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.
A Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas rarity for you here. Originally released as part of the Idjut Boys’ Press Play compilation on Tirk in 2005, then put out on a 12″ sampler for Idjut Boys’ Cottage imprint under the pseudonym ‘Vallerenga Blues And Disko Combo’, Ballerina is a bass heavy number in keeping with the material on the duo’s first LP. Superb production marries the live drums and throbbing synth bass that underpin the track and get the heads nodding before Hans-Peter treats us to some of his signature piano chords. I’ve been listening to this moody groover non stop since i rediscovered it at weekend and couldn’t resist revealing it to a wider audience.
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)
Leng released some black wax this week as a primer for Mountaineer’s debut LP ‘The Real McQueen’. It contained remixes of album tracks ‘Golden Chalk’ and ‘Always Coming Home’ by Idjut Boys and Tuff City Kids repectively. I’m a massive fan of the Idjuts and rate their set at the roadhouse last year as one of the best I’ve ever seen, but for once I feel disappointed by their work. Their take on Golden Chalk attempts to combine the track’s melodic jangle with the deep dubby synths the duo love so much but after a few plays, it doesn’t feel like the two elements rest easily together, nor does the track ever seem to soar.
On the flipside however, we are treated to a gem. Gerd Janson and Phillip Lauer turn out a bumping house number with a boogie tinged bassline and ever evolving percussion. This sets the foundation for the sumptuous synth work and piano vamps to steal the show. There are references to dub throughout with scratchy guitar chops on the upbeat and a fat round bass sound combining with the melodica line in the second half of the track. Augustus Pablo would be proud. Still in stock at Piccadilly so look sharp and get yourself an early slice of summer.