Music

My favourite recent tracks:

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My favourite recent DJ sets:

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  • Ricardo Villalobos b2b Raresh @ Amnesia, 2018 (Essential Mix)

    Published 16 January 2021, 3:17 pm

  • If you follow either Ricardo Villalobos or Raresh then this mix is unlikely to be new to you. Released, if I recall correctly, fairly near the beginning of Lockdown 1, this was a tiny little moment of excitement in those really rather dark and uncertain times.

    So maybe this is a reminder for you – it was a reminder for me when I spent a bit of time this morning tidying up all the 3,000 or so icons on my desktop (slight exaggeration but I’m sure you know what I mean) and was like, “ooooh I should really post this”. Especially given that some of you are in another lockdown – like I am sat here writing in London.

    This Ricardo Villalobos b2b Raresh mix starts minimal – clicky tracks, deep tracks – as you might expect though both DJs are known for playing house music too, Ricardo especially.

    And yes, it does gradually tempo-up into house music at times, with the glorious The Surf Way by Point G being a perfect example. But generally retains the underground and quite stripped back feel.

    In a way, I feel that this Ricardo Villalobos b2b Raresh mix could have been more magic than it is – it has a sublime feel to it, yet there is a trigger missing to take it to the next level, that you know these two can produce – and maybe did produce that night later on.

    I guess we are just hearing the warm-up. Enjoyment rating of 7.66. Gosh I wish we could be in Ibiza right now.

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  • Voigtmann – Phonica Mix Series 69

    Published 9 January 2021, 1:12 pm

  • I’ve been listening to mixes by Voigtmann for a number of years now, I guess since maybe around 2014, and lazily just clumped him in my head with the Romanians, not really thinking more – just because I discovered him around the same time as other really impressive DJs such as Sepp, Matei Tulbure and more.

    This was at the least, musically lazy of me, although his sound certainly encapsulates minimal, it also easily veers into good, underground yet groovy house music at times, as this fairly short mix for the Phonica podcast series exemplifies.

    Starts off fairly minimal but hits an underground house groove before we are halfway, with a couple of really fine tracks. That track at 30 minutes I will spend years trying to work out.

    Then towards the end the tempo relaxes and we head back into something more stripped back.

    And yeah, Voigtmann isn’t Romanian as I’d assumed. He’s German (I think) but living in London. He was one of the founders of Toi.Toi.Musik. Plus he’s now a resident at fabric.

    Voigtmann is such a great DJ. Such an class mix. Hope I actually get to see him play in London post-pandemic.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.85.

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  • Marco Shuttle – The Bunker Podcast 212

    Published 2 January 2021, 3:40 pm

  • So. Happy New Year. It will be happy, right? This near 6-hour mix from Marco Shuttle should help anyway.

    Marco Shuttle seems quite an interesting character, with a background in fashion and career as DJ and producer, though of course the DJ aspect is what is most interesting for this little blog.

    And his style is that of techno – his mixes are often fairly heavy on the techno front but take a while to get there – the ones I have listened to so far have always had this atmospheric build up.

    And this near 6-hour mix, recorded live at Public Records in Brooklyn (spot on mixing throughout the whole time) starts spooky – spooky and creepy as it weaves its way through an hour or so of more ambient and super-interesting sounds. Beats are there after a while but not to the forefront.

    During the second hour, it takes on more of a Hessle Audio kind of feel – beats now more to the front of the music but in broken styles. There’s some really fine music being played like Haunted Samba by Sneaker.

    There’s dalliances into house music, along with electro and EBM sounds as it progresses to heavier techno sounds towards the end, without quite going proper 4/4 techno – there is enough to keep people interested until the end.

    This mix from Marco Shuttle is an excellent way to spend your morning, or afternoon – or evening. Enjoyment rating of 8.01.

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  • Clive Henry – Circo Loco Podcast 113

    Published 25 December 2020, 11:48 am

  • This mix by Clive Henry is quite outstanding – I’ve been saving it for a special occasion, and what can be more special than Christmas? Granted this Christmas isn’t anything special, but hey.

    I first came across Clive Henry as part of Peace Division – to my ears I guess in the early 2000’s, but for those really with their ear to the ground then maybe you would have come across Peace Division tracks as early as 1997 – alas for me, I was in my trance days then.

    Tracks like the wonderfully filthy Blacklight Sleaze, Club Therapy or Bounce To This were proper early 2000’s underground, dirty kinda house classics – and a big part in progressing myself, and others, away from big room sounds.

    Though nowadays, you’d know Clive Henry more for being one of the originals at Circo Loco – you know, when the line-ups were proper ket-fiend friendly. Hopefully you also know him as a consistent, underground house DJ – and if not, this is the mix for you.

    I did start by saying that this mix from Clive Henry is outstanding, but the beginning 20 minutes or so you’ll need a bit of patience with, as there is the odd skippy moment with the records – and the recording isn’t the highest quality ever – you will need to increase the volume. Both sound quality and volume do improve later.

    For my tastes, it gets going around the 35 minute mark when it steps into clicky, groovy, minimalesque house music – the kind that I would have associated with Circo Loco back in 2005, except sounding more modern.

    It flits through deeper tracks, dubby sounds and arouses into Hansup by Ricardo Villalobos on the halfway mark.

    I won’t talk about the rest of the mix, but it continues in this chuggy, clicky kinda way and is just an excellent underground house music. Not perfect – but way better than I and most others can do.

    Enjoyment rating of 8.68.

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  • Objekt – Resident Advisor Podcast 650

    Published 12 December 2020, 4:34 pm

  • Objekt is an interesting DJ. He really came to my attention through both Theme From Q and Needle & Thread – the former being a particularly huge track due to it’s melody – though I appreciated both more due to their spacious offbeat feels.

    I’ve listened to a couple of mixes of Objekt’s and never really been taken by them, until I listened to his Resident Advisor podcast.

    This mix kind of starts pensive – you know, it’s building up but around the 10 minute mark it takes a more sinister turn and it feels like the mix means business. Yet it twists again and takes you in an unexpected direction – swapping floaty directionless highs with pensive and threatening bass.

    The tracks used are really quite outstanding – and the mix is put together really intelligently – swapping fairly different levels of intensity and emotion, with tracks of quite varied speeds, and an eventual realisation that there isn’t much of a kick drum going on.

    If you just want a standard techno mix to dance along to, this probably isn’t for you. This is a mix to explore what can be done with music broadly in the techno field – it is intelligent, it is perhaps even quite mind-blowing.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.61. I definitely appreciate this mix from Objekt and hope you can too.

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  • Acid Mondays – Circoloco Radio 060

    Published 5 December 2020, 4:23 pm

  • I think it is safe to suggest that Circoloco is a brand still trading on it’s early 2000’s coolness when it was kind of the underground, in Ibiza anyway. The podcast series is a mostly a dull series but there are a few hidden gems in there – such as this mix from Acid Mondays.

    I don’t want to sound too harsh on Circoloco – they were pushing really good, edgy, underground house/minimal in the early to mid 2000’s but those days are long gone – we all change our tastes and outlooks over time, be it clubbers, DJs or party brands, and Circoloco has drifted to something much safer and more mass-appeal over the years.

    Normally I still want edgy, or at least minimal. But good quality house music still has a place in my heart and this is what this mix from Acid Mondays is all about.

    This starts quite deep, almost on a proper US 90’s garage kind of tip, before getting housier with tracks/remixes by the likes of Motor City Drum Ensemble and MK.

    For nearly 2 hours it sways between deeper sounds and housier sounds, with Ohh by Mood II Swing being a particular highlight – if not exactly on the edge. But sometimes it is good to simply hear a house classic, especially in these more gloomy and lonely of times.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.24.

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  • Jay Bliss @ Sunwaves, 26th April 2019 (part 1)

    Published 20 November 2020, 11:58 am

  • This is the 4th time that I’ve featured Jay Bliss in this blog, but he still remains fairly unknown – who, unusually for a Romanian, has an English DJ name – when it seems trendy for people from other countries to adopt a Romanian DJ name. Well, I would if I was producing minimal techno anyway.

    I feel like not going to Sunwaves in my clubbing days is probably one of my greatest errors in life. Every set that is recorded from there is close to magical – and certainly blissful.

    This mix From Jay Bliss takes you through some rather exquisitely hypnotic minimal like Lee Burton’s 1420Hz – it actually comes in two parts but I prefer the first part, and that is what the link is to.

    It is just a very pleasant hour of sometimes groovy, always blissful minimal techno, and does progress very nicely. I keep banging on about Jay Bliss as he is such an underrated DJ – even underrated on the minimal scene, let alone across dance music as a whole. This won’t be the last time I write about his DJ sets – well, unless I get totally bored of writing this blog which barely anyone reads.

    Enjoyment rating of 7.23.

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  • Dana Ruh – Modu:lar 14

    Published 13 November 2020, 11:59 am

  • Dana Ruh is nowadays one of my favourite DJs, up there with Barac, Julietta and Ricardo. I’ve featured her once before, and this mix is actually older – from 2017.

    Yet the fact that it is from 2017 and I only just have the urge to write about it, shows that it has properties of a classic. It isn’t a mix that I’ve only just discovered – it is one that I keep rediscovering.

    I have to be honest and say that I don’t know any of the tracks in this mix from Dana Ruh. I haven’t even heard of the artists that Mixcloud suggests – such as Canson, G-Pal or Red Pig Flower. Maybe Mixcloud are just making those names up?

    I mention this because Dana Ruh is clearly one to really dig and find some lesser-known grooves – I think I know my shit as an amatuer, but Dana Ruh shows what a professional selector really can do.

    The mix itself is an hour of groovy, understated house. It doesn’t really get out of second gear, but that is exactly where I want to be – and that last track is just…emotional power.

    Also worth mentioning that the sound quality is good – you can feel the bass properly. This is not always the case, as I’m sure you are aware.

    Enjoyment rating of 8.15. This is a really damn fine mix and you’ll be coming back to it in 3 years too, I hope.

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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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