Dirt Crew started out in 2004 and since then has been on the forefront of underground House and Techno, by releasing some of the first records by artists such as "Mano Le Tough", "Chymera", "Till von Sein" and "Tigerskin" they gained a massive following in the House community. They just recently celebrated their 10th Birthday.
After many years of changing music styles and hypes they are very happy to be stronger as ever and still up and running. With the recent success of “Detroit Swindle” whose debut album they released last year they took yet another big leap. This year the label will see more fine new releases from a lot of upcoming young talent like “Nachtbraker”, “Brame & Hamo”, “25 Places”, “Urulu & Steve Huerta”, “Kito Jempere” and now this new EP by “Ponty Mython Feat Sebastien Vorhaus”.
Thanks for taking time to talk to us, should we let you introduce yourself?
My Name is Alex, Ponty Mython. Love Monty Python shows, hate winter. I'm Russian but I've spent my recent years in Vilnius, Lithuania. Changes are necessary, so we moved here with my brother a year ago. Love that city, green & fresh, a lot of good parties in Vilnius, just played on a good techno festival, Supynes here in Lithuania, splendid event!
So it will be your second collaboration with Sebastien Vorhaus after this excellent release “Lux or Cairo EP” under Quintessentials. How guys did you got together? Did you decide to collaborate on 2 releases closed together at first or after the first you though “let’s give it another go”?
Yes, fun thing it was. I brought Sebastien in St Petersburg two years ago on a party as part of his small European tour. We had few more days and tried to make some stuff but nothing got out of it even though there was that feeling: we should push it. So we've tried to do it online (thanks God we are both Logic guys). Sebastien has a great feeling for the sampling groove, every project he sent I would finished them in studio adding stuff: bass from Novation BSII, 707 drums, cowbells. We still do this, every month, he sent me something and I finish it with cowbells. Quite good team we are. And I' still crazy about it, you can team up with somebody from other continents, no borders for music.
So you are with Sebastien Vorhaus on the 90th release for Dirt Crew, quite a mark! Can you tell us a bit more on this new release with Sebastien Vorhaus please?
Oh, that should be a great EP! The first track we did is called "Face Down", deep and dirty. And few more tunes from me. "Mila, It's Not Over" has bubbling bass from Novation and nasty piano stabs, as for "Narcolepsy" I've chopped folk flute, then "Paulette! is about marimba arp. Crazy mix, that's how I like it in house music.
I’ve read a year or so ago you were really inspired with the possibilities with distortion and reverb effect, is it still the case? Have you got any particular favorite equipment or recent kit?
Distortion and reverb, yes I still learn how to treat them right. Tricky bastards! Gonna finish with them by the time I'm 50. To be honest, I couldn't spot any fav device, every new one has a new sound palette. Some people can stuck on MPC for years, I can't. Every month, a new synth. Live is too short to stick to the same machine!
So you have releases under Tusk Wax, No More Hits, Capital Bass, Dirt Crew, Quintessentials and soon Swedish brandy and launched Beats Delivery with Kirill Sergeev few years ago – what is next on your radar?
Around autumn, a few cool tunes will come on 124 Recordings and Simple Things, strong EP on Moscow based label Capital Bass then Swedish Brandy. What else, going to play Ponty Mython's stuff live finally. Also I'm really excited with the new live project Umdieecke we did with my brother. Should be sick.
How your summer is so far and what are you looking for in term of forthcoming gigs?
Going to play in the area here in Vilnius, and there should be a lot of private gigs for my girlfriend since we are in different cities, I owe her a lot of them.
We’ve asked you to select your 5 or so favorite tracks in the recent years. Can you give us a couple of words about why you selected these tracks and what significance they have to you?
With releases on his own Studio Barnhus label and Pampa, Axel Boman is one of the most promising European house producers. He showcases this talent on his latest release for DJ Koze's label; the title track comprises tough, tribal beats and a rolling rhythm, but it also has a warm, fluid bass and expansive chords flows through it. In case there was any lingering doubt about Boman's abilities, he delivers "Nokturn (Grand Finale)". Much faster than the title track, its splintered but insistent percussion, jazzed out stabs and dub effects show that he is one of the most innovative young house artists.
Serbian disco stu Tonbe, together with partner in retro crimes Loshni, get together to compile some late night sleaze for Eurotrash, plain and simple. Tonbe turns in some cosmic party jams in the form of "Cosmic Nag", Disco Frisco" and "Rhapsody" taking in some cheeky well known samples in the process. Loshmi on the other hand goes for the more funky disco house vibe on "Long Night" and does a good re-edit of Fatback's "Is This The Future" on "Sad Future".
"Ambience" from the creatively restless Mele surfaces courtesy of yet another new home, Lobster Boy. The reluctance to be held down to one style is also pleasingly present too, with Mele delivering two new bass bombs, with the title track's carnival-esque fusion of deep tribal beats, diva vocals and absurd breakdown, as well as the quirky, helium laser attack of "UFOZ". Typical Mele - always ahead of the pack.
Greg Vickers aka Afternoons In Stereo is a master at the art of electronica and all things downtempo. Over the years, the majority of his output has come out through the Timewarp label, to which he returns to at present with Retrospective, a collection of his own favourite productions from the last ten years. In there, you'll find his inimitable take on IDM and electro, most vividly represented by classics such as "El Puma", "Metrosexual", or the utterly memorable "Tinto Brass", a favourite around these parts.
2015 is fast turning into Henry Wu's year. Having already delivered killer release of baked deep house/instrumental hip-hop fusion for Ho-Tep and Odd Socks, he now pops up on Rhythm Section International with another brilliant EP. While as deep and blazed as previous excursions, there's a sun-bright freshness to the pleasingly varied selections on offer. Contrast, for example, the deep space, boogie-house slickness of "Yellow Brick", the bruk revivalism of "Neezy (Wok)" - think I.G Culture after a few too many bongs) - and the brilliant deep house/jazz-funk fusion of "Dubplate Special". Arguably best of all, though, is the Latin jazz-goes-deep house warmth of "Croydon Depot". Everyone will have a different personal favourite, though; it's that kind of EP.
It looks like All Good Funk Alliance's Super HiFi label has struck gold with this cheery, electrofunk influenced summer jam from Rory Hoy and former Freak Power vocalist Ashley Slater. The original, which benefits greatly from Slater's distinctive vocals, is the kind of cheery, Chic-influenced mid-tempo jam that sounds like it would cause commotion on festival dancefloors. The remix package is hefty, too. All Good Funk Alliance lead the way with a rubbery electrofunk-meets-nu disco slammer, while House of Phonk turn it into a French Touch influenced house banger. Best of all, though, is DJ Bone's rework, with re-casts the original as a choppy slab of slap bass-heavy P-funk revivalism.
UK legend Dego and killer keys-man Kaidi Tatham have been in a rich vein of form of late, dropping brilliant EPs on Eglo, Sound Signature and Rush Hour (the latter under their 2000Black alias). Here, they return to Eglo with four more slices of warm, rich, soul-flecked fluidity. As with previous outings, much of the material has a laidback jazz-funk feel, particularly "Orbiting Uhara" and the delicious "The Vault Descends" (think bustling bruk rhythms and darting boogie synths). They also offer up some tougher, synth-laden bruk-funk in the shape of "Man Made", while "Black Is Key" sees them unfurl a head-nodding vocal roller.
George Levings is one half of drum'n'bass act Commix, but like Trevino, he is now straying into house and techno, under the Endian guise. It doesn't come as a shock then that Trevino features on this release. The pair's "Exotica" focuses on a deeper and balmier sound than is his wont and over a delicate, skipping rhythm, sub-tropical soundscapes unravel. For the rest of the release, Endian flies solo; the title track is a hypnotic, percussive workout "122 Groover" sees him focus on a more bass-heavy, stepping sound again and "Juno Arps", as the title suggests, is a deep techno workout, led by warbling, sublime melodies.
American DJ and producer Kevin Knapp steps up to Jamie Jones and Lee Foss's Hot Creations via Berlin, the man's current place of residence, and drops some of his bumpy, techy house vibes. "Heft" is all jittery and wonked-out thanks to its wavy vocals chops and swirling mutant low-end, whereas "Not Your House" is contains more of a classic house structure with a heavy succession of high hats, snares and a banging kick, to boot!
As resident at hot Milan club Le Cannibale, Uabos has made some friends in high places. When the time came for a new release he called up his buddy Munk and wrangled a single on Gomma offshoot, Toy Tronics. Not bad going and the music's pretty good too. There are three originals here, the percolating analogue jack-jam "Hard T", the warped and loopy house of "A Spirtual Thing" and the long, cosmically pulsating title track. The latter also gets a remix by Danny 'Legowelt' Wolfer, who delivers a trippier, linear excursion into electro and disco-fied waters.
Two veteran house legends, whose paths have somewhat surprisingly never previously crossed, are together here at last. Better late than never though as, here on I Deserve To Breathe, we see the '80s Respect singer contribute vocals to this choice cut from the MAW legend's forthcoming album. The original is a bouncy slice of 'empowerment house' and there's a multitude of remixes too, including the deep, rich and velvety tones of the instrumental "New Beat Dub" and the tough "No Pad Dub" instrumental DJ tool.
Chart bothering pop-DnB duo Sigma (aka Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie), are on a roll with two recent megahits (Nobody To Love, Changing). The latter was a collaboration with none other than Paloma Faith, and here on "Glitterball" they're aiming for third time lucky by roping in former X Factor contestant Ella Henderson. There's also a very generous selection of mixes of this melodramatic piano-beat anthem too. Highlights include the sinister, 2-step "Not So Glittery" remix by SPY, Hollaphonics' shiny, chromium-plated electro-house version and the 80s arpeggiated joy of Lucas Maverick's "Disco Rack remix".
Here, Vienna's Luv Shack label delivers its' first compilation - a riotously good collection of previously unheard gems from label favourites and selected guests. As usual, the quality threshold is high, and the included music a blend of melodious deep house, disco-influenced party jams, synth-heavy workouts and acid-tinged basement fare. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, from the quirky, summery madness of Full Pupp man Jarle Bruthen's "Italo Mullet", and Space Echo's Afrobeat influenced disco-house jam "Got It", to the yearning, melancholic deepness of Jakobin & Domino's superb set closer, "Retronome".
Something tells us that Jacques Renault has been listening to a lot of rave-era records of late. Certainly, both original tracks on this latest EP for Let's Play House give a sly wink to the bass-heavy, late night swing of early British dance music. Certainly, the sub-bothering bassline and loose, snare-heavy fills at the heart of "Talk System" recall bleep-era house and techno, though there's an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feel to the enveloping production. "Psyched Up" is, if anything, even tougher, with ragged electronic hooks and tribal-influenced percussion in addition to another booming bassline. Each track gets the remix treatment, with John Berara and Will Martin's piano-heavy, early '90s NYC take on "Talk System" standing out.
John Digweed's mighty Bedrock imprint is back in summer 2015 with the second instalment of the Underground Sound Of Ibiza series, a section of the imprint dedicated to their parties down in the Balearics. The CD release is split into three discs, so we'll break down for you likewise: the first twenty cuts are more club-minded, driven and representative of their peak time hours, featuring the likes of Jozif, Carlo Lio, Ramon Tapia and Nick Muir, while the final ten are supposed to make you enter into their early hours - 8am - or better, when the downtempo are unleashed...Marc Romboy and Nick Warren feature within, among others.
Following a quietly impressive 2014, in which he delivered pleasing material on Toy Tronics and Mr Carter, Maurice Uzzan brings his Whitesquare project to 20:20 Vision. There's an atmospheric, late night feel throughout, as Uzzan effortlessly blurs the boundaries between deep house and tech-house. That's most noticeable on the dark and murky opener, "Someone Else", but also a feature of "Abraxas", with its stretched-out organ chords, trippy electronics, shuffling grooves and military drum fills. There's a little more bass-heavy, chopped-up party flavour to "About The Past", while "Peaks" delivers a lesson in the spine-tingling powers of deep, melodious and dreamy deep house.
Highlife man and Auntie Flo collaborator Esa Williams has decided to co-credit this surprise outing on Local Talk to his little used deep house alias, Mervin Granger. While the booming, bass-heavy, tech-tinged deep house roughness of "MVK" that will get most attention, it's opener "Bontas (Live Mix)" that really floats our boat. It takes a similar approach, but has a looser swing and benefits greatly from some live guitars, keys and bass. BBE regular Bodhi Satva provides the obligatory remixes, turning "MVK" into a rubbery chunk of Afro-influenced tech-soul/deep house fusion on the superb "Ancestral Soul Remix". For a lighter, even sunnier vibe, check the delicious piano solos and breezy beats of his "Thump Remix".
London purveyors of all things funky, Jalapeno Records, are back with the Golden Girls (featuring none other than Phil Hartnoll of Orbital) and a slew of slick remixes of their legendary '90s rave classic "Kinetic". First up is Brighton's Aotoa complete with stomping breakbeat and horn stabs, a real party starter. The NSFW remix is a kicking funky house rendition channelling the MK vibes and utilising that First Choice sample damn well! Pirate Jams turn in a good one too with its big room uplifting house complete with original breakbeat and filtered breakdown. Did we mention there's an Instrumental of that version too? Finally Lindo Man's is a deep and atmospheric UK bass rendition.
Steve Bug's Poker Flat has carefully curated the various shades of tech house rather remarkably for the better part of fifteen years and its showing no signs of slowing down. New Signee Andre Hommen follows up great releases on Objektivity and Plastic City with "Introspectral", a clever title which lives up to its name. There's the original mix and the dub. The former is the kind of moody, peak time dark house you'd expect to hear from Carl Craig or Ame with its building, entrancing stabs and soaring strings; brilliant! The latter is more restrained by comparison, stripping things down for more of a cool down track. Lastly there's "Centrifuge" with its smooth tom drum work out and epic, rising sub bassline having the potential for another soulful dancefloor anthem this year. Tip!
Sergey Silvertone is back on Vintage Music, the label where he got his productions off the ground back in 2010. The mood is housey, as always, and Silvertone has got seven summer blasters for you to get hold of. Our top picks are "In My Mind" - featuring Sunner Soul - for its loungey, meditative vibes; "This Is" also pricked our ears up thanks to its glitch, minimalistic style a-la Rhadoo, and "Rain In The Heart" has to be in there, too, for that driving, pulsating bassline.