Monday, June 28, 2010

Video Review: Florence & the Machine | Dog Days Are Over + remix mp3

Florence and the Machine's brilliant debut Lungs has been out for more than a year now, but it took those of us here Stateside some time to catch on to how great of an artist she is. Florence is a refreshing individual artist, making pop music that doesn't feel the need to adhere to any of the formulas dominating mainstream music. These days, when artists like Lady Gaga go to great lengths to capture people's attention but can't back it up with music of any real substance, stars like Florence and her wonderful music making machine are that much more necessary.

She recently performed a sold out show here in Chicago at the House of Blues. I reviewed the show for Time Out, complete with photo gallery. Check it out.

And, since this video isn't exactly new, here's a great new summery balearic remix of her song "Cosmic Love," by Short Club. Check it out below or head over to RCRD_LBL to listen/download.

— Joshua P. Ferguson

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Article: Dan Sicko | Author of Techno Rebels

Prose and Consoles

Techno Rebels should be required reading for all lovers of dance music.

By Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 05.27.10

TOC | Prose & Consoles

This past Memorial Day weekend, for the tenth year in a row, the world’s electronic-music enthusiasts converged on Detroit’s Hart Plaza for Movement, a yearly celebration of the Motor City’s invaluable contribution to electronic music: techno. An often-misunderstood genre, techno grew out of Detroit and its surrounding areas in the early ’80s. At the time, journalist, author and advertising creative director Dan Sicko was buying his first records as a teenager growing up in Ann Arbor.

Sicko’s love affair with the sounds that would later become known as techno inspired his definitive history of the genre, Techno Rebels: The Renegades of Electronic Funk, published in ’99; the second, updated edition hit shelves in April (Wayne State Press, $19.95). The book begins with Detroit’s pre-techno days in the late ’70s and early ’80s—when high-school kids threw all-night parties mixing early electronic artists from Europe, like Kraftwerk and Alexander Robotnick, with artists like Parliament-Funkadelic. Sicko then delves into the genre’s migration to Europe in the ’90s, where it spawned scenes in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. Finally, Techno Rebels returns to Detroit in the new millennium as the city gave birth to new-school labels like Ghostly International.

In the new edition, Jeff Mills, who had previously declined interviews, opens up about his role as radio jockey the Wizard and founding member of Underground Resistance. There’s also more detail on Movement (founded in 2000) and the Ann Arbor scene, including quotes from Ghostly founder Sam Valenti IV.

Speaking from his home in Detroit, Sicko, 41, points to the 1988 compilation Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroit as a defining moment for him: “That was the first time I realized [techno] was much bigger than I pictured it, that there were dozens of people here doing this.” The album focused on the trio credited with techno’s creation: Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson—dubbed the “Big Three” (a nod to the city’s auto industry). The compilation announced Detroit techno’s arrival and helped it become the international phenomenon that eventually birthed rave culture.

Continue reading Prose & Consoles

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Video Review: Rusko | Hold On

There's not much to say about this one. I can't get enough. It'll be in my end of the year charts without a doubt. Reminds me of hearing MJ Cole or Bugz in the Attic for the first time, just unabashed U.K. dance brilliance. It's also making me think twice about where I'll be when the Dirty Projectors are here for Lollapalooza. This song is nothing without Amber Coffman.

I also featured this cut on my newest DJ/Mix podcast: Dialogue Incorporated #19

— Joshua P. Ferguson

Rusko | Myspace

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Preview: Aeroplane | We Can't Fly

This one, unfortunately, is a very bittersweet post. Aeroplane, the Belgian duo whose remixes of Phoenix, Grace Jones and Sebastian Tellier have been a staple part of my sets for the past two years, is, at long last, on the eve of releasing its first full length album for Eskimo and Wall of Sound. The LP is due out at the start of the fall and Eskimo started the promo push today with this teaser for the forthcoming single, "We Can't Fly."

A great little slab of slo-mo reggae disco, the track's title may also be a portent of the bad news made public last week at (and numerous other electronic music sites/blogs). Stephen Fasano, one half of the no-longer-so-high-flying duo, announced that he is leaving the partnership to pursue his own musical path, leaving Vito DeLuca as the lone pilot of the ship. It's sad because their music has done so much to bring the disco-dance world closer to the mainstream. As a DJ that frequents mainstream venues, it's a breath of fresh air to be able to drop an Aeroplane remix of MGMT or even one of their own cuts, like "Whispers," and see the dance floor go off.

Forever the optimist, I'm going to attempt to look at this situation in a glass-is-half-full manner and hope that really what this means is that we now have two fantastic Aeroplanes out there, which could mean twice the amount of amazing music. Like Kruder & Dorfmeister in the early aughties, it could be fun listening for all of us, hearing where each of them go as they continue to carve up the cosmic boogie scene.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Aeroplane - We Can't Fly (preview) by eskimorecordings

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dialogue Inc | Radio Show #19 | MAY - JUNE

Dialogue Incorporated | May - June

Dialogue Incorporated radio #19

Compiled and mixed by Mister Joshua

Special guest mix from Abstract Science and Quadratic's Chris Widman


Letter from the Editor


Optimize \ äpt-tê-miz \ v

To make as effective, perfect, useful as possible.

To write or rewrite so as to maximize efficiency and speed in execution, storage and retrieval.

Streamline \ strêm-lîne \ v

To alter to make more efficient or simple.

Managing a blog hardly seems like the grand harnessing of technological advancement it once did. No, not everyone has one, but its not exactly foreign territory for people anymore. That said, there is an art to maintaining one so as to garner repeat visits. And it’s an art that we’ve learned as Dialogue Inc. has grown over the past few years. While the site gets modestly respectable traffic from day to day, we’ve been undergoing a “spring cleaning” of sorts to offer up greater content, in smaller bytes, more frequently to increase it’s value for people.

Our guest DJ for this installment is local radio host, veteran selector and Smart Bar resident Chris Widman—also of local tech-step duo Quadratic, alongside Colin Harris. Talking with the two of them during a recent interview (see below), the tech-savvy side to what they do is undeniable. Harris, a computer programmer, has actually fashioned his own computerized instruments to accompany Quadratic performances. And their name is about as big a math reference as you can get. So it seemed especially fitting that this introduction focused on all the tweaks we’re making around the site to enhance the experience for all of you.

While we’re still reluctant to host free music—the recent Google/Blogger crusade was all too effective—we’re going out of our way introduce new music, artists and creative projects on a daily basis, in order to uphold our mission statement as being a go to place for all things forward-thinking.

We’ve joined Twitter. We chime in multiple times a day with videos, songs and links to free stuff, so please follow us. We’ve also teamed with our close musical cohort Scotty Brandon in another, more open-ended blog called Please check it out and subscribe to it’s feed if you feel so inclined.

With that, we’d like to move on to the music, which, after all, is why all of us are here reading this in the first place. This installment is another doozie. We surf from deep and minimal to indie and electronic to warbly and soulful. This might honestly be one of our best shows yet and is linked to recent interviews we’ve done with Glimpse, Drop the Lime and Ellen Allien.

Let the conversation begin.

— Joshua P. Ferguson

Guest Mix Profile | Chris Widman + Quadratic

As mentioned, we were fortunate to sit down with local tech-steppers Quadratic a.k.a. Chicago producers Chris Widman and Colin Harris. Widman is the longtime host of Abstract Science, possibly the city's number one radio source for new electronic music and it’s been running for just about a decade now. As a DJ he spans just about every nuanced subgenre in electronic music, making him a wonderfully kindred spirit in the city. As if that weren’t enough, he’s a tireless promoter who acts as one of the main dubstep residents at legendary club Smart Bar and he regularly brings top-notch international talent to town. Recent guests Chicago can thank Widman for helping promote include Blockhead, Incyde, Hudson Mohawke, Caspa, Nosaj Thing and King Cannibal. The gracious gentlemen that they are, Harris and Widman have contributed a recent live set from Quadratic to go along with the blistering DJ Mix that Widman did for us. Read on for our interview with Quadratic and to hear the live set. (Pictures link to articles).

“People are trained to certain sonic cues. So when the dubstep song does ‘this’ I know what’s going to happen. If you don’t have some certain elements of that same common language, people are utterly confused and don’t know what to do. Which we enjoy, but sometimes you want people to dance too.” —Colin Harris, Quadratic.

Quadratic Live from the Abbey Pub, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Quadraticlive by dialogueinc

Live Review: LCD Soundsystem Live + DJ set @ Metro | Smart Bar Chicago

"He then encouraged us all to simply live in the moment, a sentiment that I couldn’t help but agree with as the concert-goers to my left and directly behind me were filming this monologue with said iPhones.” — Joshua P. Ferguson of James Murphy

Live review at Time Out Chicago

Live show photo gallery at Time Out Chicago

DJ set review + photo gallery at Time Out Chicago

Interview | Ellen Allien

We just sign artists and try to let people find them. That’s the key. It’s not about one sound. I ‘m not some diva that says you need to sound like me. People can grow with us in the way they need to grow, not how I say they need to grow. It’s just helping them find their way.”—Ellen Allien

Interview | Glimpse

“When you operate an analog kit, you’re using your hands every time you make a sound. You’re moving your body to move the sliders and the knobs which imprints your signature in the sound more than automating something in Logic or Cubase or Ableton.”—Christopher Spero a.k.a. Glimpse

Album Review | Booka Shade MORE!

"An impeccably constructed record, MORE! loses none of the sheen that makes Booka Shade a master of its art, yet it doesn't come across as potently as the duo can. This is not to say that subtlety shouldn't be rewarded. A song like "Regenerate" bounces with an understated oompa-loompa cadence before an intense crescendo."—Joshua P. Ferguson

Interview | Drop the Lime

“I went to my first rave and that’s what really got me intrigued by electronic music. I saw a DJ, thousands of chicks going crazy to a DJ and I realized, like you can make all these people dance and… Still get the girls.”—Luca Venezia

Live Review | Flying Lotus + Kode9

"The philosophical bass music juggernaut Kode9 kept his entire set fresh, playing across the board from dubstep's deep and techy side to its wonkier side—he threw the Midwestern kids a bone and played Major Lazer's "Pon Di Floor" and one or two other Rusko-flavored cuts.”—Joshua P. Ferguson

Other Noteworthy posts:

Live Review(s) | Detroit Movement Festival coverage

Album Reviews:



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Dialogue Incorporated #19

Hosted by Mister Joshua P. Ferguson

Special guest mix from Abstract Science’s Chris Widman


Hour 1:

Kaito “And That Was the Way” (Echospace’s Transcendental State) – Kompakt

Caribou “Jamelia” – Domino

Holy Ghost! “Say My Name” – DFA

LCD Soundsystem “I Can Change” – DFA

Jori Hulkkonen “I Am Dead” (Hercules & Love Affair remix) – Sugarcane

Ellen Allien “Sun the Rain” – Bpitch Control

Trentemøller “Sycamore Feeling” – In My Room Recordings

Glimpse “If I Was Your Girl” – Crosstown Rebels

Booka Shade “Regenerate” – Get Physical

Drop the Lime “Devil’s Eyes” (Classixx mix) – Trouble & Bass

Kode9 “You Don’t Wash” (dub) - !k7

Ramadanman “Don’t Change For Me” – Hessle Audio

The Streets “Blinded By the Light” (Nero remix) – Locked On

Rusko “Hold on” – Mad Decent

Sunday Girl “Four Floors” (Diplo remix) – Cd-R

Scuba “So You Think You’re Special” – Hot Flush

Washed Out “You and I” (featuring Caroline Polachek) – Adult Swim

Hour 2:

Exclusive Abstract Science mix from Quadratic’s Chris Widman:

chris widman - subfix.mix.01 - recorded 01 may 2010

eskamon (eskmo + amon tobin)-"fine objects"-ancestor

hrdvision-"summer's beds"--where did you just go?-wagon repair

east flatbush project feat. des-"tried by 12 (acapella)"--uproar

skream-"midnight request line (zinc rmx)"--bingo

kanji kinetic-"zombies"--new era-tigerbeat6

danger mouse + banksy-"keep it real"-no label


kraddy-"alien porn (si begg rmx)"--equinox

mesak-"virgins of bergen"--school of mesak-harmoenia

akira kiteshi-"boom n' pow"--black acre

liquid stranger feat. warrior queen-"mutants"--the intergalactic slapstick-interchill

mrk1-"the electrician"--contagious


6blocc + dstro feat. k'lin-"talk too loud"--terminal dusk

ebola-"alpha paw"--lo dubs

musical mob-"pulse x (vip)"--inspired sounds

headhunter-"prototype (modeselektor rmx)"--tempa

chimpo-"spectrum skank"--offroad

jackie's army-"murther (iris soundsystem rmx)"--voltage

fstz-"i got the funk"--we

monolake-"alaska (surgeon remix)"--ml/imbalance computer music

skream-"movin' snarez"--disfigured dubs