Archive for July 2013

Behind Schedule

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     With this being the third of it’s kind this year, I think I can finally crown the mix post as the official I’m-tired-and-don’t-have-much-time cop out. Keeping my phrases concise and offering mixes instead of new releases significantly reduces the time I spend composing. This week, I’m justifying my use of this template not with the fatigue clause, but rather the falling behind one. Having just returned from a trip to the US during which Internet was avoided, I am unable to properly report my electronic music findings. Typically, I give my impressions time to marinate before I make my mind up about music; the tracks I’ve soaked in sauce since my return to Montreal haven’t absorbed enough flavor for my taste. In the interest of quality control, here are some of my favorite mixes from the past few [ambiguous time period].


     Inspired by this week’s release of Anjunadeep 05, I figured I could write an entry about the history of the mix compilation. As I gathered my ideas, two names stood out from the pack: Sasha and John Digweed. Of the pair, one has had his most recent mix stuck in my headphones for at least the past two months. Close the curtains, dim the lights, drumroll… it’s Sasha. Adding to the challenge of selecting roughly 20 compatible songs, the famous English DJ/producer personally remixes every track included in his beloved Involver compilation series. Here’s the continuous mix of the 3rd instalment, named Involv3r.


     Mix 2 comes from a UK-based bass music producer called Kiri. It’s bass, it’s garage, it’s house, it’s experimental; it’s great. An important highlight comes at 14:16, when Kiri mixes in his fellow countrymen Icarus’s house and garage crossover, “Like I Do.”


     The third of the mixes comes from legendary British duo Groove Armada. They recently took Mixmag’s mix of the week spot with a collection of tunes from the likes of Jimpster, Hot Since 82 and themselves. The hour-long piece contains many different strands of house. Acid, deep, tech, all are welcome.


     Last up is Jody Wisternoff’s preview mix for the aforementioned Anjunadeep 05. I’ve listened both to his and to James Grant’s and I can state that without a doubt, Wisternoff’s is much more entertaining. A new track from himself, the much awaited “Alchemy” remix and the amazing “Kuza” from Alfred Taylor. Check it out and make sure to do the same for the entirety of the compilation. After all the reviews I’ve read and the few cuts I’ve previewed, I’m certain this is going to be quite a memorable volume.


     The video this week is a short documentary produced by Resident Advisor. Their “Real Scenes” YouTube series has received lots of praise for accurately depicting underground electronic music happenings. Their most recent episode takes place in the record shops, house parties, personal studios and streets of New York.


     Have a great weekend!

To Say Hi in Czech You Say...

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It is always hard to find a lot of new music while traveling. The main reasons is usually that the combination of a working wifi and enough time is almost impossible. After a big lack of new good records in my ears I was in need and had to do something about it, then one thing happened

I can't say how much I loved that city (especially Kreuzberg). East Berlin is pretty much a fuck fest of culture and awesomeness. Their motto is "we're poor but we're sexy" and it is a very very good summary of the life and people there. Few examples come to mind. First, however the fuck you're dressed or tattooed or whatever, no one will ever judge you. The people are extremely open minded and just want to enjoy life (and their beer, that you can drink in the streets by the way). Second, the street art there is amazing and doesn't consist of only annoying tags and such. Third, there are some beach clubs in the middle of the city with some real sand, real weed and real tam tams (awesome right?). Fourth, there are EDM shows every second in that city, making it possible for me to finally quench my thirst for underground sounds.

The show I went to was dubbed Factory Berlin and was at Gretchen Club, which is an old stable that got renovated with a really chill interior. After looking at the set list I thought the night would be amazing, and I was right (look at it on the left). One memorable moment during the night was definitely when Gold Panda played his most popular song "You". And by play, I mean really play it, like an instrument (sample machine, drum machine, effects, etc. etc.). The track is very chill and unique, it's a little bit hard to describe with words, but hey you can make your own mind about it. Here is the original track:

Also, before Gold Panda, a DJ I've never heard of also "performed" (same thing as Gold Panda or almost, but less intense). His name is Hannes Rasmus and I am not going to lie, it was one of the best set I've listened to in a while. It was a very cool "free your mind" type of set and everyone in the crowd was just in their head enjoying the music. I love underground EDM. Listen to these tracks and if you want more, please visit his soundcloud here:

After a great night of music and partying, the next day was very chill at the hostel and they actually played very good music in the chilling room, including Six Days by DJ Shadow, a track that I haven't heard in a while (and that was released in 2002). As I previously stated, it was a Chilling Room, so don't expect some crazy party sounds, expect awesomeness and very good vibes.

Video of the week goes to Duke Dumont with his track Need U 100%. It is quite funny and a good song. I think they guy in the video is very lucky Duke Dumont changed his style (see this track after watching Need U 100%). Check it out:

For all the people who maybe care where I am right now, I'm in Gdansk (Poland) making my way to Ukraine, where I will be in less than a week. Have a nice week people and remember to take it easy!


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     Within the next 24 hours, I will be on a plane departing for the people's republic of China, also known as the land of internet censorship and lack of free will. In other words, I will be unable to write for you for the remainder of the month. Nevertheless, this country is home to a great human civilization. China has shaped the global economic frontier, and redefined the mental and physical limitations of our species. Furthermore, along with any old civilization, there is amazing culinary knowledge of great individuality, curated through centuries of isolation and lack of outside influence.

     For obvious reasons mentioned above, I thought it to be smart if I did all my research beforehand. For starters, I was thrilled to see that their drinking age is identical to ours. Consequently, when the sun sets on the east coast of China, I will be ingesting sake bombs at an ever alarming rate worthy of the so-called "Shanghai Nights". Also, I discovered to what extent China is a capitalism mecca, despite their communistic affiliations. It turns out that Hong Kong has the most expensive retail rental costs in the world, surpassing those of New York.

     More importantly, I was inhabited with curiosity pertaining to their music scene; with such a large population, one would expect much diversity from this oriental country. Although it is hard to delve into the scene without stepping foot in it, some digging has led me to believe there is hope. Much like Montreal, most of the clubs would prefer to blast top 40 crowd pleasers, blind to the slightest trace of quality and talent. Not only that, but in the entirety of the country, there is only one EDM record label, Acupuncture records. I thought I was doomed until I was led to an organization called Void. Void hosts shows from the likes of Rrose and what have you not. After listening to the RA podcast he put on, I was quite impressed to know that dark/ambient house has a spot in Shanghai's musical palette.

     A few hours away, and the situation is completely different. While China prefers a traditional take on modern culture, Japan lives as though they were years ahead of their western neighbours, exploring the frontiers of music, art, style and design alike. German based producers Kyodai immediately come to mind, which take inspiration from the culture through not only through their moniker, but through the progressive nature of their sound as well. Only short months ago, they released their second 2-track EP entitled 'Moving'. While one song is the continuation of the much loved 'Breaking' from their first EP, 'Moving' opens with a standard piano riff which sees much repeat throughout, along with a vocal samples, that although redundant, seem to fill out the song appropriately. Listen to the song below.

     A brief canoe ride across the Pacific brings us full circle back to the Americas, where the scene is abundant and, quite frankly, over saturated. Straight out of Flatbush, the homie Joey Bada$$ has released yet another mix tape to his name, entitled 'Summer Knights'. Cyphering over beats from Kirk Knight, DJ Premier, The Alchemist, and many others, this young prodigy does not seem to be stopping anytime soon. He has quite a knack for filling musical pockets, and does so effortlessly. The only complaint people seem to have towards his delivery is that it is monotonous, and subsequently boring. Although I would disagree, you be the judge.

     In the same genre, El-P and Killer Mike have always intended on making an album at the very end of the previous year as a victory lap of a celebratory 365 days of musicality. This was never intended on becoming a commercial release, and was deemed as "cool-down" production and a fun project. As it turns out, Run The Jewels was a triumphant success, soaring over any musical achievement that came their way the previous year. Critically acclaimed by many to be one of the best LPs (in the genre) released in 2013, this is definitely worth a listen. It is important to note, however, that this delves into the experimental fringe of rap, and might not be for everyone.

     Our video of the week comes from Blondes, a Brooklyn based duo that have recently released an album entitled 'Swisher' through RVNG. This album contains everything a new-wave house album should contain, all while displaying their prowess through the ever evolving and complex melodies that seem ubiquitous. Blondes displays their ability to convey emotion through music, for this album is capable of uplifting even the most sorrowed individuals. Take a trip through the lens of 'Elise', the final song off their album.

     That is all for this week, and I will be seeing you all in the following month! 

Bashar al-Assad, Grape Jell-O and Jimmy Buffett

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     Recently, I’ve been taking lots of long walks. Podcasts are usually a great companion, but when you’re trying to lose yourself in thought, radio host chatter acts like a firewall. It’s pretty difficult, once you’ve been pulled back into reality after poking around in the deepest recesses of your brain, to find your way back to where you went astray in the first place. It’s sort of like waking up before getting to the really good part of a naughty dream: you struggle with going back to sleep, but you’re too focused on your fun bits, you forget what he or she looks like and you end up solving the Syrian crisis by feeding homemade grape Jell-O to beloved singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett instead. The point is, I rather listen to straight tunes relatively devoid of speech that aid in entrancing than Podcasts. Enter the mix compilation, a brilliant form of LP which has the artists sift through the bad music for you, compile the gems that are left and organize those into a mix that sends the listener on a voyage through his/her grey matter. Here are a few of the tracks from mix compilations that have enamored me the most over the past years.

anjunadeep 03

     Featured on the 3rd installement of Anjunadeep’s yearly compilation, all attention was directed towards the heavyweights’ productions: Stephen J. Kroos’s “Micrsh,” Martin Roth’s “Deep Style” and Maro Levi’s “Devotion.” But when you first pressed play on Electrobios, Liluca and Interplay’s “Depends On You,” the wayward support synths and bold bassline hooks let you know it was something more than the veterans had done.

Electrobios & Liluca ft. Interplay – Depends On You (Original Mix)


Released through Anjunadeep on October 25th, 2011

Electrobios & Liluca feat. Interplay - Depends On You (Original Mix) by edgarbanuelos


     Today, when I sat in front of my computer to finish this post, the area in which I live was hit with a power outage. Everything before this was already written so even if I hadn’t provided this information, you’d still have ease in distinguishing the difference in quality between all previous and the rest. What I’m trying to say is I’d like to stick to our schedule and get this post out to you on Thursday, so the rest of this is scribbled down somewhat hastily. Feel free to ignore the weakness of the script and turn you focus to the music, which is what I’m sure most of you do anyways, in which case, HERE’S ANOTHER BLOCK OF TEXT IN CAPITAL LETTERS THAT’S YOUR NOT GOING TO READ.


     One of the strongest exclusives featured on Sied van Riel’s Rielism compilation from two years ago, here’s the tyDi remix that propelled the Australian DJ/producer to the next level.

BT ft. JES – The Light In Things (tyDi Remix)


Released through Black Hole Recordings on May 9th, 2011

BT (Feat. Jes) - The Light in Things (tyDi Remix) by tyDi Music


     One of my first everlasting loves in electronic music was this track from the 8th volume of Anjunabeats’s yearly compilation, a truly amazing straddling of the line between trance and progressive.

Boom Jinx & Andrew Bayer – Keyboard Cowboys (Original Mix)


Released though Anjunabeats on July 19, 2010


     I didn’t even listen to this kind of music back in 2006. I simply figured that since they’re known as two of the greatest mix compilation-ers, I should probably include a track from both John Digweed and Sasha. First up is Digweed and to my surprise, I found one of my all-time favorite uncategorizables on the first of his Renaissance compilations: “On Spec” by Knights of Columbus.

On Spec – Knights Of Columbus (Original Mix)


Released though Renaissance on June 5th, 2006


      This track is from the most recent edition of Sasha’s Involv3r series. Everyone has already heard of his Ultraista, Little Dragon and The XX remixes, so I thought I’d include one of my favorites from the non-obvious bunch. Here’s his Involv3r remix of his own “Shoot You Down” with vocalist Kicki Halmos.

Sasha ft. Kicki Halmos – Shoot You Down (Sasha Invovl3r Remix)


Released through Ministry of Sound on March 17th, 2013

Sasha feat Kicki Halmos - Shoot You Down by Mixmag


Here’s wishing you a happy what’s left of Independence Day and a great weekend!