taking a break

Won't be posting again until May 27th-- sorry about that, but I am spending my last week in college with my friends. DJing a lot of great parties and drinking brews in the sun. Hope all of you are well and getting down to some good jams! Also, if you ever wanted to know what I look like, take your guess at which person is me in the above picture.


i'll carry the torch for you

To go into the complete history of Allez Allez would require much more than a simple blog entry, so if you're interested in the nitty-gritty of the group's history, I'd suggest clicking on the link above. What I will tell you is that they were big, big fans of Grace Jones, and one can tell.

The sound of "Flesh & Blood" is a retro, early disco sound, with male vocals chanting and a sexy female riding above it all with a truly luscious voice. Bass is heavy, secondary percussive elements are excellent, and synthesized strings along with well-effected horns complete the track. Really quite something, and I think that the intro would make for some great breaks samples!

Allez Allez- Flesh & Blood

Tomorrow, thinking dub.


dark lands

(Painting by Louise Balaam)

Today, a 1989 production from Robert Owens, one of the original Chicago house DJs whose work with Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles and Satoshi Tomiie is legendary. A pioneer of the early US acid house scene that would later jump the pond to Britain, Owens' "Living in a Land" (released by Gene Hunt) is a 115-bpm, slow-burning acid number that has a subtly dark, menacing streak. Well-syncopated squelches, unbelievably well-padded kicks, and splashy cymbals make this a necessary track for any fan of early house and early acid house. Nowadays, Owens' sound is smoother and more what I would term soulful house, but he's still got an impeccable ear-- a trip to his myspace page (linked above) is highly recommended.

Robert Owens- Living in a Land

Tomorrow, my favorite track by the pivotal Belgian new wave soul group, Allez Allez



As promised, today I present to you one of my favorite Kraftwerk tracks, taken from their 1973 album, Ralf und Florian. "Tanzmusik" is one of the beat-oriented tracks on an album that is largely beatless, and while the sound is of a primitive, Suicide-like drum machine, the kicks and cymbals here actually come from a preset on an electric organ's rhythm machine. With airy melodic lines, faraway-seeming voice drones, bells, and hand-claps, this is a truly blissful track-- it even reminds me of Animal Collective, at certain points. Not entirely man-machines yet, "Tanzmusik" is a prime example of Kraftwerk's early stylings.

Kraftwerk- Tanzmusik

Some good, old-fashioned acid house coming at you tomorrow.


you know it ain't easy

Today, an excellent remix of Lindstrom by his countrymen, Mungolian Jet Set. No need for much of an introduction to either party here, though it is worth mentioning that Mungolian Jet Set have remixed everyone from Pizzy Yelliott to contemporary composer Nils Petter Molvaer-- the breadth of their work is proof of their greatness, in my opinion.

The MJS remix of "A Blast of Loser" is a thirteen-minute long, truly epic dance track that comes in at around 121 bpm. Lush synth harmonies begin the track, to be accompanied eventually by soft female vocals, an undulously percussive bass-line, and what sounds like a guitar effected to sound like a sitar. What could be considered the 'chorus' of the track is utterly catchy, with the female vocalist being shadowed by a distorted electric guitar. Perhaps the most interesting elements of the track, though, are the flourishes that MJS add-- snippets of flute, samples falling apart, backwards loops low in the mix, and jet noises are all par for the course. An excellent track for the summer months to come!

Lindstrom- A Blast of Loser (Mungolian Jet Set 9406 Remix)

Tomorrow, one of my favorite Kraftwerk tracks for the springtime!


inside of you

Today, another treat from a member of the Shinkoyo crew. Severiano Martinez, better known as Seve, has recorded numerous albums, collaborated on countless projects, made horror films, and published a book. A renaissance man if there ever was one, Seve also used to DJ quite a bit under the name of 7ev3, and his mixes are totally impeccable and prescient of the mash-up, remix-heavy atmosphere of today's party world.

"The Sound of Violence" was originally performed and released by Cassius in 2002. With the sex-infused vocals of Steve Edwards, who seems to score perennial hits like his "Together" collaboration with Bob Sinclar, Cassius created a monstrous track that echoes in bedrooms and basements even now. 7ev3 essentially stretches the track, editing it ever-so-slightly so that we get eight full minutes of electro-house brilliance. At about 128 bpm, this remix of "The Sound of Violence" is perfect peak-time material, almost certain to send a dance-floor into a sweaty mess of ecstasy. Too catchy for words to describe, and very highly recommended-- since I don't usually say this about French electro-house, you know I'm not lying! A truly sexy track.

Cassius- The Sound of Violence (7ev3 Mix)

Tomorrow, a left-field disco remix from the likes of Mungolian Jet Set.


sunday mixer volume five

Be sure you're alive-- if the mix I'm giving you today doesn't make you want to slamdance in some abandoned factory in Berlin, then you might not actually be alive. So listen, just to be certain. DJ Rush will do you good with some dark and filthy hi-bpm techno, promise.

1 DJ Rush- Hydraulies (4:58)
2 Ian Pooley- Loopduelle 1 (4:07)
3 Welt In Scherben- Welt In Scherben I-1 (4:34)
4 S.R.I.-Songs To Remember (3:53)
5 A2L-Tripman (RMX.AGE) (4:41)
6 S.R.I.- Black Out (3:51)
7 Strass- Strass 2 (4:31)
8 Filter- Rechteck / S├Ągezahn (6:05)
9 Strass- Alles Ist Gut (3:58)
10 Welt In Scherben- Welt In Scherben II-1 (3:44)
11 Null-Notzucht (5:16)
12 Age- Technik (5:05)
13 DJ Rush- Seasons (4:26)

DJ Rush- Rauschen 14

Next up, a Cassius remix.


towards a new land

I've revised today's track offering-- instead of giving you a Blake Baxter track from H-Factor, I'm going to give you an alternate version of Baxter's most recent collaboration with Marc Romboy. "Fly Away" is the first single from Romboy's new album Contrast (available for download at Hypnotic Breaks), and it is most certainly the best track on the record. The original of "Fly Away" is a typical Romboy production: catchy, punchy chords slowly ascend until they are at a fever pitch, with dry hi-hats and secondary, trancey synths backing the main line up. Baxter lends an uplifting vocal that espouses Detroit-style techno liberation theology, and it is his vocal line that truly separates this Romboy track from his typical, ever-expanding list of releases. The alternate version of "Fly Away," on the other hand, is almost difficult to recognize as a Romboy track-- its sound is more jacking and more jungle-like, with obvious nods to the work of the Belleville Three and Baxter's own techno productions. Baxter's vocals are essentially stripped out of the track, so that the only vocal element is a loop of a pitched-down Baxter intoning, 'fly away.' Along with these differences, the alternate version's kicks are deeper and its synthesized string drone is more omnipresent. A real treat to get an alternate version before the album is released, here it is for your listening pleasure.

Marc Romboy VS. Blake Baxter- Fly Away Version 2

Tomorrow, an Italo classic. Hells yeah.



Though I try to only upload new stuff that is more obscure or not as well-known, there are some instances wherein I feel the need to post something well-known (or well-hyped) simply because it is brilliant, difficult to find, or simply prohibitively expensive. Last time I checked the internet, not a single US store or distributor was carrying the fantastic new EP from Henrik Schwarz and South Africa's Amampondo. With shipping costs and the dollar being worth so little, one would have to spend $23 to get their hands on a copy. So I'm posting a track from it today for your enjoyment.

While the original of "I Exist Because of You" is a genuinely African-sounding, deep and lush house track, Dixon's stripped down edit brings the track to a more club-friendly sound, slowing it a bit, but ratcheting up the kicks and creating absolutely sublime peaks and valleys that will surely cause any dancefloor to erupt in whoops and hollers. Though I wish that Dixon hadn't taken out some of the brassiness of the original, his version emphasizes the track's most important aspects, namely the secondary percussion and the wonderfully prominent marimba. One of the year's best tracks, and certainly worth your money; seriously, buy a copy of this record-- you will not regret it.

Henrik Schwarz & Amampondo- I Exist Because of You (Dixon's Stripped Down Version)

Tomorrow, I'm thinking Blake Baxter.


true jaguar

Today, a 2000 remix of The Aztec Mystic's "Jaguar" from another Detroit-associated group, Octave One. "Jaguar" is perhaps one of the best-known and most beloved techno tracks of all time, and in terms of its structure and pure energy, it is irreproachable. Octave One take the original and, unlike Derrick May (whose remix is good but not a great departure), truly twist it into a long-running, hypnotizing deep house track that sounds as fresh now as it did eight years ago. The string loops of the original are looped further, the secondary percussion is much more prominent, and the bass-line is brought up in the mix so that one can recognize its pure jazziness. A classic, highly recommended!

The Aztec Mystic- Jaguar (Octave One Mix)

Tomorrow, surprises never cease.


sunday mixer volume four (and more)

Yesterday was full of activity-- the town parade, poetry readings, old friends in town, a Caribou concert, but most importantly: Odetta. Her performance left me without words. So without further ado, here is a classic Odetta track that many have used as breaks in the past. Lots of soul!

Odetta- Hit or Miss

The mix of the week comes to us from a reader and DJ who dubs himself The Hatemaster, which might not be the nicest name, especially as the little mini-mix he's done is quite warm. On a classic and somewhat progressive house tip, the four-song mix is impeccably mixed and full of a raw, sweaty energy that could really get a room moving. Here's the tracklisting. Enjoy, and thanks for sending me the mix, Hatemaster!

1."Buffalo Club" The Buffalo Bunch
2."Gym Tonic" (Thomas Bangalter Mix) Bob Sinclar
3."Flawless" (Club Mix) The Ones
4."Cassius 99" (Remix / Long Version) Cassius

The Hatemaster- Another House Mix

Tomorrow, I'm thinking something by Octave One? Maybe a classic remix?


soul space

As promised, today we have a track from the Son of Raw, aka Dennis Ferrer. "A Black Man in Space" is a 126-bpm, soulful track with the deep vibes we've come to love from Ferrer. Heavy kicks, splashy cymbals, vocal bits, and an absolutely wailing saxophone that reminds one of Junior Walker and other soul-stompers of the past. Ferrer is one of the most searched artists on Beatport, and there's a good reason for it: his productions are always tight, floor-filling and full of emotional resonance that other artists can only attempt to imitate.

Son of Raw- A Black Man in Space

Tomorrow, something a little folky, as Odetta is in town and I am beyond excited!


skin toughening

Today, a great new remix by a track from London's Glimpse. "Elephant Skins" is a minimal beast, with incredibly deep kicks and North African horn sounds that would make Ricardo Villalobos blush. Though some others seem to think that Johnny D.'s remix is more minimal, I think they might need to pull the cloth out of their ears-- the Mannheim resident adds sensual vocal loops, more expressive secondary percussion, and keyboard stabs that back his warping of the original's horns with much harmonic intensity. Along with little squelchy acid moments and a nuanced take on the track's kicks, Johnny D.'s remix is a most fantastic take on the original, and I wouldn't be surprised if his version of "Elephant Skins" is played out more. Suitable for dark jungle walks and late-night desert oases.

Glimpse- Elephant Skins (Johnny D. Remix)

Tomorrow, something new from an old friend, the Son of Raw.