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.

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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.

“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!

DJ Taye announces debut album, “Still trippin’,” with ‘Get It Jukin’ (feat. Chuck Inglish)’ – [Hyperdub]

Growing on footwork

Chicago born footwork producer Dante Sanders (a.k.a DJ Taye) gets rapper Chuck Inglish on ‘Get It Jukin’,’ the advanced track for his debut full-length album “Still Trippin‘,” due to release March 2nd as the first 2018’ LP from Hyperdub.

Using 100% essence of footwork template’s drum programming, the Chicagoan has the tasty ability to integrate it in a melodic and cinematic synth line where Chuck Inglish’s descriptive verses reign. It’s dark but situational, a walk with a direction to, stepping the loaded Teklife‘s legacy into a new zone of songwriting, forcing and adapting the code in an open bracket, not for itself expression but to enrich in connecting others.

DJ Taye is a producer but can rap and sing, MCing talents that revert on his first album. The sixteen tracks also feature a range of guests rappers, vocalists, instrumentalists and assistant producers. From mentioned Chuck Inglish, a former member of Detroit duo the Cool Kids for advanced ‘Get It Jukin” to Jersey club queen, UNiiQU3, who offers production and rapping on ‘Gimme Some Mo.’ Odil Myrtil, a young vocalist from Montreal, takes ‘Same Sound’ to a souled atmosphere. Fabi Reyna, the editor of celebrated “She Shred” magazine, plays bass guitar and rhythm guitar on ‘I Don’t Know.’ Teklife members DJ PayPal and DJ Manny assist in some of the tracks, and DJ Lucky is a guest MC on ‘Smokeout.’

The youngest affiliate of Teklife Crew is a generation younger than the founders DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. He was a rapper and a beat maker before joining the legendary collective in 2010. DJ Taye was introduced to footwork in 2007 and began to produce his own tracks which appeared in several digital releases and mix sessions. In 2014 Hyperdub took on him contributing in two of its compilations with ‘Get Em Up’ to “10.1” (2014) and ‘The Matrixx,’ along with DJ Manny, for “Next Life” (2015). Signed to Kode9‘s label, he released two EPs: “Break It Down” (2015) and “Move Out” (2016).

Now it’s time for debuting in the full-length format. As DJ Taye expressed, “Still trippin‘” takes Rashad’s passing in 2014 as the unlikely catalyzer for developing the sounds and ideas for the album: “When Rashad passed away I felt inspired to continue evolving the music that I loved so much coming up in this world. So, I had to do something…make something brand new.” Adding, “I took this as an opportunity to not have boundaries with footwork. Different approaches to our ‘underground’ sound to make it broader. It’s only underground until it crosses that threshold.”