Habischman 5 Tracks of the Moment

Habischman

Since presenting his now-classic Nubreed 09 double-disc two years ago on the revived Global Underground, Iranian-born house/techno producer Iman Habibi (a.k.a. Habischman) has been on a creative winning streak.

This summer has been extremely active for Habibi. Among his many feats he contributed “Skyward” to Elrow Vol. 3 on Cr2 Records and delivered a trio of bang-on remixes for Djuma Soundsystem & Out of Sorts (“Cicadian Lore”), Wally Lopez (“Sneakerhead”) and Chris Cue (“Rotation”).

Related: Read a review of Nubreed 9 – Habischman

With plenty more irons in the fire, we checked in with Habibi to see which songs are currently rocking his world. Continue Reading

How A Mentor’s Advice Inspired Yeah Yeah Yeahs Drummer Brian Chase To Form Chaikin Records

Brian Chase Chaikin Records

What compels an artist to start their own record label? Is it a desire for unbridled creative freedom? Pure hubris? Revenge on The Man? All of the above? In our new series titled Why I Did It, we’re going beneath the surface and asking DJs, producers and musicians about why they decided to form their own imprint.

Launching a DIY project has always required a leap of faith. But what drives creatives to go through the hassle in an era when labels are faced with countless challenges?

For our debut profile we spoke with Brian Chase. A founding member of highly influential NYC trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chase and his cohorts, Karen O and Nick Zinner, have eschewed trends to etch out a post-everything experimental sound on their own terms for nearly 20 years.

In addition to his work as a drummer, Chase works as a drone musician, performing and recording with the likes of John Zorn, Stefan Tcherepnin and Seth Misterka. (Chase’s drone style has been inspired by his time working at La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House in NYC.)

Along the way he recently launched Chaikin Records and just released Untitled: After, a provocative avant-jazz album with Irish saxophonist, improviser and composer Catherine Sikora. Below we asked Chase about how the label came together, what his YYY bandmates think of his label and plans for his new endeavor. Continue Reading

Amine K 5 Tracks of the Moment

Amine-K

Amine Akesbi (a.k.a. Amine K) is one of Morocco’s leading purveyors of electronic music. From his vantage point in north Africa, he’s developed a worldwide reputation for an emotive house sound that seductively transports dance floors to a state of ecstasy. Whether he’s helming one of his Moroko Loko concept events in one of dance music hotbeds or poised behind the decks at a festival gig, Amine’s emotive melodies and grooves will make you move your body.

With a discography filled with standout releases on Selador, Souvenir Music and Systematic Recordings — his rhythmically infectious 2013 smash “Dar Gnawa” is a great place to start for the unfamiliar — Amine teamed up with Sol Selectas boss Sabo for the just released opus “Tiniri,” which means “Sahara” in the traditional Berber tribal language native to Morocco. The mesmerizing track also features a remix from Michael Meyer. What’s notable is how the duo use traditional Moroccan instruments such as the krake, gembri and dharbouka to create the track’s otherworldly groove.

With the track in heavy rotation among some of the jocks on the global scene, we checked in with Amine to find out what he’s been playing this summer. Continue Reading

6 Classic Tunes Omid 16B Can’t Live Without

Omid 16B

The word legend is bandied about way too much these days. But when it comes to crafting sublime house and techno tracks, journeyman DJ/producer Omid Nourizadeh, who is more widely known as Omid 16B, is all that and so much more.

Crafting tracks and top-flight remixes since the ’90s, Omid, who helms the London-based record Alola label and has produced under various aliases, has managed to fly fearlessly above fleeting musical fads and trends.

After dropping a trio of B4LP EPs on Alola, which finds him navigating through a channel of styles including acid, ambient, electro, glitch and downtempo, Omid is preparing to release a new full-length album. He tells us, “This album is a collection of feelings which will either turn things upside down for you and make you listen more closely to everything or you’ll have to wait a few more years before you’re ready for it to speak to you. Either way it’s coming out of its nest this year.”

We checked in with Omid and asked him to share classic tracks that always get his creative motor running.

Mr Fingers – Children At Play
If you haven’t heard of Larry Heard or his music you need a serious word with yourself. I almost came across him accidentally way back when I started buying records in Beggars Banquet (Putney) in the early ’90s. Billy from the shop always gave me the best tunes. “CAP” was a tune that went deep inside me and never ever came out — it’s still in there.

The Cure – The Exploding Boy
It’s no secret I was once obsessed with The Cure. When I first heard this I was still at secondary school. Our art teacher would allow us to bring in albums and play them during class whilst we worked on any projects. My friend, Ben Humphries, introduced me to this and the rest is history.

Depeche Mode – Stripped (1986)
Ever had the feeling you heard a track before? Even before you ever heard it for the first time? This was the case with “Stripped.” I heard it and instantly felt I recognized it from somewhere. I was too young to think there was any spirituality in what I was sensing but for years I would hear it pop up in shops, clubs and often via friends. It felt like the track was following me around every where I went??? Spooky!

Jan Hammer – Crockett’s Theme
With this one I feel like the music definitely never matched the artist, and I had no idea it was a guy who’d been writing for years and finally had his break with this. Still, it’s an elegant piece of music that touched many. Although it crossed over due to the TV show [Miami Vice], every time I hear it even now it blows me away. It stands the test of time.

Berlin – Take My Breath Away
The perfect love tune. It’s a pop record and one of the best pop records ever made. It spills so much production value even to this day! There’s not many who can make a record sound like this. The only down side is it reminds me of all the boys who tried to look like Tom Cruise because they were mad about Top Gun and the girls who were obsessed by him.

Aphex Twin – The Peel Sessions
The whole thing just took me side ways when I first heard this way back. I couldn’t move with inspiration overload. Richard definitely had an unusual taste but managed to bridge the gap between melody, harmony and fucked up ness to a tee. Essential if you want your head to explode and then put itself back together again without loosing your heart and soul!

Image by Jon Head