When did you first discover that you could sing, and which vocalists are your biggest influence?
Long time ago, I was 13. Maybe less..singing was the only thing I could do in my friends band.
My biggest influences are Michael Jackson and Jim Morrison.
You released an EP of tracks (July 7) as an album teaser for: Midtown (due late Sept) which features a host of collaborations. How long did it take to complete such a mammoth project, and can you tell us about some the locations it was recorded in?
It took me 3 or 4 years to complete this project with my friends. MIDTOWN is the middle of the world, where everyone from everywhere is passing by; you have Art Department, then my dear Italian friend Piers Faccini, then Rose Ryot from London… then my sister…then Cassius .. then Brodinski.. then a DJ Pone remix … Claude VonStroke, a new dOP track …. it’s un predictable .. it’s my all seasons dream compilation, recorded in SF , LA , Paris , Berlin , Beirut , London , Tel Aviv..
Where do you find inspiration for your words and subject matter?
In what I’m living, and other people’s lives ..
or sometimes it just starts with a good title.
Can you describe the process of how you wrote one of the tracks from the EP/Album?
The one with Steve Smyth is funny, it’s kind of an interlude, we wrote it while eating a big piece of meat, and recorded it direct around the table.
We are both into poetry so I leave you the pleasure of trying to understand the meaning of this track: Talking Lonely
You have also sung on big crossover hits such as Claptone – No Eyes. How do you see the importance of songs in electronic music, especially after the lack of melody in Tech House etc?
I think it’s good… there are more and more good singers into House Music… for a long time it was hard for me to be a singer, people were not happy to listen to me in the club. It was not normal. They made me get better and better… now with dOP we do 100 shows every year.
Who do you listen outside of Dance music?
A lot of hip hop..
But these days I’m into WILLIAM ONYEABOR
Where can people catch you (and dOP) live over the summer
Next dOP gig: vilanoura on july 24
IBIZA : august 4
saalburg : 9
gotha : 15
Every once and a while a bassline arrives that is so dark it runs tingles up and down your spine. Welcome to Luv Thang. The new ep from Alden Tyrell and label boss, Gerd is a relatively uncomplicated affair but one which will have you pushing the volume (up). Not sure if I prefer the Instrumental or the vocal version featuring Jessie Allen’s sassy voice intoning the title. But perhaps that’s simply down to the Instrumental option and the chance to hear that epic, rumbling bassline plus rapid-fire snares all on their own! Meanwhile, Girls Can’t Swim dispenses with any form of melody to deliver what can best be described as twisted Tech. The choice is all yours.
Damien and Clement aka dOP aka, the strangely apt, Aquarius Heaven return to the fold with the exquisitely produced Slow Love for Circus Company. Which not only sees shimmering keys chiming beautifully across punctuating beats, but also has Brian Brewster’s commanding vocals play alongside Miss Kitten’s evocative delivery. And you’ve got to love the opening line, ‘I’ve been in and out of love since 1988’! Undoubtedly first rate this inspired production pushes boundaries while feeling just that bit timeless. Three remaining tracks explore different avenues of Brian’s voice with the tense electro rhythms of Caloni working notably.
Soul Button feat. Stee Downes
In My Stride
Next in line from Underground Audio is this instantly pleasing production from Soul Button. Maybe it’s something to do with the new season but this puts you in mind of warmer climes, stiff drinks and electric dancefloors. Its high on atmosphere with warm pads and relaxed drums combing with Stee Downes enticing vocal on the Original version. Atapy then picks it up with energised bass giving the vocals more edge, leaving Habischmann to give the song a more melancholy backing which particularly suits the tone. Sasch BBC & Caspar finialise matters with the most urgent version that sets moody bass against perky beats to give the unhurried song yet another approach.
Sid Le Rock
Busted with a Bag of Bliss
My Favorite Robot Records
The fourth artist album from Sid Le Rock invites into his world of brooding electronics and breathy voices, or should that read tempts you? It’s one to lose yourself in and one whose textures prove to be richly rewarding, although we are talking introspection – less light, more shade. Much like Depeche Mode’s new album sounds appear out of nowhere to excite and envelop you as the soundtrack constantly evolves over the course of the event. It’s tempting to say that there are no real standouts on Busted with a Bag of Bliss because this journey deserves to be relished in full. However, just for the hell of it the haunting decadence of Foreign Love and the pulsating syncopation of the opening Here We Are win for me.
I guess it’s fair to say that this mix by Noir for Defected’s In The House series is pretty much on the money. And in ways it captures the essence of what’s going on in House music today. Now that we have the obvious benefit of hindsight with regards to roots and influences (real and distorted) it’s telling how much this selection touches upon sounds from the past as well as hitting tomorrows tone. Also worth noting just how contemporary Sandy Rivera ‘Changes’ from 2003 still sounds today and by the time it blends neatly into Noir’s own aptly titled ‘I’m Satisfied’ somewhere around the 30 minute mark the temperature has seriously intensified. The deeper moments are well represented and the dancefloor movements reach their peaks at various points throughout the journey, but what is always truly consistent is the sheer quality of music and vocals, plus the excellence of the mix itself. If further proof is needed then simply check the playlist which opens with dOP ‘Kisses’ and ends on Shlomi Aber ‘We Dont Fit’.
Just Be aka the new solo project of Matthew Bushwacka is a delicious way to start 2013. And after all the trimmings care of 2012 this production clearly points to the direction we want to be going. After The Storm, begins by building your expectations via deep, bass-heavy beats alongside edgy percussion and then adds in vocal touches and punchy piano chords to reach the next level on the ‘Up Mix’. The ‘Deep’ version follows with a more Cosmic feel to the synthesizers along with what sound like Flutes to accompany them. Next and finally, Out Of The System adds Techno notation together with staccato drums and more spine-tingling atmosphere for your heightened pleasure.
Watch: to accompany the release Frogspawn Creative have produced a video for ‘After The Storm’
Theo Parrish The Twin Cities EP Robsoul Recordings
As you can expect from Theo Parish this music is set to challenge you while making dance. Licensed to Robsoul from Rick Wade’s Harmonie Park the title track cleverly blends old-time Jazzy vibes with abrasive percussion to sound both exploratory and feel-good. Backed by a succession of mellow piano notes and punctuated by atmospheric stabs this strange blend binds together disparate elements while retaining an evocative mood that sits somewhere between melancholy reflection and a bizarre hint of Disco, or am I imagining that? But either way this is tempting, exceptional music. Second track, Dance Sing continues further down the path of your imagination with picturesque ideas played out over equally rough beats, which this time run to over fifteen minutes, yet never once feel uninspired.
Returning with their third release sister label Fixia compliment Jamie Anderson’s original Artform with these latest productions from London based artists Roberto and Nick Dubz. Comprised of two equally striking pieces of music, however, it’s The Blind Leading The Blind that hits a particularly resonate chord. Driven by deep pulsating, tribal drums and accompanied by hypnotic ambient repetition this moves beyond the dancefloor into somewhere else creating a unique mood with its own sense of sound and voice – a great composition. Visions, on the other hand feels that bit tougher, mainly because of the Techno bass, which along with brighter synths is a perkier, more energetic affair.
Mr G’s second album for Rekids sees the renowned producer continue his trademark theme of smoking beats and funky attitude to supply yet another winning formula. What I love here is the way that the music embraces technology yet retains a distinctly soulful element – State Of Flux couldn’t be a more apt title. Take the first track G’s Riddem which perfectly sums it all up: Thumping kick drums, heavy-duty bass, offset by treated timbale and emotive chords to produce a stunning, uplifting effect. The album then continues to fuse together a range of influences and styles, taking the best cues from House and Techno. From the brutal end of Pumped Up to the twisted Disco of Absurd Beatz No.4 this one journey that you won’t want to get off in a hurry.
The first label compilation for Magda, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle’s Berlin-based label ‘Items & Things’ is fittingly called Variables. Variable in so far as the imprint champions cutting-edge electronic music that’s neither afraid to get deep and nasty, or even comparatively subtle such as on Miro Pajic’s infectious intro: Love Love Love. What follows next is a selection from the aforementioned and the likes of Jimmy Edgar, Tomas More and Andy Martin plus a few newer artists. There’s plenty in the way of hot syncopated Disco action to get into here too, all with Items & Things distinctive twist of course. Try Howard Watson’s, Keep Away and Nyma’s, Brain Crunch plus the beyond comprehension: In The Mirror for size. Satisfaction guaranteed. release: July 13. Mixed CD version by Magda released July 29
Your Feelin’ undoubtedly references synth-pop with its fizzy keyboard lines and restrained European melodies, but also counter balances it all with subtle contemporary pads and punchy beats. And just to drive the point home an Acapella follows so you can judge the vocal for yourself, although this proves to be something quietly addictive the more you hear it. Title track, Kisses sounds more like what you would expect with deeper, moodier sounds playing off against intriguing vocals, and this time comes in vocal and instrumental versions.
The second release from Holic Trax sees Tuccillo deliver the title track House 19 in a blaze of House flavoured Techno that seeks to capture the spirit of 1988, and quite frankly succeeds – smiling faces all round. Eves Sky is next and gets deeper with provocative drums and deliciously moody bass, while teasing you with haunting voices and a killer arrangement. PercussHolic then invites into you into a creative play on instrumentation with its excellent combinations of beats and fiery percussion. These tracks appear on ltd 10” vinyl while the digital release features the added bonus of Dubao, whose addictive electronic rhythms become uplifting in the most pleasing way.
Benjamin Quint and Markus Schwarzbauer aka Bara Bröst deliver their second album for BBE and if you’re not already familiar with their unique sound then prepare yourself now. Quirky, lively and thoroughly excitable the music and words play with each other while seeking to let you in on the party. Having said that, this will either work for you or you may find it all not quite serious enough with titles such as Juicy Lady, My Mess and Tony Curtis (try the soundcloud link below). Despite the eager wordplay there are some fine \House and tech grooves which reveal themselves as on the instrumental Tiger Milk and as with everything else it all boils down to personal taste.
Franck Roger & Mandel Turner Through The Motions Real Tone Records
You may recognise the beats from the eighties but if they’re fresh to you then you can relive the excitement generated for new. Through The Motions goes through anything but that with smooth vocals feeling soulfully refreshing in the summertime, as layers of keys build up the tension on yet another rewarding release from the label. An excellent Dub version pays compliment by stripping back the voice to highlight the cool bassline and hot House groove.
Next single to be lifted from their self titled album Into The Night is accompanied by a typically hot video along with a series of excellent remixes courtesy of Prince Language, CFCF, Nicolas Jaar, Renaissance Man and Seth Troxler, Masomenos & Jaw. All of which you could simply say speaks for itself. Like them or love them, you know this is good already from hearing the album.