• Feature #165 - Alex Boman gets radioactive

    1 Nov 2011, 15:19 by zero-inch

    Swedish house music shooting star Axel Boman has just released an album that would make Kraftwerk proud: 'Radioactive Orchestra featuring Axel Boman ' is all about listening to the sound of radioactivity.

    Radioactive Orchestra is actually a web-based musical interface (accessible here), which has been developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in collaboration with the Nuclear Safety and Training Institute (KSU). Co-designed by media artist Kristofer Hagbard the software makes the processes of atomic gamma decay audible and has served as the primary tool for six tracks of wonderfully subtle electronica house and ambient by Axel Boman.

    Released on the Studio Barnhus label, which is co-run by Boman, the album is out now and exclusively available through zero".

    Check this article with his video on our blog:
  • Podcast #024 - Crew Picks - Georg

    9 Jan 2011, 14:05 by zero-inch

    This week's podcast is once again our Crew Picks edition, which brings you a fresh selection of our favourite tracks from the past few weeks.

    For every Crew Picks edition each member of our team selects five of his current favourites to be assembled into a one-hour mix by one of the DJs in our crew.

    This time around the mixing part has been done by Georg, editor-in-chief at zero" and also known under the name of DJ Glow from his productions of Detroit-style electro, mainly for his own TRUST label.

    Assembled digitally this time around, his mix includes some of the most memorable moments in electronic music this month, with a selection that crosses over techno, dubstep, electro, and free-style hybrids thereof.

    Highlights include positively unclassifiable productions, such as Tolouse Low Trax's stunning remix of our own Clara Moto's 'Deer & Fox', which brilliantly dissects Mimu's haunting vocals, further Regis' doom-dub of Raime's 'This Foundry', and Shackleton's primal drum workout, 'Bastard Spirit'.

    Alternating with the avant-garde we find sure-fire crowd pleasers as well however - Redshape's techno epic 'Future Shock' for instance, Oleg Poliakov's fittingly titled 'Stellar', or DJ Sprinkle's lovely 'House Nation' mash-up of Marco Bernardi's killer dub techno piece, 'Klinsfrar Melode'.
  • PODCAST #023 - Cosmin TRG

    17 Dec 2010, 11:35 by zero-inch

    This week's podcast comes from someone who certainly ranks among the hottest artists of the year 2010: Bucharest's Cosmin Nicolae, better known as Cosmin TRG.

    Nicolae originally become known under the name of TRG when he single-handedly put Romanian dubstep on the map back in 2007. His very first single, 'Put You Down / Broken Heart', was the first release on Ramadanman's Hessle Audio imprint and provided a template for the label's influential deep and reduced dubstep style. Both tracks received much attention at the time, spawning equally acclaimed remixes by Martyn and label boss Ramadanman the following year.

    More TRG releases on followed in short succession immerse records and Dutch imprint Subway, before in late 2008 Nicolae signed to London's Tempa imprint for the brilliantly shuffled-up single 'Decisions', making him the pioneering label's first artist not to hail from the UK.

    After a rather quiet 2009 Nicolae returned to the release circuit early this year with a surprising change to his sound - and his name. Now going by Cosmin TRG, his second Tempa release, 'Now You Know', incorporated straight 4-by-4 beats into his productions for the first time, presenting a remarkably unique conception of dubbed-out and funked-up house music.

    Amsterdam's Rush Hour label was quick to take note and offered Cosmin TRG an ideal platform to experiment with his new style. His two singles 'See Other People' and 'Liebe Sünde' undoubtedly factored into RA's decision of choosing Rush Hour as its label of the year 2010 - a year that further saw Cosmin TRG exchanging remixes with New York's Falty DL, contributing to Modeselektor's 'Modeselektion', and reworking Aardvarck's 'Nosestep'. And if all that wasn't enough, Cosmin Nicolae also revived his TRG alias for a recent single on Hemlock Recordings, 'Tower Block / Béton Brut', proving that his love for abstract dubstep hasn't subsided either.

    Cosmin TRG's exclusive zero" podcast has the inventive producer focus on the housier side of things. Starting out with Basic Channels classic 'Q1.1 III', Nicolae mixes his way through a highly interesting selection of current productions, including highlights such as Nick Höppner's remix of Airhead's 'Paper Street', and Schatrax 2010 edit of 'Champagne Dancer'.

    Listen here:
  • Phthalo - Reissues, Remakes and News

    26 Nov 2010, 10:40 by zero-inch

    Ever since its inception in 1997 Californian label Phthalo has been a treasure chest for the discerning electronic music fetishist. Lovingly curated by Dimitri Fergadis, known as Phthalocyanine from his productions for Plug Research, Planet Mu, and A-Musik, Phthalo has been home to early works of renowned artists like Daedelus, Vladislav Delay, Kit Clayton, and Jimmy Tamborello's Dntel project.

    Vladislav Delay has just resurrected his Sistol alias after ten years for a new album on the label, and both John Tejada and Dntel have reissued some of their early works via Phthalo. A startling line-up of prominent artists has further been asked to reinterpret the original tracks, including international all-stars like Redshape, Dominik Eulberg, DMX Krew, Alva Noto, FaltyDL, Oneohtrix Point Never, Mike Huckaby, Bodycode, Jori Hulkkonen, and Scuba.

    The Phthalo name guarantees that this is no empty name-dropping - across the board the remixes display the same attention to detail that Phtalo is famous for and treat their source material with utmost respect for some phenomenal tunes. Dig into the Phtalo treasure chest on the zero" blog...
  • Juke, Ghetto House, Footwurking - Exclusives at zero"

    19 Nov 2010, 09:49 by zero-inch

    For years the sound of Chicago Juke and ghetto house has remained one of the last untapped and truly underground genres of dance music. The origins of the style can be traced back to the first half of the 1990s, when DJs like Paul Johnson, DJ Deeon, and DJ Funk started speeding up Chicago house music and stripping it down to its bare-bone grooves, bass-lines, and raunchy lyrics on their productions for labels like Dance Mania. Ghetto house - or Booty house, as it was commonly called at the time - was born.

    In recent years ghetto house has become even faster, with speeds reaching up to 180bpm, and incorporated more and more elements from hip-hop and r'n'b. Termed Juke and championed by artist such as DJ Slugo, DJ Clent, and DJ Rashad the style has remained a predominantly local affair, with countless productions appearing through underground imprints like DJ Godfather's Databass Online imprint, Juke Trax, Juke Trax Online, and Slugo's Subterranean Playhouse.

    In the course of 2008's Baltimore bass boom, Juke gained more international visibility due to its similarities in tempo and party attitude. DJ Gant-Man's 'Juke Dat Girl' became a minor hit via New York's hipster imprint fool's gold, and Parisian nu-rave stalwarts Ed Banger invited original ghetto house icon DJ Funk on a European tour.

    Ghetto House, Juke, Footworking

    Meanwhile things were cooking home in Chicago as yet another generation of artists introduced the perhaps most radical change to the sound: abandoning the 4-to-the-floor house music kick drum altogether. Young bedroom producers like DJ Nate and DJ Pierre (not to be confused with the acid house pioneer) started recording tracks that seemed to float on a wave of staccato bass stabs, fluently switching between breakneck speeds and half-tempo intermissions. The new style became known as Footworking, after the hyperactive break dance variant it accompanied, and suddenly well-known UK DJs began to drop footwork tracks in their dubstep sets.

    Planet Mu's Mike Paradinas was one the first to take note, signing leading Juke artists DJ Nate, DJ Rashad, and DJ Roc to his influential label. A compilation of footwork tracks is bound to follow next year. Another label currently making waves is Chicago's Ghettophiles imprint, whose first release, '4 The Ghetto' by DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad, went down like a storm this summer, receiving enthusiastic reviews from magazines like Resident Advisor.

    Juke Exclusives on zero"

    zero" proudly presents three exclusive releases representing the cutting edge of ghetto house music - two by Juke legend DJ Slugo, and a Ghettophiles compilation highlighting some of the most interesting artists out there, including DJs Spinn, Rashad, Clent and Tre.

    Check 'em out here:
  • Fenin Presents Mixes and Maxis

    12 Nov 2010, 13:01 by zero-inch

    Berlin's dub master Fenin has recently been raising attention once again with his releases for Echochord Colour (alongside like-minded producer Deadbeat), as well as his own label, Dock.

    Now Shitkatapult presents two new volumes of Fenin's music: 'Mixes & Maxis', a retrospective compilation of some of his finest productions transcending the borders between techno and dub, as well as 'None Of Them (Robag Wruhme Remixes)', a single featuring two distinct interpretations of Fenin's evergreen by former Wighnomy Brother Robag Wruhme.

    See the rest here:
  • Five Years of Ostgut Ton - Special Offer at zero"

    12 Nov 2010, 12:58 by zero-inch

    As Berlin's Berghain club has become nearly synonymous with the German capital's night-life scene over the past five years, its label, ostgut Ton, has done an exquisite job of bringing the club's distinguished sounds of underground techno and house to the world.

    Ostgut Ton celebrates its fifth anniversary this week with a truly unmissable compilation, 'Fünf', and we are happy to join the festivities with special prices on all Ostgut full-length albums as well as a retrospective of some of the label's defining releases.

    Go here to see what's on offer:
  • Return of the Teichmann bros

    2 Nov 2010, 12:13 by zero-inch

    Gebrüder Teichmann, a.k.a. the Teichmann brothers Hannes and Andi, are a German techno institution. Their releases for Kompakt and Disko B have pioneered the fusion of techno and pop for the past decade, yielding radio hits like 2007's 'Romy' as well as underground dance-floor fodder via their Festplatten and Teichtracks labels.

    For the past year the pair has been notably absent from the release circuit, keeping busy behind the scenes, for instance by initiating an electronic music exchange project with Kenyan musicians, NRBLN - BLNRB, which took place in Nairobi this year.

    The Teichmanns are back: New EP, Free Track

    Restarting their Festplatten label, their hot new 'Brainwash EP' is a precursor to their forthcoming album due in Spring 2011. The release comes with a fun video, directed by the Teichmanns' new Kenyan friends Chris King and Sam Hopkins, and starring Nairobi-based artist Gomba Otieno.

    To celebrate their return, the Teichmann brothers are giving away a free track to all zero" users: The single edit of their new EP's title track 'Brainwash'. Simply click here to download this fidgety techno beauty. If you are hungry for more, don't forget to get the entire EP below and check out the Festplatten catalogue, now available digitally in it entirety.

    Check it out on the zero" blog here:
  • Unsound Festival Free Compilation

    22 Oct 2010, 11:52 by zero-inch

    Kraków's Unsound Festival and zero" present a free compilation, themed around the festival's 2010 motto, 'Horror - The Pleasure of Fear and Unease'.

    Taking place from October 17-21 this year, Unsound is quite possibly Poland's finest festival for contemporary electronic music. Over the course of the festival's eight days and nights a lovingly curated line-up of international artists will come to the beautiful city of Kraków to participate in Unsound 2010.

    The theme of the festival this year is 'Horror - The Pleasure of Fear and Unease', so expect a wide range of fittingly disturbing sounds, alongside panel discussions, movie screenings, as well as art installations located in the cellars, corners and disused rooms of a former cosmetics factory.

    The musical highlights are almost to numerous to mention: Over 80 artists, from Actress to Zombie Zombie, are bound to leave a lasting impression, and Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never, Shackleton, and Oni Ayhun seem cut out to supply the sounds to Unsound's eerie theme.

    Get the download here:
  • Techno House Special

    22 Oct 2010, 10:17 by zero-inch

    Combining the tempo of house with the sonic palette of techno and modern production techniques, music that falls under the versatile genre tag of techno house has become so ubiquitous on worldwide dance floors, it is now almost synonymous with club music itself.

    This month's selection is a great example of the style's versatility and ranges from Marc Houle's hypothermic minimalism to Dop's hot and swinging freestyle grooves. Further recommendations include Lee Jones' lovely Watergate mix, Tony Lionni's highly anticipated debut album, and Jacob Korn's great new single, which is a zero" exclusive pre-release.

    Featured release:

    Marc Houle - Drift (Video Edition)

    Album released 13-10-2010 on Minus
    Marc Houle cites the harsh Berlin winter as the major inspiration for his fourth studio album, 'Drift'. And indeed the veteran Minus producer has cooled down his variant of minimal techno considerably, while at the same time introducing a more organic feel to it.

    This is not necessarily a contradiction in itself - cold, industrial soundscapes and endless echoes are complemented by strung guitars and hushed voices, which add a human touch to the album and distinguish its nine tracks from the artificial sterility so often encountered in minimal techno productions.

    Marc Houle is a master of classic Minus-style basslines, which carry tracks like the 'Inside', 'Drift', and 'Melting'. In other moments, such as on 'Sweet' or 'Hammering', Houle relies on looser elements, such as plucked string sounds to create eerie and melancholic moods.

    The album comes as a Video Edition exclusive to zero", including a 46-minute film by Polish visual artist Barbara Klein, which perfectly complements Marc Houle's organic minimalism with dreamlike, mystical images of shadowy figures and lone dark forests.

    Listen here:

    Read the rest of the recommended Techno House releases here: