Electronic congas and all that type of dance-beat things. Digital. Telegraphic. Making ants in your pants dance, hip shake. Shoulder dip. Nice solid beats, and variety to boot. Superb stuff for the new year.
From Inverted Audio :
Giegling have been picking up some serious props of late with both Resident Advisor and XLR8R dedicating full features to the label. It’s about time too as their smudged deep techy aesthetic is already a buy on sight alone for the discerning fan. Not just to avoid (or join) the Discogs hype surrounding Giegling and offshoot label ‘Forum‘ output, but also because, well, the music happens to be consistently brilliant.
Following hard on the heels of Traumprinz’s sublime ‘All The Things‘ sees Gilles Aiken alias Edward deliver his debut long player for the label with a sound skirting flavours of deep house, disco wonk peppered with hip swinging vocal snatches, break beat oddities and a proper left field dance floor dynamic.
You will no doubt be familiar with that moment when a crowd is held by the sway of a DJ clearly mixing two tracks together – building something new, generating anticipation for the next moment. Much of “Into a Better Future” feels precisely like that moment. Perhaps it’s because there’s so much going on here, like the jumble of sounds that loosely holds together opener ‘Let’s Go‘ and the following ‘Yes‘. Perhaps it’s the deft matching of all that incongruous audio on titular track ‘Into a Better Future‘. Whatever it is, it will make you want to hear these tracks in a dingy, off kilter club.
‘Skating Beats‘ takes the DJ theory further with a sharp cross fader cut effect dropping tubular synth riffs against staccato sample stabs. There’s even a filter sweep on the driving bass of the breaksy ‘Hecstatic‘ – something many producers leave to the DJs yet for Giegling acts (Traumprinz also employs the technique) it feels like a decisive ‘hands off – we’re in control’.
You can’t help but love Aiken’s unabashed use of the ‘loon’ on ‘At Ease‘ – the synthesised bird call that’s been threading its way through dance music since ‘Sueno Latino‘ and ‘Pacific State‘. (For a full blown account on ‘loon’ history head across to Philip Sherburn’s Pitchfork piece on the matter). And how better to round things off than with the spacey melodic breaks of ‘Miracel Steps‘?
Berlin producer Gilles Aiken, AKA Edward, has come along way from the hypnotic tech house of his early releases on WHITE. His odd path has led to an immersion in the music of krautrock artist Conny Plank (of Neu! and Cluster), whose music he remixed last year. On Into A Better Future, Aiken has done an admirable job of integrating Plank's techniques into a functional dance music context. The distance he's come since his debut LP, Teupitz, is startling evidence of an artist who can do whatever he wants.
Speaking to Musicbaum about the differences between Into A Better Future and his last LP, Aiken said: "The new one needs much more attention from its listener. Various parts get really weird. If you close your eyes and listen you might follow but if it's just music in the background it could get difficult. At least that's what I think." Indeed, Aiken bends and refracts the deep house template into an uncanny, psychedelic form. His union with Giegling makes perfect sense. In our recent Label of the month feature, label co-founder Konstantin spoke of being inspired by a small party at the New York record store Dope Jams: "It was dance music, but the bass drum was never the focus. I really liked that." Aiken, too, hits this sweet spot, focusing on mid-range percussion, atmosphere and motorik propulsion.
"Yes" dabbles in the '70s German sound, tempering a breezy techno snap with a guitar wash indebted to the "Frippertronics" technique King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp used in his collaborations with Brian Eno. Aiken told Little White Earbuds he likes to play Eno's "Thursday Afternoon" over techno tracks to put dance floors in an elegiac mood. He's dropped in a few beatless gems here, namely the wind-chiming "My Life In The Window" and the aptly-titled drone "Commercial Break." "Hecstatic" takes the logical next step, laying a blistering techno breakbeat under some beautiful, new age-style ambience.
Aiken alternates between head-music and a soaring melodicism that shines through the murk. The title track traverses both zones, starting with a hypnotic tom loop and Can-style spookiness and ending with heavenly pads. "Skating Beats" is unquestionably the album's banger. It arrives with a skipping house beat, the first rhythm that seems like a viable peak-time choice. A group of trippy arpeggios are eventually turned upside-down by a jarring and ecstatic funk-rock sample. There's also a sad grace to Edward's work, in keeping with the Giegling ethos. On "At Ease," he flits a doleful melody over a dubby house rhythm.
Who is the man on the car? When the picture was taken?
On the picture you can see my father hanging with me as a baby on the top of a mercedes. Im more or less one year old. So the picture was taken 31 years old.
Why did you choose it as cover of your album?
The Giegling Album covers are always telling a story about the artists childhood. I really didn’t wanted to have me as a child on the cover so I searched in the collection of my dad the picture with me in the youngest age. When I found this picture I immediately felt that this was the perfect one. You know my father is DJ too we played a lot together and still do. Most of my basics I learned from him so in the end this cover makes perfect sense.
In what way has Edward changed today looking the first album released?
My first Album is much more harmonic and melancholic. In these two years between the first and the second album my musical production became a little more reduced and experimental. I think the first album was, let’s say, easier to listen. The new one needs much more attention from its listener. Various parts get really weird. If you close your eyes and listen you might follow but if it’s just music in the background it could get difficult. At least that’s what I think..
Do you have Krautrock and Punk influences. In what way was this passion for the 70s born?
Starting point for me was the remix I did for a project of Conny Plank who is a legendary producer from this music period. I got the original parts of many tracks. Working with this original material was very inspiring and led me to a new way of producing. So I stared to dig deeper into this period of time. Krautrock is very connected to the 70s free jazz and Art scene like Fluxus and Happening. So the spirit of improvisation in bands like Can or Amon Düül II is very present. That is a big influence. On the other hand the Punkmovement of the 80s is in my opinion very close to techno and house producers of today. In both periods you can find this “do it yourself spirit”. Like for example today some artists produce, master, do the artwork and manage their label. Only the music of the 80s period is much more interesting because the productions didn’t sound so clean in terms of arrangement and sound. Even if many todays producers add a, let’s call it “understatement noise” to their tracks, doesn’t change the fact that many tracks of the present sound conventional and formulaic. I’m not a professional musician or a sound engeneer like 80% of my colleges aren’t either, but in this album I’ve tried to take advantage of this fact by being very naive, chaotic and authentic.
What is your favourite “evergreen” record that you have at home?
Naming one is hard but I listen a lot to Dom s album Edge of Time. It’s from the early 70 by a formation from Duesseldorf the city with the most important output for this music and art period. To put out the Album they organized their own Label and pressed the records privately. Sadly from what I know they didn’t record any other albums. The music is really moody has a lot of pan flutes and organs in it. At this time new age just opened up so it’s really far away of being cheesy but very introspective and spiritual.