Demuir Q&A

demuirYour excellent new single: Demuir & Friends EP is due out on Classic Music Company, August 15. Featuring three equally fiery tracks can you talk us through the influences and situations that went into inspiring the creation of the EP?

The track selection and setup of this EP was mainly a result of Luke Solomon’s feedback. He had first listen to a bunch of tracks I already had finished and I’m happy with what it has morphed into.

As far as influences and situations, we both wanted tracks that told a story that people can relate to while showcasing a diverse musical landscape. For example, “My Predictable Locals” recounts what        many DJs / Producers feel in their hometown in terms of acknowledgement. I find it ironic, when a headline DJ comes to your town playing a bunch of your songs, but the local factions are either not interested or aware of what’s in their backyard. I placed this over a Jackin’ House beat and some pointed vocals that underscore the point.

We also wanted to feature collaborations. Mark Farina found some great vocals for “Story of A DJ” that describes a DJ’s evolutions that spoke to both of us. The reference to Hip Hop is especially clever because that’s where I started my journey in DJ’ing and Production and I think the same goes for Mark considering his Mushroom Jazz background.

Lastly, Cynthia Amoah is a stellar vocalist who spoke about how she gets through the week in, “Here’s To Friday”. She steps us through each day with positive vibes all the way through. The beat was originally written for a collaboration project with Colette that just didn’t pan out in time. I wanted something upbeat and Cynthia nailed it 10 fold.

Can you also talk us through the production process of one of the tracks, including any favorite pieces of software/ hardware that you like to use when developing your ideas?

I’m a big believer in digging for records as a primary sample source because I learn so much in the process about the music, artists, and history. So I lean very heavily on that to find unique sounds that you just won’t find in an iTunes mp3 library.

I use a combination of software and live instrumentation. My main software / hardware gear is Logic Pro X along with Native Instruments Maschine. I love these tools along with UAD plug-ins because of the flexibility and impact they have in modern production.

Buy http://www.traxsource.com/title/640576/livin-for-saturdays

How did the relationship with Classic Music happen and how important do you feel it is in 2016 to have the right label behind you to get your music heard?

DJ Sneak introduced me to Luke several months before and Luke was familiar with my music as he charted a few of my tunes and saw that I had releases on I’m A House Gangster. It just so happened that Luke had a gig in Toronto (my hometown) and Sneak thought it a good idea for us to all connect and hang out. Unfortunately, we all couldn’t get together, but I went to see Luke at his gig and he was banging out, “Ode to Chicago II” and a couple of my songs when I got to the club. It’s always a nice feeling to see people enjoying your music that way.

I think it’s important to have the right labels representing your music for exposure and to distinguish yourself as serious artist. Anyone can buy a laptop and put out songs now. So the distinction is important for your brand and the people you’re looking to reach.

Is it true that you can do 100 Meters in 10.2 seconds!?! Can you still do it? And how would you compare the rush of running with the emotions of DJ’ing?

Hahaha! That was so many years ago! I can probably give it a go, but I may blow my hamstring out. It is similar rush to taking people to a peak in your set, but not nearly in as short of that time!

How would you contrast the Funk/ Soul & Disco of the past in relation to song-writing and musicianship with today’s production styles?

1512364_1392519504338952_398602541_nGreat question! I would have to say the past is similar in some ways, but we miss a lot of human element in production today. I don’t say that to criticize anyone today, but rather, it’s the reality of having a higher presence of technology in music production and song writing today. In the past, you had live musicianship with no ‘click’ track and much older singers and musicians putting paper what they were going through to create very believable and not-so-perfectly synched beats that gave things an organic feel at every turn. However, I can say the technology does allow us to get more creativity if you allow yourself to put in the work.

How much time to you spend in the studio, can you talk us through a typical working day?

I’m in the studio as much as I possibly can be depending on travel and anything else that’s going on. My typical day involves me going through stacks of records from a recent dig, chopping samples, and making beats.

What do you listen to (or read, or watch) to relax?

To relax, I like to take in a good documentary to learn something new and to broaden my perspective. I’m also a member of an art gallery and I try to go see what they got going on, which often leads to inspiration in some form.

Can you share with us any forthcoming projects for the remainder of the year and beyond?

Certainly. In talks to release my,“TruSkool” album on DJ Sneak’s Magnetic imprint, which will feature Jackin’, Techno, Tech House, and Brazilian tracks to keep this interesting. We are all pretty excited about the release. Aside from this, I was lucky to have remixed Linda Clifford and Tiger Stripes for King Street and also did a remix for Luke Solomon and Justin Harris’ Music For Freaks label.

facebook.com/demuirbeats
Twitter: @djdemuir
Soundcloud.com/mikitaskyy

Share

Reviews: 150

Single of the Week

wildDJ W!ld
All About You
Robsoul Records

The unmistakable rhythms of DJ W!ld return to the ever excitable Robsoul for yet another breathless journey into repeating beats and grooves. First up is Breakin which comes fully armed with splashing hi-hats and rough-edged bass twisting their way until the breakdown refreshes you via a splash of heated Disco. With You, again hits you with tough drums and unrelenting low-end theory, while dreamy keys seek to add a more soulful flavour to the affair. The excellent Only What I Am is next with super funky bass looping across an inevitable sea of beats coupled with the eventual evolution of the funky sample. The equally excellent, All About You then ends on a more tender note with emotive keys summing up thoughtful, uplifting atmospheres to finish.

Release: May 8
https://www.facebook.com/wildthedj
http://www.robsoulrecordings.com

Jakkin Rabbit
Obsession EP
No.19 Music

The title track doesn’t pull any punches by delivering smoking hot, deliciously sleazy grooves that recline on just the right side of dangerous. Powered by powerful, hypnotic Chicago styled bass and aided by darkly spoken words, that don’t sound all that sensuous, this is best experienced with the lights down low. Energize, proceeds with tougher rhythms that secure the dancefloor with an excitable array of sounds, while third original Love or Money poses the question via breathy French voices and classic Soul vocals over yet more distinct, creative arrangements of sound. Breath-taking remixes come from a typically energetic DJ Sneak who pounds out the beats while highlighting the voices and synth tones, and from Louie Fresco who conversely creates moodier atmospheres most effectively.

Release: April 27
https://www.facebook.com/JakkinRabbit
http://www.no19music.com

Vibe Killers
Some Bang EP
Killer Vibes Records

‘Brought to you from the mean streets of Burnley’ which may not have the same ring as ‘The Big Apple’ but then you could transport these grooves anywhere and they would work just as effectively. Some Bang, kicks things off with rough, tough beats fuelled by brutal low-slung bass accompanied by a voice over plus a tweaked slice of Disco that keeps you guessing. Next, is the irresistibly hot ‘Take House’ which is an altogether funkier affair via its crisp, rattling hi-hats and juicy basslines along with warmer undercurrents that combine into one infectious production. Great début release on this brand new UK label….

Release: June 1
https://www.facebook.com/vibekillers
https://www.facebook.com/killerviberecordsuk

versatileEtienne Jaumet
La Visite EP
Versatile Records

Düsseldorf based producers Die Wilde Jagd remix Etienne Jaumet’s La Visite (taken from his latest album) with such wild abandon it’s startling – You’ve got to love this. Feeling experimental yet making perfect sense its sizzling blend of fizzy electronics, soulful instrumental touches, alongside playful drums and captivating voices make this first rate music. Low Jack then re imagines the while episode care of a heavy dash of Dub sensibility that lets the hypnotic synth tones race free. Leaving the Gilb’R Midnight version of Midnight Man to drop the beats altogether, aiming the controls for (edgy) ambient bliss and producing another exceptional sequence of sounds and thoughts.

Release: May 4 Vinyl.
http://versatilerecords.com/release/etienne-jaumet-la-visite-ep-incl-die-wilde-jagd-remix-low-jack-gilbr-remixes/

HGL001_FIGUEROA_OBANDO_HUSTLE_WAY_EP_ALBUM_ART_FINALDanniel Selfmade & Karretero
Subzhero EP
Say What? Records

Exceptional production in the shape of Subzhero which pulls all sorts of trippy ideas together into a formula that not only feels expansive but also devastatingly explosive. Driven by sassy electronic drums which feel compellingly organic this strives for all sorts of intensity and reaches fever point somewhere along the way via an undulating, twisted amalgamation of rhythm and atmospheric sound. Formatz, then drives harder with repetitive beats and twisted vocal touches all pounding their way into oblivion.

Release: May 4

http://www.dannielselfmade.com
https://www.facebook.com/karreterofficial/timeline
https://www.facebook.com/saywhatrecords

Share

Reviews:130

MATOM_LAY_07.inddMatom
Love Mistakes
Planet E

Conceived as an aural tribute to the ‘Hansa recording studios’ on Köthener Straße No. 38 in Berlin, this long player courtesy of Matt Edwards (aka Radio Slave) and Thomas Gandey (aka Cagedbaby) not only boasts purely live instrumentation but also the transcendent atmosphere of the music produced. Hansa was made famous by the likes of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Tangerine Dream and Depeche Mode, amongst many significant others and is obviously a hard act to follow with the album taking its main inspiration from Bowie’s 1977 masterpiece Low. The result is a suitably stunning experience which blends a rich mixture of beats and percussion augmented by an intense musicality that is as far away from the mindless repetition of Tech House as you could imagine. Indeed, you could for example say that the piano played on Piano 2 Variation 4 has been spiritually guided. Or, try soaking up the haunting, ambience triggered by Hansa itself complete with taught electro drums, while the concluding title track ends on a wash of Fender Rhodes echoing your imagination to hear the excellence all over again…

release: September 15

listen: http://www.juno.co.uk/products/matom-love-mistakes-stereo/541042-01/

https://www.facebook.com/like.radio.slave
https://www.facebook.com/ThomasGandeyOfficial
http://planet-e.net/constructor

H FOUNDATION
HEAR DIS SOUND (Remixes)
SIESTA RECORDS

Hipp-e and Halo’s distinctive release from just under ten years ago now gets revitalised via an excellent set of remixes transforming this gem directly into 2014. Beginning with Yousef’s great version that sets addictive organ notes against a fiery backdrop of hypnotic percussion and pulsating beats this is built for the repeat button. The Space Coast take is next combining sparkling synths and tough bass, followed by Sneak’s relentless attack on the senses. Franck Roger’s outstanding funky bassline driven remix then scores high, while DJ Buck adds a cool Disco flavour with a twist. Craig Richards then defies expectations by dropping the tempo into darker territory with a heavy dose of sound effects, leaving Adam Shelton to pick up the pace once again with another suitably punchy rendition that rocks the floor. All good.

http://siestarecords.com

Walter Ego
CTRL+ALT+DEL EP
2020 Vision

Surpassing the computer functionality of the title this strips it back to basics via a pumping House beat and accompanying bassline. Not quite so sure about the vocal line despite its obvious catchiness but then there is always a great Dub version to contend with. Or, the excellent PBR Streetgang Remix which transforms the vocal into filtered nirvana via an array of swirling synths and an ecstatic arrangement. Second track, The Project delves deeper again with a detuned vocal loop, as does the addictive The Pattern which is complimented by a first rate rhythm section.

release: September 11

https://www.facebook.com/djwalterego
http://2020recordings.com

Slow Hands
Everything (We Are)
Wolf + Lamb Records

What’s not to like about this. After all if breathy vocal deliveries and syncopated basslines backed up by punchy drumming are your thing then this is just right on the opening, ‘Miss White’. While the title track has a restrained yet slightly epic feel to it care off a rousing chorus line backed-up by Dave Robertson’s vocals and atmospheric instrumentation. Who then re-appears as Cameo Culture for the remix by adding a funkier attitude to the proceedings. Finally, Second Fiddle again weaves the delicate vocals through a musical fabric that sounds playful and enjoyable.

release (digital): September 15

https://www.facebook.com/iamslowhands
http://www.wolflambmusic.com

Share

H Foundation Q&A

Tell us about your return to production as H-Foundation, and what were the reasons that made you decide to stop in the first place?

H-Foundation-1Halo: We decided to bring back H Foundation about 3 yrs ago within those 3 yrs we have been hammering away in the studio with tons of new material including labels Supplement Facts, 1Trax, One Records, Magnetic, Leftroom & our label Surface. When we decided to give H Foundation a break it was a mutual decision to focus on our own musical careers.
Hipp-e : We parted ways mainly to focus on our solo careers as well as start families and ground ourselves a bit. When we decided to bring H Foundation back was after finally re connecting musically as well as maturing and growing as individuals, we have a completely new passion for what we want!

What became known as the ‘West Coast Sound’ pioneered by you became heavily influential throughout Europe and beyond. Who has most influenced your sound in 2014 either in Dance music or outside of it?

Halo : WOW thats a tough one we have been influenced by so many Djs & Producers, like Loco Dice, Hector, Re-Up, Francisco Allendes.
Hipp-e : Yeah and we are collaborating with some great artists, like David Durango and Proudly People as well as Allendes. Also we are really inspired by the people we have signed to Surface. There is solo much great music and artists out there, we are excited for 2014!!

Your latest single: Kontrol Room has just been released on DJ Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings. Can you talk us through how you produced it and about any favourite pieces of studio equipment you like to use?

Halo:  Sneak’s been family to us for years and it was the perfect timing to produce something special for him for Magnetic, about 6 months ago I flew down to Denver to work on Kontrol Room we spent about 4 days on it we wanted to incorporate something fresh but with an dubby space teky vibe thats where our friend C.1  came into the picture, we wanted him to freestyle about being in space.
Hipp-e : Yeah Sneak is old friends we have talked about working on tracks with him for years and he’s always supported and guided us as family does, We are happy to be part of his camp!

The single features C.1. How did his involvement come about?

Hipp-e:  C1 is an old friend of mine from Denver and he has been in the scene here for years. He is part of a Rap group” FoodChain” a group of super talented guys. we wanna work more with him in the future!

How would place the importance of vocals/ songs in Dance Music? And how do you feel about the current vogue for Disco re-edits and the influence of early 90’s House again?

Hipp-e and Halo: We super picky about what vocals to use in our music and the music we play, we don’t think its super important to have a vocal in every single dance record I think it should preference. WOW yes theres a lot of Disco Re-Edits coming out, we don’t really play any disco edits out but I’ve heard some really nice ones. Since we were Dj’ing in the 90’s we are huge fans of that dirty 909 feel there’s tons of really nice stuff coming out at the moment that s been influenced by the early 90’s stuff.

Can you tell us about the plans for Halo’s Surface Recordings? And about any other forthcoming releases?

Hipp-e and Halo: We have some really nice projects lined up for Surface including projects by Francisco Allendes, Proudly People, Hector & H Foundation
We are busy at the moment working on a few really nice projects and remixes we also have an album coming out this April on Sneak’s Magnetic label thats called “Passage Of Time” which is about 16 of our classic remixes and original material from 1999-2004 remastered.

Where can people get to hear you DJ?

H-Foundation-2Hipp-e and Halo: we’ve held of off touring the last couple yrs to work in the studio and get a bunch of new material out with that said we have decided that we are going to start touring in April so you will be seeing a lot more of H Foundation Dj dates

https://www.facebook.com/hippehalo
http://rootsevents.net/artists/h-foundation
https://twitter.com/hippehalo

 

Share

Reviews:111

H-Foundation feat. C1
Kontrol Room
Magnetic Recordings

H-Foundation aka Hipp-E & Halo mark their return to production after a few years absence with this release for DJ Sneak’s Magnetic Recordings. The original see’s their trademark combination of hot drums and bass feel every bit as energising with pounding beats offset by a creative array of effects to engage your imagination amid C1’s commanding voice. Remixes come via Sneak’s relentless HG Dub, Tripmastaz excellent and spacey Takes Kontrol Mix, and finally Joeski’s extra-excellent percussion heavy version that seems like one extra long break-beat but is actually the most musical too.

release: January 27

Giorgio Moroder vs I-Robots
Me Giorgio (The I-Robots Reconstructions)
Deeplay Digital

DD 005 Giorgio Moroder vs I-Robots - Utopia Me Giorgio (The I-Robots Reconstructions)Never mind Daft Punk listen to this. Originally appearing on the From Here To Eternity album all the way back in 1977 this proto just-about-everything-relevant electronic Dance number still sounds glorious in 2014 as a Opilec Music boss, I-Robots reconstruction. Remaining deceptively faithful, while expanded from the original’s just a shade over three minutes long, this shimmering Disco production feels every bit as innovative on any of three versions available here.

release: February 28

https://www.facebook.com/GiorgioMoroderOfficial
https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-ROBOTS/51899406997

 

Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity (1977 music video)

Various Artists
World Cinema In The 60s: Volume One
Cherry Red Records

The title alone should be enough to whet your appetite for this experience. But when you add the list of names whose films are sound tracked by this selection then this proves to be a must have for those that like it cinematic and jazzy, or intense and atmospheric. Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Orson Wells and Stanley Kubrick are amongst the more familiar credits while including scores from Jules et Jim and Dr. Strangelove. At times haunting, at others uplifting this swirling collection of orchestra drama and hot Jazz is perfectly suited to entertain dark corners and low winter sun. Listen below for a taste of the emotive instrumentation and vocals that lie in store….

Buy: http://www.cherryred.co.uk/el-news.asp?newsid=79

CHARO and the Salsoul Orchestra
Cuchi-Cuchi: Expanded Edition
Big Break Records/ Salsoul Records

Maria del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, better known by her stage name CHARO, is a Spanish-American actress, singer, comedienne and flamenco guitarist (voted Best Flamenco Guitarist twice in Guitar Player Magazine). Turning up on Salsoul in 1977 this album contains a frankly jaw-dropping version of The Stones ‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’ but also lush Disco number ‘Dance A Little Bit Closer’ in its full glorious 12” version. It’s quite surprising/ startling to hear all that classic Salsoul instrumentation under Vincent Montana Jr’s guidance backing up such novelties as Cookie Jar but there you go, although there’s not a bad version of ‘You’re Just The Right Size’ for good measure.

Buy: http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=4469

The 12” version ‘Dance A Little Bit Closer’

‘Let’s Spend The Night Together’

Share

reviews:60

Kolombo
Busta Business EP
2DIY4

How could you possibly not love this? Diynamic Music’s sister label release Kolombo’s solo debut featuring a good-time rap (albeit even funkier for being stylishly detuned) alongside fuzzy synths and a particularly, perky bassline. Meanwhile the voice intones I Want It All and then lists a series of demands – sounds reasonable. The vocal theme is then explored across the next three tracks linking the EP together like a concept. Musically the grooves never stray from the dancefloor and all feature a creative sequence of electronic events that never fail but to excite and electrify. But, let’s cut to the chase. It’s the final track, Dancing On The Floor that caps it all with a knowing, infectious chorus line to grab you coupled with a bassline which completely destroys it….

release:  September 3

http://soundcloud.com/kolombo/kolombo-my-own-business-ep

https://www.facebook.com/kolomboofficialfanpage

 

Sunshine Jones
Gas Masks & Crazy-Girls
Cosmic Disco Records

Dubtribe Sound System’s maverick producer Sunshine Jones returns with this latest long player. Jam packed full of emotion this plays like sunshine for a hazy afternoon. Exploring moments of melancholy one minute, such as on the opening Fall Down, then transferring the pleasure to the dancefloor on the following Mem Mem Mem with its slap-bass and Acid extremes, the album is never afraid of taking chances with your expectations. The gorgeous Absurdity Of Possession works especially well by evoking an array of feelings with its stirring pads and deep, velvety vocals. I suspect the more you listen to Gas Masks & Crazy-Girls the more will be revealed, and its finishing Beautiful Daydream conjures all sorts of memories with the Balearic infused rhythms and spacey voices striking the perfect note (to end on ).

release:  September 3

http://cosmic-disco.com/

www.soundcloud.com/cosmicdisco-records

www.facebook.com/cosmicdisconl

 

Mastercris
My Pleasure EP
Acryl Music

This Swiss based label has been releasing plenty in the way of quality for the past number of years and this also sits comfortably within that description. Opening with the EP’s title track, My Pleasure is underpinned by harsh synths cutting out a distinct edge, while the remainder peaks with building tribal drums and layers of vocal harmony. Not surprisingly then Percussive View is also big on drums and swirling delays that are once again complimented by rough synth sounds, and which again has a intriguing, hypnotic quality.  You, keeps the feeling going and is the most uplifting of the three with cool organ sounds and funky bass taking you there.

release: Beatport exclusive August 23

http://www.acrylmusic.ch/

http://soundcloud.com/acryl-music

https://www.facebook.com/acrylmusic

 

Maigret Jnr
Always Again
Make Mine Records

If it was still safe to use the word ‘awesome’ without being sniggered at then that’s just how I would describe Always Again. It’s the opening track from Maigret Jnr’s forthcoming Sick Friends EP which is so inspired that I had to play it again, just to check I wasn’t dreaming. Powered by beautifully low-slung beats, heart-wrenching strings and topped off by a rich baritone vocal delivery this feels enigmatic, yet all too familiar – and that’s an excellent place to be.

release date: Sept 3

http://soundcloud.com/makeminerecords/maigret-jnr-always-again

http://www.makeminerecords.com/site/

https://twitter.com/makemine

 
Best Of Robsoul Recordings: Phil Weeks
Robsoul Recordings

Phil Weeks brings his inimitable brand of funk to the table with the release of his part of the series explaining the labels ethos since 2000. Do expect plenty of sassy samples and repetitive loops to work their way pleasurably into your brain and then take up residence. Don’t expect fluffy melodies and uninspired rhythms. The ‘Best Of’ series is an impressive succession of six mini albums from many of the labels stalwarts such as DJ Sneak, Joss Moog and DJ W!LD. Beginning as weekly releases in mid August the final instalment reaches its climax on September 14 with Fries & Bridges selection. But back to the labels head, Phil Weeks who journeys his way through tough, unrelenting beats on the excellent Jack To My Groove and winds up at the tastefully atmospheric Don’t Give Up.

http://www.robsoulrecordings.com/

 

Marlena Shaw
Who Is The Bitch, Anyway?
Blue Note Records

Her fourth album for the prestigious Blue Note label saw Shaw release this strikingly titled long player in 1975. Influenced by the name of Richard Pryor’s That Nigger’s Crazy, which won a gammy the previous year, the album opens with a steamy dialogue between the singer and a (factitious) random client who meet in a bar. You, Me &Ethel/ Street Walkin’ Woman then rips through a tempo changing exercise in funky/ soul proving to be the most energetic song on the release. Already revered for songs such as California Soul and Woman Of The Ghetto she was impressively the first female artist to be signed to the label which happened, as late as, 1973. The selection of music here ranges from tearjerker to mid-tempo shuffles such as Davy, although even more notably Gospel as on the fiery rendition of The Lord Giveth And The Lord Taketh Away (written by Shaw). The album is always adult without ever feeling AOR or MOR with Marlena Shaw’s impassioned voice always cutting to the bone. And, is backed here by a wealth of skilful players, which are much in evidence on Loving You Was Like A Party the second most spirited track. A touch of pure class.

release: August 27

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=3788

 

Billy Paul
360 Degrees Of Billy Paul
bbr

After having released Philadelphia International Records first album Billy Paul went on to win a Grammy for Me And Mrs Jones, which is also included on this album released in 1972. It’s hard to imagine now the impact music such as this, with its socially/ politically aware lyrics, must have had in the early seventies, especially when dwelling upon Ziggy Stardust’s cultural repercussions here in the UK the same year. And unlike his mid-sixties counterparts what became so much more exhilarating is how the raw blend of Jazz, Blues, Soul and Psychedelia expanded beyond 3 minute singles into self-aware anthems. It’s hard to argue with the hard funk of I’m I Black Enough For You or the Psychedlic Soul of Brown Baby, and certainly not with the sheer authority of Billy Paul’s smoky vocal. Or indeed with Gamble & Huff’s superlative production which still sound s as timeless as it always will do. Having said that, and after all the album is titled: 360 Degress Of… you also get a number of covers ranging from Carol King’s It’s Too Late to Elton John’s Your Song, so perhaps there’s something for everybody, as they used to say.

release: August 27

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=3778

 

(and finally) something for the weekend…great video from FEEL MY BICEP & Stijn Hoebeke

 

Share