NICK HARRIS - HALLUCINATIONS
Relying solely on the strength of the music, Nick Harris doesn’t bother dabbling in vocal samples. I recently talked about how a dancefloor, myself included, seem to react more intensely when there are vocals to [unintelligibly] sing along to. Then, the very next day, Nick Harris’ Hallucinations EP dropped like a sign from the gods of house, laughing at my insight.
Every time I listen to this track, I like it more. I’m not usually one for songs that “grow on me,” as I can generally tell within four beats whether or not I care. The first notes of this caught my attention, though. And then the way Nick transforms those same notes after the drop at 2:20 just nailed that coffin shut. Fuck a vocal sample, this is more than enough.
Being the founder of NRK Music, with 15 years worth of house knowledge, I suppose it’s to be expected. Hallucinations, the second EP on the Stoned Immaculate series is likely a window into the future, as he branches out and looks forward. Grab the whole digital, and don’t expect any vocals. Keep in touch with Nick on his SoundCloud, and as always:
MICHAEL MCLARDY - COLOUR BLIND (JMX REMIX) [120bpm]
Do me a favor and just wait until the 2:42 mark. You can even skip ahead, and it’s guaranteed you’ll go back to hear what you missed.
The original is a party-starter; it feels like it was made specifically to get people in the mood and hopeful for the night ahead. What John McIver, also known as JMX, has done to it is absolutely breathtaking. He’s taken the subtle vocal samples and put them at the forefront. Uplifting, slow-but-steady pads sneak in, and then, oh, and then… That moment. That drop. It’s just too good.
Now available digitally from Assembly Records, the entire EP is not be missed. The other original track, “Long Sided,” is deep and burning with intensity. Check out more from Michael McLardy on his SoundCloud, and more from JMX as well. And, as always:
AARON ‘FIT’ SIEGEL - TONITE (DETROIT MIX)
I wish I could crush this track up and ingest it, as it’s pure happiness. It hasn’t been removed from my turntable in over a week, and I’m elated that the mastered version has now been made available digitally.
The prophetic Omar S now presents the world with Aaron ‘Fit’ Siegel’s first ever release on the FXHE label; and it’s a euphoric dancefloor heavyweight. From the very first note, everyone’s attention is caught and the “skip” button is out of the question. While the original track on the A-side lets the classic, groovy Detroit vibes flow, its B-side “Detroit Mix” goes in for the kill. With simple, understated vocals from L’Renee, this track positively glows.
Get this release on vinyl, as I doubt it will last, and is easily one of the best releases of the year thus far. Yes, we live in a digital age where a record player isn’t always available, or portable, so go ahead and purchase the digital version on Beatport. As always:
CRYPT - WHAT YOU ASKED FOR
There I was, writing about mourning, loss, and hope for the future. Listening to what appeared to have been the last track ever by the young, enigmatic UK producer known as Crypt.
Turns out the dude’s got jokes. April Fool’s.
The track would have sufficed, though. If it had legitimately been the last thing he ever produced, I probably would have understood, and maybe even been at peace with it. His percussion is clean and sharp as hell, cracking like a whip. Dark bass and ethereal background noise join, causing the listener to be torn between emotions. Ultimately, I found myself repeating it, and feeling something entirely different with each listen.
Before I found out it was all a prank, I went down memory lane and revisited the remix he did of Switch’s “I Still Love You,” which was featured here, and was easily one of my favorite tracks of 2011. Then I panicked and figured I should order his white label EP on Get Some UK before his only physical release was gone forever. Well, the panic has subsided, and we’re cool again. In the meantime, you can download this track for free on his SoundCloud, and listen to a plethora of equally deep music. Look forward to more from this guy, and as always:
MEDLA - ANYTHING
I found myself turning the speakers up rapidly throughout this track, which is the telltale sign of a banger.
The ever-mysterious Transmission Collective have added to their collection of producers, and ultimately art. You may recall a few Wolf Cub tracks on this blog; all of which were ethereal and uplifting. Now we’re presented with Medla (also known as Kahwe), dropping another magical track on the world.
Immediately the listener can hear/feel so many musical influences that genre name-dropping becomes futile. Yes, there is garage. Yes, there is hip hop. Yes there is deep house. And no, it doesn’t matter. The vibe is just fresh, and ultimately makes me happy every time I hear it.
Be on the lookout for more from Medla, who’s gaining some well-deserved hype in the online community. Also, do a little tumblr research and you’ll find that my boys from Life Crushed, as usual, were the first to stumble upon and believe in this artist. Keep paying attention, and as always:
LEADER & YURIANO - SIDE STEP
When I was out dancing with my girl the other night, we were commenting on the style of house music being played, and witnessing the peaks and lulls on the dancefloor. What we ended up hypothesizing / realizing was that people will move their bodies to anything, but the real elation and euphoria in dancing seems intimately connected to vocal samples, however minor they me be. The crowd gathered more intensely, and moved more fluidly.
Maybe this is related to the generational attention span (or lack of) that I can’t seem to shut up about. Either way, I like to think I feel music deeply, but have noticed that the physical and emotional connection is heightened with vocals. What Leader & Yuriano have done seems perfect for this theory, as once those vocals make their way in, unintelligible as they may be, I’ve begun peaking. The production ties everything together, leaving the listener hungry for more.
The Albatross EP was released on vinyl late last year, and has finally made its way into the digital realm for mass consumption. Hudd Traxx has an unbelievably talented roster, and they’ve found something truly special in this duo. Be on the lookout for more this year, and as always:
KEVIN SAUNDERSON FT. INNER CITY - FUTURE (MK AW DEEP DUB)
This is not the time for a history lesson. There’s a world of information available to all of us at this moment, and each of the artists featured within this one track have a prolific catalog of releases that should be revered and praised.
I can’t say Marc Kinchen has ever let me down, and I somehow manage to come across a new (and old) track of his at a rate of about twice a month. Now that he’s started the Say Ahh! label with his brother Scottie Deep (Scott Kinchen), he’s been letting the newcomers make moves. But fortunately he’s blessed us all with his own work; and one of the most powerful collaborations in years. This track kills it. No more words can be said.
You should probably order this on one-sided, white label vinyl before it’s too late. Defected Audio also put together the digital which was released earlier this month, in a package containing three other fantastic remixes. Refresh on everything Kevin Saunderson and Inner City have ever touched, and as always:
DALE HOWARD - CONNECTION
I’ll take this deep, minimal production any day. It’s all I need to feel happy, to feel satisfied, to feel positive. With so much focus on masturbatory maximalism, it’s difficult for the blogosphere’s ADHD to subside, and let the soothing repetition of deep house production like this take over.
Dale Howard’s new Merrt EP immediately caught my attention, and not because he made songs that sounded as if the world was exploding around me. I was hypnotized and drawn in by a classic sound; one that didn’t make me feel anxious for what would happen next, but sustained by what was happening. That’s not to say there isn’t a nice build in this track; the way he sneaks in the main chords is an art form that should be revered, and the repeat button got toggled pretty heavily after the first listen.
Released this month on the amazing Lost My Dog Records, this EP also includes an Ian Pooley remix that rounds it out beautifully. Pick up the digital here, and check more work from Dale on his SoundCloud. After hearing this EP, I think 2012 is looking deep and hopeful. As always:
MERCURY - RUNNING BACK TO YOU (COCOLORES REMIX)
How often to you find a song that you know you will love within the first five seconds of listening to it? Everything goes dark, and nothing but pure energy and emotion envelop you.
Yes, it’s really like that. About five notes in and I was struck with silence. What the boys of Cocolores have done to this track is unquestionably epic. Once those thunderous chords make their way to a steady beat, silence soon falls again as the vocals (by Christopher McCray) make their understated appearance. With more buildups and breakdowns than an adulterous love affair, this song never gets boring; constantly changing.
The original EP by Mercury can be previewed and purchased here, set forth digitally by German label Gomma Records, and it’s a fantastic release on its own. This track made its way onto the compilation of remixes featuring more heavy-hitters, and can be listened to here. Make sure to follow the Cocolores boys on their SoundCloud, and as always:
MIC NEWMAN - KNICKERBOCKER
I’ve been dying to feature this track, and am deeply thankful that it’s been made digital. Set forth to the world on translucent lime green vinyl, this EP is a glowing thing of beauty.
Upon first listen, my head tilted at the 0:30 mark, mostly in awe, and partially in wonderment. I was awe-struck because the vocals are so enveloping; it’s like being encased in a glass coffin of sound. The wonderment was induced by the the thought of being unable to pinpoint a song that was even remotely similar. Remember, this all happened in about thirty seconds.
Mic Newman’s been going strong for some time now, having a prolific discography of necessary releases on labels like Tsuba and Dirt Crew. My boys from Beats Bass just featured a fantastic unreleased track of his given as a free download, a necessary one at that.
This EP is the 9th installment of the Tsuba Colours collection, and a beautifully packaged physical release that should not be missed. Purchase the vinyl here, and then copp the digital here. Be sure to follow Mic Newman on SoundCloud, and make your life a little more colorful. As always:
1000SMILEY FACES & ANGEL MORA - BLOODY MARY (DAVID LABEIJ REMIX)
I have to give thanks to this track for providing a beautiful moment in my life. I was driving down Fulton Street in San Francisco at about 11pm on my way to a party and hit a stop light. At that very moment the track came on and the bass started bumping (literally), and I turned to my right to see a cyclist smiling at me. He proceeded to dance alongside me while riding his bike for about 5 blocks until we parted ways. Two humans, one groove. It was beautiful.
So the thanks should really go to three individuals, being the artists involved in producing this song. 1000Smiley Faces and Angel Mora’s work on the original “Bloody Mary” showcases an uplifting, piano-drenched solo-banger. By “solo” I mean I’d be more likely to two-step half-naked and alone in my room while listening to it than on a dancefloor. David Labeij comes in for the kill on the remix, starting things off with extreme bass (the kind that gets people outside of your car dancing). The vocal repetition and drawn-out string arrangements bring intensity and a rush that has to be felt rather than explained.
This is being released as the very first in Novotek’s Raw Series, a perfect way to set things in motion. You can stream the rest of the EP here, and the 12” vinyl release is now available for pre-order on Decks, so you should probably get at that if you want the true (raw) experience. Be on the lookout for more from these artists and their newly imprinted label, and as always:
A Leaving Scene Mixtape
01. Kornel Kovacs - Down Since ‘92
02. Urulu - Untitled 01
03. Julio Bashmore - Father Father
04. Unknown Artist - What You Need (Coat of Arms Remix)
05. Mak & Pasteman - Get With The Program (Click Remix)
06. Si’Ke DJs - Say What!
07. NY Stomp - The NY House Track
08. Combo - So Real (Huxley Remix)
09. Dirtytwo - Moody (Buttjackin’)
10. Washerman - Basement Chord
11. 1000Smiley Faces & Angel Mora - Bloody Mary (David Labeij Remix)
12. Ed Davenport - More Red Lights 2012
THE ORGAN GRINDER - I DON’T LOVE YOU (FT. JESSY ALLEN)
This girl is absolutely killin’ the game lately.
Last month C.R.S.T. debuted Jessy Allen’s pitch-perfect vocals on their track “What I Want,” which I featured here and am still gushing over. She’s back to make her name known in 2012 with some huge production from The Organ Grinder.
Free from vocal effects, Jessy’s raw talent is at the forefront of this stomping garage track. It’s so refreshing to not be hearing spliced vocals from obscure R&B pop artists. Instead we are presented with a true duo, harmonious in their collective efforts. Chico (aka The Organ Grinder) lays down some harsh throwback chords, coupled with jackin’ drum loops and in-your-face, half-time claps. Jessy nearly screams with emotion, and that lack of vocal restrain is exactly what makes this song perfect.
This is only a sophomore release for both artists. Jessy Allen’s first being previously mentioned, and The Organ Grinder’s first being the well-received New Age People / Obsession EP. I can only imagine that their Junior efforts (separate or otherwise) will be killers. Grab this historical release on vinyl (which features a rad “Dub” on the flip) from Catapult Records before it’s gone forever. Mine just arrived today, and it’s the only way to go. And, as always:
Big ups my boy HurfyD for being an internet badman and throwing this my way. <3
SI’KE DJS - SAY WHAT!
I’m pretty sure brothers MK (Marc Kinchen) and Scottie Deep (Scott Kinchen) have made me a better man. Having released some of the biggest and best underground house music to date, they’ve decided to put together a fresh new label called Say Ahh! Records, and it is everything we could have hoped for.
Showcasing new talent with oldschool aesthetic, Si’Ke Djs have set the standard for the label on its first release. Comprised of Si Jones & Mike Morgan, this talented duo use hand-me-down equipment that speaks volumes. Their throwback basslines and jacked drum loops will immediately spark feelings of familiarity, but manage to completely set themselves apart from the over-hyped 90’s revival.
The EP contains two dubs and two originals, and is now available on vinyl and digital. Slowly crawling up the charts, people will catch on and be blown away. 2012 will surely be huge for this duo and their label, so keep your eyes peeled. As always:
DASO - ALL MY PEOPLE
Let’s take it down a notch.
Forgive the over-use of words like deep, atmospheric, lush, and minimal, but they tell the story well. The story of a perfect vinyl release. One where this EP is thrown on in the background while entertaining friends, and everyone in the room slowly begins to feel it. Moods lift in sync with the song; it’s a fact. I tried it out last night.
With a discography dating back to 2005, it can be assumed that German producer Daso Franke knows how to set the vibe right. There are two more original tracks, and a tribal/disco remix from Martin Patiño on the flip that tops off the EP beautifully.
This has been released by the fantastic Popcorn Records on vinyl (that has somehow managed not to sell out yet) and in digital format. My obvious suggestion is the vinyl version; it just feels better. Check out more from Daso on his SoundCloud, and as always: