Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Article | oOoOO | Ghost in the Machine

The ghost and his machine

Witch house artist oOoOO wouldn’t exist without the Internet.

By Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 01.26.11

“I don't really like band names,” says San Francisco's Chris Dexter, or rather oOoOO, as he'd like to be referred to in the press. “When I uploaded my first songs onto Myspace, I just entered a bunch of Os for a name. I never thought anyone would hear those songs or want to know how to pronounce the name.” Most often it's pronounced “oh,” but given Dexter's attitude on the matter, it could be open to more dramatic interpretation.

One listen to his music and you’ll agree a ghostly “ooooooo” makes more sense. Murky, lo-fi and smacked-up, oOoOO’s haunting chill-out sounds could be the work of idle spirits lazily occupying their time in the afterlife. Dubbed witch house or drag by the indie music minds of sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum, he sits alongside Salem and label mate Balam Acab; other artists doing abstract, slow-moving and often dark work.

Given oOoOO’s somber aesthetic, it’s surprising to learn about his mainstream influences. “I listen to a lot of pop music, I always have,” he says when reached by phone at his Bay Area home studio. “I like to add pop vocals to more left-field electronica. I don’t think I could ever make music like Kylie Minogue’s producers, or Katy Perry’s or anything like that, but I am definitely interested in that stuff and try to combine them.”

The mystery man comes to Chicago on back in January to play the first anniversary of CULT, a monthly party at Berlin curated by DJs Teen Witch and Baby Bamboo and held in conjunction with Scott Cramer’s Stardust nights. “We built CULT around combining indie qualities to a mainstream atmosphere,” Cramer says via e-mail, speaking on behalf of the CULT family. “It’s one of the only places in Chicago where you’ll hear a SALEM track mixed into a tribal mix of [Willow Smith’s] ‘Whip My Hair’ along with juke, bitch tracks, acid, Drone, UK funky and house.” Mixing emerging dance styles with a hint of pop, CULT has lived up to its name, often drawing capacity crowds.


Monday, March 28, 2011

The Allure | Cole Haan | The Inspired Life

 The Allure | Cole Haan

The Inspired Life campaign

Fashion has always remained a close second to music in our ongoing focus on lifestyle. So when Cole Haan rolled out its latest ad campaign—thus combining it with our third passion, advertising—it was only a matter of time that we'd dedicate some space to it. Especially when the shoes, the ads and the concept are this good looking.

Dubbed The Inspired Life, Cole Haan teamed with ad agency VSA Partners and photographer "The Selby." There's not a whole lot to say about the whole thing, that isn't written all across the work. It's beautiful and the logo redesign that went with it is actually what caught our eye first. The more involved portion of the campaign involves a lookbook that also offers up some bio info on people the company finds inspiring. Designers, photographers, musicians—the Theophilus London ad in the recent New York TIme fashion mag ultimately sealed the deal on this post.

Here's some shots from the campaign:

And of course, the new logo:

See more from the campaign:


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Red Bull Music Academy | Jackmaster + Deadboy

Red Bull Music Academy | On the Floor

Jackmaster + Deadboy

Beauty Bar Chicago | 03.24.11

1444 W Chicago Ave | 10pm | $5

While it's been our charge to spread the word about the Red Bull Music Academy itself and this year's sessions in Tokyo, we've also had the pleasure of spotlighting a handful of Chicago events. Two weeks ago we joined forces with recent Planet Mu signees Chrissy Murderbot and DJ Spinn as well as Chicago musical force and Gramaphone Records proprietor Michael Serafini for a mini lecture series focusing on a few of the many colorful aspects of the Chicago music scene. This week, we're pleased to shed our music intellectualism altogether and tell you that we're throwing a rager tomorrow night.

Coming to us all the way from Glasgow, where a thriving bass music scene is taking dubstep—and dance music in general—into uncharted territory, the Numbers label and party crew is leading the charge with a new generation of talent. Some names you might recognize: Hudson Mohawke, Lazer Sword, Rustie, Roska, Untold, Jamie xx; all have worked with the label. One in particular, Jackmaster, was just voted breakthough U.K. DJ by DJ Magazine and was also handpicked by Fabric London to release the next FabricLive mix. He's also a cofounder of the Numbers label as well as Wireblock and Dress 2 Sweat. He's no slouch. No slouch indeed.

If there's an emerging talent to look out for, this dude is it. You can find more DJ mixes of this brother online than you can any actual biographical info. And we like that. He's letting the music do the talking. And when he speaks musically, he speaks volumes. House, techno, dubstep, funky, it's all in the conversation. Here's what DJ Mag had to say about him:

Not so long ago, DJs were roughly split into two camps. On one side you had the ‘entertainers’; grinning Fatboy Slim-aping goons armed with bags of digit-raising anthems and about as much sonic subtlety as a JCB. Camped firmly on the other, were the ‘serious’ DJs. Heads-down, holier-than-thou tune-spotters intent on indulging their most abstract tendencies on their mission to — whisper it — “educate the crowd.”

Of course, none of this matters to Glasgow’s Jackmaster, whose adrenaline-fuelled past-to-future sets have obliterated the education or entertainment argument once and for all. 

While weaker DJs struggle to do either, Jackmaster aka 24-year-old Jack Revill has consistently done both at dancefloors like his Numbers residency at London’s Fabric and Barcelona’s Sonar festival.

As happy dropping the latest mutant funky riddim from Ramadanman as he is some vintage Underground Resistance gear or even Prince’s ’80s funk jams, his sets have managed to segue Chez Damier’s classic Chicago grooves with the populist euphoria of Robin S’ ‘Show Me Love’ without surrendering a shred of uber-cool credibility.

Nuff said. Now listen:

  #001 From Paris to Baltimore via Detroit (Mixed by Jackmaster) by Numbers

Deadboy makes R&B the way only a man growing up in the rain-soaked Britain could. Mixing dubstep, funky and a heartfelt melancholy reminiscent of trip-hop or early Detroit techno, his work is emotive, moving and, somehow, still fire for the right dance floor. He only has a handful of releases to his name, but eyes are on him and he's no shortage of upcoming material to look forward to. Peep his recent remix of Jamie Woon and Burial's "Night Air":

#39 Jamie Woon - Night Air (Deadboy Remix) by Numbers

and here's a DJ mix he did for XLR8R Magazine last year: Deadboy | XLR8R

Hope to see you On the Floor tomorrow!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Dialogue Inc | Radio Show #22 | Best of 2010

Dialogue Incorporated | Best of 2010

Dialogue Incorporated Radio #22

compiled and mixed by Mister Joshua

Letter from the Editor

So... I feel a little stupid posting up our Best of 2010 mix when it's almost April already. But sometimes this is the price you pay for perfection. Not to say that our latest podcast is perfection, but it's a hell of a lot better than the first one I recorded. A couple swapped tracks and months later and here we are, full swing into 2011. Thankfully the music, being our favorite cuts of the last year, don't really get old. And it covers a lot of ground: bass music, house, indie dance, indie period. Pretty much what I hope you've come to expect from Dialogue Inc. and its musical meanderings.

It's also fortuitously appropriate because it was three years ago this week that we published our first podcast and launched Dialogue Incorporated. So we'll call it a birthday, and call it even.

There were some killer musical moments housed in the 12 months that made up 2010. Most of which we covered ad nauseum in the series of 'Best Of' posts that we actually managed to time with the end of the year. So rather than rehash all of that here—again—we're just going to break down our track selection and link to the posts in case you missed them.

And with that, let the conversation begin!

—Joshua P. Ferguson

Year in Review | Best of 2010


Daft Punk “Solar Sailor” – Walt Disney Records
Lifted from our Artists of the Year post: Year in Review | Artists of the Year

Four Tet “Reversing” – Domino
Lifted from our Honorable Mentions post: Year in Review | Honorable Mentions

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes “Home” (RAC remix) – CD-R
Easily one of our top singles of the year: Year in Review | Singles of the Year

Mark Ronson “Somebody to Love Me” – RCA
Another honorable mention: Year in Review | Honorable Mentions

John Talabot “Matilda’s Dream” – Permanent Vacation
One of 2010's electronic music highlights: Year in Review | Electronic Highlights

Matthew Dear “Little People (Black City)” (Mark E remix) – Ghostly International
A close runner up for our album of the year: Year in Review | Top Albums

Kanye West “Lost in the World” – Roc-A-Fella
Another top album contender | Year in Review | Top Albums

Caribou “Odessa” – Domino
Any year with something new from Caribou... Year in Review | Honorable Mentions

Mystery Jets “ Serotonin” – Rough Trade
The same goes for a year with one of our fave rock bands: Year in Review | Honorable Mentions

Two Door Cinema Club “Something Good Can Work” – Kitsuné
Couldn't get enough of listening to or playing this one | Year in Review | Singles of the Year

My Tiger My Timing “Arm Around You” – Kitsuné
These guys will definitely be buzz-worthy in 2011: Year in Review | Honorable Mentions

LCD Soundsystem “Home” – DFA
Josh will be getting a tattoo with lyrics from this song. Seriously: Year in Review | Artists of the Year

Chaim “Love Rehab” – Bpitch Control

Robyn “Dancing On My Own” (Fred Falke remix) – Konichiwa

Gyptian “Hold Yuh” (Major Lazer remix) – Ministry of Sound
The versatility of this song? Brilliant. Year in Review | Electronic Highlights

Hot Chip “I Feel Better” (Max Cooper remix) – Astralwerks
Getting to DJ with these guys was a highlight. So was the album: Year in Review | Top Albums

The Chemical Brothers “Swoon” (Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas remix) – Astralwerks
We're worried no one will come up with a better live show: Year in Review | Top Live Shows

Booka Shade “Regenerate” (Original remix) – Get Physical
The album wasn't mind-numbing, but this song was: Year in Review | Singles of the Year

Plastikman “Plasticene” – M_nus
Detroit's Movement festival was an eye-opener this year. Herein, the Don.

Apparat “Sayulita” - !K7
The most progressive DJ mix we've heard in some time: Year in Review | Top DJ Mixes

Eleven Tigers “Stood Up” – Soul Motive
In a year of dubstep titans, meet the underdog: Year in Review | Electronic Highlights

Magnetic Man “Getting Nowhere” – Columbia
Now meet the titans pt 1: Year in Review | Artists of the Year

Skream “Where You Should Be” – Tempa
Now meet the titans pt 2: Year in Review | Top Albums

Rusko “Hold On” (12th Planet remix) – Mad Decent

Yeasayer “Madder Red” – Secretly Canadian
These guys get the award for most 'Best Of' nods: Year in Review | Top Albums

Arcade Fire “Sprawl II (Beyond the Mountains)” - Merge

And finally, our set closer and favorite song of 2010: 
Year in Review | Singles of the Year

Other noteworthy year-end posts:

And there you have it folks.


Dialogue Incorporated is now part of the Blogosphere. Check us out at: www.dialogueinc.com

You can also stream our mixes at Samurai.fm:


Direct download to our latest podcast available here:

Follow us on Twitter:


Click here to subscribe:

(Link should work but if not, simply search for 'dialogue incorporated' in the iTunes store and our podcast will pop up.)

You can also subscribe to the Dialogue Incorporated podcast here:


Monday, March 7, 2011

Shuffle | Darkness Falls + the Revenge + more

Shuffle | New Music From Our Inbox

It's been a while since we've done one of these, so we've got a good batch of new tunes for you to listen to and download. Let's get right to it. —Joshua P. Ferguson

Darkness Falls "Hey!" - HFN Music
Haunted surf-rock set to a dance beat, “Hey!” appears on the debut self-titled EP from this pair of Danish beauties. With production backing from avant-techno genius Trentemøller, Darkness Falls is the type of hybrid act that will make Pitchfork freak. The whole EP was released today so they've given the lead track up for free and they did this cool video to boot.

Download: Darkness Falls | Hey! (192 mp3)

The Revenge "Elements of Fife" (Tone remix) - Poker Flat
The Revenge has been a Dialogue Inc favorite since he dropped his first soul and boogie edits for the Jisco Music label. His sound has taken on a consistently deep and housey tint as he's started releasing original tracks, but all are steeped in decades of dance music history nonetheless. With this release for Steve Bug's Poker Flat label, he keeps to the minimal tech side of things. Lifted from the label's upcoming Forward to the Past release, "Elements of Fife" is perfect example of what the name implies, and who better than the Revenge to do it.

The Chemical Brothers "Container Park" - Hanna Movie Soundtrack
Daft Punk isn't the only larger-than-life electronic duo entering the film score game. Both Underworld and the Chemical Brothers have high-profile soundtracks on the horizon. This one here, for the film Hanna has a bit more of the Chem's DNA in it than we got with Daft Punk's work for Tron. Swirling and cinematic, "Container Park" also breaks out with the heavy electro-funk that has made the Chemical Brothers such an seminal pair of electronic music composers. The movie has potential. After hearing this, the soundtrack is a sure thing.


Panda Bear "Last Night at the Jetty" - Paw Tracks
With last week's announcement that Animal Collective will be headlining this summer's Pitchfork Music Fest, we also got this latest cut from band member Noah Lennox. Sometimes it's hard to tell where Animal Collective leave off and Panda Bear picks up, and "Last Night at the Jetty" is definitely an example of that. Ethereal and awash in electronics, it also features that echoey '60s-style vocals that make us think of the Beach Boys every time.

Chateau Marmont "One Hundred Realities" - N/A
Soaring psychedelic electronic rockers Chateau Marmont first appeared on our radar thanks to the always on point Kitsuné label. Since then the Parisian outfit has released a handful of EPs that you can pick up for dirt cheap at its Bandcamp page. The group is bringing its moody, synth grooves here to Chicago this coming Wednesday, so we thought it would be a good idea to share this with you all before the show.

While you're in a clicking mood, watch the MC Esher inspired "A Hundred Realities" video and download it's latest mix tape as well:


01. Joel Vandroogenbroeck and F. Voelxen - Cascades
02. Eloy - Horizon
03. Phil Collins - I'm Not Moving (Chateau Marmont Edit)
04. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - Round and Round (Chateau Marmont Clap Edit)
05. Mim Suleiman - Bibi Na Mpu (Maurice Fulton Dub)
06. Harry Thumann - Welcome Back Jolette (Chateau Marmont Edit)
07. Chateau Marmont - One Hundred Realities (Dub Edit)
08. Chateau Marmont - One Hundred Realities ( Oneohtrix Poing Never Cybersex remix)
09. Raven Kane and Klause Netzle - Breakdance Fever (Chateau Marmont Edit)
10. Mann Parrish - 6 Simple Synthesizers (Chateau Marmont Edit)
11. Dam Funk - Galactic Fun
12. Bot'ox - Blue Steel (Still-Going-Remix)
13. John Carpenter - The Bank Robbery (Chateau Marmont Edit)
14. Zigmars Liepins - Hard Nut To Crack (Chateau Marmont Edit)
15. Joel fajerman- Stries (Chateau Marmont Edit)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Album Review | James Blake

James Blake
Atlas/A and M Records

chill•out \ chil-aût \ vb + dub \ dub \ n

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 02.02.11

After enough listens to his self-titled debut, I’ve officially come to view 21-year-old British bass music innovator James Blake as the frontman for a band of tiny robots. I also suspect that said robots have a serious ganja habit. His music is so spare and dubby that, at times, the beats sound as if they’re being tapped out with matchsticks on a two-inch-tall snare drum in an echo chamber (and that’s if they have any beat at all). But don’t let a silly metaphor about a miniature mechanical ensemble cheapen Blake’s sound.

Ultra-minimal R&B, the album is full of stripped down techy and chill out productions that could have come from an alternate universe where Chess and Stax Records are as relevant as ever. Songs like “The Wilhelm Scream” deserve comparison to electronic soul crooner Jamie Lidell, and the haunting “To Care (Like You)” is of the same mold as emerging U.K. talents Mount Kimbie or Darkstar. And as is the case with these other British acts, dubstep is just a point of reference—and a poor one at that.

James Blake is composing a new gospel, a direct descendant of the spiritual hymns and blues lamentations of early black American folk music. “I Never Learnt to Share” exudes a traditional call-and-response, backed by a distorted keyboardist painting with the improvisational brushstrokes of an abstract impressionist. The airy jazz of Blake’s rerub of Leslie Feist’s “Limit to Your Love” is a perfect vehicle for his overcast style. His update is so deep and wobbly I picture it bringing tears of joy to the eyes of prolific riddim duo Sly and Robbie.

Economical electronic blues with the bare minimum of moving parts, Blake’s music is a reflection of the times: longing, melancholy, close to home and intensely beautiful.

—Joshua P. Ferguson