Music

My favourite recent tracks:

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My favourite recent DJ sets:

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  • Rhadoo @ fabric’s 19th Birthday

    Published 24 October 2020, 12:41 pm

  • You might wonder why I’ve never featured the wonderful Rhadoo on this page before.

    Well, DJ mixes from Rhadoo are pretty damn rare – and it is worth noting that this live set from fabric’s 19th birthday party isn’t the best sound quality that you’ll ever hear.

    What immediately stands out most from this mix by Rhadoo is some of the basslines that are deployed, such as from a pitched-down speed garage track from 1996 – I’m just such a fan of DJs that can pick a track from a totally different genre and make it work at a completely different pitch. And that monster of a track – Burn The Elastic by Violet…whoa.

    Yet if you listen a few times, you’ll more note the technical abilities of Rhadoo, the way that multiple tracks interplay in the mix – the different styles of mixing and the different styles of music – though all kind of coalescing around a minimal theme. Minimalish anyway.

    This is a fantastic mix and well worth 90 minutes of your time, with some true crate-diggers music and mostly excellent mixing.

    Enjoyment rating of 8.16.

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  • Saoirse with Leif – Rinse FM Show – 8th February 2019

    Published 17 October 2020, 9:47 am

  • I haven’t quite worked out what to expect from Saoirse yet. Sometimes I listen and she is playing house music, other times techno. Neither of which have stood out to me as worth writing about – nice mixes but nothing exciting.

    This is one of her radio shows from Rinse FM in 2019 – and is entirely different. Much more stripped back, experimental, kind of leftfield techno. Think Monolake and Echoplex and you’ll understand. It is a radio show, so there is occasional interjecting from Saoirse, though her passion for the music she plays shines through, helped by the Irish accent.

    The second half is really what draws me to write about it. Leif’s guest mix for an hour is quite the masterpiece in setting tone and structure in a DJ mix. Again, similarly sparse and stripped-back sounds – though much more so than Saoirse.

    Some really interesting music being played, almost on the Hessle Audio kind of tip at times, but stripped-back. Alas, it does take a twist into drum’n’bass for the last 15 minutes, but it is quite chilled out stuff – just not my bag.

    I’ve barely come across Leif on my musical adventures – I know him only for a track called Igam-Ogam which I’m a big fan of. Two interesting DJs for the future here who I think have the potential to become very well known.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.04.

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  • Miss I – Soundroom Podcast 051

    Published 2 October 2020, 12:57 pm

  • Miss I is yet another superb Romanian minimal DJ – someone that I’ve been following for a good 10 years – not only is she a DJ but she’s also the owner of Misbits record shop in Bucharest.

    This mix of hers is 3 years old as I write yet sounds so now – quite a glorious journey through 2 hours of groovy, sublime minimal sounds. The kind of mix that I can just listen to over and over again.

    I do prefer the first hour of this mix, but the whole is still excellent – for me it peaks around the 45 minute mark with some quite intense minimal, if that isn’t an oxymoron.

    You’d expect the owner of Misbits to know her music, and with tracks by the likes of Cristi Cons and Melodie, plus plenty that I’ve never heard of to this day, this is quite the adventure.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.99.

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  • Sonja Moonear @ fabric, London – 2019

    Published 27 September 2020, 10:53 am

  • Ahhh Sonja Moonear. I’ve been following her for years, seen her play out a few times when I actually still went to nightclubs, and always enjoyed her kinda trippy, hypnotic style – even before the Romanians such as Barac and Cristi Cons became more famous for it.

    Though some recent sets I’ve heard she’s played much tougher sounds, often outright techno. Which occasionally I enjoy – but minimal, hypnotic sounds are much more my thing.

    In fact, there isn’t a huge amount of minimal until nearer the end – this mix from Sonja Moonear features DJ Normal 4’s Return Of The Hooligans – those 90’s trance riffs over an understated squelchy beat, some house tracks also – verging on jacking house with Brett Johnson’s classic remix of Dream Machine.

    The last 20 minutes or so becomes much more trippy, more minimal and into the kind of groove that I love so much. I think she was playing before Rhadoo so definitely makes sense to do so.

    This is a really nice mix of a bit over an hour, and well worth your ears. And check out some of Sonja Moonear’s older mixes too.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.55.

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  • Pinch – Groove Podcast 150

    Published 20 September 2020, 10:51 am

  • It feels like we are going back into darker times once more, especially in the UK with more covid restrictions and end of the summer weather both also upon us – so it feels right to be bringing you a rather dark and moody mix from Pinch.

    Dark, yes. Moody, yes. Excellent – also yes.

    I remember when I first listened to this mix by Pinch, I was walking along with it playing in my ears, over some good quality earphones – and the first 7 minutes or so were really unsettling, some distorted, dirty bass along with snippets of Robocop – I did consider skipping the rest of the mix. You might too – but give it chance, because I’ve come to find Pinch a really interesting producer. Skip the first 7 minutes if you really have to.

    This was the first time that I’d ever listened to a DJ mix from Pinch – I am aware of him of his productions that straddle the strange conjunction techno and bass. I’m a huge fan of his productions with Mumdance, and I also played his ‘Skylines’ track the last time I DJ’d out – which is almost definitely the last time I will ever DJ in a nightclub.

    So onto this mix. It is a mix that broods its way into groove, with basslines, growls, clicks and bleeps. He does indeed play Skylines and also his collaboration with Mumdance, Strobe Light, along with lots of other really interesting tracks on that bass/techno conjunction.

    Definitely one to listen to if you are interested in that conjunction, like a bassline or darker sounds, or are just a bit more adventurous.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.58.

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  • Andrey Pushkarev b2b Roger Gerressen @ The Tribe, Nijmegen

    Published 22 August 2020, 11:51 am

  • 6 hours of minimal. Yes, 6 whole hours thanks to this b2b from Andrey Pushkarev and Roger Gerressen.

    Wow, where to start with this mix? I actually prefer the first hour myself, which is close to a masterclass in deep, dreamy minimal sounds…well the house beat on many of the tracks could suggest that it is deep house, but I’ll leave the definition to you.

    This mix does get somewhat more houseier towards the middle in general, though still goes through more minimal spells and also gets quite dubby in the latter half of the mix for a while.

    There is quite a tremendous amount of good quality underground music in this b2b from Andrey Pushkarev and Roger Gerressen – two DJs who I have been following individually for some years, having associated them with the ro-minimal scene, yet being from Russia and Netherlands, respectively, neither is Romanian…and neither is quite fully in the hypnotic minimal bracket anyway.

    I mainly know them as DJs, but both have a couple of tracks out that I’m really into – Roger Gerressen’s Put That Record On is a fine piece of dub techno, Andrey Pushkarev’s First Snow is also a fine piece of dub techno. Either track would go down nicely in my vinyl collection.

    For now, I’ll leave you to enjoy this 6 hours of dreamy and occasionally housey sound. As I mentioned, for me, the first hour to hour and a half is the best part of the mix, and the last hour loses my interest – but, you know, horses for courses. Enjoyment rating of 7.92.

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  • Barem – Boiler Room – Buenos Aires, 2018

    Published 7 August 2020, 11:00 am

  • For some reason I have Barem down as a tech-house DJ in my head. Maybe this isn’t totally unfair of me, as if you check out some of his sets such as the Creamfield’s set from 2015 then it is bona fide boredom.

    Yet other DJ sets are set firmly in the minimal camp, though with perhaps more energy than you might get from other minimal DJs.

    Tracks by Lisière Collectif and Yuuki Hori give it the minimal edge – yet tracks by James Dexter half-way through give it the tech-house feel for a spell too.

    Overall this is an hour of groovy music, based more towards minimal but with a very danceable edge. And being on Boiler Room, there is a video too.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.68.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6RxmPliq2c&w=560&h=315]
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  • Craig Richards, Kiss FM, 3rd March 2004

    Published 26 July 2020, 11:00 am

  • This is an interesting hour – part of a radio show on London’s Kiss FM from 2004, which includes snippets of interview where you can hear what Craig Richard’s thought of fabric and the incoming minimal techno from Germany.

    I write about this almost as a piece of referential history – 2004 was the time when I switched from the likes of Tiesto and Eric Morillo, to Ricardo Villalobos, Steve Bug, Luciano and Craig Richards – though none of them were completely new to me in 2004, it was the moment when I realised there was greater joy to be found from music that didn’t provide instant joy.

    This hour features music from the likes of Luciano and LoSoul – and though I wouldn’t nowadays think of Craig Richards as a minimal techno DJ, this is really quite an interesting hour to see how he was instrumental in bringing this sound to the UK, and to fabric in particular.

    Enjoyment rating of 6.88.

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  • Cabanne – Yoyaku Instore Session 2018

    Published 26 June 2020, 11:00 am

  • Yes I went on a little session of listening to Yoyaku’s podcasts – which is a record shop based in Paris – not Tokyo as I initially assumed.

    Last week I featured Daniel Bell’s Yoyaku Instore Session, this week I’m featuring Cabanne’s Instore Session – another mix that I’ve had on repeat in recent weeks.

    It takes around 12-13 minutes to get my attention, which isn’t especially long for a 2 hour minimal mix, and I still haven’t worked out what that track is.

    The mix gets a bit wonky and quirky – with tracks or remixes by the likes of Tofu Productions, Rhadoo, Doubting Thomas and Cabanne himself. If you know your minimal then you’ll know what you are getting here from the line-up alone.

    Yet this mix is just wonderfully put together – the track selections are magnificent, the mixing is mostly wondrous and these two hours flow past like a dream.

    For my tastes the first hour or so is the better part – close to magical at times, and this is the best minimal mix I’ve listened to for some time. Enjoyment rating of 8.33.

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  • Daniel Bell, Yoyaku Instore Session 2018

    Published 21 June 2020, 9:30 am

  • I’m back! I hear you all breathe a sigh of relief, though clearly I haven’t been anywhere, I have just been too lazy to do write this blog.

    Daniel Bell is one of those that seems like he has been around forever, though I know him more as a producer than a DJ, through mid-90’s classics like Science Fiction, or Losing Control (as DBX) – minimalish techno, what I like to think of as the first wave of minimal techno.

    Quite a mellow DJ mix, phasing between deeper house and more traditional minimal sounds. Featuring tracks by the likes of Alex & Digby, Brother’s Vibe and Daniel Bell himself, you know that you are going to listen to an hour of top quality minimal/underground house.

    The Margaret Dygas remix of Honorée’s Dorian is a particularly sweet moment in the middle of the mix, before picking up the tempo a tad into something a bit more housey.

    A really well-crafted mix, an hour that you can repeat over and over, and an enjoyment rating of 7.43.

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