Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Round Up, Vol. 1

Looking for a new mix to get you through the day? Need some inspiration to get up and get moving this weekend? More importantly, need more Dance Party? Starting this week, DPC will aim to highlight and disseminate some of our favorite mixtapes, podcasts, and EP releases from across the wide world of EDM, including our own backyard. Your personal curator for this intergalactic journey is new staff writer Sam Warren, a NY-to-D.C. transplant who listens to far too much of this stuff to be healthy. Each week, Sam will break down a handful of mixes in the hope that, somehow, somewhere, a booty will be shaken due to his efforts.

Continued after the jump...

  Skylab - The Cream Solaire Mixtape 

 Not much is known about this Dutch outfit, save a slew of home-cooked releases that all tend to combine the cosmic with the classic; R&B and disco vocals over spacey, ethereal melodies. While this combination is nothing new or ground-breaking, Skylab’s originals are unabashedly fun and free spirited. There’s no pretension with Skylab – just sun-drenched party music. Their stated goal “is to experience the feeling which can best be described by a 70's beach party in the south of France, somewhere on a secret planet in space.” Sold. Coming in at just over 30 minutes, you would think this mix would sound a bit rushed. Not so. Skylab does a superb job at staying patient while simultaneously pushing the tempo and allowing each song its own time in the sun.  They smoothly intertwine hands-in-the-air disco and chugging deep house, producing a mix that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Highlight: Skylab – Change The Way (Original Extended Mix) 25:45 – 28:15. Another original from Skylab, this one unreleased. Upbeat, frantic percussion combined with frighteningly catchy vocals.

Diynamic Radioshow: Karmon July 2012

Next up, another stellar mix from the Netherlands.  We here at DPC are obsessed with anything Diynamic Music, and this month’s podcast from up-and-coming star, Karmon, is no exception. The Hamburg based label has distinguished itself again and again with an unfathomable ability to spot fresh talent and continually push the boundaries of deep house. Newcomers Audiojack, David August, Adriatique, and Ost & Kjex are just a few of the musical gems Diynamic has helped break onto the scene. Karmon’s Wowshit EP, a collaboration with label mate NTFO, raced up the deep house charts thanks to “Nobody Else,” a subtle and menacing track built off a handful of Temptations lyrics. Releasing off Diynamic, as well as Sintope Digital and Redlight Music, Karmon’s future is a bright one. In the mix, Karmon takes listeners through the spectrum of contemporary deep house – never getting too playful nor too dark. His balance is his greatest asset, and he uses it to perfection here. Awesome mix.

Disclosure FADER Mix 

A personal favorite of mine, Disclosure, just released a mix for the boys over at The Fader, and I just had to include it. These guys have been on an absolute tear this spring and summer – each of their tracks on their Soundcloud has 6 figures in listens. Mind you, they came out in late 2010. Their blitz of the house scene has come out of relative nowhere, with the scariest part being that the UK natives only keep getting better. Their sound is instantly addicting and welcoming, a fluid blend of bouncy tech and deep house that is impossible not to bob your head to.  Disclosure noticeably incorporates some of the “90’s sound” that has started to slowly filter back into contemporary house music, as well. It’s difficult to toe the line with a style that can be painfully cheesy if not deployed properly; here, they make it look effortless. I dare you to resist dancing out of your seat for this one.

Gomma Podcast #77 - The Deadstock 33s Fabric Podcast

Moving along, let me introduce you to my favorite mix of the bunch: The Deadstock 33s’ newest podcast for German label Gomma. Much like the aforementioned Diynamic, Gomma prides itself on finding overlooked and unknown producers and DJs and turning them into household names. Yet, their focus is not as ”narrow” as Diynamic or similar deep house labels. Instead, their roster of artists is a smattering of different genres and styles. There’s Telonius, a nu-disco wiz kid; Mercury, a fantastic duo pushing the boundaries of tech and deep house; Munk, a touring DJ ensemble sometimes accompanied by a live band, masterfully blending funk and soul with house; and In Flagranti, a U.S. based DJ collective who specialize in merging mid-tempo house and Balearic grooves with funk. These few examples illustrate just how diverse and wide-ranging Gomma’s enthusiasm for electronic music is. With this label, truly, no genre is left behind.

London native The Deadstock 33s (a pseudonym for legendary DJ Justin Robertson) falls right in line with this ethos, serving up a fiery and utterly genius mix that left my jaw on the floor multiple times. Think Martyn crossbred with Carl Craig. From the opening track, the 33s snatch your attention and never relinquish it. This mix runs the musical gambit - everything from techno to bass to garage to house is represented beautifully. The 33s seamlessly weave in and out of these different disciplines to great effect throughout the entire mix, never content to let their foot off the gas until the very end. It’s a breathless effort, and one that really takes the listener on a journey. 5 thumbs up. 
  • Highlights: The entire thing. Seriously. It’s that good. 

Martin Brodin – Disco for the People, Summer Edition. Pt. 1

More disco you say?.....Oh, you didn’t say anything? That’s cool. Here’s more anyway. Coming from MB Disco label boss Martin Brodin, this mix is just the thing for a summer day by the pool. After garnering attention for a handful of stellar releases off the likes of Gomma and Wall of Sound, Brodin started MB Disco in 2010 to get back to his roots and pay homage to the early 70’s and mid 80’s disco, funk, and soul that he was brought up on. The label has only grown since then, featuring releases and remixes from nu-disco stalwarts Ilya Santana, Chicken Lips, and Drop Out Orchestra. There’s nothing ground breaking or revelatory about this mix, but listeners are left with little doubt that Brodin is at the height of his powers here. He’s got a great ear for tonal changes, often hiding underlying percussion and leads under walls of sound before fully unleashing them (16:45 – 18:45). A lot of the nu-disco game is defined by re-fixes, remixes and edits that help update old school disco/funk/soul tracks to contemporary club standards. Brodin employs these to deadly effect in this mix, with some noteworthy tracks coming from Drop Out Orchestra, Todd Terje, and G.I. Disco. So put on some shades and hop in your Delorean. Doc Brodin is waiting.
  • Highlight: Gossip - Perfect World (Atarri Remix) 49:42 – 54:00. Great remix by Brussels’ Renaud Deru’s (half of the excellent duo Mustang) solo moniker. Those dark, heavy bass lines are perfection. 

Until next week, folks!


Think we left out a mix? Have the low down on some freshness we need in our lives? Wanna talk Paris Hilton DJ skillz? Come tell us about it!

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