Ellen Allien "Boogybytes Vol. 04"
This is the 4th volume of Bpitch Control's "Boogybytes" mix series, and the first by label head Ellen Allien. While the previous volume, mixed by Modeselektor, featured an eclectic mix of IDM, hip-hop, dubstep, and a slowed down Radiohead track, this one sticks to spacey, sedated minimal techno.
The first few tracks on this mix have a bizarre 'spaceship taking off' type feel to them. The first track, AGF's "Liniendicke", has a heavy throbbing sound and spoken German vocals, and this segues into Vera's "In The Nook" which starts with various tones ping-ponging around the speakers, giving way to an ascending drone. This segues neatly into a Ricardo Villalobos track which is where the mix first starts to feel somewhat danceable, and it isn't until the next track (by Melon) where there's clicky high-hat and handclap sounds, and it really starts to sound like it's picking up; but at the same time, there's a slightly nervous sounding synth pad sound and recurring vocal sample that are sort of reminiscent of some of Moby's mid-90s work (that's not an insult!). But then after that, the mix reverts to minimal clicky tracks. As the mix progresses, the tracks seem to contain certain elements (hints of melodies, basslines, vocal samples), but not several all at once. The final track on the mix isn't techno at all, but a gorgeous ballad by Swedish/Japanese group Little Dragon.
This isn't the most exciting, mind-blowing mix I've ever heard, but it does achieve a sort of detached, uneasy ambience that I don't often hear in these types of mixes. It doesn't really feel much like dance music, but something beyond that. It probably won't surprise anyone who's into minimal techno, but it still offers a refreshing, unique take on the genre. 7/10 -- Paul Simpson (8 April, 2008)