Wednesday, January 10, 2007



Please update your links, and bear with me while I add Feedburner and similar stuff to the new site, should be a better looking blog overall. See you there!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Further into the haze of the jungle....

So 2007 has kicked off, and already a new Mobilee by Marcin Czibula, new Liebe Detail by Ripperton/Lars Behrenroth, and some other neat stuff are doing the promo rounds. I'm really enjoying Minilogue's Birdsong forthcoming later this year on Wagon Repair. If minimal is to become more deep and I guess, organic sounding, then gimme this over the "soulful" Buttrich bargrooves any day of the week (sorry but "Cloudy Bay" sucked), incorporating older house sounds shouldn't mean losing all the dub, and thankfully Minilogue provide a good example of how it should be done on this 12. I often feel like I'm giving too much mention to this style anyway, the reality is there is still plenty of non US sounding minimal coming out, just a lot of the bigger releases are starting to sound a bit more like deep house. However what will separate the wheat from the chaff ultimately is the dubby/druggy elements in the sound....when these are lost there's nothing original whatsoever about deep electronic house, it just loses the vitality and originality of "minimal" and becomes "TECH HOUSE" or something equally boring.

"Birdsong" is a seriously dense record, so tropical and otherworldly, if you liked Kemi and Amox's "Natas" and Marc Antona's release on Freak N Chic last year which I blogged about here, then you'll like this too. These records are submerged underneath a deep misty haze. But the melodies which come into "Birdsong" after 4 or 5 minutes of groove are just so lonely and forlorn, the stuff of amazing house music. This weird nature vibe (did this begin with poppier incarnations like "The Whistler" and "Kookaburra") can only do good things for house, or a new genre perhaps "beardinal" (minibeard anyone?). It's like the nightclub is a jungle and the listener is on a solo mission through the trees, and it's no surprise that "Birdsong" clocks in at 10 minutes. Also, can you tell these records make me want to do drugs again? They do!

All of the above brings us nicely to one of my favourite house records of all time, and one which I think may be THE best Chicago house tune. It also should give my recent obsession with this weird sub sub genre of tropical/dub/nature house sounds some context....maybe this was the original tropical house tune....I hope you all like it as much as I do...enjoy

Tags: , ,

Friday, December 29, 2006

Could this be 2006's final YSI?

Probably, but I'm really enjoying these two records in particular, both released in the week before Christmas. The first is My My's remix of Duoteque's My My's remix of Duoteque's "Amarcord" on Boxer. If you've heard the My My LP you know what to expect hear, if not, check this out, what starts off quite agitated gives way to some of those Detroit style melodies that have been popping up a bit more commonly in the last few months. While this is great, there really is a fine line between minimal meeting Detroit and just becoming boring electronic house. I've never been into labels like Galaktika or D├ęssous, apart from when the latter drafts in a decent remixer, and there are a slew of producers making vaguely US tinged Euro-house for the last few years and plodding along with production after production, none of which are ever great, these guys are probably just waiting for a chance to inflict their lounge compilation grooves on the world! So not too heavy on the US sounds please Germans, and the rest of the world...a little lushness is a dangerous thing.

The second track I'm linking dovetails nicely with this last point, it's by Marc Antona whom I've not heard of before, and is no Freak N Chic. I find myself checking Freak N Chic pretty regularly these days, having at one stage thought of it as sort of quaint acid house revivalism. This is the third record of 2006 I've really enjoyed on the label and that's better than many labels manage.

Perhaps the time is just right for Freak N Chic, aswell as lushness like My My seeping into minimal there's also been a return of more abrasive jacking rhythms, like the Jamie Jones release I recently blogged about, and of course Samim/Haze and co.

However I've also noticed a lot of tracks incorporating some of that weirdly organic feeling you get from certain early Chicago records. I mean organic in the sense of the music sounding sort of tropical or tribal. Kemi and Amox's "Natas" was a perfect example of this which I linked to a while back. "Happy Martians" by Antona also has this vibe, just listen to that bassline, so primal, you can practically see the steam rising from the trees. Of course it still sounds quite trendy and minimal and "now", but can the return of the bongo be far ahead of us? Beardo house?

And is this all just part of an endless process of recycling? Perhaps the future of house and techno is just continuing unfinished ideas from various points in the past, sometimes several at a time.

(As always if you like the above try and pick up the 12s or give the labels and producers some money in the future...)

Tags: , ,

Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006 almost over...

A bizarre year trundles to an end: I was sick for this entire year, but despite some of the darker times in recent years there have been a number of highlights, which I won't detail too much, mostly writing and DJing really, if I've felt isolated this year I like to think I've used what's been a weirdly bare bones existence (at least in terms of you know, leaving the house) to spend more time taking stock of things and deciding what I want to do with my career, what kind of person I want to be, what parts of my self are worth retaining for the day when I might feel better. It's been a serious 2006 for me, not much frivolity I'm afraid, quite a lot of introspection, I mean, what else do you think about but the serious when you're feeling sick all the time.

In that vein, one thing which has struck me in the last week, is the sheer invincibility of a good family life. I realise this sounds a bit like Fr Ronan's Christmas homily, but most people probably don't get a snapshot of what it's like to depend on their family and really value the time spent with them until they're elderly. And of course plenty don't have a family they get along with. A good family care enough to understand when things are going badly and know you well enough not to care. I don't mean to suggest friendships are worthless or false, just that it's not humanly possible for most friends to help us when things are bad...

I've never been anti-Christmas anyhow, but Christmas this year has been particularly great because it's su\h an easy thing to engage in. I have a lot of great friends but the downright normality of family at Christmas is something chronic illness can't really take away, a good feeling, all too rare. This craving for normality actually feels kind of abnormal.

As for 2007, I hope to keep posting music and mixes here, and have a few career plans up my sleeve which could be interesting. I hope people have enjoyed reading this revived blog the last few months, I've really enjoyed writing it particularly as I've noticed a few more people reading in the last month or two. Or at least downloading the mp3s and thinking "wtf" at the illness monologues....

Anyway expect plenty of updates including a huge backlog of radio shows, lots of nice mp3s as usual, some interviews, and as much else about this wonderful music as I can fit in. Oh and I hope you all had a great Christmas, and that 2007 is a fantastic year...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Extra Extra: Minimal now meets Moodymann

I don't know whether to eulogise about this, or complain about lack of originality, I guess I can do a bit of both. Rejoice, because Lee Jones' (he of My My) re-working of Philly Soundworks "Sideshow", on Aus Music, is the quintessential deep house tune, an amazing melancholic late night tune. How does some house music just seem so utterly irrevocably tied to the night time? It's 1am now and even sitting at home at a computer, this record sounds like it could only have been made for night time, for silence, for that reflective atmosphere that covers everything in the morning hours. Night music is such a glorious term. And yet I can imagine this track (and others like it) being great in a club too.

Why is it that some of the most amazing electronic music we listen to while on euphoria inducing drugs is simultaneously so melancholy, so serious. Perhaps electronic music just illuminates what is actually a fine line between sadness and euphoria, between the present and the nostalgia that is soon to come. I just can't think of anything else which seems to evoke such seemingly opposite feelings, is it just projection on my part? Do we eventually just project our feelings onto the music we listen to? Is dance music a more blank canvas? Or maybe this is what "house is a feeling" really means; regardless of how often we go out to clubs or how many records we buy, once we've loved dance music once, even for a short time, like anything else, it retains a real power over us. "Those who know" about electronic music can never stop knowing.

Check it out

(Please buy some records sometimes, it's not hard! I bought this one!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Here's a mix from Funboi, one of my co-DJs at's pretty poor but he needs all the exposure he can get, he is the breadwinner in a large family and DJing pays pretty badly. Seriously tho this is a nice mix on an electro/minimal tip, check it out below....

01. Misc - Silhouette
02. Yellow - Oh Yeah (Bodzin & Huntemann Mix)
03. Chloe & Sascha Funke - Point Final
04. Angelo Battilani - Empty
05. SLG - Caffeine
06. Pan-Pot - Black Dog (Jesse Rose Mix)
07. Kaliber 7.3
08. Lutzencraft - Amplify
09. Pig & Dan - On The Beat
10. Thomas Schumacher - Kickschool 79
11. John Acquaviva & Madox - Feedback (Oliver Koletzki Mix)

download it here

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A Christmas Surprise