Dimitri From Paris – Dirty Larry (Dim’s A La Old School Flava) (Yellow Productions, 1996)

Here’s some classic bizniz from the many monikered Dimitri. Arriving on the scene as France awoke from its musical slumber in the mid nineties and casting the net wide in the search for influences, the cosmopolitan Dimitri championed a jet setting sound. Although a House DJ at heart, Dimitri took his early inspiration from the sounds of 50s Jazz, Exotica and Film Scores, creating in ‘Sacrebleu!’ (Mixmag’s Album of the Year in 96) a set of sumptuous downtempo muzak, lush and layered yet at the same time playful and full of character. However, if one were to peer through the Gauloises fug, inside that suave exterior was a house head sipping the same disco punch that the Idjuts and Harvey were serving up. This 12″ on Yellow Productions (a consistent label for cultured house co run by the consistently questionable Bob Sinclair) is an absolute gift for anyone with even a passing interest in having a good time.

The track first appeared on the Sacrebleu! LP in somewhat sophisticated fashion. Intended as a ‘tribute to the late Larry Levan and the great Lalo Shiffrin(sic)’, Dimitri serves up a house track incorporating the otherworldly melodies of Lalo Schifrin complete with not only harpsichord, jazz drums and bass, cinematic horns but also a bumping house kick and some far out dancefloor psychedelia a la Levan. If the more restrained LP version fell into the Lalo Schifrin camp, geared for lounge bars and home listening, perfect for an evening inside a Stella Artois advert, then the ‘Old School Flava’ mix was Larry’s revenge. Uptempo, proto house drums, dub disco bassline, lazers and the same far out synths as the LP version. If you’re a fan of the excellent Night Dubbin’ compilation on BBE then this one’s for you.

If you like what you hear then I strongly recommend finding a copy of this vinyl as the Crue-L Grand Orchestra and Idjut Boys mixes are also superb.

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Storm Queen – It Goes On (Enivron, 2011)

Morgan Geist needs no introduction. The man has been making dance music to the highest standard for longer than i’ve been able to tie laces and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Whether working as half of Metro Area or under his various solo aliases he always brings deep and organic sounding music, retro influenced but forward facing, touching on the 80s sounds of boogie, italo, early house and techno, but always sounding fresh, original and unmistakably his own. In December last year he snuck out a very late contender that wiped the floor with the track of the year competition under the alias of Storm Queen. That track, ‘Look Right Through’ has barely been out of the box over the last 12 months and is due a rerelease on D******D (I won’t say that word) with remixes from Aeroplane, Dimitri from Paris, Art Department and Jamie Jones. So if you’re new to the track, get there quickly, it’s about to jump the shark. Thankfully, as a saviour of the underground, Morgan has seen fit to release another powerhouse in time for this year’s party season.

‘It Goes On’ repeats the trick so wonderfully pulled off in ‘Look Right Through’. He has taken what is in essence a melancholy ballad and styled it as a house track with the late 80s/early 90s aesthetic. Inside the ecstatic body moving rhythm of these tracks, hidden within the exceptional synths and flawless production lie real songs, about heartbreak, longing and resilience. This time round things are less straight forward, the track is less immediate, the progressions less classic which usually means its power will be more lasting. Things begin with a handclap, always a good start, and the key melody of a descending bassline. Things are very minor key, Damon C. Scott (returning on vocal duties) starts to tell us a tale of loss as Morgan’s synths weave their magic, and finally we’re paid off with an uplifting chorus and the hands are in the air. The highlight of the track is the detuned warped synths that follow the first chorus. Inventive, interesting and forward moving electronic music that will pack every floor it’s unleashed on.

You can find both Storm Queen records on vinyl at the Environ Shop and listen to the vocal mix of this gem below.

MAY68 – White Lies (Tape Warm Remix) (2011)

Life is something special, here we have an exclusive to get you moving for the week . Manchester’s finest electro-disco-post-punk-pop party starters MAY68 have enlisted the talents of Discofutura favourites Tape Warm to add some of their magic to their latest single ‘White Lies’. The Brazilian duo have muted the pop elements of the original and replaced them with deep bass, warm pads and shuffling percussion, taking the track from peak time banger at an indie disco to late night groover in the car on the way home. This is music to cruise to, the kind of thing Ryan Gosling would listen to on his car stereo before carrying out an act of extreme violence. Exactly the thing for dark winter evenings.

MAY68 have kindly given us exclusivity of this post disco gem and a limited free download in full hi fi glory as well, boom boom. The original track and its house influenced b side ‘Static’ are due for release on the 17th October on Black Duck Records. Get all over it.

MAY68 – White Lies (Tape Warm Remix)

MAY68’s Blog

 

 

 

Wally Badarou – Chief Inspector (Precinct 13) (4th & Broadway, 1985)

Earlier this week I made a second hand record haul to die for in the musty gloom of Manchester’s Empire Exchange. After spending a mindnumbing hour trawling through a lot of terrible trance and hard house records, I suddenly happened upon a small enclave of Italo and Balearic classics that had previous eluded me on black wax. In the end I managed to get six excellent records for a reasonable six quid, and thought I’d share my spoils with the wider world.

First up is this deep and danceable, slow tempo proto house groover from the Island records keyboard genius Wally Badarou. At times you get jazz funk, at other’s there’s the low stomp of house and in the middle there’s the glorious keyboard progression that Lindstrøm owes a debt to. Polyrhythmic, funky and dubbed out, this track is a classic deserving of love and dancing from all concerned.

Kollektivnye and Discofutura’s Modern Amateur Radio

Some erudite and talented friends of ours run a cultural dispatch called Kollektivnye. They write interesting articles on modern media, music and the arts, take excellent photos of places you wish you’d been to and are generally an interesting bunch. A couple of weeks ago they asked us to provide the inaugural effort in their new mix series, and this was the fruit of that labour. You’ll recognise a number of the tracks from recent features on here, along with a smattering of old and new records and one record subject to water damage on the label that i have failed to identify. Use this mix as a soundtrack to explore the excellent Kollektivnye website.

Discofutura – Modern Amateur Radio

Tracklisting

1. Dr Hook and the Medicine Band – Penny (Galleon Trade Hooked on Penicillin Version)
2. Keep Schtum – Roots
3. Popular People’s Front – Keep Doin’ Your Dance
4. Delegation – Heartache No. 9
5. Norman Connors – Once I’ve Been There
6. Teengirl Fantasy – Cheaters (John Talabot’s Classic Vocal Refix)
7. Parada 88 – You’re Gonna Miss Me
8. Edward – Maxa
9. Benjamin Sun – Salty Tears
10. NYC Peech Boys – Stay With Me (Larry Levan Mix)
11. Locussolus – I Want It (Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas Remix)
12. Mystery Track
13. Cleo & Patra – Walk Like An Egyptian
14. Hercules & Love Affair – Shelter
15. Art Department feat. Soul Clap & Osunlade – We Call Love (DJ Harvey Remix)
16. It’s A Fine Line – Woman (A Makhnovshchina Repossession)
17. Chris Isaak – Wicked Games (TM Dubby Games Remix)

Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman (Dub) (Warner Bros, 1989)

This Chaka Khan remix 12″ is more known and loved for the Frankie Knuckles Hallucinogenic version of Chaka Khan and Rufus’ legendary ‘Ain’t Nobody’, a perfect end of night anthem that has served me very well over the years. However, for variety’s sake today I will share with you this jackin’ incarnation of the M&S classic, ‘I’m Every Woman.’ Produced by the man behind ‘We Call It Acieed’, Dancing Danny D, snares abound, along with some other lovely pieces of period electronic percussion, a warehouse shaking bassline and those Korg strings we all love so much. Don’t fear, it also has the uplifting chant along chorus. It could have been the template for Whitney’s Million Dollar Bill.

various artists – love edits vol.1 (white label, 2010)

Having hidden within our bags as a secret weapon since its release late last year, (and with the release of the second instalment in the series) it is time to unveil this powerhouse of a track. The mysterious 12″ comes from Germany and contains no information about the tracks featured.

A cursory listen reveals side A to be a well crafted edit of Bibio’s ‘Lover’s Carvings’ (put together by Catz ‘n’ Dogz) suitable for play at day or at night or accompanying any manner of tv advertisements. However for me, the main event was side B. I have no knowledge what this is an edit of, or who the edit is by, whether Catz ‘n’ Dogz or otherwise, which is sad, as the person behind it deserves the highest praise. It’s a proper slow motion house head nodder, perfectly suited to filling warehouses or dingy basements, employing the timeless combination of a throbbing bassline in the low end and a female vocal floating up top. As things get moving there are some dynamic strings and piano to take the dancefloor away. I cannot recommend this track highly enough. There are still copies available on Juno and it’s worth a shout for vinyl lovers, despite the steep price tag.

edward – maxa (merc, 2011)

Another one of my summer favourites here courtesy of newcomer Edward on old hand Marc E’s Merc imprint. The story goes that Edward dropped Mark E a cd of leftfield house and booked himself a debut release in the form of this little 12″. Upon the most cursory of listens it’d be clear why this struck a chord with the Merc main man. It’s a repetitive builder, based on a  gloriously deep and warm bass sound and crisp percussion with colour added by a drone and the occasional synth twinkle. Oh, and it’s got sirens, massive starlit rave sirens. As for the b side, ‘Naxa’, it uses the brass from Paul Simon’s ‘Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes’, but in a new and strange way, that sadly my brain cannot compute. Maybe it’s a case of being too fond of the original, but ‘Naxa’ just doesn’t do it for me. However, ‘Maxa’ is worth the price of admission alone, and is still available at Piccadilly for vinyl fans, especially those who are brave enough for the b-side.

For the rest, here’s Maxa in digital, for a limited time only.

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)