Articles tagged with house
It’s February. It’s cold even here in Barcelona the temperatures are dipping below 10C. Yeah, I know for an audience mostly in Brooklyn you are thinking, “Man, that’s like spring.” Our friends at We Play House are serving you up a summer preview of three deep, down, and groovy house tracks.
We Play House is based out of Belgium and since 2010 have been pressing interesting music that mostly falls in the house label. This release is no different. Starting with a sample heavy track from Harry Baldi that is just fun to dance to. The A2 though by Miclem kicks off with a super fun bassline and open high hats that just drive the song. The flip side has a kind of lackluster track with a synth line that is really acid house-y as the B1. I’ll admit it’s not really my cuppa. But the B2 by Maxim Lany & Audio City is so icy smooth and hot that I am sure that it would have been on the Drive soundtrack.
You would think that in the middle of January, there would be a drop off in quality vinyl only releases, but it looks to me like every one wants the summer to start in February. I know my friends back in Brooklyn sure do! This week we saw a flurry of amazing releases and essential re-issues on good quality vinyl! It was super hard to pic so you get two for one this week!
For starters, Soul Clap presents Vinyl Only Summer Jamz with Juice Belushi and Michael the Lion. Man, this one is a going to be popping all over. The A side is silky and starts with a synth that sounds just like ¨Stand Back¨ with a strong bass line. Vocals come in from Nephroki and it sounds like it is going to flow on mellow, but then the breaks in with the happy disco guitar. Ohs and ahs bring the song up and over the edge. The B side is Micheal the Lion with a funky congo driven disco anthem that sounds like it just walked out the bathroom of studio 54 but with modern touches like the isolated vocal break just before breaking into full on disco madness. Vocals from Amy Douglas make this a killer. Summer is here! In the middle of January!
Second pic this week is the essential re-issue of the Atmosphere EP on good quality vinly from the one and only house legend Kerri Chandler. Originally released in 1993, this record does not sound over 10 years old. It holds up mightily and still drives the dance floor. This re-issue is great to fill out a set and move the pace up into the night. If you love deep house, this is for you. Here is my favorite track from this EP.
2014 was a great year for house, so here’s a mix of 10 of our favorites. And keep an eye out for a YDH2S podcast coming atcha in 2015…
duke dumont – won’t look back (extended mix)
jessie ware – say you love me (gorgon city remix)
the subs ft. colonel abrams – trapped (acid jacks dance cult remix)
kiesza – hideaway (gorgon city remix
aden – whip (jimmy edgar remix)
odysseus – done to me
black loops – the lovelite
hercules & love affair – do you feel the same? (oliver dollar remix)
boot & trax – confuzed house
julio bashmore – simple love
Here’s an obsessive list of my favorite music from the year, because I listened to music obsessively this year.
1. Röyksopp – The Inevitable End
2. Erlend Øye – Legao
3. the Juan Maclean – In a Dream
4. Future Islands – Singles
5. Dum Dum Girls – Too True
6. the 2 Bears – The Night Is Young
7. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
8. Caribou – Our Love
9. Lemonade – Minus Tide
10. Wye Oak – Shriek
Songs of the Year (no remixes)
(and here’s a handy Spotify playlist)
Yumi Zouma – The Brae
Cafuné – Letting Go
School ’94 – Head over here
Saint Pepsi – Fiona Coyne
Chromeo – Come Alive (feat. Toro Y Moi)
Les Sins – Why (feat. Nate Salman)
Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You)
Joakim – Bring Your Love feat. Luke Jenner
Wunder Wunder – Coastline
RAC – Cheap Sunglasses
James Curd – Let’s Bounce
Duke Dumont – I Got U
The 2 Bears – Not This Time
Caribou – Can’t Do Without You
Kate Boy – Self Control
Klaxons – There Is No Other Time
Zoot Woman – Don’t Tear Yourself Apart
Metronomy – Love Letters
My Favorite – Second Empire
Stars – From The Night
Yumi Zouma – Alena
Timecop1983 – Dreams (feat. Dana Jean Phoenix)
Wild Beasts – Sweet Spot
Orthy – E.M.I.L.Y.
Trans Am – I’ll Never
Loose Shus – Hang Ups
Ed Dowie – Meadow Song
Röyksopp – You Know I Have To Go
Remixes, Re-edits, Reworkings of the Year
(here’s a Soundcloud playlist of most of them, a few got taken down)
Step Out (the Chainsmokers remix) – Jose Gonzalez
Old Robot (Daniel T remix) – James Supercave
Drunk and Incapable (Fred Falke remix) – Krishane
Boom Clap (Aeroplane remix) – Charli XCX
I Might Survive (Bixel Boys remix) – Architecture in Helsinki
If You Were Mine (Baby) (Young Franco remix) – Midnight Pool Party
Holler (Fred Falke remix) – Rebecca & Fiona
Josephine (Dalminjo edit) – Chris Rea
Paradoxx Music (Mongochips remix) – Hatchets
Sundream (Classixx remix) – Rüfüs du Sol
You’re the Inspiration (Ladycréme edit) – Chicago
Running Back – the Dead Rose Music Company
Rock the Box – (Akin’s Slow Dance Version) – Sylvester
Falling in Love (KZA edit) – Miami Sound Machine
Never Thought I’d See the Day (L-Vis 1990 Sunrise edit) – Sade
If Leaving Me Is Easy (Tony Johns edit) – Phil Collins – (this one has been lost to the ether, unless you like Russian MP3 sites)
Holy shit is this new track from the Dead Rose Music Company a monster. The thing I love about this one is that is the way it builds and grows. At the outset it’s a little more on the restful side of the energy meter, but without going the route of cheesy drops it quickly starts a nice pattern of building up and releasing, until the track just explodes into taut guitars and disco strings around 2:40 in. In general DRMC threads the needle nicely between sounding new and sounding unique. There’s enough slicing and dicing to feel akin to early Chicago house or something off of Crydamoure, but despite a few tropical flourishes it deftly dodges the same-ness that a lot of recent house has been feeling, in my humble.
“Running Back” leads off the new compilation Midnight Riot 6, which is a Juno Download exclusive and hit #1 there this week on their disco charts, so go buy it and add to the momentum. I want to hear this tune on every dancefloor this Summer. If you’re not familiar with DRMC’s work, check out their fantastic reworking of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Taste of Bitter Love,” and go follow them on Soundcloud and Twitter.
/// Brian Blackout
JKriv, the man behind nu-disco label Deep & Disco and a DJ/producer in his own right, got a chance to remix YDH2S faves Escort for their recent Remixed compilation, and he turned the Brooklyn disco orchestra’s sound into a summery, retro-vibe of a house track. JKriv casts a warm glow on what was originally a chilly piece of electro-disco, adding vintage drum machines and prime 1990s house piano plinks, upping our nostalgia for summers long gone as we hunker down here for a winter spell.
This track, along with the rest of the Escort Remixed collection, is available here on iTunes.
Just as the first cold winds start to blow through NYC, our city’s very own Eli Escobar drops this icy slab of a track- a glimmering remix of his own song, “Set My Heart on Fire.” Synths percolate around a low-end punch and pulse, with vocal snippets courtesy of Amy Douglas skittering across the top, all set skillfully together into some expertly crafted house. This remix, along with the original and a couple other goodies will be dropping as a digital EP next month via Plant Music.
Cat Power just released a new collection of songs called Sun, her first in six years, and NYC-based DJ/producer Cousin Cole took a stab at remixing one of the album’s standout tracks, “Manhattan.” The result is pretty stellar, preserving the spirit of the original, with its piano plinks and digital beat backdrop, but with a little added jitteriness in those pops and clicks, along with the occasional airy synth blowing through from time to time. It’s perfect for the Saturday night nightcap or the Sunday morning lazy haze.
You can grab a free copy of this track right over here.
As the last days of summer roll in, Todd Terje rolls out this flawless nu-disco remix. Perfect for cocktail sipping 75 degree days away, the vibe is chill enough that you may want to bring a sweater. Clean production, a bouncing baseline and snapping snare drums epitomize the less-is-more approach. It’s lush, but in a sophisticated way. Nothing extra, nothing out of place and the effect is hypnotic. You’ll forget it’s Hot Chip until the breakdown. Then the vocal drops and it’s time to set your cocktail down and dance. Get into it.
It’s Get Strange week at YDH2S. The bar is set high because every DJ likes to think they have the craziest stuff and well, some of my fellow YDH2S DJs have turned in some killer oddness. But I think I have something to out freak their freakiest beats.
Coming from the fashion world of late 70s Germany, Patrick D. Martin embarked on a music career, birthing one oddball EP and a few 7”s of eccentric new wave, punk and disco, before moving on to video art. He perfectly encapsulates everything that I love about that time period — musical mongrelism, international cross-pollination, a bit of robo-futurism, and implied sexual and cultural deviance. It’s Devo and Nina Hagen with a bit of Moroder and Bowie and whatever else was lying around.
It’s hard for me to pick a favorite, and that doesn’t imply that all Martin’s songs were good. They’re just all… interesting. Most of them aren’t likely to set off a dance floor, but all will get you some strange looks. These are the songs DJs play for other DJs — the ones you put on a mix tape to test how cool someone is.
Luci ‘Lectric might be the go to jam for most people. It has a slapped baseline and other obvious disco-isms under an ode to the dark prince himself, Lucifer. It’s not quite wild enough for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s probably still too weird for most sets and the bridge has an awesome springy robot laser battle.
However, compared to Martin’s other offerings it kind of pails. ?, (Question Mark), is an all-out space war with a bass burble that may have inspired Cosmic Cars. If that’s true, then this track may be the blue print for techno. As cool as that is, the song gets smothered in ridiculous saxophone that hasn’t stood the test of time. If that weren’t bad enough, it goes sort of piano house at the end. I mean doing techno and piano house on a record in 1979 is sort of incredible, but I can’t say that it sounds good.
Luci ‘Lectric’s B-side, Mutant sounds like the B-52s on PCP. It’s all slinky cowboy guitar, discordant riffiage, sound effects and Martin ranting in his best Bela Lugosi impression. Three minutes in, the bridge happens and the entire song dissolves only to rise again zombie like. It’s astounding how many ideas this guy can pack into four minutes.
Martin has a few more “hits” in his arsenal, but for my taste, the one to go with is “I Like ‘Lectric Motors”. It’s basically screaming guitar, Martin rapping in his english accent over a pulsing arpeggiator. At times the frequency opens up and the synth gets a bit acidy. This one is actually pretty danceable and even had a video. Drop it if you’re feeling brave!
Years ago, my homeboy Dave Michael put me up on this record exclaiming ”Steve Hurley is that motherf*cker!” as he pulled the vinyl from one of his crates. I would have to agree with that sentiment, but in order to hear just how bonkers the Silkman’s remix is, one must first listen to the original Roberta Flack composition, which is a pleasant, yet mellow 80’s R&B ditty written by Ashford & Simpson.
Then take a listen to Arthur Baker’s Dance Mix on the A-side of the 12” single, which takes a more upbeat Stevie Wonder-esque approach. Usually, the legendary Mr. Planet Rock, doesn’t forfeit the gold to any other producer, but in this rare instance, he got smoked by Chicago’s finest!
Hurley’s take is glitchy but at the same time smooth – a secret weapon of House destruction complete with Art Of Noise-like vocal sample chops, stabby bassline and piano stabs, booming percussion, and stuttering echo effects. That reverse bongo drop at the 0:35 mark absolutely kills me every single time. Perhaps most interesting, is the use of Roberta’s voice, which on the other versions is harmless and serene, but here sounds haunting and melancholy. On first listen, you might mistakenly overlook this track, but if you were to hear it on a thumping sound system, I guarantee that you’d be desperately trying to Shazam it. Thank me later!
Thomas Barfod – Don’t Understand
Thomas Barfod, the Danish producer, member of Friends of Friends and drummer for WhoMadeWho, has a new slice of nice. The track is called Don’t Understand, and it showcases how next level this guy’s studio chops are. Barfod makes incredible sounding tracks, his production has always been top notch, and here it’s really evident. There’s a lot going on, but everything is in the right place. A disembodied lead vocal is supported by huge, lush, ethereal backing vocals. It’s a thick layer of sheen, but Barfod doesn’t forget to also brink the thumping, bumping bass. He’s gotten more sophisticated over the years, but his skills as a drummer always show. Even on a classy house track like this one, he keeps your head bobbing and ass shaking, just as he did on his earlier electro-house stuff. Halfway through he drops something that sounds like an acid riff being played on a $10 casio. Or maybe it’s a solo from the Jimi Hendrix of melodica. Either way, it shows Barfod hasn’t lost any of the inventiveness that he displayed on older jams like Saturdaya. Can’t wait to try this one out on an unsuspecting dance floor.
It’s my birthday today! In honor of this fact I thought I’d post a couple of faves. The first time I ever went to Chicago my family (curiously) listened to D-Mob’s A Little of This, a Little of That the entire time, and as a consequence I know most of it by heart. Most folks get into “We Call It Acieeed” (ok so maybe it does have an amazing video) but I’m partial to their take on D-Train’s “Put Our Hands Together,” which is a great romp of a hip house track.
Last year Boat Drinks!, an excellent reworker of tunes in the balearic style, did a lovely take on UB40’s “Don’t Break My Heart,” a vastly superior tune to most of their radio hits, and a surefire way to make me wish it’s simultaneously 90° and 1988. Grab it from his Soundcloud. I’ll be certain to crank it on my birthday beach trip tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend guys!
/// Brian Blackout
Young Edits / River & Phoenix – Why Can’t I Be Hughes
Young Edits aka Brisbane AU’s Luke Foskey specializes in heavily reworking classics (Arthur Russell, Kate Bush). He calls them edits, but these are often serious departures from the originals. Sure, some feathers will get ruffled when even a hair is touched on their sacred cow. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor? Cow’s have hair, right?) …But haters gonna hate as they say, and if you can add a synth baseline and an acid lead to a Pixies song and not piss me off, you’re doing something right.
The latest Young Edits release is the River & Phoenix Project – Castle Rock EP, (get it?). Several tracks are transformed here, but for me the standout is Brisbane’s take on the Cure’s Why Can’t I Be You, entitled Why Can’t I Be Hughes?, the title an homage to the master of 80’s cinema and the track featuring vocals sampled from a master of 80’s synth-pop. The re-edit borrows Robert Smith’s hoots and hook and a few guitar snippets and rebuilds from there. The bass is replayed, acid is dropped and 808 woodblocks set loose. It manages to be totally new and familiar at the same time.
If you like that one, dig through the pile of tracks on the Young Edits Soundcloud (49 as this is being written). There are tons of rad chunes on there, but the one I really loved was his remix of Daniel Johnston‘s Something’s Last a Long Time. Young Edits somehow turned the epitome of underproduced, off-kilter indie outsider-ism into a slick house production without losing its heart. Forget Kanye, this is more 808s and heartbreak then he will ever manage. Ok, I think they might be 909s, but you get the picture.
Blawan aka Jamie Roberts is a producer from Sheffield, UK. Last year he released a slew of dark, weird techno tracks, all of which were good. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but What You Do With What You Have is probably my go to track. It’s got a vocal hook that’ll keep non-dance music crowds on the floor and it’s not as atmospheric or IDM-y as some of his others, Shader or Iddy for instance.
The pitched-down witness protection program vocals recall Bam Bam’s Where’s Your Child. A slab of sickly acid goodness, it’s is the type of record that instantly sets the dance floor bouncing. Creepy and druggy, it’ll make you feel good and bad at the same time. You can almost smell angel dust in the air. This one turns any party into a badly lit 3am warehouse jump-off. remember, It ain’t what you do, it’s how you do it.
Last week we had a guest posting by Eugene Tambourine, and this week I’m pleased to say he’ll be writing regularly for us beginning next Monday. I met Eugene when we were neighbors 5 years ago, and we bonded over a mutual love of Vicky D. Eugene has more edits than an iPod could ever hold in his archives, but he shares a lot of them with the world on his Soundcloud.
Ten City’s “That’s the Way Love Is,” a top 10 hit in the UK that never had the same popularity in the states, has been a favorite of mine ever since Eugene shared it with me. It evokes moods often left behind on the dancefloor. Regret. Remorse. Wistfulness. Emotional acceptance. Eugene’s edit stretches out all the right parts and tucks aside the track’s weaknesses. Without resorting to a 10 minute mammoth edit, it succinctly elevates the original to higher heights of feeling.
P.S. I once saw Jens Lekman covering this tune live, and you can see him do the cover (and segueing into Sipping on the Sweet Nectar) on Youtube, you’ll get some serious goosebumps. Here’s to hoping he records it someday.
/// Brian Blackout
You’re getting a secret balearic house weapon from me this week. This is a cut I can picture folks like Bicep or Chris Burns going crazy over. I bought a comp containing this track back when I was an aspiring raver of 13 or 14, and it’s stuck with me ever since. Back then I barely knew what house was, and I’d never heard the term balearic, but this tune is the JAM and it skirts both sides of the aisle so nicely.
Don’t know much about the artist, whether they had a Twin Peaks obsession, or even which of the four remixes it is. You can pick up the vinyl for a dollar bin steal over on discogs, but there’s no good place to buy a digital copy, so indulge your inner Bob over here…
/// Brian Blackout
Japanese singer Nokko had a big career in Japan with her group “Rebecca”, which we can only assume sounds like a really cool American name to Japanese people and has nothing to do with the 30’s gothic romance novel. At their worst, Rebecca sounded like the Anime version of 80’s pop melodrama, think Europe or Cutting Crew. At their best, they were something like a mix of Italo Disco and Miami Sound Machine and yes, that is about as cool as you would think it would be.
I Will Catch U is the title track off Nokko’s 2nd solo effort. It would have never hit my radar, except the 12” credits production to Towa Tei of Deee-Lite fame and more importantly, it features the words “Acid Bonus”. I can only wonder why the acid mix was a bonus at all. To me, it’s the only listenable track on the record.
The original album version of I Will Catch U is a piano-house lounge affair complete with flute solos. It’s the sort of thing that people who hate house music are thinking of, when they think of how much they hate house music. In fact, it even makes me hate house music. It’s music that stripy-shirt banker types listen to while getting girl-drink drunk at neon-lit bars in hell. You don’t dance to this, you sip around little umbrellas before ponying up with your Amex Centurion Card.
But the DJ EFX‘s Tribal Acid Bonus is from a totally different world. It tosses out the baby and most of the bathwater, keeping only the original’s catchy stuttering vocal hook. In place of the original instrumental, it adds pounding, yep you guessed it, “Tribal” drums. Vocal snippets and lovely percussion alone carry the first minute and a half. Then the acid line drops. It’s a 303 that makes you weak in the knees. I imagine scores of ravers rushing back from the bathroom to find their friends. It’s a testament to the power of a few good ideas. Just drums, vocals and an expertly tweaked frequency cut-off. Less is more, pass the glow sticks.