Listening to some Jazz on radio recently I was reminded about the sheer power that can be harnessed by simple piano chords. The organic nature of which it would be good to hear a lot more of, and soon. Such indeed as the opening bars contained in the title track of this new EP from Shur-I-Kan who conspires to infuse this excellent production with all manner of emotive notes and signatures that all at once fizz with atmosphere plus excitable energy. Or, to restate: this is music that transcends trends, defining its own space like a cross between the cinematic and classical, eventually contrasted by the sleazier intention of syncopated Hi-Energy basslines. All Things In Their Rightful Place, follows and again employs a vibrant range of motifs from African to Disco and beyond. Leaving, Kermits Lodge to complete with another tour de force in terms of musicality painting pictures, teasing out ever expanding rhythms. Positive perfection.
Hovering around your radar – or he certainly should be – Jesus Pablo now delivers on his promise with these excellent remixes of Don’t Step Down. Eloquently embracing the funk with cool bass technique and strident keys the led version of the title track deftly simmers with tension, then adds some more. The DJ Congo Tool of Round 2 follows with stereo wide percussion, slap bass and an unexpected arrangement leaving the remix of Think to impressively explore piano aspects and devilishly smart hats. 9
release: 27 February 2012
Three tracks featured in the Vintage Box series for Loco now receive the remix treatment and feel all the more vital for it. First up is Aki Bergan’s Future Jazz Band Remix of Tribute and I couldn’t have put it better myself. Jazz tones clash with contemporary electronica care of fuzzy bass notes while smooth electric piano chords play off more tense improvised sequences and are all joined together by ‘You got to move’ vocals. The Pezzner Remix of Crowded House gets darker in a House vein that splendidly warps together keys and exploding Toms into a heightened climax. This only leaves a flawless Shur-i-kan to rework Rusty Piano and steal the show with killer ivory and moody undercurrents that leave you no choice… 9
release: 27 February on Beatport
Gabrielle Carasco & Renè
‘One Way EP’
I wasn’t sure about The Piano on first listen but hearing it again in the bright winter sunshine it suddenly all makes perfect sense. Initially it seemed doubtful how the classical piano crescendos worked over pounding beats, the slightly awkward feeling hi-hats and acid undertones, but then again – in the right time, in the right place. Jazzy proceeds to hit the sombre notes that fire up the imagination in ways that only Jazz does while its rewarding journey through sound testifies like cool cinema. Brain, opens with a set of chords to pull on your heartstrings in ways which only Deep House can do and feels either like the start of the night or its beautiful ending. Passengers renders undulating Techno stabs in its original form and also on Kerri Chandler’s Mix which gives it a punchier percussion twist aided by additional improvised keys- love that railway station sample too. 8
Released: 19 March. Traxsource exclusive
Debut release from this brand new label whose Form & Function sounds like a great theory. Love the opening Sweet Spot’s new-wave bassline that not only brings back good memories but is then whisked impressively up to now with mood inducing pads and strangely familiar sounding vocal edits. Great track for starters. Orange Sherbet continues with intriguing Tech notation, while Turning Over kills you with an epic bassline and a daring Boogie sample which is as serious as anything else I’ve turned up loud this week. 8
release: 29 February
Lifted from Migs recent album, Outside The Skyline and boasting a diverse selection of versions – including Mad Professor no less! – The System plays like the summer has arrived early. The album mix bounces along niftily with the full vocals blaring out and is playfully complimented by the Petalpusher Salted Disco Dub which strips it all down to electro fizz and gorgeous echo. Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza then hypnotically sets the controls somewhere in between while the said Professor does it all over again with sounds drenched in reverb et all. Try his Dub Version 1 for lessons in bliss. Rob Paine finishes off with heavy bass and the space to highlight Capleton’s big voice delivery. 8
release: 27 February
“The System” with an EXLUSIVE Free Download from Mad Professor http://miguelmigs.com/featured/the-system/
Dark Energy has no mission statement – it’s essentially a vehicle for Barry (Milton Jackson) and I to have creative control over our music. It sort of evolved to include other artists but it’s a very ramshackle organisation I think essentially I keep it going because I enjoy writing our facile promo texts. That said we are the only house label that I’m aware of that has our own strategic space program. A guy in the US who makes rockets contacted us and asked to use the name and logo on a rocket he built – as we are massive geeks we said yes of course – and to be honest thats pretty much the only justification we need for the label.
How did you originally hook with up with Lazy Days and how did this single come about?
I worked with Fred before with the Simply Yes EP back a few years ago. Fred has real love and enthusiasm for the scene and it’s great to work with someone who cares about the music. You need someone who can get excited about your music, it’s easy even for the most established artists to sit in a studio and fret about whether your latest track is ‘good enough’, relevant etc, so to have that feedback is important. There’s not much money in retailing recorded music at this level, so you better have the love!
Do you have a favourite piece of studio equipment/ instrument that you like to use?
Not really, I own a Fender Rhodes of which I am fond of but I lent that to a very talented keyboardist friend of mine a few years back and I’ve yet to get it back! 🙂 One day!! Till then I work 99% in the box. Dull but true. I recently moved into a new studio so the temptation to fill it full of equipment will no doubt increase.
How do you feel about the vinyl vs. digital debate?
It’s a bit boring. I say, each to their own. Fundamentally people choose vinyl because they value the esoteric qualities over the convenience of digital. That’s their personal choice. Myself I take convenience because I’m a very busy person. I’ll buy vinyl if I have to or if I want to own the packaging, but it will end up digitised either way.
How do you approach Dj’ing and what for you makes a good Dj?
It’s quite simple – I pick tunes I like that I think will work in a club environment and play them in a sequence that I think will work well. Some sequences are more successful than others, but that’s where experience comes in. I try to balance between what people expect from coming to see me and also to introduce some new sounds that I may be into to keep things fresh. The main thing is never to bore yourself, that’s why I don’t play every weekend I’d get bored quickly.
I liked MGMT’s last album, Congratulations. The care-free, breezy melodies reminded me of fun times in the seventies and naming one song after Brian Eno also has to be a definite plus. You could say this 10th anniversary selection for Late Night Tales (one of the best compilations around by far) continues the theme by focusing on what influenced that same album. You get everything from melancholy to sheer intensity or to put that in band terms you get Suicide, Velvet Underground and Durutti Column, along with a range of equally pivotal artists and songs. You also get an exclusive version by MGMT of Bauhaus, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and if you can handle the sorrow Dave Bixby’s late sixties, and somewhat self-explanatory ode, Drug Song. Don’t know about saving the best for last but always pays to pay attention to Paul Morely as he reads from the self-penned, Lost For Words it somehow feels strangely fitting. 9.
released 3 Oct 2011
You know you must be onto something when you listen to the first track on an album twice in a row. So here’s hoping that one of my favourite producers – star of Naked Music- lives up to expectations. And just looking at the credits you see the names Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Bebel Gilberto and with the exquisite Lisa Shaw amongst many other notables prospects are obviously good. But then you just know this is going to be excellent, don’t you. From the down tempo Funk to up-tempo House – and by that I mean quality – this his third studio album never fails but to deliver a wealth of inspiration. You’ll love all the reference points and influences which come together under Migs’s school of exceptional production. Freddie McGregor even makes a welcome appearance on, They Don’t Know and just about every style worthwhile is represented with Georg Levin’s soulful tones finishing in heavenly fashion. 9
released 20 Spt 2011
Is staying in the new going out? Couldn’t care less about the answer to that one, give us music like this and we’re happy. There’s no easy way to tell you this, but main track Staying In is f**king excellent. It touches neatly upon the classic House cut-up technique which when it works it works just like this. Explosive, joyous, uplifting are words to go…Second track, Life Live is a typically deep Shur-I-Kan production though eminently danceable whereas One Ten eases down the tempo into a luscious piano-led journey back to the nineties. Nice. 9
released Beatport 20 Sept 2011. everywhere else 4 Oct.
Amsterdam producer Maurits Verwoerd makes his second appearance on the label with this striking set of three tracks. Ad Rem kicks off in blistering fashion with an up-tempo foray into Tech related House that keeps the genre moving forward. An inventive production for sure this twists off-kilter keys against thumping beats and works a treat. Schwung, follows with a deep sub-based groove which again throws up aural surprises on its way, while Warmloper picks up the pace with open hats and warm pads until the chords progress onto the payoff. 8
release Beatport 3 Oct 2011. everywhere else from 17 Oct.