Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Always With The Joking

October 16, 2010

One of the acts out there that is making consistently fantastic music is Canada’s Jokers Of The Scene ( http://www.myspace.com/sceneofthejoker ) . On A-Trak’s Fools Gold Records, they have put out some of the best dance music of the last few years, consistently managing to marry dancefloor effectiveness with a real depth of quality in their songs, eschewing the “Bang0rz 1st, music later” attitude of many modern producers.

They have been around for a few years now, but first really blew up with the anthemic Baggy Bottom Boys, which was a huge international hit, and brought a huge rave breakdown into the middle of a moody tech-electro monster.

They were actually quite a few releases deep at this stage though, as well as having put out numerous remixes. One of their earliest remixes was a little known, rather odd, hip hop track by some lad called Kid Cudi. Many people are completely unaware that the JOTS were on the original release alongside what came to be one of the biggest electro tracks of recent times, the Crookers remix. But The JOTS remix is excellent in its own right, at first a much more laid back twist on the track, with a great half-time breakdown in the middle before it really takes off.

Kid Cudi – Day N Nite (JOTS Remix)

After the huge success of Baggy Bottom Boys, the star of the JOTS continued to rise. One of their best remixes came later in 2009, with their fantastic remix of Tembisa Funk.

McLloyd – Tembisa Funk (JOTS Remix)

With their heavy duty sound and consistent quality, it seemed perfect when they and Boy 8-Bit exchanged remixes on Wolfen and Revolting Joks. Boy 8-Bit apparently described their reworking of Wolfen as the song he had meant to write when he originally made the track. It certainly is a fantastic remix, as is his of Revolting Joks, their most recent single, and a fantastic track in its own right.

Boy 8-Bit – Wolfen (JOTS Remix)

Jokers Of The Scene – Revolting Joks

And amongst all the great originals, and remixes of their peers, they even found time to achieve the impossible – they turned a Mika track into something listenable. And indeed, calling it “listenable” does the remix a disservice – this is a supremely well crafted piece of music, turning a cheesy uplifting pop track into a brooding, sinister downtempo techno masterpiece.

became this… Mika – We Are Golden (JOTS remix)

Jokers of The Scene are currently touring, taking their considerable DJ game all around Europe – for an example of their mixing prowess, try http://happyplease.us/index.php?/tapes/jokers-of-the-scene/

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Santero

 

All About Me

August 20, 2010

This time around, I’m choosing a pretty vague subject to do my posting about – my favourite songs over the years. There’s a simple reason – I’m ludicrously busy with work and then I’m going to New York for a week, and so I haven’t got time to put any real thought into a themed post! So I am just going to post some personal classics that have been in my crate over the years!

Where to start? Well, I guess it would make sense to start with the first 12″ record I ever owned, 808 State’s Extended Pleasures of Dance EP, gifted to me by an older sibling. This included the absolutely massive Cubik and Cobra Bora.

Around the same time I discovered Ice T, and became a huge fan of the Iceberg LP, which in truth hasn’t aged all that well, regardless of brilliant an MC he was.

The one track that leaps out for me as having stood the test of time is You Played Yourself – jocking the James Brown “The Boss” sample, and one of those tracks that I learnt the lyrics to so thoroughly as a kid that I doubt I’ll ever forget them.

Ice T – You Played Yourself

Then followed a period where I was into angsty lyrics and loud distorted guitars, generally referred to as Being A Teenager. My absolute favourite in this time was Hüsker Dü, closely followed by Pixies, who incidentally famously cited Hüsker Dü when originally advertising for band members (“Wanted; musicians into Peter, Paul & Mary & Hüsker Dü”.

Later, when I first bought my 1210’s I took a trip to the sadly defunct Selectadisc records and bought 6 D&B tracks, one of which was Intense – Positive Notions, On LTJ Bukem’s Good Looking Records

It wasn’t long before I was into much heavier D&B, my favourite track in that period was probably this beauty, from Grooverider’s Prototype Records…

Ed Rush – Locust

Around this time I also became fixated on DJ Hype, and inparticular the fact that he was pretty much the only D&B DJ at the time to make a feature in his sets of scratching.

From here I got into buying battle records, and from the beats on these rediscovered my passion for hip hop.

One of the artists that I got most heavily into around this time was Dee-Jay Punk Roc, with his muddle of hip hop, big beat, house, Miami bass and more. These two MP3s are easily the 2 tracks of his that saw the most use, and were conveniently on the same 12″

Dee-Jay Punk Roc – Far Out

Dee-Jay Punk Roc – My Beatbox (Les Rhythmes Digitales Remix)

When I started one of my favourite nights I’ve ever been involved with, Thursdays at The Market Bar, one track stands over all others as a staple of my sets there – DJ Shadow’s Organ Donor.

DJ Shadow – Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)

Hip hop ruled my DJ life for the following few years, but what this taught me was the links between different genres, and to open my mind musically in a way that I hadn’t been prepared to while into D&B. I realised virtually anything can be good if you take 2 copies and the best 3 seconds and loop it yourself on the decks. But gradually I moved more and more back towards the dance music that I had started my vinyl journey on.

I’m going to leave it here with few of my favourite dance tracks of the last few years, and look forward to seeing you all next month.

Jesse Rose – It\’s So

Chris Korda – Save The Planet, Kill Yourself

Daniele Papini – Church Of Nonsense

Laidback Luke & Lee Mortimer – Blau! (Noob Remix)

James Harcourt – Call/Response

James Flavour – Da Ride (Jimpster Remix)

John Arnold & Ty – Style & Pattern

And finally, a cheeky plug for my forthcoming EP on Sugarbeat

Santero

Its So Simple

June 18, 2010

For this week’s exciting instalment, I’m going to be taking a little look at the rise and rise of Londoner Jesse Rose. The boss of labels Front Room and Made to Play is responsible for some of the better dance music of the last few years, either producing it himself or helping it land on our desks via his imprints.

Although he has only really become what you could describe as “famous” (in dance music terms) in the last few years, Rose has been putting music out for some consderable time. Front Room started printing records in 2000, with its debut release coming from Trevor Loveys in the shape of “My Land”. It wasn’t until the 6th release, and 2003, that Rose made his production debut on the label, with the “Tell Me (Now)” EP.

It was then another couple of years before his next release, which came on Dave Taylor’s Dubsided, and featured the brilliant tracks A-Sided and Black Coffee in its 4 tracks

Considering the pace at which dance music tends to evolve, both sound remarkably fresh today. And Black Coffee hints at a theme his tweets often reference – a work/party ethic that leads to a definite absence of sleep from his schedule a lot of the time!

Although Front Room have put out some great music, Made to Play is the label that has become synonymous with Rose. With its first release in 2005, from Rose together with the prolific Loveys again, they set out on a path to becoming one of the best sources of quality house music in the world. Based out of Berlin, on its roster are without doubt some of the finest producers in dance music; Riva Starr, Zombie Disco Squad, Oliver $, Idiotproof and Round Table Knights are all very closely tied in with the label, as well as artists from Renaissance Man to Jan Driver and more having releases on there.

One of the more dubious honours for Rose is his association with the term “fidget”. Generally thought to have evolved from himself, Switch and Herve, it has moved from its roots as a funky, quirky form of house to become a rather bizarre caricature of itself in the main. I still maintain that Rose at his best make what I consider to be fidget, Solo has coined the term “Midget” (as in minimal fidget), but ultimately genre terms aren’t important when you are making tracks as good as this…

Jesse Rose – Its So

As for Rose himself, 2009 was a huge time – it was when he made his debut on the Essential mix with a fantastic 2 hours for the first EM of the year (as well as being a label boss and fantastic producer, Rose is also an extremely gifted DJ), and subsequently went on to put out his debut album, “What Do You Do If You Don’t?” on Dubsided. Both were very warmly received, and shot Rose into many people’s consciousness. “Well Now” and “Touch My Horn” became hugely popular tracks in the clubs, as much for their difference from the norms of house music as their outright quality.

Jesse Rose – Well Now

Jesse Rose – Touch My Horn

His latest release, Sleepless (Night Two) (see what I mean about the insomnia references!), is yet another slice of brilliant house – at once dreamy, danceable, original and interesting. He cleverly chops up vocals from Marvin Gaye’s “Whats Goin’ On” to create the wonderful “You Know It”, a fantastically blissed out downtempo house track.

Jesse Rose – You Know It

And as hinted at in the latter stages of his Essential Mix, Rose maintains an interest in the London bass/electro sound, having over the years worked with many of its big guns, such as Sinden & Herve, and usually helping bring out some of their better work with his Midas touch!

Jesse Rose & Action Man (aka Herve) – Take It To The Club

There are no signs of Rose slowing down his prodigious output either as producer, DJ, label head or general all-round dance music pathfinder. Made To Play maintain an extremely popular residency at the legendary Panorama Bar in his adopted city of Berlin, while Rose himself travels the length and breadth of the globe to spread his musical word. If you get the opportunity to catch him, I highly recommend it, and if you enjoy the music in this post, please go out and buy some, labels like this need our support to thrive in the difficult world music faces these days.

http://www.madetoplay.net/

Santero

Nish, Clish, Bang

March 19, 2010

After an 80s predominantly spent listening to fairly standard issue pre-teen pop, the late 80s and early 90s brought a very different musical world into my life. The main reason for this was the advent of Madchester, aided and abetted by close family ties to the city. A father working at Manchester Met with art students, and a brother studying at Manchester Uni meant that I was exposed to all the best that the city had to offer from a very early age.

Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck (The Vince Clarke Mix)

My favourites were Happy Mondays. I loved them, and loved their insane record sleeves. I loved the fact that Shaun Ryder sounded absolutely demented, and that you then listened to his lyrics and realised he probably was demented. I loved their loping rhythms, and I loved their proto-dance remixes. Of course, most of all I loved Bez. Everyone loved Bez. The song that I was probably most obsessed by at this point was Wrote For Luck, and specifically the Vince Clarke (née Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Erasure) remix.

After the Happy Mondays, my next favourite was the Inspiral Carpets, now most famous for turning down Noel Gallagher as lead singer when he was roadie for them, but for a few years a genuinely major force on the British music scene. Something which looking back seems a bit weird, as their music has probably aged the worst out of the major player on the Madchester scene. They do have a couple of gems though, and they will always have a place in my heart for their unbelievably popular “Cool as Fuck” T-shirts (rumour has it they sold more of these than all their album sales combined). The G-Mex gig where a marching band came on during “She Comes In The Fall” was a highpoint of the scene, even if now it seems like nothing.

The Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored

A band who have stood the test of time slightly better is the one and only Stone Roses. Possibly the greatest British album ever made, their debut is an absolute masterpiece, even if they have never really got close to its heights before or since, save for the Fool’s Gold EP. Everything about them from their early years is legendary, for the “Stone Roses” grafiti around Manchester before they achieved fame, to their notorious appearance on the Late Show, to the Woodstock for the baggy generation, Spike Island. My oldest brother was lucky enough to go, and apparently it was as shit as the rumours suggest, but everyone was so wasted that it didn’t really matter. Indeed, that day inspired the song “Sorted for E’s and Whizz” by Pulp, which ironically came out the year Pulp filled in for The Stone Roses at Glastonbury. For me, the song that bests sums up the majesty, arrogance and genius of The Stone Roses is “I Wanna Be Adored”.

808 State – Cübik

On my 13th birthday I received my first ever 12″ record of my own, and what a record – 808 State’s Extended Pleasures Of Dance. An absolutely amazing trio of songs, for me Cübik was the absolute pinnacle of what I imagined anyone could achieve for a good few years. To my eternal shame I have never really explored 808 State’s catalogue apart from the obvious songs, and constantly keep it as something I’ll do soon, as opposed to something I’m doing.

But finally, the documentary that I stumbled across this week which inspired this blog posting. I remember recording this way back when, and watching it with my 3 brothers over and over, to the point where even now we have in-jokes harking back to it. Its absolutely amazing, in so many different ways, both good and bad. Marvel at the “fashion”. Wonder at what a cock James “media dick” Brown is. Be amazed by arguably the greatest rapper ever, MC Tunes. But this is a gem of a programme, and something that really brings back such vivid memories of when I was first stepping into the wide world of music, when “indie” actually meant something when you applied it to music. Enjoy.

Santero.