How did you team up to form 12 Stories and where did the name originate from?
We’ve know each other for a couple of years and made an EP as Inxec & Mark Jenkyns for Leftroom Recordings. 12 Stories is respectfully a totally different concept and we are trying to lay focus without and pre conception. The name comes from Chris trying to be clever.
Your excellent new release: Bright Lights on VIVa MUSIC features a striking vocal from Digitaria. How did that come about?
Mark & Daniella (Digitaria) had been talking about doing something, and the vocals that she had recently sent gave us the idea for Bright Lights.
Can you talk us through how you produced the track – including any favourite studio software/ hardware you like to use?
Not really it’s a secret.
Who would you say are your main influences both old and new?
Mark: One of my biggest influences is Matthew Jonson and to date, is still my favourite producer.
Chris: My Little Brother, he got me into making electronic and he’s the only person who truly tells me if my stuffs shit.
How do you feel about the current replaying of old sounds from the late 80’s/ early 90’s: positive or negative for Dance music?
Well if it’s done right. Then well done. Obviously a rave horn isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, my mum included. Marks mum is full on rave horn friendly.
What’s the story behind your current Night Obscure EP for Hot Creations? And where did the inspiration come from for that production?
This reverts back to us forming, and this being the first ep signed, was probably catalyst behind 12 Stories progressing and being BLESSED enough to sit here doing this interview…
Add the name Maceo Plex to almost anything at the moment and you can guarantee that it will be worth its weight in gold. This excellent production from his alter ego doesn’t disappoint either, and will be of distinct interest to those old enough to remember Bobby Konders classic The Poem from 1990 (featuring Mutaburuka’s timely spoken message). Typically building the tension until it pops The Poem builds up layers of looped, funky vocal along with dark, insistent instrumentation into one beautiful crescendo. Next up is his Revenge Remix of Walk Alone sounding crisper and Tech, though always funky with those trademark bass notes in evidence. To The Top rounds off exploring Techno aspects…
Great EP from James Pople who delivers two equally fine cuts for your pleasure. Who’s That Girl kicks off with nervous broken beats, emotive vocals and deep chords feeling soulful yet unsettling. Next and propelled by an uber funky bassline, slightly sleazy deadpan words and a quick-fire succession of punchy percussion, Say I Move You instantly captures your attention. What else is there to be said, this works! Remixes come from Miguel Puente who’s sassy, shuffling rhythms and taught bass add yet another quality to the title track. Inxec then gives it extra urgency with hypnotizing, vocal treatments and an array of electronic subtleties which once again transform it into something else.
More excellent music that fits right in with right now. You Promised comes drenched with Daniel Wilde’s smouldering vocal alongside a collection of superbly brooding, funky rhythms that are hard to escape from. A Dub follows to highlight more of the instrumental mood, while next track Gonzo feels that bit brighter with the inclusion of occasionally big synths and frisky beats. The remix come from Carola Pisaturo who’s rumbling bass and staccato drums are edgy, though tastefully evocative, with the addition of just the right amount of vocal hints. Leaving final track, Moments Of Truth to continue to combine intriguing ideas on rhythm and atmospheric sound.
Dancing & Losing Control EP
Wez provides two distinctive cuts for this Hype Muzik release. The A-Side is a curious combination of appealing old-school moods and perky organ lines which sound rather quirky, but then that’s the very likable quality here. The more imaginatively titled Dancing And Losing Control follows with tougher beats and bass, featuring early nineties piano and vocals that again get the thumbs up.
It’s hard to top the Larse reworking of Endless Feeling from the tail end of last year’s E.P from Gavin Herily. I mean not that the original was more than good enough (it was after all excellent) but this new version adds some extra fizz to the production for 2012. The array of impressive vocal treatments remains intact as indeed do the tension building guitar/ synth licks but Larse re-tweaks it all supplying energetic, shuffling hats and a choice pounding beat. Inxec and Shaun Reeves then replay Tell Me What You Need by perking up the drums and evolving the sounds into a blissful climax, while Geddes hits home with a heavy-duty bass driven 928 version that shimmers distinctively with funky percussion and emotive electronics. 8
Lawnchair Generals ’Don’t Stop’ Lazy Days Recordings
Not only does this reference a personal Disco favourite but also screams syncopation is King and/ or indeed Queen. Produced by Peter Christianson and Carlos Mendoza this Hi-Nrg trip down memory lane is nothing less than excitement personified, although this time with added punch, fresh synth and a faster tempo. Try the Original or the Dub which has extra chords and drums for satisfaction most definitely guaranteed. Rob Mello’s No Ears Mix reconstructs everything bar a touch of voice and neatly transforms it into deeper tech styled intrigue. 8
Pulp Disco & The Outcasts ‘Witches’ Legendary Sound Research
Following on from Overnight To Dusseldorf on Ashley Beedle’s Out Hear Audio comes this smoothly pulsating and rather fabulous exercise in Cosmic/ Disco/ House (definitely not a genre but certainly a cool clash of ideas). Sensibly paced and augmented by tasty percussion throughout this blends together sassy euro-syncopation with a timely House chord sequence and breathy voices impressively, leaving The Legendary 1979 Orchestra to rework the elements with hats to the fore and additional off-kilter keys. Second track Rimini (Estasi Dell Amore) feels even better getting sleazy with nasty synths and a climatic arrangement that oozes European appeal, and then some more… 8
Sandman & Riverside feat ft. Kymberli Wright ‘It’s Too Late’ Fast FWD Records
The Original version of It’s Too Late combines a powerful sparing of percussion played intently with Jazz in mind alongside heavy Rhodes and notable scat vocals. And as truly impressive as it that all sounds (and is), for me Ron Trent once again provides the icing to the cake. Intensity is the middle name here as an array of rhythms envelope you in a series of dance reference points that score equally high on passion and imagination. The Dub proceeds to play around with the gorgeous instrumentation paying perfect compliment. KZR then strip it all back to highlight more voice on their Late Night Dub with a neat Reprise taking care of the rest. 9
Alter Ego Nolan’s instantly appealing production sounds like it was recorded in the hot sunshine on a sandy beach somewhere in the Med. I know it’s only February but who’s counting. Out soon on NYC’s sister label to the seminal Nurvous imprint this is based around a familiar, though not obvious, party-time piano loop with competing vocal edits and thumping beats all vying for your attention. However the HXU aka Huxley vs Timo Garcia remix is an altogether more sober affair: dropping the mood, feeling deeper, more soulful and is sublimely fine. Cocktails at dawn. 8
Jon Sweetname ‘Dulce Amor’ (Remixes) Loco Records Supreme
Love the Touchan remix of this track from Barcelona’s Jon Sweetname precisely because it delivers the unexpected. Which in this case is a slightly sinister bassline aided by a whirring vocal loop and creative electronics all of which create an unsettling, though thoroughly enticing mood. The Martin Nowakowski follows with yet more imaginative touches and treatments on his slightly more ‘up’ feeling version. Something a bit different and therefore clearly worth your time. 8