So, two tracks of newer tech-house for you today, since I was so zonked out on Vicodin yesterday that I fell asleep instead of posting!
First off is an underrated 2007 piece from D'Julz, whose star has been rising, with recent appearances on many mixes and some hot singles. The D3 mix of "Flick It" is a 127-bpm monster with one striking variance from the original-- a two-note lush, clean synth line rides under the deep kicks, minuscule hi-hats, and harmonizing bass-line. Along with some extra washes, squeaks, squelches and a fantastic break, I find this mix much more satisfying than the original, and a nice entre to more spacy techno sounds in a well-played set. Recommended!
DJulz- Flick It (D3 Mix)
Next up, the final track from the fantastic Lee Jones' new album, Electronic Frank. "MDMazing" is a trancy bit of techno with minor-chord synth swells, fantastic drum programming, a subtly powerful bass-line, and some secondary, hi-mid synth work that certainly brings a nice roll to mind. The similarities to Stephan Bodzin and Marc Romboy's collaborations are present, but the synths are slightly cleaner and the kicks are a bit lower in the mix. Perhaps I am so enamored of this track at the moment because its melancholy feel reflects the beginning of San Francisco's rainy season, but it is a great track nonethless. On Aus Music. (Note: you can download the whole album for free here, but I purchased it since I've always been a fan of Jones' productions, and recommend that you do the same).
Lee Jones- MDMazing
Tomorrow, something scary to ring in the holiday.
Today, a track from the eagerly anticipated upcoming album from Damian Schwartz, Party Lovers. The track I'm offering up, "Dos dias despues," is a Chicago-flavored house track with excellent Latin percussion elements, crisp hi-hats, and a two-note main synth line that mutates throughout the track, providing much of the forward momentum. Buzzing saw-tooths come in washes here and there, and backing organ synths (occasionally reversed and heavily-delayed) provide some nice gurgles beneath the track's surface. An excellent piece of house that is sure to get much play in clubs this winter with its somewhat chilly exterior, it also has a wonderful creeping warmth that is irresistible. Finally, the delayed notes at the end are a brilliant way to finish up the track. Highly recommended stuff, on the label that Schwartz runs with Apnea's Alex Under, Net28.
Damian Schwartz- Dos dias despues
Tomorrow, some hot shit from D'Julz.
Yesterday, my friend J9 brought over some records she'd just scored at a thrift store, one of which was by the great Philadelphia International and Salsoul producer, Bunny Sigler. It reminded me that I had some Sigler tracks, and that I'd better post some, because the guy is vastly underappreciated-- he produced countless hits for various groups, and often used the Instant Funk backing band, who appeared on hit records by Evelyn "Champagne" King, Archie Bell & the Drells, and Loleatta Hollaway.
"By the Way You Dance (I Know It Was You)" was almost instantly released as a long-form 12" disco mix by Tom Moulton, and its hi-NRG infused Philly sound was a refreshing change from the more orchestral sounds coming from the City of Brotherly Love during the time. A funky track with stellar bass and some seriously soulful vocals, "By the Way You Dance" is an essential track for any fan of disco. I also encourage you to find some Sigler records-- most of them are funk-infused slices of Philly bliss!
Bunny Sigler- By the Way You Dance (I Know It Was You) (A Tom Moulton Mix)
Tomorrow, some new techno!
Today, I revisit the group that started this blog-- Villa Savoye. Still no knowledge about who is behind these sounds, from where they came, or any other related information. All I know is that the three tracks I have labeled 'Villa Savoye' came from the iPod of a former Excepter roadie. At 130-bpm, "A New Soul" is a classy Detroit-style track, with lush mid-frequency synths, some hi-frequency semi-acid squelch, and a vibe that goes along the lines of chillin' by the beach. A real mysterious find, if you have any information about Villa Savoye (or whoever might have done this track), please contact me!
Villa Savoye- A New Soul
Tomorrow, some disco gayness.
Labels: Villa Savoye
As promised, here is a great dub-techno remix of Pete Heller from Brendon Moeller under his Beat Pharmacy alias. The 2005 remix of "Timewarp" is a Detroit-infused, 128-bpm piece of dubby bliss, with some serious spacy synths, crisp drum patterns (especially those hi-hats!), lush swells, and BC-style, acidy three-note bass-line. It surprises me that so many people sleep on Moeller's Beat Pharmacy output, as it is always top-notch. An excellent bit of stuff for the dubby soul!
Pete Heller- Timewarp (Beat Pharmacy Remix)
Tomorrow, some sunshine for your soul!
Hey all-- so, for the past week I've been super-busy, and then I had a crash on my motor-scooter. Bad news, right? Have some fractures in my foot and nasty scrapes/cuts on my hands and knees, so my dancing days are over for the next month or so (I do plan on going as Tiny Tim for Halloween, though). On the plus side, I'll be much more able to post stuff here since I'll be less mobile and ready to go out-- so get ready for a month with posts nearly every day. For serious.
A real post later today, but for now, a James Brown hit that's been going through my head since the accident.
James Brown- Get on the Good Foot
Look forward to a Beat Pharmacy remix later today!
Labels: James Brown
I promised something new today, and I'm sort of keeping my promise. What I'm giving you today is our dear reader Confab's edit of Larry Levan's edit of the Celestial Choir's "Stand on the Word." A classic at the Loft and the Paradise Garage, Levan's edit of the track was a legendary peak-time floor-filler, and Confab's edit pumps up the kicks and extends some of the more breath-taking elements of the original edit. Quite an awesome tune, and quite an awesome edit! More excellent stuff from Confab!
The Celestial Choir- Stand on the Word (Larry Levan Edit) (Confab Edit)
Next up, another Gospel track, this time courtesy of Gospel-house legend Kenny Bobien. The reworking of the standard "I Shall Not Be Moved" is a lesson, not only in how Gospel has influenced countless house tracks, but also in cognitive dissonance-- you "shall not be moved," but the 126-bpm track compels you to move like wild. Some people don't understand why I love Kenny Bobien so much, but his New Jersey house sound and soulful pipes overpower any qualms I might have with his faith. This is an awesome track, and can actually be rocked at parties-- I've worked it with success before!
Underground Ministries featuring Kenny Bobien- I Shall Not Be Moved (DJ Meme Mix)
Tomorrow, thinking some dubby techno to ease you into Saturday.
Since it was my birthday recently and I hadn't had the pleasure of purchasing records in a bit, a few days ago I headed over to Tweekin' (in the Lower Haight) to get my fix. And I got it-- not only did I grab some great dub techno and some new-ish, amazing stuff from the Circus Company label, I also got my paws on a copy of Norma Jean Bell's I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room), one of those sought-after house classics featuring Moodymann, aka Kenny Dixon Jr.
To give some history: Norma Jean (pictured above) was trained as a saxophonist and singer, and at one point was a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. She began producing records outright along with Kenny Dixon in the early-to-mid 90s, and became known for a jazzy, Detroit-centric approach to house music. "I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room)" was her breakout single, and has become a classic of house music and a favorite of DJs all over.
It is easy to understand why the track and its remixes get so much love-- "Baddest Bitch" is one of the sexiest, catchiest and most well-constructed vocal house track ever put to record. The original's programming gives great nods to past electro and house influences, and the "Bitch Move" mix has an irresistible Garage-y hypnotism that is sure to work people into frenzies. The mix by Kenny Dixon himself is...well, quintessential Moodymann: it stretches the piece out, slows its pace, incorporates extensive saxaphone workouts, and is some smooth, get-down house. The final piece, which eschews the word "bitch," is an exercise in house producers doing downtempo, near-smooth-jazz music, but the track is much too cool and smoky to be placed in the elevator-music house ghetto. Throughout all these mixes, Norma Jean Bell's assertive alto soars in a way that puts other house divas to shame.
This might be one of the best house records you'll ever hear. So get to it:
Norma Jean Bell- I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room) (Original Mix)
Norma Jean Bell- I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room) (Bitch Move Mix)
Norma Jean Bell- I'm the Baddest Bitch (In the Room) (Moodymann Mix)
Norma Jean Bell- Cause You Belong to Me (Norma & Kenny Mix)
Tomorrow, something new!
I know, I know, I've been a bad boy and neglected the blog this week. Too many things going down, and I also have been waiting for some inspiration to strike. The first bit came from some random surfing on YouTube-- trust me when I tell you that this song might be one of the best disco-funk tracks you'll ever hear. Very tempting sampling material, so much so that I've ordered the 12". Without further ado, then: "Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move)" by Tom Browne.
The chorus is especially noteworthy, and coupled with the insane bass work, "Thighs High" is just plain sick.
Last night was another great time dancing to DJ Bus Station John at his weekly Thursday-night party at Aunt Charlie's. Along with some tracks that I was spotting pretty hard, he played one of my favorite disco bits ever, Slim Line's "If You Can Dance, You Can Do It." The 120-bpm track begins with a writhing low-frequency arpeggiation loop and hand claps, then the bass and the wildly sexy bass voice comes in. With great spacy synths and the requisite disembodied disco diva chorus, which peaks hi enough in the mix to get a crowd waving the arms and yelping with joy. Excellent!
Slim Line- If You Can Dance, You Can Do It (Part 1)
Next time, a division of housing...
No explanation here-- just a few amazing disco tracks of different sorts for your listening pleasure.
First up, a classic Italo track from 1983.
Cellophane- Gimme Love
Next up, a HI-NRG classic from 1983. This one is ESSENTIAL.
Digital Emotion- Get Up
Hallucinogenic long-form disco madness!
Black Gold- C'mon Stop
Next up, some new techno for yr ears!
Today, I give you a classic remix of Hardrive's "Deep Inside," done by "Little" Louie Vega himself. The Heavy Weather mix of "Deep Inside" is some prescient house music-- the bass-line is an echoey and weirdly arpeggiated monster that sounds as if it could be contemporary, and accompanied by deep kicks and the classic Barbara Tucker vocal sample, it is an astounding piece of dance music that is sure to get as many people on the floor now as it did in 1993. Highly recommended!
Hardrive- Deep Inside (Heavy Weather Mix)
Tomorrow, something to get you prepared for San Francisco's Love Parade!
For some reason, around fall, I get embroiled in serious dub-techno vibes in a way that doesn't happen during any other season. Ah, the mystery. But as a result, I've been digging through my records and have two new vinyl rips for you today!
First, we have the title track from Gez Varley's 2001 album on Force Inc., Bayou Paradis. "Bayou Paradis" is a BC-style techno track, rolling at a 128-bpm pace with deep kicks, an endlessly repeating bass-line, washed-out echoey chords with oft-changing levels, subtle backing drones that add a nice warmth, and hi-frequency watery whooshes. A real forgotten gem of minimal techno, this is perhaps Varley's best work-- most certainly better than anything he did in LFO. Highly recommended!
Gez Varley- Bayou Paradis
Next up, a track from the infamous Hallucinator. "Goldcoast" is a 135-bpm techno bit with whirling pseudo-vocal loops, chimes, deep kicks and hypnotic secondary percussion, and so many hi-frequency elements that the listener is lost in a sea of whooshes, subtle wave-like noises, sonar blips and so on. A killer from one of those Chain Reaction groups that deserves a LOT more love. Real tough shit!
Tomorrow, housin' in up.