As much as we’ve enjoyed bringing you our in depth thoughts on music related tidbits, whether digital DJing or hard drive crashes, today we’re happy to do nothing more profound than welcome summer into our midst. It’s been slow going here in Chicago—I’ve started a running joke that, while it’s referred to as “global warming,” the actual result here in the windy city is a complete negation of summer—with rain persisting through to the third week of June. Today, though thunderstorms do threaten, I can feel it losing its grasp and couldn’t be happier.
With the last, wet remnants of winter finally let go all the requisite summer pleasures start to re-emerge from hibernation. The smoke of grilled meats is finally wafting through open windows (to which our beloved office cat, Dimitri, is glued), beers flow like water and, of course, the stereo speakers are dragged out and cranked to the max. Blasting forth this month we have a perfectly beach-worthy Balearic mix, surfing through deep disco, interstellar indie remixes, Panamanian funk, brass band blast-offs, and—fuck it— Lil Wayne and the Wu. So without further ado, we’d like to take this month’s rant and dedicate it all to the music, giving you an intimate look at the first installment of our sounds of summer –
With that, let the conversation begin!
- Joshua P. Ferguson
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Damian Lazarus “A Moment” – Get Physical
This song is absurdly deep and totally beautiful. Building slowly over semi eerie backdrop the male and female vocal interplay brings on a bit of goose bumps, and then that bass drops. Ugh. It hurts so good. We still have half a year left in aught nine but I can wager on this cut’s contention for end of the year winners status.
Burial vs Four Tet “Moth” - white
As “A Moment” fades with vocal samples whispering “I don’t want…. to... let.. go,” this radiant beauty will take the separation anxiety down a couple of notches. This heavenly match up of two modern production geniuses absolutely kills it on “Moth.” So much so that I won’t even be wagering on this one, we’ll be seeing it again in December.
Solli Diskoklubb “NYE Tider” - white
No doubt rubbing elbows with Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, this Oslo based producer has made a fine entry on to the scene. While tipping its hat to New Years Eve? We see this as a great summer party starter.
Desire “Danse Mes Reves” – Italians Do It Better
We’re already partial to Glass Candy and Chromatics so the odds are definitely favorable for Johnny Jewel’s new Montreal-based breezy disco project, Desire. Check out our interview with Glass Candy here: Diamonds in the Rough
The Doves “Kingdom of Rust” (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) - Heavenly
We can honestly say we’ve listened to this remix, easily, three times daily since we discovered it. Heavyweights Still Going and The Glimmers tried their hands at remixing the Doves—who, we’ve discovered are great in their own right—but no one can take the Norse prince. Check out our conversation with Prins Thomas this month, here: Inter-Stellar
Phoenix “Lisztomania” (Classixx Version) - Kitsuné
It is impossible to sit still to this song. We don’t know much about Classixx but if they keep churning it out like they have (all their recent output for Kitsuné is proper) then we know we’ve found keepers. Definitely a highlight of the latest Kitsuné Maison comp. check our review: Paris's Lighter Side
We can’t take all the credit for this one, our mate Popstatic turned us on to it, very predictably noting that we’d love it.
Hood Internet “Comfortable Up Here” (Royksöpp vs Lil Wayne) – CD-R
We’re not alone in our praise for “Happy Up Here” because immediately after its release the Hood worked its magic. Speaking of working its magic we need to send out even more thanks to STV SLV and ABX for contributing to last months show. We had our highest listenership EVER thanks to these dudes. Props.
Miike Snow “Burial” (DJ Mehdi remix) – Downtown
This was one of those things that came to us and we were unnecessarily quick to dismiss. Thank god we humbled up and dropped the needle here because… Holy shit is it amazing. A perfect soundtrack to the last month, this group of Grammy winners in disguise has churned out something spectacular. Check the review: Indie Home Run
Ok, this usually isn’t out steez. But we got over that before the “oooww ooow oow” looped for the first time. It’s even got the Urlacher reference, Chicago What?!
Mr. Scruff “Nice Up The Function” – Ninja Tuna
Last month Scruffington flew in to grace Chicago with one of his signature marathon sets. We were lucky enough to spend some quality time with Andy while he was here, taking him out for drinks at our favorite bar and, as part of the Red Bull Music Academy, conducing an intimate interview for some of his biggest fans in the city. While we don’t have video back on that (yet), you can check our article here: Nice Up the Dance (He even drew us a picture J)
Busy Signal “Beep” – Juke Boxx
As our close friend and regular correspondent Roy Shay can attest, when the sun comes out after 6 months of winter, we head straight to the sounds of Jamaica. This is our latest discovery, a care-fee one drop with a message, as freedom of speech has become a hotly contested issue in Jamaica lately.
Heliocentrics & Mulatu Astatke “ Mansenqo” – Strut
For a time we feared we’d lost Strut, but its back and in rare form, thanks to an amazing release schedule with work from Horace Andy, Amp Fiddler and soon Horse Meat Disco abounding. Miles Cleret turned us on to Mulatu after our paths crossed in Puerto Rico and, with The Rum Diary queued up as an essential summer read, we haven’t stopped longing for more Mulatu (and more of the island) since.
The Duncan Brothers “Dreams” – Soundway
Another nod to Mr. Cleret, this time with one of the stand out cuts from his new Soundway compilation. Panamanian surf funk couldn’t sound better right now.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble “War” – Honest Jon’s
Originally hailing from the Chi, this band of brothers has been creating a stir for well over two years and we’ve welcomed its latest album with open arms. Collecting from its now impossible to find vinyl singles, this is an essential piece of music, history and culture.
Bat for Lashes “Daniel” - Parlophone
With tracks this good coming out, we’ve shaken off all notion of trying to rid ourselves of the indie bug. While the comparisons to Bjork are getting a bit overwrought, she’s still wonderful.
Martyn & D-Bridge “These Words” - 3024
We’re always watching what Martyn is up to, which works out great for us because the guy puts out new shit weekly. Possibly the top track off his new album, you knew we had to get a little of the dub and the step in the mix right? Check our review of his album here: Great Lengths
Ellie Goulding “Starry Eyed” – CD-R
One of our many blogosphere fancies, alongside Little Boots, Marina and the Diamonds and Duchess Says. There’s something about it, who knows…
We’re also super pleased to feature an extended hour and a half segment from Mr. Scruff’s recent appearance at Smart Bar in Chicago as the guest set for our show this month. Enjoy!
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