2Pac | Pour Out A Little Liquor

skaters

Recently, after realising that the cd changer in my car is mostly loaded with smooth gangsta hip hop, someone asked me if I just cruise around listening to G-funk all the time. Aside from the odd dance promo loaded onto my phone the answer is yes. Along with Dr. Dre’s landmark album The Chronic it’s been 2Pac’s Thug Life Volume 1 that I’ve had on more than anything else so far this summer.

There are a load of timeless tunes on there like Shit Don’t Stop and Bury Me A G but for me it’s always Pour Out A Little Liquor that kills it the most. The poignant subject matter and lucid verses make it one of the best (and probably un-coincidentally one of the most well known tracks) on what is arguably Pac’s creamiest record.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Traffic | Dream Gerrard

1501305_10101299533787649_660169027_o

‘Scuse the lack of post action lately. We, probably like you, have been too busy eating ice creams / swatting wasps / getting tap aff inappropriately. Enjoying the summer, is what I’m trying to say.

Although top notch house and techno records have come to dominate the time I spend listening to or mixing tunes, these months are also ideal for dusting off music of a gentler, more languid persuasion. Traffic’s beautiful 11 minute opus ‘Dream Gerrard’, a track which used to be my alarm clock, still holds a special place in my cold, bitter heart.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Six Axle Podcast 048 // Owain K [Arthouse, Dessous Recordings, 200, Tsuba Records]

1003027_539371006150946_363591868_n

Mix 048 is here and arrives fresh from the Welsh capital.

At the heart of every city’s music scene there are a few individuals who hold it all together, whose names are always the last on the list but the ones you want to see the most; the guys you’ve seen mix a thousand times but get something completely different from each time. Sometimes these guys run the nights, sometimes they’re the local producer and sometimes they’re just good old-fashioned DJ’s with a proper ear and a bag full of goodies. The thing about these ‘proper heads’ is they’ve been there before, they’ve seen the trends come and go, and their reluctance to be wooed by what’s ‘hot’ ensures they protect the integrity of the city’s nightlife. One of these guys is Owain K. A master selector and steely-eyed producer (literally), Owain’s contribution to Cardiff’s electronic music world cannot be understated.

Aside from his mixing talents, Owain’s production work is tight too. Having previously released multiple records with Jamie Anderson on Dessous, 200 and Outland Records, Owain has just dropped his latest release the ‘Impressions EP’ on Anderson’s own Arthouse Imprint. The EP itself is some top-drawer tackle and Owain proclaims it as some of his best work to date. Be sure to check out the release here and while you’re at it, give the ‘New Horizon’ music video a watch.

As for the mix, it is everything I’ve come to expect from one of Cardiff’s best DJ’s and one of the soundest guys in business. Enjoy.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download

 

DJ Assault | Sex On The Beach

all checkered synth player

Ghetto strains of dance music are intrinsically infectious in the same way Uk garage is but like Uk garage they can often be a little formulaic or cheesy, all the art sacrificed for function. Up their with DJ Deeon as a purveyor of booty shaking jams that both slay dance floors and meet critical standards is long-time-in-the-game Detroit producer Dj Assault. This right here is one of his sleaziest tracks.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Mark Ambrose | Greetings From Madam Dominique

538986_1378501219042024_241846922_n

Scuse me while I count down the seconds, minutes and hours…

Yessir it’s nearly Freerotation, a weekend-long celebration of top shelf electronic music, and without doubt the finest house party on the planet. While Mark Ambrose’s masterly ‘Greetings From Madam Dominique’ doesn’t necessarily fall in line with Freero’s generally more US-indebted ‘classic’ sound, it’s one of many records I’ve been absent-mindedly putting on all afternoon while I box off my festival check list.

See yawl in the dome.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Waldemar Schwartz | Taza de Oro / Krav Maga Girls

spiderman harlem

“I don’t have a drum kit, but laying down a nasty bass line, that’s my job.”

Weighing in on Golf Channel with his debut release as Waldemar Schwartz is NYC native Bogdan Irkuk who has put together a couple of tracks that are both worthy contenders for being THE summer jam of 2014. Each cut is an expertly made piece of modern disco that pretty much makes the entire output of the ‘nu-disco’ scene of the last five years sound like monkeys fucking about on Fisher Price keyboards.

Both tunes are defined by their uplifting melodies and groove heavy percussion with Krav Maga Girls perhaps being the vibier of the two but with a criminally short, under four minute playing time. With it’s slight advantage in length and less breakdown-centric structure Taza de Oro is probably the one we’ll reach for most, deploying those blissful synths for maximum, sun soaked euphoria as and when is necessary. The word on the street is that DJ harvey has been dropping this one in his sets. High praise indeed, not that it’s necessarily needed for a label of such pedigree though. Cop the vinil here.

Taza de Oro

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Krav Maga Girls

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Nature Boy | Prayer

scan166-XL_zpse81ae1ea

Milo Johnson is one of the best doing that rough New York sound currently. Top knackers on both the decks and in the studio, the now Bristol-based jock is making tunes as Dj Nature that stand up to even his truly seminal work as Nature Boy in the early 90s.

‘Prayer’ rumbles along like many disco-sampling house tracks have since. But it’s those small differences that separate genius from imitator – the depth and funk of its rough-round-the-edges base and drums, that subtle timeless quality – that render it a particular highlight of a sought-after LP.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Formule Express | Apple Pie

2404954583_887e22b3c9_z_zps72ab87f3

‘Apple Pie’ is total electric relaxation, a stripped back French house groover that’s both the finest hour of Adult Only’s excellent early output, and, p’raps more debatably, of its makers – Jef K, Chris Carrier and Guillaume La Tortue.

It’s no secret that French producers in the late 90s / early 00s dealt in some of the best drum patterns house music’s ever seen – but not normally to this sort of blissful, languid end.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra | Vendetta (Mark Pritchard Remix)

animation robot gif

Heads up on the new Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra compilation CD! It brings together a load of remixes from previous twelve inches on the label as well as a bunch of original tracks. Disc 1 is pure, instrumented disco of varying shades and paces that is all bound together by partial adherence to the traditional formula of the late 1970s and also a strong latin American vibe. Disc 2 is full of tidy remixes from people like Marcellus Pittman, Mark E and Theo Parrish, many of which have been previously available on vinyl.

While those names don’t fail to catch the eye and their mixes are top tackle, the one we’ve actually listened to most is Mark Pritchard’s remix of Vendetta. For a guy who has made some pretty bumping grime and techno as recently as last year it’s surprisingly gentle and all unfolds at sub 120 bpm. It does have some gnarly synth work though that gives it a tougher edge which is what ultimately turns it into a potent warm up track or a serious jam for those who keep their sets in the lower tempos.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

K15 | Hall of Memories / Bordeaux (Kaidi Tatham Remix)

freaky fur coat dude - hi rez

I didn’t know much about K15 when I got sent the tracks from his new ep on WotNot Music and in terms of biographical information I still don’t. A quick google search pulled up this mix which covers lots of musical bases; more than a cursory non-electronic introduction track there is a solid forty minutes of choral piano music, blues, funk, afro, hip-hop (check the Queen Latifah tune!) and various shades of jazz before it eventually switches up to soulful 4/4 (check the Karizma and Hanna joints!) Like most good dance music producers the guys got a broad taste in music and it’s this eclecticism that informs his tracks on WotNot and the two accompanying remixes; the title track Bordeaux is all improvised, loungey jazz riffs built over a loopier house beat.

His other tune, Hall of Memories, is much darker and moodier. It’s like a deeper take on Kyle Hall’s kind of sound and makes you realise why K15 has material scheduled for release on Wild Oats. The Glenn Astro & IMYRMIND remix of Bordeaux is tight but I am a little tired of that detuned chord sound a la Kerri Chandler. What I have listened to repeatedly though is Kaidi Tatham’s remix of the same tune. The levels of both jazz and funk are maximised significantly and sped up by ten bpm. Kaidi also adds a lot of complex, infectious rhythms that make it really danceable but (I am predicting) a difficult one to mix. Cop some wavs right here.

Hall of Memories

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bordeaux (Kaidi Tatham Remix)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

DJ Sneak | Amiz

alien wrestler masks - hi rez

There’s a reason DJ Sneak now tours the world eating barbecue and getting in fights with other DJ’s and the whole of Liverpool on Twitter. It’s because ages ago he made some decent music. One of his best and most slept on tracks is to be found on the b-side of his Blue Funk Ep from ’94. It’s deep loopy techno, basically just drums and the same balls out synth line throughout the full eight minutes, deftly worked in and out of the track with a filter. Its simplicity is by no means a flaw though; if anything the ability to make something so compelling out of so little is one of the hardest things to do. Whatever your opinion on DJ Sneak, there’s no denying that this is some serious fire.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Theo Parrish | Footwork

break dancing boombox

Heads up on Theo’s new one (taken as a single from his upcoming album) for those who’ve been sleeping. It’s got the kind of slow, menacing but soulful funk that you’d expect to hear from the seminal Detroit producer with indelible, deliberately spoken vocals that give it a novel edge. Got visions of slipping this one in to slow down the dancefloor after an hour of pacier house. Cop the vinyl here and check the video as well, it’s class.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Dj Gregory | Attend 1

Screen-Shot-2014-06-16-at-11-54-46

There’s something a bit special about Gottwood festival. I dunno that I’d necessarily say it’s the music: aside from big hitters like Margaret Dygas, Craig Richards, Prosumer, and above all our talented mates, Gotters’ music policy understandably caters to a wider spectrum of electronic music fans than us snobby lot.

More than anything, it’s the setting, the intimacy, the vibe that sets it apart from your Freeros, your Bestivals or what-have-you. Playing records like ‘Attend 1′ on a hot Sunday afternoon, to all your best pals, is honestly about as good as it gets. Massive thanks and respect to Digby et al for probably the best weekend I’ve had all year.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Phenom | Sage

bill clinton playing saxMost DJ’s and aficionados born after 1990 who don’t suffer from tunnel vision for whatever just came out RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND will likely be pining for dozens of records that got released when they were seven years old and currently fetch prices that you’d more commonly associate with luxury goods than music media. The real skill in todays world of second hand records is learning that a high discogs price doesn’t necessarily make a record better than one with a low discogs price, it just means someone else thinks someone will pay that much.

If you dig around you’ll find plenty of jams, often by the same artist who’s other records you can’t afford that are just as tight, only a lot less hyped. A perfect case study is this sick track from Metro Area (under an alias) that’s part of the brilliant Greetings From Deepest America triple disc compilation which finds itself in the company of heaters from Carl Craig, Deepdish (when they were good) and Jay Patrick Ahern. It’s a steal at a tenner and will tide you over until you’ve got the £$€ for Mathew Herbert’s parts series on the same label.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

Drain Pipe | Low Life

Andre_and_Bobby_Heenan_zpsfb55b856

Definitely more than it ought, the crazy prices of Driftwood’s back catalogue royally pisses me off. Jean F. Cochois and Norman Feller’s NYC imprint ran for two years, putting out 12 records whose style was more akin to the deepest side of Detroit – or Germany – than New York’s sleazy Nu Groove heritage.

The thing is, is that the series is largely composed of tracks which, despite their quality, remain ultimately ‘just’ smooth, very deep house tracks. 50-100 quid warm up gear, pretty much.

As far as that sound goes though, it doesn’t really get much better. ‘Low Life’ is effortless, intricate, elegant: a deep house benchmark that a million pretenders haven’t come close to since. Driftwood’s record series is invariably far too expensive, but at least Cochois and Fellers’ various monikers have got the skills to back up the ridiculous hype.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

… just ‘cos you’re all proper sound and that, have a bonus slice of B side Drain Pipe deepniz- ‘Sad’

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.