Today, a departure from the gayness and the house for something a bit leftfield from One of Them, one of the newest signings to Chris Fortier's Fade Records imprint.
"Contagious Error" is one of those rare minimal techno gems that pays a weird sort of homage to industrial noise music along with that genre of yesteryear, IDM: the percussive elements of "Contagious Error" sound like the rusted machineries of old factories set into hypnotic motion again, with a disarmingly low bass rumble, deep kicks, hi-frequency blips, a subtly gorgeous melodic line, and secondary synth elements that emerge from the roar quite slowly. The track has a similar aesthetic to last year's excellent Tupperwear record on Klitekture, as it seems that One of Them has an abiding love for the noisier, more rough-hewn edges of techno music. Quite beguiling stuff-- definitely recommended for any into IDM, rough techno or noise music.
One of Them- Contagious Error (Original Mix)
Tomorrow, a return to form with a smooth house jam.
So, with school and all the craziness of living in San Francisco, along with writing my effing brains out all the time, I've decided that I'll only be updating the blog from Thursday- Monday. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are too crazy. Five posts a week, guaranteed, from now on!
All right, today I have a 2006 joint from Michoacan, originally released on Bear Entertainment, a label well-known for their fantastic disco and proto-house releases. "Hold on Baby, We'll Make It" is a 123-bpm proto-house tune, with heavy kicks, a resounding mid-frequency bass-line, whistles, hi-frequency washes, and some truly elegant strings. Spacy synths that come halfway through are excellent, and the secondary percussive elements are also a treasure. While I'd love to hear a disco diva wailing over this excellent instrumental track, it stands alone as a lovely bit of beardo-disco. Certainly hasn't gotten enough love from fans, so get to it and get down.
Michoacan- Hold on Baby, We'll Make It
Tomorrow, something real-- for real.
Today, a track from Common Factor, aka Nick Calingaert, who seems to have dropped from the scene completely after his last release in 2006. In 1998, Calingaert released his first EP on Carl Craig's Planet E label, and its second wave Detroit sound attracted many followers. "Will," perhaps the most complex track from that EP, is a 125-bpm monster, with a low humming bass-line, furious kicks, excellent secondary percussion elements, and several layers of harmonic intensity in both the mid- and hi-frequencies. Hypnotic in its splendid syncopation, the track has a stoned, dancing-by-myself quality that is hard to beat-- a real treasure of the late 90s, and most definitely a track from an artist whose work shouldn't be forgotten.
Common Factor- Will
Tomorrow, some new stuff for your ears!
No apologies for my absence, just this: disco, drag queens, and a crazy apartment in Hunter's Point.
Today, I'm offering up a 1977 disco jam that seems to be rather rare, which I happened upon on vinyl many years ago in a Cleveland record shop. Southroad Connection only did a few singles, but "You Like It, We Love It" seems to be their ultimate accomplishment. With a destructively funky bass-line, string stabs that recall a more raw Philly sound, and the requisite bright horn section, "You Like It..." is a lost gem that deserves some more love. The group vocals have just enough reverb, and leave enough breathing room for the instrumentation to really burn the floor. Excellent stuff-- too bad the group was so short-lived.
Southroad Connection- You Like It, We Love It
And as a special treat, I'm going to point you towards a sick 1980 jam that DJ Bus Station John spun at the Tubesteak Connection this past Thursday-- Coffee's "I Wanna Be With You." As my friend Janine says, "I can't get over how good this song is." You won't be able to get over it, either.
Tomorrow, thinking some downtempo, perhaps. Or maybe a surprise?
Today, two treats since I've missed the past two days!
First up is an Arthur Baker-produced joint from 1983, the electro-synth classic from Freeez, "Pop Goes My Love." With a stupidly catchy Hi-NRG-style main riff, classic early drum machine sounds, backing electric piano lending some soul, and some leftfield hallucinogenic moments, "Pop Goes My Love" is an essential track for any lover of early electro and house music-- easy to imagine this being played in all manners of Chicago spots back in the day!
Freeez- Pop Goes My Love
The second track I'm offering up is a strange beast-- a Larry Levan bootleg mix of a 1976 Philly International classic, Jean Carn's "Free Love." Released on white label in 2004, this is apparently an original Paradise Garage remix/edit that Levan committed to tape. Quite something-- the track is stretched to SEVENTEEN MINUTES and becomes the closest to disco hypnotism I've ever heard. Seriously, if this were pumping in a club, I wouldn't be surprised if the dancers didn't realize it is so long, as I certainly didn't before I digitized it! A real crazy gem, I think-- recommended!
Jean Carn- Free Love (Larry Levan Live at the Paradise Garage Mix)
Tomorrow, thinking Detroit!
Today, a departure from disco and house for some hard, fast techno, courtesy of one of the doyennes of the genre, Monika Kruse. With Patrick Lindsey, she released a string of releases under the 'Monika Kruse @ Voodooamt' moniker in the late 90s and early 2000s, and they are representative of the dark, hard techno that eventually gave way to minimal. "Shake that" is a 136-bpm floor-burner with intensely deep kicks, a frenetic two note bass-line and other stunning qualities, including a backwards section that is quite surprising. Sometimes, I really dig dancing like some E'd out raver to this shit-- so much energy, so much forward momentum that the tracks make it hard not to wile out! Great stuff.
Monika Kruse @ Voodooamt- Shake that
Tomorrow, a return to the disco and the gayness.
Today, another contribution from one of the blog's most dedicated readers, James Kent, who produces under the name of Confab. At 126-bpm, "7oh7" has deep kicks, a lovely and echoey ascending harp loop, old-school piano chord changes, and a muted bass that is Chicago as all get-out. Crisp, clean hand-claps and lush secondary synth harmonies make for something special, and that's before mention of the 'vocal' sample, which seems to be from a speak-and-spell type children's toy. Though the device has been used in house tracks before, its inclusion on a track that harkens back to second-wave Chicago house is quite refreshing. Awesome stuff!
Tomorrow, thinking about some hard, early minimal for you.
Today, a 2005 track from one of the best producers of the past few years, Stockholm's Tiger Stripes. The man has worked with Kerri Chandler, Dennis Ferrer and countless others, and his work ranges from Afrobeat-influenced club jams to more moody, soulful house, like the track I'm giving you today.
"Serenity" is most punctuated by some of the cleanest hi-hats I've ever heard-- they ride throughout the track in a truly hypnotic fashion. The kicks are well-padded and deep, a distorted, low bass punch is quite nice. Echoey mid-range synths in a minor key progression make up the main melodic line, only to eventually be joined by soaring strings that rival those of Julien Jabre at his height. Hi-frequency washes are used economically, and a break where the strings showcase their exquisite beauty is, quite honestly, the highlight of the track. At 126 bpm, one could rock this in a club, but for some reason it doesn't seem appropriate-- there's a private, inward feel about the track that makes it most perfect for closing one's eyes and escaping to somewhere else. On Ibadan. Highly recommended.
Tiger Stripes- Serenity
Tomorrow, think I'm going to give you some excellent reader submissions!
Absence! Apologies are due-- a lot of work for school. Hope you're well.
Today, one of my favorite tracks of the past two years: "Traderoute" by Japan's Force of Nature. Though I've had the 12" of this track since it came out in 2006, it has finally been re-released on the newest compilation of the duo's material, Force of Nature III.
The piece is a 105-bpm balearic heaven, perfect for speeding up and down San Francisco's many hills in the late afternoon sun, or lazing by the beach and watching the breakers, or doing something-- it just has to involve motion, whether your own or the earth's. The track's movements come out at once: a hi-frequency melodic line accompanied by backing, washy harmonics begins immediately, accompanied by strong kicks. Slowly, an absolutely killer bass-line comes in, creating even more hypnotic harmonies and propelling the track throughout. Secondary percussion elements, backing synth washes, and even more hi-frequency stabs are present throughout the track-- it fucking GLIMMERS. Truly one of the most beautiful tracks of recent memory. Highly recommended!
Force of Nature- Traderoute
Tomorrow, some digitized disco for your enjoyment!
Labels: Force of Nature
Been a lucky boy the past couple of days, with tons of great new stuff coming my way. Today, I share a yet-to-be-released album by Home & Garden, aka producers Tim Kvasnosky and Timothy Shumaker. With two Colette records under their belt and a fantastic pre-released teaser single from their upcoming album on San Francisco's OM Records, the pair seem to be blowing up once again. Domesticated is a truly great deep, loungey West Coast house album-- look for it on September 23rd!
"In & Out," which features the smooth vocal stylings of Chez Damier, is a 112-bpm piece of soulful house with a tinge of 80's electro. The synth stabs are funky as hell, the bass-line and guitars are excellently-mixed, and the strings are equally masterful. Percussively, it has enough momentum to make for some sexy moments on a dancefloor, or just get a drink. Chez D.'s vocals are layered incredibly well, and his immediately-recognizable voice and spirited delivery really make the track.
Home & Garden- In & Out featuring Chez Damier
A great mix for you today! (And a super-special post later, too!)
Harry over at eeshirtay has done it again, this time laid up by some pain pills and in a truly psychedelic frame of mind. It features everything from awesome James Brown loops to a techno-fied version of Ini Kamoze's "Here Comes the Hotstepper," and includes at least two tracks that you may very well have heard here for the first time-- Teengirl Fantasy's "Azz Klapz" and Kornel's awesome edit/mash of Booka Shade's "In White Rooms" and Corona's "Rhythm of the Night." A nice, hazy pace with some killer beats and surprises everywhere, the "Vicodection" mix will send you into a tranquilized state of great. Thanks again, Harry!
Harry Gassel- Vicodection Mix
Later today, an excellent piece of deep, loungey San Francisco house, featuring the vocal stylings of Chez Damier!
Today, I give you a version of "Smoke City" by Sasse, which he recorded under the pseudonym of 'Freestyle Man vs. Morris Brown.' The Smoke City EP is one of those that inexplicably shows up in lots of used record bins-- it is quite a mellow piece of deep house that brings Moodymann and quite a number of others to mind. With deep kicks, hypnotic backing and vocal loops, and a left-field bass-line, it is a wonder that this track isn't used in a lot of slower, more deep-jacking sets. With hi-frequency, bell-like synths hovering throughout in the background, the track is perfect for lighting up a fatty but has enough forward momentum to keep it from being a snooze. Quite something-- if you ever see it in a used bin (and for some odd reason, you inevitably will), pick it up immediately!
Freestyle Man vs. Morris Brown- Smoke City (That Vocal Thing)
Tomorrow, think I might give you something by Derrick Carter-- he's jacking it tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure I'm going!
Sorry for the long absence! I started school on Tuesday, and I also have been afflicted with horrific cold/sinus issues for the past couple of days. I could hardly stand to look at computer, or go outside. Feeling better today, but am keeping it low so that I can catch Derrick Carter on Saturday! But because of my guilt over my lack of posts, I'm giving you three brand-new (some unreleased!) tracks today.
First, we have a joint from Cologne's Pawas. "Mac Dub" is a 121-bpm slice of lush dub-techno, with two long-delayed chords forming the backbone of the track. Secondary harmonies are slowly brought in with some subtle, synthesized marimba hits that seem to hide just under the surface of the track's other elements. The bass-line bounces up and down quite nicely, and the kicks are quite wet, but not overwhelming. High frequency percussive washes also play a big part in "Mac Dub," creating an oceanic feel that is inescapable. Great new stuff! Off the Mazo EP on Fear of Flying, due out in early October.
Pawas- Mac Dub
Next, we have a track from Birmingham's Subb-an, who has been making waves recently with a string of remixes and other tracks. "Mount Kilimanjaro" is the title track from his newest EP on Immigrant Industries, and man, is it something else! With deep kicks, a low bass-line, extraordinarily well-syncopated secondary percussive elements, and synth harmonies galore, the 126-bpm monster is dancefloor-ready. Punctuated by washed-out female vocal snippets along with whooshing horns (along with some horn stabs), the track has a sense of movement quite unlike many other recent techno bits-- the rhythmic structure of the track is complex enough to place it near gods liked Ricardo or Luciano. Wouldn't be surprised if they're rocking it in their sets, either! (Seriously, you should buy this release!)
Next up, one of the newest offerings from Omar S's FXHE imprint. Luke Hess has been doing great techno for years, and his newest is no exception. "Shalom Dub" has some seriously deep kicks, crisp hi-hats, and washy, delayed chords that bring BC-style minimal techno to mind. At 124-bpm, and containing hi-frequency stabs punctuating the beginnings of phrases along with washes that are almost Fluxion-like, "Shalom Dub" is an excellent piece of minimal dub techno that will prick up your ears. And you have no reason not to order it-- Omar sells his records for so cheap that you'd be stupid not to order this jam!
Luke Hess- Shalom Dub
Okay-- remember how I promised a Sasse track many moons ago? Well, it's coming to you tomorrow.
So, Saturday's Manquake party, with the stylings of DJ Bus Station John, was an excellent time. And for the first time, he played a string of songs that I knew, and some of which i actually have on vinyl!
Perhaps the best of those that he played, though, was "I'll Tell You" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '88. Yes, the king of Bossa and Latin Jazz made a truly fantastic disco album during the height of disco fever in 1978, called it Magic Lady, and never really followed up on the sound in a substantial way again. But "I'll Tell You" is one of the best disco tracks I can think of, with great synths, big fat hand-claps, funky guitar licks, a rollicking bass-line, and a chorus of females whose come-hither voices ooze sex. The main melodic line is formed by well-syncopated cowbell hits, and it will worm its way into your head after a single listen. Great stuff, highly recommended!
Sergio Mendes & Brasil '88- I'll Tell You
Tomorrow, something new!