Perhaps one of the more emotionally resonant house producers out there is Lawrence (aka Sten, aka Peter Karsten), whose work since 2000 has straddled the lines between deep house, minimal and ambient electronic sounds. He is dropping his next album, Until Then, Goodbye, on mule musiq in late August, and I can honestly say that it is a gorgeously melancholic, cloudy Sunday of a record. Not surprising, given Lawrence's reputation for obsessing with minor key arrangements and nostalgic synth sounds. To get everyone prepared for the record, I dug around my collection and found two of my favorite Lawrence tracks to share.
The first is from Lawrence's only outing on Ghostly International. "Wasting a Fall" begins with some nice, lush organ synths, brassy harmonies, and hi-frequency swells that give the whole thing a lovely feeling of lightness. With kicks and some stuttering secondary percussion arriving a bit later, and the bass-line suddenly dropping in as if from heaven, the track takes on some seriously dreamy momentum about halfway through. It doesn't let up, and even switches tones entirely, becoming a darker, near-Chicago piece by its end.
Lawrence- Wasting a Fall
Next, a track that I had forgotten about until several months ago, when I found a mix CD that I had made in autumn 2006. Superpitcher's remix of Lawrence's "Along the Wire" is just...unbelievably beautiful, a minor-key track with intense harmonies, excellent drum programming, and a sad tone color that puts it at the top of the 'teardrop techno' category, right there with Villalobos' "Dexter," and any number of Frankie Knuckles tracks. Seriously, this is the sort of track that sends chills up my spine and makes me weirdly emotional, not to mention the fact that it is a hell of an earworm.
Lawrence- Along the Wire (Superpitcher Remix)
Tomorrow, think I'm going to digitize some treats for you.
A discussion on the ILM boards about stuff that might be similar to the fag-jazz of the DJ Sprinkles record brought The Necks back into my life. One of the best bands to ever come out of Australia, the Necks are a perfect mix of ambient, jazz, and aleatoric music. Sometimes sounding like a more speedy Angelo Badalamenti, sometimes like Sonic Youth, sometimes like Alice Coltrane, these dudes aren't fucking around— this is some deep-ass shit that really kills at high, high volumes. Today, giving you one of my favorite tracks, "Fatal," from the Chemist album of 2006. Enjoy.
The Necks- Fatal
Tomorrow, jackin' again?
It goes without saying that one of the most well-loved and off-beat DJs and producers of our times is Cajmere— after all, the man wrote "Percolator," a piece that has undoubtedly entered the popular consciousness. Today, I'm doing a bit of a tribute to the man, featuring two bits of his that I've been repping a lot recently.
First off, a 1992 track featuring the inimitable Derrick Carter on vocals. The dub of "Dream States" is a jackin', hypnotic number featuring a four-note melodic loop, bass harmonies, some sickly crisp drum programming, and Carter channeling some serious Gospel preaching stylee. Though ostensibly a track about wet dreams, the collaboration is much more than some adolescent sex fantasy sound; rather, it's a celebration of losing and finding oneself in the sound.
Cajmere featuring Derrick Carter- Dream States (Dub)
Next, one of the better remixes of recent years: Cajmere's remix of The Juan Maclean's "Give Me Every Little Thing." The bright, lush synths and disco beats of the original are replaced by a mirrored, extraordinarily squelchy melodic line, powerful Chicago house kicks, and a drop-out that drives crowds insane. I know it has been blogged quite a bit, but this is the real thing— it'll be stuck in your head for days.
The Juan Maclean- Give Me Every Little Thing (Cajmere Remix)
Tomorrow, out to the left field.
Teengirl Fantasy have certainly come a long way since I first posted about them back in February of 2008— not only have they been one of the main attractions at the past two Whartscapes, they've also officially remixed Radiohead and Pictureplane, released numerous limited-edition records, and performed countless times with such a dizzying array of groups that it makes the head spin. Everyone from techno-heads to raging queens to psychedelic-neon-beard-rainbow types are into the Fantasy, and it makes perfect sense. It's like Nick and Logan are constantly sending out old-school PLUR vibes through their sounds and spirits. All the better for us.
Their newest piece is a four-track digital EP (available over at Pukekos for free) featuring two new tracks (which will be released on record in Amsterdam in September) and two remixes of the a-side, "Hollywood Hils." Though this track is some excellent deep house lushness, I have been aching for the b-side to be recorded and released since I first heard it live. "Love Don't Live Here" is an 81-bpm number that liberally samples Rose Royce's 1978 hit, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore," and turns it into a near-boogie track, layering on top with lush, swirling synths, some nice double- and quad-time percussive flourishes, and eventually landing thoroughly in a sound that's more Dam-Funk than not. However, with loops and samples as thick as on a good Moodymann track, this is most certainly a rawer, more soulful version of that LA electro-funk sound. Highly recommended!
Teengirl Fantasy- Love Don't Live Here
Tomorrow, a Cajual swing, if you know what I mean.
Yesterday was a bit hectic, and I apologize for the lack of dub. My promises to get you back later this week.
I've been going through my files recently, and came upon an old favorite of mine: "Things Just Ain't The Same" by Freaks, aka Luke Solomon and Justin Harris. The 125-bpm track track came out in 2001, but could have emerged from Chicago's golden era of seriously jackin' house— the duo's work begs to be mixed with some Cajmere or Derrick Carter or Ron Trent. With its tight drum programming (including some monstrous kicks), mid-range worming melody, and lovely vocal loops, "Things..." is a real gem, guaranteed to be heard in any set that I do for the next couple of months.
Freaks- Things Just Ain't The Same
Tomorrow, some great new tracks from the lovely boys of Teengirl Fantasy.
FUCK THAT THIS IS THE BUSINESS.
Mr. Fingers- Let's dance all night
Tomorrow, dub sandwich for those hungry Mondays.
I'm going to break a promise here and post something that DJ Bus Station John has been rocking recently, not only because I haven't posted any disco recently, but also because this track is so special.
A favorite of early house DJs in Chicago, Ris's "Love-N-Music" is one of the more epic italo-disco tracks ever recorded, perhaps being matched only by Doctor's Cat "Feel the Drive." With an excellent driving italo beat, warm synths, and truly disgusting pans, it is Celeste's vocals that put the icing on this already delicious cake. Her voice speaks, soars, moans, intones and just gets it so right that one wants her voice near at all times. This one, like most, is best played incredibly loud— you'll know what I mean when you listen to it.
Ris feat. Celeste- Love-N-Music
Today, a seriously rare piece from Mark Anthony Heide from his album, New Music for Use, released in 1983 and considered a weirdo-synth classic. "Dance in Juxtaposition Part Two" is some serious analog synth swells, electric guitar harmonies, and a vibe that's a bit like if you transported Jan Hammer to Ypsilanti or Canton and made him write according to those surroundings rather than Miami's warmer climes. Also would go well with some Arthur Russell, perhaps? Judge for yourself, but I know that I have been rocking this album ever since I got it from the truly excellent Mutant Sounds blog.
Mark Anthony Heide- Dance in Juxtaposition Part Two
Tomorrow, thinking something acidy.
Dam Funk, the king of LA electro-boogie, has just released a new album of sexy, funky tracks titled Toeachizown Vol. One. On the venerable Stones Throw label, the record is a true gem, mixing LA boogie styles with 80s electro-rap vibes, plus a dash of Detroit electro-funk thrown in for good measure. "On & On" is slow grooving ride, replete with fuzzed-out bass, a sparkling main synth line, and some timely stabs and flourishes. Vocoded vocals add a nice lushness to the mix, and there you have it: a sensual piece of modern funk that is bound to get you all hot inside and out. Worth mentioning, too, is that Dam Funk is one hell of a great live DJ, and with his sets floating around the internet like wildfire, one has no excuse to not dig this man's vibes.
Dam Funk- On & On
Tomorrow, think I'm going to share something kinda weird and rather rare with you...so get ready.
Today, a piece from Ron Trent's highly recommended recent double CD offering, Dance Classic. "It's Hot" begins breezily enough with bright, lush synths, moans and intonations from Trent himself, and a fuzzed-out electro-inspired bass-line. As the track swings forward, some vocoder, hi-frequency secondary synths, and piano make appearances. In truth, the track becomes so full with different sonic elements that the listener is overwhelmed by the sheer amount of material, and its power to elicit some very real bodily ecstasy. Seriously- this might be one of the best things that Trent has ever put out, and given the breadth of the man's oeuvre, that is saying something. Turn it up loud and hallucinate 'cuz it's just that damn good! On the revitalized Prescription label.
Ron Trent- It's Hot
Tomorrow, thinking something from one of the group's performing at Sunday's San Francisco installment of the Upset the Rhythm showcase at the LAB.
First of all, I'm now writing for XLR8R, so you can check me out over on their site-- my first reviews are for the Silk Flowers' self-titled first album and Chris Tietjen's Vier mix CD on Cocoon. Check them out!
Also, I've abandoned today's original post idea to present a track that I totally slept on last year which Tietjen's mix introduced to me: Timo Maas' 2008 big-room banger, "Subtellite." Jesus, this track is fucking insane: deep kicks, secondary tribal percussion with plenty of flourishes, gorgeously-syncopated stuttering Spanish-guitar bits, and a bass-line that propels the listener into the outer hemisphere, with the builds to make it even more evident. Images of people losing their shit to this dance on the eyelids. Most definitely one of the best tracks of 2008, in retrospect, and I cannot get enough of it. Something that you should hear, for real! On Cocoon Recordings.
Timo Maas- Subtellite
Tomorrow, mayhaps something jazzy.
Usually, I'm not too pleased when I read the Top 50 Charted Monthly Tracks over at Resident Advisor- usually, the best stuff is in the middle, or at the bottom, but occasionally, a fantastic track ends up somewhere in the top 5. In June, the number one charted track was Joris Voorn's "Sweep the Floor," a genuinely sick and slick piece of tech-house. Slowly emerging synth stabs, a bouncy bass-line, crisply syncopated percussive elements- the track has everything to make a dance floor explode and then some, what with the female vocal clips, a very MJ-esque 'woo' and apex-delivering male vocal samples. Voorn's work has been coming up a lot more recently in terms of my rated European tracks, and listening to "Sweep the Floor," it is pretty easy to see why. On Voorn's own label, Rejected.
Joris Voorn- Sweep the Floor
Tomorrow, thinking something a bit left-field...
I think it had been nearly six months since I'd last cleaned the dust off of deep movements' myspace page, but alas, I have given in to the power of the site and updated it with a self-promise to keep updating from now on. Two tracks for your listening pleasure and more stuff coming soon! Add me- I like new friends.
Late today, as promised, a slick piece of techno that's been getting blasted from all over recently.
Much of the old-school stuff I've been digging lately has been coming from one of house music's most mysterious and tragic figures: Spencer Kincy, also known as Gemini. (A fascinating and sad story about him is up at 5 Magazine). The breadth of his discography ranges from techno bangers to funky deep house grooves to Larry Heard-like acid rushes, and his skills on the decks were legendary throughout the nineties. Below is a zipped, four-part mix of Kincy's recorded in Dallas in 1996.
And like the author of the 5 Magazine article above, I am dedicated to searching Kincy out- his talent is too great for him to slip through the cracks of homelessness and mental illness.
Spencer Kincy aka Gemini- Live @ Deep in the Flowers
Tomorrow, some new techno greatness.
After a long weekend of music and merriment of all sorts, back to blogging.
Tonight in San Francisco, good friends Teengirl Fantasy are playing at the LiPo Lounge with two City-based groups: Partyeffects.biz and Bookworms. I've fallen in love with Bookworms' work- its samples, its rhythms, its synth burblings, its non-techno techno aesthetic. Definitely worth checking out the music on the myspace, and downloading the mellow piece featured below. And come out tonight! Should be an excellent party at an excellent location.
Bookworms- The Family Arsenel
Though she is most known for jokes about making tea for Monsieur Ricardo, Magda is one of techno's premier female DJs, and a great producer to boot. (I can personally attest to her skills on the decks- I saw her spin in '06 at APT in New York, and it was a slamming night). "Whatever It Snakes" is a track that is best played incredibly loud, as the bass-line(s) form its sturdy backbone. With squelches and wormings in the hi frequencies and some excellent pads, it is incredibly versatile, usable in all sorts of sets.
Magda- Whatever It Snakes (Derek Unreleased Edit)
Next up is one of the women that has seemingly slipped out of the techno consciousness in the US, at least for the past little bit- Cassy. The Panoramabar resident has a knack for creating sexy, sultry tracks with an unrivaled elegance and aplomb, and "Somelightuntothenight" is no exception. With her alto intoning, shimmering pianos and crisp rhythm segments, the deep piece is exemplary of how good, subtle techno is done. Though I've missed her sets a few times, her skills as a DJ are legendary, and I urge you to check her out!
Finally, we come to one of my favorite minimal producers, Monika Kruse. The Terminal M frontwoman and perennial favorite in Germany and Ibiza is, unfortunately, not well-known in the US for reasons beyond my comprehension, as her productions are always slammingly minimal and quite melodic much of the time. Mark Broom's remix of "Don't Come Close" is a serious banger, with Kruse's reverbed vocals intoning over a booming kick, a writhing and clever beat-marker, and the ace in the pack- some intensely delayed and gated guitar synth bits that create a whooshing headspace in a track that, upon first listen, might seem claustrophobic. A real gem, I'm sure this one is getting lots of play in the Balearic isles this summer.
Monika Kruse- Don't Come Close (Mark Broom Remix)
Tomorrow, some fun stuff coinciding with this weekend's events.