March 20, 2015
Annnddd, we’re back. Here’s another Shore To Shore brought to you exclusively by our buddies across the pond, Caveman Sound. Get ready for the very best in stateside house, the weekend starts right here!
Cyclist — Heartbeat Speed (Feat. Jocelyn Alice)
Toronto’s Cyclist has long been one of our favorite producers of all things disco and funk. Though with this latest track, Heartbeat Speed ft. wonderfully soulful vocals courtesy of Jocelyn Alice, he shows us a more laid back side. Toss your shades on, face to the sun, and let this one carry you away with it’s warm melodies. The track’s out now as an exclusive on the new Toolroom Records Poolside Miami compilation, mixed by Cyclist himself alongside Framewerk.
Beat Connection — Illusion
Continuing with the relaxed vibe, we’ve got Seattle based trio Beat Connection, an outfit we’ve long admired for their flawlessly crafted productions and brilliant attention to detail in both music and overall branding. The guys have just put out their first single of 2015 with Illusion, and we couldn’t have hoped for anything better. A slow build carries us through their signature lush layers, blending electronic and pop vibes with ease. Look out for much more from them soon.
FCL — It’s You (Hercules & Love Affair)
This was one of those times that we knew before even listening to the track we’d love it. Because when one of your all-time favorite acts, NYC’s Hercules & Love Affair, drops a rework of one of your most beloved tracks, FCL’s It’s You, greatness is a given. This edit was part of their free Valentines Day gift last month, a package of exclusive edits, and sure isn’t the only gem in there it just happens to be our favorite. Grab the full set here. And you should probably check out the force behind H&LA, Andy Butler’s, solo debut while you’re at it, right here.
Sleepy Cat — You Got To
After a stellar original release with On & One last month, LA-based producer Sleepy Cat is back at it with yet another stunner. You Got To takes a classic vocal sample and pushes it to a new dimension, utilizing deep undertones and tight percussion notes to create a multilayered house cut. We’ve already gotten a sneak peek at his next release, and we’ll just say, this guy’s not going to stay a secret for long.
Le Youth — R E A L (Figgy Remix)
This one really takes no effort for us to get into, seeing as two of our good Caveman Sound homies have come together on one track. NYC’s own Figgy takes on remix duties for R E A L, by LA’s Le Youth, and the resulting combination of their talents makes for something truly fantastic. The original’s 90’s R&B sample sifts through Figgy’s smooth yet intricately layered house beats seamleslly, delivering a subtly energizing tune we can’t get enough of.
Justin Jay — You Give Me Butterflies
21-year-old Californian producer Justin Jay should need no introduction, but in case you’re unfamiliar it’s time to take note. Past an impressive EP release on SF imprint Dirtybird last year, he’s back with a new one entitled Momentum, this time out via Catz ‘N Dogz Pets Recordings. Our personal pick from the trio of tracks is without question the closer, You Give Me Butterflies, which is a shift from his previously darker textures to a more lighthearted, exploratory sound. He’s said the track reflects his current mood as he finishes his last year of University, and is the perfect vibe for “a carefree day at the beach, spent with your friends, acting like 8 year-olds.” We’d say that’s spot on. Enjoy.
March 17, 2015
WORDS BY LOUIS HAINES
We’ve had an eye on exciting Brisbane producer Young Franco (AKA Joey Da Rin) for a little while, as he’s been building up steam in his home country of Australia. Over the last year he’s developed his craft in euphoric, funky house and his most recent track, ‘Talkin’ Bout’, shows just how pristine things have gotten.
With a bounce so tangible it’ll be hopping around your head for days, the only thing that could possibly give this tune more pep is a swooning, beat perfect sample. That’s where fellow Aussie KLP comes in. The synth pop siren and Triple J House Party host lays on a delicious, syncopated vocal line that lends a unique, woozy crispness to proceedings.
Da Rin’s production choices are a joy to hear, with dropped notes and adequate space for his samples all blended seamlessly across the track’s four minutes. With a ballsy style that brings loads of the mix to the front, Young Franco’s current promise is boundlessly exciting.
It bears remembering that summer’s drawing to a close down under. Fingers crossed he’ll be hopping on a plane and bringing some of the vibes for the season’s change here… watch this space!
March 4, 2015
With a string of quality house tracks ready for release via his new Kenja Recordings imprint, RONNIE SPITERI is set to firmly establish himself as one of the UK’s most exciting producers in 2015.
Ronnie has grown up immersed in house music. You could say it’s in his veins! His father is a veteran promoter from England’s south coast, who hosted illegal raves all over the country throughout the early 90’s, many a time with young Ronnie in tow! During the last few years, he’s played alongside many of the biggest names in house, plus sets at nightlife institutions including The Ministry of Sound, Pacha and London’s O2 Academy.
We’ve been captivated by Ronnie’s tunes from the very start, so much so, that we’ve nabbed our very own CTC exclusive, which you can stream below and download for free via soundcloud.
March 4, 2015
WORDS BY LOUIS HAINES
Moda Black associated, Edinburgh based Theo Kottis’ work inhabits shades of grey in many ways. His tunes can simmer eerily or float in a euphoric haze, but they never give it all away. A true exponent of his label’s ‘dark as coal polished to a diamond finish’ sound, the ‘Human Chemistry’ EP retains a form that looks set to spiral in 2015.
First track ‘Human Chemistry’ moves with a fluid cool. Pleading vocals give it it’s deliciously strung out atmosphere, while those minor pads tender the dark, recognisably Moda Black, vibes from beneath. This is the smouldering side of the imprint’s sometimes jagged-edged catalogue, in contrast to previous releases from the likes of Ejeca and Hauswerks. The great strength of the label’s roster is the way they’ve cultivated a distinctive strain despite the varied spectrum their artists produce in.
‘Want To Be’ keeps up the atmosphere. Those quivering bass notes plummeting down into the sub register give Kottis his calling card on this EP. Top-end synths provide a bit of a lift, and invigorate the record in its latter stages. Full of murky cool and ghostly ambience, the EP has a second half as strong as the first. With a sharp double of quality originals, THEO KOTTIS has further increased Moda Black’s stake as one of the most identifiable and interesting labels in UK dance music right now.
February 26, 2015
Dexter Kane knows tech house. Banging out well produced, quality tech house cuts for close to a decade, Dexter has always danced to the beat of his own drum (machine), spearheading his popular imprint, Shadow Sanctuary, in the process. His latest EP ‘Hit Rewind’ is a solid CTC fave, thanks to the producer’s classy ode to acid house, aptly titled ‘303 ’til Infinity’.
CTC grabbed DEXTER KANE for a chat this week, to see what songs he’s been hammering on the dance floor, for another instalment of our popular series, Five for the Floor.
James What – It Feels Wrong. “A lot of tunes have a shelf life for me, it’s a really rare thing to find one that still makes you feel the same way, no matter how many times you listen to it. I remember hearing Steve Bug play this at Fabric in the summer of 2011 and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. Production is slick as.”
Burnski – The Hours. “Really happy to hear some new stuff from this guy after a short hiatus. He’s definitely one of those producers who goes for quality rather than quantity, which is rare in this digital day and age. Seems like he’s taken his sound a shade tougher on this, but the trademark chords never let you forget it’s still a Burnski record. Ace.” // Read our chat with Burnski here.
Dexter Kane – 303 ’til Infinity. “Cheeky little Acid house track I knocked up. Out on Shadow Sanctuary on the 9th March. Was originally supposed to a b-side, but seems to be getting a nice bit of love.” // Read our review of Dexter Kane’s ‘Closer Still’ EP here.
Niko Maxen – The Ol’ Boy. “Another forthcoming record on Shadow Sanctuary, this one’s out in May. Really digging the subtleness of this record. A relentlessly solid groove, that remains catchy to the end. No easy feat.”
Preview coming soon // Follow Niko here.
Jacky – Mute (System 2 Remix). “Bit of wax I just picked up. Got a really nice old feel to it, loads of 808 which is never a bad thing.”
Revered label boss, talented producer and respected DJ, Kevin McKay has always been something of a mogul. Carving out his own long-standing career as a DJ and producer, it’s Kevin’s GLASGOW UNDERGROUND imprint –started back in ’97 by the Scottish native – that has really helped him shine, cementing his enduring tastemaker status. Since then, GU has pumped out tracks by everyone from Rick Preston to Andy Carrick and, of course, McKay himself, as well as being a consistent bastion of rising, next-gen talent, most notably CTC allies, ILLYUS & BARRIENTOS.
On the brink of what’s set to be another outstanding year for the imprint, Kevin has picked some of his favourite cuts from the last two decades exclusively for CTC, to help celebrate the release of GU’s new retrospective compilation, 97:07, out now on TOOLROOM.
1. The African Dream – All The Same Family [Eightball Records, USA, 1994]
“I love the sound of the M1 organ (for those who don’t know, the sound is a preset on Korg’s M1 keyboard/workstation that was very popular with early house producers). There’s something magic about the way the bass resonates in a club that really does it for me; it just sounds so good on the dance-floor. When I first started producing, I wanted to make my own track with it but couldn’t afford an M1 and so Andy Carrick and I ended making this in 1995 with our less fashionable Roland D-70 (here). All through the 90s there were brilliant records made with this sound. Jaydee’s “Plastic Dreams” is probably the most famous but there was also this early one by the (originally titled) M1 (“Feel The Drums”, Emotive Records, USA, 1991 – here.) and later this killer groove by Farley & Heller (here).
While these were all great, my favourite is this one on Eightball Records. I used to play it all the time. Possibly because it sounded similar to Jaydee (but wasn’t Jaydee!). The groove is effortless and you can listen to the organ riff all day. Its easy to see why vinyl heads like Levon Vincent still play it today. And if you’re a fan of OFF Recordings, you’ll be well aware it (although you wouldn’t know from the title). Just have another listen to their current Beatport top 100 hit “Cracks” by Simone Vitullo feat. Cari Golden (here).”
2. Moods “A Feeling” (Deep Feeling) [Deep Dish Records, USA, 1992]
“I was a massive Deep Dish fan in the 90s. So much so I’m going to put two of their records on this list. The first one is this track they made before they became really well known as producers. Its much deeper than the music that made them famous but it still have that warmth and feeling that made me love their later records so much!
Although this Youtube rip is from a 1995 album they mixed, it was originally included on the first ever release on Deep Dish Records (before they decided to use the label name as their artists name here.)”
“I think the really innovative producers are the type of people that don’t just produce music of their time. They know the endless possibilities that sound equipment can provide…”
3. Deep Dish presents Quench DC “After Hours” [Tribal America/UK, 1994]
“There were so many great Deep Dish tracks before they kinda lost it at the end of the ’90s that it’s hard for me to pick a favourite (I could though – it’s this – here). However for this list I wanted to pick one that still sounds great – and playable – today. I think the really innovative producers are the type of people that don’t just produce music of their time. They know the endless possibilities that sound equipment can provide and so their studio sessions deliver tracks that – because of fashion – might not connect at the time but do so much later.
This track was often overlooked for the more energetic “High Frequency” on the A-side. I love it – it worked a treat at 6 in the morning at an after party when everyone was in that special swaying-more-than-dancing mood – and it wouldn’t sound out of place in a deep house set today.”
4. Phturescope – What Is House Muzik? [Emotive Records, USA, 1994]
“This isn’t my favourite Wild Pitch record (that’s probably this – DJ Pierre – Love Trax (Distorted Luv) – Strictly Rhythm, USA, 1992) but – given its recent re-issue on Get Physical it’s clearly one of the most playable today. It would be hard to talk about clubbing in Glasgow in the 90s without mentioning DJ Pierre or the Wild Pitch sound. All the key underground DJs of the time (Slam, Harri, Domenic Cappello, Oscar) were – and probably still are – huge fans.
Any Friday at The Arches, Saturday night at the Sub Club or Sunday night at the Voodoo Room (the three key underground nights of the time) was likely to have involved at least one of his productions or one by his many close peers (Roy Davis Jr, Nate Williams or Dannell Dixon – who gets a special mention for this HUGE Sub Club anthem here).”
“You could drop it right now after a big Omar S cut and – unless they knew the track – no one one the dance-floor would realise you had just taken them back 20 years.”
5. Tata Box Inhibitors – Plasmids [Touche, NL, 1994]
“If the Pierre & Co. were the ones killing it on the US hypno-house front, Jamez’ and Dobre’s Touche label pretty much ruled things in Europe. There are so many great records in its catalogue that its hard to pick just one. You have everything from the ultra-deep house of 51 Days ‘Paper Moon’ (here) to the main room stomp of Trancesetters ‘The Search’ (here) – one of the biggest progressive/techno records of the time. I’ve gone for something in between.
Despite the many different artist names, the label’s output was mainly written & produced by Dobre & Jamez and this one is no different. What does mark it out from the two I mentioned earlier is how it simply hasn’t dated. You could drop it right now after a big Omar S cut and – unless they knew the track – no one one the dance-floor would realise you had just taken them back 20 years. Brilliant.”
6. The House of Mood II Swing Presents Chronic “Dance Now” [Empire State, USA, 1994]
“If I had to pick a favourite producer from the 90s it would be Mood II Swing. Those guys had it all. John Ciafone was a master of beats, grooves and noises that made you bonkers on the dance-floor. His partner, Lem Springsteen had a fantastic voice (hear him on “All Night Long” here). Between them they made some of my favourite ever remixes (including this wicked reconstruction of Loni Clark’s “Love’s Got Me (On A Trip So High” – here) and some of my favourite club tracks.
Of the heavier, trackier music they made, this release on Eight Ball off-shoot Empire State is probably the best. I’ve tried a few times to get them out of retirement and back making house music but it seems while Lem is still around, John has given it up for good. Its such a shame because I know they could deliver new music just as MK and Kerri Chandler have come back and added a new dimension to the dance music of today.”
Track available on request.
7. Carl Craig – At Les [Buzz, Belgium, 1993]
“I’m a huge Carl Craig fan and so – just like Deep Dish – he gets two records on this list. The first is one that you have to be uber brave to play to a full dance-floor. It’s not really made for that kind of thing though, more for spaced-out dreamy hugging at sunrise but it’s such a wonderful piece of music I couldn’t not include it here. When Luciano asked me to do one of their Cadenza Music podcasts where you mix up all your influences in one session, this was the first track on the list… here.”
“Carl Craig remixes are the stuff of DJ legend. Build for those that like to groove and groove… and groove a little bit more!”
8. Tori Amos – God (The Thinking Mix 2 by Carl Craig) [East West, UK, 1993]
“Carl Craig remixes are the stuff of DJ legend. Build for those that like to groove and groove (and groove a little bit more) they are usually a lesson in how a few elements can combine to make one helluva tune (as long as each of those elements is pretty much perfect). Back in ’93 – when he made this – his productions were a lot more varied. This one features a Brazilian-influenced rhythm track, Tori Amos’ haunting voice and some of the best chords never to be used in a trance anthem ever made. At the time it was a bit too leftfield to be a big tune but – to me – this still sounds amazing today.”
9. St Germain-En-Laye – Walk So Lonely [F Communication, FR, 1994]
“I love St. Germain. His “Boulevard” album was one of the first proper house music albums to really break through into the public consciousness and – despite its popularity – it never lost any of its charm. As an artist though he was much more than the coffee-table chill-out stuff that “Boulevard” came to represent.
His Nuages project with Shazz laid down some of the deepest house grooves of the time (check out “Move” for a real Jamie Jones style head-nodder – here) and the killer ‘Alabama Blues’ (here) was a staple in almost every deep house DJs set at the time. I’ve picked another blues-influence track of his for this list, the brilliant, bumping ‘Walk So Lonely’.”
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“But instead of this super deep piece of house being the soundtrack to people leaving, it slowly pulled people (back) on to the floor…”
10. Black Rascals – Blaze Theme Track [Sumo, 1994]
“The first time I heard this track was just before the start of the Sub Club’s long-running Saturday night “Subculture”. Slam – along with Harri – were still the Saturday night residents but the crowd was dwindling – mainly because Stuart & Orde’s sets were getting harder and harder (145bmp Harthouse techno and beyond) and – for whatever reason – the crowd weren’t responding. One night Slam were away playing abroad and Harri invited Oscar Fullone (who at the time was releasing as one half of East Men on Tribal America and later went on to record as Mish Mash) to play alongside him.
They had a late license and around 4:30am as the club was thinning out, Oscar dropped this. It was a brave choice. But instead of this super deep piece of house being the soundtrack to people leaving, it slowly pulled people on to the floor and – by the end – its brilliant bass work had the whole place grooving. Such a classy tune.”
February 20, 2015
CTC favourite and Australian DJ hero, MOTEZ is set to make his debut in the UK tonight, as part of Shut The Front Door’s whopping tropical line-up at Brixton Jamm. CTC got the chance to catch up with Motez for a quick chat before his gig with the STFD crew, to see what’s been cracking since we last spoke to him.
Shut The Front Door with Satin Jackets (Live), Moullinex b2b Xinobi and Motez plus the House of Disco DJs kicks off tonight at Brixton Jamm, London. Tickets here.
Hi Motez! You were one of the first people we ever interviewed on CTC back in late 2013. Tell us what’s happened since then, things seem to have really taken off for you… Hey CTC, great to speak to you again, yeah I definitely remember that. Wow time has changed lots of things, for starters my beard is a lot more prominent now but cannot say that my coffee habits have changed one bit! Also, toured and travelled to lots of places in this beautiful globe doing what I do for a living, it’s been splendid.
“I love jamming to Jamiroquai, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Radiohead in my spare time and I get lots of chord inspiration from there.”
‘Promise Me’ is one of the tracks that really thrust you in to the limelight last year, can you talk to us a little bit about where you draw inspiration from when you’re making music? Thank you, I take inspiration from lots and lots of things, musically I don’t tend to draw inspiration from dance music, I feel like if I do I’ll end up sounding the same like everybody else, who would ever want to do that? I try to aim higher and go to left-of-field kind of music. I love jamming to Jamiroquai, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Radiohead in my spare time and I get lots of chord inspiration from there.
Who are some of your biggest production idols? Oh man, so many, Boards of Canada are my number one idols overall, not only from a production perspective but the way to look at music, I love the way they see it as a very abstract object, no rules and no inhibitions. Others like Jean-Michel Jarre, Touch Sensitive, Todd Terje, Little Dragon and Justin Martin have influenced my production style a fair bit. Even people like Chesus and Gerd have made me think in a more minimal sort of way. It’s like each one of them gave me inspiration in a completely different way.
Out of all the originals and remixes you’ve created over the last few years, which one are you most proud of? Hard to say, as other artists say: “They’re all like my kids, I can’t pick a favorite”. But for argument’s sake I would say my Sam Smith remix, I’m very proud of it because I have put a good time in making it, I don’t usually make music in a deliberate way but rather more spontaneous, however in my Sam Smith remix I did do a lot of things on purpose, it’s like I’ve put all my “tricks” in there. Plus he won and four Grammies and that makes me very happy because he has worked very hard.
What can we expect from you music wise in 2015? Well, I’ve got A LOT of new music ready to go it’s just a matter of making sure we got all grounds covered over the year and releasing the right music at the right time in the right way. You won’t be disappointed
You’re a total hero in the Australian dance scene, can you tell us some new Aussie acts we should be on the look out for this year? Thank you, I’m very very proud of that, there are many acts that are doing some amazing stuff, hard to pin point who exactly but people like Anna Lunoe, Indian Summer, Poolclvb, Mic Mills, Alison Wonderland and many others who are doing us proud.
The Australian electronic scene is quite unique and definitely has its own particular sound and vibe. What do you think makes it so special? I think it’s just fresh music, we’re a loud and happy bunch and I think that translates itself across to music, I feel the difference when I play in gigs in America or even the gig I did in Dublin a few days ago, I was like “alright people, I know you love your dark music but I want to just bring a little ray of sunshine and smiles to this place” and it worked.
You’re about to play the Shut The Front Door event in London, what tracks can we expect from you on the dance floor? I am not sure, I usually see what the vibe is like and go from there, expect lots of pianos and positive vibes, I don’t go to gigs with a particular set, the lack of preconceptions excites me.
Finally, if you had a magic compass that could take you anywhere in the world at any time in history, where would you pick and why? I would say at a time in the future where we get to land and explore an exoplanet for the first time.