Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Allure: Chanel | Vanessa Paradis


The Allure | Vanessa Paradis

Chanel + Nouvelle Vague

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Over the course of the last few months, the billboard ad closest to my office has been dominated by Chanel. Pushing forward with a few new campaigns, fragrances and lipstick, Chanel has been switching up the content at a regular clup. The latest roll out features a beauty who, until now, I assumed was just another model working the high-end fashion circuit. Then last week, Nouvelle Vague's new album, Couleurs Sur Paris, came out. It features the usual, dizzying array of vocalists so I started digging into what these hypnotizing chanteuses might be doing with their professional lives when not in the studio with Nouvelle Vague. And who did I stumble upon? The model staring back at me from the Chanel ad I pass daily. Turns out she's far from a one note fashion model. 

Vanessa Paradis has been a singer since she was 14 (and she's been acting longer than that). She's also Johnny Depp's long-term girlfriend, has recorded an album with Serge Gainsbourg and has been the face of a Chanel product not once, but twice, the second beginning this summer. Looking like a cross between Heather Graham and Kate Moss she's exotic but approachable, and when she smiles she's got the très chic gap in her teeth, similar to the one that's kept Mick Jagger's daughter Georgia working so much lately. 


Below are some of her ads (one old, one new):




And, doing a very Nouvelle Vague-ish impression in the official commercial for Rouge Coco:



Vanessa Paradis Chanel Rouge Coco from Costume Benjamin on Vimeo.

And here's the audio of her song with Nouvelle Vague, "Week-end à Rome:"



Monday, November 29, 2010

Review | Modeselektion Vol 1


Various


MODESELEKTION VOL 1

Monkeytown•Records

Dub•step \ dub-step \ n + tech•no \tek-nõ\ n

Originally published in Time Out Chicago Magazine | 11.04.10

If bass music—the low, rumbling and often breaks-laden brand of dance music originating in the U.K.—were a taxon in the animal kingdom, it would be the equivalent of a family, with dubstep as one of its genuses. Dubstep’s offshoots would be the species, and the number of additions to the taxonomy in the past couple of years is enough to send the Jacques Cousteau of bass’s (that would be Mary Anne Hobbs?) head spinning.

Grime, funky, tech-step, post-dubstep, glitch-hop, bassline and garage—that’s “gare-idge” to all you Americans—all fall under this bass-music umbrella, and Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, a.k.a. Modeselektor, have set out like dedicated zoologists to catalog these “species” with Modeselektion on their recently launched Monkeytown Records. With Modeskeletor commissioning some of the brightest minds around to play mad scientist with the formula, Modeselektion sees contributions from U.K. dubstep originator Mala of the Digital Mystikz, German techno masterminds Robag Wruhme, Apparat and Marcel Dettmann, and a slew of young innovators like 2562, Cosmin TRG and Ramadanman.

Known for bucking trends in techno, Modeselektor’s rebellious attitude is evident all across this compilation, even if Bronsert and Szary aren’t always the ones behind the production console. Leading off with the melodic midtempo breaks of “Das Geheimnis” from former nujazz producer Siriusmo, the disc meanders from deep dub, like “The Good Star” by Tadd Mullinix (Ghostly International’s James T. Cotton if you’re not familiar), to atmospheric headnodders like that of “With Bag and Baggage” by German newcomer Shed to a moody minimal shuffle from Apparat on the very un-clubby “King of Clubs.”

Modeselektor’s own offering may be the one that most resembles traditional dubstep (if there is such a thing). When the other artists involved take us from hyper to aloof and from franticly rigid to syrupy and stoned, the telltale bass warble and haunting breaks of “VW Jetta” serve as an anchor to remind us how far out this music is and how much further it can really go.

— Joshua P. Ferguson

Here's a sneak peak at most of the tracks on the compilation to help you pick out the one's worth owning (although you could easily make a case for buying them all):


And Modeselektor, the merry pranksters that they are, also made this cheeky little video:




modeselektor.com
www.monkeytownrecords.com

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Leo Zero | Disconnect + MP3s


Brushing up on Leo Elstob's history, I realize that I've barely scratched the surface of this man's career. And I fear I'm not alone. Except for the always reliable Resident Advisor, few sites get below the tip of the ice berg when discussing all that Mr. Zero has done. Archivist, designer, cosmic rocker, DJ to some of the U.K.'s biggest tastemakers, Leo Zero is one of those rare heads that's done it all. He helped make one of the great modern psych rock records, A Mountain of One's Collected Works. In the '90s he founded Soulsonic, a club Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen frequented. He's boys with Bill Brewster, Stuart Patterson and Pete Tong. And lately, some of the best remixes around come courtesy of his keen ear and kind hands.

It was during the Florence and the Machine craze that started last year that we were turned on to Leo. His remix of "Rabbit Heart" is still a regular feature in Dialogue Inc sets—it was even one of our tracks of 2009: Dialogue Inc Year in Review 2009—and later remixes have joined Florence in our hotbox. Like his Bowie remix:



David Bowie 'Moonage Daydream' (LEO ZERO Remix 1) by Leo Zero

Or his reggae-fied remix of Empire of the Sun:



 
  LEO ZERO - Jammin' On A Dream by theinsound

The latest addition to Leo Zero's resume is his Disconnect mix, the first in a new series by Strut Records that is exploring the deeper, darker, odder, and in Zero's case, very British side of his collection. This one's all about the strange choices you love, think are going to kill a dance floor, play anyway, and find out it pays off in dividends. Leo's mix includes afro-reggae, afro-disco, Brit rock, obscure boogie, two-tone ska-punk selections and a few other oddballs. Here are links to some of his choices:

The Countach "My Oasis" (Dance Club Version) (mediafire link)

and here's a mini-mix to give you a better idea of the sounds therein:


 
  Leo Zero- Disconnect Mini-Mix by Strut

Not one to shy away from the promotional effort Strut (via !k7) has teamed with another bastion of art and promotional expertise, Ninja Tune, specifically London VJ Mox. Mixing classic U.K. imagery from the '70s and '80s with images of Leo Zero's design work and various other vintage music imagery, the below video serves as a visual accompaniment to Leo's mix:



www.leozero.com
www.leozero-disconnect.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Album Review : Tensnake | In the House + MP3

Tensnake
IN THE HOUSE
Defected•Records

house \haus \ n + chill•out \ chil-aût \ vb

A lot of people have told me they don’t like Tensnake. This surprises me. I have original cuts and remixes of his that stretch back to ’08, long before “Coma Cat” ushered him into the collective consciousness of the dance community. He has a knack for existing in the retro world of disco and boogie, the European cosmic disco scene and, with this release for Defected, in the greater contemporary house world. That’s no small feat at a time when one out of five new artists somehow manage to create a new subgenre of electronic music and inspire a legion of imitators. It’s also noteworthy when you consider how insular the house music scene is. If you don’t fit its idea of house, well, you’re just not welcome, end of story. A double disc release for Defected clearly signals that Tensnake has made it into the inner circle.


It also signifies a shift in tastes. The cosmic disco ramblings of Lindstrom and Prins Thomas, the Permanent Vacation label and other such left-field boogie outlets was not immediately accepted in house world. In Chicago at least, a lot of the nudisco DJs were doing parties of their own, and you weren’t seeing the same heads out for say, Bottin or Andy Butler as you were for Derrick Carter or Osunlade. Tomorrow night at Smart Bar, Tensnake is sharing the bill with the godfather of house music, Frankie Knuckles, which means that is all about to change (well, it’s already started trending that way).


This is incredibly exciting news. And when you take into account the breadth of the track selection across Tensnake’s two discs, it is even more so. Carol Williams sits next to Al Usher; Kathy Diamond leads the way to Michael Mayer and the Chemical Brothers; and that’s just the first disc. The second kicks off with abstract dubsteppers Mount Kimbie before moving on to Osunlade, Louie Guzman and Heaven and Earth (the original version of “Prescription Every Night,” not the Running Back edit from earlier this year). The fact that both Guzman’s track and Tensnake’s “Coma Cat” appear on Friendly Fires’ Suck My Deck mix is further evidence that the walls of the dance music scene are crumbling and welcoming people of all stripes. If Tensnake is the chosen one to lead all these varied factions of dance music together into one big, communal dance party, I’m willing to throw my hand up and follow him. Lead on piper, lead on.

—Joshua P. Ferguson


DOWNLOAD: Tensnake Mini-mix (128 mp3)


Tensnake and Frankie Knuckles co-headline Smart Bar Chicago tomorrow night, Wed 24.


Here's the Tensnake "Coma Cat" music video for your viewing pleasure (FYI: it features lots of girls in their underwear, that cheeky bastard!):


www.tensnake.com
www.defected.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Allure: Absolut | Chicago Bus Shelters


Absolut | Chicago Bus Shelter campaign

an ad review by Joshua P. Ferguson

Absolut Vodka and its long-standing advertising agency TBWA have always done some of the best work around. I remember friends who, in their early teens, collected page after magazine page of ads riffing on the iconic shape of the Absolut bottle and tiled them up all over their bedroom walls. Their repute has inspired coffee table books, fan sites and product offshoots. The duration and popularity of this strategic partnership is such that Absolut doesn't even have to make claims about the quality of its product to help bolster sales. And let's be honest, there are better vodkas out there.


A campaign with a new twist popped up earlier this year. It introduced famous actresses stylized to embody a bygone era—fashion and decor—to help promote specific cocktails: the Bloody, the Twist, the Cosmo and the Lemon Drop. The stars are Kate Beckinsale, Zooey Deschanel and Ali Larter, respectively (Beckinsale appears in two). 






These originally started popping up as  2D bus ads and in magazines (a few even ended up in Time Out). Larter's Lemon Drop campaign was also expanded into a '70s action-exploit mini-movie co-starring Martin Cove (the awesome, evil Sensei from The Karate Kid) and directed by the film-making collective Traktor. In a nutshell, Johnny Thunderbird (Cove), a singer and sleazy kitten thief inspires the wrath of Lemon Drop (Larter), a sweet valley girl-turned-bad-ass kitten rescuer. See, Thunderbird has been "stealing kittens voices to achieve perfect crooner's pitch, the voice of an angel," Larter discovers. She then seduces, beats at tennis, seduces and beats up Thunderbird, regains the kittens and blows up his house (in that order) with ample bad lines and grainy drive thru clicks and pops.

Sometime last week, the campaign added a 3rd dimension by decking out Chicagoland bus shelters with chairs, psychedelic and gothic wallpaper and in the case of the Lemon Drop stop, foliage. Discussing it with a coworker, we did agree that the sight of an impoverished person waiting for the bus in a Saarinen pedestal chair with Ali Larter looking all sexy in the background is a bit depressing, but taken as pure advertising pop art, these things are pretty sweet. Check 'em:





The above campaigns were all conceived by TBWA, creative director Mark Figliulo with art direction from Jin Park. The photos come courtesy of famed erotic photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, who helped give everyone from Claudia Schiffer to Emma Watson a naughty twist, and actress-turned-photographer Amanda De Cadenet. (And thanks to the Inspiration Room for the bus stop photos).

Just for fun, here's the Ali Larter movie:



www.absolut.com
www.tbwa.com

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Video Review: Trentemøller| Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!


Hearing "Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!" for the first time, you'd never suspect it was coming from a man renowned for his emotive, introspective techno. Full of Moog synth, theremin and surf rock drums, "Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!" is by far the most rockin' track on Trentemøller's latest opus, Into the Great Wide Yonder. His previous singles do just as much to establish him as a man who's going to use everything in his arsenal to push what it means to be considered an electronic musician. "Sycamore Feeling," which we featured on our summer installment of Dialogue Incorporated Radio is a brooding folksy tune, and "...Even Though You're With Another Girl" is so cinematic and trip-hoppy that it could no doubt make Portishead jealous (we wrote about the Pantha Du Prince remix in our Songs of Summer Round-Up).

Speaking of summer, Trentemøller performed live with a full band and 20-plus person dance troupe at Denmark's Roskilde Music Festival, one of Europe's 5 largest. Below is live footage which has been compiled to form the official music video for "Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!" This is one of those things that makes Americans like us jealous. Never in a million years—forgive the hyperbole—would 50,000 Americans queue up and freak out to this music, as spectacular as the sights and sounds are.








Knowing full well that this album may send some fans heads' spinning, Trentemøller has taken special care in enlisting remixers for his latest batch of singles. Most include a dance-floor friendly remix from the man himself. "Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider Go!!!" is no exception. Galloping along as a sort of fuzzy, psych-rock techno workout, his remix may confound club-goers initially, after all, it sounds as if Trentemøller got his hands on the source material to the Doors' keyboardist Ray Manzarek composing for a haunted John Wayne Western. But that throbbing thump is infectious; this is guaranteed to make the club freak out. 


Who better than Andrew Weatherall to add to the remix package. When it comes to reworking rock material for the club, few have a better track record. He upholds the tracks haunting qualities, but offers a more mellow turn from the original and Trentemøller remix. Last up is Lulu Rouge, a band who made their debut on the Music For Dreams label. There's is one for the dubstep heads, and a welcome change from the dance pace of the other two remixes. Undulating bass and half-time beat combine to devastating effect, even if this last one barely resembles the original.


—Joshua P. Ferguson


Head over to Sheena Beaston for a closer listen. 


www.anderstrentemoller.com

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Clothing Review | Stussy vs Time and Space Machine


Stussy x Time & Space Machine

Skate brand teams with U.K. psych project 

for a run of groove t-shirts.

Beyond the Wizard's Sleeve was a project that caught our ears during the hey day of Sonar Kollektiv's Secret Love comps. Volume 4 featured two remixes from the Sleeve, cosmic production team of Erol Alkan and Richard Norris. Taking on more folksy and rockish material—in this case Midlake and Findlay Brown—than Alkan is known for, these psychedelic folktronic sessions stretched on for what seem like eons compared to your average pop tune and they swirl with layers of percussion, fuzz guitar, hippie choruses and a whiff of THC.

Catching wind, down the road, of Norris's solo project as Time & Space Machine, we had the overhead lights dimmed and the lava lamp all warmed up in anticipation of more cosmic psych. And Norris certainly delivered. Almost too well. It was easy to get lost in his self titled debut, Set Fazer to Stun; perfect background music, but not always good for a serious listening session. Although, revisiting it as we write this, we have to admit it's hitting the spot on a dreary fall afternoon. The Indian-influenced dreamscape "Mushroom" and Doors-esque "You Are the One" stand up as well as those early remixes. Maybe what we're missing is the vocals... Anyway.


No psychedelic project is complete without a kaleidoscope of images, colors and patterns. The completist that Norris is, he knows this all too well and commissioned the work for friend/artist Luke Insect. The results were so stunning, So much so that the team is joining forces with streetwear brand Stüssy. Check the results. (Thanks to Hype Beast for the heads up on this).


—Joshua P. Ferguson





Stüssy also produced a video with exclusive interviews from both Norris and Insect talking about Time and Space Machine, their love of psychedelia, the artwork and, of course, their goals for the t-shirt line. Check it:



Stussy - Time and Space Machine from Stussy on Vimeo

The line went on sale this past monday and can be picked up at Stüssy's stores and online (which, unfortunately, is down today...).

Here's a mix from Norris that he did for Fact Magazine around the time of his LP's release:

Richard Norris for Fact Magazine Mix (MP3 download)

tracklist:

1. The Loaded Angels – Aquarius Rising (from ‘Jack The Tab’)
2. Alan Hawkshaw – Rumplestiltskin
3. Warm Sounds – Nite Is A Coming
4. Jaqueline Tiaeb – 7 Heures
5. Jabberwocky – Alice OST
6. George Romanos – Two Little Hours
7. River Theme (T+SM Edit)
8. All Along The Watchtower – Savage Grace
9. Prelude – The Millenium
10. Zoltan The Mynd Reader
11. Fine Jung Thing – The Electric Flag
12. The Oud and the Fuzz – John Berberian
13. Love Like A Man – Helmuth Brandenburg
14. Hard Time – A Time and Space vs Cherrystones edit
15. The March Of The Chessmen – AliceOST
16. Tarot Theme – Andrew Bown
17. Buffalo Roam (T+SM Edit)
18. June – Nirvana
19. Bonus
20. Bernard Fevre – New From Tomorrow (T+SM Mix)

www.ttasm.com











Monday, November 8, 2010

Dialogue Inc | Radio Show #21 | Fall Edition

 
Matthew Dear's Totem

Dialogue Incorporated | Fall Edition

Dialogue Incorporated radio #21

Compiled and mixed by Mister Joshua

Special guest set from Tel Aviv’s NDV of Botanika Records 

Letter from the Editor

SOLID BEATS
Introducing the new physical nature of the increasingly intangible world of music.

Material \ me-tir-ê-el \ adj

-      Formed of consisting of matter; physical; corporeal
-      Pertaining to the physical rather than the spiritual or intellectual aspect of things.
-      Of substantial import; of much consequenct; important.

Ethereal \ i-thir- ê-el \ adj

-      Light, airy or tenuous.
-      Extremely delicate or refined.
-      Heavenly or celestial.

Recently, the collaborative effort “All Summer” has become a staple part of my DJ sets. It’s perfect for me because it teeters between the indie underground and a more populist world. With a sing-along hook and guitar thrash from Best Coast’s Beth Cosentino, witty lyricism from Kid Cudi and back up from Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, “All Summer” is an intersection in a musical Venn diagram of authenticity, marketability and playability. This is especially interesting when  considering that the song was commissioned by Converse, all expenses paid.

Ben Sisario explored this music marketing concept in “Looking to a Sneaker for a Band’s Big Break” for the New York Times recently. The fundamental dilemma is bands looking for alternative revenue streams to raise the market value of their music. In doing so, we have seen a rise in creative packaging, free MP3s and other incentives to help bolster unit sales. Another strategy, the one on display in Sisario's article, is to look for a patron—of sorts—to pay for you and your work. Brands with an increasingly lifestyle bent like Mountain Dew, Scion and Converse have all taken up this role.

Talking up the strategy, the article explains that the artists get paid and maintain control and rights to their output. The brands get “coolness by association.” It goes on to quote Cosentino saying matter-of-factly, “If I said no it would have been stupid.” Sure, an arrangement such as this raises eyebrows, if not outright scorn from a certain segment of artists and fans who question authenticity and condemn bands for selling out. But, comparing the approach to a traditional recording contract, Chromeo’s Dave Macklovitch said the old route is “way more of a sell-out than doing a collaboration with a brand where you have full creative control and you give free content to your fans.” In the 21st century there might be more brands breaking talent than record labels.

The result of “All Summer” is much easier on the ears than the numerous examples you can point to on the Billboard charts that favor generic, watered down lyrics in the hope of mass appeal and a licensing deal. Chris Brown’s turn in a Wrigley’s Doublemint gum commercial comes to mind. So does the chorus to Nelly’s new single, “Just a Dream,” where the hook reaches out to that niche population of lovers out there singing “If you ever loved somebody, put your hands up.” That Nelly, I feel like he knows me. I got my hands up for you dude.

Discussing an alternative to this idea of brand patronage, another recent New York Times feature— this one from Consumed columnist Rob Walker—discussed a more materialist combatant to sagging album sales. In his article “Hearing Things” he shed light on numerous value-added packaging solutions used by artists recently. He calls it “tangible goods with a soundtrack accompaniment.” Clearly that goes beyond box sets and elaborate artwork—although recently, the deluxe edition of Skream’s Outside the Box and Ninja Tune’s 20th anniversary release are testament to the powers of design selling physical versions of their music.

A great recent example of the tangible that Walker points to is the totem version of Matthew Dear’s new record Black City. A monolithic-looking miniature aluminum building, the totem was released in a limited batch of 100 and includes a unique download link for Dear’s album (and a bonus track for a cherry on top). Walker goes on to quote Sam Valenti IV, the savvy owner of Dear’s label, Ghostly International. Valenti explains the Totem strategy as “imbuing the aura of music onto an object” to give value to artist’s work in a “post-format world."

This requires a degree of conceptualizing that may go beyond the reach of some artists, but the right labels—ones that grasp the kind of innovation needed for success in a "post-format world"—will surely start fleshing out their staff with creative minds to help implement more ideas like the totem. Music has always been an essential component of lifestyle marketing, so why wouldn’t labels start diversifying to boost sales themselves as opposed to loaning the music out to brands to help them rack up greater numbers.

As the worlds of fashion, music, media, design and nightlife start growing into one amorphous market—lifestyle—I’m more inclined to support artists and labels that have adopted a dynamic product. If this means you have to choose a brand you respect—everybody loves Converse, right?—to help bankroll your vision, so be it. And if it means you have to rethink the concept of music packaging, then you better start brainstorming. As a person that’s keen on having collections of things—books, movies, music—will it look better for me to have a bookshelf lined with identical black terabyte hard drives or an array of aesthetically-designed product art? You’ll just have to stop by some time to find out.

—Joshua P. Ferguson

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For this month’s guest mix, we’re happy to welcome Israeli producer and DJ NDV (a.k.a. Nadav Ravid) into the Dialogue Inc family. A good friend of our London contributor Roy Shay, Ravid also runs eclectic beats label Botanika Records with his partner Amir Egozy and is one half of Polar Pair, a name all you Tru Thoughts fans out there will no doubt recognize.

As a DJ (and producer really) NDV is a perfect compliment to what we do here at Dialogue Inc. A man that refuses to be pinned down, his musical tastes span from funk to house to dubstep to leftfield beats, and that’s pretty much what he’s given us in this exclusive mix. Follow the tracklisting closely as there are upfront remixes, edits and original productions from NDV and other artists on his Botanika label.

It’s few and far between when we meet someone who’s taste we trust as much as NDV’s so we shot over a few questions to get better insight into what he’s into, up to and putting out to the world.

Dialogue Inc: We've been doing more fashion content at Dialogue Inc and I saw you recently licensed a track to the fall winter campaign for Dorin Frankfurt. I've always thought the music we're into makes for a perfect fit with the world of the runway. Have you put much thought into more collaborations of this kind?
NDV: Actually, we were approached by Dorin Frankfurt to help them with the music. We were more focused on getting the music out there, to try and reach out to the right DJ's and taste makers, thinking mostly about other people like us around the world – and this collaboration triggered a more practical thought: That we may be able to find other contexts for our music, not only the fashion world.
DI: Any past involvement with the fashion world or future collabo's on the books?
NDV: Other than some music consulting we've done for fashion designers here and there, it's mostly through Heela Harel who designed some of our covers. She is an unbelievable designer who majored in Fashion but works in several fields. The pictures used for the first two Polar Pair covers were taken by Dania Heller who is also an extraordinary fashion designer (Meet the Hellers). Oh, and one of us once dated a model.
DI: I don't think it gets as much recognition as it probably deserves but Israel has a very vibrant electronic music scene. Can you tell us more about it and how it's unique in comparison to other DJ hotspots like London or Berlin?
NDV: For the overall size of the population it is probably quite vibrant, with local producers involved in almost every active genre around. There are guys like Kutiman, Soulico, Radiotrip and others on the more organic side of the spectrum, to others doing dubstep and different vibes on the house/techno axis, with us somewhere between the two. What might make it unique, is that almost all of these people, from whatever part of the musical spectrum they're from, know each other on the street/personal level and get exposed to what the others are doing, as there aren't enough masses to create genre-orientated ghettos like those you get in big cities like London or Berlin.      

DI: Who are some key Israeli artists we should look out for?
NDV: Onili is an adventurous pop singer that isn't afraid of electronic producers and clubby sounds, and there's of course Kutiman who has already amazed the world with his Thru-You project. Kalbata and Bunny on Acid are each doing their unique thing in the bass world. Also, it's worth paying attention to the Raw Tapes crew, who are producing beats in the post-Dilla vain.
DI: You're obviously one of these artists we should be looking out for more and more as well. You've had a handful of releases for Tru Thoughts and your own Botanika label, both as part of Polar Pair and as NDV. Tell us more about your sound and what you're doing as a producer.
NDV: I can't decide yet if this is a bug or a feature, but I can't really narrow myself to one sound or one genre. Not as a DJ, and not as a producer. Generally speaking, as NDV I mostly make stuff I can play out as a DJ: my interpretation of stuff that inspires me - from beats to bass music to space disco. With Polar Pair and my long time collaborator Malkiel Grossman, things are getting even harder to pinpoint, as we make our own twisted take on pop music and every track we do comes out differently.
DI:  And of course we can't get out of here without talking more about your label, some of your artist roster and your DJ mix for us. Can you give us a breakdown on what Botanika is all about, who some of the artists on the label are who we should be listening to and about the track selection of your DJ mix? The mix is fantastic by the way. The selection of left coast beats, dubsteppy-funky cuts, house and all is a perfect cross section of what we would imagine we both feel are the au currant and most exciting sounds in dance music currently.
NDV: Botanika, simply put, is about looking for the soul in music and looking for the excitement of the discovery of new sounds and mutation in dance music. As a label, we wanted to establish an outlet for the huge talents around us to help them get their music out there, although we don't necessarily limit ourselves to local talent. We've mentioned some of our artists here and others you should check are Sabbo from Soulico crew who's developed a unique blend of dancehall, club music, dubstep and electro and Markey Funk who has developed from a Hip Hop head to an all out psychedelia and exotica ambassador.
In the mix we've done for you, we wanted to focus on unreleased Botanika tracks, or other tracks by Botanika artists and somewhat contextualize it with stuff we like from other labels and producers, trying to position what we do in relation to other things out there.
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"But 20 seconds into “Aikon,” the opening track on Sixteen F**king Years, and I’m whisked right back to those carefree, hazy days and I immediately remember what it was about K & D and their G-Stone label that so captured my attention and made me want to become a DJ. The two haven’t lost their touch, not in the slightest." 
— Joshua P. Ferguson on Sixteen F**King Years of G-Stone

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I heard rumblings akin to a sonic apocalypse. Catalonian post-rock band Bradien was blasting out the final notes of its set for Sónar Chicago, and my initial thoughts were No one told me Aphex Twin was performing, and when is the spaceship going to arrive, soak the Pritzker Pavilion in radiant blue light and beam us all up to the cosmos? Something unusual was afoot in Millennium Park.  — Joshua P. Ferguson on Sónar Chicago

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“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.” —Joshua P. Ferguson on Efdemin's Chicago

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"I felt I had to continually remind myself it was a trio of rockers that compiled its contents and not a seasoned DJ—the selection and mix is that impeccable. I know these guys are heavily influenced by dance music... but they've still outdone themselves. Spanning indie dance, nudisco, euphoric house, booty throwbacks and even "Din Da Da" by George Kranz, it's as epic a mix as I've heard in some time." —Joshua P. Ferguson on Friendly Fire's Suck My Deck mix

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“Our records have sounded different since Exit Planet Dust but you can still tell the same people are making each record, even though the music has changed and the things we’re doing have changed, it still sounds like a Chemical Brothers record. We’ve never really tried to fit into anyone else’s idea of what we should do, or any particular scene.” —Tom Rowlands of the Chemical Brothers

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“Most of the time when I was writing my record I was actually celibate and not, you know, interested in any kind of sexual activity. I think a lot of people are confused by the references that I made when I was making this music, like I was this hyper sexual person when it was completely the opposite. When you go through some kind of sexual fast you feel this vibration inside of you that’s just all encompassing through your body and completely changes you.”—Jimmy Edgar

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Dettmann is a founding resident at Berlin’s Berghain club, a modern equivalent to the Warehouse or the Paradise Garage in terms of its influence on dance culture. This means he can be likened to a minimal-tech version of Frankie Knuckles. Such laurels are not easy to earn considering the divisive factions of techno purists. Fortunately, Dettmann’s precision as a DJ and his consummate love of techno garner considerable respect.” —Joshua P. Ferguson on Dettmann

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“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. It was tripped out, we were looking for a more psychedelic way of making it.”—Daddy G on trip-hop

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“And let's just say if we were into star ratings his contribution would get the maximum amount: 5 stars, two thumbs, a standing ovation, which ever unit of valuation suits your fancy best. Poised at the intersection of techno, dubstep, post-rock and generally leftfield dance music, its the most forward thinking mix to grace our ears yet this year.” —Joshua P. Ferguson on Apparat’s DJ-KiCKS

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“The half-time stomp of “8-Bit Baby” with American emcee Murs proves that Outside The Box is a decidedly more mature affair than Skream’s 2006 debut. But that sound isn’t altogether absent, “CPU” is a haunting dubstep affair. If you thought the rogue man versus machine themes of films like Alien, 2001:A Space Odyssey or I:Robot were pure fantasy, you’ll think again after giving this cut the once over.”—Joshua P. Ferguson on Outside the Box

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Review | Magnetic Man


"It's the second best album of its kind that we've heard this year; We can't help but think it sound like an extension of Skream's Outside the Box, the first best album of its kind we've heard this year; That said, you do sense Benga's presence in the studio and are glad for it; Nit picking aside, it's fantastic and we hope it makes these dudes famous; Katy B is awesome. —Joshua P. Ferguson on Magnetic Man

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“Now, with twenty years under its black belt, it’s released Ninja Tune XX, a massive box set that includes six CDs, six 7”s and the hardcover biography Ninja Tune: 20 Years of Beats and Pieces. Christmas has come early for those that like their music on the bleeding edge.”—Joshua P. Ferguson on Ninja Tune



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“Dear is clearly working through some personal muck in all of this mechanically soulful doom and gloom, but for all its ominous tendencies Dear’s Black City has a light at the end of the tunnel. In the uplifting piano of set closer “Gem,” he comes to terms with his troubles, putting them behind him and embracing a brighter day.”—Joshua P. Ferguson on Black City

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Dialogue Incorporated #21
Hosted by Mister Joshua

Tracklisting:

Kruder & Dorfmeister “Aikon” – G-Stone Recordings

Cosmin TRG “Sore of Attraction” – Rush Hour

Efdemin “There Will Be Singing” – Dial Records

Friendly Fires + Azari & iii “Stay Here” - !k7

The Chemical Brothers “Swoon” – Astral Werks

Jimmy Edgar “Turn You Inside Out” - !k7

Marcel Dettmann “Drawing” – Ostgut Ton

Massive Attack “Paradise Circus” (Gui Boratto remix) – Virgin

Darkstar “Aidy’s Girl is a Computer” (Kyle Hall remix) – Hyperdub

Katy B “Louder” – Rinse

Martyn “Miniluv” – Ostgut Ton

Pariah “Railroad” – R&S Records

Skream “I Love the Way” – Tempa

Magnetic Man “Perfect Stranger” – Columbia UK

Mount Kimbie “Carbonated” – Hot Flush

Eskmo “Cloudlight” – Ninja Tune

Mr. Scruff “Pickled Spider” – Ninja Tune

Underworld “Scribble” – Om Records

Matthew Dear “Gem” – Ghostly International


Guest Mx from Botanika’s NDV

Markey Funk “Soul of Technopolis” - Botanika

Bibio “Fire Ant” - Warp

The Astronotes “Soul Miner” - project moon circle

Star Slinger “Innocent”- starslingeruk.bandcamp.com

Polar Pair ft Eyal Glass “Cry Cry Cry” (Remix) - Test

NDV “Look at the Stars” - Bonjazz

Zomby “The Forest” - Ninja Tune

Deadboy “U Cheated” - Well Rounded

Polar Pair  “Out of My Head” (NDV Remix) - Botanika

Supra 1 “Still Believe” feat. Amy Douglas (Brackles Remix) - Trouble and Bass

Zed Bias feat Tawiah “Further Away” (Even Further RMX by NDV) - Test

Bunny on Acid “A scratch on the heart” - Botanika

Bunny on Acid “Oxygen” - Botanika 

XXXY “This Much” - Fortified Audio

Easy Star All Stars “Any Colour You Like” (KALBATA rmx) - EAS

Bunny on Acid “Luv Hurts” - Promo

Eyal Goldman “Sometimes things change” - Botanika test

BeN-HuR “Strings of 79 / Coming on strong” - Promo

NDV  “Round & Round” - Test

Onili –“Sentimental” (NoizinzioN Remix by Sabbo) - Self Released