Proving that both music and its attendant culture are firmly where they should be Davide Squillace steps up and delivers this selection of musical flair for your highlighted pleasure. Some ten tracks probe and explore at the edges of electronic sound, while not afraid to enhance the experience either through use of the human voice or by not resorting to clique, this is music for people who live in 2018 and celebrate the fact. In terms of standout moments you could say that they all are. Take the rugged, feverish bassline driven Napoli Texas, or the grainy stereo teased out via the startling ambiances on The Sin Introducing Telemaco. The fast paced intensity of Vostok, or the deeper climes reached by In The Mood For Love. All moments to be savoured saluting the rich tapestry music has very much still to offer.
Magazine Sixty favourite Joeski delivers what he does best once again. I Want You teases you into submission care off tense, dark electronics plus a breathy rush of effected vocals from Liberty all compacted by unnerving snares. Retaining a strange sense of melody in there somewhere the production is never less than compelling, defining its own space and sound on the label. Whether you try the original or the Disco Mix – don’t worry it doesn’t re-edit the past yet again – and its Balearic, Santana like guitar motifs sequenced alongside supremely funky drum loops, this was always going to be a pleasure.
The artist continues his exploration into all things resolutely emotive plugging into the mainframe of electrical authenticity. The beautiful musicality of Dharmony unfolds over eight plus minutes of carefully curated ecstasy combing chiming keys along with brooding drums and low-end notation. Next, Momento provides a neat contrast with more insistent, caustic synths realizing unnerving atmospheres as KnowKontrol’s heavily effected voice adds a sublime, yearning quality to it all, augmenting the pulsations of the timely machine drums perfectly.
This sizzling cross-section of pulverising electronics pitches itself perfectly between human expression and machine induced funkiness. Stranger Things, feels every bit like the anthemic number it so obviously is combining words that matter alongside music that points in the right direction. The remix comes care of dubspeeka who tints it with a darker sheen of brooding sound and atmosphere’s while letting the vocal breathe. Afraid, is anything but subtle stamping its bold tempo with Tribal drums and stereo ripping, bass-heavy keys plus a tastefully contrasting sensuous voice.
Fuelled by a bewildering sense of stereo Atacama does nothing short of stun the listener i.e. you and me into a challenged state of being. It’s no day at the beach either as emotions are engaged, lifted and bounced around the room with forceful release as abrasive bass notes hit you, yet the stream of emotive arpeggios soothingly reassures. The subsequent Damian Lazarus Re-Shape does precisely that introducing the human touch of vocals amid a swirl of atmospherically rewarding pads, punctuated by insistent percussion alongside a timely arrangement of lifts and drops realising each second.
I didn’t see this coming. But sure am glad it has arrived. This excellent cover of one of Pink Floyd’s very many seminal moments, in this case Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, was dated originally from 1968 (post Syd Barrett). Driven by crisp shakers and that signature bassline all sorts of wonderful atmospheric sounds are then added to the intensity as you would imagine of such a song. Particularly effective are the haunting strings as indeed is the vocal delivery which sounds suitably striking. Guy Gerber delivers a remix which transforms any notions of the sixties into something altogether future-charged with probing electricity existing readily amongst the various percussion and building layers of synthesized sound. Additional track, Guacamole proceeds to explore pulsating waves of resonating electronics providing a welcome contrast to the hazy strains of Set The Controls….
The smouldering tribal beats that inform Deniz Kurtel’s excellent release on the label once again prove that innovation, and being tuned into the future, isn’t always obtained by reverting back to a Disco that’s already past. The Fifth House fuses together echoes of dancehall voices over punchy organ hits that denote an energised sense of occasion as the sizzling arrangement courses throughout. The remix then comes from Marcus Intalex (who recently passed away) in the form of his Trevino guise leaving a legacy of well-respected productions to his name as indeed is this probing, Techno infused reworking. Second original, Coming From Dance finalises with a funkier release of rhythm shooting across darker basslines plus an array of sounds effects and treatments which set it all to go off.
Spanning delicate melodies evolving from Camille Safiya the producers elegantly highlight the power of voice via a punctuating, atmospheric array of instrumentation. This is simply a great track proving to be timely and beyond merely functional. And you realise that before mid-point. Next, and all of the differing takes are equally excellent, Serge Devant’s Floor Cut version adds a touch of sparkle igniting dancefloor possibilities, while Reboot’s ‘Kadaitcha Man’ Rework does like-wise. As does Art Department whose blissfully pounding Modular Perspective Remix does all of that and more, leaving his Jaded Perspective version feeling the total opposite with funkier drums and heightening tension getting relieved by the warm rush of melodic pads.
As debuts go. This is unequivocally s**t hot. Smokey, rebellious while not afraid to tear at the edges of sound with its grainy, dark synthesizers Stimmhalt’s initial release for the label contrasts it all with some timely, rather sublime percussion adding a sense of soulful, funkiness to the arrangement. Evolving over some eight minutes and ending up with soaring, improvised instrumentation breathing bliss this is yet another standout from the label. Which, in this instance comes with a tougher rendition from Pezzner whose undulating sequences are things of compelling beauty.
Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty. How and where did you both meet and what inspired you to start making music together?
Mitchel is a longtime friend of Thijs’s brother Bram since they started DJ’ing together. Later on the two started producing together and through that the two of us got to know each other and felt a sweet spot for each other in our vision about making music.
Tell us the story behind your stunning new single: You Got To Try and how it was then created in the studio?
“You Got To Try” is created during a session with David Stolk. David is a friend of us who we work regularly with. He is an insanely creative and fun guy to hang around with and he has an impeccable knack for catchy hooks. We wrote it as a song, just from a chord progression on the piano. David transposed it and from then on it was ‘instant magic’. The basis of the song felt so good and special that the Paris Green production grew around it effortlessly.
Your music resonates with many influences. Could you tell us about some of them both within and outside of electronic music?
We hardly ever listen to electronic music when we’re working in the studio. We try to find our inspiration from very diverse corners. Mitchel has a sweet spot for hiphop and soul music, while Thijs has checked out a lot of modern and indie jazz. We’re exchanging a lot of music.
So we end up listening together to artists like Frank Ocean, Radiohead, Robert Glasper and Mark Schilders. In electronic music we really dig music from artists like Floating Points, Nathan Fake, Luke Abbott and Kowton. But we’re also checking out upcoming cats such as Henry Wu, Neinzer, Ploy and Simo Cell.
Outside of the musical inspirations there’s also a very strong visual aspect that resonates with our music. We’ve got a natural interest in art, design, architecture and fashion. Because just as music, it uses textures and expresses a certain period too. We love clean, spacious designs that fit to our music.
What is your favourite synthesizer? Do you own one?
We have our go-to virtual synthesizers, but recently we also are experimenting with hardware synths, such as modular synths like the Roland System 100m and some synths that Thijs owns. The one we’re getting the most heat out of lately is the Roland Alpha Juno-1.
How would you place the importance of musicianship and musicality in today’s Dance Music?
We can’t speak for everybody else but for us it’s everything, it’s definitely the fundament of our music and where we try to make a difference. Without it our music wouldn’t sound even close to what it sound like right now.
Can you tell us about how you got the tracks signed to Rebellion, and also the choice of Steve Bug to do the remixes?
I think it all started with Kölsch who played our track in his BBC 1 Residency. Maybe before that, when we spoke to George Fitzgerald at a festival in Amsterdam and asked if we could send him some music. He responded that he really liked “You Got To Try”. That’s when we started to believe in the track. But the BBC Radio 1 play is where we gained a lot of interests from all kinds of parties. It was a bit of a rollercoaster because suddenly you have to make decisions which affect our career in the long term and we have a tendency to overthink everything. From all the offers we got, Rebellion just felt right. And from that decision we also got the opportunity to get Steve to remix our track and to us it’s just insane to have him on board of our first release!
What influence does living in Amsterdam have on your making music? Do you have any favourite bars or clubs that you would like to recommend – past or present?
(Mitchel:) there’s just so much happening here, it’s a city of many faces. Depending on the evening, my favourite venue is the Paradiso. It’s a very unique place where artists like Kurt Cobain and James Brown performed.
This is probably the most geeky answer that I can give but I like to hang out in the public library. I love the space and that it’s really calm. Sorry.
(Thijs:) there are a lot of cool spots to visit in Amsterdam. Such as the jazz sessions at De Kring, new clubs like De School, Shelter and Claire. And way too many nice bars, record stores, museums and parks to mention just here.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2017 and into beyond?
We really have a huge pile of new music just from 2017.
We’re still working on new music almost every day of the week. There’s material for a new EP, but first we have to see how our first release will work out, before we make our next move.
We’re really eager and ambitious, but we also know that we’re just getting started. We’re just gonna have to look at it step by step and I think that’s a really clear and realistic view on the situation right now.