Andrew Clyne: Plugged IN

Christine Hsieh

Andrew Clyne

Plugged IN

Label: Phatt Phunk
US Release Date: 2001-08-14

Tech-house can be a bit difficult to pin down. It's the bridge between techno and house, two genres which themselves have so many sub-genres these days that the intersection between any two distinct points can sound entirely different from another. Nevertheless, as a genre, tech-house steals the best of both worlds. The driving, forceful energy of techno fuses with the funky, energetic grooviness of house, and the end result is a lovely jumble of banging beats and winding basslines. Andrew Clyne, in Plugged IN, explores this hazy yet intriguing area. He covers a lot of ground on this disc, successfully linking more minimal, tech-y sounds with electro-tinged house, all the while maintaining a dark, spooky, and somewhat sinister atmosphere.

Clyne takes his time easing into his mix. He starts with Nicholas Martin's "westCoastOwn", a warm deep house tune which employs clip-clopping noises and electro leanings; this blends easily with Clyne's own "The Back Nine", a subtle, glitchy house tune with subdued elegance and a mesmerizing melodic line. More aggressive tunes follow, but rather than pound them out full force, Clyne slyly sneaks them in until the pace becomes more assertive and the beats a bit tougher.

Seed's Dub Mix of "Blue Vibrations" signals the beginning of more intense sounds. This metallic, progressive house number utilizes pulsing synth waves and layers of varied percussion to build an undulating, powerful wave of sound. Clyne follows this with "Chlorine Shots" by Seed & Yoseff, a rumbling, peppy tech-house romp, and unleashes the mix full force with Visuddha's Teethgrinder remix of "Visualizer". With a growling, guttural bass, multi-dimensional rhythms and noises, and an electro-tinged psychedelic bent, this track attests to the diverse nature of tech-house.

Other strong tracks follow, including the chugging, ominous Mogwai's Trauma mix of "I Get a Rush" by Fisher Project (complete with nightmarish narration), the slicing synth and percolating rhythms of Seed's "Seed Sound", and the busy, squishy synth work of "Alien Data" by Deetron. "Only One" by the Organic Vegetarian Liberation Front stands out from this cluster of solid tech-y tunes with its catchy house hook, excess of hollow drumming, horn stabs, and bubbly sounds. Clyne caps off the proceedings with "Visions of You", by Trevor Rockliffe featuring Blake Baxter, an intriguing, steady tech-house track full of robotic voices.

Though it leans more towards the cerebral side of tech-house, Plugged IN is definitely worth a listen, and the album is a nice break from the scores of harder, heavier tech-house compilations on the market.

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less

Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

Keep reading... Show less

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.