Hope your 2007 was wonderful-- mine certainly was! Here's to an even better 2008. (And remember, be safe tonight.)
Posts shall start again in earnest sometime before January 9th, when I'll be back near my turntables. Loads of great stuff, including a Quiet Village remix and a fantastic track from MLZ, will be coming at ya then!
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple of years, you've heard "Call on Me" by Eric Prydz. You've probably also watched the infamous video. Little explanation is needed here-- today's post deals with a remix of the sexy progressive house track by Henrik B, who has been producing and releasing super-clubby techno and house since 1998. In the remix, Henrik takes some of the best elements of the original, loops them nicely, and stretches out the main vocal refrain to an ecstatic peak numerous times. The bass-line is wrangling, and the additional, hi-frequency secondary synths make for a true banger of a track. Not for those looking for something super-intelligent-- I mean, this track is basically about fucking or its approximation on the dance-floor. Great to mix into Ingrosso's remix of "Swimming Places" or any of Jacques Lu Cont's remixes of the Madonna track he produced in 2005, "Hung Up." Have fun, and sweat it out looking at those ladies in the video-- or if you're like me, drooling over the sole male, Juan Pablo di Pace.
Eric Prydz- Call on Me (Henrik B. Remix)
Tomorrow, look forward to a track that will help uncork the new year.
I promised a surprise, and here it is: an excellent remix of 2raumwohnung's "Mir Kann Nichts Passieren." For those unfamiliar with 2rw, they're a German electro-pop duo who've been releasing steadily since 2000. This year, though, it seems as though the minimal crowd finally caught onto the sound they're making, with two 12"s of remixes from the likes of Phonique, Moritz von Oswald and Thies Mynther & Tobi Neumann's Glove project. This last duo are the remixers we're dealing with today: Mynther & Neumann take a relatively innocuous but sweet electro-acoustic pop track and turn it into a 125 bpm monster, replete with writhing bass-lines, gorgeously-syncopated vocal samples, and an often light, airy feel that is missing from much of the tech-house of today. Inga Humpe's vocals are certainly what lends the track this sense, and along with some awesome filters and washes, the track is a real charmer-- while Moritz von Oswald's mix is a sexy, great exercise in the Basic Channel dub-techno that we all know and love, it is Glove's remix that stands out from the rest here.
2raumwohnung- Mir Kann Nichts Passieren (Glove Disco Remix)
Tomorrow, a jaunt into progressive house with Henrik B.'s remix of the Eric Prydz anthem, "Call On Me." Yeah, I know. I just can't resist.
Another deep track from the mid-90's for you today. Abacus (aka Austin Bascom) has been an active producer since 1994, with releases on tons of different house labels, including Prescription, Peacefrog, and so on. The track below, "Come On," is a gem: essentially two lush synth-lines smooth their way throughout, with nice handclaps, pan-pipe like secondary synths, and stabby piano chords coming in to create an atmospheric deep house track that would fit in on a Defected mix today. Of course, the female vocals encouraging the listener to "COME ON" embellish the track further-- you wonder just where this lady wants to take you, but it doesn't matter, because it is sure to be a pleasant place. Moving at 123 bpm, "Come On" could be mixed into almost any deep house set with grace and aplomb.
Abacus- Come On
Tomorrow, a surprise!
With no relation to the homophobic douchebag running for president-- his name is spelled differently, after all-- Mike Huckaby has been at it for many years, creating lush, dubby, Detroit-infused house and techno. Today's post concerns a certain remix that Huckaby did of a Norm Talley track called "Change," originally released in 2003 on Third Ear Recordings' excellent Detroit Beatdown remix series. "Change" is a caress of a track, with soft synth melodic lines more reminiscent of Jan Hammer than standard deep house, a relaxing 119 beats per minute, and high synth bits riding over it all in typical Detroit fashion. Great for the chill-out room or simply lounging about the house, Huckaby's take on "Change" is sure to please. Worth mentioning, too, are Huckaby's most recent original productions, particularly his My Life with the Wave 12" on S Y N T H Records.
Norm Talley- Change (Mike Huckaby Remix)
Tomorrow, the Afrocentric, Defected-style deep house of Abacus.
As promised, here is a classic 125-bpm house track from 1993-- Hardrive's "Deep Inside." This vocal version, featuring Barbara Tucker's strong diva pipes, is a fantastic track to mix with, especially earlier on in the evening when the party is hopping but not too crowded just yet. Though I admit some ambivalence towards some of Lil' Louie Vega's more recent hip-house and latin-house productions, his older works as Hardrive, especially the New Jersey stylings of "Deep Inside," hit the spot-- the track's great bass-line, nice dry synths, and almost gospelly vocals are infectious to the extreme. Definitely an oldie, but most definitely a keeper, even by today's standards.
Hardrive- Deep Inside
Tomorrow, get ready for a super-lush, dubby Mike Huckaby remix of Norm Talley's "Change."
This time an apology is in order. Sorry for making promises I couldn't keep, the past week has been positively insane. For one, I finally finished college. And now, it is the holidays, and I've been kept away from my computer by all sorts of people and errands.
But starting the 26th, I'm going to do something special-- a track every day until New Year's. First up? A '93 track from Hardrive, aka Lil' Louie Vega.
Best to you and yours for the holidays.
I will not apologize for the delay-- I'm in my last semester of school, so it's been a bit hectic.
Nonetheless, today I'll be regaling you with my best of the year list along with some sort of mp3 or mix for each release. Though I hesitate to put releases that are all excellent in a hierarchical, subjective list form...thems the breaks.
DEEP MOVEMENTS' BEST RECORDS OF THE YEAR
1. Jichael Mackson- Wasn't Me (Musique Risquee)
Who knew that Chris Isaak would come back in such full force this year? Wasn't Me uses samples from "Wicked Games" in every single one of its three tracks, most notably in what I would call one of the best overall tracks of the year, "The Grass is Always Greener"-- hard to beat dubby minimal beats, Bob Ross samples, and the most ethereal aspects of Chris Isaak's most famous song. In fact, when I first heard "The Grass is Always Greener," I couldn't help wanting to name it the "Sunshine Underground" of '07. The rest of the Wasn't Me is equally fantastic-- trippy, dubby techno with a sense of humor and ill samples.
Jichael Mackson- Freitag Abend Remix
2. Brendon Moeller- Jazz Space EP (Third Ear Recordings)
Another dubby treat from Moeller, perhaps better known under his Beat Pharmacy moniker. Jazz Space lies somewhere between Basic Channel's more dub side, Deepchord releases and new German minimal, with tracks like "Pink Noise" and "Space" topping many DJ's top ten lists this past summer. With excellent percussive elements, high washes, undulating bass-lines and rhythmic complexity nearly unrivalled this year, Moeller's work is excellent, and should certainly be looked for in 2008.
Brendon Moeller- Space
3. Echospace- The Coldest Season Part 2 (Modern Love)
Echospace is a project of DeepChord's Rod Modell and Souldubsounds owner Steven Hitchell. Produced using nothing but vintage analog equipment, Roland Space Echo, Echoplex, Korg tape delay, vintage signal processors, noise generators, Sequential Circuits 8 bit samplers & numerous analog synthesizers. With four 12"s and an excellent album under their belt in one year, it is obvious that Echospace are the most hard-working masters of dub techno around. Creating a sound that can be called a more active take on that of the Chain Reaction Records catalogue, Echospace have been playing quite constantly in my house and my headphones-- and no, not just when I'm blizzy. High washes, lazy-seeming dub bass-lines, and synth sounds that hum beautifully: how can you get better than this? "Empyrean," while being the final track of The Coldest Season album, is the B-side of the excellent part two of the 12" singles releases. (Also, if you're hungry for more Echospace, I'd suggest heading over to Hypnotic Breaks, who have a disgusting number of their releases up for download).
4. Kiki & Sasse- Belvedere (Moodmusic)
The two who brought us the sexy and elegant "Loosing Touch" in 2006 return with one of the more heavenly deep house records of the year. "Grand Cru" is an irresistible, deep tech-house number with a wonderful 1-4-5-3 synth loop running lushly throughout. Along with a wriggling, high-mixed bass line and perfect percussive bits, the 120 bpm track is a perfect late-late floor-shaker. I literally cannot get enough of this track-- it is perfect for mixing, and quite nice whilst taking a walk, too.
Kiki & Sasse- Grand Cru
5. dOP- Between the Blues EP (Circus Company)
The best new group of tech-house producers this year. Excellently composed and compressed, catchy, brilliant. Though I originally posted the track "Dopamen" here a month or so back, "Allo Boom Boom," is another equally amazing track, with excellent horn samples, a mesmerizing percussive element, and synth stabs that give the listener chills. Finally, it is worth noting that the dOP guys are friendly and excellent people-- if you're in Europe, go see them! They play out quite often.
dOP- Allo Boom Boom
6. Substance & Vainqueur- Libration/Resonance 12" (Scion Versions)
Peter Kuschnereit and Rene Lowe released their first record together on the Chain Reaction imprint in 1995, and only recently have they come together again to produce some of the finest minimal dub-techno around. While many believe that "Libration" is the stronger track on this particular 12", I am more fond of "Resonance"-- its washes are more dreamy, rhythms more chugging, and synths less dark. There is no telling when a new Substance & Vainqueur record will come out, but the fact that it will be fantastic goes without saying.
Substance & Vainqueur- Resonance
7. Nomadico- The Nomadico EP (Underground Resistance)
Nomadico (aka DJ Dex) is one of the newest members of the Underground Resistance family, and since joining Mad Mike & Co., he's been making quite an impression on techno fans all over-- even China. Not only are his Invisible Showcase mixes seamlessly mixed bits of dance music history, but his own productions carry the torch of UR while giving insight into his own personal style. The Nomadico EP is a sick bit of detroit techno the way it should be made-- poundingly fast, aggressive, catchy, and thick as hell with different layers of percussion and acidy squelches. "Tazumal" is the highlight of the EP, with a sound that is as intoxicating as any of UR's early releases, with what I would consider nods to UR's Riot EP and Waveform EP.
Perhaps it is also worth noting that Nomadico's live DJ sets are phenomenal, as mentioned in posts from this past August. I interviewed him for Big Shot Magazine, and he is a truly great guy. So put your hands up for Detroit!
8. Pom Pom- Pom Pom 29 (Pom Pom)
The infamously mysterious Pom Pom did it again this year, with three new releases, all of them golden. But Pom Pom 29 is something special-- the A-side is perhaps the brightest track Pom Pom has ever created, with a sound more akin to Minilogue or even Lindstrom. The two tracks on the B-side are more of a return to form, but this is not a knock-- both of the tracks are darkly hallucinatory, spacy bits of warehouse techno appropriate for that deeply strange time between the after-party and the after-after-party. Let's hope that Pom Pom continues the run of astounding records in 2008.
Pom Pom- Pom Pom 29 (B2)
9. Breakage-Clarendon/The Shroud (Digital Soundboy Recording Co.)
So, if you've been reading this blog for a bit, you know that Marcus Intalex's FabricLive 35 changed my opinion of current drum'n'bass for the better, especially because of the inclusion of "Clarendon" from England's Breakage. It contains a narcotizing two-note bass loop, ascending horn samples, dub vocal snippets, and delayed backing percussion. Of course, the requisite congas enter into the mix, but only towards the track's apex, when all drops out for a lone, delayed vocal bit. Whether or not jungle is your thing or not, the track is perfect for testing out new sub-woofers or simply sitting back and smoking a fattie. Highly recommended stuff, especially for those looking to chill out and let bass destroy their innards.
10. Len Faki- Work/Odyssee (split with 2000 and One) (Podium)
Mr. Faki's had quite a busy year, with five releases put out, including the highly-acclaimed "Mekong Delta"/"Rainbow Delta" 12" on Ostgut Tontrager. "Odyssee I" has big pulsating bass, great kicks, finger-snaps, well-placed congas, and the synths! High, panning washes reminiscent of Basic Channel, super-bright melodic lines coupled with harsher (yet strangely complementary) lines forming wonderful harmonies, and even some low, acidy squelch thrown in for good measure. At 125 BPM, it is a mid-paced yet epic track that is made to rock the dance-floor hard. Finally, though it is altogether different as a whole, the finger-snaps and movement of the track sometimes made me think of the excellent Eulberg & Ananda remix of Cold's "Strobelight Network." Great during peak hours, and a fantastic track to walk purposefully to on an overcast day.
Len Faki- Odyssee I
Well, there you have it! Look forward to some more fine tracks later this week, including a totally sick remix of Minilogue's "Ahck" from this past April, as well as an hour-long vinyl mix from yours truly.
Today's post deals with one of the more unheralded minimal producers of our time, J. Hunsberger. My friend Harry over at eeshirtay first turned me onto Hunsberger during a Xanax-fueled afternoon at Cleveland's Bent Crayon Records last fall. The All Around Us 12" on Mule that Harry purchased that day quickly became one of my favorite records because its sound is simply...well, unlike most minimal techno out there. Rhythmic complexity, nimble beats and excellent synths mix with a dubby aesthetic and voice-propelled samples to create a sonic landscape that is among the more unique in the oversaturated minimal scene. Today, I'm sharing a track from the 2005 Movement 12" on Mutek called "Move On." With ethereal vocal samples and menacingly sentimental full-blown lyrics, the 130 BPM track sometimes reminds one of Villalobos, but that's as far as comparisons go here-- Hunsberger is an esoteric producer with much talent, and should be much more known than he is. So check out "Move On," and check out All Around Us, too-- you won't be disappointed.
J. Hunsberger- Move On
Later this week, be prepared for my year-end list with all sorts of tracks for your listening pleasure.