neon heights – wichita dubman (added extras mix) (spicy diversions, 2011)

Neon Heights have been knocking around the lo fi electronica circuit since 1997 but have thus far failed to hit a sucker punch and take their music to the next level. Admittedly since the turn of the millennium the genres of downtempo and chillout have become much maligned, with people shoehorning all sorts under the balearic umbrella to keep some semblance of credibility. Following on from the success their cover of ‘That’s Entertainment’ in 2004, is this spaced out bassy take on Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman, otherwise known as the best song ever made. It’s getting a download release on Beatfanatic’s Spicy Diversions label. Keep your ears and eyes peeled.

nile delta – channel (cutters, 2011)

Following on from yesterday’s review of the latest In Flagranti album, here’s a track that combines electro, house and disco sensibilities in much the same way as the porn obsessed duo. Coming to our ears directly from Cut Copy’s record label, Cutters, ‘Channel’ is the debut release from former Rioter (In Belgium) Joel Dickson’s new project, Nile Delta. This 12″ represents good value for money with 4 good quality cuts, 2 originals and 2 remixes, with something here for all moods. ‘Channel’ is the stand out for me, ticking a lot of boxes. Electronic disco bassline, some low fidelity boogie woogie piano snippets, crowd noise a plenty, some sampled horns. This is the standout party single the In Flagranti album was missing. Top notch. ‘All This’ presents something a little more sedate. Cut Copy bassman Ben Browning lends his unmistakable vocal stylings to a reverb drenched chugger, full of the haze of a summer day. The only downside from Joel Dickson’s point of view is that with vocals so reminiscent of Cut Copy, if you played this to me blind, I’d assume it was a remix of Cut Copy rather than a Nile Delta track.

On remix duties are Tornado Wallace and Chicken Lips who offer two very different interpretations of ‘All This’. The former offers up an atmospheric number, deep in the style of Metro Area rather than Pepe Bradock, which transplants the original from the sunny afternoon to the late night. Chicken Lips set phazers to stun and offer up one of their arpeggiated work outs, throwing a Morodersweight (the technical measurement) of analogue synths at the original and taking it up to the stars (and sort of pinching a bit from Gaz Nevada’s IC Love Affair). A high quality debut release. Get it from piccadilly.

in flagranti – worse for wear (codek, 2011)


International duo Alex Gloor and Sasha Crnobrnja have been prolific over the past decade, promoting their own brand of late night sleaze. From the syrupy beats of the early releases to the rough analogue cut ups of their more recent releases their music has always been aimed at the left hand side of the dancefloor. Operating separately from London and Basil, and utilising the freedom of their own Codek imprint, In Flagranti have now become veterans of the dance music scene, racking up four albums and finding success and plaudits from the disco, house and electro crowds. Perhaps the key to this success has been the creation of a timeless sound, conjuring up the image of an unremembered 70s and 80s, and of parties wilder than anyone could imagine. The last few years have seen the duo give in to the excess that goes with this image, taking their sleazy concept to the extreme with pornographic covers and eroticised samples. On this latest release the pair move away from the brash and vulgar whilst still maintaining the visceral and grainy sound that has become their trademark.

‘I like things to be old and run-down, so I let myself be inspired by one of my favorite places to spend time: 1970s/80s New York City.’ Alex Gloor.

The album begins with the sound of footsteps echoing through a city street or a subway station, forming the metronome the beat takes up. This inner city theme is continued with the druggy proto house sound of album opener ‘Worse For Wear’ and ‘Peculiar Protagonist and the Carpenter-esque ‘Prelude to Chaos’ and ‘Knock Out Logic’. Elsewhere there’s warped boogie sounds on ‘Latter Day Methods’ and the gentle electronic bounce of ‘Anglo-Saxon Pragmatism’. The album stand out is the synth disco workout ‘Hallow Discourse’, which makes good use of some linn drums and a handy bassline to set the track in motion before adding some righteous synth parts and an excellent vocal snippet.

It’s to In Flagranti’s credit that they have managed to throw such a melange of different styles through their grimy filter and still managed to create something which both works as a whole and sounds like it could only have been made by them. There is still a criticism to be made of the album however, with all the tracks holding much promise for developing into something great, but only few of them achieving it. At times the tracks are either overlong or underdeveloped, never resulting in the hook or sample that could elevate the tracks to greatness. For a taster of the record the duo have produced some teasers from some found footage, one of which is below. And to whet your appetite for the release, you can find a download to an In Flagranti vintage from 2005.

graceful exit – revolve disco (dfa, 2011)

A couple of years ago Walter Jones came onto my radar with his ‘I’ll keep on Loving You’ release on DFA. I was blown away by the deep beauty of the title track, as well as the dancefloor power of the b-side ‘Living Without Your Love’, a track that was a staple of my sets back then. Further digging revealed some top quality deep house releases and the insane I-F edit of ‘Deuteronomy Brown’, not content with having the coolest track title around, but also a crazy electro disco track of the highest merit. Walter has now teamed up with some like minded souls and formed this new ensemble, utilising the group’s talents to take his musical vision to the next level.

“Walter Merlin Jones is a perfectionist. A presence in the house scene since the late ’80s, the DJ and producer has, over the years, created thousands of undoubtedly wonderful, but unfinished, songs – a staggering collection of musical bits that have fallen victim to his tendency to be his own worst critic. Yet, that same perfectionism has yielded some of the most engaging dance music of the last decade, however scant – songs that are aural proof of his preference for quality over quantity. Jones’s first DFA release, 2009′s “I’ll Keep On Loving You/Living Without Your Love,” confirmed his commitment to this idea with subtle grace and slow, seductive rhythms. Now, with Graceful Exit – which pairs Jones’s talents with singer Ellipsis, Boston producer Chas Bronz and saxophonist Jesse Allen — the New Orleans-raised artist continues to showcase his discerning ear, proffering music with a modern, evolved take on disco’s very best virtues.

vinyl + digital available at the dfawebstore

That’s what DFA have to say about the release and you can listen to all three tracks here.

Especially for you, for a limited time only, is a download of Walter’s unclassic ‘Living Without Your Love’.

  


tape warm – silver copy (beatzforfreakz recordings, 2011)

A couple of days ago we got an unsolicited email from a Sao Paulo based disco duo, telling us about their new release. For people out there who don’t receive these kinds of emails, there might be one track in a hundred worth listening to. Thankfully for me it was a lucky day. Tape Warm comprises of Boris Kauffmann and Felipe Diniz, two fellas in love with the analogue warmth of 70s disco, the drift of Moroder’s timeless production and the clarity and precision of sound achieved by Metro Area. ‘Silver Copy’ takes all these influences and throws them together with verve and panache making a track that references early house, boogie, disco and the analogue sound of modern groups like Metro Area or Chicken Lips. This is the kind of track that Holy Ghost! could have made if they didn’t want to be popstars. It comes with a tidy little home video of a vinyl being made, and a remix by beatzforfreakz boss DJ Zeyhan. I can see this getting some heavy plays from me in the weeks to come.

schatrax – you don’t act the same (schatrax, 1998)

a true deep house tune this one. totally overlooked even when released. josh brent a.k.a. schatrax had its time in the second half of the 1990’s. I met him in Barcelona when he was living there and I was lucky enough to be given two copies of his albums (‘greatest schats’ and ‘stamp collecting’). He was self releasing his material and passing it to the then buoyant dance scene present in such city. Schatrax music was always difficult to pigeonhole. it was techno or deep house always drenched with waves of melancholy or moodiness, but always danceable and incredibly sensual. The atmospheres, basslines and vocal samples formed a perfect ensemble that provided fun and hedonism to many.

Schatrax material has recently being re-released and can also be bought as digital downloads. I need to say that back in 1998 I simply did not appreciate the quality and originality present in those two promos given to me. It has only being now, thirteen years later, that I realized what great material was there. If you think of labels such as Chicago’s Guidance Recordings or Soma, you might get close to his sound. Nobody has managed to keep so underground (and unrecognized) as Josh Brent.

Here you have something to taste: ‘you don’t act the same’ is deep house in its purest form. check the piano notes, the overwhelming bassline, and get ready for the climatic stop. Being a dance music track, it is quite short clocking just over 4 minutes but it does everything perfect, and the result is excellent.

this track is from this album and there are some for sale at discogs. high prices but sublime music.

schatrax – you don’t act the same


erot – two songs for annie (discfunction, 1999)

Tore Andreas Kroknes, otherwise known as Erot, was a rising star in the house music world at the turn of the millennium. Boyfriend and producer of Norwegian pop starlet Annie, friend and colleague of Bjorn Torske and in house designer at the influential Telle label (home to Kings of Convenience, Bjorn Torske, Royksopp, Annie) things were certainly on the up for Erot. However, the musical world was denied a true star when he died tragically early in 2001 at the age of 23. He paved the way for the Scandinavian disco scene that has gone from strength to strength over the past decade, hailed as an inspiration by Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Bjorn Torske. Obviously given the dubby style of his music, he proved a hit with Idjut Boys, who released this track on their own Discfunction label. It is a testament to his love for music that rather than accepting a fee for this release, he instead asked Idjut Boys to pay him in 40 disco 12″s.

The legacy left by Erot is limited to a handful of singles and remixes, all of which sound fresh and current now, and were revolutionary at the time. The pick of these releases was this 12″ on Discfunction. On side a, Erot builds a heart stopping house track out of samples from the Crusaders’ ‘Sweet n Sour’, building drums and rhythms up, letting a rough dubby bassline drive the track forward, then dropping the beautiful keyboards from the original. Stunning. On side b, he delivers another rhythm driven house track made out of a sample of Curtis Mayfield’s  “Give Me Your Love (Love Song)” (from the Superfly OST), played at the wrong speed. A sublime slice of dub house that sounds streets ahead of the releases we see weekly in the times of edit mania. Here are both sides of this unclassic, along with the tracks Erot used to create them.

Erot – Song For Annie

Erot – Another Song For Annie

Crusaders – Sweet N Sour

Curtis Mayfield – Give Me Your Love (Love Song)

lee curtiss – i can hear you arthur (supplement facts, 2010)

here we have another stomper. more a builder than any other thing courtesy of lee curtiss on israeli label supplement facts. it does not really have a climax per se. The whole track is climatic being built around a simple combination of keys and melody, with multi-layered drum beats added and subtracted regularly.

this tech-house track has the ability to melt onto disco sets pretty decently.  such chameleonic skill is, apparently, disguised in the track title since it was created with Arthur Russell in mind. It is warm, infectious, and the synth will stay in your mind for a good while.

get it in its physical form here while it last . Or get it in its invisible form right here at 320kbps hi-fi gratis.

lee curtiss – i can hear you arthur 

subway – testing (sunday best, 2004)

before subway was signed by Soul Jazz, the london duo released some stuff on another solid label: sunday best.

for those who like melody with their dance beats, this record does it proper. the b side is covered by Dexter… proper basslines and electro cum breakbeat bonkers to break your hips. Dexter was indeed the selling point and many overlooked the original track which turns out to hold the passage of time much better. as said, its melodic synths and its midtempo pace makes it a good warmer to your sets or a good home listening as well. If you are still not convinced, imagine a combination of Random Factor and Art of Tones and you get the whole picture.

this is my old time fave from Subway besides their superb music released with Soul Jazz.

Get this excellent track here at 320kbps hi-fi. give some love to them  by buying their music!

subway – testing


erik & fiedel – donna (mmm, 1997)

back in the day, before minimal went commercial and make the klick ‘n’ cuts a pastime of many newbies with not a drop of musical knowledge, either popular or classical, there were people doing the same thing a hundred times better and getting no kudos for it, except by the connoisseurs who frequented the record shop often enough to get some copies of highly limited 12″s that were normally in the hands of a few dj’s who got well rich while playing them.

nowadays, there are not many electronic music records that manage to keep so underground as almost two decades ago. the internet revolutionized everything and it has had a brutal effect on how music is distributed, sold and promoted. physicality has given way to virtuality. and as trade off, everyone can make music, either good or bad. At the same time because everybody can sell their own music, we are bombarded by mediocrity constantly and discerning the masterful from the amateur takes loads of time and effort. Now, you do not get rich as a DJ because everybody can be one thanks to the copious amounts of software out there). Not everything is bad though. Actually, I like this ethos of sharing and getting to know music that would have easily gone unnoticed. This re-edit mania of the last five years, chopping, extending, deleting, and throwing effects that enhance rather than destroy the original itself.

Everything is fragmented and deterritorialized. there is no Berlin or London sound. and if you want to be updated, you need to check numerous sources, each one being a niche for some genre, label or kind of artists. There are no magazines anymore, not a centralized place where you can go and get your weekly fix. Instead you need to be hooked to the screen day after day. It is a real pain but there you go.

So that’s my view on the changes of the last two decades concerning dance music.

And what all this has to do with this couple erik & fiedel you would say… Not much except that it just came to my mind how venerated and desired was this vinyl when it came out and how guarded and protective were the dj’s that had it. not wanting to share it with the plebeians. And how that game is well over.

So here you have this classic electro/techno weapon of dancefloor destruction. Surprisingly, now everyone is selling their copy so grab one well cheap on discogs. a true hands in the air affair with constant bubbles of acidic explosions and harsh drums to drive your levels of euphoria to unknown heights at that house party or warehouse rave at 5 a.m.

just a warning note if you happen to be the dj. the last minute and a half of this monster is just not usable unless you want to empty your dancefloor!

get it, enjoy it, share it, love it. just here at 320kbps as it is the norm at the discofutura towers.

erik & fiedel – donna