Kicking of the first of three tracks for Archie Hamilton’s tasty Moscow Records is the title track, Fill Callings. The first word here is Jamaica as its deep, pounding bassline sequences that heritage firmly into the punchy rhythms generated by the drums, plus a succession of stabs of various twists and turns. The Premiesku member Floog remixes by exciting the groove with more intense beats and bass, adding a rugged yet breathless quality to the number. Chaboi, then digs deeper via chugging House basslines coupled with an uncomplicated, direct arrangement of sounds, leaving the more robust Anak to take off once again via its sizzling hi-hats and more playful keys.
Launching themselves into 2017 with just the sort of typical flair you would except from the two producers (and label) this new four track EP does all you desire (then a bit more). Origin 99 soon takes hold of the airwaves care of a riveting, direct funkiness that repeats its signature commandingly over a brisk percussion loop. One Two Five, hits next and is all about the bassline which is once again augmented by some sassy percussion and accompanying keyboard chimes. Then the aptly titled, Prowler feels more dangerous with nervy synth lines caressing dark Acid basslines, leaving the freer rhythms of Blood Moon to establish an irresistibly funky sensation as gritty stabs clash with Latin styled percussive elements. All too hot to handle.
Release: February 24 (Vinly) and March 10 (Digital) 2017.
Can you tell us about how you first got into Dance music and your memories of the scene in Japan at that time?
I grow up with Underground US House in Osaka, that time there was strong culture of this kind of house music there. At that time I was working & Dj’ing at small underground club which was called “Club Flatt”, I met a lot of great & beautiful people there. I was very lucky to see & share the decks with a lot of great names such us Larry Heard, Ron Trent, Jovonn, Theo Parish, Moodyman, Francois K, Joe Claussell there. That time was one of the most important time for my DJ Career.
How would you compare arriving in London in 2004 to what clubbing is like now in 2014?
When I arrived in London, there were more clubs and no many warehouse parties then. Now people like to go to secret venue or private party ,it is also great vibe but I hope more great new clubs are coming up and more nice people come to clubs too!
You launched Holic Trax in 2012 with Mr.G’s ‘Danceholic’s EP’. How would you describe the development of the label musically, alongside its ethos, sincethen?
I sometime try to not think too much about music style of holic trax. Some of my mate has told me that direction of record label should be more organic, you go where you feel, I think it is great answer. We do not need to follow the hype, maybe one day the hype will catch what we doing LOL.
The label’s latest release is from Sierra Sam ‘Sage EP’ containing a remix by you. Can you talk us through the process of how you produced the remix?
Sierra Sam’s studio is 1 min from my house so super easy to pop there and he has a lot of great hard gears. We played & enjoyed with these machine together and I brought back this project to my studio to edit & some more work. Just it, pretty simple process. He is lovely guy so I am comfortable when I am at his studio, I think it is one of the most important thing for collaboration.
What do you look for when you sign a track to the label? Does it matter whether the artist has a profile or not?
No matter if they have a profile or not. Nice groove on beats, dope bass line & emotional melody on the top, just it! Be simple.
One thing I could say is I prefer unique sounds than perfect quality sounds.
How would you describe living in Berlin?
I think Berlin is not big city like London or Tokyo but each people and culture is very unique & friendly.
I could say this city is very underground which means they have got own style and do not mind the fashion a lot.
You still see many of funny looking guys around my house lol
Can you tell us about your project with Tuccillo: Doublet, and any forthcoming plans?
We are very good friend and always having fun at studio, also both of us has good old House music behind our history, this is Doublet. We are exciting about our forthcoming plans for next year,so many bombs are ready to go. I am sure you will love these music, wait for 2015!
Where can people hear you play in the coming months?
I will come to play in London for NYE and also you can catch me in ITALY,BERLIN,JAPAN etc… See you then!
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.
Human Mystery kicks off this excellent release from Leftroom by combining ultra-funky breaks with an uber squelchy bassline that does little else bar rock. There are subtleties in the production too as the arrangement ultimately develops into a shuffling electro groove with atmospheric synth lines lending this a distinctly unique quality. Pezzner provides the remix by way of an alternative b-line that feels tastefully dark alongside the f***ked up voices and sizzling hi-hats. Next, Pick Em Up engages in self-fulfilling prophecy with twisted vocals and pounding rhythms feeling funky and industrial, and this again develops the theme into some creative surprises. The title track proceeds to get marginally deeper with classic House bass and energetic percussion firing it all up, as Pezzner’s second remix relies on chopped up keys and moody pads to provide another oblique angle. 9
Willie Graff & Tuccillo Phonomontage EP Freerange Records
Time for the third EP from Willie Graff & Tuccillo for Freerange and it will come as no surprise that this again pushes all the right buttons. Set Me Free kicks off as they mean to go on by replaying a classic Disco loop, this time it’s pitched to mid-tempo, which is then excitedly filtered leaving the vocal to repeat into ecstasy against a notably rasping bass. Get It On speeds up for dancefloor action with another familiar sample reworked over sassy percussion and punctuated snares. Lunar Feelings completes with, as the title would suggest, the most intriguing cut from the EP blending pulsating organ chords together with funky rhythms and sumptuous atmospheres, which it has to be said conjure up a treat. 8
Manchester-based producer Angus Jefford once again strikes the thoughtful balance between classic and contemporary sounds that artistically reference the past without boring you to death by it. Which is a roundabout way of saying his latest production for MK/ Scottie Deep’s Say Ahh is a killer. I love all the influences and the way they are shaping music right now, but also how the sounds are progressed and twisted into today. Both versions of Bumpin’ lay testament to that with pulsating organ bass notes and deep beats feeling very addictive peaking at an incendiary breakdown. Fever Fever follows sounding fresh with invigorating electronics, leaving The Culture to finish by playing splashing hats against heavy-duty basslines and simmering keys, all of which is best described as explosive. More please. 9
Darabi & Tim Paris Various Items 2 Items And Things
Berlin based Items And Things forge ahead with another striking release which sees both Darabi and Tim Paris deliver tracks on the labels thirteenth release. The former has, Player setting sinister voices against a hypnotic backdrop of robotic beats and dark bass. The later gives you, Too Close with Sex Judas. Which feels delightfully sleazy over Chicago inspired sounds that reward all that European influence by joining the dots between the 80’s and now. You’ve got to love it. 9
The Headhunters Survival Of The Fittest/ Straight From The Gate R2 Records
Don’t you just love re-issues. Leaving the vinyl vs. digital debate aside this series from R2 Records is something to get very excited about as past classics are re-mastered and repackaged for 2012, and beyond. But most importantly of course is the music and what finer way to start than with two gems from The Headhunters. Their first without Herbie Hancock (whose seminal debut is still seminal, although produced by him) opens with God Make Me Funky and continues the journey that began to explore the possibilities of Jazz/ Funk fusion. The follow-up, Straight From The Gate proceeds as the series releases two albums from each artist and if anything gets all the more cosmic in scope by reaching for the edges that bands like Steely Dan also gravitated towards. Dexterity is always assured whatever your preference may be and both these albums could no doubt be described as essential in any language. 9
Thelma Jones Thelma Jones Big Break Records/ Sony Music
Released just over ten years after her first single, The House That Jack Built (also sung by Aretha Franklin) Thelma Jones’ debut album features a few well known covers such as I Second That Emotion and Now That We’ve Found Love. While undoubtedly possessing a beautiful voice the music feels a touch too middle of the road at times – though I guess that may depend on how adult you feel. Although, on How Long the sheer emotion of the vocal delivery and accompanying mid-tempo groove combine to perfection, and the album is worth buying for this experience alone. In a similar vein is the Brad Shapiro produced You’re A Song (That I Can’t Stop Singing) with its timely soulful melodies and generated sense of longing that couldn’t feel more personal. 9