4/20 Playlist: 10 Dope Dance Joints About Marijuana

420 music

For decades musicians from all genres have written songs about marijuana. Reggae legends Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, metal pioneers Black Sabbath, hip-hop acts Cypress Hill, Method Man, Snoop Dogg and Luniz and funk icon Rick James have all sung the praises of weed. Perhaps they all took a cue from folk troubadour Bob Dylan who proclaimed in 1966’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” that “everybody must get stoned.” Songs about ganja aren’t as prevalent in dance music, but there are a few notable ones.  In honor of April 20 (a.k.a. 4/20), we present a playlist of dance songs celebrating the green stuff.
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Respect: Producers Pay Homage to Roland’s TR-909

Roland TR-909

Roland’s iconic TR-909 has often imitated but never duplicated. Partially analog, partially sample-based, the 909, which made history as the first MIDI-equipped drum machine, was introduced in 1984. While only 10,000 units were manufactured, this lil’ beige box gave forward-thinking producers in Chicago, New York, Detroit and London the ability to collectively forge the blueprint of hip-hop, house and techno.

All these years later the 909’s influence continues to be heard. We asked producers intimate with the Roland TR-909 to wax poetic about this magical machine that’s been the heartbeat of several generations.

Animated GIF created for Big Shot by Christian Petersen Continue Reading

Harry Romero x Joeski: The Big Shot Interview

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A chance post-DJ set meeting between house masters Harry Romero and Joeski at Winter Music Conference 2014 planted the seed of what has blossomed into a beautiful musical collaboration. Fueled by a mutual desire to shake up dance music’s status quo, their HR & SKI alliance has presented them with plenty of room to innovate on their own terms. With releases out now on esteemed imprints Nervous, Suara, Stereo, Defected and Maya, they’ve only scratched the tip of the artistic iceberg.

This month the twosome drop an extra special release, “Ghetto Jazz,” on DJ Sneak’s trusted I’m A House Gangster. Reminiscent of the jazz-soaked style Pal Joey explored in the early ’90s (remember “Hot Music”?), the duo, who play on two mixers and four decks simultaneously, put their own spin on blending jazz with house music for intoxicating results.

With so many years of experience and their collective fingers on the global pulse of house music, we asked the gents to interview each other about whatever was on their minds. Here’s their unfiltered discussion.

HR & SKI’s Ghetto Jazz EP is out July 20, 2015 on DJ Sneak’s I’m A House Gangster. Catch them at Verboten in Brooklyn on July 17, 2017. Continue Reading

Essential Albums for July 2015

Technique-Records-Tokyo-Techno-Vinyl

Beginning July 10 music-buying fans will need to remember that new releases will be available globally on Fridays. Why? Good question. Setting a universal day to release music is an effort by the music industry to allow fans worldwide to get new music on the same day. It’s also supposed to reduce piracy. Will it work? Who knows. While a few countries like Japan will preserve their traditional release date, all you’ll need to remember is that Friday in 45 countries are the new Tuesday when it comes to buying new jams. (In case you were wondering, #NewMusicTuesday will be replaced by #NewMusicFriday on Twitter.)

And speaking of new music, summer begins with blazing hot full-lengths from established electronic music icons to emerging artists. Here’s our picks for the month listed in no particular order. Is it hot enough for you yet? Continue Reading

DJ Sneak Unveils ‘Magnetic Cuts’ Series

DJ Sneak magnetic recordings

With his Magnetic Recordings sailing past its 75th release, venerable house master DJ Sneak is tripling down this summer with three — yep, count ’em three — compilations showcasing his imprint’s raw, jackin’ sound.

The trio of releases kicks off with Magnetic Cuts V.1 on July 27, brandishing cuts by Bebadim, Tripmastaz and Ramon Tapia. It’s followed by Magnetic Cuts V.2 featuring DJ W!LD, Junia and Jem Atkins out on August 17. The onslaught wraps up on September 7 with Magnetic Cuts V.3, a compendium boasting tracks by the aforementioned DJ W!LD, H Foundation and Phil Weeks & Joss Moog.

In case you’re wondering about Sneak’s musical involvement in Magnetic Cuts, rest assured his deft production touch is prominently heard on all three compilations (see full track list below).

Obligatory press gush from Sneak: “Every release on my label is hand-picked by myself personally and I always test my tracks out at different gigs around the globe before making my final decision on what will be released on my label. Natural selection is the way of Magnetic.” Continue Reading

DJ Sneak Is Fired Up About His Murk Collaboration

DJ-Sneak

DJ Sneak and Murk’s “To The Bassline” collaboration out now on Exploited Records is a track to really get excited about. When we first heard it back in April, our jaws dropped and it immediately became our Track of the Moment. How did the two legendary house-music entities get together to forge the epic, bass-heavy 10-minute stunner? We caught up with DJ Sneak (a.k.a. The House Gangster) to find out about how the union happened and if future collaborations with his Miami homies are in the works.

You can collaborate with almost anyone in dance music. How did you come to connect with Oscar and Ralph from Murk for this new track?
DJ Sneak: I’ve always been a true fan of the Murk boys. We were finally able to chill, smoke and talk about things in the scene. We all felt like it was time for us to step into the studio and make some magic happen. Everybody wants to think they are house music producers but it’s clear by this collaboration that it takes a couple of OGs to get it right. It’s all based on years of experience, whether it be moving a dance floor or making the beats in the studio. Oscar and I have it down. This collab is only the beginning, I love to work with people that can be creative and really step up the game to make good music; the rest is really about sharing ideas and “stemz” to work in our own individual studios. We’re flowing well with what we’re doing but I’m also looking forward till we hook up in a phat studio and really take it to the next dimension.

Did you work on the music together in the studio, or did you work virtually by sending files to each other?
We did some file sharing ’cause of our hectic DJ schedules. I can only imagine what kind of music will come out when we get our scheduled locked in and can get into the studio together. Future projects to come!

“I’ve always been a true fan of the Murk Boys. We were finally able to chill, smoke and talk about things in the scene. We all felt like it was time for us to step into the studio and make some magic happen. Everybody wants to think they are house music producers but it’s clear by this collaboration that it takes a couple of OGs to get it right.”

We heard you simply sent the tracks over to the Exploited after they didn’t hear from you for a while. What were you up to during this time? Why the radio silence?
I got a crazy schedule and life. Things take priority as they need to. I work on music all year but especially in the winter months. I stay busy with as much as I can produce and remix. This project was sent to a few people but I felt that a label like Exploited could do the best for it. I stay visible but when I need to go underground to recharge that’s just what I do. I’m not really a radio friendly type of producer. I make music from the heart and things that fans can appreciate for many years to come — ask anybody about their DJ Sneak 12″ collection. If things land on radio I can’t be mad at it. But I don’t direct my music toward radio; I make it for DJs.

What are your plans for the summer? Is there a track other than your own that you’re really excited about?
Summer is very booked and very busy indeed. I have a great selection of festivals lined up, a ton of club dates across Europe and many other Sneak Attacks ready for the world. I’m mad busy in Ibiza all summer with a nice assortment of gigs, as well as the fun with the I’M A HOUSE GANGSTER brand which is getting lots of love from all crews on the island. Hopefully one day we’ll have the time to set the IAHG residency up but for now we’re keeping them special for the hot spots ADE, BPM, WMC, Sonar and others. I have more records dropping as the weeks get hotter, repressing vinyl of my next few Magnetic Recordings EPs, more IAHG label releases and podcast. It’s busy for real! I am pushing out as much Sneak music as you can handle. I hope you all are ready for another great season. Big love to all that support, and welcome to the House of Sneak. If you’re just getting into house music, I’d be happy to be your host and director on this fantastic musical journey.

DJ Sneak & Murk’s “To The Bassline” is out now on Exploited. Sneak’s 50th release on Magnetic Recordings, Moody Warehouse Music Vol. 1, is out digitally on June 16 and available on vinyl on June 30.