JESSE ROSE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE MADE TO PLAY BOSS SYDNEY LOCKOUTS HOW ARE THEY AFFECTING OUR NIGHT LIFE MIAMI WE BRING YOU THE DEFINITIVE LISTING… LIVING & BREATHING DANCE MUSIC! MARCH 2014 ISSUE 002 DJMAG.COM.AU
THE NEW QUEENS OF DANCE MUSIC READY FOR WORLD DOMINATION
LATE NITE TUFF GUY CHET FAKER NEW YORK PT2 DJ FLASH TOM DRUMMOND 1
features 26 MIAMI LISTINGS
32 JESSE ROSE 36 SOUNDS OF THE CITY PART 2
52 SYDNEY LOCKOUTS
60 LATE NITE TUFF GUY
comin’ up 9
Swedish House Mafia
Take 10 – Polographa
60 seconds - with Simon Patterson
Game Changers — Fatboy Slim ‘Praise You’
DJ Diary - Tom Piper’s Travel vibes
66 CHET FAKER 108 LUCKY 7
Tech news, including Pioneer’s DDJ-SZ and Remix Station 500, AiAiAi’s TMA-1 Xs and DNA’s Liquid Rhythm MIDI sequencer.
Is Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio the new king on the production block?
62 DJ FLASH
64 TOM DRUMMOND
In The Studio with Mark Ralph
Pioneer unleash the DDJ_SB
Magma’s multi-purpose Riot Pack backpack
Assorted tips and tricks for producers
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STAFF Editor: Victor de la Serna. Coming Up Junior Editors: Brad Nash & Michelle RodriguezGanesh Main Features Junior Editors: Nic Horowitz, Jack Carter, Sumedha Pagadala, Sharif Galal & Michelle RodriguezGanesh Music Section Editors: Ben Murphy & Adam Saville. March is here and in the dance music world that can only mean one thing: Miami. Miami continues to be one of the main yearly attractions for dance music professionals and fans alike. Spread now over two weekends thanks to Ultra Music Festival, Miami has definitely picked up the pace with the EDM explosion that has happened in the USA. Some might say ADE or Sonar week are better, but for American business, Miami is definitely where its at. On this second issue we give you a run down of the best parties Miami has to offer in case you are making the journey over to the East Coast. If you are staying in Australia, you should skip the Miami listings and go directly to our features where this month we have a special feature interview with Nervo, the Australian twins that have conquered the dance world plus we speak with Jesse Rose while touring our shores and have a look at what’s happening to Sydney’s nightlife. All this and much more in your second issue of DJ Mag Australia. Thanks and see you next month.
Victor de la Serna Editor
Podcasts & Focus ON: Alan Lau. Web content Junior Editor: Brad Nash, Alan Lau, Michelle Rodriguez-Ganesh & Lewis Griffin. Tech Editor: Mick Wilson. Art Editor: Alex Pearson. Support Art Editor: Samantha Ripper. Fashion & Lifestyle: Brad Nash & George Polonski. Copy Editor: Sumedha Pagadala. Marketing and Sales Manager: Shall lloyd firstname.lastname@example.org NSW sales: Lauren Neko email@example.com VIC sales: Tania Hawley firstname.lastname@example.org QLD sales: Adam Roberts email@example.com SA sales: James Corbett firstname.lastname@example.org DJ Mag Australia is published by IHM Global Media THE VIEWS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE THOSE OF INDIVIDUALS AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY SHARED BY DJ MAGAZINE djmag.com.au
Words: Brad Nash & Michelle Rodriguez
myriad of different dance floors. This in turn received remix treatments from the likes of Alexander Holland and Dem Slackers.
Despite being almost a decade ago, 2006 doesn’t really seem like all that long ago for me. I was still plodding along in high school, and to be perfectly honest the breadth of my dance music knowledge came from a hardstyle compilation my friend had given me along with a few happy hardcore tracks I’d ripped off LimeWire. Meanwhile, 300km away in Canberra, two lads calling themselves The Ashton Shuffle were busting out onto a burgeoning Australian dance music scene, which, in light of my complete ignorance on the matter, was ready to explode.
Since then, Australia’s electronic music scene hasn’t really slowed down. It’s changed direction more times than I care to count, and yet throughout the rapid rise and descent of artists in this notorious industry of ours, The Ashton Shuffle have remained a constant, forever working away, travelling the world, playing gigs, giving Australian festival-goers something to look forward to, writing songs and making tunes. The culmination of this is finally complete.
Despite only releasing one track from their upcoming album Photographs, it’s easy to A year or so later, PNAU released their self-ti- see that The Ashton Shuffle have their sound tled album, The Presets dropped Apocalypso, as clearly defined as it’s ever been. With their and the rest is history. Throughout it all, the first single Tear it Down, they’ve somehow Canberra duo have established themselves managed to take the best elements of the as such a resonant force in the community kind of music that Australia has been almost that to imagine Australia’s dance music land- mercilessly pumping out for the last 18 scape without them would be an insult. First months, and combine them with a house emerging with remixes of the likes of Claude beat that wouldn’t feel out of place in the UK. VonStroke and Chris Lake, the next few years Add this to some incredibly smooth vocals saw them create an almost endless list of and they’ve created something that sounds compilations for the Ministry of Sound, along intoxicating, wonderfully Australian and at with remixes with artists as big as Calvin Har- the same time, free of the generic. ris, Dizzee Rascal and Datarock. Jump to 2011. I’ve now entered University and I’m now aware of a lot that is happening in the clubland of Australia. Sydney had seemingly moved on from the chilled sounds of indie dance and was now fully in the grip of the bass-heavy sounds of dubstep and electro. Meanwhile, after successfully navigating this transition, the Ashton Shuffle boys have somehow found time to fashion Seventeen Past Midnight, their first studio album and an infectiously upbeat collection of dance tracks that would feel welcome on a
On top of this, collaborations with the likes of Mayer Hawthorne and Elizabeth Rose will feature on the album. Here’s hoping they can keep up the form that has made them such heavyweights, both loved and respected by many in the Australian dance music community. After reading that the album was the product of “18 months of writing in 3 countries with 10 amazing collaborators, a shitload of Sailor Jerry and a whole heap of hungover breakfasts at the dopest spots around the world”, I’m optimistic. Photo-
graphs is finally here, and it’s looking like a record to truly look forward to. Photographs by The Aston Shuffle will release on March 28th, and is available to preorder now on iTunes.
Fred V & Grafix - Following the success of their recent smash “Catch My Breath,” Fred V & Grafix bring us their new single “Recognise.” The track effortlessly displays the duo’s exceptional mastery of musical composition and reverence for their innovative sound, which has established them a fervent and devoted fan base. The song goes against the typical norm of the drum and bass facade by incorporating very detailed arpeggios along with a smooth yet danceable bassline, which is accompanied with the angelic vocals of Fred V himself. “Recognise” comes out on March 7th.
The experimental producer Flying Lotus, real name Steven Ellison, will be showcasing his unique live audiovisual show ‘Layer 3’ at the iconic Sydney Opera House as part of the Music at the House series. Ellison will create a very cinematic story that will take fans on an intergalactic ride through the vastness of the black abyss, in which the projections will reflect Stanley Kubricks’ cult film 2001: A Space Odyssey. He will leave the audience in awe with his amazing attention to detail and the ability to add audio moments that are synched up to the mesmerizing visuals. The initial idea of this extravagant audiovisual display was rejected by many at first. People told Ellison that the projections would bleed over each other and the technical aspect of the idea would be difficult to accomplish. Ellison has always been known to plunge out of the ordinary bubble and into the world of extraordinary, so when people denied the idea, it pushed him to turn the impossible to possible. Since he is good friends with visual artist Strangeloop and Timeboy, they know his character and style aesthetics which makes the communication from the seed of the idea blossom into the scenic acid trip we are presented with on this tour. There are three projection layers that are not preprogrammed which make the visual aspect of the show very noteworthy. The front screen will radiate and be responsive to what Ellison is doing on stage by the second layer, while the back screen layer is the universe that Ellison and his team are taking the audience through to try and transport fans to a magical dimension of infinite possibilities.
Blown away from the aesthetics of the show, Ben Marshall, who is Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music, stated that “His riveting Layer 3 audiovisual project caught my eye the moment it was unveiled a year ago.” He goes on to say that “It’s wonderful that it can make its Sydney debut at the Opera House. I think he’s going to blow some minds in here.” In addition to the big spectacle, Australian producer Silent Jay will also grace us with his presence to open the show when the doors open at 10:00. Silent Jay has been on a prominent rise in Melbourne for the past few months and is going no where but up by also doing vocals for Hiatus Kaiyote aside from djing. With a background in classical jazz, he pushes the boundaries and bridges the gap between jazz and hip hop while adding an electric touch on his eclectic sound. Silent Jay will be the perfect opening act for Flying Lotus by bringing his electrifying ‘$chlump’ beats to set the tone of the event with his clean and energetic tracks. To experience this extravagant event where music will transcend with an uplifting cinematic display, be sure to grab tickets for this one and only show on Sunday March 9th that will transform the Sydney Opera House into an enchanting realm of the extraordinary. This is definitely a remarkable show you do not want to miss. Tickets can be purchased through the Sydney Opera House website.
Gareth Emery - The one and only concrete angel is set to release his second artist album “DRIVE” on April 1st to follow his debut album “Northern Lights,” which was released four years ago. He took to his Facebook page to explain to fans the essence of his new album. He stated that the album “Will not feature trap, dubstep, drops or “that sound” we’ve heard in about 10000 EDM tracks this year.” He encourages fans that the musical direction of the album will be very melodic and will have a variation of styles.
Duke Dumont – Steadily gaining respect for his releases over the past few years, UK Garage-House staple Duke Dumont is due to release the follow up to his UK Number 1 Need U, with the aptly-named I Got U. Featuring Jax Jones, the track is laced with feel-good, tropical vibes, perfect for seeing out summer as we head into the cooler months. The video for the track is up on YouTube now, the single drops on March 14th. Chromeo – It’s safe to say that the ways of the dancefloor are something that come naturally to Chromeo, and since 2004 the Canadian duo have been tearing up clubland with their unique fusion of electro and disco-funk. They’ve been busy in the last few months, fashioning tracks with Toro Y Moi as well
DISCLOSURE. Taking 2013 by the horns and steering life into the fast lane, Guy and Howard Lawrence owned last year with their string of hits from their sensational record ‘Settle,’ which landed them a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album and were also nominated for four Brit Awards. In addition to their admired productions, they recently appeared on late night television to perform on Jimmy Fallon’s talk show, did an outstanding collaborative performance with Lorde and AlunaGeorge at the Brit awards and recently got RnB queen sensation Mary J. Blige to re-rub their hit ‘F For You’. What Skrillex is to dubstep, Disclosure is to deep house.
songstresses are unable to go on tour with the busy bromance duo. With their personalized light show and instrumental stage set up, they will create a thrilling audiovisual extravaganza for fans to experience.
Along with the English brothers, other artists that will set the tone for the events before the famous duo go on stage will be Motez, Wave Racer, Lancelot and Touch Sensitive. One of Australia’s finest exports, Montez Obaidi, has been a widespread phenomena with his remixing touch on revamping some of the industries biggest hits to create even greater masterpieces. By having support from Tommy Sunshine, Claude Vonstroke, Eats Everything What is typically known to the and now Disclosure, Montez will bless the underground masses, Disclosure has transdance floor in Melbourne with his funky set formed the sounds of the deep underground to sweep fans off their feet in a fashionable and pushed its way to the mainstream popu- frenzy. For a kid who used to hate eleclace. By confidently comparing themselves tronic music, fans are thankful Sydney local to Daft Punk, the brothers acclaimed sound act Lancelot changed his perspective on illuminates their prodigious knowledge the awesomeness that is electronic music, of house music blended with the modern and just recently came out with his brand influences of two-step and UK garage. What’s new smashing EP “Givin’ It Up / Make Ends even more impressive is the fact that this tal- Meet,” which is available through the mighty ented duo is barely in their twenties, which Anjunadeep label. With his vast knowledge proves to society that age is just a number of composition after studying at the Sydney while their intellect moderately reflects the Conservatorium of Music, Lacelot brings an vibes of the late ‘80s early ‘90s beloved house eclectic array of spice to the Sydney lineup music sound. With their blend of elements to showcases his blossoming talent. While from different genres fused with sultry soul Wave Racer is fairly new to the solo act of vocals from a multitude of talented songproducing and performing, who is also one stresses, their songs pulled at the hearthalf of Pablo J & The Lobsterettes, the Rustie strings of many around the globe which efand Cashmere Cat influenced bundle of fortlessly gave them a devoted following by talent will bring his versatile and engaging almost hitting a million ‘Likes’ on Facebook in blend between styles to warm the crowd up the past year. for the Perth, Brisbane and Sydney shows. Also for the stacked Sydney lineup we have the honor of experiencing the pizza guzzler Celebrating their established suchimself, Touch Sensitive, whose hit “Pizza cess, the two barely-20-something brothers will be heading down under to showcase their spectacular live show as part of Groovin The Moo lineup in April/May. The duo will be playing sideshows in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. With their powerful bass set up and hypnotizing lights, devoted fans will surly be in for a wild treat to satisfy their Disclosuremania needs. Equipped with two platforms parallel to each other, the brothers zone in on their personalized stage to showcase their individualistic brilliance. By incorporating electric drums, bass guitars, keyboards, drum machines and even their own vocals, the brothers amplify their hits from “Settle” to create suspenseful build ups to maximize the overall emotional aspect of the live show as a whole. Along with the euphonic elements of their live set up, they visually incorporate a large rectangular LED screen behind them to illuminate their notorious sketched face image. The iconic face design projected on the screen acts as the singer for their vocal tracks since the actual 8
Guy” was ranked the third most played track on Triple J in 2013. Fingers crossed he brings a cheesy surprise for fans to indulge in at the show.
Come and join the dynamic brotherly duo along with Australians finest talent to sing your heart out to the sweet sounds of their hits that will make you groove in a way you didn’t think was possible. Check out the listings of the shows below to see when the show is coming to a city near you. Tickets can be bought off of Ticketmaster. Thursday 24th April – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney w/ Wave Racer, Touch Sensitive, Lancelot Thursday 1st May – The Forum, Melbourne w/ Motez Thursday 8th May – Eatons Hill, Brisbane w/ Wave Racer
Friday 9th May – Metro City, Perth w/ Wave Racer
SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA
young and you’re drinking and banging out With the growing rise of electronic music records.” Essentially the whole idea of being which has now made its way to the mainstream populace, electronica as a collective a famous performer is envied by many, but the interference it has on their personal life is the new Rock n Roll and DJs are the new rock stars. What KISS is for the rock genera- is a great struggle to deal with, which is a tion, Swedish House Mafia is for the defined conflicting issue that Angello struggles with as being part of Swedish House Mafia. mainstream house sound. All kids want to do these days is to roll all night and party The film is brought to us by director everyday. Christian Larson, who also directed SwedThe famous Swedish trio, Axwell, Sebastian ish House Mafias last documentary, Take Ingrosso and Steve Angello combined, have One, which was created after their rise to mainstream success following their smash defined our generation of youth culture hit “One.” By already working with the through the influence of their string of smash hits. With their prodigious talent as a Swedes, the relationship between the team group, they illuminate how music can unite will effortlessly allow Larson to exhibit his cinematic objective to reveal to the public people together to create a dance floor of the secrets of the groups impending sepainfinite possibilities where the power of music could be felt in ones mind, body and ration, while creating a visual artistic display of the groups farewell to fans. soul. This unique documentary gives fans an exclusive glimpse into the hedonistic lifestyle of the prominent trio, of what it is like to be one of the top engrossing artist in the electronic music industry. The film will view intimate moments the group share when touring around the world for their One Last Tour, and will highlight their personal struggle of what it’s like maintaining a family while on the road. By selling over a million tickets worldwide, flooding stadiums on a global level and managing to successfully create hits that appear on the top charts, it raises the one question on fans minds, “Why are they walking away from all this success?” Leave the World Behind, which is one of their hits with Laidback Luke and Deborah Cox, invokes the symbolism of how the trio is essentially leaving the wild world of performing as a unit, to embark on their own life path and to essentially spend more time with their families at home. In the trailer for the documentary Steve Angello states that “You just get to a point when you kind of stop. It’s a lot of fun when you’re
This unique film will premiere at the Paramount Theatre in Austin Texas as part of the South by Southwest Music Conference and Festival (SXSW) on Wednesday March 12th. While many cities across the globe voted to bring the acclaimed film to their city, only an exclusive amount of cities were selected to have a screening. Luckily Sydney got chosen and the film will play at the Hoyts Entertainment Quarter on Friday March 14th at 7:30.
VENGEANCE I wasn’t exactly 18 for my first DJ set, but luckily my set was in the early morning of my birthday, so I just stood outside the club until I could legally get in! I was playing a set I scored (through MySpace) in the backbar of Candy’s in Kings Cross with my best mate Oscar – I had NO idea what to expect. I’d been bedroom DJ’ing with vinyl... I was completely oblivious to the fake, and then endured the most awkward set of my life spending as much time holding cables together with blue tack as I did mixing. Luckily I completely used “turning 18” to my advantage and had a wicked little set with a ton of friends... Except someone threw a safe key at my head. I still wear that key on a necklace today as a reminder; no matter how hard you think you’re killing it, there’s always a critic who will throw shit at you – I’m always grateful I learnt that the easy way!
As a reflective cinematic display of the beloved groups success, Leave the World Behind will allow fans to experience the epic drops, the rave and the love of what their performance has brought to fans on a global scale. They came. They raved. They loved.
The multitalented songwriter, producer, remixer, DJ and label owner, Edu Imbernon, is heading down under to bring us his disco influenced take on deep house. With his impressive string of hits to his name and by notably being appointed “Best Underground Track of the Year” by Beatport for his track “El Baile Alemán,” it’s no doubt that the spanish sensation is an exquisite illustration of prodigious talent. The musical genius will be coming to Geisha in Perth on Friday March 28th, Chinese Laundry in Sydney the 29th and at Circus in Melbourne on the 30th. Viper Recordings - Viper Recordings fifth volume of the Labels Headroom EP is finally hitting beloved drum and bass lovers ears on March 23rd. The EP will showcase tracks from a variety of international artists to display the labels heavier tracks in contrast to their usual releases. For years now it has been a platform to introduce new artists with producers like Delta Heavy, Brookes Brothers, ShockOne and L Plus, who all had breakthrough tracks featured on the previous volumes of Headroom. Armin Van Buuren - Van Buuren is clearly someone who needs no introduction, his name is so synonymous with the world of trance and dance music in general that people naturally get excited when rumours of a new album even begin to surface from his camp. Featuring the talents of Markus Schulz, himself and Australia’s own MaRLo, his new compilation A State of Trance 2014 is set to drop on the ears of the world’s trance family on March 15th. JOPLN - Fresh out of Surveillance Party, one of Sydney’s hottest underground record labels, JOPLN is set for big things. Coming off the release of his aptly titled Fat Slap (watch the video, you’ll know what I mean), JOPLN is now set for his biggest drop yet. Saliro, his latest track, “features a unique combination of melodic big room house with that addictive dirty electro sound.”. Sounds good to us. The track is dropping on March 11th. Check out Surveillance Party’s Facebook for more details.
Polographia are becoming something of a Tour de Force in Sydney’s experimental beat scene. Currently signed to Astral people, they’ve made a name for themselves with their catchy lo-fi tunes. Their live sets are also something to behold. With only the two of them on stage, you’d be amazed at what they can come up with using just a drumkit and a sampler. Now, as the lads prepare to support Ryan Hemsworth on his upcoming tour, we asked him to pick out 10 tracks for us…
COMIN’ UP 1. A Tribe Called Quest ‘Award Tour’ 1993 (Jive Records) On the soundtrack of that sick PlayStation game: Thrasher, Skate & destroy. I kept dreaming of going on my own Award Tour when I’d hear this song. 2. Souls of Mischief ‘93 ‘til Infinity’ 1993 (Jive/BMG Records) Reminds me of my early Skating days, this was on a few 411VM videos, and it was my skating motto. ‘Skating Down The Hill from 93’ till’ in particular is such a good chill song. 3. Mutemath ‘Chaos’ 2006 (Teleprompt Records) It’s the first time I heard samples used with a band & I couldn’t believe this when I first heard it. But Those drums! Darren King is the man. 4. Air ‘Universal Traveller’ 2004 (Virgin) The French duo make beautiful electronic sounding music using real instruments, there’s a lot of smooth and interesting sounds on this track and it makes you feel like you are the song title floating through space. 5. Boards of Canada ‘Roygbiv’ 1998 (Warp) Ah, Boards… best listened to during those late night 3am Internet surfs. Love the beat on this track. Reminds you of when you were a kid exploring the jungle in the back garden. Songs that take your mind to places are the best. 6. Toro Y Moi ‘Thanks Vision’ 2010 (Carpark Records) From Chaz’s incredible first full album consisting mainly of samples, which still blows your mind, this track the coolest vintage vibe & it’s one of those tunes you keep repeating before moving on to the next song. Chaz is our hero. 7. Washed Out ‘Feel It All Around’ 2009 (Mexican Summer) This song is a life changer. It’s so perfectly mellow & it still gets you every time. Ernest Greene is a genius. Definitely one of the few songs that really started ‘chill wave’ & was a huge inspiration to us. 8. The Pharcyde ‘Passin’ Me By’ 1993 (Delicious Vinyl Records) To this day this track is still my soundtrack to my life. I listen to this nearly everyday when I’m out! It’s just one of those sounds that has a perfect tempo to walk to and feel like a absolute boss. 9. Fugazi ‘Waiting room’ 1998 (Dischord) Back in my high school rebel days Fugazi was definitely a band to listen to. This track takes me back when I used to go down to Melbourne with only $80 and play in My Old Man the Fiction, which was a noise punk rock band with Dan and James Kane. They have got to be some of the best times of my life ever.
OFFICE TOP 10 Golden Features – Tell Me [VAMP Records] Sonney Fodera & Low Steppa – Stylin’ [Cajual Records] Angel Haze ft. Sia – Battle Cry (MK Remix) [Island Records] MaRLo – Visions [Armada] Tiga vs. Audion – Fever [Turbo Recordings] Diafrix – Helicopter (AJAX Remix) [Independent] Chet Faker – Talk is Cheap [Future Classic] Tigerlily & 2 Less ft. KA$H – FAITH [OneLove] Drumsound & Bassline Smith – Phantasm [Technique Records] The Prototypes – Pale Blue Dot [Viper Recordings]
10. Cymande ‘Brothers On The Slide’ 1974 (Janus Records) The world’s most underrated funk band. I can’t believe how they’re not controlling the world ‘cause these dudes know what’s up! They’re the reason I am into good music. I recommend any song by them to listen to. Cymande can do no wrong.
GOLDEN FEATURES only links to their Twitter and Soundcloud Profiles. The rest of their online presence consists of music they’ve made and polite words of thanks to the shower of compliments they’ve received in the last day or so. I suspect by the time you read this, everything I just wrote would have ascended to a much higher plain.
As I sit here writing this now, it’s the 20th of February. Golden Features currently has 450 Likes on Facebook, 250 subscribers to their Soundcloud profile, and precisely 37 followers on twitter. In the last 48 however, they have released an EP, had one of the tracks from said EP played on Triple J, and received a personal compliment on the quality of their music from Porter Robinson. Their twitter bio states only two words: Golden, Lifeless, and their Facebook bio consists of
Trying to get in contact with those who work with Golden Features was a task in itself, and the response I got was one of complete privacy. While sounding very excited about their artist, they kept everything close to their chest – to the extent the only thing they were able to offer me or allow me to publish was the same press shot and logo you see (and I imagine a lot of others would have seen by now) on this page. Needless to say, Golden Features is a man/woman of mystery. I wouldn’t say it’s uncommon for DJ’s to want to retain this sense of mystery around themselves, nor would I say is it uncommon for such hype to come over an artist despite such a limited string of releases. However,
two things make Golden Features unique: one, the timeframe, and two, the fact that the stunning quality of the 4-track EP well and truly delivers on all the excitement that people are generating. Transcending genres in a way that only the best talent can, the EP blends smooth deep house sounds with classically Australian sounding bass which, when combined with the vocals of talent such as Nicole Millar, create something that can only be described as sexy as hell. The question on everyone’s lips right now is “Who is Golden Features?” Perhaps that by the time you sit here reading this we may have the answer. Perhaps we may still only have this stunning collection of songs to work with. I’m guessing that this is purely intentional, as it’s doing what any truly talented artist should do, speaking through their craft. Regardless of whether the mystery is solved, sit back and enjoy the music.
NICK WARREN & JODY WISTERNOFF Ahoy there party people! Grab your sailor hats, life jackets, sun glasses and boarding passes to join the legendary Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff on a nautical adventure. The UK sensations will board the Bella Vista to bring Sydney fans on a thrilling escapade around the Sydney Harbor. Since the dawn of electronic music, Nick Warren has progressed over the years along with the underground sound to become one of the industries leading figures. By accompanying Massive Attack on tour as their official DJ in the early stages of their career, Nick Warren has concurred the industry from all angles to diversify and quintessentially strengthen himself as an artist. When branching off of the Massive Attack success, Warren in collaboration with Jody Wisternoff, gained recognition for their work under their Way Out West alias. Together they created a string of hits that landed in popular television shows in America including Grey’s Anatomy, The OC and CSI: Miami while their timeless classic hit “The Gift” was looped to become the theme song for MTVs’ True Life. Along with having their tracks played on renowned television series, a couple of their tracks have also been featured on video games including Playstation 2 game Kinetica, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 and on Juiced. Separately and as a collective, the duo stand out from other artists by their extensive knowledge on an array of genres. The englishmen have a musical maturity that is prodigiously very groundbreaking. Their ever growing talent and success is what makes these two fine men undoubtably two of the scenes most appreciated artists as a spearhead for the progressive and underground sound. With the sun shining and gentile harbor breeze blowing while these exceptional artist grace the decks, they will showcase the eclectic sounds of the underground and
bring forth an ambient blend of dance floor oriented sounds to complement the beautiful nautical scenery. Along with these two powerhouses, Lacelot, Robbie Lowe, Dave Stuart, Garth Linton, U-Khan, Mantra Collective, Rodskeez, Fear of Dawn and Escape DJs will also support the event. The Bella Vista will depart at the Casino Wharf at 11 am and 12 pm on Saturday, April 12th and will run till 4pm. Tickets can be purchased through Moshtix and Ticket Fairy.
inspired by so much good music out there at the moment.” What’s your style of production? Do you gradually work on a number of different projects or smash stuff out one song at a time? “At the moment, I have various projects that I’m working on. It’s Dependent on whether it’s for a new album or if I’m doing a collaboration with another artist. I always also have my “Open Up” radio show to focus on as well.” What releases do you have coming up? “There’s some huge releases coming up on Armada and other labels of course, along with some huge awesome collaborations with other artists as well. Stay tuned!” What are your plans for 2014?
For a little while now, the Trance scene has come under a bit of questioning from the dance music community. Some insist Trance is a dying genre and that it’s on its way out, the #trancefamily will naturally bunch together and argue that it’s never been stronger, and those in-between will either just put up with it, or cry woe at the invasion of Trouse and commercial house sounds into the tracks of Trance producers they once loved. At this point, that doesn’t seem too unreasonable, but as Trance artists continue to headline the worlds biggest festivals anyway, it begs the question “where do things go from here?”. Fortunately, there are people out there who retain their commitment to the more niche areas of trance music. Being a tech or psytrance DJ doesn’t exactly bring all the perks you’d get if you were, say, Above & Beyond, but it does bring respect from not only the commercial ravers out there, but also the world’s most evangelical Trance fans. Fortunately, we had the chance to have a chat with one of those people. Holding it down for the trance purists of the world, Armada and Spinnin’ Records stable mate Simon Patterson has gained years of experience bringing people to another realm of existence with his signature brand of psy and tech-trance bangers. This is the kind of music that will lift you up and send you on a journey to another dimension completely. Since 2000, Patterson has worked ridiculously hard to establish himself as one of the most respected names in the trance world. He might not have the commercial success of an Armin Van Buuren
or a Paul Van Dyk, but quite frankly his productions speak for themselves, landing him on many of Armada’s yearly compilations and in the sets of some of Trance’s biggest names. In 2010, he landed himself at number 28 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 list for the year, and has been given the honour of appearing on BBC Radio 1’s, taking over the station in May last year. Needless to say, when we found out that he was in Australia for a very brief period of time, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick the brain of an artist who for so long has produced only the finest, 100/% organically uplifting trance. In the car with him on the way to his show at Sydney’s Home Nightclub, we had a quick chat with Simon on the music that he makes, new stuff he has coming and how he hones his craft, along with his plans for the not-toodistant future and the current state of a Trance scene that is coming under so much scrutiny recently. All in 60 seconds. How about that, hey? Could you describe to the readers what is the style of music you make? “Traditionally, of course 140bpm techtrance tracks, real belters. The track, ‘Brush strokes’ though is where my music is at, at the moment.” What music do you listen to day-to-day? “I listen to a whole range of different music as late. Everything from Techno to deep house, psy and of course Trance. I try to listen to a load of different music and be
“There’s so much on in 2014. There’s new releases coming out and my tour schedule has been more chaotic then ever. I’m looking to balance all my touring commitments with some well-deserved rest as well. I’m really hoping to finish a lot of releases as well of course that I’ve already started working on.” How do you feel about the rise of trouse and the way commercial sounds are starting to become more common in Trance music? “It’s definitely got a place in the trance and of course the EDM scene. I think this has only bought more exposure to Trance as a genre as well. People are exploring Trance music again and that can only be a positive thing. Of course artists including Armin Van Buuren have bought a lot of people back to trance and have grown Trance once again as a genre.” What do you think the future holds for the purer forms of Trance such as what you make? “At the end of the day, if people are still listening to it, then there’s no issue. It’s always a battle to produce new sounds that people will still appreciate. Once again, there’s definitely still a market of passionate listeners and branding such as “Who’s afraid of 138?” which will only help to emphasize this style of music. What I’ve been doing in terms of experimenting more with Psy elements will also help to create exposure to Trance as a genre as well.”
COMIN’ UP All signs point that things are continuously heading up for Chet Faker. Australia’s favourite bearded crooner/beatmaker has gained nationwide respect for his ability to weave catchy rhythms and enchanting melodies with an enviously deep and scratchy blues voice; to the extent that it has earned him nominations for both Rolling Stone and AIR Awards, along with a certified Gold single with Flume. You may have heard it, its called Drop The Game. Since the sudden explosion of success last year, Faker has been a busy man. But not busy in the typical recording artist sense of a constant and rigorous touring schedule, but in a far more simple way. Over the last 2 years Chet Faker has been living and recording his debut album at his home studio, build into a converted cool room in Melbourne’s heritage-listed meat market. Now, it appears the fruits of his labour are ready to bear, and they come in the form of his first LP, Built on Glass. When it comes the first single he’s released from the album, entitled Talk is Cheap, things don’t exactly defy what is expected of Faker and the sound he’s fashioned as a part of the Future Classic family over the past couple of years. That being said, if this is an initial sign of the overall quality of the album, then things look good. Faker’s crooning vocals are laced over an intricate beat like a fine wine, creating something that is incredibly gratifying to listen to. As pretentious as it sounds, the song feels exactly how Faker describes it to be: a piece of reflective art. More importantly than that, it feels complete and polished to a degree that is rarely seen in the beat-making genre these days. Speaking about the LP, Faker stated ‘Honesty is a big part of the record. I recorded with easily affordable equipment, the budget was tiny. It’s the first time I’ve ever worked on a full length and I felt like hi-fidelity wasn’t something to strive for working in a room on my own. Lyrically, I wanted to explore how my life directly affected my music - that’s the glass, I guess.’ Needless to say, from an artist who appears to put his full mind into his craft, initial signs look distinctly promising. Here’s hoping a smooth new chapter will be written in the story of Australia’s ever-growing musical landscape come April. Built on Glass by Chet Faker will be released in April 2014 through Future Classic/Opulent, and is available to pre-order now through iTunes.
VENGEANCE It’s fair to say that since the rise of electrohouse in Australia a couple of years ago, DJs and producers have become notorious for becoming big and suddenly falling off the radar just as quickly. However, some names are able to keep consistency, and it appears that this is the key to sticking around in our rapduly growing little world of Australian dance music.
call his own, the latest of which was Acid for Blood, an EP which dropped in November last year featuring the talents of Ruby Prophet and Citizen Kay to name just a couple. Luckily for Australian punters and connoisseurs of all things loud and bassy, VENGEANCE doesn’t show any signs of slowing down just yet.
Fresh off the success of Acid For Blood, VENGEANCE has submitted himself to a huge Australian and New Zealand tour that Sydney’s very own VENGEANCE is one of is happening as you read this. All in the name those people, establishing himself as a of bringing the rave to the masses, Spanning benchmark for bassy, trashy, electro excelover 3 months and 17 different locations, lence for the last few years, or for at least as everyone will have a chance at some point long as I can remember. From first bursting to have their very foundations rocked by the into the landscape, featuring regularly at hard hitting bass that Australian crowds have some of the city’s biggest electro club nights, become so notorious for eating up. VENGEANCE let his music speak for itself, releasing remixes and EP’s along with fine DJ The remainder of VENGEANCE’s 2014 ‘Acid for Blood’ Aussetss on a regular basis throughout the early tralia/New Zealand Tour will take place over the following years of the decade. dates: Since then, the VAMP Music stablemate has established himself as a heavyweight in Australia’s clubbing scene, headlining club nights nationwide, playing festivals such as Future Music and Shore Thing along with supporting the likes of Skrillex, Botnek, Felix Cartal and Clockwork. Throughout all this, VENGEANCE has maintained a steady stream of fresh content to
Saturday March 8th – Sydney – Future Music Festival Wednesday March 12th – Auckland – The Wall Saturday March 15th – Central Coast – The Woodport Inn Friday March 21st – Cronulla – Fusion Wednesday April 2nd – Sydney – The Wall Friday April 4th – Perth - Ambar Thursday April 10th – Adelaide – Apple Bar Friday April 11th – Newcastle – King St Saturday April 12th – Melbourne - Billboard
Scottish producer Rustie will be returning down under this April for a chain of shows throughout Australia. Following the success of his his illustrious debut ‘Glass Swords,’ Rustie has been taking the scene by a storm with his prodigious ability to push the boundaries of the typical musical hegemonic norm. By creating intricate dark ambient breaks blended with staggered beats that effortlessly embed elements of Southern hip-hop, Rustie has risen to the top as a pivotal figure for the future bass sound. To add to his sprouting success, Rustie recently produced a track titled “Boatsss” as part of the Everything is New project, which empowers the children of Light of Love Children’s Home. These children have been rescued from child prostitution, homelessness, poverty and from bonded labour. Artist also featured on the album include YACHT, Four Tet, Jarvis Cocker, Bear in Heaven and Max Tundra to name a few, who took samples of the children to created beats layered around their voices. Proceeds will go to Rusties homeland charity, Scottish Love in Action, which will feed, cloth, educate, house and provide medical care for these children through Light of Love Home and School. Aside from producing new tracks, Rustie will grace the decks at Oxford Art Factory on Thursday April 17th to celebrate Brown Bear Entertainment’s first birthday party, followed with another birthday celebration the next day in Melbourne at Can’t Say to celebrate the venues third birthday. With a day break in between, Rustie will then have sunday funday in Brisbane at Oh Hello on April 20th before his April 24th show for Why Make Sense @ Port Beach in Perth. To bring the tour to a close he will be in Wellington at James Smith Basement on the 25th and will finish off his Australian tour in Auckland at Studio the next day.
ASTRAL + FRIENDS Sydney Locals Astral People have been wildly successful in bringing the more experimental, lo-fi scene to the limelight in the traditionally bass-heavy Australian dance scene. Bringing the likes of Shlohmo and Ryan Hemsworth out for tours, while fostering local talent such as our Take 10 stars Polographia, Astral People are set for bigger and better things in the not-to-distant future. Now, they aim to stamp their authority on the Sydney clubbing scene with a bi-weekly club night. Entitled Astral + Friends, it will take place at Good God Small Club with a regular line up of local talent like Polographia, Cliques and Black Vanilla. For $10 entry, you can’t really go wrong.
‘Praise You’ (Skint)
By the mid-’90s, Norman Cook had been involved in three UK No.1 records. First there was the acapella ‘Caravan Of Love’ in 1986 with Hull-based indie band The Housemartins, who Cook had joined on bass as a favour to his old pal from Reigate College — Paul Heaton, the singer. Then there was the dubwise ‘Dub Be Good To Me’ with the Beats International collective in 1990 that, infamously, sampled the bassline from The Clash’s ‘Guns Of Brixton’; and Freak Power’s groovy funkster ‘Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out’ shot to the top spot in 1995 after being re-released following a Levi’s jeans ad campaign. Having had his acid house epiphany in the early ‘90s, Cook had started making house music under the names Pizzaman and the Mighty Dub Katz. Pizzaman was signed to Loaded Records in Brighton, and one of the staffers there, Damian Harris, wanted to start a new offshoot — Skint. “The idea was that there was this sound that we’d kind of been hearing in our heads, which didn’t have a name in those days,” Norman tells DJ Mag. “Trypno or Brit-hop and amyl house were early names for it, and basically we used to play trip-hop records at 45, or techno and acid records at 33. It was a bridge between the hip-hop we grew up with, house which was becoming a little bit stereotypical, and the eclectic pop nature of throwing in every reference that you’ve grown up with — from The Beatles to punk rock.” A whole party crew would end up at Norm’s house, dubbed the House Of Love due to having loads of acid house Smileys everywhere, every weekend for after-parties in the early ‘90s. “We spent a couple of years pretty much every weekend at the house, and we’d always be playing records,” recalls Damian Harris. “When I got permission to do Skint, they said to me ‘Find your first three records’, and I knew that Norm would get it. I knew that he’d just started liking acid house, and I knew that he had a very good hip-hop and disco record collection. It was literally saying, ‘Hiphop machismo and breaks, acid house elation and a rocky attitude’. He got it quite easily. It was just a case of speeding it up a bit, and there we go.” 1995 saw the launch of the Big Beat Boutique at the Concorde club in Brighton, which was basically an extension of the House Of Love, according to Damian. “The first [Fatboy Slim] album was me making records so that I had enough tunes to play a whole set of this new sound,” says Norm, installed as Boutique resident. “At that point I’d bumped into the Chemical Brothers and Jon Carter and Richard Fearless at the Heavenly Social [in London], and it felt like there was this gang of people who liked music that wasn’t quite the same as everybody else’s. It was like a meeting of minds.” 16
Norm had needed another pseudonym for his new ‘big beat’ persona, so plucked something out of thin air. “I really like old blues records, and if you’re a fat blues singer you get called ‘Slim’,” he relays. “So it was like the oxymoron of a blues singer.” By 1996 there were enough Fatboy tracks for an album, ‘Better Living Through Chemistry’, featuring tracks such as ‘Everybody Needs A 303’. “After the first album we kind of worked out that there was a formula that worked, so the idea was to have a pop hook on a hip-hop beat but with a bit of acid house sensibility,” outlines Norm. “Whether it came from Northern soul or soul... it was just the contents of my record collection distilled down. I’ve always been into soul and funk music, and it’s quite difficult for a suburban white kid to make funk music, but with the sampler — with an [Akai] S950 [sampler] — you can get that funk out of it.” As a dedicated vinyl collector, Norm would frequent thrift stores and second-hand record shops to buy up records to sample. One comp he’d bought for £8.25 from Rhythm Records in Camden, ‘Essential Funk’, had as its last track a soulful ‘70s cut by singer/poet Camille Yarbrough, ‘Take Yo’ Praise’,
which started with the breathy acapella: “We’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good...’. The first few acapella lines were ripe for sampling, although it took Norm a little while to speed it up a touch and get it so that you could hear Camille singing over the top of other elements. The third and fourth lines — ‘I want to celebrate you baby, I want to praise you like I should’ — weren’t so much about God as about praising a man, which Norm says he was glad of. “My worry was the religious nature of the [original] song, whether it was a song about God or about sex, and luckily it was more about sex than God, so I got away with it,” he says. “One of the lovely things about ‘Praise You’ is that it works in so many different situations. It can be about relationships, it can be about me DJing at the Amex… every time I drop it at a gig, there’s some reason why it seems relevant, but it is open-ended about who you’re talking to. In the original song, it’s very definitely about a man. She wants to praise him,” he smirks. On his antiquated equipment, a 1989 Atari ST running Creator software, Norm started building up ‘Praise You’ with piano, a drum beat (“probably
COMIN’ UP a chopped-up breakbeat off a funk bootleg”), a bassline that he wrote himself on keyboard, plus guitar and percussion. “There isn’t actually a huge amount to it, apart from the groove, the piano, the vocal and a bit of 303 at the end,” he says as he gives DJ Mag an exclusive run-through of the elements in his Brighton studio. “And there’s some bits to it that I can’t play to you on their own, for fear of the original owners finding it.” Like many game-changing tracks, it all came together pretty quickly. “There is a bit of, ‘If you can remember the ‘90s, you weren’t really there’ about it, although as I remember it, it probably took about two evenings,” he says. “It was one of those tunes where the bits fell into my lap, because I’d buy tons of records from thrift stores and put them all on discs in little chunks, ie. drum beat at this tempo, vocal at this tempo. Then you just sit there — quite laborious in those days — loading up the S950 [floppy] discs until you think, ‘That goes well with that’. This was one where I quickly got three elements. “I was just looking at [my work] this week on the Creator discs,” he continues, reading his track titles from the floppy. “‘Praise You’, ‘Funk Soul Brother’ which then got called ‘Rockafeller Skank’, ‘Always Read the Label’, ‘Build It Up, Tear It Down’ and something called ‘Right Here, Right Now’ — now that was a good week! I think I was on a roll that week.” Norm is too modest to admit that he thought he’d come up with a bit of a classic when he’d finished ‘Praise You’, but says he remembers thinking, “‘That is good, it sounds like a single’. With the rise of big beat, there was this thing going on — like EDM is at the moment — where you can just feel the momentum of it, especially with me and the Chemical Brothers and people, we were all trying to outdo each other. This was like, ‘Ah, this takes it onto a pop level where it’s never really been before’.” “When I first heard it, I thought it was amazing,” says Damian Harris, who’s also DJ/producer Midfield General. “That was the thing with Norman at the time, he’d give me these demo tapes and that’s his brilliance, that very simple combination of melodies and samples and little hooks, and you just knew straight away that it was a great record.” After the first album, a ‘Norman Cook/Fatboy Slim remix’ became the hottest revamp to obtain, propelling Cornershop’s ‘Brimful Of Asha’ to No.1 in 1997 and also Wildchild’s ‘Renegade Master’ to No.3 in 1998. “I suppose we could be a bit confident, cos we knew ‘Praise You’ was an amazing record and we could save it for the third single — and hopefully everything would carry on,” says Harris. “So ‘Rockafeller Skank’ went to No.6, ‘Gangster Trippin’’ went to No.3 and then we thought, hopefully, that ‘Praise You’ would get to No.1.” In advance of release, Skint made sure that they paid Camille Yarbrough for the ‘Praise You’ vocal sample in return for her permission to use it. “We were quite
worried when we were coming to clear it, but she was very nice about it and liked the way Norman had treated it respectfully,” says Damian. When Norman was in America filming the official video for ‘Rockafeller Skank’, he received a video from film director Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, etc) of a weird-looking guy dancing to ‘Rockafeller Skank’. “He didn’t tell me it was him dancing!” remembers Norm. “He said, ‘I saw this guy dancing to your tune and thought he looked cool’. I was like, ‘That’s the video! Scrap the filming tomorrow, this is going to be the video!’, and the record company said no. So I phoned Spike up and said, ‘Would you do the next single?’ which just happened to be ‘Praise You’, and I think it fits the song so much better.” The quirky ‘Praise You’ video, with Jonze’s fictional, under-rehearsed Torrance Community Dance Group dancing a routine in a cinema foyer, was filmed guerrilla style in LA. Like a freaky flashmob, Jonze’s troupe flounced around to the track somewhat shambolically until the theatre manager stepped forward to turn off the beatbox. Jonze immediately jumped on him to give him a weird hug. Norman, who was present during the filming (and makes a little cameo near the end), takes up the story. “The theatre manager really didn’t like it, but some money changed hands and we explained exactly what we were doing, and within a couple of minutes we restarted and did the rest of it,” he says. “We had to do it in one take to get people’s reactions, we’d already done it somewhere else and everybody just walked past and ignored us. So yeah, we paid him off — and I think he’ll take that as a wise decision in his life, to let us carry on.” The video helped break ‘Praise You’ worldwide, including in America, but MTV famously turned it down at first. “They said it was of inferior quality to be broadcast and looked like it was filmed on hand-held cameras, which of course it was,” Norman says. “And then VH1 started playing it and everyone started liking it, and it went on to win six MTV Awards. But originally MTV turned it down, and the American record company wanted to make another video. ‘That’s just stupid, and you’re not taking it seriously’, they said.” ‘Praise You’ was released in the first week of January 1999, and did indeed shoot straight to No.1 in the UK. “You take any No.1 as a big moment in your life,” says Norm, “a feeling that you’ve lived down your last No.1. They were crazy times. I remember there was a week when I won a Brit, the album [‘You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby’] knocked Robbie Williams off No.1, and I got engaged to Zoe and became tabloid fodder — they were the kind of weeks we had in those days!”
because it got very dull, very quickly,” reckons Norm. “The idea was to break the rules and break the formula of house music being house music, rap music being rap music, and rock music being rock music. And it just became a new set of rules. The style was very easily copied by other people, and all of a sudden everybody was doing it and it became formulaic, which was bizarre as the idea was to break the formula. It crashed and burned very quickly.” Norm reckons that the fact he was mates with Jon Carter and the Chemicals helped him successfully swerve the backlash. “We were all like, ‘Shall we kill this thing and move on?’ And there was a race…” he says. “We’d check in with each other, ‘What’s your next album going to be like?’‘Anything but big beat’. So there was a rush to jump the good ship big beat before it went down, so we lived to fight another day.” Norm tells DJ Mag that ‘Praise You’ being in a scene of Friends was quite a bizarre moment in the song’s lifetime. “There was a thing where somebody was supposed to meet someone outside a Fatboy Slim gig, and this whole scene with ‘Praise You’ playing in the background,” he recalls. “I remember thinking, ‘This has kinda got out of hand’.” ‘Praise You’ was the tune that sent him supernova in the US, and he still plays it every set in some form or other — mashed up with ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ by the Rolling Stones is his current fave. A 30-piece choir singing it at his headline Bestival show last year, with Rob Da Bank on keys, was a magical moment, he says, and “it’s one of those tunes that I’ll always have affection for. I’ll never really think, ‘Oh no, not that one again’, or ‘How do I live that one down?’ “There’s certain tunes — mentioning no ‘Caravan Of Loves’… sorry, names, where if people sing it to you in the street you think, ‘Oh God, here we go again’. But ‘Praise You’, if people sing it to me in the street, I’ll always smile. If it crops up in weird places in films, it’ll always have some kind of meaning. The fact that the lyrics are so timeless — one lyric fits all.” CARL LOBEN • Watch the ‘Praise You’ Game Changer film on
‘Praise You’ was big beat’s zenith, but it was also the beginning of the end when a backlash suddenly kicked in. “The backlash to big beat was probably
Words: Brad Nash & George Polonski
Fashion Essentials 07.
Here at DJ Mag, we’re channelling wood, leather and bold prints as we say goodbye to summer and hail in everyone’s favourite fashion season, Autumn.
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Shwood - Canby Fifty/Fifty Collection Sunglasses - $105 US Gourmet Footwear - Women’s Uno Low Floral Sneaker - $120 Carhartt - Elias S/S Pocket Tee - $69.95 T.W.O Face London - Navy Wax & Suede Alternate 5-Panel Cap - £25 UNIF.M - Silk Cami Top - $119.00 Whillas & Gunn - Trap Duffle Bag - $160.00 Grand Scheme Supply Co. - Slouch Navy Chino Pant - $120.00 Butter Goods - Park Navy Pouch Wallet - $45.00 ZOOLOGIE! - Freebase Navy Paisley Sweater - $98.00
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If Caesar had picked a better wardrobe for March (assassinated in that month), then perhaps he might have met with better luck. 10. Corson Hoodie Knit tarocash.com.au $69.99 11. Mosaic Print Dress blockoutclothing.com.au $49.95 12. Winter Floral Baden Bomber supre.com.au $40.00
WHAT A SITE! Life Hack lifehack.org This website is a bit of a cheat sheet to getting that little extra out of all sorts of things in life. Life Hack features hints and tips, and surprisingly but refreshingly useful how-to articles for a range of situations. Lifestyle, work, technology, health: it has it all covered! Then there are plenty of articles that fail to be categorised, but are just as eye opening and perceptive.
What Are You Wearing –
13. Bloch Studio Deep Pocket Full Length Pant bloch.com.au $79.95 14. Watercolour Print T-Shirt witchery.com.au $49.95 15. Quay SS Shirt marcs.com.au $89.25 16. P.S. Sport ‘47826’ Petrol Colour petersheppard.com.au $159.00
NERVO Earth Porn Search Earthporn on Facebook What better way to be reminded of the beauty of the natural world wherever you are than to have it pop up on your news feed? Earthporn calls attention to all sorts of incredible places and things, from the micro to the macro scale – tiny creatures to satellite images and everything in between.
17. Nylon Laptop Bag frenchconnection.com.au $89.95 18. S Bird of Paradise Phonecase sportsgirl.com.au $9.95
Since exploding onto the scene a few years ago with productions and songs created for some of dance music’s biggest names, Melbourne duo NERVO have become as much style icons as they have premier DJ’s. Renowned for turning heads with both their sets and their choice of outfits, I had a chat with the girls to see what makes them tick in the world of fashion. DJM – What are you currently wearing? N – We’re wearing a lot of Who Cares NYC, Beloved Shirts, Blackmilk, Kuccia... For essentials we love American Apparel. We also love to raid vintage markets or boutiques for one off pieces. DJM – How would you describe your style? N – Free and bold
Explosm explosm.net Explosm is the daily web comic with that distinctive simple yet expressive cartoon style. Expressing various little blessings and annoyances with the characters’ nose less, spherical heads and rectangular bodies, the comics end up contributing to an unusually cathartic experience. There are also some classic animated comics that pack quite the comedic punch every time.
DJM – Describe an outfit you remember from as far back into your chldhood as possible. N – When we were about 4 years old, our grandmother used to dress us in matching overalls and skivvys - except the colours were reversed. We had bowl haircuts so we looked like two little boys. I think we stopped dressing as twins when we were old enough to have a say in it - I think that was around 7 years old. DJM – Who’s your favourite designer? N – Ahh, too many to
chose from. That would be like picking my favourite meal. We love everything from McQueen and Balmain to Haleh Nematzadeh and Jeremy Scott. DJM – What’s your favourite boutique? N – Patricia Fields in NYC is always a fun shop. DJM – What is your most treasured item? N – It was Liv’s men’s Danish leather jacket, but sadly it was stolen from a hotel room. Some of our current most treasured items would have to be either Liv’s bowler hat or our limited edition Jeremy Scott trainers. Oh and also Mim’s acid wash denim vintage jacket that she picked up for $50 at Fairfax Market in LA. DJM – What are you currently working on? N – Our debut album! We’re in the final mixing stages.
D N A R B E ND TH
LESS IS MORE... Don’t be drab Just because it is not longer officially summer, does not mean that only subdued, earthy colours are acceptable. Go against the trend and explode in a flash of colour! Onesies for ever These are the perfect all year round garments provided that it is not blisteringly hot. For the feeling a wearing nothing while looking like anything, onesies are for you.
It’s rare nowadays that you can find pieces of jewellery that avoid the cliché and the repetitive. Australian based Toby Jones may have the answer, fashioning unique necklaces, rings and all-round wickedly cool accessories that are great to go with a myriad of outfits. The solid sterling silver bolt necklace is a personal favourite of ours for the guys, while a set of classy yet effortlessly trendy rings is there for the girls. Available from their online store and select retailers.
Fresh out of Sydney, Low End Theory is making massive waves in the local streetwear market with their unique take on Pocket and Graphic tees. Fashioning their wares from deadstock (that means you can’t buy it any more) cotton sourced from Hawaii, LET draw inspiration from bold prints, TV and some of pop culture’s most iconic faces and logos (think Dave Chappelle as Prince and George Costanza in a Yankees cap). In turn the guys at Low End Theory have managed to create a line of shirts what will ensure you’ll stand out from the crowd, and escape the drudgery of basic, generic tee shirts that are flooding men’s fashion like a bad disease.. Already picked up by popular Sydney boutique CAPSULE, their shirts fly out the door as soon as they hit the shelves, so get in fast.
The Globe Lyte Collection
Tea Tree Try out The Body Shop’s new range of skin care products enriched with tea tree oil for a natural squeaky clean feel. You cannot go wrong with tea tree’s antimicrobial action. Tangled Is your morning hair routine taking far too long? Michel Mercier’s detangling hair brushes might be the answer. With a new brush shape, and unique bristle designs, they really make a difference. Funky Shade Keep an eye out for patterned and unconventional umbrella designs. That way you can not only keep yourself conveniently dry, but also keep the gloom of rainy weather away with something eye catching. New season, new you Take advantage of the range of seasonal produce that is coming in. Pears, all sorts of nuts for protein, tomatoes, pumpkins and even mushrooms if they are your thing are ripe for nutrition.
Globe International is rolling out a fantastic shoe range created for the day long walking comfort of travelling boardriders and other like minded adventurers. Each shoe is a fusion of some impressive technology and engineering, while delivering style and finish that never fails to impress. Originally founded in Australia in 1994, Globe has since expanded from its centres in Melbourne and the Gold Coast to all corners of the world, including France, England and Los Angeles. Its focus has been on footwear, apparel and skate hardgoods for both street fashion and action sports. To start with, their newest range features rich premium leather and a Nitrolite™ outsole 20
that has been injection moulded to create enduring toughness and support. The outsole is also complemented with breathable and antimicrobial Ortholite® footbeds, ensuring that the shoe retains its feeling of freshness for as long as possible. Other creations in Globe’s collection include a highlighted ergonomic construction of the heel, coupled with a forefoot roll that decreases fatigue levels and complements the foot’s natural range of motion. Giving the already excellent design an added bonus, the Lyte Collection comes in a range of carefully chosen and harmonious colours.
TOM PIPER’S TRAVEL VIBES
DJ DIARY Sup, welcome to my mini travel write up. Each month I’ll be giving you the lowdown on a city that I’ve been to. Although they’re worth peeping too, I won’t be delving into normal tourist stuff like temples and museums; just the vibe action - clubs, shops, food and general sickness :D I’m starting this series off with Tokyo. I love Japan - the people, the culture, the food, all the half futuristic, crazy sickness. I could write a whole magazine about it! Everyone has their own journeys, but I’ll try and narrow down some of my personal vibes for you.
Shopping Vibe I think Shibuya is maybe thought of as the main place for shopping and it’s dope, but nearly everyone has also heard of Harajuku and what you’ve heard is pretty much true! Every time I go it lives up to my expectation of siiiiick local & international clothes, dope vintage gear and an array of Japanese street culture. This is where I go to shop in Tokyo. If you get off at Harajuku station you could start at Takeshita Street, but it’s full of cheap crap. All the real sickness is deeper in the alleyways further down. I always come out of the station, turn right, walk down the main road past Nike, then turn left into an alley just after the first big intersection. There’ll probably be a mental queue for Eggs’n’Things, walk in there and prepare for sickness! There are usually Tokyo exclusives at many of the stores! Tip: Instead of catching the train you can walk to Harajuku from Shibuya (or vice versa); there are dope shops all the way. Black Scale, for example, is a bit closer to Shibuya and they def have sick Tokyo exclusives there!
Food Vibe Numerous unconnected, unbiased locals have taken me to HARAJUKUGYOZARO and proclaimed it as the best gyoza in Tokyo. I’m inclined to agree. It’s sort of hard to find but well worth it, it’s in Harajuku. TEN-ICHI Ginza has the best tempura I’ve ever had! OMAE XEX Roppongi Hills is ridiculously good, but expensive, tepenyaki. AKIRA yakitori is amazing, a mission to get to but it’s a popular local vibe. I guess you cannot go to Japan without trying their sushi, but I won’t go on and on about it. For
ultra pimp try KYUBEY Ginza, or for sick as but not $300 a head you could try ITAMAE Roppongi. To be honest though, there is amazing sushi/food everywhere. Make sure you try the top grade Tuna!! For a quick snack that’s more local try MOS BURGER or FRESHNESS BURGER!! Lord Styalz Feugo just reminded me to also mention all the cool coffee joints, hit up STREAMER COFFEE CO. It’s worth trying to find all these, go forth! Tip: I wouldn’t go to any of those ‘themed’ restaurants for a proper dinner, food is usually pretty average but they are good for drinks and laughs!
Club Vibe WOMB!!! You must go here if you’re in Tokyo and fancy yourself as a bit of a clubber. It’s in Shibuya on a hill surrounded by love hotels; you can walk there from Shibuya train station. Different music each night, so check their website for your vibe. There are a few different levels and rooms, the production in the main room is wicked... the floor must be full of subs?? One of the best clubs for me! AGEHA also looks psycho as - I haven’t been, just heard dope things from friends. It fits like 5000 people and there is a free shuttle bus from Shibuya!! Tip: Womb & AgeHa are proper sick big clubs. There are lots of smaller clubs around but do some research before and look up where you’re going.
Bonus Vibe Golden Gai – It’s a bunch of alleyways with heaaaaps of mini bars that fit no more that 10 people, some like 5 people. It’s fucking cool and I’ve never seen anything like it before. Must go, Shinjuku. Akihabara – This is the electronic district. I’m a nerd-geek-techno mofo so I love this place, it might not be right for all. Heaps of shops with gadgets, video games, toys and so forth; I bought a robot dog here. Check out a maid café; MAID DREAMIN’ is probably an easy one to find, but don’t go with a hangover or Daniel Farley. I’d get a beer/drink set and save food for one of the Food Vibes.
much cool and cracked stuff all over. I have a few things that spring to mind. There is a bar run by Monkeys; Love Hotels; Cat/Dog/Owl cafes; 24-hour Donki stores that sell everything from Rolexes to toilet paper; Taito Game Stations with psycho arcade and pachinko machines you’ve never seen before… so much cool stuff you can only find in Japan! Sumo – It’s not on all year round, so if you are lucky enough to be in Tokyo when it’s on you should def go! I’ve been twice now and both times it’s been amazing! Book in advance before you get to Japan for sick seats. Training – The trains, subways, everything are mad easy! You won’t believe how simple it is ‘til you get there. Enquire about JR & Tokyo Rail passes to save coin. If you’re going to Tokyo have a sick time and if you have any Q’s feel free to hit me up on my Facebook (facebook.com/djtompiper) or Twitter (@ tompiperfresh). Stay tuned for next months travel vibes! - Tom Piper
Extra Extra– Speaking of Maid Cafés, there is so
Argyle Xchange Festival 17 February – 31 March
An exciting festival taking place in four awesome venues in Sydney’s The Rocks, the Argyle Xchange is a celebration of food and drink with good times and unforgettable memories thrown in the mix. Open from lunch until late, the Argyle precinct has a beautiful outdoor courtyard at its core, and is a breathtaking place to go out. Ananas Bar and Restaurant, one of the four venues, is a modern twist on the best traditional French Mediterranean cocktails, food, wine, and champagne while not forgetting to bring that touch of French glamour with its sassy and avant garde 1920’s inspired décor. Really all to be expected of a place named after the French word for pineapple. Contrasting well with Ananas, Saké Restaurant and Bar showcases contemporary Japanese cuisine. With a menu designed by sushi master Shaun Presland, it draws on truly authentic Japanese food combined with modern sushi and classic dishes that cannot be missed. Then there is The Cut Bar and Grill, bringing prime cuts of hardwood and charcoal grilled Australian beef, and four hour roasts into this hub of nights out at the Rocks. Finally, there is the Argyle itself, boasting a diverse menu, enticing drinks, and live DJs throughout the week.
Falling Back to Earth Until 11 May
Queensland Art Gallery, the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane is hosting a monumental exhibition of Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang. All 3000 square metres of the ground floor will be dedicated to the work of a single person: the first time that this has ever occurred.
The exhibition combines installations such as 99 replicas of animals drinking from a clear blue, pristine lake surrounded by white sand; 99 wolves pouncing as one and crashing into a glass wall; and a suspended 31 metre eucalyptus tree creating a place for quite repose. In addition is a tea pavilion for patrons to contemplate the exhibition and the artist. The theme of Falling Back to Earth is that of going home, as inspired by the prose poem ‘Ah, homeward bound I go!’ of Tao Yuanming, a fourth century Chinese poet. QAGOMA’s Director, Chris Saines said “This exhibition is a significant evolution for one of today’s most compelling and highly respected global artists, realised with a level of ambition unprecedented for an Australian art museum. Cai is shifting his focus from the cosmos to the Earth and to humanity’s complex relationship with nature, while maintaining his keen eye on both the seen and unseen forces that impact life.”
Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2014 26 March – 20 April For three and a half weeks starting in March, the oft televised comedy festival will transform Melbourne into the light entertainment capital of the southern hemisphere and the world. It is part of the top three festivals of this type, along with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Just for Laughs festival of Montreal.
Over a staggering 6500 performances will take place in more than 100 venues as they exhibit 478 shows plus. Be prepared to witness your favourite comedians in wrestling contests, German drag, adultoriented puppets, comedic wrappers and much more besides. The annual event, just like many festivals, features an array of street performance, radio, film, television, theatre, visual arts, cabaret and stand-up. The director of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Susan Provan said, “The 2014 Comedy Festival program is a joyful thing. Comedy from all over the world, famous and not–yet–famous, places you’ve never heard of transformed into venues, a gorgeous Famous Spiegeltent, lively bars, chatty queues, late late shows, early jokes for kids, TV, radio, podcasts, reviews, dancing, buzz, risks, discovery, controversy and loads of laughter. It’s the best time to be in Melbourne”.
Words: Alan Lau
Big Village Records, is an independent Hip Hop label based in Sydney, Australia. The artists it represents founded the label, and all members contribute to the operation of the organisation. The all-star cast of hip hop artists have brought a wave of culture and excitement rarely found in the Australian music industry that has been washed over with generic and formulaic commercial sounds. Sometimes it can be difficult to find music that tells stories and brings the very soul of music to the forefront. Independent labels like Big Village Records is where the love of it all begins and without a doubt, the future for them looks very bright. So we sat down with Big Village Records to ask a few questions.
How did Big Village records first originate? We started with 13 hip hop artists who came from 5 different groups, Loose Change, Daily Meds, True Vibenation, Reverse Polarities and Thundamentals, coming together to form our own label to put out our music. We started as a collective with the concept that all members would contribute to the running of the business using our various skill sets and networks. Over time we have gradually transformed into a standard business structure, with a small group of managers who run the label day to day. Where is the label headed? At the moment we are planning on branching out a bit more, starting up a regular club night, doing some more clothes collabs with artists we dig, and obviously supporting all the founding members in their musical journey. Also without straying too far from our original MC based sounds, I think we will be putting out some more instrumental based releases, maybe even a compilation of instrumental Hip Hop. What are some noteworthy artists you have or will be working with? For sure, so far we’ve released albums of some artists we’re really proud of such as Ellesquire (who was picked as part of Triple J’s Next Crop of artists to watch), Daily Meds (whose album got them nominated for the Australian Music Prize alongside the likes of Hermitude and Flume), Tuka from Thundamentals, Loose Change, True Vibenation, Suburban Dark, and the list continues. What are you plans for the future? Long and short term? Right now we are getting ready to release True Vibenation’s second album in the next few months, and then we will be dropping singles from Daily Meds & Ellesquire. We’ve got a few other projects in the works at the moment but that’s all we got locked down. Long term I think we are all itching to sign up some new artists to the label, but we are just working on getting our shit together first and to do things properly... but definitely within the next year I’d say we will have signed up some new artists. What are some upcoming gigs we should take note of? Big Village launches a new regular club night called ‘Killa Kombo’ at Goodgod Small Club April 4. Heading the night we have Chasm Vs Jeswon, with Suburban Dark, The Tongue, Roleo & Klue. Also, True Vibenation will be supporting Jurassic 5 at the Enmore Theatre on March 18 & 19. You can catch Loose Change at The Beach Road Hotel Bondi on March 14. May 2nd launches the east side chapter of ‘Cross City Sessions’ at Jam Gallery, featuring Daily Meds plus an array of local supports. Also, P.Smurf will be supporting English Hip Hop heavyweights Task Force in Sydney May 9 at The Roller Den. Thank you for the interview, do you have a message for the readers? We just want to say a massive thanks to all the fans who have supported Big Village and we’ve built over the last 4 years. The response we’ve had from audiences from all over Australia is what keeps us doing what we do. We are going to keep expanding our artist roster and constantly developing the label and do everything we can to support incredible artists to create world class quality, and innovative original albums. That’s the plan, we are just getting started. http://www.bigvillagerecords.com.au https://www.facebook.com/bigvillage
BACK TO BUSINESS
It’s a blessing in this industry that a ‘work trip’ often involves white sandy beaches, blazing heat and attendance at the world’s best parties. Yep, Miami Music Week/WMC is back, and it’s still the monster of all industry get-togethers despite slots like ADE, Sonar and BPM clogging up our calendars. Taking place over the space of 10 days at the end of the month (Friday 21st March — Sunday 30th March), we’ve got the full rundown once again. All the pool parties, VIP hang-outs, secluded downtown spots, and, of course, Ultra Music Festival. Take a gander at all these listings, grab your sunglasses and slap on some suntan lotion. We’re in Miami, bitch!
FRIDAY 21ST MARCH VISIONQUEST PRESENTS SUPERPLEASURES
VENUE: Treehouse VIBE: The Visionquest crew (minus Seth) climb the Treehouse. DJS: Matthew Dear, DJ Three, Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss, Alexi Delano TAX: $20/$25 TIME: 11pm — 5am Visionquest.com
WINTER MUSIC CONFERENCE SOHO HOUSE MIAMI
VENUE: Soho Beach House Miami VIBE: Free party featuring the Perfecto boss at the South Beach wing of Soho House. DJS: Paul Oakenfold, Mia Lucci, Alice Q, Zen Freeman TAX: Free TIME: 10pm — 3am sohobeachhouse.com
UN_MUTE & HALF SEAS OVER PRESENT LET ME EXPLAIN
VENUE: Gavanna VIBE: Gothic house textures from upcoming talent. DJS: Balcazar & Sordo, Mobius Strum, Daniel Sanchez, Sabb TAX: First 100 tickets free TIME: 11pm — 5am gavannamiami.com
SATURDAY 22ND MARCH WISDOM OF THE GLOVE
VENUE: Story VIBE: Israeli deep melodic house king launches new residency. DJS: Guy Gerber, Davide Squillace, Martin Buttrich TAX: TBC TIME: 11pm storymiami.com
BLING IT UP
STEREO PRODUCTIONS SHOWCASE
VENUE: Space VIBE: Heavy-duty techno and house from the Spanish imprint. DJS: Chus+Ceballos, Technasia, Uner, Andrea Oliva, Carlo Lio, Cristian Varela, Pig & Dan and more TAX: TBC TIME: 10pm space.wantickets.com
ELECTRIC BEACH WMC
VENUE: Nikki Beach VIBE: House with attitude in the sun from some US masters. DJS: Harry ‘Choo Choo’ Romero, Crystal Waters, Plastic Funk, Sick Individuals, Saeed Younan, My Digital Enemy, The Cube Guys and more TAX: $70 TIME: 12pm — 5pm nikkibeach.com
TUESDAY 25TH MARCH ABOVE & BEYOND
VENUE: Mansion VIBE: Intense melodic dance from the Anjunabeats bosses. DJS: Above & Beyond and friends TAX: TBC TIME: 11pm — 5am aboveandbeyond.nu
VENUE: Liv VIBE: The ‘Molly’ man presents another of his parties. DJS: Cedric Gervais, Deniz Koyu TAX: TBA TIME: TBA livnightclub.com
SUNDAY 23RD MARCH CRISTIAN VARELA & FRIENDS
VENUE: Segafredo Brickell VIBE: Night of tech house darkness from the Ibiza stalwart. DJS: Cristian Varela + more TBA TAX: TBC TIME: 11.59pm — 6am sze-brickell.com
VENUE: Treehouse VIBE: Bpitch vs Mindshake with a stellar house and techno line-up. DJS: Ellen Allien, Butch, Troy Pierce, Paco Osuna, Barem, Fer BR (live) and more TAX: $20/$25 TIME: 11pm — 5am treehousemiami.com
MONDAY 24TH MARCH LOLA ED VS FATHERS & SONS SHOWCASE
VENUE: Treehouse VIBE: French trio join the dots between Chicago, New York, San Fran and Berlin with one of their famous three-way DJ sets. DJS: Apollonia (Dan Ghenacia b2b Dyed Soundorom b2b Shonky), Djebali, John Dimas TAX: $20/$25 TIME: 11pm — 5am treehousemiami.com
VENUE: The Congress Hotel VIBE: Shuffle house meets Miami for a daytime pool party on Ocean Drive. DJS: Mark Radford, Adam Cotier, Mr V, Kurtze & Bomber, Lance Morgan, In2Deep and more TAX: $30 TIME: 2pm — 9pm worldofpandora.co.uk
VENUE: Kill Your Idol VIBE: Official WMC party involving some renowned US house talent. DJS: Victor Simonelli, Jamie Lewis, Benji Canderlario, Ron D *8* Lim, The Wizard Brian Coxx, Paolo Albertoni and more TAX: $15/Free with WMC badge TIME: 9pm — 5am killyouridol.com
VENUE: Ocean’s Ten VIBE: Eighth edition of the annual meeting of US house heroes. DJS: Oscar P, Roland Clarke, Pablo Fierro, DJ Brian Coxx, DJ Nimbus, DJ Justice and more TAX: $10/$20 TIME: 12pm — 11.30pm oceanstensobe.com
GRAND CENTRAL LAUNCH PARTY VENUE: Grand Central VIBE: Noise-step on SoBe with the Circus Records boss. DJS: Flux Pavilion and guests TAX: $15 TIME: 10pm grandcentralmiami.com
VENUE: Grand Central VIBE: Frazzled electro, Y3K hip-hop and nu-garage/house from the Hard Events crew. DJS: Boys Noize, M.I.A, Zed’s Dead, RL Grime, Cashmere Cat, Tchami, Tourist, Branchez, Shift K3Y TAX: TBC TIME: 10pm — 5am hardfest.com
SOMEWHERE IN MIA
VENUE: Treehouse VIBE: Carl Craig’s Planet E crosses Heidi’s Jackathon head-to-head with Scuba’s Hotflush. DJS: Carl Craig, Martin Buttrich, Moodymann, Stacey Pullen, Heidi, Scuba, Jackmaster, Paul Woolford TAX: $25/$30/$40 TIME: 11pm — 5am treehousemiami.com
VENUE: Electric Pickle VIBE: Cecille/8Bit boss picks an all-star deep/ tech/house line-up at Miami’s coolest downtown spot. DJS: Nick Curly, Shaun Reeves, Subb-an, Kevin Saunderson, Matt Tolfrey, Jozif, Bloody Mary, Nitin TAX: $10/$15/$20 TIME: 10pm — 5am electricpicklemiami.com
WEDNESDAY 26TH MARCH DJ MAG POOLSIDE SESSIONS
VENUE: Surfcomber VIBE: Daytime poolside session with some cool house names, followed by some of the biggest names in EDM. DJS: MK, Kevin Saunderson, Dennis Ferrer, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Amine Edge & DANCE, Dyro, W&W, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Beckwith, Quentin Mosimann and more TAX: $35+ TIME: 11am — 11pm Surfcomber.com
MR NICE GUY RECORDS PASTELITO PARTY VENUE: The Clevelander C-Level Rooftop VIBE: Gangster house on a rooftop with the Mr Nice Guy boss and a sleazy Miami bass set. The only WMC party with free Cuban pasties (apparently). DJS: Jesse Perez, Sex Sells, Sishi Rosch, Mika Materazzi, Chalk TAX: $8/$12 TIME: 11am — 8pm soundcloud.com/mrniceguyrecords
THE SH!T SHOW djmag.com.au
SECRET SUNSET CRUISE
VENUE: Biscayne Lady VIBE: Banging party on a boat at sundown with an open bar. DJS: TBA TAX: $100 (early bird) TIME: 3pm biscaynelady.com
LOCO DICE B2B MARCO CAROLA
VENUE: Space VIBE: Robust, metallic 4/4s all night from two scene top dogs. DJS: Loco Dice, Marco Carola TAX: $55/$75 TIME: 10pm space.wantickets.com
VENUE: LMNT VIBE: Night of carnage from the UK’s 18-year-old liquid d&b label. DJS: Danny Byrd, S.P.Y, Fred V & Grafix TAX: $25 TIME: 10pm hospitalitydnb.com
THURSDAY 27TH MARCH OVUM SHOWCASE: CELEBRATING 20 YEARS 1994-2014 VENUE: Treehouse VIBE: Josh Wink commemorates a score on the floor at South Beach’s most hip club. DJS: Josh Wink and more TAX: $20/$25 TIME: 10pm — 5am ovum-rec.com
VENUE: Cafeina Wynwood Lounge VIBE: San Fran’s Dirtybirds fly into downtown gallery/restaurant for one of their famous BBQ sessions. DJS: Claude VonStroke + friends TAX: $30 TIME: 2pm dirtybirdrecords.com
VENUE: Trade VIBE: Shir Khan’s r&b/pop-inspired deep house label comes to SoBe. DJS: Claptone, Adana Twins, Shir Khan, Joyce Muniz TAX: £20 TIME: 10pm — 2am 28
TIME: 10pm — 10am paradise.ibiza-clubs.net
LAST NIGHT ON EARTH SUNSET CRUISE
VENUE: Biscayne Lady VIBE: Sasha takes his deep tech/house label to the waters on a superyacht. DJS: Sasha, Hunter/Game, DJ Three TAX: $175+ TIME: 3pm — 9pm biscaynelady.com
VENUE: Grand Central VIBE: Round two from Hard Events showcasing wicked bass-heavy house, techno and electro sounds. DJS: Basement Jaxx (DJ), Brodinski, Julio Bashmore, Dusky, Destructo, Breach, MK, Amine Edge & DANCE, Claptone, T.Williams TAX: TBC TIME: 10pm — 5am hardfest.com
VENUE: Liv Ocean Beach Club VIBE: The Dutch EDM maestro returns with another label party, this time in the sunshine. DJS: Nicky Romero + more TAX: $50 TIME: 2pm — 11pm livnightclub.com
VENUE: Ice Palace West VIBE: The Hot Creations boss brings his DC10 party to Miami. DJS: Jamie Jones + more TAX: $30/$35
VENUE: Ice Palace VIBE: EDM madness at one of Miami’s biggest venues. DJS: Tommy Trash, Bingo Players, David Tort, Dada Life, Carl Trick, Henry Fog, MAKJ and more TAX: TBA TIME: 10pm icepalace.wantickets.com
SMOG VS FIREPOWER
VENUE: Mekka VIBE: D&b and brostep night showcasing Smog, Firepower, RAM, Animal House and more. DJS: 12th Planet, Datsik, Andy C, Bro Safari TAX: $20 TIME: 9pm — 2am smogrecords.com
VANDIT RECORDS PRESENTS PAUL VAN DYK
VENUE: Dream Nightclub VIBE: PvD brings his label to Miami Beach for a night of glamour. DJS: Paul van Dyk, Vandit Allstars and a very special guest TAX: TBC TIME: 10pm paulvandyk.com
DUBFIRE B2B SETH TROXLER SUNSET CRUISE
VENUE: Biscayne Lady VIBE: Visionquest main man joins Deep Dish’s minimal dude on deck behind the decks. DJS: Dubfire, Seth Troxler TAX: $150 TIME: 6pm — 11.30pm biscaynelady.com
NERVOUS ROOFTOP POOL PARTY VENUE: The Viceroy Hotel VIBE: All day and night party featuring US house’s finest from the NY label. DJS: Oscar G, MK, DJ Sneak, Kevin Saunderson, Yolanda Be Cool, Beckwith, Ralph Falcon, Miss Jennifer and more TAX: $20/$75 TIME: 12pm — 5am viceroyhotelsandresorts.com
VENUE: The Raleigh Pool VIBE: Robust beats beside a pool from the leaders of big room tech house. DJS: Mark Knight, Chus & Ceballos, UMEK, Prok & Fitch and more TAX: TBC TIME: 11am — 11pm raleigh.wantickets.com
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT MIAMI
VENUE: Trade VIBE: Round the clock house and techno with the No.19 duo. DJS: Art Department and guests TAX: $20 TIME: 10pm — 10am facebook.com/embrace
SOLOMUN PRESENTS DIYNAMIC
FRIDAY 28TH MARCH BOHEMIAN YACHT CLUB’S WMC SUNSET CRUISE
VENUE: Musette Luxury Yacht VIBE: Elegant techno and classy house on a mutha-fuckin’ boat. DJS: Mano Le Tough, DJ Tennis, Catz ‘N Dogz, My Favorite Robot TAX: $65+ TIME: 6.30pm — 11pm musettecharter.com
VENUE: Ice Palace VIBE: None blacker than 12 hours of Richie Hawtin’s Enter. DJS: Richie Hawtin, Paco Osuna, Tale Of Us, tINI, Adam Beyer b2b Ida Engberg, Apollonia, Gaiser (live), Mano Le Tough and more TAX: TBC TIME: 10pm — 10am m-nus.com
VENUE: Space VIBE: Diynamic showcase with King Solomun. DJS: Solomun and friends TAX: TBA TIME: 10pm clubspace.com
TOOLROOM KNIGHTS VS STEREO PRODUCTIONS djmag.com.au
SATURDAY 29TH MARCH BORN ELECTRIC YACHT CRUISE
VENUE: Biscayne Lady VIBE: James Zabiela sets sail with a cool-asfuck Born Electric boat party, with an after-party at The Pickle. DJS: James Zabiela, Scuba, Tensnake, Midland, Breach, Iron Galaxy TAX: $125 TIME: 3pm — 9pm biscaynelady.com
VENUE: LMNT VIBE: German electro whizkid storms into LMNT studios for a night of noize! DJS: Boys Noize & friends TAX: $25 TIME: 10pm boysnoize.com
CROSSTOWN REBELS PRESENT GET LOST MIAMI
VENUE: Ice Palace West VIBE: Damian Lazarus’ marathon party upscales for its ninth session with another epic line-up. DJS: Damian Lazarus, Carl Craig, Kevin Saunderson, MK, Pete Tong, DJ Harvey, Scuba, Sasha, Fur Coat, Thugfucker, Droog, Francesca Lombardo, Subb-an (live), Shaun Reeves, The Martinez Brothers, Ellen Allien and many more TAX: $50/$70 TIME: 5am —5am next day crosstownrebels.com
VENUE: Trade VIBE: Maceo Plex digs deep for an Ellum Audio sesh in South Beach’s new club, previously Liquid. DJS: Maceo Plex, Danny Daze, Barnt, Good Guy Mikesh, DJ Spun TAX: $20 TIME: 10pm — 5am trademia.com
VENUE: Trade VIBE: Go underground (literally) with a three-hour set from Aus duo Dusky down in a South Beach basement. DJS: Dusky, Midland and more TAX: TBC TIME: 10pm — 5am facebook.com/duskymusic
GET PHYSICAL SHOWCASE 30
ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL 2014 Rounding off the Miami Music Week, it’s the mammoth Ultra Music Festival. They’re rolling Ultras out all around the world this year, but right here in Miami is where it all started... DATE: Friday 28th – Sunday 30th March VENUE: Bayfront Park TAX: $399.95 TIME: 12am — 11.59pm
MAIN STAGE: Tiësto, Kaskade, Eric Prydz pres. Holo, Zedd, Diplo, Laidback Luke, Showtek LIVE STAGE: Gesaffelstein, MGMT, M.I.A, Basement Jaxx, Chance The Rapper, Waka Flocka, CARL COX & FRIENDS: Carl Cox, Luciano, Marco Carola, Maceo Plex, Jon Rundell UNDERGROUND STORY: Jamie Jones, Art Department, Damian Lazarus, Lee Burridge, Lee Foss, Soul Clap, Fur Coat ULTRA WORLDWIDE: Carnage, Borgore, Adventure Club, The Glitch Mob, Datsik, Andy C, Zomboy, 3LAU
MAIN STAGE: Avicii, Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond, Alesso, Nicky Romero, Krewella, Martin Garrix, W&W, Blasterjaxx LIVE STAGE: Empire Of The Sun, 2ManyDJs, Trentemøller, Paul Kalkbrenner, Gramatik,
Infected Mushroom, Riff Raff, Tourist, Goldfish, CARL COX & FRIENDS: Carl Cox, Loco Dice, Dubfire, Nic Fanciulli b2b Carl Cox, UMEK, Pete Tong, Monika Kruse UNDERGROUND STORY: Solomun, Tale Of Us, H.O.S.H, Adriatique, Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, J.Phlip, Blond:ish, Kill Frenzy ULTRA WORLDWIDE: Dillon Francis, Flosstradamus, RL Grime, GTA, Bro Safari, Been Trill, Just Blaze, Dirtyphonics, Craze
MAIN STAGE: Hardwell, David Guetta, Steve Angello, Afrojack, Jack U, Sander van Doorn, Nervo, Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano, Tommie Sunshine, Michael Brun LIVE STAGE: Sub Focus, Chase & Status, Netsky, Example, Cut Copy, Dizzee Rascal, Pusha T, I See Monstas A STAGE OF TRANCE: Paul van Dyk, Gaia, New World Punx, Aly & Fila b2b John O’Callaghan, Cosmic Gate, Myon & Shane 54, Andew Rayel, Ørjan Nilsen, Jochen Miller ULTRA IBIZA: Cirez D, John Digweed, The Martinez Brothers, Dusky, Cajmere, Riotgear, Andrea Oliva, Danny Marquez ULTRA KOREA: Fedde Le Grand, Gareth Emery, Cedric Gervais, Mat Zo, Danny Avila, Clockwork, MAKJ, TJR, Sandro Silva, DJ Koo, Justin OH
MIAMI ADDRESS BOOK Biscayne Lady
401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33123
34 NE 11th St, Miami, FL 33132
Cafeina Wynwood Lounge 297 NW 23rd St, Miami, FL 33127
485 Brickell Ave, Miami, FL 33131
1685 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
1532 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
2826 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33127
VENUE: Treehouse VIBE: Berlin’s 12-year-old source of quality house and techno comes to South Beach’s trendiest haunt with a killer line-up. DJS: M.A.N.D.Y, Andhim, Tim Green (live) TAX: $25 TIME: 11pm — 5am getphysicalmusic.com
VENUE: Story VIBE: The Italian teams up with a fellow countryman to bring his massive Ibiza party to Miami. DJS: Marco Carola, Joseph Capriati TAX: TBA TIME: 10pm facebook.com/storymiami
VENUE: Space VIBE: One for techno purists with Team Drumcode. DJS: Adam Beyer and friends TAX: TBA TIME: 10pm — 4am clubspace.com
10 NE 40 St, Miami, FL 33137
697 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33136
59 NW 14th St, Miami, FL 33136
Ice Palace West
71 NW 14th St, Miami, FL 33136
Kill Your Idol
222 Espanola Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139
H50 ROOFTOP POOL PARTY CLOSING WMC 2014 VENUE: Club 50 VIBE: Big-room boogie house and EDM pool party pulling the curtains on WMC, plus after-party. DJS: Max Vangelis, Crystal Waters, Harry Romero, Jose Nunez, Junior Sanchez, Miss Nine, My Digital Enemy and more TAX: $40 TIME: 12pm — 5am facebook.com/industryplayground
59 NW 36th St, Miami, FL 33127
1235 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
950 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33132
1 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
960 Ocean Dr, Miami, FL 33139
1421 S Miami Ave, Miami, FL 33130
1801 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
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In a career spanning over two decades, London born house maestro Jesse Rose has done it all. Radio host, label director, celebrated producer and a resident at some of the world’s most renowned and infamous nightclubs, Jesse Rose has deservedly amassed support from some of the biggest names in dance music. With Jesse’s third studio LP ‘The Whole Twelves Inches’ dropping last month via his imprint Play It Down and a remix album set for release later this month, DJ Mag Australia sat down with the house icon in Sydney to discuss production philosophies and what’s in store for 2014.
Your remix of Rufus’ ‘Desert Night’ was just named
Mafia and Calvin Harris. They were all remixing or
up doing it. It took us so long. We thought we’d
Pete Tong’s essential tune last week. How did you
making tunes with like Katy Perry and I got asked
do it in about a week and it took us about a year
get in touch with the Sydney guys?
to do Bob Marley. I was like, ‘This is working out
to do. I mean, I’m the guy to think up a great idea
really nicely that I got asked to do Bob Marley and
that sounds simple that takes way too fucking
not Katy Perry’. The way that I tackled it was that
Well I know the Yolanda Be Cool boys and they were looking for a house remix of that single and they asked me if I would be up for doing it. I heard it and I was like, ‘Yeah cool. I’ll do it, but it’s going to be really deep as the way that I hear it isn’t as a big anthem type record’. Ironically it became like an anthem type record so that’s pretty weird. So there’s been a good response with that remix so far? It’s been amazing. I think it got like 100,000 plays in the first couple of months on my SoundCloud so
I hadn’t smoked weed for like six years, so I got a massive bag of weed and took a week off and sat in the studio and just started smoking weed. I just kind of tried to keep it as close to the original as possible but just make it so that I could play the original in a club. But randomly, it sounds very simple, but it took a really long time. It ended up taking two or three weeks to do. Channeling your inner Rasta?
I’ve noticed a lot of your tracks are heavily sample based. How do you go about picking your samples? It’s the same process as before. Either I’ll hear something that I want to sample or I’ll go in the studio with loads of music and I’ll just start messing around with things and something will just kind of connect and it will go that way. I started making house music fifteen years ago and I came
A friend of mine said it’s kind of like being a
from a hip-hop background so hip-hop was all
method actor and getting into character. So I
about putting your samples into an MPC and
was getting into character to remix this track. It
then just playing stuff and seeing what
would have been easier for me to go in and do the
works. So that’s kind of where I came
Katy Perry remix than it would for the Bob Marley
from and I think now I’ve started mov-
It changes every time I make a record. Sometimes
remix. I grew up listening to Bob Marley. I met
ing away from this as my newer stuff
I go in the studio and I’ve got an idea and then I
him when I was a kid. I’m from Ladbroke Grove
isn’t sample based. I actually always
think about how I’m going to make that idea come
which is like a sort of really reggae area. Remixing
want to go back to sample based mu-
to life. Other times I just go in the studio and I just
something that you love is really difficult, remixing
sic as I think that’s where really original
open Logic, which is the program that I use, and I
something that you’re just like, ‘Oh cool, I get that’,
ideas come from. I just heard a sample
just start jamming. It’s almost like how someone
is a lot easier.
on the radio this morning that I really
it’s been really cool. Can you tell me about your production process in general?
would just jam on a guitar or keyboard. I just start jamming ideas. Often it’s the mistakes that are the things that make the records, which is why I think my records don’t all sound the same. Most producers in dance music, if you got their last record you know what their next record is going to sound like. If you heard my last record you still won’t know what my next record is going to sound like – even
liked, it was an acapella vocal, and I So you’ve always been a big reggae fan? Yeah, I mean it was pretty much like little Jamaica where I grew up. So there would be sound systems on the street when I was coming home from school and people dancing around. We had Notting Hill Carnival which is like three million people listening to reggae, so yeah, pretty much.
I don’t know. Even that collaborative mixtape you did with OliI remember I saw that you had remixed Bob
ver $, ‘Sample Pleasures’, samples Bobby McFerrin.
Marley a few months ago. I was quite sceptical as dance remixes of classics like ‘Sun Is Shining’ can
(Laughing) That’s not so much reggae. Actually,
often turn sour but your remix was incredible.
it was a tribute to my dad. My dad passed away three years ago and that year he was really ill and
Oh thank you. It was a super weird one because it was a compilation for charity and everyone else on the compilation was like Swedish House
he always used to play me that record. I was listening to it with my dad and I said to Oli we should just smash this whole thing up and so we ended
just Shazamed it, downloaded it and when I go to the
and that was pretty much my dream collaboration. I’m still working on that project which the concept is to make dance music as we had it in the 80s. Where it was like Alexander O’Neal and songs where you could dance to it but you could also listen to a vocal and it might move you in some way. Although we’ve had a few of those through the years it never quite has been what it was in that time. So yeah, I still want to work with Roy Ayers and I want to work with Stevie Wonder and if I can do those two, that’s it, I’m cool. Did you catch the Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder jam at The Grammys? I didn’t see it. I was on the plane. Was it good? It was incredible. It must have been. That’s so crazy right! And kind of annoying for me because Daft Punk are nicking all the people that I’m trying to work with. I feel like a lot of the older guys are just really open. I think if they are like Herbie Hancock or someone, they want to be at the cutting edge of music. Sometimes they get it wrong and they think the cutting edge of music is something really
studio I’ll play around with it. Other times I’ll just
can’t really talk about but that’s been taking a lot
flick through the thousands of records that I have
of my time. Doing the stuff with Leon and doing
and find something I like.
this back to the future stuff and then touring for
wrong, but sometimes they get it right.
the album. You’ve collaborated with a lot of artists over the
What’s the rest of 2014 looking like for
years. Who would your dream collaboration be
I hope it’s going to be slightly easier
I mean, I pretty much just did that dream collabo-
than 2013 which was almost like a year
ration. I just worked with this guy called Leon Ware
So, a big world tour? I’ll have been home for 2 weeks in three months.
of getting everything ready for this year.
who produced Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Want You’ album
2013 was like making all the music for this
and the first Jackson Five album, like a serious,
album. I’ve got another project with some guys in LA. We’re putting
So yeah, pretty much. What have you got planned with your label, ‘Play It Down’.
serious dude. Me and him made a couple of tracks and then we went into the Red Bull Studios in L.A. and got John Barnes who was Michael Jackson’s piano player, Freddie Washington who wrote
‘Forget Me Nots’ with Patrice Rushen on bass. Liter-
out that I
ally everyone in the studio was between 75 and 80 and they were all the best dudes. I’ve worked with a lot of people like Kevin Saunderson, people who influenced me to be into house and techno, but now I was working with people who influenced me to be into music. That was just insane. Making your own samples?
‘Play It Down’ is the weirdest scenario because I stopped ‘Made To Play’ and put it to one side as I just wanted to do this label which was really about the music. My labels have always got to represent how I DJ and for a long time the ‘Made To Play’ records were the highlights of my sets. I got way more into playing groovers so I stopped ‘Made To Play’ and I started ‘Play It Down’ to be this label with no promo, with nothing. We would just put out records that would be super deep. All of a sudden, Oliver $ put out ‘Doin’ Ya Thang’ that was the biggest selling record of the year in dance music
Yeah, I mean literally making our own samples.
so he totally fucked my whole plan (laughing).
James Gadson was on drums and he’s one of the
Now we have just licensed the Dansson & Marlon
most sampled drummers of all time. He’s a dude!
Hoffstadt record ‘Shake That’, which was one of the
It took 14 months to put together with Red Bull
biggest records in Ibiza this year, to FFRR Records.
We’ve got a really great roster of artists. We’re now
mean, I’m already thinking that I’m going to come
my records might have literally gotten longer.
having to release two singles a month because
back again this year and do another club tour. I
From like 5 minutes to say 7 or 8 minutes. And
we’ve got so much great material. We’ve got Chris-
played S.A.S.H in Sydney and it was like playing
maybe the sunshine in LA makes me want to write
tian Nielsen, O&A, Dansson, Sqim and Matthew
in Europe man. It was they knew the records
happier records. I don’t know. I’ve actually been
K. Brillstein’s got an album coming. We’ve got a
that I was bringing in. For me, that’s why you DJ.
writing techno stuff in the last year and writing
compilation of exclusives from all of the artists. So
You want to DJ to people that know what you’re
a lot more in that direction. I’m in a really sunny
yeah, it feels like this year is going to be like what
playing. Australian’s can hold their head up high in
happy place so that’s ironic isn’t it? I’ve always
‘Made To Play’ was 5 years ago. I built up that little
terms of dance music. Now it’s a real culture.
felt that I was influenced by things that were not house music. So that’s why I’ve felt people have
crew of relatively unknown producers and now they are all just about to break and it’s that lovely feeling. In Australian terms, I guess it’s like waiting for the wave and then it comes and you catch it and you’re like, ‘yeah this is cool.’ It really feels like that. Christian Neilsen just sent me his new EP and I played it on the weekend and they were like the biggest tracks of the weekend. That made me feel the best. Some of my artists are in their bedrooms in their respective countries imaging what it will
I’ve definitely noticed the profile of dance music elevate over the last few years in Australia. I mean, five years ago, most Australian’s didn’t even know dance music existed. Exactly! As an example, I’ve been listening to FBI radio in my room. Literally I came in two days ago, switched it on and was like, ‘What the hell is this?
always said my records sound like different to other records. It’s probably because I’m listening to hip-hop or I’m always trying to hear what is this fresh thing that’s coming through because that’s what’s exciting to me. So maybe that influence is always going to be there. Does that come down to your sampling again?
This is great’. I went to sleep, woke up at like 7 in the morning and they were playing like some Luci-
It comes down to the sample base or an idea. Say I
ano remix. I was just like, ‘This is unbelievable. This
hear a trap record and the way they might go into
is like cooler than a radio station you would find in
their breakdown. I’ll be like, ‘that’s really interest-
London. This is great’. I actually ended up tweeting
ing. I’ll use that concept for a house record’. It
them saying I’d love to come in and they tweeted
might not be the same sounds. I remember at one
My policy on A&R is that if anyone acts like a dick
me back. I’m going to go do a show tomorrow.
point people were like, ‘you’re originating a sound’.
then I can’t have them on the label. I automatically
Definitely want to support that shit.
I’m not. I’m nicking it from all these other things.
be like to DJ around the world and by the end of this year they will be. Are you good friends with any of them?
I’m not originating at all.
gravitate towards being friends with everyone. I only have people that are really chill that are just happy to be on the label. If anyone is demanding they can go to someone like Defected. That’s fine. Go for a label that is set up for that. This is your sixth time in Australia. What do you think of the Australian crowds compared to that of overseas crowds?
You’ve gone from London to Berlin to LA. Do you find the city you are living in influences your production or the records you spin? I find that really hard to answer. You know when people ask you to describe your sound, I don’t know. A writer never tells people how to understand their books you know, so in a way I’m not really sure. I mean I imagine that there must be
Honestly, the first time I came I did a club tour in
right? Maybe you can tell me?
Australia and it wasn’t very good. The clubs mainly wanted really bassy music, from obvious records. Everyone was kind of drunk and it didn’t really work ten years ago. Then I came back and did Parklife and it was great. The energy at festivals in Australia is amazing. I then came back and did a ‘Made To Play’ tour with Oliver $ and Zombie Disco Squad and we did some theatres and that was really good. This time I’ve come back to do a club tour and I was like, ‘Oh no, a club tour again. It’s going to be drunken people in clubs’. It’s been amazing though. I don’t know what’s going on but in Australia at the moment it just seems like house music and underground music and stuff which is not obvious has totally connected with Australia thanks to people like Flume, Playmode and Motez. It just feels like this is a great time, I
I guess subconsciously maybe? I imagine that in Berlin I was playing longer sets so maybe
Written by Nic Horowitz
Sounds Words: Ben Long
The 1960s were a time of immense change in the city of New York. Urban planner Robert Moses’ network of highways took shape, and the improved accessibility to the city resulted in a kind of exodus of local industry, as many businesses relocated to New Jersey. This, in turn, created more space in Manhattan, as many warehouses and loft spaces became available. The NoHo area quickly became the creative centre of the city, as the ample spaces were gladly taken, at very low prices, by the many young artists more than happy to move out of their stuffy apartments on the Upper East Side.
One of these spacious lofts was occupied by a young renegade named David Mancuso. Mancuso had only been in New York a few years, but was already completely immersed in the artistic movements of the time. He had been hugely influenced by the talks of guru Dr. Timothy Leary and was fascinated by LSD and the ‘tripping’ experience. It was at this time that Mancuso also became intrigued by acoustics and sound. Whilst walking one day during a trip to Trinidad, he came to an opening and heard the music of a local band practising for carnival. He had never heard anything quite like this before. It was so pure and tribal. Back in New York, Mancuso was introduced to sound engineer Richard Long and ended up buying a couple of speakers from him. They were Klipshorns, specifically, some of the highest quality sounding speakers in the world. A combination of Mancuso’s LSD experiments, his interest in sound, and the influence of some ‘rent parties’ he’d been to, a kind of rave attended by a mainly African-American crowd, culminated in him hosting a party of his own in his loft on Valentine’s Day, 1970. Mancuso’s Loft parties are today beyond legendary. He is widely considered to be the single most important figure in the history of New York’s dance music. Although the French concept of the ‘discothèque’ had been around
for several years, these were far removed from our idea of what a nightclub is today. The places were general seedy and always exclusive. Black people would be turned away. The gay community, in the midst of the gay liberation movement stemming from the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in 1969, had a new-found openness and freedom, though there was still huge segregation between gay nightspots, and straight ones. What David Mancuso did was to create a party where New York’s often boasted but seldom noticed melting pot could finally become a reality. The Loft parties were frequented by latinos, gays, lesbians, blacks, whites… Everyone was welcome and there was a genuine spirit of freedom and openness. That said, creating such an atmosphere was no mean feat. Mancuso’s attention to detail was borderline obsessive, as he strived to ensure that everything not only looked right, but sounded perfect as well. Mancuso was not a DJ, but, in his own words, a ‘musical host’, and his aim was to take the crowd on a spiritual journey. His music would vary enormously, spanning everything from the African rhythms of Baba Olatunji’s ‘Jing-Go-Lo-Ba’, to the rock sounds of Babe Ruth’s ‘The Mexican’, as well as a great deal of soul music, such as Eddie Kendricks’ ‘Girl, You Need a Change of Mind’. So influential were these Loft parties, that they would change the face of New York nightlife forever. At the beginning of the ‘70s bars and discothèques also began to adopt a more serious approach to their musical policies. Where before there would have been just a jukebox and the occasional live band, the DJ now took over as the most important element of a party. One of the pioneering early DJs was Francis Grasso. When Arnie Lord, owner of a club called The Sanctuary, needed a new DJ it was the young Grasso who auditioned, taking with him just 8 records, using the logic that if he couldn’t convince them that he was the
man with 8 tracks then he never would. Lord was suitably impressed and Grasso was promptly hired him. But it was not until two middle-aged Jewish men, Seymour and Shelley, bought the club in 1970 that it really started to gain popularity. With Grasso the resident DJ, The Sanctuary became one of the hottest nightspots in the city, thanks largely to the music. He was the first person to use headphones when mixing, and also invented the techniques ‘slip-cueing’ and ‘beatmatching’, or mixing. A host of other discos opened their doors around this time, and hundreds of young DJs began to emerge, hoping to emulate the music championed by David Mancuso at the Loft, and of Francis Grasso at the Sanctuary. One of these budding young talents was Nicky Siano. Another regular at the Loft parties and DJ since the age of 16, Siano opened a new club with his brother in 1973 called The Gallery. The club borrowed many ideas from The Loft. The music policy and diverse crowd were typical of a Mancuso party; they even introduced the custom of blowing up balloons of all colours to cover the ceiling. The Gallery and Siano were both hugely successful as the disco boom really gathered momentum through the mid-70s. Disco was not only taking over the dancefloors, but also becoming a huge part of the record business. New record labels, producers and artists were springing up all over the place. A huge breakthrough in the industry was the launch of the first record pool in 1975. Set up by David Mancuso, alongside friends Steve D’Aquisito and Vince Alleti, the record pool was a grassroots initiative designed to facilitate easy communications between the music industry and the DJs. This system also enabled the DJs to get hold of promo vinyls, which would previously have been sought through the record labels themselves. Some of the most influential dance music labels that appeared at this time in New York were West
End Records, Casablanca Records, Salsoul Records and Prelude Records, all of which went on to release hundreds of seminal disco classics. Another key development at this time was the introduction of a new DJ-friendly vinyl format. The 12-inch single came about, as with many of the greatest innovations, by coincidence. When prolific New York disco mixer Tom Moulton, in need of a test copy of a new track, asked mixing engineer José Rodríguez to copy the track for him there were no 7-inch acetates available. Rodríguez cut the track onto a 10 inch vinyl instead. Moulton, concerned that the record would look silly as it was only a couple of inches of groove on the record, asked the engineer if he could re-cut the grooves to look more spread out. This process resulted in a broader dynamic range and the overall sound was greatly improved. The 12-inch format was then adopted, and the first ever commercially available 12-inch single was released on Salsoul Records in May 1976, it was Walter Gibbons’ Special 12-inch Mix of Double Exposure’s Ten Per Cent. By 1977 what had started as a distinctly underground movement had become very much a part of mainstream culture. Artists such as Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, The Bee Gees and many, many others helped popularise disco music, and it quickly became a global phenomenon. The release of the film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and opening of famous nightclub Studio 54, both in 1977, were definitive proof that disco had become something vastly different to the movement that had begun several years earlier in Mr. Mancuso’s NoHo loft. Just as Travolta’s dance moves are laughable and wholly unrelated to anything ever seen at The Gallery or The Sanctuary, the infamously strict and exclusive door-policy of Steve Rubell’s Studio 54 was a far cry from Mancuso’s open-minded Loft parties. Despite these imitations New York’s under-
ground scene continued to reinvent itself, and diversify all the time. An altogether new sound was beginning to emerge from the Bronx. DJ Kool Herc was experimenting with a new style of mixing. This involved mixing back and forth between the instrumental breaks and rhythms of certain funk records. It was these ‘breaks’ which Herc found to be most popular, so he isolated them and cut from one to another to maintain the excitement on the dancefloor. This was the beginning of hip-hop. It was a reaction to the over-commercialized European music of which some people had had enough. DJ Kool Herc’s dancers became known as ‘break boys’, as it was the ‘breaks’ that they were responding to on the floor. The term was later shortened to ‘B-boys’. One of the records that he used most in the early days was ‘Apache’ by The Incredible Bongo Band. The track became so popular amongst B-boys that it was dubbed, “the Bronx National Anthem”. As with the R&B/disco scene before, the hip-hop movement did not take long to break into the mainstream. Although the music had gained popularity through the mid-70s, nothing of the genre had been released commercially. The first commercial recording of a hip-hop track was The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’, released in 1979. The track took the bassline of Chic’s ‘Good Times’ and featured the 3 members of The Sugarhill Gang rapping over the top. An advantage of having hip-hop records recorded was that it allowed the lyrics to evolve from a simple freestyle or the DJ’s incitement of the crowd at a block
party, to the carefully crafted rhymes of today’s rappers.
As the 80s arrived music went through another radical change. Bass guitars and traditional drum kits were gradually phased out, and replaced by synthesizers and drum machines. Although this electronic revolution was pioneered by German legends Kraftwerk, and later by Italian producer Giorgio Moroder, it didn’t take long for these sounds to reach the nightspots of Manhattan. Indeed, Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’ was regularly played by David Mancuso at The Loft, and Moroder produced Donna Summer’s 1977 disco classic ‘I Feel Love’, so it was only natural for New York-based producers to later draw on these influences. Even hip hop embraced these new sounds with New York’s own Afrika Bambaataa very much at the forefront. Disco music became more stripped-down and beat-driven, with less emphasis on the vocal and live instrument elements. The sound developed into what is now referred to as ‘post-disco’, a kind of fusion between the purely electronic Italo-disco and the more soulful New York sounds of labels such as West End Records and Prelude. The most influential New York DJ of this period was undoubtedly Larry Levan, resident at the legendary Paradise Garage. As a youngster Levan and childhood friend Frankie Knuckles had been heavily influenced by the music of both David Mancuso at the Loft, and Nicky Siano at the Gallery. Having previously DJed together at
legendary gay bathhouse and nightclub The Continental Baths, Knuckles relocated to Chicago in 1977 when a post as resident DJ came up there, whereas Levan would stay in New York and soon become resident of the new club in the Hudson Square neighborhood. The Chicago club that Knuckles went to was called The Warehouse and the music he played became known as ‘Warehouse music’, a term later shortened to ‘House music’. The new club in New York was the Paradise Garage, and Larry’s music was dubbed ‘Garage music’.
music. Some of the artists to perform live at the Paradise Garage were Chaka Khan, Colonel Abrams, Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King and the B.B. & Q. Band. Sadly Levan died in 1992, though his legacy is still felt throughout the dance music world.
Another important scene in the late ‘80s was that of the Club Kids. James St James moved to New York in 1984 after reading Andy Warhol’s ‘Popism: The Warhol Sixties’ and quickly immersed himself in the New York club scene. He was known for his flamboyant style, and the themed parties he threw. He The Paradise Garage opened its doors in 1977 later teamed up with Michael Alig, and the and was, until it closed in 1987, the place to be pair became the most famous of the Club in New York’s underground scene. Like the Kids. They were renowned for their elaborate Loft, the venue did not serve alcohol and was costumes and rampant drug consumption. not open to the general public. The sound The parties were legendary, using venues as system was designed and installed by David obscure as a donut shop and the New York Mancuso’s long-term friend Richard Long and subway. Although their fame was short lived, the dancefloor was vast. The music played by they did have an important influence on the Levan was, like Mancuso’s, incredibly diverse. New York club scene of the subsequent years, His sets are the stuff of legend. Without as the taking of new drugs, in particular relying too heavily on mixing techniques, ecstasy became much more popular. Levan would create an atmosphere that was absolutely unique to him and the Garage. House music from Chicago had been Though his sets incorporated many different flourishing throughout the country and by the styles, Levan’s trademark ‘garage’ sound was ‘90s this music had found a second home, in seized upon by the owner of West End New York. Record labels and clubs started Records, Mel Cheren. The club became almost springing up all over the city. Nervous Records a showcase for the label, with numerous hit and Strictly Rhythm were the labels really records coming out of this era, including leading the way in this department, and clubs Levan’s own production, ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’ such as The Sound Factory and The Shelter by NYC Peech Boys. The Paradise Garage were the venues that showcased the new became such an iconic venue, not just within sounds. Frankie Knuckles, returning to his the gay and lesbian scene, but with everyone native city, became the resident DJ of the who wanted to dance and appreciate good Sound Factory, a club made famous by
possibly New York’s first superstar DJ, Junior Vasquez. Vasquez typified the New York sound of the 90s, and was very much the toast of the city at this time. The next few years would see the emergence of the great New York DJ and production team, the Masters at Work. Their critically-acclaimed 1997 ‘Nuyorican Soul’ project is the perfect embodiment of the melting pot of cultures and influences that New York is all about. New York’s house music from this period had an enormous influence on the world of dance music, and labels like Nervous, Strictly Rhythm and Def Mix are still considered some of the most important worldwide. As the 21st century dawned many of these scenes, born in the underground of New York, evolved into international money-making schemes. Hip hop and dance music began to dominate the charts, and many of the city’s iconic nightspots were closed, as Mayor Rudy
New York Club Tracks
1. The Coachhouse Rhythm Section - Time Warp (ICE) 1977 Originally released in the UK, this obscure instrumental track by Eddie Grant went on to become Larry Levan’s signature record at the Paradise Garage.
Giuliani’s cleaning up of the city also hit the club scene. Although New York will always be a massively important city in the world of music, regrettably, it is no longer the home of hedonistic partying it once was. Much of dance music has become big business, and the artists and DJs of today seem to revel in their fame, and cultivate their own personas, instead of striving to progress musically. These days, it seems as though many New York artists are looking more and more to Europe for influence. The latest craze in the city is that of EDM- electronic dance music, which is basically commercial dance music from Europe. Although it’s good that the youth are embracing dance music once more, it’s sad to see that most young people are citing Europe as the home of this, without understanding the rich history of dance music culture they have in their own county, and the huge influence that had on Europe in the past. It seems that, essentially, music making has become a much more international process. Huge communication advances of the 21st century mean that the practice of gathering together all the people working on a record, in the same studio, has become a thing of the past. Instead making music has become a kind of back and forth, dynamic progression, where the product is constantly being transformed and evolved. This has resulted in the removal of national barriers, and the end of ownership of cultures. Music has become more international, and seemingly it belongs to the world now, as opposed to belonging to New York, to Berlin, or to London. Nevertheless, these cities will always have an important role in nurturing and showcasing their talent, and as long as that is the case, you can be sure that New York will remain at the cutting edge of dance music.
Next month- Chicago: Home of House Music
2. The Nick Straker Band - A Little Bit Of Jazz (Prelude Records) 1981 Although originally from London, Straker had this track mastered in New York, and released on the city’s own Prelude label. The track was not a commercial hit, but was a staple at David Mancuso’s Loft. 3. ESG - Moody (99 Records) 1981 Biggest hit for the new wave/funk ensemble ESG from the South Bronx, and a timeless New York classic. 4. Loose Joints - Is It All Over My Face? (West End) 1980 Written by Steve D’Aquisto and Arthur Russell, this underground track was huge at both the Paradise Garage and the Loft throughout the ‘80s. 5. Master At Work - The Ha Dance (Cutting Records) 1991 Two versions of the Ha Dance feature on the New York production team›s third release .The track, featuring a sample from the ‘80s film Trading Places, was the lifeblood of New York’s ballroom and voguing scene throughout the ‘90s. 6. The Underground Solution - Luv Dancin’ (Strictly Rhythm) 1990
New York house classic. An early Strictly Rhythm release for the DJ from Queens, Roger Sanchez. 7. Risco Connections - Ain’t No Stopping Us Now (Black Rose Music) 1979 A perfect blend of reggae and soul music from producer Joe Isaacs. Would go on to become a classic at David Mancuso’s Loft parties. 8. Masters At Work present Nu Yorican Soun - The Nervous Track (Nervous) 1993 First played at Sound Factory Bar, this was the first time Louie Vega and Kenny Dope used the name Nu Yorican Soul, and they would go on to produce one of the greatest albums of the decade under the pseudonym in 1996. 9. Archie Bell & The Drells- Where Will You Go When The Party’s Over (Philadephia International) 1976 Although the band were from Philadelphia, this title track off their fifth album could often be heard at the end of a night out in New York. Most famously, it was Tony Humphries’ closing track on the last night at the legendary Newark venue, Zanzibar. 10. Lamont Dozier - Going Back To My Roots (Warner Bros) 1977 A popular track for many years at both the Paradise Garage and The Loft and the Paradise Garage. Detroit born Dozier›s 1980 masterpiece perfectly encapsulates the melting pot that is New York City.
NERVO Cast your mind back to 2011. Itâ€™s a sunny summerâ€™s day in Belgium, and tens of thousands of people are packed into a normally open campground for a festival that has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence over the last decade. Nearly every heavyweight name you can think of in Dance music, Tomorrowland is due to be headlined by the likes of Avicii, David Guetta and Above & Beyond, to name but a few. Some time in the afternoon, two twin sisters from Melbourne step on to the stage to begin their set, a journey through big room house that would rival the sets of any name you could think of that joined them on the line up. Once amateur models who were discovered by chance from a newspaper spread, the NERVO girls had a stratospheric rise to fame unlike any other. Going from writing songs at home on a piano and auditioning for Opera Australia in University the years after saw them producing for the likes of David Guetta and Kelly Rowland, and doing collaborations with Armin Van Buuren. We got the chance to sit down and get the NERVO story first hand.
Words: Brad Nash First of all guys, thanks for taking the time out of the studio to have a quick chat and congrats on getting on the cover. Whereabouts are you now? Nervo: Right now, we’re in Melbourne and we were meant to go to Brazil but we had some issues with our visas so it looks like we’re gonna miss our Brazilian tour which we just found out about this morning, so it’s been quite stressful. But yeah, good news is we’re in Melbourne, because we love Melbourne! And whereabouts are you guys based at the moment? We’re actually based in London! We moved to London about 11 years ago now and basically we’ve been living there and spending our summers in Ibiza. Now, recently we’ve been spending more and more time in LA. Are there any aspects of British culture you wish existed in Australia as well? We love the Brits. We have such a soft spot in our hearts for them because we did such a lot of our shaping and our personality shaping there, and a lot of what we feel like has really made us who we are has happened in our 10 years of living there. All our friends are over there who we made throughout our 20’s are all in London, and we just love the Brit sense of humour. It’s so witty. Why do you think there’s such a trend nowadays of Australian DJ’s relocating? Do you reckon it’ll stop as the scene keeps on growing out here? D’yu know, I think it’s because there are so many talented Australian producers and artists in general and they get recognized because their sound cuts through. What I think happens is that it gets to a point in your career where it’s like “Ok, I’ve got a little bit of heat and a little bit of attention and if I wanna try and expose it even more than I might need to have a crack at being in some of the major cities, the music centres of the world.” Places like, LA or London or New York even, and I think that’s really the reason because I mean people always want to stay in this beautiful country. A lot of great deals do get done out here and people do get noticed, but I think it’s that next level shift where you need to be in the face of the people more and be available
for touring. There are so many great people and great fans that you want to surround yourself with, so that’s why we’re all living overseas! You said before that you’ve basically locked yourself in the studio for the time being. What are you working on? Right now we’re working for something on Steve Aoki’s album and it was meant to be finished like a week ago, and we’re not really happy with it so we keep going back to fix it. We’re actually doing the vocals on this one, and when we do the vocals we’re even more fussy. We actually rented our friend’s studio in Carlton which is really lovely and cute. And I love working in Carlton. We’re also working solidly on our album, which we can chip away at. From a young age, you guys were always pretty big on performing arts and being in the spotlight. You modelled and were also in the Opera Australia Academy, which is a whole new story in itself. What was your time there like? The Opera thing is actually a bit of an Urban myth. I think somebody said it somewhere and it kind of went viral. We were playing piano and doing voice all throughout school, we were basically just the drama kids. So when we got to the final part, our final exams, the next level was to do university music, which we did do one year of. When you go into uni music there are so many auditions going around, so we naturally auditioned for Opera Australia doing some productions, and we got accepted into it but we never actually did anything with them! You’ve said that throughout your time doing those things, it was always about the music, but obviously there’s a pretty big leap from modelling and Opera to producing songs for the likes of David Guetta. How did the transition take place? When we were about 16 we had a modelling agency out here, Chadwick and um, because we were twins and back then we were very identical because we had the same haircuts and we joined their books to do kind of twin jobs. So we did work a little bit, but we were always about the music and were signing up to studios, like anyone we met. How we actually met our first manager, who introduced us to our first ever producer when we were like 16 years old in Melbourne, was we did an article in the Herald-Sun about up-
and-coming people in Melbourne and they featured us because we’d just signed to the modelling agency. In the article we said we really wanted to do music, so then we got a call from a manager who got us in the room with some producers and that’s how we got into sort of recording music, as opposed to being at home writing it on the piano.
and you reminisce about the days when you had weeks to finish stuff. But you know, we really love the artist part of stuff as well. It takes us around the world, gives us amazing experiences, and the whole fan interaction stuff is really special. Being able to speak to your fans online and test your music and get that interaction back life is just the biggest job satisfaction, the biggest rush that you can imagine really.
Yeah, it’s huge. They’re on every street corner and we got 20% off Nando’s as well, which was really cool and really good when you’re kind of broke (laughs). Anyway, going off on a tangent. So Ke$ha came over to London and all three of us would share a bedroom, we’d jump on the scooters (Mim and I had scooters) and drive around London and just hang out. She was our age, Was there ever a time while you were and it wasn’t like we were working, and growing up doing all these things when then she exploded of course, so that was you thought, “screw it, maybe I’d like to step Before you started making a name for yourselves as DJ’s, you produced and wrote crazy to see. Working with Kylie [Minogue] out of the limelight and live a quieter life songs for some of the biggest names in pop was really good fun because we spoke a lot instead”? music. Who was the most fun to work with? about living in London and living in Melbourne. When she got on a mic and actually You know, we swing back and forth with recorded a song that we wrote, it was a bit that. Because there was a time before we I think maybe Ke$ha was the most fun were like “artists” I guess, where we did have because we were all really young and broke of a trip-out. When you hear a voice that you’ve heard for so many years singing one and we just used to basically write songs a lot more time to be in the studio. Now of your songs, it’s just really special. and get drunk. She would come over to our studio time is super-limited and we’re London and stay in our crappy apartment; rushed and we’re jetlagged. Sometimes Was there a moment in your careers when when you come off a tour and you run into we lived above Nando’s. the studio and you have to finish so much It’s so much bigger in England, isn’t it? in like, half a day then you get exhausted
you suddenly realised that “OK, Pop music is great, but we’re well and truly dance artists now”? Tomorrowland springs to mind. You’re definitely right there. For us, we’ve always sat in-between both worlds. We’re not underground dance artists, we’re not glossy pop stars and we love bits of both worlds. So when you play something like Tomorrowland you do connect with clubbers and that rave culture. It’s just a great community to be part of, because that whole rave culture, there’s just a real party vibe, free-loving, let’s-get-crazy vibe and I just love being a part of that as well as being able to write a few pop songs here and there. Was there ever a moment in all the work you’ve done and all the artists you’ve worked with where you were truly star struck? I think the first time we worked with David Guetta. He wasn’t actually that huge back then, but he had released ‘Love is Gone’, and we were massive fans. By that stage we were well and truly starting to produce ourselves and we were intrigued by what he was doing. When we got in the studio with him and Kelly Rowland, just watching what they did was really inspiring and kind of made us a bit nervous because we knew we were in the room with very talented people. So you guys have moved from working with the likes of Britney Spears and the Pussycat Dolls to names like Armin van Buuren, Nicky Romero and Afrojack just to name a few. How does the creative process differ?
Yeah, completely because you find that everybody does very different things. Even we do different things when we work with different people. If we’re working with someone like Armin, he doesn’t do top-lines so he’ll come to us and be like “I want a top-line” and we’ll contribute to a track but we’ll be less involved than if we were working with a popartist, where we might do everything ourselves. Would you say there’s more professionalism from those kind of producers than what you get from a lot of pop artists? Not really, I think they’re both equally as professional, or unprofessional (laughs), but I think the main difference is that pop stars come with a way bigger entourage. We’d quite happily sit in a hotel room and just make a track with Nicky Romero, just us three, and that would be quite enough. We’d probably never record Kylie Minogue in a hotel room with a crappy USB mike. Is there anyone you still dream of collaborating with? We love working with really talented vocalists, people that bring different textures and also write themselves, so someone like Imogen Heap would be a dream come true. Randomly we went and saw Eminem the other day, which we thought was a really cool vibe so I’d like to do something with him. We’d love to work with Porter Robinson, because he’s super talented, and the Showtek boys just because their sound is so fat. We’d love to learn some of
their production tricks. Along with the music, you guys are also kind of style icons in the dance music world. We talk about that in the fashion section, but what was it like as former models getting the call to shoot for Vogue Italia? I’m so thankful for our past, because now we get called in to do A LOT of shoots. It feels like we do shoots every 2 or 3 weeks and it’s kind of nervewracking, because obviously we want to look our best and people see it as different to just being two DJ’s standing behind some CDJ’s. It’s all really close up and we do feel kind of vulnerable when it comes to those scenarios. Luckily we work with a lot of great teams, and obviously the bigger these things are becoming the better the photographers are so they know what they’re doing. There comes a point where you just have to let go and trust that they know what they’re doing and that they’re doing their best to make you look as pretty as possible. So let’s talk new single. Revolution dropped in January. The video clip has hit over 3.5 million views on YouTube. How have you found the reception? We played on the Gold Coast the other day, and everyone was singing it on the dance floor, which I think is really cool. Obviously sometimes you play to a really commercial crowd so when they know the words to your song like Revolution it’s just amazing! There’s no better high than having people react to your music. Where did the opportunity to work with R3HAB and Ummet come from? We’ve been really good friends with R3HAB for about 3 years now. We’ve all seen each other heaps of times on the circuit and we’ve worked with Nick [Afrojack] a few times so we’d see him just bouncing around. He’s just a really nice guy, so for 3 years we’d always hang out talk about getting together and making a track and we finally did it last year. It happened to be around a time that our record label at the time let us have a side-artist release so it was great, we’re
so happy it all came together. We did the vocals, it was another case of we couldn’t find a singer to use, so in the end the boys were like “Come on girls, let’s leave the demo vocals, put your vocals in.” and that’s what we did! The fun part of it was all getting together and shooting the video in the Nevada desert. Your music has traditionally been more focused towards a big room sound, then you have R3HAB who makes Dutch-House and Ummet’s work has always been more centred on tech-trance and the like. How did you bring everything together making Revolution? We love some of Ummet’s trance records. We literally die for them. He’s such a talented guy. R3HAB did some chords, sent them to us, and we changed them slightly and added a little bit of a drop that we thought was really good, and then Ummet took it and just basically vamped it up like crazy. We didn’t want to go too Trancey. Then they gave it back and then we wrote a top-line, and then obviously we couldn’t find a singer so we put our vocals in. A lot of back-and-forth. Every day we get emails from people where we’re just sending ideas across. Whenever we get a quiet moment to write something, we’re always sending it over to our buddies to help out with, to get an opinion or to see if they want to do a collaboration. So, at number 16, you guys were by far the highest Australian act on the DJ Mag top 100, how did that feel? Incredible. I think we have such responsive fans, fans that really care and really vote for us on so many different things. We’re actually kind of pinching ourselves; we really can’t believe we’re so high. I don’t really know what to say, we’re just so grateful. Was there anyone on there you think is destined to rocket up the top 100 later this year? I think there are so many DJ’s that are phenomenal that we don’t think rank as high, someone like Michael Woods is just such a great producer, so talented
and such a great DJ live as well. It’s strange how the whole thing works. The DJ’s with the most interactive fans are getting the most votes.
Where do you think the future lies for Australian dance music? We obviously have a very popular big-house scene, but this more down-tempo, bassy (Flume etc.) sound has also made big waves. Do you see one of them dying out? Or do you reckon it’s just the start of big things to come?
Yeah, I think one of the best things about making the album is that we can explore lots of different areas; we don’t have to just do bangers the whole time. We don’t want to compare ourselves to Flume, because it’s nothing like that but we did have some more down-tempo ones. There’s one record that we really hope gets released and it’ll be the last track on the album, with a way more chilled vibe. We’re doing the vocals again. It won’t necessarily fit in our sets but I really love it.
I’d love to see it all travel. We’d love to see the Flume sound get big and see the people of the world reacting to it on a more mainstream level. It’s flying the flag for Australia overseas and I think we can all be
Have you ever thought about incorporating that lower intensity sound into your music?
So what are your plans for the next 12 months or so? Do you have anything locked in you might be able to let us in on? We’re definitely going to release the album, which is going to be our debut, so we’re really excited about that. We’re gonna be living in Ibiza again, and just finalising the deal on where we’ll be playing, and we have a whole lot of fun gigs coming up. We’ve just been confirmed for Tomorrowland, Tomorrowworld, we’re playing Ultra in Miami, just loads. Lots of touring and hopefully lots of new music!
What’s happening to Sydney’s night life? JANUARY, 2014 saw the beginning of a new era for Sydney’s night life with NSW’s Premier Barry O’Farrell succeeding in having much stricter anti-violation laws passed in the Upper House. This was furthered by Police Minister Mike Gallacher being quoted stating that the “…live music industry is dead…” – both a hurtful and ill-informed comment. By Sumedha Pagadala Specifically, the new legislation concerns locking out individuals from 1:30am onwards and ceasing of alcohol distribution from 3am onwards; paired with the closure of bottle shops at 10pm as well as the so-called “one-punch law” which punishes those found guilty with a minimum mandatory sentence of 8 years. Though O’Farrell was quoted as saying this new legislation was “not meant to affect responsible drinkers”, and was supposed to deter future violence, these new anti-violence laws in the war against drugs, alcohol and violence has ensnared within its grasp Sydney’s thriving music culture and community. The genre that will be amongst the hardest hit besides blues and jazz clubs which also run late into the pm/am, is the electronic dance scene – a scene that thrives almost exclusively during the later hours. As such the new laws have experienced much backlash from both the public and entertainment industries because of the restriction of freedom of movement and liberty which is implied, as well as possibly negative financial consequences for key entertainment districts such as Kings Cross and the CBD.
The crux of the problem stems from late night revellers becoming intoxicated to the point that their decisions become impaired, with some infamously turning horribly violent. One of the biggest problems that have been faced previously include the notorious habit of much of Gen Y to fuel up on alcohol prior to hitting the city and the clubs, aka pre-drinks. The problem is of course those who engage in this habit will find a way to become inebriated even with stricter rules within clubs on the distribution of alcohol. This begs the question of how such new legislation will help to stem such problems. Perhaps those patrons who appear inebriated on arrival should be waylaid from being served alcohol until they become more sober, at which time they can buy more drinks. This may be a way to combat rowdy and potentially violent behaviour on the streets, and decrease binge drinking. Such should be the prior focus of the legislation, as locking the majority of revellers who may pertain to calmer demeanours, is unfair to those who have committed no wrong. Establishing Spartan legislation that seems to assume anybody and everybody could act in a harmful manner rather than targeting those more likely to, seems flawed – and it seems unfair that our entertainment industry should suffer for this.
Despite this, government laws are incredibly significant to helping promote a safer environment for patrons who just want to have a fun night out with mates, and take in the music scene. With the horrifying and sad losses that the families of Lucio Rodrigues, As such, these clubs have proven that SydDavid Christie and Thomas Keaney endured ney’s late-night, music-centric patrons are amongst countless others, makes it clear that after more than just getting heavily inebriated it is absolutely essential that the government as is often considered, and is shifting more exercise its powers to prevent further harm to towards creating a tasteful and discerning atti- innocent bystanders, and for the victims’ famitude to music. This is of particular significance lies to win justice for their lost loved ones. to electronic dance, not just as a genre but a But establishing a ‘one size fits all’ policy may very significant subfield of Sydney’s musical, be damaging not only the freedom of choice culturally, as well as economic identity. from young people – the same population In 2011, for example, an article on CareerOne who consist a large portion of – and are the reported that NSW-based ‘government backbone of – the electronic dance scene, research’ at the time had estimated that, “… but future DJs who have so much creative Sydney’s nightlife [was] generating $15 billion potential may also have their workplace turn in revenue and accounting for a third of all into a more Spartan environment. These new jobs across the city…” which further highlights lock out hours could potentially decrease the significance of the entertainment industry the length of a set – which is the instrument and businesses as significant contributors through which a DJ can demonstrate their to the economic buoyancy that night clubs musical talent and stamina. and venues provide to the local economy, as well as adding to Sydney’s profit margin – not Other states have had similar calls from both only via locals but also through the tourism the government and public for lockouts and industry. earlier closing times. In the ACT last year,
there was a push to close clubs at 3am, with lockouts from 1am onwards. Victoria also had similar concerns, releasing a “15 point plan” to tackle the issue, including tighter regulation of pharmaceutical drugs and the purveying of alcohol in club venues. Also as well as banning those who have committed criminal assaults for a minimum of 2 years from venues and heavier penalties for drunken behaviour. South Australia has a minimum drinking age of 20, whilst in WA and Queensland its 21 years. But still we have to wonder, why does Sydney seem to be hit the hardest? There is no definitive reason, but there could be a whole range of factors for why these new laws were being put into play in what is arguably the heart of Australia’s electronic dance scene. This city is a major stage for the up-and-coming as well as a substantial pull for international acts. Perhaps there is a perception that a more thriving EDM culture makes it more likely that drugs and alcohol will be more easily used and distributed especially amongst young revellers. This could potentially cause not only very negative health consequences but is also responsible for the violent behaviour of the irresponsible individuals. Music with all its elements is something that Gen Y are intimately connected to, and vice versa; but such leading music can be enjoyed in a safer precincts – an environment the likes of which clubs such as GoodGod Small Club amongst countless other nightclubs in the CBD were established to create. The abhorrent actions of the few via drug and alcohol-related violence need to be stopped, but it needs to be treated separately from the music industry and those who toil endlessly to create new and progressive sounds that continue to put Australia’s music on the map. What Australia needs, in order to tackle this issue, is a more specialised policy that deals specifically with stopping such actions and further victims from being harmed. But not at the expense of cutting off the key trading hours, for a new and significant creative market that generates its fair share of economic profit and employment. As well as the DJs and promoters who commit so much of their time and effort to further our vibrant music industry. A one size fits all approach will surely have more negative than positive consequences. Unless a less generalizable (but still stern) policy is formed to tackle alcohol-related violence, Sydney’s night life may be set to enter a Dark Age come April this year. To find out more, check out Save Our Nightlife.
NSW Jimmy Sing – Goodgod Small Club 1. Sydney is known to be a hub for electronic dance music with lots of very prolific artists, do you think these laws are going to dampen the talent?
2. How would you respond to the Police Commissioner’s statement that Sydney’s nightlife is dead?
The comments in Parliament about ‘Live music being dead’ demonstrate how out of touch the Government’s policy is with it’s effect on Sydney’s music culture. It was really disappointI think the social side to Sydney’s nightlife is ing how there was no consultation with the what has helped create this recent wave in elec- people who are working in the late night hours tronic dance music. Producers, DJs, vocalists that these laws are meant to address. Venues, and promoters have all been able to experiliquor accords, small and large music promotment with their sounds and get immediate ers, bands, DJs, record labels could have more feedback by playing it out at night at one of appropriately described how amazing Sydney’s the many, really strong club nights in town. nightlife and live music is right now. There is an The lockout laws at 1:30am are going to be a excellent coalition of people and organisations real challenge to the established format of our coming together to help articulate this called city’s club nights. People don’t generally come the Sydney Late Night Culture Alliance. Check out until midnight for a night of dancing. We’re the campaign Keep Sydney Open ... https:// used to being able to keep it going til 6am or www.facebook.com/KeepSydneyOpen2014 later. So the window of people getting into the club before 1:30 is a lot smaller, and then when 3. As a promoter/club owner/DJ, have you the bar closes at 3am you’d expect quite a few seen any changes in your venues since the people to leave the venue. This means that the changes in the law have been announced? programming of electronic club nights are going to be squeezed a lot tighter. Obviously, less Basically there’s a lot of feelings of disappointpeople will be able to play on any given night. ment, uncertainty and disbelief about! We’ll The opportunities to experiment in the warmbe changing the running times of our various up and later hours might become a thing of the events so that everything is angled a little past. And the bigger picture, is really will the earlier. And with this people are uncertain to venues and club nights that support electronic see how quickly Sydney’s going out habits will dance music be able to stay viable? change to getting on the dancefloor earlier!
4. What would be your ideal solution to tackle the problems which exist? We need a comprehensive, well funded government public campaign addressing Australia’s drinking culture. The essence of this is that as a community we need to intervene with any of your family and friends that has a tendency to get aggressive or violent when drinking. Next we need to take a bold, pro-active approach to exploring what environments provide a safe, positive and engaging night out. The last few years has seen some real steps forward in Sydney with plenty of late night cultural venues that are music-oriented and tending to not be genre-specific. They share in common that they hold nights of music that bring together people that are passionate about music, where they feel respected by one another and engaged with what’s happening in the space. And most importantly, the crowd’s focus is not primarily on consumption of alcohol. With this type of vibe you are far less likely to encounter violence. We need to explore these types of venues that are living solutions to the lonely, aggressive attitudes that have been a part of some Sydney nightlife for a while now.
NSW Murat Kilic – The Spice Cellar
their hip pockets. Lots of people are coming to the club earlier and making a clear statement that they will not stand for this type of violation to their basic civil liberties. I mean we are not in primary school anymore to be told when we can drink and when we can’t. We are putting on a free fundraiser this Saturday night with Berlin based Peruvian artist NU to raise some money for Keep Sydney Open. Originally we were doing a VIP Spice Black event with a ticket price of $200 but instead we decided to make it free and donate some money to the anti-lockout campaign. 5. What would be your ideal solution to tackle the problems which exist?
1. Sydney is known to be a hub for electronic dance music with lots of very prolific artists, do you think these laws are going to dampen the talent? The talent will not be dampened and judging by the reaction of our very loyal SPICE following, nor will the enthusiasm of the people who support the talent. These laws are not steeped in much logic and are certainly not a response to any sort of statistical argument. There is conclusive evidence which shows that alcohol related violence has been falling and furthermore there has been extensive coverage about how Sydney has adopted the failed policy from 2008 in Melbourne. Therefore we are hopeful that the laws will be abandoned soon when reason takes over as the main currency in the NSW parliament from stupidity. 2. How would you respond to the Police Commissioner’s statement that Sydney’s nightlife is dead?? To make a statement like that about Sydney’s nightlife is a glaring admission of how out of touch he and authority figures in parliament are from their people ( their electorate) and reality. Sydney is in a purple patch when it comes to nightlife and is in the midst of a brilliant renaissance in art, music and culture at present. As Homer Simpson would say “DOH!!” 3. How do you feel about this new legislation and how will it affect the dance music as a creative industry, and for the DJs involved? We are not a big hospitality group that can simply absorb this kind of tumultuous change to our business. The Spice Cellar is a small family business with the operating partners supporting their toddler through this business, with their livelihood now being compromised. As parents and upstanding members of society, we too want to see less violence in Sydney streets, but do not want our family and our patrons to be punished because for other people’s 54
mistakes. We support changes that are fair and equitable that are done in consultation with our industry and it’s constituents. Our venue the Spice Cellar alongside many other non-violent Sydney venues who focus on music and culture rather than sport, booze and gambling are the ones being hardest hit by these laws. Venues like us, Oxford Arts Factory, Goodgod and Frankie’s for example are all going to suffer severely. All are small/medium enterprises unlike the billion dollar babies of the government like The Star and Barangaroo which have been exempted. 4. As a promoter/club owner/DJ, have you seen any changes in your venues since the changes in the law have been announced? Since the laws were announced there has definitely been a tumultuous voice of support coming toward us for all angles. People are voting with their feet, with their words and with
Start by burning poker machines. Monash University gambling researcher Dr Charles Livingstone says Australia has the highest concentration of poker machines in the world. The biggest clusters are in disadvantaged areas along the east coast, fuelling domestic violence, crime and mental illness, he said. Kids that come from families & homes that are torn by chronic gambling, how about protecting them? It’s resolving these kinds of social problems in Australia that will lead to genuine change and by exempting The Star Casino and Packer’s Barangaroo, this government clearly shows that, by having the most pokies in the world, it really doesn’t care about protecting the fabric of this society at all. It is actually disgusting that our government is prepared to strangle the music and culture of this city for political points and ignore serious long term solutions that are equitable for everyone in the community. Blanket bans are not the answer. Well thought out solutions that tackle the core of the social problem of alcohol abuse in Australia. Maybe start by investing in education, reducing poker machines and banning alcohol ads in sport.
NSW 2. How would you respond to the Police Commissioner?s statement that Sydney’s nightlife is dead??
Sam – World Bar 1. Sydney is known to be a hub for electronic dance music with lots of very prolific artists, do you think these laws are going to dampen the talent? For as long as I can remember Sydney has been an exciting breeding ground for new talent, especially in the electronic music world. There has been so much opportunity for young guys and girls to get their talents out there and not just online. The ability to perform in venues across the cbd and suburbs has helped these artist develop homegrown fans that relate to them through their music and also the community they grew up in. With the implementation of these new laws there will no doubt be a change in the landscape as the opportunity for exposure decreases. These laws could very well stifle some venues ability and inclination to take a risk on booking upcoming talent.
Simon Lovell - Voodoo @ Home Night Club 1. Sydney is known to be a hub for electronic dance music with lots of very prolific artists, do you think these laws are going to dampen the talent? There is enormous demand for the world’s best artists here in Sydney so whilst I’d expect these new laws to decrease the revenue of the industry; I wouldn’t expect these laws to dampen the quality of artists we have been privileged to!! If people are forced to come out earlier to see their all time favourite artists, I don’t suspect this to stop them going to the show!
Michael Gallacher obviously isn’t connected to the music industry, but he also probably made this statement to try and add credence to the implementation of the laws. It makes it a lot easier to enforce draconian laws if you’ve first fooled yourself into thinking the culture is dead, dying or evil. The reality is ‘live’ music is exploding in Sydney but its not all about 4 piece bands and bass guitars (although the rock scene is still very much alive too). You have amazing talented producers working to piece together live sets with 3, 2 or even one man operations. The international music community has its eye on Australia and the talent coming forth won’t be stopped by ignorant comments form the old guard of law enforcers. 3. How do you feel about this new legislation and how will it affect the dance music as a creative industry, and for the DJs involved? The new laws will not work. Even the police have no idea how they are going to deal with the number of people on the streets at 1.30am. They didn’t work in Melbourne, they were vehemently tossed out after a TRIAL period. If only Nanny O’Farrell had enough foresight to do some research he would know that. I truly believe that we will see more violence, especially on Friday and Saturday nights after groups of people are left frustrated and on the streets with no where to go, left arguing over taxis and clashing with each other as they wait for busses and trains. The problem is not the venues, when you are in a venue it is the responsibility of the venue to look after you, to keep an eye on you and to provide you with any assistance you need. On the streets you have angry little boys (and girls) who don’t care about each other anymore. Its
really, really sad. I think there will be challenges to the outlet for creativity for young artists but I am confident that there are enough quality promoters out there who are willing to put it all on the line to deliver the opportunities for our artists. We need to band together, support each other and instil the values of PLUR on a national level. 4. As a promoter/club owner/DJ, have you seen any changes in your venues since the changes in the law have been announced? The biggest hit cam with the media circus. In the first couple of weeks of the announcement we saw revenue fall a considerable amount but its balancing out. There are a lot of lovely young guys and girls out there who know how to behave in public, they know how to respect one another and they enjoy a healthy social life and Im determined not to focus on anything but maintaining a haven for likeminded music fans and party people every Wednesday night. 5. What would be your ideal solution to tackle the problems which exist? As I said, its all about culture. We need to place more importance on educating young people about the serious impacts of frivolous violence. We need to penalise the people who intimidate and instigate violence. We need to adopt Rudy Giuliani’s approach and put a police officer on every corner in the entertainment districts. We also need those police to be humble and not antagonists which can be an unfortunate byproduct of this ongoing culture problem. Every person has the right to grow and thrive in a safe and free environment. Lets work towards this and not punish the 99% of people who do the right thing.
2. How would you respond to the Police Commissioner?s statement that Sydney’s nightlife is dead??
I really don’t see that as the case. Over the past couple of years the Dance Music scene has grown and is thriving more than ever, the shows just keep getting bigger and bigger!!!
- Starting our International headliners earlier
3. How do you feel about this new legislation and how will it affect the dance music as a creative industry, and for the DJs involved?
We are also going to be wearing the costs with the venue of keeping the event running whilst the bar ceases alcohol sales between 3:00 & 5:00AM – The party must go on!!!
The dance music industry to us at Voodoo is about creatively providing an audible and visual delight for punters senses and their minds. Whilst we don’t expect any of the artists/ DJ’s to stop being creative and pursuing their passion, the lockouts are definitely going to decrease revenue in the industry, limiting some local artists growth. We just hope that affected venues spend on production, theatrics and special effects doesn’t start to reduce over time and our local artists are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. 4. As a promoter/club owner/DJ, have you seen any changes in your venues since the changes in the law have been announced? At Voodoo, fortunately we haven’t had to make many drastic changes in response to the lockouts; the main change will be our communication to our punters and our time schedules.
- Opening the doors an hour earlier at 9:00PM
- Making food, cigarettes and a smokers area available all night from within the venue walls
5. What would be your ideal solution to tackle the problems which exist? It would have been great to see more research and time spent on the problems opposed to a quick under thought rollout that punishes safe, respectable and polite music enthusiasts for the actions of few: Other options could be: - Problem Venue’s to be made accountable for their patrons - 10 minute breaks from Alcohol service every hour - Increasing the times of late night train services to allow people to affordably leave the city quickly - Increased education to the youth about partying safely
A Catch-Up Sesh with Nina Las Vegas
Probably the most recognisable voice in Australian dance music, Wagga Waggaâ€™s own Nina Las Vegas is responsible for churning out fresh, forward thinking, underground electronic music to the Australian public. Her House Party and Mix Up Exclusive programs on Triple J are becoming some of the most prevalent platforms for dance music in Australia. From her all girl DJ supergroup Hoops, with Anna Lunoe and Bad Ezzy, to her ongoing initiative Heaps Decent, Ninaâ€™s positive impact on the scene is unmistakable and her resounding rise from a local DJ in 2004 to a champion for Australian music is truly remarkable. DJ Mag Australia caught up with Nina to discuss her tour and production plans for 2014 and her general love for Australian dance music.
NSW You’re currently in the middle of a national tour with some pretty amazing guests. Can you tell me a little bit about this tour?
Especially with the nightlife stuff in Sydney ing new songs. I do a SoundCloud wrap up at the moment, you want to promote posi- on Tuesdays with new people sending me tive environments for people to go out. stuff and I listen to what the Triple J music library has. On Wednesday, I try to mix Basically, I just want to put on more shows. Speaking of Hoops, do you any plans with the show if I’ve got my shit together, but I want to make club nights really cheap, them for the year? I don’t think that’s going to happen this super cool and not necessarily have an Well Anna Lunoe lives in L.A. so unless she week because there are so many people in international act. It’s not that I really mind comes home… town. While I’m mixing, I’m also recording about the international act, but we’ve just guest DJ sets. I’m pretty much doing two got so much talent in Australia right now She was home a month or two ago wasn’t jobs at once. I’ve been making the show that I want to show it off. she? for seven years now so I can pretty much mix with my eyes closed right now on So you’ve got a lot of Australian guests on Yeah and we played together. I mean the Ableton. I don’t know many people that the tour? thing about Hoops is people ask what’s mix three mixes a week. happening with it and we currently email Speaking of Ableton, I saw you’ve posted Except for one show in Canberra where 40 times a day because Erin and Anna are a couple of tracks on your SoundCloud Ryan Hemsworth is playing, it’s all Austra- my best friends. So Hoops still very much including an original, ‘Back It Up’, and the lian artists. We’ve got Emoh Instead, Wave exists but it’s just when we are in the same A$AP Ferg edit. Can we expect any more Racer and Nile Delta who has been doing spot. NLV productions this year? stuff for years. We’ve got Sable, Touch Sensitive, and an Adelaide girl called Sid I wanted to talk a little about your Heaps Dude, that’s what I want to do so bad! I’d Pattni, Charles Murdoch and loads more Decent initiative. love to put out more stuff. The thing is, as well. it has to be good. Those tracks were just Basically it was an initiative that I started feelers and stuff, it’s all sample based as Did you hand pick all these artists yourwith Levins and Diplo but it’s kind of gone well. I’m not very good at songwriting but self? a bit further than that. Now, Heaps Decent because I use Ableton so much I can make is an arts organisation working with stuff. Obviously you just need to practice Yeah, totally dude! If I could, I’d put more young people and emerging artists from and I don’t even have time to do my own on the bill but I’m paying for them all so disadvantaged communities, providing a washing right now. I’m pretty broke and clubs don’t open that means by which they can tell their story Producing is a big goal and I think that’s late. I want to do more of this stuff. Host in their own way. Heaps Decent supports the next step for what I want to do but it parties and have a really good vibe and re- change, positive futures and the develwould mean I would have to give someally make sure that it’s cheap. I don’t want opment of high quality Australian music thing up, so I’m trying to work out my life to put on a party that costs 50 bucks. It with a unique identity. We have a staff of right now as I want to do everything. should be like 20 dollars on the door. about 10 facilitators. I’m on the board now because I work full-time, but it’s so excitWhat kind of stuff do you want to proHave you got more stuff like this planned ing. We had a planning day on Saturday duce? for the rest of 2014? and we’re now trying to find a space and a studio. It’s almost growing too fast. We’ve I want to put stuff out that I play. You know Well hopefully we’ll do another Triple J got to obviously get more funding to keep you know a song is a good song when you tour in the middle of the year again. I really up the demand. It’s really exciting and don’t get sick of it. Like right now I’m sick want to do this more. It’s really similar to we do great stuff. We’ve got great young of those songs, I don’t even play them out. the Annie Mac Presents vibe you know? performers and we’re actually soon to be I guess they have to be better than that. Actually using where I am in radio and in putting together an initiative to get more It would be cool to do club stuff. I love the scene. I do feel like a big part of it. I’m of the music out because I think the sad that Anna Lunoe is just straight up doing not just on the radio. I go out a lot and all thing about what we do, which is not sad, club jams. I’m not going to sing on them these good dudes are my friends. I think is that we actually have so much stuff we that’s for sure. I think I’m good to just be a there are so many good acts right now. want to put out that we physically can’t. producer. When I started DJing I was a party proAs anyone knows, it’s really hard to manmoter and I feel like now there is an imbal- age that and to do all the ground stuff Can you run me through some of your ance between parties and producers and and to stay on top of actually organizing favourite Australian producers at the momaybe you feel that too. I always see good the workshops, so we often don’t get to ment? articles about new talents and people to release as much music as we’d like. The watch out for and that is dope, but I really big goal for this year is to put out some of I’m really keen to see what Basenji does do see less parties happening from when the stuff we do so people know and can next. I know Tkay Maidza is going in the I started DJing. Bang Gang was around. identify what goes on with Heaps Decent studio again and although she’s not a Roshambo was around. Hoops - we put on by songs, which would be super cool. producer, I love the fact that she’s makso many events. Astral People used to do ing club stuff and rapping. Hopefully she a party in The Shire. All that stuff was con- So you’re working full time with Triple J blows up like Azealia Banks. The Aston stantly happening and I think it’s still all at the moment, can you run me through Shuffle are going to put out an album and happening but it’s just not as loud as the your process? those guys really are some of the finest producer side of things. That’s why I want producers. I feel like we’ve got such a new to do it because I feel like there is so much So I’ve got a pretty clockwork week. exciting wave of producers we shouldn’t in this scene, not just music makers. It Tuesdays, I usually do a lot of admin like forget how cool those guys are. The last should be promoters, it should be venues. booking guests for Mix Up as well as find- few singles from their impending album djmag.com.au
NSW have just been so tight. I don’t know how many EDM joints you can call classy or you can find yourself singing along to you. Obviously I love Wave Racer and Cosmos Midnight. There’s a girl making kind of trappy stuff in Adelaide called Tink. We play a little bit of her stuff on Unearthed. I just want her to do more. I’d love to see her get a bit of support as I want to rep the ladies. Then there’s this kid Cashmere Cat talked up to me. His name is Vancouver Sleep Clinic and he’s a Brisbane kid. He makes kind of really beautiful slow stuff. It’s hard to explain. It’s not your straight up banger Rustie inspired piece. It’s more like RnB and soulful, more Ryan Hemsworth-esque. It’s that enough? I could talk forever. So you’re obviously very passionate about Australian electronic music. What is it exactly that excites you about presenting and sharing it? I think it’s just cool that it’s happening. I feel like in 2007 and 2008, Cut Copy and Van She and all those dudes really made a pass for everyone that’s happening now. Then with technology and people like Flume coming out of their bedrooms, it’s inspired everyone. I think for ages no-one realized you could just do it and it really
is a confidence thing and now we’ve got the confidence. I like that Australians are doing stuff and being upfront and saying, ‘yeah we’ve got a scene, we’ve got a sound’. I’m really interested to see what happens next. What’s going to happen when everyone’s over 80 beats per minute? Melbourne has a pretty good techno scene. You’ve still got Tornado Wallace and Gus Da Hoodrat. All those dudes are making interesting sounds. It would be cool to see that kind of club vibe get back up again. Is that where you think dance music headed in Australia over the next few years? Well, it’s going to be really interesting with lockouts in Sydney. Like, really interesting to see what happens. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I’d like to see more girls to be honest. There’s a massive gap for a female to jump up and be like the female Wave Racer. Trap is fucking easy to make, I mean come on! I’d like to see that. So you’ve been presenting on Triple J for 6 years now. How have you managed to remain so successful? I’d like to think that I’ve made myself approachable. I think the fact that I play as
well and am actually a part of the scene has brought a bit of authenticity to my show. It’s really easy to get caught up in the same thing so I really try to be professional about the show and spread it round. Although I don’t play a lot of their stuff out, I’ve known the Surecuts Kids for so long and they’re going to be my residents in March. I feel that it’s really important to actually know who works hard as well and not just who’s killing it on SoundCloud 24/7. I feel like you have to work hard, know the scene, be yourself and survive the boys club and I think I did that. You’re quite active on your social media. How important do you think it is for networking and communication between artists? Oh my god. I get all my mixes because I’m a flirt online. All of them and I don’t care. I think it’s good. I’m lucky that I like it. I used to date a social media strategist for like four years so I feel like he gave me a bit of an insight. Written by Nic Horowitz
DJ FLASH Words: Adam Roberts
From Stereosonic to an enviable residency at Platinum Nightclub on the Gold Coast, DJ Flash knows how to haul a crowd through a musical storm, exploding the beats of bigroom house trailblazers currently smashing London to Las Vegas. Michael Gray, the power behind the persona - a DJ, producer, artist liaison and music marketing genius executing talent boastful of the highest electronic music hierarchy. Across Australia’s most influential festivals from Future Music Festival to Summafieldaze, the crowds grab a speaker beating from the Adelaide born big room king. Inspired by Axwell, Alesso, Max Vangeli & AN21,and Paris&Simo,its obvious where the genuine talent lies in DJ Flash while his passion embarks. Now based on the Gold Coast, it’s his residency at Platinum Nightclub that shines over the rest, taking the main stage at one of Australia’s most prestigious venues showcasing the world’s most desirable artists. Across Queensland, playing alongside Nicky Romero, to Hardwell, Carl Cox and Dirty South, the booth holds a special spot for DJ Flash while the studio takes on even further boundaries. Signed to Vicious Recordings, Australia’s long running and renowned dance music label, this artist hands over the talent in the studio pumping out tunes that have been infectious to one and all.
Can you give u a rundown on your release history? Sure can! My first release was with Vicious Records was called ‘Shake It’, Shake it reached no.10 on the Aria Club Chart in Australia & also reached 93 on the Beatport Top 100 on an international level, which I was really pleased with. My second release was with Vicious Records and was called ‘OHH!’ and it reached no.23 on the Beatport Electro Chart on an international level & peaked at no.25 on the Aria Club Chart in Australia. I have just completed my third and upcoming release titled ‘WTF’ and that will be out through Vicious Recordings within the next month. Who are a few big name producers you are proud to have shared the stage with and also not just for being a big name DJ, who’s productions you admire? When it comes to International DJ’s I would have to say Nicky Romero, Laidback Luke, Ummet Ozcan, Nervo, Hardwell, EDX, Porter Robinson, Stafford Brothers, Tommy Trash & Hook n Sling. Locally there is a heap of Aussie’s doing great production like Uberjak’d, Ivan Gough, Jebu, Walden, Joel Fletcher, Will Sparks, Dave Winnel, New World Sound & Vandalism. Tools of the trade wise, what equipment, be it software or hardware, do you use for your productions and how does you productions have a set soundor do you put out the odd track that’s out of character for you?
Tools of the trade wise, I use Logic for my production, I use a lot of plug – ins such as Sylenth, Nexus , A.N.A. My production style/ sound is big room synth breakdowns with big drops. For yourself, what is new on the production front and who have you most recently collaborated with? I have just completed my next single ‘WTF’, that will be out through Vicious Records within the next month. I haven’t done any collaborations as yet, but I’m sure in the near future I will be doing a collab. In a perfect world which two genres, which you believe have not been getting enough attention, would you like to see take over the scene? I don’t think there is any need for a genre to take over. There is plenty of room for each style to do its own thing. Sometimes in the studio an unintentional mistake can actually turn out to be a masterstroke on a track. Have you ever experienced this? Hahaha I’m sure anyone who has spent long hours in a studio mixing tunes has experienced this, myself included. What have you got “on the shelf” that you’ve been toying with production-wise but might not be ready for release yet until it’s perfect in your view? I don’t really like to have many tunes ‘on the shelf’, sounds change so quickly these days. I really prefer to concentrate on one track at a time. The future of 2014 what can we expect from you production wise and do you have any major events lined up to play at? In terms of the music, I just want to keep pushing the boundaries within the construction and style of big room house music. Other things happening in 2014, I have just mixed a compilation CD which will be released very soon. And in my role as Marketing / Artist liaison at Platinum nightclub we have a very big 2014 ahead!
Late Nite Tuff Guy
He first shot to fame as DJ HMC as part of the Dirty House record label in Adelaide producing House and Techno. Now he goes by the name of Late Nite Tuff Guy writing, producing, remixing and re-editing Disco classics, which always seem to be hitting the top of the download charts when they are released. If they don’t take the top spot it’s because there’s another one of his tracks occupying that space. He has almost 30,000 followers on Soundcloud and over 2.5 million plays. Last year he was chosen by Jamiroquai as the winner of the ‘Too Young To Die’ anniversary remix competition. As DJ HMC he hardly toured or did any interviews, but as Late Nite Tuff Guy that has all changed. He still seems to be a man of very few words, but impeccable beats.
1) You went from producing hard as nails Techno and Acid to Disco edits. What prompted the change in direction? Or is this the softer side of your personality? I tell people that I’ve mellowed out in recent years, but the truth is that I absolutely love disco and have a massive record collection to prove it. Though I still love, and produce Techno and Acid, I seem to get more enjoyment from editing Disco tracks. The music reminds me of my youth. 2) 5 records that never leave your crate/ cd wallet/ usb stick? Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson Big Fun - Inner City One Nite In A Disco - Late Nite Tuff Guy I Want Your Love - CHIC 6am - DJ HMC 3) Do you still perform as DJ HMC? Yes I do. In June 2013 I played in Berlin as DJ HMC. A 3 hour set in Berghain, and a 4 hour set in Panorama Bar. 4) First track that blew your mind? Why? Can you remember where you were? Baby Wants To Ride by Jamie Principle is probably the first track that got me into a deeper sound. I remember the first time I played it in a club. I put the record on and then ran to the dance floor. I had to experience it from that side of the fence. I think that’s when I decided that I wanted to make House Music. 5) You’ve been rather media shy over the years, has your international success with LNTG forced you out of your shell? 62
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I guess it has. I’ve never really been much for words so it’s always something I have tried to avoid, but with the recent success there has come a lot of interviews. I reckon I’ve done more in the last year than I have in my 30 year career.
I’d definitely choose water today. 7) Is there another genre that you’d like to produce? Or are you already doing it under another? I’ve written and produced a few Electro tracks (in the vain of Model 500, Drexciya, Kraftwerk), and hope to do a whole album in the very near future.
6) A few years ago, in one of your rare interviews as DJ HMC with UK magazine The Face, you famously insisted on being shot with a carton of your favourite Adelaide Iced 8) You are holding a dinner party in a worm Coffee drink. Would you choose the same drink again today as LNTG? If not which drink hole in outer space, you can invite anyone from any time and any world, who would be would you choose? the first 5 people you would invite? I think if I drank the Iced Coffee now, I’d run Prince & The Revolution. straight to the toilet! Hahaha!!
Perth based DJ and Producer Tom Drummond has been releasing music on labels all over the world, DJing around town, presenting a hip hop show on RTR FM as well as teaching at TAFE. He’s one of Australian dance music’s quiet achievers and a quiet talker as well. He did open up to DJ Magazine to tell us how it all started. “In high school there were a few mates of mine who had their own turntables and they were into their Drum n’ Bass and stuff. I ended up borrowing them for a couple of weeks and just getting on them everyday and figuring out how they worked. And a bit later on, when I was about 18 or 19 and I was looking around for a job, I started applying to a few DJ Agencies to do things like Weddings, 21st’s and all that kind of business, so I’d say I was a mobile DJ for about 5 years after that. It was good because I learned the basics of crowd reading, even if it was using the hits of the 80s.” Tom Drummond is known to most people who follow dance music, especially those who love break beat, as a producer. He has releases out on labels such as Ghetto Funk, Goodgroove, Breakbeat Paradise, Chopshop and Jalapeno. “That also started in high school. The same mate who had the turntables also had a legitimate copy of some sound software and he used to bring his computer around and because I had the music knowledge, because I always played instruments since I was a little kid, and so it was just a case of taking that onto the software. We made a few tunes and eventually I got sorted out myself and it just became an addiction, and it still is.’” he says laughing. Naturally I was curious as to what style of music he was producing as a teenage high school student, ‘Was it Drum n’ Bass, the same music your mates were into?’ “The first couple of tracks, I don’t know how you’d describe them. I was just all over the place producing whatever I felt like producing, so it was a little bit of Drum n’ Bass and a little bit of Breaksy type of stuff. A bit of House. A bit of everything really” I remember being in Perth at that time when Drum n’ Bass was pretty huge, especially amongst the younger generation. I was told that it had taken over from Metal as the teenagers preferred music genre. Tom agreed saying “Yeah, it was huge. There used to be underage raves that went all 64
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“My first one was on a very small House music label called Shack Digital. That was back in the days when MySpace was cool. I had 2 night. I went to a few of them. It really takes tunes that I thought were release worthy dancing all night to understand the music so I was scouring the internet searching for and it was really popular back then. It still is a label that would put them out, just so I today, but not to that same extent.” could say I had something out with a label. That was back in 2008. I was really into the ‘Did Dubstep threaten to take over?’ I ask. Jackin’ House sound which was quite popular “Yeah, it sort of got half way there, but it around that time.” wasn’t the kind of music sexy girls wanted to get up and dance to’., he tells me as matter of “I think you need a few years to get your head fact coming from a DJ who has seen how it around the different production techniques to make your tracks dance floor worthy, and works, “so that was it.” it was around that time that I was getting it, What about your releases? I assumed the first making the Jackin’ House stuff. I remained doing that for the next two or three years, one would be a Drum and Bass tune. until I moved into the more funky breaks”.
making the Jackin’ House stuff. I remained doing that for the next two or three years, until I moved into the more funky breaks”. Which he then explained stemmed from his love of hip hop, “it’s basically hip hop with some beefed up beats behind it.” Tom’s name appears on a few Jalapeno releases I thought he might’ve been signed with them. “No I just do the occasional remix or put something out for them.” he says before explaining how he got in touch with them. “My mate Slynk used to be in contact with the guy that ran it and he put me in contact because I love the label and I was really keen to get something out with Jalapeno, so i just sent him a few tracks and eventually one of them caught his ear and he put it on one of his compilation CDs, and ever since then I’ve been sending him stuff and if he likes it he releases it.” His latest release is on DJ Butcher’s Chopshop label. “That was through another mate DJ Agent 86. I had a release lined up through his label ‘Lightspeed’ and he ended up changing the direction his label was heading in and my sound didn’t really fit with that new direction, so he just referred me onto Chopshop and I was quite happy about that. I have a few more releases lined up with those guys.” On collaborating Tom speaks of two familiar names. “A few years ago I did a few things with this guy called Sonny Fodera. He’s doing huge things these days. It was good to see how that guy works. I would give him some remix parts and a day later he would come back with a remix. Where other people would spend a month or more doing a remix he would make sure to start and finish in that time he was inspired to make that beat, so that was a bit of an eye opener for me. Another highlight was the collaborations I did with Slynk. He’s a bit of a technical wiz kid. I would give him a beat and I would think it would sound absolutely bang on and it didn’t really have too much to be tinkered with, and he would come back and he would’ve replaced all the drum sounds and synth patches and stuff, and it would be a little bit shattering. But his product would end up being better than mine” he tells me laughing, ‘”so it was a good experience in that way, where when I think I couldn’t do any better somebody else would come along with a fresh set of ears, and umm” trying to think of the word, but finally with another laugh says, “better.” and continues to laugh. “He makes it sound better.” Tom then starts to explain what he learnt, first from Slynk, “Well, format wise he introduced me to the concept of getting to the point in the first 20 seconds of the song. In the Ghetto Funk Glitch Hop type genre there’s a lot of quick mixing happening, and I think that goes for genres in general in 2014. Everybody is doing quick mixes and the producers have
to always make it DJ friendly. I also learnt a bit about using a few different types of effects processors that I wouldn’t normally use like Transient Shapers. Slynk is really into that, to make your drums sound really snappy by using a Transient Shaper.” And Sonny Fodera “his beats were really simple and he basically cut out all the un-necessary fat from the tune and he left the really essential bits. They were simple but the way he did them was with taste. He managed to do that in a short time period. That left you with a fresh perspective of what he wanted to do in the first place, because a lot of people work on a beat for far too long and forget what it is they were trying to do.”
Tom has house and break beat releases, so is there any other genre you’d like to produce? “I do want to try doing more DnB. I also want to try the harder, beefed up breakbeat sounds, and more of the Glitch Hop type sounds that are really popular today.” Like Slynk’s latest single? I ask him. “Yeah. Actually, where I want to take it is sort of fusing that hard Glitch Hop sound with NuDisco, kind of like what Kill Paris is famous for doing. I wouldn’t mind having a bit of a play around with those type of sounds. How can you go wrong with those two type of genres?’ He says with a smile.
Chet Faker Chet Faker the Bon Iver of Australia
son you may get nervous talking to, but it’s quiet the opposite – a very nice, honest and open individual, with a tour schedule busier then Ari Gold!
By now one would assume that you have discovered Chet Faker, but for those who haven’t, it’s never too late. At a glance his musical career has been nothing short of spectacular. His debut EP release and his collaboration work with Flume may have put him on the map, but I truly believe it goes far beyond that.
After releasing an incredibly well received EP, his success online had literally blown up. His appeal to the Australian audience both online and throughout festival performances, has given him the credit to work along side label buddy Flume and book tours on a global scale. More recently he announced his debut album ‘Built On Glass’ coming out in April with a pre release online, and a Having already toured the nation and single from the album which is one of the US, Chet Faker is not another one of the official music videos called ‘Talk Is those talents, yet an individual who isn’t Cheap’ - which is by far one of the most afraid to take risks and create someartistic music videos concepts I’ve ever thing dramatically brand new. His music seen! arrangement, voice and instrumental abilities when it comes to recording, has I wanted to explore what life has been given him the edge that so many young like for Chet and how this rare opportuproducers and musicians look for. His nity came about. If you understand the image comes across as someone who power of the Internet and how it can would rather keep to himself and a per- either make or break you in this indus-
try, then you need to tip your hat to Mr. Faker, for using the most powerful tool we have. His time was very limited as news broke that he was making the trip to Austin, Texas for SXSW and packing his things for a major move. So lets quickly explore the Album and what life has been like for our Melbourne homegrown boy Chet Faker.
Firstly congratulations on you debut album ‘Built on Glass’ which is due out on the 11th of April on Future Classic / Opulent. Can you give us an insight to how the new record was made, and how long you spent creating this project? Musically I tried to keep use of most of the equipment that I used for the EP. I was also wary of buying new stuff, cause I’m a firm believe that the equipment you use shapes the sound ‘obviously’ but the restrictions you set shape the sounds in the process. Even though the EP got on kind of well, when I started working on this record, I was afraid to buy new stuff. I changed studios, but I used a very similar setup – the only new instrument I introduced was a Prophet 5 synth. I played some live bass, which is the first time I’ve played bass, and I’m quiet proud of it! I played saxophone as well, well barley. Musically that was kind of the gist of it. The general approach of the record was documenting my life over the last two years. What I mean by that is each song represents something that happened in my life. Honesty was the main theme in that, even if it made me look like an asshole or a sad case! Obviously the last 12 months have been incredibly busy for you, traveling both sides of the continent, and performing shows in North America more recently.
What has been a standout highlight over the past 12 months? And what other artists since working with Flume, have approached you for future collaborations? I did Boiler Room yesterday that was pretty dope. That was in my hometown city of Melbourne on a rooftop in the city. Awesome weather, killer crowd great lineup with Oscar Key Sung, Andras Fox, Fantastic Man and Andee Frost – so that was defiantly a highlight. For those that have approached me, I can’t mention, as they’re not out yet! It would blow the lid off, if you know what I mean? Your music is raw, moody and incredibly honest – I personally can’t get enough of your piano solos (WNYC’s Soundcheck) and the contrast between your voice, whilst bringing a nice electronic melody into it. Are you a self-taught man or classically trained, when it comes to playing piano and of course singing? I never did any classical training at all, but I know what you mean, as in lessons right? I did have lessons from 9th grade till the end of school but I’m self-taught on everything else. I also sung at school and in the final year I did a vocal performance. But really just belting it out in the shower for a couple of years. My brother always reminded me of how much I sucked! I don’t remember but
apparently I was shit house. I know time is short and you have one of the busiest schedules ahead of you, so my final question for you here. What impact do you want to leave on the world? I don’t mind if I leave an impact on the world. I would rather leave an impact on myself, if that makes sense. I guess friends and family is more important. But you know what? I will give you a better answer than that. I would like to extend the conversation and musical dialog of our generation. Chet Faker is now on tour in Austin Texas, and his debut album is now ready for pre order on iTunes with a release date in April. It’s a beautifully constructed album and we really can’t wait to see how far he pushes this. From humble beginnings, Chet really does have the world at his feet, and has helped put Australian music on the map in a big authentic and original way. Words: Jack Carter
March’s music measured up. p.144
Kenny Dixon Jnr’s new LP is larger than life. p. 162
MOVE ON UP
Move D joins the Fabric hall of fame. p. 166
Underground Pop Kris Wadsworth pens ‘Popularity’ for Hypercolour. p. 163
Gilles Peterson PUTTING out a ‘Havana Cultura’ compilation in 2009, before curating Mala’s ‘In Cuba’ project for his Brownswood label last year, Gilles Peterson’s love affair with the largest Caribbean island state is no secret. “Where Jamaica is very well-known for reggae, Cuba is well-known for practically every Latin rhythm you can think of,” explains Gilles. “It goes back to the fact of Africa coming into Cuba, just like it had an effect on Brazilian music, coming through the slaves and indigenous music, and that’s where fundamentally the rhythms, the patterns were created and they’ve been augmented into music ever since.” Tracing its influence back to the dispersion of Cuban rhythms into the funk and disco emerging in New York during the ‘60s and ‘70s, it’s not just the essence of this fruitful music scene that’s so important to dance music heritage, but its potential too. The Mala project brought to light traditional Latino sounds and their compatibility with bass-influenced electronic styles, and other artists like Fango have since experimented in a similar way. Vocalists like Janet Suarez are among some of the best Gilles has worked with, he says, while bands and collectives such as Ogguere and Obsesión continue to cultivate the funky seeds sown by a band like Irakere in the ‘70s. The next step, then, is to spot unchecked talent (via a remix competition run on havanaculturamix.com) to create music alongside Gilles and a selection of Cuba’s finest musicians over a 10-day period in Cuba’s capital city, Havana. With Gilles on the panel, on a project backed by arguably Cuba’s favourite export, Havana Club Cultura Mix is the latest ambitious venture into world music for the 6Music man, so we asked him to tell us a bit about his world... Remember the first time you went to a club? Tell us about it... “It would have been going to the Caister Soul Weekender when I was 16. Going to King’s Lynn on a train as part of my soul crew called the Sutton Soul Patrol, and so that was back in the day. Would’ve been 1979. I remember DJs like Bob Jones, still going strong, being there and playing heavy jazz records and people like Chris Hill, used to call him the ‘Godfather of the British soul scene’, and he was playing boogie and disco music, and people used to dance in a good way, it was a good time. Great period to be young and living in England.” What is the most crucial record of all-time? “Probably ‘Echo Beach’ by Martha and the Muffins. Why? Dunno (laughs). I was really into punk and jazz and that seemed to fit in the middle.” Three tunes that never leave your bag, USB or whatever you use to DJ at the moment? “I would say... ‘Mirror Maru’ by Cashmere Cat, ‘Open Your Heart’ by the BarKays and Airto ‘Xibaba’.” What do you use to DJ? “I use all formats.” What’s your lights up, end-of-the-night tune? And why? “Recently it has been ‘Night and Day’ by Ella Fitzgerald, because the girls look great with the lights on at 5am dancing to Ella Fitzgerald.” If you could meet anyone — alive or dead — who would it be? “Sun Ra, especially as it’s his 100th birthday this year.” Imagine the world is going to end tomorrow. What are you gonna do tonight? “I would go to Milton Keynes and see Zara McFarlane live.” Three words to describe clubbing in the year 3000... “Don’t go Ibiza.” 141 djmag.com
When you absolutely, positively must decimate the dancefloor, these are the tunes you need…
soundcloud.com/apollonia THENewJerseymaster’s1999homagetodawn’s early light has been given a re-outing on the French trio’s lauded imprint. Classic Chandler in every sense, robust 4/4s thump under muffled shuffling hi-hats, a viscous bassline and soft airy chords, while Kerri’s own supple vocals are surprisingly dulcet. With Delano Smith on the remix with some lovely deepness, this forgotten gem is about to be remembered.
hotflushrecordings.com AFTERropinginUnderworldveteranDarrenEmersonforaWhiteLampreleaselastmonth,Scubahas tied up yet another techno legend on his Hotflush imprint. Northern Irish ex-Shine resident Phil Kieran gets dark on‘Going There’, rolling together thick gloopy acid, erratic 909s and a strong soulful vocal sample destined to make it an anthem. A highenergyengineroomofsoot-slatheredpistons and molten cauldrons of tar, it’s a captivating dancefloor treat that opens out into stunning piano keys as it closes. Enormous!
Passarella Death Squad
Throne Of Blood
Days Of Being Wild
‘Total Order Of Being EP’ Border Community
STONE COLD KILLER — track of the month
soundcloud.com/wesleymatsell WITH its suggestion of life at the fringes, Border Community has always dealt in wild, untamed electronica. Early tracks such as Nathan Fake’s ‘The Sky Was Pink’, remixedbylabelbossJamesHolden, or Fairmont’s ‘Gazebo’ were explicit about their organic inspirations, swimming in a heady, intoxicating sense of grand scale — the sublime feeling experienced in the face of nature. With scientists now debating whetherwe’relivinginaholographic world,andafter-partyconversations wrestling with the concept of the tenth dimension, the best dance musicisagainservingupthisfeeling ofwonder,extendingthescopefrom the natural world to a wider sense of the bewildering, incomprehensible nature of the cosmos. Trippy, hypnotic, epic, it taps an energy that returns to the source — without the need for dreadlocks or UV paint. It’s in the crystalline rave ripples of Lone’s utopian euphoria, A Sagittariun’s tracky, deep space techno (check his superb new ‘The Jupiter Chronicles’ EP, out now) or Hazylujah’s shamanic rainforest incantations. It’s also the driving force behind ‘Total Order Of Being’, Border Community’s latest, which ranks right up there amongst their greatest moments. Hailing from Wales, Wesley Matsell has only released on the label once — 2008’s triplet swung ‘Bernwerk’ — but is a regularamongstthecrew,providing vital warm-up duties at Border
Community label parties, and he’s obviously been honing his studio skills in the interim. Clocking in just shy of four minutes, ‘Total Order Of Being’is like a rocket ride to the stars, hitting you with 50gs as it powers through a burst of bleepingmelodies,choralvoicesand locomotive drums, petering out in what sound like the post-orgasmic moans of R2D2. While it’s this dancefloor weapon that Holden has been hammering since last year, ‘Future Beacon’ is perhaps of even wider appeal. Opening with a shimmering, Balearic two-and-a-half minutes of arpeggiatedsynthinterplay,arough breakbeat drops in to drive forward its non-linear progression, the melodies morphing, breaking and reforming with the unpredictable beauty of a flight of swallows. ‘DowlaisWheelie Crew’changes the mood entirely with a deeper, darker vibe, driven by a looped bassline that’s punctuated by a series of intricately realised edits, while the idiosyncratically named ‘Rite Of Pant’ enters more ambient realms, itspercussivefoundationsupporting a steadily rising wall of new-gaze reverb. If this weren’t incentive enough to drop some cash, the limited vinyl also joins up with the covers of Avus’ ‘Poppy EP’, Margot’s ‘France 2 EP’ and Fairmont’s ‘Velora EP’ to form a giant image by Border Community graphics man Jack Featherstone. Get involved and make sure that you’re part of the bigger picture.
‘A Musical Drama’
‘Anthem/Just Like Sleep’
throneofbloodmusic.com CANADIAN/FINNISH trio Bohemian Groove return after debuting on Throne Of Blood a year ago, not with one machine mauler, but two.‘Big Funk’is a monster of a tune, a stomping 4/4 and atwo-toneanaloguekeyhook.Layeredwithclattering metallic patterns and sinister cyborgian sounds, it builds towards a chest-hollowing bassline before entering a hail storm of rave synths. ‘Everybody Here’ is a heady warehouse builder, while remixes from Posthuman, Hieroglyphic Being and JDH & Chupacabras make this a varied EP package of epic proportions.
soundcloud.com/passarella PART cult couture label, part electronic outfit, PassarellaDeathSquadareanintriguingprospect. Where previously the band drew inspiration from post-punk,‘Anthem’is a dark electronic soundtrack that you might imagine Cliff Martinez dreaming up, all monumental synths, with the ghost of Jamie Principle’s arpeggios twinkling in the background.‘Just Like Sleep’is even more epic and sepulchral, Emilie Albisser’s haunting tones floating above the 4/4 throb, gothic, brooding pianos and electroid pulse. With support from Daniel Avery to James Holden, expect this one to fly.
Aril Brikha/Deep’a & Biri
‘DAM (Akkord Remix)’ soundcloud.com/akkordmusik MANCHESTERbasstechnodeviantsAkkordhave been getting a lot of attention lately. Damn right too. Check this re-lick of ‘DAM’ off Djrum’s similarly great debut album ‘Seven Lies’, an ill collision of grime’s icy pulse, bone-dry synthetic percussion, pirate radio crackle and distortion, with slamming techno kicks and riffs. Utterly explosive, in the right hands this will have any floor in a mess of sweat and grins.
soundcloud.com/black-crow-records ATERRIFICdouble-headerfromIran-bornDetroit techno devotee Aril Brikha and Israel’s Deep’a & Biri.‘Ishtar’sees Aril in his most exuberant form forsometime,alushtrance-tingedcutofmelodic, warm analogue bass, oscillating frequencies and typically spacey washes of Motor City synth.‘Har Zion’fromDeep’a&Biriisamoresubduednumber, but no less effecting, a haunting, dubbed-out delight.The proceeds will be donated to an Israel/ Palestine peace project organisation, another reason, if you needed it, to pick this up. djmag.com.au
HOUSE REVIEWS me back to the Naked Music era or the early 2000’s. ‘Beat Within’ oozes sophistication and would slot very nicely in any early club set or uptown bar vibe. The ‘Alternative dub’ mix on the flip strips down the groove and hones in on a synth and vocal hook which delivers a great club ready mix.
Mihalis Safras ‘Crouton’ Lapsus Music
Supernova’s label, Lapsus has been churning out some fantastic releases lately and ‘Crouton’ continues the line of quality. Representing Greece, Mihalis is combining Old school garage and tech house here in a battle that ends in a delicious but dirty track. Woody bass and jacked up drums have the original standing out for me, but the Minota remix deserves a mention for those that prefer to get a little dirtier!
Lancelot feat Anthony & Cleopatra ‘Givin It Up’
Locally grown in Sydney, Lancelot’s epic piano house monster ‘Givin It Up’ feat the vocals of Anthony & Cleopatra, has already being doing the rounds with the biggest in the business. This is the ‘remixes’ release with the oh so hot right now, MK delivering his trademark midas touch. Isaac Tichauer & Nibc + Panda also serve up some reliable remixes, which help to make this record a must have. The pick on this release is the extended mix for me though, so props to Lancelot. With records like this, his career is just getting started !
Weiss (UK) Guitar Man Toolroom
Weiss (UK, yep you guessed it, he’s from the UK) has stormed onto the scene with a string of great releases and remixes on labels like Toolroom, Relief records and Kraftek. “Guitar Man’ uses delicate vocal cut samples combined with muted bass melodies, stab chords and a rolling groove that seems to effortlessly build into a deep house essential. I can already hear this getting a rinse in Miami and Ibiza.
record that doesn’t sit well with his intended audience. “Down To It” boasts his usual amazing synth work, which as a producer, leaves me scratching my head trying to work out how he ensures every element has it’s place. A cleverly filtered vocal sample lifts this track to bring it’s moody yet hypnotic chord’s out of the ‘too chilled to play to a club’ pile and straight to the peak time. Offering a ‘Deep and Salty’ mix on the flip, this ep is ripe for any tastemaker. The main mix is the heavy hitter for me.
‘That’s Real Muthafuckin Talk’ I’m A House Gangster
DJ Sneak’s imprint delivers a REAL release here from Miami’s Jesse Perez. Originally released in 2011 on Mr Nice Guy records, Jesse’s ‘Bump N Grind’ remix is already a party favorite for me. However the remixes should not be overlooked, with Sneak himself leading the charge with his trademark loop feel, and Paolo Rocco and Jay London adding a stripped underground take too. Real muthafuckin good.
Dutch outfit (not from Detroit!) are clearly taking the reigns of house music and giving it a slap on its ass. This is the first single from their debut album ‘Boxed Out’ which is due out on Dirt Crew recordings very soon. Mixing their renowned tech house energy with their deep house roots, this EP has landed into many big players charts already with support from the likes of Darius Surossian, Fred Everything, Grant Nelson, Dirt Crew, Sonny Fodera and more. Look out for the album, it’s FRESH !
Chilli Mint Digital
‘Huh What EP’
Rhemi Feat Cassius Henry Beat Within Rhemi Music
‘Down To It’ Salted Music
Soulful & Deep house legend Miguel Migs rarely puts out a 72
Rhemi has been chipping away at the soulful house market incredibly well the last 12 months. This release uses some lush vocals from Cassius Henry with some dreamy chords, which take
QUICKIES ‘About Jack Remixes’ Patryk Molinari ‘Addicted to The Vibe EP’ Material
After loving the vibe on the original, it’s great to see this get a re release with some huge remixes from Tapesh, Macromism and Sonny Wharton. 3 tech house stompers ready to get JACKED! Tapesh leading the way on this one.
‘Ready For Your Love’
A catchy vocal here with and a bass line ripped from some early garage days, takes this release straight to the pool parties in Miami, ready for the deep house fan’s. Flip to the ‘Dub’ Mix for my pick on this one.
Ritter Butzke Studio
German label Ritter Butzke Studio hit back with a great release from Patryk Molinari. “Addicted” kicks off the ep as a slow techno infused houser, great for those who love a drawn out groovy track. The b side, ‘Neon Vibe’ is my pick here though with a throbbing deep chord that takes me right to the opening parties in Ibiza.
The Black 80’s ‘Move on’ Freerange
Philadelphia’s Hollis P & Frank Julien team up as The Black 80’s moniker to deliver a sublime mix of electronica and deeper house with ‘Move On’. Beautiful synth work and low bit treatment on the vocals give this a haunting, but divine touch. Scan down to the b-side remix from Kollektiv Turmstrasse for the winner on this release.
‘Give You Ride EP’
Portugal’s latest party starter brings us a great little EP of nasty bass riff’s, hip hop vocals, and gritty synth builds. Hip House meets electro on this one, and prepare to get sweaty and comfortable to the people around you, cause this one will have you raving. A great release and I can see Daniel’s name rising up quickly if he keeps delivering these fun tracks and killer basslines. Get stuck in!
Dave Mayer - Strictly Rhythm 01. Chasing Kurt - From The Inside (Henrik Schwarz) [Defected] - Amazing remix by Henrik Schwarz. Great string section! 02. Crazy P - Clouds (Outboxx Remix) [Futureboogie Recordings] - Love this piano driven remix by Outboxx. 03. Sonny Fodera - The One (Original Mix) [Beatdown] - Totally forgot about this track till I heard it again during my Australia tour. Fun track.
04. Dave Mayer & Husky - Dreaming Of You (JKriv Remix) [Bobbin Head Music]
- Loved working on this track with Husky. Disco vibes on this mix by JKriv.
05. Rachel K Collier - Predictions (Billion Remix) [Strictly Rhythm] - Dope tune on Strictly Rhythm. A soulful build and heavy bass drop.
06. Soledrifter - No Holding Back [Salted Music] - Proper house grooves by Canada’s finest.
07. Husky, Dutchican Soul & Dave Mayer - Without You (Husky’s Bobbin Head Pass) [Beatdown]
Husky - email@example.com
- Sydney went crazy on this one! Superb remix by Husky.
08. Matthias Vogt - The Wobble Track [Large Music] - Subtle track with a crazy synth that makes a floor move. 09. Art Of Tones - Take Me Higher [We Play House Recordings] - Perfect oldschool deep house cut. Sidney Charles
10. Lars Behrenroth - Madness Last Night [Deeper Shades Recordings]
- Hypnotizing chords on this one.
QUICKIES Headman Relish EP V Relish
Right Action (Remixes) Domino
Future Disco 7 Sampler Future Disco
A collection of label classics reworked and reissued;includinggems from Unknown Cases, The Units and Gina X remixed by Red Axes and Headman.
Four-track primer for the latest instalment, featuring original tracks and remixes from Lukas, Mirror People and the Psychemagik boys.
Heart & Soul (Remixes) Herculean
9.0 Marking the swan song of Azari & III, the duo bow out with this killer disco mix of ‘Heart & Soul’. Backed with a cool, minimal wave/ pop version from D/R/U/G/S.
7.5 Label regular, Dinky, is back with some shimmering, noir-ish electro-pop backed with mixes from Gerd Jansen’s Tuff City Kids and Roman Flugel.
9.0 The band’s disco-inflected single of last year gets a vital remix revamp from Liv Spencer, Zero Set and the excellent Matias Aguayo. Still Going’s Liv Spencer shapes a bold disco beat out of the original version, and a no-wave inspired dub version. But the highlight this time comes from Cómeme boss, Matias Aguayo, who flips an icy cool, minimal wave tribute with sparse vocal touches and energetic drum fills. Zero Set closes with a dynamic, electrohouse interpretation.
The Beat Broker Tower of Power EP Bearfunk
8.0 A foray deeper into his Kosmiche conscience, this new EP outing from Ryan Bishop aka The Beat Broker journeys through the wires of cosmic disco and submersed house music. The release sees a remix from UK nu-disco duo, The Main Stem, who shake up the opiated mood and provide a little welcomed respite with some organic, percussive touches and curdled dub-disco effects.
Love Sublime feat Fiora & Nile Rodgers (Remixes) Virgin EMI
PHOTONZ UNKNOWN TO THE UNKNOWN 01. DA VINCI ‘Hiroxima (Meu Amor)’ Polygram
“Portuguese synth-pop with emotive melodies and love lyrics inspired by Alain Resnais’ Nouvelle Vague movie, Hiroshima, Mon Amour.”
02. HEROIS DO MAR ‘Amor (Parte I)’ Polygram
“Gigantic Portuguese new wave hit with an infectious discoid groove. They were initially ditched and unjustly called fascists for their use of national symbology just a few years after our shitty dictatorship ended in 1974.”
03. KASSAV ‘Lagué Moin’ FM Productions
“Unbelievable first track on the second album by the band that invented the Zouk style from the French West Indies — here still on early stages, seemingly inspired by disco and quite different from what it became later.”
04. JEAN-CLAUDE NAIMRO ‘Avèou Doudou’ GD Productions
“Zouk again a little bit later on, already fusing some of the musicianship with drum machines and ‘80s crystalline production. One of the gazillion solo records by members of Kassav.”
05. UP FRONT ‘Infatuation’ Silver Cloud Records
“Supposed to be a proto-freestyle tune; a sort of electroid boogie beat underneath candid lyrics about the superficiality of outer beauty. Absolutely infallible.”
06. CRUNCH ‘Funky Beat’ Style
“Know nothing about this other than that it’s a vicious tune with some of the craziest synths in disco, and that it was reissued by People’s Potential Unlimited.”
07. BRYAN FERRY ‘The Right Stuff (Dub)’ Virgin
“Brilliant dub version by The Latin Rascals of this late 80’s Bryan Ferry track.”
08. 400 BLOWS ‘Groove Jumping’ Illuminated
“Got it as a B-side track on their ‘Movin’’ 12”. Incredible drum-machine funk with a hypnotic slap-bass motif and glacial polyphonic synths.”
09. IRAKERE ‘Encuentro’ JVC
“A 1980 Cuban jazz-funk joint with an incredibly propulsive groove coming out of the bass and drums combo in the track.”
10. ANTÓNIO VARIAÇÕES ‘Dar e Receber’ EMI
“Arguably the greatest genius in Portuguese popular music, fusing post-punk and disco with more traditional singing styles in 1984 — great, timeless lyrics about giving and taking in the same measure still resonate hugely. His ‘Canção do Engate’ is my favourite, actually, but this one’s an underrated close second.”
In collusion with Nile Rodgers — the disco icon and recent Grammy winner —Tensnake turns in a snappy club moment for a selection of choice remixers. First up, Ewan Pearson provides three versions in remix, dub and instrumental format, exchanging Rodgers’ guitar licks for minimalsynth(esiser) phrases — all three sophisticated and effortlessly cool — throwing shade over the deliriously euphoric yet rather unappealing remix versions from Duke Dumont.
The Souls feat Bnann Tonight
Diamonds & Software
8.5 Diamonds & Software work a charming PR spin for this new one from The Souls ahead of its midFebruary release, “an apocalyptic love song for Valentine’s Day”. Penned by Nick ‘New Sins’ Philips, ‘Tonight’ is a haunting torch song that laments lost love, but eschews conventional gothic pop cliche, with treated string arrangments and unique vocal performances from Valerie Edmond and Bnann. Craig Bratley makes an appearence as remixer,
Psychemagik feat Renegade Black Noir Schwarz Crosstown Rebels
operating around his signature mid-tempo for a chugging, dark and broody club version.
Chris E Pants Hello?
The Nite Owl Diner
9.0 Operating under his new name Chris E Pants, Chicago-based DJ/ producer, Chrissy Murderbot, sets a debut release on his new label in motion. Partnering up with Alex Burkat of Mr Saturday Night and 100% Silk, their new venture, inspired by their after-hours scheming and general late-night indulging, delivers a vintage-style acid house bubbler; backed with Burkat’s dreamy, ultra-vivid deep house remix.
Never Enough (Remixes) Blitz Club
7.0 Steve Strange and co. revive their pioneering new-romantic outfit Visage again for a third single from their ‘Hearts and Knives’ album. This bombastic rock-disco affair, less the icy cool of what they were in the ‘80s pop charts, comes with a heavy payload of alternative remixes. Jon of the Pleased Women — legendary handbag house DJ of the mid ‘90s — drops a pulsating electro-disco version alongside a chugging, smacky techno mix from B.G. Baarregaard & Space Coast. The highlight, however, is a Moroder-inspired fix from the ever-excellent Bottin.
10 Psychemagik’s Danny and Tom have enjoyed no end of successes since the early days on labels such as History Clock. The duo strike gold with this killer debut for the mighty Crosstown Rebels, that’s been garnering a huge amount of exposure on Pete Tong’s show and the likes. As the title suggests, ‘Black Noir Schwarz’casts a shadowy mood — melodies are inspired by the East and Renata De Sutter’s vocal delivery is blacker than a starless night. To accompany,remixersTensnake and ex-Audio Bully, Mineo, wrangle the freaky synths into something equally special.
Man Friday feat Larry Levan Real Love
A classic Larry Levan production that, apparently, played out the closure of the lamented New York club, Paradise Garage, in the autumn of 1987. This sleazy, proto-house gem never officially had its much-needed release at the time until 2007 when NYC house stalwart, Nite Grooves, landed the tapes and did the right thing. Both cuts, ‘The Paradise Garage Mix’ and ‘The Choice Mix’ appear again as remastered versions. An essential part of disco’s lesser-known history. djmag.com.au
DAVID MCCARTHY firstname.lastname@example.org
into an exhilarating three-and-ahalf minutes.
Ministry of Sound
Body Work Records
Hey Now (Remixes)
3.0 They'reoneofthoseannoyinglycoy newbreedof'notquiteindie'mega successes that probably went to quite a nice school and always stroll into Brit Award nominations with debut releases. Apparently this is the first single release for the track that brought them to bloggers' attention online and has since had nearly four million plays. The Arty remix is the kind of bland big room stuff you'd expect, and the voice remains as annoying as ever.
Monsieur Monsieur Bromance #14 Bromance
United Sounds of Europe Superconscious/ Unterconscious Corsair Records
9.0 Two-and-a-half years after his last 'Moneyshot' Angel Tripudio returns to this page to effortlessly take the plaudits once again. Emulating his hero MrOizowithadeceptivelysimple but extremely catchy and clever aural assault, all the elements of 'Superconscious' are designedsothatitcanbeplayed backwards to be a standalone track in its own right, which gives us 'Unterconscious'. A maverickmasterstrokeshowing that dancefloor killers don't have to conform to any rules.
7.0 Claptone is another DJ/producer rocking the 'mask' look and he claims that "Over the years I've learned to affect every being on earthandtosynchronisethenoises and sounds (they produce). With my magic wand I now bring to life a universal orchestra and direct the world's unique soundtrack". In order to achieve this on 'Ghost' he uses the vocals of Alec Ounsworth from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! to great effect.
5.0 A free download from Crookers still gets plenty of attention as you can see from the SoundCloud 74
hitcount. Seems a bit of a drop from only a few years ago when a new track from them would have been a highlight of the month, though. As it stands 'Heavy' is a bit light on ideas, doesn't excite in the way you used to know a Crookers track would and doesn't add anything vital to their catalogue.
Hoshina Anniversary Unison
8.0 With previous outings on GND and nowreleasingonBNRTrax,Hoshina Anniversary obviously has great taste when it comes to choosing labels for his tunes. The Tokyobased DJ/producer comes up with another great four-tracker to mark the occasion, with 'Unison' giving a cleverly percussive techno taster to start things off. 'Extra' and 'Breakout' take things up a little whilst closer 'Catherine' adds some mutant funk to the proceedings.
Everybody (DPPLGNGRS Remix) Corsair Records
9.0 The eclectro dream team of IDC and DPPLGNGRS combine on a track that's featured in the film Make Your Move. DDPLGNGRS have the accolade of four electro 'Moneyshots' and IDC celebrates a decade of releasing music this year. The original 'Music of the Pyramids' version features on his second album and the remix radio edit here compacts all the best elements of 2014 cutting-edge eclectro/electro-tech dance music
7.0 Few details come with this release, other than Monsieur Monsieur are a duo, which seems a bit of a good name in that case. Not getting a load of blurb is good because your ears are the only things that can pass judgement, and in this case 'Lucid' and 'Anotheart' score high in the pounding, eclectro techno 2014 stakes, although both suffer a little from overlong breakdowns. Nothing a quick edit won't fix though.
7.0 Ok it's nothing you haven'theardbeforebut it ain't half done well. Loads of trad elements all come together for a hefty dancefloor killer.
7.0 Nicelyunderstateddebut on Body Work for Josh Doherty and Rich Bevan, who've got a CV that makesthemquiteacoup signing for the label.
Rät N FrikK
6.0 Something good from The Netherlands shock! Weird twisted subdubstep that steers far from heavy metal drops and lowest common denominator big room cliches.
6.0 Sounding a little like ''69 Police'-era David Holmes, this is an eclecticEPthatwillcome into its own when the suncomesoutagainand spring is in the air.
Yes Sensei EP Heroic
Nitemode & Sirkus Sirkuz Ravival
8.0 Under his Sirkus Sirkuz guise Decky Hedrock has been pumping out some great tracks recently, both as stand-alone releases and others in tandem with his various cohorts. Here he links up with Nitemode to deliver a slightly more traditional-sounding housey electro collaboration than some of hisotherrockerswhichhavegraced this page. But don't let that fool you as 'Ravival' certainly kicks it up in all the right places.
Turbo Turbo & S-File Contact GND
8.0 Two of the big names at GND collaborate on another stormer. Last time out their 'Refusion' biggie popped up in sets from the likes of Jacques Lu Cont, Soulwax, Djedjotronic and Fake Blood. 'Contact' is sure to find its way onto those same esteemed USB sticks andmore.Acidsquigglesoverhefty beats and housey stabs is a surefire recipe for a good review on this page, so here it is!
SPATIAL AWARENESS HOTTWERK RECORDS 01. SPLINTRD ‘Skyfall (DPPLGNGRS Remix)’ Hottwerk
“Fellow Hottwerkers DPPLGNGRS submerge in the depths of the talented SPLINTRd’s ‘Skyfall’ (not an Adele cover.)”
02. NAPALM & D-PHRAG ‘Eclipse (Spatial Awareness Remix)’ Stripped Recordings
“My own moody acid rework that’s been getting a lot of DJs very hot under the collar.”
03. M.U.I.R ‘Heat’ Deaf By Records
“This sublime 100bpm slab of electrodisco is one of the most amazing tracks I’ve heard in a long time. If you told me it was vintage Moroder, I’d have believed you.”
04. TENSNAKE ‘Love Sublime (Ewan Pearson Dub)’ Virgin EMI “Been loving Ewan’s work since the days of electroclash, never fails to impress.”
05. IDC ‘Everybody (DPPLGNGRS Remix)’ Corsair
“Our labelmates DPPLGNGRS again, this time with a SUPERDISCO workout, like Edwin Starr’s ‘Contact’ on steroids.”
06. AUTOKRATZ ‘Midnight Hearts (Aggborough Remix)’ Bad Life “Quite lovely dark electropop mangled at the darker end of the disco.”
07. MASON ‘Herd On the Scene’ Animal Language
“More silliness from those Mason boys and their menagerie of cartoon animals.”
08. DAVID BYRNE & BRIAN ENO ‘The Jezebel Spirit (ReEdit)’ CDR
“Never leave home without it. Carrying on the Levan legacy.”
09. SPATIAL AWARENESS ‘DeathKult’ Stripped Off
“Forthcoming psychedelic acid house odyssey from lil’ ol’ me. Tough and trippy.”
10. TRONIK YOUTH ‘Pain Relief (Kiwi Remix)’ NEIN
“Rising London wunderkind’s slowed-down sleazy take onTronikYouth’s new outing is electrodisco splendour.”
RICHARD BROPHY, email@example.com
QUICKIES Blue Hour
Reference 97 Blue Hour
7.5 ‘Reference 97’ manages the rare feat of sounding unlike most contemporary techno. The clue to this is in the title, with ‘Reference 97’ itself sounding like Oliver Ho’s tribal techno, while ‘Moments’ could pass for the Pacific label’s glacial sounds.
J Tijn ILGD
7.0 Newcomer J Tijn creates an unholy racket on 'Henry', as screeching sirens swoop in over
Apartment 06 Apartment
distorted kicks. The title track is slightly more restrained, but its building cacophony of shrieking riffs is reminiscent of Luke Slater’s remix of Beltram’s ‘Forklift’.
9.0 Full disclosure: this writer knows some of the people involved with this release, but don't let that put you off: the sixth Apartment remains an essential release. What makes this label so interesting is the fact that it keeps the listener guessing. Slowburn’s ‘Riders of the Sea’ is an uneasy soundtrack markedoutbyelectrodrumsandTheCyclist’s track is a grimy, crackling groove. The highlights, however, are the gentle keys and furious drums on New Jackson’s treatment of Tr One’s‘Viceroy 9-C’and the spiky, clattering rhythm and aggro bass on Superior Inferior’s ‘A Bit Much Confusion’. Unusual, unpredictable and brilliantly random.
Chlore EP Eshu
7.0 Dutch foursome Eshu delivers more quality off-beat techno. ‘Cesium’ is pared back with microscopic beats supporting insidious bleeps and ‘Mercury’ follows a similar path. Best of all though, is the tripped out, up-building groove of ’Sulphur’.
Scape One Planetoid
8.0 Kurt Baggaley is one of the UK’s mostexperiencedelectroproducers, but he divides his attention on ‘Planetoid’. ‘Right Ascension’ is a stripped-back house groove and the title track is a grimy acid number with a terse vocal about experiencing fear. That all said, Baggaley sounds at his most comfortable here when he explores expansive synth sounds and both ‘Europa’s Secret’and the ponderous bass of‘Distinct Century’are among the most memorable electro tracks you’ll hear this year — or any year.
ROBERTO FACHWERK 01. ROBERTO ‘Rings of Smoke’ Fachwerk
“This track features the mighty Envoy on vocals. It’s my debut release on Mike Dehnert’s Fachwerk label.”
02. VOISKI ‘Untitled’ Construct Re-Form
“Recorded live in Paris at the recent Construct-Reform label night. I was so blown away by the track I asked Voiski what it was. He said it was just something he came up with in the moment.”
03. ARNAUD LE TEXIER ‘Rotation’ Affin
“In my opinion, this is one of the best techno records I have heard in some time. I really love this track. It steadily builds up using a subtle spooky loop and is absolutely deadly on the dancefloor.”
04. BLUE HOUR ‘Axis Motive’ Blue Hour
“This is the second release by Blue Hour. Both so far have been exceptional! I love the raw feel to this.”
05. LOCOMATICA ‘Want Some Sparkles (Roberto Remix)’ LCMTC
“Another recent remix by myself, this time on LCMTC. I wanted to use elements from the original to create a moody number with a galloping groove.”
06. CHRIS MITCHELL ‘Eyedeal’ Unlearn
“I managed to pick a copy of this up recently in Eastern Bloc Records in Manchester. Apparently there are only 300 vinyl copies of it in the world.”
07. GARY MARTIN ‘Black Forest’ Teknotika
“This track may be 14-years-old, but it still sounds great! I found it whilst digging recently and couldn’t leave it alone. I love the tribal grooves in the track.”
08. CHRIS PAGE ‘Governor’ Micro.fon
“Chris Page and me go way back. He uses a lot of field recordings in his productions. If you listen closely, you can hear parts of a train he drives when he’s not making techno!”
09. QINDEK FEAT BUNZEN 107 ‘Intergalactic Light Ensemble’ Unreleased
“Qindek is a relatively unknown artist from Holland. His tracks are absolutely sublime and this is no exception!”
10. NIKOLA GALA ‘Take Me Away (Roberto Remix)’ Root50
“This is a remix I did for Alli Borem’s Root50 label. I have been a big fan of Nikola for some time so it was a pleasure to be able to put my stamp on one of his tracks.”
Time Will Tell Crème
8.0 Like his previous release on TLR’s label, on‘Time Will Tell’, UK producer Myriadd is hardly re-inventing the wheel. Inspired by classic Larry Heard as well as the primal funk of Ron Hardy and Adonis, tracks like ‘Forever Yours’ and ‘Golden Section’ succeed in striking a balance between this source material by fusing furious rhythm tracks with eerie, atmospheric synths. Unlike many of the Chicago-influenced releases doing the rounds, the arrangement and execution of ‘Time…’ is flawless.
Nocturnal Passions 2 Delsin
8.5 Delsin ventures into the farthest depths of deep space techno with this release. ‘Nocturnal Passions 1’ is led by waves of trancey synths and even some plink plonk beats, while Area 41 goes deeper on ‘Reminiscence’ and ‘Nocturnal Passions 2’. Both are dreamy, ambient excursions that unfold
gently but with that melancholic air thatDelsinreleasesaresynonymous with. The dramatic melodic twists and turns on ‘Isolated Soul’ round off a release that recalls the glacial ambient techno of Detroit Escalator Company.
Costelloe Solar Code Signal Code
8.5 This is Costelloe’s first release under his own name, and it sounds like he has spent years honing his craft. ‘Disparate Similar’ is a beautiful, atmospheric electro track, very much in the ERP mode, while‘Moon Transmission’lendssomedancefloor bias to Costelloe’s masterfully sleek synths via slinky drum patterns. The remixes are top-notch too; Simoncino drops the classic house fixation for a Detroit electro take on ‘Disparate Similar’, while Dublin house duo Slowburn deliver a sterner house version of ‘Moon Transmission’. Based on this release, Costelloe and his label are ones to watch.
8.0 Adam Rivet has built up a small but perfectly formed catalogue of trippy techno, but 'Bear Bile' sees him venture further down the wormhole than before. It begins so unobtrusively, with stepping rhythms and metallic drums, but then psychedelic synths swirl in menacingly and vocals like tortured souls trapped in a nightmare insinuate themselves into the foreground. By the time the earshredding electronic noise on ‘Part 2’ dominates the spectrum, your battered ears will be begging for the melodic release of ‘Part 3’.
Claw Eyes Semantica
7.5 It looks like Svreca’s label is going to continue in the same manner this year as in 2013, putting out a high volume of electronic music. What sets Semantica apart from other labels is its seeming disregard for dancefloorconstraints.Accordingly, this release from Singapore’s Xhin pays lip service to 4/4 workouts — in the shape of the bleepy rhythm of ‘Else’ — and instead features the subtle pitter-patter beats of ‘Claw Eyes’ and the majestic textures of ‘Curtain Cloud’.
Headless Horsemen 4
8.0 It’s another faceless (or should that be headless?) techno release, but this one twists and turns in a different manner to most. ‘Legend’ features some haunted vocals amid its tough tribal rhythms and ‘Execution’ is a dramatic, stepping affair. Ancient Methods also deliver a crossfader and buzzsaw-bassheavy take on ‘Legend’.
Juju & Jordash Waldorf Salad Dekmantel
8.0 Berlin gets all the hype, but the truth is that Dutch labels have put out far more impressive music in the past few years. Dekmantel is a good example;theyreleasedAmsterdambased Juju & Jordash’s excellent ‘Techno Primitivism’album and now release ‘Salad’. ‘Third Planet From Altair’ starts with jittery, spacey synths before being led by crashing beats and raucous percussion. The title track is brighter, more melodic and upbeat, but it too is underpinned by a psychedelic sensibility. djmag.com.au
DRUM & BASS REVIEWS
WHISKY KICKS firstname.lastname@example.org
QUICKIES Eastcolours Electronica
7.0 These guys are gonna be busy this month with a release on Program as well as this rolling, techy smasher. 'Electronica' feels like a sci-fi soundtrack, its itchy beat dowsed in special effects.
Ivy Lab feat Frank Carter III Missing Persons Critical
10 The name Ivy Lab has become synonymous with sheer perfection. The tracks are as enchantingly beautiful and as scientifically precise as the outfit's signature would suggest. This gloriously divine piece sees the trio again collaborating with the transcendental voice of Frank Carter III to heavenly effect. This stunning liquid roller will warmly wrap around and entangle itself into every element of your body and soul. The rest of the EP offers experiments with acid tech and crunk, and features the mighty Emperor. You can't miss this one.
Amit feat Rani
I'll Cut You Down AMAR
9.5 This is a predatory, marauding track. The tribal rhythm lurks with primal beauty; like a sultry killer cat, the beat prowls slowly with hidden intent to devastate. The seductively savage atmosphere is only heightened by Rani's hypnotising vocal. This track is sexy and decadent, with an eerie layer of carcinogenic malice creating the irresistible feeling that listening is some kind of forbidden fantasy. A potent and poisonous work of art from Amit.
Mako, DLR, Villem & Ant TC1 Hungry For Atmosphere Metalheadz
9.0 ’Headz kick off the year with an exciting collab, featuring a quartet of the scene's finest 76
talents, and we expect nothing less from a collective of this calibre. Cool as a cucumber, this track oozes class, and clocking in at over seven-and-a-half minutes it takes a full and thorough opportunity to weave itself in and out of the different styles which dominate the deeper end of the spectrum, as well as the different flavours of each contributor.
9.5 Horizons and Nitri is always a combination set to cause a stir. Gearing up for the release of his debut album, he picks up the pace once again with the help of the vocal talents of Wednesday Amelia. Her smooth tone ties silkily with the sensual sax notes in the intro and break, lending to the classic jazzy vibe of our Brazilian brother, which is sumptuously layered with a dark, warm and ubiquitous lowend rumble.
8.0 Wow! This one is different. 'False' is a mass of juxtaposed sounds, synths and strings that are so jarring it's completely impossible to hear how these pieces fit together. This atmospheric soundscape is colossal and brings a cinematic quality in the way of sfx and size. The vigorous drums are harsh and uncompromising, and the entire track beautifully bleeds ferociousness. This track is dark and emotional, willing you to get lost in its shadowy depths.
Silent Witness Arc Light Dispatch
8.0 Haunting and techy with a hard-hitting, steppy, rolling beat. It's got Dispatch stamped all over it. Starting its life with a twinkling, sombre intro, a loud cargo train shuttles by dropping off some of its glitchy, blobby load before the track bursts with an understated drop. This track is fierce, frantic and frenzied without feeling too violent and threatening.
sound, mixed with the classic Lynx "can't help but dance" pumping beat.
Safire, Amoss feat Gusto 4th State (Icicle Remix) Plasma Audio
8.0 A fast, rolling, techy Icicle remix featuring lyrical hype from Gusto — great little number Lynx to launch new label Take Back The Night Ram Plasma Audio. This is 8.0 a dancefloor destroyer with the added benefit If you've been anywhere near a drum of repeated subliminal & bass rave ever, you advertising, see how would have no doubt many times you can heard one of this man's count the word plasma creations. Not afraid to being chanted. tread new waters, this release sees a move to a more bubbly, poppy
Taxman Rebirth Playaz
8.0 From the intro, fans of the dark dancefloor master Taxman may wonder where it's going. Unlike anything we've heard from the Playaz veteran before, this sunnier, more melodic track could signal the start of a career moving more towards the crossover edge of d&b, if the lyrical content is anything to go by, reminding us to "keep moving on". An unexpected move from Taxman that works very well.
New Drums VIP
Bad Taste Recordings
7.5 'Levels' is a selection of three releases that each comprises one deep track, a collab, a track designed for the dancefloor and a non-d&b track; together, the three 'Levels' are well-rounded and representative. 'New Drums VIP' is a brooding piece with pounding drums, heavy bass and scratches of tech with a half-time dubstep-inspired breakdown.
SAFIRE & FINNA PLASMA AUDIO 01. GAMMA ‘2012’ Plasma Audio
“The stripped-back analogue beat and warped vocal catches you from the first listen.”
02. CRUEL CULTURE & KEOSZ ‘Threat’ Plasma Audio “Minimalistic deepness with attitude, this is a sick tune!”
03. IVY LAB ‘Live On Your Smile’ Critical
“Ivy Lab can’t do much wrong at the moment. This one is a favourite at the moment, playing it every set.”
04. GAMMA ‘Chavland’ Plasma Audio
“A monster roller, rounding off a killa selection for Plasma 001.”
05. ICICLE FEAT SKITTLES ‘Untitled’ Shogun “Coming soon on Shogun, it’s a hurter!”
06. SAFIRE, AMOSS FEAT GUSTO ‘4th State (Icicle Remix)’ Plasma Audio
“Neuro synths drop after the Gusto intro and it’s all over, massive remix from Icicle!”
07. KOLECTIV ‘Call State’ Proximity Recordings
“Sick roller this one, lots of space in the tune keeps it nice and tight.”
08. FUTURE GHOST ‘Blue Eyes’ Soul Deep Exclusives
“All about the vocal on this beat, hits the chord nicely for me!”
09. ETHERWOOD ‘Begin By Letting Go’ Hospital
“Another tune all about the male vocal intro, tidy beats run it through to the end.”
10. BREDREN ‘Pestilence’ Proximity Recordings
“This half-speed monster gets a play every time from me!”
BREAKBEAT/BASS MUSIC REVIEWS
CARL LOBEN, email@example.com
QUICKIES Elite Force
Freaky-Looking Motherf**kers Bandcamp
Shack has been making someofhisrecentrevamps available via the pay-whatyou-like Bandcamp, and this rolling slice of breaksy techno builds like a pressure cooker on acid. A total weapon — seek it out.
Shadow Boxing (Om Unit Remix) 31 Records
The bassline to end all basslines on the drum & bass original of this Doc Scottmasterpieceremains the centrepiece of this echoing, restrained dubwise steppa from Om Unit. The original still sounds amazing, too.
Jem Stone vs Plump DJs
Flunk Hits the Flan free download
The former Soul of Man producerandFingerLickin’ kingpinrevisitsthedecadeold Plumps disco-funk cut (Finger Lickin’ 41, B-side of ‘The Gate’) and remodels it for nu-funk floors. James Brown would get down to this funky shit!
Happy People Punks
JFB vs Public Enemy
Bring the Wobble (DJ Chamber Mash-Up) free download
The jaunty electro-swing cut from ace turntablist JFB is mashed together withPE’sawesomehip-hop killer ‘Bring the Noise’. An unlikely combo, but it works. Ends up sounding like Gorillaz.
Special Request vs Akkord Lockjaw/Destruction Houndstooth
9.0 First up, Akkord take the low-slung rinsing Amens and depth-charged bassline of the ‘Lockjaw’ original and refract them through their sonically minimalistic sound design palette. All harmonic bass tones and oblique beats, it’s only two-and-a-half minutes in that some breakbeats are detected. Strictly for heads. For ‘Destruction’, Woolford dirties up the Akkord original with scattered hyperkinetic breaks, holographic waveforms,neowhitenoiseandthen a fantastic acid bassline that writhes like a cobra in the grassy verge. Bass and breaks as art.
Drop the Funk Jam City
01. ANDY MCALLISTER ‘Boooshka!’ Ground Level
“If only Andy had more time for his original output, the world of bass would be a better place. I present here the evidence!”
02. REBEL SKETCHY FEAT BUKUE ONE & AGNE MOTIE ‘So It Goes’ Ground Level
“Brilliant to work with Bukue One again, and Agne injected her vocal with real beauty.”
03. KWERK ‘Vandalism’ Benefit Recordings
“When this one hits the stores, dancefloors won’t know what hit ‘em!”
04. CIRRIUZ FEAT STEPHANIE KAY ‘Sunata (Rebel Sketchy Remix)’ V.I.M. Records
“The way the crowd reacts to this lights me up!”
05. MOL, SQL ‘Frogs & Toads (Miles Dyson Breakfest Makeover)’ DNCTRX
“The perfect antidote to the current surge of soulless big room bangers littering the scene.”
06. WOZ ‘Pour Me 1’ free download
“Cheeky samples and an infectious groove, not to mention the fact it’s free on SoundCloud. Awesome.”
07. LUNATHICS ‘Sherry’ Fantomas Records
“Funky breaks, the very definition. Just try and keep your feet still!”
08. KID PANEL ‘Kiddin the Hype — Synthetic Hype’ Diablo Loco “A future funk bomb.”
09. LEE COOMBS ‘Lilly In the Sky’ Lot 49
“Can’t keep a good man down. Lee delivers yet again.”
10. ZAP! POW! DIE! ‘Bounce (Fuck That Mix)’ Ground Level “I was late to discover this mix, and I can’t get enough of it.”
Take the Dancefloor/Work It Out iBreaks Bass
6.5 ErikWavewhorefirstsentthesetracks overlastSeptember,butthenrecalled them for further tweaking before this release on iBreaks Bass. ‘Take the Dancefloor’ is a straight-up melodic techy breaks track with good energy and a ragga MC sample, dropping down into a dubwise skank in the middle before kicking back in. ‘Work It Out’ is a bash at old skool heaven, although the hoover synths and bangingbreakbeatsdon’tleavemuch room for the track to breathe.
Ride Wit Me/Machine Gun On the Rise
UKIP and the Tories may spew hate about Eastern Europeans, but this page loves ‘em — especially the devotion to breaks of a sizeable portion of da youth. Eli Crust is from Belarus, and on ‘Ride Wit Me’ enlists the expert mic skillz of SirReal from the Dub Pistols and MC Manners to flow over a dirty, grimey metallic breakbeat beast. Burnt B from Germany adds more stutters and lightens the beats on his rework, while ‘Machine Gun’ cocks more of a booty electro trigger. Dr Verbel, also from Belarus, delivers a bouncy techfunk overhaul.
Cut La Roc
REBEL SKETCHY GROUND LEVEL
Here’s someone else with da funk — Monsieur A.Skillz. Don’t know where he digs out these funky-assed female vocals from, but here he builds‘Drop theFunk’aroundasuperblyfull-of-life funk-soul vox. It starts with an almost electroswingtrumpetflourishbefore nestling into an electro-funk groove, and is totally an A.Skillz nu-funk cut — with bollocks. ‘Let’s Go’ on the flip is more of a hype jump-up funk piece that’ll bounce up a crowd nicely.
Side To Side/Bounce
7 It’s nearly 20 years since Aquasky signedtolegendaryd&blabelMoving Shadow for their early jazzy jungle productions, before moving into tear-out breakbeat territory and then the electro/breaks/anything of recent years. ‘Side To Side’ here is a total freewheeling party tune, MC Daddy Freddy helming it on the mic to inject hype energy into the cut. A ground-out b-line and some fine electronic bounce leads nicely into ‘Bounce’, more of a half-time steppa that features Lex One enticing the dancefloor to “Bounce”.
Sunday Morning People Rocstar
8.5 This funk jam from Rocstar bossman Cut La Roc really recalls those heady big beat days of the late ‘90s. You could imagine Jon Carter or Fatboy Slim dropping this early on at the Heavenly Social or Big Beat Boutique, populated as it is by an exalted, joyous soul/funk female vox. Herbgrinder turns it into a slightly acidic beatsy thang, Roast Beatz chill it right down to hip-hop tempo, and Fonkynson remakes in slo-mo headnod style. All about the original.
The Stantons claim they heard this on pirate radio and had to track it down, which is a plausible spin — although they probably just know Pirate Jams anyway. Hervé, perhaps? Whoever it is, this happytunewiththeoldskoolflava is totally doing it for these ears. Tons of old skool elements — Gat Decor washy synths, LFO bleeps, a wailing Baby D-style diva, lowslungScientistbreakbeats,anMC’s “Oh my gosh!” and so on — are combined into something new, fresh and vital. As the vocal says, it recalls the “warehouse days of glory”. Justin Harris from Freaks turns it into a wiggly acidic 4/4 technoid piece, and Howla slows it to a half-time dubsteppa.
Rebel Sketchy So It Goes
7.5 The Sketchster rolls out a dub version (minus Bukue One) of the second single from his varied ‘Goodbye Gravity’ album, and it’d make for a good early doors DJ tool — replete as itiswithgrowlybass,elongatedsynth chords and a fizzy electronic topline. Bert On Beats turns in a totally tropicalhyped-uprevamp,pineapple beats and cocktail synth fillips supplying the jaunt, while KWeRK makes it into a straight-up psy-tinged breaks track.
Sub Tone/Subliminal Gain Ground Level
2.0 Here comes DJ Hero with some more workmanlike breakbeat tracks. ‘Sub Tone’ is pivoted around an unattractive, blurting synth stab before it gets its trancey nuances going. Verily, this is almost as bad as the cheesiest EDM — and that’s saying something. ‘Subliminal Gain’ actually seems to be aimed at EDM floors, but is executed terribly at first before the centrepiece redeems it somewhat. Avoid.
OLI MARLOW, firstname.lastname@example.org
8.0 TheWelshproductionduoDarkhouse FamreturntoEarnestEndeavoursfor their second EP outing. Admittedly utilising a lot of the same production techniquesthatmadethemjumpout so large the first time round, that’s precisely what’s so pure and heavy about beats like ‘Brockwild’ and ‘Elephant Large’. They’re not rocket science,buttheybangsogorgeously that they become rewarding in a higher way, kinda like how it feels reading a book on the bus every morning.
Trust Again (Remixes) Local Action White
Pinch & Mumdance
Osiris Music UK
9.0 If making an initial impression was still as important to people in this age of obsessive oversharing, I feel like I’d actually care about certain dudes more. But regardless of my own relationships, making that first impressionisobviouslysomething that’s still important to Wertheimer, whose 'Brandished EP' wields the most strikingly constructed debut five minutes I’ve heard in ages; full of brutal Emptyset-esque skull-crushing sine waves and ingenious drum evolutions.
Girls of the Internet Prostate Exam
West Norwood Cassette Library
8.0 ThesomewhatanonymousGirlsofthe Internet — there’s no concrete proof as to their sexuality or even if there’s more than one of them — hit out with a rather explosive four-tracker on one of South London’s strongest imprints, West Norwood Cassette Library. Stringently analogue and touching on acid elsewhere, it's the opener, ‘Prostate Exam,’ that's the most rugged, its lopsided synth lines dissipating in the wake left by the combusted flam of the kick drum.
Niche & Bump
8.5 The first release from one half of the Manchester based Swing Ting duo, Samrai, is surfacing on the WIFEY affiliated Niche & Bump label. The djmag.com.au
Y MONET !
reasonI’vename-checkedthosetwo club nights in the opening sentence will become more than apparent if you hear the thing out — it’s so perfectly constructed with big rigs in mind. With ‘Concrete Riddim’s punishing dancehall double pump supporting ‘Problematic Riddim’s awkward buoyancy perfectly, there’s a whole lot to love.
Enlisting producers like Rabit, Inkke, Compa and Major Grave to remix DJ Q & Louise Williams' ‘Trust Again’ was always going to yield pretty drastic results, but it's testament to their individual outlook that the approaches all bear discussing. Rabit’s hard strung 8-bar punch, Inkke’s orchestral pomp, Compa’s levitating bass weight and Major Graves' show-stopping see-sawing mid-range riffery all factor the original differently. I'm still not sick of the vocal after repeated listens either.
8.0 As tepid and radio-friendly as the deep house boom has become of late, there’s still producers whose work stands out by a country mile. Without trying outwardly to do him a disservice with that introduction, Max Graef’s music still tugs at the very same heart strings, but the fact that he manages to so adeptly mangle swirling jazz samples and galloping percussion makes you smile while he does it, is worth every decimal point.
Tax Haven 3
7.0 Actress’ 'Ghettoville' would prove to be a mythologically-sizedbeast to follow for any label, but Giganta’s hard flexing vocalchop-fleckedtechno does well to reset theWerk Discs palette. Five tracks of interesting playing, machinemanipulationand colour.
Akkord vs. Special Request Remixes
8.5 Following on from the ‘HTH vs. HTH’remix project at the end of last year, the end product of two of Houndstooth’s most pronounced artists of 2013 (Akkord and Special Request) remixing each other hits wax with pretty spectacular results.
6.5 The Portuguese Iberian label return after a period of radio silence with 'Tax Haven 3', a four-track vinyl that features variations on thedancefloorthemefrom Photonz, Cauto and Niño, andacausticdubhighlight from Bass Clef.
Always Greener WotNot Music
6.0 Personally I’ve always felt like Deft dilutes how good he is by trying to be a master of numerous styles all at once. And yeah I knowhownarrow-minded that statement sounds, especially when you considerhowneatenedup his new EP for WotNot is.
9.0 Havingalreadycollaboratedlastyear, Tectonic boss Pinch and Londoner Mumdancereturnwithaduoofheavy set cuts that are purpose rigged for bass-bins. Like a lot of Pinch’s music, the proof is in the low-end and both ‘Turbo Mitzi’and‘Whiplash’work the lower frequencies superlatively, but it’s the unique lead lines and open hats of the A-side that stand out the furthest,pushingthatdubstepdread into welcome new directions.
The Force EP
If you haven’t being paying all that much attention lately there’s been a real furtive pocket combining the meticulous frequency techniques of dubstep and the drive of techno, of which the Osiris Music label has become a bit of an epicentre. Sleeper’s latest seven-track EP explores the different poles of that design neatly with four drum-heavy cutsandthreeverybreathyindustrial dronescapes all built out of the same caustic palette.
DJ Q LOCAL ACTION 01. FLAVA D ‘In the Dance’ Formula
“2014 is going to be Flava D’s year, especially if she keeps coming with bangers like this one.”
02. PVC ‘She Can Get It’ Q Recordings
“Defintely one for the club, this hits hard on big speakers.”
03. DROP LAMOND ‘Feeling High feat Ruby Wood’ HK Records
04. FOAMO ‘Rep Your Manor’ Unreleased
7.0 I’ve got a lot of time for Spare and for the Coyote label in general, considering how they’ve taken a very personal approach to releasing grime music on vinyl. Knowing all that though, it really feels like they’re trying to balance Spare’s music across the four tracks. The darker cuts like ‘1BLT’ and ‘Boss Hog’ may contrast with the meandering synths of ‘Glide’, and the oddly-titled ‘Venom’, but the raw stuff completely outshines the melodic ones, and then some.
“Great vocals and wicked production from Drop Lamond, who’s also doing some decent stuff as part of Billon.”
“This track is in every one of my sets.”
05. DISCLOSURE ‘January feat Jamie Woon (Kaytranada Edition)’ PMR
“I’m a big fan of Kaytranada at the moment. I knew straight away it would be fire.”
06. DJ Q FEAT KAI RYDER ‘Be Mine’ Local Action
“The next single from my debut album. One of my personal favourites.”
07. KATY B ‘Cry For No Reason (Tom Shorterz Remix)’ Rinse “House, garage or whatever you call it... this is banging!”
08. ROUTE 94 FEAT JESS GLYNN ‘My Love (Royal T Remix)’ Rinse “Reminds me of the bassline house scene up north at its very peak. Very serious!”
09. DJ Q FEAT LOUISE WILLIAMS ‘Trust Again (Major Grave Remix)’ Local Action White
“I find myself playing this one forgetting it’s actually a remix of one of my songs.”
10. LINDEN JAY FEAT RUBY WOOD ‘Break the Hold (Cause & Affect Remix)’ RME Records
“The Midlands pair twisted an already big track and made it even bigger.”
MARKLE 58a Tetherdown, London, N10 1NG
QUICKIES Know V.A. Juice (Plastician Remix) White
6.5 A plasmatic, oozing remix by Thornton Heath's prodigal son hypnotises with a deceptively beguiling arpeggiated melody line and suffocating atmospherics. Woozy.
Titus 1 feat Terri B Set Me Free (Calverton Remix)
remix from Calverton, featuring an equally unoriginal vocal line from Terri B, but nothing to get too offended by.
7.0 Head straight for the Om Unit remix of 'Nuthin But A B Thang' for the usual master-class in beat science with an understated feel.
5.0 A well done, if a little dubstep-by-numbers
Pinch & Mumdance Turbo Mitsi Tectonic
9.0 If Battlestar Galactica were to crash into the U.S.S. Sulaco, the ensuring clusterfuck would probably sound like this. Mental, cold as a vacuum and crawling with things that would peel your skin off with a wink. So, with that in mind, tootle off to your local vinyl emporium and spend your hard-earned post-Xmas wages on this Andromedean bomb.
Need A Refix White
7.0 A nifty little whitey from Finland’s Teeth aka Twwth sees him get all booty bassalicious. ‘Need A Refix’ aches old skool electro motion but with a rootical twist, like Bambaataa doing one drops with Tubby. ‘Ima Drop Two’ cranks up the melon-squishing barometer with a relentless oscillating motif that bores right into your psyche.
Lost in the Internet EP Disciple Records
2.0 DidsomeonepersuadeWheatusto reform, but tossed out the jangly guitars for overly emo-dubstep? If not, call ASCAP, someone’s sampled yo ass on 'Chasing Ghosts'. 'Dial Up' and 'Keyboard Killer' could so nearly have been a 80
tiny shining light, but nope, they too descend into shite synths and that typical dubstep motif that anyone who liked dubstep from 2009 onwards copied and hasn’t stopped using.
Tax Haven 3
7.0 A lot can happen in three years, especially in music, and luckily Iberian and the artists contributing here have happened too — stand up Photonz, Cauto, Nino and the perpetually inmotion Bass Clef. Oddly, the two standout tracks (there are eight in total) don’t feature on the vinyl version of this EP, but hey ho. Check 'Love at Last Sight' and 'Cachilheiro' for some uptempo polyrhythmic chorizo chopping bass troubling.
Step One EP Never Say Die
7.0 I’ve never been a big fan of the previous output on NSD, most of it is terrible emo-popstep. But they have hit on something of a rough gem with Laxx. ‘Step One’ has been garnering big plays from the radio and DJ cognoscenti alike, and for good reason — it’s a tough tearout dancefloor trap bomb. The rest of the EP stands up to scrutiny too. File alongside Bauuer and Diplo.
I Need You
Ten Thousand Yen
8.0 Move over Disclosure, Bodhi are right up your arse like a hungry ferret in a rabbit hole. Yes, big soulful house music done right and respectfully, and beautifully presented by those Welsh rascals Daneeka and Yeti. ‘I Need You’ is the biggy, a diva sampling beast (Loleatta perhaps?) that hits all the right receptors without being overdone. ‘Wuh’ is the joint for me though, a low-slung moocher with '90s panache for the heads-down crew.
01. THELEM ‘Haunted Harmonics’ Artkical Music
04. TMSV ‘The Cosmonaut’ Artikal Dub
8.0 'Vectors' is an apt name for the angular, mathematical progeny incumbent on this four-track EP. Leading the Pythagoras charge is Objekt’s 'Balloons', which does less floating and more deafening crunchy white noise feedback with Mach-10 basslines. Joe Farr and J.Tjin get superbly funkified in the adjacent techno realm, along with the brutalist square root of Positive Merge’s ‘Note’. Leaving An-I to square things off with ‘Convo’, a Sumerian times-table recorded on a Fisher Price toy. Bonkers.
THELEM ARTIKAL MUSIC “My first release of 2014, a grimey stepper laced with arps, textures, plenty of sub and a switch up that hits you by surprise.”
02. COMMODO ‘F**k Mountain’ Dub
“Gritty bassline business with a twist, hip-hop-inspired drums and groove with Commodo’s signature style and sounds.”
03. SAM BINGA & REDDERS ‘Lef Dem’ Critical Music
“Huge uptempo stomper infused with different styles, topped off with heavyhitting vocals that go hand in hand with this monstrous tune.”
“Love the vibes on this one, a deep spaced-out halfstep that lures you in with haunting lead lines, rolling hat patterns and ethnic-style instruments that put the icing on the cake.”
05. COLECO ‘Spatial’ Lightless Dub
“A heavy-hitter hybrid 170bpm tune that always sets the dancefloors off. Huge drums, booming 808s and a groove that ties it all together perfectly.”
06. THELEM ‘Forces of Nature’ Artikal Dub
“Half-time drum & bass bit from myself, pounding resonant 808s with twisted-up percussion, breaky edits and some sound design that connects the dots.”
07. LAS ‘Malfunktions’ System Music dub
“Can’t go wrong with this massive tune. Stepped-out groove that gets the head nodding, complemented with tight percussion licks and a digital arp(ish) sound that takes you on a journey through space.”
08. HOMEMADE WEAPONS & GREMLINZ (FEAT COLLINJAH) ‘After Dark (J Kenzo Remix)’ Samurai Music
“A huge dreaded-out remix from the man like J:Kenzo. A massive tune all round with a thumping bassline that get the subs rattling and vocals that will have you singing along in the dance.”
09. KID DRAMA ‘In Mind’ Exit Records
“An awesome piece of music in my opinion, there’s something about the‘80sstyle pads and leads that just grab me with a nostalgic feel.”
10. STRAY ‘Matchsticks’ Exit Records
“Been loving this tune for a while now, love the hip-hop-inspired vibe with the synth lines and the tight sampling on the vocals. Overall a really catchy tune.”
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TIM STARK PO Box 272, Oxford, OX3 8FJ prog themes in unexpected places, and great verve to its final attacking riff.
Giuseppe Ottaviani feat Alana Aldea Heal This Empty Heart Black Hole Recordings
8.0 Following the ‘Magenta’ album’s vocal > instrumental > vocal singles pattern, this one could arguably have been shuffled up the queue some. More lyrically striking than ‘Give Me’ or ‘Love Will Bring’ even, Aldea’s vocal broods plenty, pouring real emotion into ‘Heal’s core. Giuseppe’s production works just fine, but among a bevy of remixes, it’s the thrust of John O’Callaghan’s that find the floor mark quickest.
Johann Stone Volcano
Wake Your Mind/Armada Music
Y MONET !
Smoke Machine Fraction Records
9.0 Sometimes, in trance, artistic originality, production nuance or lyrical profundity must take a backseat to a good old trainer-trashing, t-shirt-tugging, in-the-thick-of-it banger. ‘Smoke Machine’ is just such a track. Every single beat, sound, sequence, FX tweak and note arrangement shows a zealot-like commitment to the cause of uplift. Hot like a Carolina Reaper, when its leadline screams in (for scream it does), expect shortness of breath to occur.
Fabio XB & Christina Novelli Back To You DS-R
9.0 Ace-ing a Future Favourite win on ASOT on its first week out there, ‘Back To You’ is where Fabio & Christina collectively exorcise the ‘Concrete Angel’ ghost. Fabio’s production gets deep down and tech dirty, fraying and distorting its synthsinelec-trancefashion.Ceding toanelegantlysimple/devastatingly effective bass, drum and perc pattern, it allows Christina’s lyrical poignancy and vocal captivation to become the track’s fulcrum.
Shiva’s India (Astral Projection Remix) TIP Records
8.0 1200 Mics is Goa’s SHM — a supergroup, comprised of Dutch 82
duo GMS, TIP owner Raja Ram and Simon ‘Hallucinogen’/ ‘Shpongle’ Posford. Their ‘Shiva’s India’ falls into the remix clutches of Astral Projection who frankly have a field day buffing, bleeping, 303-ing, bass shaking and generally shining up the 10-year-old speaker stress-er. Best bit: the intoxicating floaty flute drops, courtesy of, we’re guessing, Raja himself.
9.0 With wind back in his sails after last summer’s wonderful ‘I Dive’, Yahel returns with ‘Dune’. Lacking the angelic hail of ‘Dive’s vocal hook, he ensures the rest of its content works doubly hard to make up. Well rigged on the darkly engaging trance-prog platform, its immaculately swept synth whooshes, the equatorial thunder of its Goa b-lines and the super-delayed, tripped-out chimes all work their sub-tropic magic.
Radiate/Aquarius VANDIT Records
7.5 Tangle has been putting out some very respectable tunes of late, not least his recent outing on Fraction. Showing consistency, this EP for VANDIT steps up again. ‘Radiate’ comes bathed in refined pads, chords and plucked strings, before whipping in an angle grinder of an electro line at the break’s peak. ‘Aquarius’ is more fluid, with trance-
Title your track ‘Volcano’, you’d better make sure the sparks fly. With the brio of its straight-to-the-punch booming set-up, that’s something unlikely to trouble Mr. Stone. Without succumbing to buttonpushing EDM FX, nor pitch-bending warp,eruptionsoccurwellwithinthe first third. Cannily playing chiming melodica off against naggingly effective stabby sequences, its airborne synths induce ‘full Vesuvius’!
QUICKIES Juventa & Speed Limits Xperience
7.5 Judging how much of a US twist you can grind on your production without losing your trance soul is a frontline issue at the moment. Juventa & Speed Limits get it bang on the money here.
Mike Saint Jules Flying Saucer/The Final Frontier In Trance We Trust
8.5 When M.S.J. is in the zone, there’s few In Trance We Trust-ers who can touch him. Both tracks here are immense; it's only the dramatic elation of ‘The Final Frontier’s riff that edges it out in front.
Zen Freeman feat Paul McKenna The Hypnotist (Remixes) Magik Muzik
6.0 Alex O’Rion and ReZone remix this you-couldn’t-
make-it-up collaboration between English ex-pat Zen Freeman and Paul McKenna (yes, that one). Arguably the real definition of Pure Trance!
Christopher Lawrence The Dark
7.0 Ballistic bass, speedway tempo, bubbling acid, whip-cracking effects, all swept along by loads of deeplysonorousFXsounds and a vocal that intones "You’re not afraid of the dark, are you?" I wasn’t… till now.
Thomas Datt & Magnus Binary Complex Borderline Music
8.0 Thomas Datt knows how to keep his production componentsunderstated, whilst still generating excitement levels no more than 10 percent of other tracks enjoy. ‘Binary Complex’ is but another fine example.
8.0 Balearically cut trance from closer to the equator (Spain to be exact), ‘Sequences’ does make you wait for its thermals to rise, imposing plenty of bassy shudder and proggy murk front end. Patience is rewarded though as it contrasts and equalises in the break, drifting in the pads and warmer sounds and consolidating with a peach of a super-string and side-chain compression stoking euphorics.
Silent Treatment Subculture
8.0 Out for a while, ‘Silent Treatment’ is proving durable in the disc wallets of DJs. All the Irishman’s core track skins are here — lusty tempo, superstring vigour and bass belligerence are as ever superbly arranged and mixed. It’s the newer elements that impress most, though. Intricate sub-melodies engage and, as it tops out at the drop’s end, the rawk-ish ‘cooooome on’ shout brilliantly spikes its punch.
PHOTOGRAPHER WHO’S AFRAID OF 138?! 01. ARMIN VAN BUUREN ‘Save My Night’ Armind “Sure shot in my sets lately. Massive tune!”
02. JORN VAN DEYNHOVEN ‘New Horizons’ ASOT “An anthem tune, as it should be.”
03. ALY & FILA FEAT SUE MCLAREN ‘Mysteries Unfold’ FSOE “Massive one from the best uplifting team in the world.”
04. ARMIN VAN BUUREN ‘Who’s Afraid of 138!? (Photographer Remix)’ Who’s Afraid of 138!? “I felt truly honoured to be asked to remix Armin van Buuren.”
05. SEAN TYAS ‘Now You See’ Tytanium “Much requested in my sets.”
06. MAX GRAHAM & MARTIN DE JONG ‘Lekker’ Re:Brand “Have you heard this one in the big room? Massive!”
07. WOODY VAN EYDEN ‘Saripadanisa (Bjorn Akesson Filthy Mix)’ FSOE “Massive original was remixed into something more banging.”
08. DRIFTMOON ‘Howl At the Moon’ Pure Trance “Definitely Pure Trance!”
09. AMIR HUSSAIN ‘Catharsis’ Monster Tunes
“A track that hasn’t left my playlists for at least four months now.”
10. PHOTOGRAPHER ‘Night Lights’ Who’s Afraid of 138!? “Newest one by myself. I hope you like it.”
HARD DANCE / HARDCORE REVIEWS
DJ KUTSKI email@example.com
Silence (MKN Remix) CDR
8.5 I'm not sure if this will be getting an official release, but as with many of these remixes nowadays you can grab it from Soundcloud. This remix adds a reverse bass section, euphoric big-room melody and incorporates the vocals really well. MKN is a talent to watch.
Hard Driver The Red Kill DWX
8.5 One of the latest superstars to break into thehardstylescene,Hard Driver delivers a killer four-track EP of the finest raw beats around.
Bouncing Bomb EP (Side E-Fect Remix) Tech Fu Records
7.0 Crunchy techy sounds from this label that has been delivering the goods for a long time now. Great to see this sound still being represented, fusing tech-trance and hard dance with the Side E-Fect remix, my pick of the bunch.
Shotgun (LNY TNZ Remix) Spinnin
9.0 I loved the original urban hit from Rotterdam trap trio Yellow Claw. This hardstyle remix is the perfect rework for me to play in my hard sets!
No Time To Sleep (Chain Reaction Remix) A2 Records
9.0 One of the hottest and busiest acts to emerge on the rawstyle circuit in Holland, Chain Reaction takes on one of the biggest releases from scenelegendAdaroforthisexciting release.ChainReactionmakesgreat useofthemainmelody,twistingup the sounds, making it even darker. A2 Records are really slamming out monsters at the moment and leading the way on the rawstyle scene.
Antolini & Montorsi
Hard Progress Recordings
We Are Back (Vocal Mix)
8.0 Italian hard trance legends team up after some time apart for this monstrous hard electro release, with an anthemic diva female vocal, which is used to great effect, choppedandsplicedtoaddenergy to the intro section. Naturally, with these two involved, we have a well-constructed hard trance melody breakdown, adding bags of euphoria, building up to a hard techy drop, all fused together with that immense electro bassline.
Reverze Anthem 2014 Bass Events
JOEY RIOT & KURT LETHAL THEORY 01. THE COLLECTIVE ‘Kick It (Kurt Mix)’ Lethal Theory “Guaranteed club destruction every time this is played.”
02. JOEY RIOT & KLUBFILLER ‘Riot In The Klub’ Klubb Theory
“Fresh from the studio. Two of the biggest names in hardcore team up for this genre-breaking peak-time stomper.”
03. KURT VS DELGADO ‘MDMA’ Lethal Theory
“Another close contender for track of the year at the hardcore awards. Dark and moody powerstomp monster!”
04. JOEY RIOT VS IT-MAN ‘Braveheart’ Lethal Theory
“Freeeeeedom! Scotsman Joey teams up with It-Man for this powerstomp take on the classic track.”
05. KURT VS DJ HYPER ‘The Powerstep’ Lethal Theory
“Another dancefloor devastator from DJ Kurt, this time alongside Hyper. The crowd just goes nuts to the drop on this every time!”
06. JOEY RIOT VS IT-MAN ‘Sweet Heart’ Lethal Theory
“A favourite amongst ravers and DJs alike. Supported by Kutski and among all the big names in the scene.”
07. KURT ‘Passion’ Lethal Theory
“Kurt hits home with a powerstomp vocal anthem in the making.”
08. JOEY RIOT VS DARREN GRANT ‘I’m The Cook’ Lethal Theory “Sampling the hit TV show Breaking Bad, Joey and Darren rock out with some seriously bass-heavy vibes on this one.”
09. KURT VS IT-MAN ‘I’ll Show Ya Messy’ Lethal Theory
“Another HUGE track in our sets, also on our album ‘This Is Powerstomp’, which is out now.”
10. SHOWTEK ‘Booyah (Joey Riot Powerstomp Mash-up)’ CDR “Cheeky powerstomp mash-up of the huge hit from Showtek.”
9.5 Audiofreq has been fast on the rise in the hardstyle scene over the past few years, catching the attention of some of the biggest legends, promoters and clubbers alike. So with this in mind, it's no real surprise that Audiofreq was awarded the honour of writing the anthem for the Belgian super-rave, Reverze. Rather than adopting the over-dramaticanthemformula,the Aussie hardstyler's opted for an emotivelyeuphoricapproachwhich ticks all the important 'anthem' check boxes, but also leaves us with a track that will live on in DJs' sets long after the event has passed.
Back To The Pump (Technoboy Remix) Ultra
10 You'll have to excuse the exceptionally high ratings in this month's reviews, but it has been an exceptional month of music in our scene. Following the success of a collaboration with Isaac, 'Digital Playground', Technoboy has been drafted in to remix house superstar Benny Benassi. This is an awesome hardstyle reinterpretation of the original — with high-energy kicks and electro-style bass, this track hassomuchgrooveunderneaththe
hard shell, there is no doubt this one is going to be a crossover hit in so many genres when it drops.
Part of his latest four-track EP, this rising star of the hardstyle scene shows his full production versatility within the hardstyle sound. My pick of the bunch, 'F#UCK!N JUMP' shows a more clubby dancefloor-orientated side to his sound. Pounding kick and bass action, choppy vocal edits, and a surprisingly euphoricsummervibetolighten themoodinthesedarkEuropean months. Keeping the sound in tune with 2014, the second drop gives you the big kick and screeches to keep the Dutch dancefloors happy.
8.0 UK hard house act showcasing his diversity with this release on Riot! Recordings, taking things down a much more techy route while still keeping some of his trademark cheeky hard house stabs and big chord synth lines running throughout. One of the best releases on Riot! in quite sometimehere,sodefinitelyworth downloading for those earlier set times.
7.5 With the Qult parties in Holland selling out and growing, and an underground scene which is expanding at a rapid rate, this sound seems to have attracted many new producers and also established producers, creating alter egos to generate strippedback sub-heavy sounds. This release from new act Reinweiss is reminiscent of mid-'90s German techno releases with strippedback sounds, a heavy subby kick and even '90s influenced claps, as well as using the vocal from a 2 Unlimited record.
What Ya Got Now? Dirty Works Bounce
9.0 King of the "anything goes" side of the hardstyle scene known as freestyle,incorporatingeverything from jump to trap to hardcore, Ruthless is hot property in the Euro scene at the moment. This pure bouncy rave anthem reflects this perfectly with a bouncy kick and ravey bleeps, peppered with trap snare rolls and low-pitched vocals. If you wanna get a party rocking, look no further than this.
Back To Basics (Reverse Bass Mix) Fusion Records
8.5 Dutch producer The Pitcher is well-known for his big sing-along vocal anthems, but this new release heads down a much darker path with no vocalist in sight and dirtier production to give it that different twist to the sparkly vocal hardstylemixdowns.Mypickofthe bunch here is the 'Reverse Bass Mix', which will work really well on floors across the UK and has a nice bouncy, energetic feel to the drops. djmag.com.au
NEIL KULKARNI, 81 Crosbie Road, Coventry, CV5 8FX
8.0 The five foot assassin is still, by the sounds of it, in the ruffneck business. Great, thoughtful, lively, mournful, hard-hitting track about well, you can guess. Dilla’s indelible mark on hip-hop is likely to continue for a very long time indeed. From a soon-come currentlybeing-worked-on project called'MUTTYmorPHOsis'. Keep bouncing.
This Love Is Love
High Focus Records
G.Dot & Born
9.0 From the heart, from the soul —ripsnortingrhymesfromBVA claiming rap back for the lovers of the form, dragging rap from theglitzandglamourdead-end it’s found itself in back to the brute infinite possibilities of a mic, a beat, and a mind with something to say. Leaf Dog on the mix so you know precisely howcompellingthisisgonnabe sonically, BVA fully charting his ownchangingrelationshipwith this music and his trajectory for forward motion for both the form and himself. Superb stuff from a superb label. Be very aware that the album ‘Be Very Aware’is out soon. Should be sick.
Monday Blues Revorg Records
7.5 Fuck the Boomtown Rats, this is surely the greatest track ever about just exactly how massively soul-destroyingly a pain in the arse it is getting yourself out of bed on a Monday morning. “FUCK A JOB” goes the hook, "rage built up and I've only been up for an hour", every line a pearl of poetic wisdom that all of us wage slaves will empathise with hugely. Love the almostSpecials-like deadpan oddity of the chorus too and there's so many killer little lines you might miss it's a definite rewind all weekend. Pump loud on your daily commute and FUCK A JOB.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib feat Earl Sweatshirt & Domo Genesis Robes
8.0 So how far-out-as-fuck can the music be the rapper is rapping over 84
Audible Con Records
to impress friends, lovers and potential paramours alike. Lots worth seeking out this month.
Money Matters Mindful Music
7.5 Sweetproductionasyou'd expect from Oddissee, fresh off the back of his superb 'Tangible Dreams' mixtape, bubbling with jazzy intrigue, sunny as orange pop, pushing spring into your synapses a little early and all the more welcome for it. Is there still going to be a spring anymore?
7.5 before it stops being hip-hop? To be sure, FG, ES & DG are all found rapping on this, tripping out from internal monologue to spinning planetary motion in the space of a syllable. As to what the fuck Madlib is doing, your guess is as good as mine — totally strung-out black sci-fi madness halfway 'tween Sun Ra and Rotary Connection. Not entirely sure how to USE this music but goddamnit — if Mario Kart 13 has a Rainbow Road on it, THIS needs to be the soundtrack.Tune in, freak out.
Cam'Ron & A-Trak Humphrey NA
8.5 Got to admit that after a couple of years of mediocrity Cam got back to his best with last year's 'Ghetto Heaven' mixtape, so my ears were pricked for his next opus, which turns out is gonna be an EP with A-Trak called 'Federal Reserve'. If 'Humphrey' is anything to go by it might be almost as good as that mixtape—beautifullyexecuted'70s pop-soul samples just the right side of unplaceable, and commanding, compelling rhymes from the Cam. Welcome back to the right side of niceness.
Dag Savage feat Blu Don't Stop
8.0 Nicely woozy vibe on this, a kind of soporific smear of rootsy organ and somnambulant dubbed-out Tribestyle beats from Exile (mirrored by the peachy back'n'forth 'tween Dag & Blu) — all the right moments suddenly leaping out of the mix in ultra-delayed relief. Not quite weed-
related, not quite in the K-hole, unplaceably psychedelic and I'll have several pints of whatever these loons are on.
Realheadbanger/nodder, loops laced with a solidity and oddity that recalls primePeteRock—purloin it and add it to that last five minutes on your tapes
Fork In the Road
Scram Jones Music
8.0 Eminem's scratch-DJ offa 'Berzerk' goes solo and awww, just love this — something to do with Scram's hyperkinetic funkativity, a speed and pace and unstoppable sense of fun all too lacking in rap at the moment, something to do with the hook, which goes for plaintive and poignant and unforgettable (unlike so much of the in one ear, out the other bragging-bullshit that passes for choruses so often these days), something to do with the absolutely fantastic video that combines Anime-weirdness with Sesame Street-style movement to delicious-fresh effect. From 'The HatTrick' EP out now and judging by this, essential.
Willie the Kid The Guilt
9.0 It's tracks like this that remind you just how far behind life, how far from art so much mainstream rap is right now. 'The Guilt' is a stunning vignette of loss, bereavement and the scars left in the hearts of those that know and the lives of communities left in hell. Gorgeous production from Bronze Nazareth forms a noir-ish grainy, rain-pelted backdroptothegrimnesscontained lyrically, Willie telling the story with total clarity and conviction. A track you have to rewind a few times to truly feel its devastating impact.
DONNIEPROPAHEAVYLINKS 01. HEAVY LINKS FEAT EFEKS ‘The Essence Of Being Dope’ Heavy Links “A heavy head-nod track off our ‘Essence EP’, featuring Efeks from Prose. This was available on a limited run of 100 records and sold out pretty quick! Shouting out Prose!“
02. RAY WEST & AG ‘These Rappers Under the Hex’ Ascetic Music
“Taken off the ‘Luv NY’ album from 2012. AG always comes with dope rhymes and Ray West’s production is dope! Shame this album didnt get a vinyl release!”
03. CHROME & ILL INSPIRED ‘You Should Know’ B-Line Records
“Heavy new 7-inch from B-Line Records. Chrome and Ill have the best live show in the country in my opinion, always come correct. Not many can rap like these two!”
04. TIMELESS TRUTH ‘What A Life’ NA
“Dope New York Underground hip-hop. Their ‘Scene Of The Rhyme EP’ was dope and came out on Chopped Herring Records, I’m hoping this gets a record release too.”
05. PARANOM & PURPOSE ‘Dayz Go By’ Ill Adrenaline
“Nice laidback vibe to this one, the album is quality, coming on record soon through Ill Adrenaline Records. Proper hip-hop!”
07. THE DOPPELGANGAZ ‘Barbiturates’ Groggy Pack Entertainment “I could have picked pretty much any track from the Dopp Gang but this one is my favourite off the last album, ‘Hark’. They killed it at their show in London too!”
08. DEMIGODZ ‘Raiders Cap’ Dirty Version Records
“Taken from the massive ‘Killmatic’ album. Celph Titled and Apathy are two of my favourite MCs. The sample from Boyz N The Hood is dope too... RICKY!”
09. OC & APOLLO BROWN ‘Anotha One’ Mello Music Group
“From the ‘Trophies’ album from 2012. For me it’s one of the best albums I have heard in years and this track is amazing.”
10. HEAVY LINKS ‘Exit Class’ Heavy Links
“Last track on our latest EP, ‘Heavyweight’. Nice boom bap vibes. The EP features Verb T, Book Thieves and Cappo. Cop the record now from all good record shops, yo!”
Contents features 006 HARDWELL
We speak to Hardwell and hear his tale of Two New Years Eves.
010 MAX GRAHAM
038 BRRRRR FESTIVAL 040 MARK OLIVER
Canadian legend speaks
Quebec. -Winter Festical Special
012 DJ RHIANNON
044 IGLOO FEST
046 ICEBERG FESTIVAL
From Montreal to London Maritimes.
046 D-YAZZ 048 JULES BANGSWORTH
024 TIMOTHY WISDOM
051 60 Seconds with RICHY AHMED
028 PEEP THIS
053 Game Changes
032 JOE SILVA
034 NATHAN ZAHN
074 Albums 076 Compilations
tech 082 Gemini Rising 084 In the Studio with, SOLOMUN 085 Let the music play 087 Ace in the promo pack
088 Tech Producer
040 082 02
FOUND SOUNDS, POBox20437,London,SW162YJ examples here: The uninspiring, ten-a-penny R&B of ‘This Is A Game’ and the fresh, exciting and vibrant sound of ‘It No. 3’.
Mo Kolours Mike Black
One Handed Music
The Green EP Warp
9.0 Featuring six beautiful tracks and weighing in at around 25 minutes, this new EP from Bibio is, as they say, a thing of beauty.
Not entirely sure who 'Mike Black' is, but nonetheless his inspirational input is very welcome here, as Joseph Deenmamode makes good with another EP of percussive treats. The eponymous lead track is certainly the more complete and rounded of the two tracks here, but in terms of dynamism and engagement, it’s actually the brief but brilliant ‘Say Word’ which gets us most excited.
An ode to the Northern Soul sound of yesteryear from LOA, replete with handclaps, talc, vest and ballet shoes. Keep the faith!
What Do You Know
8.5 It’s hard to believe that Nostalgia 77 is already up to his fifth studio album. Having traversed the musical landscapes of jazz and beats, it’s now time for him to turn his attention to the more plaintive folk funk sound. ‘What Do You Know’ has more than an echo of Muscle Shoals studio about it, with vocalist Josa Peit adding a gorgeous top line onto a track that oozes charm and grace.
DJ Woody & Clicktrax Vodum EP
DJ Woody Music
8.0 A quality EP from the underrated DJ Woody (remember the outstanding ‘Country Practise’ mix LP with Sean Vinylment?) who pairs up with Clicktrax, the one-time drummer with Sirconical and Graham Massey’s Toolshed project to embark on his most progressive project yet. Lead track ‘Vodium’ is where it’s at, with a distinctly moody Eastern feel, deft surreptitious scratching and the percussive prowess of Clicktrax giving it the live feel. The de-constructed edit on ‘Tusaas’ is worth a peek too. Class.
Giorgio Moroder vs I-Robots Utopia – Me Giorgio Deeplay Digital
8.0 A very sympathetic re-edit from I-Robots who extracts ‘Utopia’ from the ‘From Here To Eternity’ LP courtesy of the legend that is Giorgio Moroder. In its original format it clocks in at a brisk three-and-a-half minutes, but like so many of these gems was crying out to be extended and 86
Raw Fruit Vol. 2
re-introduced to a new audience of disco-hungry middle-aged men with ‘fashion’ beards. And so the deed has been done with the new version nipped, tucked and extended to seven minutes of proto choral techno joy. Investigate and party like it's 1977.
Soul Jazz Orchestra Celestial Blues Strut Records
8.5 Ottawa doesn’t automatically spring to mind as a hotbed of musical talent (and no, Alanis Morissette does not count), however The Soul Jazz Orchestra have been ploughing a lonely furrow from the city for some time, with releases on John Kong’s Do Right! label before moving to Strut. Lifted from forthcoming LP ‘Inner Fire’, ‘Celestial Blues’ is of course a cover and a faithful one at that, of the Gary Bartz classic that adds its own nuances whilst still maintaining the yearning appeal of the original. Good work!
Further exploring the murky world of samplers and sequencers, namely Roland’s SP303 and 404, and Akai’s MPC 2000XL (upon which this entire EP was constructed), LA producer and beatmaker Ras G offers up the fruits of his latest mixtape labours. As per usual the samples are carefully selected, chopped and edited with absolute precision and then carefully re-constructed to create a warm, multi-coloured hip-hop collage. What’s not to like?
Your Love Is Like Fudge Recordings
7.5 A bright future beckons for Marshall who follows the infectious ‘Don’t Trip’ with another soulful jam that ticks all the right referential
7.5 When she isn’t busy knocking out soulful cinematic funk like this, Kendra Morris is busy charming her army of fans; which include US legends Dennis Coffey and DJ Premier and UK radioheads Huw Stephens and Lauren Laverne.
Turning Tide EP
7.0 An interesting — even if not particularly groundbreaking – EP from this composer/ producer spanning minimal electronica, loopy hypnotic beats, and synth-lined postrock.
Play It Again Sam
8.5 Entirely her own artist, Liz Green is a rare breed in these times of manufactured consumerism and regurgitated music industry tat. Yes, her music borrows from the sounds of a bygone vintage era, to which ends there are some elements of re-making or re-molding within her work, but despite that, she still manages to make her own very distinctive musical mark on the world. An elegant, refined and beautiful musical talent.
To Nick Waterhouse’s credit, he is very honest with regard to the imitative nature of his music and the inspiration for his ‘retro sound’. Emulation is the word he uses. Which makes absolute sense. But the line between emulation and plain replication is often a blurred one. Hence we have the two very different
Where The River Don’t Flow
Recipe For Love
Nick Waterhouse Holly
Lack of Afro
boxes of her soul sister peers.
7.5 You may be mistaken for placing North Londoner Kwesi Darko, aka Blue Daisy, as a West Country resident given his intense, smokeladen productions. Dark and foreboding, ‘Psychotic Love’ takes no prisoners with its atmospheric leanings, with ‘Devil’s Pie’ alongside the lead track leading the albeit slo-mo charge.
PATTEN WARP 01. THE SUNDAYS ‘You’re Not The Only One I Know’ Rough Trade
“One is a number, a numeral, and the name of the glyph representing that number. It represents a single entity, the unit of counting or measurement.”
02. J DILLA ‘Two Can Win’ Stones Throw
“Two is a good number in Chinese culture. It is common to use double symbols in product brand names, eg. double happiness, double coin etc.”
03. THE UPSETTERS ‘Three In One’ Trojan
“Three is the largest number still written with as many lines as the number represents.”
04. DAPHNE ORAM ‘Four Aspects’ Unknown
“The Roman numeral IV (usually) stands for the fourth-discovered satellite of a planet or minor planet (eg. Jupiter IV).”
05. WENDY & BONNIE ‘Five O’Clock In The Morning’ Sundazed
“The Olympic Games have five interlocked rings as their symbol, representing the number of inhabited continents represented by the Olympians.”
06. GROUPER ‘6’ Kranky
“Our modern six can be traced back to the Brahmins of India, who wrote it in one stroke like a cursive lowercase ‘e’ rotated 90 degrees clockwise.”
07. EMPRESS OF ‘7’ No Recordings
“Seven is the lowest dimension of a known exotic sphere, although there may exist as yet unknown exotic smooth structures on the four-dimensional sphere.”
08. THE BYRDS ‘Eight Miles High’ Columbia
“The Dharmacakra, a Buddhist symbol, has eight spokes. The Buddha’s principal teaching — the Four Noble Truths — ramifies as the Noble Eightfold Path.”
09. THE TUSS ‘Synthacon 9’ Rephlex
“The Nine Worthies are nine historical, or semi-legendary figures who, in the Middle Ages, were believed to personify the ideals of chivalry.”
10. GROUP INERANE ‘Tenere Etran’ Sublime Frequencies
“To reduce something by one-tenth is to decimate. In MIDI, Channel 10 is reserved for unpitched percussion instruments.”
IE JOE DUK
2013 was the typical kind of year that you’d expect from Joe Dukie and Fat Freddy’s Drop; it was filled to the max with near non-stop, sold-out touring adventures. Also known as Dallas Tamaira, Joe is the provider of vocals for the pioneering soul-infused, reggae/electronic/hip-hop act that are approaching their 15th birthday. By the time you read this they’ll have performed a NYE smasher on Waihi Beach, as part of their tour of New Zealand and Australia. Being of NZ descent, this will give Joe some much-needed quality time with his fam. “I’ll be spending time with my family and heading for Kaikoura, where I was born, to see my nan,” he tells DJ Mag. Whilst on tour and promoting their third album release, ‘Blackbird’, Joe and the band make a point of checking out great places to eat. “A couple of the bros are really into the food buzz and always find us the best restaurants,” he says. When not on the road an average week is all about looking after his family, playing basketball and writing new music. Earlier this year he applied his velvety vocals to Will Saul’s Close production alias on !K7 Records. DJ Mag is going to be all ears for his next project… Words: HELENE STOKES
What is the track that reminds you of your childhood? What’s an album that you’re currently “Kenny Rogers ‘Islands In The Stream’ — I love into?
for the new D’Angelo record!”
that song. My stepfather was a huge country and blues fan and he played this off cassette tape. I do a mean ska version of that song, actually. I grew up as a small kid in a country town called Kaikoura and my stepfather was a logger, so it was all about the country, forests, rivers and of course the mighty Pacific right on our doorstep. The ocean rules Kaikoura, so the song really made sense to me as a kid.”
“‘+justments’ by Bill Withers. I’m a digital guy, so most of my music is on my iPad. I do own a copy of this record and it’s one of the few.”
What’s the first record that you ever bought?
“To tell the truth, I’m not really listening to much music at the moment — I’ve got enough music in my life as it is. We’ve just finished recording and releasing a new album and now we’re on tour playing every day. I do like that new Snoop/Dâm Funk collab [‘7 Days Of Funk’]. Our great friend Daniel Best gave us a compilation of GI disco from Berlin Checkpoint Charlie days, so that’s getting plenty of play on the bus. And of course, I’m still waiting patiently
The record in your collection that you most treasure?
Your all-time favourite track of all-time? “There are definitely tracks I’ve listened to a lot over the years, but
“It was a ‘Street Sounds’ comp that I bought in Christchurch sometime in the late ‘80s. I was into breaking, but in NZ we mispronounced ‘popping’ and called it ‘bopping’ instead. Mum made me pants, so I had ‘bop pants’. New Zealand was much more isolated in the ‘80s than it is now, so the hip-hop culture came to us in snatches and glimpses. I’m sure we got a whole lot of things wrong but it all made sense to us at the time. In some funny way, Maori kids identified with the whole black American thing. They were way cooler, though.”
What’s the cheesiest record in your collection?
can’t seriously answer that.”
“I used to listen to lots of new jack swing and ‘80s R&B. When I was a teenager, I was even part of an R&B singing group in Christchurch… now we were cheesy! But the cheesiest stuff I’m listening to at the moment would be [Justin] Timberlake and Robin Thicke. Fitchie’s daughter Mia is 14 and tours with us a lot, so we’re always discussing the latest and greatest in bad pop music. There’s been a lot of discussion on tour around NZ’s most recent pop success Lorde, who is slamming the Billboard charts. There’s a lot of arguments in the band about whether she’s cheesy or not. Pretty cool for a teenager to be doing all that!”
What’s the track that’s guaranteed to make you cry? “Rolf Harris ‘Two Little Boys’ did it to me as a kid. Yes, I know!”
Moodymann Moodymann KDJ
Moody is still the mann AFTER almost 12 months of subtle suggestion, a new Moodymannalbumunexpectedlylandedattheturnof the year and sold out minutes later. For once, though, the hype around such an event was totally worth it, because Moodymann’s self-titled ode to himself and to his hometown of Detroit might just be his most accomplished work yet. There’s a touch of Snoop Dogg’s overblown hiphop sensibilities to the album in both the hugely
caricatured art but also in the storied music (“Moody, what a perfect name/never quite the same” goes one short but apt skit between tracks), but at the same time the thing retains a social conscience by, for instance, weaving in spoken word samples about recent murder counts in the D. As well as making you think, Moodymann also makes you smile, constantly, thanks to the sensuous orgy of
7.5 Groove Armada
Northern Star - 15th Anniversary Tummy Touch
Groove is (back) in the house Groove Armada recorded their debut album, ‘Northern Star’, in 1997. Its most commercial moment,‘At the River’, picked up solid Radio 1 airplay in the Ball/Cox era, launching a thousand ‘Ibiza Chill’ albums and their wretched ilk. But still, it lifted them quite rightly into the spotlight, and here on its 15th anniversary, it’s revisited byTummyTouch,Tim‘Love’Lee’s indie imprint which first gave them their break. There’s much still to love here. ‘Pillar 13’, the low-slung ‘Dirty Listening’ and ‘Dan Solo’, the frantic disco of ‘Pressure Breakdown’ and ‘What Have We Become’; all evoking misty memories of going out, and notably, coming back again.There’sahandfulofwelcomebonus tracks too, singles that Messrs Cato and Findlay released on the label, like the bumping housers ‘Choc Chip’ and ‘80 Something’, and the rave-tastic breakbeat monster ‘Vanilla’, which is anything but. Ben Arnold 88
organic instruments, genius sampling and sultry soul that forms its backbone.What’s more, the whole thing flows as smoothly as the bourbon at Moody’s crib on a Saturday night, and that’s always the point of his albums: they are invitations into his world, invitations we are still as excited to receive more than 15 years after the first. Kristan J Caryl
Play It Down
Mr Nice Guy
Jesse Rose isn’t short of house history.The Made To Play boss started out blending original sounds of Detroit and Chicago, before flirting with fidget until going full circle. In all fairness, the ‘Itchy Dog’ man has always stayed true to the genre he originally committed to in 2003, and it shows on ‘The Whole Twelve Inches’, a project which saw him release a track on the 12th of every month last year. The end product is a series of solid tunes, each chunky and playable in its own right. ‘Love The Feeling High’ is a deep Chicago caper with a hip-hop sample and funky synths;‘Alone’borrows a page from Moodymann and‘Time Is But A Moment’ headsintosmoother,JoeyNegroterritory. Elsewhere there’s gypsy pianos (‘When We Heard Solid Groove’), Amazonian jazz (‘Lost In Pangea’) and sinewy tech house (‘NotHitEnough’),makingupadeliciously well rounded package. Adam Saville
Having released three full-length studio albumsbeforenow,GermanMarcRomboy is taking a step back to assess his back catalogue. As such, his own label is releasing this, a three-disc compilation featuringmorethan30tracks—including originals, remixes and nine new tunes — that together make up a comprehensive retrospective of the producer’s best work to date. Disc one is the deepest and most soulful of the three, with a rework of Terrence Parker’s classic ‘Love’s Got Me High’ standing right out from the crowd. Disc two offers big Romboy tunes like ‘The Advent’ next to 303-led workouts, with Chicago’ship-housepioneerTyreeCooper, and disc three includes brand-new jams like‘Stella’. Romboy’s melodies are always slicker than average, he coaxes plenty of original feelings out of his machines and so, as a result, this is a real treasure trove for busy main room DJs. Kristan J Caryl
Jesse Perez’s second long-player lands in a hail of his trademark filthy imagery. The Miami-born producer, studying from the Two Live Crew syllabus both in form and function, has previously posited tracks charmingly entitled ‘Kiss Jesse On The Dick’, ‘Here For The Gangbang’, and ‘Teabagging Sazo’. The promotional ‘literature’ advises “make sure to grab yourself a towel, it’s gonna be a wet ride...”. Well, quite. Look aside from all this fierce hetero posturing, and there’s some stone funk to gorge upon, not to mention 909s up the yin-yang, like in ‘Ain’t No Shame In This Game’, an irresistible booty anthem. ‘Still Slangin’ That D’ is intricately-crafted, blazing ghetto-tech action. ‘Ain’t Bout That Hype’ and‘LiveFromDadeCounty’embracethat often glorious meeting of freestyle and housemusic,allrollingbreakbeatssurfing 4/4 kicks and orchestra stabs. It’s heady stuff indeed. Now, where’s my towel? Ben Arnold
The Whole Twelve Inches Rose between thorns
Boy done good
Kama Sucia (The Art of Slangin’ D) Nice guy Eddie
Joseph Deenmamode is Mo Kolours, an English-Mauritian who’s lived all round the UK but is now a Londoner. Hard to define but with a definite cut ‘n’ paste hip-hop aesthetic, his music marries the multi-cultural sonic meeting point vibes of the capital and similarly nods at the rich mix of his father’s island roots. ‘Little Brown Dog’has him singing a lush ode to a pooch companion over a steeldrum loop and hip-hop beats — part Madlib, part Mos Def. ‘Streets Again’ is a smoked-out shuffle of loose-limbed dusty beats, while ‘Play It Loud’ satirises rap’s obsession with expensive cars, encouraging us to bump the buzzin’ bass in our Ladas or Ford Escorts. ‘Mike Black’ is a funked-up, house-influenced piece, while elsewhere glints of dub, funk and electronics can be discerned. Definitely one of this writer’s favourite records in recent times, it’s an addictive gem. Ben Murphy
IfMoodymann’slatestopusoffersatouch of hip-hop pastiche, Feadz’s new LP is a tongue-in-cheekhomagetotheworldof EDM-tastic trap and rap today. ‘Electric Empire’, featuring Kito, is like Uffie on Kool Aid spiked with Molly, ‘Papercut’ bumps like the suspension on Dre’s cadillac and ‘Metaman’ merges robotic electro-breaks with skweee synths. ‘Instant Beta’ could be on Dirtybird, while its sister track (‘Instant Delta’) is one of the album’s more restrained moments as the album settles into its stride, becoming less about piss-taking and more about dropping genuinely phat beats during the second part. Playing with formulas so regularly undercooked on a production level and filling them out with crisp, jackin’ beats and angular patterns, ‘Instant Alpha’ is an unpredictable party treat. Adam Saville
Manchester’s Ryan Hunn has made heavy 808 techno, dubstep, hip-hop and all that falls in-between. No surprise, then, that his debut doesn’t stick to just one of these genres but pushes his repertoire out even further. James Blake-ish strings (‘Liquesce’), William Bevan-y two-step (‘At Night’), John Carpenter-goes-Agent K synths (‘Sleeprunner’) — Hunn makes his stylistic claustrophobia clear early on. Marrying dubstep’s nocturnal gloom (though never as creepy as the cover promises) with a light soul-derived uplift and musicality, it’s all bound by a wintry patina of slightly sad dread that places ‘Ghosts’ somewhere between the LA beat scene and early Mount Kimbie and Darkstar. Hunn has plenty of smart, understated twists in his arsenal, yet ‘Ghosts’ never totally escapes seeming strangely familiar — it could do with a stronger authorial stamp. But anyone looking to update their ‘nightbus’ playlist needn’t look any further. Sunil Chauhan
Detroit-born-and-bred Franki Juncaj returns with his first LP since 2010 on his own Motech label. Besa plays to the producer’ssoulfulside,whichhe’sknown for as well as his darker techno outings. Franki’s affiliation with Underground Resistance, Submerge and their “hi-tech funk” sound remains a staple of his aesthetic as well as his Albanian heritage; Mad Mike approved string stabs and Motor City futurism are meshed with ethnic rhythms and instrument samples throughout. Aside from the dancefloor burner ‘Morning Bird’, most of the tracks are equal parts East meets West. The title of the album is even a nod to the Albanian moral pillar of “faith” and “keeping one’s promise” within personal and familial relationships, and through this Franki gives earnest nods to both sides of his cultural make-up without coming across at all contrived or obvious. Zara Wladawsky
Mo Kolours Island life
Instant Alpha Feadz up
Ghosts of Then and Now Sphere of consciousness
Hi-tech Detroit soul
Kris Wadsworth Popularity
9.0 Not pop DETROIT man Kris Wadsworth’s refreshingly honest and outspoken in an industry infamous for sycophancy and backstabbing. His music is similarly bullshit-free. Gritty, raw, hard but with oodles of funk, itstandsoutamilefromtheoverproducedsaccharine swathes of insipid house swamping the scene. His last album ‘Life & Death’, released in 2012 on the UK’spre-eminentfuturistdanceimprintHypercolour was truly brilliant, but ‘Popularity’ has Kris tweaking his sound, subtly expanding his horizons to create an even more potent tincture. A caveat. Don’t expect home listening. Kicks that slam like granite blocks, layer upon parallax layer
of percussive shudder, and basslines that you feel rattle your skeleton as you hear them inveigle their way into your subconscious come as standard. ‘Hypercolour Theme’ begins with an innocuous vocal sample that sounds like a TV show song, but it becomes a juggernaut of industrial, rolling power, pumping out steam and rolling inexorably forward, thudding like a drop-hammer. ‘Hot Karl’is a scalding slab of acid techno, but ‘Neo Nasty’ switches tack, its metallic burbling bass riff as funky and addictive a hook as you could hope for. ‘Public Relations’ makes use of the pointed spoken word samples Kris has become known for, splicing them with a stiff, robotic
groove that opens out into a spacey, disquieting vista. It’s ‘Evolove’ that is the album’s centrepiece, a track that encapsulates Wadsworth’s greatest skill. A dark, muffled techno thump replete with acerbic bleepsbecomessomethingelseentirelyassweepsof synth reveal the hidden melodic acid riff at its heart, which builds and builds with the beats to become a behemoth guaranteed to set off wistful chemical memories in all but the stoniest hearted raver. It’s Wadsworth’s art for layering element upon element, and making them all work together, for each track to evolve, that makes him stand out. His popularity should be widespread soon enough.Ben Murphy djmag.com.au
Presents James Grieve
Frivolous Lost and Forgotten
Christian Prommer ÜberMood
Fernando Redux Trilogy
Compost Black Label
A worthier follow-up to ‘Footcrab’ than ‘Transistor Rhythm’ and its electro pastiches, Addison Groove’s found new inspiration in the Chicago-Bristol axis. Mining a speedier pace than usual, he’s hit on a truly organic middle ground, dovetailing halftime d&b, footwork, juke-house and acid with an easy élan. It’s also easy on the ear — just as DJ Rashad delved into soothing soul crates for last year’s ‘Double Cup’, ‘James Grieve’ follows a similar trajectory, albeit one closer to the west country than the Westside of Chicago, adding on to Bristol’s famed dub-rave-soul story. It doesn’t meet all expectations — the songful ambitions aided by chanteuse Josefina never quite hitthedesiredmarkandtheunswervingly intimate vibe errs between blissful and bland — the sparser, experimental thrills of the recent ‘Bs3 EP’ are missed. But it’s still a masterly handiwork, adding subtle slices of innovation to classic building blocks. Sunil Chauhan
Starting out as a 14-year-old, South American Parisian French Fries is still only 20. Originally inspired by hip-hop, he’s now focused on techno, while a string of records helped pioneer the French bass revolution with tunes on YounGunz, Dirtybird and his own ClekClekBoom imprint in recent years. His debut album — also the first for the label — delves deeper than ever into the darker realms of the worm hole. Dense with sub bass and fascinatedbyfootworkbeatsthroughout, ‘Kepler’ crosses tenets of Detroit techno and electro with Italo synths and Belgian beat sensibilities. ‘Program’ is a Steve Reich soundscape of computer frequencies, while the arpeggiated ‘U.M.A.N’is aVangelis spaceship under the captaincy of Zed Bias.‘Machine’needs no description other than its title and ‘Bug Noticed’ is a shattering slice of frazzled warehousetechno.Choosingtochallenge rather than to please, ‘Kepler’ has plenty of texture to keep keen listeners involved. Adam Saville
7.0 Fernando who scores!
Two years on from his Cadenza-released full-length, Canadian Frivolous offers up a new collection of tracks. Fans won’t be disappointed, because the many intricate and synthetic grooves combined with organic trumpets and found sounds here could easily be placed amongst the best minimal had to offer during its halcyon days. Kristan J Caryl
Techno and jazz can be a dangerous and dull combinationinthewrong hands, but not so for this Kruder & Dorfmeister/ DJ Hell co-writer. The production pro’s first solo album slickly fuses quirky techno riffing with soulful songwriting, suggesting Laurent Garnier and Jazzanova, but with Prommer’s own stampembedded. Tristan Parker
Reachingbacktotheroots that saw Ralph Lawson put out industrialinfluenced disco as 2020 Soundsystem half a decade ago, the house label boss has brought band member, Argentinian singer/ songwriter/producer Fernando (Pulichino) into the spotlight. The result? A more dance-y A Certain Ratio — and that’s no bad thing. Adam Saville
Pysh Flying Circus
Markus Schulz Scream 2
7.0 Karol Conka
Brazilianhip-hopartistKarolConkaclaims to have been originally inspired by Lauryn Hill, although we hope that doesn’t mean she’s only going to make one brilliant solo album in 15 years and end up in prison for tax evasion. Not that you’d really mistake Conka’s music for that of her erstwhile idol — or anyone else for that matter — since her debut album is a mix of Brazilian pop, bassmusicandhip-hoprhythmsasunique as Conka’s flow. The raw attitude of the baile funk scene that spawned her can still be felt in the production, but the infectious chorus of funky single ‘Boa Noite’, reggae clarion-call ‘Sandalia’ and ‘Voce Nao Vai’ all show that she’s after an audience well beyond both the ghettoes of Brazil or the ‘world music’ ghetto into which anyone daring not to rap in English risks being slung. Paul Clarke
Two producers already established in their native Canadian stomping ground of British Columbia (one of whom, Robbie Slade, is half of Canadian electro-pop duo HUMANS) team up for an impressive, considered debut of lo-fi slow-burners. ‘Sabota’ treads delicately through neon house, stripped-back Hemsworth-ish R&B, deep disco, synth-pop whispers and occasional Afro house leanings, always with strong, melodic vocal lines that lend the album a lushly organic feel. The record knows exactly where its strengths lie, and it never strays too far from the kinds of beautifully lazy, horizontal grooves that melt through ‘Cooking Show’and‘Teacher’, bringing to mind early Caribou and Nigel Godrich’s Ultraísta project A haunting headphone listen, but also full of tracks that might just set off a sweaty, early morning club set in the right hands. Tristan Parker
We don’t need no miseducation
Sunrise house heaven
Warmth and humanism aren’t often associated with electronic music, but this London duo’s debut LP manages to do just that. ‘UR’ features sequencingimperfections due to all-live recording, vocal hesitations and questionably mic-ed acoustic percussion all over a bedrock of solid songwriting. It resonates in a highly personal fashion. Zara Wladawsky
This is tribal house that, bizarrely, veers dangerously close to electro-swing at points. The Polish producer’s stripped-back, strungout approach worked when twinned with the melodiesofBookaShade’s ‘Regenerate’ on his 2010 remix, but on ‘Flying Circus’it somehow almost ends up in global beats territory. Tristan Parker
6.0 Stationary shout
Trance big-hitter Schulz follows up his 2012 ‘Scream’ outing with another big shout to the dancefloor. Once again it’s a clubby ride, full of big-room hooks, even bigger breakdowns and glittery melodies. No surprises here, but sure to get plenty of love from the loyal Tomorrowland/EDC crowd. Tristan Parker
REPEAT THE LPS WE CAN’T LEAVE ALONE...
Planningtorock All Love Is Legal Human Level
8.5 Weird and wonderful gender-bending from Jam Rostron.
6th Borough Project Borough 2 Borough
Delusions of Grandeur
8.0 Vintage funk and disco condensed down the Glaswegian way.
Phlash House Phillerz
9.0 PhilAsher’scontribution tohousemusicdeserves an OBE.
10 Years of Phonica
CLR & Chris Liebing Present Reconnected 04
A suitable celebration
A stern workout
Lasting 10 years as an independent record shop is no small feat and London’s Phonica deservedly pulls out all the stops on this brilliant 3 LP/CD release. The Soho store, founded in 2003 by Simon Rigg, Heidi Vanden Amstel and Tom Relleen, has reliably boasted such a vast and excellently curated selection that it’s cementeditselfasanessentialdestination for everyone from casual musos to top touring DJs when in the Big Smoke. So why not throw your weight around and ask your more famous customers to produce an exclusive track for your birthday compilation? The first two LPs are exactly that and contain gems from JoeClaussell,Legowelt,RomanFlügeland many, many more. The final part of the release is seven highlights from Phonica Records over its five years of existence andincludesMidland,FourTetandSpecial Request.Well done indeed, Phonica! Zara Wladawsky
For the fourth time now, CLR offer up a label compilation that showcases their finest wares to date. This edition is mixed by Drumcell, one of the tireless techno artists at the core of Chris Liebing’s operation, and he weighs in with a meaty 14-track selection that covers plenty of ground. Of all the long-established, purely functional techno labels (think Tronic, Drumcell and so on) CLR is the one that seems to be faring best in 2014. Rather than strictly tooly, staid techno tracks, the label offers a nice spread of stuff from dark and monolithic (Speedy J’s remix of Tommy Four Seven) to melodic and trippy (Terrence Fixmer’s ‘Psychik’) via texturally stimulating (Monoloc’s remix of Emptyset). It’s not stuff for the fainthearted,butonceyougiveyourselfoverto the abstract abrasions within you’ll forget what you were supposed to be doing and will nod accordingly. Kristan Caryl
Move D Fabric 74 Fabric
Move with the flow MORE recognised as a DJ than a producer, Move D defies an unwritten rule today dictating that DJs prolifically slate tunes to make themselves bookable. The reason is simple. Few in this world know how to knock out a house set with his level of skill. What this man lacks in attention to detail — the odd clattering beat or record drifting out of time — he makes up for with a constantly evolving arsenal of dancefloordynamitethathepicksfrom in a way that keeps minds mesmerised, under the spell of a flow that has the power to lead us almost anywhere. The creative force behind Magic Mountain High alongside Juju & Jordash and contributor to Dolan Bergin’s Electric Minds label, the German is a proven talent in the studio, but it’s his work in the booth that’s most revered; his long, sprawling sets often run the course of an entire night, covering all walks of house, disco, garage — vintage classics to the most modern cuts out there. 92
His selection among the Fabric hall of fame comes as no surprise, then, considering the trajectory of his profile over the past 18 months especially; its rise from the more hidden corners of the dance scene — extended sets at Freerotation, Panorama Bar and undisclosed London warehouses — to the dizzy heights of underground stardom, slots at Pleasure Principle, Dimensions and Motion to name only a few. And to say he’s delivered is an understatement. Taking us on a steady ride through smooth Chicago house (Roy Davis Jnr) into tough diva grooves (Liberty City); New Jersey beats (Jamie Trench & Angus Jefford); big room glitterball sounds (Earl Jeffers) and crunching hypnotics on Strictly Rhythm (Darkman aka DJ Pierre), before exploding with the UK bass of ‘Roots’ by Last Magpie — not once does Move D lose grip of our attention, all while summing up exactly what he does best within the space of 80 captivating minutes. Spot
Wilde Liebe Wilde
Wilde at heart Berlin agency Wilde has plenty of class in its ranks. The home of Tim Xavier, Tiefschwarz and Ian Pooley, it’s an automatic go-to for bookers in Europe especially, providing a one-stop-shop for solid, well-respected house and techno talent. Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a handy collection of exclusive unmixed tracks from 16 of its artists, ‘Wilde Liebe’ is by no means short of ideas. Pilocka Krach’s electro-tinged workout, ‘Superboy’, is a posturing house track with plenty of juice. ‘Spot On’ from DIA is sexy funk that wouldn’t be out of place in a Lee Foss set, while Lewis Boardman (‘Yeah’) offers some frost-bitten house before Daniel Dexter (‘Eclipse’) errs into DJ T’s ‘Boogie Playground’ territory. Alongside playable efforts from the agency’s most bookable, Acid Washed & Stuff’s kaleidoscope of 909s and analogue synth work on ‘Move On’ is another highlight among many. Adam Saville
Amine Edge & DANCE present CUFF Vol. 1 CUFF
Tough and rough French producers Anime Edge & DANCE officially launch their CUFF imprint with this comp of booty-saluting, funkinfused G-house from a talented roster. There are straight-up guttural cuts and punchy bass workouts (the in-your-grill ‘Halfway Crooks’ from the label bosses and the brilliantly sleazy ‘Baby I’m Boss’ from FlexB are stand-outs), but CUFF isn’t a one-trick pony; the comp shows a fondness for flexibility, incorporating nostalgicrave(CloudedJudgement’s‘Give Us An E’), old-school electro (Dayne S’‘All The Things’) and wonky house wig-outs (STUFF’s ‘Working Trips’) into the mix. CUFF’s vibe is similar to, say, hip-hop and house-loving label Exploited Records, but a little dirtier, proven by a compilation that’s slung low enough to tie your shoelaces together and thwack you in the crotch, just because it can. And you’ll still come back for more. Tristan Parker
BryanGee’sVRecordingsindeliblymarked the history of drum & bass, producing constantly reloaded classics such as Krust’s ‘Warhead’ or Adam F’s ‘Brand New Funk’. But lesser-known was his Chronic imprint — relaunched last year and coming out fighting in 2014 with this 24-trackcomp.Fortunatelyits‘Warehouse Music’ title is no hyperbole, the sound palette drawing from tech-step squat raves in a turn-of-the-millennium, pregentrifiedHackneyWickandMovement’s raucous Thursday night sessions, rather than the toy-town antics of much modern d&b. The ever-fresh Dillinja smashes out ravey stabs — as Capone — on‘I’ll BeYour’, Symptom’s filthy ‘Heavy Heart’ gets all Ed Rush & Optical and Need For Mirrors’‘Trips’ is pure unruly bruk-out energy. In fact, the only duffer is Roni Size’s ‘Blind Alley’ which swings way too close to Pendulum for its own good. As raw and rowdy as drum & bass gets, this is wall-to-wall bangers. Joe Roberts
As old as the kids who go to their raves, Hospital is celebrating its 18th birthday this year — and, as you’d expect, it’s in as good health as ever. More dedicated to accessibility than d&b purism, the label has aged well thanks to its willingness to give people what they want rather than preserve what they did. Tunes from Netsky, Danny Byrd and Rollz pay service to more stadium-sized sounds that wouldn’t be out of place at festivals across the Atlantic, while Fred V & Grafix, Hugh Hardie and Etherwood don’t have any qualms arranging more flowery, radiofriendly rollers. It’s not all sugar-coated, though. Label boss London Elektricity gets deep, moody and melodic, before new signing Reso injects some chainsaws into the formula. Logistics’ remix of Four Tet, meanwhile, is simply excellent. Two unmixed CDs, one blended:‘We Are 18’is clinically insane. Adam Saville
Hospital: We Are 18
Various Message In The Music: The Ashley Beedle Re-edits
Brandt Brauer Frick DJ Kicks !K7
Deeply dug They’re most famous for bringing classical instrumentation into the techno domain, but Brandt Brauer Frick’s idea was borne from a great passion for dance music rather than any tired gimmick. The trio’s entry in the long-running mix series ‘DJ Kicks’ excavates deep into dance’s substrata to uncover some surprising and satisfying tunes. Skewed to the more forward-thinking acts and genres, this mix runs the gamut from the slinking, steady funk loops of Theo Parrish’s ‘Electric Alleycat’ to the kinetic energy of Afro bomb ‘Better Change Your Mind’ by William Onyeabor, its scratchy, lo-fi guitar and bulbous bass an early stunner. Later there are more bass-centric, broken beats fromPeverelist,KingdomandFrenchFries, Machinedrum’s‘Now You Know The Deal 4 Real’ a canny addition. If some of the mixing is a little suspect, we can forgive them for the sterling choice of tracks. Ben Murphy
Critical Music presents Underground Sonics Critical condition
Critical edition Entering its 12th year, Critical Music is as respectedasthemanbehindit.Supplying Kasra with freedom to roam the murkiest corners of the d&b spectrum, the label — responsible for some of the scene’s mostexceptionalwork—hasdeliveredits mostcomprehensivecompilationtodate. Dub Phizix’s ‘The Clock Ticks’ conjures the menacing tension that the title suggests, while Ivy Lab’s‘Baby Grey’offers a brooding slice of smoky jazz. Foreign Concept & DRS (‘Falling Stars’) aren’t afraid to slow into drum-step territory and Sam Binga & Redders get techy with ragga on ‘Lef Dem’. Elsewhere, Mefjus & Inside Info’s ‘Repentance’ is scary enough to make even The Predator wet his pants, while Enei’s ‘Slender’ and Noise & The Upbeats’‘Little Flight’ balance taut d&b grooves with supple melody elegantly. In fact, there’s little about this collection that isn’t perfect. Adam Saville
6.0 Dated (nu)disco
Various Toolroom Records Selector Series 14: My Digital Enemy Toolroom Records
7.0 Low-slung selections
Casting his eye across multiple generations of stone-cold classics, the (e)X-Press 2 man turns vintage gold from the likes of Bill Withers, Ruth Copeland, The Gap Band and The Fall into dancefloor-friendly gems. Taking up three discs, it’s a veritable gold mine waiting to be excavated. Adam Saville
The Hed-Kandi-forhipsters series presents the tunes that keep the stragglers stuck to the dancefloor at the end of the night. Tracks from Terrence Parker, Mirror Mirror and Names In Lightsmakeitmuchsexier and sophisticated than most people look at that time, although you can’t shake the feeling the nudisco thing is getting a bit tired. Paul Clarke
Various Saved 100
Various Artists 50WEAPONSRMX01-09
Various Future Disco Vol. 7: ‘Til The Lights Go Up
Brighton duo My Digital EnemytrawltheToolroom back catalogue for the ‘Selector Series’. As you’d expect, bass-loving MDE favour the deeper, dirtier, banging end of the Toolroom spectrum and it works a treat. Prok & Fitch, ToddTerry,JohnDahlbäck and Thomas Gold all feature. Tristan Parker
6.0 Not too future for you
To mark 100 releases since 2004, Saved label bosses Nic and Mark Fanciulli have pulled together the finest moments from the back catalogue. There are sterling cuts from the extended crew, including the brothers themselves, Mark Broom and Stacey Pullen, but it’s Terrence Parker’s celebratory piano anthem ‘Song Bird’ which ushers in the centenary best. Ben Arnold
A history of 50 Weapons remixes with a smattering of exclusives. Not all surpass the originals, like Shackleton’s Radioheadish take on Moderat’s ‘Rusty Nails’, but it’s fun to see how rotating label regulars like the ace Bambounouremaketheir co-signees in their own image. It doesn’t end as adventurously, but the quality rarely dips. Sunil Chauhan
In a bid to unearth future talent, Jaymo & Andy George showcase the latest talent to break onto the Moda Black radar. Aside from Sidney Charles, Javi Bora and Dudley Strangeways, the names—RebelandTwon, Fauvrelle, Elias Tzikas etc — are pretty much brandnew, but on this form we won’t be hearing much more of them anytime soon. Adam Saville
REPEATTHE LPS WE CAN’T LEAVE ALONE...
Henrik Schwarz Defected Presents House Masters Defected
9.0 An obvious choice, Henrik Schwarz proves why he’s a ‘House Master’.
Various 10 Years of Crosstown Rebels
9.0 Tech house’s most eminent label reminds us of its diversity.
Kerri Chandler Watergate 15
8.5 The New Jersey veteran blends a classic mix with one eye on modernity.
words: MICK WILSON
TECHNEWS LET’S GROOVE
Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio groove workstation aims to be the new king on the production block. p.175
IN THE STUDIO WITH... MARK RALPH
The man who’s worked with everyone from Hot Natured to Hot Chip shows us his kit. p.178
Pioneer drops the bomb with two more new releases, the DDJ-SZ and Remix Station 500...
Pioneer unleash their entry-level Serato DJIntro controller, the DDJ_SB. p.181
I PREDICT A RIOT!
Magma’s multi-purpose Riot Pack backpack aims to take the rough with the smooth. p.182
Assorted tips and tricks to help your productions on their way.
nce upon a time, Pioneer DJ only made mixers and CDJ players and for a while it looked as though they were being left behind in the technology stakes, as the controller wars hotted up. But it turned out that Pioneer had merely been biding their time before unleashing a slew of controllers onto the market and they have continued this aggressive release strategy ever since, with many of their recent controllers being nothing short of game-changing. The news of not one but two new boxes of tricks clad in the traditional Pioneer black being released will no doubt have morethanafewheadswithintheDJingcommunityturning rather sharply. The first of these technological treats is the
DDJ-SZ, which is Pioneer’s new flagship Serato controller, and the second is the RMX-500, an effects box that is the little brother to the RMX-1000. Hot on the heels of the release of the DDJ-SB, Pioneer’s entry-level two-channel Serato DJ controller, comes the DDJ-SZ, a four-channel controller that looks very similar to the DDJ-SX. But given the amount of extra features and improvements this new controller has been blessed with, Pioneer have decided it deserves its own identity. The improvements are vast and sexy as hell because many of the new components have come straight from the CDJ-2000NXS, meaning this controller is the closest to a CDJ player yet. Both the mixer and the deck
INTO THE XONE Allen & Heath are back with an all-new mixer, the Xone:23. It’s a two-channel budget mixer that has taken a lot of its styling and technology from Allen & Heath’s top-of-the-range Xone:DB4, meaning that, whilst it’s a budget unit, it’s full of pro features at a price that will appeal to every budding DJ. £280 allen-heath.com
sections have had a complete overhaul and the result is a truly topend all-in-one professional DJ controller that is going to have DJs selling their grandmothers to get their hands on one. The mixer section of the DDJ-SZ has been redesigned and conforms to the traditional DJM mixer-style layout, which is a definite improvement compared with the mixer layout on the DDJ-SX. The big new additions to the mixer include colour sound effects with a dedicated control knob on each channel, including the master; there is a proper microphone channel on the control surface, a new oscillator function that is assignable to individual channels or the master channel, and the track browsing and loading functions have been moved from the mixer to the deck sections, giving a cleaner and more professional layout. Possibly the most exciting new feature the DDJ-SZ has to laud over the DDJ-SX has been taken directly from the CDJ-2000NXS, namely the platters. These new platters are almost identical to the ones found on the CDJ2000NXS — the most obvious difference is the colour, which is silver, and the edge of the platter has a slightly different design, but the screens in the centre of the platters are the same. They both have LEDs around the top edge of the jog-wheels and the stiffness and stop time control knobs have also made their way from the CDJ2000NXS to the DDJ-SZ’s deck sections. For DJs who prefer to stick to CDJs but are looking for a way to add some more flair to their sets, Pioneer have announced their RMX-500 which is a portable powerhouse of effects putting a multitude of controls at DJs’ fingertips. The RMX-500 looks similar to the RMX-1000, but this time there are two circular control sections with one dedicated to Rhythm FX and the other for Scene FX, with a smaller section in the centre of the controller dedicated to Release FX duties. The RMX-500 remix station also has Pressure Controller knobs which are an industry first and promise to put even more control into DJs’hands. The RMX-500 can also work as a USB controller in conjunction with the included VST/AU/RTAS plug-ins for use in DAWs like Logic, Cubase or Ableton. Both of these new products are exciting in their own right, and DJs of all genres and styles will no doubt be rocking dancefloors with these new music machines in the months to come. However, given the revolutionary nature and downright sex appeal, the DDJ-SZ is likely to get most of the attention, which is as it should be — because this controller really is the best in its class.
JUST BEAT IT Reloop have released the rather nifty Beatpad, a dedicated controller for the iPad generation and users of Algoriddim’s excellent DJAY 2 software. The Beatpad is a two-channel compact controller with multi-colouredilluminated jog-wheels, crammed full of buttons, sliders and knobs to control the mix functions of the DJAY software. £395 reloop.com
X MARKS THE SPOT AiAiAi make rather nice headphones aimed at the fashion-conscious music maker. They have now released the TMA-1 Xs — a newer, smaller, lighter pair of their original flagship DJ headphones. The TMA-1 Xs are still DJ orientated, but priced very competitively to make them more attractive to the everyday user. £99, aiaiai.dk
DJ DOCTOR I want to get into DJing, and I’ve noticed that quite a few companies are making turntables again. Is vinyl making a comeback, or is this only to control DJ software? If that’s the case, should I not bother at looking at controllers like Native’s S4? WAYNE THOMPSON
Hi Wayne, Vinyl is certainly making a comeback. In 2013 vinyl sales increased, with LP sales reaching nearly the same point they were in 2003, so there is certainly a resurgence of interest in vinyl and it is not just limited to the DJ and dance market. Many DJs never stopped playing vinyl and while there is nothing quite like the sound of vinyl and the tactile feel of mixing with records on turntables, there are downsides to using vinyl to DJ. The first of these downsides is the cost of vinyl compared with digital releases, which can quickly add up and become financially crippling. The other major downside is the size and weight of vinyl, making the practical limit one can take to a gig 200 records, GOT A BURNING QUESTION? especially if the gig is international, and many smaller clubs have done away with turntables altogether.
TECHTALK YOUR SELF-HELP FROM THE FORUM
Serato or Traktor? I can’t decide which one to use, what do you lot think? Karl Hamilton, Plymouth I think you may have just opened a can of worms there, Karl. Both programs are excellent and offer truly professional features and tend to have almost identical features on offer. The best thing to do is download demo versions of each or spend some time playing on your mates’set-ups to get a feel for which suits you the best. John Jones, Portsmouth Traktor is a lot cheaper than Serato DJ to buy, and Traktor also has the added advantage of being able to be used with pretty much any audio interface. But if you decide to go with Serato, you will need to buy a Serato Certified audio interface, mixer or controller. Of course, if you plan on buying a controller or mixer, these will usually come with a copy of Serato DJ/ Serato Intro or Traktor Pro 2, so the cost of software won’t be an issue until it comes to upgrades. Claire Long, Glasgow Have a look at the various controller options available. Even if you want to stick to using vinyl or CDJs to mix, there are some fantastic add-on controllers like the Kontrol F1, which can put some awesome DJ tools and effects at your fingertips. Joseph Coles, Chichester djmag.com.au
APP REVIEW APP NAME : TOUCHABLE 2 DEVELOPER : ZERODEBUG FORMAT : IPAD PRICE : £17.49
(PBR STREETGANG) CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
NOVATION BASS STATION II “When it comes to the method of our creative process in the studio, it’s really varied, changing as frequently as the British weather, but there are certain bits of kit we use to make that music which will remain ever-constant. “One such piece is the Novation Bass Station II. Even though it’s a relatively new addition, it has only taken a month or two for it to become our go-to for bass sounds, interesting arps, and generally odd-sounding noises. Because it’s a relatively simple synth to programme, it’s great for starting ideas from scratch, just playing around and seeing what happens. So it can be a lot more satisfying creating on this than just moving a mouse around your screen. “Being disco to our roots, arpeggios feature quite a lot in our music in one way or another, and this is great fun for that. You get all the ‘classic’ arp modes and then the ability to write your own arp sequence, and then on top of that add swing to it so you can get it nicely wonky, which is quite a unique feature for a hardware synth and really fits our style of music making. “The main reason, though, why this is now starting to become something we cannot do without is purely how good it sounds. It’s all analogue (though digitally controlled) and just seems to sound thicker, warmer and wider than any plug-in we’ve used and even puts a couple of my coveted vintage synths in the shade when it comes to making basslines.”
Of late, it seems that all of the major manufacturers have been focusing on making hardware controllers in the hope of dominating the market. But one manufacturer who has arguably made the ultimate hardware controller is often forgotten, and that company is Apple. The iPad makes the perfect platform for touch interface-based controllers. Better yet, for a fraction of the price of a normal hardware controller, apps can be purchased to turn the iPad into a Swiss Army Knife of controllers. One such app that turns the iPad into arguably the best controller on the market for Ableton is Touchable 2, which gives complete touch control over Ableton Live, making it possible to all but forget the computer monitor and do everything on the iPad’s screen. Touchable 2 has built on the success of the original, keeping
WaveDNA’s Liquid Rhythm is a MIDI sequencer and beat generator with a difference, in that it allows users to access the building blocks of an almost limitless number of rhythmic patterns to create their very own grooves. Users can import pre-existing MIDI tracks created using their DAW of choice, and search Liquid Rhythm’s library of loops and kits to quickly invent new dynamic rhythm tracks. The program displays a completely new visual representation of MIDI for fast, easy beat creation and experimentation. It’s available as a stand-alone version or VST/AU/RTAS plug-in — and also works hand-in-hand with Ableton Live 9. £80, wavedna.com
Focusrite have released a rather cool add-on for iPad recording and production with the introduction of the iTrack Dock. A fully functional studio-quality iPad recording interface, featuring dual Focusrite microphone pre-amps, plus two line inputs and an instrument DI, independent stereo monitor and headphone outputs, it’s everything needed to turn your iPad into a full-blown recording studio. Users can even add MIDI instruments and controllers to the dock via the USB connector. focusrite.com
customisation. The earcups are created via a 3-D printer in such a way that each headphone can be hand-modified and tuned to a specific frequency range, making for a total audiophile listening experience. The headphones are based on Fostex’s T50RP headphone, but totally rebuilt with new elements to offer a unique-looking and sounding experience. mrspeakers.com
the same workflow. But the plethora of features it has on offer have had a complete upgrade. The result is a high performance controller with minimal latency, that does almost everything the Ableton Push hardware controller does within an iPad or iPad Mini. Features like the isomorphic keyboard, clip and instrument browser, split screen workflow and clip make Touchable 2 super usable, and the added bonus of features unique to this app — such as custom controller template design complete with buttons, sliders, x-y pads and boxes — are the icing on
TOP DOG Alpha Dog headphones are a little bit special and the ultimate in headphone
LOUD AND PROUD IK Multimedia makes great bits of kit that have helped out countless musicians over the years. Their newest offering, the iLoud is just the latest bit of gear designed to make our musical lives a lot easier. Iloud, as IK claim is “the first portable speaker for musicians”. It kicks out a powerful high-resolution sound with an amazing low-end response. Great for the travelling DJ/ producer who needs a portable speaker that sounds like a studio
A MOMENT OF YOUR TIME TIMO MAAS
TIMO MAAS has been a kingpin on the clubbing circuit for many a year. His productions and remixes have smashed up dancefloors all over the world. Known for his work with American superstar Kelis as well as UK songstress Neneh Cherry, he has been a regular chart-topper. His remix of Azzido Da Bass’‘Doom’s Night’ has been credited as one of the defining dancefloor moments. DJ Mag grabbed some time to talk to Timo about his love for the dance music scene and his great respect for his studio and production partner, Santos... How has your sound developed as an artist during your production and DJing career? “Quite naturally, after all those years loving music and being in the biz. I don’t just take any easy routes anymore. I like to experiment and discover things I would probably never have recognised 10 or 15 years ago. I feel very confident in [my] production, with the lovely Santos and the sound that we are producing.” When did you start working with Santos? “We met about 12 years ago for the first time in Ibiza, said hello, had a chat and forgot about each other. Then a few years back we met again, playing at a gig together in Rome. When I showed Sante the top vinyl in my record box, I realised he produced it all under many different names. That was quite a surprise, and the basis for the idea that we might try to work together. The first track we ever did together was ‘Subtellite’, and that was a very good start for a long-lasting partnership — five years now. I really like working with Santos, as we both inspire each other a lot and we are trying to push boundaries on a constant basis. The album ‘Lifer’ is one of the results of this vibe.” Tell us about your current studio set-up together… “We’re using two computers, a PC running Cubase and Ableton, and a Mac running Logic for creating
different ideas and sounds, plus an analogue summing unit by Dangerous Audio, an Apogee converter and some analogue EQ, TLA, Manley and various compressors as well, and some pedal FX. For generating grooves we use analogue machines like Elektron Machinedrum, Novation Drum Station and Emu Orbit, and when it comes to the digital point of view, we’re using Native Instruments Maschine, Reaktor, or just a few virtual samplers with our own sound library. Synth-wise and for our sounds, we’ve got a Moog Voyager, Yamaha CS10, Korg MS20, Access Virus, Roland Juno106, JD 800, JV2080, Novation Supernova and a Korg MS2000.” A nice collection — what bits are your favourites? “Maschine from Native Instruments is a killer toy, then the Roland JD 800, which has the right sound for us at the moment. We are also using a lot of freeware plug-ins, the
community is full at the moment and there are some very weird things like Third Harmonic Studios’ EXD-80, which is a cool drum machine plus granular FX unit. DEEP MONO is easy and powerful, and also a lot of FX... if you search a little bit, you can find some very strange stuff!” How do you guys go about producing a track? “It always starts differently... sometimes it’s just a sound, a loop, a bassline or simply anything, that with a little bit of work will be the basis for a new track or song. With ‘Articulation’ it was that magic bassline, where we created everything else around it. I am not programming anything, that’s Sante, but I am very particular in how I want the things to be sounding, feeling.” What defines the Timo Maas sound? “I don’t know really but it all has a certain feeling of funkiness,
sometimes also simplicity, with old school influences made in a very new school kind of way.” Tell us a little bit about your label Rockets and Ponies? “We started the label a few years back, it’s always great to have a platform for releasing great music, not just ours, it’s good to have full control for experiments. We had a break for about one year to reorganise it all and refocus on the most important thing, outstanding music. With the new singles coming up by Katie Cruel and Wolfgang Haffner, and also brilliant new Santos material, we are again trying to make our very own personal statement about what we think is great electronic music.” What’s next for you? “New music, new remixes, more touring, a new album project coming up in the next few months, busy busy and it feels good!” djmag.com.au
TECH Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio words: MICK WILSON / LUKE PEPPER
Native Instruments’ Maschine Studio groove workstation aims to be the new king on the production block. But does it fit the bill?
owards the end of last year, DJ Mag gave the world the exclusive scoop on Native’s new production powerhouse, the Maschine Studio. We were so impressed with what we saw in a private showing at Red Bull Studios that we were itching to get our mitts on it. At the time of its release in November, if you asked any producer in the know what they really wanted for Christmas, the answer that invariably came back was the same: “Maschine Studio!”The buzz around this not-so-little black box of delights was like nothing DJ Mag has seen in recent years on any bit of kit, testament to how hot Native Instruments are regarded, as well as the excellence of their hardware and software design teams, based over in uber-cool Berlin. So what was it about this new addition to the Maschine range that had got the industry in such a fervour? Well as it turns out, not only is there the fantastic new piece of hardware that we all got excited about, but there is also a major update to the Maschine software which is compatible with 98
older versions of Maschine and Maschine Mikro.
Maschine Studio is described by Native Instruments as their flagship groove production studio and has clearly been designed to round out the range with a Maschine for every situation. It’s designed to spend most of its time in the studio while either Maschine or Maschine Mikro take care of duties on stage and/or in the DJ booth. While the size of Maschine Studio does make it more suited to the studio, it is still portable enough to throw into a bag and take to gigs. The build of Maschine Studio is of the highest quality. All the knobs, buttons and dials have a firm and positive action — now the jury is out as to which one looks the best. Personally we love the white and silver version, it just looks so cool, whilst the black version definitely is about getting down to the business in hand. But this is all superficial, as regardless of the colour way this is a serious piece of studio gear. Whilst there is an increase in size, the purpose of Maschine Studio remains the same as the other
models in the range — to get producers away from their computer screen and mouse and to start writing their music in the old skool hands-on MPCstyle way. Maschine Studio builds on an already excellent workflow and takes things to the next level, thanks to some amazing new features. The most striking of these new features are the two extra large colour screens — absolutely gorgeous, thanks to their high resolution. Maschine Studio users can employ the screens to view the sampler, mixer, pattern editor, arranger, channel strip and more. Clever use of the two screens together makes the user interface extremely slick and user-friendly. Forexample,wheneditingsamplesorworkinginthe patternsequencertheleftscreenshowsanoverview of the full selection, while the right screen is dedicatedtodetailedtweakingwhenslicing,editing and composing. The addition of these screens has revolutionised the workflow, making it possible to create a whole track using Maschine Studio without once looking at the computer screen. A brand-new editing section provides dedicated
TECH Twin screens
Included software buttons and a new large jog-wheel surrounded by an achingly cool halo ring, which provides visual feedback along with the inclusion of a UV meter in the metering section that can be toggled between master, group, sound and cue meters as well as input sources. Dedicated control buttons allow fast switching between Maschine Studio’s sampler, arranger, mixer and browser and provide direct access to channel settings and the new plug-in strip, which supports VST or audio unit plug-ins. Maschine Studio is packed with clever little touches that bear testament to the excellent design and build quality — even simple little things warrant a mention. One such feature are the legs found underneath this controller that fold down to create an integrated stand, angling the control surface in a most pleasing way without needing to purchase an additional stand.
Okay, so we love the hardware. It’s amazingly cool, it’s designed for the dance music production community. Some would say that Maschine Studio demands the respect that Akai’s original MPC garnered when it was first released. However, it’s not just about the hardware, as this studio warrior would be nothing without Maschine 2.0 — the new software from Native that drives the entire Maschine range. Unlike previous updates which were improvements to the original codebase, this time the software has been completely rewritten from the ground up to take advantage of the new hardware whilst allowing it to interact fully and perfectly with the older members of the Maschine family, breathing new life into a range of kit that has already found favour in dance
music production circles. While all of the previous updates to the Maschine software since 2009 have been free, this time existing Maschine users will need to pay roughly about £80 for the upgrade. While the cost will no doubt irk some users, there are some seriously tasty improvements and new features on offer, such as the new mixer, unlimited groups, smoother workflow and the inclusion of four full Komplete instruments and effects, not to mention the 2GB sample library that now comes as part of the Maschine 2.0 package. That makes the small cost not such a bad investment at all, as it really does bring a more complete experience to anyone who has used the original Maschine software. Also a pleasant and welcome surprise which bucks the trend of needing faster computer hardware to run new software, the latest incarnation of Maschine 2.0 will actually run faster than the original software on older machines, offering improved performance and lower latency, making this upgrade even more appealing. Maschine Studio is a stunning piece of hardware that has been designed beautifully and has been engineered to perfection. While the price of ownership is high the cost will soon be forgotten, but the quality will remain. For existing Maschine owners the release of the 2.0 version of the software is a godsend, taking an already amazing piece of studio equipment and making it considerably better. The simple advice is this — sell the car, sell an organ or sell a relative to get those hands on Maschine Studio, it really is that good.
VERDICT BUILD QUALITY 9.0 EASE OF USE 9.0 FEATURES 9.0 VALUE FOR MONEY 9.0 SOUND QUALITY 9.0
Twogorgeoushighresolution screens, a redesigned workflow, multi source UV metermonitoringandsoftware that has been rewritten from the ground up.
Maschine Studio is beautiful but it is not cheap and now requires an external power supply. Maschine Studio is Native Instruments’flagshipgroove productionstudioandthanks to the fantastic design and beautiful engineering, is set to be this year’s must-have piece of studio equipment.
TECH In The Studio with Mark Ralph
words: MICK WILSON pics: JAMIE SIMONDS
Mark Ralph is the man to call when you need some serious studio firepower...
ou may not instantly recognise his name, but his signature is all over some of the biggest hits to have graced the dancefloors of clubs all over the world. Mark Ralph is enjoying a very productive music career, sometimes behind the desk working alongside the likes of Hot Natured, Jamie Jones and Hot Chip, and at times taking centre stage with his own Filthy Dukes project and numerous other productions. Mark invited DJ Mag to his wonderful Club Ralph Studios in North London for a little tetea-tete...
What is a typical day in the studio like for you? ”The mornings are always the most productive How did your journey into music production begin? — usually the first two hours. This is a perfect time for mix tweaks, and I’m often doing that first “I started playing guitar aged six and got my first break at eighteen, playing guitar on ‘We Are Family’, thing if I’ve had a mix on the desk the day before. the Sister Sledge re-release from 1993. I spent years I then spend the rest of the day recording, writing or mixing — sometimes with loads of people as a session guitarist in London at the same time as playing and writing songs in bands and learning around, sometimes on my own. Most important to engineer, mix and eventually produce. I became is the lunchtime trip to the sandwich shop for Joe inquisitiveaboutmusicalperformancesandthewhole Goddard’s all-time favourite No.9 sandwich!” world of fascinating electronic devices with which to Talk to us about your hit factory, the lovely Club capture them.” Ralph Studio... Has working with so many top-flight names within “My studio consists of three rooms — a control the scene helped you to develop what you do and room and two live spaces, which I use to record bands and do overdubs in. We did a lot of live band how you work in the studio? performances in here with Franz Ferdinand on their ”Yes, everyone I work with brings with them last record, and all of the last Hot Chip album here something, which helps me develop my skills, and as well.” I hope I can always reciprocate. I worked on a few albums with Sly & Robbie a few years ago, and Sly Dunbar told me even after 50 years of making records, Give us a rundown of the kit in your studio… “At the heart of the studio is the unique Conny he still learns something new each day from the people he works with — many of whom are 40 years Plank custom-built 56-channel analogue console, one of only two ever made. Building began on his junior! I very much take his attitude with the it in 1974 and it was used to record Kraftwerk, people I’m in the studio with.” 100 djmag.com.au
Can, Brian Eno, Ultravox and Eurythmics amongst many others. This is complimented by lots of outboard dynamics and effects, and also lots of old synthesisers, guitars, drums and drum machines, sitars, organs and piano. “I run Pro Tools 11 on an HDX rig, but I also use Ableton Live 9 and occasionally Logic X, although mainly for converting projects. I like experimenting with different programs, different ways of creating. I dislike it when I hear people who try to argue that their software is better than someone else’s — it’s a bit like telling a painter that you think his or her palette and brushes are crap, while ignoring their work of art…” Tell us more about this unique mixing desk? “Conny Plank built two of these desks, and the other one was built for the band Can and currently resides in the German Rock N Pop museum in Gronau. He was using the channels, which eventually became my desk during the making of Kraftwerk’s ‘Autobahn’, and continued to develop it throughout the ‘70s. It has very unique-sounding preamps and EQ, the nearest thing comparable would be an MCI console. Apart from its historical
Can you share with the readers one tip for making better-sounding music? “Here are three: firstly, do some research and spend some time and money making your studio space What is your attraction to analogue gear? as acoustically pleasing as you can. Secondly, get “My attraction is two-fold; firstly and most obviously, Which hat do you prefer to wear as you capably the sound you’re recording right before pressing I love the sound of a lot of external instruments — be flirt between producer, mixer, artist, musician, nice record — don’t just whack it in and hope the plugbloke? they synths, drum machines, pianos, guitars, live drums and percussion, or strings. This also goes for “I’m happiest when I have as much variety in my life ins will save it. Thirdly, ignore everything anyone as possible, so the answer is all of the above in equal says to you about how to make music, and make it a lot of my outboard gear, early digital as well as analogue — EMT, Lexicon, AMS, Eventide, Urei, Neve, measures. I occasionally still dust off the ‘axe’ for the all up yourself, by trial and error. It’s by far the best odd guitar gig, most recently with Hot Natured at their way to learn. After all, no one can really tell you Barth, Valley People and more. “Secondly, quite apart from the sonic aspect which Brixton and Glastonbury shows, and I always manage what is right or wrong.” to venture up the dusty end of the neck on at least one some people will argue is no different to their Do you have any memorable studio stories? plug-in counterparts, the creative process by which track on 2 Bears albums.” “Being throttled by Ronnie Wood in his house at I arrive at a sound and the way in which I perform 4am whilst trying to record Cilla Black. Second most What projects are you currently working on? with a piece of hardware is completely different memorable moment: pretending to the Pet Shop “I’m just finishing off Clean Bandit’s debut album, to staring at a computer screen, moving a mouse which I’m loving working on, and will be completing Boys I could play pedal steel guitar and doing an around a picture of a piece of equipment. I’m not albums over the next months with Ali Love, 2 Bears, aurally painful two-hour studio session with them saying one is universally superior to the other, and in many cases the software versions are much more The Magician as well as starting work with Friendly on it, having never seen the instrument in my life before…” Fires and continuing with the next Hot Chip LP.” versatile and controllable. I spent years working in kudos, all I can say is that it just makes everything you put through it sound fantastic.”
the box with Pro Tools, but when I finally got out of that box, I found it very refreshing to be able to use the best of both worlds.”
TECH Pioneer DDJ-SB
words: LUKE PEPPER
VERDICT BUILD QUALITY 8.0 EASE OF USE 8.0 FEATURES 9.0 VALUE FOR MONEY 9.0 SOUND QUALITY 8.0
PLASTIC FANTASTIC Bring the noise! Pioneer unleash their fantastic entry-level Serato DJ Intro controller, the DDJ-SB...
here has never been a better time than right now for newcomers to the art of DJing, thanks to the ever-decreasing cost of professional DJ equipment. Pioneer’s new DDJ-SB is further proof of this rather pleasing trend for consumers. Gone are the days of needing to spend many hundreds — if not thousands — of pounds to obtain the professional level of equipment required to hone one’s skills to the levels demanded on the club circuit. Instead there are now choices for every style of DJing imaginable at prices that won’t break the bank. Pioneer’s new baby the DDJ-SB is a prime example of an entry-level controller that provides a huge amount of features for a very reasonable price and is sure to get a lot of well-deserved attention from Serato DJs in the coming months. At first glance, the DDJ-SB looks strikingly similar to Pioneer’s other two-channel Serato controller, the DDJ-SR. However, the DDJ-SB is smaller and lighter due to the plastic construction of this controller, and the fact that there are a few less knobs and buttons on the control surface. The good news is that all of the main features from the DDJ-SR have made their way to the DDJ-SB, along with a rather tasty and unique feature called Filter Fader mode — but more on that later. The size and light weight of the DDJ-SB means that it is ultra-portable and is perfect for throwing in a bag to take to gigs, parties or anywhere else that has a dancefloor. Despite the amount of features — including an onboard audio interface — this controller is USB-powered, so it doesn’t need a power supply, which means there is no need to search for a power socket in dark DJ booths and 102 djmag.com.au
grimy warehouses before starting a set. At the heart of the DDJ-SB’s control surface is a twochannel mixer complete with crossfader and master section. Each of the channels has three-band EQs and filter knobs, which control the classic Pioneer LPF/HPF filter. At the top of the mixer section is a sparse but functional track-browsing and loading section consisting of three buttons and a pushbutton encoder knob. The master section of this mixer is surprisingly well featured, with a master volume knob, headphone mix control knob and a headphone level knob.The most interesting feature of this mixer is also unique to the DDJ-SB: the brand new Filter Fade mode which is engaged via a backlitbuttonabovethecrossfader.Whenengaged, the Filter Fade mode links the crossfader to the high-pass filters on both the left and right decks, applying a bass filter as the crossfader is moved to make mixes smoother. In addition to the two mixer channels, there is a microphoneinputhiddenawayontheleft-handside of the controller along with a tiny volume knob. It’s an arrangement that neatly adds an extra feature without taking up valuable space on the control surface. What is missing, however, is any kind of metering on the channels or the master output, so DJs will need to rely on their ears rather than their eyes to ensure there is no clipping on the channels or master output. The deck sections of the DDJ-SB are very well appointed indeed and the jog wheels at the centre are nicely-sized, given the compact nature of this controller. The performance is excellent, thanks to a lovely smooth but tight-feeling action along with high resolution encoders that are super-responsive
Nicely-sized precision jog-wheels, onboard audio interface,pad-styletriggersand a crossfader with a new Filter Fade mode unique to this controller.
The lack of output meters, especially on the master channel,isadisappointment.
and perfect for precision scratching. At the The DDJ-SB brings top of each deck professional level features and quality to the masses in section are FX this entry level Serato DJ controls with three Introcontrollerthatprovides backlit buttons fantastic value for money as and a control well as great portability. knob which can be switched between level and beat modes via the shift button. While the tempo faders are small, they are functional, and given the fact that this controller is designed to be used with Serato Intro, the sync button can be used to compensate for any shortcomings and is unlikely to be an issue for anyone but old-skool vinyl DJs. Slip mode can be engaged via a button that also doubles as the vinyl mode engage control, and its inclusion is a nice surprise especially at this budget end of the market. The icing on the cake is found at the bottom of the deck sections in the form of eight pad-style trigger buttons which can be used for hot cues, triggering samples, loops and rolls. Pioneer have done a fantastic job, both in the design and execution of the DDJ-SB. This really is a professional level controller at an entry level price. Serato DJs who have been saving hard for a new controller or holding out for the perfect budget controller should investigate the DDJ-SB immediately because it could be exactly what they have been waiting for — as should anyone looking to take their first steps towards DJ superstardom.
Magma Riot Backpack words: MICK WILSON
BUILD QUALITY 7.0 EASE OF USE 8.0 FEATURES 9.0 VALUE FOR MONEY 9.0 SOUND QUALITY N/A
THE RIOT STUFF Magma’s Riot Pack aims to take the rough with the smooth...
A go-anywhere bit of DJ luggagethatisbigandversatile enough to fit in nearly everything,exceptthekitchen sink.
JMagrecentlytooktheMagmaRiotBackpack on an around-the-world DJ jaunt to see if this all-purpose bit of DJ luggage could handle its own when things started to get rough and
Thefinishingofthebagcould be better.
tough. The Riot Pack is a fully expandable, totally usercustomisable backpack than can be loaded up with a controller or mixer of choice (to a point), laptop, accessories, and even, at a push, offer up a little bit of space for a change of clothes. The blurb states that it “comfortably holds any digital gear from Traktor Kontrol S4 and similar-sized controllers to battle mixers such as Rane Sixty-Two, Pioneer DJM-T1 or Traktor Kontrol Z2”, and we have to agree. It’s made possible by the number of Velcro pads and panelling that can be removed or positioned to create protection zones and spaces within the bag itself.
The Magma Riot Pack is a decentbitofDJluggagethat canaccommodateavarying array of DJ gear. Looks good, and a decent enough build quality should see it take a beating on the road.
The look of the bag is most definitely where it should be, and will win fans within the cool crowd. The matt-black, heavy duty (and as Magma claim) 100% waterproof tarpaulin material gives it an almost leather-type look that is apparently “tougher than leather”. DJ Mag’s not sure whether this claim has been scientifically proven or backed up; however, it makes for a pretty sturdy casing for all those prized possessions. On a personal level we would love an all-leather version of this bag and would pay good money to get one — Magma, are you reading this? All the zippers on the outer shell of the Riot DJ BackPack are fully waterproof and do offer adequate protection from an unexpected downpour, which is just what we experienced on the LA leg of the trip. Another neat feature is that the majority of the zippers on the outer surface are lockable, offering security and piece of mind that grubby hands won’t be able to access what’s inside when it’s going through the various stages around the airport or simply stacked up supposedly out of harm’s way behind the DJ booth. The Riot Pack has a Zip-Around Expansion System that allows for the bag to be expanded and the capacity doubled: another useful feature that is sometimes overlooked on other brands of DJ luggage. There are two accessory pockets on the front of the bag, with added internal mesh pouches and organisers for the smaller bits of kit or even simple things such as wallets, passports and mobile phones. When it comes to laptops, the Riot Pack can easily accommodate a 17-inch machine in a separate compartment that keeps it safely tucked away from the main section. The bag has a nice padded central strip built into the back base to make sure that kit isn’t jammed up against bodies in transit, and if the user’s back is not up to the strain the Riot has top and side carry-handles, giving DJs options on how to lug this thing around.
a major consideration, as to some this is the make-or-break when it comes to purchasing DJ luggage. It has to work well for the job in hand. However, us DJs are a vain lot so not only does it have to deal with everything we throw at it, it also has to look the part in every department, and sloppy finishing takes away some of the shine of this otherwise nice bit of DJ kit. The Magma Riot Pack is a versatile piece of DJ luggage that passed the test we threw at it. Slung over DJ Mag’s back it made light work of helping us escort our gear to the gigs whilst running through various airports trying not to miss flights. We also noticed many an admiring eye as we trundled down this gigging DJs’catwalk. Having tested out numerous pieces of DJ luggageandkitbagsthereareafewthingswewouldhaveliked to have seen on this bag, mainly centred around the finishing, and maybe a stiffer choice of padding for the removal pads, but hey, it’s not a deal breaker.
Whilst the bag can stand up to the rigours of the travelling DJ, we’ve got to comment that the finish of some of the parts are not up to the standard that they should be, with some dubious finishing on someoftheVelcropads.Whenfullyloaded,some of the straps looked as if they were experiencing the effects of strain damage. Considering the competition for cool functional DJ luggage we would have thought that these areas would be djmag.com.au 103
words: MICK WILSON
Welcome to Plug-in Corner, our monthly exposé of some of the best plug-ins around for creating electronic music
We reveal some handy tips and tricks to help you on the road to wicked productions...
UNDS YOLANDA BE COOL’S KILLER SO the freshest sounds How to create on the dancefloor...
PLUG-IN: V COLLECTION DEVELOPER: ARTURIA FORMAT: VST, AU, AAX
AUSTRALIANproductionoutfitYolanda Be Cool deliver tips on how they got the killer sound on their latest single ‘AllThatSheWants’—AndrewStanley from the duo explains more…
“It is always dangerous covering such an iconic track. The first version we didwasahoused-up124bpm.Wesent it across to Syf & Fritz and they did a cool job with the vocals, but it just felt too fast and rushed. And if you are going to cover an already superpoppy track and speed it up, then you are heading into very dangerous territory. We then did the opposite and slowed it right down to 98bpm, and it immediately felt a lot cooler and more low-slung. “When you receive such amazing vocals as we did with Syf & Fritz, 75% of the hard work has been done. We just needed to provide a unique instrumental to let them shine. We chopped up all of their breaths to create a sort of percussive pulsating effect that runs underneath the track, that helps create a sense of movement and rhythm. “The main part of the track is the bassline, which we used an
Emulator 3 keyboard disk for. We were at our buddy Nicky Vanshe’s studio flicking through different samples on disks until we came across the one we chose, which we ran through a Neve 1073 as it gives a smoother and warmer texture to the bottom-end and combats the fact that the emulator is digital. “For the synths we used a Poly
Evolver with a phaser, nice and simple. We mixed the whole record down in Nicky Vanshe’s studio and placed a C1 master buss compressor (the same one Tony Hoffer used when mixing the Phoenix album), and it seems to make everything glue in the right way.”
The sounds of all these synths are as close as we’re going to get to the real thing — some would say even better! DJ Mag would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. Arturia have been leading the way in classic software synth reproduction, and their expertise has won them many fans. If analoguesounding synths are needed, this pack is the onestop-shop for all those music-making needs, with over 400 presets per instrument to get those creative juices flowing. Each of these instruments can be used as a standalone application or as a plug-in within a DAW of choice.
SAMPLETANK: ‘BASS HOUSE’ THERE’S no denying that the current mood in house music has got a ‘90s-influenced tinge to it. Labels like PMR, Dirtybird and artists like Disclosure, T.Williams and Hot Natured are all merging modern techniques with the old school influence, which seems to be the new cool sound on many a discerning dancefloor. So to facilitate in the production of this new wave of house music, Sample Magic have released a sample pack that takes its lead from some of the original house sounds from back in the day. ‘Bass House’ packs in 400MB of house and garage-inspired grooves, deep rounded basslines and moody melodies direct from the UK underground. The promotional blurb sells it as it is: “Merging the best of ‘90s house, UK garage and contemporary deep house”.
Producers aiming to get the George Fitzgerald vibe should take a look at the‘Bass House’sample library, as it comes packed with shuffling beats, elastic and aggressive basslines and ‘90s-inspired chords that can easily be mixed and matched to create some rather cool underground vibes. As per the norm, ‘Bass House’ comes in all the usual sampler and audio file formats. 104 djmag.com.au
ARTURIA are calling their new ‘V Collection 3.0 Synthesiser Anthology’ package the ‘Dream Studio’ and dare we say it, this is probably apt. ‘V Collection’ brings together the sought-after sounds of several of the most legendary analogue synthesisers and classic drum machines that have helped shape the sound of dance and electronic music culture as we know it today. It’s a software package that true production aficionados need to have in their production arsenal. For hardware synth geeks like us, the ‘V Collection’ is the next best thing to owning some of the world’s most revered synths at a fraction of the cost. The cost of owning this collection in the physical domain would be astronomical — however, Arturia have come to our aid and delivered no less than 10 of their multi-award-winning software instruments in one box. The ‘V Collection’ features Mini V, Modular V, CS-80V, ARP2600V, Prophet V & Prophet VS, Jupiter 8-V and Analog Lab, as well as the latest Oberheim SEM V and Wurlitzer V additions, plus Arturia’s very own Spark Vintage drum machine, a comprehensive collection of 30 classic drum machines.
Plug-in Corner is sponsored by pluginboutique.com, your login for plug-ins!
$499 (pair) CONTACT
VERDICT BUILD QUALITY 8.0 EASE OF USE 8.0 FEATURES 8.0 VALUE FOR MONEY 8.0 SOUND QUALITY 8.0
New and improved tweeter andwaveguide,redesigned bass port and a new low frequencyadjustmentknob.
GENERATIONS OF LOVE
KRK take their Rokit monitors to the Next Generation... ANYONE who has spent too much time lurking around studios will be familiar with the distinctive yellow and black design of KRK speakers and will most likely have heard a set of Rokit monitors, along with the enthusiastic endorsement of their owners. Such is the popularity of the Rokit range of speakers that they need no introduction to most studio heads, and these active studio monitors have gained their popularity through a mix of audio fidelity and good oldfashioned value for money. Given the similarity to its predecessor, this latest incarnation of the Rokit 5 could be mistaken for being a slightly reworked version of the second generation — but closer inspection reveals much has changed. As far as looks are concerned, KRK haven’t reinvented the wheel and have kept the distinctive yellow and black design, along with the overall cabinet shape and profile, opting for subtle tweaks like rounder corners and removing the screws from the front of the speaker, giving an overall cleaner and more professional finish. In addition to the cosmetic changes, the bass port has been redesigned along USE PWM FOR DEPTH Using your keyboard or MIDI controller’s mod wheel to tweak Pulse Width Modulation on a synth will add depth and a human touch.
with the tweeter’s wave guide design. The back of the Generation 3 Rokit 5 reveals further new features — this time in the form of a new knob that controls low frequency adjustments, with settings of -2dB, -1dB, 0dB and+1dB all available, perfect for adjusting bass levels to suit specific studio spaces as well as for use with sub woofers. A high frequency adjustment knob is also provided, with the same settings available as the low frequency knob. The Rokit 5 G3 has three types of input sockets, with both a balanced XLR and jack as well as an unbalanced phono (RCA) style socket. A volume knob rounds off a simplebut-well-featured rear control panel.
second generation Rokit 5 monitors, and the result is a much tighter and clearly defined bass sound. The separation between mid and high frequencies has also improved, with better clarity and separation between frequencies. The Rokit 5 G3 performs well at all volume levels, with clarity at moderate listening levels as well as the ability to pound out some serious decibels without distortion. When it comes to setting up these monitors in a new studio, the low and high-end adjustment knobs really help the task, and given the high-quality sound reproduction, getting top-notch mixdowns can be achieved quickly and without fuss.
The yellow woofer can be a love it or hate it affair. AproperupgradetotheKRK Rokit 5 studio monitor that really improves the sound quality as well as the looks of this great all-round speaker.
moniker. While KRK have kept the sensible pricing of the new Rokit 5 Generation 3 speaker, this latest evolution really steps up the game in terms of sonic performance and should be regarded as a completely different beast to its predecessors. With more than 25 years of design DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE Given the solid improvements Of course, aesthetics are all well and and development behind the Rokit series of monitors, it is not surprising that have been made, it is easy to good, but while nobody wants an recommend the upgrade to existing that this latest incarnation proves ugly unit the real test of a speaker Rokit 5 G2 owners, and it is even is how it sounds, and the Rokit 5 G3 that KRK know more than a thing easier to recommend these cutsounds good — very good, in fact. The or two about creating professional price powerhouses to anyone who brand-new tweeter and wave guide studio monitors. Rather than trying is looking for a new set of studio to change a winning design and design make a dramatic difference monitors. Overall, the Rokit 5 G3 and the improvement can be heard possibly ruin it in the process, provides outstanding performance KRK have refined and upgraded immediately, providing clear and along with the KRK Rokit legacy, at a their studio workhorse to create a sharp top-end sonic reproduction. price that is very reasonable indeed. The bottom-end has also improved fantastic new speaker that is more noticeably when compared with the than worthy of wearing the Rokit
OPEN THE ENVELOPE The key to adding character to synth lines often lies in the envelope settings and using automation to tweak these settings as the track progresses.
LESS IS MORE When it comes to creating a track that has lots of space and transparency in the mix, using less instruments and sounds is the key to success.
LEARN FROM THE BEST When struggling with a mix-down or any other part of the creative process, it is often useful to use the work of a big name artist as a reference to compare and bring inspiration.
TIPS djmag.com.au 105
C MARK FAN
This month sees the release of‘Saved 100’, an impressive compilation of 20 sparkling tracks from Nic Fanciulli’s label that Mark helps his brother to run. “It’s 10 originals that people have released on the label before and 10 remixes from the back catalogue,”Mark tells DJ Mag. In recent years the dynamic siblings have increasingly been seen on the same line-ups. This time round the tour alongside this release has put them on the road together for a series of dates that takes in Miami. As well as mixing the project, Mark is also working on his own solo releases and remixes —‘Frame Of Mind’appears in the mix and his version of &Me’s‘Matters’is out this month. Here are his vital tracks... Words: HELENE STOKES
What’s the track that reminds you of your childhood?
What’s the track that’s guaranteed to make you cry?
What’s your all-time favourite track of all-time?
“One track I would say is the Beastie Boys’ ‘Sabotage’. I must have been about seven or eight-years-old and I remember seeing themonanawardshowonTVorsomething like that. I was very young at the time and I thought it sounded and looked really cool, and I remember a few months later when it was my birthday and I actually got the cassette where it was featured on the album. I don’t listen to them as much now, but I remember at the time it really grabbed my attention. “My parents were very into music, there was always music playing in our house. My dad would listen to a lot of disco and they’re both into dance music, they love coming out to watch us work, which is nice. My dad’s very into the deeper house, like Sandy Rivera of 10 years ago and Roger Sanchez-style stuff. They’re really appreciative of checking out new sounds really.”
“It’s Brian Eno, he’s an amazing producer and he did a track called ‘An Ending (Ascent)’. It makes you feel quite emotional, it does make my eyes quite glazed. It’s a beatless soundscape of really interesting sounds. I think he did it for a soundtrack in the‘80s. I think maybe it was something to do with the Apollo.”
“It would be Incognito ‘Always There’. Like Inner City’s ‘Good Life’ it’s an accessible record, it’s a very fun record with a lot of things going on. The bassline is really cool, it cuts through and the vocals are great in it. It’s a track that you can imagine a lot of people liking. You could play it in most situations, like to an older generation or a younger generation.”
What’s the first record you ever bought? “I can’t remember the exact one, but I remember when I was younger I quite liked CD singles from [now-defunct music shop] Our Price or something like that. When I was 14 and I first got my turntables and set them up in my bedroom, the first vinyl that I bought was Fatboy Slim’s ‘Star 69’. I think it was on Skint and I remember the blue sleeve, I think it was an orange font. It was the original on one side and the Timo Maas remix on the flip, and I think it had an acapella on there as well. We had a very good record shop in our home town called Plastic Surgery Records, which one of our friends managed. I hung around there and did work experience there a couple of years later.”
What’s the cheesiest record in your collection? “It’s probably Dead Or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round’, that would probably be the cheesiest one. I only really listened to the track more and more about six or seven years ago.” 106 djmag.com.au
What’s an album that you’re currently into? “To be honest the album that I’m into at the moment isn’t that new, it’s an album by Bonobo called ‘Black Sands’. I don’t think it’s his latest one, it’s the one before. I hadn’t really listened to much before and I was at an after-party and my friend played it. “It’s just got a really nice sound, cool, calm, nothing too crazy but really interesting. As soon as I heard it, I just went straight on my laptop and bought it. Two of the tracks that I’m really into are ‘Eyes Down’ and ‘Kiara’.”
What���s the record in your collection that you most treasure? “I’d say Inner City ‘Good Life’, it’s a track that’s absolutely amazing, I think the production behind it’s really good, it’s a really credible record and it went into the charts, it’s a credible crossover track. It’s a track I’d love to be able to make, it’s got all those qualities in it where it stretches... it covers a big audience base. It’s got the timeless quality to it, you play it to a kid that’s 18 or 19 and they’d think it was amazing.”
DJ Mag Australia is published by IHM Global Media