Everybody Get Close

The Juan Maclean‘s third album Everybody Get Close just dropped on DFA as a very tasty digital package, full of big-hitting synths and bass, with new tracks as well as remixes of the classics, such as Cut Copy’s take on Happy House.

They’re giving away the title track as a free sample, so download it here:
The Juan Maclean – Everybody Get Close

To celebrate, they’re having an album launch party at the Queen of Hoxton this Saturday, hosted by Scandalism. Juan himself is flying over to join a tonne of other DJs and live acts, including Dimbleby & Capper and Bxentric. Not a bad way to follow the fireworks.

Get your tickets here.


James Murphy said on the Part Of The Weekend Never Dies Soulwax documentary, “Every DJ should be forced to be in a punk band for a year.” He’s put his finger on an important ingredient in what I’ve been trying to describe as my ultimate favourite sub-sub-sub genre for years now; it’s indie-electro-tech-rock with or without a bonus helping of post-punk vocals. Oh, and don’t forget the rave.

I think there are a few people out there understand what I mean (basically, that people who like rock, indie and punk make great electro). The Kill Em All crew for one, and the Wax:On label for another. That influence of another genre: rock or indie when we were teenagers or further back, whatever our dads played us on the old record player when we were kids. This manifests itself in electro productions as a dark grinding industrial sound that I just love.

Tim Clerkin off of Eskimo Twins is one of those people who keeps his rock influences at the forefront when making records, and it shows in heavy metallic bass and thumping beats. His partner in crime Nathan’s been travelling for a few weeks and Tim’s put down a couple of tracks under his Heretic moniker. Hopefully you can see what I mean below: perfect industrial electro with clear rave roots. Pretty good on any dancefloor.

Program / Yourself by HereticUK

Orbital – Chime (Heretic Rework) by HereticUK

Benoit & Sergio- Modern Day Storytellers

Picture the scene: it’s the first warm day of the year, your limbs feel like they’re moving properly for the first time in months, and you’re walking through tree-dappled sunshine early in the morning when there’s no-one around. A suitable soundtrack to that is the icing on the cake, and it happened to me when contentedly listening to Soul Clap‘s Social Experiment 002 compilation and Benoit & Sergio‘s Principles came filtering through.

I recognised the characteristically chilled sounds from another gem that Emily and I had been enjoying earlier in the month, the equally lovely Walk and Talk, with the unforgettable vocal My Baby Takes K All Day…

Anyway, a little bit of background. Benoit Simone and Sergio Giorgini are based in Washington D.C and Berlin (who isn’t dual-homed these days?), having grown up Benoit in Paris and Sergio in Iowa, and then meeting at a party in Washington in 2008. It didn’t take them long to produce something excellent, with their first EP release in 2009: What I’ve Lost, on Bruno Pronsato’s thesongsays label. This was followed on Spectral Sound with Midnight People. They then had the honour of the launch EP (Where The Freaks, including Walk and Talk, in February this year) for the IMMENSE Visionquest label (started by none other than Seth TroxlerShaun Reeves, Lee Curtiss and Ryan Crosson). They released pretty quickly after that on DFA, with Boy Trouble at the end of February.

Sergio’s also one half of NDF, a member of Birds & Souls, and has been releasing on Wolf + Lamb since 2007, so the pair have most definitely earnt their stripes in the dance production world.

If you want to try-before-you-buy here’s a little podcast from Benoit & Sergio on XLR8R this January. I’ve read often of these two being called ‘storytellers’ in their records, and this mix is a definite genre-journey through their likes and influences. The first two records are Principles and Walk and Talk respectively, so you can see just what I mean as you walk around in this beautiful sunshine.

Benoit & Sergio – XLR8R Podcast January 2011


01 Benoit & Sergio “Principles” (Unreleased)
02 Benoit & Sergio “Walk and Talk” (Visionquest)
03 Lee Foss “U Got Me” (Hot Creations)
04 Bobby Caldwell “You Belong To Me” (Polygram)
05 Talking Heads “Sugar On My Tongue” (Sire)
06 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti “Round and Round” (4AD)
07 LCD Soundsystem “I Can Change” (DFA)
08 Midnight Magic “Beam Me Up (Jacques Renault Remix)” (Permanent Vacation)
09 Deee-Lite “What Is Love?” (Elektra)
10 Adonis “No Way Back” (Trax)
11 Benoit & Sergio “Midnight People” (Spectral)
12 Daft Punk “Make Love” (Virgin)
13 Atlas Sound “Farmland Fantasy” (4AD)
14 Banjo or Freakout “Archangel (Burial Cover)” (Hyperdub)
15 Belong “October Language” (Carpark)


Woody’s Roundup

Friday hangover part III (apparently it was my idea to start adding Jaeger into the mix in the early hours of this morning), and it’s all thanks to our good friends Lunar, who brought the mighty Blawan to The Nest (Moby‘s playing there on Saturday) last night with Goulcher and Waylayers. This is going to be a monthly night so we’ll post the details for the next one and you can come and join us.

For hair-of-the-dog healing there’s an impressive array of nightclubbing around the capital this weekend, starting with That Mixmag Thing’s first birthday tonight at The Queen of Hoxton, with Layo and Bushwaka! In Flagranti and Julio Bashmore. For FREEEEEE.

Tomorrow there’s an ultra trendy Love Fever party at Shoreditch Studios, and Fake Blood, Boy 8-Bit and Bowski play at XOYO for Bugged Out, which, needless to say, is going to be BIIIIIIG. Mulletover celebrate their 7th birthday by doing what they do best; a great big dirty rave at the Great Suffolk Street warehouse. Get Physical take over Fabric, with their all-stars Catz n Dogz, Heidi and M.A.N.D.Y. BUT what excites me the most, is the re-launch of Steve Lawler‘s Harlem Nights, moved of course from it’s old home The End to 7 – 9 Crucifix Lane (what was the excellent Counter Culture, great venue). Whoop!

Put on your dancing shoes we’re going to the disco.

It’s a busy week for music submissions too – UNKLE have their new EP Only the Lonely out on Monday, SebastiAn released the first single Embody from his album Total, which I can’t wait for, out in May on Ed Banger, and Holy Ghost! gave us single Wait and See as a taster of their self-titled album, out on Tuesday on DFA. Bibio‘s much-awaited sixth album Mind Bokeh is out on Warp records on Monday, and you can hear single Excuses here.
SebastiAn – Embody
Holy Ghost! – Wait and See
Sophia Somajo – Wristcutters Inc (Style of Eye Dub Mix)
TV on the Radio – Will Do (XXXChange Dancehall Mix)
Yello – Oh yeah (Tom Staar Remix)
Yacht – Dystopia
Dirty Vegas – Change (In Flagranti mix)
Snug as a bug in a rug: Woody 45

We’re Feelin’ It

I heart Black Van. The love affair started when their track Yearning tugged at my heart strings at the beginning of this year. They are respected producers Kris Menace and KoweSix. More recently, they have got to me with their remix of Four Four Letter by The Glass which carries their distinctive disco style and our seal of approval, you can check it out over on their MySpace page or just under the hour mark on their latest mix below. We also have it on good authority that the stunning instrumental track that precedes it is their next 12″, Moments of Excellence, coming up on Permanent Vacation next month.

For now though, we have this nifty little mix available for download; a slice of warming disco for a crisp autumn day.

Black Van – Feelin’ It Mix

From the Cradle to the Rave

I trust DFA implicitly. When they tell me to listen, I listen. When they tell me something is good, it is good. They’ve earnt this trust: I can’t think of an example of their judgement being wrong in the many years that they’ve made New York City move.

Shit Robot AKA Dubliner Marcus Lambkin, has the full DFA backing for his first album, released 20 September on the label. And well he should, as his DFA connections span a decade, since he met James Murphy through his own label Plant Music, and they began playing Plant Bar in New York together. Murphy produced the album and sings alongside Lambkin on the track Triumph. Other guests include Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip), Juan Maclean, Nancy Whang (LCD Soundsystem) and Saheer Umar from House of House. This debut has been a long time in the making, but Lambkin’s years of experience shine through in the musical integrity of the whole record – the tracks are characteristically heavy electro-disco without sounding the same, in part thanks to the different voices invited to add their lyrical contributions. DFA have released a little taster remixed by TBD, and for the rest you’ll have to wait a little while longer.

Shit Robot – I Found Love (TBD Remix)

From the Cradle to the Rave tracklist
1. Tuff Enuff? (feat. The Juan Maclean)
2. I Found Love
3. Losing My Patience (feat. Alexis Taylor)
4. Take ‘Em Up (feat. Nancy Whang)
5. Grim Receiver
6. Simple Things (Work it Out) (feat. Ian Svenonious)
7. Answering Machine
8. I Got a Feeling (feat. Saheer Umar)
9. Triumph!!!

“Thank you for being so damn, excellent…”

I’ve been staring at a flyer knocking around on my desk for a couple of weeks now, willing the release and launch dates to get closer. Now, little over a week away, plans for yet another bank holiday of music can begin to take shape. The flyer is for the launch of Juan Maclean’s DJ Kicks at The City Arts and Music Project in Shoreditch. It looks set to light up the long weekend with appearances from Juan Maclean himself, Horse Meat Disco, Allez Allez and Riotous Rockers on the cards.
The DJ Kicks series started back in September 1995 on the !K7 label with C.J. Bolland taking the reigns. The series quickly took off and evolved. Starting as a means to release club mixes for audiences at home, the initial techno and house bias expanded to all sounds loosely classed as ‘electronic’. Now !K7 offer up to four compilations a year. Over the last fifteen years mixes have been completed by the likes of Carl Craig, Henrik Schwartz, Four Tet, Tiga, Booka Shade, Massive Attack’s Daddy G, Chicken Lips and Chromeo. They are almost always a little bit edgy and experimental.

This time Juan Maclean adds his ideas to that impressive back catalogue of artists who have come before him. There is little more to say about Juan Maclean that hasn’t already been rolled out in the hype surrounding his next release. Here’s a quick recap: he’s an educated man who has tried his hand at post-punk indie rock, taught juvenile delinquents, produced unmistakable 12” records like Happy House, deejayed internationally and helped to set up one of the most iconic genre-crossing bands and influential record labels of the past decade. In discography as The Juan Maclean, (amongst other things) he released his debut album Less Than Human in 2005, a digital only remix album in 2006, and most recently, 2009’s The Future Will Come
His DJ Kicks mix has been described in other articles as ‘a love letter to classic house’ or a mix where ‘classic tracks rub elbows with recent disco cuts’. Juan himself claims: ‘at the end of the day I just came back to where I had started, which was basically wanting to do something that was representative of where I’m coming from in producing my own music, and also focusing on the current music scene’. In line with his nod to the old (the classics), this DJ Kicks mix was done live with two turntables, filters and a tape delay. This is not a new thing by Maclean’s standards. Old interviews highlight his determination to keep the raw elements of a DJ mix alive, mainly by steering clear of laptop mixing and editing – something of a novelty these days.

In celebration of the next chapter of Juan Maclean, here’s a bit of the old and a bit of the new:  

 Feel So Good – The Juan Maclean (DJ Kicks Exclusive Track)
 Happy House – The Juan Maclean (Cut Copy remix)
 Happy House – The Juan Maclean (Audion vs. Matthew Dear mix)
 RA.086 Juan Maclean (14.01.2008)

Death From Above

My attention has been repeatedly directed back to the DFA records camp recently. Their rosta is a veritable galaxy, sparkling with the likes of The Juan Maclean, Holy Ghost! Hercules and Love Affair and Shit Robot. Formed as Death From Above in 2001 by Jonathan Galkin, Tim Goldsworthy (Mo’Wax co-founder) and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, they champion records from beyond Manhattan, but unmistakeably influenced by their Lower East Side party roots.

Both the Jac the Disco and The C90s March mixes start with new boy Michoacan, with the Clap Rules remix of In The Dark of the Night, which more than performs its role as set-starter, with shouty lyrics layered over the sythy bassline. If you, like me, hear the original later, it seems like a slightly tipsy version of the remix, and the huge helping of slap-bass funk conjures images of gold jump suits and enormous hair. It soon becomes easy to recognise this as a characteristic of the DFA sound; DFA disco classics begin to come out of the woodwork wherever you are, and you realise they’ve been there all along.

Out next week is The Crystal Ark’s The City Never Sleeps, and my personal favourite is Ray MangBulletproof, which was released on 25 January, and features Lady Miss Kier of Dee-Lite fame.

They’ve kindly offered a radiomixes section of their site, with a selection of mixtapes going all the way back to 2005, and you can stream their own remixes on your very own radio player here here.

Michoacan – In The Dark of the Night (Clap Rules Remix)