Seems like a long time since I reviewed a record by Miguel Migs, not so long by Jimpster who remixes this late night gem beautifully capturing the essence of hard, smoky funk in all its resplendent glory. The edge is likewise carved by the retention of the sampled voice talking about the matter at hand echoing sentiments which will chime with most as the drums, bass and smouldering keys all work their indelible magic. Complimented by Miguel Migs own Moody Touch Rework which transforms the original tempo while adding hot sauce to the grooves this new version provocatively simmers with anticipation.
Soul Sway â€˜Don’t Step Down EP’ Savoir Faire Musique
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 2Â 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
Karol XV II & MB Valence â€˜Vintage Box (Remixes)’ Loco Records
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 â€˜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.Â This only leaves a flawless Shur-i-kan to rework Rusty Piano and steal the show with killerÂ ivory and moody undercurrents that leave you no choice… 9
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.Â 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
James Silk â€˜Sweet TurningÂ Sherbet EP’ Form & Function
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
Miguel Migs feat. Capleton â€˜The System’ Om Records
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 offÂ with heavy bass and the space to highlight Capleton’s big voice delivery. 8
You explore various styles working with different vocalists on your current album. Are there any particular standout tracks for you?
IÂ enjoy all of the songs for different reasons, and depending on my mood.. a couple that stand out for me would be “Tonight” featuring the sultry and lovely voice of Meshell Ndegeocello… and the nu-disco infused “Everybody” featuring the legendary Evelyn “Champagne” King…
Â What can we expect to hear next from your own label Salted Music?
Salted is just somethingÂ I started for kicks, so we try and just have fun with it.. to release dance music of different styles from up and coming producers as well as established artists… and we have all sorts of cool singles on the horizon… a new one from Lisa Shaw as well as the next flavor savers ep in our series that features various artists.
Â How do feel about House music in 2011 compared with when you first started to produce/ DJ?
Well, of course the 90’s was a bit different than today, especially the technology aspect of making music.
Everyone has their own opinion and take on it so to each their own andÂ I respect that, not to get overly nostalgic here but for me it was a little more exciting and inspiring in the 90’s when the music and scene was a bit more fresh and had more of a positive and communal underground vibe over all… its still there andÂ I still enjoy it, its just changed a lot obviously and become more common place within pop culture…Â I still just try and have fun with it and create music thatÂ I enjoy inspired by all different styles thatÂ I like.
IÂ have always been more inspired by the deeper, soulful, funky, disco, dubby and musical stuff and thats obvious within my albums…Â I love music in general and all styles of music soÂ I gravitate more towards the musical and melodic sounds.. there is some really nice stuff out there at the moment and alot of very well produced tracks, technology has come a long way…
Â Tell us about your Dj’ing style: Vinyl or digital, how do you like to approach a set?
Of course every label sends out digital promos these days, soÂ I have been playing all CD’s for awhile now, with the occasional all vinyl sets which are fun…Â I never pre-think about my sets.Â I just simply show up with my book of music and spontaneously create a mood and vibe and see where it goes.. its always a little bit of an experimental and that keeps it exciting and fun to me.
Â What are you listening to at home?
IÂ have always listened to alot of dub and classic rock, as well as some soul and some indie stuff… stuff like The Stones, Hendrix, Prince, Steely Dan, Erykah Badu, Black Keys, Burning Spear, Tribe Called Quest, and the list goes on and on and on….
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.
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Miguel Migs â€˜Outside The Skyline’ Om Records/ Salted Music
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 â€˜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
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.
Nachtbraker â€˜Schwung Ep’ Deep Edition Recordings
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.