Since his last full-length, Ode, Tin Man, AKA Johannes Auvinen, has taken a collaborative approach to acid, bringing his 303 box into studio scenarios with Cassegrain, John Tejada, AAAA and Gunnar Haslam in order to explore new territory. On Acid Test 11, Auvinen’s arrived on a seamless pairing with Manchester production duo Jozef K and Winter Son. On the title track, Tin Man’s acrobatic 303 no longer has to do the melodic heavy lifting—the Mancunians provide a sturdy yet plaintive piano base that allows a duet of acid lines to cut through the heady atmosphere. Interdimensional Transmissions boss Erika toughens things up considerably with her “Fate’s Unknown” remix, stripping things back to a creepy, jacking core. “Pendle By Night” underlines the ad hoc trio’s propensity for widescreen heft. The track’s epic, emotional tone feels like a natural product of the collaboration.
Words from John on the release:
On April 16th I am releasing an EP on the Acid Test label. It consists of 4 electronic pieces of music recorded in 2009. This was the period when I started recording my machines and synths onto a computer, using the program Renoise. Though I was still using the TB-303 quite often, I had moved away from making strictly Acid House music. There is no stylistic genre which this music fits into. I was just pushing my machines really hard, and constantly trying things which I had never done before. I would just describe it as adventurous electronic music. Throughout this time, I was also making a great deal of music with Speed Dealer Moms, and those experiences definitely informed my experimental approach. In fact, one song’s programming began in a hotel room in London, with the intention of performing it with SDM at the Bangface Weekender rave in 2009, but we ended up having to cancel due to faulty rental equipment.
Some of the programming and production techniques were inspired by people like Venetian Snares, AFX, Squarepusher, Gescom, DMX Crew, The Railway Raver, Ceephax Acid Crew, Luke Vibert, and Autechre. Martin Hannett’s production of Joy Division, and things like Depeche Mode, Heaven 17s first record, New Order, and early Human League, were also influential on this stuff. But musically, it is my approach to synthesis, my sense of melody, and my sense of rhythm, which give this music its style, whatever one wishes to call it.
The EP opens with a song called Foregrow, and this is the only tune on which I sing. The lyrics concern a vivid pre-life memory, in which I was a section of outer space. I used a midi guitar to play a DX7 synthesizer, in order to make these kinds of falling and whooshing sounds, by bending strings in a way that a person could never use a mod wheel or pitch bender. The sound of the guitar itself was never recorded and is therefore inaudible.
The second song is called Expre’act, and this was the first time I’d ever had the pleasure of programming machines to a tempo which is continually slowing down and speeding up. This song has a guitar solo, played through an Electro Harmonix Microsynthesizer. The song’s introduction is one Monomachine, using a lot of parameter locks. When the 303 comes in, I use its internal synth, while also using its sequencer to play many different synthesizers, one after another in rapid succession, sometimes using just CV and Gate, and other times using a CV to midi converter.
The 3rd track is Lowth Forgue, which, as I mentioned earlier, began as music I intended to play live for British ravers. But when that didn’t come to be, I took it home and it went in a variety of directions. Like a lot of tracks I’ve made these last 8 years, it goes through several different sections which are wholly unlike each other in instrumentation, mix, style, and so on. This idea comes from groups like Genesis and Yes, who made long songs comprised of sections which were totally distinct from one another, by means of editing. In the case of Lowth Forgue, there are 4 sections in a row which have nothing in common with one another, except that they share the same tempo and flow nicely from one to the next. This track has no guitar at all. However, it does have sampling, which all of the other songs lack.
The EP ends with Unf, which was the first tune I’d made in 4/4 for quite some time. It contains a guitar solo which is heavily treated by a modular synthesizer which my friend and bandmate Chris McDonald built for me. There are also a few other guitar parts, including a funk one and a Siouxsie & the Banshees type one, but this song, like the others, mainly consists of drum machines and synthesizers, especially the MC-202. There’s a hell of a lot of 202s in this track, including one section which sounds like someone playing a Wurlitzer electric piano but is actually six 202s programmed to sound like a guy playing keyboards.
I think of this EP as fun music that was fun to make. Overdubbing, in electronic music, was a pretty new thing for me at that time, and much of this music was developed live (i.e. with many machines playing together), and then recorded as individual instruments, each with their own respective track. This gave me the ability to be way fancier with my production than I was on the Trickfinger Acid House stuff, when I had only machines, synths, a small mixer, and a CD burner. This EP was the beginning of the studio setup I have continued to use, refine, and develop ever since. Here are four pictures of it, taken a couple of years ago.
The Foregrow EP is a compilation of tracks chosen by Oliver Bristow of Acid Test. Other tracks from this period are on my Soundcloud and Bandcamp pages, JF Directly From JF.
The cover of the EP is a sculpture conceived by Marcia Pinna. It is a visual depiction of the lyrical “rules” which I adhered to in the song Foregrow. We were driving one night, and I told her, at length, of the connection between Aleister Crowley’s Book Of Lies(falsely titled), and Ian Curtis’s lyrics, which I first perceived in 1997. My explanation of these rules inspired in her mind a vision, which became a drawing, then a miniature sculpture, and then an 8 foot tall, twenty foot long sculpture, which she and Sarah Sitkin built in Sarah’s art studio, where it was then photographed. A day later, the whole thing came tumbling down and shattered into a million pieces.
The latest missive from Acid Test has the label identifying with its hometown, Los Angeles, more than ever. LA-born Vienna resident and label mainstay Tin Man takes Vienna-born Angeleno resident John Tejada along for a four-track journey which dwells on the activity which defines life in the City of Angels, driving. Opener “Swiftbox” is a perfect amalgam of Auvinen and Tejada’s respective styles— Tremulous 303 and complex minor key melodicism and deconstructed stabs. “Diamond Lanes” is another muscular acid cut with a subtle, swinging percussion. The Diamond Lanes in question can be used when you have a passenger in the car. When widescreen pads come in over jacking snares, you can picture the duo tearing through the iconic 2nd street tunnel out onto the 10 west towards the ocean, leaving the city’s warehouse district in their wake. Label regulars Achterbahn D’amour reimagine “Diamond Lanes” as a skeletal electro roller with their remix version. The closer “Deep Traffic” is a bugged-out acid cut which captures the feeling of sitting alone in a crowd of autos, crawling towards eternal sunset.
When Recondite, AKA Lorenz Brunner, emerged with his debut LP for Acid Test (2012’s On Acid), we were still learning about the German producer’s inward-looking dance floor sound. A few years later, his sinewy jams have proved near universal — like an underground Zelig, he’s fit perfectly everywhere from Rødhåd’s Dystopian to Ghostly International and Innervisions. Acid Test also allows Recondite the chance to indulge his more outré tendencies and a welcome return it is. CD version includes a bonus disc of ‘On Acid’
The latest chapter in the electronic evolution of guitarist John Frusciante features a new project under his Trickfinger guise and has him utilizing the classic hardware that spawned the eternal acid template. Frusciante’s desire to cede control to machines has paradoxically allowed him to present a singular take on elemental dance music, a brilliant and unexpected entry into Acid Test’s growing canon of modern, 303-focused dance music.
Words from the Artist
“I started being serious about following my dream to make electronic music, and to be my own engineer, five years ago. For the 10 years prior to that, I had been playing guitar along with a wide range of different types of programmed synthesizer and sample based music, emulating as best as I could, what I heard. I found that the languages machines forced programmers to think in had caused them to discover a new musical vocabulary. The various forms of electronically generated music, particularly in the last 22 years, have introduced many new principles of rhythm, melody, and harmony. I would learn what someone had programmed but their thought process eluded me. Programmers, particularly ones fluent on machines from the early 80s and/or tracker programs from the 90s, clearly had a theoretical foundation in their employ but it was not the theory I knew from pop/rock, jazz or classical. The hands relationship to the instrument accounts for so much of why musicians do what they do, and I had come to feel that in pop/rock my mind was often being overpowered by my hand, which I had a strong desire to correct. I was obsessed with music where machine intelligence and human intelligence seemed to be bouncing off one another, each expanding with the incorporation of what it received from the other.
In 2007 I started to learn how to program all the instruments we associate with Acid House music and some other hardware. For about 7 months I didn’t record anything. Then I started recording, playing 10 or so synced machines through a small mixer into a CD burner. This was all experimental Acid House, my skills at making rock music playing no part in it whatsoever. I had lost interest in traditional songwriting and I was excited about finding new methods for creating music. I’d surround myself with machines, program one and then another and enjoy what was a fascinating process from beginning to end. I was so excited by the method of using numbers much in the same way I’d used my muscles all my life. Skills that had previously been applied by my subconscious were gradually becoming conscious, by virtue of having numerical theoretical means of thinking about rhythm, melody and sound.
In summary, Acid served as a good starting point for me, very gradually leading me to be able to combine whatever styles of music I want, as a one man band.” - John
The instrumental 2LP/CD/Digital release comes out on April 6th worldwide and will be available at all outlets
Achterbahn D’Amour’s machinefunk opus, “Odd Movements.” gets reworked with 4 sonically diverse remixes. Detroit don Marcellus Pittman kicks things off with a massive, unsettling flip of “Holy Roman Empire.” The Italian producer Chevel is up next with a virtuosic take on the LP’s title track. His cubist, artfully restrained version ends with over a minute of icy techno snap. Convextion, as well, chooses to hold back for maximum impact, infusing the moody “Passagen” with subdued electro bounce. Finally, SW. imbuesthe duo’s “Konigstr” with dubbed-out breakbeat pressure, occasionally allowing the original acid line to seep through a skittering rave rhythm.
Tin Man - Ode 2LP / CD
Release date September 22th 2014
What does a rave sound like the next day? The strobe lights in a dark warehouse, the pounding kick, the blur of ecstatic faces lead to a morning-after emptiness, all fade into memories of the friends you once had. On Ode, Tin Man explores this feeling, offering tracks which possess an exhausted joy, the aural equivalent of the stretch of time beginning when the last record is played and stretching on towards the doleful contemplation of last night’s unmade sheets.
Acid Test 09 marks the first true collaboration from Tin Man and Donato Dozzy. After spending studio time together in Rome the two have completed a beautifully deep EP of music. Tin Man’s emotional acid lines become shooting stars in Dozzy’s hypnotic atmosphere. Limited hand painted sleeves. Mastered by Rashad at Dubplates & Mastering.
The debut full-length by Achterbahn D’Amour (Johannes “Iron Curtis” Paluka and Jurgen “Jool” Albert), captures two artists coaxing their most emotional sounds to date out of classic Roland boxes.
The album is the natural extension of the duo’s live-rooted sound, further defining the oblique dance moves contained on their three Acid Test EPs. They demonstrate a true reverence for the 303 and 606. On Odd Movements, lush pads and abrupt toms create a literal pedestal for the bassline machine. The duo have hit on a sound well-suited for dark rooms and towering sound systems.
We’re back with another 12″ from Tin Man. “Mystified Acid” really let’s the 303 shine with it’s minimal drums and ambience and aims straight at the dancefloor. “Finger Paint” from last years Neo Neo Acid album is revisited by Hamburgs RVDS, while on the flip Joey Anderson turns “Futurist Acid” into a deep long and tripping journey.
If ever you were to enter into a listening experience with a sense of uncertainty, it could very easily be with this record. Acid Test, a sublabel of L.A collective Absurd, has in just a small cluster of releases established itself as a reliable bastion for futuristic considerations of 303-driven dance music. There’s no escaping the omnipresent acid machine, still as fetishised and relied upon for rave nastiness as when Phuture paved the way back in ’87. Where scores of producers still see an acid track as a simple combination of drum machine beats and the aforementioned 303, the team behind Acid Test are more concerned with deepening the creative possibilities that the tried and tested sound can be contorted to.
Their releases so far from Achterbahn D’Amour, Tin Man and Donato Dozzy amongst others have illustrated just how diverse an instrument the lysergic squelch can be, buying into the psychedelic potentials without once alluding to the predictability of a ‘jack track’. Pépé Bradock is likewise a tricky proposition to second guess, with a careering sound that swerves into all-out jazz territory via refined deep house, nutty found sound collages and plenty more besides. It’s not so common to find him turning to a more focused kind of rave music though, seemingly more concerned with the cerebral than the physical in his output, and so that previously referenced uncertainty looms large over this record before putting it on.
Pépé Bradock - Lifting Weights
Of course it’s more excitement than nerves that dominate, which is thankfully justified across every single second of this seventeen-minute record, with Bradock rising to the label’s remit with aplomb and serving up a kind of acid you will have never heard before. “Lifting Weights”, and its counterpart “Mujeres Nerviosas”, sport the hallmark Bradock tendency to cover many different moods and moments within their running time.
Continue reading here:
::: Coming soon :::
Lifiting Weights / Mujeras Nerviosas 12″
“Recorded in LA assembled in Paris”
Resident Advisor list Recondite’s “On Acid” in the top 20 albums of the year. Thanks RA!
Achterbahn D’Amour return to Acid Test with Cardbox & Harmonia, including a stellar remix from Innerspace Halflife.
Available in all good record shops.
$20.00 + shipping email firstname.lastname@example.org
As the title implies, the 303 remains very much at the center of these dance floor excursions, whether holding down the low-end on “Devine Acid” and “The Muses” or stretching far and wide across the track, as we hear on “Museum Of Acid” and “Absurdist Acid.” It’s uncanny how simply Tin Man whips up a frenzy: a cut like “Futurist Acid,” with crisp hi-hats and a steady thump delivering a circular 303 line with little more than delay as ornamentation, evokes a multitude of colors and emotions. Auvinen’s compositional intuition is as strong as ever here, its tracks unfolding with simultaneous calm and immediacy.
“Recondite has been extraordinarily successful, creating an album more deeply psychedelic and mind-bending than a vast majority of previous attempts” http://www.littlewhiteearbuds.com/review/recondite-on-acid/
RA Label of the month - Read the article, and check out the mix.
“Eddie Richards has mixed up new and old tunes from the Acid Test catalogue. It’s a journey which goes from soft to hard to soft again, with the only throughline being, of course, the ever-present 303.”
Little White Earbuds lists Acid Test 01 as #2 track of the year
As well as the #28 spot for Donato’s remix
acid test 05, ‘trance me up (i wanna go higher)’ comes from achterbahn d’amour — the german duo of well-known iron curtis and his lesser spotted pal edit piafra. confusingly, despite the titles, it’s neither acid nor trance, but instead solid, raw, organic and classicist house music.
Full review here
After their debut on Acid Test 02, Achterbahn D’Amour aka Iron Curtis & Edit Piafra return for the 5th in the Acid Test series with 2 new tracks. Including a massive remix from the almighty Skudge.
A1 - Achterbahn D’Amour - Trance me up (I wanna go higher)
A2 - Achterbahn D’Amour - Adult movies
B1 - Trance me up (I wanna go higher) - Skudge remix
Acid Test 04
A1 - Holger Zilske - E preciso Acreditar
B1 - John Tejada reduction remix
B2 - Axel Boman remix
Digi - John Tejada v2 remix
Acid Test 04 drops from Berlin’s Holger Zilske - A pure analog jam using just a 303, 101 and a 808, its a slow pulsing bass heavy acid work out. Comes with remixes from John Tejada and Stockholm’s Axel Boman
The mix is done only with records and I left the mistakes in it. The mix tells a story about the acid moon which is a kind of dance planet with extrodinary spaces, moods and flows. The centre is the TB-303, which you can listen to in nearly every track. There are 17 acid tracks from 23 years acid works. It was fun to do — RVDS
Acid Test 03
A1 - Donato Dozzy - In Bed
B1 - Donato Dozzy - In Bed - Tin Man remix
Part 3 in our Acid Test series sees the return of both Donato Dozzy & Tin Man. This time, is Donato contributing an original composition and Tin Man on the remix.
Recorded for his overture at the Labyrinth festival in 2010 and comprised of a Devilfish 303, Juno 60 and Roland SH-2. “In Bed” is spaced out ambient techno in signature Dozzy style, meanwhile, Tin Man takes the melody of the original and turns it into an acid journey including the addition of his vocals.
Boomkat - http://boomkat.com/vinyl/407671-donato-dozzy-tin-man-in-bed-tin-man-mix
Decks - http://www.decks.de/t/donato_dozzy-acid_test_03/bxj-61
Phonica - http://www.phonicarecords.com/product/view/70833
“Absurd Recordings maintain the standards laid down with the Tin Man & Donato Dozzy shaped brilliance of their first Acid Test release in premiering the sounds of Achterbahn D’Amour. A new collaborative project between Iron Curtis and Edit Piafra….”
Part 2 in the Acid Test series comes by way of a new project from Berlin’s Iron Curtis. Along with his partner Edit Piafra we introduce ‘Achterbahn d’Amour’ - Including 2 dubbed out acid mixes from London’s Idjut Boys.
Johannes Auvinen, best known as Tin Man, is the ultimate techno drifter. He’s wandered geographically (from Los Angeles to Vienna) and sonically (from twisted post-apocalyptic Chicago etudes to acid-tinged synth pop), and he’s never been particularly choosy about his passport (he followed an EP for techno mainstay Cheap by one for outré-indie boutique label White Denim). For an artist so in line with our handcrafted, old-school-obsessed moment, Auvinen is hardly a major player in the zeitgeist. His invisibility might be a shame for dance music, but I’m guessing being “neglected” suits the eternally downtrodden Tin Man just fine.
But mark my words: the mystery won’t last through 2011. It can’t. His latest 12″, this time for LA-based Absurd Recordings as part of their new Acid Test series, is just too good. It would be an incredible record if only for “Nonneo,” a new Tin Man joint which is brighter, punchier, and more floor-ready than practically any other record in his discography. But the fact that Donato Dozzy, the Italian techno shaman and elite member of mnml ssgs’s spank bank, has supplied a remix of “Nonneo” — one which transforms the original into one of the most otherworldy instrumentals to grace my inbox in a few minutes — seems destined to shine a very bright light on one of techno’s palest denizens.
Full review here: