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006 Go wild in South Africa with Miller Global Breakthrough 018 Fashion 025 Burning Issue 026 Bitchin’
068 Kings Cross Goods Yard
028 Darkness and Light
Miss Kittin’s ripped the clichés to shreds, creating the multi-textured ‘Batbox’ — her most complex and satisfying work yet. DJmag investigates the motivations behind the techno cat’s latest…
072 074 076 078
034 Guetting Glamorous
David Guetta’s fresh sexy house tracks have got danceﬂoors heaving from Paris to Portsmouth, but the dance music elite are divided by his blatant commercialism and glam image. James Kendall goes to Zürich to discover what really makes him tick…
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039 The 50 Greatest Remixers of All Time
The remix is how many producers cut their teeth and learn their trade. But who are the real greats — the guys who elevate an original track into the realms of the classic? DJmag presents the greatest remixers of all time…
062 No Logo?
A panel of experts from different backgrounds put their heads together to discuss the future of record labels in the digital age.
looking back Around the World in 80 Clubs — Mumbai ZoukOut Singapore Transmusicales festival in Rennes, France UK and international listings
In the Bag — Sasse Singles Albums Compilations Download and Hype charts
114 Tech news, including Gemini’s 120 122 124 126 128 130
fresh CD players Pioneer’s hot new multi-format CDJ-400 MixVibes DVS MkII — the new digital vinyl system The Q2 Dual DJ The new wave of female VJs Producer — the latest hints and reviews Ableton Live 7
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Bigger, beefier & better! Well, here it is — the first monthly DJmag! And what a way to start this exciting new era in DJmag’s history as the world’s favourite dance music magazine. This is the first in our bumper coffee-table issues and our statement of intent for editions to come. This issue we get our teeth stuck into the art of the remix, rating the Top 50 Remixers of All-Time and remembering the tunes they made their own. It’s a fascinating read that spans four decades! And we’re also looking forward as key players predict what the future holds for record labels, as the sands continue to shift on this part of the music industry landscape. With more in-depth features, insightful articles and meatier stories than ever before, don’t forget to pick up DJmag on the last Wednesday of every month from now on. Or better still, check out our great subscriptions offer on page 116 and have DJmag delivered to your door while saving money! And don’t forget to make a visit to djmag.com as part of your daily routine, where you’ll find up-to-the-minute news, record and technology reviews, music downloads, club listings and a whole lot more. Delve in!
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Fantastic Four p.012
THE hottest new names in dance music this month!
FOCUSING on the sporting gear you all need.
Burning Issue p.023 WHAT is the most wrong thing you’ve done in a club?
It began in Africa! The Miller Global Breakthrough Festival is go!
outh Africa’s beautiful Cape Town is set to rumble to a bad-ass beat as The Miller Global Breakthrough Festival returns to the city for another session of the most cutting-edge dance music on the face of the planet. One of the first and freshest events in the dance music calendar, this will be the second year for the fledgling fest, Âme
006 DJ458.upfront1 6
which for five days from 27th February – 2nd March will take place in a variety of stunning locations. At the last event, locations included a wine estate, a castle and an aquarium, and featured such luminaries as James Zabiela, Lee Burridge, Steve Bug and Mark Knight all spinning in incredible environs. This time around, the organizers are set to up the ante, with a star cast of top-notch DJs already confirmed, with more to be announced. On 29th February, South American techno giant Luciano, owner of Cadenza Records and credited with one of the most innovative, stripped-back DJ styles under the sun, will be rocking a special warehouse location in the city, and demonstrating why he’s one of the most revered tech cats out there. Another massive coup for the festival will occur on 1st March when they welcome the red hot Innervisions crew. German
“There really is nothing like it in the world.” JAMIE JOSEPH
electronic house dudes Âme are dropping in to deliver some of their trademark, amped up soul-soaked blends between techno and house, with a doubtless killer DJ set. They’ll be joined by the acclaimed Henrik Schwarz playing live, whose freaky, jazz-flecked funk-fuelled techno will be guiding the party people well into the night and beyond. And the location? The jaw-dropping panorama of the city’s Signal Hill, which offers unparalleled vistas towards the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town and Robben Island. Stadium indie types Snow Patrol will also be in attendance on some downtime, giving up a funkier sound than they’re known for with a party startin’ DJ set. As with last year, the variety of venues will be second to none, with spaces already confirmed including a sun-drenched beach, The Karma Beach Lounge and a boat party, with more to be revealed soon. Global Breakthrough founder Jamie Joseph is
Clubbed to death! Get voting for the ﬁrst DJmag Top 100 Clubs!
VOTING for the first DJmag Top 100 Clubs poll has now begun, and we
want all the DJs out there – whether you play in the biggest clubs or on your local scene – to get involved.
This time, we’ve raised the stakes, upping the ante from the last two years’ Top 50 best clubs to 2008’s brand spanking new Top 100, giving you more scope to big up your favourite world-beating venue. We want you to get online, and visit www.djmag.com to register your votes for your three favourite clubs on the planet, or send an email to our clubs editor allan. firstname.lastname@example.org. Who’ll score big this year? Will Ibiza’s unstoppable Space clinch the crown? Or will it be London’s perennially perfect Fabric? And how about the incredible rainforest vibes and killer soundsystem of Brazil’s Warung, or Berlin’s massive techno emporium, Panorama Bar? The choice is in YOUR hands! So what are you waiting for? Get clicking!
African dreams Three Africanﬂavoured gems
Leftﬁeld ‘Afro Left’ totally stoked about this year’s event, revealing what makes the festival truly one of a kind. “The Miller Global Breakthrough Festival is unique,” Joseph opined. “We’re not about feet through the door, but rather we want to create the most unforgettable, intimate experiences that will have people coming back for more every year. There really is nothing else like it in the world.” Global Breakthrough is clearly the answer to the winter blues: dancing to the best beats on the map in beautiful surroundings, what’s not to like? Flight deals can be found on www. statravel.co.uk, and you can hit up email@example.com for accommodation enquiries. A full platinum ticket to all the events is priced at 1,000 South African Rand, equivalent to £75 at the time of writing tickets can be obtained directly from their website www.globalbreakthrough.com.
This mesmeric progressive houser combined African instrumentation and the raps of rhymester Djum Djum to excellent effect.
■ There’s no stoppin’ the glassshattering vocal prowess of KATHERINE ELLIS who can currently be found flexing her muscular tones on a handful of key club tracks. These include pairings with SOUL AVENGERZ on the discohouse delight ‘One Luv’; EMANUEL & MCCALL’s ‘Gotta Get Through’, and 7TH HEAVEN’s terriﬁc remake of GWEN GUTHRIE’s ‘Nothing Going On But The Rent’ on Ministry Of Sound’s new Hard2Beat imprint. But most exciting of all is news that Ms E has hooked up with ‘70s disco icon CERRONE for the tracks ‘Laisser Toucher’ and ‘Lover Boy’ on the Frenchman’s forthcoming ‘Celebrate’ album… ■ It’s a quarter of a century since MICHAEL JACKSON released his landmark ‘Thriller’ album, and to mark the anniversary of his epochal record-breaking opus KANYE WEST and WILL.I.AM have reworked several of its key tracks for the album’s re-release in February. In addition to the original album, the special edition set will include eight bonus tracks featuring West’s remix of ‘Billie Jean’ and Will.i.Am’s restyling of ‘The Girl Is Mine’. There’ll also be ‘For All Time’, a track recorded during the QUINCY JONES sessions that never made the original cut, plus new versions of ‘PYT’ and ‘Wanna Be Startin’ Something’ featuring Will.I.Am and AKON respectively. ■ Around the same time the uber cool KRIS MENACE takes things to the next level with an EP with FELIX DA HOUSECAT in addition to his own solo album. Mix-wise Menace’s trademark crystalline electronica sound can also be heard on THE PRESETS’ Modular single ‘My People’.
‘Angola (Carl Craig Remix)’
The haunting chant of Cape Verdean songstress Evora is transformed into a subtle, spinetingling technoid epic by the Detroit wonder.
Talking Heads ‘Born
The ’Heads at their funkiest, feeding off the Afro beat blueprint, with scratchy guitar and glitchy bleeps from producer Brian Eno.
Stamp of Approval
Where dance meets rock every issue…
There are five new albums I can’t wait for this year. OK, it’s six really but I’m feeling generous... THE PRODIGY
“I was lucky enough to hear some work in progress early last year, suffice to say that anyone who writes off the UK’s greatest ever producer of dance music does so at their peril. Liam will always keep our jaws dropped with his talent.”
FREELAND & ALEX METRIC
“I already told you Alex Metric and Adam Freeland were working together on Adam’s follow up to the under-valued ‘Now & Them’. The ‘Hate EP’ was a fair indication we should expect great things, as every track was a humdinger - all killer, no filler B-sides. The word on the street is Alex’s own album will take things to an even more insane level. I’m washing my hands with invisible soap.”
DAN LE SAC vs SCROOBIUS PIP
“I was listening to this over the Christmas holidays, it’s amazing. Scroob is the best lyricist in the UK right now. You will laugh and cry like you did when you heard Mikey Streets’ first album.”
INFADELS Felix Da Housecat ■ Lookout for the next VANDALISM single, ‘Smash Disco’, forthcoming via Australia’s Vicious label (have they dropped the Vinyl part of their name?) with additional mixes by KAM DENNY and newcomers THE CUT. It’s a worthy adversary to Vandalism’s current remixes of BRAD HED’s ‘The Girls & Boyz’ and the TRIBAL KINGS VS 3RD FACE’s electro banger ‘Canto Della Liberta’ sporting the weirdest vocal we’ve heard since ‘Yeke Yeke’…
“I heard five tracks before Christmas and was gobsmacked. I loved them before but oh-my-gosh, working with Youth has taken them to another level. Out of the nightclub and into the stadium. Astonishing.”
WE FELL TO EARTH
“Rich File’s haunting and mesmeric remixes of Queens Of the Stone Age and Duke Spirit are an indication of the quality we should expect of his new band.” Eddy Temple-Morris presents ‘The Remix’ every Friday, 10pm – 1am, on Xfm London, Xfm Scotland and Xfm Manchester.
007 22/1/08 00:00:02
Steve (left) and Sam: chequered love
Jump to it!
Electronic rule-breakers Allez-Allez are set to rule 2008 LITERALLY translated from the French, Allez-Allez is ‘go, go!’: a perfect moniker for the DJ tag-team of Sam Willis and Steve Nolan, whose hip-wiggling eclectic techno sets mix an astral, tripped-out Krautrock edge with the kind of raw dancefloor rhythms that will keep your feet hopping on the dancefloor while your head’s in the clouds. That’s because the London-based pair don’t do it like everyone else. Building a steadily growing word-ofmouth following, thanks in part to the cult website www.allez-allez.co.uk — regularly updated with their decidedly different, downloadable podcast mixes — Allez-Allez have an iconoclastic vision that ignores the pervasive dancefloor trends. With their tastes running the gamut from the latest techno cuts on labels like Kompakt and
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Playhouse to original post-punk, the proto-house beats of Chris and Cosey, the zonked eclectica of Panda Bear and everywhere in between, Allez-Allez DJ both together and separately. They bring their remarkably diverse tastes together to create an intoxicating and otherworldly musical miasma: one minute irresistibly funky, the next star-gazing into infinity. “It’s all about creating a feeling of excitement and energy,” Willis asserted. “Every time we get on the decks it has to be the best set we’ve ever done. We’re both pretty hyperactive in our tastes, ping-ponging through techno, Krautrock, disco and post-punk.” This fresh outlook has brought them to the attentions of other mavericks like Ewan Pearson, Four Tet, Samim and Hot Chip, who’ve
Check the website...
“We want to make an impression ﬁrst and foremost.”
all contributed their own, no-holds-barred mixes to the website. “Making mixes for the website is a lot of fun,” Willis observed. “It’s a completely no-pressure environment that means you can take more risks. I think this has been what has attracted a lot of the guest contributors such as Ewan Pearson or Optimo in that they can put together a selection of music like they would do for their friends, rather than a set that they would play at peak time in Fabric.” Allez-Allez also run their own club night, which has recently featured such luminaries as Nathan Fake, Gui Boratto, Michael Mayer, and Pilooski’s D-I-R-T-Y Soundsystem. Willis reckoned that part of the night’s appeal was the duo’s refusal to compromise their style. “When we play out, we want to make an impression first and foremost. I can’t think of anything more boring than just trotting out some musical clichés to get my ego rubbed up by a load of gurning fashionistas,” Willis bristled. “I think too many people allow themselves to be dictated to in terms of what music they play, whereas to us, it seems to be the most obvious thing to simply play the best music.” They’ve also made the move into production, with Willis’s remixes of Nathan Fake, James Yorkston and an EP for Kickboxer already in the bag. With their first official mix compilation due to drop soon on Lo Recordings, it’s all go for Allez-Allez!
Wayne (left) and Mete
Faith, hope and charity Clubbing for a good cause with Dance Aid WHO says that charity begins at home? Not Wayne Eldridge and Mete Alksakarya — two altruistic DJs who’ve devised the revolutionary Dance Aid club night concept to raise money for charities in need. The DJs, known for their internet TV station www.clubtown.tv, created Dance Aid in January 2006. It was Eldridge and Alksakarya’s plan to put on events in which everyone, including the DJs, worked for free, and punters came in to dance the night away after making a charitable donation. Several events later and Dance Aid has been a roaring success: the idea’s worked better than they could have imagined, raising £50,000 over the course of 2006-7 for chosen charities Great Ormond Street Hospital and the British Heart Foundation, which funded the building of two new treatment rooms at the hospital and leading to the BHF describing them as “Golden Heart Heroes”.
One reason for their success — apart from the obvious appeal of charity events to punters — are the top notch DJs they’ve persuaded to play for nowt. Dave Spoon, Rat Pack and more have rocked Dance Aid events, and their biggest night yet is on the horizon. On the 8th February, Dance Aid comes to London’s Ministry of Sound, with DJs confirmed for the night already including Danny Rampling, Shut Up and Dance, K Klass, Slipmatt, Hoxton Whores, Nicky Holloway, Graham Gold and tons more. This time around, Eldridge and Alksakarya aim to raise £60,000, and their chosen charities are the NSPCC and National Children’s Homes (NCH). It’s for a great cause so get down to get down, and see if you can help them reach their target! If you can’t make it, but still want to contribute, log on to www. justgiving.com/danceaid2008.
We compare the classics with the corkers of the future…
■ KING BRITT is always good for some quality column inches, and this issue is no exception. The Philly man is preparing for the re-launch of his label FiveSixMedia with signing POWER DOUGLAS, a Brooklyn trio with the sound of thousands; TUNDE from TV ON THE RADIO will also guest on their debut. Britt’s also working with the metaphorically rich URSULA RUCKER on an EP for his label, and producing Irish siren RUTH ANNE, along with ﬁnishing up a children’s dance album called ‘Baby Loves Disco’. On the remix front he has just completed ROBERT OWENS’ ‘Keep On’ for Poker Flat, and QUINCY JONES’ ‘They Call Me Mr Tibbs’ that features MR LIF on vocal duties. But best news of all is that he’s currently locked away working with soul great DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER on new material.
‘Sweet Harmony’ (Streetlife DJs Remix)
■ DAN KAHUNA returns after a lengthy hiatus to remix HADOUKEN’s Warners single ‘Love, Sweat And Beer’, which the FC KAHUNA man refers to as having “a descending 8 bit riff that’s not minimal, more malfunctioning machinery.” So we’re clear on that! He’s also planning to release new material under the guise FILM 84.
OLD RAVE VS NU-RAVE
■ Almost 20 years after selling 100,000+ copies as a US import, CE CE ROGERS’s seminal house classic ‘Someday’ has been remixed by original creator MARSHALL JEFFERSON, along with DJ DAVID DEE, ULTRA DEEP BOYS and CeCe himself for a re-issue on USB. At time of writing we’ve only heard the near-hypnotic bassline-driven expert retooling from Marshall Jefferson in the Godfather Of House 2007 Remix, but that’s enough for us to know the tight ‘n’ sophisticated timeless reproduction is on the money.
Sonz of a Loop Da Loop Era
Euphoric pianos a go-go, boom clatter breakage: this is one of the most memorable and classic hardcore jewels of all time. Feel the vibe and the rush…
Art & Craft
A highly inventive remix, as the Streetlife lads convert the ultimate uplifting hardcore cut into a precision-sliced, electro influenced smasheroo.
“There’s a lot of great new music around now, and electronic music should always be about looking forward. But my early rave years around ’94 are special to me, and tracks from that period, like ‘Cold’ by Strobelight Network or ‘Break Night’ by The Mole People, will always have a special place in my heart.”
009 22/1/08 00:26:49
THE DJ’S GUARANTEED KILLER!
DAN GHENACIA Johnny D Manipulation Oslo Records
“It’s a groove-filled deep house tune with a lot of energy. I chose it because it’s one of the tracks that brings deep house back. I found this track because I was very interested in the label and this got sent to me. I think Johnny D lives in Manheim now. He’s one to watch in 2008 for sure.”
Read me a story Robert Owens returns with new album AFETR a 17-year hiatus, famed house hero Robert Owens has returned to the fray with a brand spanking new solo album - ‘Night-Time Stories’. Out 25th February on Compost, it sees Owens stepping into the spotlight himself for once, after lending his amazing vocals to tons of other artists’ tracks. “I’m constantly putting out music with other artists, various collaborations,” Owens explained. “So the other artists are getting the profile and I’m just the featured singer on their work. This time I decided to get a series of different producers to guest on my album, so I can be the main artist for a while. Before I just felt like I was going through a revolving door.” The singer, a legend of the Chicago house scene with his pioneering work for Fingers Inc, and solo tracks ‘Bring Down the Walls’ and ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’, has more recently been associated with his guest vocals on tracks by Photek, London Elektricity and Coldcut. Owens now resides in London, and hand-picked a who’s who of modern European house producers to create tracks for ‘Night-Time Stories’, including Charles Webster, Wahoo, Kirk Degiorgio, Ian Pooley, Jimpster and more. “I’m really fortunate to have got these guys. From beginning to end, it was a 100% Robert Owens concept, the way the tracks are laid out, the cover, everything. I got a list of different producers together, and I approached a few, they all fell into sync with the vibe and karma of the tracks,” enthused Owens. First single ‘Merging’, out now, has a typically spiritual theme, concerning being true to one’s self. “It’s about pulling yourself together, isolating a lot of negative energies and emotions out of yourself and just becoming whole and one, in tune with yourself.” The vocalist is already thinking beyond the album, writing the next one, and has several new collaborations in the works. “Different people have approached me for more feature work, and again that’s happening. D. Ramirez is one guy, but I can’t talk about too many others,” Owens grinned. Looks like this star’s gonna continue to shine for some time to come.
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Pick ‘n’ Mix
YOUR mixes, YOUR productions, YOUR live sets… We pick the best each issue!
1. DJ DARZ
This excellent mix (‘Large and in Charge 005’) demonstrates DJ Darz’s decks-terity and versatility. A Liverpudlian who’s already making a name for himself on the international circuit, on this mix he blends a deep selection that takes in James Zabiela, Pick ‘n’ Mix winner Warbgasm, and even a smidgeon of tech-trance towards the end, all with characteristic panache.
2. DJ DAN DALBALLY www.danukdj.co.uk
Make no mistake, this mix is sick. Soldering together some of the best of last year’s techno, from Aril Brikha to King Roc, and even a little broken beat courtesy of Seiji and Mark de Clive Lowe, Dalbally makes it work, resulting in a highly listenable and booty-shaking concoction.
Owens to own
Three classic tracks
3. CORY SOULFUSION www.myspace.com/soulfusion
Frankie Knuckles presents Satoshi Tomiie feat Robert Owens Tears FFRR
Deep house at its very best is the order of the day here. I-Cube, Gregor Tresher, Manuel Tur, Radio Slave and Kenny Dope all pop up in this seamless selection of bumpin’ rhythms. Slick and smart.
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest house classics of all time beneﬁts massively from Owens’ poignant, soulful voice.
Robert Owens Bring Down the Walls Trax Records
4. DANIEL ROBERTSON www.myspace.com/danieltkr
An early solo venture that was also one of his best. This proto-house cut gave the disco vibes of the past an electronic ‘80s sheen.
A floor-shaking throwdown from the man Robertson, which manages to mix electro-house, progressive and techno with both style and substance. Tracks from Pryda, Guy Gerber, Martin Buttrich and Sasha set the pace. Expect great things from this rising talent.
Photek – Mine to Give featuring Robert Owens Science/Virgin Where the drum & bass bofﬁn took it back to his early house inspirations, creating a modern classic in the process. Owens seals the deal with a classic performance.
How it works Post a link to your mixes, tunes or live sets on DJMAG.COM’s ‘Pick ‘n’ Mix’ forum. We listen to as many posts as we can and pick the best ones each issue! All our highlighted DJs are up for gigs so if you’re a promoter and need a fresh-faced new young jock to rock your party, send ‘em an e-mail!
011 22/1/08 00:59:32
This fortnight’s hottest four names in dance music
Filo and Peri
Trance duo in epic anthem alert!
Acid house warriors keep on bleepin’…
NEW York State trance titans Filo and Peri are well known for their immense, arena-sized epics. But the sheer size of their latest smash ‘Anthem’ — out now on Positiva — is staggering. An aptly titled musical monster that has already been ruling dancefloors since late last year, it has appeared in the sets of DJs like world No.1 Armin Van Buuren, Tiësto and Ferry Corsten. ‘Anthem’ is a euphoric builder with a bittersweet acoustic guitar breakdown, adorned by the Cobain-esque tones of singer and good friend of the duo Eric Lumiere. Inspired by Domenick Filopei and Bo Pericic’s love of stadium rock, ‘Anthem’ is infused with that music’s sense of drama and scale.
THE latest additions to Manchester’s formidable musical legacy are Rejekts: two fierce defenders of the electronic dance music flame who talk it like they walk it. Comprised of club nut Iain Taylor — known for his Rejekts parties in the Rainy City — and studio vampire Mark ‘Ma Saski’ Ashworth, their sound takes warehouse techno and strips it back to its bleepin’ jackin’ roots, with a low-down funk that’s an antidote to the machinations of mediocre minimal.
“I grew up going to arena rock concerts and we all put our heads together to figure out how we could recreate that energy at a dance event. When we heard the crowd singing ‘Anthem’ at Gatecrasher’s 14th birthday, we knew the hard work paid off and I got to live a part of my dream!” frothed Filopei. Their next single will be ‘Shine On’, with an album expected this summer.
“Our deep, dark sound comes from years spent on dancefloors, in DJ booths, in warehouse parties and after-parties the world over, from being on the outskirts of reality,” affirmed Taylor. Their ‘Es Kubells EP’ which first surfaced on their Rejekts label late last year was rinsed by the likes of DJ Hell and Mr C and has just been re-released, while ‘Data Rape’ impressed Claude VonStroke so much that he snapped it up immediately for release. With their focus now on developing a live show, DJ gigs and a slew of new tracks for their label, the future belongs to Rejekts.
Friendly Fires Genre-defying group set to burn down 2008…
Romanian tech cats bustin’ through…
AMIDST a sea of identikit punk-funk posers and lame Kate Nash trash, Friendly Fires sparkle like a particularly brilliant jewel. A trio hailing from St Albans and Nottingham, Ed Mac, Jack Savidge and Edd Gibson harness a light-years-ahead, bright, genre-smashing sound signature that takes in everything from contemporary German techno to ’90s shoegazing indie via French house, and manages to remain entirely original.
THE sleek, bumping tech-house of Monochrome is anything but colourless. Three DJ/producers hailing from Bucharest in Romania, Livio, Roby and George G have been bubbling under for some time with various projects, releasing tracks on Steve Lawler’s Viva Music amongst others. But now, united under the Monochrome alias, they’re set to make Romania the next spot to look to for house music, in the wake of the success of DJs like Raresh.
“For some reason we are incapable of writing a song that sounds the same as another. This could be a good or a bad thing! I think our only manifesto as a band is to write music that is melodic as well as danceable,” explained Mac. This philosophy is at its zenith on new single ‘Paris’, out now on Moshi Moshi: a romantic ode to looking to the future, a synth shower of ascending technofied beauty, augmented by Mac’s yearning vocal that’s a catchy dancefloor killer. With an album due to drop in the summer, expect the unexpected.
Their track ‘Pearl’ was the tipping point: a huge, minimal-tinged cut with an impossibly addictive riff, last year it won Heineken’s Thirst Studio Global Sessions competition, a world-wide search for the best new producers, and was picked up for full release on Gabriel and Dresden’s Organised Nature label. “Together with George G, under the Monochrome project we are touring for the first half of the year to promote our forthcoming album, ‘Children of House’, which will be out by the end of the year,” revealed Livio.
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Each issue we ask a DJ or producer to name an album which has been an inspiration to them. This month, Tiga chooses an electro-pop classic…
D.A.F. Gold Und Liebe 1981, Virgin “ IF I could only have one album to listen to forever it might be ‘Astral Weeks’ by Van Morrison, and as far as albums that really changed my life, both ‘Violator’ and ‘Screamedelica’ were big ones. But as far as an album that I keep going back to, and one that has inspired my own production, I choose this D.A.F. masterpiece from 1981. Every single thing I love about music is captured perfectly on these ten tracks. It’s electronic and totally groove-based, stripped-down machine music, but it never gets boring and it is incredibly human and warm. This is real trance, real body music; it’s electro-pop but without resorting to pop frameworks. “Their image was flawless, mysterious and powerful. Conny Plank produced it. They are German — what
more do you want? Even 27 years later, I find this completely modern and potent. D.A.F. managed to make very sexual music with very few elements, which to me is the spirit of funk. The only downside is women hate it, and the women that do like it.... watch out! “From a production angle, D.A.F. really inspired me because their music seems possible, even realistic to make. It’s not like when I listen to Van or Prince or Leonard. D.A.F. have a passion and an honesty that I relate to, and the relentless attention to the groove, the always subtly changing sequence, and the percussive male delivery - and the leather. It’s hard to believe that it was so long ago, and still owns its genre. For me this is what dance music should be.”
Mark Brown (left) and Sarah
far as dance music is concerned, it’s interesting doing this and being thrust back into that world.” You released the solo album ‘Lipslide’ in 1996. Have you got any plans to make another solo album? “I would like to, I’ve been thinking about it for some time actually. I’ve moved out of London now, I live in the middle of nowhere. I’m currently trying to get planning permission to make an outbuilding to build my own studio and record an album, that’s my plan.” Who would you most like to collaborate with? “I did a version of a (Liverpool rockers) Shack song previously, and I’d like to do something with the main songwriters of the group, the Head brothers - I think they’re amazing.”
60 seconds with…
Sarah Cracknell THE immaculate melodies of Saint Etienne would be nothing without the mellifluous tones and witty lyrical asides of chanteuse Sarah Cracknell. Having recorded over 13 albums and EPs with the acclaimed group, and classic tracks like ‘Nothing Can Stop Us’ and ‘You’re In a Bad Way’, she’s also voiced several memorable tracks with dance dudes like Paul van Dyk and David Holmes. Now the first lady of English dance-pop has teamed up with house dude and Cr2 boss Mark Brown for the track ‘The Journey Continues’ – out 4th February on Positiva/Cr2 - which samples the distinctive classical music from the latest Lloyds TSB ad campaign. We caught
2nd – 5th February Sirena club in Brazil’s Sao Paulo gets its annual Carnival groove on, welcoming a host of top talent over the course of five nights of frolics. Sets from Deep Dish, David Guetta, FATBOY SLIM and Sander Van Doorn are primed to raise the roof, so get there if you can!
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up with Cracknell to get the lowdown on the track, solo material and children’s music… What made you want to add your own vocal to ‘The Journey Continues’? “I really liked the commercial. Ironically I wasn’t aware that it was for a bank before with the train graphics I thought it was for a train company. I really liked the cartoon. I liked the music, and they just approached me, it was one of those spontaneous things.”
“It’s interesting being thrust back into the dance music world.”
Is there anything doing it for you out there at the moment in dance music? “At the moment I’m a little bit in the dark as
In 2005 you released a Saint Etienne children’s album ‘Up the Wooden Hills’. In your opinion what’s the best piece of children’s music? “Funnily enough, there’s a CD-R that I was given a few days ago, which is The Little Ones album, and that’s brilliant for kids. It’s like guitar pop music, but it’s got lots of really catchy vocal parts - great for children.” What’s next for Saint Etienne? “There’s nothing concrete, we had a year as artists in residence at the South Bank, and we haven’t really reconvened since that time, but I don’t feel like I’m ready to pack it in yet!”
Coming up and coming right at ya...
28th - 29th February
SYSTEM 7 hit Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms, with a launch party for their gloriously cosmic new album ‘Phoenix’. Steve Hillage’s crazy collective are unmissable!
The massive Ultra Festival looms over Miami for the closing of the Winter Music Conference like an immense mothership. Tiesto, M.A.N.D.Y., Paul van Dyk and Photek are just some of the names on this diverse, exciting bill.
All the bugged out bunch need to get over to Cologne’s Elektroküche for a night of STEVE BUG-related goodness. The man himself will, of course, be busting the freshest techno beats for our delectation.
Original spaced out techno bunch
Life is sweet
! N I W
Win tickets to see Tiësto! MEGALITHIC DJ phenomenon Tiësto is shortly to release a huge DVD package to accompany his recent acclaimed album ‘Elements Of Life’. On the 3rd March, the ‘Elements Of Life’ DVD is unleashed, containing thrilling footage of the selector live on stage, with highlights from his 2007 world tour across North and South America, Europe, South Africa and Asia, including his show-stopping performances at mega-dromes like the LA Sports Arena and the hip concert hall Hammerstein Ballroom, New York. In keeping with the epic propensities of the Dutch trancer’s sound, his shows stunned with a visual display depicting the four elements of life (water, fire, air, earth) all moving in synchronicity to the music. These spectacular special effects are all captured in crisp hi-definition on the DVD.
chance to experience the superstar DJ outside of the stadium environment he’s used to rocking. Tickets for this event sold out in a heartbeat, but DJmag have managed to lay our mitts on a pair…
WIN! DJmag has linked with Tiësto to offer TWO
pairs of tickets to Tiësto’s exclusive Indig02 gig. To win, just answer this question: What is Tiësto’s real name? Send your answer, along with full name, address and phone to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date is 22nd February.
To celebrate the upcoming release, Tiësto will be playing a unique show at London’s Indig02 on 29th February. For the first time in ages Tiësto will be playing a comparatively intimate setting – this will be a rare
one ver it ’ by ar as nged and ig
State of independence Independents Day is ready to roll THE UK is world famous for its independent record labels. Names like Buzzin’ Fly, Ninja Tune and 20:20 Vision are all synonymous with quality: small imprints dedicated to releasing original, diverse and exciting music, offering an alternative to the often pedestrian product of majors. In the changing climate of the music industry, it’s become increasingly difficult to compete in the crowded marketplace. But Independents Day is set to change all that. A new global initiative conceived as a collaboration between some of the world’s finest labels, Independents Day takes place on 4th July this year and aims to celebrate the incredible music and cultural richness that indie labels foster. Leading UK participants such as Rekids, Fabric and Hospital are all supporting the project, which aims to raise national and international co-operation and funds. On the day, there will be a celebrity auction which puts artist memorabilia and musical rarities under the hammer. As well as an online auction, each country will host its own physical auction - meaning that twenty events will be occurring in synchronicity.
Radio Slave (Edwards left)
There will also be a special album produced, containing exclusive tracks from some of the participating labels and artists, and a definitive list of the greatest independent albums of all time compiled, announced live on the day by the partnered radio stations. Artists involved with the project include Radio Slave (Matt Edwards), Craig Richards, Luke Solomon, London Elektricity, High Contrast and DJ Spooky. Edwards was vocal in his support. “It’s invaluable that we preserve such labels, those that take risks, champion new genres and look beyond the mainstream. That’s what Independents Day ‘08 is all about.”
“We need to preserve labels that take risks and champion new genres.” RADIO SLAVE
Television, drug of the nation Addictive TV’s irresistible audio-visuals
“We take a whole ﬁlm and re-cut and remix it into a dance track.” GRAHAM 012 DJ458.UPFRONT6 12
SOME say that the radiation that emanates from TV screens is addictive. One thing’s for sure: Addictive TV is one goggle box that you’ll want to stay tuned to. Ostensibly a VJ duo (and winners of Best VJs in our DJmag top 20 poll two years running), Graham and Tolly’s approach to audio-visual manipulation goes a lot further than most. The pair met in 1998, working on Channel 4’s Transambient show – the first programme of its kind to combine visual cutting with a mixed dance music format. With their experience the pair then decided to devise their own, more challenging form of VJing.
“We felt that we wanted to progress it far more, and get into remixing video media with audio. You’d take a whole film, and I don’t mean just sample a few soundbites from it, but instead you’d take it and re-cut and remix it into a dance track,” revealed Graham. Since then, they’ve become famed for their bugged-out, eye-popping live shows, shredding and cutting film and beats into a heady, mind-meltingly funky mixture. Remixing tracks like the Sex Pistols ‘Pretty Vacant’ into a beat blizzard, and mashing up footage of the punkers playing live is just a small example of what Addictive TV do, taking the audio-visual synthesis one step further than many VJs who simply mix music vids. Their movie re-edits, where they use the film and sound effects to create dance music ‘trailers’ has led them to be snapped up by Hollywood for a number of movie promos, including Antonio Banderas vehicle Take The Lead and most recently 2007’s Shoot ‘Em Up. Addictive TV’s 2008 will catapult them ever further into our consciousness, with live shows across Spain, the U.S. and special performances in China for the Olympics, and in Liverpool for the European Capital of Culture expo. The movie trailers are also ongoing. “Paramount want us to remix a new comic book adaptation but we’re not allowed to say what it is yet!” Graham smiled.
Ten tracks that feature tinklings of the ivories
01. Richie Havens
Going Back to My Roots One of the most memorable piano licks ever, this classic funk lick paved the way for the piano house gems of the future.
02. Bizarre Inc.
Playing With Knives Irresistible classic shizzle from the guys who now produce as Chicken Lips. Euphoric pianos in a commercial but credible acid house corker.
03. Ce Ce Rogers Someday
Don’t front on this gospel-infused, soul-soaked house pearler. The descending grand piano vibes were sampled to great effect on Liquid’s ‘Sweet Harmony’.
04. Justin Martin Sad Piano
This modern jewel on Ben Watt’s Buzzin’ Fly label sealed the deal with a gorgeous hypnotic piano refrain.
05. Alison Limerick Where Love Lives
The intro to this is, without doubt, what brings us back again and again: what more can you say about this exhilarating workout on the old Joanna?
06. Sebastian Tellier La Ritournelle
Time to take it back downtempo, with this luscious, wistful lament - the French wonder plucking our heartstrings on the baby grand.
Piano Track Where the atmospherics of the LTJ Bukem ‘artcore’ era met the house/hardcore piano to thrilling effect. Outrageous Amens and uplifting piano = killer combo.
08. Donald Byrd
Love Has Come Around The sound of a jazz legend succumbing to the prevailing disco mood of the time and cutting this proto house beauty, with 4/4 beats and pianos (of course) to go.
09. Bush II Bush That Piano Track
Yup, that one. You heard.
10. Rob Dougan Clubbed to Death
The breakdown of this trip-hop classic, with its dark, majestic classical piano, makes this a true scorcher.
BE A SPORT!
It’s a classic scenario, the January through to February desire to achieve some sort of ﬁtness regime. It ranks high on the annual agenda and the need to keep it going for more than ﬁve minutes is strong. There’s no denying that the appeal of sport can be greatly increased by some quality apparel... 1 13
The outﬁt transformer No matter what the time of year, you’ll always need a pair of shades. And it is preferable to splash out on a new pair if you can. Police shades may not be your obvious choice but they are quality and this season’s collection has a couple of absolute winners. We’re feeling the ‘you can’t go wrong with a pair of black wraps’ look, also coming in white and brown. £109 from 01923 249 491.
018 DJ458.fashion 18
WHAT A SITE!
Dipping into the world of virtual shopping and super trendy blogs.
WEAREFALSE.COM A fiercely independent fashion label run by creative heads Le Messie and Amanda Scully. Delicious designs on handscreened, hand-finished t-shirts, each made with huge helpings of love and care. Dipping into a range of jackets, sweat-tops and über-cool high tops False is a stylish brand, a mag and a website that urgently requires your attention.
What you wearing?
TODD TERRY It’s all about the threads…
1. ETNIES SNEAKERS £60 0870 750 3100 2. NIKE GLOVES £15 nike.com 3. NIKE YOGA MAT £30 nike.com 4. LRG EMPERADOR HOODIE £62 urbanindustry.co.uk 5. FRANKLIN & MARSHALL SPORTS BAG £32.50 020 7739 4355 6. LACOSTE SNEAKERS £70 020 8970 2331 7. PUMA SNEAKERS £65 puma.com 8. PUMA BOTTLE HOLDER £15 puma.com
9. LONSDALE T-SHIRT £14.99 londsdaleboxing. co.uk 10. ALPINESTARS MIX-A LOT JACKET £35 alpinestars.com 11. AMERICAN APPAREL HOODY £27 americanapparel. net
What are you wearing right now? WESOLDOUT.COM Find this site and weep. It is the most chic of collaborations coming from French designer store Colette and La MJC with a very discerning and hand-picked collection of desirable items to tantalize you and your credit card. ........................................................
12. AMERICAN APPAREL T-SHIRT £12 americanapparel. net 13. AMERICAN APPAREL SOCKS £7 americanapparel. net 14. 55DSL JETWAR TRACKTOP £100 55dsl.com
HIDEOUTSTORE.COM Here’s another favourite to add to your toolbar. It’s one for the Blog Squad, for those insatiable hipsters that need to know and have an urgent appetite for all that is up and coming and incredibly cool.
“I’m wearing an Adidas sweatsuit. I have to pay my full respect to the old skool. Adidas has always been an influential brand for us house heads in New York. I’ve been wearing Adidas since the beginning of the ‘80s and I’ll still be wearing Adidas when I’m 70.”
How do you like to shop? “I don’t have a massive amount of time but when I travel I shop during the day as well as hanging out in cafes and bars. If I see something I like I buy it.”
What are your favourite labels/designers and why?
Do you have a sport that you’re into?
“Sean John is my favourite because their jeans are very comfortable and stylish. For you dudes in the UK, Sean John is P. Diddy’s fashion label with their store on 5th Avenue New York. I also really like Akademiks because I love the old-school styling.”
Most treasured item?
Favorite stores/boutiques? “The Adidas store in SoHo is my favourite because they have a lot of variety. But I spend a lot of time in Covent Garden in London and 5th Ave in New York. I still buy a lot of trainers especially the Nike Air max high tops. The Nike stores in New York and Oxford Street are
awesome, but now you can get the same ranges all over the world at the same time so it’s not so exclusive anymore!”
“Basketball because it constantly keeps you athletic throughout the game, no matter what. The fashion and style that goes with basketball suits me, baggy and loose and that’s the way I like to roll.”
“I’d have to say my cars. I won’t list them because I don’t want the IRS to find out.”
What are you up to? “After the ‘Get Down’ single comes out, I’m going to focus on finishing the Todd Terry All-Stars album. Hopefully it’ll be out by June.”
019 21/1/08 13:50:58
Support Shoes you right Burma We say absolutely to the Vans Rata Plus ‘comfortable’
Ethical fashion house THTC create campaign tee.
ECO-FRIENDLY THTC (The Hemp Trading Company) have joined collective forces with Burma Campaign UK and produced a fine t-shirt that has already been sported by our favourite human beatboxer and entertainer extraordinaire, Beardyman. The message is clear — help the Burma Campaign continue its good work of canvassing for human rights and democracy in Burma. The t-shirts are made from 55% hemp and 45% organic cotton and feature the work of artist Mau Mau. All profits will go directly to the campaign. £35 each from: thtc.co.uk.
LESS IS MORE... Stylish chit-chat and random predictions.
COLOUR OF THE MONTH...
AT FIRST GLANCE the Vans Rata Plus collection looks to be almost slipper-like, ultra cosy and way too casual really. But on the double take RPs are simply great! It’s all about their comfort and softness. They come in natural colours and tender tweeds with rough stitching and frayed edges completing their charm. They are instantly wearable, whether that be inside your gaff or treading the tarmac. Available in store from February at £45. Stockist 0208 846 8260.
most definitely black. Making its first of many appearances of the year. Discerning and bold, simple and chic. You can never go wrong with some black garb in your wardrobe. Fact.
MIGHTY BOOSH... come back you crazy guys, we’re missing you. We want crimping, moustaches and general random nonsense with a side order of comedy sparkle, not forgetting the moon.
STUSSY... the favourite label of our Allan McGrath is reason enough to pursue this stalwart brand. Their recent collab with design hero and infamous graf writer Futura has set our credit cards on stun. Check their online store and join up for regular newsletters.
VISVIM… a creative force that fashion heads and style geeks are wetting themselves over, and rightly so. Their shoes are buff and worth saving up for; pricey they may be but that is the price you pay for when it comes to the collectibles.
It’s a good look
Artists that make fashion sense
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OF COURSE, being in a band is all about the music but there’s a lot to be said for making an effort in the wardrobe department. Recent Kitsune recruits autoKraz, David and Russell, are a pretty dashing duo with an enormous sense of style. David says: “I like quite interesting clothes and get a lot of things from the B store in Saville Row and mix with a bit of Dior or Paul & Joe.” Russell adds: “Indeed, B store is cool, I really like the pieces that they make themselves. My jeans are almost entirely PPQ but I would say the majority of my things that I love come from Oi Polloi on Tibb Street in Manchester, they just do an ace combination of labels, and wicked shoes I can’t find anywhere else”. autoKraz’ ‘1000 Things EP’ is out now with an album to follow later this year.
BLADERUNNER NIKES... OK, so they’re the ones what we designed ourselves, innit. But who’s to say they’re not the coolest ones around. Slam dunking. HEADPORTER... at first glance you might be scared of the Japanese online stores, but patience is definitely a virtue. Check out the Head Porter ranges and let Paypal pay the way — take it from us, we’ve tried it already. Head-porter.org BURTON… if you’re thinking about heading to the slopes and you’re feeling extra flushed you could do a whole lot worse than treating yourself to some Burton gear. So fine is their attire that an icy tear may trickle down your cheek when you see their range. TIE ME UP… strangely, the skinny tie is still a good look, whether it be a plain black one, leather, silver or knit. Puma have come up trumps with their take on the neckwear.
WIN Lethal Bizzle’s own hoodie signed.
WIN! Do it yourself
We designed our own dunks at the NikeiD studios.
CALLING ALL LETHAL Bizzle fans! We asked Lethal Bizzle to sign and hand over one of his own hoodies just for you, dear readers. This is the very one he wore on his recent tour of the UK. We didn’t ask any questions about personal hygiene but it looks to be in quite good nick. This is your chance to win a fabulous collectible piece — rather special for any fan or enthusiast, we think. As well as his new single ‘The Come Up’ and a forthcoming collaboration with Kate Nash ‘Look What You’ve Done’, Lethal Bizzle has amalgamated with the UK’s first free mobile network for 16-24 year olds entitled Blyk (blyk.co.uk). “I’m really excited to widen my network of fans and keep in contact with them through Blyk mobile, my fans are so tech-savvy that even social networking is old news to them!” said LB. “I can’t wait to release ‘The Come Up’ with Blyk too, it means I can reward my biggest fans by offering it to them first.” To join, text BIZZLE to 82595 For a chance to acquire his hoodie, send us a postcard addressed to Fan Base, DJ Magazine, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, or sling an email to email@example.com.
THRILLS DON’T GET more thrilling than an invitation to design our very own sneakers at Nike (and for your information, we are very reliably informed that it’s ‘Nikee’ and not ‘Nike’, ok?). The NikeiD studio in London’s NikeTown is a swanky glass and steel cube suspended in the centre of the store. NikeiD is an exclusive service that allows you to make a one-on-one appointment with a hand-picked design consultant for about an hour while you choose from five sneaker styles, several colour combinations of the season, grades of leather and what name to have stitched on the side if you so wish. Our designer for the hour was Chris, Nike ambassador and hip-hop DJ. “Most people come here thinking they’re going to do something simple, but when you’re sat down in front of the screen and with all the choices of colours and materials to hand, you usually end up making something more fierce,” he observed. That said, this particular journalist dug
Wilderness survivor teams up with Craghoppers. YOU KNOW THE fella, the dude that does a show on TV that teaches you survival techniques and generally entertains in the wild ways of the great outdoors. Well, his name is Bear Grylls and he probably knows better than
022 DJ458.fashion3 22
her heels in and chose to stay understated and minimal, opting for mostly black with touches of walnut, an orange leather lining, gum colour soles and naming them ‘Bladerunner’. Oh yes. Call the NikeiD concierge service 020 7612 0990 or visit Nikeid.com/londonstudio.
Graf writer Best One creates a SWEAR range.
most about how to keep warm, dry, less windswept and as robust as possible. Manchester-based clothing brand Craghoppers have invited him to put his expert abilities into designing a range of clobber that suits both his requirements and yours. There are fifteen pieces of menswear that are both technical and actually quite tasteful. If you’re looking for hardwearing gear but without the Millets factor, you’ll be on the right track here.
SWEAR BRING ON the collaborations this season with five finely chosen designers and artful types: Fred Perry, Cassette Playa, Hummel, DIE and Best One. This is graf writer Best One’s second alliance with the niche
footwear brand. Taking inspiration from New York writers Blade and Tracy 168, Best One has delivered an exclusive pair of canvas high tops with hot pink, matt silver and patent black deets. Expect to see the likes of Lightspeed Champions, The Klaxons, The Mystery Jets and Friendly Fires sporting them. £50, stockist 020 7734 0467.
pics BETH CROCKATT
“I was so drunk I let my mate get off with my bird in front of me and didn’t bat an eyelid!” BENJI, 28, INTERNET GEEK
“At Global I found a pair of old workman’s boots that I stole and ended up dancing in all night. It was only in the morning I realised that they were mouldy inside — karma!” CECILE, 23, JOURNALIST
“I was in a chill out area grinding up against and getting quite personal with some random I had just met when I realised my big brother was looking on in disgust. It didn’t stop me though!”
“At Glastonbury during The Chemical Brothers, I was busting for a piss, so got really close behind my girlfriend, and pissed down the back of her waterproof trousers. Wrong. But satisfying.”
DORA, 25, STUDENT
JOHN B, 27, WEBSITE DIRECTOR
BURNING ISSUE.. What’s the most wrong thing you’ve done in a club?
In our pursuit of the mad, bad and just plain wrong, we got you lot to confess your clubbing sins…
“I once swapped underwear with my best mate in the middle of the danceﬂoor.” EMMA, 24, MARKETER
“I once threw up on the toilet ﬂoor and ended up picking my pills out of my vomit and ate them again.”
“I had sex on the bar of a packed nightclub in Egypt at 2am when the bar closed at 5am!” ED, 27, RESTAURANTEUR
JOEY, 30, TEAM LEADER
MATT, 25, TELECOMMUNICATIONS
“I farted as I walked across the danceﬂoor at Slinky, when my stomach wasn’t particularly healthy!”
025 21/1/08 23:55:45
firstname.lastname@example.org where you lot get mouthy... back to nature
I’m not sure if I’m writing to the right people, but I just wanted to complement whoever made the decision to give away The Rurals CD with the January DJmag. I have been a DJmag reader for years and have always considered it the best. I’ve always look forward in recent years to the free CDs that you give away with the magazine. It’s nice to be exposed to music you have never heard. I can honestly say that this Rurals CD is by far the best you have ever given away. As a long-time house music lover I have always looked for music that works in other places than just the club atmosphere. I can listen to this Rurals CD anywhere, there’s a real sophistication and maturity to the music. I am convinced that there are other (older) clubbers out there who still love the music but need it to work in other environments i.e. at home, at work, etc. So I congratulate you for putting out something of this stature. It has reaffirmed my belief in the music and your magazine! P.S. For the first time I’ve signed up for a year’s subscription.
STEVE WALKER via email
Cheers Steve, glad you enjoyed the Rurals CD so much! We’ve been bumping it in the office, too. Some chilled house fare to ease you into the New Year, for sure. A UDG bag will be winging its way to you shortly.
As we move swiftly into 2008, we wonder: who will be the new up-and-coming DJs? Which clubs will succeed and which will fail? What new genre of music will take the club chart by storm? Will the iPod still be cool? What will be the latest digital technology used to dazzle the crowds? Of course, none of the above questions can be answered right now! There’s only one thing we can confidently predict in 2008. DJmag will again reign supreme over all of its competitors by continuing to stay up-to-date and move with the times! So it now gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of best DJ/club magazine to DJmag! Please keep it up!
JAY C: I’m sticking with Hodge Close Quarry near Coniston. There’re caves to party in with smoke holes so you can have a camp fire and there’s the main bit of the quarry by flooded mine shafts.
026 DJ458.Bitchin 26
CHRIS BYRNE, Burnley, Lancashire
we have the technology
from the entry level stuff to the more expensive. We think it’s a fair and balanced representation of dance music technology at the moment but we’ll take your comments into consideration. 6/12/07
I was flicking through this week’s issue of DJmag and can’t help but realise how so much of the magazine is used up for recommendations for nights out when this space could be used for some more reviews on software and equipment. Although the stuff reviewed is extremely good, it’s way too expensive. How about some equipment us low profile bedroom DJs can afford? But I have to say top marks on the CDs that come with the mag! SAM, Swindon
THE STAR LETTER wins a UDG CourierBag Deluxe with compartments for records, laptop, CDs, headphones, mobile, water and much more. www.ultimate-dj-gear.com
Sorry to bother you but I had to say something about your going monthly. You’ll probably get lots of remarks from your younger readers but as a never-grown-up ex-clubber I’ve got to say how the fortnightly read (while listening to Pete Tong or your cover discs) gave me so much pleasure. The articles and reviews remind me why I’m still enthusiastic about dance music. Please don’t let the standards drop and
Reader chatter from DJMAG.COM
ERIC LEE: Not that I am usually the one to piss on someone’s bonfire — but isn’t that a recipe for disaster Jay? I can just imagine the carnage when wasted clubbers and large holes in the ground meet up on a dark night… KEV: I’d love to set something up when the Northern Lights are kicking off. On a big fat cruise ship with all the trimmings, big open deck, nice warm heaters and some quality techy tunes, I think I’d pick Lazarus and Michael Mayer to play. Watch some polar bears shitting themselves. We could call it Seal-Clubbing!
don’t go changing
Our equipment/technology reviews aim to reflect the latest and best kit out there,
From the forums TOPIC: What’s the greatest place in the world for an outdoor rave?
THE COMPLETE NEW ARTIST ALBUM FROM THE RURALS
CULLIE: With Jay on this, can’t beat a rave in a cave. There’s one that happens now and then near me but it’s kept quiet for obvious reasons. ERIC LEE: Java. Beautiful, green and unspoilt.
C JOINER 01: In an ideal world I’d love to DJ in somewhere like Saudi Arabia — with their relaxed laws and beliefs in clubbing I’m sure it will go off well. Anyhow, I’d really like to hold a party in the already infamous Goa playing old skool rave, techno, breaks and a complete mash up of all styles to go INSANEEEE to (not psy trance
though and not so much of the hippies either).
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DML: To be perfectly honest, if I could have a dream rave it’d be somewhere in England, maybe out of the way somewhere in Wales... Goldengrove might be nice. However, if it had to be somewhere tropical then I’d go for Costa Rica, that’s pretty close to paradise. It’s safe, laidback, they know good music and the locals know how to dance.
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Rurals Andy (left) and Tweek
increase the equipment reviews if possible, as us geeky-blokes (we’re not all DJs) love the technospeak and even buy things. I’ve just ordered a pair of CDJ-400s because I always trust what your magazine says – I know the review will be good. And if fashion shoots ever creep in can they be included as extra pages rather than taking up valuable news/review/club nights/ gear pages. Thanks for 20+ issues every year for many years, please make the new 12-a-year mind-blowing! STEVE METCALFE, via email
the kids are alright
Hello, my name is James Kininmonth. People call me “JK da DJ” as my DJ name and I’m 14 years old. I have been DJing since I was 6 and I absolutely love DJing and music. I am also learning to produce music/remix music. My dad is a DJ – he was the one who started me off really. I have a strong passion and love funky/ progressive house music and now and again Liverpool’s Scouse house music. I look up to people like David Guetta, Pete Tong, Tiësto and many others like DJ Rob Cain “scratch master of Liverpool”. I have played in many places mainly in Liverpool, like Club Isis, The Mariners, The R.A.F.A. Club, The Pitz and Huyton Suite. I get all my vinyl from 3 Beat Records on Slater Street. It’s an absolutely fabulous shop, big thanks to Thomas Tuft by the way for serving me a lot of vinyl in the years I have been going there and all the other staff. DJmag is a superb magazine, I get it all the time, I just wish one day I will be as good as David Guetta and Pete Tong or hopefully even better. Keep up the good work everyone at DJmag, I love reading it, it’s the only thing I do read and everyone who reads it will say that the mag is great as well. JAMES KININMOUTH, via email
Auntie Agony Got a problem? Auntie Agony is here to make it all better...
As a keen follower of clubbing Please help. Now, I’m a big fan of trends, I have noticed that as the the whole after-hours thing, but years have gone by almost every for some reason whenever I play night of the week has stolen the the host, everything seems to go limelight for a brief period in a bit pear-shaped. What essential time, Sundays for instance being survival tips can you suggest for Commix High Contrast those oh-so temperamental, the currentvs ‘choice du jour’. Being a bit of an entrepreneur I small hour get-togethers? fancy pipping the next fad at the Al, Leeds post. I’ve got my eye on Tuesday mornings at my local. What do DEAR AL, you reckon? How could I convince Nobody on this Godforsaken rock the kids this is the way to go? appreciates any kind of selﬂess gesture. In fact it’s seen as Gruff, Cardiff weakness. Just go trash someone else’s place, my dear. Fuck DEAR GRUFF, up the carpet, break everything I’m afraid that you are already and disappear before helping late. Scientiﬁcally London exists to tidy up. That seems to be the in a different continuum to general rule of thumb. everywhere else. It’s fad to time Or if you are a more ‘profesratio is different. Sundays were sional’ after hours... Book top ‘over’ last year and Mondays DJs, pay them nothing, show have had their day. Some them the hospitality of a South fashion-twonks actually do TuesAmerican prison, overcharge day mornings. True. My advice everyone to get in, get wasted is try Saturday nights. It seems and piss off with the cash before to be the last place left. I’ll go anyone can remonstrate. No one out on a limb here. Fridays? will remember because of drugs. Crazy talk I know. But you get In fact, they’ll be back in droves. the whole weekend to recover. You could get a performance Really exclusive could be doing artist to piss on everyone and lunch raves in abattoirs? Or you they’ll queue round the block could be really cool and only do the following week if you do it in parties on a Pagan lunar cycle in Shoreditch. a packet of crisps on the M25. There there There there
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Sweetness Darkness Light With ‘Batbox’, Miss Kittin’s ripped the clichés to shreds, creating a multi-textured album that is her most complex and satisfying work yet. This time out, Kittin’s matured into a fully-grown feline.
words BEN MURPHY pics VINCENT FLOURET light designs LICHTFAKTOR
ce-queen of electro-pop; formidable techno DJ; femme fatale; all epithets you could apply to Miss Kittin. But all remain inadequate to describe one of modern music’s most innovative and consistently exciting artists. After a brief spell in the wild, the French DJ/ producer also known as Caroline Hervé has returned clutching a new offering in her claws. Declaring war on mediocre electronic music, she’s pounced teeth bared, paws primed, ready to slay the naysayers. With her new album ‘Batbox’ — out 25th February on her own independent label Nobody’s Bizzness — Miss Kittin’s ripped the clichés to shreds, creating a multi-textured album that is her most complex and satisfying work yet. In London’s Soho on a wintry afternoon, DJmag dodges psychotic cab drivers and kamikaze pedestrians, ducking into the unassuming, cosy environs of Bar Chocolate. It’s here that we meet Hervé, sipping a latte, reclined on a sofa, the picture of composure, dressed in a stripy dress with her hair raven-black and cut to shoulder length. Immediately engaging and charming, Hervé vacillates between upbeat and humourous and more considered and serious. She pauses before answering each question. Though English isn’t her first language, Hervé’s highly articulate. Instead her pauses denote
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someone thoughtful who wants to give an honest reflection of herself and her music, rather than just reel off a set of stock answers. It’s a quietly confident, buoyant Miss Kittin that DJmag meets today, clearly excited to be releasing her latest body of work into the world, looking towards the horizon of possibilities that loom in front of her. And it’s hardly surprising: ‘Batbox’ is easily her finest work so far. This time, Kittin’s matured into a fully-grown feline. Largely turning her back on the Kittin of old, the Grenobleborn enigma has embraced a new sonic palette, stepping beyond the insouciant, pouting image of the past to craft songs on an eclectic range of subjects, with a suitably diverse set of musical backdrops. Like her previous solo record, 2004’s ‘I Com’, ‘Batbox’ draws on all Hervé’s influences, combining her witty spoken-word vocal delivery with an emotive, direct singing voice, but this time out her sound is stronger, more focused and musical than ever before. With electro as the foundation, ‘Batbox’ touches on rough, raw techno, cyborg disco, low-slung filmic machine music, deep trance grooves and disco-punk, reconciling her schizophrenic loves of underground club music, indie rock and ’80s electro-pop, and pulling off that rare, dangerous thing — the precarious balancing act between commercial accessibility and underground cred. “When you come from rave and electronic music and you have this ability to write songs, with a chorus and verses, the real challenge is to mix these two things together and how far you can push that,” observes Hervé. “Not a lot of people can do that, whether you are a producer or a DJ.”
Realizing the Vision For this album, Miss Kittin has enlisted the considerable co-production talents of Pascal Gabriel, the studio whizz behind hits by S’Express, Bomb The Bass and Kylie Minogue, to help her realize this very vision, and their collaboration has worked better than she could have hoped. For the first time, Hervé has been able to make the sonic ideas in her head into reality, rather than an approximation, all thanks to Gabriel’s prodigious studio skills and open-mindedness, facilitating Hervé’s ideas. “Pascal has this huge knowledge and technical experience and he’s made all my dreams come true. He told me from day one, ‘I’m here to help you to put your ideas together’,” she gushes. “He was there to accommodate me and help me realize the mixture of different musical styles that ‘Batbox’ is about.” With her ideas unshackled, Hervé has smashed the Kittin template, forging something new, with a dark futuristic gleam. First single ‘Kittin is High’ takes her stark spokenword delivery, soldering it to an oscillating, metallic techno undercarriage, with a spine-tingling soaring siren call, a narcotic inducement to surrender to the night’s nefarious activities. ‘Grace’ is upbeat punk, powered by a rolling bassline; the title track ‘Batbox’ is space-age computer-fun with a hip-hop edge, while ‘Lightmaker’ is an intricate, bittersweet dose of electronica. This diverse yet cohesive collection of tracks seems to spring from a uniquely creative, relaxed environment where Herve’s ideas were allowed free reign. “That’s what is so brilliant about my producer, he was so excited to be able to be experimental, and I was really happy because normally when I work with someone, they complain about the sounds I like — the modulators, electro sounds — they go crazy,” she beams.
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Adventurous But if the music of ‘Batbox’ sees Hervé striking off into uncharted territory, then it’s perhaps her lyrical themes that are the most adventurous aspect of the new record. A recurring motif in her work that once again raises its head on the new album is the murkier, darker corners of the human psyche. No stranger to the dark side — remember, this is an artist who once sweetly sung the chilling couplet “Mummy, can I go out and kill tonight? I feel like taking a life” — with ‘Batbox’ and ‘Kittin is High’ talking of vampires and witches, you could be mistaken for thinking that Hervé has gone the whole hog and turned Goth, especially since the cover art features original illustrations and design from Rob Reger, creator of Goth cartoon Emily the Strange. But it turns out that the dark imagery and lyrical content is a form of catharsis for Hervé: she acknowledges that darkness is an aspect of our personalities that we can’t ignore, that we have to be able to live comfortably with, rather than suppressing — lest it come back and bite us on the arse. “It is important to be able to acknowledge your dark side — everybody has it — and to be able to sublimate it. If you don’t do this, be friends with your dark side, know yourself, you’ll always be frustrated. The frustration will always come out in other ways,” she believes. “Maybe it is a bit Gothic, a bit Emily the Strange, but it makes sense because I think the Goth culture is comfortable with the dark things, and I relate to that much more than any hippy flower-power thing.” It’s ironic in this light, then, that the title first came to her as a play on words, rather than wanting to evoke the grim or sepulchral. “When we did the title track ‘Batbox, we were ecstatic. It was like [respected electro act] Dopplereffekt doing disco, we loved it so much I couldn’t really think about serious lyrics. I wanted to find lyrics that described the music by themselves. I was thinking about music by The Neptunes, we were working with this little Korg, which they use. I thought of the title ‘Beatbox’ but it sounded too much like Robbie Williams’ ‘Rudebox’,” she grins. “So I thought of ‘Batbox, show me what you got’ because it rhymes — I write a lot of things like that you know — if it sounds good. “I have a friend who has a Gothic magazine in Paris, and in France you say ‘Got’ instead of ‘Goth’, so it is a little reference to that.”
Unseen Side With ‘Batbox’ Miss Kittin’s channelling the darkness into something positive, almost lampooning her ice-queen image. But to bracket ‘Batbox’ only as ‘dark’ is a mistake: not only does the music cover many different moods and electronic styles, it also sees Hervé going out a limb lyrically, riffing on a variety of new themes that are a distinct departure from what many will expect. The mid-tempo, bittersweet synth melodies and electro bass of ‘Play Me a Tape’ are accompanied by a tender lyrical ode to the love letter in musical form: the geeky, lost art of making a mixtape for someone you love, where the songs’ lyrics all have meaning. It’s both a romantic, hitherto unseen side of Miss Kittin, and a wry metaphor for how her lyrics need to be listened to. When asked about it, she seems pleased that DJmag has picked up on the meaning behind the song. “That song is totally inspired by a Thurston Moore book about tapes that Pascal introduced me to,” she reveals. “I did love making tapes, not really love tapes, more as presents for friends, to spend time with my music. Now I
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“It is important to be able to acknowledge your dark side – everybody has it – and to be able to sublimate it. If you don’t do this, be friends with your dark side, know yourself, you’ll always be frustrated.”
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“When I go to clubs, when I can dance and no-one is talking to me, that’s a very precious moment.” make CDs: at home, I mix sometimes in the middle of the night or in the afternoon, for my own pleasure, and I enjoy it. But to write an interesting song you can’t just talk about that, you need something else, and I thought: ‘Let’s make this all about a character in a story, who makes a tape to express his love.’ I’m imagining that to make a tape is very romantic, and nowadays a lot of guys aren’t romantic!” she explains, revealing a further truth about her main focus with the new album. “I’ve tried with this album to talk more directly about what I felt, and not use so much symbolism like I did before. It’s not so relaxing to listen to an album if there are too many tricks, which I think I did with my first album.” Another of the key tracks on ‘Batbox’ is ‘Metalhead’, a strobe-lit, bassline-led techno cut, pure body music, in which Miss Kittin dreams of “dancing in the dark when no-one is talking to you”: a liberating sensation, which is one of Hervé’s favourite things to do in the world. “It’s something that everybody feels. When I go to clubs, when I can do that, when I can dance and no-one is talking to me, that’s a very precious moment. “Other DJs have said the same thing to me. Chloé [Parisian techno DJ] and I talked about that in a taxi one day. She said, ‘That’s why we love to DJ, we come in for free, we don’t have to pay for our entrance, we have free drinks, we have space to dance, and we get to play our own music!’” Another track, ‘Pollution of the Mind’ employs a throbbing trance modulation throughout, equal parts German techno and ‘I Feel Love’, as Hervé’s sublime voice soars over the track, evoking Donna Summer at her most sensual. Yet the lyric is more concerned with avoiding obtrusive sound, media intrusion and noise pollution, being able to “take a shower of silence”, cleanse yourself of the unnecessary bullshit that we all endure. Both ‘Pollution of the Mind’ and ‘Metalhead’ see a new Kittin reaching out lyrically with universal themes, feelings she believes that everyone can relate to. “Everybody can write a song about their own experience but what’s the point if no-one can relate to it?” ponders Hervé. “From your own experience you can say, ‘Hey, I know you feel the same thing’. It’s part of our nature, and it’s great to talk about these things. It’s not about, ‘Oh, poor DJ, she can’t dance alone in the club’, or ‘Poor girl, she’s bothered by a noisy hotel’. No, it’s more universal than my own little life. That’s why I wrote those songs.” Her favourite track on ‘Batbox’ is undoubtedly ‘Grace’ — a disco-punk dispatch with doomy, dirty bass guitar. With an ’80s flavour reminiscent of her heroes The Cure and New Order, it’s also Hervé’s first-ever performance on the bass — the product of a fateful afternoon fooling around in a local guitar shop with a friend. “I wrote the bassline with my guitar. My friend came with me to buy a bass because she wanted me to play bass in her band, so I bought the bass with her. Oh my God, we had so much fun in the shop! I said: ‘I want to buy a bass but I’ve never played guitar ever in my life’, and you make fun of yourself, with these geek guys sitting there, and they really like you because you’re different.
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“So I came back home and started playing this bassline. I practiced it a couple of times and then I went to the studio, where Pascal had a bass, and so I said: ‘Hey, I have a bass’ and I made up this bassline. And he said: ‘Hey, let’s record it’, and I was like, ‘Come on, never, I’ve never played it in all my life, now you want me to record it!’ and he said: ‘Yeah, yeah!’ So we recorded this bassline, the lyrics came like that, and it was such a different moment! I was flying!” She looks into the distance for a moment, remembering the scene. When DJmag asks her how she was able to just start playing the instrument and come up with the track on the spot, she makes an important point: “A lot of people can sing very well, a lot of girls are training for hours to sound like Mariah Carey, but what’s the point? It’s not about trying to be the best; it’s more about being true to yourself.” But it turns out this moment of divine inspiration also had another source: a former boyfriend. “When I wrote the song, I was thinking about this guy I knew and I wanted to thank him for inspiring the music, making me write the song. I think that it’s important to have a muse. Etienne Daho, the French singer and womaniser, said that for every album he has recorded, when you have someone who is an inspiration, the least that you can do is thank them in song,” remarks Hervé.
Post-Club Poetry It was Miss Kittin’s infamous guest appearance on Felix Da Housecat’s 2001 opus ‘Kittenz and Thee Glitz’ that first announced her as a star in the making. On tracks like ‘Silver Screen Shower Scene’ and ‘Madame Hollywood’ she introduced many to her unique voice: a wry, dry monotone spoken-word drone, that of the insouciant, ice-cold, jet-setting, clubhopping über-bitch. Her shtick was a new form of post-club poetry, spoken-word exposés on subjects like the sordid underbelly of stardom, drugs, strippers and other sleazy topics delivered with a detached sang froid. Her dispatches from the underground seemed beamed in from the future; these were the words of a hyper-intelligent, sarcastic robot with a retro-futuristic vision, a replicant who’d got wise: the sound of robotic laughter in the dark.
Miss Kittin & The Hacker This year will see the return of Miss Kittin and The Hacker (above) with a new album, sounding better than ever after 2007’s wicked ‘Hometown’ track. Hervé can’t wait to see people’s reaction to the harder, better, faster, stronger incarnation of the duo. “We have so many songs, and it’s sounding so different, better produced. I’m really excited about it. I’m curious to see what happens with a synth band in a world where indie rock rules, no-one else is doing it now!” Hervé reckons.
The only precedents to these detached vocal performances were on early-’80s primitive electro tracks like The Normal’s ‘Warm Leatherette’ and Dominatrix’s ‘Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight’. But though Hervé was undoubtedly inspired by these records, her vision was different — a club-literate, darkly lyrical depiction of the music world, which came to its apex on her collaboration with The Hacker on 2001’s ‘The First Album’ and star turns with Golden Boy, Justin Berkovi, Chicks on Speed and T.Raumschmiere. Hervé became associated with the burgeoning electroclash movement, but even then she was expanding her sound, adding a beautiful, haunting singing voice to her repertoire, which would become her trademark on debut album proper, 2004’s ‘I Com’. With this first solo effort, she easily evaded the electroclash pigeonholes, displaying a hitherto unseen pop sensibility in amongst the harder technoid sonics, which has been developed and evolved into her current, most fully realised work in ‘Batbox’. Inevitably, though, the electroclash association will linger for many. Asked now how she feels about her link with electroclash, she thinks carefully before responding. “For me, it’s like what happened to punk 20 years before,” she considers. “Punk existed with acts like the New York Dolls, Ramones, and Blondie, there was a magazine called Punk, and
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then Malcolm McLaren brought it back to London and created The Sex Pistols. Before, there was no name for it, it was rock & roll, and that’s how I feel about electroclash. Larry Tee brought this sound to the States and called it electroclash. The Hacker and I were projected as the image of this because we were a girl and a boy, and the lyrics, but were doing our music for years before, with The Hacker, I-F. For us, it was simply electro.” Miss Kittin remains a fixture on the international DJ circuit, and tonight she’s due to play at The Chemical Brothers’ after-party, excitedly saying that she can’t wait. If she’s adventurous on wax, then she’s even more so behind the decks, mixing up-to-the-minute techno with electro classics — and tracks which shouldn’t fit, but in her hands do, as her mix albums ‘Radio Caroline’ and ‘A Bugged Out Mix’ have attested. Right now, Hervé is particularly enamored with the deep, tranced-out techno of Oliver Huntemann and his ilk. “The most recent DJ tracks that I got are tracks by Oliver Huntemann — kind of minimal, with a trancey atmosphere, but with a deeper sound. Tracks where there is tension and release, building up to a break, with a lot of bass. The heart of my set is pretty much old classics, like I-F. I try to mix records that maybe a lot of DJs play, but also my special records to break up the sound. I love to create a sensation, where I will play a long, boring minimal track, with one sound, like Plastikman’s ‘Disconnect’, and then bring in something really big and powerful that is so amazing. I love it, I play it, I know the effect it’s going to have and I’m smiling inside, I love to do it,” enthuses Hervé.
Complex It becomes apparent talking to Caroline Hervé that she’s a complex individual and that Miss Kittin is at once a part of her and a separate character, a way of creating a dichotomy between her musical persona and her day-to-day life. “I’m glad that I found that name because it allows me to separate my public life from my private life, and also because I think it’s a name that suits me,” she confesses. It’s also apparent that she’s a deep thinker and an emotional individual. Asked how she perceives herself, she pauses. “I’m very straight in many ways. In terms of my values, I work according to my own philosophy. I’m open-minded with other ways of thinking. I’m very faithful with my friends. I think that I’m very hard with myself; I always want to be a good person and also a good artist. I don’t want to be perfect but I always try my best. “I should be a little bit more relaxed with my little body and soul and I like to have my quiet, and if I feel disturbed I become really aggressive. Because I’m an artist, it doesn’t mean that I’m an open door for people to know who I am.” Perhaps that’s the reason for the Miss Kittin moniker? She concurs: “I can be very gentle but I can also bite.” One thing that is undeniable is that the music world, and to an even greater extent the world of dance music, is a maledominated domain. In a reflection of wider society, inequality remains rife in the industry, where electro and techno have long been considered the preserve of serious, chin-stroking blokes. But Miss Kittin is one of a rapidly growing contingent of powerful women in techno and house, with names like Le Chic, Dinky, Jennifer Cardini, Cassy, Chloé and Magda some of the most interesting DJs and producers currently on the rise. Does Hervé feel that she’s helped to shift perceptions at all, inspired a new generation of female techno heads, been active in overturning how women are viewed in the chauvinistic world of music? She’s silent for some time before answering.
“Because I’m an artist, it doesn’t mean that I’m an open door for people to know who I am.” “I never looked at it that way. I don’t think I’ve ever been politically involved in something like that. I never wanted that to be an important part of me as an artist, and so for a long time I said no to that. I rejected it,” she confesses. “But now I’ve realised that if you’re a woman, especially if you’re an artist, I think it means that you are a feminist because you’re here to talk about who you are. There is some stuff to talk about being a woman in this world. It’s still better to be a man in society. “The fact that I see things my way maybe interests people. I was influenced by other powerful girls, like [Viennese feminist DJ] Electric Indigo, who was always politically engaged, and I could never dare compare me to her, she’s done such great work, and I respect her so much for that. The same for Peaches, she was always fully engaged in that, and I feel ridiculous next to her. They took it by the balls and I didn’t, for some reason, I shied away from it. I have to be pretty humble with that because I was not more of an activist!” With ‘Batbox’ in the bag, Miss Kittin is already looking to the future, and has a new album with The Hacker forthcoming. But before that she’s going on holiday. “I’m going to the States, on a road trip with a friend of mine,” she says. Right now, Miss Kittin’s content with being Caroline Hervé for a little while.
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Kittin collaborations THREE CLASSICS... Golden Boy and Miss Kittin Rippin Kittin Ladomat
A melancholic electro-pop classic, this could have been a big chart hit, if it weren’t for the disturbing lyrics…
Justin Berkovi feat Miss Kittin My Voice Predicaments
A lowdown hip-hop shuffle and one of the first tracks to showcase Miss Kittin’s lush singing voice.
Felix Da Housecat feat Miss Kittin Madame Hollywood City Rockers
“Sex, drugs and rock & roll? It’s over! I decide it’s over!” Kittin demands imperiously on this electro jewel.
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David Guetta’s fresh sexy house tracks have got dancefloors heaving from Paris to Portsmouth, but the dance music elite are divided by his blatant commercialism and glam image. James Kendall goes to Zürich to discover what really makes him tick…
e navigate the busy back corridors of Club Q like that scene from Goodfellas. As we push past the bar and through a secret door — backs-patted and smiles-beamed — the place is already electric. Then we step into the booth, and so many cameras flash it’s like walking onto the red carpet with a movie star. Fuck me, David Guetta’s famous. But we know that already. We know that he’s the most popular house DJ in the world from his No.10 placement in the Top 100 poll. We know he’s handsome from his press shots. We know he’s got a beautiful wife from his mix album covers. But what we don’t know is whether he’s good or gloss. We’re in Zürich to record an exclusive mix CD for the cover of DJmag and we’re about to be shocked.
words JAMES KENDALL pics DAN REID
Fuck Me David Guetta doesn’t live in the underground and as such takes up an uncomfortable position in the dance world. After years of faceless dance music heroes shyly getting their heads down, we don’t like people who strive. And Guetta looks like a striver: high profile über-gigs, glitzy parties, and albums that blend pop music with house. But for every night in Ibiza that he plays at Pacha he plays another in Space, for every glam Fuck Me I’m Famous event he plays a muddy festival. He might live some of his life in front of bright lights but plenty of it takes place in the shadows. “Maybe it’s because I’m French that I like a bit of glamour,” he says of the perception amongst some of the dance community that he doesn’t mean it, man. “It’s part of my world. I like that people
are bringing something to the party by dressing up. I like to be sexy, for me it’s more about the sexiness than the money.” To back up that statement, he promises that he never plays VIP clubs or exclusive parties. If all you know about David is that airbrushed image you might be as surprised as we were just how much softer he is in real life, even in the way he looks. Rather than the sexiness he sells on his album covers, he has an open face that betrays his friendly and easygoing personality. Clearly David knows how to put a look together — today he’s dressed simply in a rare Justice t-shirt rather than the suit and sunglasses some might expect — but he’s a much more emotional person than we imagined. “You can’t make me happier than to tell me that,” he beams, “because everything I’m trying to do — in my DJing, my production — is about sharing emotion. When I’m making music in the studio that’s all I’m looking for. It’s what matters the most. I’m just a nice person really, you know!” And you know what? He is a nice person. There’s rarely a silent moment as he talks with passion and interest across a range of topics and, while he’s not one for false modesty, it never falls over into bragging at any point. Not even after he’s faced one of the most enthusiastic crowds we’ve ever seen. In Club Q, the screams are like The Beatles at Shea Stadium as he kills the last tune and gets straight on the mic. After an announcement about how special he considers tonight, David
introduces the set with a Guetta overture that explodes into an enraptured acapella sing-a-long. That the room was mic-ed up to get the crowd reaction was important to him doing the covermount, and now we can see why. “It’s a pretty hard thing to show what I do in the night on a CD,” he explains. “I’m very much about the interaction with the people, playing with the effects, remixing live. It’s the kind of thing you can’t do too much on a CD, but hopefully because there were mics in the room there will be energy and you’ll feel a part of it.” It might sound like the crowd are amped up on the mix, but if anything the cheers and singing seem understated in relation to how crazed things really were. To say that Guetta had them in the palm of his hands is like saying Russell Brand has a way with the ladies. David is such a showman that he becomes like a
“Everything I’m trying to do — in my DJing, my production — is about sharing emotion... It’s what matters the most.”
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puppetmaster. When he throws his arms in the air the dancers follow as if on strings. The girls make heart signs with their fingers and the boys hold their hands up over the high booth wall wanting a high five, handshake or just a touch. It’s a reaction fit for a pop star. And that’s certainly part of what Guetta is, especially in France, but he holds back from entering that world completely, just as he refuses to stay underground. “Even if I had the possibilities and the opportunities to get into that pop world, I don’t really want to,” he stresses. “What I love about what I do is that I really feel part of the people that I’m playing for. When you go totally pop you have to become cynical because you have to play to people who are not like you. That’s not what I want to do. I love to recognise myself in the people I have in front of me. And that’s why I can party with them.”
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“If someone hasn’t seen me play they probably have the wrong image of me...” DJ or Pop star? That’s just what he does all night — party with the crowd, with big exaggerated movements, more smiling than a lottery winners’ convention, and dancing. But more than all that, Guetta is about creating moments. Like any crowd, the dancers tonight like things they know best, but they hold in with things they don’t. There’s wild-eyed joy in David’s eyes as he drops a nagging-riffed throbber. He leans in to tell us that it’s a just finished remix getting its first outing. The dancefloor is enjoying it but isn’t going mad. Then he gets on the mic again. “You’re hearing this before Sharam,” he screams of his fresh-off-the-CD-burner new remix for the Deep Disher. The place goes wild and stays that way for the rest of the track. It shows how David is one of those rare DJs who can get
036 DJ458.davidguetta 36
reactions beyond the tracks. He’s created another moment through his sense of occasion that has him using every weapon at his control — the mic, his unique connection with the crowd, the acapellas, the dynamics and his trademark swift mixing. Throw in the glamour, an effects unit that gets a battering, and extraordinary use of the volume faders and you’ve got someone who doesn’t sit with the rest of the pack. At one point he makes a tone out of the ‘La La Land’ acapella, lays in the effects and comes out with a new emotion for the track playing underneath. But it’s his own records that produce the most ‘moments’, either the full track, or, more often, an acapella over something brand new or slightly difficult. It’s a great way to be able to push the crowd past their comfort zone and have them lap it
up. But it’s a strange position to be in. While it must make him proud that his biggest tunes are his own productions, it must be limiting for a DJ who is so creative. “Absolutely,” he nods. “It’s makes me very happy that people love my records, but at the same time as a DJ I have to fight against it a little bit. I went through a phase when I started to have really big tracks on the radio where I had people that were coming to see me DJ only for that. That was not very nice and I really had to fight to prove my point as a DJ, to show that, yes, I’m a producer, but I’m a DJ first and I want to make you discover some music.” If he was playing the popstar-DJ role he says he could take ten of his biggest hits and play ten records by other people in a two-hour set, but he shudders that it’s just not very interesting to him. The solution is to play longer sessions on the decks — three or four hours at least — and try to spread his own tunes in amongst tracks excite him. The first couple of hours will be more loaded with his own productions and the longer he goes on (up to nine hours at gigs like his legendary set at Space in Miami) the deeper he heads with the music fans. “So, yes, it’s a very good ego trip playing my own songs, but I’m trying to be careful about it,” he stresses. “Sometimes I can play one hour without any of my records and then drop them in. Because I want to be sure I can kill the
people without my own tracks, because that’s what DJing is about.” How he survives this balance is with a unique way of mixing that works more on the dynamics that make a smooth journey. He’ll slam tracks together that you wouldn’t think would work but end up sounding like different movements of the same tune. It gives him the chance to play vocal house next to techno and head in any direction (the way he goes from his own track ‘Joan of Arc’ into Soulwax’s filthy mix of Justice to end the CD is a perfect example of this). The only other house DJ that understands the excitement this causes is Erick Morillo, who coincidentally also shares Guetta’s remixing-on-the-fly use of acapellas and effects — and the massive amount of charisma that causes electrical communication with the crowd. “I’ve been a DJ for many, many years,” says David, explaining the jumbled up genres in his set. “I was a DJ even before house music existed. At the time you had to mix it up like that. So I incorporated a lot of the new technical aspects to make me able to mix records that are not supposed to mix. For me it’s not just playing records one after another — it’s about trying to make something new.” When Pioneer developed the CD deck it meant that David could finally throw all those genres together. He reckons that he can do as much with a CDJ and an effects unit as can be done with Ableton
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LovingLâ€™Oreal When David talks about people whoâ€™ve not seen him DJ having the wrong image of him, heâ€™s undoubtedly right. And itâ€™s incredibly easy to pinpoint where this happened: that Lâ€™Oreal advert for hair gel. At the time opinion was split. TouchĂŠ summed up some of the feeling in the underground when he told DJmag he thought, â€œmaking yourself the centre of attention is a little crassâ€?. Meanwhile Paul Woolford said bluntly: â€œAt a time when a lot of young people are turned off by dance music I donâ€™t think this sort of thing helps.â€? Pete Tong was in Guettaâ€™s corner, however, saying: â€œDavid getting picked and the music getting used by a company of Lâ€™Orealâ€™s clout and global reach can only be a good thing.â€? When we ask Guetta what the long-term effects of the ad are he claims that there are none â€” that no one remembers it â€” but everyone we mention his name to before the trip has a sly dig at the promo. Itâ€™s perhaps true that his fans and the people who have regular contact with him have forgotten the perfectly coiffured air punching, but those outside his orbit who think heâ€™s cheesy continue to use it as a stick to bash him with. But that in no way means to say he was wrong to do it. Without a shadow of a doubt, the adverts pushed him into the superstar DJ realm. â€œI think it helped me in the very beginning, in a global way, and thatâ€™s what I was trying to get from that,â€? he admits. â€œBecause they put it to me to play â€˜The World Is Mineâ€™ in the ad, and that became my first big worldwide hit. Itâ€™s so hard to get your music played on the radio or on TV when you make dance music, and especially at that time. Itâ€™s getting much better now, but I think thatâ€™s because some of us made a few steps like that, to show that this music is not only for â€˜crackheads and gaysâ€™.â€? Itâ€™s easy to take money to be yourself in an advert, but if youâ€™re going to be portrayed as some caricature, that could be tremendously damaging, not just personally, but professionally. Was he
worried they were going to paint him as something heâ€™s not? â€œI was very scared,â€? he recalls. â€œI had a discussion with the ad guys and I made sure that the director was right and that we were going to do it the way I wanted to do it. This is why I did it. I didnâ€™t want to be a puppet, I wanted to be a part of the creation process. When they respected that, I thought that it would be fine.â€? At this point Guetta quotes a DJ friend who asserts that thereâ€™s no point in being credible, you should try to be incredible. Itâ€™s easy to see why the phrase resonates with the Frenchman. POQY:cYS AbSdS/\USZZ]:OWR 0S.JY.BTI 8cWQSAb`W\U Wf4UFBMUI ASfESSR:OWRPOQY:cYS@S[ 2OdWR5cSbbO EWbV2O\\g8IJUF 1Z]aW\UA^OQS B]QORWaQ] AV`W\S4VQFSTUBS
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â€œItâ€™s a game,â€? he says. â€œIâ€™m who I am, and people have to take me how I am. I donâ€™t fit in the little squares and I donâ€™t care. I try to be true to myself without worrying what people will say. Of course I take risks â€” like every time I do a primetime TV show.â€? David says that when he goes on a big television show, his website and MySpace ignite with DJs saying: â€œWhy are you doing this? This music is for us.â€? â€œBut I tell them, itâ€™s still my music that you love, Iâ€™m just trying to share it with more people,â€? he says. â€œOur community is a little self-destructive. Anytime someone is getting to a certain level of success, we need to kill it. I donâ€™t understand that.â€? B][AbS^VO\ Wf$IVNCP.VOEP 3`c^b:OWRPOQY:cYS@S[ 0S\\g0S\OaaW @]QY@OdS8IJUF 8]OQVW[5O``OcR B]]Ab`]\U8IJUF
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Someone wiser than us once said that dance music is a subculture that went mainstream but was never supposed to. For many people in the dance world the mechanics of mainstream success are detrimental to the music. Thatâ€™s very much debatable but it is true that itâ€™s easier to be underground and stay in your safe ghetto. â€œItâ€™s very easy to be underground because you just have to obey a set of codes,â€? Guetta says with insight. â€œItâ€™s very formulaic. But itâ€™s also very easy to be totally pop, because itâ€™s very formulaic too. Iâ€™m trying to do something different. What I hate is all those formats. All those guys that are working so hard to look like somebody they are not. Sometimes I look at them and think, â€˜My god, you must be so tired when you get home, because youâ€™ve been acting all dayâ€™. The biggest luxury is to be happy, true and free and Iâ€™m getting there, finally.â€? For a man that looks like he drips luxury, itâ€™s reassuring to hear that these things are what matters to him. And he means it too. As one of the most rounded people weâ€™ve stumbled across in the dance world, thereâ€™s very little of the pop star in the David Guetta we met, despite the paparazzi-esque camera flashes when he takes to the decks. Fuck me, heâ€™s good.
Trackbytrack 11/1/08 16:20:59
David takes us through the tracks heâ€™s picked for this issueâ€™s covermount CDâ€Ś 1. Steve Angello & Laidback Luke Be
â€œAnother genius Swedish producer. Whatâ€™s going on in this country?! Is it something they eat?â€?
7. David Guetta Love is Gone Virgin
â€œNo comment on this one: itâ€™s so big now I donâ€™t need to play it for more than a minute to make the people scream.â€?
â€œThis has a proper old-school vibe and is huge on the dancefloor. Steve, Sebastian and Axwell are like my surrogate brothers.â€?
8. Tom Stephan
2. Juice String
9. Benny Benassi Rock & Rave
â€œBenny is back with a great new sound, and Iâ€™m glad.â€?
Sex Weed (Laidback Luke Remix) â€œLaidback Luke is one of my favourite producers lately and we are both fans of Timbaland.â€?
3. David Guetta
Closing Space with Danny White
â€œI made this track on my laptop right after playing at the Space closing in Ibiza with Danny Tenaglia last summer. I never gave this track to anybody, so itâ€™s really exclusive.â€?
Erupt (Laidback Luke Remix)
â€œVery nice â€” dark and funky.â€? White
10. Joachim Garraud
Too Strong White
â€œMy production partner is preparing a solo album and this is one of the tracks exclusively â€” even before itâ€™s totally finished.â€?
11. Dada Life
This Machine Kills Breakfast Alphabet City
4. Tocadisco Shrine
â€œThis is pure modern funk to me.â€?
â€œI love that itâ€™s constructed in the way I like to create my tracks: ruffness and emotion at the same time, happiness meets sadness. Heâ€™s one of my favourite producers.â€?
12. David Guetta Joan of Arc
5. David Guetta Delirious Virgin
â€œThis track is on my album â€˜Pop Lifeâ€™ and is receiving massive support from lots of DJs even though I never promoted it. It raises hands in the air every time I play it. â€œ
www.djmag.com DJ458.davidguetta 37
7F A7D3; 3F1:C ;B63 4@= ÂąAB=> :2 @ = E 328 6=CA
NOT FOR RESALE
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Producby Christof Maeder for BlackburnBenassi, a great night. Recorded live Benny John DahlbĂ¤ck, Dada Life, and all @ Q Club Zurich for Ruedi Ryf of Imperiale ProductionsAngello, Sebastian Ingrosso, Laidback Luke, Tocadisco, â€“ especially Olga Heijns @ Unmanagable Thanks to Fresh & Stable, Steve so quickly &ÂŠ Garraud, Soulwax, Justice, the labels who turned it around Scand/Double LL Publishing/Talpa Music. (P) tions. Cheers to Joachim music. And thanks to all by Universal Music Publishing Tenaglia for sharing your Published by Urban Dubz/Westbury Tom Stephan and Danny & Laidback Luke. Published Mark James & Charlotte Hodson. P & C 2007 Stealth & produced by Steve Angello 2. Written by Jeremy Sylvester, James and Charlotte Hodson. Jones. Published Artists. Track 1. Written o.tv www.laidbackkluke.com Sylvester. Vocals by Mark R. MixMash 2007. www.steveangell Copyright Control. Produced and recorded by Jeremy El Tocadisco. Music by El Tocadisco. Text by Chelonis Carl Ryden, by & KG. 5. Written by Tara McDonald,Garraud and Music, Hero Music Publishing by David Guetta. White label. 4. Written & produced Entertainment GmbH & Co. Joachim Records. 3. Written & ProducedLicensed by Superstar Recordings - a division of Superstar Copyright Control. Produced by Sven Kirschner, Rivoli Suare by Published Publishing. Riesterer. by Universal Music Publishing. Published by Notting Hill Music, Square Rivoli Garraud/David Guetta/Frederidrecorded by Tom Stephan (Cage Music) and Joachim Garraud, David Guetta. 6. No credits supplied. 7. Written by Chris Willis/Joachim 9. Written by A. Riesterer. 8. Written, composed Carbonell. Records. Frederid & Gum Jennifer for Garraud by Guetta Vocals Joachim David for Seductive Records. Sri. 10. Written Music. Producers & remixers Accorsi (Copyright Control) courtesy of Energy Production Publishing â€“ Whistling Angel geable Artists and Martin Energy Production Sri. Licensed Published by Container / Scandinavian Songs. for ChumboMundo Records/Unmana by Energy Production/Off Limits p & c 2008 Engblom. Rivoli PublishPublished by Olle CornĂŠer and Stefan Guetta. Published by Square Benassi/M. Benassi/P.Sears 11. Written and produced Linquist/Joachim Garraud/David Written and produced by Xavier De Rosnay, Garraud for Gum Records. by Alexander Perls â€“ Marc and produced by Joachim 2007. 13. performed Alphabet City. 12. Written Garraud for Gum Records Contains a sample of â€˜Tenebraeâ€™ www.dadalife.com P + C 2007 Songs. Produced by David Guetta and Joachim Publishing/Because Editions. Because Music. â€“ Perls ing â€“ Natoarts Music Ltd Soulwax. Published by Headbangers under exclusive licence to Additional Production by is owned by Ed Banger Records Gaspard Auge. Remix and copyright in this sound recording by Goblin. [P] & ÂŠ 2007 The
Live. As much as he loves that software he says that playing in a club with it feels â€œtoo much like being in an officeâ€?. So despite such skill in the booth, why do we not think of David as a technical DJ? â€œIf someone hasnâ€™t seen me play they probably have the wrong image of me,â€? he ponders with no malice. â€œMaybe a lot of people like to talk about me, but they donâ€™t know who I am. They might have heard some big tracks on the radio and they think thatâ€™s it. I see myself as being a DJ even before being a producer. I started producing music because I was a DJ, so I feel my field is larger as a DJ than a producer.â€?
â€œAgain, a track from my album â€˜Pop Lifeâ€™. A rockier side of me that only the clubbers that stay for my late sets know.â€?
Phantom (Soulwax Remix) Ed Banger
â€œAmazing harmonies from Justice and craziness of a couple of my favourite spinners: 2manyDJs, aka Soulwax.â€?
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words LEWIS DENE, ALLAN McGRATH, PAUL CLARKE, RICHARD BROPHY, CLAIRE HUGHES, BEN MURPHY & DAN KINASZ
50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME
Mixed, remixed and cut to pieces! When Tom Moulton — generally regarded as the Godfather of the Remix — told a cutting engineer to use a piece of 12” vinyl to press a record when no 7” plates were available, he started a trend that snowballed to dominate club music. With the extended width, not only was there extended length, but also greater sonics. The door had been opened to create mixes specially tailored for the DJ and the club market — up until this point only the most creative DJs would play two 7” singles simultaneously, looping the hooks and breaks to make their own extended versions. The remix developed into a unique artform and over the past four decades key players have influenced, mixed, remixed and rocked dancefloors with their interpretations of tracks. Some producers made their names by undertaking choice remixes early in their careers before concentrating mainly on their own original productions – or retiring. Others continue remixing to this day. It was a right old heated debate in the DJmag office when discussing the positions for this list – after consultation with other experts as well. Impact, innovation, consistency and regularity all played a part in our decisions, but if you disagree then feel free to have your say on DJmag.com Here we go, then. In celebration of the remix, we bring you the Top 50 Greatest Remixers of All-Time…
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039 22/1/08 18:09:48
50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME
50 50. DAVE CLARKE
The art of remixing can so oft fall slave to a mechanical conveyer belt mentality but for every thousand or so generic refixes, cut and pasted to order, there is one deeply personal rework crafted, shaped and refined by techno’s anti-establishment enigma Dave Clarke. You need look no further than Clarke’s first effort on the remixing desk for an example of his talents. Taking on one of his adolescent favourites, a precocious Clarke transformed ‘I’m In Love With A German Filmstar’ by cult ‘80s post-punk ensemble The Passions into a haunting cinematic breakbeat epic. It sits proudly in a remix career that has taken tracks as defining and disparate as the glistening electro-pop of Gary Numan’s ‘80s cut ‘Cars’, The Chemical Brothers’ acid tweakin’ block rocker ‘Chemical Beats’ and the throbbing tribal bass robotics of Leftfield’s ‘Phat Planet’. Not forgetting his more thrashing techno remixes of tracks like Fixmer/McCarthy’s ‘Do You Want It’ or DJ Rush’s ‘Freaks On Hubbard’. Uniting them all, though, is a distinct intensity or brooding energy so symptomatic of Clarke’s work as a producer, DJ and artist. “It can be very daunting taking on a track you care about,” explains Clarke. “All of a sudden you feel like someone else has given you their musical soul. It’s the artist at their most vulnerable; you have to be very respectful, very respectful.” As for respect, don’t forget to whisper if you want to mention Judge Jules caning Clarke’s Zombie Nation remix. “It did kind of take the
040 DJ458.remixers 40
edge off it when it was being played by all the trance mafia,” grins Clarke with a sardonic smile. “But what can you do?” AM
Gary Numan ‘Cars’ The Passions ‘I’m In Love With A German Filmstar’ ● Zombie Nation ‘Kernkraft 400’ ● Leftﬁeld ‘Phat Planet’ ● Fischerspooner ‘Emerge’ ● ●
Stick-Y is effusive in his praise of Timbaland, yet in many ways is as close as the UK’s own urban scene has to the US r&b supremo. For just like Timbaland, Stick-Y has developed his own signature style – although his is more deep bass than clicky syncopated beats – that serves as his calling card yet is flexible enough to snugly fit rather than suffocate the many artists who come knocking at his London studio eager for his production skills or remixes. “I can’t fool people because they know when I’ve done a track,” he says. Head honcho of the Social Circles label, the man who discovered Ms Dynamite is also the production powerhouse behind such other talents as Tubby T, Stush and Nesha, as well as collaborating with the likes of R. Kelly, Lethal B and Beenie Man, whilst being no mean solo artist himself with productions like his hit single ‘Mr DJ’. But he’s also managed to turn underground acclaim into commercial success, with his remixes of Justin Timberlake’s ‘My Love’ and The Sugababes’
EDDY TEMPLEMORRIS “Jacques Lu Cont is a technical master. He will let a good song breathe, not take it over and make it into just another one of his tracks. He took The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside (Jacques Lu Cont Dub Mix)’ track to a new level, and opened up The Killers to a whole new dance crowd that may never have heard them. I’m convinced this mix is what made The Killers globally massive.”
‘About You Now’ receiving heavy rotation on Kiss FM. Calling his sound ‘dirty pop’ – a tag which perfectly describes the filthy funky elements he brings to his remixes – clean-cut garage pin-up boy Craig David is the latest to get roughed-up by Stick-Y on a remix of ‘Six Of One Thing’. “This is going to be a big tune but it was quite a challenge for me,” Sticky admits. “The chorus was quite rhythmic and I was scared that I made Craig sound like a robot!” PC
Justin Timberlake ‘My Love’ The Sugababes ‘About You Now’ ● Ty ‘Wait A Minute’ ● ●
48. PETE ROCK
To designate yourself as soul brother number one would sound downright arrogant coming from anyone else, but you’ve got to give it up to Pete Rock. A veritable leviathan of hip-hop, as a producer he was a pivotal sound-sculptor of rap’s golden age, behind a ton of classic tracks; but it’s his remixes that are possibly his most sought after creations. Remixers remain a relative rarity in hip-hop. Pete Rock is one of the few exceptions. For a short while in the early ’90s he was the go-to remix guy, bringing a soul-soaked, hornheavy sensibility, crafting tough but laidback interpretations of tracks by House Of Pain, Naughty By Nature, Notorious B.I.G. and Jeru tha Damaja which often far outshone the originals. His version of Public Enemy’s ‘Shut
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record, Vasquez is – arguably – the most notorious remixer in dance music’s history. His DJing prowess might have made him the uncrowned ‘Queen Of New York’ of the city’s club scene in the 1990s, not least for his sets at the Sound Factory, but by the end of that decade Vasquez’s legend had sadly morphed into whispered tales of his crystal meth addiction. After a period of abstinence from music, DJing and, most importantly, drugs Vasquez re-launched himself a few years ago and has set about producing music with the heads-down attitude that made his name in the first place. CH
Franklin Fuentes ‘If Madonna Calls’ Gwen Dickey & K.W.S ‘Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)’ ● Cyndi Lauper ‘Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)’ ● ●
46. SHEP PETTIBONE
’Em Down’ is considered by many aficionados to be the superior mix, mellowing Chuck D’s militant flow with some groovesome brass and boom clack beats, contrasting sharply with the industrial thunder of the original. With Brand Nubian’s ‘Slow Down’, Rock kept the sampled Edie Brickell guitar loop, and fattened the beats and bass to an obese, wamping dub undertow, grafting ominous soul horns to the slick rhymes, creating a bona fide classic in the process. Rock’s genius is in his instantly recognisable sound: though entirely constructed from samples, his remixes always contained a kind of sepia-tinted, soporific beat stroll: a kind of Stax/Motown simulacrum with added boom bap potency. Though less in demand as a remixer these days, he remains a hip-hop production don. BM
Public Enemy ‘Shut ’Em Down’ Public Enemy ‘Night Train’ ● Brand Nubian ‘Slow Down’ ● Notorious B.I.G. ‘Juicy’ ● ●
47. JUNIOR VASQUEZ
“Being a DJ and producer is something I never planned,” insists New Yorker Vasquez today. If that’s true then his career is probably one of the most successful accidents in dance music’s history. And as the producer who famously pissed off Madonna with his 1996-released remix of Franklin Fuentes’s ‘If Madonna Calls’
Famed for his late-’80s and ’90s remix and production work for Madonna (remix, writing and production collaborations on many of her earlier songs, including the ‘Erotica’ album) and other major league pop stars including Pet Shop Boys, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Prince and Duran Duran, Shep Pettibone’s origins lie in hip-hop. Together with Arthur Baker he was behind Afrika Bambaataa & the Jazzy Five’s groundbreaking ‘Jazzy Sensation’ and pioneered the ‘Master Mixes’ on his radio show on New York’s Kiss FM, introducing a new methodology by segueing records to build ‘sequences’, almost like movements you find
GRAEME PARK “Every time I dropped a classic Red Zone mix at the Hacienda was a special moment and David Morales’s work never failed to drive the crowd wild. I also love the way he’d often get a singer to re-sing the vocal for him rather than time-stretch. Re-vocaling a tune for a remix can add a totally new dimension to what is, in the end, an art form. “His greatest ever remix is ‘Melody of Love’ by Donna Summer. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”
Inner Life ‘Moment Of My Life’ Salsoul Orchestra ‘Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)’ ● Candido ‘Jingo’ ● Mariah Carey ‘Someday’ ● ●
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in assorted classical music. His contribution to ’80s club music is second to none and he was instrumental in bringing the early underground sound of house into the pop mainstream by way of his hybrid sound. He was one of the first to create multiple versions or alternate productions/ interpretations of the very same song to be released all on the same single. This is standard practice today but was groundbreaking in the early-’80s. In 1982 Shep moved into another musical area, reviving the sounds of people like Loleatta Holloway, Rochelle Fleming and Jocelyn Brown to great success, which ensured his status as an in-demand mixer for large budget studio sessions. Twenty-five years on and Shep still spins today at his club - Paradise in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Dave Lee cites Pettibone’s remix of Salsoul Orchestra’s ‘Chicago Bus Stop (Ooh I Love It)’ as his favourite remix of the disco era and a pivotal mix in making record companies suddenly realise their back catalogues had extra mileage. “Shep built the foundation of what we do today,” adds Chicago veteran E-Smoove. “He would turn good tracks into monster dancefloor anthems,” adds Michael Gray from Full Intention, “and not by completely stripping them down and changing all the music but by reconstructing them and making them twice as powerful and very dancefloor friendly.” LD
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50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME
44 45 45. HIGH CONTRAST
Lincoln Barrett’s intuitive command of sampadelica and cut-and-paste quirkiness has been obvious since he first broke back in ’01, so it was only a matter of time before he rose as the deebee scene’s remix don. Particularly given his tactile approach to tackling untouchable tracks. “When I first took on ‘Papua New Guinea’ people were saying ‘Don’t you think you should leave a track like that alone? Aren’t you worried it might not work?’ but I just knew it would,” he tells us. “To be honest, I wasn’t totally aware of the reverence the track was held in - all I cared about was the fact that it would make a good tune. That’s just my attitude to music summed up, a bit shameless as long as the finished product rocks!” Sure enough, Barrett’s amazing ‘Papua New Guinea’ relick lead the way for a slew of high profile remixes for names like Basement Jaxx, The Streets and The White Stripes. Almost always, though, they’ve started life as cheeky made-for-set rave bootlegs. Most recently, his uptempo d&b relick of Axwell’s ‘I Found U’ started life as a bootleg for his first ever Ibiza set, later fell into the hands of Annie Mac at his London album launch only to be played three times on her show the next day due to public demand. “Positiva were calling the office the day after asking to license if for an official release,” he recalls. AM
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Future Sound Of London ‘Papua New Guinea’ ● The Streets ‘Has It Come to This?’ ● The White Stripes ‘My Doorbell’ ● Axwell ‘I Found U’ ● Omni Trio ‘Renegade Snares’ ● Basement Jaxx ‘Hey U’
A sadly lost icon of UK club culture, Tony De Vit’s immortal contributions might be eulogized by seminal solo works like ‘The Dawn’ and ‘I Don’t Care’ but his true mastery of classic, euphoric hooks is perhaps best examined through his vast remix discography – largely amassed in tandem with his production co-pilot Simon Parkes. Always providing fresh audio ammo for his marathon sets at Sundissential and the after-hours debauchery of Trade, De Vit’s skills lay in cleanly extracting the melodies at their most euphoric or refining vocals to the most unmistakable hooks before pumping them full of hard NRG intensity. But whether he was re-energising the kitsch electro-pop of S’Express, the glistening melodies of X Pansions or the naughty looped techno of Josh Wink, the raw floor power of De Vit’s reworks lay in their investment in a tough, sexy and sweaty funk rather than a relentless jackhammer grind and it was this crossover quality that saw him recruited by the major label big boys to transform pop tarts like former Eternal singer Louise into sample sources for cult underground anthems. “I’ve got so many fond memories of raving to
KING BRITT “Dobie is one of the UK’s best. It was his mix that made ‘Ghetto Heaven’ so big, but the best is ‘Miss You’ by Björk where this cat took ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’ and ﬂipped it into some futuristic funk, even using MC Shan’s ‘The Bridge’ and throwing Björk on this ghetto fabulous track.”
into nasty, gully shapes. His re-lick of New Young Pony Club’s ‘Ice Cream’ is another landmark: ravey and filthy as you like, which makes sense when you consider that Hervé’s prime directive is making the club move its collective arse. “I listen to a track and I start remixing it in my head, checking the lyrical content to see how I can twist that up, use whatever tricks I can. I get a lot planned out before I actually hit the studio. I appreciate I’ve got to do something for the club,” Harvey confided. BM
Sure, Hervé smashed all comers in 2007 with his productions, under a host of pseudonyms including The Count of Monte Cristal, Speaker Junk, Young Lovers and Dead Soul Brothers. But the guy also known as Joshua Harvey was most in-demand last year as a remixer, adding his own inimitable twist to a capacious coterie of big artists who were all falling over themselves to claim a bit of his ghetto house cool. The reason? His imaginative, irreverent touch, deliberately chopping whole sections of tracks to bits, and re-arranging them like funky Frankenstein’s monsters, re-animating vocal segments and changing their meaning – the dirtier the better. Taking a crunked-up, everything-in-the-pot approach to his re-rubs, Hervé brought a ruffneck bass-heavy wonky wobble to The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Salmon Dance’, with an energy equal parts hip-hop attitude and deliberately aggy, atonal-rave energy. The key element is bass: with a sound that could only have emerged in 2007, Hervé takes elements of his mentor Switch’s sonics and twists warping basslines
Roisin Murphy ‘Overpowered’ Chemical Brothers ‘Salmon Dance’ ● New Young Pony Club ‘Ice Cream’ ● Elektrons ‘Get Up’ ● ●
43. TONY DE VIT
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Tony De Vit’s remixes at Trade,” recalls hard house’s current powerhouse BK. “At the time it was really groundbreaking stuff and I can still clearly see the Trade crowd going mad when he dropped that ‘Naked’ remix.” AM
S’Express ‘Theme From S’Express’ Louise ‘Naked’ ● Rozalla ‘Everybody’s Free’ ● X Pansions ‘Move Your Body’ ● ●
42. THE GLIMMERS
Rising to attention with a series of tastefully designed, wilfully eclectic mix CDs that also suggested they had a quirky sense of humour, Belgian DJ duo The Glimmers, aka Mo Becha and David Fouquaert, have a small but perfectly formed list of remixes to their credit. To date, The Glimmers have reworked music by Mylo, New Order, Roxy Music, Bloc Party and The Chemical Brothers amongst others. Inspired by the old school method of editing and extending songs - something that The Glimmers had been doing unofficially to use in their DJ sets for years before they became known internationally - David explains that the same principle applies nowadays to their legit remixes. “We listen to an original track and eliminate the parts that we don’t want to use and then create an extended version of the remaining sounds, as well as adding some of our own sounds,” he says. “Our work as DJs has influenced us, but it depends on what track we are asked to remix and we don’t always think about the dancefloor, especially if we are given a pop track. We recently remixed ‘The Salmon Dance’ by The Chemical Brothers and did a more laidback version with live drums and a dubby bass because they don’t need anyone else to bang it for them,” David points out. The Glimmers also work with original material that they aren’t fans of because they are keen to “rise to the challenge of improving it”. However, they admit that they prefer to work
SPENCER PARKER “Carl Craig is always different, always innovative, a true pioneer. Carl’s remix of Theo Parrish’s ‘Falling Up’ is effortlessly hypnotic and contains his trademark warm sound, a record that hasn’t left my box since I ﬁrst got it.”
for artists they admire - especially the ones that they grew up listening to. “We were like little kids when we were asked to do the remix of Roxy Music,” David laughs. RB
Roxy Music ‘Same Old Scene’ Michoacan ‘2 Bullets’ ● Mylo ‘Drop The Pressure’ ● New Order ‘Krafty’
40. FULL INTENTION
Selected remixes: ● ●
41. PAUL WOOLFORD
Even if we forget the fact that British producer Paul Woolford is currently remixing the entire Murk back catalogue for Cr2 Records, he’d still qualify for a spot in this list. Last year alone saw Wooly do a series of scorching re-edits including his own version of Armand Van Helden’s remix of Tori Amos’s ‘Profressional Widow’ and an ear-waggling mix of Orbital’s ‘Chime’. Those two were out of a batch of nine re-edits that he crafted especially to play at Space in Ibiza. Now, post release of his second Bobby Peru album ‘The True’, Wooly isn’t resting on his record box. As well as being mid-way through his mammoth remix mission he’s also working on an album with his dad (a world-class improvisation drummer who has made around 20 albums and also happens to be called Paul) and compiling the next ‘We Love Space’ mix CD that should land in time for this year’s Ibiza season. “I am busy,” he says. “But I love it that way.” CH
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David Duriez ‘Can You Feel It’ Funky Green Dogs ‘Reach For Me’ ● Tori Amos ‘Professional Widow’ ● ●
At the forefront of the British house movement for over a decade, Michael Gray and Jon Pearn created a niche for themselves that has seen mass crossover acceptance of their productions and remixes, whilst staying true to their underground roots. “They’re one of the few outfits who are always good at turning sow’s ears into silk purses,” reflects DJ Paulette on the duo’s strike rate. One of the few UK house production teams to be openly embraced by their American counterparts, their sound readily translates from the dancefloor into radio-friendly commercial success. With a discography that runs into several hundred remixes, it’s almost impossible to narrow their output to just a select few. “I’m most proud of Duke ‘So In Love With You’,” states Gray. “It’s this remix that kick-started our remixing career, it’s over 10-years-old, and still fits into my DJ sets today.” LD
Duke ‘So In Love With You’ The Fog ‘Been A Long Time’ ● Ultra Naté ‘Free’ ● Jamiroquai ‘Cosmic Girl’ ● Frankie Knuckles ‘Tears’
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50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME Bassbin’, Stacey Pullen’s 2000 cut ‘Vertigo’ and – perhaps most notably – Underground Resistance’s ‘Amazon’. AM
Nu Yourican Soul ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’ Innerzone Orchestra ‘Bug In The Bassbin’ ●T erry Callier ‘Love Theme From Spartacus’ ●U nderground Resistance ‘Amazon’ ●S tacey Pullen ‘Vertigo’ ●G oldie ‘Inner City Life’ ● ●
Although they rose to fame with their soaring electronic house classic collaboration with Booka Shade, ‘Body Language’, in 2005, Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer, aka M.A.N.D.Y, already had a number of high-profile remixes to their credit, including jobs for Sugababes, Daniel Bedingfield and Röyksopp. As their back catalogue shows – collected on last year’s ‘12 Great Remixes for 11 Great Artists’ compilation - they prefer working with pop acts than underground artists. “If we do a remix, we need to like the original song,” Philipp says. “The vocals or the hooks or even just the songwriting needs to be something interesting: we don’t want to do remixes just for tracks.” Staying true to this belief, the Get Physical founders recently turned down an offer to remix The Klaxons. In a move that others would see as tantamount to career suicide, Philipp says that they “tried to do something
37 39. CHICKEN LIPS
The deeply dubbed-out disco-funk of Chicken Lips is out of this world. Without doubt one of the hottest properties in dance music and beyond, the Chicken Lips gang – comprised of production crew Dean Meredith, Andy Meecham, Steve ‘Fella’ Kotey, and occasional vocalist Jonny Spencer - have their remix stamp all over some of the freshest mirrorball rhythms to ever grace a dancefloor. Though operating under a host of different aliases for their own production projects, including Emperor Machine, White Light Circus and Big Two Hundred, it’s as the ’Lips that they’ve had their biggest hits. Consider the huge underground impact of their 2001 remix of Nigo’s ‘March Of The General’: a slow-rolling dubby, post-punk infused disco clomp, it sagely anticipated the direction the dancefloor was beginning to face towards. Or their volte-face script flip version of Headman’s ‘It Rough’: a masterful, irresistible, bubbling re-boot of stripped back Chicago acid. Chicken Lips’ trick is to keep us guessing. Never content to sit on their laurels, they’re always primed to pull a new trick out of the bag. “Every remix is a completely new picture, from start to end,” revealed Meredith. “The more freedom we get, the better. We approach them from all different angles - if we think it should be quite indie sounding, we go down that road, if it has more of a house, electronic feel, or funk or reggae, we come at it from that angle. People don’t know what to expect from
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us in a way so that’s pretty much why people respond to it,” he added. BM
Ignition ‘Love Is War’ Nigo ‘March Of The General’ ● Headman ‘It Rough’ ● Outcast ‘Last Bullet’ ● ●
38. 4 HERO
It’s no understatement to say that the 4 Hero duo – Dego and Marc – are worth their place in this list on count of their superbly epic broken beat retouch of Nu Yourican Soul’s ‘Black Gold Of The Sun’ alone. A masterpiece, its stirring, cosmo-jazz textures were lauded as (MAW/Nu Yourican Soul’s) Louie Vega’s favourite remix ever at the time. The duo’s journey from dark age hardcore pioneers to cosmo-jazz and nu-soul icons grains a legacy that colours a range of eras and sounds. Reaching right back to Detroitian influenced hardcore remixes on cult hardcore and d&b label Moving Shadow, more rave-edged reworks on Suburban Base and a jazz inflected retouch of Goldie’s junglistic urban hymn ‘Inner City Life’, the pair have since progressed to add cosmic-funk, organic soul and nu-jazz energies to artists like Shaun Escoffery, Horace Silver and Terry Callier. Arguably a touch under-rated on their own shores, their continued musical investment in rich soul and hi-tech jazz has seen them called upon by their Detroitian counterparts a number of times including remixes of Innerzone Orchestra’s seminal ‘Bug In The
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50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME
remixes heaped on his mixing desk - including Quentin Harris’ latest on Strictly – that will add to his remix quota of well over 100. “I think I’m taking another on tomorrow,” he grins. Always on hand to uplift the likes of Jamiroquai, Liberty X, Kelis and The Artful Dodger into feel-good, full figured house groovers, Nelson’s crowning moment for many was his transformation of Solu Music’s ‘Fade’ from a slinking house track into a bona fide end-of-night classic – bursting with sunshine euphoria and big room grooves. “That was a really hard one to take on because the track was already so big but I was really pleased to bring it to new audiences and give it a new energy,” explains Nelson. “But for me my favourite was the Frankie Knuckles ‘Walkin’ remix. I just felt I really turned a page with that one.” So what is it that really floats Nelson’s boat about remixing, then? “There’s just something special about being given someone’s work and bringing it to new crowds. And it’s just great to be given such amazing parts to work with and also work – indirectly – with such legendary artists.” AM
M Gee & Mica Paris ‘Bodyswerve’ Solu Music featuring Kimblee ‘Fade’ ● Frankie Knuckles feat Adeva ‘Walkin’ ● Audio Bullys ‘Turned Away’ ● ●
different: we messed around with it for a few days, but we had to give it back. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.” When things do work out for M.A.N.D.Y, the results are stunning, like when they turned Lindstrom’s evocative Italo signature tune ‘I Feel Space’ into a moody, pared back tribal cut or their bleepy, Chicago version of Röyksopp’s ‘49 Per Cent’. “‘I Feel Space’ was a classic, so we had to do something radically different - we always try to be as original as possible,” Philipp says. “We realise we’re not going to get rich by turning down work but we have the freedom to do what we want. If you want to do this for a long time, you have to follow your feelings we don’t want to turn into a remix machine.” RB
Lindstrøm ‘I Feel Space’ Rockers Hi Fi ‘Push Push’ ● Matthew Dear ‘Don & Sherri’ ● Röyksopp ‘49 Per Cent’ ● ●
36. TIMO MAAS
If you haven’t heard German producer Timo Maas’s remix of Azzido Da Bass’s ‘Dooms Night’ (first released in 1999) then you really shouldn’t call yourself a dance music fan. Despite all his previous DJing and production work it was that remix that propelled Timo from a well-known name in electronic music circles to the upper echelons of dance music’s uber cool. “We got a lot of standing for that,” admits
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DAVE SPOON “Whatever guise Stuart Price uses he nails it. I love his production and the way he isn’t stuck in a ‘here and now’ sound. Anyone who can produce and tour albums for Madonna, The Killers and now artists like Seal has to be on it. As far as favourite remixes go, it’s a close one between his remix of The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’ and the Scissor Sisters one, but I’m going for The Killers - I dare anyone not to like those strings!”
Timo, who did the mix with his production partner Martin Buttrich in just one afternoon in the studio. “Everybody was playing it.” House DJs, trance DJs, breaks DJs, garage DJs, d&b and hip-hop jocks all jumped on the acid-squelchy, big bottomed bass Timo mix of ‘Dooms Night’ but no one could describe it. All the dance magazines reviewed the mix but it kept popping up in different review categories. For once genre-classification got lost and no one cared: everybody just loved the record. It was after that mix that Timo’s trademark “grittiness” first flicked into focus. Since then he and Martin have carefully honed that style into what Timo now jokingly calls “Timo sound”. CH
Azzido Da Bass ‘Dooms Night’ ● Depeche Mode ‘Enjoy The Silence’ ● Placebo ‘Special K’ ●
34. CJ MACKINTOSH One of the few British house DJs and remixers to be embraced on both sides of the Atlantic without prejudice, CJ has been working the wheels of steel for 20 years since winning the DMC World Mixing competition back in 1987. It kick-started his studio partnership with Dave Dorrell, which initially spore Nasty ROX, and then, with two members of Colour Box, the quartet created the seminal house anthem
35. GRANT NELSON
“If I had to pin down one thing that I couldn’t leave behind about my job it would be remixing,” confesses veteran Grant Nelson. “It started out messing about with sampled loops as a youngster and kind of edged up to my dream job without realising.” There are few remixers plying their trade in today’s scene who can boast a record quite as prolific as Londoner Nelson. When we catch up with the bumping UK garage pioneer turned soulful house guru, there’s a stack of three
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‘Pump Up The Volume’ as M.A.R.R.S. With a background of scratching, hip-hop, house and garage, CJ’s mixes were never pigeonholed with artists including Coldcut, Sly & Robbie, Gangstarr, Simple Minds, Tina Turner, D-Mob, UFO, Inner City, Sounds Of Blackness, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, D’Angelo and Loose Ends featuring his post-production work. But it was during the rise of daisy age rap that CJ made his mark with classic party jam mixes for the likes of De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest and Digital Underground & Queen Latifah. LD
Queen Latifah & De La Soul ‘Mama Gave Birth To The Soul Children’ ● Roxanne Shante ‘Live On Stage’ ● Sounds Of Blackness ‘Testify’ ● De La Soul ‘Say No Go’ ●
Two different Trentemøller collections were released at the end of 2007, and whilst the two CDs that formed ‘The Trentemøller Chronicles’ compilation were much less effective than the range of scarves and specially designed T-shirts at protecting you from winter chills, they did give a much better insight into why the Dane’s name is in such demand. Particularly on the second CD of remixes, with tracks by Röyksopp, The Knife and Mathias Schaffhauser amongst others re-modelled by Trentemøller. “Too many remixes just add new drums or a bassline and that isn’t enough to make an interesting remix,” he believes. “It’s when the remixer composes new chords, for example, and creates a new tonal universe that you get intelligent remixes.” And Trentemøller really is the master of a certain tonal universe, where everyone from deep house artists like Andy Caldwell to proper pop stars like Robyn and the Pet Shop Boys have been sucked into a galaxy of electronic bleeps and warping beats. “I always look for a great melody, like the lead vocals that I can work with,” he explains. “For me, it’s much more interesting to work with a pop or rock song than a house or techno track. The possibility to take the original in a whole new direction is much bigger if it has some melody in it and unfortunately that’s what most house and techno misses. I’ve said no to a lot of remix requests recently because doing a remix just to rock a dancefloor gives you some artistic limits and I want complete freedom.” PC
Röyksopp ‘What Else Is There?’ Robyn ‘Konichiwa Bitches’ ● Tomboy ‘Flamingo’ ● ●
32. WALTER GIBBONS
Most Chicago DJs owe a debt to the underground 1970s club scene in New York and particularly the original disco-mixer,
33 MIX MASTERS
DANNY HOWELLS “Quite possibly Francois Kevorkian is the best. I can’t think of many other remixers/producers that have remained relevant for so long. One look at his discography shows that he has always been on top of his game, from creating disco classics in the ’70s, mixing bands like The Cure and The Smiths in the ’80s, to the numerous house bombs he’s created since. His mix of ‘Why Can’t I Be You?’ by The Cure stretches it while keeping the song intact. Totally respectful whilst adding more dub - a proper remix.”
Walter Gibbons, a white DJ who popularised the basic techniques of disco mixing, then graduated to Salsoul Records where he turned otherwise unremarkable dance records into monumental sculptures of sound. Gibbons paved the way for the disc jockey’s historical shift from the twin-decks to the production studio. He pioneered many of the techniques of disco mixing that became the lifeblood of house DJs-turned-producers in the ’80s and gave many their first break — he hired François Kevorkian to play live drums at his first DJ residency at New York’s Galaxy 21. John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez is quoted as saying: “I thought I was the best DJ in the world until I heard Walter Gibbons play. Everything he was doing back then, people are doing now. He was phasing records, back-beating them for an echo effect, quick cuts and little tape edits that would freak people out.” It was Gibbons’ transformation of Double Exposure’s ‘Ten Percent’ from a three-minute album track into an 11-minute dancefloor epic that radically changed the disco underground in terms of record production, remixing and development of the extended single. Ironically, at the height of his cult popularity, he drifted away from the decadent heat of disco to become a born-again Christian. He resurfaced in 1984 and had a new and immediate impact on the development of the Chicago house sound with ‘Set It Off’ by Strafe. Gibbons died at his Long Island home in 1994. LD
Selected remixes: ●
Double Exposure ‘Ten Percent’
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Salsoul Orchestra ‘Nice ‘n’ Nasty’ Loleatta Holloway ‘Hit and Run’ ● Strafe ‘Set It Off’ ● ●
31. STANTON WARRIORS
The Plumps might be close contenders but when it comes to raw fattened-up reworks that detonate dancefloors like booty-shaking breakbeat bombs, it’s the Stantons that have created the most d-floor devastation. Last year’s ‘Stanton Warriors Remix’ collection was a perfect showcase but it was their beefed-up retake on Timo Maas’ ‘Dooms Night’ remix way back that announced them to the masses once and for all. Ever since they’ve been called upon to toughen up tracks as iconic as Basement Jaxx’s ‘Jump N Shout’, Layo & Bushwacka!’s ‘Love Story’ and Mylo’s ‘Drop The Pressure’ - and more recently the trippy naughtiness of Claude Von Stroke’s ‘Who’s Afraid Of Detroit’. Wiring the hooks of these classics against raw 2am breakbeats and booty-funk bass, the Stantons’ approach can’t be lauded as revolutionary but as far as dancefloor chemistry goes there’s few remix artists more explosive. ‘If it ain’t broke – break it!’ is their muchlauded ethos. “The secret to a good remix is simply making something that sounds good and works the floor,” admits Dom B matter of factly. “We make it purely with the dancefloor in mind.” “We have to like the original full stop,” he continues, when pressed if it’s important that
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28 The last two years have been a particularly pivotal time, with his dubbed-to-infinity treatment of Rhythm and Sound’s ‘Let We Go’ a major highlight. Most significantly there was the heavily percussive, epic re-fix of Depeche Mode’s ‘Sinner In Me’ which demolished dancefloors all throughout ’07, and had a considerable influence on the percussionfuelled trajectory that techno has pursued in the wake of minimal. Another gem, his surprising and fresh treatment of Beck’s ‘Cellphone’s Dead’ used the kooky Calfornian’s full rap to create a kind of otherworldly minimal hip house interpretation. Most recently, the Chilean wunderkind has stunned the dubstep crew with an unreal version of ’stepper Shackleton’s ‘Blood On My Hands’ which keeps the vibe of the original and transports it to 4/4 territory, bridging the gap between the two scenes and virtually inventing a new fusion in the process. Inventiveness seems to be this polymath’s middle name – undoubtedly 2008 will provide further proof of his remixing genius. BM
30 they like the original. “We have turned down artists like Britney Spears, All Saints and Backstreet Boys because the tunes being offered were shit. You can’t polish a turd.” AM
Basement Jaxx ‘Jump N’ Shout Basement Jaxx ‘Where’s Your Head At’ ● Chicken Lips ‘He Not In’ ● Layo & Bushwacka! ‘Love Story’ ● Mylo ‘Drop The Pressure’ ● ●
30. EROL ALKAN
Renowned as one of the finest underground jocks the UK has to offer, Erol has over the last few years also become a revelation on the remix front. Having spent over a decade championing many of today’s best producers, getting painfully familiar with their work has evidently paid dividends as the North Londoner is now not only re-jigging many of today’s dancefloor elite - Hot Chip, Scissor Sisters, Justice and The Chemical Brothers – but often trumping them with his own painfully original and addictive re-workings. But the most impressive part is that the North Londoner only learnt how to produce about four years ago. Much of the energy and eclecticism that is the signature of his storming DJ sets seeps into his work, but where Erol truly excels is in his vision and creativity. Take his remix of Scissor Sisters’ ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’’. Here he takes a simple and short hook and builds a whole tune around it with an entirely different feel, and leagues more personality, than the
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original itself. Then there’s his epic ten-minute reworking of Hot Chip’s ‘Boy from School’ that is arguably his finest moment to date. Here he works the track’s serene lead vocal into a bittersweet, melancholic hook that slowly builds, underpinning it with lush organic drums and warm rolling-synths, creating a wonderfully honest and heartfelt dancefloor gem. His ability to unlock potential in parts of tunes that others would almost certainly miss is right up there with Mr Ewan Pearson. And this lad’s barely gotten started. DK
Alter Ego ‘Rocker’ ● Hot Chip ‘Boy From School’ ● Justice ‘Waters Of Nazareth’ ● Klaxons ‘Golden Skans’
Depeche Mode ‘Sinner In Me’ Beck ‘Cellphone’s Dead’ ● Shackleton ‘Blood On My Hands’ ● Two Lone Swordsmen ‘Bunker’
29. RICARDO VILLALOBOS
A true electronic music veteran, Ricardo Villalobos has helped shape the topography of techno since he first registered on our radars in 1996. Of course, his DJing and own productions have had an inestimable impact, but it’s his remixes that have, perhaps, made him most infamous. With a back catalogue of remixed beats that would make many lesser producers weep into their socks, Ricardo Villalobos has remixed everyone from DJ Hell to Two Lone Swordsmen, mapping out blueprints for new scenes and sub genres as he goes, contributing to every fresh sound before moving into unexplored territories.
DJ PAULETTE “There’s just too many to mention but Morales’s ‘Dream Lover’ is up there at the top. It was the anthem for a generation and you know it by the ﬁrst note. It made Mariah Carey a crossover superstar ﬁrst time around.”
28. ALAN BRAXE
French house head Alan Braxe is a vastly underrated production talent. The 36-year-old co-wrote ‘Music Sounds Better With You’ alongside Thomas Bangalter and Benjamin Diamond under the name Stardust but didn’t really receive the props he deserved for that tune. His magical stardust is liberally sprinkled over any tracks he’s involved with not least his utterly genius ‘Intro’ that he co-penned with fellow Frenchie Fred Falke and released through Vulture Music in 2000. He went on to do a string of remixes with Fred Falke - including Röyksopp’s ‘Only The Moment’ and Goldfrapp’s ‘Number 1’ - but in the past few years he’s been handling the
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reworks on his own and it’s for these that we rate him most. CH
Selected remixes: Annie ‘Heartbeat’ Shakedown ‘At Night’ ●J ustice ‘D.A.N.C.E’ ● ●
27. DANNY KRIVIT
Danny Krivit’s cool credentials outstrip all the other remixers in this list. And growing up in NYC’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s, working in his dad’s jazz club The Ninth Circle, it’s no surprise he opted for a career in music. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and John Lennon were just a few of the musicians who hung out at the Ninth Circle. When Krivit started DJing in the 1970s his all-star connections meant he could get rare white label promos that no one else had. Krivit got James Brown’s ‘Get Up Get On It’ and Lyn Collins’s ‘Think’ weeks before any of the other NYC DJs. Krivit hung out with Larry Levan and Frankie Knuckles at clubs like The Loft and The Paradise Garage, picking up DJing skills that he translated into his own sound when he took up residency at NYC club Roxy in 1979. His production work started soon after but it’s his famed remixes that earned him the title ‘King Of The Re-edit’. CH
Kechia Jenkins ‘Still Waiting’ ●S oul Central ‘Strings Of Life’ ●K ings Of Tomorrow ‘Finally’ ●
26. ID PRODUCTIONS:
E-SMOOVE, STEVE HURLEY & MAURICE JOSHUA
Three for the price of one here as the house sound of Chicago swept the airwaves and dancefloors in the 1990s and made household names of the trio of producers under the tutelage of Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley. To all intent and purposes, house music came of age in the summer of 1986 when Daryl Pandy strutted his portly frame about a Top Of The Pops stage wailing the lyrics to an obscure southern soul release by Isaac Hayes. ‘Love Can’t Turn Around’ had been selling like the preverbal deep-pan pizza in his native Chicago, and six months later Hurley went one better by reaching the UK pop chart’s apex with the even starker ‘Jack Your Body’. The irony was that Hurley, another Windy City resident, claimed that Farley’s track was a blatant rip-off of one of his own productions. The two fell out — a trend that was becoming increasing familiar within the burgeoning Chicago dance community — but the one nicknamed Silk got his revenge by trumping Farley’s success with his next production, ‘Jack Your Body’. Borrowing the bassline from First Choice’s ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ and adding the sampled stutter technique inspired by ‘Music Is The Key’, it struck a chord with clubbers and casual record buyers alike. The floodgates had opened and there was no stopping the slew of jack trax to cross the Atlantic. With prodigies Eric Miller (aka
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E-Smoove) and Maurice Joshua, a plethora of artists including Michael Jackson, Simply Red and Mary J. Blige reaped the rewards. “Hurley had a distinctive style and consistently delivered the goods for 10 years,” says Dave Lee. “He changed the whole game by himself,” adds former studio partner E-Smoove. LD
Simply Red ‘Something Got Me Started’ Kym Sims ‘Too Blind To See’ ● Michael Jackson ‘Remember The Time’ ● Ce Ce Peniston ‘We Got A Love Thang’ ● ●
25. KING BRITT
Philadelphia producer and DJ King Britt is one of dance music’s few truly eclectic stars. His Sylk 130 collective remains a landmark project in dance music history; up there with Masters At Work’s Nuyorican Soul and Roni Size’s Reprazent. The Philly soul sound defined what was good about disco music in the 1970s. In the mid-1990s Sylk 130 turned Philly into a musical hotspot once again by telling the story of the nu jazz/soul scene through the sounds of all the artists involved. When it hit in 1994, Sylk130’s ‘When The Funk Hits The Fan’ album gave us an ice-white slice of Britt’s production/A&R skills as well as introducing the dance music world to the vocal prowess of previously unknown artists like Ursula Rucker. But Britt’s knack for production and scene-setting is just half the story.
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24 One of his best talents lies in his ability to transpose sound. As a remixer he’s one of the most creative out there. Just take his 2002 remix of Josh One’s ‘Contemplation’. Britt deftly took the melody hook and vocal from the downtempo, nu jazz/breakbeat original and turned it into a hypnotic, blistering house cut that bagged him a string of industry awards longer than both his arms and, once again, validated his ‘King’ title. CH
Josh One ‘Contemplation’ Kindred ‘Rhythm Of Life’ ● Appleton ‘Don’t Worry’ ● ●
24. D. RAMIREZ
“It’s always been remixers like Armand Van Helden or Todd Terry that I’ve looked to for inspiration,” lends electronic house Midas man D. Ramirez. “With stuff like the Sneaker Pimps track, Armand took the remixes so far away from the original and created a whole genre in the process.” But as NYC’s Armand defined the warping 4/4 bass boogie of speed garage with his infamous ‘Spin Spin Sugar’ and ‘Sugar Is Sweeter’ remixes, Sheffield’s D. Ramirez (or Dean Marriott as his mother knows him) is the man responsible for defining the electronic grooves and glistened synths of what became known as ‘electro-house’ with his now seminal remix of Bodyrox’s ‘Yeah Yeah’. The remix not only transformed Bodyrox’s bar-house tedium into an underground electronic house detonator but then became the most played anthem of ’06 before the remix itself fisted its way right up to number two in the national charts. D.Ramirez followed up with more cute, infectiously hooky electronic house remixes of Roger Sanchez’s ‘Lost’ and Plump DJs’ ‘Electric Disco’ but before that his remix repertoire had overhauled tracks into everything from shaking turbo-charged tribal and chugging breaks crossovers to groovy club bangers. “I think there’s a blur with remixes in the
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respect that sometimes they can almost stand alone as their own productions,” continues Dean. “I see a remix as a chance to do something experimental.” Just don’t expect too many more to follow. “When you write something nearly from scratch and watch it top the charts without receiving the rewards, it makes you think,” he rounds. AM
Roger Sanchez ‘Lost’ Bodyrox ‘Yeah Yeah’ ● Plump DJs ‘Electric Disco’ ● Hardsoul presents Roog & Greg ‘Uber’ ● ●
23. KRUDER & DORFMEISTER
Nobody does it quite like K&D, uniting their love of all things jazz, soul, breakbeat, dub and drum & bass in a way that is truly timeless. The Austrian duo of Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister started working on tracks together back in 1993 and they’ve since become one of the most sought after remixing teams in the business. Their versatility is second to none, and this has seen them build up one of the most varied remix back catalogues around – taking in the likes of Roni Size, Madonna, Rockers Hi-fi and Depeche Mode – with the stamp left behind one of the most identifiable around. Much of this is down to the incredible warmth of their production, but there is also a signature mood and atmosphere that coats every interpretation. In fact, on occasion they’ll leave much of the arrangements as they are, opting simply to switch the vibe - their seminal eerie yet
STREETLIFE DJs “Andy Weatherall sometimes gets overlooked, but his input and importance cannot be denied. He’s a genius at manipulating sounds, in the same way that Leftﬁeld did. There are so many amazing Andy Weatherall remixes (My Bloody Valentine, One Dove, Saint Etienne, FSOL and Meat Beat Manifesto to name a few), but the best is Primal Scream’s ‘Don’t Fight It Feel It’ on Creation. It’s ﬂoor-shaking, roof-raising stuff. Simple and hypnotic and’ll never sound tired - just brilliant.”
beautiful Bomb The Bass remix being a case in point. So highly regarded did their remixing become that in 1998, legendary German label !K7 asked the duo to put together a compilation of their very best work. Coming out as a double CD and double vinyl release, ‘The K&D Sessions’ has gone on to become one of the most collectable LPs in dance music history - people all over the world have been paying top dollar for second-hand copies of the gatefold release. Frighteningly consistent and brilliantly unique, K&D are without doubt one of the best leftfield remix teams of all time. DK
Roni Size & Reprazent ‘Heroes’ Bomb The Bass ‘Bug Powder Dust’ ● Depeche Mode ‘Useless’ ● Lamb ‘Trans Fatty Acid’ ● ●
22. ARTHUR BAKER & JOHN ROBIE
Answering a classified ad in the New York Village Voice that read “Man with Roland 808. Can programme: $25 a night”, so began one of the most innovative production and remix careers ever. The ad was placed by Tom Silverman, whose fledging Tommy Boy label was searching for a hit. Boston DJ Arthur Baker replied and ‘Jazzy Sensation’ (a hip-hop version of Gwen McCrae’s ‘Funky Sensation’) was born. Its minor success paved the way for ‘Planet Rock’, a track that single-handedly shaped a new generation of music and became a watershed in hip-hop’s evolution, and what many consider to be Afrika Bambaataa’s
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22 epochal record. The single’s impact was unparalleled — not since the release of The Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy In The UK’ and not again until Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ would one song influence so many. It featured the skills of a young keyboard player named John Robie (who started his career at D.I.S.C.O.N.E.T. remixing pop hits for the dancefloor and co-wrote Man Parrish’s ‘Hip-Hop Be Bop’). Robie went on to work with Baker throughout the ’80s. “Arthur had the balls to do it differently,” says Victor Simonelli. “He embraced technology and incorporated his own rhythms and sounds and in so doing changed the definition of ‘remix’.” LD
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force ‘Planet Rock’ ● New Order ‘Confusion’ ● Freeez ‘IOU’ ●
In the mid-’80s, inspired by sonic soundclashes like ‘The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels of Steel’ and Double Dee & Steinski’s ‘Payoff’ mixes, UK producers Jonathan Moore and Matt Black set about creating their own take on the alchemist sound of cut ‘n’ paste mash-ups. Their debut, ‘Say Kids, What Time Is It?’ was later sampled by MARRS for ‘Pump Up The Volume’, while their ‘Bits + Pieces’ series of bootlegs are highly sought after to this day. They discovered Lisa Stansfield, Yazz and a
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TIM SHERIDAN “There are some truly great remixers out there but Matt ‘Radio Slave’ Edwards has been so consistent. Since day one, when he was doing freaky versions with hip-hop and pop vocals, I was a fan and he just grew and grew into a mighty, very unique and, most importantly, totally consistent remixer. Continuity is the key to a good remixer. You just know you’ll get that sound from him, stripped back to the bone and hypnotic and groovy. He grafted for years for fuck all money and if anyone deserves the status of top remixer it’s Matt.”
handful of other acclaimed artists, while as remixers they were responsible for peppering US hip-hop with an almost comical UK flavour. To Steinski, their mentor, it’s Coldcut’s mix of Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’ that rates as one of the greatest mixes of our generation. “It still holds up today… it’s one of the most outstanding remixes of all time,” he says. Matt and Jonathan subsequently pioneered their groundbreaking audio-visual show, taking the VJ/DJ interface to the next level, and run one of the most cerebral record labels in the UK – Ninja Tune. LD
Eric B & Rakim ‘Paid In Full’ Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. ‘Psyko Funk’ ● The Orb ‘Little Fluffy Clouds’ ● Coldcut feat Lisa Stansﬁeld ‘People Hold On’ ● ●
20. LARRY LEVAN
He was the DJs’ DJ who for more than 10 years held court at New York’s Paradise Garage. Together with contemporary DJ Tee Scott, Levan helped define house, garage and dance music in general. “Larry made many people happy,” recalled Mel Cheren - friend, mentor and co-owner of the Garage – just before his death in January of this year. “His music was the inspiration for 70% of the important DJs today, like Junior Vasquez, Frankie Knuckles and David Morales. They were inspired to become DJs because of Larry.”
Born Lawrence Philpot, in later years Larry dropped his father’s name in favour of his mother’s. In the early days, as the Garage struggled to establish itself, Larry Levan started out on a parallel path that would bring him even greater recognition outside of the DJ box. His first sortie into the recording studio in 1978 was to remix a novelty disco record by Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster called ‘C Is For Cookie’. The following year he remixed Taana Gardner’s ‘Work That Body’, but his real breakthrough was the international hit ‘I Got My Mind Made Up (You Can Get It Girl)’ by Instant Funk. As a DJ, Larry had an impeccable sense of style and taste and his landmark work in the studio led to the first whole album concept where the DJ/remixer got top billing over the original artist. Levan mixed close to 100 songs and many are still held as landmark recordings by his peers. He passed away in 1992. “There will never be another Larry Levan, just like there’ll never be another Paradise Garage,” reflects David Morales. “There are a lot of other great DJs and awesome clubs, but there’s never been a DJ that commanded an audience so strongly like Larry Levan.” LD
Instant Funk ‘I Got My Mind Made Up’ Inner Life feat Jocelyn Brown ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ ● First Choice ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ ● Gwen Guthrie ‘Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent’
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19. DAVE TAYLOR (SWITCH)
“For me remixing is just an excuse to be a bit experimental,” says Dave Taylor, confessing he “can’t actually remember the last actual solo single I had out.” Obviously best known as both Solid Groove and Switch, Taylor’s career has been defined by his ability to take on anyone from Basement Jaxx to Bugz In The Attic and wrestle them into unique underground slabs of quirky cut-up house and Brixtonian bump-funk. Assuming position as the fidget movement’s untouchable remix king, Taylor’s mastery of the zany bleeping cut-up house sound has seen him called upon by P Diddy, X-Press 2, The Chemical Brothers, Evil Nine, Simian Mobile Disco and Les Rhythmes Digitales for that unmistakable mix of bumped funk rawness and bleep n’ bass madness. But not only loved for those killer chopped drops, Taylor’s remix stamp has been instrumental in blowing open the genre-barriers over the past five years and filling out the fidget sound by borrowing on everything from hip-hop sensibility, booty bass energy and tribal shaking rhythms. Essentially, if there’s a hook, be sure Taylor can hang it on something so devastatingly funky it will slay all floors in its path. “It’s all about taking stuff out of their original context and putting stuff in places it wouldn’t normally fit,” said the man himself. AM
Evil Nine feat Juice Aleem ‘Pearlshot’ Sharon Phillips ‘Want 2 Need 2’ ● Coldcut ‘True Skool’ ● The Chemical Brothers ‘Galvanize’ ● ●
18. JOEY NEGRO
Along with CJ Mackintosh and Full Intention, Dave Lee (aka Joey Negro) has similarly clocked up as many US mixes as UK ones. A founding father of the UK house scene and passionate disco aficionado, Joey Negro is just one moniker for the man born Dave Lee on the Isle of Wright. His first production work came when he started his own Republic Records label, in 1988, and recorded M.D.EMM’s ‘Get Busy’. Joey Negro was created three years later for the singles ‘Do It Believe It’ and ‘Do What You Feel’. Lee’s ability to mix up pop with dance has been well documented and culminated most notably with Take That’s version of ‘Re-Light My Fire’ with ’60s icon Lulu. His most satisfying achievement was remixing Diana Ross’s ‘Love Hangover’. “It’s a song I had liked since I was a kid and getting multi-track tape for a classic is quite special,” enthuses Dave. “I tried to bring it up to date but without losing the original parts — adding bog standard house instrumentation to something like that seems wrong to me. “My remixes of Reese Project’s ‘Direct Me’ and
Souled Out’s ‘Shine On’ are favourites for the opposite reason, as I changed everything apart from the vocals — including the tempo. If you are losing all the original music then the mark of a good mix is when the vocals sit better over the new backing track and it sounds like the new mix was the original.” LD
Nomad ‘Devotion’ Reese Project ‘Direct Me’ ● Katherine E ‘I’m Alright’ ●J akatta ‘American Dream’ ● ●
17. MASTERS AT WORK LIL’ LOUIE VEGA & KENNY ‘DOPE’ GONZALES
One of the most successful remix teams in the last two decades, Masters At Work’s unique combination of hip-house-jazz-style remixes have made them originators in a sound that has been often imitated yet rarely successfully duplicated. Louie Vega is often cited as the Miles Davis of dance music: impossible to categorize and constantly reinventing himself. During a two-decade long career, the Hispanic producer has crafted some of the most ground-breaking singles in dance music history (‘The Nervous Track’, ‘It’s Alright, I Feel It’ and ‘You Can Do It’), kickstarted genres like soulful house (‘Beautiful People’, ‘I Get Lifted’) and revitalized the careers of legends like Roy Ayers, George Benson and Tito Puente. The Masters At Work moniker was conceived in 1987 when he teamed with Kenny Gonzales — known as a living encyclopaedia of beats and purveyor of sonic masterpieces. As producers in the ’90s they followed different musical paths under their guise Nuyorican Soul, blending house with jazz and helping
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16 15 introduce the likes of George Benson, Patti Austin and Roy Ayers to a new audience. They still continue to deliver a plethora of acclaimed material today, as producers, remixers, DJs and label owners. “Masters At Work have their own distinct sound and style,” says Graeme Park. “You can tell it’s them from the moment you hear one of their remixes. I still explode with joy when I hear their remix of Melissa Morgan’s ‘Still In Love With You’.” LD
Barbara Tucker ‘Beautiful People’ River Ocean feat India ‘Love & Happiness’ ● Saint Etienne ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ ● Kim English ‘Nitelife’ ● ●
16. ANDREW WEATHERALL
The most individualistic, idiosyncratic UK remixer, Andrew Weatherall has, more than anyone else, turned the remix into an art form. Weatherall’s 1990 version of white noise/shoegazers My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Soon’ practically invented indie-dance, eclipsing the original song with a huge, lumbering breakbeat and a catchy, repetitive hook. Around the same time, his production work on Primal Scream’s ‘Screamadelica’ – essentially remix work – transformed the band from snivelling indie miserablists into ecstasysoaked messiahs. Weatherall’s remix of Happy Mondays’ ‘Hallelujah’ from the same period, as well as his dub-fuelled work as Sabres of
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Paradise, cemented his reputation as the remixer of the ’90s. “I didn’t really know what I was doing at the time,” he recalls modestly. “I was just feeling joyful about being involved with music.” He admits he got too obsessed with the technical side of remixing a few years ago “When I started delving deeply into obscure filter software, I knew that I had gone too far” – and says his best work is still based on a slapdash approach, like the lopsided electro take on Slam’s ‘Visions’ he and Keith Tenniswood did as Two Lone Swordsmen in 2002. “To be honest, my technical knowledge isn’t too vast – I’d much rather go with the feeling of not really knowing what I’m doing,” he says. Ironically, some of Weatherall’s best recent remixes have seen him work in a diametricallyopposed way to his take on MBV’s ‘Soon’: his 2004 version of Ricardo Villalobos’ ‘Dexter’ saw the Two Lone Swordsmen band playing a live version of the Chilean-German producer’s shuffling, plaintive rhythms. “None of the original parts are used,” he explains. “We did it in the second or third take – indie-dance is back and that’s where my head is at now. My roots are in rock & roll anyway: I was always a confused punk or an unsure soul boy,” he laughs. LD
My Bloody Valentine ‘Soon’ Happy Mondays ‘Hallelujah’ ● Slam ‘Visions’ ● Ricardo Villalobos ‘Dexter’ ● ●
JOSH GABRIEL “James Holden is my favourite. He can take any source and turn it into sound art. His mix of Britney Spears’ ‘Breathe On Me’ is incredible. The drum programming gives me a great acid house feeling and I just love the way the bass takes over the whole mix. He turns the ordinary into the extraordinary.”
For the Dewaele brothers, size most definitely matters. “If there’s something that defines a Soulwax remix, it’s that it’s always big,” believes Stephen, the core of the Ghent-based band alongside his sibling David. “It needs to transfer the original into something that people can dance to.” As anyone who’s ever heard Soulwax’s remixes of The Gossip or any of the others on their recent remix compilation will testify, it’s a devastating tactic, if one that sometimes poses problems. “Some people say that our remix of Justice’s ‘Phantom Pt. II’ is so big that there are just no other tunes they can play after it,” Stephen laughs. “Maybe we sometimes push the limits too much!” But then Stephen admits that their attitude to remixing is maybe slightly selfish, with the remixes they do under the Soulwax moniker motivated mainly by a desire to have dancefloor-friendly tunes to play out in their 2ManyDJs guise. “We tend to beef up the drums and speed things up so it fits in amongst other stuff like Josh Wink,” he explains. And in doing so they’ve created a host of rocking remixes that not only appeal to indie kids and ravers in equal measure but also to the likes of Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams and The Sugababes, who’ve all persuaded Soulwax to give their records a rocket-boost. “We get lots of requests and sometimes we’re like, ‘Are you sure you want us to do it?’” Stephen says. “But you have to strip your
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50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME mind back from what they’re looking for and just do something you like.” PC
LCD Soundsystem ‘Get Innocuous’ Justice ‘Phantom Pt. II’ ● Kylie Minogue ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ ● The Gossip ‘Standing In The Way of Control’ ● ●
14. TODD TERRY
Perhaps more than any of his early East Coast compatriots, Todd Terry was the producer who really set about changing the parameters of house music in the first post-Chicago wave of the mid-’80s. Combining NYC’s then dominant Latin freestyle sound with the Windy City’s four-to-the-floor backbone, storming bass-heavy drumkicks and a hip-hop-inspired use and abuse of disco era samples, Todd Terry made house music that rarely failed to hit the dancefloor head on. It wasn’t long before he beat a path to the recording studio. But it wasn’t until 1988 that things took off with a string of archetypical releases that included Royal House’s ‘Can U Party’, ‘A Day In The Life’ under the guise of Black Riot and ‘Bango’ and ‘Weekend’ as the Todd Terry Project. “To be touched by the hand of Todd is an honour for any artist,” states Manchester legend Graeme Park. “Todd’s totally individual and unique in style. He also had the best beats in clubland, no question.” Skip forward a decade and his most famous mix of Everything But The Girl’s ‘Missing’ sold over seven million copies worldwide; a record Pete Tong lists as one of the greatest mixes of all time. “Todd did the perfect thing and kept it simple... genius, dark and huge,” says Tong. As an artist, his credits include a string of hits with vocalists Jocelyn Brown, Shannon and Martha Wash — ‘Something Goin’ On’, ‘Jumpin’’, ‘It’s Only Love’ and ‘Ready For A New Day’ all contemporary club classics. LD
everything But The Girl ‘Missing’ ● Adventures of Stevie V ‘Dirty Cash’ ● Moloko ‘Sing It Back’ ● Brand New Heavies ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ ●
13. GREG WILSON
He might not be doing them with scissors and Sellotape these days, but Greg Wilson still thinks the same way about his remixes now as when he first started cutting up tape in the early 1980s. “I’m very much of the old school, where it’s about finding a different angle rather than changing tracks wholesale,” he says. Originally inspired by the first disco remixers like Shep Pettibone and Larry Levan, Wilson started re-editing tracks to give himself longer versions to play at his residency at Wigan Pier, where he often played three copies of the same records at once to extend the groove. “I had no idea of what we were doing at first and it was just our interpretation of the
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sounds we were hearing out of New York,” he admits of his work, which would lead him to produce 1984’s seminal Streetsounds ‘UK Electro’ compilation. Many of these remixes were collected on Tirk’s ‘Credit To The Edit’ collection in 2005, the success of which encouraged Wilson to start DJing again after a 20-year hiatus, upon which he found a new audience eager to hear his spin on current tunes. Since then he’s re-edited and remixed the likes of Chicken Lips, Groove Armada and 1gnition, beefing them up for the dancefloor but still treating the tracks with the respect he feels they deserve. “I never see a remix as trying to ‘better’ a track,” he explains. “I might add a few new textures but the crucial thing is to get a vibe going with what’s already there.” PC
Groove Armada ‘Love Sweet Sound’ rockers revenge ‘Sunshine’ ● Chaka Khan ‘I Feel For You’ ● ●
12. DANNY TENAGLIA
“Danny is up there because he embraced the heart and the soul of house music and took remixing pop acts like the Pet Shop Boys, Right Said Fred, etc, to another level,” says DJ Paulette. It’s a view also shared by one time Dirty Vegas mastermind Paul Harris, who claims: “The way he crafts a remix is truly amazing.” One of the most influential house DJs in the
last few decades, the Twilo and Tunnel resident set the benchmark in the 1990s, never shy to mix and match classics with the latest twisted and tribal house releases. The same applies to his studio output that has seen his unique stamp on hits for Madonna, Garbage, Michael Jackson, Jamiroquai, Faithless, New Order and Depeche Mode’s ‘I Feel Loved’, which earned him a Grammy Award nomination in 2002. LD
Danny Tenaglia ‘Music Is The Answer’ Funky Green Dogs ‘Fired Up’ ● Grace ‘It’s Not Over’ ● Depeche Mode ‘I Feel Loved’ ● ●
11. RADIO SLAVE
When remixing as Radio Slave, Matt Edwards seems to treat his tracks like chewing gum, twisting them up and stretching them out. “I never get bored of long remixes,” he says. “I love the hypnotic house sound and my style is based around long drawn-out grooves.” As remixes like Roman Flügel’s ‘Geht’s Noch’ or Trentemøller’s ‘Moan’ demonstrate, it’s a style particularly suited to the current prevailing climate of techy minimalism – something that may become even more pronounced now that Matt has relocated his studio and Rekids record label from Brighton to Berlin – yet it’s also proved surprisingly pliable, with Matt having bent records by Moby and even Paul McCartney into shape when he re-edited the former Beatle’s ‘Temporary Secretary’. “My favourite remixes
DAVe DreSDeN “Oliver Lieb is always up there - his sounds and productions are always top notch and always trying something new. My favourite remix from Oliver Lieb was his take on Utah Saints ‘Lost Vagueness’. What makes this track so special is Oliver’s treatment of Chrissie Hynde’s vocal (it was a sample of Pretenders song ‘I Go to Sleep’) sounded very futuristic and really brought out the emotion of the words, plus the track still to this day rocks the ﬂoor like it’s a new tune. When we play it out, someone always asks what it is.”
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are usually vocal ones, like the one I’ve just done for Buzzin Fly,” he says. Described by Matt as “epic”, that remix of Mile Caro and Frank Garcia’s ‘Deadsouls’ is just the latest addition to a remix CV now nearing around 40 tracks, and that’s before we start enumerating what he calls his “under the counter” unofficial remixes, such as his infamous Kylie and New Order bootleg or his remix of Norah Jones’ ‘Sunrise’, which is his own favourite. “It took about two weeks to make as the timing of the original is super loose and I had to sit there and cut every other second into bits,” Matt recalls. “I recorded all the percussion with Tom Gandey from Cagedbaby and we had a real laugh getting drunk and making sound effects with coke bottles and ice cubes!” PC
Gisli ‘TV = Devil’ ● Kylie ‘Slow’ ● Chelonis r. Jones ‘Deer In The Headlights’ ●
10. FRANKIE KNUCKLES
Reams could be written about Frankie Knuckles — the city of Chicago even celebrated the pioneering Warehouse DJ by devoting a day in his honour. Regarded as “the Godfather of house”, FK learned his DJ trade in New York working with Larry Levan, before migrating south to experiment with drum machines and percussive loops under disco classics to a captivated club audience.
“Radio Slave knows how to add an amazing funk and deepness to every mix. He must be the all-time ever best remixer of the universe! His remixes of Chelonis R. Jones’s ‘Deer In The Headlights’ and Carl Craig’s ‘Darkness’ are out of this world.”
Goldfrapp ‘Twist’ The Killers ‘Mr Brightside’ ● Madonna ‘Get Together’ ●
After more than 15 years spinning, he made the transition to producing, cutting a handful of seminal releases including ‘Baby Wants To Ride’, ‘Your Love’ and ‘The Whistle Song’. In the studio he was known as one half of the formidable Red Zone partnership with David Morales that gave us a string of house anthems. He’s also mixed hits for the Pet Shop Boys, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and Lisa Stansfield. To FK, the essence of a great mix is the “complete balance in the overall production. The song says everything, the production builds the proper foundation to help the artist shine, ultimately giving way to a strong classic timeless piece”. His proudest studio moment is his mix of ‘The Pressure’ by Sounds of Blackness. “Of all the work I’ve ever done, this was the most challenging; a full choir (50 voices) and staying true to the integrity of the song itself,” says Frankie. LD First Choice ‘Let No Man Put Asunder’ Chaka Khan ‘Ain’t Nobody’ ● Sounds of Blackness ‘The Pressure’ ● Alison Limerick ‘Where Love Lives’ ● ●
9. JACQUES LU CONT
Whilst we can’t entirely blame Stuart Price for making people think that mullets were cool again, there can be little doubt that the man otherwise known as Jacques Lu Cont, Les Rhythmes Digitales, Thin White Duke and a host of other pseudonyms was instrumental in rehabilitating the decade that taste forgot.
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Selected remixes: ●
“People would say, ‘You can’t do that – the ‘80s were shit!” laughs Mark Jones, who signed Stuart to his Wall of Sound label for the Zoot Woman project and released many of his productions, including 1999’s seminal Les Rhythmes Digitales LP ‘Darkdancer’. “Yet he was so obviously well ahead of his time.” Everyone who mocked Stuart’s love of the more commercial sides of 1980s synth-pop and soft rock was laughing on the other side of their face when the likes of New Order and Madonna began lining up for remixes – with the latter subsequently employing him as musical director on her 2004 and 2006 tours and as co-writer and producer on her ‘Confessions On A Dancefloor’ album. Having also remixed The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’, Stuart will now be working on the Las Vegas stadium rockers’ new LP and also recently gave Seal a credibility injection with his work on the ‘System’ album. “I first met Stuart when he was 15 and seeing him evolve into this superstar producer is one of the things I’m most proud of,” says Jones. “He always delivers, is incredibly openminded and doesn’t have any tunnel-vision when it comes to what’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ music. That’s what marks any major talent.” PC
8. NORMAN COOK
Perhaps the most prolific man in UK clubbing during the 1990s (and beyond) was Norman ‘Jack-of-all-genres’ Cook. Breaking from the confines of The Housemartins, the Brightonbased Bromley-born protagonist of club culture scored his second No.1 under the Beats International alias with vocalist Lindy Layton performing ‘Dub Be Good To Me’ with the vocal from the SOS Band and beats lifted from The Clash’s ‘The Guns Of Brixton’. His third smash was ‘Praise You’ as Fatboy Slim. The master of sample-laden funked-up pastiches of techno, rock and rhythm and blues initially made a name for himself turning US hip-hop jams into instant dancefloor UK hits in the late-’80s. By Millennium time his remix stamp was the most in-demand of anyone, the zenith being when his remix of once-shambolic indie band Cornershop hit No.1 in the UK. And, of course, he’s still one of the biggest DJs in action today. LD
eric B & rakim ‘I Know You Got Soul’ Cornershop ‘Brimful of Asha’ ● Phats & Small ‘Turn Around’ ● X-Press 2 ‘Lazy’ ● röyksopp ‘Eple’ ● ●
7. DAVID MORALES
One of the few early dance remixers to see the bigger picture and make the full blown leap to artist production, David Morales is the original success story, having turned remixes for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and U2
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50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME people in the history of dance music. The trademark ‘A Tom Moulton Mix’ has graced over 4000 records spanning four decades — from seminal classics like MFSB ‘Love Is The Message’ to party anthems like the Trammps’ ‘Disco Inferno’. After starting out in the early-’60s promoting the legendary King label and artists of the stature of James Brown, Moulton moved into DJing at the advance of the 1970s, splicing together two copies of three-minute 7” singles to keep people on the dancefloor. His first remix was BT Express ‘Do It ’Til You’re Satisfied’, followed by ‘Peace Pipe’, which he ‘extended’ to over six minutes long — and in one simple move invented the remix. He took this further with Gloria Gaynor’s ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’, which he mixed into an 18-minute medley. Then in 1974, whilst continuing his search for louder, longer records, he cut the first 12” single ever with Al Downing’s ‘I’ll Be Holding On’. Tom still continues to mix and remix today despite ill health. “The song I fought the most to remix is the one I am the proudest of, which is ‘Love Is The Message’,” says Tom from his New York home. “That is the closest thing to doing a classical song. “To me, mixing is the marriage of music and rhythm to make a song that has meaning to the listener as well as a dancer. I never try to think of a song as ‘now’, I look at it more as ‘forever’. Meaning, will it have the same appeal years from now as it did then?” LD
PeTe TONG “I think I’d go for Stuart Price right now. The fact that Stuart’s remix work directly led to him producing Madonna, Seal and The Killers is an achievement that has taken the art to another galaxy! His story should be the inspiration for the next generation of remixers - he certainly is mine. His mix of The Killers’ ‘Mr Brightside’ - to improve an anthem in the rock arena so much that the band want you to produce them....WOW!” 058 DJ458.remixers 58
into full-blown epic productions. “‘Dreamlover’ is the ultimate house remix,” says Radio 1’s Pete Tong. “It set the standard for the next 10 years.” The following decade saw Morales morph into a Grammy Award-winning DJ, producer and remixer, partner in the highly successful Def Mix production companies and hit artist in his own right under his Face guise and Bad Yard Club alias. “He stays true to house music,” says Paul Oakenfold, “capturing the essence of the song, retaining the integrity of the artists, and it works on the dancefloor.” “I’m proud of three mixes in particular,” says Morales. “‘Dreamlover’ by Mariah Carey because it was the first time that an artist went into the studio to re-sing the song in a different key and style altogether. ‘Space Cowboy’ by Jamiroquai because I took a jam session and rearranged it so that it can be played on radio. And Shabba Ranks’ ‘Mr Loverman’, where I took a dancehall track and turned it into a pop song with a hip-hop beat. All of these songs were totally different from their original arrangement.” LD
Arrested Development ‘Mr Wendal’ Olive ‘You’re Not Alone’ ● U2 ‘Even Better Then The Real Thing’ ● Massive Attack ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ ●
Alison Limerick ‘Where Love Lives’ ● Maria Carey ‘Dream Lover’ ● Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love’ ●
6. OAKENFOLD & OSBOURNE
Osbourne similarly helped shape the sound of UK dance at the tail end of the last century. In the late-’80s the two bridged the rock-dance divide under their Perfecto remix guise, introducing rock to clubland and clubbers to rock acts, as well as playing a pivotal role in the Madchester movement. Over the years, together and solo, they have remixed everyone from U2 and Madonna to Elvis and The Rolling Stones. Oakenfold was also the first electronic artist to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the biggest DJ in the world, even spinning atop the Great Wall of China. To Oakenfold, the essence of a great remix is “understanding the content of the song and bringing fresh ideas to the table, sometimes even coming up with something better than the original”. His proudest studio moment was working with Massive Attack on ‘Unfinished Sympathy’. To his peers Oakenfold’s work is held in the highest esteem. “With U2 he took remixing and the role of the DJ to another level,” states Pete Tong. LD
5. TOM MOULTON
Paul Oakenfold needs little by way of introduction, while production partner Steve
From inventing the art of the remix to creating the first ever 12” single, it’s not hyperbole to call Tom Moulton one of the most important
Gloria Gaynor ‘Never Can Say Goodbye’ MFSB ‘Love Is The Message’ ● The Trammps ‘Disco Inferno’ ● Dan Hartman ‘Instant Replay’ ● ●
4. EWAN PEARSON
Probably the most in-demand remixer of the past few years, Ewan Pearson used to make sensuous deep techno as Maas and claims he started doing versions of other people’s work by accident. “It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just fell into it at the start, but I enjoyed it so much that I ended up doing it instead of original productions,” he says. “I enjoy being a gun for hire and being part of a bigger thing.” Now in a position where he has to turn down high-profile artists, Pearson has given work by big names like Moby, Depeche Mode, The Chemical Brothers, Goldfrapp and The Pet Shop Boys his magic touch. “It’s the best job in the world. I get to work with great artists who give you their music and tell you to do something interesting with it,” he believes. Listening to ‘Piece Work’, a recent collection of Ewan’s best remixes, it’s not hard to hear why he is so busy and why, in the past few years, he’s had to turn down on average 100 remix offers, including jobs for Texas and more recently Shakira. Without detracting from the original versions, Pearson’s take of Cortney Tidwell’s ‘Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up’ transports the singer’s kooky vocals into the cosmic disco
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stratosphere. Goldfrapp’s ‘Ride A White Horse’ becomes a breathy synth techno workout and his take on Depeche Mode’s ‘Enjoy The Silence’ is bathed in an acid glow. “Someone pointed out to me that I was following an old tradition of doing extended remixes and keeping the heart of the song. Apart from Weatherall, one of my main inspirations is Shep Pettibone so I take that as a huge compliment,” he says. RB
Cortney Tidwell ‘Don’t Let Stars Keep Us Tangled Up’ ●G oldfrapp ‘Ride A White Horse’ ●D epeche Mode ‘Enjoy The Silence’ ●
3. FRANÇOIS KEVORKIAN
A surprising element in the New York DJ/ remix scene, arriving from France in the mid-’70s, Kevorkian brought a totally different perspective to the science of mixing, both live and in the studio. Hired initially to drum along to Walter Gibbons’s live mixing at Galaxy 21, he went on to spin in his own right at clubs like Disco Wonderland in the late-’70s and Manhattan’s Body & Soul. His jump into production came when he discovered that his friend, Jellybean Benitez, owned a four-track reel-to-reel machine. Hoping to loop tracks for maximum dancefloor consumption, he began recording dub-inspired cut ‘n’ paste megamixes with splice and edit techniques, even adding special effects gained from movies and other
sources. (One of his first productions, a version of ‘Happy Song and Dance’ by Rare Earth, was a New York club staple for years afterward.) Always at the epicentre of dance music — be it disco, new wave or house — as a producer, mixer and remixer François K has worked with Larry Levan, Arthur Baker, The Smiths, The Cure, Moloko, Ashford & Simpson, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Underworld, Kraftwerk and a hundred others. Disco devotees will remember his mix of Musique’s ‘Push Push In The Bush’, which sold close to a million copies on Prelude, the influential disco label he helped run as head of A&R from 1978 – 1982, acting as in-house mixer and producer on classics for Sharon Redd, D-Train and Gayle Adams. When he left he started Axis Productions, working with many new wave acts of the era — Yazoo, U2, Thomas Dolby, The Cure, Eurythmics — and mixed albums and singles for Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Erasure. In 1987 he opened Axis Studios, which quickly became a major recording facility attracting artists of the calibre of Madonna, C&C Music Factory, Mariah Carey, Teddy Riley and Mary J. Blige. Today he runs the highly acclaimed Wave Records label. LD
Musique ‘In The Bush’ ● D-Train ‘You’re The One For Me’ ● Yazoo ‘Situation’ ●
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2. ARMAND VAN HELDEN
One of the new breed of house producers who carved his own niche in the ’90s during the house music boom, until the middle of the decade Armand was a fairly well-kept secret, despite a prolific early career discography with releases on the cream of New York house labels. Although Armand (whose name comes from a Dutch-Indonesian father and a French-Lebanese mother) had previously remixed singles for Deee-Lite, New Order and Faithless, it was his reworking of Tori Amos’s ‘Professional Widow’ that proved the catalyst for his career and shaped a sound that he had previously experimented with on his ‘Witch Doktor’ three years earlier. “That mix is one of the most amazing mixes ever, both musically and since it took her [Tori] to a new level and new fans,” says fellow remixer Stonebridge. During the years that followed Van Helden became the name for forward-thinking pop artists to recruit, including CJ Bolland, Daft Punk, Sneaker Pimps, Janet Jackson, the Rolling Stones and Puff Daddy. As a producer, meanwhile, he’s scored over a dozen crossover hits, including the No.1 ‘U Don’t Know Me’. LD
Tori Amos ‘Professional Widow’ Nuyorican Soul ‘It’s Alright, I Feel It’ ●S neaker Pimps ‘Spin Spin Sugar’ ● ●
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50 GREATEST REMIXERS OF ALL TIME
THE NEXT 50
1. CARL CRAIG A master of all trades, a jack of none, Carl Craig is one of dance music’s rare breeds with his 20 years spanning techno’s most timeless LP masterpieces (‘Landcruising’), countless classic singles and an unwitting role in the formative alchemy of drum & bass with Innerzone Orchestra’s bass-jittered bass ‘Bug In the Bassbin’ in 1992. For many, though, it is through his remix discography that the Planet E boss has produced his most magical gems. Whether conjuring Inner City’s ‘Ahnonghay’ into a multi-layered Detroitian tech-odyssey, adding some synth-glistened sparkle to Telex’s seminal electro-pop or
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reshaping Cesaria Evora’s African vocals into a spine-tinglingly minimal tribal builder, Craig’s intuitive drive to create something both musically exploratory and genuinely lasting is always imprinted across his works. Indeed, unlike many early Detroit luminaries, the techno legend continues to inspire and invigorate through his creativity with his remixes finding their way on to a number of last year’s best selling mix CDs including Serge Santiago’s ‘We Love...’ mix, Sebastian Ingrosso’s ‘Sessions’ CD, Ewan Pearson’s Fabric mix, Dubfire’s fautless Global Underground debut and the Adam Freeland
outing that followed it - also on GU. From pioneering work back in the day to still producing amazing, visionary pieces - DJmag salutes Carl Craig as the best remixer of all time. AM
The Reese Project ‘I Believe’ Inner City ‘Ahnonghay’ ●C esaria Evora ‘Angola’ ●X -Press 2 ‘Kill 100’ ●D epechhe Mode ‘Useless’ ●T elek ‘Moskow Diskow’ ●J unior Boys ‘Like A Child’ ●T heo Parrish ‘Falling Up’ ● ●
51. JOHN ‘JELLYBEAN’ BENITEZ 52. TODD EDWARDS 53. ROGER SANCHEZ 54. JAGZ KOONER 55. DAFT PUNK 56. CLIVILLES & COLE 57. TOM MIDDLETON 58. DFA 59. JOHN MORALES & SERGIO MUNZIBAI (M&M) 60. APHEX TWIN 61. HYBRID 62. PRINS THOMAS 63. NICK MARTINELLI & DAVID TODD 64. ROGUE ELEMENT 65. TUFF JAM 66. SPINNA 67. JUSTICE 68. TONY HUMPHRIES 69. EVIL NINE 70. TIEFSCHWARZ 71. TOM STEPHAN 72. FERRY CORSTEN 73. BUSHWACKA! 74. DILLINJA 75. BORIS DLUGOSCH 76. TIMMY REGISFORD 77. ETIENNE DE CRECY 78. HARDFLOOR 79. DAVE SPOON 80. TEDDY RILEY & GENE GRIFFIN 81. UNKLE 82. DUBFIRE/DEEP DISH 83. PAUL SIMPSON 84. JUNKIE XL 85. KEVIN SAUNDERSON 86. HAJI & EMMANUEL 87. DIRTY SOUTH 88. KISSY SELL OUT 89. ERIC PRYDZ 90. RABBIT IN THE MOON 91. PARADISE SOUL 92. STEVE BUG 93. PETE HELLER 94. PLUMP DJS 95. JUNIOR SANCHEZ 96. ROBBIE RIVERA 97. ROB MELLO 98. BOYS NOIZE 99. DEADMAU5 100. JAMES HOLDEN
Have we missed anyone out? Who should be higher, and who should slide? Have your say now on our website forum at...
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With record distributors going bust and digital distribution – free or otherwise - seemingly unstoppable, what does the future hold for record labels? We assembled some key scene players for a heated debate...
imes are a-changing, people. Big time. The constant evolution of - and revolutions in technology over the last decade have sent colossal waves throughout the music industry, changing the way we think about, use and buy music. For some time it has been something of a gradual curve, and industry players - as long as they’ve had the necessary foresight - have been able to keep up. But now the pace is stepping up, stepping up something proper and the dance fraternity is feeling the effects of its venomous surge more than ever. With digital increasingly rampant, and file-sharing and piracy preying on all and sundry, the industry is currently in a state of
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flux. Recently we witnessed two of the biggest ‘waves’ of recent years. First up was the news that Amato - the distributors of our generation - were going into liquidation. Anyone with a toe even lightly dipping into the scene would have somewhere, somehow felt the wrath of this action. The second major wave was the decision by Omid 16B to release his third artist album – ‘Like 3 Ears and 1 Eye’ – as a covermount CD on DJmag. A first for dance music and very real proof that people are looking closely into new ways of launching and promoting their music. So with all of these scary - some would say exciting - developments hitting our beloved scene, we thought now would be the perfect time to investigate a little further. And what
better way to uncover just what the future holds for record labels than to get some of the scene’s key players round a table, ply them with booze, get them to introduce themselves and thrash it out… DJmag: How has the value of music and file-sharing affected record labels and is vinyl really on its last legs? Omid: “With mp3s you just download them straight into your computer, but with vinyl you make more of an effort to give it a go, you give it more time, you give it more care. The whole relationship with that piece of vinyl is completely different.” Serge: “Yeah, but that’s just our generation. A kid growing up now won’t understand the relationship with vinyl in the way we do.” Omid: “Maybe we’ve got to re-think how we did it in the first place. Nobody really wants to promote records anymore because they know it’ll be all over the net.” Serge: “Yeah, in about four weeks.” Omid: “I really don’t have a problem with digital as long as the music’s been mastered. As long as there is care taken in the production side of things. But when it’s just put through an LT and it’s on the site within 24 hours…” Martin: “Music is now a lot cheaper and
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THE PANEL... Martin Audio “I’m Martin and I run a record shop in Camden called Know How Records, and a label called Audio Bug. Not really up and running with the digital side of things yet, with the label or shop, as we just don’t really have the time or money at present. Yep, sales have definitely been affected. There aren’t many record shops left, we’re doing what we do quite well, but then we are in Camden which I think is part of the reason we’re surviving.”
Serge Bienati “I’m Serge, joint owner of ClubClass music management. We have very different ideas about how singles, compilations and albums are going to be sold and given to the public over the next two or three years. It’s going to change dramatically. The days of selling albums and selling compilations is over. The only way labels are going to make money now is by touring, that’s how we see it.”
Rob Howarth “Until recently I was head of sales at Amato distribution. I’d been there for eight years, so was there when it was as good as it got, to where we are now. Post-Amato, I’m running my own sales and music distribution consultancy, and this includes working with Serge with his artists’ labels. I’m really looking to pick up the pieces, so am working with a few former Amato labels, to find them homes in the distribution landscape that now exists.”
Hosted by : Dan Kinasz pics: Paul underhill
“Hi I’m Jason, label owner and head of A&R at Urbantorque Recordings. We’re an old Amato label and also went through a similar thing with Intergroove, so we’ve been wounded by these situations, but we’re healthy enough financially to get through it. In a nutshell we’re an old-fashioned record company, we invest at grassroots level, put our money where our mouth is and don’t really give a crap what anyone else says or does. Getting music quickly to people is how I think the market’s going to change.”
Omid 16B “I’m a DJ/producer and label owner of Sex On Wax Recordings. My initial response to the current trend of going digital wasn’t great to begin with because I wanted vinyl to last as long as possible. In fact, I’d like to see the vinyl format coming back, even if it’s just pressing up 1500 copies. Also it would be great if digital companies stopped signing just anything - you know, if there was some sort of quality control, where the music was mastered at least. That way there would be a lot more space for quality music to get through eventually.”
“People are going to make money out of touring and DJing, rather than from music.” Martin Audio
freer. People’s attitudes are changing drastically. Many are now like ‘I’m not going to make any money out of music’. Instead they’re like ‘I’m going to make money out of touring and DJing’. People are saying that what the internet is doing is making people who are into making music do it for genuine reasons rather than just making money.” Omid: “I don’t know about you guys, but I certainly didn’t get into this because of making money. You just manage to make a living from what you love doing. With the experience we’ve all got from being in the business for so many years, we need to find a way to make these kids want to improve what they’re doing. In the last five years it’s just got worse and worse and worse. “Of course DJ bookings have got bigger, but don’t forget that those DJs are getting booked on the strength of the compilations they’re putting out and the records they’re releasing. If you’ve got a big tune out there, you’re going to get lots of bookings, if you’ve got ten big tunes out there you’re going to get a tour out of it. But you’ve still got to make good records.” Jason: “You do also hope to go on the pedigree of record labels and A&R. As much as you need to support the record shops because they’re dying and the distributors are dying - the record labels have got to be supported too. We rely on DJs’ support.” Martin: “What’s frustrating, though, is people putting out digital files before they put out the vinyl. I mean, if they’re putting out the vinyl, why don’t they just release it at the same time at least? From the shop’s point of view, you’ll build up a label that’s been supporting you and stuff, but now you go to stock a record and no-one’s buying it because they’ve already got it.” Serge: “It’s simple economics. You get someone that’s like, “I’m nineteen years old, I’ve got fifty quid in my pocket from working my bollocks off all week and I can get 50 mp3s or six or seven vinyl. I’m going to get the mp3s.” Rob: “Another positive for digital is that it has enhanced DJ performance, with the edits you can do.” Serge: “If you turn up to a gig with 150 records in the bag, you’re playing and you’re
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thinking ‘I’m screwed here’, then you’re in trouble. But if you had 500 CDs and 5000 tunes, you’re going to find stuff that’s going to rock the club.” DJmag: It’s evident that technology is changing how DJs and producers connect with their music and their craft, but also how the punters are choosing to consume it. And with these shifts, it seems the usual paths to making a buck are tailing off, so what are record labels going to do in order to survive the changing climate? And with music becoming a cheaper commodity by the day, just how is music going to be distributed in the future? Serge: “Well, for us, from the DJ management perspective, the thing that I’ve noticed is that I need compilations from our artists to promote them and push their profile. This gets them more gigs and increases their fees, which gets them better remixes and so on and so forth. It’s a bigger picture and it’s one step at a time. In general though, the compilation market is dreadful, companies across the board are suffering. Again it’s down to file-sharing and blogging.” Martin: “Yeah, I mean take the Elite Force album, it went up on this 3rd party site and it has meant he’s made absolutely not a penny. Do you think he’s going to put out another album? Do you think that’s good for music?!” Serge: “Well, we’ve looked at that and we’ve been talking to several compilation companies and been saying to them ‘OK, you need to make a living, right, you need to obtain a certain bottom line - to earn money from you putting that compilation together from our artists. So we turned it on its head, and said, ‘Let’s be honest here, what’s your net?’ If they say they need £5000 to make this project happen, then if I get a 30-date tour with my DJ agent, go out there and really push it hard then I’m saying, ‘I’ll get that money back to you, so there’s no gamble at all for you’. In return we’re saying, give us the album for free and like you (Omid) gave your album away for free on the front cover of a magazine, we’ll give it away in the club! If you were to turn up to a venue and give the first 500 punters on every night of a 30-date tour a copy of the album - in their eyes it’s worth
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Label debate ten quid, and they’ve paid that to get in, but they feel like they’ve gotten in for nothing…” Omid: “Look, he’s really working it out now!” Serge: “So the promoter’s thinking to himself, ‘Look, I can actually promote the fact that I’m going to give away my artist’s latest compilation album for free to my public, and the punters are like ‘What the fuck?! Brilliant!’ Even if they don’t want it, they get it.” DJmag: Do people want free things? Serge: “Yes. 100%.” Omid: “My album wasn’t completely free, it was four quid – free to UK magazine readers. Serge is bridging the gap between the fans in the club and the people that buy the compilations. I was trying to bridge the gap between the readers of a magazine and me as an artist and my fans. I knew my fans would probably buy it anyway, but there are people who wouldn’t have bought my album that I wanted to reach out to.” Serge: “Exactly, and from an artist management point of view – great move.” Omid: “I had an opportunity to have 25,000 people to listen to my album. Maybe five or six thousand people would have bought it, but then maybe 15,000 would never have even bothered looking at it.” Serge: “The good thing about giving it away, whether you do it on a magazine or you do it in a club is if anyone file shares it… who gives a shit?! Who cares? The labels achieve their bottom line, we’re happy because we’re getting the profile, and the artist gets out
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there to punters that might not normally hear him. Everybody gets their slice of the pie but everybody works together to achieve it.” Omid: “So basically you’re saying the future is for labels to give product away…” Serge: “Yeah!” Omid: “But what about the artists on my label, for instance. What if some of them don’t want to DJ - ever? I also think we should care about the artists that just want to make music. I’d like to see something put into every machine, every CD player ever made, where once you put any fucking CD on, it’ll basically code every single track.” Jason: “My view on these things is that a bit of everything is a good idea. I’m totally against restricting people. I haven’t got a problem with piracy.” Omid: “You haven’t got a problem with piracy?!” Jason: “No, because I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to enforce it.” Martin: “Once it’s out there you can’t stop it - whether you’ve got a problem or not.” Jason: “Of course I’ve got something against someone being a blatant pirate, but what level of piracy are we talking about - one kid giving to his mate in his bedroom?” Omid: “No, we’re talking about these sites that are literally ripping everything off Beatport and putting it up the next day.” Serge: “It’s the blogging sites also. People are blogging hundreds of records, hundreds of them.” Martin: “More and more music’s becoming a free thing, people now expect it to be free.”
Jason: “I have artists – naming no names – that don’t make choices based on money, they don’t give a fuck if it sells one or a million units, but their integrity is intact and my job is to ensure that happens. And I think ultimately, whatever side of the business you’re in, as long as you’ve got the passion and the enthusiasm and you believe in what you’re doing – hopefully people will buy into it.” Rob: “Is it not an extension of the quality control thing? If the only way to make a living
“The good thing about giving music away is if anyone file shares it - who cares? Serge Bienati
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out if it is if you’re making music and you’re touring and you’re doing everything, does that not just make the cream rise to the top?” Martin: “Some of the biggest artists in the world have made shit records to start off with, they’ve been nurtured by labels.” Serge: “Well, from my point of view the days of the DJ coming through without production are over. Desyn Masiello was the last one. It then became DJs who had to make the occasional record to keep their market interested. Nowadays, if you don’t make a fuck load of records and hit that Beatport top 20 on a consistent basis for a short period of time – you ain’t making it.” Martin: “That’s what annoys me with the Beatport thing, you’re getting so little money, and you’ve got these artists signed to your label – I mean, how much do they actually get? And it also annoys me that people behind these sites don’t give a shit about the music. It used to be shops and people and distributors supporting a certain style of music. And that’s what England’s known best for.” Serge: “Well, there’s actually a certain worldwide artist who has set up with a concert promoter. Now, I know what’s going on here, she’s now clocked that we don’t need the record label anymore. The promoter will go, ‘We’ll give you x amount for your next two or three albums and you give them to us. We’ll do your touring across mass monster arenas – three, four or five big tours and we’ll give everyone who turns up your album and we’ll just file share. You get your money anyway, we get the money from the touring.” Jason: “It’s a dangerous state of affairs.” Serge: “If I were a major, I’d be panicking now.” Jason: “ You need people around you to help you grow, whether it’s personally or professionally, you need trusty people around you, and whoever fills that - whether it’s a management company or a record label - they need to be trusted. The problem with these deals are that they need to be able to fulfil a gap in the market, but long term, I worry about… well I don’t actually, I’m excited about it as it spells a massive opportunity for independent labels.” Omid: “I think that’s maybe the way forward. For us to all walk away from these big digital sites and set up our own ones.” Rob: “The models have got to change. I mean, there is the ability to make money, you’ve just got to do it either in volume or like Serge is saying, you’ve got to do fucking everything.” Serge: “It’s about nurturing people. We’re looking at some kids and we’re like, ‘Come here a minute, we need to slightly adjust that, slightly promote this’. And we’ll get into conversations with them, ‘What do you do, what are you into, where do you see yourself in a year?’ and we really get into their psyche.” Jason: “I suppose you have to question what you do and why you do it. You’re talking about taking kids under your wing and giving them the benefit of your experience and
connections in the industry, and everyone I think needs to do that, particularly at a time like this.” Rob: “You’ve also got to look at how you do your business and make changes there, make it more cost efficient. Every single one of the new deals I’ve done with my distribution thing is breaking moulds, people want to do things differently and I’m really open to it. Things have got to change. If labels are going to exist – things are going to have to change.”
“It’ll become like sex. You can pay for it but if you can get it for free it’s much better.”
DJmag: Will all music ever be completely free? Jason: “I think it’ll go full circle.” Martin: “No, you’re not going to get kids to pay for music anymore.” Serge: “There will be free product involved, but you’ll still be buying it in an indirect way.” Rob: “Something’s always going to be free. Say if you’re in a band and you do a feature for DJmag, you’ll give a photo away for free.” Jason: “Yep, there will always be free music, but it will be part of a package.” Omid: “It’ll become like sex. You can pay for it but if you can get it for free it’s much better.”
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Frontline, backstage & under the fence club reporting!
Hats off for our new clubbing section!
END OF AN ERA
The legacy of The Cross explored as we take in the final night in London
POISON CHALICE Simon A. Morrison checks out Poison in India
DUSK TIL DAWN We push through at Singaporeâ€™s ZoukOut festival
ACCESS ALL AREAS
Our new-look club listings and news section
THE END OF AN ERA
Tucked under the industrial backdrop of Goods Yard, The Cross is one of London’s most treasured clubbing enclaves — elegant, underground, intimate and unique. DJmag enjoys the last taste of the venue’s legendary 14-year legacy…
s far as London club pilgrimages go, there aren’t many that inspire the same mischievous anticipation as the short climbing walk up York Way and into the industrial depths of Goods Yard. Away from the abrasive hustle and bright lights of Kings Cross station, finding The Cross under the calm, rising cover of Goods Yard is like unearthing a carefully concealed clubbing secret; a nocturnal Narnia, a hidden oasis amongst the decaying industrialism.
But it’s sadly a walk and an experience that thousands — including us — are experiencing for the final, ultimate time this evening. Thanks to the area’s mass redevelopment in line with the channel tunnel extension link, the next 24 hours will see the end of the hallowed Cross — as well as the adjacent warehouse haven Canvas and the much-loved Key — and the scene on arrival is little short of chaos. Thanks to guest list meltdowns and overselling, even ticket holders are left stood at the back of a forest-thick queue that shows little signs of shedding weight.
Some eventually leave in annoyed frustration; others are told they won’t get in. An honest miscalculation or a cynical cash-in? For some the jury is still out but, for those inside, the mood is one of buzzing celebration. This is the last chance to savour the unique charms of one of London’s most loved clubs and there’s no stopping the fun. Having become such an imbedded and unique gem within London’s clubbing crown, it’s some surprise to learn The Cross wasn’t even intended to be a club at all, but
an elegant pre-club wine bar to service the over-looking Bagleys warehouse complex. It was back in 1993 when then garage owner Billy Reilly seized these derelict, dormant arches with little experience of the club world — just a vision of how they could be transformed. His extrovert friend Johnny Pannell, however, had owned a Chingford wine bar for a number of years. Reilly had the inside-knowledge and leverage on the yard (the initial rent was a phenomenally low £7,000 a year from BR), Pannell brought the licensing experience to the table, but neither had much clue about DJs. “It was only when our licensing solicitor said we might as well go for the best license we even considered entered club territory,” explains Reilly.
THE HISTORY OF THE CROSS
The Cross’ official launch takes place on Friday 5th November promising a “night of heavenly tunes and divine inspiration”. Few headline DJs are recruited in these first months although future Cross favourites Norman Jay and Judge Jules appear over the Christmas period as well as Nude’s Smokin’ Jo.
Glam-house haven Gliterrati is launched as the first branded in-house party at the venue. With an emphasis on attracting a cooler, clued up and older following, it helps shape the fashion conscious but hard partying identity of The Cross.
The likes of Stella McCartney and John Galliano frequent. On a more technoleaning slant, new promotion Strutt introduces names like Andy Weatherall, Laurent Garnier and Billy Nasty to the venue.
Moore all appearing, whilst superclub brand Renaissance hold their first Cross party with John Digweed, Nigel Dawson and Allister Whitehead amongst the bill. “The Cross sat perfectly with the values of the brand,” says Renaissance’s Geoff Oakes.
Josh Wink and CJ Bolland debut for Strutt, Gliterrati continues to sparkle with Sister Bliss, John Kelly and Mark
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When they did, the instantly familiar vibe and intimate decadence of The Cross set an instant opposition to the sprawling big rave vibe of Bagleys. Before long it had forged its own following for older clubbers looking for something more inviting than over-powering warehouse mayhem. “To be honest I don’t know of many arches clubs that give you the same intimate feeling of the Cross because the archways are so low,” says Reilly, who has since spring-boarded from the venue’s success to shape an empire that — until tonight — presided over the entire Goods Yard complex as well as Pacha London. “As soon as I walked in there, the effect created by the arches all being set at different angles and linked by all these interconnecting arches just gave you a vibe no other clubs had,” believes Reilly. In a clubland of formless boxes and cavernous converted warehouses or, worse still, over-fussy interiors, the dressed up dilapidation and low-slung elegance of The Cross — and all its naughty nooks — leant it an instant unique identity and tonight they’re rammed to boiling point. As midnight’s New Year’s countdown echoes, Fiction and Black Rabbit resident Guy Williams keeps things firm and funky
in the middle room as a model perfect female in a black slip grins and grooves like it’s 1999. With the DJ booth nestled at its heart and smiling faces elevated on different levels and platforms, the middle room’s lay-out has always given it an almost house party atmosphere, a place were new faces feel familiar, smiles radiate in every direction and the sounds are fun and feel-good. It’s a different story in the main arch, where things are taking on a more twisted template to fit with the vibe of its
party, affirming the venue’s growing status as the most sought after venue in town by both the biggest promoters and the most clued clubbers.
Northern clubbing dominators Gatecrasher and cult glam promoters Miss Moneypennys come down to join The Cross
pics: JAMIE SIMONDS
Cross promotion Freaky Disco debuts with its resident pairing and future Fabric duo Craig Richards and Terry Francis. The party later books the likes of Basement Jaxx and Dimitri from Paris. After 103 nights, Gliterrati ends its Cross era with a New Year’s Eve blow-out featuring Smokin’ Jo and Miss Jools.
Judge Jules residency Serious goes monthly at The Cross with a then unknown Sonique
“I don’t know of many other arches clubs that give you the same intimate feeling of The Cross.” Billy Reilly
and Cream fave John Kelly. Renaissance continues to flourish with Paul van Dyk playing their sixth birthday, whilst Tuff Jam’s Underground Frequencies introduces speed garage to The Cross. Groove Armada make their Cross debut.
adored, it’s some 300 odd parties later when its Cross era finally comes to an end. A massive expansion doubles the Cross capacity into a further two arches but — despite concerns — the unique intimate ambience is preserved.
As its stock rises towards the Millennium, The Cross expands into another arch with a new bar also added. Serious enjoys a weekly run in the latter half with house party Vertigo adding some Italian flair to Sundays.
The hedonistic mixed/ gay party Fiction launches, heralding the first truly polysexual party in the capital. Instantly
shadowy, stretching rave tunnel. Animated expressions evaporate into the thick darkness as Timo Garcia, currently courting props from a certain Dubfire, twists through dark blips, hooky, hypnotic riffs and edgy grooves before Mutiny go deep and driving. As time nudges naughtily past 8am, the closing-night tourists and part-time clubbers have long slipped away, to be replaced by arriving stop-outs desperate to capture the last debauched moments in this familiar, treasured space. Ironically, though it’s in tonight’s temporary Cross marquee — and not the Cross’ hallowed arches — where the atmosphere is at its most euphoric. Grinning behind the decks, Luke Neville drops the classic guitar jacks of Armand Van Helden’s ‘Professional Widow’ rework and instantly has the heaving, cheering throng in the palm of his hands. Neville, of course, is yet another Cross figure that seems tied to this space by fate itself. Playing for everyone from Renaissance and Club Azuli to Serious and Type, the Australian has graced the Cross for more promoters and on more occasions than any other DJ. But by his own description, he was “just a kid” when the
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Cross’ first booker Lisa Gellender caught enough of a house party set to hand him his virginal club appearance. It just so happened to be as the warm up at the venue’s opening night back in 1993. Tonight, however, is about celebrating the here-and-now as much as the glorious past and Neville’s three-hour marathon plugs straight into these all-embracing emotions perfectly. Further memorysoaked classics might propel us into the nostalgia-triggering rush of Cross eras past, but fresh grooves from Deadmau5 and Ingrosso lift things into the present and away from unadulterated reminiscing. It’s not culled from Paris, Berlin or the razor’s edge of current dance music but it’s exactly the sort of pumping quality club music that The Cross has thrived on. “The Cross clubbers don’t go to clubs purely to hear a specific DJ that has been flown in from Japan,” jokes Billy Reilly later. “They’re going somewhere that feels special to look good, feel good and meet like-minded people who know how to party.”
Of course, cynics (and dance music has many) could still scrutinise the lack of headline talent at tonight’s finale. Surely a night of this stature and significance would have afforded the presence of an original Cross icon or a superclub-era superstar or two? A Danny Rampling classics set perhaps. Hell, even a Judge Jules Serious retrospective? But as Billy puts it: “the special thing about the Cross is that people come here just to be at The Cross.” Even if we’d question exactly the near Millennial door price of £60 given the cutback on superstar sized DJ fees, it’s a sentiment that’s hard not to disagree with. The place is truly magic. Retreating to the palm sanctity of the garden to soak it all in one last time, it’s hard not to feel that this is what we’ll miss the most — sprawling on the same sofas as actor Jeremy Irons. Ask any Cross clubber or promoter about the venue and platitudes praising the garden are rarely far from their lips. Under the unlikely skyline of Kings Cross’s bewitching industrial wastelands, the warm glow of
the Cross garden is like finding a small grain of Ibizan sunshine in the grey sands of London’s sprawling metropolis. Lounging under the stars, it’s less a chill-out area and more like your best mate’s garden party, a place to lose endless hours whilst finding countless new friends. “One summer back in the late ’90s I spent more weekends here than not,” relays
Saffron, a cigarette supping 30-something blonde we meet whilst enjoying the familiarly jovial banter. “I’ve not been clubbing all year but there was no missing tonight.” “Half the time, I’d end up spending all my night lying out here and collecting friends and phone numbers,” she jokes. “The thing with the Cross is that people actually love it as ‘their club’,” Billy Reilly regales later. “In that sense it really is a proper club; it’s got an intimacy and family vibe that other clubs never reach. I mean, my brother owns Fabric which does what it does amazingly, but I don’t see it as a proper intimate club where you feel like you are a part of it.” It’s true and as Space 24’s resident Nippa closes his third set of the night by inviting the Space 24 residents, promoters and friends to join his finger in pressing the button on the final tune of the closing night, the appropriate ‘Finally’ by Kings Of Tomorrow, the marquee’s cheers of celebration will burn long in the memory. It might be over but we’re just glad we were a part of its legacy and with Billy promising big things — including a “Cross-style venture in Camden” — there will surely be some new club pilgrimages soon.
Glitterati fave Seb Fontaine rekindles his Cross fires with his new monthly promotion Type where hard talent like Timo Maas, X-Press 2 and Sander Kleinenberg play alongside him. Andy Manston’s legendary Clockwork Orange party bows out with Tall Paul and Manston playing the closer.
Renaissance, Fiction, Prologue, Space, Type and Vertigo run the venue’s weekend clubbing. Notting Hill Carnival conquerors Sancho Panza make a long overdue debut at The Cross as does a certain Norman
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Cook, whilst X Press 2 bring their six deck showcase to Type.
The Cross celebrates ten years with a party that Billy Reilly heralds as his favourite ever at the venue. Meanwhile, Reilly also astutely purchases the Bagleys warehouses and rebrands them as Canvas, knowing that the Goods Yard site is worth millions to redevelopers.
Master At Work Little Louie Vega plays for Vertigo, Seb Fontaine’s Type continues to go strong
as Audio Bullys, Yousef, Medicine 8 and MYNC Project play their third birthday on Valentines night and Renaissance hands James Zabiela a Cross debut.
Some eleven years after their debut, X Press 2 launch an exclusive residency with their bold Muzik X Press promotion. Rocky, Diesel and Ashley Beedle play five hour sets on six decks and three mixers at each of the bi-monthly events.
parties was because The Cross existed,” says Azuli boss Dave Piccioni. “It represented the European feeling we were trying to get across with the label.” David Guetta and Loco Dice also get their Cross debuts at Seb Fontaine’s Type.
Fiction bows out of the Cross in March with a packed emotional party before the time comes for the legendary venue itself to close its curtains.
UK label Azuli launch their Club Azuli promotion at the only London club fit for it with Tom Stephan, King Roc and Kenny Dope playing the April launch. “One of the only reasons we started doing
Marc Vedo’s homecoming ACCESS
What’s your Poison?
INJECT IT WITH THE POISON
Simon A. Morrison continues on his global clubbing expedition and rolls up in India with Pete Gooding…
ednesday night in Mumbai. Or, alternatively, Wednesday night in Bombay, depending whether you’re a modern Mumbai metrosexual or one of us robbing colonial crooks who named it Bombay, back in the good old days when we ran the world. What came first, the city or the mix? Such thoughts occupy one’s mind as we spin through Mumbai’s rickety back streets, the city a nest of activity: motorised rickshaws growl like insects; black and Pete Gooding
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yellow taxis are bees the size of Trabants; endless human beings crawl over one another to get wherever it is they’re going. DJmag is in the back of a hotel limo with Pete Gooding and neither of us can stop from looking out of the window at the pantomime panorama outside. Earlier in the evening we enjoyed a grand dinner at our splendid hotel, had a swim and took a stroll along the beach. Here, people cuddle up to one another as they sleep on the street, their only duvet the stars themselves. Our limo slows as a cow crosses the road. It looks at us
contemptuously before it, too, curls up on the street to sleep. “The club has been open only one year,” says our host, his voice cracking our dream. “It’s owned by a famous Bollywood star.” “Wow, is he going to be there?” “Well, actually right now he is in jail.” We’ll take that as a “no” then. Poison is a plush affair. Down an anonymous alleyway and through the doors, a corridor opens into a spacious rectangle of a room. A bar runs down the right-hand side; plenty of bar space even though drinking in India is an expensive business. At the far end a level is raised for the VIP peacocks to perch upon, beyond which is another enclosed aviary for the IPs with so many Vs in front they’ve lost count. Indian culture remains stratified and only the top end of society come to the parties… and the aspirational folk that they pull in their wake. To the left is the stage and, up a few steps, the DJ booth (“state of the art,” says Pete, “fantastic DJ box, all the best equipment”). We assume positions. “When I was younger and started DJing,” says Pete, unravelling various cables needed to set up his laptop and run Serato, “my idea of being successful was driving up and down the motorways every
week like the DJs I was booking in my club.” Dance music has brought down the perceived boundaries of a DJ’s marketplace. It was once your local town. “Now it’s the whole world,” Pete smiles, as resident Lloyd finishes up and Pete plugs in. Pete is very much an internationalist when it comes to DJing. 80% of his gigs are abroad and the marketing for this Budweiser Clubbing tour bills him as an ‘Ibiza DJ’. Of course getting your tush to Mumbai is a little more involved than pouring yourself on the sleazy jet to Ibiza, and turbans off to Pete for stepping that path less trod. Budweiser are fresh to India too, keen to stake a corporate, rather than colonial, claim to the nation’s tastebuds. It’s a case of getting in there first, making friends with the locals (in this case, liaising with India’s premier club brand Submerge) and pitching camp, using flyers as your flag, logos as your cross. “I came here two years ago for the first time and to my knowledge only a couple of people had played here then. I think Sasha’s been here a couple of times…” “…The Beatles in the ‘60s,” DJmag proffers, helpfully. The influence of Indian music could indeed be felt in the ‘60s, with hirsute
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 CLUBS NO.40 TRAVEL TIPS
MUMBAI GENERAL INFO
You’ll need a visa, which can be convoluted. Try the consulates in London (India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA) or Birmingham (20 Augusta Street, Jewellery Quarter, Hockley, Birmingham B18 6JL). Make sure you take just enough money – there are 76 rupees to the pound but you can’t take them in or out of the country.
hippies getting stoned and twanging incoherently as they attempted the Ravi Shankar on thwe sitar. India remains a special place - both spiritually and musically - and Indian music, like literature, has also been brought into a more modern age, with the likes of Nitin Sawhney and Talvin Singh. There’s something special about the sound of Indian instrumentation, something essential and tribal that compliments synthesised electronic sounds, especially in the percussion, which has helped everyone from Punjabi MC to Pav at Manumission. Culture is an exchange - a global orgy with the lights off - where no-one knows who’s putting what where, but it sure as hell feels good.
“They’re really pleased to see a UK DJ come so far.” Pete Gooding
sequinned tigers and, when the moment is right… pounce and start ripping it up. Pete spins through a range of contemporary cuts, even dropping his own take on 808 State’s ‘Pacific State’, the wail of the late-night sax like a cry from a minaret, calling the dancefloor to prayers. The clubbers know the music, feel the rise and fall of the beat. The ‘50s had their Beat Generation. We are the Beatport Generation - digitally wired together and plugged into the same sound. But unlike the Beat Generation we’re not beaten down; our beat is up... up-tempo… upbeat… just… UP. Pete claps his hands above his head to encourage that upward swing, then turns down the monitors: “They’re really pleased to see a UK DJ come so far. It reminds me of running my club in Birmingham in 1993 – it was relatively new to that area at the time. People were excited just to see a DJ.” Without the luxury of time to build or programme the night, it’s a case of heads-down-keep-swinging – no desire for breakdowns or drops in momentum but one long beatific groove until the house lights come up. We are forced to readjust our internal disco chronometer. It’s midnight - 7.30pm UK time - and it’s already time for bed. And so, a quick trip back through abject poverty, then we can curl up safely within the lap of luxury.
words: myspace.com/simonamorrison pics: HERMIT SETHI
Mumbai is the hub for the Bollywood film industry. The films are on most channels on the hotel TV and you find yourself inevitably drawn into their world, intoxicated by the wash of music and movement, the energy of the beat. You can see how it might be a short step from Bollywood to bhangra to banging house; how Indian culture could identify with the tempo of house music and the fairytale romance of clubland. Indeed, Bollywood movies remind me very much of my own life… there’s a bit of heavy drama and then everyone starts dancing. The Hindi tunes from those films are
massive and filter into the clubs, mixing with contemporary house tracks overlaid with fresh Hindi vocals, mashing everything up to form a kind of Hindi house. Two years ago, Pete felt compelled to drop those tracks into his set but, while it remains more commercial at the weekend, on a Wednesday night it’s now house music, all night long. Pete picks up the beat and builds his set. Again, cultural differences dictate the course of a night. In India there are now curfews and clubs tend to end between midnight and 1am, so you’ve pretty much got to tear the dancefloor a new asshole as soon as the needle hits record one. Or, in Pete’s case, when the first track is cued Lil’ Joey on Serato. On the plus side, in India they tend to hit the clubs early, load up on a few drinks, stalk the dancefloor like
Mumbai is huge – 95kms from Heritage Bombay to New Bombay and negotiating it is fun. India has 50 million bikes and 20 million cars on the road. It’s hectic. Tuk Tuks only operate within their own neighbourhood, and your best option may be to head to Bandra, the most happening area, and stay there.
We stayed at the Marriot, right on Juhu Beach (www.marriott. com/hotels/travel/bomjw-jwmarriott-hotel-mumbai, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu Beach, Mumbai, 400049 India, tel. + 91 22 66933000). For other options try www.bombay-india. net/hotels
Submerge recommendations are: Basilico in Bandra; Wasabi, within the Taj Palace Hotel in Colaba; India Jones in the Hilton, Nariman Point; Moshe’s in Cuffe Parade; and Dome, in the Inter Continental Hotel, Marine Drive.
India is the largest consumer of whisky on the planet and beer is quite expensive. However, check out Zenzi on Waterfield Road in Bandra; Aurus on the Juhu Tara Road; China House within the Grand Hyatt Hotel; and Wink, in the Taj President Hotel on Cuffe Parade. Many of these bars double as clubs on some nights.
Poison is in the Krystal Building, 206, Patkar Marg, Bandra (W) (tel. 022 2642 3006) and if you’ve got the energy, try White as well, in Phoenix Mills.
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DUSK ’TIL DAWN
Asian club Zouk leaves its annual calling card on the festival circuit with the glorious ZoukOut event in Singapore. DJmag feels the sand between our toes...
ead vocalist Morgan Quaintance from Does It Offend You Yeah? passes over our heads, inelegantly crowd-surfing with arms and legs akimbo until his human support structure fails and he lands heavily in a cloud of sand. Oblivious to any imminent bruises, he clambers atop the barrier front of stage again and, arms outstretched, launches himself off fearlessly for a second time. Then Hollywood DJ Kid Millionaire is the new chief show-off, plotting co-ordinates of rock, pop, hip-hop and dirty disco on his chart of unbridled party mania. Dropping Simian Mobile Disco’s ‘Hustler’, he climbs onto the speaker stacks, a long-haired tornado of unpredictability and showmanship. Just 30 minutes after hitting this beachfront festival and DJmag is sucked in, the stress and strain of a 24-hour delay in Paris (thanks Air France, you shits) erasing as the music pounds our ears and the sand runs between our toes. This is the ZoukOut festival in Singapore. Zouk in Singapore is heralded as one of the best clubs in Asia - indeed, it’s regularly voted amongst the top clubs in the world - and ZoukOut is its annual calling card on the dance music calendar,
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a mid-sized festival (23,000 people) bathed in balmy tropical air that transports the energy and music of Zouk’s four rooms into the great outdoors. In a territory where hip-hop is king, ZoukOut is an annual celebration of dance music for the whole region: around 40% of tonight’s party people have travelled from Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong. Zouk first ventured outdoors in 2000 when, with 4000 people inside Zouk on any given weekend, the club were keen to set - and meet - a new challenge. That challenge was to throw a large-scale event focused on dance music and so the first ZoukOut was held at Silosa Beach on Sentosa Island, an island resort just off Singapore’s mainland. Buoyed by the inaugural event’s success, the following year the festival took place in nearby Tanjung Beach, but no-one could predict the problem that would befall in 2002. An outbreak of the respiratory disease SARS, in November 2002, brought plans for ZoukOut in December to an abrupt halt, as fear about this life-threatening disease gripped the area and organisers were forced to cancel the gig. As a result of SARS, tourism to Singapore took an almighty hit, which later worked in ZoukOut’s favour. “Up until a couple of years ago, licensing in Singapore was pretty tough,” explains
Zouk’s Tracy Phillips. “It was always a huge issue. When SARS happened, it hit hard, but when it was over we were approached by the Singapore Tourism Board who asked us to put on ZoukOut as a way of showing people that Singapore was back on track.” What better way to make a statement than by throwing a two-day festival at Marina Bay, on the mainland? Which, after the ZoukOut crew pulled out all the stops, is exactly what happened in July 2003 with Gus Gus, Dirty Vegas, Sasha and James Lavelle amongst those performing against the glorious backdrop of the Singapore skyline.
Since then, the dusk ‘til dawn experience has been back at the beaches at Sentosa Island, a surreal playground of live acts, DJs, art installations, water slides, palmistry and the assorted oddities you find at festivals. Gutted that we’ve missed the brilliantly named I Am David Sparkle band on the live stage, we head over to the main stage where Âme’s Frank Wiedemann is mid set, traversing from deep house into jazzy territory through to minimal techno. It’s an easy pace and the crowd are mostly getting their groove on. But there’s also a bunch of kids opting for the Melbourne Shuffle - a weird hybrid dance of the Running Man crossed with Leeroy from
Armin at the controls
The Prodigy’s early rave moves, something our Raving Mad editor Allan will no doubt adopt and adapt to the Croydon Shuffle anytime soon. German synth kings Booka Shade move it up a gear, playing their first ever gig in Singapore, and soon we’re dancing centre front as Walter Merziger (percussion) and Arno Kammermeier (synths) go hell for leather, ‘Body Language’ and ‘Mandarin Girl’ unsurprisingly setting the crowd off on ‘bonkers mode’. On a high from rocking ZoukOut and after being mini-mobbed by fans and TV crews, Walter tells DJmag: “The new album, yeah, it’s due in spring. Basically, we’ve explored all we can with synths and computers so we’ve been recording with an orchestra, exploring a new sound.” DJmag recommends you put it on your shopping list now. James Murphy and Pat Mahoney (of DFA Records and LCD Soundsystem) bring a taste of New York disco debauchery to the party over at the Velvet Underground arena, as the crowd start to lose it big style, while Carl Cox is the other main draw elsewhere with his chunky bite-size techno. The sight of Coxy shaking his tush and rocking out behind the decks is something we’ll never tire of here at DJmag - no matter what the location. But
pics: JAMIE SIMONDS
Booka Shade: backa stage
“We could stage ZoukOut somewhere else in the region next year - maybe in Bali or Thailand.”
things we learned in
before Cox’s set finishes chants of “Armin, Armin” rise from the swelling crowd, a show of support that nonetheless makes Armin Van Buuren wince backstage. “I didn’t really like that, you know,” he tells us later. “I mean, it’s Carl Cox and he’s a legend who deserves ultimate respect.” Life has taken on one or two surreal twists for the Dutch DJ who was voted No.1 DJ in the World in our last Top 100 DJs Poll. As this issue of DJmag went to print, Armin was due to have lunch with the future King of Holland at his palace - the invite a result of his No.1 position. “It shows the impact of the Top 100 DJs Poll,” grins Armin, who’s come a long way
since he started out DJing in a bar and was paid £20 for a seven-hour set. To much cheering and downright rabble rousing, Armin embarks on his set of shimering trance, as we race back to Velvet for a snatch of funk from Brownswood Records boss Gilles Peterson, who’s chummed onstage by MC Earl Zinger. But it’s back to Armin and the main stage for sunrise, as Sander Van Doorn’s mix of Sia’s ‘The Girl You Lost To Cocaine’ pulls us into daybreak. Sadly, it could be the last time the sun rises on ZoukOut at its beachside location on Sentosa Island. There’s a real danger it could be edged out as developers, in their wisdom, build a wave park in the middle of the beach. “It will make it impossible to hold ZoukOut on the same scale here,” says Zouk’s Tracy Phillips. “So the search is on for a new venue. Singapore Tourism Board are helping us look for sites and there’s even the possibility that we could stage ZoukOut somewhere else in the region - maybe in Bali or Thailand. We’re really keeping our options open.” Wherever ZoukOut relocates to will simply bring another chapter in its exciting history. LESLEY WRIGHT
1. Singapore consists of one main island and 63 other tiny islands, most of which are uninhabited. 2. It is one of the smallest countries in the world. The USA is 15,000 times bigger. 3. The flying fox, the largest bat in the world with a wingspan of up to 1.5 metres, can be found on one of the islands off the mainland. 4. Gambling was only legalised in 2005. 5. The record for the most number of people line-dancing was set in Singapore in 2002 with 11,967 dancers. 6. The Great Singapore Duck Race, an annual charity event, set a new record in 2002 when more than 123,000 toy ducks bobbed along the Singapore River. 7. Pop violinist Vanessa Mae Nicholson was born in Singapore and moved to England when she was four. 8. The Singapore Sling cocktail was first served in 1915 at Raffles Hotel. 9. The police take a hard line on drugs but apparently turn a blind-eye during ZoukOut, according to locals. 10. Organisers said daily prayers for good weather in the week before ZoukOut. Torrential rain lashed down on days either side, while the festival bathed in clear and balmy night skies. UK festivals take note. 075 22/1/08 00:43:21
Blending the obscure with the avant-garde, the eclectic three-day Transmusicales festival in Rennes, France is a music addict’s paradise
he line-up for Transmusicales could almost have been downloaded directly from the hard drives of a Myspace addict. Female The Horrors wannabes Ipso Facto, Pittsburgh bootlegger Girl Talk and mockney Kate Nash are all acts that have risen on the cybernetic highways of the world wide web on a bill you suspect might be made up to catch out anyone old enough to think ‘file-sharing’ meant swapping homework notes at school. But the truth is that this festival in the French city of Rennes actually began 29 years ago as a small showcase for
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Brittany’s underground rock scene and still sees itself primarily as a platform for the uber-hip and cutting-edge, although it’s not just the fact that they now find most of their artists online rather than in ink-spattered punk fanzines that has shifted since then. Like Sonar, Transmusicales now seems to completely absorb its home city for one weekend, with three nights in a huge warehouse complex just out of town, various other highbrow happenings like the excellent artistic residency with British folktronica group Tunng, harp-player Serafina Steer and leftfield rapper Buck 65 in the L’Aire Libre theatre and even its own equivalent of the off-Sonar parties in the numerous small concerts of the fringe Bars-En-Trans festival. Strange, then, that Transmusicales doesn’t have the same international recognition as Sonar, given its longer history and a line-up that’s wider in scope – taking in not just electronic music but also more guitar-based indie bands. The fact that they deliberately shy away from big headline acts might have something to do with it, as might taking place in a wet and windy winter in northern France rather than the summer Spanish sunshine. But whilst the name might elicit blank expressions beyond the French borders,
Transmusicales is big news here. Most gigs are comfortably busy rather than crammed, despite the massive three night-time events taking place in a venue that makes a multi-storey carpark seem atmospheric and attractive and is so cold that it’s hypothermia not heat exhaustion that’s your main risk in the middle of the dancefloor. The scale of the three rooms there does make Transmusicales a tough testing ground for many of the artists though, particularly if they’re more used to crowds small enough to squeeze into their bedrooms. Fujiya and Miyagi’s krautrock falls casualty to this, as does electronic cabaret clown Dan Deacon. Although in fairness Deacon has the hardest act of all to follow, going on after Modeselektor have just delivered one of the best live sets we’ve ever seen, climaxing after an hour of booty-bass beats and cheeky techno cuts from their recent ‘Happy Birthday!’ album with the Berlin-based
Modeselektor deliver one of the best live sets we’ve ever seen, climaxing with the duo spraying champagne over the crowd. duo spraying champagne over the crowd. Almost as good is Etienne De Crecy the previous evening who – although being much more famous than most of the young upstarts he’s sharing the bill with – is showcasing his new live show for only the second time here. It’s a performance almost as awesome to behold as it is to hear, with one of the original French house pioneers playing electrifying versions of tunes like ‘Prix Choc’ and ‘Fast Track’ inside a giant geometric cube that
Etienne De Crecy in a box
SO WRONG IT’S RIGHT Tim Sheridan’s Very Very Wrong Indeed gets back to rave basics in a skuzzy warehouse
THE DJs VERDICT
Pics: TRISTAN O’NEIL (TRANSMUSITCALES)/ DAFYDD OWEN (VVWI)
sometimes makes him look like he’s trapped in Tetris. Whilst Transmusicales’ programming might occasionally seem inconsistent as much as eclectic, it can work to the festival’s advantage when after enduring things like Yo Majesty – an appalling electro-rap trio whose shouts of “Fuck that shit!” and female rappers whipping their tops off doesn’t seem half as shockingly desperate as their cover of Technotronic’s ‘Pump Up The Jam’ – you can then find something brilliant like New York’s shooting star Santogold’s punky r&b crossover. More to the point, though, Transmusicales proves that no matter how many bloggers cream over their laptops about them or Myspace ‘friends’ an artist has, their music is still worth about as much as a Spectrum 48k in Oxfam if it doesn’t work in the real as well as the virtual world. PAUL CLARKE
“It was a great gig, although we didn’t think it was going to be at ﬁrst when we found out how early we were on. Plus, we didn’t have our VJ with us and we normally play with visuals. But we had a lot of laughs and it seems like a great festival with a melting-pot of music. “It was good to see all the French people partying to our music because France and Germany have traditionally had a weird relationship and difﬁculty understanding each other. Then again – Germans have had a pretty weird relationship with most countries until recently but that’s all changed now there’s a new generation.”
ould it be the fresh gust of midnight air balancing our blood’s oxygen content that’s hitting the spot? Or maybe the lack of chaotic queuing, abrasive bounders and annoying toilet mamas? DJmag reckons it’s really just the fact that tonight’s Very Very Wrong Indeed has got us right back to warehouse basics. After spending two hours with the Baron of Wrong – Tim Sheridan – in one of the niftiest tapas bars in London, we’re lead to this ramshackle East London car park. Cut into two rooms, the vast space gradually fills up with slouchy electrotech grooves as we get into the groove. In the main warehouse we get chunky slices of filthy tech beats served by Ryan O’Gorman, just before Tim’s typically shrewd new recruit – Berlin-based Andre Crom – blends a handful of deep, slanted 4/4 with a hunk of subtle minimal loops. “He’s a really talented producer – I’m glad I’ve dragged him down here,” says a proud Tim before the wrongness really takes hold. As things slip and slide in the second room, we catch the Italoboyz’s tight and sleazy beats just before the host serves his throng with a twisted platter of
hot-blooded bleeps, dirty basslines and irresistible grooves - signalling an immediate call to the floor. But with cutting-edge naughtiness in all directions both rooms are bouncing. Even walls seem to move and with no queue to the bar (well done tokens designers!), it’s hard to decide which way to bend. Unsurprisingly, things end up deliciously sideways whichever way we turn and by the time we unpick the next layer of wrongness at the after-party at Commercial Street’s 54 we still can’t get enough – much like Tim who is participating and not just presiding. Yet another fine mess that VVWI has got us into. NATALIE GOHL Tim Sheridan
077 DJ458.AAA_2 77
HEWITT ST CAR PARK, HEWITT ST, EC2 Saturday 2/2
AS The Key crumbles, DDD switch attentions
to Shoreditch’s Hewitt Street Car Park but the quality of their line-ups remains unmoved. Joining residents Simon Morrell and Simon Baker will be Moonharbour’s Daniel Stenfanik and French duo Chateau Flight. “Both Stefanik and Chateau Flight are bringing things back to the deep house vibe,” explained DDD’s Morrell. “We’ll still be playing techno but they’re really where we’re at musically right now.” In room two, Phonica Records rule the roost with Simon Rigg, Ryan Shaw and MSTRKRFT favourites Skulljuice.
10pm – 6am £8 adv
dddclub.co.uk HEADS UP: UP Catch the next DDD on 1st March
It’s Breakspoll time again!
1.BREAKSPOLL – THE 7TH
INTERNATIONAL BREAKBEAT AWARDS FABRIC, CHARTERHOUSE ST, EC1M Thursday 28/2
IT MIGHT be the seventh Breakspoll awards but there’s no sign of an itch yet and when it comes to getting twisted on a school night we’re all over this like a rash. Once again, the bill is raked with the best in the breaks business with live performances coming from Atomic Hooligan - who will be showcasing their imminent ‘Sex, Drugs and Blah Blah Blah’ LP – as well as Barry Ashworth’s firing Dub Pistols, Dutch floor-funkers Kraak & Smaak, scene godfather Rennie Pilgrem, Deekline & Wizard, Slyde and Quest & Odissi.
6 2 7
party at Herbal the very next night with Rennie Pilgrem, Skool Of Thought & Ed Solo, General Midi and Merka.
TERRY ATOMIC HOOLIGAN ON BREAKSPOLL
“Breakbeat’s such a matey scene that it’s just good to have everybody in one place, at the same time, all getting drunk together. Sometimes you see people you haven’t seen since the last Breakspoll which is great. I’ll be getting dressed up and looking classy for our live gig but I’ll still be on the ﬂoor at 4am!“
MINISTRY OF SOUND, GAUNT ST, SE11 Saturday 16/2
RENAISSANCE also haven’t waited for the
cobwebs to gather before finding a new London home – but after the success of Sasha’s sell-out December mission at Ministry Of Sound the decision surely made itself. This time round represents the launch of their bi-monthly MoS residency and with the chance to catch Def Mix’s Japanese New Yorker Satoshi Tomiie in the box we’re coming with them all the way. Steve Lawler favourites Audiofly will be supplying their distinctive tech-flecked groovers alongside the Def Mix maestro whilst Ministry stalwart Marc Hughes is joined by Sonny Wharton in the bar.
10pm – 6am £20/£17/£15
renaissanceuk.com HEADS UP: Catch Renaissance at Ministry next on 17th May.
9pm – 6am £13 adv
breakspoll.com HEADS UP: Check the Breakspoll after-show
As if that wasn’t enough, there’s DJ sets from A Skillz, Baobinga & I.D., tear-out tearaways Ctrl-Z & Breakfastaz, psychedelic filth monsters Far Too Loud and a mouth-watering match up from stalwarts Meat Katie and Lee Coombs. Room three will be getting down to the finest international breakbeat ambassadors with Projectiles (live) from France headlining. With so many of the artists on the line-up either dropping full artist LPs over the past 12 months or cueing them up for imminent release, it’s hard to fathom how people can question breakbeat’s state of health - a point that should be well proved at 5.30am on Friday 29th February on Fabric’s main dancefloor. Bite the bullet and book the day off now.
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
All breakbeat’s biggest players hit Fabric for the seventh annual Breakspoll Awards
with deep house experimentalists Lunar City Express, Cadenza artist Andomat 3000 and Burnski.
Local Knowledge LONDON
● No Goods Yard but no time to look back so where have The Cross and Key parties all ﬂed to? Well, Mark Wilkinson’s KIDOLOGY and his cute Kidettes have migrated to THE ISLAND and debut on 2nd February; MAXIMAL scoot to the AQUARIAM; AZULI are still putting ﬁnishing touches to a couple of
one-off parties before plans to inhabit a brand new London venue this summer; whilst PROLOGUE and SPACE 24 are trundling just down the road to THE SCALA.
their regular haunt SEONE CLUB (23rd February, 26th April and 28th June) – a venue that couldn’t be further from the burrowed cosiness of The Cross.
● Meanwhile, the fanatically loved and ludicrously fun HAT CLUB have booked up three dates at
● Hat Club aren’t the only ones giving South of the river clubbing a good name, though. Clapham’s
OF course we wouldn’t normally condone Monday sickies but for a rare Sunday appearance from Ed Banger’s fuzzy funk master Mr Oizo we’re going to make an exception. ‘Flat Beat’’s father brings his distinctive sound (but probably not cult puppet Flat Eric) to Wet Yourself. Best get coming up with your excuses and practicing your croaky voice.
A night of smooth, soulful grooves for
myspace.com/wetyourself HEADS UP: UP Wet Yourself rocks out every
bodymusic.com HEADS UP: Starting at The Key, Bodymusic
CLUB AQUARIUM, OLD ST, EC1 Sunday 10/2
London’s cooler cats, Brixton’s Bodymusic welcomes Louie Vega protégé Mr V for a three-hour set of hip-hop informed house bumps. We’ll be checking the boogie basement where classically trained garage maestro MJ Cole is let loose for a similarly eclectic set of soul-drenched, jazz-licked funk riddims from all eras and genres.
10pm – 6am £15
9pm – 5am £10
Sunday. Past visitors include Miss Kittin, Jo Jo De Freq and Hannah Holland.
has been running since April 2004 with Quentin Harris, Victor Duplaix, Kerri Chandler and DJ Spinna amongst its past guests.
DARKSIDE mistress Shelley Parker leads her
T BAR, SHOREDITCH HIGH ST, E1 Thursday 7/2 monthly forage through underground electro bass boogie and alternative cybernetic grooves with a back-to-back set alongside Diagoro. Rave-edged electronica comes from Bass Gun’s Paul Blackford (live) whilst South London breakstep renegade Warlock roughs out some guttural bass filth. Sicker than your average – in all senses.
8pm – late £free entry
structurerecordings.com HEADS UP: Structure has been rocking T Bar monthly since last September with Radioactive Man, Soma’s Transparent Sound and Tortured’s Billy Nasty just a fraction of the guests.
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
TURNMILLS, CLERKENWELL RD, EC1 Saturday 23/2 THE fancy dress fun continues at Turnmills’
“I’m not a purist and wanted to set up a night that reﬂects my tastes and desire to hear electronic bassdriven music on a very loud soundsystem!“
together-club.co.uk HEADS UP: The Glimmers will be giving out
10pm – 6am £12/£11/£8
10pm – 6am £20/£15 adv
full copies of their new album on the night for absolutely nowt. We’ll take two!
promotion FWD>> and scene pirate overlords Rinse FM return to The End some seven months after devastating the venue with sub-low pressure and skanking cybernoid riddims. Skream, Kode9, Plastician, Youngsta, Headhunter and Benga (right) all bring the infernal bass rumbles.
rinsefm.com HEADS UP: Last time these two titans clashed at The End it was pure roadblock... and not just in the proverbial sense. Get there early.
10.SATELLITE 31 EGG CLUB, YORK WAY, N7 Saturday 2/2
minus the over-zealous MCs, under-age ravers and rudeboy attitude! Just what the deebee doctor ordered! All shades of d&b over two rooms with Shy FX, Friction, Blame, Noisia and Cyantific. Freaky house and electro from Mutant Disco Estonia in room three whilst jazz, funk and soul rules the fourth.
Satellite 31 return with the slick punky funk electro of Freeform Five and Bristol’s tech movers and groovers - Deepgroove. Going Places also return with their room of deep and lush tech-house headlined by Sweden’s Tiger Stripes and complimented by their ressies Rick Maia, Tania Von Pear and Ben Gomori.
10pm – 6am £18/£16/£15/£12
hospitalrecords.com HEADS UP: Hospitality have given up their
10pm – 6am £15/£12
egglondon.net HEADS UP: Going Places were the first to
monthly Herbal residency to concentrate on their quarterly Heaven smash-ups. Next one is Friday 23rd May.
February and Sunday afternoon/evening session PUSH returning the day after with JAMES ZABIELA. Sunday clubs on the Southside don’t come much better.
THE END, WEST CENTRAL ST, WC1 Friday 22/2
VIVA Hospitality... a supersized d&b night
WHITE HOUSE kicks off February in some serious style with CUBISM inviting X-PRESS 2 and Kiss FM’s STEVE SMART for some shrewd house hedonism on Saturday 1st
9.FWD>> VS RINSE FM
best Saturday ticket. The line-up ain’t half bad either with Green Velvet, Sebastian and The Glimmers joining ressies Justin Robertson and Anil Chawla in the main room. T2 hosts The Streetlife DJs and their Streetlife Sessions with Kavinsky the big hitter in here whilst The Nextmen, The Cuban Brothers and Martelo rock T3.
HEAVEN, UNDER THE ARCHES, VILLIERS ST, WC2 Friday 22/2
SHAUN BLOODWORTH / JAMIE SIMONDS
PLAN B, BRIXTON RD, SW9 Saturday 9/2
give Agoria and Chopstick! their UK debuts.
● In a time of ﬂux, it’s a new dawn for the CLUB CLASS boys too. They’ve announced a fresh new night ATOMIC at THE END. Taking place quarterly, the ﬁrst will take place on 8th March with the new dark prince of techno – DUBFIRE – playing a London exclusive alongside Club Class
golden boy NIC FANCIULLI and the on-ﬁre KOS. Nicely done boys! ● FILTHY, meanwhile, close the curtains on a decade of dirty underground house events but they’re not going out with a bang. Busting into Cable Street’s UNIT 7 WAREHOUSE, they’ve not only
recruited 20/20 Vision’s RALPH LAWSON but roped musical chameleon A GUY CALLED GERALD in to headline the Filthy Gorgeous room. SHANE WATCHA, TIMO GARCIA and THE FILTHY ALLSTARS also dish out some twisted beats for the era-ending rave-down.
079 DJ458.AAA_REGIONALS 79
AAA SOUTH & EAST ACCESS
DUSK TILL DAWN, OLD CHRISTCHURCH RD, BOURNEMOUTH Friday 1/2 FRENZY started their year with a ‘giving back to the people – free party’ in January, but tonight’s follow up isn’t exactly going to break the bank at a fiver. Expect tough funky hard house from headliners The Tidy DJs whilst Andriko, Cheeky Scott and Carl Phoenix all supply high octane beats and soaring synths.
11pm – 4am £5
frenzyclub.co.uk HEADS UP: Londoners can catch the Frenzy
MUD CLUB, THE ESPANADE, BOGNOR REGIS Saturday 23/2
A Higher Class of Consciousnees
WHEN it comes to Bognor Regis, Mud is the
Ovum legend Josh Wink headlines the Club Class 11th birthday
1.CLUB 1. CLASS TH 11 BIRTHDAY
THE LOFT, GABRIELS HILL, MAIDSTONE Saturday 9/2
10pm - 3am £7/£5 B4 11pm
IT’S LOOKING like the busiest year yet for
play Mud for Slinky on 8th February, Fabio & Grooverider (liberty pending) touch down on 16th with Judge Jules on the 29th.
Club Class and this ballyhoo of a night is set to be the awakener of the Winter season – so get out, join Club Class’ acid house masses and celebrate like your life depended on it. Because let’s face it, who can resist a lineup like this? Ovum’s Josh Wink and Paolo ‘1983’ Mojo are the heady headliners joining joyful residents Sam Ball and Mark Fanciulli in the main room, transformed into an acid house haven with balloons and party poppers (but don’t quote us on that). Room two brings on the dark forces with some fierce drum & bass action courtesy of guest DJ and 1Xtra’s Best Breakthrough DJ Cyantific, plus Craggz and Parallel Forces from Valve Recordings. Dready, Illistrate & Affinity, Anile, Indy & Mistasix plus Mastermind MC also appear. It’s a guaranteed birthday bonanza of the very highest state of consciousness. Just what the doctor ordered.
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
PAOLO MOJO ON CLUB CLASS
“Like a ﬁne wine, Club Class is ageing beautifully — from the early brash exciting tones of the 1997 era atomics, to the reﬁned, heady classic of 2007 (with distinctive notes of Tenaglia and Trentemøller).”
10pm – 6am £12/£8 NUS
club-class.org HEADS UP: Next Club Class is on Easter
080 DJ458.AAA_REGIONALS 80
Local Knowledge SOUTH & EAST
themudclub.com HEADS UP: Anne Savage, BK and Lee Haslam
5.DUSTED @ SEVENSINS THE HONEYCLUB, KINGS RD ARCHES, BRIGHTON Saturday 23/2
DUSTED’S super peng DJ Oliver Lang and Randy Katona are the main guests playing this once a monther that will undoubtedly give everyone a chance to dust down their seven sins. Expect slick good-times house. 10.30pm – 5am £15/£12/£5 NUS thehoneyclub.co.uk HEADS UP: Don’t forget the Sevensins 8th
birthday with The Trophy Twins the week before on Saturday 16th February.
THE JUNCTION, CLIFTON RD, CAMBRIDGE Saturday 2/2 THE ‘Bridge’s beat freaks Boomslang kick off their year with another irresistible line up that includes Scratch Perverts, Stanton Warriors (right), Mr B, That Girl DJ, Sam I AM, The Fish and George.
10pm – 4am £10/£8
boomslangclub.com HEADS UP: D&b heads check out the long
Sunday with Ibiza kings We Love... and Paul Woolford.
club that seriously calls the shots with its hall of fame including names as disparate as Jimpster, Roni Size, D.Ramirez and MJ Cole. Tonight their chosen one is the Cosmos Jedi Tom Middleton (above) who will be treating us to a gloriously eclectic set of tracks from the past 40 years.
DJs at Nu Religion’s Valentine’s Ball – held at Brixton’s Mass on 9th February.
running Warning at the Junction on Saturday 9th February. Hype, Goldie & Commix, Andy C & GQ and others rinse it out.
● Brighton’s shiny DIGITAL has a trio of ultra-slick Saturday nights with 2MANYDJS and ANNIE MAC arriving on Saturday 9th February, nu-rave
siren KISSY SELL OUT (left)and the LOOSE CANNONS the week after and Frenchie DAVID GUETTA on Saturday 23rd February. ● Southampton’s JUNK CLUB also has a couple of hot nights. Taking up their new South Coast residency, MR C’s SUPERFREQ
arrives on 16th February with DC10’s DOLLZ AT PLAY dropping ﬁlthy tech tunes alongside Junk ressie LUKE PILATO whilst FILTH’s second birthday arrives the Saturday after with Cr2’s DAVE ROBERTSON and JON GURD headlining alongside Filth’s JUNIOR GEE. Nice work boys.
MARCUS GARVEY BALLROOM, LENTON BOULEVARD, NOTTINGHAM Saturday 2/2 FIREFLY continue to burn bright in Nottingham with another genre-scorching session. Ghent masters of parts, the Glimmers (pictured, below) will be busting out their discerning delights as part of the launch for their forthcoming studio album with frenzied support from Gallic techno crusaders Technasia. Resident rave initiators Jeet, Max Cooper, Ripp Off and Ross Eden complete the line up.
Our friends Eclectic
Groove Armada’s Tom Findlay and Basement Jaxx at Birmingham’s Eclectricity.
CUSTARD FACTORY WAREHOUSE, GIBB ST, BIRMINGHAM Saturday 23/2
10pm – 4am £20
factoryclub.co.uk HEADS UP: The last Eclectricity Warehouse Party sold out well in advance. Get tickets early we reckons!
Local Knowledge MIDLANDS
iloveﬁreﬂy.net HEADS UP: Grab
your smiley faces and dust down your dungarees — Firefly’s next rave up is their Acid House Party on Saturday 23rd February with Jon Carter.
FLYING OFF the back of two sell out events, Birmingham’s Eclectricity crew crank up the voltage to floor-shattering levels by securing rare Midlands DJ sets from not one but two of dance music’s biggest live acts: Basement Jaxx and Groove Armada. Anyone that experienced the late ’90s heyday of The Jaxx’s legendary Rooty night will know that their sets always throw up treasured gems, so expect a typically genre-mocking and avant-garde blend of house, funk, Latin, ragga and hip-hop from Felix Burton and Simon Ratcliffe. Carrying on where the Jaxx leave off, Tom Findlay represents Groove Armada with more funk-dripped house and carnival spirit with all tonight’s action blowing up in the Factory Complex’s disused Rojac engineering warehouse — the very same space that Pendulum destroyed with their live set at last November’s Eclectricity special.
10pm – 6am £13/£10
AIR, HEATH MILL LANE, BIRMINGHAM Saturday 23/2
COVERING all bases, Godskitchen invite trance titan Ferry Corsten for a mammoth three-hour mission in the main room, whilst über-label Cr2 administer first-rate house bumps and electro thumps in the Nitrogen room — Mark Brown, Spencer Parker and Damian Wilson at the controls here. It will be a blinder.
10pm – 6am £20/£15/£13.50/£12
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
godskitchen.com HEADS UP: Hitting out monthly, the next Godskitchen is on Saturday 22nd March.
“From what I’ve heard Eclectricity always put on a rockin’ night so I can’t wait to roll up to this one!”
CONCRETE, VYSE ST, BIRMINGHAM Friday 1/2 BIRMINGHAM’S recently opened Concrete club showcases its best residency — Ali B’s Air. Getting down with a resurgent Utah Saints and the funked up A Skillz will be Air’s all-star residents — Ali B (above), Mr No Hands, Janette Slack and in-house band Diverted.
10pm – 6am £15
concretebar.co.uk UP: Catch Ninja Tune’s Vadim HEADS UP rotating hip-hop, electronica, soul and reggae at Concrete’s bi-monthly Soundcrash on 23rd February.
FACTORY CLUB, GIBB ST, BIRMINGHAM Saturday 23/2
A double whammy of album tours at tonight’s Ultra+. Layo & Bushwacka! (pictured, right) continue touring their sublime Global Underground Rio album whilst Lee Coombs drops heaps of acid-squelching breaks and nagging house funkers in the name of his recent mix CD on Lot49. 10pm – 5am £10/£8
myspace.com/ultranights HEADS UP: Catch the first Ultra+ night in Coventry at Innovationz on Saturday 2nd February. Fergie and Paul Woolford — have some of that!
● SPECTRUM’s seventh birthday tour kicks off with their ﬁnal party at Nottingham’s STEALTH on Friday 1st February before their imminent move to Gatecrasher Nottingham. On Saturday 2nd February, they head to Birmingham’s FACTORY on the Saturday, where PLUMP DJS and KISSY SELL OUT play. Then on
Saturday 16th February they hit out on two fronts, with HEXADECIMAL and HIRO at Leicester’s ORIGINAL FOUR alongside a big one for their residency launch at Wolverhampton’s CANAL CLUB with the mightydrum & bass rockers PENDULUM.
● SHIVOO crown their second birthday at Leicester’s ORIGINAL FOUR with Turbo’s DUKE DUMONT and BOY 8 BIT on Saturday 2nd February, before beginning their new monthly residency at Loughborough’s RAPTURE on Saturday 23rd February with none other than dub head TAYO.
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2.FILTH PRESENTS AUDIO BULLYS LIVE
LEEDS UNI SYLUS & MINE, WOODHOUSE LANE, LEEDS Sunday 10/2
THE Audio Bullys (above)might have gone a little soft with their last LP but they’re still causing a rowdy riot live and their recent material has seen them return to their shouty youth with a more electro-blipping edge. At any rate you’ll be able to bounce and bodypop in a drunken fashion on a Sunday eve.
9pm – 3am £15/£12
Techno anti-purists Sequence cover all corners at The Paradise Factory FOURTH BIRTHDAY
THE PARADISE FACTORY, PRINCESS ST, MANCHESTER Saturday 16/2
IF YOU’D told us four years ago that
Manchester’s rave hounds would be hungry for a thrashing blend of techno, alt.electronica and minimal we would have laughed you square in the gob but Sequence’s Steve Gravener had other ideas. Infiltrating the 170-capacity Attic venue, Sequence fought against the tides and assembled a modest but loyal and dedicated following by booking outside the box with the likes of LFO, The Black Dog, The DMX Crew and Billy Nasty. “We cover techno, good minimal music, dubstep, breakcore,” explained Gravener on their renegade musical leaning. “We go right across the board – the main thing is not to be pigeonholed.” For tonight’s fourth birthday
there’s about as much chance of that as Man Utd footballers keeping their trousers on at Christmas parties! Detroitian forefather of techno minimalism, Robert Hood’s sparse soulful grooves should appeal to the purism corner and contrast the frenetic unregimented electronica of Warp’s Clark who plays live. Absolutely on fire right now, Matthew Dear showcases the mysterious mechanical pulses of his Audion guise, UK techno’s mad professor Surgeon splices and dices and Redshape adds lush techno into the equation. A line-up that’s got us literally slobbering at the bit, expect more of the same from Sequence who have left their former monthly abode at The Attic to focus on bigger, better sporadic rave ups. “Using the bigger spaces has allowed us to book who we really want,” adds Gravener. “We’re keeping things more sporadic this year with parties at the Paradise Factory and The Warehouse Project and a couple of other one-off venues being looked at. Basically, we’re going to town on our line-ups now. ”
9pm – 5am £15 adv
Local Knowledge NORTH 8
3 71 10
082 DJ458.AAA_REGIONALS 82
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
this month with their first leg at Leeds’ Mint Club on Saturday 2nd February with Jonathan Ulysses and Cr2’s hot property Danny Freakazoid.
SURGEON ON SEQUENCE
“I’ve been playing Sequence since ’06 and their combination of forward-thinking artists and an open-minded crowd that knows how to respond to them always make it a pleasure.” HEADS UP: Rolando, Venetian Snares, Luke Vibert and Smith & Hack are all set to don the decks at Sequence in ’08.
● Can you remember the last time Mancunian clubbers had it this kushty? No sooner has the WAREHOUSE PROJECT’s most recent run ﬁnished than the team behind it have set up home in the iconic space of THE FACTORY – former home of Tony Wilson’s Factory Records. A far more
SANKEYS, JERSEY ST, MANCHESTER Friday 29/2
NOT one, not two but three cutting-edge guests from Tribal Sessions who save the best for last this month. Front Room’s Jesse Rose and his fidgeting house funk take the headline spot, Cocoon’s Dominik Eulberg brings his haunting lunar melodies and Germanic techno mechanics, whilst in-demand Moonharbour boss Mattias Tanzmann completes the trio with a set of futurist organic grooves. Get Tribal. 10pm – 5am £10£8/£5 after 2am
tribalsessions.co.uk HEADS UP: Sankeys are pulling out the stops this month with Nic Fanciulli, Boys Noize, Radio Slave and Will Saul just some of the names reaching the Manchester stronghold.
intimate space, the 700-capacity space of ‘THE PARADISE FACTORY’ will run for a six month reign and with HERVÉ, BASEMENT JAXX, ADAM FREELAND, NIGHTMARES ON WAX and TODD TERJE all appearing over February neither the pedigree – nor diversity – of the acts appearing can be questioned!
www.ﬁlthuk.com HEADS UP: UP Filth celebrate their first birthday
● The other big news in the Rainy City is this month’s launch of AREA 51. Inhabiting the old Emporia building, the re-ﬁtted, re-kitted venue has been granted the only late Saturday night license in Manchester and pushes on till 9am each and every week. As well as Rob Tissera’s Kissdafunk, Leeds
COSMIC BALLROOM, STOWELL ST, NEWCASTLE Friday 1/2
ELBOW ROOMS, 64 CALL LANE, LEEDS Saturday 23/2 COSY, happy surroundings and an eclectic
THE Habit lads do this schnizzle just for
music policy of all that breaks, funks and grooves – The Utah Saints’ Sugarbeatclub has got it locked. Tonight, things take a distinctly d&b flavour with debuts for the red-hot Friction and Simon ‘Bassline’ Smith.
funzies which confirms the atmosphere each time as one of the best upwards of the Angel of the North. Tonight’s a real coup too as Berliner and Innervisions label head Dixon makes his Newcastle debut and one thing’s for sure; it’s bound to be better than Big Sam’s. Expect deep sumptuous house punctuated with soulful vocals and tougher minimal grooves.
9pm - 4am £9 after midnight/ £7 after 11pm /£5 b4
sugarbeatclub.com HEADS UP: Next week’s Sugarbeatclub sees the one like Switch and Spectrum’s Pete Jordan drop in.
10.30pm – 3am £10/£9
myspace.com/clubhabit HEADS UP: Intimate yet industrial, the Cosmic Ballroom’s dark main room is exactly what clubbing should be!
FOLLOWING last month’s pairing of Josh Wink and Ralph Lawson, Urban Gorilla hits with another double whammy of the highest order. Meat Katie’s tough, energetic sounds are surely an advert for the quality that’s still so prevalent in breaks whilst Timo Maas adds some sweaty tech throbbing.
10pm – 5am £10 adv
urban-gorilla.co.uk HEADS UP: Urban Gorilla’s sister club Bug takes place weekly at Sheffield’s DQ with the likes of Duke Dumont, DJ Netik and Streetlife DJs supplying the audio damage.
TUCKED snugly up the bottom of Basics in the race to be the nation’s longest running night, Shindig must be doing something right. Tonight, Nic Fanciulli will bleed his diverse house sounds through the Funktion One stacks for a full five hours of electronic bliss. Sicker than Posh in an Oxfam.
CIRCUS line-ups rarely falter and tonight’s
DIGITAL, TIMES SQUARE, NEWCASTLE Saturday 23/2
PLUG, MATILDA ST, SHEFFIELD Friday 22/2
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
ROB TISSERA ON KISSDAFUNK @ AREA 51
“We keep growing from strength to strength at Kissdafunk and can’t wait to welcome the Manchester scene. Bring it on!”
9pm – 5am £8/£free members
www.shindiguk.com HEADS UP: Shindig’s weekly line-ups are bang on this month – we’ll be checking Dan Ghenacia and Will Saul on Saturday 16th February.
CLUB UNDERGROUND, SACKVILLE ST, MANCHESTER Saturday 9/2
SHAUN BLOODWORTH / JAMIE SIMONDS
10pm - 4am £10 adv/£9 NUS/ £8members
ohmygodevents.co.uk HEADS UP: Check out Craze’s new Fabric CD for a fine demonstration of the man’s skillz.
● Not wanting to be left behind in the Northern supremacy grapple,
trends of middle capacity clubs. Variety is the spice of life, and all that. ● Northern bosh kings GOOD GREEF wave a soft-eyed goodbye to their spiritual home – Yarm’s TALL TREES – with a special blowout on the 16th February.
10pm – 3am £20/£18 NUS
circusclub.co.uk HEADS UP: Get down to The Barfly’s Chibuku
7.OH MY GOD!
will buckle under the weight of DJ Craze’s showmanship whilst Kenny ‘Mix N Blen’ Ken drops old skool jungle pressure, Surreal Knowledge perform a live hip-hop extravaganza and beatbox Crew 82 exercise their vocal gymnastics. It’s guaranteed to be totally beat-iful.
Leeds have also announced its newest and biggest venue in VICTORIA WORKS – the new home of cult night DIRTY DISCO. A huge new warehouse with a 2000 capacity, two rooms and even possibilities of an adjoining car park hosting fair rides, Victoria Works looks set to buck the city’s
makes no exception. Alongside Circus leader Yousef (right),, Buzzin Fly’s Ben Watt will showcase the consistently lush wares of his label in a set that promises the full gamut of deep and inspiring house whilst Eric Prydz drives with melody-glistened electronic bliss.
the week previously to catch Kissy Sell Out and Roni Size’s Reprazent live in action.
TONIGHT’S turntablist-heavy main stage
house and electro bash FILTH continue their Northern domination with their Area 51 residency which begins on 29th February. Check area51club.co.uk for more info on the venue.
BARFLY, SEEL ST, LIVERPOOL Saturday 23/2
10.AREA 51 LAUNCH PARTY WITH KISSDAFUNK
AREA 51, THE ARCHES, MANCHESTER Friday 1/2
THE latest addition to Manchester’s nocturnal cityscape – Area 51 – blasts off with lashings of electro and house anthems, glam girls aplenty and one of the most successful Northern clubbing brands of recent years. That’s right, Rob Tissera’s Kissdafunk are in town so you should be too.
10.30pm – 4am £10/£7
area51club.co.uk HEADS UP: KDF return to their Leeds abode Mission on the 29th with Dave Spoon, Henrik B and Rob Tissera.
EDDIE HALLIWELL, MARCEL WOODS, RICHARD DURAND and PREACH all play. Hard dance heads will also be pleased to know the ﬁfth annual HARD DANCE AWARDS has been relocated up north for the ﬁrst time ever with a three arena festival of bosh taking place on
Friday 29th February at Shefﬁeld’s PLUG - LISA LASHES, ANDY WHITBY, BK, VINYLGROOVER and the NU ENERGY COLLECTIVE are all playing.
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AAA WEST & WALES ACCESS
3.EMPATHY PRESENTS MISFIT RECORDS LAUNCH PARTY
NATIVE, SMALL ST, BRISTOL Friday 29/2
RENOWNED party planners Empathy bring Bristol the launch of Misfit Records – brainchild of their resident Jim Rivers and promising productions by the man himself and Paolo Mojo. Rivers takes control tonight alongside support from fellow Empathy residents Stuart Wilkinson and Jay Russell.
empathyclub.co.uk HEADS UP: A lush nu-prog and techno
hybrid, the first Misfit release ‘Brassed Off’ is out now.
THE first Saturday after St Valentine’s Day
4.BIONIC & AFTER-DARK
DOJO LOUNGE, PARK ROW, BRISTOL Saturday 16/2
L’America celebrate ten years with three hours of Fedde Le Grand
1.L’AMERICA PRESENT AN 1.
EVENING WITH FEDDE LE GRAND
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
FEDDE LE GRAND ON L’AMERICA
“Everything I play is house but I like to touch on minimal, soulful and electro edges. With a three hour set like my L’America debut, I’ve got the opportunity to build rather than just going straight for it – I can’t wait.”
sees the second party from new Bristol club night, Digital. Hosted in one of Bristol’s best small nightclubs – The Dojo Lounge – tonight’s Digital will groove to one of the most exciting deep house talents around in Urbantorque’s Milton Jackson (above) with residents Stuart Wilkinson and Ian Cole in support. 10.30pm - 7am, £6/£7
LIQUID, ST MARY’S ST, CARDIFF Saturday 2/2
dontstayin.com/uk/bristol/dojo-lounge HEADS UP: Check out Milton Jackson’s
PUT YOUR hands up for… Cardiff!
sublime ‘Ghosts In My Machines’ EP on Freerange out 25th February followed by a digital release on 3rd March.
Celebrating ten years of quality ‘proper’ house in parties, Cardiff’s L’America mark the first of ten special anniversary parties by inviting Dutch sensation Fedde Le Grand for his debut appearance in the Welsh capital. With Fedde embarking on a main room marathon, expect a surprisingly varied and credible selection from a DJ whose repertoire extends far beyond the infectious electro-house blips of 2006’s über anthem ‘Put Your Hands Up For Detroit’. L’America’s erstwhile clubbers should check the Bar Room where Bobby & Steve will be taking it back to where it all began with the soulful sounds of ‘98. A decade is no mean feat in today’s climate but Craig and Helen Bartlett’s L’America has built its name on solid soulful-leaning house and with names like Mr V, Kenny Gonzalez, Gilles Peterson and Danny Rampling all inked in the diary these special ’08 sessions should be some of the promotion’s best yet.
10pm – 4am £10
lamericapromotions.com HEADS UP: Get your glad rags out - this one’s for the stylish, not the scrubbers.
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Local Knowledge WEST & WALES
● Already hitting our top ﬁve for this month’s EMPATHY, it’s a seriously tidy ﬁrst weekend in February for Bristol’s NATIVE. On Friday 1st February, Tempa’s precocious SKREAM headlines THE BLAST with a techno-spliced set of dubstep in its most diverse deﬁnition. NORMAN JAY and his
PRESENT INTERNATIONAL MAYHEM PART 8
EVOLUTION, ATLANTIC WHARF, CARDIFF Friday 1/2 IT might be a dirty word in certain circles but Wales’ biggest hard dance promotion is seven years old and still going strong thanks to their innovative booking approach. Tonight’s international array lures German dark-trance master Kamui, Dutch bounce n’ stomp kings Showtek as well as UK techno don Vinylgroover.
10pm-6am £14 adv
bionicandbreathe.com HEADS UP: Catch Bionic ressie Cally for a lesson in behind the back and blindfolded scratching. Boy got skills!
5.SYSTEM 7 ALBUM LAUNCH TRINITY, TRINITY RD, BRISTOL Saturday 16/2
FOREVER melting the boundaries of ambient, trance and techno, psychedelic veterans System 7 kick off the tour for latest album voyage – ‘Phoenix’ – in the familiar West Country waters of Bristol. Alien psy-techno stalwarts and former Ozric Tentacles members Eat Static join them on this night of psychedelic stomping. 9pm – 2am £14 adv
myspace.com/systm7 HEADS UP: Can’t make this one? Catch System 7 and Eat Static on their return to the West Country at Exeter’s Phoenix Centre on 12th April.
soul-heavy ‘Good Times’ drop in the night after, whilst resident Sunday morning party BUMP bring their after-hours naughtiness – secretsundaze’s JAMES PRIESTLY supplies the wonky twisted beats for the good looking freaks.
● Bristolian d&b bwoys BEDLAM celebrate six years with a brock-out birthday bash at the CARLING ACADEMY on Saturday 9th February. And with PENDULUM, FRICTION, NOISIA, SHY FX, DILLINJA, LEMON D and SKIBADEE all recruited it’s bound to be a big’un.
BLACKFRIARS, BELL STREET, GLASGOW Friday 8/2
EGO, PICARDY PLACE, EDINBURGH Saturday 16/2 HAILING from the unlikely home of dubstep – Croydon – Tempa Records’ Benga is treating Scotland’s winter blues with a punchy fusion of rib-rattling bass, dubwise sensibility and electronic grime, with likely hits from his shit-hot new LP, ‘Diary of An Afro Warrior’. The man monikered as Skream’s favourite DJ will be joining the so-hip-and-urban-it-hurts club Volume!, one of the first clubs in the capital to embrace dubstep, grime, B-more and baile-funk in a blisteringly satisfying concoction.
11pm - 3am £7
Brutal breakcore descends on Glasgow with Wrong Music’s Shitmat leading the charge
myspace.com/movolume HEADS UP: UP Next Volume! sounds off on Friday 15th March with rave-step don Neil Landstrumm touching down.
THE SOUNDHAUS, HYDEPARK ST, GLASGOW Friday 8/2
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
IN WHAT looks like the final Glasgow event for the Hyperoctave crew, five live acts are being brought together for Breakcore Extravaganza, a rabid journey through jungle, drill ‘n’ bass, and of course, breakcore. The extraordinarily named Shitmat (Planet Mu) will headline with his curious cuts of Sunday afternoon TV themes and soul-destroying bass, dropping unnerving gems from his recent ‘Grooverider’ album. He’ll be hot on the heels of Acrynym with his odd time signatures and Atari Teenage Riot sensibilities; Babyshaker’s live drill ‘n’ bass, sounding like Trent Reznor embroiled in a torrid musical affair with Gary Numan; and the rhythm fusion wouldn’t be complete without The Kings of Macumba’s samba drumming. To ease you into the night, Error Response (live) aka Espion will be playing his take on experimental film scores. But don’t be fooled by any romantic notions of sweeping beats and false lulls in the proceedings, his productions are more like scores for independent German cinema, smoothing hip-hop into jazz and drum & bass.
“Scottish ravers are nuts – last time I was there I played last set and it took me 20 minutes or so to pack away my records. Then when I stepped out of the club the whole crowd was waiting and started to cheer my name. Can’t wait to go back.”
Local Knowledge SCOTLAND
SNAFU, UNION ST, ABERDEEN Friday 1/2
GRAB a slice of Detroit techno with Stacey Pullen (right),, who first developed his fledging talent at Derrick May’s Transmat Studios. Now he’s in high demand across the continents with crowds baying for his particular brand of hypnotic and vocal 4/4 – you will be too.
10pm - 3am, £TBC
clubsnafu.com HEADS UP: Also check out Snafu’s Friday
Hartnoll returns with occasional Ridley Scott film composer Nick Smith to showcase the gliding, ambient and IDM-jarred beats of their sublime Long Range project. A mix of techno and ambient electronica will flow from local Ives, ‘regressive’ pulsing techno from I Am Blip, and spacey ambient from Yimino and Integra TV.
10pm - 3am £10/£12
tronicglasgow.com HEADS UP: You can also catch Long Range rocking The Ironworks in Inverness the very next night.
5.SUGARBEATCLUB CABARET VOLTAIRE, BLAIR ST, EDINBURGH Friday 29/2
ROLL up, roll up, for Sugarbeat’s third birthday party at Cabaret Voltaire, courtesy of founders and old school rave legends The Utah Saints! Apart from Trash founder electro sweetie Erol Alkan, there’s Fabric resident and funky genre-bender Sinden (above right) and bassline master and thug-house designer Hervé appearing on stage. 10.30pm – 3am £7
sugarbeatclub.com HEADS UP: Also making an appearance as a DJ will be none other than Richard H. Kirk, aka half of industrial pioneers Cabaret Voltaire!
session Radio Skool for quality turntablism, leftfield beats and grime. Lady Sovereign and Lemon Jelly are past guests.
11pm - 4am £8/£6
hyperoctave.org HEADS UP: Hyperoctave boss Espion looks set to move to Berlin so this might be the last Glasgow breakcore special for some time – don’t miss!
● On the East coast, TOKYOBLU move further into Edinburgh’s centre with their ofﬁcial launch night at their new home of CABARET VOLTAIRE on the 15th February - named the Valentine’s Day Massacre (11pm - 3am, £6/£10). The funky house purveyors will also be launching
their Toykoblu Digital label with favoured tracks such as ‘Stand Fresh’ and ‘Set Your Soul On Fire’ due imminently. ● The moves don’t stop there – OPTIMO’s Edinburgh residency has also relocated from Ego to Cabaret in a delightful double-
coup for the venue with their ﬁrst gig on 23rd February (11pm – 3am/£10). And Optimo’s mash-up eclectic session still has people lining the streets for its original and best incarnation every Sunday in Glasgow at the SUB CLUB (11pm - 3am, £6/£5).
FOR the first time since his Orbital days, Phil
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4.515 PRESENTS... SÉBASTIAN LÉGER
TRIPOD, OLD HARCOURT ST, DUBLIN Friday 29/2 ZABIELA, Fanciulli, Huntemann, Mills... when it comes to cutting edge guests, no Dublin night comes close to 515 and they’ve got another quality draw in Sébastian Léger. Master producer of wild electronic house anthems, Léger’s sound has truly come to fore in the past eighteen months. Catch him whilst he’s still hot tonight.
11pm – 4am €22 adv
STUDENTS UNION, UNIVERSITY RD, BELFAST Saturday 2/2
Lush’s deep delights
Dave Seaman brings his deep electronic sound to Lush once more
KELLYS, BUSHMILLS RD, PORTRUSH Saturday 23/2
10pm - late £17/£15 NUS
WITH DAVE Seaman headlining and
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
DAVE SEAMAN ON LUSH
“I’ve been playing at Lush for over 12 years which tells you just how good the place is. Not many clubs have been so consistent for so long but even fewer are quite as much fun as the mighty Lush! Quite simply, the king of Northern Irish clubbing.”
Scope’s Ric McLelland (newly installed resident at Belfast’s Yello) also appearing, tonight’s bill is the pick of February’s Lush line-ups with something a bit deeper than Lush’s standard arm-raising fare. One of the few acid house veterans to preserve an unwavering musical integrity, Seaman can be expected to provide lashings of lush proggy dreaminess and deep electronic textures with an emphasis firmly on the future. Fresh from a swathe of superb production outings on Urbantorque, McLelland will be serving up melodic and soulful grooves as well as proving that deep house need not be dad house. The über-versatile Lush resident Col Hamilton completes the bill on a night that promises cutting-edge sounds and one of the most up for it crowds on Irish shores.
9pm – 2am £10/£8
kellysportrush.co.uk HEADS UP: Lush steps out each and every Saturday with the biggest names in clubland. Judge Jules kicks off February on the 2nd with a three-hour set from Fedde Le Grand the week after.
Local Knowledge IRELAND
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SHINE launch their year in style with masters of techno past and present. Detroit legend and ‘Strings Of Life’ author Derrick May makes a welcome Belfast appearance alongside UK techno veteran Jim Masters – former promoter of Carl Cox’s London B.A.S.E. residency. It’s Dutchman Joris Voorn (below) that’s got us excited though – his aquatic brand of deeply melodic techno should be a standout in tonight’s typically slick Shine. www.shine.net HEADS UP: At 12
years young, Shine is Belfast’s longest running techno institution.
pod.ie HEADS UP: February’s 515 also plays host to Yousef on 1st with Bristol’s Deepgroove heading over the week after.
5.DJ YODA THE TRINITY ROOMS, THE GRANARY, LIMERICK Friday 15/2
hospitable and well decked club welcomes the mercurial mix-tape genius of DJ Yoda (above right) for his first appearance in the city. Yoda’s AV showcase will be adorned in his trademark audio eclecticism whilst Paul Webb keeps it house in the T2 area and live guests rock the club house.
10pm – 2am €10
trinityrooms.ie HEADS UP: UP Ed Banger’s SebastiAn makes an
Irish debut at The Trinity Rooms on Saturday 1st March. Stick it in you diary now!
MYNT, DUNBAR ST, BELFAST Saturday 16/2 WITH tracks signed to Matthew Bushwacka!’s Oblong Records and Luke Dzierzek’s Fling, Minimind’s rising Gary Dickenson celebrates his new Yello residency with a main room set of tough n’ techie underground house whilst Urbantorque’s Scope – enjoying a busy month - lays down the night’s foundations in the deep room.
midnight – 6am £10/£7/£5
thisisyello.com HEADS UP: There’s more Urbantorque inspired hedonism at Yello on 1st March with Tom Middleton, Office Gossip and a returning Scope all appearing.
● Dublin begins February with a fresh and welcome addition to its clubbing fraternity with GET:MUSIC – a monthly night dedicated to quality electronic and progressive sounds. Taking place on the 1st February at Store Street’s RADIO CITY, the ﬁrst GET:music invites the latest
Swedish sensation and Global Underground fave MARCUS SCHOSSOW to wow the Irish capital with his melodic and electronic sound whilst Harthouse artist OZGUR CAN and Tel Aviv star GUY J are lined up for subsequent months. One to watch in our opinion.
● Also two concerts worth checking in Dublin this month are THE FIELD who bring their shoe-gazing Kompakt techno to the CRAWDADDY on Friday 15th February and MR SCRUFF at THE BUTTON FACTORY on Saturday 23rd February.
AAA INTERNATIONAL ACCESS
2. DJMAG TOUR
SIRENA, RUE SEBATIAO ROMAO CESAR, 418, SAO PAULO, BRAZIL Saturday 2 - Tuesday 5/02
NO longer is DJmag a UK ting, no siree Bob.
Drowning in Berlin
London DJ/promoters debut in German techno Mecca
PANORAMA BAR, 70 AM WRIEZENER BAHNHOF, FRIEDRICHSHAIN, BERLIN, GERMANY Saturday 16/02
OVER the last two to three years, Berlin’s
Berghain has become a thing of clubbing legend - in fact, it’s now touted by many as the ultimate venue to experience underground techno in the world. The name ‘Berghain’ is a result of its geography, as the place straddles the Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg areas, and its native in-between, slightly off the beaten track vibe plays a significant part in creating the magic that this place harbours. The building itself is a disused Power plant, which makes for an
incredibly unique clubbing environment. To us on British shores it’s the upstairs that has grabbed most of the headlines – The Panorama Bar, notorious for its daylightdefying rave stints and achingly cool DJ line-ups. And this Saturday for the first time, London underground party promoters secretsundaze are going to be joining its hedonistic ranks. James Priestly and Giles Smith’s previous forays into foreign territories have proved extremely successful so it was only a matter of time before they joined the international club circuit - and quite frankly we can’t think of anyone much better suited to take advantage of Berlin’s marathon club culture. Guesting for James and Giles for their Panorama debut tonight will be Freerange kingpin Jamie Odell aka Jimpster and Ibadan main man Jerome Sydenham. And with half of London’s East End already signed up, this one is sure to go down in the echelons…
10pm – midday €10 www.berghain.de
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ON PANORAMA GIG
“We’re really excited about this date - it’s a real honour to be asked to do Panorama Bar, especially on a Saturday night. Musically we’ve tried to offer something different for Berlin, no continental DJs in sight, instead two artists that we’re most feeling at the moment and both debuts for us. Obviously Panorama’s reputation proceeds it, but with such a strong secretsundaze crew making it over from the UK, we’ll do our best to show ‘em how it’s done…”
● As Midem shuts its doors for another year, the dance fraternity turns its heads towards the Miami Winter Music Conference, taking place March 25th – 29th. For years, the likes of SPACE, CROBAR, PAWN SHOP LOUNGE, THE OPIUM LOUNGE and ULTRA have dominated the party scene, but
Times and prices TBC
www.sirenz.com.br HEADS UP: If you can, give local lad Anderson Noise a shot, his upfront big bassy techno is one of the freshest around.
3. DEEP SPACE
SPACELAB YELLOW, CESAURUS NISHIAZABU B1-B2F MINATO-KU, TOKYO, JAPAN Sunday 10/02
IT has a feel unlike any other, and a character that seduces anyone who experiences it - you won’t hear many clubs being spoken about with as much love as the Lab. But it’s not just the physical form that makes it such a special nightspot; week-in, week-out, the team behind it lay on some of the most interesting line-ups in the world. Tonight they have cosmic musical explorer Francois K and Henrik Schwarz. It just doesn’t get much cooler. 9pm – late ¥4000
www.club-yellow.com HEADS UP: On 24th Feb they’ve got Poker Flat’s Steve Bug and Moon Harbour’s Mathias Tanzmann. ‘Twas a tough choice...
this year there’s a new puppy in town. From the peeps behind SPACE comes a brand new venture called STEREO. Just one month old, February sees the club launch into a fully booked clubbing calendar, giving itself a chance to break itself in just in time for the big event. And with a jaw-dropping
pics: JAMIE SIMONDS
WHAT THE DJs SAY...
And with the brand being demanded and consumed further afield all the time, we’ve started sending our troops out on a mission to spread a bit of that love you’ve been craving. In February we’re going to be taking over Sirena, without doubt one of the most beautiful clubs in South America. We’ll be there for four dates on the trot, and here’s who’ll be doing the business behind the decks: 2nd Feb Sander Van Doorn and Renato Cohen, 3rd Feb Fatboy Slim, Anderson Noise, 4th Feb David Guetta, Ingrid 5th Feb Deep Dish, Mau Mau.
lighting rig and simply frightening soundsystem, fully expect to see it featuring amongst the conference’s big guns from here on in. ● The international festival calendar is by no means a summer ﬁxture anymore; each year it seeps further into the surrounding
5 10 1
HEADS UP: And there’s some live paint and
canvas action from Mr Vage Gasten...
11pm – late, Price TBC
www.nights.ro HEADS UP: On this city as a top clubbing destination? Just about everyone that matters!
6. ARMIN VAN BUUREN CLUB ESSENTIAL, SKOLAS IELA 2 RIGA, LATVIA Thursday 14/02
MUSICALLY, Eastern Europe is really
4. GOOD VIBRATIONS FESTIVAL HELRISSON ISLAND, PERTH, AUSTRALIA Sunday 17/02
blossoming at present, with the far right corner in particular surprising a lot of people in clubbing terms. And the aptly named Club Essential is one of the leading lights at present. Tonight it’s the turn of the top dog, DJmag’s Top 100 numero uno - Armin Van Buuren - to show the Latvian capital just why all those eager shape-throwers rate him quite so highly. In support are Blake Jarrell, Kaspar Kondrat, DJ Al Dee, DJ Pols and DJ Japanis.
Presale – 10 LVL Time TBC
WHILE many of us continue to
www.essential.lv HEADS UP: If you like a tipple, make sure you
wallow in self-pity while the rain pours on, those Down Under are basking in the rays, enjoying one of the strongest festival seasons in years. And those savvy folk at Jam music are laying it on especially thick. They’ll be touring several destinations across Australia, but our pick of the bunch is the Perth leg. Check this lot out - The Rapture, Kanye West, Cypress Hill, Thievery Corporation, James Zabiela, High Contrast, Sinden, Calvin Harris, Radioclit and 16 Bit Lolitas - and that’s just a smattering!
GALAPAGOS ART SPACE, 70 NORTH 6TH STREET, NEW YORK, U.S.A. Friday 01/02
NEW York’s The Bunker are bringing in some
of the most exciting underground house and techno artists around. On Friday it’s the turn of MIA, the German techno one not the Londoner popster, alongside label-mate Falko Brocksieper. Expect future bound techno and dirty electronica.
11pm – 4am $10
www.galapagosartspace.com HEADS UP! Bag yourself a copy of MIA’s album ‘Bittersuss’ if you haven’t already.
get your fill while in Riga. It’s practically free!
9. SVEN VÄTH 7. BREAKBEAT NIGHTS
STUDIO MARTIN, IANCU DE HUNEDOARA BUCHAREST, ROMANIA Saturday 16/02
PRETTY sure they could’ve come up with a
better name than this, but then again maybe it’s got a great ring to it in Romanian. Andy Gardner and Lee Rous, aka the Plump DJs, are making their triumphant return to the international circuit after spending a good few months caning it in the studio. D-Laid and Gojira play too.
All Day, $120.00 + BF
www.jammusic.com.au/ goodvibrationsfestival HEADS UP: Keep your peepers peeled for deets on their exclusive festival podcasts.
ZOUK CLUB, 17 JIAK KIM STREET, SINGAPORE Saturday 02/02
FRESH from their superb ZoukOut festival,
the Singapore club kings continue to show the East well and truly how its done. One of a stream of cracking nights in Feb, tonight Cocoon boss and all round techno He-man Sven Väth spins. Like we needed any reminding of his general brilliance.
9pm – late $15 B4 10pm / $23 after
www.zoukclub.com HEADS UP: Make sure you stay from the beginning until the very end.
10. KULTURAMA - ED BANGER LABEL NIGHT
MELKWEG, LIJNBAANSGRAACHT 234A AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND Friday 22/02
SILO, VAARTKOM 39 LEUVEN, BELGIUM Saturday 16/02
STUPENDOUS techno line-up from the
promoters at Klinch. Headlining this Friday are remixing supernovas Wighnomy Brothers, supported by recent DJmag album of the issue star Justus Köhnche and awesome up and coming homegrown lass Estroe.
PEDRO Winter’s ace Ed Banger imprint
heads to Leuven’s techno haven for a night of rip-roaring synths and barnstorming beatery with Uffie, Feadz, Surfing Leons and Mr Ozio.
11pm – late €10
10pm – late €11-13
www.silo.be HEADS UP: Don’t forget the chocolate!
months. Just running off the back of Snowbombing is the next big one of 2008 – Timewarp. Between 29th March and 5th April the promoters will be throwing a series of parties all across Germany, all leading up to the ﬁnal event which takes place in an old aircraft hanger called MAIMARKTHALLE
8. THE BUNKER
in Manheim. The line-up features just about anyone who is anyone in techno - RICHIE HAWTIN, CARL COX (right), BOYS NOIZE, LUCIANO, LOCO DICE, MARCO CAROLA and RICARDO VILLALOBOS are just the tip of the iceberg. Tickets are being snapped up fast, so check out www.
time-warp.de as soon as possible if you want a bit of this. ● But the biggy in
clubland in 2008 so far is the news that after-hours parties will no longer be allowed on our beloved White Isle. The golden clubbing hours between 6am to 10am will now be music-free say the authorities, as it is causing disturbance to the island’s punters less concerned with
marathon rave-ups. San Antonio’s club community has already felt the wrath and San Jose’s are soon to follow suit. Yep that’s where SPACE, DC10 and BORA BORA are. So we could be seeing some pretty special one-offs popping up this year - there isn’t anything quite like a Balearic cave rave!
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Hang on to your bass bins! The best new music is right here
Francois K’s triple CD for Ministry is the dog’s Balearics.
IN THE BAG
Sassy Sasse reveals what’s in his record bag this month. p.093
Loads of new tunes in all the different genres rated by our panel of experts. p.094
Brilliant creative electronics from Mr Paul Woolford. p.108
ART OF CHARTS
The Hype and Killer Download charts in full. p.112
REVIEWS IN THE BAG!
In the bag....
The Finnish Berliner empties out the contents of his record bag… AS the mighty Snowbombing is just around the corner, for this month’s In The Bag we thought we’d plump for one of the jocks that’ll be spinning at the fest this year – Mr Klas Lindblad. Better known to the world as Sasse, the Scandinavian has been one of the key players in pushing new waves of house, disco and techno to the masses. Originally from Finland, Klas spent his early years rinsing the club scene there before moving to Frankfurt, Germany in 1999 after he worked out he’d played almost every major party in Finland. By the time he’d made the geographical transition, he was already producing and had even started his own label – Moodmusic. Initially set up as a platform to release his own edits and productions, by 2003 he was also promoting the music of like-minded souls, people like Nick Chacona, Spirit Catcher, Dirt Crew, Losoul and close friend
Shahrokh Sound Of K
Break It Down feat Jamie Lloyd Compost Black Label
“This one comes from the deep, deep South of Germany, from this guy Shahrokh who amazed us last year with two great EPs on Compost Black. His debut single ‘Owl Flight’ was a favourite of mine for the most part of 2006, and last year’s ‘Chicago’ got played on almost every gig. “Vocals are provided by Future Classic fella Jamie Lloyd and it’s destined for power play. Reminds me of some of early Charles Webster productions with its phat sound and amazing arrangement. I’d say this is my top record right now!”
Spirit Catcher Brain Candy NRK
“’Brain Candy’ chugs nicely in an old-school techno-meets-house formation with arpeggios and chugging keys building an epic peak-hour bomb. The B-side ‘Loving
and production partner Henrik Schwarz. At the start of this year though, Klas’ itchy feet caused him to hop bases once more – to Berlin. His DJing and label have gone from strength to strength. Moodmusic is now widely regarded as one of the most original and consistent house imprints on the scene and just last year Klas celebrated a stellar ten years heading up his label, releasing a corking anniversary compilation. “Now I really want to start pushing the artist album side of things,” he says. “I’m just finishing off mine now, so that should be ready by spring, and then later on in the year we’ll be releasing an LP from DJ Naughty.” Klas is still spinning regularly in Berlin, with residencies at both Weekend and Panorama Bar, and is very much looking forward to Snowbombing - taking place March 29th – April 6th in Mayrhofen, Austria.
System’ follows musically from their recent 2020 album with new school disco beats and stabbing keys – nice, and definitely in my case! “As a side note, remixes of their classic ‘Voo Doo Knight’ will be coming out on Moodmusic in the spring with an amazing one from Wagon Cookin!”
Boogie Down (Falko Brocksieper/ Chopstick & Johnjon Remixes) Dirt Crew Recordings
“This is taken from their recent album ‘Raw’ and this is Dirt Crew at their very best chunky and stabby house music for the later hours. All of the remixes are good but Falko Brocksieper’s delivers a heavy slice of Panorama Bar-style action - dark spoken vocals and mean, nasty synth lines. It is dark, but just so good. Check out the Chopstick & Johnjon mix for a more hypnotic house workout, this is a wicked remix from the upcoming stars!”
Black Belt Andersen Sirup
“I wouldn’t call this Balearic exactly but obviously it fits into the sub-120bpm genre quite well, so it’s not far off. ‘Sirup’ is a perfect name for this dubbed out house tune. It has the really great, sweet as sugar spacey keys, as well as enough deepness to get lost in. “When the chugging acid line drops in the track changes direction but still keeps the original vibe of afro meets house, in a very special way that only he can. Then on the flip, label boss Prins Thomas delivers one of his masterminded edits for sure-fire floor functionality - perfect!”
Nick Chacona Hush, No Rush Speak Recordings
“Highly underrated NYC producer Nick Chacona returns on a fairly new label from Brooklyn with some sweet love of the Larry
Levan influenced disco-madness. A-side ‘Gazed’ works the Italo bass and Moroder arps nicely but the B-side ‘Hush No Rush’ is the winner here. Lovely and musical, this drops the phattest key stabs and has a bassline sent from heaven. A bit Metro Area-ish in string arrangements and general vibe, but this has Nick’s signature written all over it. A musical journey for the more discerning floors.”
Mugwump Boutade Misericord
“I’m absolutely loving the sub-120bpm house tunes, no doubt about it. Here we go with a prime example of best Belgian chocolate from the Mugwump combo from Brussels. Take a cup of disco strings and then mix it with chunky beats, and a sublime mid-‘90s bassline that chugs along like a rollercoaster on ketamine. “Also I have to say that this is one of the finest labels around.”
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HOUSE REVIEWS Vanessa Freeman’s jazzy, easy on the ear vocals edge up the quality quotient.
Muzzaik Productions presents Urh Reflex/Mellow Nite Grooves
Hungary’s Muzzaik shows a rare diversity of style with this splitpersonality release. ‘Mellow’, featuring the vocals of Virag, is as easy a piece of percussive, soulful jazzy grooving as there’s ever been on King St or sister label Nite Grooves, with impressive musicianship to boot. ‘Reflex’ is another matter altogether, a bass-happy thumper that reveals why Muzzaik’s releases have graced the likes of Stealth and SAW; the remix of ‘Mellow’ follows suit with an uncompromising attitude that plays on electro influences without ever quite getting there.
Looks like Freerange are starting the new year in the same fashion they finished the old — with top quality deep house. The idiosyncratically named ‘Dangly Panther’ sees label boss Jimpster cooking up another portion of his spaced-out, layered deep-tech-soul grooves in fine style. The majestic melodies and subtle strokes of the original mix give way to an edgier groove on Joris Voorn’s Black Panther mix, while the Jimp man himself winds up the electronic elements for his Audiomontage mix. It’s all about the feel.
Satoshi Tomiie Solar Wind SAW
One day Satoshi might surprise us and come up with a delicate, melodic tune like one of his early productions ‘The Theme’ or ‘Tears’, but today isn’t that day. ‘Solar Wind’ is another of his dark, austere and sinewy instrumental grooves, fired by bubbling keyboard bass, eerie sweeps and finely tuned percussion. The always intriguing DJ Yellow takes it surprisingly funky by the application of a pseudo breakbeat and some old-fashioned hand claps, while Luca Bacchetti completes a trio of properly different mixes with a minimal, spacey workout. Dark beats for winter nights.
Buzzin’ Fly Vol 4 Remixes Part 2 Buzzin’ Fly
Ben Watt’s predilection for plucking obscure producers out of the ether never fails to amaze, especially as he keeps the quality consistently high. Here we have a second batch of re-rubs of tunes from the latest Buzzin’ Fly comp — Solomun’s remix of BarBQ’s
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*** * ‘Barbi In Love’, a sort of tougher, techier Dennis Ferrer style with the little laugh from Todd Terry’s ‘Bango’ (for those of you who know their vintage house) and MyMy’s jerky and slightly plinkety-plonkety Monterrey Wash Remix of Kimout’s ‘Down To Earth’. Pride of place, however, goes to the original mix of ‘Down To Earth’, a softly spoken melodic mood with a touch of ‘80s electronica about it.
Kemal feat Foxee City Street Walkin’ Purple Music
Camp vocals haven’t been high stock since the days of fierce NY attitude and as the main house scenes have got progressively straighter it doesn’t look like a comeback is due any time soon. Los Angeles’ Kemal isn’t bothered though, enlisting Foxee for a semi-spoken word vocal to complement the otherwise typically Purple Music tones of ‘City Street Walking’, the soulful vibes of which reach an apogee on the appropriately named organ dub (though it also features some nifty piano work).
The Temple Dynasty Keep Rising Deep Haven
The heirs to the traditional US garage sound haven’t covered themselves in much glory the last few years; too much that purports to be of the genre is bland and soulless. But every so often someone steps out with the real deal. And The Temple Dynasty, an inter-generational family act, are most definitely that. Rich, gospel-influenced vocals and a lush production plumped out with soothing strings, gentle guitar, rising keys and meticulous percussion are what lifts ‘Rising Up’ above the humdrum soulful house wannabees, but that’s par for the course with the kind of pedigree on display here — singer Diamond has releases on Kaleidascope and King St to his name, while brother Rob has a long history in dance music both pre and post house. And the involvement of former Boulevard East man Chris Perez on production hardly hurts. A real tonic.
Can’t Make It MN2S
This organic soulful house jam from the newest recruit to the Restless Soul clan boasts help from Bugz In The Attics’s Seiji on keys. Jose’s production is heavy on the mellow keys and funky basslines you’d expect, but there’s just enough grit in there to stop it all getting too diluted. The three mixes — Original, Dub and Instrumental — don’t afford the opportunity for any other avenues, but
Synchronicity/ 10000 Miles Away Nite Grooves
Agora Rhythm’s Brisa strikes out solo with this pair of nicely crafted deep head-nodders. ‘Synchronicity’ is a cruising, cinematic late-night groover while ‘10000 Miles Away’ mixes mellow keys with jaunty rhythms.
Phlash & Friends
Political 06/ Revolution = Solution Achive
Stone me if everyone isn’t going deep house this year. Phlash rests his soulful stuff for this excursion in favour of some rollicking deep Chicago/Detroit action on ‘Political 06’ and crazy syncopated jazz vibes on ‘Revolution’. Tracky.
Patrick Hagenaar Criminal Lowered
Patrick is apparently the first DJ to play live with two mobile phones — not an activity to be encouraged unless his phones can store full quality wav files. But don’t hold that against him — this tune featuring the slightly Kate Bush-like vocals of Cozi Costi is a decent commercial house stomper.
Marcel Wave Lower Allston EP Freerange
You know the drill by now — delicious electronic deepness in the form of ‘27 Holton’ and ‘71 Aldie’ with an old school influenced mix of the former from Serafin. Essential for Freerangers.
You Got The Touch Skint
Jose Carretas feat Vanessa Freeman
PHIL CHEESEMAN 10 Trevelyan Gdns, London, NW10 3JY
Mr Deluxe has tried a few styles in his time, among them speed garage with Double 99 and crossover with ‘It Just Won’t Do’, but lately he’s been a little trackier. This quirky little groover however combines the tracky with the commercial, helped along by an edgy vocal from Sam Obernik riding a rumbling bassline and multiple effects. Matt Playford dumps the vocal for his funny noises dub, but it’s Martin Buttrich’s mixes that grab the attention, a brace of cool nu-techno rubs that further stake his claim to be one of the producers to watch in 2008.
JIM RIVERS, EMPATHY/MISFIT Underworld
Beautiful Burnout (Mark Knight Dub) Underworld Live
“This track has been really doing it for me in the last couple of months. Mark has been doing some great stuff of late and this for me is one of his finest remixes. He takes the original down a properly wonky techno route, with spot-on production and a killa relentless groove, firmly stamping his own take on the techy sound. Mahooosive!”
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REVIEWS ELECTRO-HOUSE/ACID QUICKIES JAMES KENDALL PO Box 3313, Brighton, BN2 1BH RICHARD BROPHY PO Box 8174, Dublin 1, Ireland
Funkagenda What The Fuck Toolroom
Excellent low slung mainroom gear that shows how close to techno we’re sailing these days.
Tracey Thorn Grand Canyon (Ada Remixes) Sony
Sometimes the best ideas are the simple ones and Thorn’s smokey vocals set against Ada’s raw beats and plunging basslines is a match made somewhere close to heaven.
*** * M.S.T. In Acid
We Love Muzik
Fresh from its appearance on Fedde Le Grand’s
Navid Tahernia I Like
Speicher’s output is usually dodgy, but this record is their savng grace. Based on the kind of insane, climaxing acid line that was common in the early to mid ‘90s but is now all too rare, Kompakt employee Taherina recalls the glorious acid excess of Heckmann and Hardfloor especially on ‘My Like Style’, which keeps on hitting new levels of intensity.
Coco Machette have really found their place now, and this is loud, nasty mainroom material that will please their growing fanbase.
Andomat 3000 feat FLO Quarzy EP
Essential Mix, this glitch-out gets a massive bassline from Chicken Lips.
Zero Cash Pushit
Indo Phunqe Connection Mode Music
Indo Phunqe conjures up beautiful melodies, but the bass is just too grungy. Thankfully, Pier Bucci’s remix strips back the low end excess and allows the track the space it needs.
Although the beats are heavier than usual, both ‘Impertinenz’ and the remix of Flo’s ‘Skunkworks’ are textbook minimal house tracks. What sets this release apart is ‘Delirium Tremens’, an excellent tracky house track with a rolling bass, like 2000 & One at his most reduced or the Mountain People, minus the musical flourishes.
*** * Marine Parade
DEEPGROOVE UNDERWATER Maxime Dangles Agujas Kompakt
“You can only play this at exactly the right moment for it to work its magic. The crowd needs to have been twisted and teased to perfection for a brain-melting couple of hours to get them ready for just this moment. It’s the sound of the machines coming to steal our souls but it’s guaranteed to create absolute carnage throughout the club and on into the night.”
from an ‘Impact’ symphony. Yes, that good. MyMy give it a more organic feel but can’t compete.
Yousef My Own Best Myself
Luke Solomon Demons EP
While it’s decent stuff, readers of this section might want to head past the string-laden original mixes and straight to Yos’ aptly named ‘Fury Edit’, a tightly looped stomper that quickly takes up where Plastikman’s ‘Spastik’ left off. Slightly less brutal is the version from his mate Paul Woolford, who leaves a bit more room around the metallic snares for stripped back atmosphere.
Apparently Solomon is putting out two albums this year, but at the moment ‘Demons’ is getting all the attention. It’s largely due to ‘Darkly’, a growling acid track with a robot vocal sample from the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and the Brennan remix, a freeform jazzy number that makes Terje, Lindstrom and the other disco cosmonauts seem grounded by comparison.
Cicada Same Old Scene Critical Mass
Various Buzzin’ Fly Vol 4 Remixes 2 Buzzin’ Fly
Another EP of emotro (emotional electro: © DJmag 2008) from the great compilation sees album opener ‘Barbi In Love’ get a hypnotic twist from Solomun. Kimouts’ ‘Down To Earth’ meanwhile sounds like a missing classic from ‘Brown Album’-era Orbital — maybe the second, calmer movement
Had Roxy Music not just completed an excellent remix campaign — including this track — we might have come to this with more enthusiasm. It’s a fairly decent pop cover, but the vocals are nowhere near as good as Bryan Ferry’s. Cicada’s own mix goes through three repetitively dull sections. Klaus Hill fares better with a crisp, electronic version that matches melancholic pads with a big bouncy bassline.
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Great Stuff (Ger)
STA In Living Colour (DIM Mix) DIM is making rather a name for himself at the moment, not least because Tiga is running around saying what a massive star the guy is going to be. Alongside his excellent mix of The Presets, this can only help his star rise. Noisy, tough electro with a pinch of screeching tech, it grumbles away in the breakdowns and bangs along in the loud bits.
There’s a pleasant flatness to electro-house but occasionally someone brings the funk in style, and it really blows the roof off. In ‘Paperboy’ Lützy delivers a mix of Prince-esque skippy guitar licks, classic ‘90s house organ and those jazzy electric piano runs that have become cool of late (see also The Youngsters). That’s quite a recipe, and the groove that emerges is certainly one of the tastiest we’ve heard so far this year.
Marcel Wave Lower Allston EP Freerange
Wave serves up two sleek house cuts, but like so many producers focused on deeper sounds, the end result is often somewhat bland and pedestrian. To their credit, Freerange have commissioned Serafin, one of the Mountain People, to remix ‘27 Holton’, and his pared back, squelchy, repetitive take is rawer and easily the stand out track.
Maik Loewen Backcountry Camping Karmarouge
Ignore the bongo-led, percussive self-indulgent groove on lead track ‘Tent In My Mind’ and head straight to the flip side. There, Loewen concocts a more melancholic take on his rolling house sound on ‘Tin/Can’, followed by the EP’s highlight, the subtle acid licks, jazzy chords and chiming rhythms of ‘Campfire’.
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REVIEWS SOULFUL/PROG QUICKIES
this stunning array of cuts, re-rubs of tracks from Thomas’ very first Counter Point outing.
Gotta Keep Faith Records
Dark Days Modern Love
James Curd Hand Weight EP
On Manchester’s finest label Modern Love comes MLZ. Progressive, rolling, metallic grooves all sonically mastered to perfection. Basslines awash with reverb bounce around fat, warm leads with crisp percussion keeping the focus in the middle. Three hours into a 4/5-hour set this is what you want to hear. Dark Days on the B-side lives up to the name, slowing things down and becoming a bit dubbier with breakbeat percussion over a 4/4 kick to further mix things up. A superb collection of textures and sound design make up this standout track. JL
Matt Chester Desert Shift EP 11th Hour Recordings
I remember getting a Matt Chester track a couple of years ago that was absolutely amazing and it doesn’t sound like he’s lost any of the brilliance here. Four tracks make up the EP. ‘Dune Decay’ is full of searing sonic leads layered up with a pedestrian beat keeping the track centered. ‘Hunter’ is like all those great records that instantly make you think you’ve heard it before, while still sounding totally fresh at the same time. But my top pick is the breakbeat ‘Sub Saharan’. Building strings overlay the metallic shakers and stacatto claps while the bassline intensifies. Nice. JL
A version of Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Buffalo Girls’ kicks the set off with its semi spoken/sung vocal. ‘Let Me Hear The Bass Player’ is a jumpy, crunchy stomper filled with fidgety little noises laid down in readiness for the dope repeated sax and stabbing double bass. ‘Sea Of Faces’ is delectable, a fascinating and intricate cocktail of deep house sentiment shaken with ghostly female vocals and ultra jazzy horns that blend together to make an intoxicating house track. You will be blown away by the eerie alto sax solo, pestering bassline and distant keys.
Progressive house with chanting, tribal vocals… well, it’s not exactly the freshest of ideas, is it? Ahmet Ertenu’s take on it is, at the very least, exceptionally well produced. Put ‘African People’ on any half-decent system and its sonics positively boom. Add to that a tubular riff that really marks the track out and it’s unquestionably starting to cook. The Paul Thomas & Hauswerk remix slows
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Cloudkickers feat Marcus
Bring On The Night Newlite Muzik
Deep and techy on the ‘Rocco Dub’, whilst the ‘Rocco Instrumental’ merges jazzy beats with yet mo’ deep vibes.
Current overlord Dzierzek calls up some prog luminaries to re-sculpt his EP. King Unique, Cass & Mangan and TG rise to the challenge. TS
***** Purple Code The Rising Re*Brand
The original and Deadmau5 mixes provide strong overtures but it’s Graham’s own floorhungry remix that puts this into high gear. TS
Zeep Dreams Far Out Recordings
This is overflowing with batucada influences and Brazilian samba vocals, so are you surprised when I tell you that Gilles Peterson and Rainer Truby are caning this? The ‘DJ LK Remix’, the ‘Afronaught Remix’ and the ‘Da Lata Remix’ cut the house/jazz mustard, while elsewhere immerse yourselves in broken beats and Latin shenanigans.
things up a bit and smartly uses fractional, echoing dub touches to play off against the vox. TS
If the vocalist didn’t sound like George Michael this could have been oh-so much better. Nice mixes though.
Identity EP Pt 2
Ahmet Ertenu African People
Kamara Lovelace Merry Go Round Newlite Muzic
Here is a stable that always contributes to the ‘real’ house and dancefloor jazz scene without making too much fuss — surely a label for collectors of the future judging by the catalogue thus far. Look no further than this latest release for solid vocals, jazz breaks, Kwaito influenced, deep, melodic house and funk — it’s all right here on
The ‘Original Mix’ gets right into the thick of a proper house groove with its shimmering keys and plucky guitar-led backing, laying down a shag pile carpet of garage happenings for Lovelace to sprawl in. Altogether softer, ‘Dom’s Spaced Out Dub’ also does the job, but beware, there are a couple of harder stinkers on here. Worth purchasing for those two mixes mentioned alone though, they kick like crazy.
YOGI HAUGHTON Twisted Wheel Barn, Kirkhill, Legerwood, Earlston, Berwickshire, TD4 6AT TIM STARK PO Box 272, Oxford OX3 8FJ & JONATHAN LISLE Flat 31, 84 Kingsland Rd, London ,E2 8DP
HONEY DIJON DIGITAL DISCO Bart B
Hyped Up Toolroom Trax
“First released on the ‘So It Goes’ EP, the remix by Bart himself was overlooked and is a killer! You’ll be hearing more about Bart, as he’s one of the few infusing a bit of soul into electro. The remix is a dirty piece of funk electro with a female hip hop sample that builds and builds. Once it drops, it turns into the funkiest piece of music that sends the dancefloor absolutely mental!”
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REVIEWS TRANCE QUICKIES TIM STARK PO Box 272, Oxford, OX3 8FJ
Halfway Home Flux Delux
If your floor is after a bit of ‘proper’ trance over February then search no further than ‘Halfway Home’. Thunderous beats and teeth-rattling rhythms connect with top-flight power riffs to kinetic effect.
Nitrous Oxide Amnesia Anjunabeats
There seems to have been a mini flood of nightclub name-checking tracks recently. The boundlessly enthusiastic ‘Amnesia’ from Krzysztof ‘Nitrous Oxide’ Pretkiewicz is the latest and comes complete with a mix from Vardran.
Randy Katana Tribal Train Spinnin
The founding father of tech-trance is always at his most impressive when he’s not revisiting past
glories. ‘Tribal Train’ is more neo/minimal trance than tech, but still manages to pull off a massive drop (seemingly out of nowhere!) in the break.
***** Fred Baker Sunshine PIAS
Thieve a highly distinctive riff from a classic trancer (Robert Miles’ ‘Children’, in this case), Euro it up (v. badly), give it a semi-expensive-cover and then re-title. Absolutely shameless.
***** Bissen Black ASOT
NY-based producer Bissen ramps up the pressure with ‘Black’. The power here is mainly contained in the beats and bassline. Such is their rushing kinetic force that its (admittedly repetitive) riff becomes near superfluous.
Mike Koglin & Mark Pledger
Toca’s Miracle (In Petto 2008 Mixes)
XXXXX & AGNELLI NELSON XXXXXXXXXX XTRAVAGANZA Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxxxxx Gleave
Xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxXxxxxxxxx Community Service xxxxxxxxxxXxxxxxxxx Reset xxxxxxxxxxXxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx
”After Playing his ‘Fire Devil’ track for nearly a year we got our mucky paws on his new offering, ‘Community Service’. This is one of those tracks that you can build your set around, holding it back, knowing the crowd will go mental. Timing is everything with this, as it’s very hard to follow. A driving tech-trancer which has got the funk, the dirt, and all the right moves to destroy a dancefloor.”
The accomplished combo of Koglin & Pledger instigate Anjuna’s 2008 campaign. ‘All The Way’ is the full sum to its producer parts, with the pair turning out a full-on, energy-exuding club-thumper. Bags of melody and a hint of dirty bass distortion culminate in its suitably huge, snare-driven payoff. Showing bags of promise throughout ‘07, Nick Larson is pulling the strings on the remix. He takes things staunchly into the tech realm, with a remap that appreciably gives the original a run for its money.
Undoubtably reacting to some market force or other, Positiva cue up Fragma’s eight-year-old ‘Miracle’ for a re-release. Confusingly tagged as the 2008 remixes of the ‘In Petto’ version, the revamps ultimately owe a greater debt to the more familiar ‘Club Mix’. That the label has not been tempted down the ‘All Around the World’, cheese-it-up road is a major mercy. Richard Durrand’s mix steers things into harder territory, but drops into a very faithful re-telling of the original’s breakdown.
Sied van Riel
What You Want/Sinner in Heaven Spinnin
At least an odds-on bet to be the next big thing to hit trance, Sied van Riel is currently knocking out one cracker after another. ‘What You Want’ is a genre-splicing number of the highest order. Drawing on deep, floorigniting sounds, it proceeds to pull in a melodic mid-section and a bumping, distorted pay-off. Flipside ’Sinner in Heaven’ is the more linear piece, albeit one packed with ingenious sonic touches and temperate melodies.
Emotional Horizons & Xplorations Emotia Deepblue
Emotion is a running theme for this new Deepblue release — if artist and title are anything to go by anyway. ‘Emotia’ kicks-off with the Forerunners remix, which uses much the same sound set-up as their exceptional ‘Lifecycle’ from earlier in 2007. They add extra juice with a wistful lead guitar, warm pads and spotless mix-down. Much of the same from the original and from there it’s onto Retroid’s mix, who finishes up with a satisfyingly bassy, breakbeatdriven escapade.
Aly & Fila vs FKN feat Jahala How Long? ASOT
Norway’s Frode Kambo Nilsen is a definite fan of phrasing his tracks as questions. Remixed to nearperfection by Aly & Fila, ‘Why?’ became one of this year’s most enduring club trancers. Again, brilliantly (and atypically) vocalled by Jahala, the follow-up ‘How Long?’ drops another explosive, euphoric bomb. Remixer Kris O’Neil takes a stab at a darker version, but sadly fails to convert any of the A-side’s excitement. For the original though — full marks.
Last Sunday (Remixes) Euphonic
Not, as far as we can detect, anything to do with the study of Alex Morph’s Welsh lineage (or, more likely lack of it). Instead it’s just another monster from 2007’s most consistent prog/ trance producer. Musically, West layers in the crystalline synths and faintly chilly Nordic sounds, summoning up a great atmospheric feel. The vocal sounds more Gaelic than Welsh to me, but I’ll stand to be corrected, if needs be. Either way, it’s another top-scorer.
Taken from the third ’10 Years of Euphonic’ EP, these two ‘Last Sunday’ reworks are the results of the label’s recent remix competition. Poland’s Skywings keep the original’s faith with a moody front end and lamenting finish. Even better though is Australian Adrian Butinar’s total track re-build — detonating deep trance bass and a tweaking, minimal riff impressively re-emphasise the vocal. Dragging attention to lyrics you’ve never even spotted before, it exemplifies what a remix is all about.
Show My Shuffle/Extensions No awards for guessing whose new label this is (or, indeed the general direction of the music). ‘Show My Shuffle’ is a suitably fiery affair, with jittering, stabbing synth attacks running the full length of the tune. Very minor (but quite effective) melodies come into play during the break, but this is far more about intelligent drum programming and diehard distortion. On the flip ‘Extensions’ uses echoing drums, clipped percussion and a discordant main riff to create the atmosphere.
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All The Way
***** Danceﬂoor destroyer!
Mike Koglin & Mark Pledger
Slightly delayed second release for Insatiable, but for the original mix, very much worth the wait. On ‘Vapourtrails’ Alex effortlessly matches melting melodies to laidback tom-tom percussion and perfect kicks. Through the endless peaks and drops, the track creates a stirring summer’s lament — as was very likely the intention. Rozza’s mix is longer (but not necessarily stronger) and stretches things out into a 10-minute euphoricallyinclined epic.
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PSY TRANCE REVIEWS QUICKIES Sweet Fine Crystal Line (Fatali remix) Yoyo
Hot off the press from his incredible Re:Construct project, Fatali puts a driving spin on one of Saffa prog trancer Nate Raubenheimer’s top tracks. Watch the dancefloor bliss out to the awesome peaks and break downs. Beautiful stuff.
Tribal Vision Records (Czech Republic)
The psy progressive world just seems to be getting better and better as more quality albums appear, such as this. Put together by label head honcho DJ Slater, this is prog the way it should be. All our family favourites are here, such as Ticon, Lish and Tegma, so already I was sold on it! Meanwhile Jerome Isma-Ae, who seems to be flirting with this scene, delivers an awesome remix on Vibrasphere’s ‘102 miles’. This is worth the purchase alone!
***** Oforia Arcadia
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a release from this veteran Israeli producer. The wait seems to be well worthwhile though, as we see a few gems on his ninth release. There’s plenty of clever production moments, with Ofer’s trademark driving riffs and tuff tech beats remixed on CD1 by a who’s who of psy-trance, including Infected Mushroom, Talamasca, Fatali, Atomic Pulse and G.M.S. As always, all tracks are finished off in that clean crisp sound. CD2 launches a new collaboration between Oforia and long-time friend B-Wicked (Bertin Katz). A bonus EP of the classic dancefloor killer ‘Return of the Machines’, there are remixes from Time Lock, Echotek and Mo Shic as well as a video clip for the VJs amongst you. If you like your sounds full-on, this is for you.
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Gravity of Light CDR
Alchemy’s Aussie wizard delivers an epic track that
Homemade Agitato (Israel)
Yet another singles album from the every growing full-on fraternity. This is packed with the trademark fat bass lines, clonking kicks and clever production moments. There’s enough candy to keep the ravers at bay here, so you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. Key producers like Space Buddha on ‘Loud and Clear’ and Cyber Cartel on ‘Back from Space’ supply the entertainment along with a new Wizzy Noise single — ‘Full Range’ — which for me makes it well worth the purchase alone . A somewhat surprising change in direction for Agitato records.
Highpersonic Whomen Push the Limit
Exogenic Records (Finland)
This has to be the one of the best albums I’ve heard for a very long time. Eventually someone has been brave enough to move from the somewhat safe, but generic, psy formula. The guys
from Finland — Tommi Sirkiä (Haltya) and Markku Louhio (Kiwa, Headphonics) — certainly prove themselves as producers, serving a mixture of progressive, breaks, techno and house all the way to full-on, all dusted with their unique sound. The top track has to be its namesake, which pushes the limits indeed! One very serious second album.
epitomises his uplifting morning sound. Currently tearing up the festival circuit Down Under and sure to make an impact on the European summer circuit.
Delirious with Astrix Solaris pt. III HOMmega
A superbly produced piece of full-on dancefloor mayhem from HOMmega’s men of the moment. An excellent collaboration from Delirious’ latest ‘Fast Forward to Rewind’ album.
JOHN 00 FLEMMING, PO Box 4032, Worthing, W. Sussex, BN13 3WE
On the Frequency
Exogenic Records (Finland)
When half of the year is freezing cold and dark, what else can you do in Finland? Make damn good music, and this is exactly what these boys have done! I’ve always been attracted to the Scandinavians take on the psy world, things just sound a little more serious. Kiwa aka Matti Elsinen and Markku Louhio deliver an album of deep, dark and twisted progressive bliss. This is heads down music with balls! Top tracks for the dancefloor include ’Fire Escape’, ‘On the Frequency’, and ‘Time Bomb’.
VIBRASPHERE SWEDEN Mark Mendes
Beneath You (Original Mix) Starter Records
“His previous releases failed to impress us, but this one, coming out on his own label, really blew us away. It’s a great track with a very solid low end and crystal clear percussions. The melancholic harmonies towards the end give you that emotional massage and further confirms that this track is a very pleasant experience for all your senses.”
www.djmag.com 22/1/08 02:05:59
REVIEWS HARD DANCE QUICKIES SIMON EVE PO Box 305, Hayes, Middlesex UB4 9SZ
This Is Where We Are
The Swiss Blitzfaktor production team launch their own label with a release from fellow countryman DJ Matto that’s remixed by DJ Dean and Blitzfaktor themselves into two stomping yet euphoric hard trance mixes.
James Nardi & Julian Dwyer
Toolbox 51 features three tracks from three sets of artists with the best of the bunch being the thumping ‘Huggy Bear’ from James Nardi & Julian Dwyer that unleashes devilishly fierce hard house riffs.
The first in Tranzlation’s Gold series of releases sees Technikal revisit his ‘Summassault’ hard trance anthem from a couple of years back. No major changes here, but the cooler roving bassline and slightly reworked riff mean this is still a killer tune.
Ben Stevens showcases the diverse sounds in his repertoire these days on this third release for Fireball. First he teams up with Captain Tinrib for the almighty NRG fest ‘Dirty Mushroom’ that hurtles off at breakneck speed and borders on insanity as sizzling acid lines, scorching synth riffs and hoover EY bursts take listeners on a MON T! O SHwild terrifically twisted ride to the side of hard dance. Ben contrasts this audio assault with the irresistibly groovy ‘Lose Your Head’ collaboration with Sam Townend to give this EP a healthy dose of funk as well as fire.
anarchists Banga Matt and Mr S deliver the less intense ‘Da Funk’.
Equinox Dawn Deprivation
The Deprivation ‘Masterclass Series’ of EPs kicks off with Equinox delivering a lesson in the art of synth programming. In ‘Equinox Dawn’ he first reels in listeners with a subtle synth line before unleashing a killer sting in the tail, as the synth is layered up into an almighty, snarling beast that powers the track home in unstoppable Tinrib-esque style. Also featured is the quirky ‘Rave In My Bedroom’ that slips in a cheeky vocal sample amongst feisty synths and blazing 303s.
Ali Wilson & Vinylgroover Pagoda Tekelec
BK RIOT! RECORDINGS Vinylgroover Bass Junkie EP Trafﬁc
“This is the first EP taken from Vinylgroover’s forthcoming album due for release in March. My pick of the three tracks on the EP is ‘Feel Alive’, which I’ve been playing for a while and absolutely tore the roof off at Storm on NYE. It features a great original male vocal that gives the tune a real rock vibe and character and with VG’s trademark techy beats it pumps along to a euphoric string break that’s to die for. A great tough club tune that oozes class without losing the party vibe.”
Tech-trance meets hard dance here as Ali Wilson and Vinylgroover join forces to lay down a four track EP. ‘Pagoda’ is the instant standout cut as a galloping bassline and driving percussion are lifted by wailing Eastern chants, soaring pads and swirling effects into an epic and distinctive dancefloor destroyer. Also worth checking are the slower, chunky groover ‘Uber Disco’ with its rasping electro bassline and the hauntingly dark tech-trancer ‘Pitch Black’.
Dan Andres & Dan Dyson Cyber Rave Spin Hard
Spin main man Dan Andres leads the charge with partner in crime Dan Dyson on this three track EP with ‘Cyber Rave’, a track that’s got bags of attitude thanks to rude-boy sub bass blasts and a storming lead riff that propels the track to its peak with all guns blazing for total dancefloor destruction. Grady G also makes an appearance with the hoover-fuelled ‘909’, while Adelaide
Signature EP Dataless
Nick Squires, aka SQ, first made his mark on Dataless with recent remixes of K90 releases and is now rewarded with a solo EP of his own. Lead track ‘Message’ features vocals sampled from a famous Winston Churchill speech together with a modestly paced and uplifting trance arrangement, while he delivers more contemporary vocals courtesy of Krysten Cummings in the equally euphoric ‘Sick Of Missing You’ and ‘Suspension’. ‘Opus 9’ completes this trance-tastic package.
Brookman & Coe
Panzan (MDA & Spherical Remix) Impact
MDA & Spherical are charged with the task of updating the mighty ‘Panzan’ by Brookman & Coe on this remix EP, and while they add a new angle to the original, the transitions verge upon the extreme. If driving, tech-edged beats into a full-on rock guitar solo in the breakdown and then onward into hectic, soaring hard trance riffs fuel your sense for adventure, then definitely give this a try. Also on offer are a heavy tech-edged rework of Greg Brookman’s ‘Tweakin’ by Chrysus and the energetic new UK hard trance cut ‘Rebirth’ by Iridium.
Marc Johnson & Defective Audio Something Ugly Flashpoint
A collaboration project from two creators of the fiercest hard house sounds was never going to be pretty, and they live up to expectations here by
www.djmag.com DJ458.Harddance 99
Summasaault 2008 Remix
Lush harder-edged trance from Pierre Pienaar once again here as he effortlessly combines energy and euphoria into a dancefloor-friendly package, together with a spanking European hard trance remix from DJ Space Raven.
Ben Stevens & Captain Tinrib
delivering ‘Something Ugly’. So ugly, in fact, that just like finding yourself with a minger when the lights go on in the club, this is capable of scaring the pants off you with its in-yer-face synth stabs, vicious kick drum and rolling basslines. Further frightening material is also on offer in Marc’s aptly titled ‘Coronary’ collaboration with Riggsy.
Richard Durand Ledged Up Terminal 4
After turning in remixes for the likes of Tiësto and Fragma of late, Richard Durand is back on his original material, and in keeping with his recent form, this looks like being his biggest release yet on Terminal 4. A deep, tech-edged groove drops into a breakdown of siren-like synths and an exquisite shimmering trance melody that adds an air of euphoria before the track kicks back in armed with a rasping electro-style lead riff. Harder fans can head straight for the ‘Raw & Hard’ mix for maximum dancefloor devastation.
Randy Katana & Mac Zimms Bring It On Jinx
Collaboration projects may be two a penny these days, but news of Dutch legends Randy Katana and Mac Zimms getting it on in the studio will delight tech-trance fans. Two tracks are on offer, with ‘Bring It On’ an aggressive electro-influenced number with a very stop/start arrangement, leaving ‘2 In 1’ as the stronger dancefloor number as the trademark rolling tribal beats of Randy relentlessly drive the layers of synth blasts and bass bursts towards an unstoppable crescendo.
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The Loungin’ Kollective
Riddim Come 4Ward Longin’ Recordings
They Came From The Stars I Saw Them
Legend has it this is the bug-eyed love child of Trevor Loveys and Chris Belsey, spawned after a night of digging out old school vinyl from online stores. The result is a riot of old school sounds, with room-shuddering basslines, chimney stack breakdowns, perky samples and steady rhythm patterns. Then Hervé, aka Josh Harvey, heard it in the studio, caught the nostalgia bug and pitched in his percussive remake.
Signals (Emperor Machine Remixes) Thisisnotanexit
Emperor Machine, aka Andy Meecham, gets his disco wig out for another booty-shaking, glitterball-spinning outing of nu disco finesse. This time he’s ploughing his remix furrow through the excellent They Came From The Stars I Saw Them’s ‘Signals’, giving him plenty of quality — and bucket loads of wonky — to get to work on. There’s two versions, both cosmic classics in the making. On the flip Nodex offers a rumbling electro remix of ‘Livin’ On An Island’.
Shahrokh Sound Of K #30
Munich’s veteran gold standard label delivers the 30th release in the Black Label Series. Following their ‘Owl Flight’ and ‘Chicago’ singles, Shahrokh Sound of K fire out both vocal (fronted by Jamie Lloyd) and dub versions of this synth bass-led deep houser ‘Break It Down’. The production is graceful and more than reminiscent of Booka Shade. But it’s the flip, with the cosmic funk of ‘Black Bird’ and Simon Flowers’ remix of Chicago, which will have the disco jumping and twitching respectively.
Alternative Networks Volume 1 Pyramid Transmissions
Pyramid is one of the most on form electro labels, and this split release consolidates its reputation. Pathic’s ‘Breakdown Recovery’ is a lesson in excessive noise, the jarring electronic riffs sprayed across robust breaks. At the other end of the spectrum sits ADJ’s sparse ‘Kronik Subsonica’, and somewhere in the middle is the fat, mournful bass of Phase Mojo’s ‘Acidic Movements’.
***** 100 DJ458.electrodisco 100
Nice & Nasty
An ability to multi-task is often a plus, but on this release Marco Bernardi makes a compelling case for sticking to what he knows best. The glitchy techno-house on the title track and the female vocal-led, poppy ‘Plastic Spanner’ both come as a surprise, but they don’t compare to the fathomic bass and brittle breaks of ‘Sausage Machine’ or ‘Tormentor’, where he delves deeper into inrospective electro.
Jackal & Hyde
Sound Of The Underground Detele Funk
Although Europe is now the unofficial home of underground electro, this release shows that the US can still lead the way. With a deep male voice intoning “Miami is the home of the mutherfuckin bass/Detroit motor city is always in the place”, you know immediately that this release has nothing to do with Girls Aloud — something that the track’s robust metalic riffs and crazy rave sirens quickly confirm.
*** * Kero
2 Advance 4 U Touchin Bass
This month’s edgiest release is Kero’s, which makes a ferocious racket but keeps some semblance of dancefloor fun. ‘Prof Railer’ hits the listener with noisy, distorted beats that are tempered by wooden percussion, while the sick, sideways 303s of ‘On Acid Again’ are kept in check by clicks, pops
Mook & Toof
‘Beat Up’ is a slick cosmic number, based on heavy drums and fluid organ solos, while Darshan Jesrani sends ‘Black Jub’ soaring into warm Metro Area territory, with an interpretation punctuated by warm synths and tight claps.
Under The Skin EP Mark (of legendary Gurn club fame) and Adam live up to both their chosen names, as well as the track title (‘Mad Dogs’) with their first offering here — referencing a host of disparate music forms that stretch from Jamaica to Eygpt via London and Berlin.
EF, NG EP
Unusual and Electric
You Got The Love
It’s unlikely John Truelove realised the monster he’d created in 1989 when he married Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Your Love’ to Candi Staton’s vocals and came up with ‘You Got The Love’. Nearly 20 years later and this is the third remake to be released within twelve months. Where Milke have the edge is they apply their immaculate pop-sensible electro and a new set of lyrics. Like the Longcut they also have live bass. And they have Joe and Will Ask’s growling remix.
Paul Blackford’s ‘Quasar’ features a slinky bass over tight breaks, but Ed Dmx’s cowbell version and Dexorcist’s spacey take give it the finishing touch it had lacked.
Beat Up Tiny Sticks
Hold Me Down Phantasy Sound
The second release from Alkan’s label is a mixed bag, but those with big bassbin-boshing dancefloor tastes will head for the Yusek dub mix, where his Daft Punk-like dancefloor precision is on form.
RICHARD BROPHY PO Box 8174,Dublin 1, Ireland BEN OSBORNE email@example.com
and whirrs. ‘Bilder’ and ‘Modem Wait’ are less abrasive, but their discordant blips and skipping beats still favour weirdness over conformity.
Make Model (Autokratz & Dead Soul Brothers Remixes) EMI
The Glasgow six-piece get two superb makeovers courtesy of Kitsune’s Autokratz and Hervé and Seba’s Dead Soul Brothers outfit. Autokratz re-cut the track into a sharp-edged slab of deep, dark, upbeat techno that’ll still have you singing on the dancefloor. DSB aim for the TV sync deal-friendly melody and then punch it to pieces with a searing bassline, which rolls through a series of breakdowns and speeds through wall-bouncing peaks.
Phase Mojo Save My Soul EP Pyramid Transmissions
With the exception of the atmospheric 4/4s of closing track ‘Second Dawn’, it’s hard to imagine who will play out this EP. Best suited to a horizontal listening experience, ‘Soul’ is full of subtle glitchy percussive slivers and resonating bleeps, while the orchestral strings and angelic chords on ‘Intelo Trace Voices’ will bring the audience one step closer to nirvana. A tonic for tortured souls.
DARKMODE TESTIN OUT
Man 2 Man Meets Man Parrish Male Stripper (UK Love Mix) Dureco
“What I love about this track is how well it works on the dancefloor. The production on it is really tight and the Hi-Nrg sequence puts a smile on my face every time I hear it. It’s nice to see a crowd in a club go nuts to this track when they hear it. It goes to show that Man Parrish is a pioneer and his music and production work are timeless. It is a total classic!”
www.djmag.com 18/1/08 19:26:36
REVIEWS TECHNO/MINIMAL Various Artists
QUICKIES RICHARD BROPHY PO Box 8174, Dublin 1, Ireland GILES SMITH 73 Clissold Crescent, London , N16 9AR
Kirk DeGiorgio I Do Not Exist B12
The long dormant B12 makes an unexpectedcomeback, led by Kirk De Giorgio in untypically banging, tracky form, but the dreamy ‘Accretion’ makes this release worthwhile. RB
Deepchord presents Echospace Untitled
Marking a dramatic change in style, Deepchord drop a one-sided surging acid juggernaut that’ll awaken even their most horizontal listeners from their dubby haze. RB
Jay Haze vs Gudio Schneider Rollacosta Tuning Spork
Minimal techno’s equivalent of the odd couple drop a tripped-out acidic workout, ‘Acai’, with Haze’s Fuckpony alter ego beefing up the bass with an extended remix on the flip. RB
***** Voodoo The Curse Mothership
Dirty Bird’s sister label delivers a competent if somewhat unremarkable clicky techno track. Luckily Mike Shannon saves face by turning it into a wacked out, dubby techno joint. RB
Finally, an EP that ignores bland mnml FX in favour of Dan Bell’s legacy. Every track is stripped back to its barest essential, but despite this, each element is vital. Cabanne’s ‘Farisheur’ is propelled by hissing percussion and vocal snippets, while the wired sounds on Spasm’s ‘Stufffies’ ride a swinging housey groove. Maybe it’s retro, but it sounds fresh compared to the alternatives. RB
Dead Man Four:Twenty
Solomun has without doubt been one of the busiest men in house and techno with his recent releases appearing on Dessous, Sonar Kollektiv and of course his own Diynamic imprint. ‘Dead Man’ on the UK’s Four:Twenty is a melancholic yet mesmerizing Detroit inspired track with sweet strings, soft handclapped percussion with enough purpose and some glistening synth action. This should definitely get plays across the board. On the flipside ‘Beauty and The Beast’ is a different affair with its slower, pitched down gloopy groove focusing on a stunning Croatian vocal. GS
It’s rare nowadays to hear a record that stands apart from the pack, but ‘Isolation’ is one such gem. Produced by NY producer David Sumner, lead cut ‘Rekjavik’ consists of just a few elements. However, the track’s pumping, insistent bass, resonating claps and tough beats, and Sumner’s masterful, unfussy arranging thereof, make it one of the most hypnotic techno records you’ll hear this year — or in any year. RB
There are too many producers making poor attempts to emulate Basic Channel, but there are also a few sketching out new possibilities for this heavily stylised sound. Ovatow fall into the latter category, because the bass on ‘X Dub 1’ is of truly cavernous proportions, just what’s needed for a twelve-minute layered odyssey, while the pacy, percussive techno of the truncated ‘X Dub 11’ shows they are not entirely in thrall to Maurizio. RB
Warm/Helicopters Got Camera’s (Remixes)
PROSUMER OSTGUT TON Blake Baxter Body Work KMS
“This is one of the records that is always in my case. Three out of four tracks are played regularly, but ‘Body Work’ can be found in most of my sets. It’s the essence of jacking house music, sweaty, sexy and very physical. Some moaning and a voice telling you to move, dance and work your body — you just have to oblige. A simple but hypnotising melody magically turns everyone on the floor into sexy dancers. An honest, timeless and hot track.”
A great set of remixes of previous releases. First up Zander VT put Mark August’s warm cut through the blender. Their remix is a long, drawn out epic affair with great pounding drums, Detroit riffs and ethereal background soundscapes. This has 4am stamped all over it. On the flip the ever on-form Tobias does what he does best: a stripped down, heads down, lights out groove that just goes on and on. A perfectly produced, warm bassline, simple percussive claps and a mystical synth phases in and out of the groove, getting louder and quieter at key moments. Go seek. GS
Steinhoff & Hammouda
Tonight Will Be Fine Smallville
2007 was the year that Dial got the recognition it long deserved, so will its sister label Smallville follow suit in ’08? Judging on ‘Tonight’, it could well do. A collaboration between label owner Julius Steinhoff and Abdeslam Hammouda, windswept strings and Efdemin-style chiming bells complement the clipped beats and driving rhythm of ‘Wondering While Wandering’. On the flipside, ‘You Are’ owes a debt to Lawrence’s cutesy techno-glitch. RB
Mike Huckaby & Pacou Sessions Cache
Two seasoned producers get together for a fresh take on club techno. Ironically, the spacey breaks that bubble under on the main mix won’t neessarily work on the floor, but that doesn’t matter as the layered sounds and noisy, discordant feedback of the filter version and the heavy, pumping beats of the echo mix are up to the task. Equal parts dubby layers and loopy repetition, these are dynamic DJ tools. RB
www.djmag.com DJ458.technomin 101
Thomas Melchior No Disco Future Perlon
The music industry is in freefall, but that hasn’t dimmed Thomas Melchior’s creative spark: on this doublepack, his ability to integrate musical elements into sparse arrangements reaches its apex. A plaintive hook is shoehorned onto the slamming ‘Black Majesty’, dreamy chords bounce off the muscular bass of ‘Prepare For Love’ and a disco vocal amid the percussive whirr of ‘Coming Up’ is proof that there’s still a bright future for lateral thinkers like Melchior. RB
***** Move D
Quit Quittin Uzuri
New label Uzuri lays down the gauntlet with this super strong EP from veteran producer Move D. ‘Quit Quittin’ is a deep moody affair with crisp handclaps, acid undertones, deep pads and cool old school vocal interjections. ‘Jus House’ is a bumping groove with off kilter percussive elements and dreamy keys. ‘Sisters and Brothers’ nods heavily to ‘Billy Jean’ with its super slick, purposeful, spacey disco groove while ‘Crashed Jazz’ is a wonderful closing track with its beautifully tender feel of natural keys and creeping groove. Excellent. GS
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DRUM & BASS REVIEWS QUICKIES Ladies Night/Ladies Night VIP Human
Danny Byrd Shock Out/ Labrynth
Massive brash boomer with raw and catchy “A bitch is a hooooo” sample. Has been on constant rotation by the likes of Andy C for a good year now. Bound to be large.
Dom & Roland
Deckards Theme/Cycle Of Life Dom & Roland
This is tirst single from Dom’s fourth LP ‘Through The Looking Glass’. Emotion-tugging introductory strings cascade and change colour, folding and unfolding as a deep bass kick drum fades in. It’s cinematic, and prophetic of the impending doom to follow. Cross a shaky bridge of echo and find yourself in a dense jungle of Amen chaos and insanely bounding bass. Dom most definitely has a way with this break and you will agree when you hear the aural chaos. Swamp of spirits.
Drop Audio/Stompbox (Spor Remix) Zen
Here’s an especially strong piece to follow up the previous two or three singles the Qemists have enjoyed success with through Coldcut’s label. Featuring the stomping speech style of vocalist I.D, a half speed introduction that gees up proceedings in a similar vein to how ‘Tarantula’ did, then switches to a full speed racket of the highest order. Heavy work on bending, twisting and contorting Virus notes to smashing breaks and lyric stabs. Knees up!
War Of The Worlds 2007 Futuristic Mix/’70s Throw Back Mix War Of The Worlds
There’s nothing better than picking up a fresh bootleg! Clearly not authorised by your Hollywood moguls, do not however think this is some cheesy cheap production by a back street borrower — the work and vibes on this piece are strong. Kicking off with suspense-laden keys and speech courtesy of Morgan Freeman taken from the recent movie, it is awe-inspiring
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Watch the ride! As they used to say. Danny Byrd gets nostalgic with a lose-yourself masterpiece done the way it used to be. Right down to the equipment used, where he apparently had dusted off his old Akai S5000 sampler — which used to be the mainstay d&b production device — to bring us authentically rinsed breaks. You can hear bits of the classic Roni Size technique here, bits of the single ‘Babylon’ as well as other classics done in today’s fashion. Big swinging roundhouse punch.
Skyver & D Jon/Alex M Neon Bandit/ Explosive Type-New Music
Diggin’ In Ya Crates EP Valve
It would be the easy to say this EP is just a re-usage of bass sounds and breaks that Dillinja has already used lately. Some might even call it lazy. But the sheer power and undeniable club-swaying prowess, packed to the brim with powerful moods, mean Dillinja’s productions will always be massive hits. Check the jaw-locking buzz in ‘Tunnel Grinder’, the angry booms in ‘Make It Work’ or bass soup with dismaying vocals in ‘Take Me All The Way’. Floors beware, it rocks.
how the snaking electro keyboards, clinical breaks and incessant bass thrum create images of alien invasion.
Jungle Is Dead/Bess U Further up this page we have relatively new d&b bigwig Danny Byrd celebrating the original jungle sound while here we have a junglist originator saying it’s dead! But as soon as you hear this you’ll realise that this title is supposed to be seen as sarcastic, maybe another dig at the ‘forum fannies’ that Double Zero disses in his single (right). Aweinspiring bass crunches, drum slides and key zooms are all inter-spliced with “Jungle’s dead!” vocal exclamations. Let yourself go.
City Of Angels/No Sound Test Junction 11
A face-contorting melange of crazy basses, upbeat moods and
Sucker Punch (Dash & Samurai Remix)/ Freak Show DC-Breaks
Lush painting containing stages and sections of furore and soaring skyscapes. Roaring keys and mind-bending feedback fills. Soaring smooth speeds. Polished.
Arrival/The Process Subculture
Explosively attractive sci-fi drum and bass aural rendition of alien attack through the most wobbling, mind bending layered bass. Wind your waist queasiness. Great speech vocal.
Like Clipz’s recent ‘Download’ where a DJ is belittled for moving away from vinyl to MP3s, Double Zero chooses his latest single to also make a statement. With a sickly burping bass structure, tuff breaks and devil-may-care attitude, it’s aimed with a two-fingered salute at all the criticisers of drum and bass who never go out to experience the sound at its full ferocity and consequently go on internet forums to slag down the ‘jump up’ sound. Bass boom piss-take.
Randall & DJ Vapour
Artist Youngman here shows different pristine styles while guesting with friends. A glittering vocal explosion with heavenly ‘Rollers Convention’-style riff in ‘Davi’ (with Drumagick) partners a high-speed happy breeze drum session that really carries you forward and demands movement. Then check team-ups with Drumsound and Bassline Smith for cheeky happy bolstered beats supporting loopy bass on ‘Ready For The Bassline’ or Dillinja-style urgent throes in ‘Give It To You’. Lucky bag.
Aquasky/ Samurai, Dash & Screwface
The Youngman EP Chronic
If you like Bassline Smith’s ‘Technique’ imprint or Oz inspired teeth-clench keyboard productions then you won’t go far wrong here. Electric shock deep rapid pulse bass with spacey bleeps.
energetic stupor that echoes the brilliance of G-Dub, Clipz, Jaydan et al. Crazy 8-bit layered basses and stomp-box pressure.
ALEX C PO Box 7502, London N22 6QN
Demo & Cease
Angel’s Warning/Last Stand
Randall was one of the most influential DJs in the initial growth of d&b, always mentioned for his seamless mixing style. Who remembers Paradise Club? Oy oy! Today Randall partners DJ Vapour for a fiendishly booming melting pot of influences. You can definitely hear Mampi Swift influences in the stomping Megatron bass and breaks switching here, then there’s a Grooverider-style aura in the chords and a dreaminess that Randall opts for in his sets.
EDDIE K D-STYLE
TC & Subfocus Borrowed Time VIP D-Style Recordings
“Wow! What do you get when the two hottest properties in drum and bass combine? The answer is ‘Borrowed Time’ and the VIP of this absolutely epic track is tipped to be one of the biggest tunes of 2008. Atmospheric sweeping intro sounds combined with trademark TC percussion prepare the listener for one of the most memorable synth hooks imaginable. If there was a d&b version of electro-house, this is it.”
www.djmag.com 18/1/08 13:37:41
BREAKBEAT REVIEWS QUICKIES DANNY MCMILLAN, 62 Tarnworth Rd, Romford, RM3 9UJ and CARL LOBEN, DJmag, usual address
Long Range Just One More Long Range
Ex-Orbital bod Phil Hartnoll and production partner Nick Smith’s cinematic slo-mo album track is twisted into journeying, progressive shapes by the Hybrid guys. Becomes brutal neo-tear-out latterly. Quality. CL
Tayo meets Baobinga feat MC Spyda Style & Trend/ Choppa Riddim Soul Jazz
Tayo and Bao call in junglist MC Spyda on a grimey dancehall thang for the ruffcut bump ‘n’ grind brigade. Ragged raggamuffin, backed with a bashy digital chopped-up piece that’ll work well with a live MC. Crunky. CL
West London’s Burning (Remixes) Westway
The mighty Dreadzone overhaul the Dogtown classic by dubbing it out and adding choice new irie samples. Schweet, and the on-fire Beat Assassins insert a massive junglist bassline undertow to complement the original perfectly. DM
Black Canvas & Breakfastaz Babylon
Against The Grain
New ATG hip-hop signings here team with the ‘Fastaz for a highly accessible soul-tinged funky rap piece. Sounding sorta Faithless with attitude, it bodes well for their forthcoming ‘Rise’ album produced by ChubbyJ from Pressure Drop. CL
Jay Stewart Don’t Do It
Mr Re:Funk, who’s released on Breakin Even and Re:Connect amongst others, comes out with one of his strongest tracks to date. Fizzing with funk, it’s brimming with scratchadelic sounds and a tasty electronic b-line, with the “Don’t do it” sample providing a Judas Priest moment. Mr Rico Tubbs on the remix, however, has clearly been listening to Sinden & Hervé et al. Skippy garage beats are soon joined by a rave horn blast and echoing stabs before a madcap ‘Beeper’-style bassline propels it forwards. So it’s ghetto house rather than breakbeat, but I f***ing love it! CL
Adam Freeland The Hate EP Marine Parade
JURASSIK SUPATRONIX/ WAVESHAPE
Beat Assassins feat Nine Lives the Cat Generation MTV Mofo
“The Beat Monkeys have been slowly morphing into the sort of act whose every release is a major event. This one is a sexy little serving of funk pie with pisstake vocals from Aussie prankster Nine Lives the Cat, who sounds like he spent the entire session grabbing his crotch and performing pelvic thrusts. An absolute prime-time hurricane that’ll have you laughing all the way to the dancefloor.”
Blatta & Inesha I Was A Punk Mantra Breaks
These mad Sicilians have really come on in the last year or so, and here’s some mad electronic sideswipe-strewn bizness that’s built around a “I was a punk before you was a punk” sample. There’s a driving two-note bassline, and enough squelch to clean the bath with. ‘More Bass On Her Face’ on the flip has an old skool electro feel at first before blossoming into a big room party breaks biggie. CL
Frederick/Summer Hiding Air
Freaky Ho/Twist Up Passenger
Baobinga and 30Hz almost start with a ‘Bass Phenomenon’ electronic twizzle on ‘Twist Up’ before crunking out the beats and madcap noisenik Madoxy sounds. Top tune. The ‘Freaky Ho’ original is a superb Stantons-friendly ghetto-tech booty bass piece that owes a debt to old skool electro as well. Lot49 fella Meat Katie turns in a technoid belter, with an acid house Phuture/Chris Liebing vibe going on. And the Beat Monkeys fire out a party rework that’ll be receiving plenty of plays as well. CL
Freeland’s back as a born-again noisenik, working with Alex Metric in LA, and here’s an album taster. The title track is a crunchy electronic behemoth that busts out freaky noises now and then but is more of a club tool really. ‘Where’s Your God Now’ is on more of a Justice/MixHell/DIOYY? vibe — full of rock attitude and searing, twisted synth action. Sounds fucking great live, while the interference levels in ‘Glowsticks’ fizz like fireflies around a flame. Wicked EP. CL
Some previous Diverted releases have seemed a little bit slothful, but on the lead cut their intricate shtick starts to make sense. It’s the sense of drama at work on ‘Frederick’ that appeals at first — a dense b-line and melodramatic stabs feature early. Old skool handclaps after the first drop bubble it along nicely and, although it’s primarily a DJ tool really, it builds bleeping nicely. Paradoxically, the other track ‘Summer Hiding’ is a loungin’ jazz sax chilled opus that recalls Cinematic Orchestra or Zero 7 — nice. CL
Slyde feat Lady Posh
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
This is the first single to drop from Finger Lickin’ towers in 2008. Slyde pick up from where they left off with ‘Sex N Drugs’ — loud shouty vocals and big riffs to get inside of the yoot’s heads. This is out and out party music, and proud — expect to hear this every hour at big events when the DJs switch over. On the flip Twocker twists the original into a part breaks, part house rendition with lots of clever edits and tweaked out sound effects. Order yours today. DM
Mind Control/Toasted The über-talented Mr Thayer from Down Under drops this single ahead of his September album for Passenger — and it’s a corker. ‘Mind Control’ kinda initially recalls The Prodigy’s dynamite bombasts before more squelchy electronics are added. The vocal sample is suitably outlaw, and the breakdown definitely to die for. ‘Toasted’ on the other side is a rather wobbly, techy cut that will sit really nicely in a 3am proggy portion of a set. CL
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Body Snatchers feat Kamikaze
Organ Dementia/Restless Splank!
These guys haven’t quite left the P-Funk behind, they’ve just added more electronic influences — as George Clinton would’ve done. ‘Organ Dementia’ features a raspy b-line, a Koma & Bones-style linear electronic breakdown sequence to die for and Justicey stuttering. ‘Restless’, meanwhile, is pretty much a DJ tool – leaning towards the 4/4 and pulling in twisted electronic sounds. CL
Cops On Coke
Loving the ironic “ooh” blurt-outs in the intro. ‘Cops On Coke’ is a superb blippy track that manages to appear musical while being built mainly from blips and blurts. It’s a neat trick, offset by an oceanic chilled breakdown before it bleeps back into the beats again. Strider on the remix beefs up the beats and turn it into a noisenik stompathon that’ll appeal to those that like the new Freeland stuff, Justice, Koma & Bones etc. Another line please, officer! CL
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Roxy vs El-B Endorse and Set It Ghost
The long awaited return of Ghost Recordings sees pioneers Roxy and El-B team up once again to remind us just how inspirational their sound was to the current generation of dubstep and grime producers. Featuring a distinct dub flava on the title track, the snaking bassline and crisp, precision cut beats are both meditative yet fierce. The killer Bump Mix lends it a contemporary bouncy bassline vibe whilst the mighty warp of ‘2 Bad’ is classic Ghost.
***** Tayo Meets Baobinga feat MC Spyda Style And Trend
Paleface feat Kyla Do U Mind
In the grand tradition of genre-fusion, beat legend Tayo teams up with studio partner Baobinga and jungle stalwart MC Spyda for some Bassment Jaxx-esque rude, bashment-grime. With a grimy synth b-line and crisp, tight ragga beats and vocals, this has the same kind of floor-slewing vibes as the Jaxx’s ‘Jump & Shout’ or Groove Armada’s ‘Get Down’ — in other words, this one will appeal to bass addicts everywhere partial to a bit of whine ‘n’ grime.
H ‘Two’ O feat Platinum What’s It Gonna Be
As the major labels whip out their chequebooks in a bid to cash in on the bassline wave, Ministry Of Sound sign up this five-piece, whose debut has already won support from bassline kings Jamie and Shaun. DJ Q also happens to deliver a rocking bassline remix with a fresh, smart sound here. Being a vocal-based song, it bodes well for any crossover potential whilst proving bassline is continuing its dancefloor domination in 2008.
shown one side of his skills, this remix proves that not only can T2 weave some infectious musical hooks, he also knows exactly how to arrange a vocal — here using some classic UKG cut and pasting, with a commercially friendly bassline. Big.
Sunship The Winter Combo EP
MJ Cole/Matlok Southbeach/Watford Gap
All hail the return of the mighty Sunship — a true legend in UKG. Witness a real master at work, evident in the first few bars of ‘Love On The Rocks’, led by a glorious vocal that’ll have you singing along in seconds. After the impeccable 2-step mix we get a slamming, bumpy bass-led 4x4 mix whilst the ‘Treat You Right’ mixes are classic garage — and pure joy. Bringing sunshine to these dark winter days.
Two very different sides of the Matt Cole coin (including the swish house track ‘Southbeach’) but this latest Prolific is notable for the fact that MJ has now joined the bassline ranks. Just as Matlok back in the UKG day was a byword for tough, funky dancefloor dubs, this is no different, with the razor-sharp ‘Watford Gap’ pummeling out bouncing bass riffs that are sure to find favour from south London to Sheffield and beyond. On fire!
J Bed Holiday (T2 Remix)
Hailing from Birmingham, this rising new producer is certainly making himself known with this heavily supported anthem — backed by Cameo, DJ Q, Paleface et al. Using a simple but effective (and well known) r&b vocal sample, this works around its strong hook, and allows the
This label cleverly signs up the two bassline stars of the moment — Delinquent and T2 — to remix this r&b hit. This issue, we review T2’s remix, and whilst his own productions have
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White Chalk Music
Fusing hip-hop, grime and soul, Manchester’s Nia Jai is following in the currently quiet footsteps of the likes of Ms Dynamite and Shystie, whilst doing her own thing. Timbaland meets Burnage.
Scuba Hard Boiled/Tell Her Hotﬂush
Scuba’s album looks set to be an impressive affair if these two tasters are anything to go by. Techno-fed deepness on ‘Hard Boiled’, whilst a piano-led ‘Tell Her’ is tenderly emotive.
***** Bionics Dubcore
Following on from the impressive release by Czech producer ANS, Bionics unleashes three frankly evil slabs of
synth-mangled dubcore (perfect name). The junglistic title cut wins out for sheer sonic filthiness.
N Dubz Better Not Waste My Time (Wideboys Bassline Mix) Polydor
Eddie ‘n’ Jim appear in one of their more gritty guises here, turning N Dubz’s commercial hip-hop sound into a bumpy but grimy bassline rub that’ll turn speakers to jelly. Ruff!
Danny Dubbz feat Tam Don’t Wanna Fight Marvelis
DJ Q, Solution and Ed Case add their spin on this classy 2-step tune from the ‘Runaway’ producer. Q creates a snappy, warping cut whilst Ed and Solution funk up the 4x4.
Nia Jay Throw Ya M’s Up
Merkury I’d Give My All
Here’s another vocal bassline track from Paleface that continues the successful formula of this DJ, producer and label head. The combination of sweet, r&b/ pop vocals and rude bassline riffs has proved mighty popular, and Kyla’s vocals here fit the bill perfectly. It’s catchy too, and whilst you may not be humming it all night, its bright uptempo vibe certainly has plenty of party flava. Rekless meanwhile cranks up the bounce factor for a darker, more acidic dub.
QUICKIES PHILIPPA REED PO BOX 2376, Buckhurst Hill, Essex
bassline to do its job — warping and wobbling up and down the scale, creating a dark but bouncy track. TRC remixes on the flip, giving it an even more acidic, frenetic twist.
X5 Dubs Shredder Riddim EP X5
Having one of the biggest bassline EPs last year with the ‘6 Months Deep EP’, Dubs returns with four more bangers to mash up the floor, including ‘Nicole’s Groove’ — a bassline remix of this early Wiley outing that is essential for any fans of the genre. The title cut is an acidic, abrasive b-line stomp with a true underground flava, whilst ‘Screwface’ featuring J Star is a hyper example of a bassline MC tune. In a word — massive.
MJ COLE PROLIFIC RECORDINGS
Midnight Circus feat Robbie Craig Love Suicide Damaged Goods/Stereohype
“A perfect combination of all things musical. A beat reminiscent of Shades Of Rhythm’s ‘Sounds Of Eden’ is graced by the vocal talents of Mr Robbie Craig. Summery Rhodes chords and sublime strings ooze quality at every turn. This is a 2-step gem that is destined for radio, without a doubt. It’s my guess that we’ll be hearing much more from the guys at Midnight Circus in 2008.”
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***** Nia Jai
Throw Ya M’s Up White Chalk Music
Again, the bass-texture is crucial here (suggesting that b-line’s influence is starting to spread a little wider?) but just as elemental to the bruising success of this rerub from the Manni Allstars is Nia’s vocals on the chorus, a rudegirl holler of real ferocity, smartness and poise. Lightspeed rhymes ride the bass pulse out to the neon bleachers, and yes yes I’m buying. Extra track ‘Nutten But A Link’ suggests Nia Jai is a name to watch in ’08. Excellent.
***** The Bug
Mystic Man & Eshamanjaro
So much lo-end chat at the moment, it’s nice to hear someone who really knows how to craft some skulking, skanking dub menace. The Bug puts all the elements in place like prime Glen Brown/Yabby U/Jacob Miller/Aggrovators — knowing that with the right pulse dub can be the funkiest music on earth (this recalls Pablo’s ‘East Of The River Nile’) — and backdrops the whole with some gorgeously suggestive eerieness, desert-dust and neon. Essential.
Ugh. A little bit of sick just came back up there. The original here is an over-egged, over-fussy mess of grotesque cleanliness and sumptuous ’80s jazz-funk that recalls the worst of Enigma and Mo’Wax. On the flip the ‘Gella’ rerub is way better; brutally digi-raped vocals, a thumping punk-funk bassline and beats unmannered and raw. Almost enough to rub out the memory of the A — next time get genuinely vicious, lads.
***** 3rd Power Music
Hey, don’t hate Kel Spencer ‘cos he was once on a Will Smith record. Don’t hate him ‘cos he’s frequently called ‘the best rapper you’ve never heard of’ — even though he quite patently isn’t. Hate him ‘cos his music is the weediest, most mediocre autobot hip-hop you ever heard but he still has the chutzpah to scrawl dumb sports-motivational slogans on his discs like “May the seed of my lips produce fruit in your hearts”. Fuck off y’hippy twat.
Nation that should be banned from making hip-hop for a two-year moratorium? America. Nation that should be banned from making hip-hop for a year as sheer punishment? Ireland, for no reason other than this monstrosity, a perky party track
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Hip-hop’s very own K-Fed announces his intentions on possibly the most compellingly dumb Southern dirt we’ve heard in a while. Big pile of wank. Literally. Don’t slip.
Dame Grease feat Lord Tariq Bigga Than Music NA
When I was about 12 I woulda thought that incorporating Mussorgsky into hip-hop would’ve been a good idea. I also thought Manimal was cool. Go figure.
A La Mode EP1
The perils of live instrumentation — virtually every track here is an emetic swill of
Memphis Bleek feat Uncle Murda Let It Off Roc-A-Fella
Great scratchy rocksteady guitar on this but fails to really get your waist winding. Americans (bar Bad Brains) can’t do reggae, can they?
Lupe Fiasco The Coolest Atlantic
Nicely judged piano-laden beatnik hip-hop that sounds uncannily like 7th Wonder/Asheru stuff from a few years ago. Perhaps the last interesting voice in mainstream US rap this side of the Clipse.
Utterly glorious and perhaps the best little 7-inch Ghost has ever given us. ‘It’s All Love’ is a thumping freakbeat groove, slathered with tweaked Kanye-style garage rock vocals, sparkling Hammond and the kind of lumbering punk-bass idiocy only samplers can get close to these days. On the flip ‘Ying Yang’ fiddles with a Yamaha DX-7’s pitchbender over wonderfully pristine ’80s electro-tech beats. Instant atmosphere for the dancefloor. You’d be mad to miss out.
live jazzbo bollocks apart from the seemingly entirely artificial ‘I Don’t Know Why’. If I see a rapper fkn near a band again I’m gonna puke.
The Johnny Pluse
Umma Do Me
The Waxheads feat Koaste
featuring quite possibly the most stomach-scrapingly revolting chorus this side of the next Fiddy joint. Hear and want to kill.
It’s All Love/Ying Yang
QUICKIES NEIL KULKARNI, 81 Crosbie Road, Coventry, CV5 8FX
the twinkling electro-pop detail that pushes everything onwards. Catch me on a bad day and I’d have frisbeed it — today, fuck it, turn that shit up.
Brooklyn Spartans Sampler
Yeah yeah, another hip-hop track monomaniacally focused on a single gangster movie (s’always the same cannon ain’t it — how come no-one’s done a track about ‘City Of God’ or ‘Gun Crazy’?) but love love love the tuff-as-fuck beats and shuddering mandolin/barrel-organ on the lead-off track here, and ‘Menace II Sobriety’ on the flip hits even harder. Brighton’s still delivering much naughtiness.
Gesha Pwy Sy’Nol Complete Control Music
Keep It Gully v2 Danger Money Records
Like the texture of the keyboards on this, a thick slice of static that buzzes the bass-kick just right. Just when you’re thinking it’s not quite enough to sustain a whole track, the two-minute mark passes and you realise you’re half-hypnotised by the vocal snap that passes for a snare hit, the solid rhymes,
The best hip-hop album by a long way came out of Wales this year (Metaphysical’s ‘Metabeats’) so I’m intrigued to hear more Welsh rare bits. The title track here kinda meanders to no avail but ‘Ochr Tywyll’ on the flip goes nowhere to great effect, circulating on the same torsioned string loop until you can feel your eyeballs make a break for freedom. Keep your ears pointed valleywards.
Conﬂix second from right
CONFLIX CHAIN OF COMMAND Triple Darkness Anathema Higher Heights
“Saw these boys perform this live last week and it just blew me away. Mysterious dark production and lyrics from Kemo and the crew, it’s a real headnodder and great to hear a new crew writing lyrics about subjects that are interesting and deep. This has to be the way to go in ’08.”
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REVIEWS LEFTFIELD QUICKIES FOUND SOUNDS, PO Box 20437, London, SW16 2YJ
Quantic & Nickodemus feat Tempo & Candela Allstars
Mi Swing Es Tropical Tru Thoughts
Picked up by iTunes a while ago for their summer iPod ad, Quantic and Nickodemus’ hip-winding Latino anthem gets a welcome full release.
The Emperor Machine
Slap On/Gang Bang DC Recordings
Another near perfect release from Stafford’s finest Andrew Meecham who once again fathoms the depths of robotic funk, metronomic disco, and kraut-kissed psychedelic pop. Genius.
Emu Brown/The Word For This Is Cool First Word
Putting his sampler into overdrive, five times DMC finalist and cut and paste merchant Mike L once again delivers the goods with these dancefloorfriendly jazz/funk nuggets.
Martina Topley Bird
Danger Mouse on production, Tricky’s ex partner Topley Bird on vocals, a match made in pop heaven maybe? Not quite as lyrics about Carnival folk and the proverbial fumble behind the dodgems let the side down in style.
U.R.A Forever With its gnarly guitars, prowling bassline and menacing electronics ‘U.R.A Forever’ is hardly your archetypal sub three-minute pop tune (it actually weighs in at around 2.20 minutes). It is however a wonderfully sleazy and inventive reminder of what the world has been missing since Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince last put pen to paper. With their new album scheduled for release sometime in March, the rest of those Radio 1-friendly, indie-pop chancers better be on their guard.
Spirits Up Above (Simbad’s Deep Mix) Brownswood
“‘07 was a big year for Simbad. He stepped it up a level and came through with banger after banger, and his latest remix kicks off 2008 in just the right way by working his skills on José James’s new single ‘Spirits Up Above’. The original flows with spirituality and Simbad has respected that nicely by letting the vocals of Brooklyn’s José James breathe when they need to and putting his Marathon Men stamp on it, making it another perfect dancefloor hit.”
According to the man himself this EP (which contains tracks from his forthcoming ‘Turning Dragon’ LP) “fills in the gaps that ‘Body Riddle’ left”. With that in mind, be prepared for a tough and twisted, techno-fuelled onslaught. Best heard at a tinnitusinducing volume and preferably in the darkest, sleaziest and most drugfucked club in Berlin you can find, ‘Throttle Promoter’ put in layman’s terms is the sound of Clark fucking with your mind.
The Parsonage EP
Just when you thought the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain had had the last word on the bizarre and inspired cover version, up pop The Parsonage, a 50-strong choir from Glasgow made up of teachers, artists, musicians, caterers, hairdressers, writers and a host of other random, god-botherering types. All those involved seem to have stumbled across a unique calling, to ‘convert’ lost country classics and ageing pop anthems into mob-handed, hymn-like masterpieces. Brilliant!
Throttle Promoter EP
KAREN P BROAD CASTING/ RBMA RADIO
Three reasons why we love Touch. Firstly, they can put out records with pretentious Latin titles like ‘Oceanus Pacificus’ and get away with it. Secondly, they still release 7-inch vinyl with locked grooves. And thirdly, they have the courage to release a record which captures “the voices and rhythms of the Humboldt Penguin using a pair of Dolphin Ear Pro Hydrophones and a NAGRA ARES-PII digital audio recorder”. Enough said.
A timely release for Andy Turner who drops a revitalised batch of material to coincide with his ‘Cold Water Music’ and ‘Hinterland’ album re-releases. Topping the pile is the baritone sax and rolling break of ‘Birchwood’ (which saw a softer release some time ago), whilst Gripper’s mix of the Nico featured ‘Northwest’ adds a more electronic and contemporary edge to affairs. Sandwiched in between is the Blaxploitation inspired ‘Cordless Avenue North’ and the unfortunate limp rap of ‘Before…’.
Harmonic 313 EP1 Warp
Sliding in nicely next to Jimmy Edgar’s ‘Access Rhythm EP’, Warp add another slice of bottom-heavy electronic hip-hop to the catalogue courtesy of the multi monikered Mark Pritchard. Allowing a definite UK influence to permeate through, it’s a perfect match between Dabrye-styled beats and European electronica, concluding in four tracks of depth and warmth all hallmarked by the crisp Pritchard production touch. Perfect as is, or with a cheeky a cappella accompaniment of your choice.
An EP of maturity and distinction from Cex who puts his original ‘Actual Fucking’ LP through the blender for a more beat-based finish. Having moved away from the novelty-based IDM material (although his vocodered cover of Biggie’s ‘Notorious DSP’ is definitely still a career highlight!) a more mature version of events has occurred — as displayed by the yearning Kate Bush sampling ‘Hamilton’ and the looping ambient ethnicity of ‘Charles Village’. A worthy remix package.
It was always going to be interesting to see how Zero dB’s debut longplayer materialised as a remix project due to the technical complexities of the original (it eschewed the conventional in favour of a decidedly kinked approach). Thankfully the project has borne great fruits with the likes of Sweden’s Dibaba, original UFO member Raphael Sebbag, young pups Kids In Tracksuits and ex-Attica Blues man Tony Nwachukwu all contributing a cohesive and well spread mix of interpretations. Tight as a drum.
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Heavyweight Gringos sampler
Hands Off My Gold 4AD
A surprisingly mellow mix from Simian who are handed the duties of reconstituting the Afro new wave-tinged ‘Hands Off My Gold’. Taking a leaf from the Lindstrom and Thomas handbook, it’s Balearic a-go-go as the boys take a pulsating 120bpm 4/4, add synth flourishes and ethereal atmospherics for an overhaul that doths its cap rather than raping the blueprint. It’s still the original for our money that’ll stand the test of time, though.
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ALBUM REVIEWS Sébastien Tellier Sexuality
The Gauloise of love. Sébastien Tellier follows on from 2005’s ‘Politics’ with yet another themed affair, leering lasciviously into the sensual sphere with the sort of style that only a Parisian could muster. Filtered through the fingers of Daft Punk genius Guy Manuel De Homem-Christo, Monsieur Tellier hits his stride with an impressively purple-edged post-coital pop-fest. Obvious comparisons to Serge Gainsbourg aside, Tellier has managed to make a record that unites the smouldering soul of Barry White with the icier grooves of old skool European electro, avoiding the lukewarm disaster the combination suggests. Only erring when he briefly strays into syrupy ‘80s euro-pop, this is a proper French fancy. Robert Byrne Mint Track: ‘Sexual Sportswear’
Robert Owens Night-Time Stories Compost
Paul Woolford presents Bobby Peru The Truth 20:20 Vision
Wooly’s alter ego produces an ice cool album.
MINT TRACK: ‘‘The Truth’
It’s some eight years since Paul unleashed his David Lynch inspired Bobby Peru guise on the world, and in that time the Space ressie’s profile and talent have blossomed at a feverish rate. Wooly’s new offering continues to swallow up the tangled funk and curveball acid of past 12-inches, but it’s his burgeoning Detroit influences that really come to the fore on ‘The Truth’ — a distinctly futurist vision weaving its way throughout. Icy beats reverberate all over, tickled by skittering toms, clattering hats and frenetic squeaks and bleeps. Then on tracks like ‘Aguirre’ and ‘Emotional Violence’, these elements cocktail with large synthetic waves — Carl Craig style — and the collision makes for some intoxicating, and damnenvisioning techno. There are a couple of older Peru tracks that make it on here too, ‘Venom’ and ‘Erotic Discourse’, but so freakish and time-warped were they in the first place that both slot glove-like into the album’s shimmering silver-lined midst. Paul may well have cut his teeth on the dancefloor, but with this album he’s solidified his position quite simply as a formidable electronic artist with a hell of a lot to say — and that be the truth! Dan Kinasz
Made in the Dark EMI
Impressive evolution from dance nerds. The wonky, tech-informed, wilfully awkward grooves of Hot Chip just aren’t what you’d expect to emerge on a major label like EMI. But it’s impossible to dispute their sky-strafing ambition, and on their third album they’ve produced their best so far. Taking the disco, mutant r&b and indie influences of ‘The Warning’ and expanding and toughening them, on ‘Shake A Fist’ they favour a granite-tough hip-hop breakdown; the title track is tender, heartfelt weird soul; and on ‘Don’t Dance’ they craft a funky techno cut that manages to outshine their obvious progenitors Talking Heads and Devo. ‘Made in the Dark’ exhibits the genius they’ve been hinting at all along. Ben Murphy Mint track: ‘Don’t Dance’
If Robert Owens hadn’t managed to make it as a singer, he could have probably got a job doing the voiceovers for cinema trailers instead. For his voice has the same quality of making everything sound incredibly serious, as heard on house classics like Frankie Knuckles’ ‘Tears’ to Coldcut’s ‘Walk A Mile.’ The thing is, much as you wouldn’t want a voiceover over the main feature, so a full album of Owens’ booming lungs can get a bit tiring. He’s assembled a stellar cast of producers including Atjazz, Charles Webster and Kirk Degiorgio to craft some excellent deep Chicago-tinged tracks for him, but ultimately Owens seems better at being a guest than at throwing a party himself. Paul Clarke Mint track: ‘Inside My World’
A Drink & A Quick Decision Sunday Best
A beer and a packet of pop, please. Although Grand National may not be the finished article just yet, this album definitely builds on the foundations laid down by their promising 2005 debut ‘Kicking The National Habit’. Brimming with wistful and contemplative pop appeal, on the whole
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BEST OF THE REST… it’s a well-polished and accomplished stab at mainstream pop. That said, there is however something within that safe, MOR make up of ‘A Drink & A Quick Decision’ that doesn’t quite work, something that doesn’t engage you as a listener — a sense of adventure, courage, vision even, that label mates The Hat ironically seem to possess in spades. Found Sounds Mint track: ‘Part Of A Corner’
Prosumer & Murat Tepeli Serenity Ostgut Ton
The future of house music’s past. Despite the talk about Berlin mapping out techno’s future, the city’s clubs and DJs are also keen to support house music. This desire is evident on ‘Serenity’, the debut album from Panorama Bar DJ Prosumer and vocalist Murat, an unashamed paean to classic Chicago house. In places, it’s soulful and seductive — with Tepeli’s sexy tones wrapped around the tight claps and robotic rhythms on ‘The Craze’ — and flirtatious when Elif Bicer joins Tepelli on the call and response ‘Turn Around’. But there’s also a sombre side as the moody chords of ‘Solid Mind’ and the Blake Baxter-esque 303 grind on ‘Makes Me Wanna Dance’ demonstrate, which coupled with its raw production, means ‘Serenity’ is most certainly a future-retro masterpiece. Richard Brophy Mint track: ‘The Craze’
Sascha Funke Mango
Grey matters. Berliner Sascha Funke makes deep, intelligent, thoughtprovoking techno. In other words, music that’s a bit like a Jean-Paul Sartre novel, and with about as many instantly accessible thrills. Yet ‘Mango’ more than makes up for this in the details beneath its initially cold exterior. It’s a slow and slightly miserableseeming album at first with an atmosphere — if not a sound — akin to Burial, bathed in an electronic gloom like fading streetlights. But through this shine odd cracks of light, particularly in the vaporous guitars that circle the clipped minimal beats of the title track or ‘Summer Rain’. This certainly isn’t music for Saturday night in clubland, it’s more for the rest of the city sleeping fitfully outside. Paul Clarke Mint track: ‘Double-Checked’
Full Circle Mantis
360 degrees of soulful beats. As is the nature of the beast with so-called ‘nu jazz’, it often cuts its nose to spite its face with pointless noodle and ethereal washes devoid of melody and hook. Not so with the latest Atjazz opus that, although deep, by no means uses the descriptive as a byword for dullness. Encompassing a full compliment of vocalist hook ups, it’s the daddy of soulful house Robert Owens who leads the charge with the electro-fried ‘Love Someone’. Amalia and Dawne B head up the female contributions on ‘One’ and ‘Parallels’. A polished outing. Found Sounds Mint Track: ‘Love Someone’
Supreme Beings of Leisure 11i
Blissful meanderings. Buy this album and hang on to it for next Christmas. It doesn’t get much cosier and alt. festive than this. Jose James takes a faded photograph of days gone. It’s a land of gentle jazz, the kind that seems always to be in black and white or sepia. ‘The Dreamer’ has a beautiful, melancholic charm that will soothe your soul. Helene Stokes Mint track: ‘Winterwind’
He likes to say yes. Featuring track titles so pretentious Rick Wakeman couldn’t say them without smirking, hippy haters out there will want to slap the Japanese producer with a double gatefold prog rock LP. But for anyone else the lush neo-classical ambience should engender far more peaceful thoughts. Paul Clarke Mint track: ‘The Now Forgotten Gods…’
Winding down. Sounding like a quieter Bugz In The Attic, Simbad doesn’t have their infectious unruly energy, preferring a more polished take on broken beat neo-soul. Yet beneath the smooth surface, some grinding r&b basslines mean it’s what’s going on below the waist that matters. Paul Clarke Mint track: ‘Knock On My Door’
These New Puritans
Flat mojo. With its Hammond organs, squelchy synthesisers, retro guitars and sitars, this Frenchman sounds like he’s OD’d on 1960s B-movies. Or prancing around pretending to be Austin Powers, because his influences seem to involve an ironically-arched eyebrow. Paul Clarke Mint track: ‘A Room With A Vu Meter’
Music to enjoy at your leisure. Los Angeles duo Supreme Beings of Leisure, aka singer Geri SorianoLightwood and producer Ramin Sakuari, have an impressive musical CV. Their tracks have appeared in films, ad campaigns and TV shows, including Dawson’s Creek, which gives you some idea of what to expect from their polished, atmospheric sound. ‘Everywhere’ sounds uncannily like Zero 7, with emotive strings and acoustic guitar, while the epic ‘Mirror’ is underpinned by electric bass and breakbeats. Joe Roberts Mint Track: ‘Oneness’
*** * Clark
Turning Dragon Warp
Quirky. The influences here read like a who’s who of classic Warp artists, from Autechre and Aphex Twin to Richie Hawtin and Drexciya, with a little of Jeff Mills’ pounding techno-disco swagger thrown in. The first half, like the Plastikmanesque opener ‘New Year Storm’ and dissected vocal workout ‘Truncation Horn’, is definitely funkier and more original. Less inspired is the second, competent electronica but ultimately nothing that Mike Paradinas wasn’t doing a decade ago. Ben Willmott Mint track: ‘Truncation Horn’
Alien Unfolding RDG Music
Lunar cinematics. We can’t imagine many electronic producers release their debut LPs at the age of 68, but this is doubly refreshing for the fact that it is pretty damn good. It’s an invigorating set of lunar cinematics and tripped out ambient. Not bad for an old dog at any rate. Allan McGrath Mint track: ‘Explain The Unexplained’
Post punk for nu ravers. If you want an immediate bunch of reference points, you should look no further than the credits for their producer Gareth Jones. Ignore Erasure and skip to Wire, Futureheads, Fad Gadget, Nick Cave and Depeche Mode. A cut above the rest. Found Sounds Mint track: ‘Elvis’
Teraphonic Overdubs Eighteenth Street Lounge
REPEATTHE LPS WE CAN’T LEAVE ALONE... Justus Köhncke
Live recording from one of Karl and Rick’s Camden Roundhouse gigs. It’s a veritable masterclass in playing live.
Safe And Sound A sumptuous medley of atmospheric techno, disco-house and stripped-back electro-funk.
www.djmag.com DJ458.ALBUM 109
Love Or Die
Nic Fanciulli and Andy Chatterley debut with this deep, melodic house opus that’s just a digital-only release at present.
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COMPILATION REVIEWS All Back To Mine – Krafty Kuts DMC
A crafty session chez Krafty. The idea behind ‘All Back To Mine’ is to capture what an artist listens to when they get home after a night out. Judging by Krafty Kuts’ collection he likes to unwind from a hard night behind the decks by, erm, taking to the Technics for another hour or so of mixing. The musical agenda is vastly different to the Kuts style of breaks though, taking in funkateers like Michael Viner and Roy Ayers and vintage electro and hip-hop from the likes of Nas and Pete Rock & CL Smooth. Designed for after-hours listening it may be, but there’s still plenty to shake the proverbial booty to, especially when the old skool electro of Captain Rock, Nu Shooz and even Paul Hardcastle rears its shiny metallic head. All back to his? We wouldn’t need asking twice. Ben Willmott Mint track: Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’
Ellboy - Mixed by DJ Hell International Deejay Gigolo
A masterful selection
Hell travels back in time.
Francois K presents Masterpiece Ministry of Sound
MINT TRACK: Tom Middleton ‘Shinkansen’
Naming a mix series ‘Masterpiece’ is pompous to put it mildly, but in choosing Francois K to launch it Ministry have the DJ closest to doing the name justice. For with his dishevelled appearance and French twang still in his voice even after decades as a New Yorker, Francois fits many stereotypes of the enigmatic artist, whilst his often opaque air more suits a man you’d expect to find in a paint-spattered studio rather than a DJ booth. Yet it’s in the latter where Francois’ reputation as a visionary craftsman resides, although like many painters his career has been marked by distinct periods. First there was the disco of the ’70s and ’80s, house during the ’90s and now the techno of his current guise exhibited here. Featuring three mammoth CDs, listening to it in one go is as daunting as the entire Tate collection, with CD1 taking a more minimal electro-frazzled route before CD2 plunges into the darkness of the dancefloor with Airfrog and Drexciya, finishing with the more disco and Afro-tinged beats from Deee-Lite and Konono No.1 on CD3. His mixing is as fluid as watercolours and the selection as solid as statues, yet it’s in the medium of music that Francois is a true master at work. Paul Clarke
M.A.N.D.Y. - Fabric 38 Fabric Records
Lots of tracks, but a slight lack of direction. Following Steve Bug’s lead, Philip Jung and Patrick Bodmer’s forthcoming Fabric comp sees the pair chopping their way through a veritable stack of tracks in just over 70 minutes — 25 in fact. The result is a similarly pacey affair, but M.A.N.D.Y.’s mix is much more on the experimental tip twitchier, with quirky discordant melodies and gnarly effects featuring heavily. The pair have opted predominantly for new producers to make up the selection too - Guy J, Lucio Aquilina, Deadset and Julian all provide genuine highlights - but ultimately the mix lacks an overriding personality and a little direction, so unfortunately it isn’t quite the New Year’s gem we were hoping for. Dan Kinasz Mint track: Quarion ‘Karasu (Crowdpleaser Remix)’
DJ Hell’s renowned for techno and electro but you can’t be an international DJ gigolo without some chic, sophisticated, sexy sounds, and that’s what this mix of early 1980s Italo disco has — in spades. Think cosmic, camp disco with Bee Gee-esque voices warped through vocoders, squeaky, bleepy goodness, electro disco, and new wave-influenced early dance music. This has been doing the rounds on promo for 16 months and at long last all the tracks have been cleared. Amen to that as dance music has rarely been so glorious and lifeaffirming. Rahul Verma Mint track: Donna Summer ‘I Feel Love (Patrick Cowley Remix)’
TC – Watch The Ride Harmless
Haphazard d&b ride lacks depth and direction. Bristol-based TC might be a driving production force in the modern d&b sound but it’s hard to listen to this latest mix without ruing the scene’s lost depth and direction. Today’s novelty wobble squelchers like Clipz’s aptly titled ‘Rubbish’, Vital Element’s ‘Gangster
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BEST OF THE REST… Sound’ and TC’s own ‘Electronic’ might send the hoodied 18-year-old ravers into gunshot spasms but ultimately they feel like they’ve been slammed together in a matter of hours and it’s left to tracks you’ve already heard 100 times before (read Sub Focus’ ‘Swamp Thing’, Logistics’ ‘Together’ or Marky & XRS’ ‘LK’) to provide the fleeting moments of quality. Ultimately, though, a lack of cohesion and progression and patchy track selection means this ride is only ever leading down a creative cul-de-sac. Allan McGrath Mint track: Logistics ‘Together’
Kitsune 5 Kitsune
Rags and riches. It’s almost ironic that the Kitsune label is so slavered over by the style mafia, since if you actually turned up at a club like Boombox dressed as scruffily as some of their music sounds there’s no way that they’d let you darken their door. But then the trick to being truly cool is not to look like you’re trying too hard, and most of the tracks on the Paris label’s new compilation sound rough-edged and thrown together in the best manner possible. Whether it’s DatA’s crunching house track ‘Aerius Light’, a ravey remix of M.I.A’s ‘XR2’ or Alan Braxe’s ‘Addicted’, it’s less suited to preening in front of a mirror than puking into a gutter. Paul Clarke Mint track: Rex The Dog ‘Circulate’
Le Chic - Le Mix International Deejay Gigolos
Extravagant electro and tantalising minimal from the Spanish DJ duo. Part of Hell’s Gigolo DJ family for some time, Madrid girls Susana and Rebecca capture the classy electro, hypnotic minimal and more experimental electronics of their sets perfectly here. Detroit’s veteran masters of electro Drexciya feature early on with the pulsing, sturdy ‘Digital Tsunami’, then the more disjointed funk of ‘Free Smack’ by Patrick Pulsinger and Hell’s ‘Hot On The Heels Of Love’. After that, the icy arpeggios begin to dominate and the rhythmic landscape gets more minimal before Butch’s remix of ‘Mary’s Army’ by Wehbba, with its disco guitar licks, lifts the mood again. Closing track ‘Droid’ by Hypnosis is Jan Hammer-style cheese, but the rest of this almost exclusively instrumental mix is a seductive, hypnotic listen. Ben Willmott Mint track: Patrick Pulsinger ‘Free Smack’
Tom Middleton – 3D Renaissance
Return of the Jedi. One of the most gifted men in electronic music turns in a three CD project here. The straight up Club mix takes in the deep 4/4 grooves he favours when playing it straight (Ben Watt, Hipp-E etc), and there are no ‘Crazy Covers’ curveballs thrown in to mess with heads. The Studio mix drags out some of his old Cosmos productions and remixes for Lamb, Ulrich Schnauss and Francois DuBois’ ‘Blood’, while Home drifts through Orbital’s ‘Halcyon’ classic, Irresistible Force, Crazy P and Danny Breaks eclecticism - showcasing the diversity and wide-ranging tastes of this incredibly talented fella. Kim O’Connor Mint track: Lamb ‘What Sound (Tom Middleton Mix)’
Mobilee Back to Back Vol 2 Mobilee
4hero present… Mixing
Zero dB Heavyweight Gringos
Great Carnival Stuff
Following Jazzanova and Âme in the series, 4hero’s Dego here blends J-Dilla’s hip-hop, Bootsy Collins’s funk, Scientist’s dub and Patrice Rushen’s disco amongst other black music luminaries. It’s absolutely brilliant, which is hardly surprising news given Dego’s pedigree. Essential. Paul Clarke Mint track: Dabrye ‘Game Over’
Piling on pounds.
Combining house, techno and carnival vibes, 11 artists bring a ray of light to winter. While some openly celebrate the sounds of Rio, Venice or Cologne, others take a subtler approach as on Wehba’s brooding, percussive ‘Gaifiera’. The result is an album for all seasons. Joe Roberts Mint Track: Lützenkirchen ‘My Girlfriends Girl’
Undressed – Ursula 1000
Disco and proto-house curios with one thing in common — they’ve all been sampled by Daft Punk. From lesser-known tunes by Chaka Khan and Sister Sledge to crate-dug gems by Cerrone and Tata Vega, it’s classy glitterball glamour is an insight into da Punk’s influences. Ben Willmott Mint track: Little Anthony & The Imperials ‘Can You Imagine’
Back to black.
Zero dB’s ‘Beats, Bongos and Basslines’ album was so heavy they could have put it in their enemies’ pockets and sent them to sleep with the fishes. As it is they sent it to their mates instead, with remixers like Dibabah, Peter Kruder and Kids In Tracksuits making it doper than before. Paul Clarke Mint track: ‘Coisa Do Gringo (Yppah Remix)’
Stuff that’s great.
Second comp from acclaimed label. London-based GummiHZ takes the reins on Mobilee’s latest comp. CD1’s unmixed selection presents tracks on CD for the first time. Featuring exclusives from GummiHZ and older productions from the likes of Jennifer Cardini, it’s deep as you like, with only Sebo-K’s ‘Too Hot’, Mobilee’s first release, featuring a vocal. For CD2, GummiHZ uses Logic and Ableton to combine a more dancefloor orientated selection. Dark and haunting, its 27 tracks undulate hypnotically, building and building before changing tact. Contextualising each track to help them shine, it shows just why Mobilee is alongside Get Physical as one of the most celebrated electronic labels. Joe Roberts Mint Track: Pan-Pot feat Vincenzo ‘Faces’
Live As… 4 - Mixed by John Askew & Sean Tyas Discover
A winner. Askew’s mix (recorded at Avalon in LA) is the darker, more minimal of the two and crams in a new tune every four minutes. 1015 in San Fran is the West Coast’s big-room trance Mecca and Sean’s mix captures the club’s electric environment from the get-go. Storming. Tim Stark Mint track: Stoneface & Terminal ‘Supernature (Giuseppe Ottaviani Mix)’
Ursula 1000 has the ability to produce quality funk full of colour. This is the digital-only version with remixed enhancements of his previous ‘Here Comes Tomorrow’ album. It’s glam rock with the electric boogie boot on, ready to kick ass in spangled blue flares! Helene Stokes Mint track: ‘Electrik Boogie (Fort Knox Five Remix)’
Hardcore Adrenaline Mixed by Stu Allan & DJ Seduction Nukleuz
Fairground fodder. Hardcore adrenaline? The only pulse-raising you’ll feel is a blood-boiling fury to smash this CD — the only sane reaction once you’ve listened to a 165 bpm remix of the Simpsons theme or a rehash of Fugees’ ‘Ready Or Not’. Allan McGrath Mint track: Druid & Stormtrooper ‘Panic 2007’
REPEAT THE COMPS WE STILL LOVE... The Sound Of The Eighth Season Cocoon
Sven Väth showcases his summer Ibiza sounds.
www.djmag.com DJ458.compS 111
Mr Bongo: Lust – Art & Brazilian Beats Soul Mr Bongo
Baile funk, nu skool Joey Negro here selects his samba, bossa nova, funk fave funky house, soul and and tropicale, house etc. electro tracks.
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DOWNLOAD CHART 1 Jukey feat Sway Way We Go Destined
Cause maximum devastation on the dancefloor with this hip-house electro killer. Featuring Sway, arguably the UK’s No.1 rapper.
2 Soul Grabber Motocross Madness Loaded
Stomping new release from Loaded with mixes from Bart B and Simon Baker.
3 Johnwaynes Retouch Brique Rouge
DOWNLOAD CHART Each issue we’ll be bringing you the Killer Downloads chart, featuring the hottest new tunes available on djmag.com.
Deep tech-house package with mixes from David Duriez and Llorca.
4 Fukkk Offf I’m A Freak Coco Machete
‘I’m A Freak’ is a techno-disco monster with mixes from Bastian Heerhorst.
5 Dirty South Minority Toolroom Trax
Big, brash and dark, this track pumps and cracks with intense sleazy techiness.
6 Remaniax Got It Like This D-ner Digital
Freddy Fernandez, Xpression & Noubeaubeats step up to remix this massive electro-house monster.
7 Luke Dzierzek Identity EP Part 2 Fling Music Luke Dzierzek is back with the second part of ‘Identity’.
8 Noferini feat Peyton Till You Come Back (Remixes) Deeperfect Hot new remixes of this massive Deeperfect anthem.
Dave Armstrong & Redroche feat H-Boogie Love Has Gone Hed Kandi
A-zkan A-nder Minimi/Saturday Party Time Derbe
Furry Nipples Viggo Big & Dirty Recordings
Mahjong Connection Burn Dacompiled House Mahjong Chart by Music Mark van den Berg at MixMash. Remo & Abyss Skim/Shaker/Dirty Colours Forensic
9 Ran Shani Kyoto Nights Lowered
Essential new vocal electro-houser from Lowered.
10 Steamrocker meets Alexander Purkart & Gorge Give It Up For Love Destined Records Massive funky electro-houser that has been bubbling around since Ibiza last year.
11 Add2basket feat Electrobios & Dave Cortex Coming Back To Life Witty Tunes Nice feelgood main room houser from Witty Tunes.
12 Kid Massive Te Quiero Justrax
Angel Anx Copy Rat EP Agent Funk
Kenneth Thomas Soleil Noir Curvve Recordings
28 Carlos Francisco El Gringo SP Recordings 29
Tom Dazing Nocturne EP Mb Selektions
30 Morley & Hemlock Hard Trance EP 13 Nukleuz
Nice deep techy houser from Kid Massive on Justrax.
13 Sebastian Brandt Technology A State of Trance Latest release from Sebastian Brandt on A State of Trance.
14 Eddie Kid feat Leo The Lion Who Is The One? Kidology
M.o.r.p.h. & Van Eyden present Lexwood I Love Trance FENology
Fish&chips feat Paula B When I Fell In Love (Remixes) Jolly Roger
33 Bump I’m Rushin’ Art & Craft
Eddie Kid featuring Leo The Lion deliver the next Kidology release.
34 Thomas Gold Something’s Gotta Give Big
15 Just’n Toko & Deetek Digital World Fat Sounds Nice deep tech-house package from Fat Sounds.
35 Josh Gabriel Summit Organized Nature
16 Speed Kills Stay In The Groove Glow
36 Noir presents Black Magik Fuck Me Just For Fun
Strong remix package of this debut Glow anthem.
17 Demarkus Lewis feat Marissa Guzman Get Yourself Together SoulStar Quality soulful house release from Demarkus Lewis.
Mahjong Connection Burn Da House Mahjong Music
38 Joshua Cunningham Tokyo3000/Simplicity KYR Records
18 Slam Azure Soma
39 Gianluca Luisi You Can’t Stop (Remixes) Oryx Music
Slow burning epic tech-house release, essential!
19 Various Artists Gilles Peterson In The House sampler ITH
New compilation from Gilles Peterson featuring tracks from Karizma and Peter Kruder.
20 Lopazz 2 Fast 4 U Get Physical
Another solid release from the Get Physical camp.
40 Raz Ohara & The Odd Orchestra Kisses Get Physical Music 41
Santerna feat Catherine 1000 Stars Mondo
Various Five Years Of Odds And Ends - Mixed By Juan Ecb Odds & Ends Music
43 Da Funk Nightfall EP Cabrio 44 Upz feat Rasu Noiz soWHAT 45
Johnny Depth Magnificent Feelin Frenetic Music
46 Ray Jones The Phenomenon EP Deeptown Music 47
Martijn Ten Velden & Lucien Foort Bleeep! Toolroom Trax
48 Ian Van Boorn History EP IVB Music 49 Alter Ego Why Not? Skint 50 Beat TrixShake It Up Toolbox House
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www.djmag.com 18/1/08 20:52:01
1 Utah Saints Something Good ‘08 Data
The 1992 Kate Bush-sampling hardcore hit from ’92 hurtles into the Millennium with the Van She remix heading it up.
2 Hot Chip Ready For The Floor EMI
This taster from the ‘Made In The Dark’ LP — with Diplo and Jesse Rose remixes — is rather large already.
3 Goldfrapp A&E Mute
Fresh from frolicking with leaf people, the band go more chilled with Hercules & Love Affair and Gui Boratto remixes.
4 Freestylers Push Up Word Up Data
You’ll either love or hate this amalgamation of the Freestylers hit with Cameo’s post-disco classic ‘Word Up’.
5 Underworld Beautiful Burnout Underworldlive.com
The journeying Mark Knight deep techy mixes receiving lots of props from plenty of chart returnees. Pig & Dan also rework.
6 Mighty Dub Katz Just Another Groove Southern Fried
The Tocadisco remix kicking off what looks to be another great year for Mr Norman Cook.
7 Funkerman Speed Up Defected
A former Pete Tong Essential New Tune, this mistress of da funk receives ATFC and Granite & Phunk refixes.
8 Mark Brown feat Sarah Cracknell The Journey Continues Cr2
Cr2 main man links with Saint Etienne songstress for this catchy, quirky melodic pop-house ditty.
9 Sander Van Doorn The Bass Nebula
Built around a minimal bassline, this driving linear tech cut demonstrates how on-fire SVD is at the moment.
10 Klaxons As Above So Below Because
The Justice remix of the Mercury Music Prize winners is the cut getting the most plays on the floors.
11 Sasha Who Killed Sparky? Emﬁre
HYPE The tunes carving up danceﬂoors across the UK and beyond. Compiled from hundreds of DJ returns, the Hype Chart features all styles of music.
Armand Van Helden Je T’aime Southern Fried
Laidback Luke Break Down The House MixMash
Martin Solveig C’est La Vie Mixture
Alter Ego Skint by Mark van den Berg at Why Not? Chart compiled MixMash. 25 Lil Wolf Deliver Me Rebirth 24
Michael Cassette Shadows Movement Anjunadeep
Disciples Of Sound feat Jemma Nie Perfect Motion Cosmonote Blue
Tim Deluxe feat Sam Obernik You Got Tha Touch Skint
Judge Jules Laid Bare Maelstrom
N-Joi Yellow EP New Black
Alex Gopher Aurora GO 4
Sasse & Holmar Filipson Lily Louisa Thugfucker
Ricardo Villalobos Enfants Cadenza
DJ Gregory Unknown Defected
Tiger Stripes Mad At Me Get Physical
MST In Acid We Love Muzik
Turntable Orchestra Miss You When I’m Gone iO
Steve Angello Sansation Benchmarc
H Two O What’s It Gonna Be MoS
Lutzenkirchen Paperboy Great Stuff
Toby Tobias Nervoso EP Rekids
The Presets My People Modular
Trickski Sweat Defected
Pryda Europa Pryda
The Rejekts Rejektion Rejekt
Hercules & Love Affair Blind DFA
Santo Gold feat Spank Rock Shove It (Switch Mix) Atlantic
Martin Eyrer & Oliver Klein Babylon Great Stuff
Toddla T Do You Know (Sinden & The Count of Monte Cristal Mix) 1965
Dubﬁre Emissions Minus
“It was a total blow when news came through he’d been found floating face down in the Hudson,” says Sasha.
12 Benga & Coki Night Tempa
One of DJmag’s tunes of the year now is receiving a big push to coincide with Benga’s ace new dubstep album.
13 Dave Gahan Deeper & Deeper EMI
Sebastien Leger and dubstepper Skream are among those who’ve got their paws on the Depeche Mode man’s latest.
14 Osunlade My Reflection Defected
The wonderful Osunlade’s deep, tribal African conscious cut is some wicked warm-up gear.
15 Adam Freeland The Hate EP Marine Parade
With wunderkind Alex Metric at the controls, this is the sound of Freeland reborn as a juddering Justice-style noisenik.
16 Jody Watley I Want Your Love Gusto
Jody revisits her 1987 cover of Chic in a 21st century dance music stylee, with new mixes and everything.
17 The Whip Trash Southern Fried
Featured on the Kitsune Maison 3 comp, The Whip get Crookers and South Central remixes here.
18 Addictive feat T2 Gonna Be Mine Gusto
We’ll be hearing a lot about the much talked-about T2 this year…
19 The Gossip Yr Mangled Heart Back Yard
Tiga is the big remixer called on here to revamp Beth Ditto’s band’s latest.
20 RJ Productions 526 Dice Music
Bigged up on Nihal & Bobby Friction’s Radio 1 show, this cinematic Asian d&b thing is TV soundtrack fodder in the making.
Please send your chart returns to firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITED COLOURS OH HOUSE 89.8FM
Hear the Hype Chart on UNITED COLORS OF HOUSE with Oz & Adam J on CRMK Radio 89:8FM in Milton Keynes, and www.cmrk. co.uk/listenSundays 7pm – 10pm, and throughout the week online at: www. ucoh.sundayradio.com
JUICE 107.2 FM (mick@urbanrecords. co.uk) Hear the Hype Chart on the Friday Night Flavas show with Mick Fuller. Friday nights 8pm – 11pm on Brighton’s Juice 107.2 FM. www.nonstopjuice.com
VIBE 105-108 FM (email@example.com) Hear the Hype Chart on Ric Groves’ ‘Vinyl Decadance’ show. Friday nights 8pm – 10pm & Saturdays 5pm – 7pm across the East of England on Non Stop Vibe. www.vibefm.co.uk
CLUB MADNEZZ Hear the Hype Chart in Holland on Club Madnezz 106.1FM (and www.unityfm.nl/clubmadnezz) every Friday 11pm – (CET) with Tom Langeveld & Gerard Russchenberg.
www.djmag.com DJ458.hype 113
113 18/1/08 20:44:30
words MARC 01
Twin channel mixer with three-band EQ
Pioneer enter the USB media market with their latest affordable single player workhorse. p.120
The latest edition of the French digital vinyl system is scrutinized by our experts. p.122
DJ TAG TEAM
Back to back sets are all the rage, so get yourself a new Q2 to take your team to the next level. p.124
VJ CENTRE STAGE
Girls are storming the VJ scene and hustling for well-deserved presence centre stage. p.126
Check out our latest spread for taking your production skills to the next level. p.128
ABLETON LIVE 7 The greatest piece of software is now even better, but is it perfect? p.130
Leave some room at the front for the loading trays
CONSOLE-MANIA Strapped for cash after the New Year’s binge but hungry for a new rig? Then Gemini’s latest slew of CD players might still be within the budget
£229 CDM-3600/ £129 CDX-2400 AVAILABLE
114 DJ458.Technews 114
Twin CD players with rubber jog wheels
Way back in the ’80s,
the console wasn’t just acceptable, it pretty much ruled the world of mobile DJs. The all in one design integrating twin decks and a multi channel mixer in a case made a whole lot of sense for transportation and ease of setup. Flash forward to 2008 and the console (along with ’80s music) has made a bit of a comeback, and not just with bedroom DJs and iPod mixers. Gemini’s stab at world console domination is known as the CDM-3600. It houses a pair of CD players (audio CDs and home burnt CDRs only) and a two channel mixer in an industry standard 19” rack format. The CD trays sit directly underneath the players and are of the tray-loading variety. This means they will need space in a rack or a case, with front opening for access. Also on the front, slap between the trays are
the ¼” headphone jack and a ¼” microphone input. What hits you first is the fresh new design: the unit has a clean new look, with plenty of space around the controls to work with. This is a major step up in the looks department from their previous console, the CDM-500. The medium-sized rubber jog wheels are good for pitch bend and frame-accurate searching, but there’s certainly no scratching on offer here for the time being. Pitch bend clocks in at +/- 16% via the buttons or the jog wheel, and the pitch fader is fixed at 12%. The CDM-3600 benefits from its large blue LCD screen, which displays all the necessary info including track number, three different time status indicators and a track playback bar. Pitch bend mode, pitch value and
It’s back to the old school, with the original console format
Packing in 1300 LEDs into one product, the aptly titled 1300DMX light screen from Kam (£599 from kam.co.uk) provides synchronised patterns and total DMX control. The screen is split into 16 cubic areas, and offers two modes of programming covering presets and full RGB colour mixing. In shops now.
Same CD players as the CDM-3600, ready to rack
Fast Tracking at all BPMs The ever industrious M-Audio (M-Audio.co.uk) hit back with what they do best; feature packed sound cards at bargain prices. The new Fast Track Ultra utilizes the higher bandwidth USB.2, providing six channels of analogue inputs and outputs plus 2-channel digital S/PDIF I/O, all running at 24-bit/96kHz audio resolution. It’s in stores now, with a maximum price tag of £279.
> MINIMAL MATERIAL
Built in looping features CDX-2400
various modes such as continuous, forward/reverse and reloop are all present. Each CD player has basic looping features, but the manual warns that the “first loop will have pause at the exit point, while all others will be seamless”.
excluded from the equation and can be wired into the phono inputs of either channel. Adjustable gain and three-band EQ are under rotary controls, while the crossfader is one of Gemini’s replaceable ‘Rail-Glide’ models.
The two channel mixer features a three position input selector on each channel. Line one is the default for the onboard CD players, while Line 2 can be used to hook up any other source such as an MP3 player through the RCA connectors at the rear. Vinyl junkies will be pleased to hear that good old fashioned decks haven’t been
For those liking the look of the CDM-3600 but who would prefer to use their own mixer, then fear not; because Gemini have got you covered with the CDX-2400. It’s a dual CD player in the same style as the CDM-3600, with the same feature set, but minus the mixer section. The slim line rack unit also clocks in at a satisfyingly low price point.
Fans of dark, wobbly speaker-throbbing minimal techno need to get their hands on the hot new sample CD (out now for £59 from ssamplemagic.com). amplemagic.com Previous CDs have all measured up to the quality control test, and judging by the audio clips we’ve heard already, ‘Minimal & Tech House’ ain’t letting the side down.
FIT, AND SHE KNOWS IT!
FitForSound is the latest permutation of the DJ deck from Numark (numark. com). The 19” rack format player features a front loading universal dock for all iPods. Full transport and menu controls plus XLR/RCA outputs make it easy to use iPod playback in any mobile DJ rig. £299 when it hits the stores soon.
YOUR SELF-HELP FROM THE FORUM
> I’ve just got Serato Scratch and I’m now faced with the job of getting all my vinyl to hard drive. There seems to be a hundred different ways of doing this. Do I plug the deck straight in to the laptop or do I put it through a mixer, or an amp? I’ve heard Soundforge is good, and easy. Any other recommendations? Daniel Robertson > Go through a pre amp ﬁrst, so use your normal mixer, then plug that into a USB soundcard — Behringer do them starting at £25. Then just set your deck up, play and record using audacity or something. Alternatively buy a USB deck. Simon Royale > Sony Soundforge is an excellent piece of software mate. I’d do the actual recording with the Serato box, though. Gold-plated connections and all that. CULLIE > I’ll give all the above methods a try. It’s going to take a long time to convert them all. Daniel Robertson
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Don’t get left behind, get your head around all the new tricks and features of Reason 4 with the new tutorial DVD from ASK Video (£30 from askvideo. com). It packs in 41 lessons, with over five hours of content and an easily navigated interface. It’s all here, from basic setup to laying down a mix.
The kings of budget kit have two new sound enhancement processors out. Both boxes hype their ability to add ‘dimension, clarity, punch and bottom end’ to mixes and tracks. Load up your rig with the Sonic Ultramizer (£69 from behringer.com) or the Sonic Exciter (£86) and see for yourself.
Analogue version adds Evolver-style synth power
Choose between digital and analogue versions
Sample beats and breaks on the digital version
Beat Box legend returns
MOVE over BoomChik, the LinnDrum II is taking over. After the initial mock-ups, rumours and proposed specs, Dave Smith and Roger Linn have revealed the details for the final version of their new sampler-drum machine, previously known as BoomChik, and now entitled the LinnDrum II. The main scoop is that there will be two versions in all. The first will be the all-digital version featuring sample playback plus MPC and XOX style sequencing, and the second ‘analog’ version adds a 4-voice analog synth and 27 dual-function voicing knobs. The LinnDrumII is expected to arrive mid 2008 — check davesmithinstruments.com for the latest info and pricing.
JNR HACKSAW CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT... ETI 4600 MODULAR SYNTH.
“THE synth was an early creation of Trevor Marshall who went on to design the Fairlight. My one is unique; these synths where sold as kits and the guy who built it decided to put it in a huge case and replace the pin matrix with patch cords. Not a great idea — I’m sure he saved lots of cash but the patch cords have a habit of falling out. “The synth is capable of some sick sounds; I tend to use it for effects, kind of like a huge siren! You can hear it on the track ‘Invisible Exhibitionism’ where I use it to make the bass sounds. “The synth has four oscillators and a sub osc. My favourite patch sends the output of the first osc into the second, the second into the third and so on. I tweak the oscillator pitches to produce anything from rhythmic modulations to full on frequency modulation — madness!”
USB monitors & audio interface in one The latest product from Alesis (alesis.com) is an ultra convenient soundcard and monitor rolled into one. Perfect for jet setting producers and DJs on the go. These tiny 3” active monitors have built-in amps and plug in to the USB slot of any computer and will set you back a mere £69. Snap up a pair now. 117 22/1/08 00:54:29
DJ DOCTOR Dear DJ Doc, I’m on the lookout for a new pair of headphones, is there much difference between open-back and closed-back types? Will it make much of a difference for my mixing, and should I be looking at noise cancelling headphones as well? MAX DJ Doc Replies, The main difference between openand closed-back headphones is that the sound escapes from open-back types more so than from closed-back models. Closed-back are well suited for recording vocals and other situations where you don’t want the sound to spill out. Noise cancelling headphones are designed for noisy environments, such as trains. They use tiny mics to pick up the background noise and special filter trickery to cancel it out, so it’s easier to hear the pure sound of the headphones. They’re not that useful for DJing, but good if you want to block out a room’s sound.
GOT A BURNING QUESTION?
SEND your query to the DJ Doctor at djdoc@ djmag.com and you could win the wicked AKG K81 headphones.
ROCK THE HUB
Now Macs Can Deckadance too
FRESH from the guys that brought you Fruityloops comes V1.2 of Deckadance (£90 from deckadance.com), the feature-loaded DJ mixing software. This version brings with it compatibility for Intel Macs as well as continuing support for Windows users. Some of the highlights include total Midi control with preconfigured setups for working with loads of popular controllers, including the Vestax VCI-100 and the Allen & Heath Xone:3D. Its also a bit of a slut in the digital vinyl control department, and will happily romp with time code disks from Stanton FinalScratch, Serato Scratch Live, MixVibes, and msPinky. And if that’s not enough, it will take over other formats with its built-in ‘Learning’ mode Time Code calibration system. Deckadance is also unique in the way it can host up to eight VST instruments within its environment, which opens it up to all kinds of creative potential. And if that’s not enough, it can also assume the form of a VSTi plug-in, so that DJs can mix and scratch directly in a compatible host.
Who’s the Mac Daddy DANNY Mac is no stranger to the tech pages of DJmag, so it comes as no surprise to see the forward thinking DJ has teamed up with Kenton (Kentonuk.com)) for the DM-01 DJ Midi controller. It’s designed around his DJ style, using Ableton live to mix up to four channels of music and audio loops. The bank of 10 buttons on the right-hand side can be used to trigger loops and audio clips, with eight banks accessible using the A-G buttons bringing the total to 80 clips. There’s also hi and low pass filters on every mix channel plus an effects send and a crossfader. The DM-01 controller will be available in a few weeks time.
TR909 and TR808 plug-in kings present the Devastator multiband distortion (Mac/ PC). Three blocks of filtered distortion with ‘dynamics flattening’ circuit to squeeze the life out of transients. Pre-orders at $29 (£15) for the AU and VST versionsavailable in January. Check out the audio demos here www.d16.pl
If your studio mixes lack punch and sound quieter than everyone else’s, chances are you need a bit of limiting in the mastering stage. Get a serious loudness injection with the Xenon limiter from PSP Audio. The new plug-in for Mac/PC has been getting much love from the audio world: get the demo now and hear for yourself. It’s s out now, for $125 (£249). www.pspaudioware. com
The new Rockstar hub leaves no-one behind, with six separate headphone slots for checking out tunes as a possé. Each point on the six-sided white star can be switched between input and output, allowing anyone in the group to feed music to the others. Expect to see it early March with a street price set around the $20 (£10) mark.
TECH PIONEER CDJ-400 MP3 players, hard drives, memory sticks, and even phones.
The CDJ-400 displays track info from Serato and Pioneer’s DJS.
Six platter effects – three in jog, and three in vinyl mode.
Touch-sensitive platter will control Serato, DJS and more.
After a sustained flash to show the loop’s down beat, it blinks on every slice.
Slot-loading has a prodder underneath to poke out stick discs. 100mm fader with variable pitch and master tempo.
DECK DEXTERITY Pioneer’s latest and most ﬂexible media player to date won’t break the bank, but is it any good? THE best thing about Pioneer’s latest multi-format deck is its ability to work seamlessly with computer DJing applications, like Rane Serato Scratch Live. Using its onboard USB connection and soundcard, it becomes an interface to scratch and mix tunes on your laptop. Your interactions with the deck are sent down the USB cable and the software streams back the audio to the outputs. The next big feature is the capability to play MP3s from CDs, memory devices and MP3 players with a USB lead. This includes iPods. Sadly it won’t play any other compressed audio formats, or recognise Mac drives. The CDJ-400 is Pioneer’s most affordable deck featuring their touch-sensitive scratch control, but consequently it feels a little clunky. That being said, the scratch sound is virtually identical to the CDJ-1000. And at just 30% smaller, the 12cm platter provides enough rotary precision to cut accurate scratches. The final belter is the new rhythmic looping feature. It automatically chops up loops into four chunks and stutters the beginning of each slice. You can set the number of 120 DJ458.pioneer 120
repeats for each beat slice using the plus and minus buttons. It sounds great and is another signature effect from Pioneer.
THE NEW FORMAT The CDJ-400 is still a CD deck at heart. Its slot-loading drive is as smooth as butter and is ready to play in six seconds. It’ll play virtually all types of CDs, but no DVDs. We tested the CDJ-400 on about 10 different drives and they all worked, though it can only see one at a time. It uses USB 1.1 and can be sluggish on huge volumes, so it’s worth keeping tunes nicely organised and nothing else on the drive. Better to store your porn somewhere else... Searching is really intuitive with loads of options and clear writing on the screen.
“Dive straight into the rhythmic looping, and risk sounding like an idiot abusing the ‘woosh’ button.”
INTEGRATION The CDJ-400 has HID, a protocol similar to Midi, but enables far greater integration. For example, the CDJ-400 screens will display track information from Pioneer’s DJS software. It already works natively with Scratch Live too. You still need the USB interface as a dongle, but can dispense with
Timecoded CDs and you need only one USB and one audio cable per deck. MixVibes and Traktor are being developed for similar integration, so it’s worth shopping around. For Midi heads, all the CDJ-400 controls send Midi messages for use with any software. You can select what Midi channel to use and map your software by using the learn feature or consulting the manual’s Midi table.
SOUND QUALITY The sound card is pretty basic, but pumps out a hot signal — peaking at around +6dB for both CD and PC. The Windows driver gives a workable 10ms latency, but the new ASIO drivers should reduce this and the software guys are confident we can expect the same response as their DVS versions.
IN THE MIX Mixing with the CDJ-400 is a pleasure. The 100mm pitch fader can be set to a number of ranges including 100% (aka Wide). Incidentally, Wide control only works with CD audio, not MP3. Master tempo is available to lock the pitch and is on par with the CDJ-1000. The fader feels a bit cheaper than its bigger brothers, but still smooth and reliable. Pioneer has saved a few bucks by stripping most of the lights, so you need to watch the screen for feedback. There’s a progress bar which flashes near the end of a track. They’ve kept the revolving platter light, but harked back to the ’80s for inspiration and a redesign. There are six patterns to choose
TECH from and if you want to customise the platter, you can also unscrew the plastic top and slip in your own logo or graphics.
PLATTER MATTERS The jog wheel feels a tad clunky compared to the CDJ-1000. Back and forth action is also lighter because the jog wheel is smaller and less weighted, making fast scratches even easier on the wrist. Scratch mode is engaged when you press down and it travels exactly 1mm. But what’s most important here is the audio response, which cannot be faulted. The jog wheel can also be used for tricks such as accelerated browsing and scanning.
IN EFFECT The effects remind us that the CDJ-400 is a bedroom deck. Nonetheless, there are the usual Pioneer effects plus a couple of new gems, and all are implemented well. Six effects are controlled by the platter — three in jog, and three in vinyl mode. There’s a filter (called Wah) which is quite dull, but gets the job done. In vinyl mode, scratches are littered with oscillated filtering. In jog mode, filtering is manual and jumps back to a neutral position when the platter is released. The same goes for the jet, a phaser which tries to sound like you’re layering two tracks over each other in sync. The bubble is quite a mad effect that stands out when scratching short vocal samples. Two FX worth noting are roll and trans. Trans chops according to the BPM and makes it sound like a sewing machine has been fixed to the crossfader. Saving the best for last, the roll feature is ridiculously good fun. Touch the platter on any sound, and it grabs and repeats it in time with the BPM. Move the platter around and it pitches it up or down. Meanwhile, for health and safety reasons, the track plays
PC software uses these audio outputs to connect straight to your mixer
“The ﬁnal belter is the new rhythmic looping feature… It sounds great and is another signature effect from Pioneer.” silently internally until you let go. So, even if your timing is terrible, the beat will come back in the right place so people won’t fall over on the dance floor.
CONTACT 01753 789 789 pioneerprodj.eu
As well as the usual in and out buttons, there’re a number of ways to use the loop feature, including a handy four-beat auto-loop. Use the jog wheel to fix dodgy loop endings with the out trim, or the search buttons for finer, frame-by-frame adjustments. The fun really starts with Pioneer’s new and unique rhythm looping, which slices loops of any size into four chunks. These chunks are stuttered according to the speed you set with the plus and minus buttons. It can take a while to get your head around exactly how it works, but it’s worth it. Dive straight in, and risk sounding like an idiot abusing the ‘woosh’ button. Tapping either the plus or minus button starts an emergency four-beat loop. Hold down the buttons to add momentary rhythmic fills to this loop — the minus button stutters each chunk in triplets (123, 123, 123, 123) and the plus button stutters four per beat (1234, 1234, 1234, 1234). The CDJ-400 needs to calculate the tempo correctly to get a good loop. It generally picks it up in a few seconds, but can take time to settle, and even gets some styles wrong. Sadly there’s no way of assisting it, due to the lack of tap tempo control. More mad effects can be achieved by starting and ending your loop on an off
Use fader-start with your mixer, or relay play with another CDJ
PRICE £449 (DJS £89)
TECH * Slot-loading quick start drive * MP3 folder search, ID tags and CD-Text * Six effects with BPM, jog, scratch and hold control * Resume function and reverse play * Seamless loop/ reloop with out adjust * Auto and manual cues and loops * Internal/external memory recall * Touch-sensitive jog wheel * Variable pitch control up to 100% with key lock * Custom platter light and graphics cover
beat. If you take a 16-beat loop and stutter it four times per chunk, it simply repeats the first beat of every bar, on beat. And it sounds pretty mental with the triplets.
CUE POINTS Along with standard cue features, the CDJ can auto-cue the beginning of a track, saving time in the mix and pausing the next track. Scratch back past the beginning of a song and the track resumes as soon as you push forward. This, annoyingly, moves the start position. Put some silence at the beginning of scratch samples to sort this out. You can also set and hot-start a cue point instantly with the loop in button as the track plays. The Pioneer resume feature works on the 400 too, so if you eject the disc and change your mind, it plays from the last point when popped back in. One cue or loop can be stored per track, permanently to memory. Simply hit memory once and that’s it. Easily recall it with the call button when you play the same track again. Back up all this data easily and take it around on a memory card, or mask two CDJs with the same info. A nice touch is that your mates can come around with their own stored sounds and spin as if they were their own decks.
* Analogue and digital outputs * Pitch range of 6, 10, 16, 100% * Variable auto-cue threshold * Audio CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 CD-Rom * MP3 MPEG-1 32Kbps – 320 Kbps * Fat 16/32 format; no HFS or NTFS * Frequency response: 4 Hz-20 kHz
VERDICT BUILT QUALITY EASE OF USE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY SOUND QUALITY
4.5 5.0 4.0 4.0 4.5
Leading scratch performance, extensive software integration and another funky first from the rhythmic looping.
words DAVID ESERIN
BPM is a bit limited with no tap. There’s no Mac, HFS or support for anything other than MP3.
Whatever you mix with, the CDJ-400 can accommodate — so long as you have the correctly formatted data. TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
HID technology connects Serato and DJS natively, plus Midi for any other software
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TECH MIXVIBES DVS PRO MKII Solid case keeps your audio protected from knocks and bangs The MixVibes soundcard will be handy in the studio too, with mic and line inputs
WHAT’S THE VIBE? MixVibes DVS Pro steps up to the test. If it’s good enough for world champs, surely it’s good enough for the rest of us?
SPECS PRICE £169 CONTACT mixvibes.com TECH SPECS * Mix and scratch using up to four decks via time code discs * Use up to 16 virtual players * Five vinyl control discs * Two CD control discs * Real-time video scratch * Sampler with built-in sequencer * Compatible with DirectX and VST Effects * Midi control * Minimum Requirements: Windows NT2000, XP or VISTA PENTIUM III 1 Ghz minimum 512Mb RAM minimum
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SLOWLY but surely the vibe has been
building for the digital vinyl system from France. The latest DVS Pro kit comes complete with sound card and supports four-deck control and video scratch. It’s certainly not short of power or features. One major difference between MixVibes and its close rivals is that the software isn’t tied into one sound card in particular. This gives users the freedom to choose their own audio interface or make use of one they already have lying around. The knock-on effect is that buying the software can be a cheaper way into DVS mixing. Another advantage is that users can decide how many digital decks they want to use and then get a sound card with the matching number of ins and outs.
BIG BOX The DVS Pro package arrived with the recommended ESI sound card and all the cables, five vinyl discs plus a pair of control CDs. The software is PC only, so after installing, we called up the ‘Options’ window, selected the ‘Sound’ page and chose the desired sound card. There are plenty of options here, and MixVibes makes use of three types of drivers. Users can choose between ASIO, which is recommended as it offers the lowest latency and is most widely supported. Up next is Kernal, which is an
ASIO emulator for cards with no ASIO drivers. Rounding off is Multichannel Direct X, which is lowest on the bill as it has the highest latency and therefore the most lag in response time, but is known to work with all sound cards. We found that it was impossible to adjust latency in the Options window. It was necessary to set the sound card’s latency value using the ESI’s own control panel, then boot up MixVibes, at which point we got it down to the 1ms mark, as promised. All good here then.
FEEL THE QUALITY To get the best performance from the system it is still essential to go through the optimisation procedure. This measures the quality of the vinyl time code signal through the needle. It’s crucial to start with a reading of the background noise, and then
Choose between USB power or mains adaptor
Stacks of outputs round the back, plus an extra dedicated headphone socket for mixing without hardware mixer
take a second reading of the playback signal. It’s as simple as pressing a couple of buttons, and thankfully we scored a promising 99% quality reading using Numark TTX decks loaded with Ortofon Qbert needles. One cool thing about MixVibes is that the decks don’t need to be plugged into a sound card with phono pre-amps to work. Normal line level inputs on RCA or ¼” jack (with adaptors) are fine because the software has an ingenious RIAA decoder built in which takes care of it. To take advantage of this function, make sure that the relevant box is ticked on the vinyl page. There isn’t a single sound card we can think of that has four phono pre-amps, so this is definitely a good thing for anyone thinking of running a four-deck scratch rig. The ESI card is pretty good value for money, the drivers remained rock solid and at this
Four stereo outputs for potential deck wizardry
Both stereo inputs have phono amps to plug in your decks
Four deck mixing with vinyl and CD control
Mix in the box or with hardware mixer
Get creative with plug-in effects and sampler
Seamless looping and cue points
“Users can decide how many digital decks they want to use and then get a sound card with the matching number of ins and outs.”
POINT TO – Resizable waveform display
price we certainly can’t complain about the sound quality.
words MARC ‘01’
MixVibes have thrown in a generous amount of vinyl in the box — no less than five in fact, three black and two of the new polar white editions. The size is just right, not too thick, measuring up around the same as the Serato discs we compared them to. So as far as scratch handling goes, performance is on the money. Grooves on the disc represent one minute of audio, and there’s also an option to adjust the offset so that tracks start later in the vinyl. This can prove useful for extending the life of the vinyl and can also add stability for some tricks. With 1ms latency settings, the response is as good as it gets; it can go head to head with Serato and Traktor Scratch — no problem. This includes the four control modes covering Absolute (including needle drop) which is the true vinyl emulation, plus All Relative (which dispenses with the needle drop feature) and Wheel control, which emulates a jog dial on a CD player to control non audio functions such as track searching. MixVibes also has the innovative Relative Time mode, which needs a little explanation since it has a number of unique features. First up it supports needle dropping: this is proportional to the disc, so dropping in the middle of the disc jumps to the middle of the track regardless of the track’s length. It ignores small jumps and won’t update the position, which is great if you have jumpy decks at a party. Finally, it can also work with cue points.
With everything calibrated nicely, the audio quality remains faithful and free of artefacts or unwanted noise glitches. We could control up to 16 virtual decks using the vinyl by swapping over the focus of the control vinyl, using a set of custom key commands for speed. The track loading/analysing feature works in the background when loading a new tune, so there’s no waiting around, tracks can be started straight off the bat. Just drag them in from the play list, or via the explorer window. We would expect a fully featured DJ box with proper cataloguing, and MixVibes doesn’t disappoint. It reads all ID tags, and the browser can be configured to display any and all data fields.
GOT ANY SKINS? The virtual decks arrangement window can be customised by repositioning the various panels around the screen. Panels can be toggled to show/hide so that the optimum choice of components is visible on screen at any time. MixVibes isn’t limited to a single look or gui (graphic user interface). Instead it can have different skins and comes complete with four visually different ones to choose from. If you don’t like the steel grey LCD skin, then try the CDJ MV5 skin with its luminous lime display, or the Vinyl skin for the old school deck heads. Those with a short attention span will be pleased to know there are still more choices to download from the website should you bore of the pre-loaded ones.
PIXEL POWER Even though video scratch is still in its infancy, it’s being lapped up by creatively
minded DJs everywhere. It takes a computer with a powerful graphics card and fast hard drive to get decent results, so don’t expect too much from any old laptop. Also make sure that clips are encoded with the right codecs for playback, as MixVibes currently supports WMV and Mpeg. Make sure it has a graphics card with its own dedicated memory and clips are well compressed, and then response should be on par with the audio and scratching should be smooth from front to back. Another feather in the cap is that with the right hardware, MixVibes can output videos to three separate monitors.
* MixVibes works with any
* Ultra low latency down to
1ms, dependent on sound card used. * Uses a software decoder so RIAA inputs or pre-amps are not required, decks can plug straight into the line inputs. * Compatible with most external Midi controllers and includes templates. * Video scratch can be outputted onto three separate monitors. * Supports MP3, Wav, WMA, Ogg, Aif, Au audio files WMV, Mpeg videos.
ESI SOUND CARD * 4-in 6-out multi purpose USB audio interface
* Two stereo inputs (phono
and line) * Microphone inputs with gain control * +48V phantom power for condenser mic * Direct instrument input for electric guitars * (Hi-Z) with gain control * Six line analogue outputs with separate mix output * Headphone output with level * Four-channel recording and six-channel playback at the same time; full duplex * 4-in 6-out at 44.1 kHz / 4-in 4-out at 48 kHz * WDM, MME, ASIO, and DirectSound support * Ultimate Audio Tools software package with the full version of MixVibes 3DEX * Compatible with Windows XP (Service Pack2 strongly recommended) and MAC OS/X (soundcard only)
Creative DJs will find stacks more exciting stuff to play with, to push the boundaries between straight up DJing and live music production. There’s a sampler which can be sequenced to create new beats and patterns to back up the mix. It supports VST and Direct FX loading, with up to six effects per deck, which is more than enough for any fool to make sonic soup with. As well as all the hands-on control, there are templates covering all the popular Midi controllers included in the installation, as well as the ability to custom make your own maps.
VERDICT BUILT QUALITY EASE OF USE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY SOUND QUALITY
4.5 4.0 5.0 5.0 4.5
Four deck mixing, effects, sampling and video scratching.
No Mac version available.
Pro level performance, huge feature set and great value for money to boot. TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
123 21/1/08 23:57:12
TECH Q2 DUAL DJ
CHALLENGED 2 A DUAL Lee Jones’ Q2 Dual bridges the gap in back-to-back DJ set technology THESE DAYS, collaborations are becoming increasingly popular. All kinds of DJs are teaming up, performing sets containing mind-blowing combinations of styles and genres. However, as impressive as they are to behold, these sets are equally as difficult and problematic to perform. One product that’s helping to make the world of the back-to-back set a much less treacherous one is the Q2 Dual DJ, designed by Lee Jones. It allows two DJs to independently cue different inputs on just one mixer. One of the first DJ partnerships to embrace the Q2 and blossom as a result is James Zabiela and Nic Fanciulli, also known as One+One. DJmag caught up with James at a club-night in London recently. The One+One launch party was at the Miami Winter Music Conference. There you were on stage with Nic Fanciulli for the first time. Was there blood, sweat and tears; underwear thrown on stage? ow did it go? James Zabiela: “It was amazing, yeah. I didn’t drop my underwear this time but it went really well. The best thing about the Q2 is that it eliminates the difficulties of playing with someone else, you sort of feel like you’re DJing on your own. I’m not a massive fan of back to backs but the Q2 allows you to always be doing something, so even if Nic plays two or three in a row I can be there cueing my next record or doing stuff over the top.” So if you work well together and have a decent element of trust you can mix a back-to-back set with as much
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spontaneity as you would if you were playing solo? JZ: “Yeah totally, and it also allows for loops and effects and other elements to be added on impulse in addition to what’s being played, so it’s ace!” Are there any other benefits of the Q2 Dual DJ that aren’t instantly obvious? JZ: “The beauty of it is that it’s so simple. Anyone can plug it in. It connects the same way that you’d connect Final Scratch or something like that. It really is just putting another cue system on a mixer. No one’s done that before. It’s a great little device.” What’s your favourite thing about using the Q2? JZ: “The main thing for me about it is the programming of the set. In a back-to-back set, without it Nic can put on a record and then I’ve got to quickly find a record that goes with it. If you don’t know the record or simply don’t have enough time then the set can sound disjointed. So it’s amazing to be able to hear what he’s going to play next because it allows you to always think one step ahead, which allows for a much more creative and better flowing, well programmed set.”
JZ: “Absolutely not — and that’s what’s cool about the Q2, because it allows you to improvise.” Finally, if your mum asked you to organise the disco for her birthday party, which DJ would you pick and why? JZ: “God knows! Erm, Jeremy Healy. She’s got an old Jeremy Healy CD in her kitchen that she does the washing up to. It’s still got ‘Night Train’ and stuff like that on there. She likes all the old handbaggy stuff!” So there you have it. Proof that the Q2 Dual DJ is here to stay and so is Jeremy Healy — according to James Zabiela’s mum!
VERDICT BUILT QUALITY EASE OF USE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY SOUND QUALITY
PRICE £150 CONTACT q2.dj TECH SPECS * Four stereo RCA inputs * Independent channel selector switches * Can be used as a training aid in DJ tuition * Eliminates pre-EQ cueing problems * Independent channel volume controls * Very compact design * Extremely tough build * Can be installed live with no sound interference * 19” rack mountable 8-channel ‘DJ8’ model available
Four or eight channel device that allows two DJs to cue every input on a single mixer independently.
That’s pretty cool — the concept of being able to hear in your headphones the tune that your partner is about to mix in. You could have a double drop planned well in advance, or even a loop or sample. JZ: “Exactly.” So have you got anything special planned for your set tonight?
5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
* ¼” & 3.5mm gold plated
Why didn’t they think of this sooner?!
If there are more than one of you at the controls, you need the Q2. TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
* Phono earth post * 110V/240V switchable power * 2 x line/phono channels/2 x line channels
* IEC power connection (no adapter needed)
TECH VJS VJ Psyberpixie is a seasoned club performer
SEXY FEMALE POWER ROCKS VJs are gaining respect in clubland, and this year’s Top 20 VJs poll features a new generation of high proﬁle female VJs. We catch up with some leading ladies who are making the biggest stages their own.
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WHEN Psyberpixie walks into a club, any stereotype of geeky VJ-behind-a-laptop melts away. Dressed in a sultry manga style, this self-confessed Psybernaut is on a one-woman mission to bring ‘visual chaotic-bliss’ to clubbers at some of Miami’s hottest events. “I want to provoke thoughts and positive flow,” explains Psyberpixie. “I want the audience to experience mood enhancements through my visuals.” This pixie, however, is no airy fairy. Behind the theatrics of her alter ego, Marina Reno is a talented VJ who has been working steadily to rise to the top of her game. 2007 proved to be a year of stratospheric success, with the highlight performing to 10,000 people alongside Paul Oakenfold in Mexico City, then flying straight back to Miami to jam with psy-trance live act Infected Mushroom.
“As soon as I jumped on my platform and felt the energy of the crowd I instantly got charged up and was ready to jam,” she enthuses. Psyberpixie performs regularly alongside the ‘big boys’ of dance music at the Miami Winter Music Conference. Last year her residency at Ultra Music Festival placed her at the heart of the action — set up ‘battle-style’ beside the DJs on stage. Psyberpixie is all in favour of this more dominant role for VJs, particularly female performers. Being visible helps the audience understand that the VJ is actually triggering the visuals in real-time: “it’s more interactive and I get more response from the crowd.” New York based ‘mixtress’ Holly Daggers is just as keen to take centre-stage as any
serious performer — and in fact is co-director of the Forward Motion Theatre, where she shares this passion with students. “For me, it’s like a music video,” says Holly. “What I do has more to do with go-go dancing than a DJ. I am the video equivalent of a go-go dancer.” Holly loves to multiply the theatrical atmosphere of a club. Through live camerawork, sampling and keying she captures clubbers in motion and features them looped, as stars of the VJ mix. “To me the club scene is always about people,” she explains. “Superstars and drag queens. Children of the night.” The DJ is central to, but not the centre of, the party. “There is a backbeat, which is the rhythm of the DJ, but there is a whole visual culture in the club scene that is not addressed by music alone.”
VJS TECH STYLIZED Alongside cameos from the audience, Holly’s work features pulsating neon graphics, sexy stylized figures and uncanny 3D models animated using motion capture data from real dancers. She stars in her own mixes, as larger than life femme fatales — bikini-clad, or perhaps in a PVC nurse’s uniform. “The club scene pushes into a sexier netherworld, but with a sense of humour and style. That’s where I’m trying to go with my visuals,” she says. Holly’s visuals are a reflection of clubs both real and imagined, projected back onto the dancefloor. These supersaturated VJ mixes subvert typical VJ stereotypes — they’re darkly potent, and a lot more fun. London-based rising star VJ Bopa has been raising the visibility of female VJs through a series of high profile audio-visual collaborations. Four DJs and four VJs were invited to create a stunning crossover of the senses for the event Tunes On Screen in Bonn, Germany. Bopa delivered visual delights alongside DJs Blank & Jones on Europe’s largest indoor LED screen — over 62 square metres of crisp illumination. “I’m trying to create an atmosphere with the music as my inspiration for themes, colours and movements,” explains Bopa. “The best performances happen when you feel connected to the music.”
For her, a closer collaboration between DJ and VJ enhances the quality of the overall performance dramatically. VJs may be gaining more recognition in clubland because of the rise of all things audio-visual. The Vee:Club in Salzburg, Austria, is one notable event focusing on the symbiosis of DJ and VJ performances, and is presented by Heineken Music. Under the direction of VJ Marco Moo, the space at Gusswerk is transformed from club into cocoon through the addition of fifteen screens. “I want to enhance the spirit of the party and create a happy vibe,” says Bopa. This year the Vee:Club’s ‘DJane’ show had the motto ‘sexy female power rocks’. Bopa performed her lush and glamorous visuals alongside four hot female DJs, including ENO-C and Sarah Main.
COLLABORATIONS For Bopa, it’s innovative hardware that is bridging the traditional gap between audio and video artists. “More and more DJs are starting to use the Pioneer DVJs, which often means a collaboration between VJs and DJs,” says Bopa. As part of new collective NE1CO, Bopa has been working with renowned DJ Sander Kleinenberg to create visual tracks for his new show. “I’m predicting closer collaborations with musicians in the creation of live visuals, and more attention to the visual identity of the performer, from visuals to album artwork, and MySpace pages.” VJ Bopa’s recipe for success is mixing slick graphics together with the rich textures of video and photography. Visual elements are layered on screen to match the complex layering in music tracks. “I’m trying to find elements that can be connected visually to what you can hear,” she explains. In her view, the recent success of female VJs is the popularity of a more feminine
words LARA HOUSTON
VJ Bopa bridging the gap betweeen audio visuals
Holly kitted out with the top kit - and the essential gaffa roll
aesthetic : “I would say there is a difference between the female and male aesthetic such as the choice of colours and motifs,” she believes. Design trends have been floral, ornamental and decorative; pastel colours and retro shapes are cool. “Promoters have noticed this more in the last couple of years and that’s one of the reasons you see more female VJs on bigger stages.”
EDGY But these edgy female artists are not content to rely on promoters for bigger and better gigs. They’re also investing in new ways to showcase visuals via the internet. One of Holly’s biggest gigs of 2007 was with rapper T.I. in The Regency, Chicago. In collaboration with MySpace the whole show was streamed live to T.I. fans all over the world. Holly feels that media is now being reinvented, and personalized. “We are seeing the buskers and street musicians reach a larger audience,” she says. “A performer can reach an intimate audience in a live concert where the viewers can all be scattered across the globe.”
This has prompted her to launch a VJ channel for Joost called Club Chroma. It will feature VJ and DJ collaborations and try to showcase the underground visuals scene. Rather than replacing the club or replicating it, Holly is “hoping to reach a new audience for visuals and expand what people expect to see when they listen to music.” Psyberpixie is in full agreement: “We are in the age of self-instant multimedia control. Just push the button; createremix-share. The visual revolution is taking off!” she enthuses. And share she does — her weekly web residency at Womb Music streams her visuals online. Check out that ‘sexy female power’ from your living room every Sunday from 2–4am Miami time/7–9am in the UK.
www.psybervision.tv www.wetcircuit.com www.bopa.tv www.clubchroma.com/joost www.wombmusic.com
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words ALEX BLANCO
TECHPRODUCER We reveal some handy tips and tricks to help you on the road to ultimate productions...
UNDS KILLER SO freshest sounds How to create the on the dancefloor...
#01 WHITE NOISE IF THERE is one sound defining all underground genres of house music right now, it is white noise. Essentially, it is that static sound you used to get on un-tuned TVs, before 24-hour TV and self-tuning sets. For years it has been used on synth patches to add edge, or on synthesised drums — particularly snares and hats — to add top-end crunch. But these days it’s probably used on more tracks than the Roland 909 sound bank. So, what do you need? Well, start with a synth that offers white noise (Arturia’s Minimoog V is a great one), turn on the white noise generator, then disable all of the other musical oscillators. Now when you hit a key you should just get white noise. For full effect, filter out some of the bottom end. Next, use it as a hat sound, as a sweep, using a low pass filter opening slowly, or as little bursts of rhythmic noise. Add panning and delays to these sounds for full effect.
Every month we pluck a track from our forums at djmag.com and our Mix Doctor gives them a health kick. For your check-up, surf to the Pick ‘n’ Mix section and check out the Mix Doctor sticky for instructions.
Ed & Lucy with Miami Jim Seclusion
forum.djmag.com/viewtopic.php?t=21275 THIS is a genuinely different sounding track, with lots of retro-inspired sounds. Mix-wise it is very clean, with excellent separation. If anything, it is perhaps a tiny bit Miami Jim too sparse. Great production is about sounding sparse without being too dry. A tiny bit of EQ’d delay is needed here and there, as this fills out tracks like reverb does, but in a much tidier way. The bass could do with a bit of phattening up, but in fairness the producers have said this themselves. The arrangement could also do with more identity — even groovers benefit from some kind of differentiation between sections. Finally, it is a bit too mechanical sounding. Some kind of shuffle or groove quantising is needed on everything to make it sound less like a plumber rhythmically installing radiators. Take a couple of hours, add this little bit of polish and the result will be a rather special little track.
SAMPLE TANK: LOOPMASTERS TRAFIK LOOPMASTERS have a reputation for putting out some pretty serious quality sample collections, and the key to this has been their selection of content providers - professional producers and engineers working in specific genres, so that the material sounds genuine and authentic each time. So, when they brought out the Producer series, which focused on particular artists, it seemed a logical progression. And of course, the great thing about going to recognised producers is that at the very worst they are going to end up lazily giving away lots of their back catalogue of loops, sounds and samples, or at best, create a stack of original stuff that offers the same quality and vibe that made them popular in the first place.
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This collection from well-respected producers Trafik definitely falls into the latter category. Covering progressive house and electronica, it offers up a great selection of loops (drums, musical loops, bass — all the usual suspects) and a wicked package of single hits. As with the rest of the Loopmasters range, the size isn’t huge, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality. Plus there is the added bonus of having a nice selection of sampler patches, including Reason’s NNXT, Logic’s EXS24, Steinberg’s Halion and Cakewalk.
SPECS PRICE £29.95 CONTACT www.loopmasters.com
TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
CONSOLE MANIA Korg’s Kaoss range breaks new ground, but is it a step too far?
YOU have to hand it to Korg: once they come up with a good idea, they really do squeeze every last bit of mileage they can out if it, and especially so with their Kaoss concept. The general idea is based on a touchpad that responds along the X and Y axis, with an assortment of controls and digital gadget parameters attached. So far this has largely been confined to effects, such as delays and filters, but in later Kaoss pad versions a range of synths were added, with notes on one axis, and things like filter cut-off and resonance on the other. Well, Korg have decided to expand this concept with a portable performance synth, played with a Kaoss pad.
Build-wise it’s an interesting one. A nice shiny front panel is framed by rather cheap-looking yellow plastic side panels and buttons. It just doesn’t really feel like it will last long on the road, to be honest. Switching it on reveals some very phat sounds indeed. There are some huge basses, searing leads, and some pretty authentic-sounding approximations of classic dance sounds, even including some classic hardcore hoovers. So you certainly can’t fault the sound quality. And the arpeggiator makes it nice and epic.
playing in the dark. Sure, the interface is a great way to play slides and other cool sweeping effects, but playing meaningful riffs would require a year of practice, and still wouldn’t be that accurate. Even the Kaossilator’s sequencer and beats mode — which allows you to play and record drum patterns, and then record layered riffs on top — falls short. While it all sounds great, it takes superhuman performance and timing to get it sounding right. Add to this fact that it only ships with four batteries (the power adapter is sold separately) and you begin to feel like this is just a toy, albeit a stunning sounding toy.
RICH KID’S TOY
Unfortunately, the Kaossilator’s Achilles heel is playability. The only way to change the note is with your finger. On a small black pad. With no markings on it whatsoever. So you are, quite literally,
So, should you buy one? Well, unless you absolutely have to complete your Kaoss collection (in which case Anorak Monthly might be a better mag for you!) then I’d suggest against it. Without any way to
INSIDE THE BOX
S P I T
GET PROPER MONITORS! If you tweak your mixes to cater for inaccurate speakers, the resulting sound will be unbalanced when played back in a club.
SPECS record Midi information of your sounds into a sequencer, edit it and play it back in, this is only ever going to be the preserve of the ultimate gadget freak.
Fantastic sound, cool arpeggios and potentially innovative control.
Without MIDI and more playability, it is not a viable studio or DJing tool.
Without Midi control, this just can’t cut the mustard. TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
YOU CAN ADD PUNCH to your kicks by raising the compression attack time to 1–6ms, allowing the crack through before the compressor kicks in.
PRICE £119 CONTACT korg.co.uk 01908 857 100 TECH SPECS * 100 Presets * Loop recording * Drum, synth and special effects presets * Stereo phono & 1/8” jack headphone socket * Battery or AC adapter powered * Weight: 163g (without batteries)
IF YOU CAN’T make an element of your track sound perfect in fifteen minutes (at most!) then you should always ditch it completely and move on.
129 22/1/08 00:26:44
TECH ABLETON LIVE 7 AND LIVE SUITE
Use the mixer section to set your levels and routing
Find all your files and plug-ins in the browser window
Clip slots can be triggered individually or in groups
The arrange mini view shows you where you are in your arrangement, normally here
Scenes let you trigger multiple clips at once
MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Alex Blanco has used Live 6 on over 60 tracks in the last year. Let’s see what he makes of Ableton’s latest incarnation... OVER the past few years, Ableton Live
has gone from niche performance tool to the most talked about bit of software in both DJing and production circles. Everybody, it seems, either claims to use it, or claims to dislike it. But the truth is, very few people really use it to anything like its full potential — and everybody who DJs or produces music should be using it. Used properly there is no quicker or more creative way to get an idea going, no more versatile and creative tool for DJing, no better tool for shifting drifting audio into time with your backing track and absolutely no better way to actually perform dance music live in front of a crowd with confidence. But never mind the sales pitch, let’s see what has been added in this latest version. Well, the first major new feature is the inclusion of sidechaining. Sidechaining is
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the process of controlling an effect (in Live’s case, the compressor, gate and autofilter) using an external signal. So, for example, you can have some strings playing into a compressor, then use a silent kickdrum being sent to that compressor to control it, so that it ducks the volume up and down, as Eric Prydz did to the strings on ‘Call On Me’. Sidechaining is now one of the most essential processes in dance music, and is used to make basslines pump rhythmically in between the kicks, to make vocals pop out (by sending the vocal signal to a compressor on any parts with similar frequencies, such as guitars or synths), and can be used in conjunction with a gate to create chopping effects on vocals, synths or anything else. So, Live finally has it, and not only that, but it actually does it incredibly well indeed — certainly with at least the same level of
Still the most stable plug-in hosting software on the market...
control as Logic Studio, the previous benchmark for sidechaining in software.
SQUASH ME BABY Speaking of the compressor, this too has been improved, offering different compression models (one based on analogue hardware) and featuring a clearer and more informative interface. Top marks here. Arguably the next best feature is the new drum racks tool. At first glance, these don’t seem to offer anything new, but closer inspection reveals a different story. The idea is a matrix-based drum rack, with each drum slot hiding a huge array of controls for each drum, such as start and end points, tonal qualities, pitch and countless other parameters. For mixing purposes, each drum rack can be expanded in the mixer screen so that each
has its own sub-mixer channel, within the drum rack mixer channel. When expanded, you can adjust things like level, panning and even apply individual plug-ins to each drum channel within the drum rack master channel — all of which makes Live the most drum-friendly mixing and processing environment on the market.
SLICE AS NICE Moving on, and we get to another great inclusion — ReCycle loop support. Now you can simply drag and drop a REX loop file into Live and it will automatically detect the slice points and apply them, for very fast idea building. Live can also now slice both ReCycle files and audio loops (the latter according to note values or warp markers), then add each slice to a drum rack (allowing total non-destructive control of the stat and end points) for total mixing control. Naturally, it extracts the placement of each and creates a Midi file to trigger the resulting clips. The end result is quite simply the best slicing tool we’ve seen.
NEXT STOP YOUTUBE Next up is the news that all you audio-formedia bods out there have been dying to hear, and that is the ability to export video. Live 6 allowed you to add video files, and even warp their timing like any other bit of audio, but it didn’t let you export the goods. Now it does, and in an array of formats so dizzying you could almost use it as a video format conversion tool!
words ALEX BLANCO
TURBO CHARGED The audio engine has been overhauled too. This might come as a surprise to the people who believed Ableton when they insisted that their algorithms were as good as the competition’s, but in truth, more discerning engineer’s ears have long noticed Live was not the best tool for summing multiple audio streams. The combined signals just didn’t gel the way they should. Well, Live now boasts vastly improved 64–bit summing at all mix points, and pro dithering options to avoid artefacts
when lowering the bit-rate to CD compatible 16–bit. EQ Eight is not the only plug to offer a Hi-Q mode now, with Saturator, Operator and Dyamic Tube too. And all of these improvements are as audible as they are laudable.
PLENTY TO BE GOING ON WITH From a DJing perspective, it’s hard not to love the long-overdue tempo push/pull buttons and improved Midi controller fine control of tempo. There’s the ability to view multiple lanes of automation, vital for quick and easy mix editing, and incorporating old DJ effects units, or even some hardware synths, is now easier than ever before. The new Spectrum Analyzer also lets you check your mix against the best in detail, irrespective of your monitoring environment and speakers.
PICK A PACKAGE All that remains to be covered are the package options. If you have a good track collection to plunder for samples, and a reasonable array of plug-ins, then you should probably opt for the basic Live package. But if you don’t and money is no object, it might be worth considering the full Ableton Live suite. This offers three tasty new instruments, including a realistic strings generator, an admirably authentic sounding electric piano synth and a nice analogue synthesizer. They’re developed by third-parties and are based on their own acclaimed products. Also included is a vast sound library of more drum samples than you can shake a 16GB memory stick at, and Ableton’s existing instruments, Operator and Sampler.
SPECS PRICE Live 7: £369 (boxed) Live Suite: £539 CONTACT ableton.com TECH SPECS * Compilation-friendly sequencer * Device racks for creating preset effects chains * Large range of plug-ins * Large sound library and preset selections * REX loop support for easy loop sequencing * Auto-warping for fast file input * Info box for quick help * AU/VST plug-in support for third party plug-ins * Built-in automation with multiple lane views
* PC/Mac compatible * Unlimited number of channels
* Send and return busses * Sequencer and performance views * Drum racks with individual channel controls * ReWire compatible * Up to 32-bit file rate
UNIQUE BUT NOT PERFECT In conclusion, it’s fair to say that while Live 7 isn’t the most obviously dazzling update in Ableton’s history, it’s certainly a grower.
There are still however a few things we really need to see, and top of this list is some advanced groove mapping for Midi and audio, like that found in Logic and Reason. Until we get that, we can’t really give top marks across the board, as it cannot stand-alone in your studio armoury. Also, the current pricing was, we suspect, planned before Apple dropped their £319 Logic Studio bombshell on the industry a couple of months ago, as it is noticeably more expensive, particularly when you consider the full Suite doesn’t offer nearly the amount of plug-ins as Logic Studio does, but costs considerably more. Nevertheless, there is no denying that Live just got even more fun to use, more powerful, and is still by far and away the most stable plug-in hosting software on the market. In short, the most essential purchase in dance music production just became even more vital.
VERDICT BUILT QUALITY EASE OF USE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY SOUND QUALITY
5.0 5.0 4.5 4.0 4.5
Great new features, including DJ pitch bending keeps Ableton unique.
Looking a bit pricey now and needs Midi groove map support.
Its uniqueness still sets Live apart, but we need more for our money and some grown up Midi groove support next time, or big points will be lost. TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
131 21/1/08 23:56:03
TECH NOVATION NIO 2/4 Keep an eye on the levels
Hands on controls for monitoring mixes
Record vocalists through the mic input
Two headphone outputs with independent volume controls
Novation have crammed so much recording goodness into the Nio, it’s just too handy to ignore. THE first thing about the Nio that hits home is how solid and satisfying it is in the flesh (or rather plastic) than in pictures. The casing is chunky and tough with knobs firmly in place and the underside sits steady on any surface thanks to the rubber grip: put Nio down, and it will stay put. A quick rundown of the Nio’s features reveals it to be a versatile little blighter. The stereo input can be switched between recording from the RCA line inputs or from the mic/instrument /¼” line jacks. The four outputs are arranged as stereo pairs of RCA jacks, ideal for connecting to DJ mixers and hi-fi equipment. Midi in and out are on hand for talking to hardware synths and studio gear. The Nio has been designed to provide controls on the box to access its features. A smart move on the part of Novation, this makes for a faster, smoother workflow in the studio and live.
MANY WAYS IN The microphone input is different to that of the Xio synth. Novation informed me that it’s a step up in terms of recording quality and the XLR input supplies +48v phantom power for studio condenser mics.
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The dual headphone outputs and flexible monitoring proved invaluable for recording vocals. We could hear the vocals and music with zero latency lag, and adjust the volume level to suit our needs. Nio is the ideal companion for the virtual DJ. The dual stereo outputs are perfect for streaming tracks to a hardware mixer or for internal mixing, and using the second channel for headphone monitoring. When tested with Traktor it worked flawlessly; with an ultra low latency of 1ms on the MacBook, it was as good as mixing with CDs.
Continuing on the software tip, the Xcite pack adds even more value to the equation and together you get a decent chunk of software studio for not a lot of coinage.
BUILT QUALITY EASE OF USE FEATURES VALUE FOR MONEY SOUND QUALITY
Novation aren’t content with just selling us a damn good sound card: instead, they’ve upped the ante by throwing in the Nio FX rack. This is their first product to contain the collection of 20 plugin FX units, drawn from their Supernova synth, Focusrite recording suite and new Overloud guitar models. Accessed through the standalone FX Rack software, they match any hardware FX rack as far as latency goes. Apart from the superb guitar simulators, there’s also the excellent set from Focusrite, covering the essentials of EQ, compression, gating and reverb, while the Supernova
5.0 4.5 4.5 5.0 5.0
A versatile soundcard with all kinds of inputs for the studio, outputs ideal for virtual DJ software and a bonus set of effect plugins.
Hard to fault at this price, but VST/AU plugins cannot be automated.
An absolute bargain for studio production and digital DJs. TECH VERDICT (OUT OF 5)
CONTACT novationmusic.com 0149 446 2246 TECH SPECS * USB 1 audio interface * Two inputs and four RCA outputs * Dual headphone outputs * XLR mic input * Midi in/out * Nio FX rack and Xcite software pack
MORE THAN YOUR AVERAGE BOX
* Audio recording at
* Headphone and monitor
controls on box for ease of use * Nio FX rack features 20 plugins from Focusrite, Novation Supernova plus guitar distortion and amp simulators by Overloud * Nio FX rack can be used live with ultra low latency, or as VST/AU plugin * Xcite software collection features Lite versions of Ableton Live 6, Novation’s own Bass Station, Guru and BFD for drums, Arturia Analogue Factory SE, Waldorf collection and a gig of drum samples * Mac and PC compatible * Weight: 633g * Dimensions: 45.4 x 144 x 149mm
words MARC ‘01’
BANG THE BOX
suite resurrects the multi-mode filter, chorus, flange, phase and delay. The rack is easy to use and lets the user pile on the plug-ins to build up processing chains and save them as presets for recall. As well as the obvious guitar angle, this rack is perfect for vocalists and MCs who want a better sound. Best of all, the effects are now accessible for producers in the form of VST and AU plugins for use with Cubase, Logic etc. The only minor niggle was that we couldn’t find a way to automate any of the parameters.
DVJ CHART The hottest dance videos available for VJ mix action
1 Hot Chip Ready For The Floor
EMI One of the hottest bands around take this killer track from their brand new album. Ready for the floor - you betcha!
2 Sergey Everytime
Style Records This extremely catchy and haunting song from a Russian ‘megastar’ should crossover into the charts.
3 BWO Sunshine In The Rain
EMI Pet Shop Boys influences showing here in the music and video styles as the band are holed up in a country mansion.
4 Last Days Of Disco What Does It Mean To U
Universal Real positive house music in the old school vein that preaches love and positivity in the face of adversity.
6 Young Punx You’ve Got To...
Absolute Getting a deserved re-release, this has some great animation with a menagerie of characters from clown to cows.
7 DJ Marcella Who’s Your Nanny (Mark Pistoor 12 Video Edit)
Terminal 4 Mark Pistoor is becoming the king of the 12” video mix and here he’s at the top of his game.
Warner This is a monster - or should that read alien? They’re out there (maybe) and they’re coming to stare through a window near you soon. XL Recordings The delightful M.I.A. is hustling for your money and she doesn’t care how she does it. She apparently has “more records than the KGB”…
10 Mark Brown feat Sarah Cracknell The Journey Continues
EMI Is that an advert I hear? Fantastic time-lapse video about leaving and loss and rain...
12 Bonde Do Role Marina Gasolina Domino
27 Booty Full I Wanna Chat White
13 Bishi Never Seen Your Face Gryphon Records
28 Freemasons feat Bailey Tzuke Uninvited Loaded
14 Electrovamp Don’t Like The Vibe In The VIP Universal-Island
29 David Guetta feat Cozi Baby When The Light EMI
16 Se:Sa feat Sharon Phillips Like This Like That Positiva
Soma A delightfully clever video - a clown turning a musical drum like that found in a musical box. Bizarre, but brilliant!
9 M.I.A. Paper Planes
26 Underworld Crocodile Alligator Underworldlive.com
15 Does It Offend You, Yeah? We Are Rockstars EMI
5 My Robot Friend Robot High School
8 Pendulum Granite
11 Ark Prayer For The Weekend Planet Records
30 Martin Solveig Something Better Defected 31 Moby Alice Mute Records
17 Paul van Dyk Let Go EMI
32 Lupe Fiasco feat Matthew Santos Superstar Atlantic
18 Kano Feel Free 679 Recordings
33 Dude N Nem Watch My Feet TVT Records
19 Filo & Peri feat Eric Lumiere Anthem Positiva
34 Shapeshifters New Day Positiva
20 Uniting Nations Do It Yourself (Go Out And Get It) Gut
35 Deeyana Come Closer White
21 Laurent Pepper Paris Is Born 852
36 Seal Amazing WEA
22 Space Cowboy feat Nadia Oh Something For The Weekend Loaded
37 Dizzee Rascal Flex XL Recordings
23 Havex feat Tilly B Don’t Think About Sex White
38 Yves Larock Zookey (Lift Your Leg Up) Defected
24 Mitchell Brothers Michael Jackson The Beats Recordings
39 Craig David Hot Stuff (Let’s Dance) Warner
25 Bodyrox feat Luciana What Planet Are You On? Universal
40 Ali Love Late Night Session Columbia
All videos featured on MixMash DVDs, available to DVJs from mixmash.com
It’s the column where we name and shame. Be warned… No-one is safe.
t might be that us dance music types are all united by our innate muso geekery but the art of remixing is a much-discussed beast. Just take the endless hours that the DJmag office spent ruminating over our top remixers list. There’s good reason for it too. At their best, an inspirational remixer can redefine original parts of a track and mould them into something so distinct and unique, that it becomes an entirely new entity altogether. Listen closely to any of Carl Craig’s works and you’ll hear an unrestricted artist bringing the colours and forms of an original onto his own blank canvas and letting his unique flight of imagination run blissfully amok. Examine Armand Van Helden’s seminal reworks and hear a maverick producer boldly moulding distinct hooks into his own, individual and genre-defining riddims. But for every creative cavalier, there are hundreds of two-bit producers using remix work as a veil to conceal their own creative shortcomings. After all, when inspiration runs low, there’s nothing easier than taking the cash and churning out a half-assed remix of someone else’s material. Just ask Paul Oakenfold. Bish bash bosh – easy money. Less genuine creativity and inspiration means more pointless half-baked remixes. Or vice versa — it’s a truly vicious circle. Inspect the electro-house genre for example. Only a deaf fool would challenge the fact that what is generally lamped as ‘electro-house’ these days is no more than generic piss-weak bar fodder for chavs, lambrini guzzling girls and people who wouldn’t know a rave if it kidnapped them and shelved 10 pills up their grinner. It’s a sound starved of fresh ideas and systematically being flogged to death: you only need to look at the wealth of bootlegged ‘electro-house’ remixes for the evidence. Indeed, comb over the wares of certain internet stores and there are pages of ‘electro-house’ remixes of everything from Basement Jaxx’s ‘Red Alert’ and Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’ to rave antiques like The Shamen
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and Praga Khan. Anything, basically, with a cheesy instantly recognisable sample that can be crudely pilfered and no doubt bolt-fastened to some obvious limpwristed blip-bassline — preferably within less than 40 minutes. This cheap, crass bootlegging isn’t even remixing, it’s just the callous raping of others’ musical creations with the ultimate aim of sending some posh meat market (most probably in Clapham) flinging its hands in the air in drunken delirium. It’s got about as much to do with the progression of true dance culture as the fuckin Spice Girls.
Apart from their souped up Ford Escorts and Elizabeth Duke sovereign rings, nothing is sacred for the average happy hardcore producer...
The hard dance scene isn’t much better and seemingly stuck in a vortex of endless remixes. It speaks volumes that a track called ‘Recycled’ consisting entirely of robbed samples — from other hard dance tunes, no less — was one of the scene’s favoured cuts of last year. Somehow names like Karim have shaped whole, although thankfully waning, careers by replacing their wholesale void of genuine creativity or technical talent with the scurrilous pilfering of others’ hooks, samples and melodies. What sort of message does it give young talented producers, if they see producers getting props and gigs with such obvious sample-mongering. Drop any originality or innovative thought, borrow ideas and watch the success flow. “But what does it matter where it comes from as long as the end product sounds good? Isn’t dance music just supposed to be fun?” cry supporters of these quick-fix bootlegs. Of course it is, you fuckin numpties. But isn’t it a damn sight better when it’s actually good with it, which in many cases — Karim’s included — it clearly isn’t. And if anyone wants to explain exactly what is fun about having your eardrums assaulted with this pish in some half-empty skuzz hole lined with topless, drug-bent guttersnipes then be our guests. Answers on a postcard please. Hard dance, however, isn’t the genre that has committed the most sacrilegious crimes against the noble art of remixing. For that we need look no further than the
happy hardcore scene’s contribution; some twelve-odd years of ripped off remixes that are more shameless than Ozzy Osbourne and cheesier than a tramp’s foreskin. Apart from their souped up Ford Escorts or Elizabeth Duke sovereign rings, nothing is sacred for the average happy hardcore producer — not even The Beatles (if anyone has the misfortune of hearing DJ Vibes’ tragic ‘Hey Jude’ rip they will know what we mean). Everything from the Az Yet and Oasis to Madonna and even Borat’s theme tune (!!) has been bent into these syrupy speed ballads at some point by these talentless twits. Not that anyone over 14 actually listens to it. A hardcore CD set that recently landed in the DJmag office consisted of an entire disc devoted to these high-pitched musical abominations. A whole frickin CD laced with such delights as a 175bpm interpretation of the Simpson theme tune and a piano-fuelled mutilation of Fugee’s ‘Ready Or Not’ — we shit you not. Happy hardcore’s crimes against remixing are grotesquely severe and never-ending, for this is a different beast to the early ‘90s hardcore genre that gave us such rough underground gems as the Suburban Base label and Moving Shadow. To the point that it begs belief that there are so many people willing to pay for this aural deluge. But they do and maybe that’s part of the point here. Even in these days of plummeting vinyl sales, bootlegs and the lowest common denominations of official remixes sell by the bucket loads — no matter how sh*t anyone with half an ounce of taste and two working eardrums knows they are. But profit sheets are temporary, legend status is permanent and we’re hoping our remixers list goes someway to capturing this.
www.djmag.com 22/1/08 00:24:22