The Fantastix

Groove La Chord

Aril Brikha on the pitching up or down of Groove La Chord:

…I realized house DJs were playing “Groove La Chord” pitched down and techno DJs were playing it at its original pitch. In Detroit, there’s this genre called ghettotech, and they were playing “Groove La Chord” at 45 rpm! So somehow everybody was playing this track. It took over a year for me to realize this, until I read some reviews. Back then this was the amount of time lait would take for a magazine to pick up a single and then review it. And then more people would buy the track.

The first time I heard Groove La Chord it was at 45rpm and when I bought the record I played it at 45rpm as well. As far as I was concerned, the track was meant to be played at 150BPM. I remember seeing Aril Brikha live and the whole world around me seemed to be in slow motion, the way he played that track was so slow, compared to what I was used to.

LFO vs F.U.S.E. – Loop (LFO Journey Mix)

I assume we all know about this LFO vs F.U.S.E. collaboration between Richie Hawtin (F.U.S.E.) and Mark Bell, Gez Varley (LFO). It was released in 1995 as a single sided 12″. Ironically the catalog number states the availability as ‘limited’, PLUS8054(LIMITED), even though you can easily get the single sided EP , and it’s even available digitally.

But the lesser known LFO mix (entitled LFO Journey Mix) is the one that’s interesting to me. I found this gem on youtube the other day and while reading the comments I noticed Gez Varley (member of LFO until 1996) was there with the story of how it came to be:

This tracks is LFO vs F.U.S.E. “Loop”. This is the b-side mix which came out on “Quick One” records (A sub label of WARP) back in 1993. As far as I know this mix never came out on any +8 release. The other mix of Loop (F.U.S.E. Mix) was released on +8 in 1995.

I love that after the session with Richie, LFO (Mark Bell and Gez Varley) sat down and made a different version that never made it to the ‘official’ release on +8 but only on this “Quick One” label, invented for this release only. The version that did end up on the +8 release is released as the F.U.S.E. (aka Hawtin) mix, and this version is the (LFO Journey Mix) which triggers my assumption that they just sketched the base of the track together and ended up both finishing a different version. As the ‘official release’ is just a single sided release it makes me curious why they didn’t just release both versions of the track on the +8 release.

How the 909 sound came to Chicago

This Pitchfork feature is riddled with great anecdotes by Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Eddie Fowlkes, Blake Baxter, and Mike Grant, as well as Chicago House legend Tyree Cooper. I especially love this one, on how Frankie Knuckles bought a 909 from Derrick May. For some reason 909’s were hard to get in Chicago, and because of this guys from Detroit considered the 909 their secret weapon.

Eddie Fowlkes:

Derrick was my roommate at the time. At one point Derrick stopped working so I was the only one to pay my half of the rent. One day I get home and Juan was there. I was tired and wanted to get to sleep. Then Juan wakes me up and says: “Fowlkes, Fowlkes! You know what this motherfucker did? Derrick went and gave away the fucking sound! He couldn’t pay his rent and sold his 909 to Frankie Knuckles in Chicago!” Juan was very protective of his sound and Derrick didn’t understand this. That’s how the 909 sound came to Chicago. This is how the sound between Detroit and Chicago merged.

Tyree Cooper:

Frankie Knuckles allowed Chip E to borrow the 909, and he used it to make “Like This”.

Eddie Fowlkes:

And the 909 still had Juan’s beats on it which he used to teach Derrick how to program.

1st Bass – Slam Me Down

I remember when this record dropped back in 2001, in my recollection suddenly every techno dj was playing it.

From the release statement on the old Novamute site:

‘Slam Me Down’ / ‘Trails Of The Unexpected’ is the first single for novamute from 1st Bass aka Jan Van Janssen a young Dutch producer from Utrecht.

Discovered amongst a batch of demos in the novamute office, the record is a stunning mix of Techno and Moroder-esque grooves and follows similar one-off releases on the label from the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Hans Weekout and Tim Wright.

Reading the label I noticed that it’s supposedly produced by “Jan van Janssen”, which sounds odd to me, “Jansen” is a common name in The Netherlands, “Van Janssen” is not. A quick Discogs check shows that it’s the only release by 1st Bass, and it’s producer “Jan van Janssen”.

So it’s safe to say the story is fake and someone else is behind it.

If I were a betting man, my money was on Luke Slater. Both the tracks have his fingerprints on them and sound like a continuation of Planetary Assault System’s Coad Warrior series that were release just before and around the time of this one. Off course this is pure guesswork and I have no proof to base my claim on.

Anyway, totally in love with the title track “Slam Me Down” and glad to have it back in to my box.

Resident Advisor visits Roland in Japan

Resident Advisor visits Roland in Japan. I Love the story from Atsushi Hoshiai, who has been working for Roland for 33 years and was involved with developing the 909. After trying and trying to synthesize a sound similar to a real cymbal they couldn’t get it right. So Atsushi brought a cymbal from home and they just sampled it.

Hoshiai still hasn’t wrapped his head around the impact Roland’s machines have had, though he’s philosophical about and flattered by their immense popularity. “The fact that people are using the sample of the sound of me drumming a long time ago—it means that we are playing together. So I feel amazing about being able to play with all sorts of musicians from all around the world. But at the same time, if you ask me if that means I listen to the music using those sounds, well”—he lets out a laugh—”actually, I haven’t really.”

Dave Clarke – Archive One

A while ago I finally found a copy of Dave Clarke’s Archive One on vinyl. This one had been on my wantlist for over a decade.

The first time I heard this album was back in 96 or 97 when I borrowed it from the local library. They had a copy of the cd digipack. I picked it up because I recognized Dave’s name from the remix he had done for the Chemical Brothers’ ‘Chemical Beats’, and the fully red cover triggered to me. I copied it to minidisc and kept it on repeat for days. It has been a standard on every music player I have owned ever since.

Once I found out the album was available on vinyl, I had been searching for it (mind you, this was before the discogs days). I even had my local ‘vinyl dealer’ on the lookout. Unfortunately he could not deliver. Later on I got the CD, but not the digipack, which I would have preferred, but the urge to get the vinyl version came resurfacing every now and then.

I remember the design of the digipack cd, and am pleased to find out that the the vinyl is designed in a similar way. The CD, and in this case the vinyl, is ‘locked’ by a perforated orange tear-away strip giving access to disc(s). You had to break the seal to get to the music. When you open it, it folds out like a ‘folder’, or an ‘archive’ so to say. Typography is in a ‘get your glasses’ size helvetica font listing the usual things like a tracklist and a list of “thank you’s” categorized by country. I used to study this list trying to find clues to what and who’s next in techno for me.

Even though I already have heard the music a million times, and I still listen to it every now and then, it does feel like something special finally having the records in my hands and going over the design.

Silly thing is that a picture of dave and his record boxes is inside the sleeve, you have to peak through the side to get a glimpse of it. Also worth noting that on other pictures from the same session he is wearing his ‘don’t suck corporate cock’ shirt, but on the album artwork the decision was made to remove the text from the shirt. Which sounds to me like something Dave himself would not have decided to, but someone else pulled the trigger on. Also inside is a glimpse of the back of Dave’s head, actually the same photo was used in full on the ‘Southside’ single artwork.

Derrick May live at Chemistry On 3 (Amsterdam 1996)

Live mix by Derrick May on Dutch radio back in 1996, shared by Joris Voorn. I can relate to the words Joris writes about it, I think we all had/have recordings like these that stick with us and define our music taste for years to come.

Joris Voorn:

Since my early dj days, I consider Derrick May as a huge inspiration, and in particular this dj set. Broadcasted live in 1996 from the legendary Chemistry night at Escape, Amsterdam. It was recorded from midnight radio by my partner in crime Edwin Oosterwal who borrowed me the cassette tape which I never gave back to him, which reminds me I should do that sometime soon.

In this mix, Derrick May shows us that in 1996 dance wasn’t pigeonholed to one style or sound. He mixes Moodymann’s groovy deephouse with Jeff Mills and Surgeon’s raw techno. He goes from Donna Summer’s disco to Tyree Cooper’s jacking electronic funk, from Masters of Work’s new york house to Ian Pooley’s epic chord techno. All of this is mixed in a fast and skillful pace, a style that so clearly carries Derrick’s signature.

There’s some truly magical moments in this mix, how he get’s out of Surgeon’s ‘Syllable’ into Global Communication’s ‘Sensorama’ at 1:09 leaves me speechless..

Even though by now I know most of the record he plays here, there’s still a few I’ve been looking since the very first time I heard this mix. Would be great to get the tracklist completed, any help is greatly appreciated!

Benny Rodrigues on his track Anindica

Benny Rodrigues in an interview with VPRO’s 3voor12:

‘Anindica is a track I made in 2012, a real acid banger. I’m mostly proud of the way this track came to be. When I saw Nina Kraviz and Ben Klock in the boiler room they both played a lot of acid. I got so inspired I immediately jumped in the studio and finished the track within an hour. I sent it right away to Kraviz, Klock and Marcel Dettmann, whom all replied me within two days wanting to release it on their label. Nina sent me another emotional email that it was her favorite record. If you pay attention to the title, Anindica is acidnina backwards. It was a working title, but I kept it. Eventually it was released on Ben Klock’s label Klockworks.

I love stories like this, I wonder when Nina found out about the track name, and what she thought when she did.
The full interview is in Dutch, but here’s a Google translate link.

Technasia’s Future Mix

I still remember the first time I heard a Technasia track, it was “Future Mix” in a mix by DJ Hell  I had recorded from a radio show called “the 12 inch show” on the now defunct Slam FM back in probably 1998.

The minidisc I recorded it on was lost along the way, but I still vividly remember some of the tracks that were in the mix. Among it were Cubango by Jeff Mills, Yo Yo by Basement Jaxx, Moskow Diskow by Telex and Future Mix by Technasia. The titles I off course learned on later hand.

One of the tracks that stood out the most for me was Future Mix, after learning what track it was it must have cost me at least another year before I actually found the vinyl somewhere. I was listening to it the other day and it totally took me back and made me reminisce about the past.

If someone who reads this might have made the same recording of DJ Hell, I doubt it, but please let me know, you would make my day.

UPDATE: A little birdy told me that this set was actually recorded in Paradiso in Amsterdam and aired on the 12″ inch show on New Dance Radio back in 1998 or 1999. Still couldn’t get my hands on a recording though, but hope this gets me a step closer.

Boy oh boy, I tell you, I’ve had just about enough of all this noise.

‘Eugene Mullins’ vents about ghetto tech:

I’m Tired Of These Punks Coming Through My Neighborhood Blasting Their Late-1990s, Ghettotech, DJ Godfather–Inflected Hip-Hop

This is a residential community, for crying out loud, not an East Side jit party with Starski and Clutch holding court on the turntables. The noise they make is unbelievable! You can hear them coming from a mile away with their up-tempo rhythms that meld sounds as diverse as electro-funk, techno, and house. Do they not realize there are families living here?

…on the.. onion..