- Published on Friday, 14 February 2014 16:45
I first heard New Jackson’s The Night Mail from the comfort of my bed, on a rainy Sunday afternoon-after-the-night-before. It was sent to me by a friend over facebook, intended to provide a crucial clue in aid of the only task I set myself that day – apart from eating a fry up – which was to ascertain what the deuce had gone on the night before.
It didn’t help. It didn’t help at all. The pictures, the bank statement, the track IDs… none of it was coming together in any sort of conclusive thing called a memory. I have no idea what happened that night to this day, but I know that at some point during this dark and deep London Saturday night adventure, The Night Mail was played and we were all better for it. The music, unlike my memory, has stuck with me since.
New Jackson is not anywhere near as big as he should be. An Irish producer living ‘somewhere near the sea’, his productions traverse across both the dark and disco reaches of house music, all betraying his light harmonic touch and unique textures. The Night Mail is a particularly melancholy number, a distorted vocal seems to dejectedly roll over and over itself whilst a low bass slowly warps its way down the minor scale. It has a strong sense of movement but no defined direction and as such is easy to lose yourself in – especially when combined with the hypnotic music video, directed by Fergal Brennan.
Like most great discoveries (penicillin, America, vegemite) New Jackson turned up whilst searching for something else. Hopefully all those of you who came onto the internet for hilarious cat videos and somehow stumbled across this article will feel the same way about his music as I did.
- Published on Tuesday, 11 February 2014 11:46
I first heard Dutch producer Jaydee’s Plastic Dreams in Ibiza, towards the end of a Carl Cox set at Space. It was my first time on the island and at this stage I still thought it was quite cool how people chanted Seven Nation Army at the end of every night. Those heady days.
At the time I was standing at the back of Space Discoteca sipping a really, really, really expensive gin and tonic and fending off eager Italians. The suddenly overwhelming dark was pierced by a net of roving green lasers as those clear, well-rounded leading notes solemnly announced themselves. I had a moment.
I’ve heard it countless times since and almost every time I’ve been on my way off the dance floor for various humdrum reasons. Whatever my plan was – toilet stop, drinks run, fresh air - this song makes me drop it and race back. Every time. One time I heard it from inside the toilet cubicle and almost forgot to wipe. It’s like a dance floor call to arms – as soon as you hear those first three hollow chimes sound everybody stiffens, heads turn, noses go up as if catching a scent and back we all march to the dance floor, like the well trained ravers we occasionally are.
There has been a great long list of Plastic Dreams remixes released over the years that are entirely unnecessary because this song is timeless. Over twenty years on from its original release on R&S in 1993, Plastic Dreams is still a powerful weapon for even the most contemporary house and techno DJs. May it live forever, and may I always make it back to the dance floor in time for that loose organ solo.
- Published on Friday, 31 January 2014 14:07
Today is Justin Timberlake’s birthday - wondering why you should care? Well as a result, this week’s Tune Talk comes Justin-themed and whilst it was super tempting to throw an 'N Sync classic back in everyone’s faces, I’ve gone for something with considerably less hair gel.
The original song is from Timberlake’s third and latest studio album, a ditty called Suit and Tie. This version has its merits, no doubt, in fact Timberblake and his team just picked up a Grammy a few days ago for the film clip in which he and Jay Z rock waistcoats and make hand gestures at sound boards (because they are professionals, ok?), but it’s London’s alternative golden boy Four Tet, who has truly sparked this song to life.
Four Tet (Kieran Hebden to his mama) is one of those annoying creative types who is freakishly talented at his chosen field and can produce a mini-masterpiece in the time it takes the rest of us to find our other sock. Within about two nanoseconds of JT releasing Suit and Tie, Four Tet came out with a remix for free download. Everybody loved it but the quality was tripe, so a few months later he set up a link to download for free in WAV format - what a champ! He pulls these kinds of generous stunts all the time, and if you weren’t already convinced that he’s not in it for the money, know that he turned down an Apple advert offer. Yeah… Apple.
I heard Four Tet’s remix of Suit and Tie for the first time in my kitchen, and so did the people that lived above me. Sound travelled right through the thin floor dividing us, so that I frequently woke up to toddler tantrums and toy car races, and they were frequently educated in my excellent music tastes. That straight and simple muffled kick which anchors the song and drives its pace had me tapping instantly, and when JT’s falsetto skipped in - sliced, diced and clipped to within an inch of its life by Four Tet – I was instantly up jiving and shrugging the length of my kitchen in my PJs and stayed that way for the duration.
The texture and instrumentation is as simple and sparse as the original’s is rich and varied. Its simplicity on this front is its draw card, the complexity comes from the scattering and layering of the vocals, which produce their own percussive momentum as a result. For some reason my neighbours weren’t picking up on these musical subtleties, and took issue with the somewhat relentless bass kick. They expressed themselves with ironically similar stomping, but they couldn’t douse my flame. A love affair had been born and I rinsed this track full volume for a week.
Frabjous day that Timberlake’s birthday has reminded me to dig this one up from last year’s soundtrack! Enjoy.
- Published on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:12
Trouble Vision rapidly grew into one of London’s most thrilling club nights over the last years - agreed on and voted by the readers of DJ Mag as “Britain's Best Club Night'” back in 2011 - they’ve reaped this title by consistently adding top-notch artists to the line up and bringing a sound that diverges from House, Disco, Techno, Garage and truly everything in between.
This weekend their bi-monthly event Double Trouble Vision appears for the first time this year in Corsica Studios. Featuring two events on both Friday and Saturday, we can expect a weekend full of rumbling bass lines, cutting edge grooves, reckless dancing and a severe alcoholic temptation… most likely resulting in either a threatening hangover or a serious lack of sleep.
On Friday, Mo’ town child Moodymann will top the bill and makes his first London showing this year. For us, it came as no surprise when we heard the advance tickets were sold out quicker than the spread of a bad case of herpes. Headlining alongside Moodymann will be Medlar - associated with Wolf Music - he is well known in Corsica Studios and his sound is deeply rooted in House, Disco and Soul. Expect to paw to the floor; Medlar is someone to seriously keep an eye on.
No worries, there are still roughly 100 tickets available at the door so we’d suggest to hop on the tube as early as possible. Besides it wouldn’t be Double Trouble if it wasn’t a weekender. There are still limited tickets available for Saturday.
For this second night, Trouble Vision brought together a strong crop of DJs as versatile and dynamic as any other. Focused on the 3024 label, the line up will be comprised of label signees, friends and of course director Martyn, known for his extraterrestrial sound. He will play both a live set featuring Inga Copeland, as well as a DJ set. Minding this, the Saturday will turn out as promising as the Friday and offers the chance - for those misfortunate souls whom missed out on Friday - to invade the Corsica Studios and end the winter blues during this Trouble Vision weekender.
More info and remaining tickets for Saturday HERE
- Published on Thursday, 16 January 2014 12:05
Croatia seems to be making quite a name for itself as a leading destination for electronic music, with its idyllic natural beauty, the island of Pag has become host to an amalgamation of festivals throughout the summer season, Sonus being one of them. Having launched in 2013 by legendary German techno event organisers Cosmopop, whom are responsible for Time Warp, Sonus Festival became one of the stand-out parties of last summer, and is set to deliver yet another year of hedonistic pleasure from electronica's underground heroes.
Set over the course of 5 days and 5 nights at the end of August, Sonus Festival is located in the infamous Zrce Beach, described as a hidden treasure and one of the coolest festival locations in Europe, the beach provides the perfect destination for such a large scale event. The festival itself is spread over two open-air clubs, Papaya and Kalypso; if that wasn't good enough Sonus also delivers a variety of alternative events to wet the party-goers whistle, including pre-parties, boat parties and after-parties, what more could you possibly ask for?
Last year's line-up proved to be one of the great pickings with a dynamic selection of underground's DJ's; following its first line-up release this year's festival is shaping up to follow successfully in the footsteps of its predecessor. So far we see the return of renowned Dj's including the likes of tINI, Yaya, Cadenza's Luciano and Used and Abused front man Loco Dice, whilst new yet equally exciting additions addition have been added to the line-up such as Monica Kruse and Marcel Dettmann. With the next line-up release upon the horizon, we have to say we are a bit excited to see what Sonus has in store; will Ricardo make a ground-breaking return to the island of Pag? Guess we will have to wait till the end of the month to find out.
In total, the festival will host 50 international Dj's over a variety of exhilarating parties; I personally won't be waiting around for this one to sell out. Below is a full listing of the line-up announcement so far: