Sep 22, 2012

Rhodeo 1238 Beats

Hello, it's going to be a Rod Modell weekend, tomorrow in Sundaze his more contemplative ambient work and today his more beats orientated work. Make some space on your hard disk and be prepared to have your eardrums massaged.

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Rod Modell is best known as DeepChord, the creative force behind popular dub techno records such as Vantage Isle and The Coldest Season, but that moniker is just the tip of the iceberg. Modell’s back catalogue is enormous, encompassing ambient and sound-art releases on obscure labels which even the Discogs radar doesn't pick up: imprints such as Silentes, Hypnos, Amplexus, Linear Logic and Silver to name a few.

Rod was in Detroit during the birth of techno in the mid-to-late ‘80s. Charles Johnson’s Mothership landings (10 pm) and his Midnight Funk Association were rarely ever missed. I experienced the Music Institute first-hand, and was buying tons of vinyl at Buy Rite Music years before Record Time sold a single techno record. I was there. Ditto for Steve in regards to Chicago. He personally knows many of the original purveyors of the Chicago house and acid sound. I think it would be impossible to ignore the obvious fact that there is some definite significance to this allegory. We are all a product of our experiences whether we want to be or not. The things that we’ve seen are part of our fabric. Chicago House is part of Steve’s makeup, as is Detroit Techno for me. Add in the Berlin element, and you have the holy trinity of underground dance music represented.

Rod & Steve like analog because it’s alive. Rod" I used to love putting my old Korg MS-20 outside in the cold garage for a few hours during the winter months. I would then bring it inside the warm house, power it up, and program something simple with a SQ-10 sequencer, and that little twelve-step sequence would mutate for two hours. Constantly changing. It was amazing to me. You would leave the room, and come back and it would sound totally different. So organic and so alive. Its personality would change as it warmed up and became more comfortable, just like a human being’s would.A lso, this old gear generates amazing harmonics and overtones that I’ve never heard from a computer. Even algorithms designed to emulate this analog side-effect fail miserably. These elements add up to a sound quality that’s impossible to achieve without this old gear and, as this sound is an integral part of Echospace, we don’t have an option: it’s either use the old stuff, or don’t make music."

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the fellows in Berlin's Rhythm & Sound camp will have no problem endorsing Detroit-based Deepchord as their dub-techno heir apparent. Already an established ambient producer, Rod Modell partnered with Mike Schommer, quietly releasing their first 12" together in the late '90s. Like Rhythm & Sound, Deepchord based their compositions around minimal arrangements: repetitive rhythms inspired by dub, faint traces of white noise, and warm synth stabs. The group retained a loyal cult following, releasing several more singles in the early 2000s as well as a limited-run CD version of their first six releases (originally pressed up in extremely limited quantities). The duo's production went from prolific to a screeching halt around 2002, making a remarkable and rare live performance at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival and releasing singles in a scarce fashion (the group's 2006 single was only pressed to 100 copies). A retrospective of the group's work, Vibrasound: 1999-2004, was issued under Modell's name and released on the Silentes label in 2005. Later that year, Modell teamed with Kevin Hanton to release Illuminati Audio Science and used a generous portion of the group's output, looped and sliced into small segments (much like Richie Hawtin's DE9 experiments), for a continuous 70-minute mix CD. Their big break came with  " The Coldest Season" the ultimate chill out, net contend with being pigeonholed the follow up was much more beats orientated as you could check out here, " Liumin"  . Their latest album "Hash-Bar Loops" was released last year.

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When thinking of mix albums that have succeeded in giving the listener a smooth, seamless block of music, I can’t think of another that has done as well as this. Here is the premise of the album.  Kevin Hanton takes tracks from the Deepchord (Rod Modell) archives, and mixes them together, “reconfiguring” them as he sees fit.  Much of the material on Illuminati Audio is found on Rod Modell’s Vibrasound compilation.

From a bpm standpoint, most dub techno is anywhere from extremely slow, to middle of the road.  Illuminati Audio is, at least for its first three-fourths, pretty fast. Along with the speed, another factor that dramatically changes the listening experience is the way traditional dub sounds are used.  The phenomenon of convergent evolution is that two species that are only distantly related develop very similar traits, often through different routes.  The same principle can be applied with Illuminati Audio and its dub sounds. Many of the dub sounds used here sound like they belong on a deep progressive trance track.  Those who know dub techno will recognize specific Deepchord sound effects, but the tweaking done to these tracks, as well as the speed of the bassline, give the whole package a decidedly different feel. Illuminati Audio Science is a masterful mix album, one long track really, there are no seams or rivets here; this is flawless.

Rod Modell and Kevin Hanton - Illuminati Audio Science (flac  355mb)

Deepchord Continuous-Flow Mix (76:12)

01 Untitled 2:09
02 Untitled 2:16
03 Untitled 4:44
04 Untitled 0:49
05 Untitled 3:20
06 Untitled 7:28
07 Untitled 1:58
08 Untitled 2:06
09 Untitled 4:45
10 Untitled 2:17
11 Untitled 4:06
12 Untitled 3:20
13 Untitled 4:37
14 Untitled 1:57
15 Untitled 6:45
16 Untitled 7:18
17 Untitled 1:21
18 Untitled 4:45

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More abstract than his gentle dub atmospheres, more varied and violent than his ambient work, it is a record of hissing, coiling atmospheres that stands as a cross section of his output, taking in everything from the glitchy drones of his releases on Silent Records to the hard-edged techno of recent live DeepChord performances. Based on ten field recordings made during a single night (presumably in Japan), the album is ten discrete snapshots rather than a cohesive whole or narrative. Many of the tracks sound like they were performed in a dark ally during a rainstorm. This album is so icy and tar-on-coal dark, your brain will get frostbite listening to it ( “Temple”). “Aloeswood” sets the tone with muffled 4/4 kicks scudding like walruses over tundra while glaciers crackle in a polar cave. “Body Sonic” allows slivers of sunlight into the tenebrous mix; it’s one of the few cuts among the 10 here that’s more about moving asses than paralyzing limbs. Incense and Black Light is both soothing and harrowing in equal measure, and it has a breadth that will appeal to fans of Modell’s abstract works as well as those interested in the darker side of DeepChord.

Rod Modell ‎- Incense and Black Light (flac  405mb)

01 Aloeswood 3:49
02 Hotel Chez Moi 6:57
03 Body Sonic 5:56
04 Cloud Over 6:09
05 Temple 5:56
06 Ultraviolet World 6:42
07 Subway 5:14
08 Red Light 6:21
09 Into Day 5:47
10 Morning Again 5:01

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Liumin should be described as incredibly simplistic, yet awesomely complex percussion is drenched in vaporous white noise, as it envelopes the chords that swirl around in the stereo field of infinite dimensions. Complimented with a touch of field recordings captured by Modell in Tokyo, Japan, the kick trends on, falling out of the foreground of the typical warehouse sound system, into the ether of organic pulse. The absolute masterpieces on the album include "BCN Dub" and "Maglev". The latter, in particular, takes me to a mysterious place, elusive in its existence, with hidden doors and passages that only open up somewhere in the middle of the track. Liumin is the duo's second full length album. This double-disk release, contains a bonus 80-minute CD with the original field recordings from Tokyo. This second place is only accessible after you've made the journey through the hollow caverns of Liumin, revealing itself like a secret garden hidden deep beneath the earth. This is indeed a surreal, almost narcotic, experience, which, like that most treasured childhood memory, is a momentous trip.

DeepChord Presents Echospace - Liumin (flac  487mb) re-upped

01 In Echospace 5:42
02 Summer Haze 7:33
03 Sub-Marine 9:24
04 Burnt Sage 10:23
05 BCN Dub 12:04
06 Firefly 6:44
07 Maglev 10:28
08 Float 10:13
09 Warm 7:00

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DeepChord Presents Echospace - Liumin Reduced (flac  491mb) re-upped

10 Untitled 1 8:06
11 Untitled 2 6:46
12 Untitled 3 4:32
13 Untitled 4 4:22
14 Untitled 5 3:57
15 Untitled 6 6:55
16 Untitled 7 6:11
17 Untitled 8 6:39
18 Untitled 9 13:43
19 Untitled 10 4:07
20 Untitled 11 7:54
21 Untitled 12 6:31

DeepChord Presents Echospace - Liumin Reduced (ogg  183mb)

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Sowas Von Hacke said...

Thanks for the links and the good write up!
More of this musical niche can be found here.

Check out Drift Deeper-, Cold Tear-, Insectorama Recordings...

highng said...

Could you possibly reupload 'DeepChord Presents Echospace - Liumin Reduced (flac 491mb)'?

That would be great!!

Rho said...

Well then highhn let it be great ! It lives....

highng said...

Great, thank you!

Anonymous said...

Could we please have Echospace's 'Liumin' re-uploaded?

Thank you!

- 313

floodwatch said...

Requesting re-ups of these, thanks Rho!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho - thanks so much for this Blog - it's ace! A request please...could you please re-up Echospace's 'Liumin' and Liumin Reduced? Many thanks and Happy New Year!

Rho said...

Hello Anon, you're a month early, next month the 12 month term is passed, something you could easily figure out yourself

Anonymous said...

Sorry Rho my bad - a request again then please...could you possibly re-up Echospace's 'Liumin' and Liumin Reduced? Many thanks for your excellent blog

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Echospace, Rho