Paul Kalkbrenner – “Guten Tag”

Guten Tag is here. And Paul Kalkbrenner has returned to his basics leaving nothing behind in a very “Berlin” sounding album. As the director of “Berlin Calling” Hannes Stohr explained, “Techno is to Berlin what Reggae is to Kingston.”

His sound resonates in every song. Those hard-hitting beats, the complex drums, and the for some reason quite-PK-typical repetition. (Vörnern-Anwärter.) Some new sounds are here too of course, otherwise, why release a new album. Indeed, some of the sounds seem to have been inspired by old-school German experiments with techno. (Very prevalent in “Spitz-Auge” and a little bit in “Globale Gehung.”) Some tracks warm you for the winter cold (Das Stabsvörnern), and others seem to yearn for spring to come around again. (Das Gezabel.) Even other tracks will go in the opposite, going very very dark. It would appear every track has its own little nod to some sort of inspiration, all with a typical Paul Kalkbrenner sound. But the more important point here is that Paul Kalkbrenner has made another fantastic album, in my opinion just edging out his “Icke Wieder” album. It is awash in Berlin Techno, House, whatever you will. In a similar way to “Berlin Calling” this album screams inspiration from the past, sounding like it is totally fitting for post-wall-fall times in Tresor, Berghain, or E-Werk. (Though i’m sure PK himself would be quick to disagree.) But as fan, it’s certainly the vibe i get from many of the tracks.

That being said, there is a future thinking sound on a couple of the tracks, like the phenomenal “Der Buhold” which brings a big bass drum out of nowhere where if you yourself didn’t bring yourself to bobbing, it’s intesntiy would do the trick alone. Same goes for the mesmerizing “Trümmerung” which has a real seems to emulate the repetition of a major european metropolis through sound. Another track giving a total “ahead of the game” vibe is “Der Ast-Spink” which is a great blend of everything PK can seem to throw together. The album is finished by a brilliant redone version of “Das Gezabel” with a faster pace and a neat guitar sample.
So far, no online stream i can embed for you, but i can link you to this stream so you can check it out for yourself. Enjoy!

http://songs.to/#!q=paul+kalkbrenner+guten+tag&c=all

“Das Gezabel” (single from the upcoming “Guten Tag” album)

“Trümmerung” [Live] (Single from the upcoming Guten Tag album)

“Der Stabsvörnern” [Live] (Single from the upcoming Guten Tag album)

– Nick

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Masta Killa/9th Wonder – Food

It’s gotten pretty tired, but at this point it’s safe to say Masta Killa will possibly always be the most underrated solo rapper in the Wu-Tang Clan. 2004’s No Said Date (his solo debut) was a borderline masterpiece, and of higher quality than any solo work in the Clan by MCs not named Ghost or Rae. With how great No Said Date was, you would think more people would mention it alongside other post-Millennial classics like Fishscale or Only Built 4 Cuban Linx pt. II. 

2004 was a long time ago however, and Masta Killa is gearing up for another LP set to be released on December 11th. Sell My Soul will feature production predominantly by Wu-Tang mainstay Mathematics, but sandwiched in the track listing is a nice cut with super-producer 9th Wonder. The beat is typical 9th — soul loops over boom-bap drums and 1/8th note hi hats. 9th Wonder has a talent for vocal samples and here he demonstrates it well. If “Food” is any indication, Masta Killa seems primed for a focused full-length. His voice has preserved itself better than his comrades as they all approach their mid-forties, and he’s always had an interestingly slower delivery that cuts down on the filler. Masta Killa is truly a rapper that chooses his words wisely. Check out some classic cuts below.

–Daniel

Unicorn Kid’s Rave Utopia

Since Rihanna and Azaelia Banks effectively killed the seapunk/net-art aesthetic by bringing it to the commercial realm (or so the internet’s subsequent meltdown would have you believe), there’s been a weird identity crisis going on. Scottish electronic musician Oliver Sabin, who releases music as Unicorn Kid, was an early member of the seapunk movement, releasing an EP last year titled Tidal Rave and a mixtape called Coral Reefer. He also spent a good part of 2011 opening for Owl City on a nationwide tour. Seriously.

Since then he’s stopped wearing the goofy lion hat and has been steadily releasing a stream of songs in a new direction, leading up to an upcoming 2013 debut album. His new material, “Feel So Real” in particular, is a bombastic blast of equal parts 90s rave and video game music, in particular some of the more intense tracks from Dance Dance Revolution or the soundtrack to Megaman Battle Network. It’s mostly a refreshing, honest, contemporary take on a style that is often seen as ironic or tongue-in-cheek.

– Adam