Thursday, 30 June 2011

DJ Kicks-Motor City Drum Ensemble

Every few years, an artist comes along and gives exactly what you need. Most of the time, you don't know what you need; but when it comes along, you realised it was required along. In my opinion that artist has since around 2008 been Danilo Plesslow aka Motor City Drum Ensemble. From his music (and his monikor), it would be easy to assume that the music you were hearing was from Detroit, but in fact this man was from Germany's own motor city, Stuttgart. His Raw Cuts series quickly captured the imagination of many house and techno heads, with its nod to classic house, disco and soul and his DJ sets and recorded podcasts showed his ear and appreciation of a wide selection of music. His remixes also quickly blew up and 'MCDE' was soon a household name.

Therefore following the excellent Wolf & Lamb V Soul Clap DJ Kicks in the spring, it was no surprise that !K7 asked Plesslow to mark his own mark, with a mix to soundtrack many people's summer.

This HUGE release drops on Monday and you only have to read all the press blurb and reactions from record shops and DJs alike to realise the excitement that has been generated. As with the majority of DJ Kicks releases, an original track from the artist is also included. 'L.O.V.E.' is up there with his best work yet!

MCDE - L.O.V.E (DJ KICKS) V4 by invrs

DJ Kicks-Motor City Drum Ensemble (buy)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Top Ten Tracks June

As well as the sound of rainfall, heres the soundtrack to my month of June. Enjoy.

1. Alexander Robotnick-Problems D'Amour (Kenny Dixon Jr Remix) (buy)

Nowadays anything that Moodymann touches is hyped up by pretty much everybody. His subtle yet excellent remix of Alexander Robotnick's italo classic 'Problems D'Amour' is no different. Part 3 of 3 of Kai Alce's Music Institute 20th Anniversary Series, it comes in beautiful marbled vinyl. The B-sides are ace too. Track of the month!

2. Mark E-Oranges (buy)

Really digging Mark E's Stonebreaker album. Oranges is up there with the best tunes hes ever done. With nods to Detroit house and blissed out British techno, this is a track that will warm you up even if it's pisses down all summer. Not on the vinyl version though which is a shame, has to be released as a single at some point!

3. Junior Boys-ep (buy)

"Cause i love you so bad and i wanna repeat it, i love you so bad now im gonna repeat it... ". Another masterpiece from Junior Boys. With each new album, they simply not do fail to impress.

4. It's You-It's You (buy)

Mysterious deep house track with a nod to the slowed down funky Soul Clap/Wolf & Lamb sound that's been killing it recently. Try finding this on google.

5. Stereociti-Untitled (buy)

Missed this last year, but right on it now. Late night dark underground house music.

6. Prince-All The Critics Love You in New York (buy)

No preview/youtube track because Prince doesn't allow. Most of his seminal 1980s albums have just been reissued including '1999' which features this belter. Early house music? Possibly. Epic tune. Definitely-just ask Moodymann who sampled it for one of his early releases 'Dance If You Want To'.

7. The Rapture-Out of The Races and onto the Tracks (buy)

Their back on DFA and their new single is getting people talking (and rightly so), but I just went straight back to their scuzzy and frentic debut on Sub Pop which is now TEN YEARS OLD.

8. Bill Callahan-America! (buy)

For his latest album, Callahan took away the strings and lush present on Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle for stripped down guitar efforts. Took me a while to get into this album, but it could well be the most rewarding Callahan album yet.

9. The Antlers-Hounds (buy)

I could have effectively put the whole of Burst Apart, the new album by New York's The Antlers on the top ten of the month, but that would have been a bit boring wouldn't it? The most beautiful track I've heard in a very long time.

10.  The Antlers-Putting the Dog to Sleep (buy)

Stunning 'soul throwback' from The Antlers. Perfect end to what is surely going to be at the top of many end of year lists.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

BBE Presents Americana: Rock Your Soul

British-based record label BBE are well known for releasing some of the most thought out compilations over the past 15 years or so. The many colloboraters and compilers have joined the dots between jazz, disco, soul, house and hip hop. Late last year they released two of my favourite compilations of 2010. The first was a retrospective by everyone's favourite radio DJ Gilles Peterson, showcasing the diversity and quality of music that he brings to his listeners from artists such as Roots Manuva, Jill Scott and Jose James. The second was a collection of Philly Soul Classics compiled by Dimitri from Paris featuring such classics as 'You Can't Hide From Yourself' by Teddy Pendergrass and 'The Love I Lost' from Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes aswell as his own re-edits.

For their latest compilation, the selectors of Zafar Chowdhry and Mark Taylor have focused on shining 'a light on the darker corners of American pop culture', showcasing little or obscure artists who have been forgotten or never garnered the praise or exposure they deserve. Featuring mainly white musicians-though full of influences from African-American culture- this collection is full of the optimism of summertime in the United States and the music has roots in disco, jazz, R & B, funk and rock. What we are left with is a wonderful soundtrack to the summer.

The compilation drops on 4th July (quite apt I'd say) and can be ordered direct from the BBE store here or can be picked up at all good online outlets such as Piccadilly, Juno and Amazon.

For a little taster check out these lovely tracks below: -

Evans Pyramid-Never Gonna Leave You (download)

Life Force-Slow Dancer

Eric Tagg-Living Off The Love

Badadu-I Love Music (download)

No video or any trace of how you can listen to this tune online so I though I'd share it with you for a limited period only!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Junior Boys-Banana Ripple

In March this year unbeknown to me, Junior Boys gave away 'ep', a track of their forthcoming 4th album It's All True. Whilst I may have missed the boat with that one, I was straight on to the next preview of their new album and the first single off it; 'Banana Ripple'. The track is a 9 minute epic journey of the now trademark hushed melodies; clean cut synths all backed by a uptempo disco groove. The track is mesmerising and before you know it, its over awaiting to be replayed. It's out now on vinyl backed by a hedonistic mix that removes much of the vocal for to make way for the unique ambient/uptempo sound of the Field. This only serves to highlight further excellent potential remixes in the future. Just how can we forget Carl Craig's epic remix from 2007 of 'Like A Child', that was even nominated for a Grammy Award.

Junior Boys-Banana Ripple (buy)

Junior Boys-Like A Child (Carl Craig Remix  (buy)

The album was supposed to come out this week, it now drops on 4 July 2011.

Junior Boys - Banana Ripple by DominoRecordCo

Junior Boys - Banana Ripple (Field Remix) by DominoRecordCo

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Four Tet/Daphni-Pinnacles/Ye Ye

Bit slow on the uptake with this one as it sold out everywhere overnight. Fortunately it's back in stock now and sounding excellent. Whilst the A-side 'Pinnacles by Four Tet has got much love from pretty much everybody; its the B side 'Ye Ye' by Dan Snaith (Caribou) under his Daphni alias which is the real gem here. Its crazy analogue chords sends the track into deep and dark territory whilst the driving beat is added to nicely by a good heavy kick. These will sell out again I'm sure.

Four Tet/Daphni-Pinnacles/Ye Ye (buy)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Jennifer Johnson: Little South Debut Podcast

This week I'm proud to share with you the debut DJ podcast by a special friend of mine; Jennifer Johnson. A vinyl junkie of the highest order, Jennifer has been a collector and DJ for a long time (if I mentioned how long-I'd probably get in trouble) and her eclectic style is showcased in the many bars, clubs and parties who are privileged to experience her sets. For her debut DJ podcast for, Jennifer pulls no punches with a heady mix of house, techno and electronica all lovingly put together using STRICTLY VINYL only. Spread the word.