2009 was incredibly easy to pick a favourite record, it was without doubt the A-Trak remix of Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This year, largely due to writing this blog I think there’s been a lot of chopping and changing my allegiances between sub-genres, and so my top tracks list has to be quite long. As always, there’ve been a lot of records that have had huge associations for places like the Miami Winter Music Conference. Imagine Aeroplane playing Crave You by the pool as the sun set….
Here’s a my top 20 of 2010′s shining stars which had to be very heavily edited down from the shortlist of 45, and a mix by one of the stars of 2011 – our friend Sylvester, recorded at the Mews Sessions.
The Vaults award for best newcomer 2010 has to go to our boys Homework. They’ve come a long way since we interviewed them at the beginning of the year, gracing the rosters of not only Exploited and Made to Play but out and about playing with the Dirtybird crew too. No matter who the DJ or their associated genre, a contribution from Homework sneaks its way in and manages to adapt itself to any dancefloor, and Tom and Zip have honed their sound from something that was always highly intellectual into being deep yet bouncy, culminating in the absolute bangers Fissa Tune and I Got One, which I’d say were pretty much the must-haves of 2010.
This little joy of a mix sums up the Homework sound nicely – play on repeat and it never gets old. It’s a precursor to their EP Hudson Square, out on Exploited in February 2011. Including my favourites In The City by Andre Crom, new album material from the Round Table Knights and Homework’s own Kadenza. Great for those snowy journeys home.
0. Introduction by Cornel West
1. Tornado Wallace – Whispering Twirl – Delusions Of Grandeur
2. Mass Prod – 72 Minutes Of Scrubs A Day – Bosconi
3. Nebraska – Arrondissement – Rush Hour 4. Andre Crom & Martin Dawson – In The City – Off
5. Huxley – Shapes – Neurotraxx Deluxe
6. Mr. G – Sunday Blues – Bass Culture
7. Mark Chambers & Cris Slater – Daze – Snubb8. Matthias Meyer – The Rear Window – Liebe*Detail9. Steve Bug – My Sweet Vital Angel – Ovum
10. Ian Pooley & Spencer Parker – Kinderteller – Ovum
11. Zappe – Larrys Exotic Blend (Remastered Version) – Bouq
12. Round Table Knights – Cat Power (Extended Version) – Made To Play
13. AFMB – Backup Days – Drumpoet Community
14. Makam – You Might Lose It (Kerri Chandler Kaoz 623 Remix) – Sushitech Purple
16. Leonel Castillo – Stone Peach (Delano Smith Remix) – Sushitech Purple
17. Fritz Zander – For Your Love – Suol
18. Homework – Kadenza – CDR
Punks Jump Up release their single Blockhead on Kitsune on 31 January, and to celebrate they’re giving away their Dance Report for December free.
Blockhead‘s been a staple in the mixes we’ve been hearing out for quite a while now (especially the Hey Today! and Zombie Nation remixes) so it’s nice to see the Stopmakingme remix cosily in the middle of the mix. In Flagranti‘s remix of Mobroder’s Rush is a huge favourite of mine (In Flagranti and Spank Rock on one track? Yes indeed), as is anything at all by golden boy Mickey.
Download and enjoy. Punks Jump Up – Dance Report, December 2010 Tracklist
1. Scissor Sisters – Any Which Way (Tensnake remix) (Polydor)
2. Smalltown Romeo – Party Motion (Plant Music)
3. Fare Soldi – Papa New Wave (Riotmaker)
4. Mickey – Prelude (Relish)
5. Chromeo – Hot Mess (Punks Jump Up remix) (Turbo)
6. Shake Aletti – Dancefloor (Telephoned Version) (Moda)
7. Tronik Youth – TH?NK (Deadstock 33′s remix) (No Dice)
8. Punks Jump Up – Blockhead (Stopmakingme remix) (Kitsune)
9. Sulumi – Chaotic Tanze Der Funktion (Blende remix) (White)
10. Uffie – Difficult (Azari & III remix) (Ed Banger)
11. Bukkador & Fishbeck – Rolling Stoned (My Best Friend)
12. Mobroder – Rush (In Flagranti remix) (Scion Audio/Visual)
13. Polymath – Give Me More (MofoHifi)
14. Tyson – Die On The Dancefloor (Backyard)
15. Fenech Soler – Demons (Yuksek remix) (B-unique)
16. Ladytron – Ace Of HZ (Punks Jump Up remix) (Nettwerk)
17. Robyn – Indesctructible (A-Trak dub) (Konichiwa)
18. Remute – Firemire (Remuted)
19. Zero Cash – So Nineties (Tendelions remix) (Flexidisco)
There’s nothing like the fear of never being able to leave your house again as it’s piled high with drifts of snow to make you rush out and have a dance while you still can. As ever, London has superbly risen to the occasion and offered a few goodies to stagger to after the office Christmas party.
Main man Mowgli has released his monthly mixtape for December, and it’s a nice warm fuzzy vibe for the kind of dancing I seem to be doing this week – slightly wobbly with a glass of wine in one hand and a smile on my face. Beautiful pianos and low beats are what I crave at this time of year, and this mix is brimming with soul.
After releasing Camel‘s excellent Speak Easy EP as the last for 2010 on his Deadfish Audio label, Mowgli’s off to Milan for two gigs in the next week before returning to The Nest in Stoke Newington for New Year’s Eve, with Boy 8-Bit and Jesse Rose. Very nice.
Mowgli – December 2010 Mixtape Tracklist
Awanto 3 – Get That Bdb
AN-2 – Wings
Pawas and Matthias Keul – Camel Blues
dOP -No More Daddy
Homework – I Got One ( Mercury remix )
Iron Curtis – Stranded
H.O.S.H. – Finally Mine
Steve Lawler and Roland Clark – Gimmie Some More ( Mendo remix )
Shonk – KorgM1
Vlad Caia – Dubby Side
Tim Green – Cobra Charm
Andre Crom and Martin Dawson – Ballistics
Alex Piccini and Olderic – Deep On
H.O.S.H. – Crackheads
Recloose – Antares
The first weekend in December was a dance marathon and Fabric’s line-up was extra special. The closing set from Claude VonStroke sent us off on our merry way into Sunday recovery. However, for Claude, this was only the start as he jumped on a plane to celebrate 16 years of GOA in Madrid. Luckily this set is available for download allowing us to re-live some of our Saturday night fun (with a little bit of the usual Spanish radio commentary thrown in for good measure)…
It’s been a while since I’ve thought about Boris Dlugosch, and it’s always nice to revisit. Especially as the tracklist in this mix ticks all the boxes. Got a bit of Digitalism in there, a bit of Punks Jump Up, a bit of Light Year. Nice.
Blitz (Villa Remix) – Digitalism
Gain Reaction – Jan Driver
Overshoot (Dj Mehdi remix) – Zombie Nation
Hands Up Hands Down – Massimo Massivi
Squeek – Zombie Nation
Blockhead – Punks Jump Up
Gold (Noob Remix) – Mumbai Science
Any Which Way (Carte Blanche Remix) – Scissor Sisters
Five Girls – Light Year
ZZAFRICA – ZZT
Ancova – Mumbai Science
Breathless (Alex Gopher Remix) – Sovgner
Sweet Light (Dlugosch Remix)- Boys Noize
Yeah – Boys Noize
Gold - Mumbai Science
Listen to this - Bart B More (Harvard Bass Remix)
Jam The Mace - House Syndicate
Dama S Salon - DJ Gregory / Sidney Samson
Place des Tuff – Feadz
I’m so very glad that we got ourselves out of bed post-Warehouse Project-and-Fabric to get down to The Lock Tavern this Sunday for Duke Dumont and Round Table Knights. The atmosphere at the Lock is always amazing as things metamorphose before your very eyes from Sunday roasts and sitting chatting across the big tables downstairs, to the darker bass, arms-in-the-air mass of movement upstairs, all under the red glow of the ‘Small Disco’ neon.
If anyone can get me moving when I ache all over it’s Round Table Knights. They played here four years ago and triumphantly returned last night (before a gig in Italy and an Australian tour) for a characteristically bouncy yet beautifully retro set, with plenty of nostalgic vocals and one-two skip beats. One track that very much caught my ears was a deep vocal ‘I guess you’ve got something that I need you to do…say what…say what…say what.’ Absolutely mesmerising.
So I was very pleased to discover it’s their new single, and the title track from their first album, Say What? Due for release on Made To Play in February 2011. The single feat. Ogris Debris is out 20 December, and they’ve kindly given us a little sampler.
A huge huge thank you to the Ed Banger crew for giving us a slice of winter wonderland at The Warehouse Project last week. We’ve included two Carte Blanche tracks this week as Mehdi and Riton absolutely blew the roof off, and I’ve very much enjoyed watching their sets come together this year and distill into something completely reactive. We’re heading North again tonight for another monumental Warehouse lineup: Simian Mobile Disco, Holy Ghost!, Aeroplane and Tensnake to name but a few.
More Thursday parties too as this week Night Slugs bring Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 to East Village and Counter Culture host Esper Magazine with Homework and Worthy. Counter Culture closes on 1 January so you really should get yourselves down there before then – it’s got that real house party vibe that we love.
Here are some tracks that will help you flick the bird at winter:
I’ve sat on this for long enough now, and the prospect of an eagerly anticipated London appearance is probably enough to get some of these wonderful German exports on to the blog. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the musical talents of the Suol family, you are in for a treat. For those who have, perhaps you can join me in showing them the appreciation they deserve here.
The Suol label was set up by Chi-Thien Nguyen (Chopstick), John B. Muder (JohnJon) and Nicole Grimm earlier this year. With 22 EPs and an album already doing the rounds, these guys mean business. Techno is at the heart of it all, but as the website blurb informs us it’s ‘sophisticated musical continuity’ that they strive for, with the mission being to ‘release deep, grounded and organic music with great emotions’.
So far Suol provides a platform for artists such as Aera, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Fritz Zander, Till Von Sein, Tigerskin, Trickski, Hatikvah, Zander VT and, working together, label bosses Chopstick & JohnJon. As any decent independent label does these days, Suol possesses that trustworthy you like one you like them all quality. There’s far too much to cover here even for just a year in business, so I’m going to pick out a couple of my favourites and throw in some mixes I’ve stumbled across as a little taster ahead of their forthcoming visit to London town.
Chopstick is a veteran in the game with a hugely musical upbringing. He has remixed the likes of Madonna, Britney and LL Cool J and worked for major labels such as Ministry of Sound Germany. As well as remixing and producing he built his career as a reputable DJ alongside working with Voidcom and Silly Spider Records. Eventually he teamed up with JohnJon in 2004/2005 (Berlin based with a residency at Hamburg’s Baalsaal and signed to Oliver Koletski’s label Stil vor Talent) to set up Criminal Records, releasing minimal tech and tech house. In 2007 the pair teamed up with André Stubbs and formed another label, Baalsaal; recognised for its underground sounds. Baalsaal then became the name of Stubbs’ successful Hamburg club (aforementioned) where they all honed their DJ skills. Suol was essentially a relaunch for Baalsaal. Together the trio created the Suol’s first releases Ohrwerk (Suol 001) and Maskcatcher (Suol 002), but it’s their fifth cut Beaver Rose that sets the tone for things to come. This was really just the beginning. Personally, I think it just gets better and better from here on in.
This was the first release I bought from Suol. It’s incredibly catchy and a perfect introduction to the quality of the artists in question. Working independently and together they produce exactly what their label brief lays out. Till Von Sein spent 2009 putting out records that represented the Berlin tech house sound with other rising stars like Catz ‘n Dogz. Check out You Don’t See, a collaboration with main man Chopstick and Till Von Sein’s solo work on one of the latest Suol releases Injoy from The 61 Jamz EP (Suol 022)
Berlin born and bred, Fritz Kalkbrenner has the voice. Raised in Lichtenberg, he was heavily influenced by brother Paul Kalkbrenner and friend Sascha Funke. Laying down the vocals on tracks for Chopstick and JohnJon and producing the 14th release on the label The Dead End EP, he was all set to become the first album release on Suol with Here Today Gone Tomorrow.
Put so eloquently in a review by Tobias Thomas on the label’s blog he is described here: “Fritz Kalkbrenner knows how to mediate between the various musical poles that are in constant need of reconciliation. The instrumental pieces, like the vocal numbers, come across as well-structured little stories, whilst the vocal tracks adeptly avoid drowning the dancefloor in a flood of self-pitying melancholy tears”. For me, Facing the Sun is the one. Remixes, of course, come from Paul Kalkbrenner and Sascha Funke. Simply stunning: Fritz Kalkbrenner – Facing The Sun by suol
Fritz Zander – For Your Love EP (Suol 020)
Last but not least is Fritz Zander’s For Your Love. Fritz Zander is one half of Zander VT and this is only his second ever solo EP. By the sounds of things, this will be the first of many. This is set to be everywhere:
There is no doubt in my mind this is the start of a very successful partnership. Suol are certainly my label of the moment and Londoners are lucky to have them in town on Friday 10th December at The Star of Kings on York Way. It’s the UK live exclusive of Fritz Kalkbrenner, the launch of The Star of Kings and Volume 1 of Junkette“a party born out of a desire to expose under-appreciated overseas artists and to marry them with the old and new sounds of London, while keeping our party shoes firmly on…”. Wolf + Lamb‘s London boy Jozif will be joining the Suol boys as well… Not to be missed!