It doesn’t come much better than this blistering Acid attack from Full Intention in the form of ‘Meteor Man’. Indeed, they have always seemingly had one finger on the pulse, much as they did back in the mid 90’s with the Disco infused ‘America (I Love America)’, which coincidently I reviewed for DMC (Mixmag Update) way back then. Those familiar with 1988 may recognize where the inspiration comes from but none the less the stripped back but devastatingly effective drums and Roland 303 sound epic placed in any decade – PLAY LOUD. Next, ‘Upside Down’ applies moody electronic basslines to yet more first-rate drums, while final track ‘Walk Away’ adds a techier sheen to warmer chords and Penny. F’s breathy vocals amid, what has to be said is, a very tasty breakdown of events.
Katzer & Meffert concoct this strange but very satisfying brew with the title track MG166 combing intense, almost jazzy drums, and moody pads plus occasional vocal snippets to stunning effect. The remaining tracks: Nada Brahma, Shulgain and Zapta all reinforce intricate drumming across their rhythms, alongside atmospheric backdrops and twisted voices. An intriguing bunch of productions for sure, each coming with their very own merit and more than a touch of individuality, although the cinematic moments and evolving percussion of ‘Shulgain’ are particularly hard to resist.
Flexing bassline muscles and plugging directly into the electronic mainframe is this explosive new release from Graeme L. The remix of ‘Give It A Chance’ sets the agenda with hard to miss bottom end attacking the senses along with insistent percussion and spot-on beats lending it all a breathless edginess. The Original Mix then follows in deeper fashion, though no less subdued, with whirring sound effects joining in with the commanding vocals again most effectively.
Love this. Stunning production from Helmut Dubnitzky whose carefully crafted arrangements are nothing short of spectacular. ‘Think About’ starts with repetitive rhythms that require repeat investigation as the music develops with subtle, and so no subtle effects, until the x factor breakdown kicks in. ‘Clouds In The Sky’ then plays like pure bliss with more tasteful percussion accompanying the organ pulses, leaving the grittier Techno of ‘Come On’ to end with more than one surprise.
Can you tell us about how you first got into Dance music and your memories of the scene in Japan at that time?
I grow up with Underground US House in Osaka, that time there was strong culture of this kind of house music there. At that time I was working & Dj’ing at small underground club which was called “Club Flatt”, I met a lot of great & beautiful people there. I was very lucky to see & share the decks with a lot of great names such us Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Theo Parish, Moodyman, Francois K, Joe Claussell there. That time was one of the most important time for my DJ Career.
How would you compare arriving in London in 2004 to what clubbing is like now in 2014?
When I arrived in London, there were more clubs and no many warehouse parties then. Now people like to go to secret venue or private party ,it is also great vibe but I hope more great new clubs are coming up and more nice people come to clubs too!
You launched Holic Trax in 2012 with Mr.G’s ‘Danceholic’s EP’. How would you describe the development of the label musically, alongside its ethos, sincethen?
I sometime try to not think too much about music style of holic trax. Some of my mate has told me that direction of record label should be more organic, you go where you feel, I think it is great answer. We do not need to follow the hype, maybe one day the hype will catch what we doing LOL.
The label’s latest release is from Sierra Sam ‘Sage EP’ containing a remix by you. Can you talk us through the process of how you produced the remix?
Sierra Sam’s studio is 1 min from my house so super easy to pop there and he has a lot of great hard gears. We played & enjoyed with these machine together and I brought back this project to my studio to edit & some more work. Just it, pretty simple process. He is lovely guy so I am comfortable when I am at his studio, I think it is one of the most important thing for collaboration.
What do you look for when you sign a track to the label? Does it matter whether the artist has a profile or not?
No matter if they have a profile or not. Nice groove on beats, dope bass line & emotional melody on the top, just it! Be simple.
One thing I could say is I prefer unique sounds than perfect quality sounds.
How would you describe living in Berlin?
I think Berlin is not big city like London or Tokyo but each people and culture is very unique & friendly.
I could say this city is very underground which means they have got own style and do not mind the fashion a lot.
You still see many of funny looking guys around my house lol
Can you tell us about your project with Tuccillo: Doublet, and any forthcoming plans?
We are very good friend and always having fun at studio, also both of us has good old House music behind our history, this is Doublet. We are exciting about our forthcoming plans for next year,so many bombs are ready to go. I am sure you will love these music, wait for 2015!
Where can people hear you play in the coming months?
I will come to play in London for NYE and also you can catch me in ITALY,BERLIN,JAPAN etc… See you then!
Your new single Grey Skies EP has just been released and comprises of four tracks numbering in different styles. Can you describe the influences that are behind each of the tracks?
Well, for Grey Skies…..Leo came to me with the blue print of the song and I instantly fell in love and we actually wrote it very quickly. The influence/inspiration was really just me trying not to commit suicide. I mean I was in such a dark place and really needed something hopeful, one golden thread to hang on to. For me when I hear it, the song has this Bruce Springsteen Americana influence that I was brought up with, so it has this nostalgic feel, something that reminded me of home which I desperately needed at the time. A contemporary of mine said how much he loved this song because it was so simple, which is hard to do these days, to just write a beautiful pop song that is heartfelt and completely unpretentious. I had no idea that this is what we did but in retrospect I totally agree.
Talking to Yourself, is a really spécial track for me. I mean, it is funny because I wrote it on the guitar, two chords I think A and G,I don’t even remember, about a person I had not even met yet, sort of a song about a ghost lover, my sweetheart twin, true mirror. Then I put it in the hands of Leo and Mike and they turned it into this glorious monster of an out of this dimension dance track.
Big Shot was written by Mike and I think the sentiment of this song is about how quickly the business we work in can turn on you. One day you are on the top, it is all champagne and gold chains and everybody wants a piece of you, to the complete opposite where suddenly everything you produce as an artist is questionably bad, where you are walking down the street and nobody gives a shit about who you are or that you are an actual person, I mean aside from being an artist and that like everyone else you need to eat, and sleep and pick out great outfit for the day and get on with it and not feel like a complete waste of space. It really is a fuck you to all that, a real cheeky way of saying nope, not gonna play that game.
For losers…..Oh well that song was really influenced by just always feeling like an outsider my whole life, especially in Paris where let’s face it, everyone is so fucking cool, or everyone thinks they are so fucking cool. You know I don’t exactly fit in. I never feel thin enough or rich enough or fashionable enough. So I guess it is about that, and in a weird way it is a love song about two people who are tired of each other and only see the “loser” in the other person where they once saw a winner or champion. It is sort of a desperate cry to get back to a place where they can believe in each other again. Give me black leather tonight is a way of me saying what can I do to save us?
Can you tell us about the making of the video to accompany Grey Skies?
No fucking idea. I woke up one day with this lovely vidéo made by parallell in my email and I was like cool. This is beautiful.
Why did you make the move from America to Paris in 2008, how would you describe the city in 2014?
Oh like every fairy tale, I fell in love. I fell in love with a man and the city. I came here on tour with some friends and never left! I never thought I would end up in a place like Paris. Being from Mississippi, as a young girl I never thought about making a life in another country. New York, yes, California for sure, but living abroad just seemed like too big a dream so….. Just imagine, a girl like me with nothing but a guitar and a few silk dresses all the way from Mississippi! Sometimes I don’t believe it myself. It really is a fairy tale. Where do I begin about Paris? I love it just as much as I did when I arrived, if not more so now. When I came here I really did not know anyone or about the culture or history of the city so I got to expérience it like a newborn. I spent the first three years going to a lot of parties not being known really as a singer, just as so and so’s weird drunk American girlfriend. I basically stayed inside with the curtains drawn watching a lot of movies, creeping around Bellville, playing my guitar and getting stoned. I think Paris is the same as it was when I arrived, the only difference is that I have changed.
You first joined Slove and released the single Flash. How did you join the band and what made you decide on doing this solo project?
I met Leo Hellden at a party one night through a friend. I told him I was a singer and that I was having a show and that he should come. So he came to my little folk show, you know just me and my guitar on stage, and thank god I was not wasted or nervous because he really saw something in me. He said he was working on this project with a friend, Julien Barth (plasir de France) and he thought my voice would be perfect. So just another case of being in the right place and the right time with the right person. And really ,the whole reason there is a solo project is because of Leo. He just felt the world needed to hear more than a guest spot on an album and offered to produce this project. Voila! And that my friend is how the cornbread crumbles!
Can you tell us about your relationship with your record label Her Majesty’s Ship?
Harmonious, organic, and pleasurable.
I am really lucky to work with them. Charlotte and David are the other reason there is a solo project! They have believed in me from the beginning and stayed with me during hard times when I was an impossible person to be around. So,yeah it is cool. They are giving me more than a fair shake.
How would you describe playing your music ‘live’ to people?
The completion of a song for me is being able to perform it live. This is when I feel least alone and most loved, by strangers, friends, and myself so obviously I enjoy performing live as often as possible. It is a brilliant exchange of energy. Suddenly I am a vessel and so many intangible magical things pass through me and I hope I transmutate all that heartache and joy to the audience. If I fail at this then I am in the wrong business.
What’s the balance like between the House/Techno clubs in Paris and the live clubs/ bars?
Oh well let’s see, I don’t get out much unless I have a show….So…I am kind of clueless about the techno or bar scene here and really could care less. Is that bad? If you had asked me this a few years ago I could answer in confidence, but now……This question doesn’t have much significance to me, and I feel kind of uncool that I can’t answer it adequately.
Which artists/ musicians are you biggest influences? What is your favourite Gallery in the city?
From the formative teenage years I would say Tori Amos, P J Harvey, The Smiths, Dead Can Dance,This mortal Coil, Pale Saints, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. Who influences me now? Owen Pallett, Lloyd Cole, Yesway. The list is long. As far as art galleries in Paris, Air de Paris is grand, Crève Coeur, Kamel Mennour…….I really admire all these places. Totally fresh, what they are doing.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I am looking in my crystal ball right now and I see a lot more collaborations with artists I admire, releasing my first full length album, touring America, taking piano lessons and French lessons, getting a personal trainer and maybe a big beautiful shaggy dog named Bosun? Visit my momma on the Gulf of Mexico and drink beer and eat a bucket of fried chicken on the beach?
Sounds good non?
Local Talk vs Garito Café
Music Joined Us
I first visited the Garito Café some 13 years ago after being introduced by reviewing Garito owner Nacho “Gran Reserva” Velasco’s excellent Black Nights In Garito Cafe mix (Flamingo Discos) for DMC Update. Great to hear that magical blend Disco, Jazz & Tech etc influenced House is still being conjured up now via this linkup by: Local Talk and Garito Café. Once again I can only highly recommend this to you with Jesse Futerman opening ‘Life Is A Gamble’ sounding as spiritually charged as you could hope for. The remainder plays just like a succession of standouts should with artists such as Tommy Rawson’s Jazz-Funk piece,’7 Days’ sitting comfortably beside Sasse’s tougher Acid infused ’Pino’ and even Tanzlife’s first-rate Detroit toned,’Heart Attack’ . Plus with music from the likes of Art Of Tones alongside Fred Everything you know you’re in good company. The release comes as the selected tracks on their own, or as Nacho Velasco’s superlative extended mix. Music to lose/ find yourself in…
The Theory Of Everything – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Back Lot Music
As life needs the occasional detuning from repetitive beats, mechanical hi-hats and the sometimes rigid arrangements of Dance music this soundtrack about Stephen and Jane Hawking may provide you with a sense of light relief. Its dreamy score by the acclaimed Icelandic writer Jóhann Jóhannsson isn’t all that very dreamy at times with the composer injecting tense stabs of emotion during some pieces, such as Chalkboard, while floating off into space on the proceeding, sumptuous melancholy of Cavendish Lab on the next movement. And while the creative free flowing moments continue with the aptly titled Collapsing Inwards, which references contemporary ambience as much as does classical, the music acts like a catalyst for your emotions: lifting and falling at will, sometimes beautiful, at other times not so. Or as Jóhannsson more succinctly puts it: The music stems in a way from the tension between Hawking the man and Hawking the scientist. A fascinating and equally rewarding enticement, that along with titles like the Hawkwind-esque ‘A Spacetime Singularity’ asks, how could you not be intrigued?
Can you tell us a little about your origins and which DJ’s/ Clubs first got introduced to Dance music?
I was always into music, when I was small I enjoyed listening to different sounds, until I came across electronic music through groups like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, among others. When I was about 16 I started to go out at night and started to get to know the clubs in Porto Alegre (my hometown) where they played this type of music.
Can you talk us through how you produced your latest single: ‘The Walk’ EP (Sex Panda White/Da Way)?
Normally I do two studio sessions in two months and each session takes around 1 month. I produced the EP The Walk along with other music in my studio in Florianópolis. I used Ableton Live to sequence the tracks and used albums analog synths with virtual synths to get the sounds. First I search for the idea of the Groove and then I will expand the music.
What plans have you got for production moving into 2015?
I intend to continue evolving in productions that go together with my career as a DJ. I am renovating and investing in my Studio to try to reach a higher quality in my music.
Do you think these days it is essential for DJ’s to produce as well, or can they still gain popularity through Dj’ing alone?
The market for electronic music is very wide and you can explore all you want, whether as a DJ, producer, club owner, event producer, manager, owner of the agency and etc. One thing is always connected to the other and the more you can take advantage of its potential in this broad market the better. There are very famous DJs that do not produce as there are many very good producers that are not so well known.
Which residencies for you have been the most important in terms of music policy and also building your reputation?
I’ve had great residences like Warung, Beehive, Green Valley and etc. Nowadays I prefer to play at all clubs without any exclusivity.
Your productions cover a range of styles and moods. How important is that variation for you?
A lot, I like having the freedom to explore all kinds of sounds within my style, without prejudice … I like to experiment, I like to try new things, this makes me feel alive and makes my work broader and interesting.
What is the club scene like in Brazil now and can you tell us about how it has developed in the country?
The club scene in Brazil is growing a lot, in the last 12 years, even with growth, I feel that it has not developed as much as other places, because of poverty and mismanagement of the country by its government, but even so we are evolving slowly. I believe that in the future Brazil will be a great power for electronic music.
Where can people hear you DJ? Do you have any dates coming up in England/ Europe?
I’ve played a few times in Europe, but nothing scheduled at the moment.
Can you tell us about how your collaboration with The Mole came about and what inspired you in recording over 25 minutes of music on: Ernesto Ferreyra & The Mole ‘She Said Paper Bags’?
I’ve known Colin for more than ten years now, we used to live in Montreal before moving to Berlin. Through out all these years we developed a friendship that goes beyond music, we drink lots of beers for no particular reason any day, at anytime, we play ping pong during the summer and pinball during the endless nights of Berlin winter, we share the same love for modular synths and we love to build them too, we challenge ourselves to see who will build the same synth faster and who will be the first on using it on a record. So you can picture that this collaboration is more of the same, buddies passing the pipe, a few drinks, turning on some machines in my studio and having lots of fun tweaking knobs, patching modules and hitting record. The rest of this 26 minutes collaboration is just magic that happened at that particular moment… we were stoked when we listened the result of that night few days after …
Listening to you DJ’ing you can hear lots of different influences in the music you play. Tell us about your biggest influences (including any you may have outside of Dance music)?
When I started to collect records was around 1987, I was very young and after listening to Depeche Mode’s “Music for the Masses” everything changed. I got into that kind of dark electronics, but at the same time also listening to some early New York House. At 13 years old, I landed a job on a local radio station and had to play radio friendly tunes, but they had a great collection of jazz and disco, so I got curious and started to dig those crates, and that curiosity grow bigger through out the years and since then I try to absorb as much music and styles as I can. In electronic music a big revelation was when I discovered micro house style that still today has a big chunk on my sets and also production.
How did you first get into Dance music, which DJ’s/ Clubs first inspired you?
It was listening to remixes of Depeche Mode for sure, Djs that inspired me were the Urban Groove guys, Cristobal Paz, Bruno Chaix, Simbad Segui,Carlos Alfonsin…all DJs from Argentina. And clubs like Hangar 18 and El Sol, also in Argentina that had a strong impact on me.
House & Techno seem to be at their most popular point since the early 90’s. How do you feel about the Mainstream/ Underground divide?
Kids are confused, when popular pop DJs and their disproportionate promotional machinery makes them believe that what they play is house and techno music and that throwing cakes and spraying them with paint is what house parties are all about. I rather ignore all that jazz and keep on doing what I like. I still believe that you can have some success in terms of earning enough with your music to pay the bills without sailing out and having to play music that makes you feel sad inside.
One thing is true, times have dramatically changed for all of us and we have to adapt to the new way of getting out there. Things ain’t getting any easier for those like me who don’t have that kind of promotion teams, logos for their names and ghost producers making
supermarket music for us wile we tour.
How did you become involved with Cadenza, and how would you describe your excellent new album to people: Some Kind Of Sign?
I got involved with Cadenza in 2009 when I released my first EP for the label and in 2010 also joined their booking agency.
Is always hard for me to describe the music I do. I just do it, but one thing that I wanted to achieve on Some Kind Of Sign was a more homogeny album, creating deeper ambiances, something darker.
You won’t find big room tech house hits. But if you listen carefully I hope you will discover all those mini layers that each track has hidden here and there
Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks from the album – what equipment you used etc?
Underwater Lies is one of my favourites, because it features a lot of modular synthesis, I remember getting a pitch modulator / Phaser/ Ring modulator module and right away started running different drum loops and a recording of an old submarine transmission which resulted on those crazy watery drone sounds, then I chopped a few drum loops on the Octatrack and programmed a simple break beat kind a beat, I wanted it to be simple so the track it self could breath. I layered a few snares to achieve that big 80s snare and processed it through a eventide reverb, I used a Cwejman S1 for the sub bass, then had that voice phrase and wrote a little melody around it. Once I had the right notes I just sent the voice through out one of my favourite modules from Make Noise, the Echophone and played with the delay for a while to get those long and wet voice repetitions.
Once I had all the parts, just pressed record jammed for a while and when I got the right one I just chopped the length and that was it. Underwater Lies was done.
You are currently undergoing a South America tour, can you tell us about any highlights?
Is the first time in my career that I can say that each and every one of the gigs were completely highlights, everything worked perfect, the crowds were so friendly! The promoters were very professional and were there to take care of every single detail.
But if I have to pick just one, Boiler Room in Buenos Aires was pure magic! We were all friends playing together for the first time in a long time which made the event even more special. It was one of those few times that you feel that nothing can go wrong and everything is there to enjoy.
Do you find there is a difference in what people like to dance to in South America compared with Europe?
Not anymore, even if I still think that in South America people prefer faster techno this is changing in the last few years, giving the opportunity to play more deep and interesting music.
Tell us a little about your background and how you first got into Dance music and clubs?
I’m an East London girl, so when I first started letting my hair down it was when clubs like The End, Turnmills and The Key and The Cross were still around. I guess they’ve become quite iconic now and I feel lucky that I got to experience them just before they all closed down. I was also a Raindance regular, held in the arches in SE1 where Ratpack were residents. When we were too young to blag ourselves into the clubs, we’d go to squat parties.
How did your show on Future Disco Radio come about?
I began working with Sean Brosnan at the beginning of last summer when I was helping out on his Future Disco parties at Space in Ibiza. We started the show again and I was producing it with Sean presenting; one week he handed it over to me to fill in so I guess it just naturally happened from there – I often lose my voice so some people find it amusing that I do radio, but I guess maybe it’s just because I talk too much!
How do you see radio’s place in the digital world and why do you think the format has lasted so long?
Well it’s constantly evolving – I think because now there are a lot more stations available online and options for playback rather than necessarily tuning into FM dials, I think it means that radio is still a great source for hearing new music especially when you can delve into track-lists at ease.
Can you talk us though the process of producing your current release, the excellent ‘Broken’ on 22Tracks
Well, it’s actually the first track I ever made! It was about 3 years ago around the time that I’d fractured my ankle (hence the name) – it wasn’t the easiest being on crutches so it felt like the right moment to get my head stuck into production to escape from the world as I couldn’t do it on my feet anymore. I loved the idea of the 22Tracks compilation and it feels great that it’s finally found a home.
What are your future plans for production?
At the moment I’m finishing up solo material that’s been kicking around for ages and getting dusty, and also I’ve been getting stuck into quite a few collaboration tracks lately – I think if you get on with someone and you’re on the same wave-length, it can be really fun in the studio too and you can learn a lot from each other. I’ve been working on an EP with a friend of mine during our summer in Ibiza, and starting some more projects with my friend Tom Bulwer too. Just keeping busy and having fun with it I guess.
What’s the story behind The Bricks PR?
It’s the company I set up for the the freelance projects I work for various record labels. This can be anything from club and radio promotion, radio production and syndication to selected press. It’s been amazing having the opportunity to work with grass-roots labels based worldwide and I’ve been sharing my time between Ibiza, London and Berlin.
You’re running a series of mixes via Soundcloud: The Bricks That Built My House. Can you tell us more about the idea behind those?
The idea originally was about creating mixes that reflected influences both past and present. When I first got into dance music I was a bit obsessed about the roots of where it all came from. I’m still young, and there’s huge back catalogues of now defunct record labels and new ones cropping up every day that I still find fascinating to delve through – I think those mixes are a kind of outlet for everything that makes me tick.
You recently attended ADE. Was that productive and would you recommend it?
Absolutely, it’s an incredibly well run conference and seems to get better each year. I think for anyone in the industry, it’s a great way to do business, to re-connect with people as well as building new relationships. People travel from all over the world to be there and it’s an opportunity to get to know people on a more personal level…you can’t have a glass of wine with someone over an email!
At long last there are more female DJ’s breaking through. Why do you think those opportunities are happening now after decades of such a male dominated industry?
‘Female DJ’s’ has always been a bit of a strange term as it’s suggesting that there is a difference between males and females behind the decks. It’s a question that comes up so often and I guess my answer is that there are many women that have built their way up the ranks over the years that are truly inspirational, and we should be applauding them on their skills and passion rather than how far they’ve got based on their sex.
Where can people catch you DJ’ing next?
I just got back from an amazing weekend playing in Newcastle and then London for Maya Jane Coles and friends for the FOUND Horror Series.
Next weekend I’ll be up in Leeds playing on the 8th Nov with Nathan Fake and Paris XY, and then my next London gigs will be for a new night on the 14th Nov called 12+1 which is a Boat Party concept, then for Hyde alongside Casino Times at London Fields Brewery on 22nd Nov.
Can’t say too much yet but I’ve also been kindly asked to help curate a new monthly night at Shapes in Hackney Wick that we’re very excited about – it kicks off in December, so pretty buzzing about that too. Looking forward!
Your excellent new release ‘Lady of the Westway // I’ve Been Around’ on NuNorthern Soul Records sounds like all the best bits of American Rock combined with a Balearic feel for today. Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks?
R: Very kind and generous of you to say. You are right. All of those amazing rock bands from the USA have always been a big part of my listening experience whilst I was growing up. I’ve been used to working with Faze Action in the dance music area for a long time and although we did dabble in west coast psychedelic soul for our third album, entitled “Broad Souls”, people tend to associate Faze Action with disco. Which is good because I love disco too. But with Dos Palos, it’s good to be involved with something that isn’t so obviously dance orientated. With “Lady of the Westway”, I had been experimenting with song writing and ways to get the whole song writing ball rolling. I used to start with the music and then write the lyrics and melody, but I always found that it was easy to get a basic track going, but difficult to get the words and melody to work well with what I had started. So I decided to try it the other way around. I used the ‘cello to make some simple percussion sounds and worked the lyrics and melody to that. Without any other music getting in the way, I found it a lot easier to concentrate on the vocal. Once the vocal was written it was easier to build a room for it to exist in without getting in its way. I used a modular Moog for the bass sequence, classic Rhodes piano and ‘cello for the rest of arrangement. The idea was to use as few instruments as possible, so as to not get in the way of the vocal. That is when Ed came down to the studio to put his own personality and character to the record. Ed is amazing. He can match the speed of his vibrato to the BPM of the track, as well as other rather amazing vocal details, or not, depending on what you want to do.
Tell us about some of the influences that inspired you in the making of the single?
R: I think that the whole project is heavily inspired by The Eagles, The Beach Boys and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young from the west coast vocal harmony side of things. Shuggie Otis, Ace, The Isley Brothers, Jan Hammer Group as well as ‘cello producing supremo Arthur Russell for general inspiration. I get a lot of ideas from producing Faze Action records. Sometimes I want to explore further and Dos Palos gives me the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.
How did your relationship with NuNorthern Soul Records come about?
R: I think I first met Phil Cooper on the beach at The Garden Festival, Croatia, about 6 or 7 years ago. He seemed like a fun chap to hang out with and we did sink a few drinks and generally bowl around having a good time. I kept bumping into him at various events. Greg Wilson at the old East Village, where Stuart Patterson was curating, is one that comes to mind. Anyway, we both like a wide variety of music and I suppose we sort of gravitated to each other. One day Phil emailed me out of the blue and asked if I had anything that might work on his NuNorthern Soul label. I had these demos, and promptly sent them over to him. In short, he asked and I just happened to have something to play to him.
The cover artwork is very striking. What’s the story behind it?
R: I think Phil is probably in a better position to give you the full story of the artwork. Generally, we all liked the imagery that might be associated with west coast bikers. Easy Rider and such like. There is a sort of underlying sense of adventure and freedom that is very attractive to us.
P: Having heard the music and the name from Robin it was clear in my mind this was a Merry Pranksters meets Easy Rider sound and that should be reflected in the artwork. Our in-house designer at NuNorthern Soul, Mr Vincent got it immediately and pretty well nailed it on his first designs…
How do you feel Dance music has evolved compared with when you first stared out, and do you think it’s in a positive place via the digital world?
R: Dance music is way easier to make these days than it used to be. Technology has given everyone the chance to express themselves. So there are an awful lot of people vying for position and trying to get heard. The overwhelming majority of established DJs and producers are finding it harder to be heard and often talk about being swamped by the white noise of digital releases. But, dance music is a positive thing. It has to be. People have been getting together and dancing ever since time began. There isn’t a culture on earth that doesn’t have some form of social dance gathering. There is plenty of dance music to fuel that need and also plenty of places and events where that need can be met. Things have changed a lot over the years. People aren’t doing as well financially as they used to, because there is less money to be made in the digital realm. At the end of the day though, a great event that brings people together is going to be far more rewarding.
The music has a very organic feel to it. Any plans to play it out live, or for recording an album?
R: Yes. I love the whole live experience and we are looking forward to taking the whole project out on the road. We are also writing a Dos Palos album as we speak and hope to get that finished early next year.
Hats off to Neil Parkes for delivering such an exciting production which doesn’t follow the rule book, consequently sounding rather spectacular. Me & You is the led track and combines a distinctive, undulating synth line along with brooding chords and suitably leftfield vocals. A great remix comes from Richy Ahmed who punctuates it with Chicago styled vocal stabs and Detroit synthesizers augmenting the certainly tough bassline. Dixon, then sees the producer in deeper territory with moody atmospheres and shuffling percussion again delivering singular results. The excellent, ‘You Were’ ends on a high with provocative basslines amid weirdly addictive vocals and further tech keyboards that feel uniquely soulful.
I did mean to bring you this a couple of weeks ago but circumstances got in the way. Never-the-less the sumptuous Klearkut chimes with the current vogue for shimmering, marimba styled keys underscored by tough beats, which is in this case superbly highlighted by an extra layer of percussion and subtle synths at mid-point. Great track, for sure. However, it’s to the timeless quality of Earth These Beats that attention turns. Replaying the Beats version of the 1990 classic Earth People ‘Dance’ and extending it out to ten minutes is tempting on paper but played loud releases all that funky energy at full blast.
Max Chapman & Kieran Andrews
The Factory EP
We’re just about to hit November and already there’s a great list of music in store. Following neatly on from their Temperature EP for the label comes this blistering, bassline infused production in the shape of Factory 7. It’s all thumping beats, crisps sounding snares and atmospheric noises swirling round the ether, and it’s positively nasty. Philip Bader’s remix drops the loser funkier vibe of the original in favour of more attacking House beats surrounded by a pulsating vocal stabs and a creative selection of sounds for high impact. Leaving, Loving Arms to feel more emotive with hooky vocal loops and driving rhythms to end the show.
The Magic Rock kicks off this release with an addictive 70’s styled drum machine repeating into oblivion, but which is soon accompanied by whirring synth notes and arpeggios that successfully seek to maximise the hypnotic nature of the track. It’s expansive too clocking in at almost ten minutes but worth every second of its twisted elegance. Next, The Early Years clashes Detroit stabs together with vocal weirdness and, what sounds like, a ghostly flute penetrating the airwaves as both these distinctive and imaginative productions sit neatly on Seth Troxler’s one of three imprints.
Striking a chord as the nights draw in the excellent original version of Desires does so with deliciously haunting atmospheres and Giorgia Angiuli’s spine-tingling, breathy vocal delivery. What’s also dramatic about this production is the dark combination of provocative bass and treatments of the voice rendering it an extra instrument. Beckwith provide a tougher, trackier remix dropping the main vocal, while both: Dharkfunkh and Kasbah Zoo/ OniWax rework it for theirs. The former expanding the bass, and the latter picking up the pace with intense percussion rounding off this first rate release from Kevin Saunderon’s long time label, KMS.
Three tracks comprise Paolo Leary’s latest and opening with Overhand you quickly get the picture: tough, sometimes unforgiving, repetitive rhythms that work their way into mind and body. Combining pulsing beats and tricky snares alongside shimmering stabs and ‘Work That’ vocal lines this effortlessly becomes a hypnotic listen. Duties, follows a similar path, although this time with brighter undulating synths, leaving Route to feel warmer with atmospheric pads accompanied by yet more playful percussion.
release: October 29
No Good reflects the detuned (familiar) vocal sample that runs throughout the original version of Paul Rudder’s gritty stab infused workout, which hits hard with a defiantly funky punch. The accompanying Refix version then replays the same elements including those deliriously sassy hi-hats to maximum effect. Leaving the second track to hint at the 90’s via uplifting synth stabs, crunchy drums and attitude proving How Do You Do to be anything but polite.