Category Archives: House

Bicep ‎- Apricots (2020)

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If Jayda G has created my dance track of choice in 2020, the Belfast-based pals Bicep were top of the pile in 2017 with ‘Glue‘. Last year, Andrew Ferguson and Matthew McBriar released ‘Apricots’ as a forerunner to their next album, Isles, which is released later this month. Like ‘Glue’, this track has that fast stop-start rhythm as it builds into a wall of transmission waves. I like.

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Jayda G ‎- Both Of Us (2020)

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Wishing you all a happy New Year! In my memory, never has a New Year’s Eve been so welcome and yet so unusual. It is just a shame that we can’t celebrate together. If we were, I would request a play of Jayda G’s ‘Both Of Us’. The Canadian-born producer learnt her craft while splitting her time between building a reputation as a DJ in Berlin and showboating in Vancouver as part of the Canadian Riviera scene. Today she is London-based and chose this yera to drop her best track yet. ‘Both Of Us’ is a classic piano house anthem – full of euphoria and summer.

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Marshall Jefferson ‎- Move Your Body (1986)

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Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ featured on a favourite movie soundtrack of mine; namely Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous (2000). As with so much of the music in that film, you can only see it rather than find it on the soundtrack release. My favourite film soundtrack is from around about the same time, but of a very different musical era. Closer to my own coming-of-age discography, Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People (2002) features the Sex Pistols’ ‘Anarchy In The UK‘, the Buzzcocks ‘Ever Fallen In Love‘, A Guy Called Gerald’s ‘Voodoo Ray‘, 808 State’s ‘Pacific State 202‘, New Order’s ‘Blue Monday‘, Happy Mondays’ ‘Hallelujah‘ and Joy Division’s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘. Not a bad list, hey… and to it I now add Marshall Jefferson’s seminal ‘Move Your Body’. The Chicago house pioneer was the first to use piano in a house track and the genre would never look back.

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Ben Buitendijk ‎- Promised Land (2013)

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Rotterdam based producer-DJ Ben Buitendijk broke onto the techno scene with the release of ‘Promised Land’ on the Split Series Part One EP on Mosaic Records. By 2014, it had become a dub classic. Close your eyes and picture a late-night, fog-filled, spartan warehouse.

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Code 718 ‎- Equinox (1992)

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New York-based dance label Strictly Rhythm can be a bit hit and miss (“I like to move, move it” anyone?), but this track is a bonafide classic. Before making a name for himself with his stabbing Ballroom Remix of The Daou’s ‘Surrender Yourself’, he created some chill-out room gold under the pseudonym Code 718. Like Sueño Latino 3 years earlier, Daniel Tenaglia borrows the synth line from Manuel Göttsching’s magical ‘E2-E4‘ and features a vocal sample from Grace Jones. That’s a good start on its own, but its the classic deep house production that makes this track a worthwhile journey. Have a great weekend folks.

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Kaytranada feat. River Tiber ‎- Vivid Dreams (2016)

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Haitian-born music producer and DJ Louis Kevin Celestin relocated with his family to Montreal as a youngster. He has since been reborn as Kaytranada and one half of hip-hop duo The Celestics. In 2016, Kaytranada released the excellent 99.9% – an album of collaborations with the likes of Vic Mensa, Anderson .Paak, Little Dragon etc. I have picked out Vivid Dreams… a slice of nostalgic garage house music that he created with Tommy Paxton-Beesley, also known as River Tiber. Have a great weekend.

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The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu ‎- It’s Grim Up North (Part 1) (1990)

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In 1990, I went to university in Liverpool. A year or so earlier, I had taken a great interest in the short collected works of The KLF due to the local advocacy by Beggars Banquet record shop in Kingston-upon-Thames and the duo’s dalliance with house music. On cue, my move north coincided with the band’s release of ‘It’s Grim Up North’ under the pseudonym of The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (or The JAMs). The more familiar version of the track was released in 1991 with Bill Drummond on vocals. But in 1990, a limited edition white label was doing the rounds and it featured Liverpool’s very own Pete Wylie reciting the list of stricken cities. Along with the ambient noise of rain, it was a nice touch.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1985

A day to myself and I’ve spent the last few hours reminiscing about 1985… nine of the best sounds from that year:

Prince – Raspberry Beret

Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2

Tears For Fears – Head Over Heels

The Cult – She Sells Sanctuary

Prefab Sprout – Bonny

Kate Bush – Cloudbusting

The Cure – Close To Me

Felt – Primitive Painters

New Order – Elegia

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Honourable mentions also go to: Propaganda for ‘Duel‘; Tenor Saw for ‘Ring The Alarm‘; The Cure for ‘In Between Days‘; Kate Bush for ‘Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)’; U2 for ‘The Unforgettable Fire’; Lloyd Cole And The Commotions for ‘Brand New Friend‘; Prince for ‘Pop Life‘; Prefab Sprout for ‘Moving The River‘; Love and Rockets for ‘Saudade‘; The Pale Fountains for ‘…From Across The Kitchen Table‘; Pet Shop Boys for ‘West End Girls’; The Wake for ‘Melancholy Man‘; The Cars for ‘Heartbeat City’; and The Style Council for ‘Walls Come Tumbling Down’.

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Loose Joints – Is It All Over My Face (1980)

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Another touch of the powder-fueled 1980s to close out the week. Leftfield musician Arthur Russell had many guises and in 1980 he combined his love for disco with some genius percussion to produce the single ‘Is It All Over My Face?’. “Is it all over my face?/You caught me love dancin'” would be heard on underground dancefloors throughout the decade. The myth goes that the drummers were paid in coke before the session, resulting in the spontaneous drum breaks that made the track a proto-house classic. The truth is probably a bit more scientific… Russell had hunted down the Ingram brothers, a family of Philly musicians expert in delivering disco rhythms. He made John Ingram lag behind the beat to differentiate Loose Joints from a typical disco sound. Have a great weekend. 

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9 of the best – sounds of 1986

I caught up with some good friends last night and we got talking about the sounds of 1986. I now know that some will disagree strongly, but my take on the best of that year is as follows… a gift from me on the best day of the year:

Mr. Fingers ‎- Can You Feel It?

The Smiths – There Is A Light That Never Goes Out

The The – Out Of The Blue (Into The Fire)

Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes

Beastie Boys – Hold It Now, Hit It

It’s Immaterial – Driving Away From Home (Jim’s Tune)

The Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene

New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle (Shep Pettibone Remix)

Run-DMC – Peter Piper

 

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Honourable mentions also go to: Desireless for ‘Voyage Voyage‘; R.E.M. for ‘Fall On Me’; Dinosaur L for ‘Go Bang! #5 (Francois K Mix)’; Nitro Deluxe for ‘Let’s Get Brutal‘; Steve Winwood for ‘Higher Love’; Metallica for ‘Master Of Puppets’; Spacemen 3 for ‘Losing Touch With My Mind’; Depeche Mode for ‘Stripped’; Run-DMC for ‘Walk This Way’; and Crowded House for ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over‘.

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Yaeji – Raingurl (2017)

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I missed a post yesterday. The weather’s turned to rain today, I’m stuck in doors and it’s a post-lockdown weekend… the Spike Jonze Beastie Boys documentary… daughters… Depop… TikTok. Fusing trap and house music, ‘Raingurl’ featured on EP2 (before it did TikTok), the second extended play by Korean-American musician Kathy Yaeji Lee. “Mother Russia in my cup.”

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Nitro Deluxe – Let’s Get Brutal (1986)

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Nitro Deluxe is the moniker for respected American house musician Manny Scretching Jr. He performed with a variety of funk and jazz groups including Sun Ra’s Arkestra before signing with Cutting Records in NYC in the 1980s. His most famous track is ‘Let’s Get Brutal’ (aka ‘This Brutal House’) released in 1986. It helped establish the house music genre.
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L.B. Bad – New Age Of Faith (1989)

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Lord Sabre, Mr Weatherall (R.I.P.) fully acknowledged his debt to this groundbreaking track by dedicating his legendary ‘Smokebelch II‘ interpretation to the influence of house pioneer Lamont Booker. ‘New Age Of Faith’ would originally feature as a bonus track on on the B-side of the modestly titled EP The Prince of Dance Music L.B. Bad presents The True Story of House Music. It was a Nu Groove Records release in 1989. Have a great weekend.

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9 of the best – sounds of 1987

Another bank holiday and some recent nostalgia about Public Enemy…  it doesn’t take much for me to start curating. These are my favourite sounds of 1987, in no particular order (save a desire to kick off with ‘Bring The Noise’!).

Public Enemy – Bring The Noise

Chris Rea – Josephine (La Version Française)

Phuture – Acid Tracks

Prince – If I Was Your Girlfriend

U2 – Where The Streets Have No Name

Eric B. And Rakim – I Know You Got Soul

Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings of Life

New Order – True Faith

Fleetwood Mac – Big Love

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Honourable mentions also go to: Ce Ce Rogers for ‘Someday‘; Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle for ‘Your Love’; The Cure for ‘Just Like Heaven’; Sugarcubes for ‘Birthday’; R.E.M. ‎for ‘Its The End Of The World As We Know It’; Aztec Camera for ‘Somewhere In My Heart‘; INXS for ‘Need You Tonight‘; Deacon Blue ‎for ‘Dignity‘; Depeche Mode for ‘Behind The Wheel‘ and ‘Never Let Me Down Again’; Stone Roses for ‘Sally Cinnamon‘; Terence Trent D’Arby for ‘Sign Your Name‘; U2 for ‘With Or Without You’; Eric B. And Rakim for ‘Paid In Full‘ and ‘I Ain’t No Joke‘, Public Enemy ‎for ‘Rebel Without A Pause‘; Prince for ‘Sign O’ The Times’; and Pet Shop Boys ‘What Have I Done To Deserve This?‘.

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Paul Woodford – Untitled (Call Out Your Name) (2013)

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A banging house track from the summer of 2013. It was so good, Leeds-based DJ & producer Paul Woodford didn’t know what to call it.

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