Friday, October 29, 2010

Article | Moneypenny's Spandexxx

Spandexxx Halloween

Penguin Prison *Live + Hey Champ * Live

DJ Sets from Moneypenny + Mister Joshua

Beauty Bar | Chicago

The lovely ladies of Moneypenny (as I've so often referred to them) have been throwing a party called Spandexxx at one of Chicago's better club spaces for almost two years now. It began when the space was Sonotheque, a club—for those who remember it—that was one of the best places in the city to go and hear cutting edge music. Now as Beauty Bar the torch is being carried on and so is Spandexxx. For a special Halloween edition the Spandexxx crew has asked yours truly to come in and do a guest DJ set, which I couldn't be more stoked about. The whole crew is traveling along (including regular Dialogue Inc contributor Roy Shay!).  Here's the deets:

SPANDEXXX.018: Halloween

9pm - 2am | 21+ | $5 | free with R.S.V.P. to

Prizes for Best Costumes | Hosted Tito's Vodka bar from 9 – 10:30 with R.S.V.P.

Penguin Prison (LIVE)

Hey Champ (LIVE)

Moneypenny (DJ set)

Mister Joshua (DJ set)

Hey Cliche! (Visuals)

Rachel Olin Cable (Monste Make Up provider)


Last summer I had the pleasure of sitting down with Moneypenny's Chess Hubbard, Jessica Gonyea and their manager Matt DuFour to talk more about all they have in store for us in their budding career. Here's an excerpt from that conversation:

Armed and Dangerous

Moneypenny is sexy, talented and bent on world domination.

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 07.30.09

“It was a heartbreaking decision,” Chess Hubbard pines, semijokingly. Recently, Hubbard and her DJ partner, Jessica Gonyea, decided to change their name from Rocktapussy to Moneypenny. “I’m such a huge Bond fan, I was immediately like, Oh, my God, that’s the best!” Hubbard says of their original handle. Over High Lifes, Pacificos and a serious barbeque spread, we meet both women and their manager, Matt DuFour, at the trio’s home-office. “We didn’t want anybody not to listen just because our name was Rocktapussy,” Gonyea explains.

Luckily, the duo—transforming from a not-so-mild-mannered DJ team to a live outfit—quickly came up with an equally good Bond reference. “Our parents love it,” Gonyea says of the change. “I went all of last year without telling my parents what it was called.” Hubbard says, “Whenever I would talk to my mom about it, she’d be like, ‘You really need to change that name!’”

At 29, both women have slowly been transitioning from their day jobs—Hubbard as a graphic designer, Gonyea as a costume designer—to full-time music careers. The quieter of the two, Hubbard, who deejays as Mother Hubbard, cofounded the Life During Wartime party with Chris “Bald Eagle” Baronner in 2003. “When we first started, we just got wasted and played songs we like,” Hubbard says. Life During Wartime has since become a more professional affair that’s helped launch the careers of Flosstradamus and Kid Sister. It was Floss’s Josh Young who taught Hubbard to deejay.
As DuFour pulls bison burgers off the grill, Gonyea, a.k.a. A-Cup, tells us she moved to Chicago from Ann Arbor around the time Life During Wartime was starting. “I filled my Ford Escort and took off,” she says. “I had to get out of there.” She was approached to sing and play keyboards in the local band Office; together, they racked up high-profile performances at South by Southwest and Lollapalooza in 2006 and 2007. Meanwhile, DuFour, who owns UR Chicago with Hubbard and is dating Gonyea, introduced the two. Last year, Gonyea quit Office to concentrate on Rocktapussy.

“We didn’t have any lofty aspirations for it, aside from party rocking,” Gonyea says of Rocktapussy’s start last year. “And being awesome,” Hubbard adds. With the duo itching to do original music, DuFour connected them with songwriter-producer Simon Perry, who’s penned songs for the Jonas Brothers and Echo and the Bunnymen, and indie dance band the Prairie Cartel to help Moneypenny craft a commercially viable sound. “We don’t know what all’s going to happen once it goes through the pop-o-matic 3000,” Gonyea says with a laugh. “There’s definitely gonna be some pop jams—Lady Gaga, Britney-type stuff—but there’s also some more left-field stuff.”

Get a taste of what's on deck for tonight with this Moneypenny Halloween mixtape:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Radio: Dialogue Incorporated | WLUW

Dialogue Incorporated *LIVE* 
WLUW: 88.7 FM Chicago

+ win tix for BONOBO at Metro/Smart Bar 

Abstract Science (who'll you'll remember from our Quadratic story a month or so back) wraps up its month long celebration of all things NINJA TUNE with special guests JOSH FERGUSON a.k.a. MISTER JOSHUA from TIME OUT Chicago and Dialogue Incorporated + former WNUR (89.9 FM) DJ ROY SHAY who will take us on a journey through their favorite Ninja cuts. They'll also be giving away a pair of tickets for BONOBO live @ Metro next thursday 11/4! 

Plus the latest in future music with your hosts Luke Stokes and Henry Self. Tune in tonight!


By radio | tune in to 88.7fm (Chicago listeners)

By web |
WLUW (listen live)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live Review: LCD Soundsystem | Aragon Ballroom

Photo: Will Rice

LCD Soundsystem + Hot Chip

Aragon Ballroom | Chicago

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published on the Time Out Chicago blog (photos after the jump)

It shouldn’t have taken me seeing LCD Soundsystem three times since May to tell you that James Murphy and company are some of the best live performers in the game right now. But, all the same, it was on a sweat-soaked sold out Aragon Ballroom dance floor last night listening to Murphy sing “look around you, you’re surrounded, it won’t get any better,” from the band’s set closer “Home”  that I fully appreciated what this troupe of disco-loving rockers can do on stage.

It was a blast to see Hot Chip, too. This year’s Lollapalooza was the first time I caught the band live, so getting to hear the quintet in a proper venue setting was a treat. Unfortunately the unruly acoustics of the Aragon got the better of them at points. With each song underpinned by a steady dance thump, the bass reverberating around the room had a tendency to swallow a lot of Hot Chip’s lovely synth nuances, vocal harmonies and other such subtleties. If the band noticed, they certainly didn’t show it. Keyboardist and guitarist Owen Clarke was like an Energizer Bunny, skanking to songs and hoisting his guitar in the air for solos. I couldn’t help but think of Paul Simon as I watched frontman Alexis Taylor skip around in his white suit and sequin-adorned ball cap. He’s not afraid to let his nerdiness shine through. And perks of the double billing—versus a lesser known opening band—Hot Chip played for an hour, mixing past staples like “Over and Over” and “Ready for the Floor” in with the stand outs from their new record like “One Life Stand” and “I Feel Better.”

By the time Hot Chip finished the Aragon was already a bit of a sauna, but that didn’t stop anyone from pushing up as close to front and center as possible to dance themselves clean to LCD. That’s exactly what happened too, as the opening track from This is Happening, so conspicuously missing from past shows on this tour, was our lead-off moment. When a crescendo hit two minutes into the song, the whole room erupted. Murphy didn’t banter as much as he has at past shows—just a few jokes and non sequiturs for chuckles. Possibly due to the heat, the band was all business. Thankfully that business brings a hell of a lot of intensity (and high volumes) as the band barreled through crowd faves like “All My Friends” and “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” before setting a more grooving pace on older cuts like “Tribulations” and “Movement.” The signature acid freakout of “Yeah” signaled the encore and by the time it reached the end of “Home,” the band offered up goodbyes and snuck away off stage. I got a sense that, more than anything, that the band longed for a longer goodbye. After months of touring I’d want a break, too.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apparat | DJ-KiCKS continued

Having already gone to great lengths to praise !k7  and Apparat's latest installment in the DJ-KiCKs series (which we did in these posts: Prevew: Apparat | DJ-KiCKS and Apparat | Sayulita + MP3) we're going to sit this one out and let Sascha do all the talking as he breaks down more about his musical background and philosophy in this second part of !k7's interview series.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kanye West | Runaway Music Video Screening

Kanye West | Runaway Film Debut 

Originally published on the Time Out Chicago blog

As the media frenzy surrounding Kanye West’s new album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy continues, West came home to Chicago and made a stop off at the ShowPlace ICON Theater last night for an advance screening of his new 35-minute, epic music video “Runaway.” I was lucky enough to nab an invitation. Before the comparisons to Michael Jackson and “Thriller” could begin, West joined the intimate crowd of friends, family and press to shed light on his directorial debut and how, in some ways, it wouldn’t be possible without Jackson. He even channeled Jacko in his look, stepping out in sunglasses, a slim-fitting black suit with gold embellishment on the sleeves and numerous gold chains hanging from his neck. Speaking briefly, he praised Jackson’s legacy and how honored he felt to have the opportunity to debut his video on MTV and BET (Saturday 23 at 7pm) the way “Thriller” did back in its day.

Then he shed a little light on his motivation. With a reference to bloggers—”People who could never be you telling you how to be you”—he talked about getting past all the criticism, growing as an artist and how he finds parallels to his struggle in the story of the Phoenix, which is the basis of the plot for “Runaway.” Saying that his vision is fueled by dreams and a child’s perspective, West concluded he has to embrace his creative side regardless of the feedback. “You just gotta do you,” he said, and let the tape roll.

With that, the screen lit up into an action shot of Kanye running, as if for his life, down a road through the woods with flames erupting behind him. As the plot evolves, his Phoenix, model-actress Selita Ebanks—whose slightly brick-colored hue, gold claws and feather embellishments are a genuine stylistic win—falls to Earth in a blazing fireball. Kanye discovers her, shows her around our world, which she becomes sickened by, and then she burns up in a visual-effects-laden final scene, returning to her homeland. Each scene serves as a big-budget teaser for songs on the upcoming LP. Over the course of the film, we see Ebanks arrive in the woods in a wash of greens, reds and oranges. Deer watch from a distance. Once settled into West’s palatial and modern abode, the two engage in a beautifully shot tribal dance sequence set to “Power,” with Kanye pounding out the song’s drums from an MPC atop a podium. Later, during a dinner sequence—which was clearly Kanye’s commentary on false friendship and the trials and tribulations he’s been through—15 to 20 ballerinas flood the scene, and West turns his back to his guests to perform the video’s title track, his ode to the douche bags, assholes, scumbags and jerkoffs. The most visually captivating scene, it’s also the pivotal scene that signals his Phoenix’s disgust and impending departure, which is set to “Lost in the World,” one of the best things I’ve heard Kanye do in some time.

While I don’t see it becoming the cultural milestone that “Thriller” is, West’s “Runaway” is an ambitious undertaking, and generally a success. Though West can’t seem to muster any emotion as he delivers his few lines, the story is well communicated and the visuals are mostly breathtaking. He can probably thank veteran hip-hop music-video director Hype Williams for helping with that. But the music? It steals the show. Having now heard samples of more than half of West’s upcoming album, I’m jonesing for more. Back are the banging drums and brilliant soul samples, and each seems as if it could be a party starter or a cultural statement. Kanye’s intention was clearly to succeed on both of those fronts.

After the film he spoke to the audience at length. He referenced his former glory, a “position savagely taken away from me,” he said. Clearly, the negative media attention he’s received has affected him, and his goal at this stage in his career is to class it up. He told us stories of his internships at Fendi in Italy and his time recording the LP in Hawaii. The new Kanye is “striving as an artist to further his culture,” and pushing past lyrical metaphors to make concrete statements. His ego, not entirely humbled, has him wondering how he’ll be remembered. Will the ballerina scene inspire future generations of dancers? Will Kanye 2.0 (3.0?) push music and fashion to greater respectability in the eyes of his fans? Nurturing his ego and doing exactly what he probably hopes journalists like me will do, I’m going to play right into his trap and say that, based on what I saw last night, it will.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Interview: Daddy G | Massive Attack + MP3

They Come in Peace

Q & A with Massive Attack's Daddy G

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 10.14.10

There has been a string of great concerts in Chicago recently and Massive Attack's show this past weekend was chief among them. The duo of 3D and Daddy G took to the Riviera Theater on Friday with support from Horace Andy, Martina Topley-Bird and Damon Albarn, whose Gorillaz played the following night. 

Emerging out of Jamaican sound-system culture in the U.K., Grant “Daddy G” Marshall, Robert “3D” Del Naja and Andrew Vowles permanently changed the DJ landscape in the early ’90s with Blue Lines. Combining dub and reggae, downtempo and hip-hop, their mixture became known as trip-hop and it made Massive Attack famous. But fame has its ups and downs, and creative differences led to Vowles’s departure after 1998’s Mezzanine. Marshall bowed out shortly thereafter. In 2007, Marshall and Del Naja reunited to work on what would become this year’s HeligolandIn advance of the show I was able to rap with Daddy G, to talk about the new record, reconciliation and, in what I'm happy to report was an exclusive scoop, whether or not Albarn would join them on stage.

How does it feel to be back together with a new record and a world tour?
It’s a relief for myself and [3]D. We seem to have our problems in the studio. Our personalities clash because we’re so passionate about what we’re doing. But this album has been quite a painless execution. It’s been a cool affair for a change.

It sounds like working with Damon [Albarn] helped with that.
We’d already decided to release an album when we came back from the tour in 2008. But it didn’t have the cohesion that we wanted. So we decided to go back into the studio and start again. We called on Damon to come in and be the referee for the reconceptualization of the fifth album, which is Heligoland now. He became the glue between myself and [3]D.

This record has more organic feel than your sample-heavy early days.
That’s the organic evolution that we’ve had, really. We started off doing the DJ thing and were very much influenced by hip-hop and the way hip-hop was made, and that’s what brought us into the studio. We’re not archetypal musicians as such. Technology was what helped us get our ideas over. Over the years we’ve just evolved into a band.

Without losing touch with your sound-system roots?
We’ve evolved into this, but we never forget our initial spur of inspiration. We always look to the sound-system ethos.

Do you still roll your eyes at the term trip-hop?
We used to roll our eyes when people attached the term trip-hop to Massive Attack, but over the years we’ve mellowed on that one. Commercially we understand why people were trying to put us in the trip-hop thing. In a way, it did describe what we were doing at the time. Like I said, we were influenced by hip-hop and we just gave it a British slant. I think that’s what caught people’s imagination. It was tripped out, we were looking for a more psychedelic way of making it.

Jump over to Time Out Chicago for the rest of the interview.

As a bonus we have a new video from Massive Attack for its new single "Atlas Air" lifted off a new four-track EP of the same name. Following the military theme of Heliogland, "Atlas Air" explores rendition flights, used to transport prisoners. But as Pitchfork pointed out (we got the video via (via Virgin Records)) the video really just plays out as if Thumper grew up to be a maniacal CGI rabbit of Cloverfield proportions who goes on to rip up cities. This was first seen in Massive Attack's other recent video for "Splitting the Atom."

We also wanted to include some tunage, so here's a link to the Gui Boratto remix of "Paradise Circus" which is featured on out latest podcast, due out at the end of this week:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Clothing Review | Chicago Boutiques Get Clubby

Fashion on Deck

These Chicago boutiques get clubby with their customers.

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago Magazine | 09.16.10

The Goods life

RSVP Gallery 1753 N Damen Ave, 770-6666.

With Marc Jacobs and Club Monaco dominating the Bucktown landscape, it’s easy to miss the garden level RSVP Gallery. The pop-art-meets-luxury-goods boutique founded by 27-year-old Marc Moran last August looks like Kanye West and Larry Gagosian partnered on a toy store. “People know they can come here and be turned on to things that haven’t caught on in mainstream culture yet,” Moran Says. Catering to urban hipsters and the playfully fashion forward, RSVP does have a few vinyl miniatures, but the main focus is clothing and accessories. Offerings include Technicolor watches from G-Shock, sunglasses from Karen Walker and t-shirts galore, from Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club to its own RSVP line. It also boasts an extensive collection of PLAY by Comme Des Garçons, featuring tees (ranging from $85 to $115), sweaters ($310) and cardigans ($350–$380) for men and women. Other popular items include Ambush’s POW rings ($90) and necklaces ($450), which look like an Adam West’s Batman punch set to plastic, and, Moran’s personal favorite, smiling flower throw pillows ($210–$525) from acclaimed Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami. 

Moran’s trendsetting doesn’t stop at RSVP Gallery. Along with partners Virgil Abloh, Shannon Sangster and Chelsea Lavin, the quartet founded @Superfun, a weekly Wednesday night soiree at the James Hotel’s JBar. With Million $ Mano at the helm as musical director, the night is a classier alternative to downtown clubbing that’s been popping bottles and packing in people for almost a year and a half. With an ever-evolving soundtrack, the party attracts clubbers of all stripes. “If it was a more urban crowd one week, we may go real hipster with the music the next,” Moran explains. “We reach a really niche demographic, those that lead the pack and influence others to what’s cool out there,” he continues. “This goes hand-in-hand with RSVP Gallery.” 

Gangsters Paradise

Black Market Caviar. 1945 W Chicago Ave. 312-624-8893.

Causing a ruckus since the end of last year, Black Market Caviar is the brainchild of Chicago-born brothers Brian and Marco Lopez. The concept combines their backgrounds in fashion design and screen-printing and kicks out highly conceptual—and hilariously mischievous—t-shirts and accessories that riff on the idea of a posh gangster lifestyle. “We’re inspired by bootlegging,” 29-year-old Marco explains. “To flirt with major designers and make fun of luxury, it’s a comment not only about fashion and what people sink their money into, but also a nod to today’s economic conditions.” With a coke spoon filled with caviar arranged in an Illuminati pyramid for a logo and their signature T-Lo packaging—white shirts rolled up and shrink wrapped to look like kilos of nose candy—the two have really nailed the aesthetic. Many of their designs run in limited batches of 18-25, units but their most popular, like Young Shitty Life ($30), which flips the Yves Saint Laurent logo by using a butterfly knife for the Y, and Coco Chicago ($30), which puts two Chicago Cubs logos face-to-face to mimic the Coco Chanel logo, are kept in print year round.

Their gangster-channeling ideas get more ingenious as day turns to night. Started simply as in-store get togethers for respected clients, Black Market Caviar’s firt real foray into nightlife was a 40oz party at Empire Liquors where the obligatory brown paper bags were emblazoned with the Louis Vuitton pattern in gold. More recently, the store has teamed with CS Magazine to co-host product launch parties, including one this summer where they set up shop to do live t-shirt screen-printing. But the fete most near and dear to their hearts is Speakeasy, a series of private events the brothers launched last month, and plan to continue doing regularly. Taking over a different hotel suite each time, Black Market Caviar’s Speakeasy’s are catered and complete with a DJ and a stocked bar. “We want to provide an added bonus for messing with us,” Marco says. “You don’t have to do anything but look good and bring a date.”

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gold Panda | Lucky Shiner + MP3

Matthew Dear is playing in Chicago tonight so there's already a Ghostly air around Chicago. To promote the show, I did a review of Dear's record Black City  for Time Out Chicago (It'll be up here in the days to come). In the review I said that one of the great things about Matt Dear's production work is that it doesn't come across as overly "tracky" or even very genre specific, as much techno can be. Some producers stick to carefully defined parameters for their chosen field of study within the electronic music lexicon and the results are stunning. But Dear goes beyond this. He isn't making techno per se, he's just making music. Keeping with the theme (and because the label sent me mp3s) I wanted to draw attention to Gold Panda's new album as well. 

Lucky Shiner is an exercise in this same ideal, it's just coming from a very different place. Dear grew up near Motor City and is now residing in Gotham City. That edgy grit has oozed itself into the core of Black City. Gold Panda's debut comes from two weeks spent in relative isolation in the British countryside, the only time not spent making the music spent walking the dog. Here it straight from Ghostly's latest star. "I'd walk Daisy in the morning and then make tunes till she pestered me to take here out again. I'd bounce down what I'd done, stick my headphones on and walk her, get ideas and repeat the process."

(Quote borrowed from the Ghostly International website: Ghostly | Lucky Shiner)

Sounds like he channelled a little modern day Walden into his working process. It also might have something to do with the years he spent on Asian studies. There's certainly a peacefulness throughout the record (there're a few indigenous sounds that sneak out here and there as well). And like his labelmate Dear, it doesn't adhere to any one type of electronica. There's post-rock akin to Four Tet or Caribou ("Before We Talked");  there are glitch-hop and left coast bangers like those of FlyLo and his brethren ("You"); and, as the label points out, even a shoegazey click & pop best compared to M83 ("Snow & Taxis"). It's original, sprawling and quickly becoming the soundtrack to fall.

— Joshua P. Ferguson

Preview (and download) a few tracks from the album:

And nab this bonus remix cut:

Snow And Taxis from Gold Panda on Vimeo.

(There's a part of me that wishes I could live out my days in a place like this, listening to music like this. This video embodies so much of what I love about electronic music.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Album Review : Efdemin | Chicago

Dial Records

house \haus \ n + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n

Originally published in Time Out Chicago | 09.23.10

Since the dawn of modern dance music, Europeans in the trade have referenced Chicago as a central influence, like a debt of gratitude that must be paid, given the city’s history as the birthplace of house. Berlin’s Efdemin is one such artist; he’s gone out of his way to honor the Windy City on his sophomore effort.

But Phillip Sollmann’s Efdemin project is paying respects to more than just Chicago’s house greats. An exacting sound architect, Sollmann’s also influenced by its master builders, be it Mies van der Rohe and his modernist lines —evidenced by the cover shot of his LSD apartments—or Fazlur Khan and his towering skyscrapers. Sollmann’s beauty lies in his subtlety. A graduate of the Institute of Computer Music in Vienna, he writes compositions that exude as much classical sophistication as they do deep techno murmur. With the exception of “There Will Be Singing,” which stomps harder than its fellow album cuts, Chicago is almost a listen better appreciated as a whole—much as the John Hancock Center is best appreciated when gazed upon from street level and not while on its 52nd floor.

That’s not to discount those nuanced moments in the middle. A closer listen reveals ethereal embellishments bubbling up from the seemingly sheer planes of Sollmann’s tracks. The hypnotizing slow-burner “Night Train” cruises at such a pace that you can picture buildings whizzing past the windows of a Brown Line train as you travel north. The syncopated drum fills on “Shoeshine” could even recall the bucket-drumming street kids playing for change on Michigan Avenue. Jazzy and introspective, “Oh My God” reenvisions the faces in Millennium Park, winking and spitting water to the beat as the laughter of the children splashing nearby makes up the melody.

Whether he’s drawing from Larry Heard or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Sollmann’s latest flows with wind from the city, and Chicagoans should be flattered by his articulate reverence for their town.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Friday, October 8, 2010

Live Review: Horse Meat Disco | Stardust + mp3

Horse Meat Disco | Stardust @ Berlin

Originally published on the Time Out Chicago blog (Head there for photos from the night)

Talking with James Hillard of Horse Meat Disco prior to his crew’s debut visit to Chicago (the full spoils of that conversation will be added to the blog early next week), I let him know that he’d feel right at home at Stardust, Berlin’s edgiest weekday club night (musically at least). Regularly Scott Cramer and his team of party starters deck the bar out based on various themes (Super Mario Brothers, space adventures and game shows to name a few) and the night never goes down without someone running around in a costume of some sort. The same can be said of Horse Meat Disco’s party in London, so I knew Hillard and Jim Stanton—the chosen two of the the DJ foursome on this leg of their U.S. tour—would immediately click with the crowd.
Sure enough, last night the freak flags were flying high by the time the Horse Meat duo took to the booth. Stardust was celebrating its second anniversary so the place was done up with red balloons, confetti and a few toy horses deviously positioned to mock doing it “horsey style.” Girls were running around in a rainbow’s array of wigs, shirtless dudes were making out at the bar and a trio—one dressed as a horse, another dressed as meat and a third dressed as a disco ball—posed for pictures at the Glitter Guts photo booth. It took Hillard and Stanton a few second longer than it should for the costumes in their honor to sink in. It was only after I pointed out the group was out of order—disco, meat, horse—that they clued in, giving us all a good laugh.
All this mayhem took place along the edges of the bar, the dance floor reserved for serious moving and shaking. Disco young gun Kid Color had people boogying from early on, blazing a trail through all the right loft anthems before Clique Talk took to the stage with a live performance of angsty dance-punk. Chrissy Murderbot also impressed with a mix of Detroit and Chicago classics; a DJ set with a bit of a history lesson in it. Then it was time for the boys from London to get things properly riled. Tagging in and out every few songs, Hillard and Stanton had the place burning up as they sifted through Italo, disco, boogie, house and even a carefully chosen rock song or two.
Inspired by the soundtrack, my buddy and I felt the need to raise a little ruckus ourselves. Between bouts on the dance floor and frequent trips to the bar, we decided that our British guests were too serene in the DJ booth. Four rounds of Jäger shots later and the mood in the DJ booth may have been more chaotic than that of the rest of the bar. I barely recall getting home, but I still woke up knowing last night was one to remember.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Plaza | "(Got My) Dancing Shoes" (192 mp3) -- From Horse Meat Disco's first disco mix for Strut Records.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Apparat | Sayulita + mp3

Continuing to ramp up its promo push for Apparat's new mix for DJ-KiCKS, !K7 has let got of an exclusive production from the producer today. Last week there was a more intellectual tease in the form of a new interview with the musician + producer—which you can check out here: Apparat | Interview—but this week it's all about the music.

"Sayulita" embodies the essence of Apparat's mix. It sounds pretentious to say it, but the track pools all the sounds that he touches on across the 24 tracks and boils them down to this one singular entity. It's techno, but its more than that. It has echoing indie-rock guitar riffs, a gallop that could sit seamlessly alongside the more avant forays into dubstep (Burial, Martyn and the like—both featured on the mix) and a drum breakdown that has more in common with some post-jazz, post-rock world than it does with the clubs. As far as dance music goes, it doesn't get more intellectual than this (before it spills over into a birds nest of clicks and hisses, that is).

Here's what Sascha Ring and the label had to say:

"Named after the Mexican town where Sascha Ring, b/k/a Apparat, recently decamped to record forthcoming material, 'Sayulita' is his exclusive contribution to his DJ-KiCKS mix; a 130bpm track that he admits contains the elements he was embracing at the time. Harnessing the shaky, organic percussion, big hoover like bass sounds and the erratic guitar chops that cut through the rising pads it blends somewhat brilliantly with Joy Orbison’s "The Shrew Would Have Cushioned The Blow" on the mix but also manages to stand up to repeated listens on its own; fully blossoming into a somewhat angular exercise in where Ring is at right now sonically - complete with curved reverb tails across the snare drums while the low end chomps at the bit behind it."

It's always best to just hear for yourself.

— Joshua P. Ferguson