Dark Matter by Silicon Scally (AKA Carl Finlow).
Released in March of 2005 on Satamile Records NYC.
Vinyl, 2x12". Flac, 16bit/44.1khz, ~332M.
Tracklist and track durations from the back cover artwork. File size,
bit depth, and bitrate are of my own stored recordings of the vinyl.
BPM is my own count (and is probably inaccurate).
Artist / Title
Silicon Scally / Toneworks
Silicon Scally / Pace
Silicon Scally / Parallel Array
Silicon Scally / Indefinite Space
Silicon Scally / Clone Alone
Silicon Scally / Ghost Wires
Silicon Scally / All Torque
Silicon Scally / Dark Matter
Carl Finlow has a long history in electronic music - over a
hundred releases spanning several decades. Of his LPs, EPs, and
singles that I've heard this is my favorite (and one of my favorite
electro LPs of all time). It's the third album released under his
Silicon Scally alias, and the first record of his I purchased new
(for $13.99 at Platinum Records in Portland, the price sticker says).
All eight songs are long, evolving, understated electro pieces.
Sometimes cryptic and dark (Pace, Ghost Wires, Dark Matter),
sometimes more accessible and upbeat (Toneworks, Parallel Array,
Indefinite Space, Clone Alone, All Torque). The overall sound of
the record seems pleasantly bassy to me, rounded and smooth.
There are no bad tracks here, in my opinion. The title track in
particular stands out for its deep growling bassline. (Reminds me of a
good reese bass).
I really like the track arrangement presented on the vinyl - two per
side for a total of eight feels right. Toneworks and Pace are good
openers, and the title track is an excellent closer. Listening to
the album from start to finish makes sense and that's usually how I
consume it, in one sitting.
I think this is a proper classic, a near-perfect album. Dark Matter
isn't obscure, most fans of 2000s electro will have heard it. But if
you haven't, give it a listen. It's available as a download from
Carl Finlow's bandcamp and Satamile Records NYC's bandcamp
as well as Clone and Juno. The vinyl is long out of
print and is going for what look to me like unreasonable prices on discogs,
so if you see one used at the record store snap it up.
This is one of my favorite records. I have a hard time thinking of
an electro EP of the 2000s that I like more. I got into the style
around the turn of the millennium by digging through used bins;
this was one of the first new records I picked up that I really
I don't have too much to say about the three ambient pieces here.
The crunchy, menacing, noisy Lake Oceola is my favorite. They're a
nice addition to the EP.
The beat-driven tracks are where the action is. All four are carried
by a combination of bass, snappy drums, and sound FX
(zaps, wind chimes, scratching, distant vocals, other playful bits).
There's a noticeable lack of obvious melody or chord progression in
the first three. The fourth, Bass Bin, has a nice synth pad that
smooths it out.
I end up mostly paying attention to the drum program, to the changes
in beat and texture.
It's a similar listening experience to a particularly spare electro
instrumental mix, the kind you'd find on the B-side of a 12" single.
Music for boomboxes, for dancing with brooms.
The Breakdance And Motivate EP is available as a
digital download over at Touchin' Bass's bandcamp page, so go
check it out. Like the State Logik & Jacob record
I wrote about last month this EP was in my bag for most summer shows
at Ground Kontrol, making it another arcade classic.
A note on the discogs page for this 12" states that the A-side
track titles are the reverse of what the center label says. That
makes some sense, A1 sounds more like an "electro boogie" than A2
does. The tracklist above reflects that note.
The State Logik tracks are the reason I picked up this record. Both
are warm, smooth, minimalist electro jams. Sampled drums, a snare
that snaps, a bass synth, pads, short vocoded lyrics, sound FX.
These aren't the flashiest songs, I can see how a listener could
find them underwhelming, but they're easy to mix and I love 'em to bits.
I've played both of these tracks on the radio before, so you can
hear a few minutes of All You Need in MTT177 and a few
minutes of Electro Boogie in MTT015.
The B-side is more complicated. It's dirtier, harder, more distorted.
Scene 1 is a Tusken Raiders Sexy Sandpeople style jam, tough
drum machine beats.
Scene 2 seems to be in 3/4 (6/8?) and has a jazzy sound to it with
its drum samples and nice swirling pad.
Scene 3 is a chunky swamp beat, one for the bog creatures.
I can't work out the meter of Scene 4, one part is maybe running in
4/4 and the rest is doing something else. In any case it's another
strong breakbeat sketch, like the rest of these Scenes. Scene 3
can be heard back in MTT074; I have yet to play the
others for any recorded mixes.
There's a chunk of Narcotix Inc available at beatport
and at junodownload, but I couldn't find this release.
Which is a shame, as the price for a used copy over at discogs
looks a bit unreasonable right now. So my recommendation is, if
you're ever out digging and spot this for a few bucks, pick it up.
For those that don't know, Blogariddims is a fortnightly inter-blog
podcast which was started in June 2006, with the aim of showcasing
the high level and variety of selecting, mixing and writing talent
in the small corner of the music blogosphere inhabited by nuumskulls,
faded-junglists, genre-nerds and bass addicts of every stripe.
I love Blogariddims. The combination of stellar music selection, top
mixing, and track-by-track analysis is fantastic. The enthusiasm, too -
you can hear the affection for each track, and read that same affection
in the show notes.
Most influential on me are the dubstep and electronica mixes.
Several of these DJs were in the right place at the right time to observe
the creative explosion of dubstep, and were bold enough to link it with
some of its less obvious influences. I'm thinking specifically of number
The series concluded in October 2008 with #50, Terminus. Two years
and 50 great episodes. The complete index of mixes can be found at the
Blogariddims Top 50 post on weareie.com. Here are my picks, a short
list of the entries I often return to:
I strongly recommend these mixes. And make sure to read the blog
posts that come with them; they're consistently informative and well
written. MTT is, in many ways, my attempt to emulate Blogariddims and the
Something I wrote last week didn't sit right with me:
RS3 later went on to start (or maybe join?) the group Hellven
I knew that couldn't be correct. A small amount of research led me to
this interview with Xavier Dang,
the founder of Hellven. That gave me enough information to start digging in
the Internet Archive. The Hellven v5 homepage
helpfully links to a forum post
that explains the timeline and history of Hellven. Quote from that forum post:
hellven was founded in 1998 by Xavier Dang a.k.a. "mv" (previously melvyl).
When it started, hellven was a music group of aspiring/hobbyist musician pals
from various places around the globe aiming to release their tracked music of
any style for free on the net.
Hellven went through a series of versions, each with a corresponding time
period. 1.x spanned 1998-1999, 2.x 1999-2000, then 3.x and 4.0 lasted from
2000 to 2003. The final revision appears to have been 5.0; I don't know if any
music was released during this time.
There's more Hellven for me to discover: I haven't found any v1 or v2 releases,
and I've spent no time listening to the (128kbps, 160kbps...) mp3 releases on
scene.org. But this seems like a good start.
Unidentified Flying Oscillator by Space Dimension Controller