Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The 2 Bears: Work (St Etienne Remix)

The 2 Bears: Work (St Etienne Remix)

Unbelievable but true - it is the 2 bears and it is free

RA: Edit etiquette

RA: Edit etiquette

Pretty balanced look at the function of edits and their place in today's dance music culture. Comments from Soul Clap, Greg Wilson, Tom Moulton and The Mole.

Monday, 30 January 2012

7 tracks & 7 Questions with Seamus Haji

We're headed for a massive night at The Loft in less than 2 weeks time. The Big Love Inn features a great line up of talent who've all got on board in aid of Brighton's Clocktower Sanctuary, a charity helping homeless and vulnerably housed young people between the ages 16-25.

We thought it would be nice to hear from the DJ's involved and find out more about them and what makes them tick.

Seamus Haji has been pretty much at the top of his game for the last 7 years or so, remixing a plethora of high profile artists as well as scoring his fair share of chart success with his own productions and releases on his Big Love label. However his DJ career started long before he hit the big time and his passion for music has been a constant feature of his life.

We asked Seamus to put us a 7 track playlist together and tell us a bit about each of them.

Lovebirds - I Want You In My Soul

Been around since Summer last year. It's produced by a friend of mine Basti from Germany who's also been part of Knee Deep along with Toddie for over 10 years or so. Basti has struck on his own under the Lovebirds guise and gone into a deeper direction and gone from strength to strength. This has a great soulful vibe that's crossed over to different scenes from the Soulful house heads to the Nu-Disco kids.

Parallel Dance Ensemble - Shopping Cart (Maxxi Soundsystem Remix)
I love this. Reminds me of Tom Tom Club from the early 80's with it's slightly cheesy rapping but it's good fun and this is a brilliant remix. I love the surprise section at about 4 mins in when a heavy bassline drops in. Hold onto your hats!

Laura Jones - Love In Me (Maceo Plex Remix)
That man Maceo Plex does it again. Gotta love that bass sound he gets! He's been coming up with quality tracks and remixes for a while now. This is definitely his time.

Lana Del Rey - Born To Die (Leo Zero Remix)
An amazing singer/songwriter with a voice that's way beyond her years. She's almost like a female version of Jonny Cash. I love her stuff and she's easy on the eye too! It took a few plays for me to get used to the way that the vocals have been re-jigged on this remix but now I'm sold and it's an extravaganza stretching over almost 12 minutes of sublime Nu-Disco.

Azari & III - Reckless With Your Love (Tiga Remix) 
The original has been around for a couple of years now and it's still bubbling away and now comes with brand new mixes. I was taken by this Tiga Remix. I've been a fan of his since he dropped "Pleasure From The Bass" which I use to play regularly. He's done a great job on this remix and made it his own.

Laid back - White Horse
The Danish post-punk group released this in the early 80's which became a big track on the New York dance scene and went onto be revived during the Acid rave explosion in the UK in the late 80's. It's gone on to inspire many and those that spring to mind are Hot Chip and Chemical Brothers. It still sounds relevant today

Retro Grade - Moda
This came out a few years ago and was only released on limited edition vinyl at the time. It's produced by Serge Satiago & Tom Neville. Serge used to be involved with Stompa Funk at The Funky Buddah Lounge in Brighton many years ago. This track is basically based around a hooky synth riff and builds & drops over 10.30 mins. Lots of energy to this track!

7 questions with Seamus Haji
Q: Pablo Contraband  
A: Seamus Haji
1. So what have you been up to this past month or two?  
I recently got back from a tour in Argentina. I love it out there and along with Brazil they have one of the best club scenes at the moment. I've been busy as ever in the studio remixing Jakwob, Rebecca Ferguson, Niki And The Dove and Scissor Sisters. In fact, Jake from Scissor Sisters liked my remix so much he's asked me to produce a track for their album which I'm very excited about. I've also been working on some of my own productions so you can expect single called "I Love The Music" from myself & Cevin Fisher on Strictly Rhythm end of Feb and another track that's out now from myself & EDX called "Love Express" on Sirup Music. Just been getting back into the swing of things after taking time off over Christmas and things feel good!

2. How did you get involved with the event I'm told it's not Big Love night? 

I met Paul Budd at one of his Disco Deviant nights in Brighton and I really like what he's doing…a more intimate vibe with more intimate music so they're dropping Nu-disco & Deep house cuts from the likes of Maceo Plex, Jamie Jones & Art Department. A lot of it sounds like a throw back to music I was playing 15-20 years ago by the likes of Mood II Swing and The Burrell Brothers on their Nu Groove label or really early 80's stuff that has a post disco/boogie vibe to it. Paul got in touch and asked if I wanted to get involved with the Big Love Inn and it does tie in nicely with the name of my label so I was more than happy to get involved.

3. The other DJ's playing are all known for playing nu disco, disco and deep house mainly, how does that compare to your current sound and taste? I know the massive gigs you play at demand a bigger sound?

Yes definitely. That's why I'm looking forward to playing a more intimate & deeper sound. To be honest, if I ever do play in smaller venues (which isn't very often these days) then I naturally want to play a slower, deeper selection of music. I started of on the house scene as a resident so I'm used to starting and ending nights and back then I'd always play slower & deeper during those sets.

4. Been listening to your show on Juice recently and there is a lot of the deeper and slightly more left field stuff I'm into popping up fairly regularly, I wondered if you have anything special planned for us in regard to your set? 

That's why I love doing the show as I get the chance to play trax I don't normally get to play out. Obviously when you become known for a certain sound where people always expect me to play & produce peak time tracks for big dancefloors it's nice to show another side.

5. What got you started as a DJ?

The art of mixing. My best friend at school brought in a mix tape and told me how he did it and I took that idea and ran with it. I used to practice & taught myself how to mix & scratch when I was around 15. I grew up in the early '80's in South London when Soul Sound systems ruled the day playing Soul, Funk, Hip Hop & early house at illegal house & warehouse parties.
By the time I was 16 it was around 1985 and I hooked up with a sound system at a party. They had Technics SL1200s but they couldn't mix. I showed them my skills and obviously impressed them as they asked me to join their crew. Next thing I know I'm playing a big all dayers with 10 other sound systems and DJs such as Tim Westwood & Norman Jay in front of 2000 people. That's how I got started…right time right place I guess!

6. Which DJs and producers would you say were most influential to you over the years?

As early teenager it would have been Herbie from the sound system Mastermind as  I was really impressed by the way he mixed the "Electro" compilations on Morgan Khan's Street Sounds label. Also, Grandmaster Flash and then Tony Humphries when he was doing Master mixes for Kiss FM in New York. Then, when I got more into house in the late 80's and early 90's  people like Masters At Work, David Morales & Roger Sanchez as they were excellent producers and very technical DJs.

I guess over more recent years influences come more from a production angle so for example Chicken Lips "He Not In" when that first came out almost 10 years ago that had a massive influence on me and led me to taking that vibe and using it in my re-make of "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life" and then using an electro edge in most of my productions & remixes ever since. People such as Joey Negro, Full Intention, Eric Prydz, Deadmau5 and Axwell in the house world have all had an influence on me too but a lot of my main influences come from the likes of Trevor Horne, Quincy Jones, David Byrne, Kraftwerk, Arthur Baker.

7. What's the best movie you've seen in the past year? 

I just saw "Drive" which was brilliant so let's say that! I give it 5 stars *****

Catch Seamus Haji at The Big Love Inn at The Loft, Ship Street on Saturday February 11th alongside Chamboche, Go Bang & Pablo Contraband (Disco Deviant). There are only 240 tickets so expect a busy and intimate affair.

Tickets are available from Rounder Records, Smugglers pub or online via Ran$om Note

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Into Feb Chart from Disco Deviant

Ripe and ready to lead into February. Some corkers for the dance floor right now. Enjoy


What Should be in the All Time Nu Disco Top 10 ?

I was recently asked to do an interview feature for the PRS M Magazine looking at the Nu Disco scene and its roots, where it was headed and to feature an all time Top 10. It was an iteresting and challenging task and one I took quite seriously. Steve Cole supplied the questions which I answered and then I put the 10 tracks forward. 
A redraft was then required as I had included a few edits and it was probably better to look at original work based on the readership and potential licensing issues, therefore I rather hurriedly submitted the final cut which was then published. You can read the published piece here: LINK 
Seeing as Iwent to quite a lot of trouble thinking about and then answering the questions Steve posed,  I thought I would publish the interview and subsequent notes here and open the Top 10 up to you guys. What should've been in there?  Feel free to post comments and we can go through the results form there.
SC: The term 'Nu-Disco' seems to cover a host of varied and eclectic music, but is there an underlying spirit or way that you could define the genre?

PC: Tricky one, I think groove led is quite a good way to think about Nu-Disco. I would say a lot of the tracks whether they are peak-time or downtempo share that groove led quality. Some live sounding instruments and drums also feature in a lot of the productions too. It's a funny one to define as I'm not sure where the term popped up from in the first place. Probably a music journalist?!
SC: Do you think the Nu Disco scene has evolved from House music?

PC: Most definitely house, acid as well as the Belgian new-beat scene, soul, funk, indie crossover bands  and of course good old disco itself.
SC: Were you into the House music scene and if so, what made you start to look towards disco for inspiration?

PC: I have been into House, Techno and some of it's related genres for over two decades, the dance scene suddenly began to become so minimal back in the 2004/5 and Electro & Funky House just sounded so dated and contrived to me. I am a fan of live music and like a lot of indie bands. What happened was a lot of the tracks really standing out for me were by bands, Whitey, Bloc Party, Libertines, CSS, The Gossip and there were normally some excellent and highly playable remixes with the releases. The Glimmers, Soulwax, Spank Rock, Phones, Filthy Dukes and Kissy Sell Out were all doing edits and remixes of tracks that were far more appealing to my ears. It was around this time I first started to hear the term Nu-Disco bandied around and often placed upon the artists I was into.

The actual disco influenced stuff came a bit later down the line with some great stuff from the Unabombers, Crazy P, Metro Area & Toby Tobias finding its way into my hands and onto the turntable.

The Rizla Invisible players arena at Bestival in 2007 really exposed me to a load more music and seeing the crowd reaction to tracks that were being played by Greg Wilson was inspiring. Imagination, Cheryl Lynn, Kate Bush, Missy Elliot, Chaka Khan and 1gnition all blew the roof off. That's when I started to really dig a bit deeper into the 70's disco, soul and funk scene.

SC: Why did you start up Disco Deviant and how important have blogs been in developing the music?

PC: It was a case of needing to have a platform to share and comment on music we were into as well as promoting our nights via the blog we connected with people locally and further afield. Ooft, Feel My Bicep, Disco Delicious have been a constant source of inspiration and as well as some superb tip offs they often produce some blinding edits and remixes often free to their readers. I would say these blogs have been the foundation on which a lot of DJ gigs, labels, releases, club nights and remix commissions were built.

It has given the scene a shape, direction and currency if you like. SoundCloud has been just as influential for the same reasons.

SC: Have you noticed changes in Nu Disco over the past few years?

PC: To be completely honest I was never keen on using the term for a few years almost refusing to acknowledge it. It felt so temporary and also confusing. New genres such as Indie Dance / Nu Disco seemed so seperate from the original Funk / Soul / Disco scene which is where my attention had turned, there were so many tracks being hurriedly tagged as Nu Disco and a lack of quality control in the productions being released. I kind of preferred the term Disco but I saw over time there were more and more artists and productions that were helping define a genre more clearly.

As far as producers go I would cite Toby Tobias as one of the pioneers of Nu Disco, his 2008 album Space Shuffle on Rekids crystallizing the London Nu Disco sound.

However New Yorkers, Metro Area released their album Metro Area in 2002 and it still sounds completely fresh today and has influences from Detroit techno, Chicago House and big Disco string sections.
Genius production and a classic album with many of it's tracks played to this day in clubs around the world.

Greg Wilson- Credit to The Edit in 2005 showcases his pioneering editing techniques from the late 70's and early 80's and put a more organic disco sound firmly on the playlist of many DJ's and taste makers worldwide.
They are 3 albums which I feel have paved the way for myself and others obviously there are a lot more but for the sake of the interview these cover 3 different styles which all make up today's Nu Disco scene.

I think in the past few years the net has widened and more of the Chicago House and Acid influences are being incorporated, as well as some more experimental and forward thinking productions. I would also name check Harvey, Andrew Weatherall, Hercules & Love Affair, Todd Terje, Chamboche, Rayko, Alphabet City, Prins Thomas, and Tensnake as a few worth checking out to hear a progression and diversity in the scene.

SC: A lot of Nu-Disco records are slow by House music standards, what do you think has caused that change in tempo?

PC: Again this is to do with Groove taking the lead and working well on the dance floor. You don't have to beat your audience about the head with bass and synth stabs to illicit a big reaction. There are lots of tracks that I would class as floor fillers that check in around 100bpm. I've been playing a re-edit of Night's on Broadway by Candi Staton most of this year it's a 100 Bpm and gets a huge reaction everytime.

I must admit in my teens and early 20's this wasn't for me, anything beneath 120 was a bit of a struggle. Now however there is often a decent a cross section of young and older (mainly older) going for the Nu Disco sound. Even house has pitched it down with a lot of Crosstown Rebels & Hot Creations releases sampling disco and setting a tempo of 118-120 Bpm. I think it's cool. Gives the music more depth.
The mass consumption of Alcohol and Ketamine are also a factor worth considering.

SC: Do you think Nu-Disco has influenced a more eclectic sound in dance music than that of a few years ago?

PC: Without a doubt, as I said it was Funky House, Electro or Minimal being played in a lot of Brighton clubs in 2004/5 and the more specialist nights had to fight to find a venue and an audience. Dubstep was coming through and finding a home at D&B/Breaks nights quite quickly.

Disco & NuDisco had to carve it's own scene out and a lot of us found pubs were more prepared to have us play and with the licensing changes it seemed our audience were happier there to.
In Brighton a few of us were trying to unite and Ali Broadcast came up with Go Bang! a series of free events across the city over May. We saw some really successful events over the course of that month with an open and Eclectic policy of Groove Led Music meant we all came together and played at DIY and bespoke parties outside of the club circuit. leant

This has been the case in many cities and there are a lot of decent tracks played in pubs and there are a lot of 'plubs' now with decent line ups week in, week out. This has definitely led to more diverse tempo, genres, styles, DJs and producers sharing the DJ booth.

SC:How do you see the music created by those on the Nu-Disco scene evolving?

PC:I co-run The Unity Agency which has a lot of the 'Nu-Disco' artists on the roster. They each have a different sound and style and a lot of them are fusing house, disco and some bassier elements into their productions. Andy Ash releases on number of labels right now and his sound is hard to pin down, yet he sits in the nu-disco bracket. Same goes for Wolf Music who are constantly pushing things forward.

A lot of the producers have move on from edits and are putting original work out, Rayko & Alphabet City seem to have an attachment to 80's Boogie,  Matthew Kyle is a bit more R&B flavoured at times.

Also noticed that house from the early 90's is being sampled more and more and DJ's are playing more and more of it. It is almost always referred to as Deep House as if to make a distinction between the classic and credible underground vibes they are into and the mass market pop 'House' David Guetta and his ilk are producing.

I hear more DJ's describe their sound as Deep House & Disco than Nu- Disco to be fair. However their productions are almost always sold from the Nu-Disco / Disco or Indie Dance / Nu Disco genres online.
SC: Have you heard Nu Disco styles creep into pop music (if you listen to it)?

PC: Aeroplane, Soulwax were massively influential and have been released on majors. Other producers are commissioned anonymously to work for pop acts.
Certain artist eg. Hercules & Love Affair, LCD Soundsystem, Grace Jones, Friendly Fires, The XX. Plus remixes from Toby Tobias, Pete Herbert, Bicep, Danny Daze, Jamie Jones, Dimitri from Paris, Greg Wilson are creeping onto the radio and in turn selling more.

SC: Would it be possible for you to send me a 'Top Ten' of Nu Disco tracks? I know they're almost impossible to do, and nothing is definitive but it would be great to get an expert voice in there.

1. 1gnition - Secret Sunday Lover (Greg Wilson Remix)
2  Feverish (The Revenge remix) - Chamboche
3  Badabing (Diskjokke remix) - Martin Brodin
4  Don't Let Go (PH edit) - Tony Orlando
5  Angel in my Pocket (Leftside Wobble remix) - Changes
6  Blind - Hercules & Love Affair
7  Tomorrows Bringing (Zoo Look dub) - Toby Tobias
8  Nights on Broadway - (Rayko edit) - Candi Staton
9  Tears (Stallions remix) - Phenomenal Handclap Band
10 Banquet (Glimmers remix) - Bloc Party

Bubbling under
We Are - Atlantic Conveyor
He Not In (Greg Wilson mix) - Chicken Lips
Macasu (MCDE Loft Party remix) - Toby Tobias
Alphabet City - I'd Like to

 SC: I just wondered, if it wasn't too onerous, if you could tweak the top ten? Is there anyway you could do one with 'official' releases? The edits are obviously the building blocks of the scene, but it'd be great to get a chart of original compositions as my piece is about championing the creativity of the scene.What do you think?

PC: Here we go - more original material than before. All killers too. 3 Scando, 3 from UK, 3 US & 1 from Aus/UK make up the top ten and it is a pretty fair representation of my cd wallet in general.

Secret Sunday Lover (Greg Wilson Remix) - 1gnition

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

Feverish (The Revenge remix) - Chamboche

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

Tomorrows Bringing (Zoo Look dub) - Toby Tobias

Ragysh - Todd Terje

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

Miura / Dance Reaction - Metro Area

Blind - Hercules & Love Affair

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

Lang Tung Ting - Prins Thomas

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

Badabing (Diskjokke remix) - Martin Brodin

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

Tears (Stallions remix) - Phenomenal Handclap Band

Buy at Juno Download (Mp3/WAV)

We Are - Atlantic Conveyor

Please feel free to add comments, any glaring omissions and your own Nu Disco Top 10 in the comments section. It's not as easy as it sounds.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Groove is in the Heart | M magazine: PRS for Music Members Magazine

Groove is in the Heart | M magazine: PRS for Music Members Magazine

Here's a link through to a little piece featured in M Magazine. It discusses Nu Disco and the Scene with no name looking at it's roots and progression into mainstream productions heard on the radio worldwide.

Steve Cole asked Joey Negro, Al Kent, Steve Kotey, Faze Action, Crazy P and Pablo Contraband for a contribution to the piece and it makes for an interesting read.

I was handed the task of naming Nu Disco Top 10. Not easy and no doubt you'll have your own opinion, which we can continue on another thread. Enjoy

Follow the links for more in depth interviews with Max Essa and Al Kent

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Everything - NEW from ALPHABET CITY

Wows from everyone in the DD camp here this morning on opening the latest track from Alphabet City, massive and lush bass, sweeping across the room. Instant favourite and a gonna be playing this as soon as I can get a finished promo out of him.


Everything by Alphabet City

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Busy times ahead:

Plus All Time Top 100, Disco Deviant Oslo, Horse Meat Disco Deviant, Unity Agency showcase with Andy Ash.... Artwork to follow but here's the schedule:

Disco Deviant  - Pablo Contraband gigs:

One off  w/ Ben Monk & Pablo Contraband @ The Globe, Brighton. Sat Jan 21st Free 10-4

All Time Top 100, Coopers Cask, Hove. Sat Feb 4th 9pm

Disco Deviant: OSLO Edition, w/ Pablo Contraband @ Fisk & Vilt, Oslo. Fri 10th Feb

Big Love Inn w/ Seamus Haji, Chamboche, Pablo & Go Bang @ The Loft, Ship St, Brighton - Sat Feb 11th Charity Fundraiser for The Clocktower Sanctuary

Horse Meat Disco Deviant w/ Severino & Pablo Contraband @ Audio, Brighton. Sat Feb 18th

Unity Agency Special w/ Andy Ash & Pablo Contraband @ The Globe. Sat Feb 25th

Disco Deviant presents A Love From Outer Space with Andrew Weatherall & Sean Johnson. 
Fri 20th April @ Audio.

Blog:       Twitter      Disco Deviant on RA    Facebook Page

Here's a recording of the warm up set from Saturdays gig with Bicep. Shame the recorder ran outta juice as they came on and laid down the law! BIG!

  Pablo Contraband & Bicep @ Audio - 14/1/2012 by Pablo Contraband

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Free download - Toby Tobias - Tomorrow's Bringing (dub)

Great track that is still getting regular plays from me. This is Toby's own dub of the track, certainly does the business/

    Toby Tobias - Tomorrow's Bringing (Dub) - Exclusive D/L #10 by The Unity Agency

Saturday, 7 January 2012

It's a new year...Who Cares?

Well here's my first piece of creative output for 2012. Spent a bit of time choosing the tracks and putting them together in the right order, pretty happy with the outcome (with the usual one exception where I should've let the track run longer before mixing)

    Pablo Contraband - Who Cares? (01/2012) by Pablo Contraband

Here's the tracklist, loads of these aren't released yet so you'll just have to wait a while to get your mitts on  those, however a lot of them are available for download via Juno.

Jello Biafra  - Intro
Kid Who - Cadenza
Texas Radio & The Beat - Bassline (forthcoming on El Diablo's new label)
Kid Who - Ursa Minor
Bryan Ferry - BF Bass (Ode to Olympia)
Texas Radio & The Beat - Green (forthcoming on El Diablo's Social Club)
Ting Tings - Hang it up (Shook mix)
Andrew Clarke - We Built This (Kid Who mix) - Audio Parallax
Phenomenal Handclap Band - Walk The Night (Inst)
Sleazy McQueen - Through the Jungle - Whiskey Disco
Noir Music & Haze - Around (Solomun vox mix)
Sleazy McQueen - 1 Extra Day (Cole Medina mix) - Whiskey Disco
Radical Majic - Fiancetto (edit) - Boardroom
Penelopes - Now Now Now (Miguel Campbell dub)
Icona Pop - (CSY & Stripes mix)
Chamboche - Mello (BLM remix 2)- Black Key Records (promo)
Bowski - White Russian
Maceo Plex - I Can't Leave (Tale of Us mix)
Eric S - Hope Springs Eternal
Audiojack - Polka Dot Dress - 20/20
L-Vis 1990 - Feel the Void (Street reprise)
Audiojack - Definition of a Track - 20/20

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Pics for our NYE Secret party

Created with flickr slideshow.

Weatherall 6 mix & New 6th Boro project mix

Both worthy of your full attention. Andrew Weatherall spins a strictly vinyl set for 2 hours on 6mix, available to listening for another few days. There is also a tracklist featuring some obscure gems and even one from The Stranglers in there.

 Link here

Craig Smith & The Revenge have put this little platter of deep and bouncy tracks together to hype their 6th Borough Project Australian Tour in which they are currently engaged. Thoroughly enjoyable selection from my second favourite Jocks.

  6th Borough Project Oz Tour Promo Mix by Craig Smith by CRAIG SMITH

Wednesday, 4 January 2012