Release Date Digital: May 17th, 2013
Release Date 3LP Vinyl: June 21st, 2013
Counter Future is the third release in Equinox Records’ Sound Exposure compilation series, which debuted back in 2004. This album also marks the 50th release on the label and acts as the 10th anniversary compilation, making it a truly special and momentous affair.
“I wanted the selection to sound timeless yet still have a modern, futuristic vibe”, says label founder and compiler Günter Stöppel aka DJ Scientist. The first release in the Sound Exposure series, Welcome to the Neo Golden Age, defined the dual organic/electronic sound that the label has come to be known for. With this latest instalment of the series Scientist wants to set another important landmark for the label’s growing catalogue.
Counter Future is far from just a simple label sampler, composed almost entirely of exclusive tracks from the label’s roster and its extended, worldwide family. It is a coherent and unique album that showcases the broad spectrum and various facets of today’s electronic and beat scenes. Across 21 tracks from 17 different artists Counter Future is the most extensive and complete release on the label yet: you’ll find acclaimed French producer Fulgeance alongside long term Equinox artists such as 2econd Class Citizen and Deckard as well as close affiliates and friends including Los Angeles’ Dday One and Glen Porter. Each artist contribute their own unique musical mark to this anniversary release.
The compilation opens with the epic, film score-like introduction by producer and bassist Geste. It is followed by one of the label’s latest signings, Italy’s Godblesscomputers with his track Romania. Next is the turn of Greek producer Andreikelos and his Beautiful Mountain of Algos, a powerful downbeat and melodic composition. Germany’s Skyence contributes the haunting, neo space age electronica of Scars while Finest Ego Beat Championship winner Playpad Circus brings the splendid Megalomaniac. Fulgeance provides the epic Cypher with his trademark swing and bounce, Anthony Drawn teams up with Graciellita from L.A. on the stunning Lighthouse. 2econd Class Citizen then rediscovers his love for folk, hip-hop and uplifting but melancholic strings on I That I Am and Haunted Days & Witch’s Teat as well as Glen Porter provide their dose of instrumental hip-hop, uncompromising beats and guitar riffs which act as the perfect counter weight to the more electronic sounds on the album.
Counter Future is roughly divided into two parts with another Geste track, Exhale (Intermission), acting as the divider. Following this, come the vigorous Kill Ya Sound by L.A. producer Gone Beyond, Bit-Tuner’s bass heavy Getaway and Kopfklang’s Piet Mann 4, a very interesting composition from the upcoming Berlin producer. Next up, Deckard provides a stunning composition with St. Ella, while 2econd Class Citizen re-appears with another exclusive track, On Emptiness, originally released on his classic 2009 album A World Without. This new version reworks the original with added piano by Kevin Matthews. Underground L.A legend Dday One supplies Anechoic Chamber, J. Baracuz delivers Before The Storm, Andreikelos teams up with Bombers Of Consciousness and Kopfklang provides his second track Ave Mensch, a darker production that is followed by Canada’s David Vangel’s I Heard You Sing, the last track of the album. The song closes the compilation with beautiful choruses and vocals, accompanied with the kind of soulful drumming Vangel has made his trademark.
Despite its length Counter Future remains a cohesive listen and manages to once again showcase the amalgamation of sounds and styles that the label has become known and loved for. All of which makes it an essential album for fans of Equinox Records both old and new.
▼ Tracklist ▼
(01) Geste – Inhale (Spitting Concrete Intro)
(02) Godblesscomputers – Romania
(03) Andreikelos – Beautiful Mountain of Algos
(04) Skyence – Scars
(05) Playpad Circus – Megalomaniac
(06) Fulgeance – Cypher
(07) Anthony Drawn – Lighthouse (feat. Graciellita)
(08) 2econd Class Citizen – I That I Am
(09) Haunted Days & Witch’s Teat – Landing Strip
(10) Glen Porter – The Devil’s Chariot
(11) Geste – Exhale (Intermission)
(12) Gone Beyond – Kill Ya Sound
(13) Bit-Tuner – Getaway
(14) Kopfklang – Piet Mann 4
(15) Deckard – St. Ella
(16) 2econd Class Citizen – On Emptiness (Keys Re-Work)
(17) Dday One – Anechoic Chamber
(18) J. Baracuz – Before The Storm
(19) Andreikelos – Roots Go Deep (feat. Bombers of Consciousness)
(20) Kopfklang – Ave Mensch
(21) David Vangel – I Heard You Sing
▼ Shoplinks ▼
▼ Pictures & Press Info ▼
Release Date Digital: Oct 26th
Release Date Vinyl: Nov 2nd
For promo inquiries please contact Marie at DaPledge (contact @ dapledge.com).
“For Better, For Worse” is the debut album by DJ Scientist, the founder and head of the Equinox Records label. The music on the album was produced between 2001 and 2006 and offers a unique, fully-sample based instrumental body of work that, even 6 years after its originally scheduled release date, has the power to spellbind and steer the listener into the widespread musical world of one of Germany’s most passionate record collectors and artist.
Some tracks of the album were ‘leaked’ early. In 2006 on the “Journey Goodbye EP” and in the form of the song ‘Raincoatman’ which appeared on the first Equinox Records compilation. These early releases raised excitement levels for the album and fans of Scientist’s unique approach. Unfortunately the album never materialised, partly due to the complexity of some of the songs, consisting of more than 50 layers. Moving from his hometown of Munich to Berlin in that period and coping with the increasing work the label was requiring of him as founder and manager also didn’t help. Scientist then decided to focus on his collaboration with American rapper and multi-instrumentalist Ceschi Ramos in 2007, sealing the album off for a few more years. On the collaboration Scientist proved his skills as a producer across four singles and EPs (featuring popular cuts such as ‘Same Old Love Song’ and ‘Bad Jokes’) and an album, “The One Man Band Broke Up”, released in 2010. The instrumental version of the album acted as Scientist’s official solo debut. Until now…
In 2012 Scientist began to revisit the body of work that made up “For Better, For Worse” and finalised the tracks from the vast archive of finished and unfinished songs. In April he released “The Artless Cuckoo EP” which featured additional tracks from the same early production period that makes up the bulk of the album. The EP introduced the album, catching the attention of fans who had been waiting for quite some time.
“For Better, For Worse” therefore picks up from where “Journey Goodbye” had ended and where “The Artless Cuckoo” had restarted. ‘Ball of Confusion’, the dark and minimalistic album opener, is a deep, psychedelic song based on crashing drums, grunting bass sounds and a suspense-laden build up. ‘World of Stone’ is an equally massive downtempo hip hop song with elements from fusion and jazz, and could already be found – in a slightly different version – on the 2006 EP. ‘The Death of Hip Hop’ is an homage to the old school, despite what its name may imply. ‘Is The Bronx in the house?’ yells the echoed voice at the start of the song. Rap connoisseur Scientist then answers with Krautrock guitars and rushing drums. It’s a furious track that harks back to classics such as RJD2’s ‘Let The Good Times Roll’ and DJ Shadow’s ‘Number Song’. ‘Raincoatman’ slows the tempo again, taking things down a notch and expressing feelings of melancholy and beauty without being corny. The album is completed by meticulously constructed songs such as ‘Nightdrive Memories’, the blues-y ‘Autumn Leaves’ and the epic rock jam ‘Anything About Nothing’, the latter helping to keep the tension up till the very end.
All the tracks on the album show the musical power that resides in the “instrumental hip hop” genre, for lack of a better word. Despite the time it took to make and release, or perhaps precisely because of it, the album defines Scientist’s talent and knowledge as a sample-based musician. Having invested years into the project it wasn’t just the aforementioned reasons which kept “For Better, For Worse” from being released. Scientist also had his doubts about it, saying “I felt like the sound was getting old and I didn’t feel like releasing it anymore.” These doubts may sound absurd upon listen. Even if the crashing drums and melancholic samples which mark the music have now often been replaced by glitches and Dilla-esque drums elsewhere, the music on the album still sounds like little else in hip hop today. The instrumental side of the genre has rarely been purer, more powerful or more uncompromising.
It’s with great pleasure that nearly 10 years after work on the music started Equinox Records finally gives spotlight to the man in the back. The album is part of the Unheard & Recovered series that will also feature another great unreleased album by label-mate Deckard. “For Better, For Worse” is released in late October 2012 on double vinyl and digital formats. Stop, and listen. For better, and for worse.
Feedback & Quotes
CLASHMAGAZINE UK: “DJ Scientist’s ‘For Better, For Worse’ is an instrumental LP of a stately, imperial vibe”
DE-BUG.DE: “Instrumental Hip-Hop with a lot of stories to tell. (…). The most dense album this month in terms of atmosphere.”
DOWN-TEMPO.NET: « Le pire serait d’oublier ce disque. Le meilleur est entre vos mains. » 5 of 5
HHV-MAG GERMANY: „Eine große Verbeugung vor dem Hip Hop.“
DJ FOOD (Ninja Tune): “(I’ve) been giving it a good few listens here and favourites are ‘The Death of Hip-Hop’, ‘Raincoatman’ and ‘Anything About Nothing’. Nice work – there’s plenty of layers to unravel.”
CRAYONBEATS.COM: “The perfect backdrop for a night-time cruise” (re: Nightdrive Memories)
BUDDY PEACE (Strange Famous): “Equinox has managed once again to rearrange and manipulate what we know as instrumental hip hop and drag it into line while marching it directly into the sunlight. DJ Scientist has created an album that amplifies moods, finesses instrumentation and somehow achieves subtlety while being utterly banging. A rare treat for the forward thinking beat-head.”
DJ FORMAT: “Great moody soundscapes and raw heavy drums are the perfect formula from this Scientist!”
SNEAKY (Fingathing): “One for the Headphones! Refreshing to hear such an organic flow in the current digital fever.”
DDAY ONE (Content Label / Project: Mooncircle): “In this age of mass communication it’s definitely “for Better” DJ Scientist is releasing this project to the world. It would only be “For Worse” if this timeless collection remanded hidden.”
(01) Outside Chatter (Intro)
(02) Ball Of Confusion
(03) World Of Stone
(04) The Death Of Hip-Hop (A Dedication)
(06) Nightdrive Memories
(07) Riding My Nightmare
(08) Chasing Fire (Part I & II)
(09) This Could Be The Last Time
(10) Autumn Leaves
(11) Anything About Nothing (Revised)
(12) Can’t Someone Tell Me My Name? (Outro)
(01) Outside Chatter (Intro)
(02) Ball Of Confusion
(03) World Of Stone
(04) The Death Of Hip-Hop (A Dedication)
(06) Nightdrive Memories
(07) Riding My Nightmare
(08) Chasing Fire (Part I & II)
(09) This Could Be The Last Time
(10) Autumn Leaves
(11) Anything About Nothing (Revised)
(12) Can’t Someone Tell Me My Name?
(13) The Death Of Hip-Hop (Instrumental) (Vinyl Bonus Track)
Bundle Edition with limited 7inch featuring Ceschi:
Pictures & Press Info
Release Date: October 5, 2012
“Raincoatman” is the first single of DJ Scientist’s upcoming album “For Better, For Worse.”. Although this can partly be considered a reissue, as the original version of “Raincoatman” has been available on several compilations before, a brand new, more electronic remix by Andreikelos as well as a new track called “Nightdrive Memories” make this single an essential release.
The title track, “Raincoatman”, is instrumental Hip-Hop at its very best – rarely are there songs that can express melancholy and beauty with such perfection. The slowed down remix by the immensely talented Greek producer Andreikelos, who recently made a lot of noise with his “Euryphaessa EP”, adds an even deeper vibe to this captivating tune. Next, the meticulously constructed album track “Nightdrive Memories” showcases Scientist’s production and arrangement skills. Another great remix of “Raincoatman” by DJ Sept is concluding the single, a track which previously has been released by Equinox on his remix EP.
“Raincoatman” is one of the true classic songs by DJ Scientist and finally received its long overdue single release. The amazing full length album “For Better, For Worse.” will drop on Equinox Records as vinyl and in digital form end of october.
(02) Raincoatman (Andreikelos Remix)
(03) Nightdrive Memories
(04) Raincoatman (DJ Sept Remix)
DJ Scientist has made a name for himself as one of the most reputable producers and DJs out of Germany by continuously releasing music for over more than a decade. He is mainly known for his works with US rapper and singer Ceschi Ramos, whose last album, completely produced by Scientist, “The One Man Band Broke Up” was a huge success in the indie hip hop scene. Together with Ceschi he also released the singles and EPs “Count On It / Bad Jokes”, “Shorted Circuits”, the limited collector’s item “Postcard Package”, as well as the underground Hip-Hop hit single “Same Old Love Song” that additionally featured the legendary west coast emcees 2Mex & Awol One, backed with another stunning track with Myka Nine of Freestyle Fellowship.
However, rappers aside, Scientist originally started his producer career strictly with instrumental music and “The Artless Cuckoo EP” is the first official solo release by Scientist since his “Journey Goodbye EP” in 2006 (apart from the 2010 “debut” album “The One Man Band Instrumentals”, which includes all the beats of the aforementioned album with Ceschi).
The new EP features 4 unreleased songs as well as 2 skits from Scientist’s productive and innovative 2002-2006 era, whereas an early version of the track “White Coffee” even dates back to 2001 and was one of his first songs ever. Listening to the music now, the tracks are quite remarkable as, at that time, probably noone else was heavily blending and fusing Hip-Hop with Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock and Folk like Scientist. Has this even been the invention of “Kraut Hop”?
Genre discussions aside, “The Artless Cuckoo” mainly reflects the dark and gloomy musical side of DJ Scientist’s taste in music – some of the tracks probably never came out as they were considered “too strange to release” by Scientist himself. In most cases though, due to his involvement in countless other projects, the main reason for these tunes to never see the light of day was that they had never been finished until Scientist dug them recently:
“I continued to work on these old tracks because a label asked me to do a mix with psychedelic music for their podcast series for which I had planned to incorporate a few unreleased songs from my archive. However, after a bit of digging on my hard drives, I had all these nice tracks in my hands. In most cases it just needed a day or two to finish them so I thought about putting them all together and create an EP rather than just adding them to a mix.”
Although consisting of older productions, “The Artless Cuckoo” is a refreshing alternative to the more electronic wave of Instrumental Hip-Hop that has been floating around recently. Furthermore, the EP can be seen as a teaser for his first official, yet unreleased, debut album, that was also produced between 2002 and 2006, which should be finally released later this year.
(01) Pronouncement / Vision
(02) Coated Suits & Marshmallows
(03) White Coffee
(04) Good To The Last Drop (Skit)
(05) Mooncloud Lady
(06) Lullaby (Outro)
Ceschi’s album “The One Man Band Broke Up”, entirely produced by DJ Scientist, was released in June 2010 and immediately became a success on the independent market. Many magazines and fans already designated it “album of the year”, Okayplayer called it “a significant piece of art”, giving it 89 of 100 points, while URB mag even stated it is „one of the best conceptual hip hop records to drop in the past decade“.
Aside from Ceschi’s incredible lyrical talent, many reviewers honorably mentioned the beautifully arranged and detailed production work backing the vocals, recognizing it as a major force behind the success of the album. On the instrumental version of “The One Man Band Broke Up”, that is now released as a beautiful limited vinyl picture disc on Equinox Records, one can hear how meticulously those songs have been put together and arranged, and how all tracks, alongside sundry interludes and vocal samples, result in a new and one of a kind album that is equally as entertaining, bright and powerful as any Blockhead or RJD2 release. With cinematic drums, a large variety of sounds and samples as well as chopped live instruments, main tracks like “Half Mast”, “No New York” and “Hangman” stand out with hard hitting beats while the more mellow and folky tunes like “Bad Jokes” or “Long Live The Short Lived” give the album the smooth melancholy bliss Scientist is known for.
Without even trying, “The One Man Band Instrumentals” by DJ Scientist could possibly be one of the best organic sounding instrumental hip hop releases this year.
The vocal version of the album can be found here.
Shop links for vinyl (including download code):
Shop links for digital release:
The digital release is available exclusively on DJ Scientist’s bandcamp account. You can check it out here and name the price on your own:
New Haven songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/rapper Ceschi Ramos (pronounced chess-key) and Berlin producer DJ Scientist initially connected around 2005 over a mutual adoration of rare 60s/70s psychedelic, prog and folk rock as well as 90s hip hop. On their first record together, “The One Man Band Broke Up“, both gentlemen evoke their influences creating a completely original sounding, melodic, dark and unabashedly progressive hip hop concept album.
Based around the ever revisited topic of the rise and fall of a musician, in this case one named Julius and The Bearded Saviour, “The One Man Band Broke Up” is as much about Ceschi‘s own fear of failure as it is about personal experiences in a dog eat dog music industry. As Ceschi‘s voice moves from meticulous almost mathematical rhythms to aggressive nearly punk howling to scat like rhymes, Scientist layers epic montages of samples, dynamic drums, along with chopped live instruments to compliment the diversity of styles. The album even slides in two of Ceschi‘s acoustic based tunes complete with violins, banjos and ukuleles. Friends including Sole, Astronautalis, Radical Face (of Electric President), 2econd Class Citizen, Cars & Trains and MiC K!NG also contribute instrumentation and vocals. The combined outcome is a post-modern hip hop project unlike anything else the two musicians have previously released.
It’s been four years since Ceschi‘s last album “They Hate Francisco False” slowly but surely gathered a following around the world because of its honest and unique blend of left field hip hop and indie folk. During that recording hiatus Ceschi relentlessly toured the US, Canada, Europe and Japan with independent hip hop heroes such as Myka 9, Awol One, Sole and Onry Ozzborn all while starting his own successful record label, Fake Four Inc., and recording his latest album with Equinox Records‘ founder DJ Scientist.
However you take in this music – it is undeniable that “The One Man Band Broke Up” is a powerful new album coming from an indie hip hop world that has largely become stagnant and safe. This record isn’t afraid of its own intelligence, technicality and sincerity.
(01) The One Man Band Broke Up mp3
(02) Half Mast mp3
(03) No New York mp3
(04) Lament For Captain Julius mp3
(05) Fallen Famous mp3
(06) Bridge mp3
(07) Serious Business
(08) Hangman (feat. Shoshin, Mic King & David Ramos) mp3
(09) Bad Jokes mp3
(10) For My Disappointing Hip Hop Heroes mp3
(11) Long Live The Short Lived (feat. Sole) mp3
(12) Swallowed Salt
(13) Julius’ Final Song mp3
Shop links for vinyl:
Selected Quotes & Feedback:
“Some of the best examples of alternative hip hop in recent years.”
Stereokill.net (4.5 of 5)
“The One Man Band Broke Up is one of the best conceptual hip hop records to drop in the past decade.”
“A significant piece of art”
Okayplayer Magazine (89 of 100)
“Ceschi is a supremely talented MC who clearly has his finger on a fresh, new pulse of alternative hip-hop.”
“Ceschi’s new album is going to blow people away… it’s a refreshing hip-hop album with all the prog elements you’d expect from a meticulous vinyl collecting German (DJ Scientist) and some of the best hip-hop song writing i’ve heard in ages.”
Sole / soleone.org
“The Ceschi album is AMAZING. Holy shit!”
Buddy Peace / Strange Famous Records
“One of my favourite hip hop albums of recent times”
Laurent Fintoni / Rhythm Incursions / Spin Science
“Stilsicher und eindrucksvoll bewegen sich hier zwei Künstler gemeinsam durch kreative Weiten jenseits jeglicher Form von Einheitsbrei.”
“Wichtiges Album voller blutspuckender lyrischer Offenheit und erschreckend mutiger Nacktheit mit einer erfreulich mittelfingerreckenden stilistischen Geradlinigkeit”
Der Digitale Flaneur
„Das was Damon Albarn mit dem letzten Gorillaz Album vorhatte, schütten Ceschi und DJ Scientist mal eben auf den Independent-Markt.“
„HipHop trifft Folk, unglaubliche Double-Time Raps treffen Psychedelic-Prog-Rock Melodien. Man kann hören, dass Ceschi und DJ Scientist sich musikalisch blind verstehen.“
„Was da aus den 70ern gesamplet und mit allerlei Instrumenten angereichert wird, ist dermaßen aus einem Guss, musikalisch, treibend, bremsend, abwechslungsreich und fein, dass man sich verwundert die Ohren reibt, wer eigentlich in Deutschland als guter Beatproduzent gilt… eines der besten Alben dieses Jahr.“
(Pictures by Sindy Kretzschmar)
Ceschi’s “Postcard Package” is a set of 3 lovely vinyl postcards including 3 completely exclusive songs (not to be released digitally or on any other format) produced by DJ Scientist. The set is limited to 25 hand numbered copies only. The 60s styled artwork was done by The Raincoatman.
The cards were available for pre-order via a hidden link on the Equinox Records website and were sold out quickly. Originally, the set was planned for release in early 2009 (hence the low catalogue number) but due to some manufacturing difficulties and other unfortunate incidents (e.g. the postcards were lost for a couple of weeks on the way from the manufacturer) the release date got pushed back until 2010.
But luckily, everything worked out nicely in the end as you can see on the pictures. And a couple of true fans that found the link on our website and have send us a message are very happy to have already received their copies.
Here is some more info about the titles:
“(My Last) Battle Rap” is simply Ceschi’s battle song against himself. Over a pounding psych-hop beat by Scientist complete with abrasive cuts, the lyricist quickly and technically shits on himself and the indie hip hop world.
“California” is a simple and naked hip hop song with very personal yet mocking lyrics about watching an ex-girlfriend get married to a “born again christian” junkie.
“Hello N.Y.” is a small piece of Ceschi & DJ Scientist’s “The One Man Band Broke Up” story which was finally not used for the album – this little psych/punk/hop song is an observation of Julius (the one man band) in his prime and his clichéd rock star antics complete with cocaine and fellatio at a sold out show in New York City.
Special thanks to Sindy Kretzschmar for the pictures.
The mix contains the following tracks:
(01) DJ Scientist – Didn’t We (Skit)
(02) Vangel – A Different Direction (Push The Button-Live Edit)
(03) 2econd Class Citizen – Wishing Well (Re-Wyred Remix)
(04) Free The Robots feat. Phil Nisco – Times Like This (Re-Edit)
(05) 2econd Class Citizen – Sunrise (Re-Edit)
(06) Arcsin – Scarlet Fever
(07) Aqua Luminus III. – Uplock The Poprock (Released on the 5inch Series)
(08) Aqua Luminus III. – Tibetisches Gutenachtlied
(09) Deadpan Darling – Laugh Track
All tracks originally released on the album “One Year & A Day – Sound Exposure Vol.2”
All tracks mixed and edited by DJ Scientist
Following the success of the teaser mini-album “One Year & A Day – The 5inch Files” that gained worldwide attention despite its limited pressing (a hand-numbered limited edition vinyl release, and the first ever 5inch series!), Equinox Records finally drops its second full length album, the second part of the sound exposure compilation series: “One Year & A Day – A Sound Exposure Vol.2”.
„This album is one of the biggest projects in my career. I have put together everything that defines my work for the label as well as what defines me as a DJ and a record collector. I am more than happy with the final result!” (DJ Scientist)
Handpicked from a motley stack of demos and promotional CDs, Günter Stöppel (aka DJ Scientist), the founder of Equinox Records, assembled a product that features 14 outstanding tracks by some of today’s most cutting-edge artists and producers. Spanning various genres and aesthetics, the compilation is as breathtaking in its breadth as it is in its execution. Whether it be a folk-rock inspired breakbeat banger such as 2econd Class Citizen’s “Wishing Well,” the forward-thinking electronic prog-rock tune “Times Like This” by Free The Robots, the original post-instrumental Hip-Hop track “Tibetisches Gutenachtlied” by Aqua Luminus III., or the thrilling “Octobre” by electro/IDM-wunderkind Geste, the second volume of the series succeeds in representing the pioneering ethos Equinox strives to uphold. Likewise, Arcsin’s rock ballad “Scarlet Fever” juxtaposed with the bitter-sweet lyrics of Deadpan Darling’s pop song “Laugh Track,” Emynd’s inexorable electro tune “Identity Through Alterity,” or the classical cinematic introduction by the famous 60s rock group The Peddlers, the “One Year & A Day” compilation covers a diverse range of styles and genres, illustrating the amalgam of sound Equinox is known for, resulting in nothing if not one of the most distinct and forceful collections of songs within the past several years.
The Peddlers – A Year And A Day (Metamorphosis)
This is the song that gave this compilation its name. Recorded in 1972 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and released on the Album “Suite London” it was sung by the legendary composer and lyricist Roy Phillips. His unique and inimitable voice makes it the perfect intro for “A Sound Exposure Vol.2”.
Vangel – A Different Direction
It’s time for a change and we’re back: bigger, better, and louder. Equinox 2008. “A Different Direction” is the wake-up-call of this album.
Free The Robots – Times Like This
“Times Like This“ is an insatiable drum inferno that leaves you begging for more. Taken from the very limited Free The Robots debut-cd “The Prototype”, this track is THE electronic progressive rock song for the year 2008 and beyond. The vocals are sung by Phil Nisco.
2econd Class Citizen – Wishing Well (Re-Wyred Mix)
2econd Class Citizen is the master of contemporary electronic folk rock, and “Wishing Well“ is the genre’s prototypical hymn. In true postmodern fashion, because of a harddisk crash, the final version of this seemed to be lost forever. Now, one year after the release of an unmixed version on his EP „Wyred Folk“, we finally get the official version of this classic. Descry or rediscover: “Wishing Well“ is one of these songs, that won’t let you pass by unaffected.
Arcsin – Scarlet Fever
Since the label’s early days, the music of New York’s Arcsin accompanied me and Equinox. Who said he was too progressive and dark? His most recent album “Oculus Fang“ is a paragon of perfection, and though the noteworthy anthem “Scarlet Fever“ might be more accessible than most of his other work, the song still reflects the cold, brazen sound of post-9/11 New York. This is this album’s love song.
Brenmar – Cavernous
“Cavernous“ is not a merely skit, but an awe-inspiring and fascinating fragment of sound–full of tension and energy, blazing with anger and stirring your blood to just let you return back into a fair and beautiful dream.
Deadpan Darling – Laugh Track
Deadpan Darling is the music of Kingston and Ian Taggart a.k.a Blue Sky Black Death with the vocals of Ceschi Ramos of Toca and Anonymous Inc.. Ceschi travelled with Equinoix on the 2007 Tour and “Laugh Track” finally solidifies him as a recorded part of the label, making him the first vocal artist on Equinox. The bitter-sweet lyrics and the dallying-minimalistic production make it one of the album’s centerpieces. “Laugh Track” tells the story of somebody trying to escape reality; a story about battling the monotony of life. Wouldn’t it be nice to be constantly followed by laughing or a soundtrack in your head – something that nobody else could hear – a little push to get you through our often mundane reality?
Aqua Luminus III. – Tibetisches Gutenachtlied
Aqua Luminus III., producer of the obscure 88:Komaflash, is one of the most challenging composers of the German abstract hip-hop and electronic scene. Who is layering ancient rap heroes’ vocals on brutal beats better than him? “You try to run away but you can’t!”
Deckard – Dignity Of Men
With “Dignity of Men“ Deckard takes his sound to the next level. His typical sequential drums, a pulsing, hummy bass, an energetic guitar sample and a perfect arrangement make it one of the most barnstorming tracks ever made out of a breakbeat.
Geste – Octobre
„Octobre“ was the last track chosen for this compilation and was the first track ever made by the electo/IDM wunderkind Geste out of Paris. To me, it kind of symbolizes the work on this album: the calm before the storm and the storm itself. A story within the story…
DJ Sept – Morning Comes (Revised)
The original version of this track is found on the first DJ Sept demo that I received from a mutual friend. Finishing the revisited version for his EP “A Promise Never Given” was a long, hard endeavour, but it was certainly worth it. In my opinion, “Morning Comes (Revised)“ is a perfectly composed instrumental masterpiece. It has tension, energy, and emotion, all combined in a way that only Sept is capable of producing, fitting complexity with minimalism flawlessly.
Emynd – Identity Through Alterity
Emynd’s quest for the perfect beat isn’t over yet. “Identity Through Alterity” is five action packed minutes, garnished with breaks and 808-claps. This is the grand finale.
2econd Class Citizen – Change & Motion (Outro)
It’s like a movie’s end at the cinema: you don’t want to get up from your cozy seat.
The 12” and 7” vinyl single are common formats in the recording industry. And even the rarer used 10” has always been a favourite pick by labels for special issues and collector’s editions. But who has ever heard of the 5inch vinyl disc? The record in the size of a CD is very rarely made. And now, Equinox Records offers the first ever series in this format! “One Year & A Day – The 5inch Files” features ten awesome tracks on 5 different records that will be available in a limited collector’s box of 250 handnumbered copies.
The difficulty of putting this collection together was basically the length of time available on a 5” plate, meaning that each track could not be longer than 2:30 minutes! So, unless you are doing fast punk rock music this short time span is probably not an easy task for composing a nice well rounded track and not just a simple loop. Nevertheless, all artists on this series did a great job arranging fantastic songs, now assembled to a beautiful collection of contemporary electronic hip-hop beats.
The series starts with a real banging introduction title produced by Vangel from Canada. Due to its hard drums and freakish vocal edits it is guaranteed that you won’t need no more coffee to finally “Wake Up”. Next is Misanthrop, the MC and producer out of Munich who is pushing the envelope with “Commercialism”. Heavy bass, automated FX wizardry and a perfect composition keep the 2:30 minutes packed with excitement. Then, DJ Scientist – founder and owner of Equinox Records – sets the pace with his bass driven, britcore styled “Rewind And Refine”. Snatchatec – the 2007 German IDA Champion – who adds some of the fastest cuts known to man, accompanies him. Then, on the flip, Aqua Luminus III. (of 88:Komaflash) brings in some melancholic vibes. With heavy drumming on “Uplock The Poprock” he pleases the mature B-Boy as well as the electronic music fiend out there. Afterwards, Mnemotrauma is on the go with “Shining”. A challenging and diversified Instrumental Hip-Hop composition. He is followed by J. Baracuz – another newcomer out of the booming German electronic Hip-Hop producer scene. “Yellow Cab” is a dope remarkable track that was previously released as a longer version on his album “Lasergun Romances“. After a very smooth soulful skit by SmoKey131, there is B-Ju with “Soja Extra”. His track is one of our favourites on the album. The banging kicks, snapping snares and a fresh arrangement will please everybody. Coming closer to the end, it is Aqua Luminus III. again – this time together with Misanthrop. Regardless of its somewhat brutal and dark vibe, “Sternhagelblau” is nothing but pure pleasure and will keep your head nodding until the last hit. Lastly, there is an epic outroduction by the Raincoatman, concluding with the words “see you real soon”.
And that’s what we definitely hope for: to see you soon, as this short 5inch compilation is another teaser for the upcoming full-length album “A Sound Exposure Vol.2” due out in early May 2008 featuring brand new compositions by Vangel, Aqua Luminus III., DJ Scientist, as well as Free The Robots, Ceschi, 2econd Class Citizen and many others. So stay tuned!
The Equinox 10inch Series was released between winter 2005 and summer 2006. Each of the four parts of the vinyl series was limited to 500 handnumbered copies, including a lovely and exceptional cover artwork and inlay. Now, for the first time, ten tracks of the series are pieced together to form a compilation, on which each artist presents his unique vision of sound:
DiViNCi (the MPC virtuoso of the Sol.illaquists Of Sound) is featured with the incredible “PUSH Beat” and the concluding “Calm Persuasion”, Deckard from Munich presents 3 beautifully arranged downbeat compositions off his “Noir Desire EP”. Then, comprised of frozen synths and hard hitting drums, Arcsin from New York is offering 3 tracks taken from his “Uprock Citizen EP”, and last but not least DJ Scientist, the owner of Equinox Records himself, completes the album with two of his impressing sound and beat collages: “Atarius” and the melancholic “Autumn Leaves”.
This compilation will only be available digitally – for a limited time of 1 year (ending May 2008) – so go and check it out at ITunes, Beatport, Finetunes, and many other digital stores!
Being the founder of Equinox Records and being responsible for the business side of the label as well, DJ Scientist – now living in Berlin – still finds time to dj at clubs, to release mix cds, to expand his record collection, and, last but not least, to produce music. His “Journey Goodbye EP” concludes the 10inch series, but also can be seen as an outlook on his album, that shall hit the stores in late 2006. As Instrumental Hip-Hop, which DJ Scientist still refers to, in the last years almost has become a synonym for boring music, he proves that sample based production and the need for a crashing drum beat can still sound fresh today. With tracks like “Atarius” and “Autumn Leaves” he continous to develop his own style and raises the bar for a next generation of abstract hiphop beat producers.
Six different artists, different places, different visions of music – one aim. Equinox Records presents its Sound Exposure Vol.1. A variety of electronic and organic fusions that have been put together to form the sound of Equinox. Neither defined by borders of genres, nor by distance. Vienna, Munich, New York, Philadelphia all merge as the Neo Golden Age emerges:
ArcSin introduces you with his track “Positron Affirmation“. Deep synthesizer frequencies and hypnotic vocals, accompanied by atmospheric Hip-Hop Drums – this is the type of sound that Brandon Sand out of Brooklyn, N.Y. is known for. Besides his work for Equinox Records, he was also featured with two beats on the „Definitive Jux Presents 3“ compilation and has recently released his full length instrumental album “Resonant Murk Tactics“ on the new Def Jux sublabel DRX. On the compilation, he represents the Equinox family with two more of his instrumental productions as well as an Outro that prove him to be a truly gifted and talented musician.
Arc is followed up by Danny Decock, a producer, drummer and instrumentalist currently living in Vienna / Austria. While his two tracks “G.k.S.“ and the short “Obscure“ follow a more electronic and producer oriented kind of vibe, he adds a little live band feeling by the help of his friends on “We Will Come Back“: A mellow downbeat composition with his former band partners on keyboard and guitar.
The B-Side of the double vinyl then leads us to Emynd, another talented and aspiring producer hailing from Philadelphia. Having collected credits for a couple of remarkable underground releases, for example on the famed Anticon Label, he has worked together with artists such as Sole, Passage, Sage Francis and Dose One. Emynd is rather known for straight and mostly slow Hip-Hop Beats. Now he is leading towards a new direction with his up-tempo track “Positive Reinforce-ment”. He shows his love for analogue and melancholic samples but this time combines them with 80s sounding electronic beats to a new and very energetic composition.
After this, Echelon speeds up the tempo even more, just to break it down at halftime and leave you at 80 beats per minute in the middle of “Twilight Zone“. Echelon however appears to be DJ Scientist from Munich, who is the man behind this compilation. The track differs from anything else you might yet have heard of him. But dreamy vocals and flutes remind you that it is still Scientist who provides the distinctive melancholic samples that make up his sound. “Raincoatman“ and the more malicious, guitar heavy “Riding My Nightmare“ are more typical DJ Scientist productions that continue in the vein of his split 7″ release earlier in the Equinox Golden Age Series.
Next on the map is Mnemotrauma from Mainz / Germany with two tracks on the compilation. A hypnotically moaning voice accompanied by a hauling downtempo drumbeat forces its way into the listeners ears on “Waiting for the Sun“. On the second track he doesn’t even need a melody for this purpose. “Alpha Centauri“ is an insistent experience of his capability to combine a minimalistic range of sound to a nevertheless haunting composition with striking drums. Mnemotrauma may already be known for a couple of releases on the avant-garde Subversiv Records. He just recently teamed up with L.A.’s Shape Shifters – a beautiful 7″ release on which Awol One, Circus and Life Rexall dropped their lyrics to his beats.
Lastly there is Aqua Luminus III., also a Munich resident, concluding the Equinox artist roster on this compilation. The member of the mysterious Hip-Hop group 88:Komaflash submits with his pace driven and hectical “OP Wüste“. Being influenced by Britcore groups like HiJack or Gunshot his song expresses the same energy of these times – energy that now needs to burst out when Aqua Luminus pushes buttons on his MPC or freaks synthesyzers on his computer.
Following up the previous 12” EP with tracks by Arcsin, Emynd, Danny Decock and Aqua Luminus this second release continues the “Welcome to the Neo Golden Age” series on Equinox Records. Now, the beautifully packed clear vinyl 7” record features two new artists of the Equinox family:
On Side A, DJ Scientist sets the pace with “Anything About Nothing” – a disturbing mix of hard hitting organic drums and desperately screaming psychedelica samples.
On the flip, a hypnotically moaning voice accompanied by a hauling downtempo drumbeat forces its way into the listeners ears. The intruder goes by the name of Mnemotrauma who may be known for his releases on the avant-garde Subversiv Records and who has just recently teamed up with L.A.’s Shapeshifters crew for just this purpose. Here, his track “Waiting for the Sun” will make you eagerly await the upcoming Double LP Equinox label compilation.