Funky house of the classiest order, BSTC drop the “Love It” single complete with mixes by Phil Asher and Reel People, and suddenly summer seems almost close enough to touch.
The original combines a funky vibe (almost broken beat with a house swing and tempo) along with live keys and bass that provides some serious bounce, letting JL’s soulful vocals flow over the top like butter. The amazing expression in his voice isn’t hampered or impaired, in fact it’s complimented nicely by synth-brass that let him reach nice crescendos at the end of some lines.
The Reel People mix builds on all this goodness but firms up the beat even more, making it the natural choice for the floor. Phil Asher’s Restless Soul mix however is a real departure – making the vibe more downbeat and deep. The space that Asher creates in his mix (centered on the drums and some subby bass) really exposes the joys of the multi-layered JL vocal. There’s also an acapella to let you enjoy the vocal even more, as well as some bonus beats of Asher’s mix to let you use the crisp drums to your heart’s content.
Few DJs in recent years have had such an incredible rise to the top as Naples’ native Riva Starr. His Balkan-influenced collaboration with Noze “I Was Drunk” has become his calling card and now he’s treating fans to this incredible remix collection, on Jesse Rose’s Made To Play imprint.
The legendary DJ Sneak, a colossus of Chicago house and an inspiration for a generation of producers, turns in two unique mixes that are both utterly essential. His Drunken Main mix is simple but wildly effective – taking the original, chopping up sections and extending the tension via some masterful build-ups. It’s the perfect tool for DJs – staying faithful to the original while still adding that peak-hour excitement – and there’s also an instrumental to play with too. Sneak’s Drunken Disco mix is more radical but just as powerful. Stripping out the accordions and acoustic guitars, he layers the vocal over a deep jacking beat that slowly builds around it. More radical but just as cool is Spiller and 2 Guys in Venice’s remix that transforms the whimsical original into a harsh, almost industrial electro stomp before brilliantly ushering in the original over a cavalcade of lice handclaps.
Horatio and Katoline come through for the tech house fans with a stunning deep and driving version as do Israeli duo P.T.M, who construct a thrillingly intense mix that uses cuts from the original to lift the vibe to grand heights. As if all this wasn’t enough, the single also includes a huge new mix of “Dance Me” by Jesse Rose that can only be described as explosive. A truly great collection of mixes from the cream of the crop – you’d be mad to pass up on these drunken masters!
With “Youth, Speed, Trouble, Cigarettes” proving to be one of last year’s most ubiquitous tunes, it’s clear Cassius’ long career is still on the grow. The duo of producers – AKA Hubert “Boom Bass” Blanc-Francard and Philippe “Zdar” Cerboneschi – who also go by their equally pivotal La Funk Mob alias re-release the tune that first broke Cassius into the mainstream, complete with a pair of great mixes.
Thankfully, the Donna Summer-sampling original still sounds great in 2010 – the jumbled up beats and classic French house filters still sound fresh as a daisy, as well as more than a bit copied over the years. Tim Green steps up and gives it a slightly deeper sheen, working up the vocals into an exciting drop and filling out the beat with extra percussion. A producer on the rise, this mix sits nicely alongside his mixes for Claude Von Stroke and his releases on Sven Vath’s Cocoon imprint. Cheap Thrills’ resident Italian destroyers Reset! also have a ball with “99″, working in a bassline that sounds like a fidget tribute to 90′s French house, as well as introducing some seriously vicious builds that sound like a black hole collapsing in on itself! It’s raucous stuff, and combined with those familiar vocals from the original, it’s bound to be quite a big tune in months to come.
The 2 Bears are Joe Goddard and Raf Rundell. They look like they could be brothers. They also kind of look like bears. Best of all, they’ve teamed up to make some killer house tracks on Southern Fried, and, to celebrate, we’ve got them to name their top tunes of the month for our latest featured DJ Chart…
British Soul ambassador Omar will forever be associated with his debut smash, smooth classic “There’s Nothing Like This”. But there are many strings to Omar’s bow, including collaborations with Common, Erykah Badu and Stevie Wonder, and now these wonderful remixes courtesy of German label Peppermint Jam, run by Mousse T.
“Lay It Down” gets a deep and soulful house treatment from Andre Lodemann, who gently brings in Omar’s cooing vocals while reigning in the beat, only to kick back in with some genius disco stabs. On a more pulsing techno vibe, Show-B takes on “Your Mess” and lets the full acapella flow over a moody soundboard of acid basslines and constantly evolving strings.
Triad (the collaborative project of producers Henree, Bass Tikal and LF Flow) take “Stylin’” out for a proper deep rubdown – juggling tight hi-hats, long lingering strings and some lovely spaced out synth stabs, all the while balanced perfectly around Omar’s multi-tracked vocals. Triad also turn in an adventurous mix of “Lay It Down”, which comes in at 170bpm and is loaded with sparse and fidgety drums. It’s a great change of pace and vibe, and really gives the remix collection an edge without sticking out like a sore thumb.
Artist: Kerri Chandler Title: The Essentials (Nite Grooves) Label:NiteGrooves US Genre: Funky/Club House Format: Digital Buy From:Juno Download
Whether it’s deep, afro, or tech house it always sounds soulful when it comes to Mr. “Kaos 6:23”. The New Jersey native is responsible for producing countless classics such as “Atmosphere”, “Inspiration” with Arnold Jarvis, “Escravos de Jo” with Joe Claussell and “Get it Off” just to name a few. More recently with “Bar A Thym” and “Pong” he’s definitely attracted new ears to his broad spectrum of sound. Looking at the bulk and wide range of this gentleman’s work, it is safe to say that if you are a Kerri Chandler fan or just started listening to him, this is definitely for you.
The Essentials serves up a good handful of releases from legendary US Garage labels Nite Grooves and King Street Sounds. Other than ‘Bar A Thym”, there are other great deep Kerri tracks: “Harder Gets Harder” and “It’s You”. More uplifting, vocal tracks balance the pallette out with: “I Never Knew Her”, “The Sun’s Coming Up”, the gospel number “Hallelujah”, and then ending with the classic “Just Wanna Be With U (King Street Mentality Club)”
For me, Kerri Chandler was one of those names back then that really stuck out, flipping through stacks of vinyl in record stores back in college. He always had this warm soulful sound that was easily accessible. This release will be nostalgic to others, but will also provide a good intro to his work to newcomers. These days, other than his DJ sets around the globe, he’s still churning out so much dance music, evolving his sound all the time. Pretty impressive. Looks like this man won’t be slowing down one bit.
Black Van is the collaboration between two of dance music’s most prolific producers and remixers, Kris Menace and KoweSix. “Yearning” is their debut track together and will showcase their combined love of dance music when it sees release on DFA Records this week.
Kris Menace is best known for his anthemic “Discopolis” as well as for his idiosyncratic remixes for the likes of Underworld, Depeche Mode, Air, Royksopp and of course, LCD Soundsytem, for whom he remixed “North American Scum”. James Murphy was a particular fan of this remix, so much so that he has remained in contact with Kris ever since, ultimately leading to DFA’s signing of “Yearning”. KoweSix, meanwhile, is one half of the Hamburg based duo, Moonbootica, who has two studio albums, five compilations and over fifty remixes of acts such as Adam Freeland and Junkie XL under his belt.
“Yearning” is the beginning of the journey for the pair. An album is on the way but for now we have this track which effortlessly combines the past with the future. This disco twisted house track storms along with real vigour right from the beginning, its 4/4 beat and relentless bass joined by shimmering keys that wash across the entire track. Only faltering once, the tune is then built back up and beyond.
The single remix comes from Emperor Machine who delivers an eight minute long, mind bending fusion of disco, psychedelia, funk and electro. Its percussion and intense rhythm make it the full throttled, evil twin of the original cut.
James Curd has beaten his own path from cult indie band Greenskeepers (a favourite of John Peel) to a respected DJ and beat-merchant over the last few years. His new EP In With The Old, In With The New shows off the range of styles that the Chicago-born producer has got under his belt. We chased him down to find out what tunes are floating his musical boat so far in 2010, and he admits it wasn’t an easy choice.
Artist: James Curd Title: In With The Old, In With The New Label: Greenskeepers Genre: Funky House/Club House Format: Digital Buy From:Juno Download
Exclusive to Juno, here are four tracks from Chicago-born producer James Curd. Having beaten his own path from cult indie band Greenskeepers (a favourite of John Peel), he’s made a name for himself as a DJ and beat-merchant over the last few years. In With The Old… shows off the range of styles that Curd’s got under his belt.
Anyone who was partial to his 2009 DFA single “We Just Won’t Stop” will love “Party Over Here”, a house tune anchored by a jazzy piano and brushes, with some clarinet reminiscent of vintage Mr Scruff. It seems like Mr Curd has been rifling through some pretty vintage records looking for samples, as the trad jazz vibe spills over onto “Be My Baby”, which breaks into a 50′s doo-wop vocal loop, similar to “The Wiseguys Start The Commotion”, over a classy house beat.
“Can You Get It” is a heavier, synth-disco odyssey that doesn’t lose any of its funkiness under the vocoders and big hard riffs. “Got To Have” is even bigger, complete with face-melting distortion in the vein of Justice’s “Let There Be Light”. Peppered with live drum fills and a guitar solo (remember those?), it’s truly stadium-sized.
For the uninitiated, Diplo is a Philadelphia-based DJ with a penchant for baile funk and Miami Bass. He runs his own hugely successful label Mad Decent and is one half of dancehall duo Major Lazer – in other words, a hugely talented (and busy) man. The ubiquitous Major Lazer debut LP Guns Don’t Kill People, Lazers Do was the ultimate soundtrack of summer 2009, well received by both critics and dancefloors. Juno Plus quizzed Diplo about his favourite tunes from what has been a hectic 12 months…
Artist: Attacca Pesante feat. Shae Soul Title: Make It Funky For Me Label: Digital Soundboy Genre: Funky/Club House Format: Digital Buy From: Juno Download
Word on the street is that Shy FX has signed the South London tripartite collective, Attacca Pesante, to his illustrious Digital Soundboy label. The question on your lips, no doubt, is why?
Well, Make It Funky For Me, feat. Shae Soul (think sexy, soulful vocals over deliciously, dirty beats) is one of those delectably “funky” tracks with an infectious groove and echoes of R&B, soul, jungle, house and garage. Which, of course, means it is just crying out for a remix, and Shy FX & Benny Page, Rusko, and Roqwell & I Sancho oblige, with some smashing re-licks, bringing out the fresh-faced jungle and dubstep-infused flavours, with a pumping rave-tastic house version too.
It’s already received widespread support from Mistajam, Annie Mac and the 1xtra DJs, and will no doubt be a hit with any discerning dance music fan too.
Review: Belinda Rowse
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