Wednesday, 24 November 2010

FACT - XOYO (03.12.10): J.O. B2B Ramadanman/Pearson Sound

Seeing as my previous couple of posts have been in part eulogies to the brilliance of the releases from each of these artists, I thought it would be perfect timing to inform you of a world exclusive 2 hour back to back set between the two virtuoso producers/DJ's. J.O.'s 'BB/Ladywell' brings a new interpretation of Detroit, applying his wonderful trademark sounds to the deep house format, whilst Pearson Sound's 'Blanked/Blue Eyes' encapsulates all that has been successful in his long list of 2010 releases.

A stroke of genius from FACT magazine has brought J.O. and Ramadanman together for what will an outstanding night of music. The FACT night will take place on Friday 3rd December at the Shoreditch Club XOYO (32-37 Cowper St, London, EC2A), doors from 9pm-3am. Tickets are £8 students/advance, £1o on the door. In addition to the headline set from J.O. and Ramadanman, there will be appearances from Fantastic Mr Fox (expect Jamie XX dubplates), LHF (Keysound), Jam City, Dark Sky as well as the FACT DJ's. Brilliant support. Not quite J.O. and Ramadanman, but the promise of Fantastic Mr Fox and the elusive Jam City (his 'Refixes' EP released on white label earlier in the year is one of the top 12" from 2010 in my opinion) should also entice.

The headline set will persuade most alone. This may be one of the only times you'll ever have the opportunity to see the artists of 2010 play back to back, something which can't be avoided. J.O. may even drop the wonderful 'kissmequik' if we're very lucky, and if he does the £10 door fee will be instantly defined a bargain. Peter O'Grady meets David Kennedy. Yes please. Here are 3 reasons to be at XOYO on 03.12.10.

Room 1:

Joy Orbison b2b Ramadanman/Pearson Sound (2hrs)

Fantastic Mr Fox

LHF (Keysound)


Room 2:

Jam City

Dark Sky


J Saintil


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Pearson Sound - 'Blanked/Blue Eyes' (HES016)

Quality control once again proves to remain high on Hessle Audio releases, and was it ever in doubt with the knowledge that the prolific David Kennedy (aka Ramadanman, Pearson Sound) was producing release 016? Not for one minute. 2010 has been an outstanding year for the young producer/DJ, who seems to progress with each release, keeping standards high whilst experimenting with styles. Already to his name this year is the 'Ramadanman' EP, 'Your Words Matter/More Than You Know' (Midland), 'Down With You/Higher', 'Glut/Tempest' as well as the killer juke influenced 'Work Them/Fall Short'. Now under the alias of Pearson Sound, the first time he has worked under this name since 'Down With You', comes the release of 'Blanked/Blue Eyes' on the ever transcendent Hessle Audio. This release seems to combine elements of both his work as Ramadanman and Pearson Sound, combing similar sounds to what has gone before in 'Work Them' and 'Glut' as well as 'Gambetta'.

'Blanked' is the track which has been making the most noise, finding itself in the hands of the taste makers weeks/months before its release (Ben UFO, Oneman, J.O. and Blawan have all been strong supporters of the track). 7 minutes 13 seconds long, 'Blanked' slowly builds, patiently building a wonderfully worked break beat created on 808's that recalls breaks from the old school days of early 90s drum & bass/jungle. It's a resolute stripped back beat that forms the basis of the track, which after 1 minute is accompanied brilliantly by an Untold style reverberating bass kick. Progressing under this format, male vocals slowly work their way into the foreground of the track as do the every swarming synthlines that work in tandem with the aforementioned vocals, eventually drowning out the delicately built percussion. This adds a weight of emotional intensity to 'Blanked', a darkness in tone yet beauty in the way on which the male vocals and vox'd female wails interplay. This has become a marker of Kennedy's work over the past few years, excellently crafted tracks designed for the dancefloor that still evoke certain feelings and emotions. The break beat is re-introduced after the 4 minute mark, a move marked by a surging bass kick to kick the track back into a mode of progression. Vocals slowly fade away into the distance, breaks moving the feet of those that care.

'Blue Eyes' is equally adept to the A-side, and although it builds similarly to its partner, the style is slightly different and more playful in my opinion. A wonderfully laid out 808 percussive beat is set up early on, almost like a slowed down juke beat, a genre which has left its a mark on the work of recent producers including Kennedy himself ('Work Them/Fall Short' as well as previous and future Addison Groove material). The creation of such percussion dominates the opening, with the track finally kicking into life on the minute mark, signalled once again by an enormous Untold-esque bass kick which thumps to say the least. Playful synth arrangements (almost sounding as if they are produced from a type of game console) and beautifully soul drenched female vocals provide a nice foil to the more rigid percussion, slowly encapsulating the foreground of the track whilst the rolling percussion is pushed into the shadows, but only briefly. The bass kick once again asserts it's authority, reclaiming dominance whilst the vocals still float tentatively in the background, giving that soulful edge to a stripped down beat and heavy bass.

You can preview/purchase 'Blanked/Blue Eyes' now by clicking here. It's a big 12" release, one not to miss. Pearson Sound x Hessle Audio. A combination that was only going to produce high quality.

DLDRMS 002/003

A year on since the young Doldrums label's first and last release ('Brkln Clln/J.Doe'), plus 8 months of silence O'Grady's superb 'The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow' EP, both are back this week, and with real intention. J.O. has kept this new release very quiet, with the new singles being relatively unknown before yesterday's unveiling. The A-side is named 'BB' a track I had only previously head once in Joy's Sonar set. The B-side is labelled 'Ladywell', a number which hasn't been featured in any DJ sets at all to my knowledge. After initial listening, it becomes clear you're listening to something special here. Quality control is high, and this is a very different J.O. to what's gone before (especially 'Hyph Mngo/Wet Look' & 'Brkln Clln/J.Doe') in terms of style.

'BB/Ladywell' are without doubt his most house driven tracks to date, taking greater influence from a heritage of Detroit work that seems to have had some impact upon J.O., especially artists such as Theo Parrish, Omar-S, Marcellus Pittman, and a crop of new producers that includes the brilliant Kassem Mosse. Both tracks contain patient stripped 4/4 beats that provide a steady and uncompromising pulse, built upon with deep basslines, wonderful chord arrangements and vox'd vocals. It's a nod to Detroit house, yet done in such a way that it is truly original and is in keeping with a recognisable J.O. sound.

You can get 'BB/Ladywell' now on 12" from Honest Jons, although I would hurry as these are in huge demand and will be released in limited numbers. There is still no news as to whether they will be given an MP3 release. I shall keep you informed. You can also check out previews through the Honest Jons website, the only place you may do so. Sleeve artwork by Will Bankhead from The Trilogy Tapes, excellent work as per usual.

Doldrums 003 is a release that needs no introduction, with Braiden's 'The Alps' one of the most highly rated tracks of the year. Steve Braiden (Rinse FM/DJ/Photographer, and now producer) has been renowned as one of London's most promising DJ's for quite a while now, and he makes the progression to an exciting producer with ease on the basis of the quality of 'The Alps'. A track which seems to seep between boundaries of UK funky, house and techno, it's impossible to define. It's a dark affair, something which the manipulated disembodied vocals and synth chords contribute to alongside a bass heavy 4/4 funky beat. This atmosphere is reflected brilliantly in the video for the track which you can view below. Edited black and white archive footage of what seems to be an industrial nuclear power plant helps to establish a dark, structured tone, a feeling which 'The Alps' evokes in many ways. 'The Alps', also backed with a well received Kassem Mosse fix, can now be purchased at Honest Jons, but make sure you invest sooner rather than later. Previews can be heard on the website as well as in the video below (although the actual mix is over 7 mins long). Thank you Doldrums.

Also, last night I heard new J.O. material in a brand new Ben UFO mix. The title is 'kissmequik'. The production is out of this world. Tear jerking, trust me. Well it was for me at least.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Marcellus Pittman - FACT Mix 201

Detroit's Marcellus Pittman provides FACT Magazine's 201st mix, and what perfect timing for such a mix. Released a week before the 2nd Doldrums label night, which Pittman is headlining, the mix proves the excellence Pittman brings in his DJ sets. The mix, which pleases for a good 55 minutes, shows both Pittman's talent for brilliant track selection as well as undeniably technical mixing, evidence that he will set the Doldrums night alight. The mix incorporates Chicago house classics from the likes of Ron Trent, Lil Louis and Larry Heard, as well as more recent cuts from the much discussed Kyle Hall and Omar-S. These deep tracks intertwine beautifully with Pittman's own soulful efforts, which provide a slightly more minimal and rigid sound, as displayed in the fantastic 'Razz 09'. Seamlessly effortless from Pittman a member of the revered 3 Chairs. If you were thinking of missing Doldrums on Saturday, think again. Download the mix, and attend. If you didn't already know, J.O. will be providing a helping hand, an offer which nobody in their right mind can refuse.

Scott Grooves – ?
Larry Heard – Washing Machine
KC Flight- Planet E(loop)
Marcellus Pittman – Loneliness Leave Me Alone
An-2 – Lazy Sun
Louie Vega ft. Arnold Jarvis – Life Goes On
Daniel Wang – Like Some Dream I Can’t Stop Dreaming
Chez & Trent – KMS054
Marcellus Pittman – Razz 09
ESG – Moody
John Consemulder ft. Lex Express (Piranhahead remix)
Marshall Jefferson- Step By Step (Ron Trent remix)
Lil Louis – ?
Theo Parrish – Space Station

Download the mix by clicking here.

Friday, 12 November 2010

George FitzGerald - 'Heart On Sleeves'

New George FizGerald (Hotflush) material is something not to be missed. A clip of 2 mins 30 secs of a track titled 'Heart On Sleeves' has just been uploaded onto his soundcloud page, and as once again early indications are high quality control from the young producer. The track has a stronger house influence rather than the usual 2-step/UK garage approach that FitzGerald usually adopts, although their influences can still be heard in the track. A 4/4 beat comes to fruition in the opening stages, accompanied by intricate percussive arrangements as well as polyrhythmic synth chords which help to provide a smooth emotional sound in contrast to the structured beat, which comes to dominate the track after the interlude of soulful male vocals after 1 min 15 secs. Chords and vocals slowly re-integrate alongside the bass heavy beat, ensuring this as an emotional track made with the dancefloor in mind, a style which seems to be a marker of FitzGerald's production work ('Don't You', Weakness', 'The Let Down'). Listen to the track in the bar place below.

FitzGerald also recently put together a 50 min mix for URB, and my word it's good. Any mix which begins with 'Crazy' by Seven Wonders gains instant respect from myself, but from here on in FitzGerald carefully selects a wonderful variety of excellent tracks, which are beautifully mixed. Unreleased material from FitzGerald animates a fair part of the mix, something which can only entice you to listen, especially in the case of his wonderful refix of Groove Theory's 'Tell Me', without a shadow of a doubt one of my favourite remix's of 2010. You can download the mix now by clicking here, the tracklist is as follows:

George FitzGerald URB Mix - Tracklist:
1. Seven Wonders – Crazy (DJ’s for Life)
2. George FitzGerald – Friends In High Places (CDR)
3. WAX – 30003 B (WAX)
4. Will Saul & Mike Monday – Sequence (Scuba Remix) (forthcoming AUS)
5. KMA – Cape Fear (Groove Chronicles)
6. George FitzGerald – Fernweh (CDR)
7. Surgeon – Floorshow (Counterbalance)
8. George FitzGerald – Don’t You (forthcoming Hotflush)
9. Scuba – Three Sided Shape (forthcoming Hotflush)
10. xxxy – This Much (CDR)
11. Pariah – The Slump (R&S)
12. Groove Theory – Tell Me (George FitzGerald Remix) (CDR)

Hearts On Sleeves by George FitzGerald

HomePark - 'Made Me Happy'

I'd planned to write quite a bit on this excellent duo, however due to an essay which I am yet to start (which probably won't go anywhere in all honesty) I can only recommend listening to one of my favourite of their tracks, although I will cover them in greater detail in the coming days and weeks. Rob Glassett & Sam Fussell make their own brand of deep house under the alias HomePark, creating a unique sound which still manages to bear a resemblance and shows influence from Detroit masters such as Kenny Dixon Jr. (aka Moodymann) and Theo Parrish, as well as more recent producers such as Ethyl & Flori, BLM, Kyle Hall and Iron Curtis. The balance between their own sound and inspirations are just right, pushing things forward without loosing touch with the music's past roots.

'Made Me Happy' is a brilliant example of what the boys are capable of when it comes down to production. It's a deep cut, one which patiently builds, and in doing so satisfies so wonderfully well. The first two minutes of the track establish a driving 4/4 beat, which gradually incorporates hi-hats, short chord arrangements as well as short clips of clapping towards the end of each beat. Once the track reaches the two minute mark, we're taken in a very different, but undoubtedly beautiful direction, a transition marked by a swarming synth. The only reminder of the first two minutes is the stripped down beat, which is now overshadowed by heart-tugging female vocals and a synth organ which provides the perfect foil to the polished vocal and beat arrangements. These elements go on to dominate the track for it's remainder, completing this wonderful track. Patient, smooth, effortless, deep. This is what HomePark produce. What more would you want? Listen to 'Made Me Happy' in the bar below, and also be sure to visit their Soundcloud and Myspace pages.

Made me happy by HomePark

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Kassem Mosse/Doldrums/Trilogy Tapes - Mixtape 20.11.10

No more needs to be done to persuade me to attend the 2nd Doldrums night. The promise of Marcellus Pittman, J.O, Braiden, Nookie & Krystal Klear, plus the limited availability on the night of new Braiden and J.O. 12" records had done more than enough to guarantee that myself and numerous others would attend what will undoubtedly be a fantastic night. So the addition of an exclusive mixtape for the night tops things off in all honesty, and what a mixtape this could be. Kassem Mosse, the deep techno/house producer (who displays shades of Detroit house as much as he does Berlin techno) who appeared at the first Doldrums night, has created an exclusive mixtape with artwork from Trilogy Tapes for Doldrums.

The mixtape will be released in limited numbers on the night, they won't be available for long, trust me. We can expect a beautiful blend of deep techno and house cuts in the mix, with potentially unreleased material from Mosse featuring. If you are unaware of Kassem Mosse's brilliant work, I'd recommend an introduction starting with 'A1' of his 'Workshop 03' EP, it's a fantastic example of the potential this artist has. Trilogy Tapes has also contributed the artwork for the 2nd Doldrums release, Braiden's 'The Alps'. Also available on the 2nd Doldrums night, along with the next J.O. 12". Words can't begin to explain my excitement for the latter record. All this is simply unmissable. 20.11.10. Plan B. Doldrums. Don't miss it.

Rick Wilhite - FACT Mix 198

Over the past week and a half since its release, Rick Wilhite's mix for FACT magazine has been dominating play in my listening hours. 69 minutes of pure bliss. This mix goes deep, I can't begin to explain how much soulful, emotional music is purveyed by Wilhite in this beautiful mix. The integral 3 Chairs member (alongside Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon Jr. and latterly Marcellus Pittman) constructs a set full of emotional Detroit house killers, which patiently works it's way into a deeper, faster groove. Cuts from Theo Parrish, Moodymann, Wilhite himself (aka The Godson) can all be heard, but the tracklist has yet to be released, which has left me in the cold concerning a couple of wonderful tracks which I was yet to hear before the mix. If anybody can knows the track which begins at 31.30 and ends at 34.30, please don't hesitate to get in touch, I've been searching for days to find it. The vocals 'I'll find you' are repeated, with a slow 4 to the floor beat which is by beautiful polyrhythmic synth chords which provide that emotive element when combined with the soulful vocal clips.

This is undoubtedly essential listening. House with real feeling. Stream/download the track by clicking here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Doldrums Presents Marcellus Pittman & Joy Orbison

19th June, Doldrums opening night. Omar S, Source Direct, Kassem Mosse, Joy Orbison, Floating Points & The BPM step up to the plate, and deliver with first class sets. In the early hour aftermath, I establish this night will be difficult to better for Peter et al. Looking at the 20th November, I anticipate that I will have been proven wrong at the first attempt. The 2nd night looks big, unmissable in every sense of the word.
The line-up for 20.11.10 at present is as follows, with more names to be announced on the line-up shortly:

Doldrums Presents:
Marcellus Pittman (Unirhythm/Detroit)
Joy Orbison (Doldrums Resident)
Krystal Klear (All City)
Nookie (Reinforced)
Braiden (Rinse/Doldrums)
Bankhead (Trilogy Tapes)

As displayed in this wonderful line-up of artists, the night will explore the depths of the highest quality house, techno, jungle and garage. Marcellus Pittman is a huge catch, with a rare UK set from the Detroit native. Pittman is best known as being a member of 3 Chairs, the ultimate Detroit house/techno production team that also included legends of the sound Theo Parrish, Kenny Dixon Jr. and later on Rick Wilhite. His solo work is also mightily impressive, a smooth stripped down deep house sound that will have you nodding with a growing intensity as the tracks progressively work their way into a slow groove. With releases on Fit and Unirhythm, this is evidently an artist of undeniable talent. 'Razz 09' is an example of the man on top form, a track you can enjoy by clicking here.
Doldrums resident and head honcho Mr. Peter O'Grady (aka Joy Orbison) will once again be stepping up to the 1's and 2's, undoubtedly providing his wonderful mix of blissful UK garage, unbelievably good solo projects as well as future releases which have made an impression on the 23 year old wonderkid. If the promise of a J.O. set alone isn't enough to get you down to Brixton on the 20th, and why it wouldn't I don't know, the opportunity to purchase his new 12" released on Doldrums must be the deal breaker. I'm too excited about the potential of this new release. I have a feeling it will be new material previously unheard by public, maybe even the full version of the 'Untitled Edit' which has animated his myspace page since late July. Imagine if it was an EP comprised of 'GR Etiquette', 'Smother', 'Tentative Bidding' and even his wonderful refix of Goapele's 'Milk & Honey'. A 4-track EP combining these tracks would bring tears of Joy to my eyes, I can only dream, and it will be intriguing nonetheless to see what appears on the new 12". If you are blissfully unaware of Orbison's work, then here's 'So Derobe', from which there is no return after first listening.
If J.O. and Marcellus Pittman don't quite do it for you, then you also have the small matter of a set from Rinse FM's Braiden, one of the finest DJ's on the scene, who is renowned for his variety, mixing seamlessly between techno, uk funky, dubstep, garage and house. There is something for everyone in his sets, and with his up-coming 12" on Doldrums being made available on the night alongside new J.O. material, attending is essential. 'The Alps', which will feature on Braiden's debut 12", is one of the most highly rated tracks of the year, receiving support from the Doldrums boys, Mary Anne Hobbs, Ben UFO et al. You can catch a clip of 'The Alps' by clicking here. It's a brilliant track, one which sounds like no other I've heard this year, combining elements of techno and UK funky, which results in an absolute killer. Not to be missed on the night, these will most definitely sell like hotcakes.

For those of you jungle heads out there Nookie has been drafted in to bring things up to speed, no doubt rolling out classics from the early 90s. Forever attatched to the legendary Reinforced Records, Nookie's seminal LP 'The Sound of Music' is unquestionably one of my favourite records from the jungle/drum & bass explosion in the early-mid 90s, with 'Only You' encapsulating what is so brilliant about Nookie, providing a sense of emotion and serenity to a characteristically dark and structured genre. The infectious boogie cosmos of Krystal Klear provides yet another highlight, swarming up a groove no end in Plan B with his exploration of New Jack Swing, Boogie, Funk, RnB and House. Check out his track 'Lets Go Dreaming' below.
Lets Go Dreaming by KrystalKlear

If you haven't been persuaded yet, then I doubt there's much more I can say to entice you. I shouldn't really need to, the line-up sells itself. For those of you who are interested, here are the facts. 20/11/10. Plan B, Brixton, Brixton Road, SW9 7AY. 22:00-05:00. £8 advance/£12 on the door. Get your advance tickets now by clicking here. Do it.

Monday, 1 November 2010

DJ Dom - 'The Mind Of DJ Dom' (PTN006)

PTN's latest offering is one of their deepest yet, furthering the boundaries of UK funky/house with which their 5 previous releases have been experimenting with very successfully. Huge releases, coming from Doc Daneeka, Hypno, Breach & Hackman, as well as the wonderful artwork design and vinyl print of the 12" have confirmed Ramp's ever growing sub-label as one of the most promising around within the realm of dubstep/funky/garage. The label's 6th releases sees the first effort from the highly rated DJ Dom, a young producer who was friends at university with Blunted Robot boys Brackles and Shortstuff. It's a brilliantly accomplished first effort from the young man, taking a more refined and subtle approach to the UK Funky sound. Finding a balance somewhere between funky and deep house, the EP is smooth, and will have garage/funky heads nodding away all night long.

The highlight track for me is undoubtedly 'Computer Love'. Personally, the two things I look for immediately in dance/UK bass music are repetition and emotion. 'Computer Love' more than delivers in both areas. Established with a driving 4/4 house beat, the track contains the slow progression of patience of deep house, whilst retaining the stepping beat and shoulder shudder which UK funky brings to underground nights. Delicate hi hats, minimal bell chimes and handclaps work their way into the percussive arrangement of the track, providing the smooth intricate side of things in contrast to the structured effervescent beat. Beautiful swarming synth chords that can't help but warm the heart bring an element of emotion, especially when placed in conjunction with the soft and tranquil diva vocal clips, which are repeated constantly throughout the tracks 5:38 duration. 'Boss Mode', 'Plastic People' and 'Untitled' are also strong efforts, although 'Computer Love's' brilliance steals the show for me. File next to Cosmin TRG, Hypno and Julio Bashmore.

Preview/purchase the EP by clicking here. Enjoy.

DJ Dom - Computer Love by RAMP Recordings / PTN