Somewhat like the proverbial London bus, Alex Smoke came along in triplicate recently so it felt like time to report on his latest 12″
Bus #1, Alex’s album, Paradolia was highly acclaimed last year but I was a little surprised that his brand of techno got into the top 100 album’s in Fopp’s staff poll for 2006.
Bus #2, there’s a feature of Alex Smoke in the current issue of Slices and rather good it is too.
Bus #3, I own up, it was me that knocked off the 12″ in the central isle at HMV the other day. Even though that was an accident, I took it as a sign that I’ve got to write up my review.
The reason his productions stand out on the techno scene is his background in classical music. It’s interesting to see that on this release, they’ve included a track that was previously released on another label back in 2004. ‘Always And Forever’ sounds like it was a blue-print version of ‘Prima Materia’ sans strings and a bit rougher.
It goes to show how much progress he’s made in the last few years. The Edit is lush and dark all at the same time but it’s the Abort Mix that gets you with its freaky techno bleeps and huge orchestral strings for a full massive eleven minutes. Gilles Peterson was touting for suggestions for an artist that would benefit from a full BBC Orchestra recently. Apart from Daedelus and Four Tet, Mr. Smoke springs to mind as a candidate. What a haunting experience that would be? As IDM goes, this takes the rocket to planet prima materia, via Detroit of course.
A few more tracks/singles by Smoke to watch out are ‘Don’t See The Point’ (Smoke and Henrik Schwarz Dubs) and the ‘Never Want To See You Again’ and ‘Make My Day’ mixes.
As they say, there’s no smoke without fire and this guy is white hot.
- Friday, 16th March 2007 Factor City Night @ Low Club, Madrid
- Saturday, 17th March 2007 Harry Klein, Munich
- Friday, 23rd March 2007 TBA, Istanbul
- Saturday, 24th March 2007 Bloc Weekender, Tebloc Arena @ Pontin’s Holiday Park, Hemsby, Great Yarmouth
- Friday, 30th March 2007 Rocker 33, Stuggart
- Thursday, 12th April 2007 Propaganda Moscow
- Friday, 13th April 2007 Akvarel Cafe Saratov
- Friday, 27th April 2007 BCM Mallorca
- Saturday, 28th April 2007 Som Bom Festival, Cardiff
- Saturday, 5th May 2007 Rahomon Rome
- Friday, 18th May 2007 Waagenbau Hamburg
- Saturday, 19th May 2007 Gerberei Schwerin
- Saturday, 26th May 2007 Rex Paris
Hectic Mix nomination: ‘Prima Materia’ (Abort Mix)
Review: Alex Smoke — ‘Prima Materia’ (Soma Quality Recordings) Cat. No. SOMA 222 Release date: Feb 2007
A Prima Materia (Abort Mix)
B1 Always And Forever (Vapid Mix) (licensed from Seventh Sign Recordings)
B2 Prima Materia (Edit)
Slices — The Electronic Music Magazine, Issue 4-06 Features, Shortcuts and Videos.