Big Apple DJ/producer Serge Devant continues to evolve his sound with each new release. After collaborating with Damiano on the sprawling deep-house vocal cut “Fearing Love” featuring Camille Safiya issued on Jamie Jones and Lee Foss’ new label Emerald City, Devant makes his debut appearance on Crosstown Rebels‘ off-shoot label Rebellion.
His latest EP was inspired by a recent trip to Thailand. During the trek Devant captured field recordings of everything from a gong meditation to sounds of a rainy night in the jungle, with those sonics adding a captivating layer to his sound.
Devant’s musical epiphany can be heard on “The Way You Move,” a sinewy cut featuring meticulously crafted percussion, which we’re extremely pleased to world premiere. The track’s meditative vocal fosters a hypnotic vibe on the bare-bones minimal track.
Here’s hoping travel continues to inspire Devant’s work.
Serge Devant’s “The Way You Move”/”Intentions” EP is released June 21 on Rebellion.
Rising Los Angeles-based house star David “DAVI” Khanjian has been coming on strong in the past few years, recording tracks for quality labels like Anjunadeep, Outside the Box Music, Treibstoff, Nine Records, Stripped Music Recordings and Bits & Pieces as well as DJing in India, Ecuador, Canada, Argentina, New Caledonia and Europe. With his profile at its highest, Khanjian continues to spread his musical wings across techno, house and progressive.
We’re thrilled to premiere DAVI’s “The Gates Of Babylon,” a sexy Middle East flavored instrumental out December 15 on Crosstown Rebels’ sub label Rebellion, which slithers over a deep, warm groove. Embark on the monumental journey below.
Mathew Jonson is in deep thought. Sinewy house and electro strands weaved with quick fingers like a hacker running rampant on a computer keyboard, his high zoom digital lens progresses into the languid deep, catching itself on its way to slumber while something inside fidgets all night long. The Canadian spins relatively close to his chest as a real advocate of letting the music do all the talking. His sentinel stance slickly makes sounds tick over and applies pressure with seemingly little exertion, next to no friction but plenty of lubrication; the funky efficiency of “Touch the Sky” champions how to avoid overextension but still carrying forward the stamina of a marathon runner. Very Crosstown Rebels, in fact.
Then, mixing trance chords and blunt breakbeats on “Lightweight Champion” makes a logical step when it should be incompatible; Jonson recalibrates the timekeeper persona of precision dynamics and starts swiping like a grizzly trying to claw at a bug. On the other hand, the excellent techno-acid spasm “Body in Motion” is the trigger to becoming the aggressor — still wiry, but now revving its feet back like a bull — and will please those hoping he’d hop out from the DJ booth and get amongst the throng below. Closing with the title track’s ambient swirl makes an even less seamless path from A to B as Jonson quietly evolves within the space of just eight tracks.
File under: Cobblestone Jazz, Modern Deep Left Quartet, Midnight Operator
His house music spun by candlelight with a faint and quirky glow, Acid Pauli is playing for a select band of trusted followers — a few more than a back to mine, but not by much, with everything cosily cocooned in a cave-turned-club. Crucially not fading into the pallid or the muted, augmented by a sense of the noble (Kadebostan), the sultry (Raz Ohara) and the not-of-this-world (the Speak n Spell guesting on Normal Brain’s “M-U-S-I-C”), Martin Gretschmann is resident DJ to a secret society and faraway place that takes two discs, two and a half hours and a secret middle compartment to get to. Oddballs from Nicolas Jaar and the slightly creepy Jan Turkenburg, where Pauli flies closer to the sun, make nice with Move D’s lounge groove and Pauli’s own “Farewell Fred” offering sounds coming in from the cold.
Disc two carries on with the stylish, tribally-attuned modesty, broadening the mix’s weight with Pauli & Nannue Tipitier trying to swell its band of followers who have hung on his every beat so far. It does edge towards regular deep house dalliances in the dark, with the greater shimmies of Kabale Und Liebe and Tempo Di Roma discovering an ass-to-shake ratio. Intercepted by the steel drums of Taron Trekka and the reassurances of Calico Horse, Francesca Lombardo and The Band That Never Met, the candles begin to flicker this way and that, but never go out.
File under: NU, dOP, Console
Masterminding an invitation to a polysexual masked ball with everyone’s Eyes Wide Shut, Fur Coat parade like a lip-biting peacock. And not in a naughty but nice way either; insolence is a punishable offense, and enjoyment will be laid down in spite of that sleeve wanting to give the game away. Taut deep house using bossy bass babbles, emptiness and space as a method of mind control (there’s not much going on, but therein lies the intensity) turns the dance floor into a blackened reserve (one dimensional though it may be) of unspoken decadence. As Crosstown Rebels do with snapping regularity.
From stiflingly humid (“You and I” serving the type of chain-smoking, Mia Wallace lyricism that marks the album’s pleasure-pain points) to comfortably musty (“She’s All Good” inching towards the back with a summoning falsetto, the funky for all seasons “Falls Away”), you always feel at the beck and call of Venezuelans Sergio Munoz and Israel Sunshine, rather than the two welcoming you into their den of inequity. “Change Resistance” increases the pressure by dropping the beats back down, “This is the End” finishes by sourly sealing fates, while “Space Ballad” is suitably robotic. You have every right to feel nervous around Mind Over Matter, its refusal to loosen up treating the club like a trial by fire, so get equipped for the most nigglesome grooves by night.
File under: Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Craig Richards
It’s not unreasonable to liken Laura Jones to the queen of deep house following releases on Crosstown Rebels and Visionquest. Does such a title translate into quieter and stormier quiet storms, and are queen and ice queen one and the same? Well, the Leeds-based spinner does do textured grooving keen to defy typecasting. Soulade’s excellent, deep to the point of sounding disgusted “Fora da Chuva” is a sure way to get noticed straight away, well followed by a Burial-like remix of Homeboy’s “Halfway” by Youandewan as dimensions and boundaries receive assertive pushes.
After such an exceptional opening, there is a pullback cooking on a lower heat, fixing heads into the accepted downward position as bass rhythms settle into fading to the black of the arena or the hazy orange of the setting sun (step up, Ultrasone’s “Here and So Far”), and the remainder of the mix, tightly prepared as it is, never quite gets back to its opening heights. At least intrigue persists elsewhere, where a thin air of mystery circulates My Favorite Robot’s storybook electro vanquisher, Polyrhythmics’ desire to float and Studio B making things go bump in the night. Overflowing with classiness for dusky stalkers and evening shade-seekers, even if, dare it be uttered, it’s a little more conformist than the opening sequence lets on.
File under: Tevo Howard, Matt Tolfrey, Ryan Crosson