Thursday, December 20, 2007

Charteristics: my favourite tunes (October-December)


Time is running so fast, it's already the end of the year! Still some things to be done, but tomorrow I'm going home… which means that I will check some parties there too, for example, the one where P.Toile performs on December 21 at Space:Garage.

Before looking back at the best tracks this year, now I will make a round-up of the tunes that I've been playing last months or that I've found just interesting.

> Matt John – Olga Dancekowski [Bar25]

It's simple, yet having a great hook – the repetitive synth loop and a groovy bassline, which goes on and on and doesn't get boring. The track's name is original, too, isn't it?

> Jaxson – Cookie Crawler [38db-Tonsportgruppe]

Jaxson has taken a bit different path than in his recent hit Smokemachine. This time the most interesting track is Cookie Crawler, which is not even a proper minimal track, more acid with a nice but funny vocal. In a way it reminds me of DJ Koze – that kind of fun and weirdness, you know.

> Efdemin – Acid Bells (Matt O'Brian remix) [Métisse]

These bells and beats are to be fired out in a peak-hour, it's a functional track in a good meaning. A great remix indeed.

> Teflon – The Wombat [Rebelone]

Guy Gerber makes it tough. Pulsating bass and punching beat put the pressure on. But still the track has some melodic elements.

> Luciano – Nunca Tiene Bastante [Cadenza]

It's not easy to choose the best track from Luciano's 2x12" release named Etudes Electronique, but at least listening at home the above mentioned track seemed to be the most DJ friendly. The smooth bassline and the springy beat makes one dance along, whereas the echoed voice samples add some more space to it. However, be sure to check the other tracks too, which push the boundaries of electronic dance music and rhythmic structures.

> Martin Buttrich – Hunted [Cocoon]

He did it again – another great twelve inch. Nothing too extraordinary, just a proper energetic and melodic tech-house action.

> Guillaume & The Coutu Dumonts - Sous L'Arbre [Circus Company]

I've discovered this guy thanks to his last Petits Djinns EP on the great Circus Company imprint from France. He is a master of innovative deep and jazzy house adding some production qualities of micro-house and minimal, which results in a truly original sound. Sous L'Arbre (Under A Tree) is the most DJ-friendly track from this EP.

> Petre Inspirescu – Racakadoom [Cadenza]

This is taken from another great 2x12" on Cadenza, which is one of the best labels this year. The only thing I know about Petre Inspirescu is that he's a new talented producer from Romania, and this release affirms that. Racakadoom is the funkiest thing on it, other tracks are more abstract.

> Anthony Collins – Cannibale (Tom Clark & Daniel Dreier remix) [Highgrade]

The original is OK, but remix is even better. It's melodic yet dynamic and groovy.

> Inaqui Marin – My Little Box [Regular]

I don't know much about this guy, apart from that this is a Spanish producer on a Spanish label. But the music is what matters after all — the track takes off slowly, gradually turning into irresistible whirlpool of chords and beats, which make me think of such producers as Xpansul and Alexi Delano.

Other goodies:

Radio Slave – Bell Clap Dance [Rekids], Sebastien Leger – Moon [Mistakes], Kabale Und Liebe & Daniel Sanchez – Mumbling Yeah [Arearemote], Ricardo Villalobos – Sei Es Drum LP [Sei Es Drum], Alex Under – Gris [CMYK], Format: B – Split Pot EP [Opossum]

Some of these tracks are included in my mix for Minipower. It should be published soon on their website, it's the mix number 20.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

fReAk p0p aTTaXX!















This year is almost over, which means that the year of Luxemburg being the European Culture capital have come to its end as well. That's quite sad, because during this year there were so many good gigs with great artists, exhibitions and other culture events in the venues like Exit07, LX5, the Rotondes etc. Now it's going to be over, and – what a shame – the government is likely going to close down these much needed venues…

Exit07 café was definitely one of the best spots for good music lovers — small enough to be cosy and intimate, but big enough to host concerts. The selection of bands and artists, who performed there, was excellent — the Warp night with Plaid and Clark (ok, that was at the bigger Rotonde, but that's almost the same thing), then the Morr Music night with Tarwater, Ms John Soda and Contriva, The Smalltown Supersound night with Bjorn Tørske, Joakim Hauglund and Kim Hiorthøy, also Mouse On Mars, Apparat, Akufen, Joakim, Pilooski, Fujiya & Miyagi, Adem, Konono No.1, DJ Krush, Quarta330 and other great men (and women) were on Exit's stage. Furthermore, I used to be a resident DJ there, so it's even more personal in a way…

But OK, no time for sorrow, let's party while we can! Tonight there will be the closing party of Exit07 featuring three great datapop acts: Toy, Schneider TM and Felix Kubin. I'd never heard Toy before, but I just found out that their music is pretty funny and interesting, and even the fact of being released by Telle Records and Smalltown Supersound speaks for itself. Regarding Schneider TM, I like his electronic pop records, but I've never had a chance to see him live, wheras I've seen Kubin in Riga – that was a fantastic party, he surely knows how to rock and freak out, though in an elegant, artsy way. See him playing live and one of his surrealistic films/videos below.






The party week-end continues on Saturday, which is the official closing date for the Culture capital year. Amon Tobin is playing in the Rotonde, but I'm more interested in Electricity festival at Rockhal. The line-up seems to be quite mixed, but there's something that might be my cup of tea, e.g., T.Raumschmiere, Theo Parrish, Prosumer, Hell, Etienne de Crecy. I just hope that I will still have energy to go there after tonight.

Have a groovy week-end!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Made in Japan


Japanese Night at Exit07 brought lots of fun... and good music. DJ Krush, Tatata Moto and Quarta330 rocked the place.

Actually, to be honest, DJ Krush - probably the best (the most popular for sure) Japanese hip-hop/trip-hop DJ and producer - wasn't that great as I expected. He was OK, very technical and so on, but the music and beats he played lacked something to grab my attention, well, it was neither groovy nor anything surprising. In fact, I enjoyed much more music of the two others guys, whom I didn't know beforehands.



Tatata Moto was playing from his laptop and singing on top, his music and performance were pure fun and very positive. Though he was quite wasted when he had to do the 2nd set, but somehow his raving was cool anyway.



However, I enjoyed Quarta303 even more. His style is a unique combination of electronic dubstep and similiar heavy bass rhythms and melodic Gameboy bleeps. He is also known for doing a remix for Kode9. Check out his music!

Funkya!
















Finally here comes another mix of mine, which explores the domain of jazziness, funkiness, grooviness and swinginess in electronic dance music. Who said that computers, robots and machines can't be funky after all?

Heincha > Funkya mix

1. Nôze - Gaïa 2 [Circus Company]
2. Rip Off Artist - Bear Down [Vertical Form]
3. Mossa - Caraconara [Milnor Modern]
4. Robag Whrume - Ikke's Schlonze [Musik Krause]
5. Mathias Kaden - Obeah [Vakant]
6. DOP - Allo Boom Boom [Circus Company]
7. Martin Eyerer & Toni Rios - Chorizo [Kickboxer]
8. Petre Inspirescu - Racakadoom [Cadenza]
9. Ortega & Stavöstrand - Mandrake [Rrygular]
10. Smith N Hack - For Disco Play Only [Smith N Hack]
11. Egg - Fearless Funny Female [Floppy Funk]
12. Rip Off Artist - Double Diamond [Vertical Form]
13. John Tejada & Arian Leviste - Ramps And Rails [Playhouse]
14. Max Brannslokker - Utopia (Dave Aju's remix) [De'fchild]
15. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Riot In Lagos [Island]
16. Smith N Hack - To Our Disco Friends [Smith N Hack]
17. Safety Scissors - Pigs On Funk [Onitor]
18. My My - Invitation Only [Circus Company]
19. Tina 303 & DefBringa - Tons Of Love Reloaded [Müller]
20. Mathew Jonson - Automatic [Wagon Repair]
21. Tonetraeger - Tink Tank [Spinner Ace]
22. -=UHU=- - Kozmik Funk
23. Dub Kult - Cluster Fuck (Touane remix) [Métisse]
24. Mikael Stavöstrand - Freakin Beatses [Sushitech]
25. Egoexpress - Aranda (Lawrence remix) [Ladomat 2000]
26. Pier Bucci - Glasgow [Crosstown Rebels]

Friday, November 23, 2007

Latvian electronica mix


Hello, I'm back again, back on-line, so let's get down to the blogging business.

Meanwhile, I've done a couple of mixes that I would like to share. First one is kind of special, because contains music which is made by producers from Latvia (or at least related in some way), and unlike my usual sets this one contains more listening music, e.g. ambient, IDM, click-hop etc. I couldn't squeeze all the good music in an hour, but anyway it is my attempt to give an overview of Latvian electronica. This mix was specially recorded and played at Jaffa Magazine's presentation party at LX5 culture centre in Luxemburg.

You can get this mix either from Zshare or from LX5's website.


Contents:

1. A.Yegunov, Trilobitum Coitus & Z.Uallik – Moloma

Taken from Orbita 4 CD - a project reflecting collaboration of Russian speaking poets from Latvia and musicians, also mainly from Latvia.

2. Selffish – Epilogue

This track is available oh his website.

3. Astrowind – Shine on

Taken from their "The Night The Stars Flew" EP on Russian netlabel Electrosound.ru.

4. Gas Of Latvia – Evol

Taken from the CD album "Sex" (Sturm/Melo Records).

5. Hardijs Ledins – Cristus

Taken from "Lambs In City Landscape" (Seque Records).

6. Musiclike – Guruandom

7. Kriipis Tulo – Hommikunen ujuja

Taken from the "Ujuja" album on Lithuanian netlabel Sutemos.

8. Alexandroid feat. Kristi Aivare – Energy (Zagga's rmx)

Taken from the "Energy remixes" EP.

9. NSRD & I.Akuratere – Aizver acis

Taken from "Ieva Akuratere un NSRD" album on Seque Records.

10. Wheelchair Discotheque – All evil men wear the same kind of pants

Taken from "Straight Avanger & Silly Norman vs. Dinsdale" EP on Dirty Deal netlabel.

11. DJ Brain – Demo 3

12. Cliché – We didn't listen

Taken from "Galaktiskās skumjas" album on Dirty Deal netlabel.

13. Choop & S.Timofeyev – Leaves, wrappers

Taken from Orbita 4 CD.

14. Alexandroid feat. Kristi Aivare – My lovemixdown

Taken from "False Starts" album on Lo Recordings from UK.

15. Gas Of Latvia – Inout

Taken from the CD album "Sex" (Sturm/Melo Records).

16. OID - Rosa

Taken from the CD album "Systems Of Mercy" on the Russian labelLagunamuch Community.

17. Speyer – Seven miracles

Taken from "Quiet" EP on Dirty Deal netlabel.

18. M.Strautnieks – Neritmija

This was written for the project "Stum Stum Offshore Zone".

19. Martinez Gonzalez – Grainy rain again

An unreleased track.

20. Monocle - @smile

Taken from the compilation "Sea...Sun...Kolka!" compilation - a sampler by Kolka Records.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Home sweet home


Just a short notice as regards my DJ-ing in Riga (pictured on the left).






Tonight, 30.10.2007 -> together with DJ Kone at Pulkvedis. Expect playing out my new records and all-time hits.

Fri, 2.11.2007 -> I'm warming up for Kollektiv Turmstrasse at Space:Garage. KT comes from Hamburg, which is very special city for me, and they have scored with such hits as Grillen Im Park, Tristesse and others. You, after all, should now them if you have been following what was going on in the minimal camp this year. And they play live!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anthems and chansons


Last Saturday at Brussels' Fuse was totally mind-blowing, the best party I've seen there so far. Actually few things were on agenda: first, lessizmore (a label, promoters and booking agency, promoting quality new techno) celebrated its birthday in the small room with an eclectic yet impressive line-up, starring Nôze with a live performance and DJ sets from Dave Aju and Mathias Kaden, whereas the big floor hosted We Are Punks — Datapunk label night featuring Xenia Beliayeva and Frank Kusserow on turntables and the Master of robots Anthony Rother with a live show.

After warm-up sets by the resident-DJs, Kusserow and Dave Aju took over the parade. Kusserow seemed to be fine, but I preferred seeing the Aju's set in the small room, which was definitely a good choice. His selection ranged from phat and funky microhouse to nu-disco to some obscure stuff. Very interesting, rather eclectic, but with his particular flavour — slightly sick, bassy and groovy. Be sure to check his own productions — his recent release on Circus Company, for instance. Actually one of my favourite tunes lately is his remix of Max Brannslokker's Teika.

The next one was Nôze — two fancy dressed Frenchmen armed with laptops, microphones and an analogue synth. Actual singing in that special French artsy way on clicky beats (though I suspect it was sync lipped, but who cares), funny lyrics, having an easy attitude (drinking champagne during the show and making funny comments/interludes between songs) and the elegant suites and hats made them look so different from the most of the minimal community artists. The special moments included hits like Love Affair (I brush my teeth and I'm ready for a love affair), Kitchen and Remember. Oh, that was damn funky!

But no time for relaxing, A.Rother had already switched on his artillery of synths, drum machines and vocoders, so I rushed downstairs. The floor was fully crowded, but after a while I succeeded to find my own space for dancing and observing. The first beats were OK — typical electro groove backed by synth chords, but it was all familiar. However, gradually the course of things got hotter, and Rother animated the atmosphere by singing, quite using a vocoder (of course). It was somewhere at the middle of the show, when happened this: apparently a well known anthem started, and as the first chords appeared the full room of people started wordless chanting along (as if it was some sports match at a stadium), then beat dropped and everybody went crazy. Rother leaned towards a mic, singing something like "If you asked me what do you think, I would say there is no future". In the middle of the song in two front corners of the dancefloor two guys appeared handing out long, thin glow sticks — green from one side, blue from another side. In a second, a half of the crowd was waving green sticks, while the rest half had blue "antennas". Still singing, some people raised heart shapes made out of the sticks. That was absolutely fantastic, such a unifying and uplifting feeling. That particular moment brought back the idea of rave movement, and suddenly the entire PLUR thing made sense. Rother looked touched as well, he thanked the crowd sincerely many times.

After such emotional performance, I wasn't really sure about myself to be able to enjoy more minimal stuff again, but anyway I went to check Mathias Kaden out. My first reservations faded away as soon as I got to the small room. It was also packed with people, moving to Kaden's kicking beats. He was surprisingly good — with utmost precision and dedication blending tunes that focus on different drum patterns, somewhat reminding his own recent releases (particularly Myal EP). On the good soundsystem these kind of beats were irresistible, and sure the guys has a talent, both as a DJ and a producer. I moved along as long I had energy for doing that, and even missed Xenia's set.

Oh, what a night, hadn't had such a good time on a floor for quite long time. Regarding Fuse, there are remarkable artists almost every Saturday, as one can see at their agenda: 20.10. James Holden & Fairmont (Border Community); 27.10. Monika Krause & Paco Osuna; 3.11. Lessizmore present Tolga Fidan & Wighnomy Brothers; 10.11. Toys For Boys label night; 17.11. The Black Dog.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Seen that, been there


I'm back from Le NAME festival in Lille, where good friend of mine and a member of Fuck For Friendship posse Linards was VJ-ing. Apart from that, the line-up was impressive.









I couldn't see everything but here are some acts I enjoyed the most:

# Nathan Fake (live)

He performed a live set of amazing and up-lifting music, which, in fact, hadn't so much to do with the standard minimal techno - somehow, despite its 4x4 beat, it had more common with IDM's aesthetics. Also, the way Nathan performed - it was really sincere and energetic - resembled Apparat.

# Paul Ritch (live)

I hadn't expected anything special from him, and saw him rather accidently. The first impression was that his music was a bit simplistic, but actually it turned out to be very good and perfect for dancing. Kind of bleepy and progressive minimal stuff.

# Heidi (DJ set)

The queen of Phonica had a great set in the smallest yet the cosiest of the halls. Great selection, but what I enjoyed even more was her way of DJ-ing - actively and joyfully dancing along and unlike many other DJs not hiding her emotions behind a smart and serious looking expresion. She seemed so natural and music was so good that she managed to make everybody dance.

Other remarkable acts/DJs that come to my mind: Jennifer Cardini, Shonky, Chloe, Loco Dice.

-------------------















Few weeks ago I saw Mouse On Mars performing at Exit07 in Luxemburg. Oh, that was awesome! One of the best electronic music live shows I've ever seen. The guys used a lot of different gear, also hardware, which is getting rare nowadays. Their beats were so innovative and sometimes tough, but still so groovy. It seemed that MoM really enjoyed the gig themselves too, and there was a good contact with the public. For instance, they let some volunteers speak into a mic to sample on the fly and then transform and incorporate these samples into their music.

------------------

I've also seen Modeselektor live in Brussels. Sure, they make ones of the toughest and grooviest beats around. Particularly I liked the tracks with vocals, whereas there was something too much in those instrumetal ones with arpeggios and baroque melodies. Anyway, Modeselektor rocks, plus they have very cool video accompaniment by Berlin's visual artists Pfafinderei. As you probably know Modeselektor's album is out, although if you have a chance - see them playing live - it's definetely worth.

miXim


I've put together some tracks that I'd been enjoying recently.





Hencha : Skymix

Tracklist:

1. Andre Kraml - Safari [Crosstown Rebels]
2. Vinyl - The Weasel [Rebelone]
3. Bobby Peru - Heart [Glitter]
4. Pier Bucci - Horizont [Crosstown Rebels]
5. Gabriel Ananda - Stream Of Conciousness [Karmarouge]
6. Canvas - The Cat [Rebelone]
7. Simon Baker - Confused [Viva Music]
8. Fuckpony - Lady Judy [Bpitch Control]
9. [a]pendics.shuffle & Mikael Stavostrand - Take Me Higher [Adjunct]
10. Bobby Pery - Erotic Discourse [Glitter]
11. Marcin Czubala - Starliner [Mobilee]
12. Mark August - Just Like That [Connaiseur]
13. Mikael Stavostrand - Marble [Thema]
14. DJ Koze - All The Time [Philpot]
15. Mathias Kaden - Myal [Vakant]
16. Jaxson - Smokemachine [FreakWaves]

Current chart 25/09/2007


It's time to make a round-up for my favorite tunes at the moment and lately, which is not so easy because lots of good music has been floating around.



> Jaxson – Smokemachine [FreakWaves]

Smokemachine is a beautiful, dramatic track neatly coupling a minimalistic, pulsating beat with live instruments. Awesome production and mood.

> Fuckpony – Lady Judy [Bpitch Control]

A sick and extremely groovy track by Jay Haze. The pitched, narcotic voice, bursting and stomping beats sound as if Green Velvet turned into producing slightly more minimal stuff. Can't wait getting it on wax and testing it in some party. Check also his recent Death Of A DJ EP on Junion and his e-dub project Sub Version which has an album out on Future Dub.

> Mikael Stavöstrand Feat. Big Bully – Please My Pain EP [Thema]

The prolific and talented Swedish producer have scored with several outstanding releases lately, he might easily be one of fave producers at this moment. In Please My Pain EP all tracks are brilliant. Furthermore, Housedays – two 12 inches containing three his tracks and three additional remixes – aren't any worse, and least but not last – Take Me Higher (co-produced with [a]pendics.shuffle) on Adjunct.

> Mark August – Old Joy / Just Like That [Connaisseure]

Harmonic and melodic tracks, yet having top-notch production qualities. Soulful avoiding being cheesy. I'll definetely keep eye on this guy.

> Smith N Hack – Space Warrior [Smith N Hack]

A crazy space invaders saga full of chip-music bleeps. Not minimal at all. A no-nonsense italo disco on the flip side.

> Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Tristesse [Connaisseure]

Even if Tristesse is not such a big hit as Grillen Im Park, I like its melancholic melody and just the way it sounds. These guys will perform at Space:Garage November 2 - don't miss!

> Pier Bucci - Chiloé EP [Crosstown Rebels]

All 4 tracks are goodies. Just check yourself!

> Seph - Wooden (Guido Schneider remix) [Phonocult]

G.Schneider delivers a great remix of the classic Seph's hit. Spaced out atmospheres, weird samples and off-beat percussion.

> Digitaline - Honolulu [Cadenza]

The original remix has a nice bass and deep chords, wheras Luciano's remix is more chilled and having very neat drums. For those who like tracks with lots of details and unexpected twists. Cadenza going stong this year!

> V.A. - Spies & Lies [Items & Things]

The second Items & Things compilation keeps its standards high - I find all tracks interesting, giving some special points to Alex Delano and Thrill Cosby though.

A special highlight:

> Max Brannslokker - Teika EP [De'fchild]

Max Brannslokker is upcoming and likely the most successful Latvian producer. Utopia is a bleepy, bassy microhouse in his best traditions. Reindeer and Pragma are leaning towards IDM. Dave Aju's remix is dope - he's added some vocals and made the track more minimal but it's still so damn funky. Another remix is a moody electro piece by Circuit 73. By the way - The Monument of Liberty and three stars on the cover look sweet and funky too :)


Other goodies: Luetzenkirchen - Brazilian Experience, Mathias Kaden - Myal EP, Pan-Pot - Charly, Pan-Pot - Charly, Alter Ego - Why Not?, Peo de Pitte vs. Huntamann - 37 Grader Varmt.


p.s. some of these tracks I've included in my latest mix - see the next entree.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

mixnews


Here are few my recent mixes.




The first one that I've titled Deep & Sensual mix is a journey into the sonic universe of deep and rather soulful tech-house tracks, but I couldn't really avoid incorporating some bleepy and minimal sounds as well :)

Hencha : Deep & Sensual mix


Tracklist:

1. My My – Butterflies & Zebras [Aus]

2. Andre Crom - Nightmare On Alm Street [Memo]

3. Mike Monday – What Day Is It? [Playtime]

4. Phonique – Gaga (Tim Paris remix) [Moodmusic]

5. Guy Gerber & Chaim – Beaches [Supplement Facts]

6. Radio Slave – My Bleep [Rekids]

7. My My – Lifetime Trick [Circus Company]

8. Wahoo – Make Em Shake It (Isolee remix) [Defected]

9. Alexkid – Nightshades (Chicken Lips remix) [F Communications]

10. Chaim – Carolin [My Best Friend]

11. Vildtand – 25 Timer [Kickin]

12. Marc Romboy – Sunburst [Simple]

13. Sasse – Soull Sounds (Dirt Crew remix) [Moodmusic]

14. Alexkid – Love Letters (Marc Romboy remix) [F Communications]

15. Gus Gus – David [Underwater]

16. Lawrence – Place To Be [Liebe*Detail]

17. AIR & Alessadro Baricco – Musica [Thrive]



Two other mixes are made for Minipower radioshow. One (minipower006) is already available at their site, but another one (minipower011) will be aired soon and then placed on-line. The idea of this mix series is to keep continuity, so the last track of a mix is also the first track of the following mix, made by other DJ. The result is kind of back to back mixing.

Sometimes it's getting too minimal


So called minimal techno is becoming (actually have already become) a hype word, even in Latvia, which is a somewhat good and bad thing at the same time, IMO.

In a way it's OK to use this cliché, because "those who know" and are familiar with the history of electronic dance music they know that it is just a label for all that new techno / tech-house, and that even using "minimal" as a description does not necessarily means that it is really minimal by traditional standards — a highly repetitive, looping techno where nothing much happens apart from subtle changes that, if produced properly, create a special psychedelic effect (think of early Plastikman, DBX, Robert Hood etc.). On the other hand, the contemporary minimal can be quite minimal actually (for instance, Sleeparchive, some of Guido Schneider's and even Luciano's tracks).

So, its becoming mainstream may be annoying for the insiders, but, on the other hand, there are good things about it, too. I can't see any harm that young kids learn about this music and fancy this entire minimal thing, quite contrary. For instance, I see that many rather young girls in Latvia who does not necessarily represent underground techno community, just normal girls, have got into minimal, listening to this kind of music and coming to the parties etc. That's not bad.

Actually the newcomers include also many DJs, who used to be into other music. Sometimes it looks like simply following the trend, particularly regarding those DJs who were into more commercial house music and progressive house. It can seem like a funny mimicry, but as far they play better music than before, let it be.

Given that minimal is all around and it has become so accessible, what might be indicators for what is better or just more honest and true? Well, music itself matters, of course, but not only that. As I've stated before, DJ-ing is not just a technical but also a spiritual and emotional thing. Some deeper understanding and openness are essential. However, after all, those are people who come to parties and actually make them happen. Playing the same tracks for different public won't work the same way. So, not the DJs but people who come to dance to their music are the essence of a scene.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Billy Jean going mental


Hola!

1) I'm hardly waiting to see Apparat's gig on Saturday - yes, he's coming to Luxemburg. His new album Walls is sweet - he's a master in creation of melodic, uplifting, even pop tunes, yet delivering state-of-art IDM production qualities. You can listen some tunes from this album on Apparat's myspace.

2) Few days ago I was experimenting with Ableton, and found out that an accidental loop of acapella from M.Jackson's hit song - Billy Jean - fits well together with Altz's track Tune In. So, I made a recording - transposed the Billy Jean loop, and played it over and over again on Altz's track, adding some delays. The result is kind of dubby and psychedelic, in my view. Have a listen.

Altz - Tune In (Hencha's Billy Jean psychodub)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chart: July/August


August was (and still is) hot literally and in terms of great records and excellent parties at Space:Garage (see some photos). OK, some records that make my day:


> Samim - Heater [Get Physical]

Everybody's praising this funky tune, but I can't help myself resisting its appeal. One of the biggest summer hits for sure. It seems that Get Physical has partly regained its reputation for quality music (see also Paul Ritch's release). VonStroke's remix - as usual - ain't bad either.

> Anja Schneider - Loop de Mer / Belize [Mobilee]

The Mobilee's techno-diva Schneider has delivered two beautiful tracks. Both combine melodic summer-style qualities with subtle micro-detailed twists.

> Tricky Disco - Tricky Disco (Martin Brothers remix) [iO Music]

A groovy techno-funk remix from Martin Brothers, from Dirtybird camp. This is tricky!

> Paul Ritch - June/Messene [Get Physical]

French guy Paul Ritch now on Get Physical. However, I prefer Messene over the title track June. Even if the tracks don't seem anything special in the beginning they work nicely as the progression moves on.

> Mossa - Indulto EP [Milnor Modern]

As we know, Mossa is one of the funkiest French micro-house producers, and Milnor Modern - one of my favorite labels - also has kind of funky sound just more minimal. In the result we get probably the funkiest and bleepiest Milnor Modern record so far.

> Vincenzo & Joel Mull - Stockdown [Liebe Detail]

Lately the Swedish techno master J.Mull produces impressive stuff full of dark and atmospheric melodies and groovy bass lines. The latest one, co-produced with Vincenzo, is for lovers of deep soundscapes and massive bass. Check another side of the record, too, where Ed Davenport offers a classy hypnotic deep tech-house track with interesting drum pattern.

> Simian Mobile Disco - Believe (Switch remix) [Wichita]

Despite that I'm a bit tired of so called nu rave euphoria, I really fancy the Switch's remix - oh those heavenly strings!

> Chaim - Carolin [My Best Friend]

The title track is a solid and elegant piece of deep stringy tech-house. There's another good, somewhat techier track called Same Same.

> Alfredo Clonk - Back To Bombay [Heimatmelodie]

This EP contains 3 bleepy tracks with rather interesting production qualities. Check the B2 track, really freaky.

> Modeselektor - Let Your Love Grow [Bpitch Control]

The long-awaited Modeselektor's album Happy Birthday is quite diverse, having some really interesting tunes, but not necessarily designed for dancefloors though. Let Your Love Grow with vocals of Paul St.Hillaire (better known for his collaboration with Rhythm&Sound) is a lovely gem, which strange enough - to me sounds more like Massive Attack than Modeselektor. Whatever, the album contains some fresh ideas free from stylistic boundaries. You can read an interview with Modeselektor guys at Tape blog. Check also their new project with Apparat - Moderat.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Put on your dancing shoes


Sveiki, everybody!

Last Saturday spinning together with Veste and Gerald was nice - deep and easy, also trying out a bit weird records that one usually wouldn't play at a big dance party.


Then another thing. Despite that summer is being quite lousy regarding the weather, anyway I've got two kind of summer mood mixes to share. Both are mine, quite different tracks, more for chilling and listening than dancing. Feel free to check:

DJ Hencha - Fetamix

DJ Hencha - Flymix


At the moment I'm selecting records to bring them to Riga, where I'm going to DJ in few parties:

Friday 03/08 - Space:Garage, together with Maxim Kislovsky who is a resident-DJ at Griboedov Club in St.Petersbourgh.

Monday 06/08 - Peahen gallery, together with DJ Beton and Guincho.

Tuesday 07/08 - Minipower@Pulkvedis, together with Ivars Mednis, DV5 and Ivarzz. It's a monthly minimal/berlin techno night as well as a radioshow at RadioNaba.

Friday 10/08 - Netcords night@Space:Garage, the release party of netcords 002 by Martinez Gonzalez; besides him and me, Ivars Mednis and DV5 will play, some other guests may squeeze into the line-up, however, we'll keep you informed.


Well, that's it. Hope to see you, my friends, joining for a pleasant groove.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Just a quick note


I'm going to spin some deep and dubby minimal techo/tech-house tonight at Exit07. I'm kindly invited by Veste, who's hosting this soiree. Also Gerald from a grocery store will DJ. Should be a calm and intimate event with a nice music selection.

Then, in the first week of August, I will DJ few times in Riga. Netcords002 - a track from Latvian musician Martinez Gonzalez plus remixes - is coming out soon. More information and exact dates will follow soon. Stay tuned and see you around!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Soviet e-disco vs Riton


Hello the visitor, I hope you are fine.

I've done a new edit/mash-up cutting and blending together Riton's remix of Alter Ego's Tubeaction with an obscure and funky oldschool soviet space-disco tune. It's composed back in 1985 by some guy A.Radionov and it's title is "Electronic jockey" (!). Well, in fact it seems that a horse jockey is meant, but anyway it sounds appropriate.

This track comes from Pulse 1 LP (other side is composed by B.Tihomirov). As it's written on the sleeve, "The present record is a joint venture of Melodia sound-recording firm and the USSR Sports Committee, first in a planned series under "Pulse" heading meant to emphasize the vital importance of physical culture.

[...] The series' first disc acquaints the public with electronic music composed with the help of an individual musical computer, for the first time in the USSR."

The mentioned computer is Yamaha CX5, others instruments used on the record include: synths Yamaha DX7, Roland Jupiter 4 and the legendary Roland TR909 drum machine.

I have also Pulse 2 and Pulse 3, but apart from few gems they are not as good as the first Pulse.

So, in fact I did two versions. In the first one the full length of the Riton's track is kept, while Radionov's track is rather chopped up.

A.Radionov vs. Alter Ego & Riton - Electronic Jockey in Tubeaction [hencha's funky cut & mash up]

Another one is closer to the original Jockey track, and parts from the Riton's track perform the function of additional beats.

A.Radionov vs. Alter Ego & Riton - Electronic Jockey in Tubeaction [hencha's mash up version 2]

I would appreciate your comments on which one is better.

And here you can check the original track, ripped off from the vinyl.

A.Radionov - Electronic Jockey


Actually I've found out that these both guys have another record on Melodia, supposedly electronic music, see here for details. Does anyone has a copy? I'm eager to hear it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Chart: May/June




> Kollektiv Turmstrasse – Grillen Im Park [Ostwind]

A sweet melancholic piece, the mood is reminiscent of Porcupine, no traces of latino though. The beat rocks.

> Tolga Fidan – Venice [Vakant]

A subtle track, yet it's percussive and building tension. It sounds like a stripped down version of Gerber's Thousand Nights.

> Jeff Samuel – Fire [Poker Flat]

Also includes a nice remix by my hero Claude VonStroke, but, although both are phat and phunky, I have to admit that the original is the winner this time.

> Booka Shade – Karma Car [Get Physical]

Well, nevertheless I'm sort of tired of Get Physical productions, let's face it – Booka Shade are great producers, and this new Tickle/Karma Car release is simply damn good.

> Simon Baker – The Fly [Connaisseur Supérieur]

A groovy dancefloor orientated track with wicked drums. There is a deeper version by My My of the flipside.

> Cobblestone Jazz – Put The Line in Da Coconut [Wagon Repair]

Probably the best C.Jazz's track so far – this truly cool and groovy track is somewhat less psychedelic and trippy than their regular stuff. Check also their remix of the legendary Cybotron's track Clear which is out on Juno.

> Argenis Brito – Espejismo [Cadenza]

So far my favourite track from his Micro Mundo LP. It's a kind of jazz influenced micro-house with an oriental feel.

> Plasmik – DJ Banana (Antilope rmx) [Opossum]

This rmx by Marcel Jochmann – the owner of Opossum records – is the best track from the label's mini-compilation Kalte Fuesse 2. Generally, Opossum is one of the most interesting labels around.

> Ricardo Villalobos – No 1 Encuentro Latinoamericano de la Soledad

Honestly, I'm not sure that making 20 mins and something long tracks has a real justification and that the whole idea couldn't be squeezed and expressed in a more dynamic way, however Villalobos proves again that he is a master of sampling and innovative grooves.

> Matthew Dear – Deserter [Ghostly International]

A beautiful track with vocal, might be good for afterhours or just listening.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Thursdays can be great too


Last 2 Thursdays some good things were happening in Luxemburg, so I couldn't help myself but go out and check 'em.

1) Black Devil Disco Club @ Fete de la musique

I didn't know about this project before, so it was a nice surprise. The history of Black Devil is rather unusual and worth telling. Bernard Fevre — the man behind this moniker — together with Jacky Giordano released an record called Black Devil "Disco Club" back in 1978. That was an absolutely fabulous and innovative music for that time — a spooky and dark but truly original masterpiece of electronic disco without using any computers and MIDI. However, at that time the record didn't succeed to get attention it deserved. Until the Rephlex guys Luke Vibert and Richard James got a copy and found it so good that re-released it on Rephlex. Eventually, 26 years after the original release Bernard Fevre got back into recording and released a new album on Lo Recordings.

So, there they were — kind of fancy looking Bernard Fevre and his assistant performing at Exit Café. Both leaning over their macs, and Bernard singing with a slight French accent and his finger stickedinto his ear in order to hear his own voice better. Everything together looked and sounded a bit naïve but also true and enchanting. There was the element of originality and spirit that sometimes temporary electronic music lack. If you haven't heard of them, go and check immediately.

Tracks from the Disco Club record on Myspace.

Black Devil Disco Club - I regret the flower power


2) Coldcut @ Kulturfabrik

No doubt Coldcut are living classics of electronic and hip-hop music. As you likely know, these guys are also creators of Ninja Tune — one of the most successful and innovative independent record labels. They've been in this broken beats sampling crossover scene for 20 years, still being in avant-garde when it comes to music and technology. Their new show A Journey by VJ (do you still remember their A Journey by DJ mix series?)involves art-of-state technologies and is truly mind-bending, first of all because of the great video and sound sync. There was a guy (was it Coldcut's Jon More or somebody from Hextatic - creators of these videos?) simultaneously scratching videos and sounds. The result is a kind of post-modern meta-language with profound references to hip-hop/sampling and pop culture in general and Ninja Tune's history as well. Anyway, it makes sense to buy their DVDs instead of CDs.

They played some songs from their last album Sound Mirrors. When it came out, I had mixed feelings about it. Some pieces were just great, having that unexpected crossover approach (Boogieman, Aid Dealer etc.), whereas some others I found a bit too pop or too much leaning towards "the British club sound", for instance, the rocky "Out of Control" (with Jon Spencer) or "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" that owes much to UK's garage/soul thing. However, together with videos songs were entertaining. And it was funny that the video stream sometimes was so intense that people were just staring at screen instead of dancing along. "True Skool" made me think of UK music traditions again, this time particularly about bhangra music influence on London's scene. The artists like Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh and all the others related to "Anokha/Asian Underground", and more recent MIA and Punjabi MC came to my mind. That was damn groovy music! I remembered my ass dancing off during ADF concert in 2004, or while Asian Equation explosive performance with live drummers and dancers at Arte Riga '99.

Apart from the entertaining aspect, Coldcut's music and videos contain a big amount of political criticism and the sense of social responsibility, employing technologies and multimedia as tools for contra-propaganda. In this sense, visuals are more effective than plain music. So, for instance, for me their old classic Timber made bigger sense when seeing the video — contrasting images and sounds of motor-saws cutting out the rain forests and peaceful chanting of a native Indian woman.



Or a fast motion mush-up in "Revolution" using the war related quotations from G.W.Bush, D.Cheney , T.Blair and the other suckers showing how absurd and amoral the war in Iraq is and the double-standards of the Western "democracies".



There were also some old-school hip-hop cuts in da mix — the classics from Erik B. & Rakim, Run DMC, NWA, House of Pain etc. Oh, what a trip!

And here comes a funky ninja bonus:

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Passion not fashion



Although I like this type of music, when I see that at the moment Justice and all those French distorted house artists (mainly put out by Ed Bangers and Institubes) are featured in stylish fashion magazines and it's called a new hype, I just feel there is something wrong. Apart from the fact that this sound is not so new any more, I'm afraid that it may turn into another short-living trend. You know that may happen when mass media and fashion biz creates a buzz around a certain music style - new opportunists start copying "standards" and in the result music gets less original, less creative. That happened to electroclash and electrohouse, as we know. On the contrary, for example so called minimal techno despite being kind of trendy as well is not so much dependent on music press coverage and other marketing tools, because it's more a scene thing with a common culture codes and roots.

Going back to the subject, the moniker "new rave" makes me grin - under this term quite loose stuff has been marketed lately - from The Klaxons to numerous electrorock bands to Riton to Justice etc. Who's invented this bullshit? Well, ok, some of them may be ravey, but rock bands doesn't have anything to do with raves, but stadiums, ok?

On the other hand, the media attention can be partly understood because some of these "new rave" bands have released albums lately. It's kind of funny that "DJs community" cares more about singles and EPs, whereas "standard" listeners and mainstream mags need albums. So, no surprise that these albums - namely by Justice, Simian Mobile Disco and Digitalism - are based on some solid singles actually been known for a while. This particularly applies to Digitalism's LP Idealism, where the only hit is the same old Zdarlight, then there are some weak imitations of it and some crappy electro/rock/pop tunes. However, SMD and particularly Justice deliver interesting records, smoothly balancing the old school influences with new techniques. Nice dance music, but I can't get really what all this fuss is about?

Justice - Phantom

Kuduro — a new ghetto beat from Luanda


As I've already mentioned, in the conference, where I took part, Frederic Galliano presented a new electronic music style from Angola, called kuduro. In fact, it's not so new, but just now it starts getting international recognition, and Monsieur Galliano has taken upon himself the role of "ambassador" of this style.

So, what kind of shit is it? Oh, it's the wild one. The core element is a rather unique rhythm, created electronically, even if it doesn't sound like a "computer music" — the traditional percussions, similar to the ones of batucada, are used. The real street style employs rough sounds and wicked beats. Then there are MCs aggressively rapping on beats. Rapping itself sound more like of hardcore dancehall than hip-hop. The dominating language is Portuguese. Another kuduro element is crazy dancing, which seems to be influenced by traditional dance and break-dance. To have a better idea of what kuduro sounds like and how it's danced, check these videos presented by Galliano:

Frédéric Galliano Kuduro Sound System



DANCA KUDURO




Tony Amado has been credited as a creator of kuduro sound. The style was born in the mid 90's, but it stayed really underground and local until recent. It's funny that Amado says that he got inspiration for creating kuduro after seeing how Van Damme dances in one of his movies.

The creation of Kuduro by Tony Amado



You can also check Galliano's myspace, where you can hear his Kuduro Sound System, which is somewhat milder and more production orientated version of kuduro, but still featuring original MCs.


Another bit worth watching is this video for a kuduro piece by a gang Os Lambas from Luanda, Angola. I've been told that when they had released this song, all the taxi drivers, when they entered their neighbourhood, were forced to play this particular tune.



Apart from Angola, there is a kuduro scene in Portugal as well. However, Portuguese kuduro is milder, smoother and in a way more commercial, too. The most known band is Buraka Som Sistema, which can be seen at different music festivals:

Their myspace page here.


I'm going to write more elaborated feature on kuduro for the next Jaffa Magazine issue.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Where the West meets the East



Hey!

I'm back from Casablanca, where I took part in a conference for indie magazines. It appears that there is an upcoming and thriving hiphop scene in Morocco. While some acts/MCs follow commercial h-hop stirring towards all that fucked-up bling attitude, there is some really interesting and original stuff with references to traditional Mahgreb music. Some of it, which is particularly close to suffi's spiritual music, is called issawa. MCs freely mix French with a kind of Arabian street slang.

I would like to share some groovy tracks from the CDs I bought in a market in Casablanca.

As far as I know, H-Kayne is the most successful Moroccon h-hop crew, with remarkable production qualities and cool rapping skills. This particular song had a huge dance response in a local resto where the conference's participants where dining.

H-Kayne - Issawa Style

Casa Crew, as their name suggests, is from Casablanca, and they seem to be quite popular there.


Casa Crew - La Slam La Klam


And here is a crew from another Moroccon city - Fes.


Fes City Clan - Arde L'baisse Nass



During the conference Frederic Galliano had an interesting presentation about Kuduro music - an electronic ghetto music from Angola - but this topic deserves a separate entry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back from Riga


Last couple of weeks have been a busy time in terms of travelling, meeting friends and partying.

First of all, the festival of avant-garde and contemporary music Skaņu Mežs took place in May 11 & 12. Lots of good music, lots of good people. I'd say that at some moments it was even too crowded to enjoy music properly.

My biggest discovery was Planningtorock — a singer with strong, distinctive and beautiful voice singing on top of electronic hip-hop and electro beats and grotesque orchestral strings. Imagine Janis Joplin produced by M.Herbert and you will be on a half way there. All that accompanied by wierd outfits and simple yet effective background videos that interfere with her stage performance. No wonder that she was having gigs together with LCD Soundsystem and The Knife.




Probably the kickiest band was The Killl from Norway which performs a kind of electronically manipulated extreme metal music. The psychedelic lights and the intense sound wall was amazingly effective.



Another merciless sonic attack was carried out by the breakcore hooligan Venetian Snares, who did a DJ-set. I was probably expecting something more "intelligent", but nevertheless people was jumping around and even performing some stage diving. However, he was unstoppable — after playing one hour more than supposed he boldly ignored requests for stopping and letting other acts perform. He reacted by hitting a monitor speaker aside. Eventually the promoters somehow managed to get him away to the backstage.

The highlights of the other day were The Books and Mouse On Mars. While I didn't see much from The Books, I really enjoyed MOM. They were playing surprisingly dance-floor orientated stuff, not really experimental. But it was good.

Meanwhile, me and my DJ-friends (ZeDmitry, Android, FXZ, Kone) were rocking hard at the Space:Garage, where an unofficial after-party was on. The venue was full of friendly dancing people and the vibe was cosy. Thanks everybody who came and supported. By the way, now the Space:Garage is officially open, for more info check www.fuckforfriendship.com.

The last but not least, it was a pleasure to play records together with Kone at Pulkvedis on the following Tuesday. Thanks for inviting over, and long live Riga scene! See you next time.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Rave steps

A little tutorial how to dance at a rave party :)

2nite: deadly dub & last exitech


Hey ho!

Tonight - it's Saturday May 5 - two recommended parties are on.

First one is Deadbeat performing at Pulkvedis, Latvia, supported by all my friends DJs - netcords/no rest crew, fuckforfriendship guys and others. Sadly I cannot join them as I'm not in Latvia at the moment, however I will drop another party in Luxembourg (read below).

Canadian Deadbeat is probably my favorite electronica-dub-techno producer, he's got that special talent fusing and creating various kinds of beats immersed in deep, echoing soundscapes. Last time I heard him live at Transmediale, some 3 years ago. His music was so incredibly deep and groovy, perfect for a proper smoke. I was already quite stoned when noticed Vladislav Delay standing not far from me. I approached him, we started chatting and blew up another joint. He was back from Rio, and told me how fascinated he had got from all that favela ghetto booty style.

I don't know why but this kind of deep e-dub music often makes me feel as rain would come. Sort of ritual music with a purpose to bring rain, you know. First I had this feeling many years ago when I bought and listened to the fantastic Monolake's Lantau track (unfortunately I don't have it as an mp3 to share it with you, and I'm too lazy to rip off the vinyl record).

Deadbeat - Little Town Of Bettlehem

OK, back to present. My friends from Luxembourg are very welcome to the third and closing Exitech soiree at Exit07 cafe. Deep tech-house meets a bit more cheerful e-disco and other kind of electronic dance music. Actually style doesn't matter, just good music does.

Hugs, and let the good groove roll!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

April chart


Before getting down to the chart, a bit of intro. First of all - nice weather finally (pictured on the left).

Secondly, I'm back from St.Pauli Hamburg which was great as usually. Riga Party at the legendary Pudel Club was a sweaty and funky business, and great experience in general. Me and my DJ-friends, we fired out different stuff from freaky minimalism to epic melodies to classic oldschool bangers. Thanks Ralf for inviting us over, that was a true pleasure!

You can chech some pics at my Flickr site and at fuckforfriendship.com.


/////////////////////////////

OK, here are some trax which I've been enjoying lately. To some of them I listen, to some, cut on wax, I'm trying to make people dance, but mostly they suite for both purposes.

> Kalabrese - Rumpelzirkus Part 1 [Stattmusik]

A fantastic, highly recommended 4-piece EP, I just can't outline any single song, all of them are really good. Mellow, still groovy and innovative in the sense of blending together elements of "live" instrumentation and electronic production. Does anyone know something about Part 2?

> Junior Boys - In The Morning (Hot Chip remix) [Domino]

Junior Boys is one of the most melodic and catchy bands around, avoiding being boring or too standard though. Their In The Morning EP contained two astonishing remixes - by Alex Smoke and Morgan Geist respectively, and now there is the equally great Dead Horse EP that contains remixes of different songs done by Hot Chip, Kode9, Tensnake and Carl Craig. All are cool, but my favorite is cooked by Hot Chip - another outstanding semi-electronic pop band.

> Bruno Pronsato & Franco Cinelli - At The Club [Milnor Modern]

This track is from the newest Mod.Coop(erate) - the installment which stands for interesting and funky minimal techno records. Other featured artists are Mark Henning, Oleg Kastrow and Daniel Stefanik. It should be a sweet selection for any minimal lover.

> Alexkid - Love Letters (Marc Romboy Remix) [F Communications]

The original track and Tim Paris' remix are good, but as for me the ravey version by Marc Romboy works the best. It is rather straight and simple, but sometimes there is just a need for such tracks.

> Minilogue - Elephant's Parade [Wagon Repair]

This one isn't that fresh, but just can't be missed. Excellent kind of James Holden meets Mathew Jonson sound. An absolutely brilliant technojazz record.

> Booka Shade - Tickle

Well, whether you like them or hate them but one should admit that Booka Shade's new track is surprisingly good.

> Herbert - Moving Like A Train (Smith N Hack Remix) [Studio K7]

This crazy and funky remix came out already last year, but I've found who is the author just a week ago. And it's still a smashing hit, so couldn't skip it. It was played by Ralf aka Ruftata 110 in Riga last December, that's where I heard it first. Now again I heard it played by Tiefschwarz in Hamburg, by the way, and it is included in the last Body Language compilation put together by DJ Dixon.

> Simian Mobile Disco - It's The Beat (Luke Vibert Mix) [Wichita]

The remixers takes this slightly bold electrofunk dance bomb even further, masterly playing around with the original hook.

> Mistress Barbara - Barcelona [Border Community]

A sweet and uplifting neo-trance on the Holden's label.

> D.I.M. - Airbus Baby [Turbo]

A frenetic and energetic piece of distorted house (or how that French style is called?).

Some other goodies: Tejada & Leviste - Multiplier, Riton - Thor, Sebo - Beirut Boogie, Mark Broom - Ping Pong, Digitaline - Anticlockwise LP, Joel Mull - The End Has Begun.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Riga @ Pudel




Hello! I'm happy to announce that me and my friends from Riga will play at the Golden Pudel Club - probably the best and trashiest venue in Hamburg!

RigaGig will be on Friday, 27.04.2007.

The line-up:


DJ Käpten le Spoink (mfoc/pudel, Hamburg)

Live + DJ: OID aka Android (Riga/Moscow)

DJ ZeDmitri aka Zagga (fuckforfriendship.com, space:garage, Riga)

DJ Hencha aka NeOn B. (netcords.net, fuckforfriendship.com, Riga/Luxembourg)


The atmosphere should be friendly there, taking account the size of the venue and that we (DJs) are good friends, after all. We will fire out the best records, should be fun. St.Pauli, get ready for the Riga invasion! :)


Briefly about the participants:

Käpten le Spoink is Ralf - a musical director of the Pudel club and record label, as well as one of the mfoc.de guys. Known for his brilliant music selection. Plus, he has DJed in Riga.

OID is a half of Alexandroid project (Lo Recordings, Lagunamuch). He is creating nice electronic music ranging from ambient to IDM to techno. Also participating in SCSI10 project.

ZeDmitri is a residentDJ in Pulkvedis, the most rocking place in Riga, and currently working on his own venue - Space:Garage. He has done some really good remixes and his own tracks.

Hencha - well, it's me :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Supersound coming to the town




+++ Smalltown Supersound night at Exit07, Luxembourg, April 21 (that's tomorrow).

Line-up: Mental Overdrive (live), Kim Hiorthøy (live), Bjorn Torske (DJ), Joakim Haugland (DJ).

Smalltown Supersound is an independent label from Norway which apart from having one of the most original names around is also releasing interesting artists, including such stars as Jaga Jazzist, The Whitest Boy Alive, Lindstrom to mention few. They represent a mixture of different music styles - from electronica to jazz to disco to avant-garde - what really matters is originality.

Kim Hiorthøy is known for melodic, yet abstract electronic music. Watch the beautiful video for Alt Måste Bli Anorlunda:



Whereas Mental Overdrive, as far I know, is more into funny electronic disco, electro, acidfunk (that kind of disco that is more welcome by IDM labels than standard dance music labels). In a way Mental Overdrive sounds to me like other Norwegian project - Ost&Kjex. Check the video of Diskodans, which is based on the classic Finnish disco tutorial :)



Finally, Bjorn Torske is a king of heavy-wheight dubhouse tracks, but Mr. Haugland is a founder of the label.

This event is a part of label nights series in the frame of The European capital of culture 2007. The following one will be a showcase by the awesome French Diamonds Traxx label, which is responsible for the seminal Dirty Diamonds compilations. The edit master Pilooski is going to perform there (just have a listen at his myspace), so not to be missed.

Two previous label nights were dedicated to Warp Records and Morr Music. I missed the first one, but the Morr Music night was excellent, full of beautiful music and intimate, friendly atmosphere.

Friday, April 06, 2007

EXITECH


Three saturdays with the deepest, twisted and grooviest records from my box. Everybody's welcome!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Culture


Club culture, particularly regarding electronic music, is indeed rather a cultural phenomenon than just plain entertainment. It has its own codes, habits, infrastructure, community... In this context word "scene" would be even more appropriate, but it doesn't really matter how we call it, I guess you know what I mean. Finally, it's rather experience than just entertainment.

Furthermore, time and place are important aspects that are linked to this club culture / scene concept. In this sense, Berlin likely is the most happening place for minimal techno at the moment. That's something special, even irrational, emotional, that can't be really understood by outsiders... However, film "Feiern" by Maja Classen is a good try to capture what's going on in Berlin's scene. I wouldn't say that it's the best film on clubbing, but it's worthy as a documental source. Another good thing - it is quite objective in terms of showing both aspects of clubbing, not just the positive ones. I can just agree with Ewan Pearson - DON'T FORGET TO GO HOME. Sometimes you just have to stop and have a break.

Besides, it's got a nice soundtrack. Superpitcher's remix of D'Ntel is one of my personal hymns lately, it's so sweet and sensual.

D'Ntel - The Dream Of Evan And Chan (Superpitcher's rmx)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Back on trax


Hey ho!

I haven't exposed here anything for a long time due to various reasons, but now it's time for some posting action again. First of all, I was quite offline and quite off-music too, meaning that not checking all the new shit coming out. However, life without music would be hardly bearable, so naturally there were some special records for me during these last couple of months - some new, some older, but (re)discovered just lately. Let's have a look.

> D'Ntel - The Dream of Ewan and Chan (Superpitcher remix) [Plug Research]

I just love this track, it's sweet, lovely and kind of sexy. Last week I came back from Berlin, which is actually another reason why this track seems particular for me - it's taken from the documentary film "Feiern" that depicts Berlin wasted youth and techno culture.

> Gus Gus - Moss [Pineapple]

Another sexy beast that is definetely worth tobe mentioned here. The original version is the best though.

> Insect & Matschiste - Da Ist Noch Sand [Etui]

Bought this one (Dschoanna ep) in Berlin. The artists are unfimiliar to me, but music is cool - electronic and deep house.

> Martin Eyerer & Toni Rios - Chorizo [Kickboxer]

The End of it all meets Automatic, that's it. Rough and swingy.

> Antilope & Tigerskin - Just In Case [Kompass]

The new Kompass offers some qualities that for me are essential in so called minimal techno - nice and crisp production, yet being energetic and dancefloor-friendly.

> Heartthrob - Baby Kate (Konrad Black remix) [M_nus]

Lately I've been really enjoying Konrad Black's world of dark and twisted melodies. This remix for Heartthrob is no exception. Sounds a bit like My My's Serpentine, doesn't it?

> Paul Kalkbrenner - Gia 2000 (Modeselektor remix) [Bpitch Control]
This isn't a new track, but I've discovered it just recently and couldn't share. Perfect piece of dub-techno.


> Guy Gerber - Belly Dancing [Cocoon?]
Deep, hypnotic and dreamy melodies, rattling drums, pulsating bass synth are sort of trademark of Guy Gerber lately, so no big surprises, nevertheless the track is full of beauty.


> Sid LeRock - Naked (DJ Koze remix) (Cereal Killers)
This track is also from 2006, but has made its way to my box few weeks ago. Koze is innovatively wierd as usual.


> BRNSLKR~ - K (Globox)
Last but not least comes from Latvian producer Max Brannslokker, which, in my view, is his best release so far. Check also his new release on i220 Records.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dates


I'm off to Riga for a week or so. That means: intensive partying, drinking, smoking, and DJ-ing.

My DJ-ing dates are as follows:

Fri, 16 : Peahen Workshop @ Andrejsala. Also featuring: the "Sriķis" band, DJ Augusts Zarins, DJ Galka Kulio, Virsnieku Balle etc.


Sat, 17 : Pulkvedis. Together with ZeDmitry, from smooth minimal to sexually charged electro.


Tue, 20 : (possibly) at Maharajah's b-day party @ Andrejsala.


Fri, 23 : (not confirmed yet) Pulkvedis, hosted by ZeDmitry.


Sat, 25 : FuckForFriendship room in the Art Academy Carnival. Some dirty elektrodisko aktion together with: ZeDmitry, Alise G., Kone, Android etc. Dress yourself up!



See ya there!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dilemma


This friday's gonna be exciting in terms of musical sensations. Not so many good events are happening in Luxemburg, but this time there will be two outstanding gigs on the same night.

First of all, Michael Fakesch, co-founder of now defunct electronic duo Funkstörung, will perform in a small intimate bar d:qliq. Funkstörung is something really special, but I suppose that his solo project shouldn't be worse.

Secondly, there will the Warp night in a bigger venue. Line-up includes 3 live acts: Plaid, Clark and Mira Calix. I don't want to miss any of them.

Furthermore, on january 17 Electronicat will perform at Luxembourg Philharmonie (!). Although the venue is really strange for this kind of music, must be fun - unfortunately I won't be able to see it because I'll be in Latvia then.

NeOn B. : January chart


Hey folks! It's time for a monthly resumé.

For me the end of last year and the beginning of 2007 as busy and messy time, I was aside from keeping track on new music. Now I'm settled down again, and it's time to look what I've missed worth not missing and to mention those special new tracks that anyway were in my playlist/record box.

> Gregor Tresher & Guy Gerber - Open Gates [Great Stuff]

Unlike Get Physical, which seems selling out, Great Stuff is a commercially based label, yet sticking to its in initial concept and standards, and they regularly have fairly good records. This one is a really nice co-production of G.Tresher, who is usually more into electrotech, and Guy Gerber, whose music is deeper. The combination of both is simply beautiful.

> Boys Noize - Feel Good (TV Off) [Kitsune]

This sort of silly, bleepy and catchy track is included in Kitsune Maison 3 compilation that have a remarkable freestyle selection. Looks like Boys Noize has become softer and more melodic recently.

> Radio Slave - Modena [Rekids]

The track comes from his No Sleep pt.1, and actually both tracks are solid dancefloor fillers, made in the best M.Edwards traditions - straight beat, slowly building atmosphere and some minimal melody. Be sure to check also No Sleep pt.2 (I love those jackin' tin snares in Screaming Hands!) and Secret Base.

> Steve Bug - Wet [Poker Flat]

Deep, moving and neatly produced masterpiece. I'm definetely going to buy it on wax. Right now.

> Robag Whrume - Pontifekks [Musik Krause]

This amazing electro track comes from Papp-tonikk EP that includes another great track - the jazz driven Ikke's Schlonze. This EP is somewhat untypical for him.

> Marcin Czubala - Gorky Park EP [Morris Audio Citysport Edition]

Although, I suppose, he is already quite known in electronic dance music community I've discovered this Polish producer just know through the last Mobilee release, which is OK, but I prefer funkier recent release on Morris Audio sublabel. All 3 tracks are amazing! What a smooth production! And lyrics on Gorky Park made me smile. By the way, I was surprised to find out on his Discogs page that he's also performed in Latvia - I've never heard of it. Can anyone confirm?

Marcin Czubala - Mini Cooper

> Jacopo Carrera - Olando [Lee Jones remix)[Lan Muzic]

Actually I know virtually nothing about Jacopo Carrera, but Lee Jones is the main hero in my favourite My My project. This remix is a piece of amazingly uplifting, beautiful and inspiring hymn.

> Minilogue - Leopard (Extrawelt remix) [Traum]

I haven't checked their much praised release on Wagon Repair yet, but the new remixes on Traum Schallplaten are if not exceptional but nice enough.

> Claude VonStroke - Who's Afraid Of Detroit? (Tanner Ross remix) [Dirty Bird]

Remixes of VonStroke's track are out on his Dirty Bird imprint. From the first listen, the remix by Tanner Ross impressed me most, however, Audion's one is good too, and there's also a remarkable try from the legendary Kevin Saundersson on this record.

> Fairmont - Pavilion [Bpitch Control]

A mellow, dreamy and melodic track from Jake Fairley, included in Camping 3 compilation.

Other remarkable tracks: Ben Klock - Warszawa/Czeslawa [Ostgut Tonetrager], Trentemoller - African People [Nam Nam] (finally oficially out and comes with a new remix), Sally Shapiro - I'll Be By Your Side (Rude 66 remix) [Diskokaine], Fuckaponydelic - Switch The Light/Pee On You [Ineedsuperfreak] (oh this is freaky, pure acid).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Oldschool vs. new-school or just Fuse it


Last Saturday there was one of the best gigs I’ve ever experienced: Jeff Mills DJ-ed in the big room of Fuse, plus Mobilee night in the small room of the same club. As you could imagine, it wasn’t easy which room to choose.

Well, Jeff started the first one, so naturally I checked him first. First impressions were rather mixed: he played really nice tracks, but his style of mixing irritated me a bit – he let a track last for some 45 secs before starting a transition which wasn’t that clean in many cases anyway. In fact, I was wondering how he manages mixing on 4 decks. Apparently the lack of precision he compensated by that special feeling of groove and excellent selection. Actually I was expecting much harder techno – although it was quite fast and percussive, music was deep and even soulful. Lots of Detroit stuff etc., quite eclectic, in fact. For example, I was rather surprised when he played out Rej. However, it was a pleasure to hear it on one of the best club sound-systems in Europe, on a dancefloor totally packed with responsive people.

Then I checked the small room, where Exercise One was on. There were two guys behind laptops, controllers and synths, making a solid click-groove. Well, to be honest I was expecting a bit more from these Berlin’s top producers. What I heard was a really nice minimal (or what term shall I use here?), some tracks were simply great, but anyway – after spending there an hour or so – I headed back to the main floor.

Meanwhile, Jeff Mills had started to play even better tracks (or I was just more drunk by that time), and it seemed that he let some tracks play for a longer span. I was standing in the mid of the floor readily absorbing all the vibrations that flew out of the speakers. Some moments were definetely kicking, bringing it that overwhelming feeling of irrational cosmic happiness. One of the peak moments came when he played Strings of Life together with the famous Martin Luther King’s speech. At some point he left just the voice – „I have a dream,” sounded over the crowd before Strings was mixed in again. Truly amazing! A bit later Jeff managed to play the classic Moskow Diskow by Telex, which was obviously a homage to Belgians, followed by some real disco track, then back to techno drums again. The last track was really minimal - nothing but a drum-machine. By the end, I was totally high, thanks to Jeff and the incredible tracks he played.

In another room Anja Schneider – the boss of Mobilee – had already started her set. After Jeff Mill’s banging beats first the music seemed too calm to me, but soon I managed to find a key to this another kind of beauty. Crystalic, spooky still subtle sounds, pleasent beats, perfectly balanced layers... Just immerse yourself and let it go. At some moment I clearly realized that this kind of music was dark, not evil, just dark, being positive at the same time, you know. If it was too joyous it just wouldn’t sound as good any more, I guess. Anja played many things from Mobilee’s catalogue, and many of them on the good sound-system were so good. What a night!

By the way, Mobilee was presented by the local promoters LessizMore – they do some really good events, check their site.

Respect!


It was 1999 or so, when I was playing records in the chill-out room at Metro Club. Monolake was on. Some girl approched me asking whether it was Chain Reaction record. I was positively surprised - yes, it was! (I know, I know, this is a kind of stereotypical attitude from my part, but, girls, perceive this as a compliment.)

Some weeks ago I was behind the decks in Pulkvedis, when I noticed a blond, high-heeled, rather main-stream looking girl leaning towards the booth with a request on her lips. My first thought was that in the best case she would ask for some Depeche Mode’s song. I was wrong! Actually she asked for Audion. When I couldn’t catch what she was saying because of a near standing speaker, she told something like: c’mon, don’t you have anything from Matthew Dear? I had to shamely admit that my copy of Mouth to Mouth staid at home. Then some other similiar artists were mentioned.

I talked to her later after the gig. It turned out that she used to be into more traditional house music, but then had got really hooked on deep/minimal and all that shit. So seriously that she was ready to go to Berlin for getting some records and start learning DJing. On the other hand, she was sort of doubtful about her skills etc. I tried to encourage her, telling that the most important thing is a good taste and that practicing can do miracles.

A while before that, going for a piss, I accidently met Moro there – one of Riga’s very first vinyl DJs. He certainly was one of those people who influenced me a lot when I was still a youngster (the mid 90s). Unfortunately, he quit spinning many years ago, but in a way it was with his help why I got into records and DJing. And then there was that girl willing but not entirely daring to become a DJ. I noticed Moro again and took the girl to him, introducing him to her as one of my „teachers” and briefly telling Moro what the problem was. Naturally he also tried to convince her to fulfil her wish... Probably, all this sounds a bit pathetic, but what I wanted to say is that no matter that people come and go, ideas or dedication to certain things or whatever you’d call these things – they stay, they live on through communication.