Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shuffle | Black Strobe + T.E.E.D. + Tone of Arc + Sade

The Dead Rose Music Company

Shuffle | New Sounds from our Inbox

by Joshua P. Ferguson

Black Strobe "Boogie In Zero Gravity" (The Dead Rose Music Company remix) 
Electro greasers Arnaud Rebotini and Ivan Smagghe (a.k.a. Black Strobe) have teamed Gotham label highlights Let's Play House and Throne of Blood for deep disco rerub from Leeds producer The Dead Rose Music Company, a man we're keeping a close eye on for his keen mix of looping disco and deep house warmth. Here he flips the electroclash stars' "Boogie In Zero Gravity" into a '90s-esque boogie roller.

DOWNLOAD: Black Strobe "Boogie In Zero Gravity" (The Dead Rose Music Company remix) | 192 mp3

Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs "Trouble" (Lunice remix)
Synth-laden reptilian crooner TEED just leaked this angelic booty remix of "Trouble" done up by the Montreal-based Lucky Me and Mad Decent fave Lunice. Twinkling with lush atmospherics and brought down to earth by a potent crunk rhythm, this remix might be a pristine example of what people mean when they refer to post-trap.

DOWNLOAD: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs "Trouble" (Lunice remix) | 320 mp3

Tone of Arc "Fallow Your Heart"
Mixing LCD-style live disco percussion and that heavy electro-funk that defines Art Department and No. 19 Music, the label Tone of Arc calls home, this freebie from Derrick Boyd and partner in music (and in life) Zoe Presnick has all the gothic and house trappings you'd expect: haunting vocals, synth screeches, Vincent Price organs and that George-Clinton-gone-house vibe. It's worth the e-mail you might have to provide to unlock the download.

DOWNLOAD: Tone of Arc "Fallow Your Heart" | 320 mp3

Sade "When Am I Going To Make a Living?" (Poolside Tons of Drums edit)

An oldie that resurface this week, and likely evaded many until recently given Poolside's swell in popularity this year, the duo from L.A. adds a great Balearic thump and just the right touches of atmospherics to this gem from Sade. Perfect for early evening or off-weekend play.

DOWNLOAD: Sade "When Am I Going To Make a Living?" (Poolside Tons of Drums edit) | 320 mp3

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DJ Mix | DJ Shadow by Irn Mnky

DJ Mix | DJ Shadow as interpreted by Irn Mnky

Not to be mistaken as a mix BY DJ Shadow, this is actually a quick little jaunt through the Shadow catalog as seen through the eyes, and capable hands, of U.K. DJ Irn Mnky, who Shadow himself is a big admirer of, saying:

"Irn Mnky’s mix culminates a three-year relationship, initiated by a remix contest held via my website. His reworking of my track 'Walkie Talkie' was a personal favorite, and a highlight of my live show. Based on that, I felt he had earned the opportunity to deliver a proper, paid remix, which he did for 'I Gotta Rokk,' again with spectacular results. He’s got a great sensibility for crafting sound, and I consider myself a fan."

Shadow is, and has long been, an inspiration to many of us and Irn Mnky pays a pristine tribute here, traversing the DJ legend's catalog and his penchant for heavy rock drums, sample juggling and drum 'n' bass breaks, and doing it all with a lightning-quick mastery of the crossfader. It was good enough to land on Rolling Stone, where the mix debut yesterday, and it seemed a fitting enough tribute to post up here as well. The only complaint, at 17 minutes total it's over WAY before you want it to be.

Irn Mnky | DJ Shadow mix:

Monday, November 12, 2012

Interview | Bassnectar + Kaskade

Wax Poetics

Two of dance music's biggest acts talk to each other about their art.

Interview conducted by Joshua P. Ferguson

Originally published in Time Out Chicago magazine | 08.02.12

Though this interview originally ran back in August, it didn't get as much attention as we think it probably deserved, seeing as how two of dance music's biggest names chatted on the phone for an exclusive interview. So, to give it a bit more traction we're re-running it here for anyone who might have missed it this summer. Enjoy—JPF 

San Francisco’s Bassnectar resides in a very different place, musically, from former Chicagoland native Kaskade. His headbang-worthy locks at the ready, Bassnectar (né Lorin Ashton) boasts wild bass-and-breaks freak-outs that sit comfortably at the center of the dubstep craze, while Kaskade (né Ryan Raddon) has enjoyed a decades-long career focusing almost exclusively on euphoric house music since discovering it as a teenager hanging out at legendary Lakeview club Medusa’s. Yet, on today’s dance-music landscape, both are breaking attendance records with overlapping fan bases. 

With the summer of 2012 having been electronic-music's biggest yet in the U.S., we patched together 34-year-old Ashton in San Francisco, shortly after a recent European tour, and Raddon, 41, who was rolling into South Carolina on his tour bus at the time, to chat about the state of a scene that’s suddenly the biggest musical movement in America. Ashton was cool enough to tap his Twitter followers for topics, and it turns out the two share more fans than even they realized.

Bassnectar I think the people who are concerned with the differences between house and dubstep are the DJs. Other than that, I think the fans are just [looking for] big, loud music, lights and a bunch of us all in a room. The vibe I get is that a lot of kids call it dubstep, but they mean you or deadmau5. I don’t think you guys are technically quote-unquote dubstep artists, but that term has come to mean EDM, at least for North American partygoers. 
Kaskade Dude, when my European friends come over to North America, they’re so freaked out because it’s so new here and this generation isn’t so concerned with the subtle differences of what the genres are. It’s cool. They just want to have a good time and enjoy the music. I think the sophistication and snobbery will come later. 

Bassnectar I think potentially the death of a scene or a movement is when people get too close-minded or confined.… I think some of the innocence and cross-genre open-mindedness is part of the reason that [EDM is] booming. People are capable, like you said, of getting down to all these different styles. 
Kaskade Don’t you feel that’s part of the reason that electronic music is working so well now? It’s more about the actual song. Electronic music has incubated long enough, and the artistry is there and the technology is there that we can focus on the songs and do the cool sound design afterwards. Ten years ago the depth wasn’t there. It wasn’t artistic enough for Americans to latch onto, but now the music has gone so much further that it appeals to a lot more people. 

Bassnectar We had our rave scene in the ’90s, too, but it never burst. The fact that it’s bursting now, so far after everywhere else, is making it more intense than anywhere else. There are countless DJs from overseas who come over here and are blown away because they think of America as rock and hip-hop. I don’t think this is a fad or something that’s just a strange glitch in the matrix. I think it’s going to be a game-on scenario for the evolution of every style, incorporating this new enhancement. 
Kaskade Now that it’s getting bigger, I think we surpassed what’s going on in Europe. It’s interesting to see [European DJs] come over because now half of them are residing in Los Angeles or coming to Vegas every other month because there’s so much happening over here right now. It’s just done a 180. 

Bassnectar One thing that keeps blowing my mind is how unclear a lot of people are on what exactly the difference is between a producer and a musician and a DJ. Whether you’re a DJ on the radio playing back music or whether you’re getting stoned in your car and playing back music for your friend or you’re in some 1970s Jamaican dance hall, whatever the fuck it is, it’s a legitimate thing and only when you judge it in comparison to playing in a rock band does the credibility suddenly become suspect. 
Kaskade This is what the mau5 was talking about. He got a bunch of flak for what he said in Rolling Stone, just like, “We all press play, this is what we’re doing.” The term DJ doesn’t bother me. The art of DJing as you and I know it, it’s a very subtle art. Blending tracks and weaving and manipulating prerecorded music to create this mood, some people do it much better than others.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Chicago | Booty Nights at Beauty Bar

Booty Nights @ Beauty Bar

Mike Simonetti  (Italians Do It Better)
Dialogue Inc's own Mister Joshua

 Saturday 10 | 9pm | Chicago

Though acts like Glass Candy and Chromatics on his Italians Do It Better label may have taken up more of the spotlight these past couple years, Mike Simonetti is true musical mind, transmitting a highly-stylized and unique vision of left field indie-inflected Italo and disco through his various imprints, his blog and, naturally, his DJ sets. Dialogue Inc. faithfuls who read that last bit and think, wow, sounds right up Mister Joshua's alley, are right. Which is why we're so excited that he shares the bill for Simonetti's latest Chicago visit.

Taking place at hipster watering hole Beauty Bar in Chicago's Ukrainian Village neighborhood, the party goes down this Saturday 10 and boasts free entry with R.S.V.P., hosted Brooklyn Lager bar from 9pm to 10pm and additional sets from Chicago DJ highlight Zebo and eclectic music mind Jake Guidry.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Album Review | Photek | Ku:Palm + mp3

Photek Productions 

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

It's hard to take in all the musical faces of Rupert Parkes. Held up alongside names like Roni Size and Goldie, his early work as Photek is pioneering stuff in the world of drum 'n' bass. The other end of this spectrum is film score work that he's done for The Italian Job (the remake), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and his Grammy-nominated remix for Daft Punk, a chunky mid tempo techno rerub of "End of the Line" from the Tron: Legacy soundtrack. To say the least, Parkes has versatile chops.

Returning to his Photek guise after a lengthy hiatus, he's had a brilliantly productive 12 months, all of which culminated at the end of last month with Ku:Palm, his first full length in more than a decade. His work with U.K. bass man Pinch on cuts like "M25FM" and the selections across his installment in the DJ-KiCKS series earlier this year, go a long way to painting an auditory picture of where Parkes is at these days musically: There's a lot more house, a healthy number of bass-music excursions and very little that resembles the d&;b that launched his career with '97s Modus Operandi. That said, the Photek spirit remains completely in tact. As an artist continuing to champion atmospheric, deep and jazzy vibes in a largely post-drum 'n' bass world, he's freed himself from those breaks shackles and evolved considerably as an artist.

The rolling drum shuffle of "Pyramid" could almost be mistaken for opening drumming of "The Hidden Camera," the track that leads of Modus Operandi, but it never quite evolves into that signature jungle rhythm. Instead it opts for an Indian-inflected moody groove that displays a mastery for drum programming on par with what made peak-era Jazzanova so compelling. There's no trace of a drum machine in those syncopated polyrhythms. Moving along with a drunken swagger it simultaneously recalls the vintage smokey downtempo of an Thievery Corporation and the contemporary smokey beats of Cali crews like Brainfeeder and Frite Nite. "Pyramid" has that type of timeless quality to it. 

Back in 2000, Photek's Solaris was already hinting at a shift into 4/4 territory and that's more fully realized here with tracks like "Aviator," which sees him settled into the thick and deep style that's characterized a lot of his recent output. Fans of his DJ-KiCKS will be appreciative. On it, he sounds like he's shopping a track to Belgium's Eskimo label. Later, on  "One of a Kind," which features fellow bass man Breakage, he's lacing big four-on-the-floor beats with soulful vocals, breaking fully into house turf. This is a scene-wide trend that's not been lost on Photek from his perch in LA, and while the exploration is respectable, he's better off meeting somewhere in the middle, like when he reconstitutes a gritty acid bassline into the chugging "Mistral" or on "Oshun" where he imparts the haunting synth atmospherics and prickly, stuttered style of melody that would typically color up dark breaks or a half-time stomp instead to a techno beat. Parkes feels more natural here, benefiting from house and techno's potent kicks but overhauling it with his space-age cool.

His soundtrack experience also comes through, for better and for worse. Though the Ku:Palm is elegant sonically, opening tracks like "Signals" and "Quadrant" lack personality in a way much of his d&b work did not. They seem like instrumental background tracks that never found their way onto the silver screen; they don't have enough personality to stand alone. This is more than made up for on a cut like "Shape Change," which resembles "Signals" or "Quadrant" in form, but comes off more fully realized, hearkening back to his drum 'n' bass days while also acknowledging the influence of a younger artist like DJG, who featured so prominently on his DJ-KiCKS. Then there are Ku:Palm's boldest stand-outs, the soulful dubstep numbers "Sleepwalking" which adopts a slight dub tint and album closer "This Love." The record's only two vocal cuts, they represent Photek's most striking move away from the subtle liquid sound he's praised for, but these too are worthy of praise, as is Ku:Palm as a whole. Parkes is branching out more than ever here, and while some aren't as sturdy as others, an artist of Photek's caliber can't grow if he doesn't take chances. 

— Joshua P. Ferguson

DOWNLOAD: Photek " Pyramid" | 320 mp3

Friday, November 2, 2012

Video | Flying Lotus | Layer 3

Flying Lotus is definitely on the receiving end of quite a bit of attention here at Dialogue Inc. The one-two punch of his new record, Until the Quiet Comes, and his stunning new visual live show, Layer 3, has given us much to gush over. We had the pleasure of sitting down with the artist otherwise known as Steve Ellison in advance of his recent Chicago tour stop—you can read that interview here: Interview | Flying Lotus—in which he talked about the simplistic approach to his new visual set-up. Seeing it first hand, you probably won't be surprised to read we had nothing but good things to say. In fact, our review for Time Out Chicago even got picked up by Wikipedia, who snagged a quote from us to describe the show:

"All manner of Tron-like halos, expanding and contracting orbs, starscapes and unidentifiable amorphous globs of color raced, shot and oozed their way across screens placed both in front of and behind Flying Lotus." 

The quote reappeared alongside a new mini-documentary commissioned by Red Bull Music Academy, in which FlyLo and his visual partners, Strange Loop and Time Warp, describe the mechanics behind the show and how they feel about the finished product. Check that out below (or here):