We’ve been eyeing up Gazelle Twin in the office of late, so I’m excited to see my old favourite Tom Demac collaborating on two tracks forthcoming on Hypercolour 9 Feb; Guts “by far the scariest piece of music I’ve ever written!” and an edit of Belly of the Beast. He doesn’t disappoint either, with two rather menacing little stormers that kinda make me want to throw things around.
Bristol’s finest Luke Turner aka Lukas has delivered a belter in his latest mixtape. This mix is one of those beautiful hybrids of disco, electronica, funk and house; heavy on the cowbell, just the right dubby basslines, a hint of vocal when it’s needed. The label selection on the tracklist says it all; Jackathon Jams, Hypercolour, Rekids, Hot Creations and of course Lukas’s own Futureboogie. It’s one of those where the volume sneaks up and up until by the end of it you’re all dancing around the stereo. I mean, just take a listen to Busta Rhymes on Freaks + Cajmere, naaaaaaasty! The combination of Lukas and my other Futureboogie faves Waifs & Strays on Gimme Luv is explosive, the whole EP is amazing, and well worth your pennies on release to Beatport at the end of the month.
Sorry to pilfer it from Discobelle, but it’s just too good not to share.
The Mole – Lockdown Party (Perlon)
Antonelli – Dubby Disco (Maxi Mix) [Lukas edit] (Italic)
Lukas vs. Waifs and Strays – Gimme Luv (Jackathon)
Kerrier District – Let’s Dance and Freak (Rephlex)
Lukas – Bassoon (Futureboogie)
Freaks + Cajmere – Black Shoes White Socks [Lukas Busta Freaks Janet on Cajmere edit) (HotCreations)
Andre Lodemann – Where are you now [MFR Edit] (Best Works)
Behling + Simpson – What did i do (CDR)
Adessa – Untitled Love (Prime Numbers)
Loose Joints – Is it all over my Face? [Dj Sneak edit] (NRK)
Mr G – One Year later (Rekids)
Axel Boman – Look What You’ve done to Me (Hypercolour)
Our track for the day today could really be any of the tracks on this EP, and that’s not surprising when you see who is involved – Tom Demac on Pets Recordings. Well done Greg and Voitek (Catz n’ Dogz) for getting this little beauty on your label.
Tom’s been a busy boy this year and has chosen his labels well, with the Critical Distance EP storming out on Hypercolour (who we watched deservedly win Best Label at DJ Mag’s Best of British this week), another EP on their Glass Table imprint as well as a recent release on My Favourite Robot. As his website tells us, he must have finally made the big time, because there’s a piece on him in The Sun!
Track of the day is a sneaky little builder, a naughty tease which you think is a straight up disco number until it drops this utterly filthy bassline which I actually can’t get enough of. I wasn’t intending to turn on the computer today (I love Christmas) but I just had to write something about this bad boy. So I bring you: Tom Demac, Tanners. Turn. It. UP.
Great Suffolk Street warehouse has done us proud over the years, and this weekend its caverns are being taken over by the mighty Hypercolour for their showcase night, featuring Groove Armada, Maxxi Soundsystem, Todd Edwards, Youandewan, Alex Jones (whose Higher Level EP just came out on the label) and Tom Demac (whose Obstructing The Light EP just came out on their picture-disc label Glass Table).
You’ll recognise a Hypercolour party by the hundreds of people with smiles on their faces; the Miami showcase was a storming affair, and we’re looking forward to being back on their dancefloor. We’ve got two VIP tickets to win, just email email@example.com and tell us: who are the two co-owners of the Hypercolour label?
Every now and then we notice a label-pattern emerging. With so many more independent labels around now, it seems to happen more and more. Release after release has that familiar little code or image that subconsciously threads them all together at the back of your mind and niggles away at you until you take the time to dig a little deeper…
Well Rounded Records has been the cause of this lately. Although we didn’t know it at the time, a trip to Beatport to pick up Deadboy’s huge U Cheated EP was our first introduction to the label. Keeping an eye on the likes of Manchester’s xxxy, a love for Leon Vynehall’s Mauve EP and most recently, stumbling across South London Ordnance has pointed us quite clearly in this direction. So we thought it was time we stood up and gave Brighton-based Well Rounded Records some love and attention.
Well Rounded Records is the parent of two wonderful, bad-boy children, Well Rounded Individuals and the Well Rounded Housing Project. Whilst the Well Rounded Housing Project imprint technically focuses on releases that derive from house, the Well Rounded Individuals impression has free reign.
The label was started by DJ and producer, Donga. Donga’s work started in a record store in Brighton by day, giving him full-time exposure to endless supplies of records, new and old. Since he launched Well Rounded onto the scene in 2009, he has given an array of then relatively unheard-of producers such as Julio Bashmore, xxxy, Deadboy and Hackman a platform which would allow them to share their music – both physically and digitally.
We caught up with Donga on his return to from this year’s Echo festival in Croatia. Not only that, he’s very kindly agreed to put together a new mix for us…
First of all, thank you very much for putting together a mix. Can you tell us a bit about what you’ve picked out?
No particular rhyme or reason, just pulled out some things that have been tickling my fancy lately and jammed. Listening back it’s a bit rough here and there and doesn’t follow the most logical direction throughout but I can’t plan my sets as it feels too contrived and clinical for me. Most gratifyingly I received some fresh white labels of some forthcoming WR releases, so I’ve got 7 tracks from us in there which are set to hit the shelves over the next few weeks!!
To catch people up, what’s your story and how did the label came about? How did you wind up DJing and producing?
I’ve been DJing since I was a kid really. I used to take over at some of my dad’s gigs when I was a little boy. Put my first electronic record out in 1993. I have released a shit load of records under many many aliases, but I’m not inclined to go deep into that as it’s all about looking forward and finding the next musical thrill or challenge. I ended up doing both of these things because I’m basically hot for vinyl. I hope this does not prove to be my ultimate undoing, haha.
Your label’s discography is a testament to the fact that you’re obviously an advocate of cutting edge UK sounds and showcasing fresh talent, what do you think shapes or has shaped your personal taste over time? Have you always had a flair for the bassier side of things?
I’m a pretty handy drummer and my approach is to bond musically with the bass player. Without a strong rhythm section you ain’t doin shit. And in simple terms, if it’s bass we’re looking at, then shouldn’t that bottom end potential be pronounced? If it’s bass – make it bassy. This is where too many rock musicians miss a trick, so I inevitably ended up listening to funk, dub and dance music to get that low end buzz.
The 2009 U Cheated EP from Deadboy was obviously a massive hit and is now documented as a club classic of recent times, it was also Well Rounded’s first release. Did you expect such a great start? How did that affect the direction you took things with the progression of the label in 2010?
Basically that was just the reaction the music provoked happily. I find it difficult to discuss too much about how we may have approached the strategy of releases because I really try to shut as many of those thoughts as possible. We want to release music that has a wide enough audience to sustain ourselves but that’s not a guiding principle. Errr, yeah this stuff is difficult to define. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. Broadmindedness is key. One sound will never be enough for my appetite.
It all makes sense to me. Some quarters of the industry are a bit unsure what we are up to. No surprise there. Again it’s hard to explain why I am trying to do so much. Bare enthusiasm for these particular tunes and artists I guess. Well Rounded was named to suggest a healthy diet should include lots of different, yet complimentary components. It’s all an extension of that maybe…
With artists and labels being so heavily intertwined these days and becoming effectively a brand together, do you think it’s important for every label to have a family of artists and a signature sound? Have you got a label family feel forming over at Well Rounded?
I’d love to view us as a family but truth is I don’t exclusively hold people down. I think if people are particularly ambitious then they should be free to pursue the best options put before them with my blessing. But we are always here for them should they wish to return at any time. I think this engenders a good feeling between us which is why people come back and play our showcases even if they haven’t released with us for a while. I’m not interested in signature sounds, just quality. I’d rather consider a record that I may struggle to fully grasp rather than more functional fodder that sounds barely different from other stuff. People should be aiming to be stand alone mavericks in my opinion.
Look at UR from Detroit – from deep space electro to hard acid techno to gospel house all under one banner. THAT I can respect. I’m not that interested in my peers unless they appear to be doing something a bit different. I could mention a few but I hope they might know who they are…
Festivals is all about weather right? So here’s the UK story: I played 20 foot in the air in a precariously constructed pyramid at Glade for Sneaker Social Club. Myself and our host Richter got lashed by wind and drenched by water that was being blown directly off a tarpaulin down onto the mixer and vinyl etc. Then we had sound issues. I struggled on for as long as possible but had to admit defeat. The crowd that gathered were great though and Jamie from SSC / Hypercolour is an absolute trooper. I would do almost anything for him!
And in Croatia: Temperatures got up to 42 degrees. My records were nearly melting on the decks. We did a 7-hour showcase from 5pm to midnight on the main stage and it was a beautiful unforgettable experience for me. I could gush on for ages here but basically I recommend people get out to this one next year. It looks likely we will be going back though still discussions to be had…
Can we expect to see you & the WR crew at all the biggies this summer?
A lot of UK festivals haven’t picked up on us yet. But i’m used to playing the waiting game. We got a big one in Sweden with only 3 UK label showcases, us, Swamp 81 and Numbers, so that’s getting a bit more like it I guess. I would imagine we will do more next year. The ones we have done so far are already talking about us coming back so response is good.
It’s only June but what’s been your biggest festival track so far this year?
Toooooo many. But Justin Martin’s remix of Kemistry by Goldie is one. I been reviving Just Vybe by Scratcha and Fatima and thats done the trick, and from us XXXY I Know This Cant Be Love and Wheez-ie’s Choke Hold blow the tent roof off a treat.
We’re amazed, do you still have time for your record store job with all these gigs and labels to run, not to mention the merchandise!?
Mighty Humble Clothing take care of everything with the shirts and are doing a fantastic job. Big respect to them. I don’t work in a shop at the moment. I have done on and off since I was 18. I am a bit too busy right now. It’s nice to concentrate on being a digger / punter and DJ. Maybe I’ll open my own one day if younger generations decide to get off their asses and into physical shops in greater numbers?
We’ve been hugely impressed with the releases so far this year, most recently from South London Ordnance, who seems to be getting an excellent response to his new Trojan / Pacific EP. What have we got to look forward to this summer?
The next few up are South London Ordnance – Trojan / Pacific (out in a week or two), then Spatial – Deconstructivist Dubs (mid July), then a 4 Track Various Artists EP of slow house lushness called The Slow Spectrum on Housing Project and an EP by a wild new talent from Nottingham called Spare on WR Individuals. Beyond that, Cash Antics Vol 3 / Hodge / more Leon V and tons tons more I could mention. I urge people to support our vinyl releases as much as poss as the mission moves ahead…
Finally, you’re a big vinyl lover – which 5 pieces of wax would you not turn up to a WR party without? We’ll be down the front at the next one…
This changes all the time. My current top 5 might be:
- Almost anything on the Studio Barnhus label
- Robert Hood – We Magnify His Name
- Omar S – S.E.X.
- Storm Queen – Look Right Through (MK Vocal Remix)
- Any Well Rounded release
The next party is Friday 20 July in our hometown of Brighton at the fantastic Green Door Store venue under the station and its FREEEEEEEEEEEE!!! 11pm – 5am in the company of Deadboy / Roots Unit / Donga / Blake. If you can reach, come and join the jam.
We’ll leave you with this, a video we fell in love with earlier this year. Whether or not you caught it the first time round, it’s well and truly worth a visit, or a revisit. Absolutely beautiful. Now go and snap up the Well Rounded back catalogue, it’s well worth it…
We made a little stop-off after Miami WMC this year at Disney World and to spend some more time in the sun, so my apologies that this is already a bit tardy and there’s already been a lot of ‘this track that track’ chat.
Our schedule was pretty busy; we arrived on Friday 16th and headed straight to Electric Pickle for the WMC launch party with Catz n Dogz, then had a couple of sun days before DJ Mag‘s Recession Sessions at the Shelbourne and Culprit vs Leftroom at Treehouse Wednesday 21 March, then Thursday Dirtybird BBQ at Villa 221, Hypercolour with Groove Armada at The Delano and the Hot Creations party Shine at the Shelbourne. Friday we headed to the beautiful Standard for lunch before the Ed Banger poolside party to honour DJ Mehdi, which was gorgeous. Saturday we were up early for Haitian food at the amazing Tap Tap restaurant before the all-dayer Get Lost at Electric Pickle, then back to Treehouse for the Get Physical party in the evening. And finally the Sunday marathon; we went back and forth between Giant Throbbing Electric Pickle at Electric Pickle and Last Resort at Villa 221, catching a bit of Soul Clap vs Wolf + Lamb‘s marathon five hour set upstairs at the Pickle then back to Villa for a Hot Creations party and a trip to the suburbs for the sunrise.
New venues worth mentioning are new South Beach spot Treehouse (lovely garden) and the beautiful Villa 221, which hosted everyone’s favourite day parties; the Dirtybird BBQ (Justin Martin‘s Mum and Dad manning the barbeque!) and Last Resort. The lunch, the cocktails and the sunset at The Standard hotel, where all the DJs seemed to be staying, was also pretty stunning – especially when soundtracked by So-Me and Surkin playing Regulate and Snoop Doggy Dog’s What’s My Name in memory of Dj Mehdi.
Standout DJs were without doubt Maceo Plex, who made it hard for anyone to follow him (even the team of Seth Troxler and Damien Lazarus at Get Lost dropping classics like Pink Floyd‘s Another Brick in the Wall) and worked the crowd up to a ridiculously sweaty mess at both Electric Pickle and Last Resort at Villa 221, Catz n Dogz who we saw four or five times and still played us fresh goodies every set (including the track of Miami for me, It’s You by The White Lamp) Solomun, who carefully walked the line between plinky-plonky hazy Miami tracks and booty-shakers, playing the beautiful Angie Stone rework Same Old Story by Frankie J Dickens and Patrick Bodhi, and Maya Jane Coles; big beats from the tiny figure, particularly at the Hypercolour party at The Delano, which made us excited about her forthcoming DJ Kicks compilation.
So here are a few of the tracks that made it special for us this year.
And just a little whinge from me: shame on you to the labels/organisers/venues who took ticket bookings weeks in advance then still kept ticket-holders queueing for hours at the door, often saying venues were at capacity and it was one-in-one-out. We waited outside the Hot Creations party on Thursday for an hour and a half despite paying more for that ticket in early February than any of our others, and in the end we gave up. The guest list queue was longer than the ticket holders queue and most of them had decided to call it a night at 3am when we left. Is it wrong to assume that buying a ticket means entry to the club?
Tom Flynn is back this month with a new EP on Hypercolour, adding the London based imprint to the broad spectrum of hugely successful labels he has worked with so far. Moving slightly away from the sound he has released on the likes of Anabatic, dirtybird, Deadfish, Circus and Size, the seamless production in his People Everyday EP fits perfectly with what we’ve grown to love about Hypercolour; silky smooth, deep, UK bass. Whilst the whole EP has a lovely warmth to it with well-crafted, delicate basslines, Tokyo Rising and Truth Hurts are personal favourites.
Tom joins a long list of great producers who’ve released on Hypercolour since it was established in 2006, such as Glimpse, Tom Demac, Alex Jones, Matt Star, Kris Wadsworth, and more recently the likes of Christopher Rau, Maya Jane Coles and Huxley.
The People Everyday EP drops on 15 April. Until then, you can check out the sampler here:
One last thing, Tom will be playing at the dirtybird BBQ in London this Saturday, for all you lucky people who’ve bagged yourselves tickets. If you can’t make it down at the weekend, you can keep your eyes peeled for forthcoming dates and tracks via his Facebook and Soundcloud pages. Now bring on those dirtyburgers…
Helping to conclude a year of disco-infused soulful house, Russ Yallop released his I Can’t Wait / Rock Me EP in November, simultaneously putting himself firmly on the clubbing map. Yet you could argue that success was more an inevitability than a possibility; combining an upbringing immersed in Brighton’s vibrant and diverse music scene with some serious attention to the Ibiza party circuit could only mean good things…
His production skills have led to budding friendships with fellow UK pioneer Jamie Jones and Chicago’s Lee Foss, and it looks as though he is embracing his recent success on the Crosstown Rebels label with his latest release, Harlem, on London-based Hypercolour’s new sister label, Losing Suki.
As usual, with a new release comes an exciting new wave of activity. Last week Yallop presented us with a new, eclectic podcast through Ibiza Voice. Plus, in February and March, there will be opportunities to catch him in person, if you’re local to Birmingham, London or Brighton:
Face presents at the Rainbow Pub, Birmingham – 12th February 2011
Jaunt & Pleaure at the Russian Bar, London – 19th February 2011
You Are We at a secret venue, London – 5th March 2011
Death by Disco with Lee Foss at Al Duomo, Brighton – 29th April 2011
It Was All A Dream [Intro]
Craig Bartley – Birdshell (6th Borough Project) [Dancefloor Edit]
Nuthin But A G String
Rock Me [Omg Danger! Mix]
Jens Loden – First One (Andre Lodeman) [Bad Phonecall Edit]
Rhythm Lover – Be Your (Gavin Herlihy) [Russtrumental]
Richy Ahmed – Suck It
Shaun Reeves – Patience [Fuckabout Edit]
Rob James – Mindscaping
Hot Natured – Key To Life
I Can’t Wait [Bootleg Dub]
A few years have passed by whilst this artist’s success has been bubbling on the underground circuit. Now it looks as though January is set to be a huge marker in the timeline that is Maya Jane Coles’ ascent to the forefront of the UK dance scene. She has been making massive headway recently since the recent release of her What They Say EP on Real Tone Records in September 2010, coupled with a tornado of hot press. Aiding a smooth start to 2011 was the release of her latest EP Humming Bird at the start of December last year on Hypercolour and a new podcast for Resident Advisor last week, warming us up for a handful of UK appearances on the horizon.
After an excellent 55 minute crash course in what Maya Jane Coles has to offer, the closing three tracks do it for me; Greenville Massive’s Lost, Axwel Boman’s Naomi and her very own, superb take of none other than Joni Mitchell in Stardust. Get a piece of the action by throwing these dates in your diary:
Rob Shields – Slum Room
DC Salas – Peru – Doctor Vinyl Records
Axel Boman – Depression
Maya Jane Coles – Run with the Wild
El_Txef_A – See It All (Edit)
Maya Jane Coles – Protect Them
Youandewan – Eidolon – Magicbag Music
Julian Perez – Nelipot – Recycle Records
Rhythm & Sound ft. Jennifer Lara – Queen In My Empire – Burial Mix Records / Funman, Kick Da Joey & Vansam – Get Down – VectoRecords 2.0
Miss Kittin – All I Need (Gesaffelstein Remix) – Mobilee
The Timewriter – Wasteland – Neurotraxx Deluxe
Rhythm & Sound – Why / T. Williams & Terri Walker – Heartbeat – Local Action / Asad Rizvi – Me Tangare (MJC Edit) – Reverberations
Luca Albano – Calinda (Francesco Bonora Remix) – High Definition Records
Greenville Massive – Lost – Soul Sheep Music
Axel Boman – Naomi
Joni Mitchell vs. Maya Jane Coles – Stardust