As an increasing amount of music looks backwards it is reassuring that this debut long player from Clarian also engages with a sense of future. At times, such as, Under The Gun it can feel like you are getting lost in some sort of 1980’s dream (or nightmare) as synth hits chime melodies alongside delicate, breathy vocals and a mood that captures the decade (pre-House) almost perfectly. Atmosphere’s chop and change and that’s part of the albums enticing charm as befits the opening, Dedicated To Sagan which as the title suggests transmits a cosmic energy, full beam ahead. The fantasy continues on Sleepers via low-slung syncopated rhythms that effortlessly glide across the stereo, while the drama highlighted by Mote Of Dust is another standout. Clarian’s vocals sing out on the concluding title track, though not before the proto Chicago vibes of West Hollywood feel particularly uplifting in that way only synthesized sound can.
This is fucking excellent. Not only do you get to play big time but it’s downright sleazy, injecting a sense of bravado and dare I say it, FUN into increasingly tired dance equations. Warning: it does talk about t**s and Coc**** – fab! Energy, is co-produced by Felix Da Housecat and Clarian while featuring Agata’s teasingly wonderful voice which rocks hard sounding electronically charged with a big, exciting difference. Not House, Not Techno. Who cares? It’s brilliant. Next and with the addition of Jamie Principle is the excellent, They Just Want 2 B U fusing deep bass together with chiming 80’s rhythms to devastating effect. Finally, Color of Rayy sees Aphrohead feel dreamy across up-tempo drums, effected vocals and brutal Acid attitude to round off an excellent number 3.
Your latest single for Culprit: Derail The Reptile Revolution features five tracks. What was the inspiration behind the title track, i.e. what does it mean?
a radiation wave hit and i got shot through a wormhole. now i’m lost in some distant part of the universe on a ship, a living ship, full of strange alien life forms. i’m being hunted by an insane military commander. doing everything i can. i’m just looking for a way home.
Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks from the release?
sometimes i remember the feeling of resistance and in spite, persist the glimpse through absurdity and when my mind opens up that moment becomes the reason.
Firstly, sorry to hear that Sergio is under doctor’s orders. How is he getting with his recovery?
Sergio’s back is doing better, slowly recovering. We hope to be back on the road and fully operational in December.
Your new release ‘Old Streets’ on Soul Clap once again highlights your musical skills as well as your song writing abilities. How do you compare the importance of your timely melodies and sassy grooves with the more minimal, functional sounds that have been dominating many dancefloors?
I think essentially it comes down to a slightly lesser focus on sound “for the sound”. We love to explore sounds and try to find innovative textures but ultimately we search for a sound that inspires us to play. We likely have a more “old school” approach when it comes to melodies than modern days tracks. Some tracks today literally have the same note repeated but the sound itself varies in such ways that it creates a convincing and catchy hook, almost sounding melodically complex sometimes. I think this is as commendable as a more melodic approach. We’re just more on one side than the other.
Can you talk us through the process of how you produced/wrote the track?
‘Old Streets’ was produced in Washington DC. The “recipe” there has been the same pretty much every time: jamming on synths sync’d up with drum machines and recording as much as we can… occasionally going to the computer to start picking up the right loops and elements. Finally, we recorded the vocals that Sergio had written. The final sequencing is usually what takes us the most time. Sometimes it is obscenely long. It’s almost as if the infinity of combinations of sequencing freezes us. You can completely change the vibe and almost the style of a track with sequencing… Letting the tracks develop slowly and repeating some elements for a while can make a track real deep, whereas changing things fast will make it more pop. These decisions are also part of the process.
Your current release for Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom Limited ‘House With 500 Rooms’ showcases a tougher more robust side to your productions. What’s the story behind the title, and how did you first hook up with Leftroom?
“House With 500 Rooms” is a play on an amazing old song from the 80s by a band from New Zealand called The Chills. Their song is really pretty and gentle classic 80s, lofi indie pop. And it was called “House With A Hundred Rooms.” Since our track is all about a macho braggadocio, it just seemed sort of funny to try and be that way even in the title of our track by topping another title that uses “House” even though that song has nothing to do with the genre. It is indeed a tougher, darker and more dancefloor side of us that’s showcased in this case. This diversity is probably because we enjoy a lot of different genres and never really limited ourselves to any subgenre.
Leftroom makes sense for this EP as it represents a label with a classic sense of House music. We are really happy Matt wanted to release it. We met him through friends at parties and always had connected with him. He’s a great person.
Having already released music on the likes of Culprit and Visionquest what plans do you have for moving into 2016?
We have few more tracks/EPs we hope to release in the near future. One is more on the House side and the other more rock. A bit like the “Old Streets”/”House With 500 Rooms” combo.
And finally, how would you say that your main influences play into your music?
A lot, essentially. I would say they play 70% of the part. Then there is probably a good 20% of “direct” influence from playing in the club and experiencing a track there. This is a different kind of influence in a way kind of like the difference between studying a textbook vs practice. The last 10% comes from being in our “bubble”. We tend to be also relatively isolated when it comes to production and this 10% accounts for that.
Set your speakers to stun as this latest release from Visionquest will surpass your expectations by moving forward into 2013 with a bang. Clarian is one half of Footprintz who alongside Guy Gerber has produced the opener Claire which fuses eerie atmospheres together with haunting voices and crisp drums to sound somewhat epic and emotional. Destroy, She Says follows with timeless Beach Boys harmonies feeling golden, as always, against melodic electronic riffs that bizarrely sound just like they were made for each other – you can but dream. Renaissance continues the same mood inducing reaction, as Remove Control turns it upside down with further dancefloor energy with likewise Through Your Mind feat. Spaceman adding Acid tweaks into the mix. U (Unfinished) then returns to moodier electronic wizardry to complete this very aptly titled Chemical Gardens EP.
This has been playing my head for a time now. There is in fact something about Underneath the Pines that I can’t quite pin down. Although, needless to say that Justin Robertson’s latest single (under his Deadstock 33s guise) plays beyond irresistible, indeed it’s the sheer distinctive quality that he lends to his vocal, alongside the tastefully funky electronics, that defines its very own space and time. Put it like this. The House Mix is on repeat. Excellent remixes come from a breakbeat fuelled Ewan Pearson, and a Chicago referencing Disco Bloodbath both of whom only add to the sensory pleasure. If this sounds appealing then listen out for his forthcoming album: The Pilgrim’s Ghost in March.
Pool’s follow up to their debut for the label is in ways perfect Pop music: its got melody, lashings of cool instrumentation, which along with a razor sharp edge sounds little short of magnificent. Flex leans on Indie for sure with awkward guitars and grinding bass feeling breezy while its playful vocals embrace you in a happy sort of melancholy way that’s particularly appealing. Aeroplane provide the remix, and they don’t disappoint either, transforming the rhythm into something altogether European with bright keys and buzzing chords competing with bouncy Disco bass. Botox is the second original composition and has gentler, more endearing melodies despite its title, which Stimming then re-imagine as intoxicating Deeper house with twisted bass and shuffling drums.
release: February 18
Electric Avenue Records
Memoir’s low-slung chugging groove is situated somewhere in Acid drenched bliss. And things only get better when the deep bassline hits. Backed up by an array of classic sounding drums and deadpan Organ this is all about building mood and your anticipation, which it does expertly via its undulating Acid. Label head J Cub’s Deep Dub does just that with tougher drums and punchy keys eventually giving way to warm pads and hints of enticing vocal on his fist-rate remix. But back to the title Pulling Strings which ups the tempo alongside a Yello styled euro bassline that sizzles with energy to round off this notable release.
released – Feb
ruary 18 (Vinyl only)
Let It Go
Black Vinyl Records
Entering their seventeenth year Black Vinyl’s latest release delves once again into guitar inspired, soulful rhythms which this time feature the unmistakable vocal of Old Bastard. Part One of the package sees the smooth melodies blend into neatly shuffling percussion on Mauritzio’s Original version. However, try N’Dinga Gaba’s remix which highlights the voice lifting it over bouncier tribal infused grooves, that are then accompanied by an instrumental for good measure. Mauritzio also explores further Jazzy aspects on his two remaining versions to focus your attention on the versatility/ quality of the music.