For almost as long as there have been DJs, there have been DJ tools: Bonus beats, acapellas and ambient overlays have long been the stock in trade of selectors interested in more than simple crossfades from outro to intro. But back at the beginning of 2007, Luciano put a new twist on a tried- and-true idea with No Model No Tool. The inaugural release on Cadenza Split Composition, a sublabel of the iconic Swiss imprint, No Model No Tool revitalized the recombinant concept, offering DJs a selection of readymade miniatures that worked like sonic building blocks—oddly-shaped bits and pieces designed to be stacked and shuffled to the DJ's delight.
In retrospect, it was a prescient move: the past few years have seen a resurgence of interest in layering, looping and Lego-like play, thanks to the rise of CDJs, Ableton and Traktor/Serato Scratch. And now, at long last, Cadenza Split Composition returns with another grab-bag of toys and tools designed to inspire. CSC02 showcases the architectural talents of Alexkid, a veteran of the French electronic scene and staple of Laurent Garnier's F Communications label, who delivers a set of origami blueprints that practically beg DJs to get their hands dirty.
The A- and B-sides serve as the twin foundations: Both "El Cinco" and "Mocco" offer loose and lanky rhythms, rich with crystalline details and crusted with dubby delay. The chugging "El Cinco" might remind you of Wolfgang Voigt's classic Studio 1 project, while "Mocco" follows a corkscrewing groove through a psychoacoustic hall of mirrors, all face-melting harmonics and throbbing oscillators. Both cuts more than hold their own as standalone tracks, in fact, but the second vinyl offers ample opportunities for more mischievous mixes. On side C, "Instrulentro," "Lampara" and "Fosforo" are oozy, woozy drones, reminiscent of a seasick Subotnick, while "Sheiker" coaxes supple, unquantized rhythms from a disintegrating gourd. Side D, meanwhile, pops the top on a bottle full of spirits, unleashing eerie whistles, Banshee sighs and lilting female vocals. Recalling the Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) of early 20th century ghost recordings, they turn these easygoing grooves into something approaching haunted house.
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