Whilst a little different to what we normally post, we agreed that this track is simply perfect for lazy Sundays. Vondelpark - a trio coming out of London have continued to increase their profile in 2011, and seem almost destined to follow in the footsteps of James Blake and The xx to super stardom. ‘Camels,’ from their recently released sophomore EP, nyc stuff and nyc bags is a lovely dreamy track. The beat shows glimpses of their UK Garage influences, coupled with R’n’B-ish vocals, to create something both evocative and relaxing. With Pitchfork and NME (not that anyone really takes the latter seriously) hyping these guys, it’s surely only a matter of time before they find broader success.
Dark Star (formerly The Boogaloo Crew) are a three-piece production team coming out of London (where else). The hype surrounding them has grown in the past few months, with a recent XLR8R podcast, and now their Radius EP has dropped. Released on Modeselektor’s 50weapons imprint, this EP is big, with four solid OG’s. Opener ‘Speeding Blue’ is our pick simply for its dance-floor potential, skittering along with thumping bass, and rave vibes on top. No doubt any good DJ will include this in their arsenal - and if they don’t? make ‘em.
A little while ago we posted the lead track to Nightwave’s still-fresh EP for Svetlana, and even more recently we posted a Hot City remix of Capracara. For those who can’t be arsed going back to the archives, we mentioned that Nightwave would be putting out a new EP for Unknown to the Unknown. While there still isn’t any information on that EP, U.T.T.U sneakily posted up one of its tracks. (albeit in ‘radio rip’ form). Think machine-like synths and surgical rhythms darting all over the place to the point where one of ‘em could possibly kill you… and then that sample comes along and brings the whole robotic madness to a halt. Words can’t express our excitment at the prospect of this EP. Watch this space.
About a month ago, Montreal-based Drew Kim and Brendan Neal released the somewhat quietly-received City Wind EP for Templar Sound. However, they’ve struck back with Droptop, a big sophomore EP for Silverback. While City Wind grabbed a handful of like-minded environments and fashioned them into one greater whole, Droptop itself remains subdued - yet focused, in comparison. ‘Move On Through’ features cut up samples emanating the joys of touching and feeling, that are soon engulfed in a hybrid of celestial melodies, sharp synth blips and acid throwbacks. If this EP (and their recent refixes) are anything to go by, there’s a good chance these guys will blow up big time before year’s end.
Deadboy is without doubt one of the biggest names in the UK Funky scene, with his signature sound that he’s developed over the past few years. After a series of big tracks in 2010, he dropped his second (official) release, Here on Numbers back in May. Trying to find a standout amongst the three tracks is like trying to find an intelligent Borgore quote - an impossible task. Rubbish Dubstep aside, ‘Here 4 U’ is a ridiculously catchy tune, and has duly been implanted in our brains the past few months. The signature Deadboy percussion, accompanied by that repetitive Beyonce vocal (yes that actually is her), topped off with bouncy square-rave synths, makes for a track that is simply beyond good. We’re going to add this and the rest of the EP to the ever growing ‘track of 2011’ list, and shit if the world does end next year, lets just hope Deadboy has released another EP by then.
Let’s go back to 2008: video artist James Connolly (aka L-Vis 1990) decides to book Drop the Lime for his recently-started So Loud party, long after running a DnB night with Mumdance. Sometime after the show with Drop the Lime, Connolly comes up with the Baltimore-via-London ‘Change the Game.’ Grime selector Alex Sushon (aka Bok Bok) comes across the track on Connolly’s Myspace and hits it off with Connolly after a few online chats, resulting in Connolly booking Sushon for another party. After a few months, Connolly moves down to London, cementing his professional relationship with Sushon – thus spawned the beast that would be Night Slugs.
Change the Game by L-Vis 1990 [Tres Cool, 2008]
Ripe Banana by Bok Bok [Dress 2 Sweat, 2009]
Slowly gaining its foot in the door with Night Slugs (the club night), Connolly and Sushon started off Night Slugs (the label) with a bang in January 2010 – the first salvo? Mosca’s ‘Square One.’ For its first release, ‘Square One’ and its flipside, ‘Nike,’ accurately conjure up a free-for-all pretense-less neon landscape, the kind of atmosphere one would notice from the label and the club nights: grabbing at several ‘disparate’ influences from within dance music (keeping in line with Night Slugs’ genre-defying aesthetic) and blending the entire package into one smoother product without losing focus or the dancefloor’s attention the whole way through.
Square One (Rip) by Mosca [Night Slugs, 2010]
Square One VIP by Mosca [Night Slugs, 2010]
Following Mosca’s global bombast, Connolly and Sushon then shone the spotlight on two budding producers from separate coasts: one Toronto-based David Psutka (known as Egyptrixx) and London-hailing Philip Gamble (donning the alias Girl Unit.) Whilst both were no strangers to the scene (Egyptrixx already had EPs for Idiot House and Ramp to his name before then and Girl Unit had joined forces with the Night Slugs crew back in the party days), their respective ‘The Only Way Up’ and ‘IRL’ signified their grand ‘welcomes’ to club music. Somehow Night Slugs’ moodier side – the pensive house tinges of the former and the latter’s dirty orchestral boom – managed to leave people hungry for more, bringing the two to prominence and pushing the envelope once again.
The Only Way Up by Egyptrixx [Night Slugs, 2010]
IRL by Girl Unit [Night Slugs, 2010]
Everybody Bleeding by Egyptrixx [Night Slugs, 2010]
The beast then rode forth once again in August with Lil Silva in tow – the man himself had already made a big impression on the scene for sculpting Musical Mob’s ‘Pulse X’ into a creature of a different kind the year before, so the pairing definitely made a lot of sense. Not straying too far from his bag of tricks, Lil Silva delivered the hard-hitting ‘Night Skanker,’ possessing some rather warm synths alongside hard-hitting yet slinky percussion, a couple of months after a ‘hushed’ white-label with a B-side that probably did a lot more damage than ‘Night Skanker’ could (if it hadn’t already blown club foundations clean.)
Golds to Get by Lil Silva [Night Slugs, 2010]
No Hooks by Lil Silva [Night Slugs, 2010]
With its reputation already solidified, the camp then strutted forth with two extremely ‘sensual’ EPs: L-Vis 1990’s ‘Forever You’ and the Velour ‘Collection,’ bookending one of its most hyped-up salvos, Kingdom’s ‘That Mystic.’ Connolly’s debut EP for the camp marked a rather drastic change from the producer who’d created ‘Change the Game’ and ‘United Groove,’ recruiting Javeon McCarthy (aka Shadz) to add a layer of his buttery vocals to a hybrid of slippery house synths and funky percussion for the lead track, evoking a dreamy equivalent of the British Warehouse in the process. However, Julio Bashmore and Hyetal, hiding under the ‘worst kept secret’ known as Velour, made no hesitations to be as blatantly sleazy as possible, conjuring sexualised G-funk synth house concoctions without a single trace of outright cheesiness. Meanwhile, Ezra Rubin (aka Kingdom) was drafting plans in a small Brooklyn studio to create UK club music’s more sinister twin in the form of five well-seasoned club slayers, with ‘Mind Reader’ already doing its job on the people (and preparing them for bigger missives.)
Bust Broke by Kingdom [Night Slugs, 2010]
Scent of Romance by Velour [Night Slugs, 2010]
Forever You (feat. Shadz) by L-Vis 1990 [Night Slugs, 2010]
However, come October, the previous eight missiles already unleashed by Connolly and Sushon would be overshadowed by a much bigger monster and, not surprisingly, Night Slugs’ biggest ‘hit’ – Girl Unit’s ‘Wut.’ While Gamble had already won over the bass-head congregation with ‘IRL,’ the track that summoned the spirits of rave and Dirty South rap into one destructive combo already had heads scrambling into position after the Youtube rips scuttled forth, preparing for its eventual arrival. Ask any London kind about ‘Wut’ and they’ll probably tell you about the several rewinds and reloads this track has gone through… look around and you’d see barely a trace of any disgraceful remixes. However, fast-forward to June 2011: Claude vonStroke decided to take matters into his own hands, respectfully tailoring the OG’s Southern bass rave into an ever-shifting beast.
Wut by Girl Unit [Night Slugs, 2010]
Wut (Claude vonStroke’s “Butt Naked” Remix) by Girl Unit [Night Slugs, 2011]
Connolly and Sushon then gathered the whole camp and their closest friends for a snapshot of the first year under the first volume of ‘Night Slugs Allstars,’ before closing out the first year of Night Slugs on a summery high – Jam City’s heavy ‘Magic Drops.’ Whilst Jack Latham (aka Jam City) had already made his wax debut reworking Endgames’ ‘Ecstasy’ into a more urgent half-time ripper (whilst refitting DJ Deeon into a cleaner rhythm framework and stripping DJ Bone of it) a couple of months earlier, the curtain call for 2010 under Night Slugs seemed fitting with Latham’s glossy synth slides and bright, slightly AM gold-like leads of ‘Magic Drops’ providing the soundtrack. However, the track barely signified what was to come the following year…
(Baby, I Don’t Know) What You Want by Jacques Greene [Night Slugs, 2010]
Magic Drops by Jam City [Night Slugs, 2010]
Arpjam by Jam City [Night Slugs, 2010]
After a couple of months’ break, the doors were open again in March this year: what came forth was (yet) another sneaky white label. The culprit this time? David Kennedy (aka Ramadanman, aka Pearson Sound, aka Maurice Donovan.) This time round, in a vein not unlike Jam City’s earlier refix platter, Kennedy reworked Rod Lee’s classic “Let Me See What You Working With” for the modern club whilst slimming Hardrive’s “Deep Inside” into a more minimalist state… what does this lead to? Since it’s Ramadanman we’re talking about…
Let Me See What You Workin’ With (Pearson Sound Refix) by Rod Lee [Night Slugs, 2011]
Deep Inside (Pearson Sound Refix) by Hardrive [Night Slugs, 2011]
When all was said and done (and subs were damaged after feeding those tunes through them), Psutka once again rode forth, his debut LP tucked under his sleeve. However, with ‘Liberation Front’ being the only clue we were given prior to discovering the LP’s details, our guesses of what direction Psutka would undertake would be as good as anyone else’s. Pleasantly enough, ‘Bible Eyes’ brought fourth a glacial age to the ‘neon’ landscape without succumbing to outright depression, with trademark NS ‘bright’ synth motifs shaded in with darker hues, ‘futuristic’ percussion twisting and knotting themselves over their traditional counterparts and melodies that were distant, melancholy and catchy taking place of the pensive tropical business present on ‘The Only Way Up.’
Chrysalis Records (feat. Trust) by Egyptrixx [Night Slugs, 2011]
Rooks Theme by Egyptrixx [Night Slugs, 2011]
Despite co-running the label and having a few productions already out in the wild, the lack of material present from Sushon on his own imprint seemed a little bit ‘off’ to some: enter stage right, ‘Southside.’ Sushon went off in two separate directions: (re)discovering ancient grime weapons that were collecting dust since their ‘01 prime on one end whilst snagging a couple of 303s and 80s house boxes at the other, eventually crafting the brittle, abrasive glory of ‘Silo Pass’ and the menacing stomp of ‘Hyperpass.’ Both tracks harked back to distant eras that everyone was grabbing little dusty pieces of, yet simultaneously they fit snugly as puzzle pieces for the uncategorizable House of Club.
Hyperpass by Bok Bok [Night Slugs, 2011]
Silo Pass by Bok Bok [Night Slugs, 2011]
Latham, having settled from the bright slides of ‘Magic Drops,’ was up next on the unveiling table: what he brought to the table was a notch darker than what we had previously heard (even though ‘2 Hot’ might have hinted at such a nature.) ‘Waterworx’ in itself was a multi-faceted weapon: ‘Aqua Box’ was a torpedo of cold Detroit waves blanketed with a surgical nature, whilst ‘Countess’ took the best bits of 80s nostalgia channeled through primetime and MTV into a smoky morsel. On the other hand, ‘Barely a Trak’ left much to the imagination until its alien-like inversion at half-time, a trick within a trick.
Barely a Trak by Jam City [Night Slugs, 2011]
Countess by Jam City [Night Slugs, 2011]
Whilst the year has barely ended, it seems very likely Connolly and Sushon have more up their sleeves - we’ve heard distant whispers on more releases by Bok Bok, Kingdom, Jam City and Girl Unit, while Connolly is guarding his debut full-length for PMR in a London apartment. Besides the immediate Night Slugs fam, who knows who else Connolly and Sushon will welcome to the fold? Regardless of the ever-shifting pattern and nature of Night Slugs, ‘club’ music is all the better for its existence.
If you ever decide to ‘Google’ Maxi Mill, chances are 95% of the results you’ll get will be related to machinery and roller-mills… and some robot. In other words - the information on this (elusive) producer? Nada. All we know is that he helped Tom Trago out on a few of his morerecent slabs (and that this particular cut is on Trago’s Voyage Direct curatorial for Rush Hour.) Regardless of the cloak of mystery that surrounds Mr. Mill, ‘To The Next' bursts at the seams with big summer vibes. The throbbing synths that float over plunging bass lines, with an occasionally-indecisive (yet ridiculously infectious) 4/4 rhythm, whilst synth blips evade capture throughout the track, making it one hell of a track to lose yourself to on the floor or sitting poolside with a drink.
If you haven’t heard 93 Million Miles - then there’s a strong possibility you’ve been living in a cave the past few months. Places of residence aside, It’s one of the best LP’s we’ve heard in recent memory, and is both eccentric and varied in its sound. The two men behind it, Mark Pritchard and Steve Spacek are both well known names in the global Electronic music scene in their own right, with a number of releases between them. ‘Light The Way’ has a relaxed vibe, with a deep bassline, and memorable vocals accompanying it. 93 Million Miles is available through Warp now, buy it digitally, on Vinyl, or on CD - just make sure you get it!
Okay, okay. We know Well Rounded put it out last year… we also know the man himself released ‘Mecha' (also worth a cop) a couple of months back, but whatever - ‘Hold it Down’ still brings forth major damage to the floors (and the Generic People ‘office’) in 2011. You don’t hear many tunes that are packed with this much soul and melancholy in the 21st century - if ever. Drop it down to about 130BPM (if you’re one of the few lucky enough to have the vinyl) and suddenly those slowed-down strings and keys make it that much sadder. Classic Future Garage business right here, folks… too bad someone had the balls to pull a Mt. Eden on this tune (DON’T CLICK THAT!).
Marc Glasser, the man behind the Dubbel Dutch mask, has been making quite a big mark on ‘club’ music over the last year or so - being one of the many dudes pushing percussive House to another level. A couple of months ago, he put out a sneaky white label with the ‘aid’ of equally-mischieviousDJ/rupture's Dutty Artz fam, which was loaded with refixes containing Glasser’s Midas touch. We’re guessing most of you would have heard ‘Fem Pressure' or his remix of 'Deuces' already, so we're posting up this rather tasty morsel which has been getting a lot of spins in the Generic People 'office.' Other than being a Kels refix we don’t think this track needs anymore explanation, go forth!… and dance… or fuck. Also keep you eyes peeled for the UTTUEP.
Much like the rest of the forerunners of the now-sadly-defunct Institubes, Bobmo has had a pretty busy 2011 so far, slinging the hard-hitting Hardbells to Boys Noize, linking up with Para One and Surkin for two euphoricslabs as the Marble Players and joining up with Surkin again for another High Powered Boys cut. ‘Deadpoint,’ the opener on hisThe CliffEP, features bell-like leads, which go up and down over a rather funky structure, joined by some wonderful shuffling percussion. Is it fair game to assume a Bobmo LP will come out this year? We hope so.
Unknown to the Unknown (also known as DJ Haus of Hot City) has had a pretty eventful year with his imprint of the same name: being remixed by Drexciya-affiliated DJ Stingray, coaxing the reclusive Dopplereffekt to London for a gig, pulling Marcus Mixx out of obscurity for a ridiculous two-sider, releasing a quality gem from Slackk. All for a label that originally intended to evoke the fading spirits of Underground Resistance-like grit…not bad. For its 4th salvo, U.T.T.U decided to pluck Jon Burnip (aka Capracara) off the hands of Soul Jazz and DFA for ‘Silvia Solar’ - while the OG is a definite rewind-worthy cut, the hidden gold lies within Hot City’s meddling rework of the track. The OG’s synths sound a tad bit more at home with classic garage rhythms and vox chops with a nice layer of organs to boot, making this one a more effective weapon for the floor. Use wisely.
Ossie may not be as famous as some of his counterparts making bass infused House, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less talented. Following ‘Tarantula,’ his anthemic debut back in March, Ossie one-ups himself with theSet the Tone EP for Hyperdub, which contains this rather clunkily-titled highlight. Don’t mistake it for a cheese-fest though - instead it comes dipped in lounge vibes, with a heavy sprinkling of vocoders and percussion. The end result? A tune that would make anyone in their right mind want to move. If ‘Tarantula’ wasn’t convincing enough for you (which we highly doubt,) then this track definitely offers a glimpse of what’s to come… we’re betting Ossie will soon be a name more known.
The second EP from Bambounou (legally known as Jeremy Guindo-Zegiestowski) finally emerged from the dark depths of Guindo’s studio and into the hands of the Youngunz fam today. Like Animism, his previous EP, it’s chock-full of aural pleasures. Whilst the lead track is instant club material (those fluttery pan leads!) - it’s this track that got our attention. The percussion itself may be an unmistakeable Bambounou flavour… however, the use of 808 kicks, rave stabs and that sample are more akin to his homie French Fries - or anyone from the UK. No sweat though - it’s equally as sultry as it is a floor-ripper. Our boy Darling Farah also manages to justify the OG by turning it into a more sinister and smoky stepper for the EP.
Andy Stott has been quietly producing his take on dub Techno for a while now, gaining respect and acclaim within the scene along the way. His blend of intelligent and dub techno, mixed with booming-ground shaking bass, and dark emotive textures make his sound easily recognizable. More recently he’s branched out into Dubstep and Juke productions - with his Juke tunes showing Stott’s versatility and adeptness at House-tinged production.
With his most recent release though - the brilliant Passed Me By LP he’s returned to his dub Techno roots. It takes things to a whole new level, merging giant basslines with murky reverb soaked sonics, and adds a whole new meaning to the word ‘dark.’
Retail Juke, from theRetail Duke/ Write-Off 12” [Daphne, 2010]
Write Off, from theRetail Duke/ Write-Off 12” [Daphne, 2010]
Stott’s Retail Juke/Write Off 12” (released under his Andrea moniker) are both get-the-fuck-up-and-move dance-floor destroyers. ‘Retail Duke’ is heavily percussive, using repetitive samples and claps, that would make any physically capable person want to jump around. ‘Write Off’ takes things to another level, with frenetic samples, creating a sense of urgency, yet somehow managing to evoke a nagging sense of melancholy and longing at the same time.
New Ground, from the Passed Me By LP [Modern Love, 2011]
North To South, from the Passed Me By LP [Modern Love, 2011]
Track two and three of from his Passed Me By LP respectively, both of which are bass heavy killers. ‘New Ground’ is simply brilliant, with a great groove, and is probably the most upbeat sounding track on the LP. ‘North To South’ combines a thumping bassline with what is best described as what sounds like an plane buzzing by, and the occasional shaky, somewhat high pitched sounding synth.
Dark Details, from the Passed Me By LP [Modern Love, 2011]
Passed Me By, from the Passed Me By LP [Modern Love, 2011]
‘Dark Details’ has a quicker tempo then the rest of the album, though retaining the murky textures and of course the giant bass. ‘Passed Me By,’ the title track takes the dark vibes to a whole new level, and is our pick of the LP. There is almost nothing you’ll hear that sounds as hopelessly depressing as this, and as the title suggests it will probably make you feel like your life has in fact passed you by, only the sheer brilliance makes it listenable. This track is definitely high up on our tracks of 2011 so far. After taking a 12 month hiatus before releasing Passed Me By, Stott returned with what was possibly his best material yet, with the prospect of further releases greatly exciting us.
Mr. Beatnick is fairly well known in the London scene as a beatmaker - with his take on instrumental Hip hop earning him acclaim. However, with the just released Synthetes EP he’s branched out into House with impressive results, sounding like a complete natural. ‘Casio Romance’ is a smooth jam, with classic Chicago vibes (they must be in at the moment), and a slightly wonky feel. This one is lovely and relaxed and is perfect for lazy Sundays, and hey - at least you can still feel sophisticated despite being hungover.
It’s been just over a year since Crooks & Lovers dropped - yet it still sounds as fresh as the day of its release. Mount Kimbie have had a massive last couple years, and despite being a little on the quiet side in 2011 thus far, still remain one of the best known names of the genre. ‘Carbonated’ for us was the natural standout on the album and rivaled ‘Wut' and 'CMYK' for track of the year for 2010. It builds up into into a mid-tempo banger, incorporating a mixture of ambient sounds and percussion, with a killer vocal sample thrown in to top things off. It's the most dance-floor friendly tune on Crooks & Lovers, yet like all Mount Kimbie tracks retains its sophistication, that makes it just as suited for home listening. We’re crossing our fingers that this brilliant duo release more material by years end - if not though there’s always the repeat button.
Here’s one dedicated to those about to come home raging drunk or hungover within the next few hours… With that said I wouldn’t put it past you if you mistook this for a new James Blake tune, either now or when it first dropped in February, (the track actually gets an official release next month.) Despite being a very new face, Dafydd has already attracted Gilles Peterson and Jamie xx’s attention (a big deal in the best way possible) and R&S talent-sniffer dog Dan Foat (in the worst way possible) with his masterful vector-like take on ‘Blake-step.’ Dafydd rolls an Amy Winehouse (R.I.P) sample through some jazzy keys, switching between plodding drums to 2-step shuffles at the drop of a coin, without making the entire track too big to bear on its own. While Dafydd’s sound will no doubt eventually grow into something of its own, the dude has very big things going for him right now.
We posted a track from Urulu’s Goodbyes EP a few weeks back - in fact it was our inaugural post! Since then he’s been featured on XLR8R and continued to see his profile increase. ‘Everyday’ is the second track on Goodbyes and again has a strong classic Chicago vibe. It’s a lovely soulful tune, and is as suited for listening to in your bedroom, as it is for a dance-floor. This EP is one of our favourites for the year so far, so if you’re yet to hear it - don’t wait any longer.
Switzerland may not be a place generally associated with UK Funky (unless we’re missing something), either way Look Like seems set for big things. His Buggin EP recently dropped on Get Flavor records - an upcoming French label which has also seen releases from Urulu. ‘Buggin,’ the title track is definitely not lacking in bass and features a distinctly Chicago House vibe. Take note of this one - its definitely got the potential to be a dance-floor killer used by DJ’s the world over.
This one has been floating around the net for a while now, but has only just seen release as part of LDFD’s EP of the same name for Magical Properties. ‘Outtacontrol’ features a pitch shifted vocal sample, spacey synths, tribal sounding percussive toms and more than one nice drop. It’s an interesting EP, with elements of instrumental Hip hop, Bass and House combined to form a sound ideal for dance-floors. On top of all this it features a a rather good remix of the title track by L.A beatmaking pioneer Daedelus. Expect to see the name LDFD appearing more in the future
Only God would know how Darren Cunningham has been working at the fast pace we’ve seen him at lately. Not only are we due to expect a duo of wax slabs from him at some point this year (care of Honest Jon’s and his own Werk imprint), he’s also been throwing up new tracks for the hungry masses lately on his Twitter. ‘Parallel World’ definitely stands out as a highlight of these (somewhat) skeletal tracks, slowly developing into a futuristic horror soundtrack, with quiet marimbas and pulsing square bass chunks flowing through trademark Actress soundscapes. If this track is anything to go by, we’re definitely in for something as high in quality as last year’s Splazsh.
A good year or so after Drums of Death’s (aka Colin Baily’s) debut LP Generation Hexed was released into the wild, Bailey returns with a new four-piece trick (and what might be some of his hardest material to date) in the form of Black Waves. Whilst ‘I Can’t Take It' is the obvious highlight - that vocal! those fucking vamps! 'Cold Lazarus,' the opener of the EP goes equally as hard. Imagine 'Stress' if it was actually more indebted to 80s rave and much more dangerous; persistent arpeggiated synths dart back and forth into full-blown anthem territory, before breaking down into unrepentant noise and ensuring chaos.
It’s been a little while since we heard from Stevie Julien, the man behind the Funkineven machine (‘She’s Acid' did come out last May after all), so it was a nice surprise seeing him come out of the shadows with the rather freakish video of this track last month. As if the video itself wasn’t somewhat grotesque on its own merit, the tune is also a dirty, squealish monster when heard on black wax! The name is fairly self-explanatory: filthy acid lines (of the best kind) that squirm over an already meddled-with groove, with little else besides some rather unmixable interruptions, making this one a nightmare for DJs wanting to unleash it onto an unsuspecting crowd.
Trying to Get a Dub(French Fries & Bambounou Remix) by Chaos In The CBD
We first came across this duo on Rebel back in January, and as they say - the rest is history. Hailing from New Zealand, they’ve steadily gained increasing attention over the course of 2011, and recently released their The Moving ImageEP. Whilst their originals on the EP are big, this one takes things to a whole new level, and instantly blew our minds (and subs). French Fries and Bambounou have gone heavy on the bass, added in some spacey sounds, and turned this tune into something else altogether…So our floor continues to shake, and that track of 2011 shortlist continues to grow. Boom.
Simon Ho (aka Cedaa) has been turning a fair few heads lately with his ‘fluffier’ (for want of a more fitting word) take on Southern rap and juke since his debut for Car Crash Set last August. This year seems even bigger for Ho though, with the Jasmin EP for B Yrself fresh out the oven (complete with Chaos in the CBD remix and Distal collab!) and a forthcoming release for Kingdom’s Fade to Mind collective. Dude also has a way with unconventional sounds - the sounds of creaking floorboards (either that, or cards flapping against bike spokes) sprinkle some nice vibes onto what could be a rather deadly beat if used by the right rapper.
The majority of you should be familiar with the work of Roska by now - dude has been going at it for ages without succumbing to commercial bullshit, so you know his stuff is always legit. Right off the back of his Error Code/Abrupt salvo for Hotflush earlier this year Roska pulls up a five-piece killer for the Rinse fam. Whilst all five tracks display Roska’s signature flavour, without too much similarity, this has to be the highlight out of ‘em all. The percussion at the start of this track is rather unassuming, but once that bass rolls up… watch ‘em bins.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of this young (and we mean young, 16 and to 19 to be exact) duo. So whilst we already posted ‘My Intention Is War!’ from their recently released Carnival EP, we thought we’d post another track, the hardest bit though was picking which one. Ultimately we loved the sultriness of ‘Just Your Type’ which begins with a smooth vocal sample, before evolving into a percussive number - that’s bound to get bodies on dance-floors moving. These two brothers are surely set for big things, let’s just hope sibling rivalry doesn’t get in the way, although if they could produce tunes this good separately…
Manchester has long been know as a talent hotspot, being the centre of the ‘Madchester’ sound and the second ‘Summer of Love’ in the late 80s. Sam Schorb (aka Damu), one such Mancurian, has recently gained a name for himself with his celestial take on club music. It’s been a busy year so far for Schorb, having already dropped his Gargoyle EP on Silverback in February. It’s not hard to see why Schorb has been gaining accolades all round lately with this - the lead track from his fresh Local Action EP. Its heavenly neon synths and hi-quality zaps open the gates in typical Damu fashion, before eventually it rolls into an infinite paradise, albeit with a slightly cheesy sample. If the Mermaid EP is anything to go by, we’re probably going to see this name around a lot more before the end of this year.
Hotflush had a big2010, which included Mount Kimbie’s debut LP Crooks & Lovers, and label-head Scuba’s Triangulation. 2011 has so far proved to be a little quieter - though this EP may just change that. We posted an Arkist track a few weeks back, and whilst we’re yet to post anything from Kidkut, he’s somewhat of a veteran of the scene. ‘Vanilla Imitate’ is a killer Garage number, with wonderful warm vibes, and a massively deep bassline. Bristol has been killin’ it for a while now, begging the question: does anything bad actually come out of the place? The 12” is set for both a digital and vinyl release next Monday.
22-year old Jack Latham has only been making music under the name Jam City for the last 2.5 years: before he quietly crept into the public’s conscious, he ran the Mount Olympus blog and built a rep with fellow Internet artists throughout the blogosphere. However, since Bok Bok found a folder of Latham’s material on his PC after a club night in 2008, his profile has steadily risen amongst the crowd of envelope-pushing club music that has been bubbling underneath less desirable forms of dubstep.
The earliest track that one can find on the Internet in unmixed form is ‘In the Park’ on Latham’s Myspace – whilst far from the more developed tracks he would create later on, the track shows signs of what one could expect in his future work: prominent flute-like synths pop up amongst clattering hi-hats before suddenly bursting into a full-on floor hit, occasionally breaking down into 80s-esque tom paradiddles before coming back to life again. Soon enough, the FACT crew got ahold of him and managed to squeeze out a mix from him before the Guardian jumped on board as well.
Eventually mixes were not enough for the public, and proper releases were long overdue. Enter Night Slugs: even though Latham already knew the crew since its early days, the label was yet to release anything by him. To satiate the growing fanbase, Latham finally released three refixes he’d kept under his sleeve.
Ecstasy by Endgames (Jam City Refix) [Night Slugs, 2010]
Let Me Bang by DJ Deeon (Jam City Refix) [Night Slugs, 2010]
With his Refixes EP, Latham reworks Glaswegians Endgames’ early 80s jam ‘Ecstasy' into a more urgent stepper, retaining the introductory synth bubbles and upping the pace with more than a handful of drums rushing past and into you alongside some rather grimy bass, whilst DJ Deeon's infamous 'Let Me Bang' gets a splash of bright synths and crisp percussion in place of dirty 808s and foot stomps and DJ Bone's 'Shut the Lights Off' is stripped of all traces of drums and given a much more moody facelift (and those 80s tom paradiddles.) Despite getting a small run on vinyl, the three refixes won over 'bass' heads worldwide, setting the stage for Latham's proper entry into wax.
Magic Drops, from the Magic Drops EP [Night Slugs, 2010]
2 Hot, from the Magic Drops EP [Night Slugs, 2010]
The Magic Drops EP closed out Latham’s first big year (and Night Slugs’ inaugural year) on a high note, with DJs rinsing out the dubs of the lead track long before its proper release. The first few seconds should signify why everyone went crazy for the track - harp strums open out the track with machine-like sounds boucing off solid kicks before eventually dropping into a Southern rap/AM gold hybrid, marked by Latham’s signature slippery synths and summery leads. ‘2 Hot,’ on the other hand, displays a much darker turn previously displayed on the’Shut the Lights Off’ refix - sinister low-end synths and heavily reverbed drums create a tense layout for wailing synths and UFO takeoffs, something not unlike Girl Unit or Egyptrixx, Latham’s fellow comrades in the Night Slugs camp.
Aqua Box, from the Waterworx EP [Night Slugs, 2011]
Barely a Trak, from the Waterworx EP [Night Slugs, 2011]
Island, from the Waterworx EP [Night Slugs, 2011]
Following Bok Bok’s “Southside” EP and Egyptrixx’s tense “Bible Eyes” LP, Jam City marked another notch in the ever-shifting Night Slugs environment in the form of the “Waterworx” EP earlier this month. Much like ‘Magic Drops,’ the lead Waterworx track ‘Aqua Box’ lays its intentions down (already summarized in a previous post on the track), whilst the more patient ‘Barely a Trak’ plods along for half of six minutes with Latham’s patented synths, 808s, a vocal sample querying, “What do you want me to do?” and little else before flipping itself over and birthing a new melody. On the other hand, ‘Island’ grows into a moody beast, with splattering 909 snares, Chicago pads and grime bass plodding through the majority of the track.
Despite having released only two EPs, Latham has effortlessly slid between disparate movements (grime and 80s stadium rock) and crafted fine salvos from gleaning each environment without sounding like any pigeonhole-able genre out there, something very few producers can do. It’s likely Jam City’s debut LP, due to be released later on the year, will be much of the same in that regard - harking back to distant eras but without any traces of predictability or outdated patches present - but with every track that pops up, more ears are waiting patiently for the next move from Latham.
Recloose (known to his moms as Matt Chicoine) has been a House stalwart for a while now, originally from Detroit, he moved operations down to New Zealand a few years back. ‘Parquet’ is full of upbeat happy vibes, with a distinctly Chicago feel, and is part of his recently released Saturday Night Manifesto EP on Rush Hour. Something tells us you’ll be hearing this one at that trendy bar up the road… but hey, at least it compliments those over-priced cocktails nicely.
Seiji is a veteran of the British Electronic music scene, with his production career spanning well over a decade, much of which as part of the successful Bugz In The Attic crew. Since last year he’s been releasing his self titled 12” series, which have proven his adeptness at keeping his sound current, and with Seiji 4 he’s produced something just a little special. ‘Easy’ is a funky delight, with a Deep House vibe, and is definitely a must have in any good DJ’s collection.
Machinedrum’sRoom(s) LP for Planet Mu is already set to feature heavily on end of the year lists, and now Travis Stewart has released this tune to go with it. All the R’n’B heads out there would recognise the vocal sample immediately as coming from the opener of The-Dream’s acclaimed Love King LP. Stewart’s added a thumping bassline and pitch-shifted the vocals to form a frenzied banger. It’s been a massive year for Steward all round, who as one half of Sepalcure, released the brilliant Fleur EP in January on Hotflush. ‘Loveking’ is part of his Alarma12” on LuckyMe and is available now.
The Weeknd is perhaps the most hyped artist of 2011, transcending genres, and now on the verge of true stardom (with a little help from Drake along the way). So when we saw ESTAW’s refix of ‘The Morning’ we were naturally a little cynical at first. Any doubts we had were quickly dashed after pressing play though. ESTAW keeps the sensuality of the original, adds a four-on-the-floor beat, and turns it into a dance-floor killer.
Okay, we’re aware that it’s probably inhumanly possible (almost) not to have heard this track, but whatever - it still gets us every time we listen. Joy Orbison (real name Peter O’Grady), who’s been focusing on his equally good Joy O moniker of late, produced a genuine game changer with ‘Hyph Mngo.’ Its gradual build up from its ambient beginning into a club banger made it one of the most loved dance-floor tunes of 2009. So what better track to post on a Friday, as the world over prepares for the weekend. Enjoy.
'Easy To Leave' is the first track Birmingham based Sorrow and Melbourne based Mirror State have produced together. Cairo mentioned Mirror State in a recent interview we did with him, as one to watch, and he’s duly delivered with this tune. It’s got a Burial-esque feel with its intuitive percussion and haunting vocal samples, giving it a warm, but slightly melancholy sound. Mirror State seems to be a habitual collaborator, with a number of other collaborations featured on his SoundCloud page, including the lush Unseen EP with Buck UK. Sorrow too seems to be a fan of collabs, with his Soundcloud featuring a mix of them, bangin’ originals, and quality remixes.
Think back about a year, before James Blake became the latest hipster idol, and before he decided that Auto-Tune was the answer to all the world’s evils. Remember his CMYK EP? Yes, well think back a little further to his The Bells Sketch EP on which ‘Give A Man A Rod’ appears. Whether you want to label it as post-Dubstep or not (we wont), we’ll just agree that this is a bangin’ bass driven tune, and part two isn’t half bad either. There’s a reason Blake got so hyped, and it isn’t just his good looks (and Hugh Grant mannerisms), but because he made tracks like this.
xxxy is someone we’ve kinda slept on: not because he isn’t a good producer, but more so there has simply been such a plethora of quality tunes of late. He’s known for bangin’ House and Garage productions, but with ‘Open Your Eyes’ he’s made an all out Jungle throwback, with some underlying Dubstep vibes. For all you old Jungle heads out there, this is sure to satisfy, and for those of us who were still playing with lego back in ‘94, this one makes for a nice history lesson. It’s available now as part of xxxy’s You Gotta Do You 12”, recently released on Orca Recordings.
For all you old UK Garage heads out there, you’ll undoubtedly recognise this one. Producer Ceri Evans and his Sunship crew conquered the charts long ago, with their output spanning a range of genres, but we of course love them most for their Garage productions. ‘Try Me Out (Let Me Lick It)’ is definitely not the most subtle title ever, with some fairly obvious connotations - unless we just have dirty minds. Whatever the case, this one is a banger, and would get any dance-floor moving, whether it be back in ‘99 or tonight. Reminisce to this, or fall in love for the first time, either way it’s a well good track innit?
These young ‘uns first popped up with a Chromeo refix sometime ‘round the end of last year. However, this tune proves their worth and then some, going a tad bit slower in comparison to their other jams. There’s kind of a Mount Kimbie vibe on this one: the vocals, for once, get to soar free from the meddling hands of the ‘house’ norm, building up alongside ghastly, atmospheric pads before dropping into warm bass/crunchy percussion territory and building up once again. Much like fellow contemporaries Disclosure, expect some big things from these guys before the year’s end (suss out their forthcoming Del Horno refix.)
Let’s go further than 1999 this time ‘round… some of the more knowledgeable House-heads may know of Armando Gallup, one of the earliest practitioners of Acid House, despite being nothing more than a ‘speck’ in the ever-shifting scene at the time. Even though Gallup got to release a handfulofclassiccuts at the prime of Chicago house/birth of Acid House, this particular track spent 19 years collecting dust until Let’s Pet Puppies got to unearth it in 2007. Either way, it still sounds as fresh and unlike anything of its peers or contemporaries - classic acid lines subtly tweaked and stuttered over a strong female voice warning her fellow woman against man’s deceptive nature… all without the presence of snares.
BNJMN a.k.a Ben Thomas is a talented guy. Before his latest incarnation as BNJMN he was known as Jackhigh, a beatmaker, who won acclaim from the influential and pioneering Flying Lotus. On his newest project, Thomas switches the Hip hop beats for four-to-the-floor House infused jams. His debut LP, Plastic World was released in March on Rush Hour. It’s a dreamy sounding album, mixing a range of influences together to form a relatively unique, yet cohesive sound.
Blocks, from the Plastic World LP [Rush Hour, March 2011]
The opening track on his debut, is as futuristic as it is brilliant. The melancholic vibe on this heavily electronic sounding House track remind us of ‘Maze' by London producer, Actress. Whilst being a solid overall album, this track is one that really stands out.
Miniature Steps, from the Plastic World LP [Rush Hour, March 2011]
The last track from the LP - a percussive House number with Detroit infused vibes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s spoken about his admiration for Detroit legend Theo Parrish, with his influence definitely apparent on this track. The ability to blur the line between genres is a skill that Thomas has perfected, much akin to our feature artist of last week, Julio Bashmore.
The 141 EP was released last month on Svetlana Industries, and already shows BNJMN altering his sound. ‘One Sea’ is reminiscent of the IDM that Aphex Twin produced in the 90s, as well as holding ambient Techno-esque vibes. ‘We Are The Weather’ is of a similar nature, and has a spacey quality to it, with a late night come down/loneliness feel.
After the success of Plastic World, 2011 looks set to continue to be a big year for BNJMN, with further releases planned. A recent feature on him in XLR8R is testimony to his rising profile, and at still only 23, he’s surely a name we’ll be hearing more of in the future.
The names Underground Resistance and Drexciya should be slightly familiar to most of you, unless you’ve been living under a rock throughout the last two decades or so (in which case we’ll redirect you to our little friend then.) However, if you aren’t in that minority, then it’s likely you’d recognize the name Dopplereffekt (one of the main focuses of Gerard Donald from Drexciya) and their lack of public visibility throughout their existence. However, this year may prove to be different - following a show in London last month and a show in Paris yesterday (!), Dopplereffekt will pop up again in August for the FON Festival. To celebrate this fleeting moment, we’re posting this ‘Gesamtkunstwerk' highlight (and basis for a certain DJ Deeon track). Cop the Zwischenwelt record as well while you’re at it.
If you’re partial to the wobble-less side of club music, chances are you’ve probably heard this track rinsed out by a fair amount of DJs during the last six months. Whilst the tune in its new form is no longer limited to toms and kicks like the dubplate, it still retains its charm and floor-killing status. In fact, it’s probably fair game to say that Jack Latham (aka Jam City) has already one-upped his already-monolithic ‘Magic Drops’ with his finest club material in the form of the Waterworx EP. The title itself is kind of apt - 80s Detroit pads and booming toms open up the landscape before it gives way to a rather monstrous low-end and Latham’s tailor-made landslide synths, rarely letting up until the waterfall samples at the end. Man, House music sure is obsessed with water right now…
Love Without A Heart (Brey’s Oh’s & Trix) by Javeon McCarthy
Javeon McCarthy (aka Shadz) has been refining his craft since ‘05 to a progressively-growing fanbase, being a British equivalentof sorts to Drake. It wasn’t until L-Vis 1990 enlisted him to put his Midas touch onto ‘Forever You' last year, that non-Brits finally heard him. Only recently has McCarthy stepped out from the Shadz moniker to deliver a rather solid single (produced by one Julio Bashmore, nonetheless) following his second round with L-Vis, though it’s Brey’s remix of the track that splits the sleazy 808s and wiggly synths into a more percussive and sinister framework… and one that succeeds in driving a crowd nuts (check out that insane drop near the end - complete with Tubby-esque throat-clearing one-shot.)
Pretty Pretty Good by Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team
Despite Institubes closing its doors in March this year, Teki and Orgasmic have had a pretty killer 2011 so far under the Big Yellow Box, with Style of Eye’s ‘Wet' and High Powered Boys' 'Work' under their sleeves, helping keep envelope-pushing French house alive alongside the equally as terrific and aesthetically pleasing Marble and Youngunz imprints. Despite Teki and Orgasmic crafting some ratherniftyweapons for the floor under their own names lately, it’s a (pleasant) surprise that the first slice under the duo’s uniting for the label finally pops up. Whilst ‘Bassface’ is nothing short of trademark Pellegrino excellence, it’s this track that does it for us: bound for the floor, but with a sneaky tongue-in-cheek Larry David shoutout in tow as well. Do the Larry David before every kid and their culturally void friend does it, but watch out for the Big Ass Wandas.