Friday, October 22, 2010
Delicious Records Monthly @ Bistrouge
432 East 13th St. b/w 1st Av. & Av. A
11PM - 3AM
Facebook Invite: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=137909926256341
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The special guest for this month is Will Burnett aka DJ Speculator- owner of W.T. Records and electro producer under the pseudonym Grackle. For more info on Will please visit the Facebook page for the party… for now here is some awesome music produced and / or released by Will!
Friday, June 25, 2010
We arrived at our chosen hotel, The Motor City Hotel & Casino, on Friday night. After hitting the room service for dinner we made our way over to Bookie’s Tavern for the annual Bang Tech party. Every year we’ve been to DEMF this has been the starting point for our weekend. While the Bang Tech crew may not have a ton of global headliner names, you can easily tell they have a ton of heart- gathering all of their DJs for one huge Movement pre-party every year. Spread over three floors of a sports bar, the surroundings for this techno party are always a total trip: flat screen TVs on ESPN and sports memorabilia hanging everywhere. However, what makes this space stand out is the awesome outdoor roof deck on the third floor. As we made our way up, an unknown DJ was banging out a house mix in pure old school style: scratches, back spins, rapid cross fader manipulations etc. While I never managed to find out who the guy spinning was, he gets mad props for getting the entire terrace moving and dropping one of my all-time favorite house classics: Black Science Orchestra’s “New Jersey Deep”.
Near 1am we decided to make a move to the next party. Divided between the Third Ear and Beretta party we chose the latter as all of us were eager to catch Omar-S in action in his hometown. When we got to the venue, the main FXHE man was just setting up on stage. Unusually for Omar-S he was sporting quite a large smile and looked quite satisfied with the large local and international crowd gathered to see him perform. Dropping a set which moved rapidly between vocal house and jacking techno, he had the whole place on fire.
At around 4am we decided we’d had enough for the night and took a leisurely stroll through a strange half-warehouse / half-residential neighborhood to get back to our hotel. After the crew made a bit of cash gambling we hit the beds round 5am for a few hours of shut-eye before the main event…
Waking up with the usual DEMF hangover at 2pm on Saturday, we decided to skip a proper lunch in favor of getting to the festival early. We were rewarded for our efforts by being able to catch the latter half of Patrice Scott’s set at the Real Detroit stage. His mix of deep Detroit tech with tribal(ish) house was the perfect start to the afternoon. While I had a hard time recognizing the vast majority of what he dropped, I do recall him playing the beats version of Ferrer and Sydenham’s “Timbuktu” which actually sounded really powerful in the concrete Underground stage. The crowd was pretty decent at this point, with a good mix of break-dancers, ravers, chin-strokers and random locals and out-of-town visitors. Unfortunately Niko Marks failed to capitalize on the momentum generated by Patrice with his ‘live’ performance of classic house and techno tracks. While I can understand Niko’s desire to play a tribute to his favorite producers, hearing him sing over classic tracks such as “Sun Can’t Compare” was unfortunately not very exciting. I believe the crowd felt the same way as the dancers quickly thinned out to look for other thrills.
The early evening was a bit of a mixed bag with talented Detroit DJs such as Rick Wilhite and Kyle Hall forced to play mostly heavy techno tracks due to the acoustics of the Underground stage. The one pleasant surprise was A-Trak’s tribute to J-Dilla at the Red Bull stage. After a lot of noisy, electro stuff, the Canadian DJ killed the music for a second before scratching up some Dilla beats while JD images and footage went up on the screen behind him.
At around 11pm it was time to head for the main stage for Richie Hawtin’s closing act as Plastikman. At this point we were pretty beat from running around in the sun all day, so it was no surprise that the onslaught of multi-colored lazers, static noise, crackles and syncopated kicks failed to really get us going. After “Panik Attak” was finally dropped to raucous screaming and applause, we quickly made our escape back to the hotel for some rest before the after-parties.
Arriving at Kai Alce’s annual ‘Deep Detroit Party’ at around 1am, it became clear to us that the party had grown enormously in popularity this year. While last year’s event had a pretty intimate feel, this year felt like an all out, crazy house party complete with a keg in the attic and tons of discount booze in plastic bottles. Kai dropped an impeccable selection of disco, italo and house and then Theo followed up with similar fare. The highlight track of the night proved to be the recently reissued Ron Hardy edit of Jamie Principle’s “Bad Boy”. Overall, ‘Deep Detroit’ managed to easily meet the high standards achieved by last year’s party and proved to be one of the best events all weekend.
Sunday we got to the festival around 5pm in the afternoon and were immediately confused at the lack of quality music options available. DJ Pierre was moving gracelessly between tough acid tracks and commercial club hits, Ryan Crosson was playing dry, and uninspiring minimal at the Underground stage while our other options were Kid Sister (no) and Martinez Brothers (mehhh). Instead we chose to chill for a while, waiting for Larry Heard to take the main stage. Eventually the Chicago legend came on but failed to generate much crowd momentum as the dancers at this point were worn down from Pierre’s commercial onslaught. Things would start to heat up once Larry dropped Adonis’ “No Way Back” but for the most part his set failed to really grab our attention.
After Kelli wrapped up, Anthony “Shake” Shakir delivered a fantastic set full of classic Detroit techno, with tracks such as Reese’s “Truth is Self-Evident” keeping the energy level up throughout the early evening. The only minor gripe was that Shake bungled a few mixes here and there, however, it was easy to put up with some minor sound clashes given the excellent track selection. Eventually Rolando took the stage and began pummeling the crowd with a mix of Detroit classics and more current underground productions such as Silent Servant’s “Lo Profundo” and Tony Lionni’s “Found a Place”. As expected (demanded?) Rolando dished out his hit “Jaguar” in the form of massive remix that seemed to last 15 minutes. As predictable as it was, the crowd reaction was fantastic with everyone screaming and dancing with total abandon.Finally at 10pm the man we’d all been waiting for took the stage… Robert Hood looked dead serious as he set up his machines in the DJ booth. Focused and calm he laid down an initial 808 pattern. While we couldn’t see the equipment from our vantage point, this set was billed as a live show so we figured that Robert was up there doing some serious machine programming. The ensuing two-hours were surely the most intense of the entire Movement weekend: pummeling techno at its relentless best. With the temperature at boiling point and the lights shifting between being totally off to just entirely8 RED, the entire dance-floor felt as if it was suspended in a parallel dimension. Hood gave us all what we wanted, covering some of his best early work as well as newer material. “Unix”, “Station Rider E”, “Alpha”, “Omega”, “Museum”, “The Pace” all flew by with mechanical precision. Finally with the crowd in a sweaty mess and the evening ready to end, the well-known synth-line from “Minus” came on, hypnotizing everyone left standing before the final onslaught of kick drums arrived to send us home.
The Sunday night after-party scene was all about Soul Skate and we headed directly from Hart Plaza out to Northland Roller Skating Rink on 8 mile at around midnight. While I probably hadn’t skated in the last 6 years or so, I felt like living on the edge after the Robert Hood show so strapped on some wheels. While it was initially terrifying going out on a rink packed with talented local skaters, eventually I got the hang of it and had an awesome time rolling to classic jams selected by Moodymann. There is nothing quite like skating along to “Sharevari” while everyone is sporting a huge smile and top skaters are busting crazy stunt moves all around you. Overall Soul Skate definitely proved to be as fun as it is unique and I will most definitely be heading back for the next edition.
Monday was a bit of a struggle. Two days of dancing, drinking and screaming were finally starting to catch up with our bodies and to make matters worse, it was raining outside. Eventually we dragged ourselves back to Hart Plaza, heading for the nearest cover we could find from the rain- the Red Bull Stage. This proved to be a rather fortuitous choice as DJ Koze was playing some cool records such as Ron Hardy’s “Hiccup Track” and Robert Hood’s “Funky Souls”. His mixing was strangely out of sync but I imagine it was likely due to the sound engineers moving things around to keep the equipment dry. Next up was Michael Mayer who started off slowly with the melodic, soft-hued techno his Kompakt label is known for. While this scared off a good chunk of the crowd, I put my faith in Michael pulling a few choice selections out of his record bag. Having seen the German spin a few times, I was certain he’d deliver a quality set… We were definitely not disappointed! His mix of emotive techno and warm house ended up being the perfect complement to the rainy weather and the crowd ended up loving it as people crowd surfed and climbed on stage as the afternoon progressed.
After the sun set Simian Mobile Disco took the stage and started playing brash, electro tracks which we took as our cue to go check out some of the other stages. Over on the Beatport stage Chris Liebing was experimenting with kick drums on his laptops during what proved to be a pretty boring and repetitive set of nothing but drums and sound effects. Magda meanwhile was busy laying down a staid, mnml groove in the underground. Bored at our options and somewhat unimpressed with Kenny Larkin’s live show, we caught the beginning of Model 500’s set before heading home for a bit of rest.The final after-party during DEMF weekend is always a bitter-sweet affair. On the one hand your body is screaming for you to give it a rest while your mind is slightly depressed that the fun is almost over. This year however we were to be treated to a very special Sarcastic Disco performance by DJ Harvey at the TV Bar. Unfortunately the Detroit Police Department had another idea as the party got shut down at 2am just as Harvey was hitting his stride- a truly sad ending to an otherwise amazing Memorial Day Weekend in Detroit.
Looking back almost a month on from the festival, only the positive memories really stand out for me. While the weekend had a few setbacks, I felt that there were no major problems that kept it from being a truly enjoyable experience. Having been three times now, I can say that this year definitely felt just as well run and orchestrated as any other time and that the sound at the Underground stage was markedly improved. That said, it would be fantastic if the Underground stage was reserved specifically for techno-focused acts as opposed to just generally Detroit artists. While Robert Hood and Patrice Scott’s set actually sounded pretty great down there, it was a true shame hearing the track selection of artists like Theo Parrish, Rick Wilhite, Minx and Kyle Hall sound completely muddled just because they dared play melodic house or disco. Besides the gripe with the programming of the Underground stage, the rest of the festival was well-run and enjoyable with the after-parties matching the excitement delivered at Hart Plaza. All in all, Memorial Day was once again Real Right in Detroit. Real Right.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
1) Make sure you know which way you're going when jumping in a cab late at night. While most cabbies are extremely friendly in the D, we have been screwed for being idiot techno tourists at times... No need to drive by Wayne State at 3am on a Friday night ;-) Have a map of the city, use GPS on your phone or use your sixth sense but know where you're headed...
2) Eat the festival food with caution. Chicken on a stick + hot sauce may taste delicious for hangover-heavy lunch but the facilities at Hart plaza get seriously rammed and messy later in the day...
3) Focus your time on the Detroit DJs! It’s the reason the festival exists in the first place! The venues you'll hear them spin at (whether stage or after-party) consistently have the best vibes. Satisfy your other music cravings at the Beatport, Red Bull and Torino stages but make sure to spend a few hours every day with the hometown heroes. Pretty much all of them are guaranteed to blow your mind even if you’ve never heard of them!
4) Hit up the labels parked near the festival entrance. You'll often find well-priced and hard to find records. Last year the Mahogani stand was a treasure trove of hot Moodymann records priced to sell at reasonable prices. I picked up this and this for FAR below Discogs value… Matrix also had the goods with new and classic releases from Shawn Rudiman and Convextion. UR has been a bit weaker recently when I've stopped by but maybe they'll have some hot stuff this year? I'm hoping other labels come out to the fest this year too as doing a bit of digging is a nice break from the action.
5) Talk to the locals. I've found people are extremely friendly and cool in Detroit. I realize this is somewhat of a silly recommendation but most of my fondest memories have come from partying and hanging out with random local DJs, promoters and fans. In general I find DEMF is for music lovers eager to meet other cool like-minded people. Get to chatting while bouncing.
I hope the above is a bit helpful.
For those about to DEMF... We salute you!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Voodoo Funk: Lagos Disco Inferno
DAMN. This is serious! A compilation of disco music produced in Nigeria in the 70s, this is an amalgamation of some truly raw funk. While I expected sound quality to suffer on some cuts due to the source material, I was pleasantly surprised with how well this entire thing plays- even on a loud system. However, what is truly mind blowing about this release is that the vast majority of the material can easily slot into a modern disco set today and not sound out of whack. Good examples of tunes that can accomplish this on the comp are Geraldo Pino’s “African Hustle” and Grotto’s “Bad City Girls”. The latter is definitely my favorite piece on the double LP: a burning disco jam with fuzzy guitars and vocals about bad, bad, bad girls in the city. The jam starts out loose and dirty and then really takes off when the entire thing is interrupted by a an ambulance siren blaring over a funky bass solo. Madness! Don’t sleep on this one, and, if you can, catch one of Frank’s equally nuts Voodoo Funk DJ sets this summer.
Samples & Frank's Blog can be found here:
Skudge – Convolution
Dub techno is a genre much maligned for trying to match the heights achieved by its progenitors through imitation. Towards late 2009 there was a feeling in the techno community that everyone was more or less sick and tired of limited edition, pretty-colored Echo-something records. Fans felt like the structural possibilities established by Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, Convextion and others had been exhausted… However, every once in a while a record will still come out of the scene that manages to innovate within this general framework. While I don’t think this Skudge record is necessarily ‘ground-breaking’ I do think it’s very cool in that it adds an element of funk to dub-techno that is not often apparent in this sound. On the A-side here the Swedish producer throws a heavily-treated disco diva sample into an otherwise straight-forward techno track. The effect is pretty trippy as it essentially sounds like Loleatta Holoway spinning and falling through a black hole. I know this may be a bit of a ‘cheap thrill’ but this record has definitely been growing on me…. If you want to hear how it performs ‘in the mix’ I highly suggest checking out Fudge Fingaz’ excellent RA podcast (minute 40 or so). There has also been a follow-up 12'' by the same producer on this label but I have yet to get that one although I'll definitely be hunting for it...
Listen Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9PAMGRbNyE
Bubble Club – Violet Morning Moon
This is going to be a bit of summertime gem...Warm, heavily delayed guitars swim amongst filtered synths and digital bongo patterns… It really does feel like bubbles are coming out of the speakers?! There is a mix by Rub n' Tug's Eric Duncan on the flip which seems to add MORE filters to the mix and make this even more blissed out. This is what Balearic / Cosmic disco should sound like in 2010... Can't wait to catch this in some tripped out disco sets. Maybe DJ Harvey will drop it at his DEMF after-party next Monday?
Listen here: http://soundcloud.com/bubble-club
Keith Worthy – Moments in Rhythm Vol. 2
There was a moment in 2009 when I almost gave up on buying Keith Worthy records… Even before putting them on the platter I was fairly confident what the sounds coming out of the speakers were going to be like: muted tones, analog drums and soft pads… I dreamed and prayed for something as riveting as ‘Deep for Dayz’. I finally feel the moment has arrived with “Now That’s House”. Abandoning the soft pads for electro / futuristic synths, I think Keith is channeling the sci-fi spirit of vintage Derrick May on here and it’s definitely working! While the pads return on both versions of “Rockit Science” they are nicely coupled here with some menacing synth-work that keeps the futuristic feel in the mix. Overall this is probably one of my favorite Detroit-originated records of the year...hell, its one of my favorite records of the year PERIOD!
Samples here: http://www.rushhour.nl/store_detailed.php?item=53939
…And Wrapping Up… Nebraska – A Weekend on My Own EP
While not necessarily ‘new’ I feel I have to give a shout to Nebraska’s incredible ‘A Weekend on My Own’ EP. Honestly this is some truly captivating stuff from Ali Gibbs that deserves much more exposure. Beautiful drum arrangements and constantly shifting melodies- this music easily holds your attention while getting you in a deep groove. Definitely am planning on hunting down the rest of the man’s back catalogue!
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBCx_sW4Uqc
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Over the past two years deep house has become the most popular sound of the global club circuit. After mnml techno was denounced as ‘soulless’ by clued-in dance fans around 2008, labels everywhere seemed to turn to house as a means of preserving their credibility (and cash flow). Overnight, DJs that had been all about spinning the sleek, aerodynamic minimal sound were suddenly desperate for the raw and direct feel of vintage US house! In response to this phenomenon, many labels tried to cash-in on the trend by releasing tunes crafted in the mold of classics on Prescription, Cajual, Nuphonic and other great labels… While the majority of these copycat releases quickly proved to be throwaway records (or worse, throwaway mp3s), one label that managed to differentiate itself from the pack was We Play House.
Run by veteran DJ and producer Red D, the label carefully toed-the-line between playing homage to styles inherited from the 80s and 90s while keeping things fresh and exciting. Last year when trendy producers were releasing ‘deep’ records full of software-pack percussion and elevator jazz flirtations, WPH went on a limb and started putting out records with vocals… Mind, these weren’t ‘vocals’ as in samples of Black Panther speeches or sound bites of random conversations between African Americans, but heartfelt lyrics sung by real singers!
Out of the pack of records released by the Belgian label last year, the one which really blew me away was Dynamodyse’s amazing Christmas-time warmer “Gare du Nord”. Built on a chunky, syncopated house pattern, the beautiful vocals on this track were powerful enough to mix comfortably alongside the most classic vocal house tracks of the 90s.
2010 has seen a great slew of releases from the label, with FCL’s “Vocals for Everyone” standing out as one of my favorite records released so far this year. Now WPH have just released a new album-sampler EP from San Soda which is packed with emotive house music. Make sure to check out “Ode Aan De Verkeersdrempel” which fuses euphoric Detroit-techno style synths with a solid groove.
In celebration of our appreciation for this label, we are sharing an amazing funk, disco and house mix that Red D put together for the site. I asked him to make it extra funky and that’s just what we got! Gracefully shifting between vintage funk and disco to contemporary sounds, this is true house: not only in SOUND but in ATTITUDE. As the weather gets nice and warm in the northern hemisphere, make sure to rock this on your Ipod and take that spring-time warmth to the next level!
Messing with Your Emotions:
1) Common Sense – Voices Inside My Head
2) Trus’me – Sucker For A Pretty Face
3) Sylvia Striplin – Give Me Your Love
4) San Soda – Birdies That Fly
5) Chez Damier – Why (D’s Deep Mix)
6) Unknown WPH…
7) Marcello Napoletano – What’s Going On Detroit?
8) Duckbeats – Repeat Prescription
9) FCL – More Than Seven
10) Tensnake – Come Cat
11) Argy – Sometimes I’m Blind
12) Chymera – The Rumours Of My Demise
13) San Soda – Home Alone Again
14) José James – Blackmagic (Joy Orbison’s Recreation)
15) Simian Mobile Disco – Cruel Intentions (Joker Remix)
16) Asusu – Small Hours