Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Just a few other recent faves from 09 that I feel I should mention. I don't think it's necessary to continue the DFA overload by blabbing on about Spaghetti Circus, Fire Eyes, the 45:33 remixes, Bye Bye Bayou etc etc so I'll just leave that and expect that everybody is on the same page. What has been getting a lot of hype in small circles though is the Golf Channel stuff, one of the finest of the many little boutique edits labels popping up. The Liza / Penny 12" in particular is remarkably good, I only recently got my copy and have been absolutely smashing it. Penny is one of the most bumping, burning, boisterously grooving tunes I've heard in a long time! Turn it up loud loud loud and just try to stand still. Not as easy as it sounds.
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show - Penny (Galleon Trade's Hooked On Penicillin Version) [buy]
Really digging Mighty Mouse's latest contribution to the always heavenly Mindless Boogie label. The A side rolls and rumbles around in a classic club house build up that seems to last decades until the balloon is popped and a gently spiced salsa party jam ensues. A few brass 'n' vocal choruses and restrained guitar solos later it's back to the cute 3AM lead-in, and so the story goes. Certainly not what I've come to expect from a MB record but it's a very welcome surprise!
Mighty Mouse - Song For Ellen [buy]
This Juan Maclean remixes project seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I don't know what this Scion A/V business is about and I can't really be bothered to find out for myself - all I can say is I'm grateful that this release has been put together, whatever the reasons behind it might be. It really is an all star line-up: House of House, Shit Robot, Gavin Russom and Canyons who have done my favourite remix of the four. Very synth heavy and very quantised and computerised, almost to an 80s degree. This release is absolutely worth picking up, the whole thing is really top notch.
The Juan Maclean - The Future Will Come (Canyons Remix) [buy]
And now something classic to keep things nice and disco, a snazzy old jam by Panache. Yeah yeah yeah.
Panache - Sweet Music
See you cats next year! Be good :)
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
What a wonderful year. I don't know quite how to sum it up, it's just been so completely packed full of astoundingly good music. I'm really happy with the direction everything's gone in terms of this blog and the kind of music I've been digging, and I really really appreciate all you groovy people dropping by and lapping it up. I hope it's been a help to the artists and labels behind the music too, it's so important to support and encourage the people who are responsible for all the beautiful sounds that have been floating around in 2009. It was pretty tough putting this together and I'm sure a couple of fists will be shaking at some (perhaps) obvious omissions but overall it's just all the stuff that's really hit the bullseye for me. Massive thanks to everybody who had some part in the music below, it's made my year extra extra special! Here goes...
#10 Super Value Classics
Let's kick things off with a truly spectacular edits record from the Italian Super Value crew. Earlier in the year I felt a lot of the Super Value edits sounded a little bit dated and drab; however, this 12" showed me I'd completely misjudged them. Both tracks on this 'Classics' record are superbly snipped and arranged funky numbers. This one in particular, a snippet of a Gabor Szabo tune called Keep Smiling, is everything a disco edit should be. In a time when so many edits are being made 'just for the sake of it', this is both thoughtful and necessary chopping of mediocre song which turns it into a summer deck chair masterpiece. Bravo!
Super Value - Untitled [buy]
#9 Prins Thomas - Mammut
The Prins has been on fire this year, that's no lie. Full Pupp has been churning out quality releases, as has sub-label Internasjonal, and this is without a doubt my favourite release on 'Pupp by the man himself. Mammut is a stunning deep plodding jam which features PT really cutting loose on the percussion - or at least cutting as loose as an extreme Norwegian chiller like himself can. Every aspect of the song just feels completely free; part of what makes it so great is how relaxed the groove is. This is seriously stress free music! Hats off to the Prins, he's had a great year.
Prins Thomas - Mammut [buy]
#8 RuF DuG - Dirty
Wow, this was a massive record to kick off the Popular People's Front sub-label PPF Special Ops. Ruf Dug, also known as Some Freak, really made something special with this track. It's raw, tribal, primitive, a bit animal and, dare i say it, dirty. The tumbling drums have such a massive impact and overall it's the fundamental pounding rhythms that make this such a fantastic song to dance to. Instinctive and essential. It's a bonus that the three remixes on the 12" are all spectacular too. A must have record!
RuF DuG - Dirty [buy]
#7 Leo Zero
Leo, you legend. Until picking up Glory's 02 early on this year I wasn't aware of this great man and his unique productions. Also on the headphones for A Mountain of One and a contributor to the elusive Popular People's Front camp, he's got many fingers in many delicious pies. From Bowie to Outkast, from Bob Marley to The Clash, one certainly can't say Leo is narrow minded in his music. His edit of Bonny by Prefab Sprout has been a staple in my car for months, and with summer about to properly begin it's looking at continuing its long residency.
Leo Zero - Bon Bon [buy]
Tele Music - Baby's Band (Leo Zero Edit) [buy]
#6 Shit Robot - Simple Things
An obvious pick here, this was surely one of the highlights of many DJs and dance fans this year. For me I have to say Todd's mix comes out on top. The dark semi-brooding Shit Robot original and deep-and-classic Santiago remix are both stunning tunes in their own but Mr. Terje's version is sitting up a couple of rungs higher on its own plane of existence. It's certainly proof that simple electronic music can still be extremely effective if the producer really knows what they're doing. The steady and powerful build makes sure everybody is totally primed and ready to detonate as soon as those party-as-fuck rock out drums belt their way in, resulting in an orgasmic climax that encompasses everything that makes you feel good on the dance floor. In summary, GOOD TIMES.
Shit Robot - Simple Things (Todd Terje Remix) [buy]
#5 Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - II
The masters of space cruising made a triumphant full length return this year; old mates Lindstrom and Prins Thomas exceeded expectations with II and really did put together one of this year's finest releases. I picture this being the soundtrack to relaxing on a beach somewhere in space, sipping on moon juice and soaking up some supernova rays. You really can't get a much better partnership than these two fellas. Prins bopping away having a grand old time on the drums whilst Lindstrom plays around with delicate synths and fluffy pads. It's classic yet forward thinking music for the whole fam to dig.
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas - Cisco [buy]
#4 Clap Rules
With so much happening in the edits scene it seems to be getting harder to find 100% original 'dance' music, so this latest live project headed by saucy Italian Fabrizio Mammarella gets a couple of bonus points for being so original. Old Sequencer in particular was surely one of my favourite 12s of 2009, delivering a really broad scope of music in just 3 tracks. The title track in particular drives me crazy. Absolutely rocking sequenced bassline, aggressively hip drum programming, grimy guitar throwing in little comments throughout. I'm still desperate to see these guys bash their sounds out live, I'm told it's quite an experience. Super excited to see where Clap Rules go next year!
Clap Rules - Old Sequencer [buy]
#3 Dirty French Psychedelics
Now here we have what IS my number one album of '09. You'd be able to tell by looking at how worn out my poor overworked record is how many times i've taken an hour out to sit on the couch and listen to this without distractions from start to finish. Whilst all the songs are each very beautiful in their own way, it's how the album flows and grows that really makes this such a special record. Dirty seriously know how to put together a compilation that sounds stunningly organic, as though the individual tracks were made specifically to slot right into their respective positions. This exquisite release is absolutely vital for those who enjoy a late night aural journey.
Nino Ferrer - Looking For You [buy]
#2 In Flagranti
Massive massive year for my favourite disco-sleaze 70s porno pimps In Flagranti: Two albums - one of originals one of edits - two more twelves, a huge string of amazing remixes and plenty of touring in between. It's quite incredible that possibly two of the most over-productive musicians about are also maintaining such a high standard of quality. They just can't be stopped! Brash & Vulgar featured some, uh, quite vulgar sounds with drums bashing and crashing all over the place and dirty humour flowing out in copious amounts. Sounds Superb was an assembly of some of the freshest and finest edits of this year, despite many being made years ago (a couple feature on A Decade of Hero Worship.) I don't think anybody can argue that they are easily the best at what they do, whatever that might be.
In Flagranti - A Brag Mount [buy]
In Flagranti - Svelte Blonde [buy]
(What would have been) #1 House of House - Rushing To Paradise
Well the recent reissuing of this has softened my negative feelings about this track, or rather its distribution, once again making way for pure love and affection. I just think it's criminal that the BEST track of the year should be for elitist collectors only, those who were lucky enough to get their hands on a ridiculously priced copy of the original Whatever We Want release. I don't mind the idea of these boutique labels but making great music only to deprive people of it is just wrong - it shouldn't be an exclusive thing, y'know? Thank god this injustice is being overturned and the House of House guys are releasing the record, along with a mouthwatering Harvey mix, independently and limitlessly. Although I've been hearing the pressing is totally shit which just rubs salt in the wound. Sigh. To get onto the song itself... There's not a whole lot that needs to be said, except that it's one of the most perfect house music compositions ever made. Carefully calculated yet free flowing, every part of this song fits together flawlessly resulting in a euphoric 13 minute dance floor anthem. I couldn't get permission to post a low quality version but the record is as essential as it gets.
House of House - Rushing To Paradise (Walking These Streets) [buy]
#1 Faux Pas - Rose's Lament
So technically this came out in late December last year but I was overseas so I'm counting it in this year's running. Upon first listening this song completely knocked my head off; each listen after that somehow managed to deliver an even deeper impact. I still get goosebumps every time I sit down and blast this on my stereo. I'm not really sure how you'd describe the track musically... Maybe you'd find it in the 'psychedelic tribal folk' section of your local CD store. The density of emotion packed into this song, helped a great deal by haunting intermission clips of an old Bread track 'Look At Me', pushes this song over the finish line in first place for the last 12 months. There's no doubt that I've developed a really personal adoration for it which is one of the reasons it's right at the top, but at the end of the day it's an absurdly well produced song that I feel has a timeless quality that will preserve it for many years to come. Thanks, Faux Pas.
Faux Pas - Rose's Lament [buy]
Golf Channel - Fantastic boutique edits, obviously some fierce crate digging is responsible for these great releases. Thanks Justin Vandervolgen!
Lars Von Trier's Antichrist - Simply the best piece of film making in recent times. Spectacular.
Steve Aoki feat. Zuper Blahq - I'm In The House - Are you fucking kidding me? It was released 6 months either side of April Fools Day so I have to assume this is a legitimate release. Nice one Steve...
People saying 'FML' and 'fail' every second sentence - Please please please just stop. Please.
So there you go. I strongly urge everyone to buy this music if you really like it and help all these rad artists out. Would love feedback of course, and would certainly love to hear other people's top 10 lists - go comment crazy and give your 2 cents. Next year is looking to be even more exciting, particularly with our little label Death Strobe on the verge of launching. We've got some really cool music lined up which we have a lot of faith in so keep an eye out for more details as the months roll on. Thanks again y'all, much love! Have a really nice Christmas/silly season, stay cool and tell some strangers about how good disco music is. Spread the love! xxx
Thursday, 17 December 2009
So much wonderful stuff coming up - pay attention Australians! This weekend: Saturday at Melt in Kings X having a jolly Christmas bash, playing some tunes 11:30 til 1 to see how things go for a potential Disco Delicious night later on in January (!!) which is super exciting. Sunday afternoon we're doing a laid back Death Strobe collab party with Pete Versus Toby at Ching-A-Lings from 3pm which will be a beauty. January 8th is time to pop down to Melbourne for Special Disco Version & The Juan Maclean which will be ridiculous, followed by a swift return to Sydney for a Picnic warehouse party on the 9th with Lovefingers. Yes the next 5 weeks will certainly make its mark in the history books in the categories of 'best music' and 'deadliest hangovers'.
This edit of Miss You done by Dance! Dance! Dance! is just dandy. The original is as classic as it gets anyway, and the extended dance mix of 1978 did a magical job of grooving and stretching the fuck out of it but this just puts the cherry on top by being a bit more firm on the reigns, for the most part keeping it in the laid back sneaky disco realm. Handy intro for djs too. Beautiful!
The Rolling Stones - Miss You (Dance! Dance! Dance! Edit)
This has been a favourite of mine for a very long time, decided it's finally time to stop being selfish and share it out for those of you who don't know Lexx, a fantastic Swiss producer who's been released on Permanent Vacation, Bear Funk and Sonar Kolektiv among others. This, the A on his Perm Vac 12", is a wonderfully rich nudisco tune; a bit spacey, a bit deep. A bit of everything really, I guess you could say it's balearic or even dubby. The bass sound in particular really grabs me! The whole thing is a glorious journey through soothing synths and gently grooving rhythms. Truly an excellent record.
Lexx - Axis Shift [buy]
Been ripping into a lot of the old Stilove4music records which are, for the most part, stunning deep, soulful and funky affairs. This Andy Ash double 12" has some big tracks worth checking out. Lots of percussion binging and donging and shaka-shakaing in most of the tunes with some tasteful sampling done throughout. This number has a really nice celebratory vibe to it, very uplifting, very saucy and very party. Yum yum.
Andy Ash - Carnival De L'Spirit [buy]
I'll try to get the big top 10 written up next. Come enjoy these swell events this weekend! xx
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Really excited about a bit of Auckland action this Saturday! All you lucky lucky Kiwis come to Cassette for Golden Age. BOOZY TIMES. Inspect the flyer. For those of you in Sydney, well by golly you're also in luck! Wunderparty Picnic hosts Darshan Jesrani, one half of the legendary Metro Area, this Friday night at GoodGod. OH BOY. Not much else needs to be said - a brave and beefy Funktion One sound system, spectacular music and a non-stick non-toxic dancefloor. Grab tickets to the gig here. Also check out Darshan's Red Bull Music Academy lecture - he's a clever cookie.
Metro Area - We Also Not [buy]
I have no explanation why the only In Flagranti releases from their entire catalogue that I didn't own until the other day were Sounds Superb Vols 3 and 4. Makes no sense. Thank god I came to my senses and picked them up at long last. This edit is fucking brilliant. No idea what the original is but it's piping hot. Super sleazy, somehow droopy yet tight. That makes no sense. Awesome tune.
Bruno Cried - No One Has Ever Pinned Anything On Me [buy]
Been listening to these Space remixes more and more, couldn't help posting up another. Bottin's fab remix of their first track is a loud and funky affair which goes big on the bass. Seriously this is a great release! Not that Space needed any updating but these are all really nice interpretations and reworkings.
Space - Tango In Space (Bottin Remix) [buy]
Just a bonus Andrew Weatherall remix because it rocks. Have rediscovered RVNG MX5 by Justine D which is where I first heard this rocking monster. Classic stuff.
My Bloody Valentine - Soon (Andrew Weatherall 12" Mix)
Auckland here we come!
Friday, 4 December 2009
For quite a while now the floor in my room has been covered in little piles of old records I've accumulated in bulk over the last couple of years. I figured I might as well share some of the more noteworthy finds amongst seas of complete bollocks (I love that word.) It could be a bit of harmless fun or it could start violent riots... We'll see.
A member of the genuine quality family is Brazilian muso Eumir Deodato who, until finding a couple of records in the stacks, I hadn't listened to very much. The stuff I have here is mostly quite accessible jazz fusion, nothing too outlandish - just nice grooves. This jamification of Also Sprach Zarathustra (the theme from demigod Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey) really struck a chord with me (lolZ ^_^) and although for the most part it has nothing to do with the theme, I still think it's a cool adaptation. Ya dig? This is off the '72 album Prelude, all top stuff.
Deodato - Also Sprach Zarathustra
This Enoch Light record, 'Spaced Out', completely blew me away when I heard it. I've heard some of the other Enoch stuff and have since scrambled to get my hands on everything that exists through any avenue, but nothing compares to this LP. It's 60s psychedelic craziness taken to a very humourous level; it's as Austin Powers as you can possibly get. Shocking abuse of new stereo technology, totally bent whacked out synths wobbling about... it's like all these classic songs have been transformed from a dull kindergarten theatre version of Hamlet into a full technicolour production of Hair. This record is very rare although I believe a CD version of it exists somewhere. Just see if you can find some mp3s, it's worth it! All the tracks are way too short so I just did a bit of loopage on Bond Theme to make this it a decent length - no funny business.
Enoch Light & The Light Brigade - Ob-La-Di
Enoch Light & The Light Brigade - Bond Theme (Andy Webb's Slight Extension)
Another Brazilian here, Luiz Bonfa. This song is, for the most part, a dreamy acoustic samba but the chorus I think is brilliant. What a killer bassline!! With fantastic femme vocals to boot, it has a really bold energy about it although it completely lacks any oomph on the frequency side of things - I think the drummer was put in a corner and told to try not to get any of his noise anywhere near a mic. This is begging to be extended and expanded and exploded. It's off a nice album called Sanctuary.
Luiz Bonfá - Non-Stop To Brazil
Alright, this one is nothing short of a musical disaster; however, it is historically very interesting. The seizure-tastic cover gives you a pretty good hint of what tasteless surprises the record contains. It's the follow up to Perrey & Kingsley's first album, The In Sound From Way Out, and again is one of the very first commercially recorded uses of the Moog synthesiser. If you don't accept this album as nothing but cheekiness and fun, then it's a complete waste of time. Certainly not something I'll be putting on at a party or playing in my car but it was good for a laugh. Moogs kick ass. The LP is called Spotlight on the Moog: Kaleidoscopic Vibrations.
Perrey & Kingsley - One Note Samba
Is anyone interested enough for me to do this again? There's plenty of other cool/awful/interesting things sitting about here. Have a swell weekend!!
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Oh boy, it's been an agonising week of having my net capped. Finally back in action...
I think I've forgotten how to blog. Let me see... This song by San Serac is really cool, I like it a lot. It is cute and funky and 80s-ish and stuff. It's from this groovy little release with a fab Morgan Geist remix. That is all.
San Serac - Night Works [buy]
OK I think i've got the hang of this now. The marvelous Rove Dogs has started this really hip edits little edits label, Small Time Cuts. Really digging this edit a big 80s Topo & Roby burner done by Get A Room! - a collaberation between Rove himself and Jeff Larson. Plenty of tasty reverb drenched powerdrums, grunty vocals and a nice thick bedding of deep analogue synth dickery. He's a man with a plan, really looking forward to seeing how this label pans out.
Get A Room! - Under the Vice [buy]
Mmm, all this 80s stuff is way too contemporary bro. Tirk have strangely, but welcomely, released a cool little remix EP of Space's first single Carry On, Turn Me On. The remixes mostly, like the original, have quite a light poppy air which isn't so common with most of the band's stuff that follwed, but it's certainly nice and refreshing. I reckon the AN-2 remix is the most interesting and offers the biggest change to the original, turning it into an tight and funky 11-minute low budget space odyssey - picture a charmingly crude papier-mâché star cruiser chilling in a plasticine galaxy. Soulful and adorable!
Space - Carry On, Turn Me On (AN-2 Remix) [buy]
Future Classic's delightful Après vinyl series is nearing release number four by Lithuanian producer Mario Basanov. Following a toy space gun shootout groove from Loin Brothers, a truly mixed bag of artists and [insert prefix]-house sounds on the second 12" and some indie influences from the likes of Sidwho? and Clubfeet more recently, Après 4 boasts a very fine simple-and-effective slow-mo synthy sorta house with some killer remixes from Downtown Party Network and 6th Borough. This remix is certainly not in any hurry to reach its destination - recommended lazy Sunday listening. Coming soon!
Mario Basanov - Do You Remember (6th Borough Vocal Mix)
Auckland cats - come to Cassette9 next Saturday (the 12th) as I'll be popping over to play a record or two and drink a beer or eighteen. Got some great records on the way so stay tuned!