People often talk about the dog days of summer, and the term applies to album releases pretty well, since it’s often been the practice of larger labels to cool their schedules down in the summer months, waiting until the last quarter of the year to drop their biggest bombs. But that also means that the field is open for the indies and the less ubiquitous artists to sneak their wares onto the table without too much undue competition. In the spirit of that notion, you’ll notice the underground bubbling up to the surface as we zero in on some of the most intriguing releases coming our way this month. Continue Reading
Veteran UK house hero Justin Harris has been deep in the house mix since the mid-’80s, recording original tracks and cutting remixes for a litany of dance labels (Classic Recordings, Viva, Natural Rhythm, Something Different, Paper Recordings), co-helming the highly influential Music For Freaks imprint and recording as Freaks with cohort Luke Solomon (check out Freaks’ red-hot, newly released remix of Sonny Fodera & Gene Farris’ “We Work It” here).
A DJ/producer/label mogul, Harris is a triple threat who keeps his ears close to the ground. With that in mind, we asked him to talk about five artists he’s loving at the moment.
Justin Harris’ The Random Jazz EP is out now on I’m A House Gangster. Continue Reading
For three decades British house hero Luke Solomon has unwaveringly championed a musical ethos that’s deep and soulful. Even when he’s flirted with pop music, he’s done so on his own terms with his his integrity in check. Solomon, who famously co-founded Classic Music Company along with Derrick Carter, recently restarted his Business As Usual: Live from the Washhouse radio show (listen to the April edition here), a program in which he goes beyond the traditional mix show format by championing new tracks as well as rare nuggets. The mixmaster extends his good musical vibes to Luke Solomon’s Unfinished Business Volume 1, an upcoming 32-track compendium featuring tracks by James Curd, Matthew Styles, DJ Nature and Mikey V out May 24 on his aforementioned imprint. Here Solomon enthusiastically waxes poetic on five of his favorite songs of the moment on SoundCloud.
After a compilation and alter ego LP within the last year, Luke Solomon is on the grind again. Whether because he has remixers in support to inspire him, or is just using another album as another mood, Solomon flies free in his dance floor crossings dominated by vocal collaborations. The big room takeovers feature song structured swing and an informal pop preponderance.
Solomon reaches out and away from fixed house and techno conceptions, bearing the lanky, geeky “Not Coming Home” and “Hey Giorgio” blurring back to the disco, as the album also contrasts long with quicker fixes. The husky road-tripper “Gods and Monsters” is a little more predictable with its guitar edge, though it’s suiting to a deep strutting Waifs & Strays remix shows timely backups are in place for any rare missteps. As an aside, Ewan Pearson actually arrives with no original to partner, his mix of “Lonely Dancer” somewhat confusing the remit. A better six stringer is to be found when “Let’s Bleed…” sets off on a big twanger of a riff, on an indie-dance free-for-all spooned from the same melting pot as carnival concern “Say Something.”
In turn, this huddles up with “Heading for a Breakdown” and “We Go” — fresh, Latin-zested runs within a minimal techno appraisal. The same DNA comes together on the more expressly Chicago “Interceptor”, with Solomon’s sound, based around but not confined to the club, consistently interesting by not fitting the bill.
File under: The Digital Kid, Hot Chip, David August