Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dialogue Inc | Radio Show #12 | April/May

Dialogue Incorporated | April/May Newsletter
Dialogue Incorporated Radio #12

Compiled, mixed and hosted by Mister Joshua
Guest set this month from Chicago's The Hood Internet
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Letter from the Editor

COMPUTER LOVE
By Joshua P. Ferguson

Digital \dij-et-l\adj
Relating to or being a device that can generate, record, process, receive, transmit, or display information that is represented in discrete numerical form.

Tragedy \traj-ed-ë\ n
a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme,   typically that of a great person destined through a flaw of character or conflict with some overpowering force, as fate or society, to downfall or destruction.

Hindsight, so often referred to as 20/20, is telling me that maybe I was being a bit melodramatic. But at the time it really did seem like a tragedy of Greek proportions. I had lost. It sucked. It started slowly. It got progressively worse. And worse… The worst. Of course I freaked out. I got cold sweats. What did I do wrong? I thought. I scrambled to try and make it better. That made it worse. I told the story of my misfortune to everyone I saw. I thought this would make me feel better. They listened, smirking. My story amused them. But they were sympathetic because they’d been there too. The usual response, “only time will heal the wound”, just didn’t apply. “Take it to the Mac store,” they said.

My hard drive had crashed. Ugh. I felt like a loved one had died, like I’d just broken up with my girlfriend. As much as I wanted to make things right, it was completely out of my hands. The thing is, I spend all my waking hours with this laptop. It’s scary. I get up and most days head straight for it, which isn’t hard because I’ve gone to sleep with it by my side. It’s taken the place of books on my nightstand. And I love to read. Ask anyone who’s lived with me and they’ll tell you that most days they wake up to the sight of me, reclined in the lazy boy, cup of coffee by my side, nose deep into my latest book. But my relationship with the laptop has grown. I use it for work, I use it for school, I use it for Dialogue Inc, I watch Netflix, I catch up on TV in HD, I keep in touch with friends in and out of the city, I write, I DJ. I’m so involved with this computer that books, magazines, and newspapers are like bitter ex-girlfriends who feel they’ve been cast aside for a more attractive, younger versions of themselves. 

All the more reason they should laugh at me when I’m left empty handed and broken hearted I guess. But I didn’t give up without a fight. I’d invested too much time. The Mac store was able to make a transplant, at 5pm on Easter Sunday no less (Apple scores big points for this), and I was able to bring my digitized significant other home. I wasn’t left empty handed after all! Now all I could do was wait and hope that we could be restored to our prior selves. I just want things to be the way they used to be, I thought. And while it’s been a slow recovery with a few hiccups along the way, like when a program I downloaded to help me restore all the contacts via my Blackberry decided to erase my phone contacts as well - I think that’s when I was at my lowest – we’ve officially been reunited.

Thankfully life works a little bit differently for this anthropomorphized computer of mine and a time machine back up from my external hard-drive set us on an amicable path to reconciliation. I guess that’s the thing about my digital tragedy, the wonders of technology protected me from the fates of Oedipus, Hector, and the like. I had just overreacted. Typical.

With that, let the conversation begin.

Jpf

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Constantly striving to strengthen our brand and our content we’re pleased to announce that our Creative Director, Joshua P. Ferguson, has added a new dynamic to the Dialogue fold, he’s joined Time Out Chicago as their Nightlife editor. What this means for Dialogue Inc is that he’ll be able to share all that content with you via our website and links to Time Out, so be on the lookout for added interviews, articles, reviews, and previews. This also means a few things for you guys out there: If you’re an artist releasing new music, a dj or performer here in Chicago, or are planning a tour stop here in the city, you should let us know. Time Out’s listings section is a great source for artist and event news and we’d be happy to include you in that if you send all the right info along.

So that said, our show this month features a lot of elements in tandem with the magazine. Two of our opening tracks are by artists that we recently spoke with for TOC. You can check out our conversations with Simian Mobile Disco, DJ Hell and Philipp or M.A.N.D.Y. here:




We don’t want to let this overshadow the other artists featured on this first portion of the show. We saw Kode9 deejay a few weeks ago and it completely blew our minds, read about it here:


He played “Township Funk” which has been massively over hyped but in Chicago, no one’s playing that shit so it was great to hear it, especially on a Funktion One. We also threw in some bangers from Rye Rye, M.I.A.’s new underling, and Rogue Cat, who gets a serious treatment from Todd Terje. Mellowing it out a touch, we’re also loving past Dialogue guests Hedford & Vachal’s proggy rerub of Monomusique’s “Fog Lights”.

Dialogue Inc has also caught the dubstep bug big time. I know we’ve peppered shows with cuts in the past but its starting to get serious. There’s more Kode9 in the mix, a softer touch to the genre shines on LD’s “Traumatic Times”, and then there’s La Roux and Skream. LDN correspondent Roy Shay turned us on to this one and holy shit is it massive.

Of course you know we can’t let a show go by without letting a few slo-mo discoid nuggets fly. This month we got our hands on upfront copies of Lindstrom & Prins Thomas’ new full-length for Eskimo and a sampler of Zwicker’s upcoming Compost record, so we had to put the needle on both of those..

As promised this month rounds out with a spectacular guest set from Chicago’s very own Hood Internet aka STV SLV and ABX. They really put in the time on this one so we hope you like. We know we do.

Also check out these posts to the blog that we've done since last time:


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iDialogue Inc has joined the Blogosphere! Check us out @: http://www.dialogueinc.com
(We've moved into our new permanent home at www.dialogueinc.com so please be sure to update your bookmarks)

We will be featuring regular radio updates, interviews, party pics, and the random musical meditations - bookmark us so you can check back regularly.

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Dialogue Incorporated #12
Hosted by Mister Joshua P. Ferguson

Tracklisting:

1st Hour

Kode 9 “2 Far Gone” – Hyperdub
Simian Mobile Disco “10,000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong” – Wichita
Ben Watt “Guinea Pig” (M.A.N.D.Y. remix) – Buzzin’ Fly
Rye Rye “Bang” – N.E.E.T.
Rogue Cat “Magic Journey” (Todd Terje remix) – Tiny Sticks
Hell “The Angst/The Angst pt 2” – International DJ Gigolo
Monomusique “Fog’s Lights” (Hedford Vachal redux) – Tirk
DJ Mujava “Township Funk” (Mark Pritchard version) – Warp
Blak Ryno “Cry Eye Water” - Not Nice Productions
Vybz Kartel “Dutty Angela” – Not Nice Productions
LD “Traumatic Times” – Hyperdub
Kode9, Benny Ill, The Culprit “Fat Larry’s Skank” (remix) – Tempa
La Roux “In for the Kill” (Skream remix) – Polydor
Lindstrom & Prins Thomas “Note I Love You + 100” – Eskimo
Zwicker “Traumdeuter” – Compost 
Circlesquare “Hey You Guys” (The Juan MacLean remix) - !k7

2nd Hour
(Guest mix from Hood Internet)

Metric - Help I'm Alive
Mr Scruff - Kalimba
Shuttle feat. Cadence Weapon - Rotten Guts
Paul McCartney - Frozen Jap
Kanye West vs Radiohead - Love Locktdown (The Hood Internet mix)
Treasure Fingers vs Futurecop - N.A.S.A. Dancefloor (The Hood Internet mix)
Chamillionaire vs Caribou - Keep It After Hours (The Hood Internet mix)
Realpeople - My Night With the Prostitute From Marseille
The Tough Alliance - Neo Violence (Shazam remix)
Mobb Deep vs Dubbel Dutch - Twisted Decimal (The Hood Internet mix)
Yuksek - I Could Never Be A Dancer
Sparks - Tryouts For the Human Race
Alaska In Winter - Berlin
Nu Jerzey Devil vs Simian Mobile Disco - Different Pins (The Hood Internet mix)
Ice-T - New Jack Hustler
St. Vincent - Marrow
Little Boots - New In Town (The Golden Filter rmx)
T-La Rock vs Prefuse 73 - Breaking Bells/Punish (The Hood Internet mix)
The Human League - The Dignity Of Labour (Part 3)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Live Review: M. Ward | Rave On!

M.Ward - Live @ Vic Theater Chicago

Originally published on Time Out Chicago Blog: TOC: M.Ward Live review

There’s little doubt that M. Ward’s clever partnership with indie film starlet Zooey Deschanel, as She & Him, has garnered him a broader fan base. I, for one, have to admit I may have never discovered him if not for this choice of attractive young frontwoman. But M. Ward is so damn talented—his fingers blur across the fretboard—it’s impossible for him to remain in the shadows for long. Touring on the back of his latest album, Hold Time, Ward stepped back into the spotlight last night at the Vic Theater with an unassuming projection of a cabin’s window as the only backdrop. As the scenery on the other side of the window slowly turned from dusk to dawn, Ward took the sold-out crowd through all the best moments from the new album and a few key numbers from past albums, mostly from Post-War. Right from the get-go, onlookers got a true glimpse of his prowess when the band stepped aside and he let his opening guitar solo fly like some modern-day Johnny B. Goode or Wade Walker, Johnny Depp’s character in Cry Baby. Later, while the backdrop faded to a starry night sky, Ward eased the pacing with a few solo songs, paring back to only harmonica and guitar. At points, as on “For Beginners,” he was strumming out more sound on his lone acoustic guitar than he was with his whole band behind him. But before long the band was back on stage riling up the crowd one last time, in true rockabilly, floorboard-bouncing rhythm ‘n’ blues fashion, honky-tonking its way through a finale and, count ‘em, two encores.

- Joshua P. Ferguson

Album Review: Tosca | No Hassle

Tosca
No Hassle
G•Stone•Recordings

down•tem•po \ daun-tem-po \ adj + jazz \ jaz \ n + chill•out \ chil-aût \ vb

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine: TOC: No Hassle

It’s been a decade since Vienna’s Peter Kruder and Richard Dorfmeister released their genre-defining album The K&D Sessions for their label, G-Stone. Since then, downtempo has become so ubiquitous that entire bar concepts and retail outlets, wanting to prove their all-around coolness, have been launched with Sessions as an integral part of the soundtrack. Over those same ten years, Kruder moved into heavier musical territory while Dorfmeister stayed the course, producing alongside another longtime musical collaborator, Rupert Huber, as Tosca.

Thanks to downtempo’s oversaturation, it’d be easy to dismiss Tosca’s latest studio effort, No Hassle, as a rehash of a worn-out sound. But doing so would sell the album short, like dismissing a Shakespeare play as clichéd. The true originator of the sound, Tosca continues to exude the freshness that downtempo so desperately needs. Its rich productions show depth, musicality and a sublime peacefulness that outpace its many impersonators.

From the opening bars of “My First,” we’re reminded what makes Tosca’s sound great: its slo-mo meter and syrupy ambience. On “Mrs. Bongo,” vocal “ah’s” float over a bed of soft drums, while a minimal sample reassuringly repeats “okay.” Tracks like these make any stress seem distant.

That last sentiment is central to the album, Tosca’s fifth studio release. Drawing on the duo’s usual mix of contact-high-inducing dub, muted and swinging jazz rhythms, and überchill melodies, No Hassle marks a return to form, almost on par with its earliest, and best, work. It has the same ability to put listeners in a hypnotic state of ease, where they can mentally skip out on their hardships, even if just for an hour. Man, is it nice.

- Joshua P. Ferguson


http://www.g-stoned.com

Article: DJ Hell | Dancing with the Devil

With his new album, DJ Hell aims for the heavens.

By Joshua P. Ferguson
published 4/25/08 Time Out Chicago Magazine

At first glance, you might mistake him for a less glittery version of a glam-rock-era David Bowie. With a voluminous shell of slicked-back blond locks and form-fitting, jet-black attire, Berlin’s Helmut Geier, a.k.a. DJ Hell, an electronic-music innovator and the head of acclaimed techno and electro label International DJ Gigolo, may not be rebelling against the flower power of the ’60s, but he’s still no conformist.

Recently, Hell has found himself at odds with electronic music’s prevailing style. Hip-hop dress has pushed Technicolor hoodies and baggy jeans to the fore of DJ fashion. More in stride with the high-fashion world, Hell prefers a sexier, tailored look. As he puts it when we call him during his New York visit, post–Miami’s Winter Music Conference, “I work hard to individualize my concepts and photo shoots. But lately these ideas are not fitting well with the DJ world.” Often commissioned by the likes of Donatella Versace to provide compositions for runway shows, Hell makes style cues that would have a better audience in Karl Lagerfeld than Kanye West.

Continue Reading

http://www.djhell.de/

http://www.gigolorecords.com/

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Interview: M.A.N.D.Y. | Getting Physical

Q&A: Philipp Jung of M.A.N.D.Y.
interviewed by Joshua P. Ferguson

Courtesy of Time Out Chicago, read full interview here:

When they’re not traveling the global DJ circuit, lifelong friends Philipp Jung and Patrick Bodmer—better known to the techno-loving cognoscenti as the world-class DJs M.A.N.D.Y.—keep themselves busy as the “heads of state” for Berlin-based Get Physical Records. In advance of their set at Spy Bar, we coaxed Jung out from behind the mixing board to talk about partying, yoga, being a hippie and why he’s in the studio in the first place.

Time Out Chicago: You and Patrick have come a long way since your childhood tennis matches in your hometown of Saarbrücken.
Philipp Jung: Nineteen eighty-five, that’s when we met. At that time, Patrick was into rock, like Led Zeppelin and stuff. I was the one into the electronic stuff. In ’89, we started going to the first acid parties. We got infected by it and started buying records. Then, in 2001, we united with Booka Shade and DJ T. to start Get Physical.

TOC: Sounds like a very organic, natural progression.
Philipp Jung: Absolutely it was. A bit hippie-like, but that’s what it was. We all knew each other for 15 years before we started the label. We’d worked for other record companies so we decided, Man, why not do it ourselves?

TOC: It’s been about 25 years since you guys started. Booka Shade has played Lollapalooza, M.A.N.D.Y. is fresh off a Fabric mix, and the label is more recognized than ever. What’s next?

Article: Simian Mobile Disco | Road Tested

Simian Mobile Disco takes new material out for a test drive

The most recent Dialogue Incorporated development - which we can't believe hasn't been announced until now - is that our Creative Director, Joshua P. Ferguson, has taken up a new post as Nightlife Editor for Time Out Chicago magazine. What this means for Dialogue is that we're lucky enough to be able to link to his features, interviews, previews, and reviews here on the site so our readers/listeners have that much more content to enjoy. Weekly we'll be adding posts from JPF's contributions to TOC. Enjoy!

First up is a feature on Simian Mobile Disco who will be appearing at Metro this Friday, April 17. A snippet of the piece is featured below, the full article can be read here:
Its name has been synonymous with peak-time dance-floor mayhem for two years. In 2007, Simian Mobile Disco’s (SMD) blend of infectious drums, electro crunch, indie bass-line bounce and notable guest vocalists elicited praise from the rock and electronic worlds alike. That’s the crossover appeal of most dance-music acts’ dreams.

High-profile production credits for the Arctic Monkeys and the Klaxons didn’t hurt his chances for success, but for London-based James Ford, who, along with longtime bandmate James Anthony Shaw (nicknamed Jas to avoid confusion), is now signed with U.K. indie label Wichita as SMD, the path to stardom was more of a free-form occurrence than a calculated record-label marketing move. “We’re both jacks-of-all-trades,” says Ford on the phone from New York, where he’s doing studio work for one of his many side projects. “We just try lots of things out and make decisions later down the line if we like it or not."

The sessions that became their debut album, Attack Decay Sustain Release, amounted to more than fooling around in the studio. Among a sea of sweaty revelers, the typical reaction to an SMD song entails dancers jumping up and down, chanting along to the lyrical snippets that have become a signature of its production style.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Live Review: Kode9 | Bass Philosophy

Kode9 - Live DJ Set @ Sonotheque Chicago

Reflecting on it now, the day after the show, its funny that I told my roommate before we headed out the door that I was curious about seeing Kode9 but thought I’d probably be disappointed. It happens a lot these days. Producers of great music are pressured out on to the road in support of their studio work, regardless of how well equipped they are to put on an engaging performance. Its getting better in the live arena, my review of Booka Shade from a few weeks ago is a case in point, but there’s still no shortage of laptop producers holed up on a stage, timidly peaking out from behind the glowing apple.

Things aren’t so drastically different when it comes to artists and their DJ sets either. Often an afterthought to their production work, they unenthusiastically stand behind the decks and go through the “DJ” motions, loosely stringing together a random hodge-podge of their own tunes. Thankfully this is not the case with everybody and with each step closer to Sonotheque’s intimate dancefloor last night, it was clear this is far from the way with London’s Kode9 operates.

The owner of Hyperdub, which could be considered one of the best dubstep labels around, Kode9 obviously has a trained ear when it comes to A&Ring but his musical persona goes even deeper than that. Early on, talking to his booking agent, I learned that not only is this mysterioso, who often appears masked in his press shots, a versed selector and top-notch dj, he’s also a tenured philosophy professor and generally only fits music in between his more pressing, academic pontifications. He also plays nothing but dubplates: CD-R’s of songs that may never see proper release, small-run white label pressings that only made it to him and maybe a 100 other jocks throughout London. This was a glimpse into a scene the likes of which doesn’t exist in the US, at least not anymore.

Then there was the music. I think my body may still be a little numb from the constant vibrations that spewed forth from the lounge's Funktion One system. I felt like I was in this strange limbo of sounds recalling jungle, dub soundsystems, raves, 2-steps, and broken beats – a melange of styles past being reinvented and compressed through some space-age filter that turned them out the other side as something completely new. Kode9’s set somehow simultaneously took me back to so many UK dance styles I’ve loved in the past while keeping things completely relevant. It was something to behold and all the while the exceptionally dense, Tuesday night crowd rocked their asses off to all the wobbly-bass, rewinds, and… Township Funk. Yes.

http://www.myspace.com/kode9

http://www.myspace.com/hyperdub