Linda Clifford – If My Friends Could See Me Now (1978), Let Me Be Your Woman (1979), Here’s My Love (1979), I’m Yours (1980) – Blixa Sounds

You know it has just struck me that Linda Clifford is one of my favourite singers. Which might sound like a strangely late realisation, as I’ve been loving her voice and records for decades, but one of the pleasures about writing about music is that it can allow you perfect moments of clarity, lacking the distractions of the world – it’s just you and sound. These remastered releases of the artist span the years between 1978 to 1980 and all are augmented by their accompanying 12” Mixes, as well as boasting that this is the first time they have appeared on CD. The first album: If My Friends Could See Me Now (Linda’s second for Curtis Maysfield’s excellent Curtom label) is nothing short of stunning beginning to end. Let’s start with the voice which has that unique ability to capture life’s ever unfolding moments, realising and then translating them. And it’s kind of impact – now tested by time – that not all R&B styled singers still resonate from that era, or certainly not conveyed with such a street-wise edge. The instrumentation provided is also first rate as are the productions themselves, which comes as little surprise when you look at the wealth of talent there. Or, more succinctly as you will hear on the albums hugely classic single, Runaway Love crystallising everything I have just said. The full length version was mixed by the iconic DJ Jim Burgess and provides a lesson in everything worth knowing. Next, Let Me Be Your Woman saw the music evolve from Disco into funkier moves with prominent slap-bass driving the faster numbers such as the exhilarating Shoot Your Best Shot, while also allowing the downtempo space created by the slower songs to express other vocal creativity. As indeed did the following Here’s My Love from the same year. I’m Yours, saw the opening of the next decade by again adopting the full range of influences on offer in terms of the song writing, the vocal delivery and of course the music itself. The more intimate Sweet Melodies and sheer funkiness of Hold Me Close highlight just how the flame was never dimmed and the ability to convey the power of emotion. Which is, in the end, what all great singers do.

Release: August 24

If My Friends Could See Me Now: goo.gl/UrU6Mk
Here’s My Love: goo.gl/VZ5JtB
I’m Yours: goo.gl/QQGzBn
Let Me Be Your Woman: goo.gl/kYhgkA

www.thelindaclifford.com
http://blixa.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Tibi Dabo Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Max. Let’s start with your new single: La Dorada for Rebellion. Tell us about where the inspiration came from for the production and about what the title means for you?

Thank you. La Dorada means “the golden one” in Spanish, it’s the name of a fish, the sea bream, and it’s also the name of the home where I spent most of my childhood, near Barcelona. The track was made in London, while I was living and studying there. It was quite a hectic period for me, the city made it feel even more frenetic. I was meeting a lot of new people, doing lots of new things, so once this track started to exist, I felt it would be nice to join both worlds, where I come from, and what was going on at the time. I had a similar approach with the name Tibi Dabo. There’s a hill in Barcelona, my hometown, called Tibidabo (notice the slight difference), keeping this name for wherever the journey took me felt like a nice idea.

photo by @merlegrain

Buy: Tibi Dabo – La Dorada – Rebellion https://lnk.to/RBL056

La Dorada has a particularly distinctive flavour. Can you talk us through how you produced it, including any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you like to use?

I’m a big fan of happy accidents when working on musical compositions or productions. La Dorada is a good example, it was one of those tracks that came very naturally, I almost feel like it was given to me in a way because the workflow was so natural and spontaneous. I think one of its key points is that it’s quite simple when it comes to layers, as I think it relies on all of its elements. I wanted it to feel quite clean at the start, so I could progressively make it feel more dirty and gritty. A key element of the track is the gliding bass line, which is a heavily processed sound from the Prophet 08 (actually I hadn’t used it for bass yet). One piece of software i really enjoy using is Echoboy, it helps a lot when it comes to adding analog touch to something that might lack warmth, it’s also great with saturation and general space distribution in the mix. It can even make you coffee if you ask nicely.

I love hardware because it’s hands on, it helps me so much creatively when I’m jamming out to a new idea. It also makes you not think about burning out your CPU as much, which was a great feeling for me as I used to fill my projects with very heavy soft synths and that hurt the processor too much, to the point where the creative flow slowed down or even stopped as I had to focus on the technical side.

I’m still figuring out my ideal setup, which I doubt will ever get to a “final form”, some of my favorite toys are of course the Prophet for its versatility and the Elektron Analog Rytm (although its workflow is quite a thing, one’s got to get used to it)

Buy link – https://lnk.to/RBL056

Do you think that it has become harder to hear originality in Dance Music? Or do you think the opposite is the case?

I think we’re definitely at a point in time where it’s harder to filter out the good stuff as it’s easier than ever to put music out there. That doesn’t necessarily mean there is less interesting music.

I think it can get a bit overwhelming though.

Big tracks can’t develop the way they did in the past. The same thing happens with any kind of news, it’s just not “news” for long anymore.

There’s such an enormous variety nowadays. One can go in any direction, therefore you can become very specialized.

I remember having a chat with a friend, we were saying something like the scene feels like a huge and very refined tapestry, where its patterns are hard to distinguish, one has to examine it for a long time to recognize its structure and see the individual colours it has to offer.

Who are your main influences from inside and outside of electronic music: any favourite artists, writers, vocalists etc?

I try to avoid comparing myself to other musicians/producers as it almost always makes me feel bad about what I’m doing. But I’d be lying if I said there’s no inspiration in what I do (obviously). A big influence in my music I think is listening to records that might not have much to do with the styles I work in.

I still feel like I’m in a “baby mode” for plenty of aspects in my life. By that I mean that I’m still absorbing things like a sponge. I’m constantly listening to music and wondering how the artist behind that particular song might have achieved a sound, an arrangement or a particular chord progression. This makes me aware of a constant evolution going on in my “creative process”, I doubt I’ll get stuck in a particular style, there’s just too much to try out.

What does DJ’ing mean for you? What ideas and emotions do you like to translate to the people you play for?

There’s so many ways of approaching a DJ set. Something that i really enjoy when listening to someone DJ is spontaneity and a factor of surprise. I really like it when there’re risky moments that can switch the mood in sometimes a very positive way. But overall I’m very into playing long and slowly evolving sets, with an ideal outcome of making the listener forget where he/she is at that given moment. As cliché as it might sound I don’t think that happens too often. I think carefully selecting each track so there’s a continuous energy is a crucial part of this style, merging tracks so there isn’t a clear notion of where the previous track ends and the next one begins is a big part of what i try to achieve on a DJ set. That’s why extended sets are my favourites, the ones where one can really get lost in.

The flip-side to the release is: No Mantra which feels more musical via its rich, piano chords and captivating vocals. Do you think that music is missing out not having as many great songs around, or is rhythm more important and potent in itself?

Rhythm and dance music have an unquestionable link. Some tracks can immediately be recognized because of its incredible groove. But the musical part is what can really make a track memorable. I like melodies that touch you emotionally, and this is quite a delicate subject, because it can be relatively easy to create something that has an obvious emotional impact if you follow certain rules, but I feel it’s really hard to touch an audience in a subtle and elegant way, where the melodic side of the track is suggested instead of imposed. That’s when a record can have a very powerful message and at the same time be very emotional but not in a cheesy way.

I’m definitely still learning how to achieve this.

And finally. Can you share with us your forthcoming plans for moving into the future?

Right now I just got back from working on a new live music project with some close friends. I’m really looking forward to locking myself in my new studio in Berlin, will try to finish some new ideas I have been collecting during the summer, some of them aren’t much more than voice notes and others are almost done. I want to experiment more and dig deeper, there’s so much one can do it can be overwhelming, so I’m trying as hard as I can to limit myself. There’ll be new music ready soon that’s for sure.

Tibi Dabo – La Dorado. Is out now on Rebellion.

Buy https://lnk.to/RBL056

https://www.facebook.com/tibidabosound

https://www.instagram.com/tibi_dabo_

https://twitter.com/tibidabosound

 

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Brendon Moeller – Set In Motion EP – Echo Echo

There’s something spectacularly captivating about Brendon Moeller’s self-defining title track that almost escapes description. Something about a brutal intensity that is richly rewarding as repeating layers of grainy sound overlap and underpin each other’s role in the arrangement, with thumping kick drums and understated percussion creating an involving sense of unease. If that all sounds a bit bleak, it isn’t. The warmer climes of Eastern Beach unfold next with a lighter touch sequencing gentle pads and a more blissful signature across rolling drums. Leaving the possibly topical, Economy to end with more in the way of tough rhythms and snarling stabs creating their own and very distinct impression.

Release: September 7

https://www.facebook.com/brendonmoeller.beatpharmacy.echologist
http://www.echocord.com

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Mark The 909 King – After Dark – R-Time Records

Funny to think that After Dark originates from 1995. I could have been made today. Rekids offshoot R-Time Records continues to deliver its neat line in re-issues with the aforementioned punching out shuffling Electro rhythms amid a series of grainy, pulsating kicks and sizzling hi-hats. All offset by the poignant rush of emotive pads which perhaps give the timeframe away but are none the less just as resolutely effective. The more strident Into Space follows with provocative Pierre influenced Acid grooves which come complete with splashing snares and the knowledge of time. The Loft completes with classic Detroit/ Chicago sounds all feeling emotionally charged and notably resonate in 2018.

Release: September 7

https://www.facebook.com/rekids.official

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The Contempo Story 1973-1977: The Original Home Of Soul – Soul Time/ Cherry Red Records

Located just off Oxford Street at 42 Hanway Street, London you would find Contempo, a record shop and mail order company opened in 1970 by Blues And Soul magazine founder John Abbey. They dealt out some of the hottest Black Music of the time as well as becoming established booking agents and promoters. This brand new compilation of their record releases pays testament to the strength of both the label and the music which existed then – like a bygone age, acting in defiance of today’s often bland, mechanical repetition. Spanning three cd’s of bliss as voices soar, feelings are realised and music transcends it seems like a strange, hidden pleasure to discover such an experience in the digital reality of 2018. The other vital thing that becomes quickly apparent is the sheer diversity of the sounds from Northern Soul’s up-tempo R&B with the likes of Major Lance etc to the low-slung Funk of The Masai’s ‘Cross The Track’ alongside Cymande’s timeless ‘Brothers On The Slide’ – which still sends shivers. Of course, the music evolved with the years and fresh styles where absorbed as the second disc flies by. 1975’s Howeefeel ‘Just Can’t Do Without Love (A Thousand Faces) feels like a long lost breezy classic and there’s a whole lot more revealed of that calibre too. Disco never was a dirty word and Crown Heights Affair delicious ‘Dancin’ testifies to the fact. Sam And Dave’s wonderful version of ‘Why Did You Do It’ is also excitingly included, as is JJ Barnes uplifting take on How Long from 1977, ending the journey on a high which you sometimes might wonder where it has all disappeared to.

Release: August 24

The Contempo Story: 1973-1977, The Original Home Of Soul, Various Artists, 3CD BoxsetVarious Artists

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My Favorite Robot – Barricade (DJ Tennis Remix) – My Favorite Robot Records

An outstanding remix in anyone’s book. DJ Tennis takes a leaf out of his own rules and rips it apart to reveal a production that verges on subtlety, yet hits hard with all the force of nature Barricade requires. Originally appearing in its own right back in 2012 this new reworking sees tough kicks battle against the righteously intense vocal that never lets emotions dip. Keys are then added which cement the darker, gothic elements into one as guitar like motifs and grainy sounds effectively render this a standalone piece of music. Due out on 10” vinyl then followed digitally.

Release: September 9

Buy https://myfavoriterobotrecords.bandcamp.com/album/barricade-dj-tennis-remix

https://www.facebook.com/tennisdj

 

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Freedo Mosho – Dub Liners – Electronic Groove Records

As the electronic drum machines create their own definition of existence dark, menacing waves of sound soon establish the agenda and are complimented by the syncopation of undulating bass on the striking Dub Liners. The mood soon lifts however as meandering, challenging synth notes soon play havoc with any delicate sensibilities on the opening, inescapably Deep Mix. Juriz Doc follows with a remix which adds warmer pads while highlighting the funkier aspects of the creative percussion, leaving a second original version to rework the elements all over again.

Release:
http://electronicgroove.com
https://www.facebook.com/freedomoshomusic

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Terranova – Let It Fail feat. Sifa & Ivory – Kompakt

Like a breath of freshly charged air Let It Fail contradicts any negativity with the promise of moving forwards. The arrangement bustles with ideas each igniting the next as shuffling, funky rhythms punctuate teasingly, repetitive stabs amide the warm glow of atmospheric pads. Totalling in the region of eight minutes this comfortably reinvigorates and refreshes tired notions of music via its fizzy electronic pulses and beautiful, building sense of wonder. So good you’ll hit repeat.

Release: August 10

Buy https://www.beatport.com/track/let-it-fail-original-mix/10755646

https://terranova.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/Sifa.music
https://kompakt.fm

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Made By Pete Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, James. There’s a great picture of you holding a copy of your latest release: So Long (Crosstown Rebels) outside of Phonica Records. How did it feel to have in your hands your first release on vinyl and why for you has the format remained such a potent force?

Hi. Thanks for having me. That was a very special moment for me. Not necessarily because it’s a ‘vinyl’, I’m not a purist in any way and I embrace all formats. It was more the fact that when I started DJing as teenager, I went to record stores to buy music. The guys making those records were heroes to me and inspired me to start making music. To walk into a shop like Phonica and buy my own record bought all those memories back and that was a really nice feeling.

Pete Tong recently premiered the Solomun remix of ‘So Long’. Can you tell us about how the choices for the remixers where made: Solomun and Audiojack?

That was all down to Damian Lazarus. He’s an A&R guru! From FFRR to City Rockers, and now celebrating a landmark 15 years of Crosstown Rebels, he has created such an iconic brand through his musical vision. When I first sent him the original for ‘So Long’, he was very excited by it. That prompted him to invite the likes of Solomun and Audiojack to add their take and the EP took it’s form.

 

And what is it about Pete Tong which has made him such an influential voice on radio for the past three decades?

Well if there was a definitive answer to that then there would be hundred’s of ‘Pete Tong’s’. Who knows? It probably has something to do with the fact that he’s been able to pioneer underground music on a commercial stage, giving a platform to young up and coming artists as well as showcasing the industries most accomplished acts. I think that’s where the longevity comes from.

Can you talk us through how you created So Long. Where the initial ideas came from and how you then produced them as music, your decision on creating a song rather than an instrumental, plus working with Jem Cooke again who delivers such a smouldering vocal.

The initial idea was a to create a track that would work in a club but also translate to something you could add to a playlist and listen to in the car or at work. The track went through many versions. When I sent it to Jem it sounded completely different. Some of the elements were there but it was a different track. When she sent it back to me I loved what she had done but realized the track needed to change to really combine with the vocals. I had another few days on it and the lead pad that comes in from the start pushed forward into the mix, setting the tone for the arrangement. It’s always a pleasure to work with Jem. She’s a pro, and she’s from Twickenham where I grew up.

Who are your main influences both within and outside of electronic music? Any particular artists, painters, writers etc that you like to refer to for inspiration?

I don’t have one in particular. I’m influenced by all sorts of sounds and music. Sometimes it’s house, sometimes it’s rock, hip-hop or electronica. I try to keep my ears open all the time for inspiration. It really can come from anywhere. Then I take those inspirations and try to interpret them in my own way.

How have sounds evolved for you in Dance Music since you started producing. Do you think it is important for the music to keep moving forward rather than revisit the past too much for inspiration?

Music is always changing. It has to otherwise it gets boring. I’m not a huge fan of remixes of classics from years gone by. I think a classic is a classic because it emerged at the right time in the right place. It’s very rare to find a remix that delivers the same emotions as the original, probably because that original conjures up memories of good times. On the other hand, having a good knowledge of what has shaped the scene before you is vital. I like to hear sounds being recycled and reinvented in a new way. If you can combine that with your own unique sound then that, for me, is very exciting.

You have a busy touring schedule as a DJ too. How have you found time on the road? Have you read The Secret DJ?

No I haven’t read that yet but I have been meaning to. I have traveled and toured as a DJ to places like Ibiza, Australia and Asia as well as around the UK, but not to the extent that I would like. Hopefully with continued dedication and a bit of luck that will come, but managing to fit everything else in is hard. You have to be dedicated and also have a good balance between work life and downtime with family and friends.

Can you talk us through your studio set-up? And tell us about any particular favourite piece of software/ hardware you like best?

My studio set up is quite simple. I’m not a huge tech-head. I like to mix organic natural sounds with analogue synthetic elements and I have found Omnisphere to be perfect for that. I like to use U-he Diva as my main synth. I think it’s better to master one or 2 instruments at a time than to fill your hard drive with hundreds of plug-ins that you don’t know how to use. I’m a big fan of the Fabfilter pro bundle. I’m getting great results using their EQ and compressor on my group busses to add an extra punch during the mixing process. Last year I upgrade my monitors to EVE SC207’s and they are really fun to work on whilst staying transparent. I haven’t ventured into the world of hardware much but I have just bought the Moog Sub 37 and can’t wait to get stuck into it.

And finally. What are your plans for the remainder of the year?

To keep making music as much as I can. I have signed an EP to Audiojack’s label Gruuv Records which I have been a fan of for years. The lead track featureds my good friend Penny Foster who I have worked with many times before. I’m working on a collaboration with Habischman, who’s music I really respect. I also have another EP for Crosstown Rebels on the go which is a work in progress but we’re getting there. ☺

Buy: So Long http://classic.beatport.com/release/so-long/2335420

https://twitter.com/_madebypete

https://www.facebook.com/madebypeteofficial

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Kadosh – Ken Ken, Lo Lo – Plant 74

If you call music like this minimal then you really aren’t listening properly. Ken Ken, Lo Lo builds upon vigorous layers and repeating patterns of atmospheric sound as each idea intertwines deftly with the next. It results in a powerful, heady concoction which spells out danger if you weren’t ready for it. The drums and bass reference classic late eighties Detroit while the remainder of the rhythms and production narrative remains firmly placed in 2018 and as stimulating as required. Next, Shotef + 60 does similar things in terms of its development, although ads warmer pads plus a punctuating human voice to the equation, while eventually subsuming you in a weird, trippy soundscape that soars with rising synthesizers alongside the joyous mantra of repetition.

Buy http://classic.beatport.com/release/ken-ken-lo-lo/2317548

https://www.facebook.com/Kadoshdj
https://plant74.profelabel.com

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