The Fantastix

Movement 2016 must see artists and performances

Red Bull sums up a list of 20 must see Artists and performances for this years Movement festival in Detroit. I’m not in the area this year, but looked at the line-up and came up with my own list.

Kraftwerk

I got into Kraftwerk fairly late, somewhere late 90’s or early 2000’s. But when I started listening to their music I noticed how much they had influenced the music I had been listening over the years. The first time I actually had a chance to see them perform was at I Love Techno in Ghent. I have seen them a couple of times since then over the years, and it’s always a feast for the eyes and ears.

DJ Godfather

Even if you saw him play before, I would still recommend to go see him in Detroit. I have seen DJ Godfather play a lot over the years, but apart from the first time I saw him play, he never impressed me as much as when I saw him play at the Movement festival in 2008. In other cities and countries over the world he rocks the decks blasting other dj’s away already, but in Detroit he’s got more dj’s that match his style an skills, so he makes extra effort.

Claude Young

I have only seen Claude play once, and that was back in the vinyl days. He was always one of the more technical techno dj’s out there. He was always juggling, looping and tricking his way through his crate. The last time I have seen him play was on a couple of cdj’s. He still had a great record selection, but I missed the playfull trickery he used to do with vinyl. I would Love to see him play around with the decks again like he used to.

DJ Funk

I discovered DJ Funk like the rest of Europe through Daft Punk’s teachers. I remember buying my first DJ Funk record and listening to it over and over. Back then there was no way to see him play in Europe, but the past couple of years he has been coming over every now and then. I still regret that I missed the chance to see him play twice (!) in Amsterdam, once on valentines day, for obvious reasons, and once during ADE.

Apart from the above I would try to see these performances as well in not particular order: Bjarki, Brian Gillespie, Carl Craig, DJ Piere, DJ Seoul, Eddie Fowlkes, Ectomorph, Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald, Kenny Dope, Kevin Saunderson, MK (Marc Kinchen), Nina Kraviz, RZA!, Scuba, Stacey Pullen, and I have probably missed a couple already…

The change in DJ Culture

Nice quote from Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim about the change in DJ culture:

I was thinking the other day about how DJ culture has changed – and one of the things is you don’t have the same sense of brotherhood. If you were sitting in the airport, you’d know another DJ because they had a record box. So you’d immediately try to work out from the stickers who they were – and then you’d get into a conversation with them.

We considered ourselves outlaws because no-one really respected us and we lived outside the normal working hours. Nowadays, everyone is a DJ.

I think he’s dead on, but does not mention the downside, the fear of checking in your recordbox, hoping it would not get lost and having to turn up at the club with empty hands.

I really miss Pro-Jex

The last Pro-jex release was in 2005. It was one of those labels where I got excited when I saw the logo on a record, quickly grabbing it to see if it was new, or if I already had it.

It brought me a couple of couple of favorites, notably: DJ Funk’s Ghetto Tech 2000, which got me into Ghetto Tech with the inclusion of DJ Godfathers “Booty Perculate”, DJ Urban’s New Jack Hustler, still can’t decide which version I like best, Rush’s Remix, Angel Alanis’ Remix or Urbans Original Mix and DJ Deeon’s Workin’ EP.

One thing is stiking though, where’s PROX001 and PROX004? I’m still hoping there are two ‘undiscovered’ releases out there that would surface at some point…

Label owner Charlie Hall in an interview from around 2001:

…he (Charlie Hall) harbours a clear desire to put out new material by other Dance Mania ghetto heroes, such as DJ Funk and Deeon. “I’m desperate to get that fucking layabout making some music,” he says of Funk. “He released one EP for us and it was an absolute killer, everybody loved it. Deeon is truly ghetto – he won’t get it together and doesn’t fucking care.”

DJ Shufflemaster & Chester Beatty Feat. DJ Funk ‎– Our House Music

Found this one a couple of days ago and it’s been stuck in my head since. One of my heroes from Japan, DJ Shufflemaster and his partner-in-crime Chester Beatty working together with DJ Funk delivering something different. Leaning hard on old school 80’s acid house. DJ Funk’s voice is great for something like this.

From the release statement on BPitch:

…the duo (DJ Shufflemaster and Chester Beatty) held a special connection to Chicago, the origins of house music. By saying Chicago, we also have to mention the legendary imprint Dance Mania. One of its members, Charles „DJ Funk“ Chambers, is still considered as the synonym for the rough and raw ghetto house sound penetrated by TR-808 and TR-909. The oldschool track „Our House Music“ by DJ Shufflemaster & Chester Beatty bows to the still timeless chi-town style with its distinctive, analog-driven synth bass line, rattling hi-hats as well as warm and epic chords. It’s an impressively simple arrangement that spreads a nostalgic drive with its glockenspiel intermezzo and the iconic vocals by DJ Funk. The remix by DJ Tasaka is not only highlighting the delay on vocals and some atmospheric soundscapes, especially the 808 drums and the 303 bass lines are reminiscent of the futuristic classic Chicago acid.

Electrifying Mojo Prince interview

Following last weeks sad news about Prince’s passing I found this Prince interview by The Electrifying Mojo.

Moodymann sampled and edited this interview to make it sound like he was talking about him instead of Prince. At the time I heard this Moodymann single for the first time I searched for the interview without any luck, but now found it though a tweet by The Black Dog calling it “Probably the best Prince interview”. I get his sentiment as you can really hear the mutual respect Prince and The Electrifying Mojo have for each other. Part 2 can be found here.

Jeff Mills on traveling with just one box of records

Nice tidbit of Jeff Mills talking about the tradeoffs you had to make traveling with just one recordbox

When I buy records, or the ones that I pick for my record box, very rarely do I ever play a record that only has one good track. They have to have more than two. So then I can play the same record at least twice a night. So I carry very few and it always seems to just balance out that that record is of, say, Adam Beyer, or someone like that, or Marco Carola, a DJ Sneak or something like that who has just a particular sound that just sounds good. So it has to have more than at least one, unless the one is really good and then I normally pack it. But that’s to keep everything down to a minimum when I travel. If I should have more records than my box should hold, I won’t buy another box, I would just re-circulate the tracks. I’ll take the ones that I don’t play so much out and put the new ones that I got in and to always keep a certain amount of records. So it will seem like I’ve got like two boxes because I’ll go through them so quickly, but actually, I’m playing the same records maybe twice, three times a night.

It’s cool that a certain style came of it out of this limitation.

Jeff Mills still has his Underground Resistance mentality

Jeff Mills still has his Underground Resistance mentality

DJs want to please. Our original mentality (genre dependant) wasn’t to pander to the people and give them what they want. It was about extracting how you feel, and using your device(s) to translate that. We don’t know much more other than that now either because of what we got into this to do (make money, become famous), or because we doubt that our feelings are now even worth translating. Instead, we focus on trying to please because with these ambitions, we need to be their hero. If were lucky enough to do that, and make people happy, we might be able to make a career out of it. We’ll be famous. A master. It’s just elitism.

Thomas Schumacher on sampling

I still believe though that in our industry people should just go for it, do it. If it turns out that something you have done becomes commercially successful and someone approaches you then hopefully you can find an agreement where both parties are happy.

Schumacher talking about an unspecified track, probably Ficken?, where he sampled Frankie Knuckles – Baby Wants To Ride

I was approached by an artist I sampled on one of my earliest tracks from 1995, which in all fairness became commercially successful here in Germany. This happened six years after it had been in the charts saying ‘by the way, you sampled me’ and I was like ‘yeah, I did’. I was hoping we could sort it out in a gentlemanly manner but it wasn’t so. So instead of allowing me to be reasonable, we had to fight about it. My feeling was that he just wanted to get as much cash as he could. I explained the whole story to him. He got a big check and he was happy.

Another story on the Rahzel & The Roots samples he used for When I Rock

I sampled some vocals from a hip hop radio guy called Tony Touchtapes and again one of these situations popped up. We sold 25,000 vinyls at the time and licensed it later to Warners in Germany. Again, years later, my publisher called me and said ‘we’ve had a call from another publisher about that sample from Tony Touchtape’. They said ‘on that tape you sampled from Tony Touchtape’s Radio Show was the Roots playing live in the studio’.

I was thinking they’d definitely sue me and I was given a phone number to call. I called them up, and one of them, I’m not sure who, picked it up and I discovered they’d never listened to techno music. They were like ‘what is it?’ I said ‘we call it techno’ and they said ‘it’s really cool what you did with the vocal’ – because originally it was a reggae style rap’, we really like that. They said ‘just send us the files and the track itself and they put it as a hidden extra track on one of their albums; Phrenology. Which sold 800,000 albums. That was it. How cool.

Fuse Club Brussels

Searching for one specific DJ Set by Luke Slater I stumbled across this archive.org page with 279 sets recorded at the legendary Fuse Club Brussels. This club started in 1994 and had the biggest names in techno coming by. As I don’t live close to Brussels the best thing for me is that they would air on the radio and a lot of sets were recorded. I used to collect these recordings, first on minidisc, later digital. Most of that collection is gone, but a good chunk can be found here.

Here are some of my favorites:

Ken Ishii At Fuse – 13-01-2001
Luke Slater At Fuse on Tour – 25-01-2002
Dave Clarke At Fuse 03-03-2000

Dave Clarke on Juan Atkins and Jazz is the teacher

Juan Atkins was incredible, I mean, Electro, Techno, I still never understood “Jazz is the teacher” because I fucking hate Jazz. But I understand what he means now from the whole vibe of how passionate the people are behind it.

I wish the interviewer would ask him to elaborate… it sounds like there is more to this…