Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In da box and playlist: july-september

It's been a long time. Well, the summer just passed too quickly, and autumn melancholy is already all around. The following are some of my favorite 4/4 tunes currently and lately.

> Matias Aguayo - Minimal [Kompakt]

A funky and passionate disco-like groover by the Chilean producer and singer Matias Aguayo. First I heard it played by DJ Koze at Kompakt Total party, Marcus Rossknecht's mix though. The funny lyrics worked very well, and the song became an instant hit for me. Also, it was the unofficial anthem of Riga Night (and days) in Brussels.

> Kevin Saunderson - Good Love (Luciano remix) [KMS]

This one comes from History Elevate series - a rather successful remix project of Kevin Saunderson's tracks. This particular one was a vocal house production under Inner City moniker. Luciano stripped down version is quite basic and laid-back, a minimal beat, some percussion, the original vocal with dubby delays. It's not outstanding, however I like its deep and repetitive vibe and summer feel.

> STL - Something Is Raw [Something]

STL aka Stephan Laubner is my recent discovery. He is a master of percussive house grooves and loops, that's a proper minimal house. This track, which is a real stormer, has been released back in October 2007, however I must mention it because its groove made my day and I has been playing it quite a lot.

> Mutant Clan - Kenesai [Connaisseur]

The track sets an irresistable tribal groove. I don't know anything much about the authors except that one of them is Timo Maas. Another side of this From A Lesson In Drums release is fine too, done by someone called Pele.

> October - Say Again [Perspektiv]

Very deep and hypnotic, though having quite accented and metallic snares. I believe it might be some dubstep influence. October has almost arrived.

> Stimming - Una Pena [Diynamic]

Although latino sapmples and motifs have become over-used, this Stimming's track still sounds interesting. It's got that typical and quite distinctive Diynamic sound, also typical for Solomun - music is very melodic yet different from usual Get Physical / Cocoon epic stuff. I don't know, but probably it's more psychedelic and dreamy, those melodies and samples sound distant somehow creating a transcendental effect. A nice, more punchy Argy's remix on the flipside too. Check also Stimming's track Anger for Liebe*Detail - it has a very nice strings when reaching the culmination.

> Brendon Moeller - Electricity [Leena]

A deep tech-house banger from one of my favorite producers. The whole EP is a goodie. Well, B.Moeller know how to dig deep still having his own original approach. Besides, he's done an amazing remix of Intrusion - Tswana Dub, you should definitely check it out if you're into electronic dub / dubtechno.

> Dave Aju - Crazy Place [Circus Company]

This guy is from San Francisco and making weird minimal house records for the French label Circus Company. Kind of DJ Koze's style, you know. Crazy Place is a cool and relaxed gem with a nice vocal and strange samples.

> DOP - I'm Just A Man EP [Eklo]

I can just agree with RA's review that this is their best and tightest release so far. A pure jazz dope, very groovy and dancefloor friendly. Should become a hit.

> My My - Pink Flamingos [Ostgut Tontraeger]

It's been out for a while, but I've given it a listen just recently. My My successfully continues exploring funky disco basslines and dreamy deep house atmospheres avoiding boring cliches.

> Morgan Geist - Detroit [Environ]

A hilarious vocal track on the electronic disco and Detroit techno tip.


> Stefan Goldmann - The Transitory State [Macro]

The first of two CDs is a slightly edited selection of his tracks mainly for his own Macro imprint which all sound together surprisingly well. Nice collection.

> Shed - Shedding the Past [Ostgut Tontraeger]

Very interesting and experimental deep house meets dubtechno meets dubstep tracks. The soundtrack of now.

> V.A. - Recovery [Fractured]

Although it's not really a dancefloor stuff, I can't avoid mentioning it - so great it is. Originally it's a set of 10 7-inches. All of them are covers of pop songs done by respected electronic music producers. Yummy, thanks Gosh for suggesting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

exit is open

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, freaks and clowns!

Exit has been relaunched again. Although the main opening party was on Saturday, there were some events on Thursday and Friday as well. For instance, on Friday Gangpol Und Mit performed (don't ask me why it sounds German, actually they are two guys from Bordaux, France). They own music + they own videos. That was outstanding indeed! Very cartoonish, baroque, creative, funny and sick at the same time. But you have to see it yourself.

Now a short review of the main event. The night took off with a live performance by Bass Clef - a very fine and interesting dubstep producer from UK, Bristol I guess. A little detour: first I found out about this guy on Tape blog few years ago, a couple of his tracks were put there. He was practically unknown yet, at least internationally, and his artist's nickname was RLF. That time most of dubstep was very dark and monotone, but his tracks were surprisingly different and fresh - more subtle, daring to experiment and with some electronica/IDM influence, I'd say. Sounded good to me. Since that time he has released a critically aclaimed album (as Bass Clef) with a very cute title - A Smile Is A Curve That Straightens Most Things - and some other 12 inches on his Blank Tapes imprint. Check also his blog. Alright, now back to the party. He played his tracks from CD, adding some samples, mainly percussion, tapping on a sapmpler and effects, such as delay. Besides, Bass Clef used a mic for playing trombone, cowbell, whistling etc. Interesting rhythmic patterns, sometimes just loosely related to the clasic dubstep. For instance, there was one kuduro rhythm, some other sample palettes were reminiscent of Rio's baile funk etc. Altogether it sounded as intelligent and electronic dubstep yet having some ghetto music roots. It was freash and enjoyable, just wished the sound system had more bass, but this was just a technical detail.

As the next one, Max Tundra tooked over the stage. He had an impressive set of gears. Music was quite different, a lot of singing and guitar, quite funny and funky, sometimes even a bit too cheasy and not enough groovy for my taste, but no doubt he is a diverse and talanted musician. I wish people danced more, especially when he fired some ravey cover version (was it KLF, huh?). But, well, that's a typical Luxembourg's crowd - it takes ages (and quite a few drinks) to get them moving. No pun intended though, that's just the way it is over here.

The last guest artist was Rodion - a guy who makes quality nu school italo disco for Gomma Records. And he is actually Italian. Although before seeing him I quite liked some of his tracks and there was one worthy his mix in my possession, his live performance turned out better than I expected - it was very groovy and entertaining. Rodion played together with a bass player, and due to the fact that he used analogue synths and vocoders it sounded as a proper underground italo disco. Whatever he did, sounded just cool avoiding beeing too cheesy - even a cover version of Supertramp's song was a kicker. Finally, people were dancing.

Some more photos here.

It was a realy good start, and there are some other goodies to come. The next event will be the DFA night on October 3 with a live performance by Prinzhorn Dance School (a real live band)and DJ sets by Mock & Toof (also released on Tiny Sticks and Mule) and Tim Sweeney (of Beats In Space radioshow fame). Gotta be sweaty!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Riga -> Luxembourg & Rotondes -> Carré

First of all, I would like to say that the extension of Riga Night Brussels in Luxembourg went really well - Martinez Gonzalez had an amazing performance in d:qliq. Thanks to Fred for inviting us over. We even managed to get an extra gig in some private party which was pretty cool as well. You can check some photos here.

Now about this week-end. The great news is that Rotondes - a culture site specially developed for European Cultural capital project in 2007 - is reopening. The name has become CarréRotondes and also its location is different (hence no round buildings any more). It comprises Exit venue as well which was responsible for so many outstanding concerts and events last year. Anyway, Marc is still in charge of musical programmation there, so hopefully we can expect many great bands. At least, the line-up for opening party is promising: Bass Clef, Max Tundra and Rodion.

More information about opening events here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Riga's still on tour

I'm just start recovering from the crazy week-end, all can I say is that Riga Night Brussels was amazing. Great music, talented and open-minded freak-friends and suprisingly good response from the other people who were there. I must also add that it wasn't just playing music, dancing and performing, it was definitely much more - in the best FuckForFriendship traditions. I mean, it's not just about performing, it's more like a way of life and attitude.

While Riga Night Brussels is over, you can still catch some echo of it this week in Luxembourg. This Friday, September 12 Martinez Gonzalez will have a live set and I will play some records in d:qliq bar. This time I plan to do it a bit more pop, also some vocals and joyful melodies, but we'll see how it turns out. Everybody's welcome.

By the way, while driving in a car through Brussels, there was a Flamish radio on telling about some DJ festival. I didn't get a word, but for some strange reason the guy on radio kept mentioning mojitos. So, just to know - d:qliq likely has the best mojitos in the town.

Thank you Riga and thank you my friends!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Riga @ Brussels

As I've already posted before, this weekend (Saturday, September 6 to be precise) Riga Night Brussels will take place in an abandoned beer brewery (address: Quai du Hainaut 43 à 1080 Bruxelles / Porte de Ninove, that's near the Channel).

The event will start at 8 p.m. with a showcase of Latvian documentary, animation and short films.

That will be followed by a party from 11 p.m. DJs Ivars Mednis, ZeDmitry and me, Heincha, gonna spin some "underground" electronic dance music as we like it - deep, sexy and groovy. Plus, Martinez Gonzales will play his own warm and melodic tracks. For those less enthusiastic about 4 to the floor techno and house there will be a smaller stage outside with a bit more pop sensibility.

Music will be accompanied by video-mixes from our visual wizards-lizards: VJs Linards Kulless and Ginta Tinte.

To do it in a proper Riga way, the one and only Space:Garage Bar's crew will take care of providing booze and fun to the people.

Needless to say, all the abovementioned artists are from Riga. And now a bit pathetic line: that's right, we all are friends in one or another way, so it's not mere an official presentation of our city that we love so much, it's also about friendship and having fun. In my view, there's nothing wrong with that, these kind of projects may be even more effective and certainly more sincere than very official ones, because in the first case it's somewhat more concentrated and dedicated.

Well, come and meet us! :)

Oh, yes, almost forgot to add that, besides the Riga night, there will an exhibition too. Already acclaimed young artists (guess from where) - Voldemars Johansons, Maija Kurseva and Linards Kulless - will exhibit their installations at M'ATUVU Creative Shopwindow (Lakensestraat 113, 1000 Bruxelles). The codename is Fluid States, so it all will be about ever-changing and transforming liquids and fluids. The opening is this Friday, September 5, and it will be open until September 17.

More info: