New York City house master Onionz and Barcelona-based techno legend Funk D’Void have crossed paths many times, remixing each other’s tracks over the years. This week both esteemed mixers will grace the decks at Electrik Soul NYC, a party helmed by Onionz’s label featuring Big Apple jocks DJ Spun, Eli Escobar and Lemar Soulflower. When we heard about the event we convinced Onionz to put on his reporter hat and ask Funk D’Void a few questions. What transpired was a fantastic meeting of the minds.
Slam‘s Orde Meikle and Stuart McMillan are techno trailblazers. As DJs, producers and proprietors of Soma Recordings, they’ve created groundbreaking, highly influential tracks like “Positive Education,” curated gems including an early version of Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” and have fostered the careers of too many producers to mention. And that’s only a snapshot of their credentials.
On Soma’s Slam Present: Transmissions: Glasgow, the Scottish duo shine the spotlight on like-minded techno artists living in their beloved home city. Glaswegians Clouds, Harvey McKay, Edit Select and Hans Bouffmyhre are but a few of those who contributed tracks to the compendium.
In advance of the release of Transmissions: Glasgow, we’re thrilled to world premiere Gary Beck‘s floor rocker “Tomorrow You’ll Know.” Those who follow techno will know Beck’s star has been on the rise for some time — his brilliant Bring A Friend album is incidentally Soma’s 100th release — thanks to his raw, edgy and evolving sound which epitomizes the essence of the label’s musical wanderlust.
Says Beck of the cut, “This is a track I made a couple of years ago, it’s a very versatile track and can be played at pretty much any point of a set. I still play it to this day and it never seems to sound old. It’s a pleasure to release it on the Transmissions: Glasgow compilation.” Hit the play button below and discover Beck’s timeless effort.
The 15-track Slam present Transmissions: Glasgow compilation is released June 29, 2015.
Much like last year’s Sommer, DeepChord drifts to an ever-blurring set of compass points. Broadly a chillout album, Rod Modell’s construction of a seemingly inviting hammock is made with bits of barbed wire and can swing in the eye of a storm. He imagines many environments – a life aquatic, the rainbow’s end, Area 51, a higher plain, or simply a space guided by a shapeshifting subtlety.
Tracks smudge into one another in fluid mutation. There is the occasional upsurge of distinction, such as “Whispering Pines” and “Raval” emerging through the clouds like a skyscraper, while “Barcelona” bizarrely enlightens to a backdrop of traffic. But such announcements tend to evaporate into the next scene as Modell values long and short pooled through a slow dub hypodermic. The rippling anonymity of loops creates a spell-caster. But let it get inside your head and the detection of prickles and pressures are cause for insomnia. As it corkscrews in lapsed time, the likes of “Aerosphere” and “De Wallen” tick to buried house tempos. “Lotus Leaves” suddenly leaves you lost and without cellphone coverage, and “Trompettersteeg”‘s alarm clock stimulates your conscience further, rather than getting you to wake up.
Aware again of the album experience, a collective body tossing and turning as one, its magnetic mystery invents its own reality from a five year period prior to 2013. Modell apparently doing very little to effect so much is the IDM oath, where episodes of restlessness uncross a human side.
File under: Echospace, Soultek, Basic Channel
Sixty minutes to get down and boogie, tell others to get out the way, and to hold your head up high and see the light. Gary Beck on his debut mix mans the Soma express, heading into the next double decade with a recap of some of the Glasgow’s label’s ripest.
Easing into the mix with DeepChord’s dub-boiled bubbling, the tide begins to turn when Heiko Laux and Steve Rachmad’s “The Viking” tells you to snap out of whatever dancefloor daydream has come over you. With no time to waste, Beck always giving the turntables a firm push without being overzealous, a Claude Von Stroke mix of Scott Grooves’ “Mothership Connection” applies some staunch tech-house funkiness. Mark Henning gets greater groove going on immediately after, in time for the mix beginning a quick planetary orbit.
Pig&Dan and Mark Reeve restore a supply of techno that goes down a dark alley to fight its own fight. Having hardened the dancefloor and with tribal conditioning still to be inserted, Beck takes it upon himself to open the arena’s roof so radiance comes pouring in with “Algoreal,” without giving up on the stomp he’s paved, furthered by Funk D’void’s “Diabla” flourishing under the tutelage of Christian Smith and Wehbba, and taken to a serene conclusion by Ricardo Villalobos remixing Envoy. A sweepingly concise 21 gun Soma salute.
File under: Alex Under, Matthias Tanzmann, Oliver Deutschmann
Composed entirely on an iPhone, Vector Lovers’ Martin Wheeler announces that the end of the world is nigh, someone should’ve thought of the idea sooner, or this is music’s creative platform from now on.
The distinction between mobile production unit and fully equipped studio is unnoticeable, to the point where cynics might question whether a phone alone was involved. And in the event of being completely familiar with the Nanostudio app used, others will find it limited and predictable (okay, it’s a long shot, but in this world of keeping ahead of technology, it at least readies a messageboard debate.)
The result is tingly electronic downtime keeping one wary eye open (“Vigil” shows the synthetic world a human spirit), dubtronica watching clouds pass — certainly conjuring images of VL being in his own world when producing from airport lobby or hotel room — and hard-boiled tech constructions (“Replicator”) on a gentle sensory wavelength. Wheeler imparts a revisited irony early on with “Warm Laundrette” – using the most upfront equipment to recreate a 1982 electro-synth profile – to raise the album from its slight, prolonged one dimensionality.
When the world’s massage parlours all become automated, this’ll probably be its soundtrack. It certainly disposes the idea of personal stereo hiss being heard from the back of the bus or train given its full bodied riches, but it’s the concept and blurb that wins out over the music.
File under: DFRNT, Lee J Malcolm, Badly Born Droid
Scotsman Gary Beck is entrusted with serving Soma’s 100th LP release, and his plus one invitation runs around trying to make sure everyone’s techno tastes are taken care off. Attaining mastery to everything he sculpts, Beck doesn’t forget to enjoy himself while looking out for his guests with absorbingly powerful epics on the brink of combustion, picturing the scene of partiers for as far as the eye can see bowing down before him.
You’re not left long to wonder if Beck will ever unleash his wrath. Though commanding early on, there’s only so long you can spectate with bated breath. “D51” is the first party-pooper, checking the pace to force the optimism to eat acid-spiked lead, backed up by “Skiver”, where the slower the beats, the harder they come. “Before the Crash” is a funky brute ploughing through, and Beck settles into a tough dictatorship for whom minimalism or the skeletal are ugly concepts (okay, there is “Hopkin”, but that’s where ugly is a compliment).
The beats are fleshy in their single-mindedness, and the often anxious atmosphere swirls and swoops very really before your ears, including some speculative downtime on “Little Moon” remaining ill at ease. For want of a less dated phrase, Beck is forever full on, blowing out Soma’s birthday candles to leave brains and bodies buckled.
File under: Ben Sims, Mark Broom, Speedy J