Thursday, 22 November 2007

Romantic Jet Set

Rodion - Romantic Jet Dance (Gomma)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/r0d10n

Romes Edoardo Cianfanelli aka Rodion has been turning ears for a little while with his special brand of electronic neo-disco. Cianfanelli was found tinkling ivories at a Catholic music school in his youth and was set for a spiritual life as a Church organist, but his discovery of nighteries and disco dancing changed all that. Cianfanelli kissed sacred music goodbye in order to forge a career creating the sort of mind bending post-disco that Lucifer himself would be proud of. All of the compositions on this album highlight Rodion’s skilful command of synths, keys and vocoders, not to mention the delightful sense of humour and crazy space age feel that emanates from each track. “Fisico” is weirdly keyed groover, whilst “Via Lactea” comes on like a strange computer game soundtrack and “Tu Mi Turbi” does the business courtesy of pogo-ing synths and loveable keys. Somehow, Rodion’s deranged discoid fireworks make perfect sense.

JF

Working Nights


Trus’me - Working Nights (Fat City)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/trusme

It was early 2007 when David Wolstencroft aka Trus’me dropped his first 12” on the mysterious Love For Music imprint. This release was rapturously received, due to Trus’me’s ability to create low slung disco movers and inspiring housefloor grooves from choice fractions of soul-kissed material. Since then, he’s dropped a couple more 12’s and the most succulent material from those three hard to find EPs has made it on to this album, either in original or altered form. Comparisons with expert sample manipulators such as KDJ and Theo Parrish have been inevitable, due to Wolstencroft’s love of woozy soundscapes. However, it would do a disservice to both him and Detroit House royalty to merely class him as a clone or even the new Moodymann, even though Kenny seems to have left sample reliant material to concentrate on lively jazzy pastures. Working Nights actually covers a range of musical bases, with hypnotic housers rubbing shoulders with feelgood discoid material and wide-eyed slow burners. It is easy to hear why Trus’me is so revered, when you sample delights such as the majestic “At The Disco”, touching “Working Nights” and the soaring “Narda“. David Wolstencroft shows that sample-based House and Disco that genuinely excites its listeners can still be made in a digitally minded world.

JF

Version Excursions

The Dynamics - Version Excursions (Groove Attack)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/thedynamicsound

Dynamic is a fitting name for this soul-steeped outfit, whose lilting Reggae takes on Pop, Rock and Soul favourites are vibrant and fun. Based in Lyon, France, The Dynamics are a tight band that sound like they actually grew up in the same area and were spoonfed 70s soul and weaned on Jamaican sound systems, despite the fact that the group members all spent their childhoods in different places. Members of the group actually hail from diverse places such as rural Cameroon, Boston and Bristol. The Dynamics' covers are sufficiently different from the original versions to stem any ‘Why did they bother?’ questions. They manage to extract the essence from the tunes that they cover and then cover that musical lifeblood using reggae’n’soul type instrumentation. Highlights include a remarkable guitar kissed re-rub of Madonna’s “Music”, a goose pimple inducing dubwise take on Gwen McCrae’s “90% of Me is You” and an organ blessed version of “Feel Like Making Love”. Concocting this type of cover versions is not a fresh idea and not ever ’new’ interpretation works perfectly, but there are enough Dynamic winners to make this Bruno ‘Patchworks’ Hovarth produced LP worth investigating.

JF

Time To Rearrange


Aaron Jerome - Time To Rearrange (BBE Music)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/aaronjerome

Aaron Jerome follows a long line of UK producers who make organic electronic music over a range of tempos that is both jazz tinged and soul-steeped. He also understands what it means to be ‘musical‘ and makes use of orchestral type instrumentation. His debut album has a fundamental British essence to it, due to the shape of Jerome’s works and his use of guest vocalists from the UK and elsewhere. As with most albums, certain tracks are stronger than others, but it’s hard not to be bowled over by efforts such as his beautiful cover of Terry Callier’s “Dancing Girl” and the deeply moving, Kathrin De boer assisted “Reasons To”. Time To Rearrange is a melancholic yet incredibly appealing long player from Aaron Jerome.

JF

Love or Die

Susumu Yokota - Love or Die (Lo)

Web: http://www.susumuyokota.org

Susumu Yokota has been creating moving electronic soundscapes since the early 90s and this album balances the empathetic nature of his ambient work with the exhilaration of his more uptempo creations perfectly. Unlike many experimental producers, who make compositions that are difficult on the ears, Yokota creates wonderfully easy listening material and this quality of his productions has never been more apparent than on this album. Like a book that is difficult to put down, it’s easy to get caught up in the world created by Susumu Yokota and forget about what is going on in the outside world. All of the tracks have story-like titles, with the pick musically being the encircling “For the Other Self Who Is Far Away That I Can Not Reach” and the key walking “The Things I Need To Do For Just One’s Love”. Yokota has a lengthy musical catalogue that contains a number of LPs and the beguiling Love or Die is one of his best albums.

JF

Broadcasting from OFFtrack Radio

V/A - Broadcasting from OFFtrack Radio (Sonar Kollektiv)

Web: http://www.offtrack.org

It seems that barely a month goes past without a new compilation from Berlin’s Sonar Kollektiv imprint. This may be a slight exaggeration, but the imprint certainly enjoys releasing CDs, with this new one coming from Dirk Rumpff, a close ally of Jazzanova. OFFtrack is Rumpff’s genre crossing musical baby, which he presents via the Internet radio waves every two weeks. He started the show eight years ago and it ploughs a similarly broad musical furrow to that of J-nova, which is evident from the sweet folky-soul-brknbeat-house sounds that emanate from this collection. Rumpff is well respected, a fact shown by the appearance of many exclusive tunes on this disc. Highlights include State River Widening’s beautiful “Cottonworld”, Rednose Distrikt feat Benny Sings and Die Bend’s nasty “Maaitiemaai” and Slope’s bumpin’ “Gemini”. This tasty compilation give listeners another reason to keep abreast of Sonar Kollektiv developments and it shows that the label is still finding cool music to release.

JF

Better Days

The Million Dollar Orchestra - Better Days (BBE Music)

Web: http://www.milliondollardisco.com

Sick and tired of cut and paste re-edits and hollow sounding Disco-House records, Scottish disco lord Al Kent decided to take matters into his own hands. He put together a real ‘orchestra’ to create dancefloor bound music that is full of retro charm and genuine musicianship. Following in the tradition of 70s outfits like Salsoul’s musical troupe, Kent’s modest outfit features horns, strings and singers and records delightful discoid ditties in an analogue studio. Efforts on this album such as the heart-warming “Don’tcha Wanna Get Down”, risqué “Rock Freak Boogie” and smile-inducing “Feel The Music” really hit home. This is New Disco, albeit with one ear stuck firmly in the past.

JF

Ten Years of Treibstoff

V/A - Ten Years of Treibstoff (Treibstoff)

Web: http://www.treibstoff.org

1997 was the year that Marcel Janovsky and René Breitbarth launched the Treibstoff imprint and since then, the label has released an array of Tech-House and Techno delicacies. The Cologne based label has championed both slimline key groovers and clunkier efforts, with this two disc set featuring old and new winners. Disc 1 mixed by Marcel Janovsky contains material from 2007 and features gems such as René Breitbarth’s jerky “Version666” and Todd Bodine’s euphoric “Different Floors”. Disc 2 contains interviews with Treibstoff artists that are both hilarious and insightful, whilst musical highlights from the archives include Marcel Janovsky’s synthilating “Shopping” (2002) and Novatek’s key led “Sabroso” (2002). A Technoid gem.

JF

Dim Dim

Jerry Dimmer - Dim Dim (Music For Dreams)

Web: http://www.musicfordreams.dk

In the past Monsieir Dimmer was a professional cartoonist and his love of colourful characters and quirkiness can be seen in his music. Dim Dim takes music influences from all over the place and features all manner of computer and vocal silliness, but the album is very listenable despite Dimmer’s eccentricities. This Bruxxelles based producer’s music is brighter than his name would suggest with choice moments on this album including the guitar driven “Flavia”, a proto-reggae effort entitled “T-hop” and the calming “You and Me”. Dimmer shows that easy listening electronic music can be silly without being annoying.

JF

Screw The Coffeemaker

Michal Ho - Screw The Coffeemaker (Tuning Spork)

Web: http://www.tuningspork.com

Tuning Spork actually prefer to disregard the home listening market as well as the humble espresso machine, due to the fact that they release albums designed for club play and parties that take place in the wee hours. Therefore, on Screw The Coffeemaker from Swiss born Michal Ho, listeners get eight (Vinyl) or eleven (CD) tracks of uncompromising lean Techno. Recently, Ho has made a number of tunes with producer de jour and Colombian accordion fan Samin, but here Michal demonstrates that he’s pretty capable when flying solo. Winners on the album include the rolling “Take Away”, weirdly keyed “Saftwerk” and a twisted CD bonus track entitled “Got To Be Like That”. Aimed squarely at the feet, yet pretty entertaining at the same time, Ho has made an album of slim line technified music that will sound pretty cool at home, but is best heard on a proper club system.

JF

Free download:
http://tuningspork.com/Michal_Ho_-_Take_Away.mp3

Biological Warfare

Cocoa Tea - Biological Warfare (Minor7Flat5)

Web: http://www.minor7flat5.com

Long time conscious disciple Cocoa Tea has been releasing Reggae music with a positive message for over three decades. This album from the respected Rastafarian singer has been sympathetically produced by Brotherman and mixes old style rootsy horns with modern production techniques. Tea focuses on time honoured subject matter, but he manages to show how these issues relate to modern political, social and personal situations. Highlights include the string and key blended “Blood And Fyah”, a beautiful love song called “Too Far From Home” and the defiant “Extortionist”. Biological Warfare is a wonderfully bold and inspiring album from Cocoa Tea.

JF

Street Soul Stars 3


V/A - Street Soul Stars Volume 3 (UK Street Sounds)

Web: http://www.ukstreetsounds.com

Modern R’n’B is pretty much what is meant by ‘Street Soul’ on this collection from British ’urban’ imprint UK Street Sounds. There’s large a number of US type R’n’B tracks on this comp and a smattering of distinctly British sounding tunes, influenced by UK Garage, Grime and even House. Every song doesn’t impress production wise or vocally, but Street Soul Stars Volume 3 does expose talented singers and beat smiths. Conventional R’n’B tracks such as Feyi’s loving “Never” and Laurissa’s spiritual “Freestyle” are excellent, but others come across as copycat efforts. As far as the more ’British’ cuts are concerned, winners appear in the form of Ny’s breakbeat driven “Who Is She?” and Gemma Fox’s skippy “Think I’m In Love”. British R’n’B has always been seen as a poor relation to its American cousin, but this compilation shows that some UK based artists and production dons have the ability to challenge their US counterparts.

JF

2Faces


Wagon Cookin - 2Faces (Compost)

Web: http://www.wagoncookin.com

The Garayalde brothers enjoy their time in the kitchen as much as that spent in the studio and the name of their musical outfit is reference to a former studio in a converted train carriage. 2Faces shows the duo’s ability to switch effortlessly between polite Latin and Jazzy House and Techy compositions. Despite their reputation as excellent musicians and creators of choice jazzified material, this double album suggest that the duo are better at creating tougher, electronified fair. A high point on the first disc is the acid key drenched “Mr. Sun”, but it is CD Two where Wagon Cookin really get going. Second disc highpoints include a fuzzy acid house dream called “Fever” and the warmly synthed “Mallorca”. This is a substantial musical meal from the Garayalde brothers, but the tastiest morsels are not the one’s you’d expect from these jazzy kids.

JF

A Very Ping Pong Christmas

Shawn Lees Ping Pong Orchestra - A Very Ping Pong Christmas (Ubiquity)

Web: http://www.ubiquityrecords.com

Trust Shawn Lee to have had so much fun with his Hits the Hits album that he decided to compile another longplaying covers collection, this time in praise of wintery festivities instead of pop songs. Musically quite raw, an unflinching drum kit and frowning bass guitar provide the starting point for Lee’s Xmas renditions, which feature contributions from Mick Talbot of Style Council fame. A number of tracks on A Very Ping Pong Christmas are rather jolly, but others are more than a little scrooge-like. Check the angelic guitarry version of “O Come All Ye Faithful”, funked-up “Jingle Bells” and introspective “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. All of Shawn Lee’s covers are instrumental versions, so gather family and friends together for a Christmas singalong with a difference.

JF

Monday, 12 November 2007

Back In The Box: Louie Vega

V/A - Back In The Box: Little Louie Vega (NRK)

Web: http://www.nrkmusic.com/backinthebox

It is easy to forget that despite his love for an organic, Latin infused sound, Little Louie has been a champion of various forms of House music since the mid 80s. Therefore, Vega is in his element with ‘Back In The Box’, a double CD of cuts from the late 80s to mid 90s, which features smooth vocal winners and jazzified numbers alongside moody, clubbier tunes. We live in a time when many choose to align themselves with either softer ‘soulful’ music or tougher electronic sounds, but this compilation shows that the division is unnecessary. Elements of light and dark can be balanced easily and this makes for a much more interesting state of musical affairs. Highlights on the first disc include Mighty Dub Katss magical Its Just Another Groove and Tees Mix of the Gypsymens addictive Hear The Music. CD 2 winners include Aphroheads sinister In The Dark We Live and Black Masses life-affirming Wonderful Person. A large number of House records have not aged particularly well over the years, so its a real pleasure to find that nearly all of the tracks on this compilation have stood the test of time. This set from Vega also reminds us that the genre can be really exciting when darker tunes are placed next to lighter efforts.

JF

Future Sounds of Jazz 11

V/A - Future Sounds Of Jazz Vol: 11 Compiled by Michael Reinboth (Compost)

Web: http://www.compost-records.com

Compost have always defined Jazz in terms of ‘spirit’ instead of actual musical content, so it comes as no surprise that the music on Volume 11 of their Future Sound Of Jazz series is not particularly jazzy. Compost give the clearest indication yet that the ‘fractured’ sound has really lost the musical war, as they were such champions of broken beat/nu-jazz sound, but this ‘Futures’ comp features mostly Techy tunes. Musically, it only gives a brief nod to Disco infected music and cuts with an irregular beat. Strong tunes on this compilation include Solomon & Stimming’s penetrating “Eiszauber”, Dennis Ferrer’s deadly “Son Of Raw” and the beautiful 80s disco grooves of 400 Blows “Movin’”. ‘Future Sound Of Jazz 11’ is a great Techy CD, which should be filled alongside releases on Compost Black Label, a sister imprint dedicated to releasing probing House and Techno.

JF

Southport Weekender 6: Kerri Chandler

V/A - Southport Weekender 6: Mixed by Kerri Chandler (Endulge)

Web: http://www.southportweekender.co.uk

Kerri Chandler is perhaps the perfect Southport DJ, with his steadfast love for all things soul-kissed and his propensity to drop a hefty wedge of classics alongside contemporary House tunes when he spins. His sets in the huge Powerhouse room at the much-loved Pontins based Weekender are rapturously received and this compilation is a fairly good representation of Chandler at Southport. The double CD set features fewer classics than the average Chandler set and doesn’t include his trademark keyboard and singing exploits, but wave after wave of intense House fair should still satisfy fans. Listen out for gems such as Jon Cutler’s bumping “South Slope” and Abstract Truth’s candid “(We Had) A Thing)” on the first CD. Treats on the other disc include Chandler’s own guitar blessed “Je T’aime” and Bougie Soliterre’s unapologetic “Superficial”. Chandler’s compilation can transport previous Southport attendees back to the fairytale world of the Powerhouse and listeners who haven’t been before, but enjoy the music on offer, should definitely consider venturing to this breathtaking three-day party.

JF

Tokyo Calling 2

V/A - Tokyo Calling 2 (King Street Sounds)

Web: http://www.kingstreetsounds.com

This CD focuses on the smooth and sensuous House that is so beloved of the NY based King Street Sounds/Nite Grooves family and originated in the vibrant US city. The connection with the Far East comes from the fact that this CD features collaborations between Tokyo and New York based acts and music by Japanese artists inspired that have been inspired by NY House music. The King Street Sounds imprint has a strong Japanese connection, both in relation to artists and behind the scenes personnel. The label’s roster also features US artists that are popular in the land of the rising sun, so it was natural they wanted to strengthen cross continental links with this compilation series. Magical offerings include the sparkling Danny Krivit edit of Jephte Guillaume feat. AK’s “Shining Your Way” and Kuni’s sympathetic ’Sugar Love Mix’ of Ananda Project’s “Cascades Of Colour”. Full of ear-catching jazz infected and triumphantly vocalised House efforts, Tokyo Calling 2 may only plough one musical furrow, but it does it with style.

JF

Kitsuné BoomBox

V/A - Kitsuné BoomBox: Mixed by Jerry Bouthier (Kitsuné)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/familylondon

BoomBox may be a London party for cooler than cool party types and fashionistas, who wish to dress up at the wrong end of the weekend and frolic to trashy electro, guitar driven stormers and poppity efforts. However, the compilation, released by the rather fabulous Parisian based Kitsuné imprint, lets mere mortals sample the musical delights of this fashion dominated, weekly part-ay. As expected, the music on offer here is very ‘now’, with choice numbers including Guns’n’Bombs riotous take on Chrome’s “Fancy Footwork”, Oliver Koletzki’s touching “Music From The Heart” and Simian Mobile Disco’s magnificent “Love”. Cooler than thou haunts with elitist door policies are hardly something new or particularly exciting, but the music on display here is fun and certainly not elitist, which is what matters most at the end of the day.

JF

Balearic Biscuits 2 & World Dub Pastry 2


V/A - Balearic Biscuits 2: Compiled by Kenneth Badger (Music For Dreams)

V/A - World Dub Pastry 2: Compiled by Kenneth Badger (Music For Dreams)

Web: http://www.musicfordreams.dk

Unleashed pretty much simultaneously, ‘Balearic Biscuits 2’ and ‘World Dub Pastry 2’ represent Music For Dreams head honcho Kenneth Badger’s continuing love affair with left of centre musical utterings. The Biscuits collection is the winner, featuring everything from blissed out key works to strange jazz numbers and pulsing technified affairs. Cuts of note include Todd Terje’s peaceful mix of Antena’s “Camino Del Sol” and the Âme Outro mix of Ferrer & Sydenham Inc’s touching “Timbuktu”. The Pastry is a well put together collection of horizontal, dubbed out electronix, which flits between mind altering and mind numbing cuts. Choice efforts on ’World Dub Pastry 2’ include the brooding Lulu Rouge Mix of Filur’s “Into The Wasteland” and Eva Be feat. Joe Dukie’s lovely “No Memory Of Time”. Copenhagen’s Kenneth Badger shows he has a good ear for programming with these long players, even if some of the Dub Pastry numbers are a little dull.

JF

Strictly Todd Terry

V/A - Strictly Todd Terry (Strictly Rhythm)

Web: http://www.strictly.com

You could be forgiven for thinking that you’d been transported back to the 90s, what with the return of Strictly Rhythm imprint under the Defected banner and this mix CD from Todd Terry. A famous figure in House from the late 80s, TT was responsible for a such a large number of first-rate tunes and remixes that he can be excused for recycling his loops occasionally and even venturing into D&B. Anyone expecting this compilation to be like a Todd Terry DJ set from back in the day containing solely his own productions will be disappointed, as this collection features precious little material from ’Todd The God’. Instead, ’Strictly Todd Terry’ is an unapologetic house floor compilation that is representative of Strictly in its current incarnation. Classic cuts from the label feature alongside newly signed material, with disco cut ups sat next to powerful vocal tunes and percussive winners. Disc 1 features time honoured efforts such as George Morel’s earnest “Let’s Groove” and a Todd special, by the way of CLS’s ravey “Can You Feel It”. Disc 2 killer cuts include UPI’s regimented “That String Track” and Storm & Herman’s determined “Quick Dance”. Many of the older tunes sound typically ‘Strictly’, but this is not a criticism, as they could rock most dance floors today and Terry has put together a pretty impressive compilation.

JF

When I'm Bored I Change Colour


DJ Disse - When Im Bored I Change Colour (Music For Dreams)

Web: http://www.musicfordreams.dk

From listening to ‘When Im Bored I Change Colour ’, you can tell that Disse has a great sense of humour, but he also tires of sounds quite easily. This explains why his album features so many different styles of music and even includes some ridiculous covers. Disse delivers spaced out dub, cosmic warbling and serious technoid house on this LP, but also shows his love for rock, Balkan hot stepping tunes and Arabic percussive rhythms. ‘When Im Bored I Change Colour ’ really has to be heard to be believed, but despite the hotch potch of styles, tunes such as the quirky “Spanish Reggae”, sombre “New Dimension” and wide-eyed “Night At The Fullmoon” deliver the goods. This is a spirit-lifting musical adventure that should raise a smile with even the dourest music fan.

JF

The Killion Floor

Orgone - The Killion Floor (Ubiquity)

Web: http://www.ubiquityrecords.com

Part of the retro funk’n’soul fraternity, Orgone make grooving tunes that are energetic, but also quite restrained. Musically tight, the LA based band has a lead vocalist called Fanny Franklin who certainly fits the bill, but she doesn’t quite have the dynamism of a certain Ms. S. Jones. Some of the most magical tracks on the album happen to be instrumentals or those with hardly any vocals, with the brasstastic and Afrobeat inspired “It’s What You Do” and rough’n’ready “Sophisticated Honky“ hitting the spot. There are also some special vocal driven tracks, such as joyous “I Get Lifted” and boogieing “Dialed Up“. With the mainstream embracing funkified pop tunes and groups like the Daptones and The Soul Investigators riding high, Orgone may have released their debut LP at just the right time.

JF

Bonfire

Speeka - Bonfire (Wah Wah 45s)

Web: http://www.wahwah45s.com

Speeka are a broken soul outfit with folktronic aspirations, who make music that doesn’t burn fiercely. Glowing embers is probably a better fire related analogy than “Bonfire” for this LP, as tracks such as the taut “Rag Doll“ and groovy “Lumberjack“ leave you feeling warm, but many of the instrumental tracks are as charismatic as a water doused barbeque. Guest vocalists Polly Paulusma and Ben Parker add heat to many of the compositions on the album, with the Paulusma assisted tracks providing the brightest glow. Wah Wah once again show they’re better at confounding the listening public instead of meeting musical expectations, with this polite long player from Speeka.

JF

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Club review: Electric Chair: 27th October 2007:The Music Box:Manchester

The Unabombers announced in early Autumn that their club night would suffer a slow death and pass away in January 2008, instead of a quick fry in the executioner’s chair. The announcement of the clubs passing couple with the revealing of stellar line-ups for the remaining executions in 2007 has reinvigorated the night on its deathbed. The Final Execution, a goodbye scheduled for January 26th 2008 sold out late September 2007, despite the lack of guest spinner or promise of anything extra. This was a result of people wanting to say ’I was there’ post Chair, instead of them genuinely expecting it to be the best ever execution. The Unabombers normally rise to the occasion when flying solo, as previous January and June sessions have shown and Kelvin Brown can hold his own over the full six hours, so the night should be pretty special. However, anybody who’s experienced the Chair at its most electrifying, whether at The Roadhouse or The Music Box more recently, will have memories of a truly life-affirming night-time venture. It doesn’t really matter whether those memories were from the first, last party or one of many in between and the final October date showed there is some life left in the UB‘s basement.

Mainroom attraction Morgan Geist of Metro Area fame was stuck at Shannon Airport in Ireland due to a flight cancellation and one of the backroom Kabal operatives, Winston Hazel, a Chair favourite from the early days, had cancelled a few days before, as the shindig clashed with his son’s ninth birthday party. The loss of these record deck operatives didn’t dampen spirits too much, as Maurice Fulton stepped up in the mainroom, but the backroom fire created by the Kabal spinners eclipsed that of both Fulton and The Unabombers. As ever, on the main stage, Luke and Justin held the dance floor before and after Maurice’s accomplished display, with the duo providing musical highlights of the night courtesy of some trusty ’Chair Records’. Highs included Carl Craig’s hurtling refix of Theo Parrish’s “Falling Up” and Metro Area’s beautiful “Caught Up”, which was a fitting tribute to Geist‘s work. The room was nicely busy, the atmosphere was vibrant and the crowd featured new and old Chair devotees from all walks of life. The only slightly disconcerting thing was the appearance of a guy with a video camera, filming Luke and Justin for Ministry Of Sound’s visual arm, certainly a sign that times are changing for this duo, if anyone was still in any doubt.

Despite the fun of the main dancing space, it was out back in the shack where the sparks really flew. Loyal soldier Kelvin Brown provided his usual effortless warm-up that featured gems such as Fela Kuti’s mild but glorious “Mr. Follow Follow” and a hi-jinked warm-down that was heavy on the reggae and dubstep vibes. However, despite the musical might of his display and the frenzy he himself whipped up, the night really belonged to the Kabal DJs from Sheffield. The crew behind the Kabal provide magical parties in the Steel City, which run on an open-minded musical diet of rich ragga’n’dancehall, tough breakbeats and bassline driven House. More used to secret shindigs in restaurants, churches and other weird venues than proper nightclubs, the Sheffield posse still put on an exciting display. As well as bringing energetic music and a hot stepping mixing display, Kabal actually laid on two coaches from Sheffield and the crew brought some of their crowd with them. This shows the strength of the vibe at this soiree, when they’re able to command an audience willing to travel over the Pennines, just to dance to their selectors in the backroom of the Chair. Bringing the crowd over produced an atmosphere in the backroom rarely witnessed, with the excitement reaching fever pitch once the Kabal selectors started.

The star of the outfit is a young man by the name of Toddla T, a product of Sheffield’s open-minded music scene, who has been schooled by old hands such as his fellow Kabal spinners; Pipes, Peppa Seed and Winston Hazel. Toddla’s selection included bassline bangers such as Leeds based T2’s monstrous “Heartbroken” and his own “Pull Up Mi Portion” featuring Mr. Versatile, a tough digi-Ragga ode to Jamaican cuisine, whose airing provoked deafening whoops and screams that demanded a rewind. It is not often that the shack eclipses the mainroom, but on this occasion it certainly happened. A large crowd of Sheffield and non Sheffield people were crammed into the backroom, showing their appreciation of explosive music with their non-stop dancing, shouts, whistles and by punching the air. Both of The Unabombers hail from Yorkshire and know members of the Kabal group well. Therefore, it was fitting that on this occasion, in the dying days of their own clubbing institution, a crew from the UB’s side of the Pennines reminded them how truly inspirational an intimate club experience can be.

JF
Web:
http://www.electriks.co.uk
http://www.myspace.com/the_kabal


Electric Soca Remixes

Rodion – Electric Soca Remixes (Gomma)

Web: http://www.gomma.de

Rome future disco enthusiasts Rodion get the remix treatment here from a trio of exciting production outfits. Berlin’s DJ Kaos gives “Electric Soca” an uplifting remix, courtesy of firm synths and crushing keys, whilst Cosmo Vitelli strings us out, with the help of kaleidoscope keys and a filter or two. The Crookers Remix is the winner, due to its demented bassline driven grooves.

JF

The Booby Trap

Kenny Hawkes & David Parr – The Booby Trap (Arcobaleno)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/sergesantiago

Established spinners Kenny Hawkes and David Parr join forces for some excellent heads down technified House action. The original version sees a bassline that packs punch move along behind jumpy keys and calm beats. Label boss Serge Santiago meters out a tight percussive line, fizzing synths and a hell raising bassline on his epic overhaul.


JF

Lonely

Jaymz Nylon feat. Kyra Sexton – Lonely (Nylon Trax)

Web: http://www.nylonrecordings.com

Jaymz Nylon once more comes up with the goods on Nylon Recordings’s sub-label, this time with a vocal contribution from the delightful Kyra Sexton. The pick of the mixes is the Original version, which features wave-like synths, touching guitars and smooth vocals.

JF

Retouch

Johnwaynes – Retouch (Brique Rouge Limited)

Web: http://www.briquerouge.com

Seemingly inspired by that famous gun toting US actor, the Johnwaynes hail from Portugal and make stylish technotronic grooves. “Retouch” has been remoulded by Llorca into an invigorating synth ride and also by Alex Parsons, who has created a sleazy acidic effort, where star-gazing keys hold court.

JF

Blood and Honey


DJ 3000 – Blood and Honey EP (Motech)

Web: http://www.motechrecords.com

This EP from Frank Juncaj aka DJ 3000 aka Mr. Motech is taken from an LP of the same name, currently available in Japan. It is a string-adorned assault of technoid and electroid efforts, which will set dancefloors alight. The EP begins with the short in stature yet invigorating “Lost Generation”, before moving on to the wobbly “Ottoman March”. Flip for an intense key touched gem entitled “Took My Nation” and the apocalyptically stringed “Illegal Alien”.

JF

Que Pasa Maria (What's happpening Maria)?


Ziggy Kinder – Que Pasa Maria / Bailamos (Souvenir)

Web: http://www.souvenir-music.com

From the title of his tracks you might expect Ziggy to hail from Spain or Latin America, but he was actually born in Poland and now lives in Cologne and produces mind bending slimline techno. Head straight for “Bailamos (we danced)”, where trippy synths, low slung yet metered beats and bass shadows will make you comply with Senor Kinder’s request.

JF

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Rize

Glenn Underground & Daisy Villa - Rize (Need2Soul)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/daisyvilla

This is a classic spiritual House ode from Chicago’s Glenn Underground and sultry vocalist Daisy Villa. The main mix sees Underground weave Villa’s sensuous tones in between poised synths, sweet strings and cute key work. The CVO re-touch is a mystical revision, with involving keys and hypnotic synth patterns.

JF

Hustler

Simian Mobile Disco - Hustler (Wichita)

Web: http://www.simianmobiledisco.co.uk

“Hustler” was originally out on a cheeky white label a while back, before appearing in prime position on SMD’s debut LP. This catchy, post acid-house shoplifting anthem returns under a hail of remixes. Armand Van Helden gives it the screechy synth’n’b-line treatment, which isn’t a patch on the original and Kevin Saunderson presents a remix that uses a single vocal line to good use, but doesn‘t make much of the rest of the track. Jesse Rose adds a juddering bassline to good effect on his mix, but none of the remixes match the oozing acid driven excitement of the SMD versions.

JF

Dancing Girl

Aaron Jerome - Dancing Girl EP (BBE)

Web: http://www.myspace.com/aaronjerome

Updating or rather re-shaping a classic emotive soul number is never easy, but Jerome has made a pretty good stab at it, with this take on Terry Callier’s superlative “Dancing Girl“. Leaving the song structure pretty much intact, a few instrumental changes provide the justification for this cover, with the acoustic guitars providing the requisite uplift and Mozez presenting a lovely rendition of Callier’s vocals. The instrumental version shows the true strength and depth of this arrangement of “Dancing Girl”, whilst another vocal-less effort on this EP, “Marrakech”, is a string soaked beauty and further confirms Aaron’s skills at creating touching music. “Blow Your Own” ropes in Kathrin deBoer of Belleruche fame for a smoky jazz hop effort, where delicate pianos back Kathrin’s enchanting tones.

JF

Time Fades Away


D.Ramirez & Jamie Mowbray - Time Fades Away (Four :Twenty)

Web: http://www.fourtwentyrecordings.com

Old hand Dean Ramirez meets up with Jamie Mowbray, a Four:Twenty regular and up & coming DJ talent for a blunt yet satisfying technified dancefloor offering. As expected, twisted synths play a key role on “Time Fades Away“, writhing under amorous vocals and wired keys.

JF

The Red Giants EP

Irfan - The Red Giants EP (Still Music)

Web: http://www.itstillmusic.com

It’s been a while since the last time Irfan of Rainy City Music fame offered such Techy compositions, but this EP is a welcome return to a tougher musical landscape. Head straight for “The Moonmoths”, where warm synths partner glowing keys and persistent percussion. The ‘Raw Version‘ of “Red Giants” is all pressing synths and off-kilter jazzoid keys, whilst the ’Soundtrack Version’ is a deeper mission, with keys that penetrate further!

JF

Gjeloshaj 1862

DJ 3000 & Santiago Salazar - Gjeloshaj 1862 (Motech)

Web: http://www.motechrecords.com

Originally created by Gerald Mitchell and then re-shaped by Mr Motech, Santiago Salazar added the final touches with his stunning remix of “Gjeloshaj 1862”. This shows that in some cases, the work of three minds is certainly better than one. Flowing keys, golden synths and relentless percussion do the work behind merged Albanian vocals on Salazar’s streamlined remix.

JF

Zig Zag

Yellow Sox - Zig Zag EP (Freerange)

Web: http://www.freerangrecords.co.uk

Back in the days when tags such as Deep House actually described music that was emotionally provoking and not just the oral equivalent of watching paint dry, Diesel of X Press 2 fame made belters like “Flim Flam” that were actually worthy of the tag that is now pretty much obsolete. “Zig Zag” in original form is a little drawn out, but the ’Edit’ is on the money, courtesy of its journeying synths, wide-eyed strings and heaving bass drops.

JF

Oh My Mind

Bangana - Oh My Mind/Mrs Moore (Heya Hifi)

Web: http://www.heyahifi.com

Inspired by the writing of an early twentieth century British Christian mystic, Evelyn Underhill, this tasty two tracker features House rhythmics that will appeal to the mind as well as the feet. “Oh My Mind” features fractured beats, mysterious key work and confusing bass dalliances. “Mrs. Moore” plods along with the help of a bottomless bassline and ’nice’ keys.

JF

Saltamonte

Guy Gerber & Chaim - Saltamonte EP (Supplement Facts)

Web: http://www.supplement-facts.net

Tel Aviv based Guy Gerber hooks up with fellow countryman Chaim for some mind bending technotronic action in the shape of “Saltamonte” (which means grasshopper in Spanish), released on his own Supplement Facts imprint. The title track is set to do tremendous dancefloor damage and features gargling synth lines, neat percussive work and rolling bass action. “Milkyway” is a dreamier affair, where mind-expanding keys and drunken synths rule.

JF

Black Is The Night

DJ Vadim feat. Katherin DeBoer - Black Is The Night (BBE)

Web: http://www.bbemusic.com

Russian born Hip Hop maestro DJ Vadim hits the Soul Hop nail on the head here, with a little help from Belleruche’s Kathrin deBoer, who may just be the next Alice Russell! Swaying beats and lilting guitars provide a complementary backing to deBoer’s macabre vocals on this tune, which is available on Vadim’s “Got To Rock EP”.

Hot Kitchen

Robbie - The Joint/Hot Kitchen (Supernature Recordings)

Web: http://wwwmyspace.com/supernaturerecordings

Robbie Akbal hails from Mexico and he brings us the first release on Supernature, an imprint set up by Audiofly. Unfortunately the strongest cut is not available on the vinyl release, but MP3 buyers get “Hot Kitchen”, a monstrous Technoid effort that features a mean bassline, single tone key work and slim beats.

JF

Time

Nick Holder feat. Sacha - Time (NRK)

Web: http://www.nrkmusic.com

An ever-present face in House music for more than a decade, Nick Holder brings another first rate effort to NRK in the shape of “Time”. The original version is a sweet broken house effort, whilst the ’Six Series Dub’ is a pointed housefloor revision with barbed synths and pleading vocal lines.

JF

Fair Weather Friends


Daedelus - Fair Weather Friends (Ninja Tune)

Web: http://www.ninjatune.net

Daedelus turns the formbook on its head to create an indie-hop winner that surprises and delights in equal amounts. It is only really the title track on this EP that is worth your attention, but its energetic percussion, organ power and suggestive vocal refrain makes “Fair Weather Friends“ pretty damn special.

JF

Summer Love EP

Louie Austen - Summer Love (LA Music)

Web: http://www.louieausten.com

It seems like the crooning lounge lizard went on holiday in the summer and here he wishes to share a detailed oral travelogue with his listeners. “Coconut Girl” is an acoustic guitar driven lovely and Lalo Schifrin could have produced his idealistic tribute to a South American nation, entitled “Brazil”. Back in Europe, the grooving “Barcelona” charts the excitement of Spain’s second city, whilst “Summer Love” is an offbeat electronic recollection of sun kissed amour.

JF

Decadal Cruise


Koichi Ozaki (Eurasian Suite) - Decadal Cruise (Eurasian Suite)

Web: http://www.geocities.jp/eurasiansuite

Koichi ‘Eurasian Suite’ Ozaki returns for with more intriguing left-of-centre neo-jazz music, with Novo Tempo in tow, as per usual. This release is available from Japanese iTunes and kicks off with the piano and percussion guided “Decadal Cruise”. The ’Bamboo Mix’ is a more fluid version and the other track from Ozaki on this EP, entitled “Newborn Echo”, brings forth an inner peace, courtesy of some beautiful key work and regimented percussion. Novo Tempo’s contribution to this EP is “Circles”, where a thoughtful live bass is joined by touching flute playing and solemn percussion.

JF