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Marlena Shaw – Woman of the Ghetto EP (Catz ‘N Dogz Remix) [Pets Recordings]

I Want You To Get Together

Catz ‘N Dogz (Grzegorz Demiañczuk and Wojciech Tarañczuk) take over this iconic vocal live sample to officially honor American jazz, blues, soul singer Marlena Shaw. The three-tracks EP will be out on August 25 through their imprint, Pets Recordings.

Premiered by BBC Radio 1 DJs Pete Tong and Annie Mac, it’s a surprise summer track. It’s the kind to be on that list of titles that update old sounds for a purpose, as well as Bedouin will drop Pink Floyd’s “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” on the same date. It’s another suggestion what Berlin based Polish duo have done with the original material though. Instead of a recreational cover, they take the vocal sample to a current techno deep house beat from where suddenly rumps an acid straight line. As simple as it has ignited every track, remix and DJ set that has used it throughout these years, more than two decades. But, this time, in full credit. A second version goes for the Afrobeat percussion inspired and developed from the back then stage performance.

Originally included on her second studio album “The Spice Of Life,” the last she released for Chess’ subsidiary Cadet Records in 1969, ‘Woman Of The Ghetto’ got a live version on July 5, 1973, at Montreux Jazz Festival. The recorded performance hit the shelves a few months later as “Marlena Shaw/Live: Cooking With Blue Note At Montreux”. The moody spoken introduction to the song became house music’s legacy. The line hit with Blue Boy’s “Remember Me (Pharm, 1997) and peaked with ‘Rose Rouge,’ on St. Germain’s album “Tourist” (Blue Note, 2000).

It is by way of tribute not only to Marlena Shaw herself but for a generation that grew in the 90s; a period trended on the so-called rare groove scene. At the end of the 60s, she occasionally ventured in soul charts, right after being the vocal counterpart for Jazz giants like Cannonball Adderley and Ramsey Lewis Trio. Splitting from Cadet Records, she worked periodically with Count Basie until she signed for Blue Note in 1972 to build a solid recording career. She left some gems on the way, and diggers were aware. As it happened with ‘California Soul,’ with Diplo’s remix featured on volume 4 of the “Verve Remixed” compilation series, now it’s time to recognize officially to Marlena Shaw for the famous inviting phrase on the “Woman Of The Ghetto” introduction line in a remix.

“Unknown Pleasures” turns 40

This Saturday, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of a landmark in the post-punk era. Joy Division debuted in the long format with “Unknown Pleasures” on June 15, 1979, released through Factory Records. Today, a commemorative limited edition on red vinyl hit the shelves via Mute Records. The nth time re-release is a must for the collectors and completists, by importance and transcendence.

The album is a collection of ten memorable, intense, threatening and oppressive tracks. Not only for Ian Curtis’ harrowed voice and lyrics to the bone but also the Bernard Sumner (then Bernard Albrecht) escalating single notes and dense guitar riffage over the Steven Morris’ obsessed and delayed drums. Peter Hook holds the melody with his distinctive bass line. As personal as to inform The Cure’s introduction to Goth rock.

The proper first and most excellent of Joy Division’s truncated discography forged a new-creational key. Art-rock influences and primitivist archetypes of punk were bound for an intriguing stasis. Unusual methods of recording added became as influential as to shake conventional forms forever.

The Iconic cover artwork by Factory art director and graphic designer Peter Saville relates to the point of no return. That image of radio waves from Pulsar CP 1919 means more than a creative momentum; it is welcoming a new factor in music production, the modern aesthetics: the irruption of technology new devices.

Joy Division installed a blanket new framework. Better to say an ‘Interzone,’ a sizeable open space to be in and explore, between the initial, reclusive Hook’s bass line leading to Curtis’phrasing. His lyricism, repeatedly exposed in terminal keywords, gave a non-empathic but real vision of life as Manchester was crumbling down to the post-industrial decline. The band intoned the dark and gloomy fierce of human suffering, idealism crashing on reality. They scanned the solitary zone of the lost, created by words spinning around like a sucking vortex in the middle of isolated oblivion. They are the sound, edging people for living in a permanent down unconsciously, in sparse and creepy metal. Somehow, Joy Divison’s lead singer and lyricist bridged The Velvet Underground’s obsessive and claustrophobic descriptions into full debauchery and despair. Pure nihilism that captured a time spirit of raw angst, almost in essentialist perspective, as direct and vivid as to move everyone’s mirrored self-perception. No one could do that since Lou Reed.

“Unknown Pleasures” wouldn’t exist without Martin Hannett production. According to the partner and director at Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, “Joy Division was a gift for a producer.” He took that given sound space to fulfill it with amassed devices he called “bluetop echo and delay boxes.” He applied distinctively to Morris’ beating, even recording separately the drums kit elements one by one to better supervision. He incorporated sound effects, the looping technology and some of the new synths in Sumner’s parts. Great and primitive is the intro of “She’s Lost Control,” but still works after four decades. His unorthodox methods were not new, but he well fitted them in a purpose.

Hannett’s visionary production marked a solid step into the acceptance of electronic “arrangments” for a band who grew over the simplicity, speed, and aggression of punk. He did it extensively, giving entity to the electronic artifacts that would change musical aesthetics to nowadays. He experienced with OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvers In The Dark) to sign the path for synth-pop. He broke ambient into post-rock with The Durutti Column. Joy Division is a remarkable stand for the music evolution, only compared with Talking Heads’ “Fear Of Music” amb PIL’s (Public Image Ltd) “Metal Box,” both released in 1979, a propelling year for the new.

Here we go again!

Tight up to the lace one more year, I am moving the tail for being your dog (Rendition to the forthcoming Stooge‘s 50th anniversary.) Ready to periodize time for taking a healthy knap. It’s going to be rushy. There are too many offerings for a rational schedule, from PRO through pre-(whatever) and, finally, to the exhausting post. However, there’s the magical word: choice. I’ll be there, at my prescripted corner, Primavera Bits, where I stood last year, almost on stillness mode. I’ll do the walk (or transfer – thanks, SEAT -) for the exciting rest. I swear I’ll wear under my pants a flowered Bermuda swimsuit for the main stage, “Lotus,” to go for a “Splish, Splash” at the right time.

In a model of gender parity, the most acclaimed DJ-producers will be on the decks. From Laurel Halo to Veronica Vasicka (excited for what can come off from her box running Minimal Wave). Helena Hauff, her sister in sound, who’s always taking me back to an ambiguous disturbing-pleasant background. Yes, Sophie. Narrator Marie Davidson. I want that NYC raver kid on Princess Nokia‘s set. I am celebrating proposal Octo Octa b2b Eris Drew. I’ll stand for Peggy Gou. Pop up with Robyn. Choreographed FKA Twigs. Lately, Nina Kraviz. Erykah Badu, I won’t forget you.

Concerning guys, Cybotron is a piece of history. Curiosity for Nas and Dâm Funk. If I can, double Objekt. To recapitulate, Hieroglyphic Being. Richie Hawtin, an excellent pre- for Avalon Emerson. Apparat, you take me for the longest run. You also are expecting James Blake with Rosalía.

Nitzer Ebb, promise I’ll be there. Stiff Little Fingers, Guided By Voices, Liz Phair, Primal Scream and Tame Impala you’re worth for a transfer, from schedule to my heart.

Ok, we all love indie music, but what some of us like the most is to evolve. Moreover, what I appreciate from Primavera Sound is that programmers do their job, going along with the music changing times. To the J Balvin reggaeton offer, locals bill talented Rosalía, who took her trained “cantaora”‘s flamenco roots to the nowadays standards of musical production. They don’t stop in this, and they go further. Primavera Sound 2019 offers a privileged contrasting situation. There will be a middle stage between these two significant phenomena. A Point of interest. “El Punto” stage, placed on the Parc del Fòrum’s electronic side, where artist Yung Beef curates a selection of seventeen (17) urban music local emerging talents going from trap to reggaeton. It is for the owner, a place where the rich Spanish culture contributes to the globalized musical forms. It will allow discerning and qualifying the incomes and feedbacks; what gave Imperial Spain to the Ultramar colonies to conform Caribbean musical roots, where J Balvin takes his reggaeton from; what can add those new voices to the urban of its own and vice-versa, leaving Rosalía as an outstanding contribution to the pattern in “quejíos.” Lovely, Nathy Peluso. Have a nice time. We’ll see around!

Hivern turns ten

The Catalan Way

Hivern Discs is about to celebrate its 10th-anniversary party, set on September 10th at Vila Habana, in Castellbisbal, a location near Barcelona (Catalonia/Spain.) The event calls followers to join in a journey set, from 4 pm September 10th to 6 am September 11th.
The bill is under the imprint’s boss control, John Talabot, who invites a diversified bunch of friends and colleagues like Ben UFO, Daniel Baughman, Inga Mauer, Aleksi Perälä, Benedikt Frey, including artists who debuted on the label like Cleveland. Also takes those who are in the sound taste of the imprint like Romanian duo Khidja or under the headquarters’ attention as Dutch producer Oceanic, French The Pilotwings or Japanese artist Sapphire Slows. The traced historical background comes from local associates who were the early core for the label’s roster and its growing, from Mistakes Are OK (Franc Sayol) and C.P.I. (Hugo Capablanca + Marc Piñol) to the latest JMII, among others.

This line-up belongs to the spirit that decided Oriol Riverola (John Talabot), Salva Coromina and Franc Sayol to create Hivern Disc in Barcelona back in 2008. Do their own. First for patting themselves on an excellent job along a decade. If there is no intention for that, I’ll do it sincerely for them. Focus now. Primary, they began this ten years run to give support to the local talent. It was a decision made out of personalism. A label created by an individualities’ will to get along but not moving with the program. The fact is that, at the time, there was no program at all. With a tremendous lack of media support, enabled to consider electronic music as a cultural movement, it rested as an atomized and dispersed appeal available only for a few, a bunch of rare and uncontrollable beautiful ones. They were jumping from Nitsa/Apolo to Razzmatazz and dug in through numbered of import record stores in Barcelona, purchasing wax on the Internet and concentrating year after year at Sonar or the starting Primavera Sound. Those who built these prestigious festivals now were also individuals who pushed forward against all the odds. All of them went the Catalan way. Growing flowers out of stones.

In 2008, out of Razzmatazz‘s DJ booth, Oriol Riverola took his first moniker as D.A.R.Y.L. and released “FlorDance,” the first Hivern Discs reference, a 12-inches accompanied by his fellow at the decks, MouseUp (Salva Coromina), on a complementing B-Side. The first label’s compilation, “Hivern a L’Estiu,” came out ten years ago with the same names but with a first track signed by John Talabot. This artistic name was on the radar’s attention since “Sunshine.” Permanent Vacation put out his “Afrika” in May 2009, and the reactive to fixed forms Munich label opened up his space for debuting full-length album “ƒIN,” a personal catapult as demanded remix artist who turned to international recognition with his contribution to DJ Kicks series in 2013. John Talabot was inventive, kaleidoscopic, going in from dark tropical to African percussive in diaphanous synth lines, and his house enriched in Balearic mode. By the way, as John Talabot going to the crest of success Hivern Discs released a consistent amount of local acts, from Pional to Marc Piñol, Aster, Kresy, Eduardo de la Calle, Olde Gods and so on. Of course, Hivern Discs approached Red Axes for the Eastern moods as well as John Talabot had something to do with Axel Boman in Talaboman act, same DJ Koze related to Studio Barnhus. They share an attitude.

Hivern Discs has fed primarily on Anglo-Saxon and German electronic musical tradition, but let their hearts devoting most of its work to nappy digestion of effluent dreams, or was it soulful work (‘ànima,’ in Catalan)?… They looked out further from any border and trespassed them all. However, behind that apparent decision of celebrating the tenth anniversary, I would like to dedicate the place they were born in and be proud of what it means. These guys are from Catalonia, a real hub on diversification from trends and tendencies, in a confluence of geographical and cultural blessings. They are full-time on a Mediterranean state of mind. I mean, ask Dj Koze for the effects of an Espelt (winegrowers in Empordà) red wine bottle, and the view of a little village in Costa Brava for morphing different shores on his album “Amygdala” (Pampa, 2013). If I am too exogen, specific or personal, let’s put it another way. In musical terms, the Mediterranean Sea (a way to see) set the epithet ‘Balearic‘ to the standard, out of the rule. A lot of comes and goes in trading; a sea sailed on adventures since the first words became history. Always in the sense of beauty.

                  hellenicdef

The Hellenic touch is in the Hivern Discs‘ logo, created by Arnau Pi, graphic designer, and art director for the label. A Greek Bust, as individual as the capital H (for Hivern) working as factions. Moreover, the ‘H‘ has many faces. Because of Hivern Discs have many flexions, and complexions, as much diverse and unique as the appealing of a one musical moment: taste. No imprint sound to enforce, but captivating artists that work out of the norm, deserving an exclusive cover art. Hivern Discs is for followers. Let’s celebrate it!

Primavera Sound 2018

Primavera Bits, my favorite corner

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, concentrates attention around one more Spring, with one of the most prestigious European Festivals. Artists are coming from everywhere, all of them are reviewed present interest from headliners to newcomers, representing all kind of genres in a rich, full musical diversity. They are about to get packed Parc del Fòrum one more time. This facility located at the municipality of Sant Adrià del Besòs is the near downtown main scenery, getting stage complement with clubs in the heart of the city, where some public buildings set for the professional program by the organization, the so-called Primavera Pro. One more year, attendants will be in a joyful flow of colors, moves, and celebrating diversification, mainly from May 31st to June 2nd.

Diversity is the keyword for Primavera Sound‘ success. From the beginning, back in 2001, the festival’s bill was a vast range amalgam of genres, with indie pop-rock as prior subject, caring for local artists, always paying homage to the greats and never taking foreign highlights for granted. This attitude from programmers enlighted with big names the successive editions, first with few, now in massive. Increasingly, year by year, essential artists brought hip-hop, urban and electronic music to the audience. The later did a giant leap in 2016, concentrating a specific place for DJ sets in an area called Beach Club, on the Parc del Fòrum East-South side, close to the shore. Last year the zone became Primavera Bits, a proper two-stages territory for electronic music, one dedicated to the DJ sessions and the other to the DJ/ Producers’ live sets. Each one associated with a drink naming mark. Primavera Bits 2018 added a third drink named stage, giving beats a consolidated status at Primavera Sound Festival with a specific line-up.

PrimaveraBitsLineup2018_20180329160031.jpg

Since 2016, this has been my favorite corner at Parc del Fòrum attending Primavera Sound, always keeping an eye on the app for not losing any of the other exciting proposals offered.

Image credit: Viviane Vieira at Instagram (@strollingbarefoot)

‘Talking With Myself’ by Electribe 1.0.1

This Ain’t Chicago

This unique piece of house history was in the making, about to flourish in Spring 1988, now thirty years ago. What it took several months since the Electribe 1.0.1‘s debut track hit the shelves that November, released by Club, a Phonogram sublabel. It became a soulful house favorite for a few, initially underrated and overlooked for the lack of promotion, but an anthem for the British way of saying “This Ain’t Chicago.”

Talking With Myself‘ came as an 8-Track demo hold by Hamburg born composer, and vocalist Billie Ray Martin, who lived in Berlin before to move into London. It was a natural destination traced in the illusions mapping of several German artists since DAF (among others) did the way for capital support back in the early eighties. Billie Ray Martin was another case; she was not on the precursive dark and industrial forefront that gave European personality to the incoming techno from abroad. She was a talented vocalist, composer, and writer on a mission, to provide meaning lyrics and a warm brit response to the early house of Chicago imports. Billy Ray Martin entered in the late 80’s deep house frequency with a sense of modulation saying we can do it another way; we re-style it to our sensibilities. By the time, London raved in the transformation of UK garage into acid and speed house, trainspotting tags in hyper-sensory conditions as the whole UK was on S’Express and Bomb The Bass. She was absorbing influences to create something on her own, the way A Guy Called Gerald and Baby Ford did before, and getting ready for main inspiration on Julian Jonah‘s ‘Jealousy And Lies‘ as she recognized later.

In February 2016, Billy Ray Martin decided to offer ‘Talking With Myself (Original 8-Track Demo)‘ for the fans, with accompanying press note where she explained briefly the story of the making it. It is a precious little time capsule to contrast. She mentions the announcement entitled “Soul Rebel seeks Musicians, genius only” she hired to look for back up on “Melody Maker,” asking to materialize her composition as the soulful house anthem is now in time perspective. You guess how impressive for her was listening to Julian Jonah‘s track through the speakers in a London night rave from Heaven to Wag. As remarkable as to say: “This!” to wrap her original up with the right arrangement. An idea of a sinuous and relentlessly Roland SH-101 sequence built for her narrative voice was in work, and she got the feeling to transmit it to the fab-four from Birmingham, the genius bunch of receiver’s call who did so for good; Brian Nordhoff, Joe Stevens, Les Fleming, and Roberto Cimarosti. The gift Billie Ray Martin gave us is a documentary piece of how similar was the demo compared with the official single released a few months later, without the “Mission Impossible” part she always denied. Electribe 1.0.1 formed as a band and the demo received the OK from Phonogram for signing. The imposed norm of prescriptive rework by the label took place at the studio with arrangements, and new vocal takes that never came out in the final cut or in a fragmentary way as she punctuates. The single had a hard unpromoted run, but white label promo copies had consistent airplay to create fuzz about the band. Who they were was a question only answered for a few. They were a must that summer in the Balearic sets at Café del Mar (Ibiza/Eivissa) and a pick to go by at any of that peculiar British movement called rave, taking crowds from clubs to improvised locations fueled in Ecstasy.

Managed by Tom Watkins of Pete Shop Boys fame, the band signed to upper-level Mercury/Polygram Records. In a long run of a year since Electribe 1.0.1 became noticeable with ‘Tell Me When The Fever Ended,’ released on October 1989 and vindicated with ‘Talking With Myself‘ as Mercury reissue. ‘You’re Walking,’ released on September 1990, was a previous step to the recognition that came fully reviewed with the debut album, “Electribe Memories,” a month later. Summarily this is Electribe 1.0.1‘ story from ‘Talking To Myself‘ beginnings. However, what made Electribe 1.0.1 unique is the attributed clear example of being representative of “This Ain’t Chicago,” referring London and extensively to the UK.

What hides this expression is not a ridiculous comparison between London and the Windy City or, in the broader view, the UK with the USA. No, It is a self-affirmative of Brits capable of doing creative outputs another way. It happened with rock’n’roll and with house music once again. Also happened with techno, and the Detroit pioneers had to deal with the fact that their nucleotide music style took different developments from the basic structural unit, first from the Germans then from the Islanders. Improvement from stolen? Yes, for groove sake!

Chicago built house music from talented DJ individualities, editing R&B classics played differently every night with the enforcement of Roland TRs in diversity stronghold clubs, as well as NYC warehouses were packed up in similarity. It was a sense of community, the expression of the outcast sensibilities in an enclosed space safe. Techno was the postindustrial feeling inside out. Detroit was going on cracked down. No space to cover up. The UK unblocked the club’s emergency exits for expansive freedom run on hedonism, where everybody was embraceable, where house and techno meltdown in a hug. Raving was certificated dangerous movement, but intolerance was running out in a new open space, massively searched. Electribe 1.0.1 belongs to this, specifically ‘Talking With Myself.’ The loving missed Frankie Knuckles agreed with it.

Kölsch at RazzClub (Razzmatazz)

A promising “Testing new stuff”

Kölsch comes back to Barcelona with resonances of a perfect year. 2017 threw all the glitter over his stardom’ shadow, felt as an induced glow over the dark stillness of his appearance artwork. Always sliding from the ones’ perception he shifts to the mainstream and from the others who appreciate the qualities he injected into the underground, the half-Danish, half-Irish DJ, and producer turns to both with a bright naughty look like saying: “I do what I feel.” That is the point, and it is enough for the writer to enjoy his session this Saturday, March 10th, at RazzClub, one of the five rooms at Razzmatazz.

He will be on the decks a week before his latest remix hit the selves. A horizon melody over a strict early drum N bass pattern and groove bassline he turned into a rhythm artifact for the glory of Damon Albarn‘s chant and the fading echoes of classic UK rave sake. His contribution to “Saying,” a track from the acclaimed “My Heart” album by Nic Fanciulli, with whom Kölsch played alongside weekly throughout last summer at Hï Ibiza. His Facebook announces a promising “Testing new stuff.”

He steps like this in 2018′ solid ground after rounding up his autobiographical trilogy served through years in the full-length format with the last “1989” in grey, complementary to the teenagery memories of “1983” and the debut with “1977,” five years ago, giving the anthemic ‘Grey.’ All this stuff, all these uncomplexed string arrangements enriching his techno foundations would not have been possible without the empathy of Kompakt Records, the legendary Cologne-based imprint who did believe in him.

In 2010, Michael Mayer invited Rune Reilly Kölsch to express otherways than the dominant so-called Ketamine House at the time, and bring Ink And Needle (with Johannes Torpe) to Kompakt. It was the right place indeed. The home of Ambient, and Minimal Techno, thanks to Gas (Wolfgang Voigt), a territory for openminded artists daring to do something else as expected. Then Kölsch was Rune RK, the one who smashed with ‘Calabria‘ in July 2003. Immersed since then in different recording projects through the 00’, running labels like Arti Farti or Tatoo Recordings and releasing under the cited moniker but also as Ink & Needle (with his half-brother Johannes Torpe) without forgetting Artifical Funk among others.

On October 18th, 2010, under his definitive artistic name, Kölsch released the 12-inch ‘Loreley,‘ corresponding to #68 of the famous Speicher series, a defining fineness from Kompakt, the German record label founded by Wolfgang Voigt, Michael Mayer, and Jürgen Paape. The Icelander affiliate Gus Gus ask him for a remix of ‘Deep Inside,’ and his personal touch of deep emotional Techno began in demand. The rest is a growing list of high rated names, from Coldplay and Deadmou5 to Eric Prydz and The Chemical Brothers, with a regular criterium of selective ventures for the artistic interest, which went to put his name beside andHim, Paul Kalkbrenner or Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons. What he gave to Flume‘s ‘Take A Chance (feat. Little Dragon)‘ and mostly to London Grammar‘s ‘Hell To The Liars’ is musical history. He is one of the talented producers, few of the accomplished craftsman capable of making electronic music the new pop for the 21st Century (in the most broader sense).

The local DJ and producer Baldo will open the night for the Kölsch set. The Vintage synth-loving L.A. producer Seth Haley (a.k.a. Com Truise) will be in the neighbor room, The Loft, with his latest album,”Iteration,” in the case. Everything is starting at 1 am.

“Hound5tooth EST. 2013” V/A Compilation

Go for it, be splendid as they are in music and concept!

Houndstooth celebrates five years releasing electronic music with a free ‘Pay What You Like’ 15 track compilation, “showcasing label classics next to rarities and unreleased gems from associates old and new.” The in-house venture from fabric, the famous London nightclub, operates as a conventional record label since February 2013, growing steadily from the first release, “The Present Tense,” by Call Super. Resident Advisor qualified it at the time as “one of this year’s best new label.” It runs by A&R Rob Booth (Electronic Explorations) integrated into parallel Fabric Records‘ staff formed by Leo Belchetz and Rob Butterworth (label manager and director, respectively), noticing the latter takes care of fabric’s long-running mix CD series. “Hound5tooth EST. 2013” is available now on the label’s Bandcamp.

This new release adds an artists’ label profile to its previous digital-only 5th-anniversary compilation, “In Death’s Dream Kingdom,” appeared at the end of January. This title takes a phrase of 1925 T.S. Eliot‘s poem “The Hollow Men,” contributed by twenty-five acts out of its roster inspired by the famous verses of the universal poet of Modernism’s epitome. A poem that speaks for the lost souls of a generation, the ones who fought in WWI and faced death on the battlefield and saw the ideals of humanism’s freedom crumbling down. The club fabric London’s offshoot label gave a reflexive insert to document the dark signs of this time in its language; almost shut down. I guess everything has a reason. Reasons (in plural). Better work out on label’s name, Houndstooth, for the creative side, the very British sense of taking old patterns interlaced for the colored new. Diversity is moving hope calling for everyone. Celebrate we keep on, very outgoing!