After releasing his sixth album, Cola Party, earlier this year, techno troubadour Marc Houle (who co-runs Items & Things along with Magda and Troy Pierce) — read our exclusive interview with Houle here about the album and why he loves Iron Maiden — has announced a full remix package from his debut LP, Restore, issued in 2004 on Richie Hawtin’s Minus Records. The updated collection with feature remixes crafted by Joris Voorn and Popof along with Danny Daze, Julian Jeweil and Harvard Bass.
But the track listing isn’t finalized yet as Houle has launched a remix competition of the track “Girl One” from the album in conjunction with Native Instruments and Landr.com. If your re-fix is up to snuff, Houle will include it on the album and win swag.
Entrants will be able to download the parts via Marc’s website and their entries will be placed into a set on Soundcloud. The lucky winner will have their remix released on Minus, and they’ll take home a Traktor Kontrol S8. A Traktor Kontrol S4 and a Traktor Kontrol F1 will be handed to the 2nd and 3rd prize winners respectively.
The Restored remixes package will be released via a vinyl EP series in March 2015, with a further release of 3-4 remixes through Native Instruments in April. To enter the remix competition visit here.
Obligatory press release gush from Marc Houle: “Restore was the beginning of it all for me. It was influenced by the sounds of Detroit and the endless parties I went to there in the ’90s. It was my first album and to me it had the perfect balance of darkness, groove and electronic sounds. 10 years later, I am excited to present Restored with some modern interpretations on old tracks by some friends and colleagues who have kept the party going throughout the world.”
In other Houle news, the technocrat has remixed Krankbrother’s “Zipp,” a bass-heavy, Italo-house bundle of joy that’s a nice change of pace. Take it for a whirl below.
When we checked in with Berlin techno don Marc Houle last month he was about to release his Fusion Pop EP and was in the process of completing his sixth artist album. “We’re mastering it right now — it’s got nine tracks that are all over the map, and I really really like it,” he told us. “It’s a step forward for me but it’s still my style. I’ve also been playing them out recently to good response, so I’m pretty excited about releasing it.” Today Houle announced more details about the full-length. The follow-up to 2012′s Undercover is titled Cola Party and will be released on July 4 on Items & Things, the label he co-runs with Magda and Troy Pierce. A cursory preview of the album reveals Houle digging into a wealth of sounds, styles and his trademark pitched down vocals and quirky rhythms. As a bonus for digital DJs and Traktor users worldwide, the album will be part of the Native Instruments’ Traktor Remix Set series in July. The stems of seven of the tracks from the album will be on this Remix Set release, following on from an array of other well-known artists who have done the same since the Remix Set series’ inception in Autumn 2012. As for the significance of the title, well, that’s a bit of a mystery at the moment.
Cola Party Tracklisting
1. Over The Top
2. I Don’t Wanna Know About You
4. Cola Party
5. Jackn’ Jill
6. Hot Sauce
7. Raybans in Bahrain
8. Gimme Gimme
9. Alpha Bit
It was front-page news in 2011 when Marc Houle, Magda and Troy Pierce announced they were collectively leaving Richie Hawtin’s Minus label to develop their Items & Things imprint, originally a sub-label under Minus’ auspices. The trio of serial collaborators’ reason for departing Hawtin’s camp was rooted in their wish to build their own musical future together. Almost three years later the threesome and Items & Things have been slowly realizing their dreams on their own terms, quietly redefining minimal techno one blip at a time. Houle has kept particularly busy, taking part in a series of collaborations in 2013 with Miss Kittin (Where is Kittin? EP), Click Box (Razzamatazz EP) and an album with synth-pop act La Folie.
“I love making music with other people because it’s such a great feeling when they add stuff that you wouldn’t think of,” offers the Berlin-based Houle. “I’m not sure if it’s had an impact on me but it’s a nice change and anything new in the studio is a good thing.”
This month Houle presents his first solo release since 2012, the Fusion Pop EP. The release features two original minimal cuts and remixes from Magda and I&T artist NYMA. His latest effort arrives during a period of extensive touring, which finds him crisscrossing the world nearly every weekend.
“Traveling around a lot gives you lots of time to think about things, so I’m always making notes to reference when I get home and start working again,” he explains. “Also when you’re away from the studio for awhile you just can’t wait to get back in and make lots of music. So I’m doing this interview right after three crazy shows in Argentina. I’m pretty exhausted from all that partying but it was a really great time playing for people who love music a bit weirder than normal. It’s such a crazy country!”
Houle’s one-man live show continues to evolve in tandem with his forward-thinking and often unconventional production style. His performances leverage the diversity of his DJ sets by utilizing an array of hardware to create a unique experience. “It’s been a very slow change over the years,” Houle says. “[The live show] became more energetic over time and definitely more eclectic. I’ve learned to play different feels and styles depending on the people dancing in front of me. Over the years I’ve brought different pieces of gear with me — synths, drum machines and now microphones — to enhance things and give me more options. I think these days you need to be flexible. In the future, I think I need to concentrate more on the visual aspect of things. It’s almost becoming as important as the music.”
Revered Canadian artist Marc Houle has released an updated version of his Remix Marc Houle app for IOS. The revised version features 28 new basslines and 32 new drum loops produced by Marc Houle himself. Developed by the Berlin-based tech company Liine, the app allows the user to take elements of a track and reimagine it on an iPhone or iPad, using EQ, delay, loops, samples, volume and reverb controls. Once the track has been completed, the app allows the mobile producer to master it and then share on their social networks. The Marc Houle Remiix app also contains an features an array of tracks from Houle’s discography including “Bay of Figs,” “Edamame,” “Mooder,” “On It,” “Porch,” “Triple E” and “Undercover.” The app sells for $2.99 in the iTunes app store and can be purchased here.
Marc Houle develops an appreciation of ’80s electro and house, paying homage with vampish tactics and stirring in his own ingredients, so as to retell the tale of ‘in the beginning there was Jack.’ Having shifted from long-term employers M_Nus, the Canadian connoisseur in club basics has tracks backtracking toward standard synthesized shock and awe. The title track is of a pointed cleanness staring right through you, and “Under the Neath” pushes electro-techno headfirst into the abyss, while the authentic excellence of “Juno 6660” reopens warehouses from twenty five years ago. Roule is also hypnotic before you can exclaim so, with a sense of the improvised to the swirling rhythms of “Very Bad.”
Under another selector’s tutelage Undercover, whose scope and execution is actually cautious to the point of being stifled, could have been a throwaway case of dance floor stealth. Plugging in, powering up and a lot of the time playing pilot rather than personality, Houle gamely adopts presets more than turning away from them, but maximizes with 45 minutes of the highly jackable. Through ping-pong rhythms and elevated beeping and squeaking (the childlike rummages through the tool and toy-box of “Bink”), it’s a true understanding of the man-machine alliance.
File under: Rosaire Argyle; Run Stop Restore; Click Box