A couple of months ago, when I last played in Brighton, I was talking to Paul Budd, the promoter (and DJ Pablo Contraband), about how things were going with his Unity Agency (a man of many fingers in pies is Paul / Pablo). He was really excited about just having added The Reflex as the latest addition to an increasingly impressive roster that also includes the likes of Late Nite Tuff Guy, Rayko, Social Disco Club and Fingerman. The Reflex is London based French DJ / Producer, Nicolas Laugier, and it wasn’t just his work that impressed Paul, but his overall persona. Paul told me;
The first 2 releases on the new A&R Edits label are simultaneously issued this week on limited DJ only vinyl – ‘Buffalo Dance’ / ‘Voice of Nature’, Henry Greenwood’s reworks of Neneh Cherry’s ‘Buffalo Stance’ and George Benson’s version of ‘Nature Boy’, and ‘Nobody’ / ‘Music Up’, Derek Kaye’s takes on ‘Ain’t Nobody’ by Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan (which fuses the Frankie Knuckles ‘Hallucinogenic Mix’ and the ‘Bassapella’ with the original) and ‘Turn The Music Up’ by Players Association.
Daft Punk are sitting pretty at the top of the UK singles chart for the first time. The track in question, ‘Get Lucky’, taken from their forthcoming album, ‘Random Access Memories’, came as something of a surprise, for instead of hitching itself to the current EDM juggernaut that’s sweeping America, the French duo have completely bucked the trend by drawing their influence from Disco, featuring its most celebrated guitarist, the great Nile Rodgers of the Chic Organisation (as well as R&B vocalist, Pharrell Williams). A media sensation, it’s everywhere at the moment – on the radio, on the TV, in the clubs and, of course, all over the internet, becoming the most streamed new release in Spotify history. It’s already been re-edited by a whole host of DJs and is pretty much nailed on to be the single of the summer.
Every week I get sent lots of digital promos by various companies / individuals – it’s a task and a half keeping up with them all, and became so time-consuming that I now forward the majority of them to someone who listens through on my behalf to check whether they’re applicable to what I play, for you’d be surprised at the amount of stuff I receive that if whoever sent it to me actually took the time listen to my mixes, they would surely realise that this is a track / mix that’s completely unsuitable for me.
It’s 2013 and Coldcut duo Jonathan More and Matt Black are celebrating the 25th anniversary of their Solid Steel radio show. To mark this milestone, a number of selectors have been invited to contribute a mix to the programme, its presenters choosing various artists and DJs they feel have had a significant presence at some point during the last 25 years. I regard it as a big compliment to be one of those approached, so was more than happy to oblige, the only brief being that they wanted us to weigh in with something that sits outside of that for which we’re generally known, which suited me fine – it was just a case of what?
Happy Mondays ‘Wrote For Luck’ & ‘WFL’
Filmed at Legend, Manchester 1988 & 1989
Great to see Todd Terje blowing up big time with his infectious ‘Inspector Norse’ single, a definite candidate for best new dance track of the year, it’s simple complexity the mark of somebody who very much knows what they’re doing, someone with an understanding of both feel and precision who strikes the right balance between head and heart. I suppose that by being a feelgood DJ with a sharp sense of irony, as well as having been a student of physics at Oslo University, Terje was bound to have his own unique angle, which, when applied to making music was sure to produce intriguing results.
As I mentioned in my last post, Detroit Hustles Harder, festival season is very much upon us. Next month’s Vintage is my first full-on UK festival of the summer (a weekend event, rather than a one day gathering, as with Love Saves The Day in Bristol earlier this month – a big success despite the lousy weather), which has found a new home within the scenic grounds of Northamptonshire’s Boughton House. Looking forward to seeing Chic there, with the great Nile Rodgers – I’d intended to check them out at Playground in Australia last March, but the festival, as I’ve mentioned here previously, was cancelled due to flooding (when it rains over there it really rains). Aloe Blacc is also on the bill – his progress has been of particular interest to me as he was one of the participants at the Red Bull Music Academy in Melbourne (2006), who was in the audience when I gave my lecture there. I met him the following afternoon when we were sat at the same table having lunch, and he really made a big impression on me – you could sense that this was someone who was destined to go places, someone who was down to earth, but with a strong sense of himself. I remember doing an interview when I came back to the UK, where I tipped him as ‘one to watch’, so it’s good to see that my instincts were correct. It wasn’t his music, which I hadn’t heard at the time, that had marked him out for me, but his unique DJ approach. The previous night I’d headed along to Revolver, the club where I was making my Australia debut that weekend, and was struck by a DJ who was, in an impressively understated manner, rapping and even singing along with the tracks he was playing – this turned out to be Aloe.
ARTIST: TALKING HEADS
ALBUM: STOP MAKING SENSE
YEAR: 1984 (SPECIAL NEW EDITION 1999)
This Sunday (June 3rd) at 9pm, you’re invited to share a listening session with some likeminded souls, wherever you might be. This can be experienced either alone or communally, and you don’t need to leave the comfort of your own home to participate. Full lowdown here:
One of the world’s most celebrated clubs, The Haçienda in Manchester, opened 30 years ago today, on Friday May 21st 1982. In June 2007, a little after the 25th anniversary, the inimitable Manchester-based writer / musician, John Robb, author of books including ‘The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996’ (2009), ‘The Stone Roses And The Resurrection Of British Pop’ (1996) and ‘Punk Rock: An Oral History’ (2006), did a short interview with me about the club’s legacy: