VARIOUS ARTISTSCompilation 3 Above The City(CULPRIT)One of my favourite labels of the last couple of years, Culprit, are back once again with their annual compilation ‘Above The City’. The compilation series is intricately tied to the label’s signature parties at the Standard Hotel in downtown L.A, which is now in it’s 6th year and spawned the label back in 2009. The ‘Above The City’ series stays faithful to the established series template, being a collection of seven individual tracks from exciting, emerging talent mixed with a couple of familiar names. This really appeals to me as it goes from the slower more groovy sounds of Lorenzo Dada through pre sunset dance floor vibes on Raxon and Adriatique finishing with the post sunset end of party feeling that you get from Lonely Boy.OSUNLADEDionne / What Gets You High[YORUBA RECORDS]I’m always a huge fan of Osunlade’s music and I had the pleasure of hearing him DJ this summer in Ibiza at one of Defected’s parties and he was incredible, showing some much genuine passion for his music, inspiring to see. ‘Dionne’ is a one off a kind rarity. This track sees Osunlade draw from the lovely days of old, playing homage to House music as it once was, when vocal edits were the vibe and pulse of an emerging sound. With traditional bata drums, filters that would put you in the mind of classic Nick Holder and just good old fashioned groove on top of groove. The B side is an ode to the Bossa sound with a pulsating heartbeat, funky melodies and smooth Rhodes topped with a quirky yet fun vocal asking the question ‘What Gets You High?’ Great 2 track release that illustrates why Osunlade is much loved by me and many others!Various ArtistsLittle Black Book (mixed and compiled by Hot Since 82)(MODA BLACK)Little Black Book is the new concept series from Moda Black, which will play host to some of the most interesting, exciting and innovative electronic music artists. Part album, part mix compilation, part remix package, part crate digging expedition so the Little Black Book invites the listener into a more personal place than ever before as the conducting artist creates a body of work that reflects on their past success, whilst venturing into their future aspirations. So for their first outing they have got together with Hot Since 82 who’s career has exploded in 2013 becoming on of the biggest successes stories to come out of underground music. Hot Since 82 has taken remixing to the next level with his incredible interpretations of: Green Velvet, Rudimental and Shadow Child all becoming anthems. He has played every key Ibiza party. He was recently awarded Pete Tong’s Essential New Tune on BBC Radio 1 and has been inducted into the Essential Mix hall of fame. This mix showcases just why he is in such demand, incredible production mixed with great ideas making this an unmissable item for Hot Since 82 fans!APPAppiness(WET YOURSELF)The Wet Yourself label was born out of the infamous weekly Sunday event at London’s legendary Fabric club and App are one of the residents as any of their loyal fans will know. App are August Jokobsen and Peter Pixel, Peter one of the Wet Yourself owners along side Cormac and Jocob Husley. They have previously released on labels like: DIYnamic, Kindisch, Watergate and 3rd Floor and have had DJ support from the worlds finest such as: Deetron, Ivan Smagghe, Matthew Dear, Laurent Garnier, Erol Alkan, Ewan Pearson, Slam, Dudfire and Maceo Plex to name but a few. The ‘Appiness’ album boats a broad spectrum of styles and shows their forward thinking experimental feel. I have been lucky enough to play with App this year at one of the worlds leading electronica festivals, Stella Polaris in Denmark and their live set shows off their raw talent and technical skills. There will be a remix album to follow early 2014 to keep a look out for that and other forthcoming releases.THE NORMALITESThe Normalites(SUBATOMIC)The Normalites for those who don’t know are chill out dons Afterlife and Chris Coco. This project began in 2007 when their debut single ‘Pink Skyscrapper’ appeared on compilations like Hotel Costes from Paris and my Cafe Mambo compilation also back in 2007. And here we are 6 years on with a full album. I was at a dinner party recently where the whole album played from start to finish and it makes great listening all the way through, there is so much variety and interest in there. This project has been produced by Steve Miller (Afterlife) and the vocals on the album come curtsy of Chris Coco making for a great partnership. Some of my favourites include the deep house vibes of ‘All I Need’, then ‘Campervan’ is so amusing and has been a permanent fixture for my Bestival DJ sets for the last couple of years. The guys almost turn into the Rolling Stones on ‘My Best Friend’ and lastly ‘Pink Skyscrapper’ with it’s Dub influences makes this such a uniquely varied and wonderful album!
Having been offered an all-expenses paid trip to Copenhagen for the grand finale of the Stella Polaris festival (and it is grand; set as it is in the grounds of Frederiksberg Slot in Copenhagen, the former summer home of the Danish royal family); I was in a pretty buoyant mood as I queued to board the plane in sunny Manchester, but it was at that point that I realised that the passport in my hand may not cut the mustard, for it was my brother’s.
After several rounds of nominations that took in Techno, US Garage, big vocals, deep house, new school Chicago Jack and the finest UK House, the guys at Faith Fanzine present the magnificent 21 house tunes of the 1990′s.
Lilly Denning is a new singer / songwriter from the South East of England. Lilly gives us her take on life in the 21st century with this, her debut and it’s beautifully crafted and heart felt, it’s acoustic, yet electronic and it’s uplifting and oozes positivity. Production duties come from the non other than Steve Miller the acclaimed chill out producer a.k.a Afterlife. For me this track in some ways in reminiscent of: Oasis ‘Wonderwall’, Lamb ‘Goreki’ and Massive Attacks ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ in that it has that level of emotion, it’s intensity builds layer upon layer and strings, guitars and beats are added as the song develops and it’s something I have been hamming at sunset this summer in Ibiza at Cafe Mambo and getting countless people asking what it is, not to be missed as it’s a very special track.
Selador Sessions Volume 1 (Mixed and compiled by Dave Seaman)
In April 2013 Dave Seaman once again made compilation history. 24 years previously he had been the first DJ to mix a compilation CD, alongside Carl Cox to deliver Mixmag Live Volume 1. The compilation market has evolved countlessly since, in fact it’s stretched to breaking point in recent times yet Dave continues to show enduring interest in the art form but he has also shown it could remain ground – breaking. So in a nut shell Dave put not only his reputation as a DJ on the line but the reputation of his new label Selador Records founded with partner Steve Parry on the line earlier this year when he announced that he would be the first DJ in the world you use the crowd funding website kickstarter, where your fans pledge money to fund the project, if you don’t hit your target the project fails and Dave needed £25,000 to be raised in 1 month and ended up with £32,000. The album is now finished and as expected is a masterclass that showcases Dave’s faultless mixing, perfect programming and his exception musical taste over 2 CD’s. The CD acts partly as a showcase for Selador Records by featuring tracks from some of their artists like: Han Hak and Paul Rutherford along with a track form Dave Seaman and Funkagenda. It also features other productions from Dave from 2013, among these are the Inxec remix of his ‘Toxic Picnic’ track and Florian Meindl’s remix of ‘Holy Ghost’. It features other tracks from labels like: Dirty Bird, Circus, Suara, Get Physical, Systematic, Hot Flush, Cocoon and Last Night On Earth among others.
(DESIRE / MODULOR)
At the end of October 2013 Ricardo Tobar will release his long awaited debut album ‘Treillis’ on the established French label Desire. Ricardo has been one of my favourite electronica producers for the last 2 years by consistently delivering cutting edge, forward thinking intelligent music with his past releases on labels like: Boarder Community and Traum Schallplatten. The combination of old drum machines, analogue equipment and old samples recorded years ago to create dirty drum sounds, modulated synth sounds and keeping far away from the more polished feel that most artists use. What really does it for me though with his productions is what he adds to this distorted sound bed, the vibe is often esoteric and profoundly touches you and transports you to another dimension, in a similar way to the music of another favourite of mine, Aphex Twin.
Ku De Ta Volume 4 (compiled by Jim Breese)
If your familiar with South East Asia you will know that Ku De Ta in Bali is one of the leading high end brands in that part of the world. I have been lucky enough to play there a few times and if you can imagine a restaurant like London’s Hakkasan on a beautifully tropical, white sandy beach, your getting close, as the location is stunning. It also plays host to some incredible parties with some of the world’s biggest DJ’s and they also have a fantastic sunset view just like we have in Ibiza. Ku De Ta are on now on Volume 4 of their very cool compilation series which have been lovingly complied by ex Cafe Mambo resident DJ mate of mine Jim Breese. The collection glides though infectious mid-tempo pop edged vocal tracks to funky modern Disco to hypnotic Deep House. These CD’s have something so many compilation series don’t have and that’s their own sound and every track is high quality. Volume 4 features highlights from people like: Karmon, Submotion Orchestra, Satin Jackets, Volta Cab and Sare Havlicek and listening to it transports you to Ku De Ta, so if your ever in Bali make sure you pop down and see what all the fuss is about!
And Also With You
Brewing up an emotive blend of lo-fi House from his home studio in darkest Epping Forest, production protege Tythe released his debut long player earlier this summer, with excellent remixes from David Lynch and Crystal Fighters. Tythe has been filtering through the internet since early 2012. The track that initially catch my attention in a big way was ‘Totem Poles’ this has been played endlessly by me in Ibiza all summer and on my Global Network radio show it’s blissfully Balearic House music at it’s finest and one of my favourite tracks this year. The rest of the album is also very good indeed. In his own words ‘Getting this album together has been an unexpected labour of love’ And this is evident upon listing.
Last Night In Utopia
Pezzner a true composer/producer and makes a lot of his living from commercial sound design work. Pezzner is basically filling in all the spaces between disco, house, techno, acid, ambient and everything in between. He’s basically a stay-at-home dad living in the artsy district of Seattle and touring occasionally. Whether it’s the banal or the beautiful, Seattle based Dave Pezzner doesn’t discriminate when sourcing inspiration for ‘Last Night in Utopia’. Recorded largely during a busy touring period in December 201. Never one to toe any kind of sonic line, Pezzner has been plying his craft since the ‘90s, originally as part of the much-loved Jacob London outfit (with Bob Hansen). In 2008 he switched his focus to a solo output, issuing singles and remixes on quality imprints such as 8 Bit, Crosstown Rebels offshoot label RebelLION, Dirtybird, Ovum Recordings, Anjunadeep, Leftroom, Systematic and Freerange, the home of his debut album ‘The Tracks are Alive’, to name but a few. Now with ‘Last Night in Utopia’ he’s taken the aural experimentation a step further. It’s fifteen tracks of music freestyling, yet with enough form and vision to flow from start to finish, and is every bit the exhilarating sonic joyride you’re expect from a producer enjoying the finest creative patch of his career.
Veteran music producer Steve Miller aka Afterlife with a selection of Ibiza Chill-Out classics.
Greg Wilson introduces London based French DJ / Producer, Nicolas Laugier better known The Reflex. The Reflex has recently come to prominence in underground dance circles via his ‘Reflex Revisions’, which are basically remixes as they used to be back in the day (expect, of course, that they’re unofficial), when the remixer worked purely from the original parts, reinterpreting what was recorded on the multitrack, rather than replacing stuff wholesale, or even changing everything so that the original only remains in name, as became the case later down the line when record companies saw the possibility of selling, let’s say, a Techno track to a Hip Hop audience. Nowadays it’s the norm for a variety of mixes in different genre styles to be commissioned, in order to maximise club exposure, but in earlier times there’d generally be the one remix of a track, often with a more dubbed out / instrumental alternative, but very much recognisable as the original recording from a different angle.
The boom in digital streaming may generate profits for record labels and free content for consumers, but it spells disaster for today’s artists across the creative industries. More at The Guardian
Robot 84 recorded at Pikes Hotel Ibiza
We love to feature mixes that capture a DJ exploring more eclectic tastes. Mixes like this are all about the track selection and the mood they create. When it’s done right, like it is here, you end up with something that has a timeless collectable quality – the kind of mix that used live in your car on cassette for months, if not years, and then resurface at family gatherings and parties.
Secret Life were there to capture this recording ‘Live’ in Ibiza when Scott Ferguson (aka Robot 84) was invited to play at the legendary Pikes Hotel (now Ibiza Rocks House) for one of their “Lazy Sunday” parties. Recorded on a hot Sunday afternoon it mixes old with new, classic Balearic with modern disco and is clearly a labour of love from start to finish.
If ever there’s a place where this selection would work then it must be Pikes. The hotel was founded by Anthony Pike in the late 1970’s and became famous for the wild excesses of 1980’s celebrities. It was the venue for the most hedonistic party of them all when Freddie Mercury celebrated his birthday on Ibiza. The venue was of course famously captured on film when a young George Michael and Andrew Ridgley chose to film the music video for Wham’s ‘Club Tropicana’ around the famous swimming pool.
Another mix recorded live in Ibiza this summer. Here’s a recording of Ibiza legend DJ Alfredo recorded as part of Secret Life @ Savannah Sunset Bar.
A great balearic selection from Swedish DJ Jens Peterson Hällefors. Last year Jens plundered the catalogue of EMI records to start a series of albums with a Balearic slant that has now reached 14 volumes. Jens’ mix captures perfectly the spirit of those eclectic 80′s Ibiza DJ sets so hopefully this will be the first of many mixes from him. More about the compilation series below from the eMusic website.
“Like Krautrock and Northern Soul, Balearic Beat is a genre not recognized by those who created it. And, like the aforementioned musical categories, it was the Brits who bestowed this name on the sound they “discovered.” As the story goes, UK DJs Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling and Trevor Fung holidayed in Ibiza, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, in 1987. Chicago’s thumping house beats were sweeping clubland’s most forward-leaning dancefloors while aggressive, four-to-the-floor house remixes started streamlining and homogenizing records originally recorded as R&B, Latin freestyle and synthpop.
But in Ibiza, dance music was still all over the board: Quirky recent Europop hits, New Wave oldies, early house, offbeat disco, art-rock, jazz-funk, world music, dub reggae, near-ambient cuts — nearly any ’70s/’80s style with a syncopated rhythm that felt good in warm weather and got tourists dancing — were all being played at clubs like Amnesia, which sported an open-air dancefloor that heightened the free-spirited Mediterranean vibe.
Oakenfold, Rampling and Fung then brought Ibiza’s eclectic programming philosophy back to London. Unlike other genre trends favored by the DJ cognoscenti, the resulting Balearic Beat didn’t take hold because it was intrinsically pan-genre and anti-trend — like Northern Soul, the name referred to the region that claimed certain records as its own, and not to their place of origin. Balearic’s embrace of anything-goes grooves slower and gentler than house’s pounding 120-and-up BPMs paved the way for massive international hits by Soul II Soul, Enigma and other acts that went on to inspire chillout and trip-hop. As the current wayward programming of Lindstrøm, Aeroplane and other recent EDM fusionists have proven, Balearic is arguably hipper than ever today.
We’re explaining all this because we’d like to share our enthusiasm for a ridiculously entertaining series of compilations that have been in our library since last fall but feel particularly right for this summer. Compiled in Sweden by EMI staffer Jens Peterson Hällefors, the Balearic series is arguably the most out-there digital-only collection of music ever presented by a major label. At 11 volumes specializing in house, rock, soft rock, leftfield dance, electronic, world, reggae, pop, ambient, progressive rock and “blend” (an introductory sampler), Balearicgoes deep, deeeeeep into the aesthetic to embrace both familiar cuts and oddities that will delight even the most dedicated diggers. Some are bona-fide Ibiza classics while many are choice cuts presented in the same boundary-crossing spirit, yet with a Scandinavian slant: This is the first time that most of the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish acts presented here alongside their American, English, German, Jamaican, Japanese, Brazilian, French, Belgian, South African, Australian and Spanish brethren have ever snagged a legitimate international release.”
Written by Barry Walters and available from www.emusic.com