I was asked by my good friends at Gottwood Festival to mix the latest podcast of their series. So here it is! An hour of afterparty house music…
// CHICAGO MASTERS, DETROIT MASTERS
// DEEP TECHNO, LOCKED HOUSE
Before becoming every housewife’s favourite crooner and studiously sculpting embarrassing facial hair/curly mullet combos (actually scrap that last statement), Lionel Richie was behind some of the best soul albums with the Commodores, and disco records when he embarked on a solo career in the early 80s. His second album, Can’t Slow Down, released in ‘83, encompasses the smooth disco sound he was so good at producing.
- Someone please find me this notebook
Can’t Slow Down’s 5th track, Love Will Find A Way, is not only a great track in its own right, but also offers solid evidence when exploring the ways urban music feeds on its ancestry and tradition when crafting new genres. Lionel’s track has given birth to two great cuts, one hip hop and one house.
Although The Dogg Pound’s track only samples the initial drum loop, it is nonetheless a fascinating insight into the science of sampling: who would of thought that the duo, infamous for its thug lyrics and general gangster demeanour, were Lionel Richie fans? It’s funny thinking of them head nodding in the studio to the original, sippin on a 40 in a Raiders hat. Miguel Migs’ track is truer to Lionel’s: he keeps it real simple, adding a nice bassline and little else. The result is a killer house number, reaffirming the intrinsic connection that house and disco share. Enjoy!
New mix, on a straight up club tip, recorded a few days ago in a scorching hot London. Follow the link to listen/download.
Props for following!
Please follow the link for mix#4, recorded live in London in mid February. Clocking in at just under an hour, should help keep that Valentine’s spirit alive and kicking for just a little while longer…
Appearances can be deceiving - at first glance, Norma does not look like your average house producer. Owner and main driving force behind Detroit label Pandemonium, she started making jazz-flecked house in 1994. Once member of Frank Zappa’s touring band, her extraordinary voice and beautiful sax playing give her records a very distinctive and immediately recognisable vibe, even when compared to her partner-in-crime Moodymann’s productions.
Norma Jean Bell - Love’s Got Its Hooks In Me
Norma Jean Bell - Yes I Am (I’m Gonna Get You)
The first track is a B-Side to a Pandemonium 12” from 1998 and is probably my favourite of all her songs - great sax riff, powerful vocal and driving bassline. Norma’s biggest talent lies in the range of expression she gets out of her voice and instrument without losing sight of the percussive elements that are so important in house music. The second cut is off her 2001 album, Come Into My Room, a great album from start to finish: I chose this track in part because of the clever Gill Scott-Heron sample. If listened to carefully, Come Into My Room is filled with interpolations from a wide variety of sources, from Coltrane and Zappa to Scott-Heron, just to name a few. In doing so, she has created an album that has a sound longed for by many and achieved by very few: a strange, alluring, hypnotic brew of past and future, never boring or obvious, stunningly on point on every beat.
I can’t even remember how I found Kiddmisha’s productions on Soundcloud… it may have been one of Jeremy’s (head of very fresh label MLIU) plugs. Either way, the man from Ukraine is making some incredibly dope house beats, with a real 90s vibe to them: stabbed organs and soulful vocal snippets.
Waze & Odyssey
Similar vibes but with a garage bump to their productions comes this duo. With forthcoming releases on petFood and Scucci Manucci, and a bonafide thug disposition, the sky’s the limit for these Gs.
And finally, a free download courtesy of Detroit Swindle. The Dutch duo offer up a great track remixing one of my favourite neo soul artists and is a tried and tested set opener…
I recently stumbled across some very rare house Sade remixes - check them out here. Although she has never willingly approved of her music being pillaged by the long list of producers who have eyed her harmonies up, it has to be said that her voice is amazingly house-friendly, and perhaps in another life, she would have made a great house/soul diva, in the mold of India or Monique Bingham.
Not to say that the band’s original production isn’t rocking: Love Deluxe, their 1992 LP, is an expertly crafted album. It is a great exploration into the more softly-spoken, sophisticated pop music that has all but disappeared. Sade herself is such a beautifully accomplished vocalist that she would sound good over anything, and yet her band play just as big a role in how she sings as she does, layering her vocals with creative and understated instrumentals that go hand-in-hand together.
Sade - Kiss Of Life
Sade - By Your Side (Jay Denes Naked Music Remix)
The first cut is from Love Deluxe, and is a great illustration of the band’s ability to back Sade up so well - the breakdown near the end sounds incredible (and was sampled so simply and effectively by MF Doom on this beast). The second cut is one of the many white label, unofficial house remixes of one Sade’s tunes. I think it is one of the best, and although it may lack the necessary bite to play out, in the right circumstances could really turn a dancefloor on its head…