends, and all you really had to go on was the records and the inspiring texts on those records. It felt kind of magical and secret. “Journey Of The Dragons” is one that both me and Al have been blown away by many times, astounded by it’s beauty, depth, and that yearning, melancholic, sadness in it.
We recently featured R&S founder Renaat Vandelpapeliere on Slices. Watch the interview below.
Published November 14, 2014. Words by Elissa Stolman.