April 23, 2015
There’s nothing we love more than kicking back and listening to our pal Frank McWeeny’s radio show, French Toast. An expert selector and superstar mixer, you can catch Frank spin all over the globe, including our residency at the Queen of Hoxton in London’s trendy Shoreditch.
In the meantime, be sure to catch up with the latest instalment of his stellar radio show, that features Brooklyn Bass blog head honcho Evan Michael on the line direct from NYC!
There’s also brand new bangers from Hauke Freer, Flex Cop, Jean Tonique, The Revenge, Dimitri From Paris and many more.
You’d be mad to miss it.
April 22, 2015
Marlon Hoffstadt is back. His new EP ‘Crumble’ — which he made with production pal, Racquet — is an emotive and deeply grooving cut, set for release on Dutch music-blog-cum-imprint, Deep House Amsterdam. With support from Ame, Sasha and Tensnake, ‘Crumble’ is backed up by two stellar remixes from Amsterdam local (via Canada) Poupon and German producer, Andre Lodemann.
We’ve always had a lot of love for Lodemann — this gem we blogged in 2012 is still a stunner! — so naturally our attention was pricked, as well as Hoffstadt’s work under his other well known moniker, Tender Games. On the brink of what might be Marlon Hoffstadt’s best EP yet, we thought it a good time to sit down with the producer, to talk top albums, Berlin nightlife and what’s next.
We’d like to start by asking about your association with Suol. How did that come about? About 3 years ago I met HRRSN and we worked on some tunes. We then decided that we should do an album together and ran into Chopstick & Johnjon, the A&R’s and owners of SUOL Music. Now I have my studio next to Chopstick’s and Johnjon’s and to the SUOL Office, and we are working on a few things together.
And Tender Games? What’s the idea there? As I said before, Tender Games is a project of HRRSN and me. We decided to start a new alias, because the music is quite different to what we are producing with our solo projects. Tender Games is funky, souly and a little bit poppy, but also everything we want it to be; sometimes its more housey sometimes more garage. We just do what we want and that’s the good thing about SUOL, they are open minded to everything!
How does working alone differ to working with HRRSN from a productivity perspective? Working with HRRSN means that he plays the piano to find a theme and that he writes the lyrics. As soon as he has found something we are trying to put that into a beat and a sound that fits us. When I’m working alone, I always know where to go, cause everything is just in my head. That doesn’t mean that it’s better working alone. For me, it makes it more fun working together. Also it’s just different, HRRSN brings many other genre influences into our productions. I grew up with house, he grew up with folk, R&B and garage.
What do you see as the future of your music? How has it changed since you first started producing? I can’t answer that. I don’t know what my future sound will be like. It changes so fluently as my knowledge grows so fast. There is so much more to learn and with all the new stuff I know, and also my attitude changes. But I guess it will always be a little bit poppy, because I think you need to have emotions in your songs!
The artwork on your DHA release is really striking. Do you think people pay as much attention to the art these days? Unfortunately not. I think the attention of customers for art, music and film is really short. All these medias have a short life. People are listening and watching to so many new projects every day that they forget about the stuff they heard or saw one week ago. This sounds sad, but I think thats one of the negative effects of the internet.
I gather Germany was hugely influential to you also? Where did you go clubbing when you were younger? Haha, I started clubbing when I was 15. Me and my friends went to clubs like “VCF” or others like this. I don’t know if they still exist, but back in the days it was great! If I would have experienced the Berlin nightlife so early I wouldn’t have started DJ’ing either. Berlin brought me to House!
“It’s not so much fun partying in clubs when I’m not DJ’ing there. I’m more into bars and some beers outside at a park or something like that.”
Do you still go clubbing or do you avoid clubs when you’re not playing these days? Uh, no! I try to avoid them as often as possible. Maybe when friends of mine are playing I’ll join them but for me it’s not so much fun partying in clubs when I’m not DJ’ing there. I’m more into bars and some beers outside at a park or something like that.
So what are your favourite places to play and dance in Berlin? When was the last time you were blown away by a DJ? KINK Live at Watergate: This was wicked! He played upstairs in the big room and I it was just incredible. He is such a talented producer and his live set is wicked. He interacts with the crowd and has so much fun, he always smiles when he plays. So nice!
So do you reckon the Internet is a good or bad thing for electronic music? Or maybe a bit of both? The internet has helped me alot to build this little hype that I’ve had with ‘Shake That’. I think Blogs and YouTube Channels became so important for musicians. Also Soundcloud and Spotify are very important. All these platforms, websites and services help musicians to gain their focus and traffic, but it also makes it available for everyone else, which leads to a massive spam. I think I receive about 30 to 40 promos a week. And thats just a short piece of what’s coming out, there is so much new music and I think this is just possible because of the internet.
You’ve got Andre Lodemann doing a remix on your latest. Have you been a fan of Andre’s for some time now? What did you think of his remix? We once played at a SUOL Showcase at Watergate, and besides his fantastic music he also is such a friendly guy and a super talented DJ. I really enjoyed his set there, so yes I’m digging all his work and it was a great honour to have him as a Remixer. PS: I love the drop after the big break… it’s a real club banger!
Aside from music, what do you get up to in your spare time? I’m a movies and series junkie. I have a big wall and a beamer in my room. I’ve watched so many series and movies over the last two years that it’s not possible to sum them up. But honestly there is not much spare time left. Besides working on Marlon Hoffstadt and Tender Games, I’m also starting a new label again. But more info very soon.
“From time to time, Berlin stresses me quite hard. Not that I don’t like it here, I think it’s one of the world’s best cities, but it’s very touristic these days.”
Where are you living right now? What’s it like? What are your favourite and least favourite things about the city? I’m still living in Berlin. I’m living close to my studio which is quite nice, and its not too far to the airport. But I guess it’s quite hectic here. From time to time, Berlin stresses me quite hard. Not that I dont like it here, I think its one of the worlds best cities, but its very touristic these days.
If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only bring 5 albums, what would they be? And why? Caribou ‘Our Love’, Jungle ‘Jungle’, Kendrick Lamar ‘Good kid, m.A.A.d city’, Kendrick Lamar ‘To Pin A Butterfly’, Mount Kimbie ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’
April 22, 2015
At CTC, we’re all about fostering the UK’s local talent; we love our bedroom producers and underground up and comers. NOCTURN INC are no different, with the duo dropping their first single ‘Can’t Stand The Daylight’ exclusively via the CTC soundcloud today.
An illusive bunch, Nocturn Inc don’t get out too much — instead preferring “the dark confines of nightclubs and the blackened out bunkers of studios” — with ‘Can’t Stand The Daylight’ the first of many forthcoming club cuts from the duo. Classic organ riffs are backed up by no nonsense 4×4 beats, wrapped in dreamy vocal loops on ‘Can’t Stand The Daylight’ – deep house slammers don’t come bigger than this!
April 21, 2015
We’ve always been a big fan of Circus Recordings boss Yousef here at CTC, so we’re delighted to have him step up for this week’s edition of ‘Five For The Floor’.
A staple in the the UK house scene for nigh on a decade, Yousef has garnered fans thanks to his DJ ability —that he honed in nightclubs in his native town of Liverpool — backed up by a slew of original material he’s released via his own imprint, Circus.
You can catch Yousef when Circus and Kaluki take over at Transmission in Manchester on Saturday 16th May. Yousef will play alongside the one and only Marco Carola – this is one party you wont want to miss! Tickets here.
Kydus ‘Jupiter Rising EP’ [Circus Recordings]
This is a 3-track EP I signed to my label that I’ve been brewing for 6 months. Three absolute storming efforts from Kydus following up on the runaway success of last summer’s ‘Free Spirit’ and ‘Cala El Vernao’, also on Circus Recordings. I passed the EP to a few of my DJ mates in Miami to an astounding response with plays from Loco Dice, Carl Cox, Nic Fanciulli and now Pete Tong who played one of the tracks ‘Transatlantic’ on his show last week, and made the lead track ‘Jupiter rising” his essential new tune yesterday. Released May 11th.
Harry Romero ‘Aquarium’ [Ovum]
Electronic music’s finest beat maker returns to Ovum for a third time with one of his most accomplished tracks in some time. A real techno and house hybrid, with that signature Latin under current, huge for me in Miami this year. Not released for some months, I’m sure this will be a summer standout track in Ibiza. Listen to Harry’s latest mix above.
Azari & the 3rd ‘Reckless’ (Steve Lawler Remix)
Picking up where he left off with his track ‘House Record’, Steve’s remix strips the original to a straight up vibe. Very now, authentic house music, with a quirky almost youthful edge. Another big track for me in Miami and features as the opening track on my mix from Delano // Listen here.
Michael L Penman ‘Lazyboy’ [Decay Records]
A hugely captivating track, filled with warmth and even hope, very authentic deep house sounding, almost in region of glen underground et al but phatter. A hidden gem for me.
Yousef feat Kieran Fowkes ‘Let Go’ [Circus Recordings]
The first track and lead single from my new album ‘In The Process Of Eight’ a stripped back looping baseline sits of under a gnarly hook with the vocals of Kieran Fowkes hammering home the message until a harmonic crescendo in the final third of the track. The plan for this track was to make vocal track without too much of the fuss of melody, strictly dance floor. I did overdub some subtle melodic parts to introduce a touch of feeling into areas of the track in the end however. It’s been one of my standout dance floor cuts for many months now.
April 13, 2015
WORDS BY LOUIS HAINES
REDPINE & SOLO may be fairly new to the production game, but their ‘Smoke City’ EP, out mid-April on Studio Rockers, is a cause for some intrigue. The Leeds duo of John Stuckley and Sam Moss have put out a collection of original tracks shot through with flashes from yesteryear, fusing to create something quite unique.
Their taste for breakbeat is laid bare from the start, with title track ‘Smoke City’ a gloomy amalgam of chiming pads and choppy breaks. ‘Stay True’ keeps things splintered, but exchanges tempo for momentum with its shuffling percussion and thumping bass hook.
The second half of the EP straightens out the track form slightly. Forsaking the phased approach, ‘I Am Someone’ finds a jazzy beat paired with dubby bass melodies right from the start. The stand out track on this EP, its mixture of spacey atmospherics and a jump-up tempo creates a vivid sonic landscape. Finally, ‘The Love’ rounds things off in line with the record’s distinctive mood. Dark and smouldering, with Franceskah’s vocal sample it could be the opening to a slice of 90s’ D’n’B that just never got off the ground.
Enjoying bits and pieces of genres that have lain dormant from the mainstream, Redpine and Solo succeed in breathing new life into them, while still avoiding the revivalism tag. Track’s like ‘I Am Someone’ would light up any set, albeit in a shade of smoky blue. The overall tone of this EP is so defined and vivid that you can’t help but think of it as a bit of a concept piece. If you’re finding the mental imagery a little hard to pin down, a glance at the cover art should set you on the right track.
April 7, 2015
We caught up with house music dream team JOSH BUTLER and BONTAN this week, to find out what makes them tick in and out of the studio. You can catch Butler and Bontan supporting disco dons Chic on their upcoming I’ll Be There tour, and listen to their exclusive Be True mix via DJ Mag here.
CTC: Hey Butler and Bontan! What do you think makes you such a strong duo in the studio and on the dance floor? Bontan: I think the fact we are friends outside of the music industry makes it easier to work together. You need to be able to get on with the person you are working with! Josh: Agreed, it’s easy for us to work as a duo because we spend so much time together or chatting shit on the phone.
Annoying habits? Bontan: I’ve learnt to avoid Josh at all costs when he is tired! Josh: His new found “I’m a veggie” phase.
Tell us a bit about the Be True tour? Bontan: We want to play music that inspires us on a daily basis and show people what we believe is true house music. Positive vibes! Josh: We wanted to create an opportunity to pay homage to true house music and share some of the older tracks that don’t necessarily get the love the deserve these days.
Talk us through a typical day in the studio as Butler and Bontan? Bontan: Well we like to get ideas down separately in our own studios before coming together just so we have direction prior and we aren’t wasting time when we eventually sit down to make a record. Josh: Yeah having a direction is essential. Then we just jam, building on our ideas and working the arrangement.
Your sets have been described as a journey through classic, deep and soulful house, tell us three house records each that never leave your bag?
Bontan: Lood ‘Shout & Out (DJ Dub)’, Masters At Work ‘I Cant Get No Sleep’, Kerri Chandler ‘Rain’.
Josh: Byron Stingily ‘Back To Paradise’ (Frankie Knuckles remix), DJ Sneak ‘Funky Rhythm’, Bicep ‘Vision of love’.
And when the DJ set is done, what’s your chill out tune of choice? Bontan: Biggie Smalls ‘Machine Gun Funk’ Josh: Recently I’ve been loving Oumou Sangare ‘Moussolou’
What’s coming up next for you as a duo? Bontan: Our new release with Vula from Basement Jaxx called ‘Live My Life’ Josh: Also we will be support Chic on their I’ll Be There tour.
If you could buy each other one gift and money was no object, what would you get one another? Bontan: I’d get Josh the original full Roland hardware collection. Josh: I’d track down the full Masters at Work discography on wax for him.
And 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? Bontan: I would go straight back to Medieval times. Sir Bontan of the North. Josh: I’d wanna go back to very early civilisation in the jungle, hunting and gathering by day, play bongos in my tribe’s band by night.
It’s the Easter bank holiday and that means it’s time for techno. Get amped up for your Sunday night celebrations with a special, one off mix from house and techno dons Joseki and J Zizko. You can listen to the boys on Friday nights at 10pm when they present their Meme Hotmix once a month. Details here.
Known for their fluid mixing style and supreme track selections, get strapped in for two hours of sparkling tech house brilliance – the Sunday rave up starts now! Don’t forget to check out the full track list over on soundcloud.
As always, download all of our mixes via the CTC soundcloud and keep up to date with everything on facebook. Don’t forget to listen to our CTC x French Toast radio show, currently burning up the airwaves below.