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Contents UPFRONT 06 11 12 19

DJ Magazine Party Fantastic 4 60 Seconds: Da Sendri Street Style


FEATURES 21 The Dark Knight Iranian expat Dubfire takes to Dubai’s skies to talk techno.



44 4



The Killers


Jamie Jones


Image Conscious


Club listings

24 Told you Saul Why Will Saul will be the next big thing in dance music.

30 Decade of dance


The last ten years as told by us: the music, the technology and the changes that have swept clubland.

34 Extreme clubbing From underground caves to non-stop raves, if it’s weird and wonderful, we’ve got it covered.

54 55 70 74

In the Bag – Guy Gerber Singles Albums Compilations

39 6 Degrees The mini-mix challenge, with Disco Bloodbath’s Damon Martin.

40 Sandpit sessions New Dubai recruit Martijn Ten Velden and his partner in 4/4 time Afroboogie plan world domination, and whale shark freedom, from Dubai.

TECH 76 78 79

Spin Controller DJ Doctor Vestax’s VCI-300



Editor Andy Buchan Contributing Editor Mike Ross Sales and Marketing Lisa Chauhan

Three’s a crowd What do an Iranian techno DJ, a heterochromic music-maker and a fast-rising Dubai production duo have in common? They’re all featured in this issue of DJ Magazine, and we’ve tipped them all to have a big impact on the world’s music scene this year.

Online Vassily Anitoli Design Allan Tinsay Contributors Cover photography Martin Beck

First up is our cover star, Dubfire. We braved a 24th floor heli-pad and the building’s collective security force to shoot the cover, and then sat down with the Iranian expat to discuss the Deep Dish split, jumping on the techno bandwagon and the political fallout in Iran. Our second man of the moment is cool cat Will Saul. One of the most versatile DJs around - he’s as happy with downtempo dubstep as he is with 4am backroom house - he’s also created one of the most scintillating, genre-jumping mixes we’ve heard for a long time. Go buy his three CD Balance: 15 mix now.

Martin Beck, Xan Blacker, Rukshan Jayasekara, Lloyd, MaDJam, Martin Metcalf, Georgina Wilson-Powell, Lisa Sant, Zahra Soar, DJ Solo, Danilo Venegas.

Printed by United Printing and Publishing LLC Tel +971 2 414 4135 P.O.Box: 39955, Abu Dhabi, UAE

And finally, we turn our attention to a production duo, who between them have over 30 years of experience, have topped charts and worked dancefloors the world over. They are new Dubai recruit Martijn Ten Velden and South African tech-house champion Afroboogie, and together they’re making some of the most infectious club music we’ve heard. Read their interview on page 40. Not only do we look forward in this issue, but we also follow up on last month’s tunes of the last ten years by looking back at the decade that ushered in laptop DJs, dubstep and minimal and sounded the death knell for vinyl and a forced violent restructuring of the music industry. Elsewhere, we look at the some of the weird and wonderful clubs around the world - and by weird we mean caves and wonderful 46-day-non-stop parties, piece together the Middle East debuts of Creamfields and The Killers, have Top 10s from some of the region’s best DJs and in-depth reviews of the latest must-have singles and albums.

The publisher does not accept any liability for errors or inaccuracies contained in this publication, however caused. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information contained in this publication is intended for general use and readers are advised to seek specialist information before acting upon any information enclosed herein. No part of this publication or any part of its content may be reproduced, or transmitted in any form, without the express permission of the publisher in writing. The only exemption to this is for extracts used for the purpose of a fair review. New Dawn Media Group FZC Launch sample copy

Happy New Year.

Andy Buchan Editor

Fantastic Four p.11





THE hottest new names in dance music this month!

SAE, QUANTUM and deadmau5 goodies

GET FIT with DJ Mag

Disco, disco, disco! DJ Magazine launches its month parties with UK group Disco Bloodbath ALWAYS AT THE FRONT line of clubbing, DJ Magazine Middle East has launched its monthly parties which will bring you the best up-andcoming producers and DJs from around the world. And first up we have none other than Damon Martin, one third of the mighty Disco Bloodbath, the disco-with-a-twist loving trio who are destined to make 2010 their year.

year’s must-have remixes, including their piano-specatcular take on The Aliens’ ‘Sunlamp Show’ and their played-to-death take on Franz Ferdinand’s comeback single. 2009 saw them tour every European party capital including Ibiza, Paris and Berlin, and this year they’ve already been signed up dates at Snowbombing and Bangkok, with tours of America and Japan about to be confirmed.

WIN We also have a table and bottle to give away for the opening DJ Magazine event of 2010 at 360. To win simply log onto and answer the following question.

Playing a blend of raw disco, spaced-out Italo, But while Disco Bloodbath are excellent DJs and impeccable remixers, they’ve also made the move into production via Damon’s Channel 83 label, and have been picked up by DJs like LCD Soundsystem, and Dubai favourites, The Glimmers.

vintage house and proto-techno, the trio have progressed from speakeasy basement parties in Caribbean restaurants, to headlining slots at some of Europe’s best clubs including Fabric, The Warehouse Project and Matter, as well as festival slots at Bestival and the Big Chill. Not only that, but Damon and co. have provided some of last


And appropriately enough, we’ve launched the night at the Funktion 1 powered 360 at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which was voted the 58th best venue in the world by our sister title DJ Magazine UK. Entry for the night is free - simply log onto for guestlist. Support on the night comes from 360 resident Tristan Bain, while DJ Magazine’s Editor Andy Buchan will be warming up.

DJ Magazine is holding its party at... a) 360 b) 180 c) 270



■ K Klass, the heroes of the mid 90s house scene are very much alive and kicking. Now based partially in Dubai, their latest work ‘Finally’ is causing a hot fuss. It opened Roger Sanchez’s latest show, and has been picked up by The Freemasons and Space king pin Jonathan Ulysses.

Voting closes in just two weeks Hurry hurry as voting is about to close on the inaugural DJ Magazine Middle East Top 50 DJ poll. To date, we’ve had thousands of votes through our website, and entries from hundreds of DJs, most notably from Egypt. But we’ve also had submissions from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia - not countries generally noted for their vibrant club scenes. The poll closes at midday on Thursday January 15 and the full results will be announced in the February issue - along with a feature on the winner of the DJ Magazine Top 50. They will not only walk away with a pair of Pioneer CDJ 1000s, but will also play at our DJ Magazine Party at 360 in February. Second prize meanwhile will receive a pair of Pioneer CDJ 400s while third place receives a Pioneer DJM 800 mixer. Good luck.

■ Plastik, the Champagnespraying, European-styled club on the border of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has announced its launching its own Dubai club called The Treasury, Nightclub of Status in mid-February. Meanwhile Plastik is on its winter break and returns to action at the start of February. ■ Last month we brought you news that Panasonic - the controlling arm of Technics - was to cease production of their industry standard 1210 vinyl decks in the new year due to slowing sales. However, this seems like it’s been merely a viral campaign to help boost sales in the run up to Christmas, as an official spokesman said “there are no current plans to discontinue the Technics brand and the p r o d u c t i o n o f Te c h n i c s turntables.”

A to Zahra

Artists to watch in 2010 ARTIST! MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS The Family Jewels LP Odd pop on a grand scale. With tracks like ‘Obsessions’ (all about cracker purchase indecision) and the bizarre Jungle Book-meetsKate-Bush ‘Mowgli’s Road’, the Welsh/Greek singer is not in a hurry to draw a line on which she walks. Excellent remixes by Gold Panda, Mille and Starsmith have helped raise her blogosphere profile and the BBC Sound of 2010 shortlist nod hasn’t hurt either. Marina may have started donning Katy Perry costumes rather than black tar in her music videos - watch the Rankin-directed ‘I Am Not a Robot’ to see what I mean - but hopefully she still maintain the quirky, accessible pop Roisin Murphy and Regina Spektor champion.


GET INTEC THE GROOVE Carl Cox’s celebrated label returns After saying farewell in 2006 following eight years of dancefloor filling releases, Carl Cox’s Intec label returns for a new generation as Intec Digital. Debut digital-only release ‘Damager’, by Jon Rundell, lands on 1st February. The former Intec A&R and label manager, Rundell returns to reprise his role, having used the intervening years to further his reputation as a producer in his own right. Remixes come from Carl Cox himself,

plus Marco Bailey, who, alongside DJ Preach, Sébastien Léger, Valentino Kanzyani, Trevor Rockcliffe and Bryan Zentz, had recorded for the label in its previous incarnation. Committed to the same high musical standard, Intec Digital promises to feature plenty of Cox exclusives and will be releasing his newest artist album later in the year. “It’s the most forward-thinking album I’ve ever made,” Cox says proudly. “I’ve missed making music,

■ Leading Scottish record label Soma - the first label to release Daft Punk - have announced their 2010 Compilation will be available at the start of this year via www. It features exclusives from firm favourites Slam, new Dubai favour ite following his astonishing set at 360 Funk D’Void and a remix of Samuel L Session’s ‘Can You Relate.’ ■ He would have made the perfect headline slot for Creamfields, but Paul Van Dyk is heading back to the Middle East for another mini-tour. First stop is Dubai on Friday February 19, before he heads to Lebanon for what is sure to be a sold out show the next night. ■ Those who heard the Daft Punk touring rumours can put their credit cards back in the wallet the stories of a 2010 world tour were false unfortunately, with an official spokesman saying: ‘The rumours are a hoax, there is no Daft Punk tour planned.’ The duo are, however, recording the soundtrack to the 2011 release

‘Heligoland’ Don’t dismiss this as a venture into trip-hop obscurity. It’s been in a “state of flux” for over five years, but the duo have made up with Tricky, and gathered their cronies from Mazzy Star, Elbow, Blur and the ever present Horace Andy to finally put together an impressive body of work. Check out the explicit new video for ‘Paradise Circus’ which features the 1970s “adult” actress Georgina Spelvin.

REMIX! KID CUDI ‘The Pursuit of Happiness (feat MGMT and Ratatat) remix by Steve Aoki’ With three nominations at the 2010 Grammys, will Kid Cudi go the way of Kanye West this year? Will he interupt my review before I finish? Probably not. Cudi’s more interested in being the “Shia LaBeof of the music world”. Ahem. Nevertheless, there is an undeniable cinematic quality to his debut album “Man on the Moon.” The third single from this album features the vulnerable lead character (“tell me what you know about night terrors”), a beefed up chorus The Killers would be jealous of, a rumbling Ratatat beat, and the pace of all this is navigated by post-punk electro hipster, Steve Aoki. What more could you ask for in a remix? Zahra hosts Open Mic on Dubai Eye 103.8 every Saturday from 8pm-10pm



GEEK CHIC All hail the 2 Deep Geeks The name might not mean much at the moment, but by the time their singles are released on Toolroom and UAE based Mixtura records respectively, you’ll be well aware of their monster, jacking grooves. Welcome then to 2 Deep Geeks, comprised of British born, Barasti resident Richie Kidd and South African native Just Lance. Where did the name come from, and what’s geeky about you both? Just Lance - The name inadvertently came from Noir’s track ‘All About House Music’. Also I wear spectacles and a pocket protector. What releases have you got coming up? JL - We have just done a remix of Toni Braxton’s ‘You’re Making Me High’ which is soon to be released on Mixtura Records. It’s a deep soulful sing-a-long. Also our first track, ‘Not My Dog’ has been sent to Toolroom, but we’re not sure of the release date. This one started out as a deep tech stomper and then Richie decided to pick up the mic in the middle of production and loudly proclaim... ‘EXCUSE ME! IS THAT YOUR DOG!?’ The track just went in a completely different direction after that and morphed into a dirty electro figet monster. Think Carl Cox snorting a bag of Laidback Luke. Richie Kidd - To be honest, we have loads of tracks ready to go but Lance is a fricking perfectionist and keeps finetuning the mixes. We would

probably have a lot more releases if it were not for his frikinism! You’re releasing on Mixtura records, which is based in Dubai. How much pride does that give you that it’s all homegrown? And what expectations do you have for it? JL – Mixtura have releases on over 500 digital distribution e-shops so expectations are high. RK – It’s very cool to be part of something based in Dubai that is not plastic and has no limitations to sound. Their motto is good music is good music. Which other duos do you admire production wise? JL - MAW, Rip, Lash, Sus a.k.a. Juicy Joints and Mask (all the same duos, incidentally), Smokingroove and Paz, Layo and Bushwacka, Vernon and Decosta, Spiritcatcher - the list is endless. Pretty much duos where you can hear the friendship coming through in the collaboration while hearing their individuality. How would a back- to-back set work, have you done that before? JL – Richie scratches and I put my fingers in my ears! Na, It goes down really well except Richie is on Serato and I’m on Traktor so inevitably I end up having to use his computer. The 2 Deep Geeks remix of Toni Braxton’s You’re Making Me High’ is out on Mixtura records now.

■ of Tron Legacy, the updated 80s classic film. ■ The internet might have opened up access to tunes across the world, but it’s nice to see top DJs still getting sweaty palmed about new music and swapping it with each other. Which is exactly what happened when Krafty Kuts and Tom Middleton met on the same flight to Dubai recently. ■ White, the rooftop supper club in Beirut, is launching a Dubai night every Thursday at Ocean, the beach club at the Sheraton Hotel in JBR. Entry will be Dhs100, with ladies free before midnight. ■ The dates have been announced for next year’s 25th anniversary Miami Winter Music Conference - March 2327. But be prepared to shell out for flights from the Middle East - week long flights are currently coming in around Dhs17,000 from Dubai. ■ It might be one of the stranger career paths, and we’re sure that at 6ft 11” he suffers from chronic back ache, but ex -NBA star Tony Seikaly is set to play in Dubai at Sanctuary in February. The Lebanese basketball player turned DJ was a star of the mid-90s Miami Heat team, and turned to DJing at the start of the last decade. ■ Dubai favourites Groove Armada have announced details of their sixth and - according to them - their darkest album yet. The duo, Tom Findlay and Andy Cato, say that their recent 80s influenced single ‘I Won’t Kneel’ is indicative of the new album’s sound, with Empire of the Sun’s Nick Littlemore guesting on the album. ■ If internet radio is as confusing as Tiesto’s adoption of rock music, then head to Set up by three internet radio heroes, it has divided dance music into 40 sub genres, and when you type in the name of an artist or track it will tell you which radio station is playing it at that moment, or point you towards a station that is likely to be playing it. ■ Space Ibiza legend Mr Doris will be heading back to the Island this summer with a suntan after he confirmed he’s completing a winter residency in Bahrain. The funkdedicated DJ is playing at MUJU, a brand new restaurant/lounge at the Dragon Resort in Amwaj, and comes highly recommended by DJ Magazine who saw him destroy 360 last year. Special mention must go to his soul/funk rework of The Strokes’ ‘Last Night’.

ON THE STEREO What’s kept us going this month DIRE STRAITS ‘Money For Nothing’ (Giants Dubstep remix) Grinding, bass-humping rework of Mark Knopfler’s finest moment. MAELSTROM ‘Enter The Cosmos’ (Sankt Goran and Erik Sidung mix) Ever rising piano loop + deep house grooves = mid-set winner. DUCK SAUCE ‘Grand Steppin’ It might be funky house with a bigger beat, but Armand and A Trak have another smash on their hands. THE JUAN MACLEAN ‘ Happy House’ (Cut Copy Space is the Place remix) How to improve on a modern day classic? Get the Aussie three-piece to give it some cut and bass action. SMOKINGROOVE AND PAZ - Abracadabra, Mixtura records Steve Miller gets a bumping Chicago house rework courtesy of Dubai residents Paz and Smokingroove, on Dubai label Mixtura. TENSNAKE ‘Holding Back (My Love)’ DFA’s latest signings update the 80s house rule book with nu-disco cool. KOLLEKTIV TURNSTRASSE - Last Day Deep, synth-laden house with a soul-stirring breakdown. Magical. HOT CHIP ‘One Life Stand’ Widescreen pop, featuring happy sad vocals and some of the most bizarre but brilliant mid-song flourishes. GROOVE ARMADA ‘I Won’t Kneel’ (Bloody Beetroots mix) The masked men ditch schizoid electro for bombastic strings. We like. A lot. AMIN GOLESTAN AND MARCO G ‘Deadpool’ Menacing tech house from the Dubai-Canada pairing.


MASS RAMLI Crowd reading - it’s an acquired skill or art that has to be learned personally. If a track or genre doesn’t work, then try something else and always think at least one song, ideally two ahead. Try experimenting with forgotten tracks, or something totally out of the regular - and most importantly play music you like. You can’t fake that.






Soulmagic ‘Get Yourself Together’ Mikkel Wendelboe from Soulmagic played our SessionS night earlier this year and he had just made this track. I remember him dropping it in the club and at a house party we played with him the next night, and it tore it up! He gave me the track and since then it is the one song guaranteed to get everyone going, the bassline and the vocal are just incredible. It still hasn’t been released and will come out on Purple Music in 2010 with a different vocalist. It will be everywhere, but for now it’s my secret weapon and easily my top tune of 2009.

The Carl Craig-produced French space disco of Etienne Jaumet “I DON’T REALLY KNOW HIS MUSIC,” admits Etienne Jaumet of Carl Craig, the Detroit techno legend who produced his debut album, ‘Night Music’, released by Versatile on 7th December. “I only discovered electronic music a few years ago. I’m a big fan of Suicide and Raymond Scott but I don’t know much techno music.” Such words might appear unlikely after hearing the spinetingling results — a psychedelic blend of experimental, ’70s-inspired electronics and dark, Motorcity soul — but the pairing marks the end of a series of happy serendipitous events in Jaumet’s life. A one-time sound engineer and saxophonist, Jaumet developed a passion for vintage keyboards following the opening of Cash Converters in France, in the ’90s. “Everyone was selling their old synthesisers for cheap so I bought my first analogue keyboard, fell in love, and started collecting them.” While playing in another band, Zombie Zombie, he was approached by Gilbert, head of Versatile, to record an album. And when Gilbert sent the results to Craig, he

was so impressed he agreed to participate in the project for virtually nothing. “I know my instruments very well, and yet he made them sound much better than I can!” laughed Jaumet. Opening with the 20-minute ‘For Falling Asleep’, a brooding, bubbling juggernaut that journeys through dark, experimental disco before disintegrating into the harp playing of French music legend Emmanuelle Parrienin, Jaumet’s reference points give the project its authentic vintage edge. “I wanted to do a very long song to put on one side of the vinyl,” he explained. “I have records from the ’70s I like which are the same, such as from Robert Fripp.” Recorded in one take, his working methods also hark back to Manuel Gottsching’s 1984 classic, the hour-long ‘E2-E4’. “He came home after a party and made it a bit drunk. I like making music in this state of mind. You just let yourself go without inhibitions. I like being in another dimension when I play,” said Jaumet. Listening to ‘Night Music’, you’re right there with him.


The beat machinations of Robot Koch

FROM THE TRAM-FILLED HILLS OF SAN FRANCISCO to the tower blocks of Glasgow, there’s a global community of beat chemists busily concocting a heady hip-hop brew of wonky bass-infected beats. But it’s not a sound readily associated with the techno capital, Berlin. Until now. “People keep telling me my sound isn’t German, which I take as a compliment,” says Robot Koch, aka producer Robert Koch, whose debut solo album ‘Death Star Droid’ drops on his Robots Don’t Sleep label on 7th December. One third of band Jahcoozi, who have album three coming on Bpitch next year, ‘Death Star Droid’ is his thrilling vision of the point where dubstep, hip-hop and its myriad of influences meld in a kaleidoscopic collage of sounds, even taking in a cover of The Doors’ ‘People Are Strange’, and marks the emergence of a new Berlin underground. With a bohemian musical background, Koch started as


a drummer in a punk band before becoming interested in jazz. He progressed to DJing “from listening to lots of different music and playing everything I liked, which is from John Coltrane to Slayer”, before moving to Berlin in 2000 and taking up production. With regular gigs, his DJ skills have also caught the ears of some high rollers, including Flying Lotus, who requested a mix for his Brainfeeder podcast. “He said, ‘We have to feed the kids something different’, so I made a jazz-inspired mix with no contemporary music,” says Koch. Meanwhile, following a No.1 EP in the Juno dubstep charts, he continues to mash it up in Berlin. “I’m involved in a party called Barefoot at WMF, which focuses on cross-breed sounds. We had Mary Anne Hobbs play my album launch party. There are a lot of people making other music in Berlin, the perception just isn’t there yet.”


This issue’s hottest four names in dance music

DJ Lasheen

Azari & III

Tiësto remixer set to go big

New school of old school

Recognised in his homeland over recent years for his unique brand of uplifting beats, Lasheen (born Mahmoud Fekry Lasheen, Alexandria, 1984) is tipped by many to be a successful locally-based DJ/producer. A relatively unknown entity outside of Egypt, he has recently made waves in the region thanks, in no small part, to a Tiësto remix competition which saw his version of ‘Knock you out’ gain props from industry-heads and DJs alike.

COMING ON like the Canadian Hercules & Love Affair, Toronto’s Azari & III (pronounced “Three”) reference the roots of house and disco in such an authentic way, it’s only the modern production levels that give them away. The darkly camp video to first single ‘Hungry For Your Power’, released by I’m A Cliché, showed an eye for powerful visual styling too, throwing pornography, S&M, murder and cannibalism into a memorable, must-see calling card. Second full release, ‘Reckless With Your Love’, out now on Permanent Vacation, sounds every bit a lost acid house classic, with its soaring pianos and lyrics of debauched living recalling the hey-day of both Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy, and a set of remixes are scheduled for spring.

Having been a live performer in Egypt since 2002, he has used his time wisely, gaining the production skills and experience that have helped catapult Lasheen into the DJ limelight. With his upcoming album playfully entitled, ‘The Joker’ due for release in early 2010 and the impending launch of his radio show ‘Trance Jungle’, the future could not be brighter for this Masri Magician.

The Revenge

With Ali Love and Le Le amongst those seeking their golden era touch, expect two new EPs soon on Chicago’s legendary Trax Records and Automatt, Azari’s own label.

DJ Shadow

Disco’s revenge

Bollywood meets Middle East...

THE COVER of the re-edit seems to suddenly be in vogue, making The Revenge’s version of Beats International’s ‘Dub Be Good To Me’, a re-make of S.O.S Band’s ‘Just Be Good To Me’, particularly timely. Out now on Need Want, and featuring Crazy P’s Danielle Moore on vocal duty, he transforms the track into a swirling cosmic jam, with a self-penned remix and another from Ron Basejam, aka Crazy P’s James Baron, taking it further onto the modern disco dancefloor.

This 26 year-old Indian-born, Dubai-bred DJ/producer has a number of strings to his musical bow, ranging from funky Bolly-bhangra to R’n’B, hip hop and house. His life, as he says himself, is a 24-hour soundtrack and while he confesses to being influenced by all genres of music since childhood, it is perhaps his Asian roots that have earned him most notoriety in the region.

The brainchild of Graeme Clark, a many monikered super-producer whose labels — Instruments Of Rapture, Five20East and L.E.S.S. Productions — have seen him gain support from disco tastemakers like Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Danny Krivit, The Revenge’s slow, epic sound has also been sought by house labels Drum Poet and Dessous during the past 12 months, garnering him a reputation as an all-round production genius.

Having been a resident in most of Dubai’s top night-spots including Elegante, Chi and Trilogy (RIP), his experience is not lmited solely to the UAE with regular visits to Bahrain – for his Desilicious parties – and Bombay where he maintains regular contact with collaborator DJ Dev. Indeed it is under the Desilicious banner that has numerous productions and his forthcoming album Desilicious2: Back to Bollywood is currently doing the rounds at Indian-influenced dance-floors across the Middle East.


Da Sendri

YOU’VE HELD DOWN residencies across England, Ibiza and now Dubai - what brought you to Middle East and what made you stay? I was in Ibiza during the summer of 2007 and Mr Mr and Alex Bracken asked me if I would like to be the resident of 360. The choice of playing at one of the best venues location-wise in the world and the Dubai winter compared to winter in Leeds made the decision pretty easy.

What lessons can the european market learn from the Middle East, and Dubai in particular? I’m not sure there is too much the European market can learn. The scene there has been around for over 20 years now and so a lot of places know exactly what they are doing and are specialist venues rather than being attached to a hotel like they are here. What I do like in Dubai is the sense of community between DJs, promoters, venues and even media; this helps with collaboration both in events and production. Also most venues are purpose built here. OK, they are part of a hotel, but the club or bar is designed to be just that.

You’re a versatile DJ, happy playing Motown as you are playing deep house - do you get worried you get over looked for gigs as you are not seen as a specialist DJ?

Be it the UK, Ibiza or Dubai, you’ll no doubt have seen and heard Darren ‘Da Sendri’ Hendry at work. Now set to make the leap to production, and with a reputation as one of the region’s most consistent DJs, 2010 could well be his year


I actually think I am seen as a specialist DJ, Da Sendri has only ever been booked and billed for house orientated sets and that is what people expect if they come to see me - there maybe the odd random tune thrown in to my sets that isn’t a 4x4 track but I like to have a bit of fun. The times I’ve played different sets are usually where it is my event and I have complete control of the music policy.

There’s been some noise recently about ‘Jackin’ Junior Rodriguez, and coincidently you are never spotted in the same venue. Strange?

To tell you the truth, I really don’t get on with Junior, he stole a lot of my old tunes and now has taken one of my residencies and brands “Let There Be House”. Seriously though, yes this is the second DJ name I go under, it allows me to play only classic house tunes stuff from the 80s and 90s that I used to love and ultimately led me to becoming a DJ. As I said above, I intend to start using a couple of different names for different styles many of the top DJ’s do this for production, the likes of Joey Negro, Eric Prydz and Funk D’Void use different names to distinguish there style of production and I’m just doing the same to distinguish my style of DJing and ultimately my production.

You started a night called Let There Be House where nothing older then 1999 was played, How did the night do considering many parts of Dubai aren’t even that old? It went well, I was lucky that Dubai has some 90s artists living here and plying there trade. Ex KLF rapper Ricardo Da Force was resident at The Apartment when we did our parties there and his knowledge of real house music from back in the day is phenomenal. I was stunned at some of the tunes he played and to be honest quite jealous. Then at Alpha, Andy Williams of K-Klass fame had recently moved to Dubai and so he played for me a couple of times. We had great guests in Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk (a true legend) Jeremy Healy and Sean Hughes play for us.

We just googled your name and came up with 3.35 million entries, are you disappointed there aren’t more and when was the last time you googled your name? That’s shocking - however if you Google without the gap in my name, so dasendri, you get another 3.35 million so I’m happy with that. Da Sendri is resident at Saturday Splendour at the Rooftop, and Let There Be House at Chi.


UP FOR GRABS SAE gift voucher If you’re serious about music production and DJ technology, then you’ll already know about the SAE institute. Among other courses, they offer a two day Ableton bootcamp, as well as more in depth music production and DJ-orientated courses. And they’ve give us a Dhs2,100 voucher for one of their courses for you, the good readers of DJ Magazine. To win, log onto our website and answer this question. SAE stands for... a) School of Audio Engineering b) Stamped address envelope c) Society of Audio Errors

Patrick Carrera Dubai is… Great when it’s not 40 plus degrees, and also bankrupt, right? One thing you might not know about me is… I used to be a professional football player.

Win a table to see DJ Chuckie at Quantum Surinam born Chuckie is one of the fastest-rising DJs around, and thanks to his hip hop history, also one of the most deckstrous DJs. And you could be there in the best seats at Quantum on Friday January 22 as the Dutch mix-master makes his debut. To win, visit www. and answer this question

I’m not a politician but… I vote yes for women’s beach volleyball.

DJ Chuckie was born in which country

The one thing that truly scares me is… Getting my new white shoes dirty.

a) Surinam b) South Oman c) Southampton

The one song I’ll never play is… Chumbawamba vs Celion Dion super mega mashup. There are two types of people on the planet... People living the dream and people chasing it.

Win Deadmau5 goodies He came, he scowled and he played an uncompromising rude electro set at Abu Dhabi. And now you can relive Deadmau5’s set thanks to the kind folk at EMI. We have five copies of his latest album to give away, as well as a super-limited edition Deadmau5 speaker system, perfect for any future mighty mice.

I have no time for... Bad music and cooking, I never cook. If I ruled the world... I’d have a car to match my mood for every day of the week.

To win, simply log onto and answer the following question...

When I’m not busy ruling the world I like to... Play ping pong championships on my iPhone.

Deadmau5’s real name is... If I could have a drink with any dead celebrity it would be... My dad.

a) Joel Zimmerman b) Joel Timberland c) Joel Reversal

I get inspiration from... A brunette girl.



Fighting Fit Over-indulged during the festive season? Developed a podgy stomach omach or some moobs? Well, vowing to get into shape is traditionally ly a January thing for a great many of us. Switch on your ďŹ tness button, utton, feel the burn and try to see it through ’til February!


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WHAT A SITE! Let your fingers entertain you. Click on!

DISCOGS.COM Long live vinyl! is a rather splendid database emporium for vinyl fiends and music lovers. Call it a holding station for your collections of the plastic fantastic, a place to list your tunes or somewhere to think about adding more.


What you wearing? CROOKEDTONGUES.COM Whether you’re a serious runner or jjust a sneaker show-off, check out this devilish online bazaar. It’s the brightest new sneaker outlet on the cyber waves, with shoes to die for and more splendid fancy footwear than is entirely necessary.


02. KANGAROOS Dhs250


06. AVALAAN Dhs250


04. QUICK Dhs350

05. LONSDALE Dhs180

09. FLY53 Dhs350


It’s all about the threads… What are you wearing right now? “Ksubi black jeans that a friend has sewn a bit tighter and added a button on the back of my leg. Everyone keeps saying, ‘Hey, you have a coin on your leg’ or ‘What’s that button doing on your leg?’ Also, I’m wearing a Trouble & Bass T-shirt. We get the logo Ts screened by a Brooklyn-based crew called Team Screen. And also Swear shoes, classic Matt Dean model.” Describe your style… “Black never fades in the shadows of bass.”

08. LONSDALE Dhs230


BREADANDBUTTER.COM Bread and Butter is fast becoming a destination for party action as well as some heads-down fashion business. This uber cool, twice a year trade show has a huge list of trend-setting brands exhibiting 20th – 22nd January at Airport Berlin-Tempelhof.

Favourite designer? “Definitely Karl Lagerfeld. Always dark and minimal, yet classy in its detail.” Favourite boutique? “Opening Ceremony in Chinatown, New York. They have some of the

best local, Japanese, British and Italian designers lines. And lots of hand sewn one-off jackets and shirts that are tailored beautifully.” Most essential keep fit item? “A tanktop — vest in the UK! Keep dry, keep light, keep steady.” Most treasured item? “My Trouble & Bass logo 24k gold charm. It’s only a couple of centimetres in size, super thin and delicate, but bold. I got the charms made only for the crew members, so it’s very unique and special to myself and all of us.” What’s in the pipeline? “My new single ‘Set Me Free’ just dropped… with vocals by Carrie Wilds. It’s an epic diva banger. I’m also finishing up tracks for my debut album, coming in the summer, in the Brothers Studio with Eric Ehm.”



LESS IS MORE... Trend-busting nuggets and fashion predictions



ANOTHER BRAND from the Big Apple has grabbed our attention this issue. Vision Streetwear, born in 1976, have stuck with their philosophy of producing dutty skate-wear with an independent outlook. From its early beginnings, Vision has been linked uup music p with h mu usic and sskate kate culture, cultuure,, endorsing some of the most radical skaters of the time, like t like Mark Mark Gonazalez, Gon nazalez, Lance Lancce Mountain, Tas Pappas, Duane Peters and Mark ‘Gator’ tor’ Rogowski. Roogow wski. Their latest collection is likely to please everyone, covering understated to OTT pieces, with multipatterned highs for the ladies or robust, minimal mids for the guys. Take a peek.

Blue, any shade. Rich dark navy brings warmth, while aqua tones fire crisp chilly energy into your life.

TIED UP… If money’s tight but you want to breathe life into your footwear, Mr Lacy could be your answer. These colourful, branded up laces from this new label are just the ticket for the timebeing.

Essential Selection JanSport get carried away… Ja THE T ORIGINS of Californian backpackers’ apparel brand JanSport makes for a heart-warming chucklesome read. h When Skip Yowell won a design competition in the late-’60s for his backpacks, W he h told his girlfriend that if she designed the outer material for the bag he would then name his business after her. Originally the outdoorsy couple had their own th requirements in mind when they created bags with two side sleeves — one to carry a reqquirem bottle botttle of wine for Jan and the other for Skip’s beer cans. Bless. The original bag that kickstarted the brand, the JanSport Westridge, is now being reissued, costing £109.99. Eyes down for a purchase. THE O ORIGINS RIGIINS

Bands that make fash ion



TUK TUK… There is more to footwear than branded trainers, folks. T.U.K may well be your point of call for punk and gothicstyle crepe soles but we’re totally rating their sneakers. Go seek. UNDER WRAPS… UK urban streetwear label King Apparel will keep you nice and snug this winter with their matching bobble hat and scarf. Standard.

BOOMSIDAISY… Believe it or not, it’s all about the leather lederhosen. For sure you’ll need to extra brave to put a pair on, but you’ll enter into the height of fashion if you do. Allow that! DOUBLE-SIDED… We’re all over the Two Angle collection, particularly the college jacket. How very, very nice indeed.

The delightful, self-titled debut album from LA-based world beat collective Fool’s Gold is a canny mix of summery sounds and multi-cultural, flavoursome gems. Lead guitarist Lewis Pesacov sheds light on their look, saying: “It’s mid-


’60s Marcello Mastroianni, mid-’70s Bob Dylan, mid-’80s Leonard Cohen, mid-’90’s Jack Nicholson and midnoughties’ Rich Boy!” Lucky for them they have a wealth of thrift stores, malls and department stores like Barney’s to sift through,

although they often swap clothes with each other. “It’s quite hard to keep the clothes on our backs. There’s nothing we don’t share,” laughs Lewis. ‘Fool’s Gold’ is out 25th January through IAMSOUND.



Creamfields Abu Dhabi Interviews Stef Forbes Photos Allan Tinsay

Name: Kimberley Gillespie Age: 27 Nationality: British Profession: Cabin Crew What caught DJ Mag’s eye: The very now black suede boots and shorts combo. Which act are you dying to see tonight? Underworld. Any new Years Resoloutions for 2010? “Don’t date mad men!”

Name: Michael Lehody Nationality: French Profession: Electronic engineer What caught DJ Mag’s eye? The Pepe jeans and Engergie T shirt. Which act are you most looking forward to seeing tonight? Sebastian Leger

Name: Mel Pickup Age: 31 Nationality: British Occupation: Retail Manager What caught DJ Mag’s eye: The cute Topshop playsuit and cowboy boots from Dune, we love the vintage inspired ensemble. Which act are you dying to see tonight? Deadmau5. Any new Years Resoloutions for 2010? “Quit smoking”

Name: Jerermie Vantiloke Nationality: French Profession: Training Manager What caught DJ Mag’s eye? Jeremie’s Dr Marten shoes and his sharp, stylish glasses finish off this sophisticated yet casual look. Which act are you most looking forward to seeing tonight? Underworld Any new Year Resoloutions for 2010? “I don’t make resoloutions!”



Since leaving Deep Dish, Dubfire has become a mainstay on the world’s techno scene. The Iranian expat reveals his sense of freedom now that he’s flying solo, discusses the political issues in Iran and why Sven Väth is like family...

Words Andy Buchan Pictures Martin Beck


DJ Magazine is stood on the 24th floor heli-pad surveying Dubai in all its Bladerunner glory, the mottled desert stretching endlessly behind us and the debt-laden world islands lying prostrate infront. Ali Shirazinia - or Dubfire as he’s better known - is stood at one end: away from the incongruous sofa (who puts a battered sofa on a helipad anyway?) and beneath the diagonal outlines of Dubai’s twin towers, staring moodily into the camera as his Matrix-esque cape swirls around him. And yet despite this somewhat idyllic, and yes cliched setting, DJ Magazine is nervous. And not nervous in a mildly acrophobic way. We’re compulsively looking over our shoulder every three seconds to see if Melvin, the building’s security guard who is exercising his responsibilities. To. The. Very. Letter. is about to turn into our nemesis and, as promised, call the police to our photo shoot. And, to compound our nerves, our back up plan is as non-existent as Dubfire’s Hawaiin shirt collection (this is a man who dresses excluively in black, it appears) and Ali and his two-strong entourage are thoroughly enjoying the panoramic views. For you see, DJ Magazine has done its best to sneak up onto the 24th floor heli pad for the interview and photo-shoot, and hasn’t strictly filled in the triplicate forms that need to be counter-signed by every member of your family beginning with the letter M. And is thus up here, Words Andy Buchan you might say, illegally. Even a phone call to the manager of the building didn’t help: when we Photo Allan Tinsay mentioned that the owner didn’t strictly need to know about the shoot as dirham billionaire property tycoons aren’t generally DJ Magazine’s readership, we were pretty sure the volley of abuse that torrented down the phone wasn’t a green light.


And smuggling a small army of camera-wielding helpers, a clearly famous musician clad head to toe in black and two larger than life managers up a windy set of stairs, up a body-wide fire escape and onto the windswept heli pad is challenging to say the least. But, with the photo shoot completed and Ali having exhausted the view of Dubai, we’re back on rather more stable ground - two cast-plastic lilos set next to the 23rd floor swimming pool - and ready to start the interview. ‘It’s a strange world, isn’t it?’ says Ali in his calming, almost fatherly voice commenting on Dubai. ‘It’s always an impressive city, but when I look over I see a lot of unfinished business.’ And Ali should know. Iranian by birth, many of his family reunions take place in the UAE’s second city, and he’s no stranger to the city’s clubs having played here a few times under his previous moniker, Deep Dish. Being a Muslim himself, is he impressed with the way the city has matured from a sea-side shanty town to a sprawling concrete jungle in the space of a few decades? ‘As far as its appeal to me, it’s a bit bizarre - it’s like Las Vegas, but with an undercurrent of strange Islamic culture and law. I like the fact that they’ve let captitalism roam free,’ he says sounding like the bred, but not born American he is. Ali, his brother, his mum and his dad left Iran in 1978, just as the revolution in Iran was gathering pace, and to help his father - a highly -rated poet who wrote in his native Farsi tongue - to gain his PHD in America. And if they hadn’t, it’s quite possible that Deep Dish and Dubfire might not have happened as Ali would have been conscripted to the Iranian army. ‘My early childhood memories were of witnessing street protests, a lot of commotion on the news, on the streets, the family were talking about what was happening,’ says Ali fiddling with his skull and cross-bones ring. ‘We left, and shortly afterwards the revolution happened. My parents decided to carve out a new life in America, as opposed to going back and not knowing what we were going back to.’

But it wasn’t all award ceremonies, Gold selling records and globe-trotting. ‘I hated having meetings with big record labels, with management, having a manager,’ states Ali passionately. ‘I felt that there were a lot of people around us for all the wrong reasons. I didn’t feel that they had our best interests at heart.’ Now though, following his much publicised, but not definitive, split with Sharam four years ago, Dubfire has left his more pop-edged productions behind and gone down the European techno route. His sets, as he showed at the DJ Magazine launch party at Chi in November, are uncompromising musical assaults dark, occasionally uplifting, exercises in funk-laced techno. It is, judging by the look on his face, the sound of freedom. ‘That’s exactly it. When I separated from Sharam, I didn’t have to worry about all the things I did when we were Deep Dish. I feel a great sense of freedom now, and focus on the music and not on the other bulls*** that comes with it. Not that it wasn’t hard work - I was going against the grain, and trying to prove to everyone that my intentions were not anything other than genuine.’ Ah, the doubters. Wherever there’s a sudden career departure - and whatever Ali says about it, it is a big change - there are cynics at every turn. One online forum received nearly 100 comments following an interview with Ali, with everything from ‘he’s just playing whatever is trendy’ to ‘he’s credible, and respected and he did it all himself’, while one reader even went as far to say they’d ‘lost all respect for Berghain’, the noted Berlin techno club that hosted Dubfire a few years ago. But despite the number of people who have said that Ali’s simply jumping on the minimal/techno bandwagon, listen to any previous Deep Dish mixes and it’s clear that the poppier, more

commercial side of their sound that helped push them into the stratosphere was mainly thanks to Sharam. A fact further emphasised when you consider their current DJ orbits. But there has been one man - or rather an extended family - who have helped Ali assimilate himself in the techno world. ‘Definitely - Sven and Cocoon have been very important to me. The respect of my peers and also my own feeling about the music, my own love is tantamount to any DJ awards or chart action. It was very important. These were guys that I’d been friends with for a long time, and we went in different directions at first. But it was great to see after the initial shock of Deep Dish splitting and me going in a different direction, that they embraced me. Obviously I had to prove myself, and had the drive and know how to do it. I worked on remix after remix, track after track and let the music speak for itself. While at the same time, carving out the image that I wanted to present.’ And Ali certainly does have an image. Stood on the 24th floor heli pad, black cape swirling ominously behind him, he looks like a Matrix extra. Is this really you? ‘What you see is an extension of my personality,’ he nods. ‘Some magazines have blackened it further, and given it a sinister vibe - but I’m a very up and happy person. I just tend to lean towards the more melancholic and darker spectrum when it comes to music.’ And appropriately enough with that last sentence, our interview ends as the orb-like Sun plunges into the Arabian sea. We exit the heli pad, shake hands with Melvin and promise to send him a copy, and wave Dubfire off into the ever-darkening Dubai night.

I use...Traktor across four decks - everything is locked to a master tempo. So, no - I don’t have to beat match, but I can be super-creative. I can play one song, but just half a loop or one beat, and build up a new track from all four. I also use a drum machine so I can create fills and enhance tracks that don’t have enough punch. This is just the tip, this is just the start. A lot of us are waiting for the day we’ve got touch screen technology and creating a dream controller that will do anything that your mind can conjure. My tip for 2010 is... Carlo Leo. This will be his year, he’s from Toronto, Canada and he’s someone that I’ve been watching for a long time and playing a lot of his work. He’s caught the attention of Loco Dice, and he’s really into his stuff. He’s going to blow up this year. My label Sci+Tech will... Get involved in more festival appearances - I want to make it louder and bigger and make it more of a spectacle. I do get bored very easily, and I don’t want to have the same year that I had last year. With the studio stuff, I don’t want to repeat myself, and I have some ideas that I want to realise. And technology is going to dictate which way I go with the DJ gigs. I’m only as good as the technology that’s afforded to me.

And it’s in America that Ali hooked up with Sharam Tayebi, his fellow Iranian expat, to create Deep Dish - possibly the best dance music act to be named after Pizza (apart from Norman Cook’s early 90s alias, Pizzaman). Originally into leftfield punk in his early years - ‘I was always into the melancholy but edgy stuff like Fugazi,’ says Ali - he quickly made the move into the Washington club scene where he met Sharam in 1991. Both came from the same background, both were mesmerised by the emerging house market, and both hated their full-time store jobs and lived for the clubbing weekend. They quickly bonded, and in 1992 formed Deep Dish Records, the first of their four record labels. But it was during 1995 that they catapulted to fame and fortune, thanks to their seismic remix of ‘Hideaway’ by De’lacy. From there, remix offers from Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and the Pet Shop Boys flooded in, before they released their still highly-respected debut album Junk Science in 1998. Grammy awards and mixes for Global Underground and Renaissance followed, making Deep Dish one of, if not the most marketable dance duo in the world.


WILL POWER! Acclaimed producer, DJ and label owner Will Saul has compiled and mixed the mammoth new ‘Balance' mix — an album that flicks two fingers at genre snobs. DJmag joins the forward-thinking sonic magician to find out how he’s striking the perfect balance… Words: CLAIRE HUGHES Cover shoot: CHRIS DODD


oday is Will Saul’s birthday, a fact he shyly reveals just as DJmag turns up to start the interview. It’s the first our photographer has heard of it, too. While most people begrudge having to work on their birthday, Will is all smiles. On the day that he’s turned 31, he’s arrived at the photographer’s studio at 11.30am on the dot, as planned, and is chattering away over a large mug of coffee, as we prepare to put him through his paces. “Sly & Robbie are one of my all-time favourite dub and reggae acts,” says Will, casting an eye over the tracklisting to his mammoth triple CD ‘Balance 015’ mix album, out now through EQ Recordings. “The track of theirs I’ve included on the album — ‘Skull & Crossbones’ — marks a time when all of the dub guys first found digital delay. Suddenly they could do all these crazy effects and make their music sound really futuristic rather than just having a tape echo and running everything through that. So it’s kind of a real defining moment in dub, too.”

Fresh Music ‘Balance 015’ is the latest and arguably greatest in a series of classic mix compilations from such respected selectors as Lee Burridge, S.O.S and most recently Joris Voorn. Will’s selection is vastly eclectic, fusing tracks like Daniel Wang’s ‘Panoramic’ and Cortney Tidwell’s ‘Palace’ into Burial’s ‘Shell Of Light’ and his own ‘Mbira’ with other cuts from his labels Aus (releasing dub, dubstep and experimental) and Simple (emitting deep house and techno). Taken in one hit, it’s a blend that is without doubt the most genre-hopping we’ve heard all year. “Dance music has become so genre specific, with so many DJs just in their little niches, and I didn’t want to do that for this mix album,” rallies Will. “Having said that, at the moment I think things are changing and it’s a really healthy time for electronic music in general. There is much less emphasis placed on genres when it comes to making music. Take the whole dubstep techno thing going on at the moment, with producers mashing up lots of sounds and making fresh music from them.” There’s about 40 minutes of dubstep included on Will's ‘Balance’ mix — a sound he began getting into at the start of last year, when it “stopped just being about rude basslines”.


“There was a time at the beginning of last year when the scene started getting more varied and dubstep became more melodic. It was almost like when Photek started getting into d&b and pushing the boundaries with that sound. That’s what really hooked me in.” The same kind of eclecticism first attracted Will to dance music, after he took a long trip from his home in Somerset up to London to catch The Chemical Brothers DJing at Turmills. “I was only about 17, and I remember they were playing the back room,” he smiles. “What grabbed me was the way they mixed soul and hip-hop with big beats and everyone was just going mental to it.” These days, that eclectic spirit drives everything he does. At the end of the year, he plans to start a new record label, which will encourage wellestablished artists to produce music in a genre they’ve never worked in before. “When incredibly talented people from different genres attempt a new style, it’s a fresh take, and the results can be breathtaking,” explains Will. “It’s something I really want to explore for the future.”

Pushing The Envelope As far as DJing goes, Will thinks that it’s all about pushing the envelope, being able to cut it live and always giving the crowd a taste of something new. That’s why ‘Balance 015’ is peppered with cuts that most are unlikely to have heard on any other mix album before — particularly tunes such as Smith & Mighty’s ‘Anyone’, a kooky, off-key vocal track that weighs in at just 100bpm. “I chose it because it’s so weirdly off-key,” grins Will. “My mum, who is a talented pianist, heard it and had to switch it off because it offended her musical sensibilities. But that’s what I like about music — strange melodies and sounds.” He used to play that same Smith & Mighty tune in his sets at The End nightclub for his own Simple Records parties, which ran at the central London venue for three years, until the club finally closed in 2008. During that period he never missed one of the parties, and always played the beginning set and then again at the very end.


“My favourite part of DJing is playing first and feeling the energy in the room change as you lift people up,” Will opines. “I haven’t had a residency like that since The End finished and I do miss it.” And despite using Ableton to do the final mix of his ‘Balance 015’ CD, Will sticks strictly to CDs and vinyl when it comes to DJing in a club. “I do think the art of DJing has gone a bit,” he muses. “You get so many DJs using Ableton, and just pressing stop and play behind the decks. Part of the art of DJing, for me, is controlling the pitch of records in a club. It’s great to be able to hear the record slip out and to hear a DJ tighten it, otherwise it’s just stop, press play, stop, press play. I would get really fucking bored doing that. When DJs play using Ableton I think it just sounds too smooth. It doesn’t sound real. It just sounds plastic.”

Back To Basics For ‘Balance 015’, Will took things back to basics. Once he’d selected his tunes, he bought himself a rudimentary Vestax mixer with three bands of EQ, a crossfader and volume, and mixed the whole album live with it.

“I didn’t want the EQs drawn in so you don’t hear tracks start and finish,” explains Will. “Dixon’s just done that on his new mix CD and it sounds fucking amazing, but I just didn’t want to do that with these tracks. There’s a lot of old tracks and I wanted to give them their full three minutes to shine. That’s why I did the mix that way, then just tidied it up a bit in Ableton afterwards.”

Ten favourite tracks that shaped Will’s sound…

Will’s dance music credentials are flawless. He started buying records in his early teens, particularly collecting any old soul and early hip-hop tunes he could get his hands on. Dance music guided him into his twenties, and pretty soon after he started buying electronic music and going out clubbing, he saw the possibilities of production and DJing. By the time he won the now-defunct Muzik Magazine’s Bedroom Bedlam DJ mix CD competition in 1999, he was already making his own music. The Bedroom Bedlam win gave him the much-needed leg up that many talented, budding DJs need. “I’d been DJing and promoting little nights around town but winning Bedroom Bedlam meant I started getting some guest slots,” remembers Will. “I still had to work hard, but it just meant that a promoter might listen to my mix CDs over someone else’s.”

02. Recloose ‘Get There Tonight’ “This tune reminds me of getting into electronic music in the late-‘90s. It was Recloose’s first record on Planet E. He was working in a sandwich shop in Detroit, and gave the demo to Carl Craig in a sandwich. Carl took the CD home, listened, liked it and decided to put it out.”

Grounding Will Saul studied business at university, and this grounding, combined with an innate talent for doing his sums, set him in good stead when he decided he’d like to set up his own label.

“My favourite part of DJing is playing first and feeling the energy in the room change as you lift people up.”

01. Patti Jo ‘Make Me Believe In You (Black Science Orchestra Re-Edit)’ “It’s one of my favourite soul records, and I’ve been into it since my teens. I didn’t think EQ Recordings would be able to clear this for me to use on the 'Balance' comp, and was blown away when I found out I could.”

03. Smith & Mighty ‘Anyone (Mellow Mix)’ “My best friend Fin (Fink on Ninja Tune, Sideshow on my label Aus) introduced me to this. It reminds me of our first studio sessions together in his basement flat in Hampstead. I was still working at Sony (where I met him), and it was at a time when I was trying to do lots of mixtapes, get them out there, and trying to get booked, and Fin was helping me.” 04. Sly & Robbie ‘Skull & Crossbones’ “This would tie into when I first started making music with Tam Cooper, my production partner, about ten years ago. We would listen to it between sessions in his studio in Camberwell to get a vibe on, and generally give our ears a rest from whatever music we were making at the time.” 05. Model 500 ‘Wanna Be There (Dave Angel Remix)’ “From when I first started working in Phonica. It’s proper Detroit techno — soulful and really melodic, yet very raw. It joined the dots from soul to techno for me in the sense that it made me feel the same way... total shivers down my spine.” 06. Matthew Jonson ‘Typerope’ “It was one of his first records, and it just sounded like nothing else out there, really. That was in 2003, not long after I’d started Simple.” 07. Will Saul ‘Mbira’ “I released this in 2004 and it’s still the record I’m most proud of making. Musically and melodically I think it’s the strongest thing I’ve ever done. Also Tam and I had very little experience of making house and techno when we made that record, so it was really raw in terms of there being no contrived sound. I wrote this tune when I was breaking up with a girlfriend so it was a tough time.” 08. Karma ‘Beach Towel (I:Cube Cosmix Marathon Remix)’ “I:Cube is one of my favourite producers, and I always play one of his records in every set. His take on melody, groove and the sound palette that he uses to write music is as close to perfection as you can get, for me. His productions always sound really heavy and analogue, full of funk and emotion. This reminds me of 2005 when I’d moved home to Somerset and was writing my first album.” 09. Isolée ‘Pillow Talk’ “Their music is incredibly poignant when you associate it with a time of emotion. This reminds me of 2006 when I was falling in love with someone. I remember listening to his album ‘We Are Monster’ whilst we were on holiday and I was blown away.” 10. Appleblim & Ramadanman ‘Sous Le Sable’ “It’s a house record made by my favourite dubstep producers, and is ever-present in my sets today. You could say this is where I’m at now.”


Inspired by his dad who was a designer, “but also an entrepreneur who really excelled at lots of things,” Will decided to get some music industry experience, so got a job at Sony while still studying at university. “I started off making tea and sticking envelopes for various people, then they gave me more and more jobs, and more responsibility, before offering me a job as junior product manager, working in the international department,” recalls Saul. “I got to work with labels like Creation and Skint, and learned loads of stuff.” After leaving uni, Saul took on a full-time role at Sony, but soon felt that music was merely “a product” at this major label level and began to set his sights more firmly on doing something for himself. “The single biggest thing that’s contributed to Simple Records becoming a real success was me leaving Sony and getting a job at [London record store] Phonica,” says Will. “Up until that point I was into hip-hop, soul, downtempo bits, big beat and breaks, but at Phonica I really had my eyes opened to house and techno. “I started working in the shop in 2001, when Get Physical had just started, and there was so much new stuff happening. Working there 100% influenced the way I A&R for Simple. You could literally see which artists were coming through, which artists were genuinely selling lots of records, and it also meant I could get remixes from people before they were costing tons of money and remixing for major labels.” Things have changed a lot for Will since those days working behind the counter in Phonica. Now, with debut album ‘Space Between’ under his belt, as well as a string of eye-wateringly good singles and remixes, he’s ready to charge into the next decade of his life. “I’m going to start writing my next production album pretty soon and hopefully release that next year. But for me, it’s about doing it all — the DJing, the production and running the label. I like the balance. I just love it all.”

THE NEW BREED Will's eclectic tastes shine through in his list of ones-to-watch...

JOY ORBISON “Dubstep meets UK funky, with a heavy nod to old school garage. Pete sounds like an updated MJ Cole. Full of emotion and feeling. There’s an EP coming on Aus in Feb.”

MOUNT KIMBIE “Very experimental, but never loses the groove. Loosely based in dubstep, in a rhythmic sense. Punctuated with moments of pure melodic bliss.”

WOLF + LAMB “An amazing house-based collective from NYC. A label and artist under the same name. The crew is made up of Shaun Reeves, Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, Gadi and Zev (who record as Wolf + Lamb) and No Regular Play, who feature on my 'Balance' mix. There's an EP on Simple from Gadi in February.”

ADAM MARSHALL “Stripped-back deeper-than-deep house music with a truly hypnotic feel. Watch out for Adam in 2010, as he has some killer new material lined up.”

DOP “These guys have a string of huge records already under their belt. They deserve to reach as many people as possible with their crazy live show, which is why I’ve included them in this list. They sound like a very twisted Prince.”


Standard issue rave-ups just not doing it for you anymore? Then take a wild ride out to the extreme fringes of clubbing‌ Words: JOE MADDEN


Still, for an ever-increasing number of clubbers, promoters and DJs, the noughties dance scene is not quite hitting the spot. Like incorrigible adrenaline junkies chasing that elusive ultimate thrill, they crave nights out that are weirder, wilder, louder and loopier than anything they’ve experienced before. Out on the fringes of dance music, boundaries are being pushed and formulas are being torn up. And as any long-time dance fan knows, today’s underground experimentations are tomorrow’s New Big Thing. “A lot of people are bored of going to clubs that are generally all the same: different city, same story,” says Rob Philips of the UK’s Rainbow Value crew (more on them later). “People have forgotten to use their imaginations and be creative. Club owners and promoters aren’t always willing to take risks when they have a formula that seems to work. And a lot of clubbers have fallen into accepting ‘the way things are’ as the norm, so they don’t seek anything else. Sometimes even the simplest of things can make such a difference.”



aking the view that the modern clubbing era began in the mid-’70s, when disco first introduced the idea of all-night, strobe-lit shape throwing to a mainstream audience, it’s fair to say that things have come a long, long way since then. You can no longer dazzle clubbers with a few flashing lights and a twirling mirror ball: with competition more fierce than ever, clubs and superclubs now stimulate dancers’ senses in ways that would leave the polyester-clad boogie crew of yesteryear feeling dizzily overwhelmed.

The most obvious way to give an event a crazy edge is to host it in a crazy location — the more outlandish, the better. A boat’s always a good start — and not some piddling, permanently docked boat. You want a proper, full-sized, seafaring behemoth. The 80-metre MS Stubnitz, for example, has been playing host to memorable club nights since 1993. Manned by a 12strong crew, the Stubnitz tours European docks, enticing clubbers down to the converted cargo hold for some all-night nautical naughtiness. Unfortunately, Dutch authorities recently refused the boat a temporary entertainment licence due to alleged “open drug use”, leaving the Stubnitz stranded, through lack of cash-flow, at Amsterdam North docks. The crew are currently working to break the stalemate and get the rave back on the waves. Want to go one better than a boat? Get a castle. Russia’s Fortdance Festival

— currently on hiatus — took place in the 19th-century Alexander I military fortress near St. Petersburg. Accessible only by boat or helicopter, it played host to crowds of 5000-plus, who gleefully stormed the castle to sets from the likes of Judge Jules, Deep Dish and Tiësto. Even more moat-tastic is Serbia’s annual EXIT Festival. Held within the walls of the Petrovaradin Fortress, on the picturesque Danube River, this year the event drew 150,000 through its 18th-century gates to see and hear, amongst countless others, Swedish House Mafia, Andy C and Richie Hawtin. But if you really want to invoke the spirit of the underground, head underground. London’s disused Aldwych Tube station has hosted several eccentric electronica parties over the years, but the hot new subterranean spot is P3, a threestorey concrete bunker hidden away under the University of Westminster. Diesel:U:Music’s world tour passed down into P3 at the start of October, with Heartsrevolution, Young Fathers and Crazy Cousinz in tow. “It’s an untraditional venue with limited access,” says Diesel:U:Music’s Andy Griffiths, “and that creates a journey of discovery for the punters, and the opportunity for us to deliver a promise of ‘expect the unexpected’. That bit extra, that extra layer, makes all the difference. We always want to push the experience as far as we can.” If Andy could house a Diesel:U:Music event anywhere, then, where would he go for? “One of two places — a mental asylum or an aircraft hangar. D’ you know of any?” If economics dictate that you travel an altogether more lo-fi DiY path, there’s always the ‘cave rave’. A favourite of coastdwelling soundsystem crews in search of tucked away locations for illicit parties, the cave rave has blossomed into a minor global phenomenon, hitting a peak of popularity in the UK with the large scale Untold Dorset Cave Rave of 2006. Although local police have often turned a blind eye to these events, the accidental death of a young man attending a cave

rave at Okains Bay, New Zealand, in October of this year may well turn out to have a knock-on effect on those tolerance levels.

Wonky-side-of-the-law Andy (not his real name) is the mastermind behind Names Of Nothing, a quarterly wonky-side-of-the-law house/ techno event that’s been held in numerous unusual central London locations — on canal towpaths, under impromptu marquees, you name it. “I try to keep it varied,” Andy tells DJmag. “I’ve done two outdoor raves in central London, and I’m constantly looking for new venues. I have my own soundsystem, so I’m after raw, totally empty spaces to fill with Names Of Nothing’s sound. I also try to be really creative with how the venues are decorated. “The inspiration to start Names Of Nothing came from an illegal rave I went to in West London about five years ago. For me, at the time, it was incredible, so raw and different — I’d never seen a party like it in central London before. From then on I wanted to pick the baton up and do some really underground parties. “We’ve had nothing but great feedback so far. We don’t do the parties too often and we stop them at a set time when they’re still kicking, rather than stringing them out as long as possible when only the last stragglers are left. People always leave wanting more, and they seem to be excited about the next one before the current one has even finished.” Despite his interest in raving it up in unusual locations, Andy doesn’t think the standard issue club has had its day. “People do get bored of the same thing week in, week out, whatever it is,” he shrugs, “but going to a rave that’s a little bit different every now and then is going to give you some variety and excitement, and I personally think that that’ll help to keep people excited about the more standard club set-ups.”

Wigged-out Haven’t got access to a boat/castle/ cave/secret government nuclear bunker,


and can’t summon up the nerve to put on an illegal techno knees-up in the local Lidl car park? Well, you can always take an existing blah-de-blah venue and turn it into something wigged-out and wonderful. For starters, you can whip out the club’s puny PA and draft in the mighty Valve Sound System — officially the loudest club system in the world. Created by low-end-obsessed drum & bass dons Dillinja and Lemon D, the 96kW rig — featuring no less than 52 speciallydesigned subwoofers — gets set up in six ominous stacks, each 18 feet wide and nine feet high. Punters entering a Valve-equipped club are handed earplugs, with many finding the sheer power of Valve’s booming bass tones — which can blur the vision, churn the stomach and shift the very air around you — too much to handle. “When I heard it at a Renegade Hardware rave,” says a visitor to d&b site Dogs On Acid, “it was just too loud. It felt damaging.” “Anyone who goes to Valve without earplugs is asking for serious trouble,” says another. “But it’s definitely worth it, just for the bass. As long as you wear earplugs, you’ll be fine.”

A-maze-ing Once you’ve made the club louder than the final stages of the apocalypse, you

could push things further still by transforming it into a mad techno labyrinth, just as the Rainbow Value promotions crew do. “The Rainbow Value Maze,” explains Rob Philips, “is an 11-metres-square inflatable maze, which we set up in the middle of a dancefloor, with the DJ looking over everyone. To make things even more interesting, we sometimes use ‘silent disco’ headphones, which worked really well in Ibiza this summer due to the noise restrictions. “The feedback from both the clubbers and the DJs has been amazing,” Rob continues. “The idea originally came to me at an after-party in Ibiza two years ago — where all the best ideas come from. People were talking about raves in caves, and playing with those words I switched it to a rave in a maze, and then decided that I actually wanted to do just that. It was one of those ideas that was just so good. Then, a few days later, I magically found someone who knew where to get an inflatable maze — that’s when I knew it was definitely going to work!” Rainbow Value Maze raves held outdoors at locations such as Hackney’s Space have proved roaring successes, with attendees loving the combination of butt-shaking techno and the total loss of bearings, but the sheer unwieldiness of the maze itself has sometimes proved something of a stumbling block.

Fortdance “The main problem we’ve encountered,” laughs Rob, “is finding venues big enough. Particularly indoor ones: most warehouses have pillars in them, so there’s just not a big enough open space for the maze. So, we’re currently planning on appearing mostly at festivals next summer. However, if anyone knows of any spaces that are big enough for the maze, and if they’re interested in using it, they can contact us at bookings@”

Stamina Putting on an all-nighter is always a good

EXIT Festival

way for promoters to position themselves at the more extreme end of the clubbing spectrum. Nothing says “we are hardcore” like a 7am finish time. But you can always push that further. How about an all-weeker? Or an all-monther? The annual Ten Days Off festival held in Ghent, Belgium, definitely tests the stamina of clubbers who consider themselves hardcore. Held over (you guessed it) ten days, 2009’s event featured sets from Trentemøller, Carl Craig, Benga and DJ Hype, and the sort of next-level, no-holds-barred partying that Dutchspeaking clubbers seem to specialise in. Managing to hit that dancefloor for all ten events and still be standing come 2pm (on what would actually be the 11th day) when the beats finally stop probably deserves some kind of medal, and also immediate medical attention (If Ten Days Off sounds a bit like a recipe for personal disaster, you could always instead head for Five Days Off, a trimmed-down spin-off event that runs every year in Amsterdam). But if ten days straight sounds like too easy of a challenge, how about six weeks? That’s an actual possibility if you head to KaZantip — also sometimes known simply as “Z” — a dance music festival that runs for exactly that staggering time-period every summer on the Crimean peninsula, in the Ukraine. Previously held in an unfinished nuclear power station, the event has expanded to accommodate the 150,000 ravers (or “paradiZers”) who pass through every year, and now takes place in the town of Popovka. The KaZantip crew claim that their event is “the biggest, longest, craziest, liveliest and most unusual techno, trance and house music event in the world!” Rapidly gathering a loyal worldwide cult following amongst clubbers after something a little bit different, KaZantip even has some of the surreal accoutrements of an international secret society: Zmarked yellow suitcases are to be found everywhere, as if part of some subliminal


coded message, and attendees often clothe themselves in all-orange outfits. The event itself is held on a 15-acre site, with music running for 21 hours a day in 14 different areas. The organisers like to think of KaZantip as “a republic”, a hedonism-fuelled secret country to which people can escape for however long they please.

Baking For many of those seeking out the most extreme, bleeding-edge thrills that dance culture can offer, however, there’s really only one event worth talking about — Burning Man. Running non-stop for a week out in the baking Black Rock Desert, in Nevada, the 50,000-strong event has become something of a Mecca for ravers eager to push the envelope as far as it’ll go. British clubbing veteran Alex made the hallowed pilgrimage across the Atlantic for the 2009 gathering. “It really is absolutely amazing,” he tells DJmag. “It’s far more non-stop than any other festival I’ve been to. It’s too hot to sleep in the day, and there’s so much going on at night that you worry about missing stuff, so you do end up pretty sleep deprived. You get given a vague

programme detailing what’s on, but really you just have to be totally Zen about it, just meet cool people, let them guide you around all these soundsystems. You can’t really plan your party like you would at, say, Glastonbury. “It’s definitely not for everybody. It’s an enormous amount of work just to get together all the stuff you’re going to need — it was two solid days of shopping and planning beforehand — because there’s no ‘money’ out there. You also have to set things up so you can become totally un-contactable for a week. “But even if you went out there with nothing, you’d still be looked after. The whole vibe is about ‘giving’ — whether that’s a yoga lesson, or water, or a reiki massage, or acid or pills or some mad new drug you’ve never even heard of. “The best time I had,” he continues, “was at this gay tent called Comfort And Joy. There was really nice techno playing in there, and half of the place was taken up by a dancefloor, and the other was taken up by people having sex — just a big orgy — and there were no divisions between the two halves. It was totally free.

“For a lot of people there, it seemed like Burning Man was the only place where they could be totally free, whether that was sexually, or in terms of drugs, or in terms of them just completely being somebody else for a week. You can imagine that some of the people there had just let it all build up for a year, and then finally exploded when they got to Burning Man.”

So, in five years’ time, will we all be going raving clad in PVC gimp outfits, listening to 400bpm gabba non-stop for eight weeks in a medieval maze castle in Croatia, while wibbling our brains out on ketamine-Viagra martinis? Let’s be honest: probably not. But to quote no less an authority than Marty McFly: “I guess you guys aren’t ready for that yet. But your kids are gonna love it...”

Burning Man


Gaz Nevada – ‘I.C. Love Affair’ Mid-tempo genius. One of my favourite italo records ever. I love everything about it – the drums, the synths and the spacey vocal. I was recently listening to an old Ron Hardy mix that it featured on which brings me too my next record, another big Hardy tune…

degrees of separation

Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle – ‘Baby Wants To Ride’ Killer drum programming and rough bassline combine to make it physically impossible not to jack your body to this record. Topped off by Jamie Principle’s sleazy, sexy (and seemingly at least, partly improvised) vocal. Next up, one of my favourite recent Frankie Knuckles productions…

Hercules & Love Affair – ‘Blind’ (Frankie Knuckles Remix) Knuckles nails this remix. By far the best mix of the package. In the first half of 2008 this record was everywhere and was guaranteed to make people go mental whenever it was played. One of many brilliant releases on DFA records. Prior to the birth of the label, however DFA got known for their production and remix work. One of the first remixes of theirs that I remember hearing is…

Le Tigre – ‘Deceptacon’ (DFA Remix) One of the records that kick-started the disco-punk/ punk-funk revival/whatever you want to call it sound that was popular during the first half of this decade. Remains one of my favourite ever DFA mixes. For those not familiar, the DFA production team consists of two chaps – James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy. Once upon a time, before he moved to NYC and hooked up with Murphy, Goldsworthy worked with James Lavelle on the U.N.K.L.E. project, the first release of which was…

The Challenge: To create a mini-mix, in six linked tracks. These links can be geographical, historical, labelrelated etc.

U.N.K.L.E. – The Time Has Come “The time has come… to get out of your mind.” Miles away from what I would play in a club now, but I loved it when I first heard it as a teenager and still think it’s ace to listen to. Moving on to my final record, one of our Disco Bloodbath remixes which was made with the help of a synthesizer that we borrowed from the U.N.K.L.E. studio…

The Challenger: Damon Martin from Disco Bloodbath. Having risen from speakeasy basement parties in East London to playing at Fabric, Bestival and Matter - not to mention Ibiza, Berlin and any European city worth its clubbing salt - it’s fair to say that Disco Bloodbath are hot property. But can Damon rise to the challenge?

The Aliens – ,The Sunlamp Show’ (Disco Bloodbath Remix) My favourite remix that we’ve done to date. The aforementioned synth (an OSCAR fact fans/nerds) combined with a sampled drum loop and an ace piano line that we found in the out-takes from the original record. Psychedelic, epic, 13 minutes long – totally self-indulgent but all the better for it, in my opinion. I suppose I would say that though.

Damon plays the DJ Magazine Party at 360 on Thursday January 21. Visit for guestlist.



Putting Dubai on the map Appropriately enough, on the day we speak to Martijn Ten Velden and Nelson Moreira AKA Afroboogie about their club smashing Desert Storm EP, there’s a raging shamal outside the 18th floor studio. Inside however, the Dutch-South African music making axis have already started on the follow up and are busy talking up their Defected release, forgetting David Guetta’s name and discussing Words Andy Buchan why whale sharks are stopping them from going back-to-back Photo Allan Tinsay 40

DJ: HOW DID the Desert Storm EP come about? Martijn Ten Velden: I’ve been in Dubai for around 18 months, and first met Nelson when I played at Peppermint four years ago which Afroboogie was resident at. We made the two tracks, ‘Cowbell’ and ‘2 Note Shuffle’ this summer, but it was pretty hard as I was away for a lot of it, as was Nelson. It took longer than it usually would - it must have been two months. Nelson: We thought that ‘2 Note Shuffle’ was going to be the big song, because it was a bit more commercial, a bit more mainstream. We were actually going to call it ‘2 Note Symphony’ but because it’s got a skippy sound, we went for shuffle. We’d also have been properly mocked if we’d called it a symphony... MTV: It’s a lot techier as well, quite a dark sound. N: We thought ‘Cowbell’ would attract the cooler DJs who weren’t afraid to take a chance. But it worked out the other way round - ‘Cowbell’ was the single. MTV: Even though Mark Knight prefers ‘2 Note Shuffle,’ he plays that all the time. It’s just a bassline and a groove - we thought it was more of a DJ tool, where you could drop an acappella over. And it turned into the main track. DJ: Was it the product of many a late-night, smoke-filled session? N: It wasn’t actually. It was proper 9-5 stuff. MTV: Well, more like 12-6 (Laughs). N: I think each song must have taken 25 hours, maybe a week each if you added it up. MTV: The average time for a track is between three and seven days in total, and we weren’t far off that. N: Now, if it was me doing that alone, it would have taken me four hours and I would have given up. MTV: Heheh. N: I’ve got no patience, none. So working with Martijn taught me that I need to chill out a bit more, and take more time with the track. He’s really anal, and has to have everything perfect. And he’s always tinkering with the hi-hats. The hi-hats are fine, mate! MTV: (Laughs). You need to put a lot of work into it - it needs to sound simple, but it can be a very complicated process making it simple. N: One of the great things about Martijn’s experience is his knowledge. If I needed to bring a sound out more, I’d simply EQ it. But his way of looking at it is to double it up with another sound that works on top. MTV: It’s important that the sound is important in the first place, but it should sound good in the start - it’s more important to get the right sound first and then EQ it. DJ: So if you took Martijn’s attention to detail Nelson, what did you get from him? N: Not much. MTV: So modest! Nah, that’s not true. He’s got a lot of good ideas, his arrangements were fantastic and

he knows what works as a DJ. DJ: Is there a Desert Storm 2 on the way? N: There is, I’ve started a groove at home, we’ll add Martijn’s to it and see where we end up. MTV: It’s very basic at the moment, and probably won’t sound like this when we’re finished. DJ: And what hopes have you got for the second EP? MTV: It’s too early to say at the moment, but we’ll do another two track EP and the second one will definitely be another groovy, percussive track. DJ: Where would you like to play in Dubai? MTV: I’m playing at Sanctuary in January which I’m excited about, and I’ve played at Peppermint and Quantum quite a few times. N: I like Sanctuary, but I’m boycotting the hotel because they’ve kept Sammy the whale shark captive for so long, after promising to release him back to the wild. I refuse to put money into that hotel. I’m dying to go there, but I really feel for that shark. DJ: So you wouldn’t consider a monthly residency? MTV: I haven’t tried to get one to be honest, although it would be nice as I travel too much. I’m playing Soeul on Saturday - it’s a wicked party town, the people go absolutely mental, and the best thing is you don’t have to play hits. Then I’m off to Brazil for Christmas and New Year, then off to Poland. N: Who needs a residency in Dubai with that line up? MTV: And last week I was in Paris and played at Les Bains - a wicked club that used to be owned by... what’s his name, Mr Commercial House.

the last track in fact, that would be fine with me. DJ: Collaborations have also been a big part of both your careers. MTV: Definitely. It’s great, you get good feedback, and you get to bounce ideas off each other. You can get stuck on a track, and having that second person really helps. N: I find it so much easier - when you’re working together, things can progress so much quicker. MTV: It’s more fun as well. Music is all about communicating. N: If hip hop has become so big with so many collaborations, then I don’t see why dance music can’t do that as well. I’m not into hip hop, but every time you see two heavyweights together, it really is powerful. DJ: So how far can you go? MTV: We’ve only just started, but the first one was great as we didn’t aim to make a hit. N: I didn’t expect to get a Defected release, and neither did Martijn. MTV: We’ll definitely try to take it to the next level with this one. You have to carve out your own sound, and now we know that we’ve hit the right spot with ‘Cowbell’, we’ll try and work on that. It’s also been voted Track of the Week on Kiss FM by DJ Pioneer. N: Yeah, it’s had this mad cross-over into the urban music scene which we didn’t expect at all. We’re really reaching a different type of crowd. The Desert Storm EP is out now on Defected.

What we use...

DJ: Bob Sinclar? MTV: No, the other one. MTV: David Guetta, that’s the one. DJ: You just forgot David Guetta’s name?

Logic Pro - Of course, it’s the natural choice. UAD 2 sound Card, in my Power Mac G5 - this gives it a really warm, analogue sound that really brings the warm sound back into it.

MTV: Haha, yeah I did. Sorry David. DJ: You’re renowned for a lot of back-to-back sets - would you guys consider it?

TC Electronic power core - It’s got a lot of real high-end plug ins. Genelex 2050A - Great studio speakers.

N: If we had the opportunity to, then sure. I’ve seen Martijn and Mark going back to back in Miami, and they complement each other perfectly - they create such a good party atmosphere. In fact, last time I let him play on my records, he took over for about half an hour. MTV: I was drunk, and I kept playing one more tune all night. I’m known for saying that, just one more. We haven’t really thought about it, but it would be definitely fun. N: I mean, if he’s going to take me to Rio with him, then I’ll go back-to-back, no problem. I’ll just play

Mackie HR824 - For when you really want to pump it. Mackie Big Knob - Because all DJs like to twiddle with big knobs. Yamaha Mixer - Simply used for playing back, it’s just there for photographs really. I’ve been digital for three years now, before then there was a lot of outboard gear and a huge mixer.


Living the cream? p.44

In with the Jones’p.46

Can Abu Dhabi pull off Creamfields?

Techno titan takes on the Rooftop

Bar warsp.47 Our man in Beirut, MaDJam, looks at the city’s bar scene

Image conscious p.49 The best party pics



K.O. The Killers live up to their name as they knock over Abu Dhabi, see page 46 for the full review


Abu Dhabi




FIELDS OF DREAMS With a million dollar line up, and a billion dollar hotel, could Creamfields Abu Dhabi become the jewel in the international festival calendar?

A close run fin

Words Andy Buchan Pictures Supplied


OOK AROUND YOURSELF at the UK-based Creamfields and you’ll see, in no particular order: sweat-drenched, sleep deprived loons, gyrating chins, nubile dancers clad in furry boots and bras, hard-house casualties, rave-hardened clubbers and all manner of club detritus. It’s a colourful congregation of club cultures, all there for varied, but usually stellar line up. Walking past the gilt-edged Emirates Palace hotel, the differences couldn’t be more striking. The air is pregnant with the smell of Clearasil and ill-gotten cigarettes, as scores of kids atom-bump into each other, pinging around the arena. Families sit on picnic rugs on the inch-thick grass, toilets are used for their intended purpose (apart from one errant tree-wetter stood by the house tent - yes you in the blue Paul Smith T-shirt) while the line up is cool, but far from the commercial that the location might have demanded. But with the threat of a downpour literally hanging over the festival and with the debauched denizens out of the equation - not to mention the sloth-slow ticket sales - would Creamfields Abu Dhabi survive purely on the music buzz alone?

crowd lapped it up, as his hour-long electro pop set kick-started the night. His five-strong band were airlock tight, abused their guitar/bass/drums/keyboards with rock star abandon and in Harris had a confident frontman, unafraid to bounce around like a candy-cained Barney. The first ‘don’t let it stop’ moment of the festival came as ‘Flashback’ erupted from the speakers. On record, it’s a euphoric pop-house moment of near-genius, but live it became a blur of tribal drums, diva-top notes and, thanks to the staccato-stuttered mid-song crescendo, a glow-stick in the air moment. It was quickly followed by quite possibly the biggest bassline Abu Dhabi has ever heard as a Beth Ditto sized bass-wobble swept the crowd as Calvin’s first hit, ‘Acceptable In The 80s’ was given a muchneeded dub-tech facelift.

It seemed to be a problem that Calvin Harris, the first of three live acts on the main stage, was aware of. Looking like a lost student on his way to the 6th form ball - all gangly limbs, black shirt and kerazy yellow tie - he was almost constantly hyping the crowd. ‘Crrrrreeeeeeaaaammmm fffffiiieeeeeeeeeeeelllldddddssss, are you ready?’ he bellowed into his microphone as if he was getting paid on a ‘shout out’ basis. Thankfully the large


From there, Calvin revisited ‘The Girls’ which prompted a group of slowly swaying, beer-bellied men to get their particularly loose groove on and start dancing provocatively with each other, before the happy sad, My First Trance Riff of ‘I’m Not Alone’ pierced their bubble. But while they might not be old enough to pogo to it, the first 50 rows certainly were as water bottles were grenaded, ring-less hands went airborne and the crowd surged forward as one. There was of course plenty of action away from the main stage, as the Underground and House tents offered both local and international line ups, with Big Al representing from Lebanon and DJ Mag columnist MaDJam warming up the main stage. Sadly the local jocks finished before

10pm, a good six hours before the scheduled close of the festival - something that will hopefully change next year. But we still got there in time to hear the Audiotonic residents play the sort of big room deep house that makes you go weak at the knees, and to witness Vas Floyd turn his monitors to the crowd when his sound was cut halfway through his set. Following the last track of Mr Mr’s set (the Adam Byrd remix of Lank’s ‘Time To Move’ house fans), one of 2009’s biggest stars Laidback Luke stepped onto the stage. Boasting a pair of in-ear headphones, and an ear-to-ear smile, he launched into a crowd-pleasing set that had B-More, hip hop, low-bit rate bass and phaser-funk beats rolled into one jacking, two-hour package. With the temperature set to club sweaty and the tent filled to capacity, it mattered little that we were in Abu Dhabi, or even other Creamfield locations like Liverpool or Beunos Aires - a tent filled with party tunes and party people is just that. We had to leave however, and our decision to do so was out of our hands: we were sweating like Nakheel’s CFO and Underworld were about to start on the main stage. Quite how two men, a computer bank with more knobs than a French door makers warehouse and a row of 10ft inflatable paraplegic Tellytubbies was going to work as a live show, wasn’t clear. And when Karl strode on in tight black trousers, clunky trainers and a sparkly jacket that even Elton John would baulk at, we were even less certain. But building from subtly shifting tech house, and with a voiceover from Hal 2000’s darker, house-loving brother directing the action, the long-standing duo created a subtle soundtrack, that 30 minutes in peaked with the second ‘don’t let it end moment’ of the night as the quite beautiful ‘Two

Months Off’ burst into the blustery, almost English night. With Karl on guitar, Rick tweaking, pulling and sliding on the computer bank and the floating Tellytubby backdrop now lit up and precariously dangling over them, they created a sound that was part My Bloody Valentine white noise, part Funk D’Void lush techno and totally captivating. An old skool drum and bass tune quickly followed, as did a long gestated ‘Crocodile’, but it was their ‘Trainspotting’ anthem ‘Born Slippy. NUXX’ which provided the third ‘don’t let it end’ moment of the night; millions (OK, 15) ellipse balls bounced from the back of the stage as the synapse-snapping chords broke in and the 4,000 strong crowd was bathed in a dazzling light show. Two more breakdowns came and went, and each one evoked slack-jawed reaction from the rapidly aging crowd as the midnight curfew had thinned out the teenagers. But having unleashed their two big hits within the first hour, and with word reaching the crowd of Sasha and Erick Morillo’s peak-time sets from the two house tents, we were a little concerned at where the duo could take the crowd from here. Harder and faster it seemed, as a barrage of blitzkrieg beats blasted from the speakers. Which was our cue to leave and head for the tents. We walked into the Underground house tent expecting the usual Sasha show, but something wasn’t quite right. The music was Sasha’s trademark, heavy industrial house, but the DJ wasn’t moodily staring at his laptop, nor did he look like a sulking six year old. Sasha was, shock! horror! smiling, making full use of the Pioneer CDJ2000s and looking like he’d rediscovered his lust for life. Equally impressive was

Sebastian Leger’s following set - although much of the crowd dissipated, it wasn’t due to his funk-edged tech house set but more thanks to Erick Morillo’s showmanship in the House arena. With his ubiquitous blonde backstage, and with his face set to his trusty perma-pout, Morillo turned back the clock and delivered a masterful set full of vocal loops, chopped beats and big tent driving house interspersed with some boompty boompt deep house. The only problem was that he’s been turning back to the clock to his 1999 house hey day for 10 years now. One DJ who has evolved rapidly is Joel Zimmerman, AKA Deadmau5. Hate him or hate him (just jokes, Joel), he splits the dance community like no other. But there’s no denying the raw power of his bellicose electro set - and the cheer he received when his royal-blue Mau5 hat went on would have set the Champagne and Oysters crowd on edge in the nearby Emirates Palace hotel. Vocal loops were brought in - ‘Funk Phenomena’ being the highlight - amid snarling breakdowns and swirling, techaddled riffs were crunched through the Mau5designed software. Joel even got so excited after one particularly vicious breakdown that he clambered to the front of the stage, Mau5 head on and started dancing in front of the day’s biggest crowd. But just as one of his last tracks was about to explode in a frenzied mess of electronics, the plug was literally pulled on his performance - but not before he had time to play his signature end game music from Mario Brothers. It might have been the end of his set, but this is surely just the beginning for Creamfields in Abu Dhabi.


Abu Dhabi




Stone cold Killers Whether they’re a guilty pleasure or the all-important rock-dance crossover band, The Killers dazzled in Abu Dhabi Words Georgina Wilson-Powell Pictures Supplied


E HAVE HISTORY, The Killers and DJ Magazine. Whether it’s their rock and rave melding originals, or the huge number of remixes that have swamped blogs and stores - check out our Top 5 remixes below - they’ve helped soundtrack the DJ Magazine office. Which possibly explains our e-numbered, jack-in-a-box dancing as ‘Human’ - their most dance-centric offering to date - opened up their Tuesday night show in Abu Dhabi. Even back in a soggy May day in 2004 when we first interviewed frontman Brandon Flowers as they supported a no-name indie-landfill band in a dingy Birmingham dive, we knew. We knew that Flowers would become the star he so desperately wanted to be, we knew that ‘Mr Brightside’ would become a generational anthem, and we knew that The Killers would grow to become a world-conquering band. What we didn’t realise was just how many stonecold killer tracks they had. Following hot on the heels of the great-but-gibberish’Human’ came a riotous ‘Somebody Told Me’ and a riff-heavy ‘Bones’. Ever the frontman, Flowers ran around the stage toddler-style with every pair of female eyes on him, with his statuesque minders - the giantsized bassist and guitarist whose demeanour and pout are more Queen than Killers - looking on from either flank. Even though it was near to capacity, it was mostly a static and sober crowd - thanks partly to its Abu Dhabi location, and partly down to the ridiculous bar queues that gave the only real moshpit experience of the night. But for the people who aren’t singing out


every word, like some personal pimped up karaoke experience, there’s plenty to see. The diminutive front man comes backed by a huge video wall which either supports the set-list with the

Killer Killers 1) ‘Mr Brightside’, Thin White Duke remix. Near-perfect euphoric house tune from super-producer Stuart Price. 2) ‘Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine’, Chris Tall remix. The lyrics might make zero sense, ‘I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier,’ but the tech-house beats and rough, rock and roll edge make perfect sense on a dancefloor. 3) ‘Somebody Rock Me’, Party Ben mashup. Hate them or hate them, there’s no denying the power of a well-suited mashup. And this meeting of musical minds, featuring the punk pyrotechnics of The Clash and Brandon’s power-pop vocals, is a winner. 4) ‘Spaceman’, Steve Aoki and Bloody Beetroots mix. Frenzied Red Bull beats + distorted vocals + production flourishes from Aoki (America’s answer to Alkan) = indie dancefloor anthem. 5) ‘Human’, Ocelot remix. Banging, peak-time electro rework from the UK rockers who’s catchphrase is ‘all the fun of trance, without all that trance.’

accompanying video or shows an ever distorting, magnified firework display, like a super-heated orange lava lamp. It’s a definite improvement on their previous backdrop: their flashbulb lit name was so bright you were playing chicken with the sun to even glance at it. All that remains of this stage of their lives is the letter ‘K’ in front of Flowers’ mid-stage mic. Pulling out all the stops, the singer broke up the set with solo piano led versions of their biggest hits – ‘Human’ was re-visited as was ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. Could this be a glimpse of a possible future 30 years on with Flowers in his home town of Las Vegas channelling his inner Elton John? Luckily the band avoided most of their stodgy second album, ‘Sam’s Town’, although ‘Read My Mind’ was afforded a reception of both singing and hands in the air. For a band that are so vocal, there was little encouragement from the band to interact, but considering their hit-packed back catalogue, Flowers needed no small talk. ‘Mr Brightside’, their generational anthem, was unleashed towards the end and rarely can a billion dollar hotel have seen such a pogoing frenzy on its lawns. The moment the intro sang out across the warm night air, cheers and arms go up and stay up - this the singalong moment out of an entire gig of singalong moments. There’s a small pause before the inevitable encore which includes a rousing, rampaging, ear-ringing ‘Jenny Was a Friend of Mine,’ accompanied by a wave of shock and awe pyrotechnics, confetti and pomp. The Killers came, they conquered and they disappeared again but hey smile like you mean it.


Jones’ town


European techno meets Middle Eastern glamour as the Rooftop p goes dark - and loves it



Words Danilo Venegas Photos Rukshan

UNCOMPROMISING IS THE WORD we would have liked to sum up this review: a full on immersion into the nuances of the world of electronic music, a headlong explosion of sonic booms, an unrelenting barrage of beats. After all, this is the fast-rising Jamie Jones - known for his variety and who does his best to avoid pigeon holing. Fortunately for some and unfortunately for others, this wasn’t as prominent but JJ, as all good DJs must, worked the crowd and his set the way a Venetian glass blowers work their craft. As usual, the Rooftop at Madinat Jumeirah was packed with what’s become a Dubai norm, the 20-80. That’s not the male/female ratio. 20 per cent of the people are there for the night, the music, and the show and the other 80 are comprised of people who are there for the beautiful venue. Or are friends of a friend. Orsimply out on the prowl, sleazing, having heard it’s the place to find some good looking, big-spending people.

Early on in the night the dance nce floor was a strange blend of pockets kets of overzealous-booth-huggerss amidst a sea of statuesque fashionistas; tas; a disharmonious pool. After a few tracks and some heavy duty deck-fiddling, JJ made sure everyone noticed he’d finally stepped up to the decks with an attention grabbing remix of MGMT’s ‘Electric Feel.’ The familiarity of the tune served as Jamie’s pseudo-subtle, “Yo, I’m on!” announcement. From here on out the hypnosis was focused and tweaked with each whoop and whistle the crowd let out. Following the mood and allowing each track enough time to sink in, yet not enough time to get monotonous. In all it was a fairly house based set including Jones’ signature electrofunk-infused-house sound, but minus the techno rhythms he drops in Europe. Drawbacks? The Rooftop needs a sound infusion, and quick, and we could definitely do without the dancefloor clearing, wannabe break dancers - leave the posing at home next time please.

Beirut beat All clubbed out after the New Year? MaDJam, our man in Beirut, takes you on a tour of the city’s bars... HAPPY NEW YEAR! With every New Year that starts in Lebanon, the first and most important question remains - will the country be stable this year? 2009 was probably the best year of the decade with the elections going safely in June, political rivals compromising in order to get along, and no sign of long-term financial crisis. Strangely enough for a city so associated with clubbing, the Beirut bar scene is relatively new. After the civil war ended in 1990, a number of bars and clubs appeared in Jounieh, a costal city about 20km north of Beirut. It wasn’t until the late 90s when the security checkpoints were finally dismantled that bars began to appear. One of the most popular at the time was Monot Street which runs parallel to the Damascus road, and more pertinently, was the green line that used to divide east and west Beirut. Pacifico, Monkey Rose, Lime Bar, Hole In The Wall and Rai were amongst the 40 or more pubs that lined the entire street. Monot continued to prosper through 2005, and got so busy that it would take an hour to cross 400 metres of cobble-stoned road. Some claim Monot was getting too commercial, others just got sick of the influx of the less civilized crowd that started to flow down the street - but, in truth, Monot now had a competitor. Just a short stumble away, things were getting crazy in Gemayze with pubs springing up on all sides of the highly congested residential area. Torino, Porto, Cactus, Dragonfly, Myu, Gauche Caviar and some very unique restaurants all opened within a year causing a nightmare amongst the neighborhood. With such tight alleyways and limited parking spaces, the complaints started rolling into the government offices. “It wasn’t the volume of our music, it was the honking of the horns during the gridlock traffic at 1 in the morning that brought them down to protest in their pajamas,” claimed Teddy, a bar owner on Gemayze street. “One night they just had enough and all came down in the middle of the night to protest the noise pollution of the whole area!” Government officials shut a few places down and it looked like it was potentially the end of the Gemayze legacy. Thankfully the bar owners & residents of the street came to a truce a few weeks later with new rules placed on outlets to limit music volume and traffic flow. In November 2009 a new dilemma arose - the main parking lot was shut down to make way for three Dubai-like high rise buildings. Even though the valet service is good, it now takes them a lot longer to find a spot and get your car back to you on time. The residents’ honking-nightmare is back. Meanwhile a few investors decided it’s time to revive Monot street once again, and with clubs like Brut opening it could hopefully mean reducing the congestion on Gemayze street and shifting people back to Monot. Either way, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy on both streets, the more the merrier!



Image conscious AAA ACCESS



Subst@nce feat. Alex Niggeman, Thursday December 10 From underground villa parties to prime-time clubbing, it’s been quite a journey for the deep, tech-house loving Subst@nce crew. And the equally quick-rising Alex Niggeman took a while to get into his stride, before finding his very funky groove.

Ron Carrol, Barasti, Thursday December 10 The Barasti crowd were in soul heaven as US house legend Ron Carrol returned for his monthly residency. And even the threat of impending rain - a sure-fire deal breaker at an open aired venue like Barasti - couldn’t dim the dancers.


What’s on




Only one-off events are listed Listings are free, but please send the full details, using the below templates and with a hi resolution image, to

THURSDAY 7 iLL Communications feat. DJ T Club: Trilogy Rooftop Description: The techno sessions on the Rooftop continue, as Get Physical’s DJ T headlines. Tel: 009714 397 3728 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Website:

NOVA FEAT. SCARLETT ETIENNE, SANCTUARY Friday January 15 She might be stunning, but the music is equally as well turned out - leaning towards the darker spectrum of house music, but always with one foot firmly entrenched in funk, Scarlett is one of the leading female DJs around the world. She’s already got dates in Belgium, Italy, London, Los Angeles and at the legendary Beirut club BO 18 booked into her diary, and will be playing at Sanctuary mid-month. And if we’re really lucky, she’ll play her female-centric take on Daft Punk’s ‘Teachers’. Just make sure to cover your ears when she bigs up Lady GaGa halfway through.

Neo feat. Chris Montana Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum Russian Orthodox Christmas Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: Wazzup Records’ DJ Danila headlines this Russian-themed night. Tel: 009714 426 0561 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100



Sandstorm feat. Richard Round Club: Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Description: Thursdays are given over to local stars, with the soulful house of Richard Round first up. Tel: 009714 399 3333 Time: 6pm-3am Entry: Free FRIDAY 8 audio tonic feat. Vas Floyd Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: It’s residents time again, as Vas Floyd, Ali Ajami, Raxon and Julian Jinx do the honours. Tel: 00971501076405 Time: 4pm-2am Entry: Free, (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Website: Register for guestlist at www. Massive feat. Sebastian Ray and Nick Tohme Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs120 after. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum Nova feat. Delicious Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: House and electro. Tel: 0097150 274 1111 Time: 10pm-3am Entry: TBC Website Smooth Grooves feat. Heartless Crew Club: Alpha, Le Meridien Garhoud Description: Urban and hip hop sounds from the UK collective. Tel: 009714 702 2640 Timing: 9pm-3am Entry: Men Dhs75, ladies free before midnight Website: SATURDAY 9 Musthavesoul feat. Sarah Foote Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: Favouritizm’s Sarah Foote plays soul-infused house. Tel: 00 97155 6160 643 Time: 4pm-2am (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Entry: Free Website: Register for guestlist at www.

DIGITAL FEAT. JAMES LAVELLE, CHI Thursday January 21 Ohm Records didn’t have much luck with their events in December as both Silicone Soul and James Lavelle had to be rescheduled for reasons out of their control. But on the plus side, it gives us another opportunity to rhapsodize about them. James Lavelle, or the man from UNKLE, is a firm DJ Magazine favourite - he plays a mix of often dark but always euphoric techno, and his drum loop intro is one of the best we’ve heard from a DJ. Plus, the man looks positively radiant when he’s DJing, equally reflecting the state of the crowd.

Description: Smooth techno from the Moodmusic man. Tel: 009714 397 3728 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Website: Sandstorm feat. Jon Besant Club: Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Description: More soul-edged house on the beach. Tel: 009714 399 3333 Time: 6pm-3am Entry: Free Movement feat Amo and Navas Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: Big-room house from the fast-rising Spanish duo. Tel: 009714 426 0561 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Neo feat. Dion Mavath and Marya Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs 100 after. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum FRIDAY 15 audio tonic feat. Sebastian Davidson Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: The Nightbird Music star

THURSDAY 14 iLL Communications feat. Sasse Club: Trilogy Rooftop

plays with support from Vas Floyd. Tel: 0097150 107 6405 Time: 4pm-2am Entry: Free, (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Website: Register for guestlist at www. Massive feat. Sebastian Ray and Nick Tohme Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs120 after. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum Nova feat. Scarlett Etienne Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: Dark and sexy house and techno. Tel: 0097150 274 1111 Time: 10pm-3am Entry: TBC Website See You Next Friday feat. The Freestylers Club: Alpha, Le Meridien Garhoud Description: Hip hop, breakbeat and house from the ‘B Boy Stance’ and ‘Push Up’ producers. Tel: 009714 702 2640 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs75 Website

PLUS MINUS FEAT. MISS ROBERTA, PLATINUM Thursday January 28. Malta might not be famed for many things - a quick google reveals Bryan Adams to be their most famous son - but that’s not down to a lack of effort on Miss Robera’s behalf. The voice and DJ behind Moovin House, which goes out on Malta’s leading radio show, and has played alongside DJ luminaries like X-Press 2, Carl Cox and Erick Morillo. And as she’s playing at the newly relaunched Plus/ Minus events renowned for their tech-edged sound, Roberta will be following suit with a heavy dose of European techno thrown in for good measure.

SATURDAY 16 Musthavesoul feat. Andy Bird Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: Disco-house and more from the Bird Song records star. Tel: 00 97155 616 0643 Timing: 4pm-2am (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Entry fee: Free Website: Register for guestlist at www. THURSDAY 21 DJ Magazine party feat. Disco Bloodbath Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: House and disco classics from the highly rated Bloodbath trio. Tel: 00 97155 882 5675

DJ CHUCKIE, QUANTUM Friday January 22 Attention David Guetta fans: his protege - the fast mixing, hip hop influenced DJ Chuckie is making his Middle East debut on Quantum’s laser-lit dancefloor in January. Born in Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam, this Dutch DJ has quickly developed a reputation as a fast-moving and explosive mixer, using hip hop techniques on big room house and electro. And in 2008, David Guetta marked him out as a rising star and picked him to play at his F*** Me I’m Famous party in Ibiza, which Chuckie promptly destroyed. Expect the same result at Quantum.

Timing: 8pm-2am Website: Free, register for guestlist at Digital feat. James Lavelle Club: Chi @ The Lodge, Dubai Description: Deep, dark but always uplifting house and breaks from the man from UNKLE. Tel: 009714 337 9470 Time: 10pm-3am Entry: Dhs125 iLL Communications feat. Silicone Soul Club: Trilogy Rooftop Description: Second time lucky for the Scottish duo as they play Dubai’s leading techno night. Tel: 009714 397 3728 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Website:

GABRIEL SORDO, 360 Friday January 29 Hailing all the way from Guadalajara Mexico is Gabriel Sordo. Celebrating his 10th year of DJing, he’s the ringleader in the three-piece live act Somnus Corp, and have appeared on Nick Warren’s GU35 Lima and on Hernan Cattaneo’s 2009 Renaissance Masters compilation. In 2007 Gabriel, along with his Somnus Corp partners, founded one of the more cutting edge labels of today, Discoteca Music, and now includes Tom Morgan (UK), balErik (Norway), Dana Bergquist (Sweden) and Luke Fair (Canada) on their roster. And anyone who saw his March appearance at 360 last year, will know exactly what to expect - expertly blended house, progressive, tech and even disco grooves.

Sandstorm feat. Mark Pickup Club: Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Description: Ex Gomez drummer turned electro-house DJ plays. Tel: 009714 399 3333 Time: 6pm-3am Entry: Free Movement feat act TBC Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: Tel: 009714 426 0561 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Neo feat. Dion Mavath and Marya Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs 100 after. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum FRIDAY 22 audio tonic feat. Big Al Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: The Ready Mix Records head honcho heads up the deep house night. Tel: 0097150 107 6405 Time: 4pm-2am Entry: Free, (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Website: Register for guestlist at Massive feat. DJ Chuckie Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: Big room electro house. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs150 after. Men Dhs150 Website: clubquantum Nova feat. Scumfrog Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: Commercial house and electro from the amphibian DJ. Tel: 0097150 274 1111 Time: 10pm-3am Entry: TBC Website Smooth Grooves Club: Alpha, Le Meridien Garhoud Description: More hip hop and urban grooves from the bi-weekly night. Tel: 009714 702 2640 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs75 Website SATURDAY 23 Musthavesoul feat. Kristian Valdini Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: 360 favourite Valdini is back

in the hot seat for another burst of funk-flavoured house. Tel: 00 97155 616 0643 Timing: 4pm-2am (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Entry fee: Free Website: Register for guestlist at THURSDAY 28 iLL Communications feat. Chloe Club: Trilogy Rooftop Description: Upfront house and tech-house from Chloe. Tel: 009714 397 3728 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Website: Neo feat. Dion Mavath and Marya Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs 100 after. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum Sandstorm feat. Smokingroove Club: Barasti, Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Description: Chicago-house from one the Mixtura Records head honcho. Tel: 009714 399 3333 Time: 6pm-3am Entry: Free Movement feat Pierre Ravan Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: One of Dubai’s most consistent performers, Pierre Ravan’s epic five-hour set should be a highlight. Tel: 009714 426 0561 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 FRIDAY 29 audio tonic feat. Gabriel Sordo Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: House and tech-house from the Mexican star.

Tel: 0097150 107 6405 Time: 4pm-2am Entry: Free, (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Website: Register for guestlist at Nova feat. Martijn Ten Velden Club: Sanctuary, Atlantis Description: Main-room minimal, house and techno from the Dutch-via-Dubai star. Tel: 009714 426 0561 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Plus/Minus feat. Miss Roberta Club: Platinum, Metropolitan Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road Description: Thumping house from the Malta DJ Tel: 009714 426 0561 Time: 9pm-3am Entry: Dhs100 Massive feat. Sebastian Ray and Nick Tohme Club: Quantum, Crowne Plaza Description: House music. Tel: 0097150 911 0 600 Time: 10:30pm-3am Entry: Free for ladies before 12, Dhs120 after. Men Dhs120 Website: clubquantum SATURDAY 30 Musthavesoul feat. DJ Cozzie Club: 360º, Jumeirah Beach Hotel Description: Ignore the deja vu - Cozzie couldn’t make his previous 360 date, so has been rebooked. Expect the usual soul, funk and disco tuneage. Tel: 00 97155 616 0643 Timing: 4pm-2am (guestlist only between 4pm – 8pm) Entry fee: Free Website: Register for guestlist at www.




To do list Toolroom’s Funkagenda showcases his club sound


BLOOD ON THE DANCEFLOOR Fake Blood’s ‘Mars’ gets a fresh remix package p.56


Lee Combs updates his breakbeat sound p.64


Simian Mobile Disco’s latest p.69



In the bag.... GUY GERBER Sometimes the greatest creative prodigies are those who grow free from excessive outside influence. It certainly seems to be the case for Tel Aviv’s Guy Gerber, a DJ/ producer who’s blazed a trail for a singular form of techno that’s put him, and a growing cabal of Israeli firebrands, at the forefront of a new wave of electronic music. His genesis as producer began in 2002 with the release of ‘Electric Mistress’, on Alternative Route, but it was 2004’s massive techhouse cut ‘Stoppage Time’, on John Digweed’s Bedrock, that first announced his unique rhythms to the wider world. Since then, his DJ sets across the world and razor-sharp productions have increased ten-fold, with affirmed classics like ‘Sea of Sand’ and the ‘Late Bloomers’ LP (both for Cocoon) beating the likes of Carl Craig at his own game, swinging the arc lamp away from Detroit and Berlin towards Israel’s tech talent for the first time. His new EP ‘My Invisible Romance’ (out now on Supplement Facts) has the potential to be bigger still. A truly hypnotic, mesmerising listen, it’s built for dancefloors and headphones alike. “The title track is very emotional, it’s more suggestive than explosive,” says Guy. “Everyone has an invisible romance, and sometimes these things are not supposed to materialise.” Like his productions, Gerber’s DJ sets favour melody, emotion and funk rather than pummelling minimal, and his crystalline grooves lit up Space, Ibiza, all last summer, as part of a residency at the club’s Be Space night. “It gave me the opportunity to play tracks that I like to listen to, deep house stuff. The tracks that I’ve made since have been influenced by the residency.” With a new album in the works, and remixes for Plastikman and P Diddy, Gerber is killing it. These are his current secret weapons…


David K ‘Take It’ Highgrade

“This track has amazing production, it’s so clear and accurate. You have to dance with your hands in the air! It’s a simple tech-house track driven by big chords, but in the middle you have a freaky melody, which is really weird. Only David could do that!”

Unknown Artist ‘Chord’ Rootz

“Rootz is a super-cool bootleg label, I think from Paris. Maybe I know the people who made this, maybe not! “This has an old school house organ on it, with a beautiful melody and a great bassline. What I like is that it’s simple, but it works amazingly on the dancefloor. At the end of the track there’s a diva vocal that I love. It’s very old school, but the melody is kind of fresh. It’s a bit like Robin S ‘Show Me Love’, but more evolved.”

DJ Wild ‘Not Now, I’m Dancing (Anonym’s I’m Disco Dancing Remix)’

Gruber & Nuernberg ‘Crosswind’


“A filthy, sleazy house track with a kind of disco bassline. I love it when the hi-hats come in, they’re almost a bit out of sync with the rhythm. The vocal is great, and I like the hook, “Not now, I’m dancing”. It’s a tune to play for the girls, they like the bassline! A very cool interpretation of the original.”

“Supplemental is the digital wing of my label, Supplement Facts. These guys have been doing some good tracks for a while. It’s a proper peak-time tune, mostly for the dancefloor, but the production is very advanced and interesting sound-wise, because it’s all based in the subs and not in the mid frequencies. I was very pleased to sign this.”

Boris Werner ‘Free Your Body’

Guti ‘Las Cosas Que No Se Tocan’

Remote Area


“It’s melodic, with a big piano part that builds and builds, and then there’s these disco vocals with a lot of reverb effects. Again, it’s a mixture of the old school and futuristic. “I’m a big fan of the piano, it’s always strong and adds a lot of warmth to a track. It could sound corny, but if it works, it’s always better than just using a synthesizer.”

“This is a new artist from Argentina, he used to be a piano player in a rock band. I’ve been following him for quite a while. This is his first big release and all the tracks on the EP are great. It’s tech-house and techno, with quirky piano stabs, rumbling basslines and interesting production.”


HOUSE REVIEWS QUICKIES Joey Negro ‘Can’t Get High Without You



(David Penn Remixes)’

Kid Massive

definite electronic bias in action as the Swede takes Pilot Priest’s ’80s synth leanings and crafts them into a big, ballsy groove. And he even makes the telephone “Take that zipper down” vocal work.

Get Busy (Remix) SODA

Z The current rash of questionable cover versions of old house tunes is a regrettable development, but an inevitable one given the lack of ability to make original records with any depth of content. It does have the benefit of making rehash packages like this a little classier than previously, however. Although to be fair, ‘Can’t Get High Without You’ was one of the best female vocal releases of the late-’90s and perfect material for David Penn to perform one of his trademark procedures to turn such a tune to a tougher cookie without resorting to simply banging it out. The result is an impressive reduction that both updates and retains. The lad is on good form.

Solar Safari Sixty3 Moons Ooze

If 2009 was about anything it was the triangulation of house, trance and techno, the latest phase in the continual musical development that will always, eventually, make monkeys out of those who stay static. The ‘Sixty3 Mix’ is a little on the tense side, a nagging abrasive groove that will find favour with those who like it dark and stark. But the original is where it’s really at, a gentler, more subtle exercise in majestically melodic, rhythmic techno with deep house beats and a certain trance flavour in the chord progressions.

Adam Shaw & Tim Weeks Jesmond EP Toolroom

Two of Toolroom’s new guns here. Each contribute a solo track, Shaw with ‘Frog Face’, a percussive number with rumbling bass and a few looped chants, and Weeks the reverbed big beats of ‘The Unknown’. But together they’re more of a tour de force, the resulting ‘Jesmond’ a terse, minimal example of modern tech-house with all the power and none of the gimmickry of the fast-fading electro-house sound. In fact, file under techno (proper).

it’s not just the vocals that are retro, the entire track is — bassline, hi-hats, percussion parts and arrangement all belong back then. Objectively, ‘Enjoy Music’ is startlingly crude put up against the work of more musically proficient producers — among other things the vocals (from Naked Music NYC’s ‘I’ll Take You To Love’) sound like they’re taken straight from the acapella with no additional work. But that’s to miss the point. ‘Enjoy Music’ works precisely because it’s raw, rough and basic, the enduring essence of house.

track that sparkles both with the Knuckles’ way with songs via singer Jenna G and The Shapeshifters’ contemporary club leanings. Eric Kupper’s presence on the keys adds colour and a little flavour of many a classic Def Mix and there’s a light but definite dusting of commercial magic. The song, suffice to say, takes centre stage.

Byron Stingily

Monique Bingham has the sort of vocal delivery, styling and lyrical eloquence that’s all too rare on a sequenced 4/4 beat, but then Ralf Gum isn’t your average sort of sequenced 4/4 beat producer, so it’s no surprise that ‘Little 12th St’ turns out to be a real delight. Gum throws his entire box of jazzy house tricks at it — fluid basslines, funky guitar, wicked horns, piano and keys are all in the mix and Bingham’s vocal proves big enough to carry the lot. DJ Spinna adds his distinctive electro-jazz-funk swing and there’s a neat pair of deep, spacey dubs from Benny Pecoraio.

Real Man Jinks Inc

There’s something very satisfying about seeing original house music artists enjoy careers as long as some of their disco predecessors — and few more so than Ten City’s Byron Stingily, whose individual falsetto has always countered the ‘no artists’ accusation often levelled at club music. Here, the big man is on fine form as the Jinks whip up an ’80s flavoured electronic groove anchored by their trademark supple beats and although there’s a nagging feeling that a more overtly disco mix might have been in order, the outrageously trancey (huge, euphoric stabbed chords in the drops) is surprisingly successful, if you can bring yourself to embrace it.

Reboot Enjoy Music Defected

Frankie Knuckles & The Shapeshifters The Ones You Love

Maybe the decent thing would have been to at least wait out this decade, but the 1990s revival is already upon us as producers and DJs start to dig into the phenomenal volume of ’90s house. Reboot’s ‘Enjoy Music’, already bubbling under for some time, is a prime example of back to basics sample grooves. And

Nocturnal Groove

The Shapeshifters’ recent gut-busting grooves don’t come to mind as a natural foil for a collaboration with the legend that is Frankie Knuckles, but there’s some kind of synergy in the air as the three combine to produce an impressive

Ralf Gum & Monique Bingham

This Kid Massive cover of the vintage Marshall Jefferson classic that’s been knocking around since late last year gets another lease of life with a new mix from KM himself that blends some David Penn style toughness in with the piano moments.

Abe Duque feat Blake Baxter What Happened? Process

Stephanie Cooke

Marc Romboy cranks out a useful new mix of the Detroit pioneer’s spoken word ramblings, featuring a nifty warped going on fuzzy bassline and a stack of effects.

Thinkin’ I’m Beautiful King St

Sean McCabe keeps it resolutely soulful with these gentle mixes of Ms Cooke’s classy vocals, dominated by crisp beats, jazzy piano and flamboyant organ.

Santé B Souvenir

Pilot Priest ‘B’ and ‘Aura’ are both minimal percussion tracks and only David Mayer’s snappy, more uptempo mix of ‘Aura’ provides anything extra.

Zipper Calamity Jane

Stonebridge is not one to follow trends, but there’s a

Little 12th St GoGo

Robot Child Gold Sharks/Amber Turtle



‘Take Me There ’

“Nice ‘slightly proggy’ jackin number.”



‘Totally Jacked’

“Very cool warm up track.”


‘The High Stakes EP’

“Bouncy jackin electro track - boooooom.”


‘Amber Turtle’ is a nice enough, minimally inclined and subtly funky chugger, but the main attraction here is undoubtedly the equally colourfully aquatic ‘Gold Sharks’. The opening clipped beats and modulated bass offer no hints of the pretty melodic progression that slides slowly in to provide a hook of some elegance. It does lack a little of the punch and depth necessary to stack up any significant club support, but there’s an undoubted talent at work here.



‘Come Back’

“Amazing track, funky as...”



‘Champagne Poppin (The Rope A Dope EP)’

“Can you feel the force.”



‘Shoulda Been You ’

“Nice and deep.”



‘Unseen Things’

“Drivin’ jackin’ house again.”



‘The G String Blues’

“Rollin’ house track that breaks into nice electro groove.”



‘I Feel So’

“Vintage funky Olav Basoski style.”



‘Cmon Back ’

“Definately a grower with a great electro groove.”


ELECTRO-HOUSE/ACID REVIEWS eerie atmosphere that prevailed on his ‘Espac’ release.

QUICKIES Alex Metric


Roberto Bosco

It Starts EP

Late Night Radio EP

Log In Exact

Marine Parade


Skip to ‘Discotron’ and ‘Gusto’ for a couple of noisy, distorted rave-thrash anthems.

‘Fags’ is a driving, dubby affair and ‘Rollers’ has a tracky approach, with vocal snippets.

Palermo Disko Machine

Above Smoke






Retro/Grade Zoid

Heavy tribal beats underpin an irresistible techy chord sequence, augmented by warm jazzy riffs and a deft vocal sample. Offkey’s Matt O’Brien drops a radically different remix, with dark, eerie riffs, off-kilter chiming bells and a snaking groove.


Wax 02



Okay, so it’s a bit slow for your peak-time sets, but Serge Santiago and Tom Neville’s incredible new project fits here better than anywhere else. Imagine an early-’80s version of Daft Punk or Justice without the bit-crushing overload and you’re not over-estimating the greatness of ‘Zoid’. With that Bangalter melancholy, there’s that intentional naïveté in production, though this time out the Italo feel is edged out by Goblin-esque electronics. Massive.

Prok & Fitch vs Filthy Rich

The Fix EP

is gently nightmarish.

Dreamy loveliness but hit ‘Theme Of…’ for a hint of languid grooves.

‘Awfully’’s filtered chords and the old school melodies of Dubbyman’s version of ‘The Fix’ stand out.

There’s no doubt that Shed is heavily influenced by ’90s house and techno, and the spacey chord sequence that dominates the A-side is very similar to classic Guidance material. Having said that, he brings a unique rhythmic swagger to both tracks, used to best effect here on the insistent, chord-heavy B-side.

Crack W**** Mars (Remixes)

Sven Tasnadi/Christopher Rau

Brighton’s next superstar DJs have been keeping the work ethic ramped right up with pretty much a production or remix every month. Of the session with the upcoming techno bod, this got the best reaction with the working girls listening on the street outside the studio. Chunky, economic and delightfully sleazy, it’s easy to see why.

Cheap Thrills


Love On A Laserdisc


Mainframe/The Night Of The Worm




The Italo disco influence has arrived into electro-house this month with key producers lowering the BPMs and upping the dreaminess. No bad thing, especially as Kris Menace — here with Phillipp Koenig — has always been good on the Moroder end of things. ‘Mainframe’ is glacial and techy, while the flip

The title track features an insistent rhythm with driving percussion and a stern electronic bassline. ‘119’ is more pared back, its 303-tinged rhythms sounding like a mutant take on jacking Chicago house, while ‘Desert Storm’ rides a niggling horn sample and raw bass sounds to create the same kind of


Fake Blood


How do you remix a monster like ‘Mars’? Jack Beats go for the biggest fidgety bassline they possibly can and then add a second sub bassline. Style Of Eye gets dark and ill at ease on his techy version, while Boy 8-Bit’s version has a similar feel to his ace ‘Baltic Pine’, just dirtier.

‘Winter’ is rooted in tracky minimalism, but the sublime melodies and evocative strings lend it a mysteriously alluring feel. Rau’s ‘Childhood’ is as understated, but the beats are dubbier and the organ riffs imbue it with an eerier, vaguely chilling feeling.

Disco Nihilist & Deetron Vargas 01 Construction Paper

The untitled A-side cuts alternate between tweaked acid passages and pared back workouts, while an old school siren riff is added to the approach on ‘B1’. The EP ends with a pulsing Italo cut.




‘Valhalla ’

“Ginormous bass lines + epic viking choirs = the filthiest music to come out of Scotland, ever. ”


YEAH YEAH YEAHS ‘Heads Will Roll’ (A-Trak Remix) Turntable magician A-Trak proves that indie-tronica is pretty damn far from dead!



‘The Tighten Up’

“Grin inducing new school funk that keeps building, building and building.” Maetrik 04 BORIS DLUGOSCH ‘Bangkok’ (Roska remix) Sex With Bass “Man-of-the-hour, Roska, brings this already massive tune to new heights.” NITZER EBB ‘Never Known’ 05 Mothership “2010 is the new 1989! Hard, energetic and sweaty beats from the EBM granddaddies.” “Somewhere the RUBIX ‘Baiser Sur La in Disco’ (Rubix Refix) 06 “The Dutch seem to do tru skool French House better than anybody at the moment! ” Arizona desert, the 07 AC SLATER ‘Play the Record Again’ spaceship from Close “AC is back with his best banger yet, sampling a Henry Rollins anti-rave speech.” MODESELEKTOR ‘Cash’ 08 Encounters periodi“An awesome new stonker by the Berlin duo, produced for a short film called Art & Cash.” cally lands and sexy 09 SAVAGE SKULLS FEAT. ANDY MILONAKIS ‘Chickentown’ “Two Swedes and a white kid from the US teach the world what all hip hop should sound like. ”


MASSIVE ATTACK ‘Splitting The Atom’ “With their new album dropping soon, this brooding tune puts the Massive back in Massive Attack.”

Arkiv - Enjoy your vinyl digitally



Stephanie Cooke King Street Sounds

Afro Funk EP

Bentley & Ben Gomori

Smooth Agent Records

Out Comes Fabianski Plastica Recordings

The tribal thump of ‘Fantasy’ and the crunching funk of ‘Critical Moment’ steal the glory from the title track.

A superb blend of enthralling chord structures and well balanced melodica, driven by a healthy dash of distorted filth. Ace!

Fusion F & Come T Pharaoh Mashtronic

Blippy, but not trippy, this is really only fairish gear.


Pole Folder Hate Myself (Sasha Remix)


La Tour

Never have you heard Stephanie Cooke sound so good. This is her at her most soulful and the mixes from Sean McCabe caress her vocals with a couple of slammin’ mixes that ooze emotion. Proper, proper garage that is gonna be right at the top of my sets over the next month or so. Dead essential. Just can’t stop playin’ this stuff!

Ross Warm

Having Sasha retool your track is no doubt a dream come true for Pole Folder. But this is not a traditional peak-timer. It’s an intense, noodley ride to the dark side. The beats, bass and underlying percussion do a good job of driving it. It’s deep, deep, deep and you’ll need more than the average number of spins to fully breathe it in.

Noferini & Marini feat Sylvia Tosun Push ‘n’ Pull Sea to Sun/Loverush UK

I Am An Original

Musol & Central Ave feat Pete Simpson & Natasha Watts


I Believe Barcoda Recordings



‘A Little More Love’

“A big track at the moment, again ticks all the boxes for a soulful classic, great vocals and some thumpy bass to die for.”


FRANKIE KNUCKLES AND THE SHAPESHIFTERS ‘The Ones You Love’ “Sweet vocal along with tight keys and bumpy bassline. All of this works!”

03 04


The Search (Christian Smith Remix)


What Happened


‘Right Before My Eyes (Grant Nelson Mix)’

3 AMIGOS: JELLYBEAN, MARLON D AND MENA KEYS FEAT. DAWN TALLMAN ‘We Are One (3 Amigos Mix)’ TIMMY VEGAS AND TIM PHIN FEAT. ABIGAIL BAILEY ‘Ready 4 Love’ “Deepcity soul from my neck of the woods on the remix, great bassline, sure to get the floor moving and hands in the air with the gospel vocal.”


CONAN LIQUID AND WILLY WASHINGTON ‘Runnin Back’ (Conan Sunspell Dub Mix)

“The ghostly vocal along with the sharp keys makes this atmospheric mid set track.”


KNEE DEEP FEAT. CATHY BATTISTESSA ‘All About Love’ (Ralf Gum Remix)’ “Again Ralf Gum on the remix, typical funky guitar riff and sweet soulful vocals... top track.”


Process Recordings


“Vocally top drawer from Dawn Tallman, a proper soulful banger.”


Trancesetters Abe Duque feat Blake Baxter

“Fanatix have done it again with this soulful floor filler, great warmup track.”


Skint? Well, this EP with its eight mixes will see you through at least half a set as each mix is well worth a spin, although the ‘Original Mix’ is possibly the strongest cut by a whisker. Good strong vocals, great backing vocals and plenty of sax action on many of the mixes make this one for the vocal garage heads.

“One of the biggest tunes of the year from the main man of 2009 Ralf Gum.”

“Rework of the classic, Grants puts some cool deep bass to funk it up.”


A great big deep house cut with mega bottom end and rustic keys that skid over the thumping beats, shuffling percussive accompaniment and whooshing subby bass. The vocal content is a great spoken word monologue from a gritty, soulful orator who gets on his high horse about being the fuckin’ man! Who’s the daddy? Brighton’s Ross Warm is the daddy!


‘The Better Life (Restless soul mix)’

“Catchy guitar riff with great vocals with Restless soul providing the soul in this production.”

It’s gotta be ‘Abe’s Original Mix’ for it’s finger-snappin’ groove and simple, stubby, stunted bassline that’s a fitting groove for the spoken vocal that charts the history of some great dance music styles and events. It even mentions the iconic funk club Legend’s in Manchester that I used to attend in ’82. For something a little more shuffly check out the great ‘Max Cooper Tweak’, which glides along with a great groove and gets real dubby vocally.

Christian brings back Zki and Dobre’s chasm-deep classic with an excellent 2009 re-conditioning. With its rigidly prog themed and tempo’d backing, like it or not, the rest of ‘The Search’ owes more to deep trance than Smith’s traditional techno solution. Tense steely riffs (think Klinkenberg and Maas) surge and drive this towards a rhythmic, enjoyably repetitive conclusion. You can also listen to it on rotation without coming close to tiring of it — always a fine sign.

Sylvia Tosun’s lyrics and vocals have made striking inroads into the electronic dance heartland over the last 12 months. She has a depth of vocal expression intrinsically suited to prog. Noferini & Marini’s production is similarly outstanding; chuggy and atmosphere-infused, it easily finds traction on the dancefloor.

Solarity Terminal 6 Anjunadeep

It’s very hard to imagine anyone listening to ‘Terminal 6’ and disliking it. It mounts a sound charm offensive you’ll find stratospherically hard to resist. Using an inspired collection of sounds and melodies, it works in a ‘teleport-meback-to-summer’ manner.

Harry Saiz Madre Noche EP Renaissance

Three tracks here, all working that cool, more grooving edge to the sound and without a miss-stepped production moment in the entire batch. Hard to pick a clear winner, but lead track ‘Madre Noche’’s pitch-bending synths and irrepressibly laconic tone might clinch it.








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TRANCE REVIEWS Robbie Nelson Aviator


Crashing Waves

trancers gets a cock-on re-tooling from W&W. Peak-time… in the purest sense of the word.

Beach Kisses ‘Aviator’ rocks up with an almostunnervingly large arsenal of beguiling female harmonies, energetic beats and bass and uplifting synthery. Anjunabeats regular Dan Stone grasps the mood and gives the production a progressive uplift.




Above & Beyond ‘Anjunabeach’ Anjunabeats

Jono, Tony and Paavo return to the more chilled, transcendental vibe of ‘Surrender’. ‘Anjunabeach’ demands that you not only listen to it, but moreover absorb it. It doesn’t blaze, it simmers and shimmers — very safe in the knowledge that one way or another, it’ll get you in the end.


Astonishingly beautiful, chugging, low-slung trancer.

Aleete Trilogy Wildchild Records

Scott Mac


Damager 02 (W&W Remix)

It’s My Turn

Magik Musik


One of the earliest, most revered and funky tech-

A vocal that fully stands the rigours of a nine-year life in the manner that ‘It’s My Turn’ has done makes for a track indeed. New versions on offer from Corderoy & Tate (great) and Daz Bailey, Flip & Fill (slightly less great). Bottom line, it’s just plain brilliant to hear this again!

Super subtle, yet strong in impact, both the ‘Original’ and ‘Invisible Sounds’ mixes are well worth checking.

Deep Care Activa








Activa’s robust, no-nonsense sound ethic is proudly on show with ‘Transmission’. Charging beats, surging 303 and a bellicose main riff are the order of the day. It’s good stuff, if purely designed for the dancefloor. Gate 42 mix things up nicely with a more chilled rendition.

An Armin production it may very well be, but that still doesn’t account for the incredible, instantaneous supergluelike grip of ‘Tuvan’ on trance minds over recent weeks. The original has a great balance between its rocking underbelly, steely minor synths and perfectly judged melodic overlay. Gareth Emery’s remix injects the track with some superb additional parts and melodies.

The underlying production basically floors it from the off, fielding a fierce tempo, some excellent incidental acid licks and some unusual sub-synths. By complete contrast, the repetitivelycycled lilting piano line that occupies great swathes of the track cools ‘Blacks’’ heels and prepares you for a big sidechain-compressed finale. Fine mixes from Sundriver, Mike Sonar and Daniel Kandi, too.

Richard Durand

John Askew

No Way Home

Bad Apple

Black Hole


Coldplay The Scientist (Guy Mearns Remix)

01 02

The minor melodies which open are forced to take a back seat while the killer drum, bass and snare arrangements do much of the hard work. The riffs and chords in the break are an incidental respite, waiting for those big drums and modulating synths to come back in and do their damage.

‘Venice Beach’



“A tune that goes straight to the heart and sends Euphoric feelings.”



‘Aural Light ’ [DJ Brad Euphoric Mashup]

“Epic and euphoric.”

GAIA ‘Tuvan’ [Andy Blueman Remix] “Another epic track.”



‘All Inclusive’ [Ferry Tayle Remix]

“Very uplifting synths blended with an energetic bassline.”

06 With its rocking, guitar-licked, squalling synth intro, ‘No Way Home’ quickly assumes a striking presence on the floor. On the vocals, Simon Bikenborn’s verses are fair, but it’s the atmosphere-fuelling chorus that commands attention. On the remix, the ever-creative Andy Duguid does anything but disappoint.


“One of the best tunes i’ve ever heard in my life.”



I’d given up trying to understand the attraction of Coldplay a long time ago. Guy Mearns though, in what is certainly one of the most popular bootlegs of 2009, might have finally turned my head. Emotional when it wants to be, rapaciously uplifting when it has to, it’s a textbook example of a producer taking an established track in a powerful and entirely new direction.


PHILIPPE EL SISI FEAT AMINDA ‘You never know’ [Aly & Fila Remix] “Emotions, energy and very sweet melody and vocals.”



‘Aviator’ [Dan Stone Remix]

“Dreamy break down and build up tells you what is it all about.”



‘Heliotrope ’

“Great build up with beautiful vocals.”



‘Ramsterdam’ [Jorn Van Deynhoven]

““Great adrenaline rush of a track.”



‘What If’

“I’ve always loved Midway’s Stuff and this is one of his best.”

Time for battle... HAK series; Extreme performance mixing



Maximo Park



‘12’ Warp

Maximo Park celebrate dance music’s perennial format with an EP called ‘12’ that packs four hot remixes onto its two sides. First up, Tom Middleton twists ‘Let’s Get Clinical’ into a long-playing psychedelic disco wig-out. Clark takes the same track into crunchier territory, while Martyn runs ‘A Cloud Of Mystery’ through his dub tech production template and comes up with a mind-bobbing head trip. Finally, Hijacker joins the growing band of horror show neo-prog pioneers.

Optic Nerve 1-Diametric

There is something sad about the fact that ‘Re-assimilation’ is confined to a limited vinyl run — 1-Diametric have no plans to ‘go digital’. A truly haunting, soulful EP, it sees Keith Tucker integrate ponderous vocals into a heart-wrenching synth sequence and a purring bass on ‘Origins’, and scale the same heights with the wiry rhythms and cavernous subs of ‘Elements’. It’s a pity that so few will get to hear or play this classic piece of electronic music.

DJ Overdose Lunar Disko

With his ‘In For The Kill’ album and Hasbeens project winning acclaim, Overdose now brings his love of Italo melodies and hip-hop to Lunar Disko. The title track is a moody affair, punctuated by spooky synths and clipped drums, while Overdose shows his soft side on the warm melodies and gentle vocoders of ‘What’. In case there were doubts about his manliness, he then drops the eerie chords and beefy bass of ‘Whoever You Are’.

Morphology Abstract Forms

There’s little to interest the casual listener on Finnish duo Morphology’s debut EP, but for anyone with an interest in Kraftwerk or vintage Detroit electro, this is an essential release. With acidic undercurrents throughout, the title track delivers ripples with mysterious sounds and an austere rhythm, ‘Active Optics’ is


full of eerie bass tones, while ‘Dark Days Are Gone’ and ‘Synthetic Bird’ revolve around reflective synths and fragile, sublime melodies.

to G.e.R.M for going full tilt at the noisy stuff and producing something that still sounds fresh, while packing the kind of overdriven analogue punch that keeps Pedro Winter’s bank manager smiling. ‘Midnight’ is noise funk, while ‘Teen Idol’ is a pure driven assault. All simply, cleanly and smartly produced — while as dirty as you could possibly want.

Dr Rubberfunk Jalapeno Records

Slotting in with the soulful sound sweeping some dancefloors, ‘Trouble Women’ sees Rubberfunk team up with ’80s soulster Roachford. The result sounds like a lost Mayfield ’70 classic. Hip-hop cut and paste innovator Steinski syncopates the bassline into a warm vintage Larry Graham groove. Finally, Southampton drum & bass force Featurecast applies his deft fingers to create a version that’s as soulful as it is explosive.

QUICKIES Ytre Rymden Dansskola

The CB’s

Bange Aneiser

Jam City


Full Pupp

A taster for Dansskola’s debut album, the breezy chords, pulsing bass and warm, vaguely trippy synths of the title track and ‘Kahula Madness’ maintain Full Pupp’s cosmic standards.

Response Unit 1

Son of Kick feat Arabyrd & Illegal Immigrant


Byrdkick/Hustle Muzik

Various Artists

Botchit & Scarper

Impressively varied EP that veers from Ed Devane’s noisy drones, through Jay Riordan and Rogue Frequency’s grinding electro funk and ends with The Parallel’s deep acidic textures.

Plastiscines Ital Tek

The Jam City label opens its account with a cover of the 1973 classic ‘Misdemeanor’. Label head A Skills is on form for remix duty, alongside No Fakin, to heighten dancefloor potential.

Botchit & Scarper add dubstep and electro to their breaks formulae, as Son of Kick teams up with Arabyrd for the firing title track ‘Byrdkick’. Flipside, Illegal Immigrant spits his flow of shuddering hip-hop.


Atom River

Despite Alan Myson, aka Ital Tek’s, tendency to go off on tangents, there’s a discernible beginning, middle and end to ‘Mako’. The title track is a fragile, melodic affair, ‘Chemical Temple’ beefs up the intricate breaks with a grinding bass without sacrificing the melodies, while Myson strips back any semblance of hooks on ‘Manhattan’. Finally, ‘Topaz’ sees him return to wide-eyed melodies, this time alternating between 4/s and splintered breaks.

Sygare & Defcon feat Capitol A Om

It sounds like it was recorded back in the day, but the truth is that ‘Latest’ is a new production by Roskow Kretschmann. That said, it has a funky, shuffling 808 drum, catchy synth lines and even an infectious vocal, put through a vocoder, naturally. ‘Latest’ captures the sound of the ’80s hip-hop and electro crossover — let’s hope it does the same with a modern audience.

The original version is passable indie pop, so best jump to the mixes where you’ll find fellow Frenchman Lifelike’s embracing house remix. Headman takes it to the dancefloor with a show-stopping version that makes use of the track’s innate NYC not disco vibe. Rory Philip’s remix also goes for the dancefloor before sweeping into a psychedelic sci-fi funk, while Utters techs the groove to funk jam.

Punx Soundcheck Arcade Pony

London production duo John Taylor and Arif Salin with a midpaced buzzsaw track, ‘Cassette’. A Sebastian inspired, pylon bass attack paced over solid electro drum groove, ‘Cassette’ is vintage Punx stuff. The ‘Neo Tokyo Remix’ takes a more big room approach, borrowing Daft Punk analogue synth riffs and drum breaks, while ‘Arcade Pony’ hits a rock angle and ‘Youth’ returns to the Parisian electro mould.



With the electro market gorging its own affluence, it’s become predictably difficult for anyone to stand above the deluge. So hats off

‘Farewell to the Fairground’ (Disco Bloodbath remix)

“Chunky nu-disco roller.”



‘Disco Nasty ‘

“Acid-tinged stomper. ”



‘Eminence Front’ (The Love Supreme Edit)

“Classic low-slung rerub of a classic Who track. ”


BETTY BOTOX ‘Back to the Piano Magic ’ “Ivory tinkling genius. ”



‘Who’s There’ (In Flagranti mix)

“Nu-disco/house crossover.”

Au Revoir Simone


Moshi Moshi

ARS’s gently quirky electonica song gets a slew of remixes, with Aeroplane producing a singalong upbeat dance mix and Neon Indian adding leftfield electronic sensibilities. But it’s the spaced out ‘Social Disco Mix’ we’re digging.

PHOENIX ‘Lisztomania’ (Holy Ghost! Love Paris remix) “Sparkling indie-disco anthem.”






‘Express Yourself (Mike Simonetti edit) ’

“Party-starting 105BPM Italo funk”



‘Give Me Every Little Thing’

“Dancefloor dynamite with a dirty acid-house twist.”



‘Oh Snap’ (Greg Wilson remix)

“Perfect disco to house bridge. ”



‘Wrath of Zeus’

“Late 80s lost but now found disco genius. ”


Miles Sagnia Aesthetic Audio



Keith Worthy’s Aesthetic Audio has to be one of the most consistent labels out there with its high quality control and obsession with the deep. Here, UK artist Miles Sagnia unveils an absolute pearler. Lead track ‘Changes’ has the most drive with its techy funk offset by lush pads and delicate keys and organ. On the flip, ‘Soulhive’ takes a more freestyle percussion approach, with deep bass and more atmospheric interjections. Last up, ‘Relativity’ is another killer with even more of a late-night feel.

STL/Steinhoff Smallville

MLZ/DJ Ghosthunter

Traversable Wormhole

Modern Love

Traversable Wormhole

Miles Whittaker from Pendle Coven delivers probably his best solo record to date; swathed in eerie textures and spacey filters, at the heart of ‘One Cycle’ is a jack-knifing metallic rhythm. Whittaker’s version of Ghosthunter’s ‘Experiment 3’ also proves his worth as a remixer, delivering a take on tracky house featuring chainmail percussion and skewed jazz nuances.

It’s introverted and ethereal and presented in typical techno anonymity, yet there is nothing austere about the third Wormhole record. On the A-side, spacey minimalist beats shift to reveal warm bleeps, a stepping rhythm and a trippy chord sequence. Though the untitled flipside is less DJ-friendly, its sparse arrangement is just as atmospheric.

Horizontal Ground Claro Intelecto


Odd Machine

Paradox Dubs

Phase In


Non Standard Productions

Featuring limited edition versions from Redshape’s excellent debut album, ‘Dead Space’ is beefed up — but doesn’t lose its retro-futuristic charms — while ‘Man Out Of Time’ is given a lopsided, shuffling rhythm.

‘Phase In’ is probably the most accessible release on this label, with Tobias Freund and Atom TM’s understated melodies underpinned by subtle backbeats and lithe, fragile breaks.

Frenchie Ricardo Jefferson

Fait Accompli

A Brutal Truth


Third Ear

Impressively diverse four-tracker that moves seamlessly from bassy electro and rough, wobbly acid house into deep and bleepy techno without breaking a sweat.

Super deep, spacey techno from this new artist and label, with John Daly taking Frenchie’s stream of consciousness approach to a moodier place.

Horizontal Ground

Gregory Thyme/Pikaya

Modern Love Mark Stewart is one of the few producers to have created a unique spin on dub techno, so it’s no surprise that he has managed to achieve a similar outcome with deeper sounds. While the big room chords of ‘Above’ suggest that Stewart has been listening to Carl Craig, the title track rekindles the otherworldliness of ’90s US house, combining it with the static hiss and cavernous bass oomph that has become his signature.

Smallville is definitely label of 2009 for me with every release solid gold. On the A-side, STL brings his usual vibes in a long, drawn-out dubby trip offset with some crispy hats and subtle meandering keys and pads. Even better is Steinhoff’s contribution ‘Something Wonderful Like’, a wonderfully warm, charming track with a great balance between elegance and power. A constant pad sits serenely over a simple groove of subby, driving bass and deft, lightfingered hats. Just love it!


The first Horizontal Ground release was an inspired combination of the old and the new and the mysterious series continues in the same vein, with the A-side combining dense, dark beats and hissing percussion with what sounds like a sample of the distinctive riff from Vapourspace’s classic ‘Gravitational Arch Of 10’. The flipside track sounds free of samples — but trying to spot any becomes pointless as a powerful snaking bass and thunderous claps prevail.

GS ‘Ummo’ by Gregory Thyme is a fairly deep electronic track that bubbles along with squelchy synths and some offset keys. Better still is ‘Amsterdam’ by Pikaya. Their organic, slowly developing groove is really a joy to behold, with a great analogue sounding bassline, and typically for their releases, many surprising twists and turns along the way. Those looking for quirky yet deep fare should look no further.



ESTROE ‘Flirtatious Concubine ’ “Super early set track or works well in after hours. ”


NINO ‘Manya’ “Great synth stab and great early set track.”


Marcel Dettmann

Robert Hood

Levon Vincent/Steffi



Ostgut Ton


There are no signs of Dettmann compromising despite his rising popularity. Indeed, while ‘Apron’ and ‘Rerun’ serve up the kind of rough and raw metallic techno club tracks he is known for, the Berghain resident goes a few steps further on ‘Kernel’, deploying a bass that is so oppressively heavy it makes Ancient Methods sound like wedding DJs. Drop it and watch its distorted tones blow the most resilient speakers apart.

After an average release with ‘Obey/ Resurrection’, Robert Hood reaches ridiculously high standards again with ‘Superman’. The title track is Hood at his most visceral, with a cheesewire rhythm, pitch-bent hats and a grating riff creating high energy levels. ‘Range’ isn’t as hectic, but Hood’s use of an eerie organ riff and slamming backing rivals Jeff Mills’s evergreen ‘Solid Sleep’ in the spooky stakes.

The A-side sees Levon Vincent do his new school New York hard ‘n’ soul thing with ‘Late Night Jam’. Tough, tight, abrasive beats get things going, working their magic before a killer synth line comes in. Can imagine Vasquez unleashing this back in the day at the Sound Factory and Dettmann and Klock doing so at Berghain. Steffi’s ‘24 Hours’ is a lovely, warm, melodic and slightly wistful track.


BART SKILS ‘Catwalk’ “You can’t go wrong with Bart.”

EGBERT ‘Groots Uitpakken’ “Cocoon still throwing out some killer techno, mid set killer. ”

MARTIN LANDSKY ‘Who’s Laughing Now? ’ “Deep dark and techy.”


MATHEW DEAR & SETH TROXLER ‘Hurt’ (remix) “A new classic, brilliantly remixed. ”


ASCION, D CARBONE ‘Drop’ “Peak time techno.”


SIZE ‘Yeah ’ “Nice break makes this a super mid set track. ”


HUGO ‘Coola’ “Hugo has been doing some crazy tracks this year and this is something to take you into peak time.”


SNAREFIELD ‘Red Antz ’ “Local boy Ihmsen is some one to watch out for.”


DRUM & BASS REVIEWS Spectrasoul The 4 Points (feat Kenny Knots)/ Guardian Metalheadz

A group that are making waves right now, where their haunting previous single ‘Melodies’ (Exit) was a favourite in the DJmag office. Now firing on all cylinders through Goldie’s stable, they are showing their versatility even further with this chemical roots smasher. ‘4 Points’ has old skool jungle pumping through its veins, where Kenny Knots preaches his love of the herb while a thwacking lively beat and suction Reese bass buzzes in the background.




A few d&b artists have had recent hits for all the right reasons, where they aren’t hailed as the latest saviours of the music in a storm of hyperbole, rather that their productions are appreciated just as good music. Chase & Status are the latest on the hotlist, and this latest ditty is similar in vein to ‘Pieces’. Maudlin, heartfelt lyrics pull your heartstrings then a grandiose and tumultuous barrage of beats and zooming bass shake your foundations. Chief Rocka.

Original Sin Therapy/Kiss Playaz

Original Sin is label boss DJ Hype’s latest golden child, where all releases display variety and bite, and the good news is that this is a taster for a forthcoming album. ‘Therapy’ is exactly what good d&b should be — furious, wild alternations. Crisp ethereal chords start off then the main roast chops between furious Amen snaps and teeth-clench zooms, cutting to stomping, kick-adoor-down stages. Cool aqua liquid on the flip. Can’t wait for the LP.

Cooh Froger/New Lay L/B

Artists like Cooh, Technical Itch, Counterstrike and Limewax produce my favourite type of d&b at present — complete anarchic noise that assaults every sense and pummels you with


Dr Rubberfunk feat Roachford Trouble Woman (Featurecast Remix)/(Featurecast Dub) Jalapeno

Cheesy singer from the ’80s, but a pleasing mix regardless. Jazz funk brass, a cool vocal and drum that instantly moves you.

Gremlinz & Goldstar/Marcus Visionary & Gremlinz


Cutlass/Don’t Care

Cold Fear EP

Def Ltd

the backing for Junior Reid sing-Jay style vocals telling you not to mess with them.

Ink & Perpetuum/ Ink Jungle Book/Mirage (Raiden & Kharnage Remix) Renegade Hardware

More basses that insist on loud volume. Haunting drifts open the assault until a shuffling break and overpowering extended 808 bass booms wobble your speaker cones.

Shogun Audio

Chase & Status Is It Worth It/End Credits (feat Plan B)


Foreign Beggars & Noisia

Atmospherics are the name of the game with this four-track EP, and Shogun Audio are specialists in this field. Various shades of darkness abound throughout here, like in ‘Cause’ with its deep cavern chords and unsettling bleeps, or ‘Cold Fear’ that plays with metallic drums and deep space midrange pokes, or ‘Driftwood’ that enlists co-operation from Noisia. Certainly great in its field, but this genre seems a little faceless for me in terms of personal taste.

Contact/Shake It/Contact (Noisia Remix)

Disaszt/Camo & Krooked

irrepressible f-off bass. Check out Tech Itch’s recent ‘You Need Therapy’ LP for more details. Today, Cooh blends a loud, concrete shattering rapid kick and thwack snare with incessant alarm tones, robotic screams and angry, rage filled moods. Worryingly brilliant. True punk-out, not for those with heart conditions.


Together (DC Breaks Remix)/Synthetic

Single taster from these studio wizards’ first album ‘United Colours of Beggatron’ due soon! This three-tracker features UK hip-hop super crew the Foreign Beggars, where Noisia have slowed the tempo down for the A-side ‘Contact‘ and the slightly comedy tinged ‘Shake It’, but still retain their elemental grindings, and it comes across like bleached, chemically enhanced hiphop. Flip over for a full speed version of ‘Contact’ that brings up the pulse again and has you marvelling at its gritty, surreal amphetamine speed.


A wholesome roller, travelling at speeds that make your cheeks ripple and lips peel back. Old skool style riffs blend with sprinting breaks, melodic vibes and adrenaline inducing diva wails. Flip over for Camo & Krooked, for whom ‘prolific’ seems too diluted a word to describe right now. They bring supercharged funk with their own smiley electro, where key riffs from an old classic keyboard (Juno?) work perfectly with gritty slides and “electronic, synthetic” chants. Happy hurry.

J Majik & Wickaman Feel About You/Feel About You (Original Sin Mix)

Camo & Krooked

Mosquito Records

Sudden Def

Feeling both mixes here most definitely. Majik & Wicka’s first mix is super shrill, a soulful bounder that’s so high on the tempo scale (180+ ?) that I can’t even run to the pace! Disco on acid vibes abound with superb vocal rushes. The ‘Original Sin Mix’ also pushes the right buttons, where a series of blood sugar pumping zooms rise in pitch and mess with your perceptive consciousness, resulting in you joyfully blabbering like an insane clown!

Back again, told’ja they’re prolific! Yet more quality from this consistent Austrian duo, where on ‘Nano’ the moods slow a little to make way for soulful, polished ebony vocals as they leave their synth alchemy to serve as compliments to the vocals instead of taking centre stage. Brothers have worked it out. ‘Unseen’ retains their optimistic tone but delves a little deeper and darker, using grittier sounding bass pulses and troughs but still with very lively moods. Nice slice.

Nano (feat Nina)/The Unseen

A deep, rich and nervetingling sub that demands loudness. Marching synthetic rhythm with a clever mixture of ethereal, dark fx and enveloped chords.

Unknown Danger/Talk Out Subplate

This issue’s junglists’ piece. A slightly predictable break and reggae strum provide

Bal Out There EP Influence

Oodles of atmosphere and relaxation. Flotation in green, heavy water. ‘Out There (The Viking’s Theme)’ cleverly mixes a helicopter rhythm, backwards reverbs and a calm sky panorama mood. A little slow moving.

MAKOTO HE:DIGITAL 01. ROOTSOUL ‘It’s The Way (Makoto Remix)’ Geneon Japan “Something I did recently, turning Japanese club jazz into d&b.”

02. MAKOTO & DEEIZM ‘Untold’ HE:Digital “First release for my digital-only label —”

03. FLACO ‘Set You Off ’ White “Pure liquid vibe tune. Love the chord progression on this.”

04. DIGITAL & LUTIN Remote Da Force Timeless “Back to Jangle vibe — it sounds really fresh now.”

05. SUBWAVE ‘I Need You’ Hospital “Russian d&b artist with unique spacey sound.”

06. TOTAL SCIENCE & SPY FEAT RIYA ‘Testimony’ White “Love how it switches from soulful vibe into the jungle vibe.”


MARKY & S.P.Y ‘Brainstorm’ Innerground “Bit different from what Marky & S.P.Y normally do.”

08. MAKOTO ‘Good Old Days’ Innerground “I tried to make a ’90s atmospheric d&b vibe on this tune.”

09. RANDOM MOVEMENT ‘Waterlogged’ Innerground “Really looking forward to his album in 2010.”

10. SYNCOPIX ‘Be With You (Marky & SPY Remix)’ Integral “A really good example of how disco d&b should be.”

Š 2009 Shure Incorporated

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a garish gated riff bypasses the fromage-o-meter with Darude ‘Sandstorm’ synths.

Overclocked Lucky Break

Lunar Shift

A funky, jump-up nu breaks anthem, but it’s I.D’s breaks steppa remix that’s really hitting the spot.

The Trip (Merka Remix) Big Square

One of the best things Mark Ford has done, this has Si Begg qualities in that it’s totally irreverent, yet still has da funk and works on the floor.

Sander Van Doorn Ninety Doorn

Trance don goes prog breaks, only let down when


immediacy of old 1991 rave tunes was the ingenious simplicity, the catch-all euphoric hooks — making up the rules as they went along. Rennie updates sweetly, dispensing with the rave sounds and easing out da funk — listen to that bassline talk. Someone called Grim-Pil wobbles out a faithful, sweet ravey-davey shuffler, while Ellis Dee shows he still knows the score with a peak-time screamer.


Leeroy Thornhill Headgrind Electric Tastebuds

Freerange DJs



Leeroy Thornhill has built himself up into one of the big DJs on the global circuit since leaving The Prodigy, and on his travels he’s gathered around him a scurrilous gang of reprobates to occupy the space where electro meets breaks for his Electric Tastebuds label. Loving Leeroy’s stadium rocker ‘Headgrind’. The dynamics are immense, with a powerful vocal and masterful detonation insight — superb. It’s backed by sick cuts from other label mainstays, including Kouncil House’s old skool, sci-fi tech monster ‘Hacker’. Immense.

Your Mind Your Passion Ape

features the ragga vox of General Levy in tandem with Sunshine enticing dancers to get their grind on. NAPT don’t use too much of the vocal, but take it down a booty steppa path. These guys — Ashley and Tomek — are so talented it hurts, here employing an incessant electronic top line to take it into future urban electro/bassline territory.

Lee Coombs Detox Lot49

01. STANTON WARRIORS ‘Good Vibrations’ White “One of my biggest tunes for much of the year.”

02. AFROJACK & DAVID GUETTA ‘Toyfriend’ F*ck Me I’m Famous “Yes, that does say David Guetta!”

03. MJ COLE FEAT SEROCEE ‘Wind Up (Zed Bias Remix)’ Prolific

Kraymon Papillon Rouge Dead Famous

“Great ragga vocal on this skankin’ tune.”

04. CTRL Z & THE FREESTYLERS ‘Ruffneck ’09 feat Navigator’ Never Say Die “The Freestylers mash up da place and make the crowd jump up!”

05. CRACKERZ & JAM ‘Big Up Girl’ Up:Start Music “Really nice old skool riff on this.”

06. KID DIGITAL ‘Critical Systems (Funkanomics Remix)’ InBeatWeTrust “Very glad to have this on our label.”


DEEKLINE & WIZARD ‘Ready For Your Love (Ed Solo Remix)’ Against

Kraymon’s original boasts shades of FSOL’s ‘Papua New Guinea’ and a great big room acidic feel with nice strings towards the close. Mesmer’s mix injects a dirtier bassline undertow, and LuQas turns in more of a spacey, yet sufficiently tough tech-funker.

‘Detox’ is a blinding acid banger. There are breaks purists who would have no truck with this release because of a drum pattern on the original, which is to miss the point almost entirely. This is pure warehouse rave acid filth par excellence — besides, East European fiends Access Denied provide the definitive breaks rework. Meanwhile, whatever the forums might say, Meat Katie’s mix is breakbeat, and it’s brilliant.

The Grain “Ed turns this into a real big room anthem.”

08. DEEKLINE & WIZARD ‘Bounce & Rebound (Beat Assassins Remix)’ Against The Grain “You can’t keep a good woman down, either!”


Baymont Bross feat Sunshine & General Levy

Rhythm Section

Wine Up Ya Waist



“The Stantons again. Party people kick it just like this.”

10. FREEFLOW 45 ‘Rock Chemistry’ Bombtraxx “Sounds like it would work well live as well as on the floors.”


Feel The Rhythm

So loose and rolling it could be a Deekline joint. Ruffneck and ting, this

Breaks godfather Rennie Pilgrem used to be in Rhythm Section back in the rave days and the great thing about the

The original fidgets and wobbles in all the right places, a kinda cross between Rico Tubbs and Riva Starr, while the vocal is similar to a snippet from Freeland’s ‘We Want Your Soul’. The Wrongstars turn in a dirty, incessant zippy steppa, while Quadrat Beats go for the tear-out.

The CBs Misdemeanour Jam City

The original is a gorgeous slab of old skool funk, and is actually a cover of Foster Sylvers’ 1973 jam. Yolanda’s voice sounds amazingly fresh ‘n’ fly on this, and its Motown feel is sure to inspire Big Chillers. The No Fakin’ crew add dope beats and a burbling b-line, while label boss A-Skillz introduces wobbly dubstep sensibilities and scratchadelia for the definitive party revamp.

Dreadzone Tomorrow Never Comes Dubswiser

The vocal interplay between Earl 16 and MC Spee on ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ is superb, while on ‘Beyond A Rock’ Dreadzone go all agit-rock like Senser or someone. Elsewhere, dubsteppa ‘For A Reason’ shows that these guys have the will and wherewithal to spread vibes of peace, love and unity for a long time yet.

GARAGE/GRIME REVIEWS part in moulding the sound of today. ‘Rio ’98’ is a carnival affair that would fit into any UK funky set, ‘Everyday’ is a bumpy cut-up vocal vibe and ‘Badbwoy’ is an original speed garage flex.

Boy Better Know Going In BBK


Junior Clan



The Boy Better Know crew, minus sometime member Wiley, present their debut single from the long-awaited album ‘V.I.P’. If you’re expecting another ‘Too Many Man’, they didn’t try to emulate it. Instead, all five MCs intertwine their lyrics throughout, and the hook is basic and catchy. Not typical of Skepta productions, an electric guitar dominates, played in by garage MC Majestic. Going to be massive.

Starkey feat Badness Junior Clan was founded in 2003 by DJ Krimba, and having already produced and remixed for artists like Tyree Cooper and Jay Harvey, and DJed at raves around Europe, Daniel is certainly no stranger to the circuit. ‘Hold On’ is a great example of quality, originally written and produced UKG. On the two-step mix, electric piano and organ bass carry the melody of a sexy female vocal smoothly, yet the track still delivers a punch, taking inspiration from MJ Cole and The Wideboys. CJ Reign drops a funky 4/4 mix incorporating a wicked sax riff, and Munich-based S! conjures up a more driving affair.

Corneille Liberation (MJ Cole Remixes)

top. Already causing a bidding war with the majors, watch this blow!


Cheryl Cole German-born Motown artist Corneille has come on an incredibly long musical journey to arrive at ‘Liberation’. Already selling well over one million records in France, and much more around the world, he is normally associated with an acoustic-based r&b sound. Thankfully, Matt Coleman’s specialty involves taking rich soulful vocals and making musical masterpieces. Opting for a two-step beat on the main mix, MJ brings forth full brass sections, crisp analogue drums and what sounds like the JBs to make a truly beautiful piece of music. And check out Cole’s dirty funk dub for some grit.


Fight For This Love (Sunship & Crazy Cousinz Mixes) Polydor

OK Luv Planet Mu

Philadelphia’s king of bass, Starkey links up with grime MC Badness, whose unique singing style has gained him recognition from far and wide. The single, taken from Starkey’s second Planet Mu album, is the opposite to what Badness’s name suggests. Tired of violent themes in grime, he has been focusing on making positive material, and ‘OK Luv’ is a mellow track with an infectious melody that sits alongside Joker and Gemmy’s material between grime and dubstep.

This has nothing to do with Gary Barlow! The original UK don jumps back into the booth and follows up where ‘Rolex’ finished, with another absolute banger showing why he is always one step ahead of the game. This time round, Wiley goes straight for the clubs, hooking up with on-point producer Chew Fu. The beat is tight and electro-ish, the synths are growling and dark but the overall vibe is extremely bouncy with Wiley toasting some serious hooks over the

Princess Bad Boys (Remixes) My Ish Media

of a mix. Dark drums and sick squelchy subs carry this song really well.

The ‘Frontline’ singer/ songwriter drops an equally big second track with quality funky and bassline mixes from H Two O, Il Blu, Footstepz and EA. A heavyweight production and remix package. Look out for her on Doneao’s ‘Party Hard’ remix, too.


Enrique Benitez feat Mia Mendez

Black The Ripper

Cooking (DJ Q Remix)


Grime Activity Aim High

Ending a relatively quiet year, Ghetts proves he still has it. There’s no doubt that 2010 will be a big year for him. Danny Weed on production.

You Ain’t Got Swagger


Getting battered in its original form over the last four months from various jocks. 1xtra UKG specialist Q gets deep into bassline territory and comes up with a ripper

Taken from Dexplicit’s debut album, North London’s Black The Ripper MCs over a Dirty South-influenced beat. Black The Ripper is definitely an MC to watch in 2010.

Maxsta East London Is Back

You wouldn’t expect to find Girls Aloud singer Cheryl on this page but when I saw ‘Sunship Oldskool UKG Mix’ on this package, my eyes lit up. Previously responsible for all-time ladies’ anthem ‘Flowers’, and numerous other classic garage tracks, the Sunship boys turn around another really slick mix. Crunchy kicks and trademark snares perfectly compliment Cole’s vocal and shed a whole new light on this No.1 pop song. Crazy Cousinz do a great job on funking up the place.

Roll Deep

The 17-year-old Maxsta, on his debut single, makes one of the statements of the year. Grime’s spiritual home is East London, but it has been dominated by North London MCs such as Chipmunk, Scorcher and Skepta recently. Maxsta is one of the MCs to watch for in 2010, as he has tracks with Wiley, Ghetto and Toddla T. Danny Weed produces this dark track, which is clearly not seeking daytime radio playlisting. Very refreshing.

Take That Eski Beats Recordings





‘My Desire’

“A personal favourite of mine.”




“A classic, no doubt.”




“Love the old skool baseline.”

Jeremy Sylvester

DVA Feat P Money


Wind It Up

DNR Vinyl

DVA Music


BOOKER T ‘Bizzi’s Party’ “A big club banger.”



‘All I know ’

“Crazy yet simple B-line production.”

Croydon-based record shop DNR Vinyl have been working things from the street up and bringing the most soughtafter rarities from way back when back to the masses via these official re-release vinyl EPs. Here we’re treated to big riddims from Jeremy’s 3-Play and Sly pseudonyms. One of the original pioneers, alongside Grant Nelson and Tuff Jam, Sylvester has more than played his

DVA is the production alias for DJ Scratcha, and this year he’s been busy making waves on the house and funky scene with Roska & Cooly G but has also been slowly building his grime project ‘No Right Turn’. Leading South London MC P Money joins DVA, lending his fast punchline-driven flows on the skippy, dark track. Old skool grime drum patterns meets Prodigy-style basslines.



‘What U do’

“Nu Skool vocal track that always works.”


SOMORE ‘I refuse’ “Old skool vocal.”



‘Lessons on love ’

“Robbie never fails.”




“Soulful garage track.”




“Another classic that never leaves my box.”



Fantastic Mr Fox

DJ Madd


Sketches EP


Hard feat Newham Generals & David Rodigan Digital Soundboy

Black Acre


Hungary’s DJ Madd paints his colours brightly on the wall, whilst Breakage sneaks in with a cheeky doodle in the corner.


Breakage with Footsie and D Double kill it dead. The Caspa & The Others remix will appease the lowest common denominator.

Temjin EP


Civil Music

Rawwwww Hotflush

Noisy affair but with a switch up of styles including d&b and hip-hop, proving Reso is no one-trick pony.

‘Rawwww’ is a technoid opus. A fuzzy, static blast of progressive techno.

Get Up feat Yolanda Tectonic

Johnny 5 Planet Mu

As Cluekid rubs the sleep from his eyes and stretches from months of hibernation, he brings with him two tough, leathery nuts in the form of ‘Chicken Foot’ and ‘Shifty’. With a musty hint of last year still lingering, this two-sider doesn’t bring anything radically new, but it does emanate plenty of weight that gets all the meaty bits jiggling — effective bass material in every sense.

From the man who taught Joker to make beats, and who should have in all seriousness been the man to launch the purple explosion, ‘Johnny 5’ is Gemmy’s second EP on Planet Mu. Cutting to the chase, there is only one joint to truly stand up to the majesty of ‘Supligen’ from his first EP, and ‘Wata Down Sound’ is the tune that disembowels, bursts blood vessels and exfoliates your soul.

“Legendary Duo 16bit bash you with filthy basslines and dark morphed vocals.”



BRATKILLA ‘BratButcher’


Disappearing Reappearing Ink

“I recently discovered this genius 18 year old producer from Sweden. Metal mash-up dubstep. Enough said.”



Sully, at 19-years-old, is the quiet, unassuming type, the anti-ego, and therefore one of those rare beasts: a producer’s producer, which kind of does him a disservice. Burial is a fan, which says a lot. So, what have we here? Trademark future two-step swing, with hints of tech and a smattering of indistinguishable vocals abound, but look to the progressive ‘Jackmans Rec’ for the real tasty treats.

Multi-talented people always make me feel a little bit sick, damn their superior genes. This, the pro b-boy and sick producer’s third release on as many labels, captures him in a more reflective mood; a delicate, intricate touch can be heard on ‘Disappearing Reappearing Ink’, but one that is robustly buggered with bass. ‘Broken Memory’ on the flip exposes the chest hair for some macho arpeggio posturing.


‘Mafia’ (TrillBass Remix)

“One of my favorite Trillbass remixes with metal undertones.”







Best known for his darker manifestations, Frankfurt’s Twisted pressure hoses the funk into ‘Robots’ with the chops of a ’70s pimp. The kinky drums, gated synths and jerky detail allow just the right amount of crunchy mid-range through for a killer combination. Head honcho J:Kenzo does a remix himself, keeping the funk, but adding warm Detroit synths to produce a big, big sound. Roska appears with a tight funky rub to complete a lovely package.

Pinging about Manchester with a Gameboy circuit for a brain, cartoon charlatan Fantastic Mr Fox gives his opposable thumbs a healthy dose of RSI here. Computer funk cuts of the highest order, ‘Brick-A-Brac’ and ‘If I’ are hard to pin down, as the detail intertwines like a mangle of speaker cable. Title track ‘Sketches’ mainlines the drums, catalysing an epileptic fit of digi-synths. Sbtrkt rewires with sick Detroit beats and an epic drop, rounding off a superb plate.


“Haunting flute samples and absolutely one of the sickest bass drops you’ll hear today.”


Soul Shakerz










“Mind Bending and jilted track. ”

DOWNLINK ‘Android’ “As the name entails, this track feels like it came out from an android’s brain. Massive tune. ”




“Three words: F***ing Mind Blowing! I wouldn’t mind getting arrested for playing this as loud as audibly possible.”



‘Dirty Lust (Kidnappa Remix)’

“One of the most beautiful dubstep tracks I’ve ever listened to. Viola, Cello and basslines = Dubstep porn!”




“Ever thought what Dubstep would sound like with an oriental twist? Now you do. A track for the ladies!”



‘Eastern Jam’

“DubStep 101. This track is where you should start. Classic tune and I still spin it to this day.”

From the darkness it came... BY 66

Gatekeeper Blip

‘The Blank’ (16bit Remix)

MISTABISHI ‘Printer Jam’ (Barbarix Remix)


Originally on his ‘Underwater Dancehall’ album released in 2007, ‘Get Up’ was a standout track. This is essentially a remix package, where the lovely vocal provides rich pasture. RSD deposits a busy remix, heavy on atmosphere and movement. Guido cannibalises garage basslines with searching guitar licks. Jack Sparrow ticks the moody dubstep box. But the lovingly retro reggae disco fix from LV manages to take it somewhere else, and that, along with the original, deserves the gold star.

If Symptoms Persist

After the stunning debut release from Wedge and Shadz with ‘Running Away’, number two from Bristol-based imprint ISP looks like keeping the standard high. A man from the ‘less is more’ school of thought, Gatekeeper pushes a minimal bass and beats aesthetic, with simplistic bleeps, bloops and random machine emissions for melodic structure, all minced through an instinctive dub filter. ‘Blip’ and his remix of Appleblim’s ‘Vansan’ demonstrate this nicely.






Bold As F*** Halal Beats/Kilamanjaro

The soon-come ‘Hunger Pains’ mix from DJMK, Skandal, ThisMC & DJ Combo is one of this decade’s final headwreckers of UK hip-hop — a mind-bending melange of crunkedout insanity, febrile thug electro and vivid verbals from one of UK rap’s most intense and intriguing new talents. ‘Bold As F***’ is just one of its myriad delights, check it then get ready for the deluge that the album is. Essential.

London Zoo The Puppa Murc EP Dented

“For the raver, the shoegazer”, for anybody in cold heat whether hit by strobes or a swinging bulb — this shit resonates rude from beneath, winds waists, jabs chests, slaps faces, pulls hair, won’t let up on you. Can’t even begin to tell you what this sounds like. Only colours come, deep blacks and reds and the chilling bass oozing blue throughout, the beats high impact, the words a blur and then a biting pause, a telling twist to remind you to breathe. Everything hip-hop can do. One of those infinite records. A futurist future classic.

Deep Rooted Celebrate/Fade

on the uncut madness of ‘Eagles’ but it’s that title track you keep on coming back for, ploughing the same Notts/NYC furrow and like-mindedness that makes P Brothers so damn compelling.

MC Context Mental Breakdown Music EP Textured Recordings

Norwich-based Context has a winningly unmannered voice, and the slower and spacier this gets, the better it suits his downbeat delivery. Highlight has to be the title track, a slo-mo slugbeat strafed by speaker-tickling bass drones and shifting swathes of dubbed loops, followed closely by ‘Headbutt Your Trainers’, a woofer-worrier that positively gurns with wibbly-wobbliness. One to watch.

Clear Label Records

Kano A beautiful line in Roots/J-Rawls style smooth ’n’ scratchy silkiness from Deep Rooted here. ‘Celebration’ is a wonderfully warm warp ’n’ weft of blissed-out vocals and jazzy soul, pure Stylistics/ Delfonics textures, quiet storm trembled over by the MCs and singers. ‘Fade’ has the good sense to send its fractured piano loop backwards when the mood dictates — listening, you feel that tweaked up from 45 to 78 this would sound like some gorgeous d&b — and ‘Do It’ ripples with vibes and ’60s soundtrack stealth. Luxurious.

Endemic & Cappo Needle Drop No Cure Records

Rugged and raw beats from Endem, controlled and powerful rhyming from Cap on the devastating title track here. Cyrus Malachi & Iron Braydz join forces on the Raekwon-esque ‘Hacksaw’, Scor-zay-zee & Lee Majors do the same


Rock N Roller Bigger Picture Music

“No blue suede shoes, just my Adidas trainers, but I’m still rock ‘n’ roll” — Jeezus! Now that every lil’ MC wants a hit in any club that’ll have them, it ain’t surprising that this kind of over-autotuned bollocks is finding backing tracks that sound like rubbish D:Ream — why must rap only pull from dance music’s most chart-trance-friendly center? Where’s the rap that pulls from ‘Mentasm’, from ‘Energy Flash’, from ‘Substance Abuse’, from ‘Waveform Transmissions’? Doesn’t rock, doesn’t roll much either. Kano’s seriously using up any goodwill he ever had with this.

Silva Searchin’

And here’s another one. Didn’t really feel ‘Through The Storm’, and don’t feel

this either — what wee small pleasure you gain from the frabjous lil’ strings riff that itches at your skin is nulled and voided by a chorus so weedy even I’d start on it. Silva is clearly a good rapper — I think he needs to stop caring about being noticed and start giving a worrying about making his choonage his own. If you’re gonna crossover make your hooks massive, man. ‘Searchin’ is nowhere near addictive or compelling enough.

Jelluzz It’s My City

Hip hop champion DJ Solo on the Middle East’s growing scene The regional hip hop scene is a grassroots movement that is gathering momentum. One band definitely worthy of your attention is Fareeq El Atrash (www. a hip hop/funk outfit based in Lebanon. Fareeq El Atrash combine live instrumentation, turntablism and MCing in a refreshingly organic style suited more to a jazz band than a hip hop group. Also based in Beirut are the Beirut Groove Collective, consisting of DJs Ernesto and Stickfiggr, who throw parties playing soul, funk and disco. Already on their third event the emphasis is on fun and injecting soul into Beirut nightlife which tends to cater largely for the electronic crowd. Their events also always feature a live acts, and they are looking to expand to bring in international artists also.

on beat FM. The U.A.E. b-boy scene is also growing rapidly and the U.A.E. b-boy Championships were held in mid-December, with DJ Lobito at the helm with his extensive crates of original rare breaks.

Other regional DJs to follow include DJ Lethal Skillz ( of Lebanon who has his second album ‘Karmageddon’ approaching it’s release date. Also DJ Sotusura in Jordan who hosts his regular radio show ‘Urban Beats’

2009 may have been a tumultuous year for many, but one thing you can rely on is that artists working within the underbelly will continue to produce outstanding music, and I for one can’t wait to learn what the sounds of 2010 will teach me.

One hip hop aesthetic which is still rarely championed in this region is the progressive ‘beats’ scene, pioneered by artists like Hudson Mohawke, Flying Lotus, and Nosaj Thing. Thankfully, there does seem to be one man helping to change that is and his name is Onur Engin. Based in Turkey, Onur has teamed up with beat aficionado Jay Scarlett to establish Ubeat Records ( who are rapidly discovering quality diverse artists on an international scale, and inviting artists to perform in Turkey.

Big Deal Management

Then three come at once — here’s another one. It’s time that producers and MCs extend their listening beyond default settings, start messing with their toolkit until they abuse it into a new sound. ‘It’s My City’ is great in instrumental form but when Jell drops such predictable vocals over it you can feel the track slip away from ever surpassing its sources. ’Just Say Yes’ on the flip is way more successful, an Outkast-worthy collage of shade ‘n’ light that pulls on you lyrically and sonically. Possibilities pending.

S.Kay Got The Beat Artistik

Now if Kay was in a club doing this live and I’d just availed myself of every free drinks promotion in the place and I was suited ‘n’ booted up to the nines and my head was right next to the bassbin, then, yeah, this monomaniacal ace-bass banger would work a treat. Luckily, modern health and safety regulations prohibit me from going anywhere near a dancefloor or even a niteclub anymore. Political correctness gone sensible.

DEEP ROOTED CLEAR LABEL RECORDS 01. DRAKE ‘Successful’ Young Money “It’s soul music and we can feel his pain!”

02. FABOLOUS ‘Throw It In The Bag’ Desert Storm/Def Jam “His lyrics are clever and witty, which sets him apart from the pack.”

03. DORROUGH ‘Ice Cream Paint Job’ E1 Music “Great, fun song about a car club. Don’t ask, just listen!”

04. JAY-Z ‘D.O.A (Death Of Autotune)’ Rocafella “The beat is just crazy.”

05. LIL’ JON FEAT SWIZZ BEATS ‘Snoop Dogg I Do’ Young Money “Just a straight-up dope club song. “

06. WU-TANG CLAN ‘House Of Flying Daggers’ Loud “As ever with the Wu, the lyrics here are just astonishing.”


DEEPROOTED ‘Fade’ Clear Label “Sorry but we just love the lyrics to this!”

08. KRS-1 & BUCK SHOT ‘Robot’ White “Two classic emcees at work. Dope.”

09. KANYE WEST FEAT CLIPSE ‘Big Deal’ Good Music “Still one of the best.”

10. DEEPROOTED ‘Crazy’ Clear Label “The beat is hard and it bumps in the clubs a treat.”

REVIEWS LEFTFIELD the back of the neck, then ‘Hard Believer’, the latest foray from the sisters Soderberg should by all accounts do the same. Backed by the usual acoustic nuances (touch of mandolin this time, maybe?), it’s more harmonized heartfelt secrets laid bare, for all to use as their own special aural love notes to send to victims in the crosshairs. Beautiful.

Vowels Two Wires/On Up


Split Series 20

Lucky Elephant

Rune Grammofon stalwarts Alog head up one side, a departure from their more idiosyncratic treatments of the past with this morphing and collapsing collage of intense electronics, whilst the real headfuck is left to the Astral Social Club who, in-between the spacial ‘Vurt Chorale’, contribute the sound of technoid atom splitting mayhem. Box of Nurofen and a nappy, please.

The Reverend Tilsley & His Magic Lantern Sunday Best

An interesting release from Sunday Best, who offer us the French vocal fronted Lucky Elephant project. Floating somewhere between alt pop euphoria (check the alternate mix of ‘Red Tiles’), abstract sound design and feel-good retro instrumentation, it’s a solid EP that shows a diverse and mature hand.

The Phenomenal Handclap Band

First Aid Kit

15 To 20

Hard Believer

Tummy Touch


Carrying many of the same musical hallmarks as contemporary predeces-

‘Street Bangerz Volume 2’. I’m spoilt for choice to recommend the best offering from this slammin’ collection of smooth, sensual and innovative sounds which will ignite the audio buds. All tracks are marvellous, but if my thumbs were screwed I’d have to go with ‘Chillaxin’ By The Sea’ - guaranteed to tingle your dingle. A mix of Soft Cell, laidback keyboards, guitar and background horn groans create

Dinner With The Beatz Vol 1: JK Soul Not just dinner, but a feast of crisp and sophisticated sounds in this beautifully produced package from ‘JK Soul’. With its moody whisk of sultry guitar and rhythmical beat, ‘My Freedom’ is the main course of this slick collection, while other tasty morsels such as ‘Look Of Love’ will satisfy the heartiest of appetites.

Stones Throw

sors like The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem and Spektrum, ‘15 To 20’ probably won’t win any awards for originality, but it should certainly do the job at your local discotheque. Skip the original and head straight for the remixes courtesy of The Glimmers and Den Haan, both of whom add a welcome edge to an otherwise decent, but fairly uneventful single.

Fat Cat

He uses words like voluptuous to describe sax solos, and spent the Christmas period tracking down Peruvian nose flute covers of ‘Blue Monday’. It’s the one, the only Martin Metcalf.

DeepCitySoul: Groove School (Incl. Grant Nelson mix) Good to have maestro Grant back in the groove after an all-too-long absence. But back he is, bigger and better than ever, with a reminder of what good old fashioned house should be about. Yet given a new season twist guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s foot stomping desires. DeepCitySoul know the recipe for a great groove and don’t mind sharing it with a little help from the likes of Tony Humphries, CJ Mackintosh and Graeme Park. Lovers of dance floor funk can revel in a terrific remix by Grant Nelson, complete with a sassy clash of strings, sax and vibrant vocals that will set bodies and minds jumping.

Green Eyed Love


Alog/Astral Social Club

a jovial mood that lives up to its name. Also check out the vocal, keyboard and voluptuous sax combo ‘The Culture’.

Mayer Hawthorne


Can’t decide which of these two tracks is best; ‘On Up’ with its aggressive, cymbal crashing, drumheavy electronic manoeuvres or ‘Two Wires’ with its more restrained and linear, yet no less twisted electronic homage to classic Kraut. One thing’s for sure — both tracks share the same dense, heavy and complex rhythmic DNA, which results in a brilliantly riotous sound that sits them somewhere between Can, Dick Hyman and Four Tet.


With none other than Justin Timberlake now onside tipping him for the top, it might not be that long before we see Mayer Hawthorne flogging Pepsi to the masses! Okay, so probably not, but it certainly goes to show what kind of year this guy has had. Back for more then, this is the latest single to be lifted from ‘Strange Arrangement’. Good choice, we say! Check the remixes too, which come via Waajeed and Classixx.

Fink See It All Ninja Tune

Another fine offering from Fink’s current ‘Sort Of Revolution’ longplayer. Minimal is the key here, with dampened drums and a sparse arrangement making up the agenda whilst the alluring vocal of the man himself entices the listener to get up close and personal with his smooth and yearning delivery. D*L*I*D and Emika add the remix cherries although, as ever, it’s all about the spirit of the Fink original.



‘GMS vs Dr Hoffman’

“The legends GMS showing they haven’t lost their touch.”



‘X-Noise ’

“Groovy, happy melody.”



‘Talpa’ (UNITY)

“Changing what psytrance sounds like.”

Simian Mobile Disco Cruel Intentions Wichita


CONQUER DEATH TO RESTORE LIFE ‘Sanathana’ “Blend of ethnic and western sounds.”


SO REAL ‘Save The Robot’ (Vocal Edit) “Surreal mix, brilliant production.”


I AM A ROBOT ‘Alien vs. The cat’ (GMS Edit) “Superhit in 2007, back with a mix that is bound to shake dancefloors.”

If the heart-on-sleeve sentiment of ‘Pervigilo’ got the hairs standing up on

Cool, classy, female pop (featuring Beth Ditto) with a sting in the tail thanks to a selection of top remixes from Joker, Greg Wilson, Maurice Fulton and Heartbreak.



‘Soniq Vision ’

“Melodic morning tune that will keep you smiling.”


WORLD OF PHANTASY ‘Audiotec vs. Faders’ “Thumping bassline, awesome melody.”




“Name says it all really.”


DARK PERSUASION ‘Hallucinogen in DUB ’ “Beautiful chillout/psymbient tune from the legend.”

Qbert - Real DJ’s play vinyl



King Midas Sound Waiting For You Hyperdub

Claustro-dub in excelsis



This hook-up between electronics freak Kevin ‘The Bug’ Martin and conscious poet Roger Robinson from Trinidad & Tobago is an inspired one. As you might expect from the project’s name, it’s deeply informed by reggae, but it ain’t no dubstep LP. Instead, Martin’s production draws on classic dub and early dubwise electronica like the Moody Boyz, shares the militancy and range of some of the classic On-U Sound stuff and matches the contemporary clout of King Cannibal on Ninja Tune. But King Midas Sound is a sound all of its own. Going down a deeply introspective route, Robinson’s reflective, dread-

imbued refrains and Martin’s sparse, but richly atmospheric bass-scapes combine to create a spine-tingling vibrancy. Just don’t expect to be uplifted. A claustrophobic ‘Waiting For You’ recalls ‘Maxinquaye’-era Tricky, while ‘One Thing’ is haunted and spacey. Martin has distilled Roger Robinson’s rhymes into powerful stanzas, with choice use of delays, filters and the counterpointing of female vocals from Hitomi on several cuts. But it’s when Robinson sings dread soul in a fragile falsetto — almost Bim Sherman-like — that the spectral bliss of this album really comes into the frame.

Standout track ‘Earth A Kill Ya’ is a powerful mantra for global justice. “You can’t sell the earth for profit,” declares Roger, sounding like a cross between Brixton dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson at his most on-point and that other wicked wordsmith Benjamin Zephaniah. “Look at how they poison all the water and sell it back to us in plastic bottles.” He still manages to reference plantain and yams though, while ‘Miles & Miles’ is like a blue love paean. Give this album time. Much of it appears paranoid and diffuse on first listen, but persevere and you’re rewarded with true diamonds within the darkness. CARL LOBEN

Robot Koch

Marek Hemmann

Harvey McKay

Matias Aguayo

Death Star Droid

In Between

Machine Make Noise

Ay Ay Ay

Robot’s Don’t Sleep




Schizophrenic sonic mayhem

Neither here nor there

Back to the future

The Ays have it

Originally a drummer in a punk hardcore band, Berlin’s Robot Koch has been involved in myriad mongrel music projects and this debut solo LP is suitably schizophrenic. Lurching off on the robotic, bleep-addled IDM meets dubstep and mutant trance of the title track, it’s impossible to keep up from the get go. ‘Away From’ is a woozy Flying Lotus-esque smoker’s delight, ‘Love & The Machine’ offsets ethereal vocal cut-ups with face-melting sonic sucking, and ‘While’ is a post trip-hop beauty that comes on like a ketamised Portishead. More Brainfeeder-esque trippiness follows, before ‘Gorom Sen’ drops into an abyss of tribal steppa’ thuggery. Battered and bruised, its left to curveball closer ‘A Song Formerly Known As Tooth’ to soothe with blissful acoustic guitar refrains. An intense, manic but rewarding listen. Allan McGrath

It sounds like Marek Hemmann has opted for a ‘kitchen sink’ production style. However, the downside to this is that if you pile your influences and sources too high, the results often don’t wash. There are some excellent tracks on ‘Between’, most notably the dreamy techno meets sensuous disco of ‘Compass’ and the pulsing groove of ‘Alias’. Unfortunately, for every highlight there’s a pointless or plain ill-conceived composition. Hemmann’s predilection for sampling ’70s funk and disco wears thin after hearing ‘Kaleido’ and ‘Inessa’ and his use of a lame ‘Man with the Red Face’-style sax ruins the promising pairing of Resse-style bass menace with modern tech-house on ‘Gemini’. There’s no doubt that he is an inventive producer, but a good chunk of ‘Between’ suggests that he should reassess his approach. Richard Brophy

The debut album by Scottish producer Harvey McKay sums up the dilemma facing many electronic producers. On one hand, there is an imperative to produce music that fits current aesthetics, but there is also a need to imbue the process with passion — a characteristic that’s often sorely lacking. McKay makes nods to contemporary trends with the pulsing, trancey techno of ‘5am’ and the tearing, slamming minimalism of ‘Inxase’ and ‘69’, but the outcome sounds forced, as if McKay is on autopilot. Once he starts making music that references classical motifs, things improve. ‘Analog Freek’ is an insane Landstrumm-style bass workout, the spooky ambience of ‘Reflection’ and ‘Life’ lend the album an ethereal sensibility and the aptly named ‘Retro’ is an evocative, old school deep techno jam. Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to go forward. Richard Brophy

In much the same way that Mathew Herbert dissects and repurposes unusual sounds or DOP create new possibilities with the human voice, Latin American producer Aguayo brings his background to bear on his music. Sampling traditional singing and Latino rhythms, Aguayo has managed to forge a unique style. While at times things don’t work out and he veers perilously close to novelty act status — especially on the kooky ‘Mucho Viento’ — in the main this an alluringly fresh album. Hypnotic chants literally slide off a lopsided rhythm on ‘Menta Latte’, the thumb clicking timbre of ‘Rollerskate’ gives way to reveal an unforgettable pop hook and the snaking samba groove of ‘Ritmo Jaurez’ and the celebratory, sassy ‘Koro Koro’ will lift the spirits of even the most jaded cynic. This is a mini-masterpiece, mothered by innovation and invention and realised by a maverick talent. Richard Brophy





Dance Baby



Laboratory Instinct

Solid and Diynamic debut

Chilled Aphex-esque electronica

While Solomun’s Diynamic debut may not be blessed with the same individual prowess as label mate Stimming’s first full length offering, it certainly cradles a much bigger heart. Stimming’s album frequently saw him try too hard to push a unique sound, and thus forgetting to do the simple things well — something Solomun thankfully nails. All the songs on ‘Dance Baby’ have distinction; they’re well constructed and evocative with out being over the top. He certainly saves the best till last though, as penultimate track — the striving, yet uplifting ‘Forever’ and very much reminiscent of Will Saul’s timeless ‘Mbira’ — is head and shoulders above. As is the more heads down organ driven house of closer, ‘Story Of My Life’. At times one-dimensional and lacking in depth, the quality of arrangement and rhythm cancels out this flaw. Dan Kinasz

This Georgian electronica producer might have previously released the albums ‘Sestrichka’ and ‘Sentimental’ on Berlin label WMF in 2003, but the label went bust soon after and they’re now almost impossible to find. But all is not lost. Nikakoi has now gathered together highlights from those two albums along with 10 new tracks to comprise ‘Selected’ so that his soundtracking skills and master of melody are available for all to hear. He’s also a film and video maker, which figures when you hear the widescreen atmosphere ‘Cverty2 For May’, ‘Krasnagorsky Dream’ or the heartbeat chill of ‘Minimisss 3++’. Yet it’s when he gets all Aphex Twin-like on ‘Pp’, ‘Shunat’ and ‘AdgilCX’ that his stuff becomes most rewarding. Carl Loben

Joe Goddard Harvest Festival Greco-Roman Bassnectar

Dam Funk

Cozza Frenzy

Toeachizown Vol.1

Child’s Play/Amorphous Music

Stones Throw

Face-melting bass

Retro future synth freak-out

Combining the free-for-all eclecticism of wonky with the high-impact dubstep of Caspa and Rusko, this debut album from San Francisco’s Lorin ‘Bassnectar’ Ashton is about as ‘on-trend’ as dance-music releases get. Just as American junglists have tended to focus their efforts on the noisier end of drum & bass, Ashton here serves up the sort of wildly churning basslines that have powered UK dubstep’s dafter moments — and then he marries those basslines to everything from loping hip-hop to heart-attack electro. While ‘Cozza Frenzy’ is unlikely to win many fans amongst Hyperdub-coveting purists, in two or three-track doses it’s a cheerfully belligerent, speaker-smashing blast, and the scattering of melodic moments — including a hazy, summery reworking of Mr Projectile’s ‘Love Here’ — help to balance out all that low-end lunacy and mid-range machismo. Big, bad, bruising fun. Joe Madden

There was a time when the synthetic electronic funk of the 1980s — powered by outrageous hyper-colour keyboard basslines and freaky codpiece clad vocalists — was about as cool as admitting to owning a ‘Best Of Phil Collins’ CD. But everything gets culturally rehabilitated, and electronic producers across the genre divide are waking up to its possibilities. Of course, some people have never stopped loving this maligned sound, and LA DJ/ producer Dam Funk is at the forefront of the genre’s resurrection. His above the clouds dreamscapes are out of sight, blending breezy cosmic boogie with skywriting smears of icecool vox, sounding like an updated Kleeer on ‘Come On Outside’, while ‘Brookside Park’ has a zonked, purple metallic sheen. Melting easily into the groovier edges of nu disco and dubstep, this is an exciting debut. Ben Murphy

Fruitful genre jumbling

It’s hard to decipher whether this largely instrumental solo effort from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard is the work of a playful and adept sonic magpie or a mad, inspired genius. Gorgeous and floaty melodic opener ‘Apple Bobbing’ touches on classic ambient textures but could easily have been a cast-off from Aphex Twin’s ‘Selected Ambient Works’. And ‘Tinned Apricot’ sees Goddard can elements of insistent techno — he openly cites Theo Parrish as an influence here — and off-kilter house with solid, fun, but slightly forgettable results. But give things a deeper listen and you’re fast blown sideways by the natural ease and irreverent innovation within Goddard’s constant genre jumbling.

The subtle but densely textured percussion of ‘Tropical Punch’ sounds like the sort of thing Villalobos would play if he were ever booked for FWD, the awesome ‘Mango Chutney’ mixes up disjointed UK funky with washedout LTJ Bukem-esque pads, while ‘Half Time Oranges’ is pure glitched out, melodic bliss somewhere between Brian Eno, Apparat and the Brainfeeder sound. Best of all, though, the whole thing never takes it too seriously with wubbed out bass smashers like ‘Go Bananas’ designed to make the dance do just that. Mega mixed up but perfectly balanced, like the best ‘Harvest Festival’ this has something for all tastes. Allan McGrath





Roll Deep

Ytre Rymden Dansskola

Street Anthems

Ytre Rymden Dansskola

Dub Tractor

Filo & Peri

Robbie Rivera

Roll Deep

Full Pupp


Night Play

Closer To The Sun

Morr Music

Vandit Records

Black Hole Recordings

Coldplay on Mars

Reach for the stars

Icarus goes to the disco

‘Sorry’ finds Anders ‘Dub Tractor’ Remmer moving away from woozy electronica and towards indie-fied songwriting that mixes elements of Coldplay, Burial and My Bloody Valentine. Remmer’s pining vocals are okay, but many fans will miss the gorgeous instrumentals of his 2006 album ‘Hideout’. Joe Madden

Displaying more chord changes than an Open University professor, New York’s Filo & Peri present 15 tracks aimed straight for the brain’s emotional centre. Atlantic-sized swells and swoops are aided by plenty of guest vocalists for maximum spine-tingling. A relentless ride. Joe Roberts

If you’re not what sure to expect here, it’s a mash of trance, hip-house and commercial chart-seeking anthems from the man behind Miami’s legendary Juicy Beach parties. The overwrought title track sounds like a dance mix of Snow Patrol. Make of that what you will. Ben Arnold


Marcel Knopf

Daniel Meteo

Turntable Technology

Dusty Dance

Working Class


Mo’s Ferry Prod


The beats are working

Decent DJ fodder

Dub with a difference

‘Turntable Technology’ is a double album chock full of beats and breaks and funk and jazz and soul and hip-hop and cosmic synths and easy listening and bossa nova and cinematic widescreen goodness. In other words, proper adventures on the wheels of steel. Jim Butler

Knopf sprawls across a sack full of genres on his debut LP from deep to retro, vocal to techno with the odd miss and more than a couple of bombs. A collection of tracks more than a cohesive body, but there’s enough invention to make Knopf worthy of your attention. Kristan J Caryl

Berlin-based Meteo lays down a colourful sonic sea of downtempo electronica dappled with Villalobos intricacy. From moody, heavy and militant to feathered, bouncy and ethereal, each track is stretched into heads down after-hours dynamite. For head as much as heel. Kristan J Caryl

Rolling with the times

The music’s easier to understand

You could say that East London grime crew Roll Deep have got the X Factor. Former members Wiley, Dizzee Rascal and, yes, Tinchy Stryder have had about five No.1s between them over the last couple of years, about as many as Simon Cowell at the opposite end of the syrup spectrum. Even though those cats have moved on, the Bow brigade roll on and have worked themselves up into a serious force. Effectively a story so far, ‘Street Anthems’ is packed full of noughties highlights and rarities, including the raw ‘Bounce’ from about seven years ago with Dizzee and Wiley facing off. If they’ve become more accessible in recent times (the ska-tinged ‘Movin In Circles’, sampling The Maisonettes ‘Heartache Avenue’ for ‘Avenue’), the vocal interplay is still solid and their sound still fresh. Carl Loben

Dansskola’s sound sits somewhere between fellow Pupper Blackbelt Anderson and longhaired lover from, erm, Galway John Daly — meaning it’s full of colourful disco rhythms and laden with bold beaming synths. Their production has a much more electronic slant than say, label boss Prins, but what they do share is the love of loose rhythms, which afford their music a similarly ripe live quality. The duo’s tracks don’t stray too much from the bright, summer-drenched formula, but this sound is worked so well you’re quite happy to float along with them without getting restless. With their pacier percussion and incessant chug ‘U-Sving’ and ‘Magadrag’ are the LP’s highlights, but all 11 tracks are solid enough. Just don’t go expecting any spine-tingling moments, as with Dansskola’s sound it just ain’t gonna come. Dan Kinasz



The Apple and The Tooth

The Best Of Space



Post-album post-rock

Original cosmic disco

Bibio’s follow-up to recent album ‘Ambivalence Avenue’ proves a hybrid of propositions, essentially lumping together an EP of new material with a remix package. Four original tracks showcase producer and instrumentalist Stephen Wilkinson’s intriguing mix-and-match sound — a hip-hop underbelly topped by alternating dollops of indie-rock, ’60s pop harmony, folk lyricism and the occasional bass glitch-out. Given such diverse influences, each remixer chooses to bring out different individual elements. The Gentleman Losers reduce ‘Haikuesque’ to the delicate simplicity of Bibio’s guitar playing and voice, while Clark crunks up ‘S’Vive’ into a scattershot piece of heavy electronic and Wax Stag opts for vintage Boards of Canada, filling ‘Sugarette’ with warm childish babble. The final eight remixes fall to Bibio, however, bringing proceedings full circle. Joe Roberts

Even if you know about this ’70s French synth disco outfit, it’s unlikely that you’ll have dug deeper than their international No.1 ‘Magic Fly’. That hit drove them towards sales of 12 million records and as great as it still sounds, the 4/4 kick and future-retro synths of that track is just the start. ‘Running In The City’ has plenty of pace in the melancholic atmospherics, while ‘Tango In Space’ is outrageous funk that explodes into dramatic breaks. Despite a full male choir, the vocals on ‘Deliverance’ make it clear that Space were best when they let their synths do the talking. At its cheesiest it will remind you of the incidental music of Tomorrow’s World, but you can unmistakably hear why Daft Punk are such fans. James Kendall




Alix Perez

Let The Low Flow



Bpitch Control


Shogun Audio

A futuristic, faultless collection that references classic early-‘90s melodic techno, dubby house and Warpesque melodies.

2562’s second album teeters and wavers and almost falls over itself with its breadth of ideas and restless innovation.

One of the most essential drum & bass LPs of the year — packed with smoky soul and surprises.

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If This Is House I Want My Money Back Permanent Vacation

The producers of tomorrow today If you’re not yet a fully paid up member of the Permanent Vacation fan club, then consider this a wake-up call. Infamous for their modern disco dispatches from the likes of Kathy Diamond, this Munich label has arguably the most on-point roster in the business right now. True to form, this compilation doesn’t disappoint. Changing tack and avoiding the mirrorball cul de sac, ‘If This Is House I Want My Money Back’ swings the spotlight towards the label’s recent housier output, and a succession of promising new names whose stars are definitely in the ascendant.

Helixes of disco DNA are woven tightly into the flesh of all the cuts, but whereas Permanent Vacation’s previous releases pulsed with squelching synths and the throb of organic bass, there’s a far more upbeat, machine motivated, proto-house feeling at work on this collection. Walter Jones, on sabbatical from DFA, contributes the wistful, Prelude boogie and bittersweet sensations of ‘I Am Loved’, while unorthodox Kompakt cats Mugwump deliver the ping-ponging, drum machine clip-clops, neon slurping synth and dubbed-out NY garage bass gouges of ‘T-Coy Jelly Drops’.

Barcelona’s John Talabot may be relatively unknown now, but not for much longer on the strength of his two efforts here. ‘Naomi’ is an indecent, grubby little groover, powered by a sexual, insistent slap bass pump, martial drums and sleazy breathes of pleasure. Meanwhile, his remix of Zwicker’s ‘Oddity’ bubbles with early-’90s garage energies. Based on a burbling, utterly addictive synthetic horn riff and weird, disquieting vox, coming across like a deeper, darker version of Nightcrawlers’ ‘Push The Feeling On’, it demands, and rewards, successive rewinds. Another flawless emission from the Permanent Vacation zeppelin. BEN MURPHY




Toolroom Knights

Simply Devotion

fabric 49

Made To Play Mixed by Zombie Disco Squad




Made To Play

Enjoyable club session

Simply divine

Redefining techno’s fabric

Fidget founder’s second chapter

Having one of the worst DJ names in clubland hasn’t stopped Funkagenda taking control of international big rooms for the last five years, whether through his high profile remixes, prolific productions or base-covering DJ sets. Hooking up with Mark Knight has proved to be good for both, and the two share a chunky, melodic aesthetic that’s accessible without pandering to the lowest common denominator. This outing is hugely enjoyable, spanning plenty of ground over 37 tracks. From lush beginnings from Âme and Jimpster, through the insistent groove of Lützenkirchen to the tech-trance of Matt Lange’s remix of Kirsty Hawkshaw, there's a full roundness to the sound that holds it all together. A trio of new tracks from Funkagenda are the strongest of the highlights, but also offer nods to classic old skool house in the case of ‘Zomg’ and ‘Lmaoblade’. James Kendall

Cassy’s 2006 'Panorama Bar' mix pre-empted moves to blur the boundaries between deep house and minimalism, and ‘Devotion’ again finds her ahead of her peers. While soulful house features heavily here, there is also a refreshing unpredictability at play. The complex rhythms of Baby Ford and Ian Loveday’s Minimal Man project kick the mix off, and then Cassy veers into Trus’Me’s disco house ‘Good God’ and the bassy deep house of Anton Zap’s ‘Spain’. STL’s ‘Silent State’ is the only ‘big’ tune, with Laubner’s subtle jazz keys followed by contributions from the Detroit-inspired Future Beat Alliance and Quince. Cassy then reverts to deep house, in the loosest sense, with the swinging rhythm of her ‘Magnificent Cat Won’t Do’, the gloriously melodic ‘Workshop 8’ by Kassem Mosse and the ecstatic old skool piano keys of Pierre Lx’s ‘Gabita’. Richard Brophy

The 49th fabric mix provides the most compelling argument yet for the use of new technology. It also helps that Items & Things boss Magda has an in-depth knowledge of other sounds and nuances and doesn’t limit her selection to contemporary techno. Divided into 15 ‘tracks’, the Polish-born DJ digitally splices together seemingly incompatible tracks to create something as close to an original album as is possible. This is most evident on the happy marriage of Magda’s own ‘Moroder’s Revenge’ and the eerie synths of ’70s horror soundtrackers Goblin or the inspired combination of Marc Houle’s heavy claps and the sassy funk of Swiss pioneers Yello’s ‘Heavy Whispers’ and the brilliant outro, which sees Magda pit Jimmy Edgar’s widescreen Italo with Jan Jelinek’s woozy abstractions. Fuelled by fresh thinking, ‘49’ re-introduces intelligence to techno. Richard Brophy

With a residency at Berlin’s non-stop Panorama Bar, it’s a no-brainer why Jesse Rose’s label has started leaning towards a more stripped down minimalistic sound. But while early tracks such as Zombie Disco Squad’s ‘The Cursed’ combines baile funk with house to evoke the tropical spirit of the times, the legacy of fidgety basslines and cut-up vocal snippets still lives strong. It’s this new star DJ duo — Zombie Disco Squad — who weave together disc one’s selection. With a clutch of Oliver $ and Idiotproof tracks making up the majority of the mix, Riva Star also adds to a noisy, bumpy ride that’s topped and tailed by Jan Driver’s massive rave-anthem ‘Rat Alert’. Jesse picks up the unmixed disc two, correcting the inexplicable omission of Duke Dumont’s superb remix of Idiotproof’s ‘The Deacon’ — possibly Made To Play’s finest moment — on the ZDS mix. Joe Roberts



4Hero Present Extensions

Greg Wilson

Raw Canvas

Credit To The Edit Vol.2 Tirk

Talkin’ all that jazz

Kitsuné Maison 8

Alex Gopher


My New Remixes

Zevolution: ZE Records Re-Edited

Go 4 Music


Editor-in-chief. When it comes to pioneering forms of jungle/ drum & bass, broken beat and nu jazz, 4Hero are the undoubted masters. So upon putting their back catalogue out to remix tender, it’s unsurprising to see the crème de la crème of the experimental electronic jazz community beating a path to their door with their interpretative tools. Culled almost equally from their LPs ‘Parallel Universe’, ‘Two Pages’, ‘Creating Patterns’ and ‘Play With The Changes’, ‘Extensions’ is sublime from start to finish, as lush orchestrations and beautiful arrangements augment the residual beauty of tracks like ‘Conceptions’, ‘Planetaria’, ‘Cosmic Tree’ and ‘People Always Criticise Us’. Honorary nods must go to Sonar Kollektiv Orchestra’s shake down of ‘Universal Love’ and The Sub Ensemble’s work on ‘Humans’. But, really, this is all Grade A sonic science. Jim Butler

Chic and unique Four years on from the first edition of this, Greg Wilson has rightly been widely recognised for his outstanding contribution to electronic music’s development. His name is now one of legend, as well as being one of dance music’s household staples. And too right. The man who inspired Norman Cook to mix has long been re-editing post-disco tracks for club consumption — he started DJing in 1975, and still looks good on it — and here rejigs classics like ‘Voodoo Ray’, OMD’s ‘Messages’ and Roxy’s ‘Love Is The Drug’ so that DJs can mix ‘em easier. But it’s his work on more recent cuts, like Crazy P’s soul sensation ‘Lady T’, that is of more interest here. In truth, this compilation is a bit thin on the ground, but does serve as a timely reminder of the man’s talent and longevity. Carl Loben

Gopher-it, my son

Proper disco, innit

Kitsuné hit no.8 in their acclaimed series and have made a video to accompany some of the highlights, such as the jaunty electro-pop of ‘Let’s Go Surfing’ by The Drum, and French Horn Rebellion’s electro-clashy ‘Up All Night’, which soundtracks the launch of the Kitsuné Golf Club clothing range 2010. Carl Loben

Gopher really should get more props. A French Touch original, he rarely fails to turn out quality. His zippy electro rerub of Ladyhawke’s ‘Paris Is Burning’ kicks off this selection of recent and unreleased remixes that also includes Kraftwerk, WhoMadeWho and Fischerspooner reworks. Carl Loben

Legendary ‘no wave’ label bring this collection of reedits from their catalogue by some of the planet’s finest producers. So that’s the likes of Kid Creole, Was Not Was and James White And The Blacks refurbished by Todd Terje, Rub ‘N’ Tug, Richard Sen, Idjut Boys, Soul and Greg Wilson. Ben Arnold


Folk But Not Folk

Follow The Outline

Hunger Pains

Music For Dreams


Cool as folk

Aim’s label round-up

Further proof as to why folk contains some of the most haunting, mood-altering and delicate music imaginable. Compiled by Music For Dreams head honcho Kenneth Bager, this is 17 sublime takes on the folk palette. Features Arthur Russell, Fionn Regan and Scott Matthews. Rustic soul for the day after. Jim Butler

It’s been four years since Aim left Grand Central to start ATIC with Niko and in that time they’ve built up a decent back catalogue. There hasn’t been a huge stylistic change — warm, beat-driven soul dominates — but the quality is here, even in the rarities. James Kendall

Halal Beats

Hungry like the wolf...

The New Gold Standard 2

15 Years Of Metalheadz

Fort Knox Recordings


All that glitters...

Brutal but beautiful

Washington DC’s Fort Knox Recordings releases the second in the 'New Gold Standard' series, boasting as it does four brand new tracks from the label’s kingpins the Fort Knox Five, and throwing together genres with a wilful, possibly reckless abandon. Reggaeton, bhangra, ragga, Latin jazz, funk rock all seem to be representing. And while the intention is to create something ‘genre-defying’ these seemingly disparate elements find a curious cohesion by the fact that there’s nothing remotely approaching innovation in any of it. At times it’s like stumbling across one of Skint’s old 'Brassic Beats' albums, and we can all attest to how badly ‘big beat’ has aged. Predictable soul samples, tame breaks, pedestrian MCing — it’s all been done before, and so much better. If you want true genrebending in this vein, check the output from Diplo and his Hollertronix crew instead. Ben Arnold

One of the most iconic British labels of the post-rave era, Metalheadz has become a true national treasure — much like the gold-teethed enigma behind it. But where Goldie the artist has flirted with mainstream dalliances like Celebrity Big Brother and playing James Bond villains, Goldie the label manager has stuck militantly to his core ideals of futuristic drum & bass. Here we have a history lesson in how to transform underground British breakbeat culture into mesmeric, lasting pieces of sonic science, with highlights including the measured dystopian beat brutality of Doc Scott’s ‘VIP Drums’, Alex Reece’s classic jazz stepper ‘Pulp Fiction’, the cyborg fury of Total Science’s ‘Defcom 69’ and Dillinja’s career best ‘Angel’s Fell’. Often brutal but always beautiful, each track is as timeless as the last. Just don’t expect to hear them popping up in Eastenders. Allan McGrath

Hotly-tipped South London MC Skandal hooks up with borderline legendary DJ MK for this mixtape, a statement of intent if ever we heard one. This is 17 tracks of lyrical prowess, sometimes soulful, sometimes street grimey and sometimes politically incendiary. Mad skills. Ben Arnold


Panorama 02 Mixed by Tama Sumo

Dubstep Allstars Vol.7

EQ Recordings

Ostgut Ton


Saul is a DJ in the truest sense — always championing the best music to make you move, regardless of genre.

Full of stripped down analogue melodies, beautific synth flourishes, frenetic percussion and a fierce jackin’ groove.

Deep but dancefloor, both mixes offer their own future visions of the everevolving dubstep and funky templates.


TECHNEWS TAKE YOUR MAC FOR A SPIN! Turn your laptop into a mini DJ booth… APPLE MAC OWNERS can now turn their prized possessions into a full-blown DJ system with full iTunes integration with the aid of the new Spin controller from Vestax and Algoriddim DJay software, an allin-one package that gives DJs total control to mix, scratch and play music like a pro DJ.

dropped onto the virtual decks with ease — no need to organise new playlists and the likes. DJay shifts away from the usual Traktor style audio waveform format and gives a turntable view, as if the tracks are actually playing on two decks, which makes for a simple and fun experience for beginners.

The Spin controller has been specifically designed to control Algoriddim DJay software, and looks very similar to Vestax’s VCI-100 controller for Traktor. But unlike the VCI-100, the Spin controller has a built-in soundcard so you can plug in headphones and hook it straight into a soundsystem. Slick and simply laid out, the Spin controller replicates a basic deck/mixer set-up. Two jog-wheels, volume controls and a crossfader make up the main face of the unit, with the usual stop/start/cue button array just under the jog-wheels. The top section contains all the EQ, track load, tempo and auto loop buttons.

Combining the software and the controller, DJ style tricks are quite easy to perform. Auto scratching will fool your friends that you have scratch skills and the auto beat mixing facility works sufficient well enough to match the BPM of tracks and take the hard work out of mixing. Spin’s touch-sensor platters make it easy to cue up and control tracks and the jog-wheels will even allow for scratching. Coming in at Dhs1,200, this little package gives a quick introduction to the art of the DJ.

The included DJay software — which can also be bought separately for about Dhs200 — integrates with your iTunes library, allowing tracks to be dragged and



MIDNIGHT OIL Can’t get to sleep for musical ideas buzzing around your head? Then get down to Underground House Music Movement, the UK’s first 24-hour dedicated dance music production facility for producers, DJs and audio specialists based in the heart of London’s Soho. Rates start from as little as Dhs100 an hour.

SUITS YOU! Fashion conscious DJs can now accessorise their Traktor set-up with new coloured time-coded vinyl, now available in blue and clear, as well as the existing black, red and white options. Price Dhs90.




The assault in DJ controller technology continues to go from strength-to-strength with Livid’s Block controller, a compact and programmable Midi control surface designed for live audio performance. Block provides a powerful interface for creating and interacting with your software, while 64 backlit LED buttons provide endless possibilities for visual feedback with the instrument. With digital DJing software like Ableton Live in mind, Block is a cool bit of kit. A USB controller, it can be mapped to whatever software program supports Midi. Handcrafted from lightweight wood and aluminium, it looks uber chic and will set you back Dhs2,000.

TECHTALK YOUR SELF-HELP FROM THE FORUM I’m working on a remix but am having problems time-stretching the vocals and getting everything in time on Logic 7. Can anyone help? Dave Devine A quick cheat method is to use Ableton Live, sync up your tracks and the vox in Ableton, bounce them at the correct time you require and then bring them back into Logic. Jeff Banks


Dhs1,200 CONTACT

BASS ASS HEAVY HEAV Lacking serious bottom end in your studio? M-Audio’s SBX10 active subwoofer, designed to extend bass frequencies not usually achieved in smaller studios, could be the answer. The unit also includes a bypass footswitch so you can easily judge how mixes will sound with or without the dedicated subwoofer.

Think about upgrading to Logic Pro 9, as the new time-stretch facilities in the upgrade are amazing. A new system called Flextime allows you to adjust the timings of whatever you want in one easy step. You can even map the time from another piece of audio onto the one you want to change. Karl Batterbee There are a few third party plug-ins that will help you achieve decent timestretching in Logic. Radius by Izotope will do the job for around Dhs1,200. It’s not cheap but is used in professional circles. Heath, Rhythm Factory Studios






HIS CUSTOM-MADE XONE:4D MIXER “This is the centrepiece of my set-up and is based on the way I DJ. I have two computers on stage that are synced to each other: one has the synths, keyboards and controllers hooked up to it and the other one is full of the audio material. The Xone:4D gives me control of everything I am using. “I wanted rotary knobs instead of faders to give me finer control of the volume, and the feel is more precise — I

just didn’t have that quality and flexibility in the basic model. “The other great thing about the 4D is the great sound and the fact that everything on the mixer can be fully programmed so I can set it up to give me control to do some crazy s***.”

SEX IT UP Feeling kinky? Get your mitts on the new and strange sample package, ‘The Queen’s English’, a must for anyone with an audio fetish, featuring 176 spoken sample phrases from Miss T, an English dominatrix. Well handy for sexing up those deep house tracks. Dhs100 from darksideofthetune. com.


Inspired by p professionals but made for the budget cons conscious, DJ Tech’s U Solo provides entry level D DJs with a device for controlling their mp3 collecti collection. While it has b been badged as a media player, it will only play mp3s that ca can be stored on a USB stick or hard drive — no CDs. With th the usual array o of built-in FX, lik like filter, flange and echo, th the Dhs1,300 U S Solo is good valu value for money. djtechpro.c

JARGON: Cans BUSTED: Old skool engineer speak for headphones

DJ D JB BONGO ONGO M MASSIVE ASSIVE Here’s something totally new for the deckticia decktician an who has everything — a bongo inspired scratch scrattch our machine. Yep, that’s right! Just tuck it under your arm and let your fingers do the talking. Custom-made by Thierry Alari in Canada, DJ ting Qbert has signed up for one of these interesting units. Costing around Dhs6,000, this piece of DJ hardware should raise a few eyebrows when pulled out at a gig.


LOOK LIVELY! Designed for the pro DJ and audio market, the new Livebook laptop from Rain is an ultra cool PC specc’d up with the likes of Native Instruments’ Traktor and Serato in mind. We’ll be road-testing this little beauty in a future edition of the mag. rainrecording. com

‘Cans’ is the term that engineers worldwide use to describe what is more commonly known in the trade as headphones. In a studio environment, you’d often hear shouted: “Can someone get the singer some cans?” It didn’t mean popping to the off licence to stock up on beers!


DJ DOCTOR Dear DJ Doctor, My girlfriend wants to get into digital DJing but I’m not sure how to advise her. She previously used two decks but that doesn’t satisfy her any more and she wants to try something a little more adventurous. What do you suggest? Tim

DJ Doc replies, There are plenty of options to take your girlfriend’s DJing to the next level. Depending on her skill set in regards to computers, I’d suggest she try Ableton Live. This is a great DJing tool but also offers a lot more, especially if she decides to move into production. Once tracks have been warped in Ableton, aligning the beats so the tracks will play in time, all she has to do then is work out her set. If she has been used to playing with two decks then maybe look at Native Instruments’ Traktor. This keeps the essence and ideology of two-deck mixing but will also allow her to beat sync the tracks she wants to mix. If she already knows her way around the decks then maybe she should look at Seratro, which is very similar to Traktor but there is no auto beat syncing, meaning she’ll need to rely on her mixing skills.


Styled to match Vestax’s VCI-300 CI-300 controller as well as other Itch tch DJ controllers, the VFX1 (Dhs1,100) 00) is a standalone hardware unit that hat gives instant access to the new FX X found in version two of the Itch software. ware. It’s very simple to use too: just ust select the desired effect with th the rotary effect dial and the ‘beat’ beat’ ction knob then allows quick selection of the desired beat timings. A large silver ‘depth’ knob is assigned to give control over er the depth parameter of each ch effect, while the ‘mod’ knob b determines how much modulation is applied. Pushing down the mod knob gives advanced access to extra parameters. s.

PERFORMANCE ART P S Stanton’s new two-channel scratch mixer, the M.207, offers even more performance control M ffor the scratch DJ. A sturdy little beast that will take the rigours of a tough DJ session, the M.207 includes an o FXGlide touch-sensitive strip for controlling F effects, and the FX control can be automated e in real-time. This allows DJs to create a custom modulation of the FX parameter, which can m be played back instead of the normal b sweeping FX. s A rather nice little addition is the new set of EQ frequency effects, which can be applied E tto any of three specific EQ frequency bands without affecting the other frequencies. The w M.207 also comes with a phrase/loop sampler M ffor capturing samples on-the-fly and tthrowing into the mix.

GOT A BURNING QUESTION? SEND your query to the DJ Doctor at and you could win the wicked AKG K81 headphones.






HIS CUSTOM-MADE XONE:4D MIXER “This is the centrepiece of my set-up and is based on the way I DJ. I have two computers on stage that are synced to each other: one has the synths, keyboards and controllers hooked up to it and the other one is full of the audio material. The Xone:4D gives me control of everything I am using. “I wanted rotary knobs instead of faders to give me finer control of the volume, and the feel is more precise — I

just didn’t have that quality and flexibility in the basic model. “The other great thing about the 4D is the great sound and the fact that everything on the mixer can be fully programmed so I can set it up to give me control to do some crazy s***.”

SEX IT UP Feeling kinky? Get your mitts on the new and strange sample package, ‘The Queen’s English’, a must for anyone with an audio fetish, featuring 176 spoken sample phrases from Miss T, an English dominatrix. Well handy for sexing up those deep house tracks. Dhs100 from darksideofthetune. com.


Inspired by professionals but made for the budget conscious, DJ Tech’s U Solo provides entry level DJs with a device for controlling their mp3 collection. While it has been badged as a media player, it will only play mp3s that can be stored on a USB stick or hard drive — no CDs. With the usual array of built-in FX, like filter, flange and echo, the Dhs1,300 U Solo is good value for money.

JARGON: Cans BUSTED: Old skool engineer speak for headphones

DJ BONGO MASSIVE Here’s something totally new for the decktician who has everything — a bongo inspired scratch machine. Yep, that’s right! Just tuck it under your arm and let your fingers do the talking. Custom-made by Thierry Alari in Canada, DJ Qbert has signed up for one of these interesting units. Costing around Dhs6,000, this piece of DJ hardware should raise a few eyebrows when pulled out at a gig.


LOOK LIVELY! Designed for the pro DJ and audio market, the new Livebook laptop from Rain is an ultra cool PC specc’d up with the likes of Native Instruments’ Traktor and Serato in mind. We’ll be road-testing this little beauty in a future edition of the mag. rainrecording. com

‘Cans’ is the term that engineers worldwide use to describe what is more commonly known in the trade as headphones. In a studio environment, you’d often hear shouted: “Can someone get the singer some cans?” It didn’t mean popping to the off licence to stock up on beers!


DJ DOCTOR Dear DJ Doctor, My girlfriend wants to get into digital DJing but I’m not sure how to advise her. She previously used two decks but that doesn’t satisfy her any more and she wants to try something a little more adventurous. What do you suggest? Tim

DJ Doc replies, There are plenty of options to take your girlfriend’s DJing to the next level. Depending on her skill set in regards to computers, I’d suggest she try Ableton Live. This is a great DJing tool but also offers a lot more, especially if she decides to move into production. Once tracks have been warped in Ableton, aligning the beats so the tracks will play in time, all she has to do then is work out her set. If she has been used to playing with two decks then maybe look at Native Instruments’ Traktor. This keeps the essence and ideology of two-deck mixing but will also allow her to beat sync the tracks she wants to mix. If she already knows her way around the decks then maybe she should look at Seratro, which is very similar to Traktor but there is no auto beat syncing, meaning she’ll need to rely on her mixing skills.


Styled to match Vestax’s VCI-300 CI-300 controller as well as other Itch tch DJ controllers, the VFX1 (Dhs1,100) 00) is a standalone hardware unit that hat gives instant access to the new FX X found in version two of the Itch software. ware. It’s very simple to use too: just ust select the desired effect with th the rotary effect dial and the ‘beat’ beat’ ction knob then allows quick selection of the desired beat timings. A large silver ‘depth’ knob is assigned to give control over er the depth parameter of each ch effect, while the ‘mod’ knob b determines how much modulation is applied. Pushing down the mod knob gives advanced access to extra parameters. s.

PERFORMANCE ART P S Stanton’s new two-channel scratch mixer, the M.207, offers even more performance control M ffor the scratch DJ. A sturdy little beast that will take the rigours of a tough DJ session, the M.207 includes an o FXGlide touch-sensitive strip for controlling F effects, and the FX control can be automated e in real-time. This allows DJs to create a custom modulation of the FX parameter, which can m be played back instead of the normal b sweeping FX. s A rather nice little addition is the new set of EQ frequency effects, which can be applied E tto any of three specific EQ frequency bands without affecting the other frequencies. The w M.207 also comes with a phrase/loop sampler M ffor capturing samples on-the-fly and tthrowing into the mix.

GOT A BURNING QUESTION? SEND your query to the DJ Doctor at and you could win the wicked AKG K81 headphones.


It’s not always about the DJs; quite often it’s about the people behind the scenes who strive to make things happen. Ross Calow is one such man. Regional Brand Manager for Bacardi, few have done as much as he has to promote music. Charismatic, candid and often controversial, this towering South African is never short of a few things to say...

You here for the long haul or looking to run away soon? I’ve been arrested twice now courtesy of the world’s worst bank in Dubai, so I’m not keen to hang around that much longer if this is how normal, law-abiding citizens are treated. If you were to leave where would you go and what would you do? Somewhere where your civil liberties and rights are respected and protected by law! Some people see Dubai as everyone’s loser-best-friend; you really love them, but they’re always borrowing money, never paying it back and spending it on big flashy toys that they really don’t need. What do you think? Lets face it, when you are on top everyone wants to knock you down. Dubai has been really good to me and a lot of my friends, for which I am eternally grateful. Perhaps they have lost their way a little of late and I am certain that they will be back. But here is the thing, if you want to be big Daddy, then behave like big Daddy pay your debts like good boys, on time and in the correct denominations. Thank goodness the Government doesn’t owe my bank any money otherwise they would all be in jail. The various brands you’ve been associated with in the past have been responsible for bringing out some pretty impressive musicians, performers and DJs. Any highlights? In the early days of Peppermint, we teamed Pierre Ravan (The Universal Love Doctor) up with Mike Lee who was the session drummer for Led Zeppelin... that was a truly epic evening that I haven’t seen repeated in Dubai. The things about DJs nowadays is that it’s sort of DJ SchmeeJay ... who cares? Most of them drop the same tracks and it’s all a little boring. We’ve also been involved with two chaps from Cape Town called Goldfish. Their music has been remixed by some of the top DJs in the world including Pete Tong. Their music is truly cutting edge. Go to and check them out; these guys are going to be HUGE! Let’s talk about musical tastes: do you have a favourite flavour? Or just a bit of everything?


Pearl Jam, Bush … why can’t we bring them to the UAE? Lets get real for a moment. We came close with Kings of Leon. At the end of the day, when all is said and done it all goes back to rock ‘n’ roll. As soon as we have the technology available we should definitely look into bringing Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hendrix and John Lennon back. What is your take on DJs generally? Over-rated iPod shufflers or God-like artistic entities? It depends, I’m a big psy-trance fan; those unknown psy-trance DJs that play at places like Vortex are amazing. The best DJs in the world are the ones that you have never heard off; you catch them in some obscure places. Other favourites are Goldfish, Fish Go Deep, Pierre Ravan - his dirty Chicago House sets are epic. I used to be big on Hernan Catteneo’s early stuff, especially the early Renaissance Albums. Charl Chaka is brilliant and if you want to see a very talented local tech house DJ then go see Afroboogie. His real name is Nelson (tell him to get a new stage name though). What’s the state of music and clubbing in Dubai these days? Have we come a long way or is it a long road ahead? We were coming along but then we lost it. I think it all went south when iBO closed down. We need the rebirth of an underground scene in Dubai. This is what really brings a vibe to a city and it’s what Dubai needs. Maybe Bacardi will chat to the IBO guys again and see what we can do. The large format vodka brigade were dealt a severe blow when Trilogy closed. Now we only have two venues, The 400 and Sanctuary where you can see fire ejaculating out of the top of an oversized bottle of vodka carried head-high by a muscled man who left his brain at the door. I enjoy that scene, even if it’s just for the humour and not the music. OK, so you’ve been invited to a dinner with Tiger Woods. The conversation has been going really well throughout the evening and when it comes to dessert you have a large Bacardi 18-year-old in one hand and a long Cuban in the other hand, you lean over to Tiger and you say to him... I was impressed seeing you eat your corn on the cob with no teeth!

Dj Magazine January 2010 issue  

Middle Easts leading nightlife magazine covering UAE , Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and many others.

Dj Magazine January 2010 issue  

Middle Easts leading nightlife magazine covering UAE , Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and many others.