Thursday, 31 July 2008
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Saturday, 26 July 2008
New label Katorza recently made its debut with an electro and techno hybrid titled Diskobreaks. It's been a staple in many a DJs set for a while now, as it's a heavy package all around, but the standout cut here is Mael's Deadend Mix. It's unabashedly techno for the biggest of rooms with an unyielding energy that delivers the filth and the fury to every corner of the dancefloor. The original elements are treated to an unhealthy dose of distortion and layered upon a punishing foundation that peaks with twisted textures and change ups. Not for the faint of heart, and most likely too tough for many a set, but when the right crowd is pumpin fists for more, this is the tune to turn to.
Diskobreaks (Maelstrom's Deadend Mix)
Friday, 25 July 2008
Ahh the holiday season is finally upon us ... well me anyway. This year's been a bit of a mental one really. So far my U&A imprint has released no fewer than 8 singles with at least 6 more scheduled before the end of the year, which has been _huge- workload for a one-man operation. Factor in a constant diet of DJaying on the weekends, processing & attempting to absorb the 100+ tracks a week that make it to my inbox and a daft studio schedule of remixes, originals & playstation game work that's also included the instigation of a brand new techno-orientated project with Meat Katie (under the name Dustbowl), it feels like a holiday is THE FUCKING TICKET.
So, whilst I will have email over the next couple of weeks, expect things to quieten down somewhat on the blog/forum front & I'll be back in action at the Bloom Festival on my return. First up though I'm thoroughly looking forward to this weekend's action at the wickerman festival. If you're heading up there, I'm playing 12.20 - 2am, and with Meat Katie, Dylan Rhymes and Rogue Element in tow, it's sure to be one for the tech-funk mahooosive.
Thursday, 24 July 2008
“Ableton is once again collaborating with Dancetracks Digital to sponsor a remix competition in which participants will vie to compose the best remix of the Martin Brothers track ‘Dum’from Dirtybird’s latest release, ‘Rocket Surgery EP’. Through September 15th, contestants will upload their remixes to the competition website (http://www.dirtybirdremix.com), where the tracks will be showcased and voted on by listeners. The winner, determined by online voters and Dirtybird, will receive a grand prize digital record-release with Dirtybird. Other prizes include a pair of M-Audio BX8a Deluxe studio monitors, a Glyph Technologies professional-grade hard drive, Dancetracks Digital free download credits, and Ableton software and merchandise.”
Here is the zip-file ready to be messed with.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
For me, the word that fills me with a warm glow of anticipation is 'Hungary'.
I've been going out to the 'near east' for a number of years now, and whilst I've touched down in a number of former Easter Bloc countries, it's Hungary that's hosted me on more occasions that anywhere else (maybe 10 at the last count?).
The Chi Recordings crew were the first to bring me to Budapest, playing at a halloween party on a small wooden boat stationed on the Danube, just as the arctic blast of winter was starting to kick in ... the boat was bedecked with the regular paraphenalia associated with halloween, and I remember the streaming rivers of condensation on the windows, sending the lights on the danube into a kaleidoscope of urban exotica.
More exciting than that though, were the sets of my hosts, Kevin (Fine Cut Bodies) and Naga, who seemed completely comfortable & at one with their crowd, teasing them with a riot of sound which seemed to snake from one genre to another without missing a beat, and it was then that I realized straight away that this would be a night to treasure; a night where I could grab pretty much anything from the darkest recesses of the CD wallet and run with it, because the residents had created such a free & open palette from which to cherry pick their selections.
This is something that's _much_ overlooked in my opinion; find a cracking night that you love to play at, and that people love to be at year after year, and I guarantee you that you will find at least one (and usually several) unsung heroes who have created something special through their own careful nurturing of their crowd, and their innate understanding that to kick the night off playing the hugest, most anthemic wall of sound is not the best way to welcome people to your night, and to get them warming to the idea of, er, dancing!
Since then I've been back time & again, and one of the greatest privileges of these regular visits has been the continued void of musical snobbery that often afflicts the 'scene' in other countries (not least the UK): this open-mindedness reminds me of the halcyon days of acid house at the turn of the 90s where we chased sound systems across the south west in a cat & mouse game with the police, for the promise of a night of elicit, underground sounds from DJs who were just glad to have made it & to have been asked to play; the last thing on their minds was whether their house music was 'deep' enough.
One weekend last summer, I played at a festival in Tokaj, some two & a half hour's drive from Budapest, and whilst I was a little dishearted to hear that our sets had been curtailed by an excess of live acts (and yes, without wanting to be immediately divisive, I did have to sit through 2 hours of Banco de Gaia before I played, which was pretty unsettling - my eclectic spirit clearly does have it's limits after all), it was actually quite a buzz to be given the challenge of playing for only an hour - normally this is something I hate as it just allows for nothing in the way of subtlety at all, but events such as these own nothing to subtlety - they are about big, rock & roll gestures through sound & vision and I have plenty in my armoury that fits the bill ... so out went the light & shade & in came the frugging moshpit-inducing wonky house & techno, epitomised by the likes of Solid Groove & Sinden's 'Red Hot', Jamie Fanatic & Jesse Voorn's 'Fire Time' the Switch mix of the Klaxxons & I was really pleased with the reception a new mix I'd just finished for Miles Dyson's 12 inch recordings label [G.D.R. - Powder].
All in all a great night, and the sight of 1500 people pogoing like crazy to my closing tune (a re-rub of 'Smack My Bitch Up' that I did last year) was something that sustained me over the few weeks of the summer whilst I took a short sabbatical to become a first-time father.
Exciting times :)
By way of a bonus, here's a recent set to download from the excellent Fine Cut Bodies, a DJ who we should all see an awful lot more of in the near future.
Fine Cut Bodies - Ablak-A-Dubra RadioShow 09/Jul-08
Link to ALL FCB radio shows over the past 5 years (!)
Monday, 21 July 2008
Have been looking at the Soundcloud system for a while now as a simple, functional way of receiving music easily from people, and someone was kind enough to send me an invite this weekend. So, it couldn't be easier to get music to us directly. Just drop your tune on the icon & we shall receive.
That doesn't guarantee coverage, of course. We are harsh, opinionated, and always right in what we cover :)
Send Music to Elite Force
Sunday, 20 July 2008
her, she keeps on running ... just about. Had to pare down Traktor
Scratch to just a basic external mix TS3 set up. I decided to augment
my last DJ set with a few toys: My usual Xone 92 rig plus Traktor
(thru MOTU Ultralite) was bolstered up with a Metasonix distortion
unit (mmm ... filth) and two CDJs looping samples of white noise,
sine waves, people talking, traffic, electrical buzzing and lots of
off-kilter dubby echos ... nothing requiring beat-matching ... no
sirens. Bleeding all this stuff over the top of techy-proggy-minimal-
ish was pretty easy and down right cool as far as I was concerned.
Don't think anyone else noticed.
Actually, the distortion unit sounded awful. The TM7 is too heavy for
most dance floors – even the usually forgiving home crowd at Yumla.
The concept was great though. Destroying tracks to the point of
collapse then releasing the noise into sweet oh sweet clean loving
bass. Concept needs tweaking. And after last Saturday, I suspect I
need to start playing live music again. Even if just off the laptop –
as boring as it is to watch, I often diss the idea 'cause I'm no
showman – but for my own sanity I need more input into the
proceedings: Would rather spend all week making tunes than spend the
same amount of time sifting through 1000 hours of bad 4/4 just to
find enough music for one set. If you've not seen Danton Eeprom do
his thing, check it out. I'll probably head down that path over the
next six months. Although no microphone. I'm liable to start shouting
orders for beer over the PA instead of singing.
Highlights of the night: Elite Force remix of my track "Right On" (a
debut public play for me, matter of fact), Carl Cox & Yousef "I Want
You" (Deadmau5 remix) plus a really old blast from the past in the
form of KC Flight & Funky Junction "Voices" Fata Morgana remix.
Sweet. Putty in my hands after that one. A ten year old classic and
they never even knew it. Going to have to write something in the form
of an homage to "Voices". Before some bastard ruins it with a bootleg
Nearly three short paragraphs and I haven't actually said anything.
Awesome, that's Sunday evenings for you :)
Friday, 18 July 2008
You know it’s going to be a good day when one of the most instrumental figures in defining a fresh and widely encompassing genre invites you to contribute your thoughts and opinions into the context of one of his newest endeavors. It’s a pleasure to be included in the forward momentum and chronicling of a sound that has encapsulated a large portion of my musical explorations throughout the years. I’ll be submitting reviews of new and upcoming releases that showcase or in some way exemplify the tech funk sound. And I’m sure the occasional rant about this or that pertaining to the electronic macrocosm and/or a producers place within (or without) it will find an escape from my fingers and take refuge somewhere in this blog.
I’ll try to refrain from being too long winded in future posts, but music has always been my central preoccupation and as such, I find quite a lot to go on about. Insomnia, industrial amounts of caffeine, and sometimes unhealthy delusions of gonzo-like grandeur are all regular factors (read culprits) as well. It’s my sincere hope to provide interesting reads, insightful commentary, and a personal perspective into the innovative breadth that this sound presently inhabits. Much thanks to sHack for the invitation.
For anyone interested in forwarding music or interesting (and relevant) tidbits or general information for consideration and possible inclusion into future posts, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
STRONGARM ARCHIVES :: Tuesday 15 July
Exclusive three-hour mix from your host, Elite Force.
Welcome to the Strongarm Sessions Endgame.
Six & a half years ago I began broadcasting a weekly show using some dodgy old software on my Mac & streaming live two-hour sets to the 'world' via the nubreaks.com servers over in the US. With a hand-held mic, the sirens of south east London blaring in the background, an irreverent online chatroom and my manic puppydog, Spears, periodically running off with my headphones, it was a random affair to say the least ... and one that became even more so after I moved out to the country to enjoy an isolation which was splendid, save for the lack of broadband for two whole years. During this time I drove 150 miles to London & back to play live from the studios of BreaksFM every Thursday - harsh times, but they did build a massive following for the show, and one that has only been enhanced during the last 3 years with protonradio.
With the show routinely receiving over 20,000 downloads per session & having racked up no fewer than 4 Breakspoll Nominations for Best Radio Show, I've had a blast doing it, but I've also realized recently that the time is now right for a chance of focus, and whilst it won't necessarily be the 'end' of the Sessions, there will be no further regular shows after this one, as I look to focus on running my U&A imprint, and spending more time working on new music. As ever, the Tech-Funk forum, and Strongarm Sessions Mailing List remain the primary places to head to for information on the music you've been hearing over the years, and I'd suggest that you sign up to the mailing list if you're not already a member, as this will be the first place to receive notification of any future downloadable mixsets as well as offering up free guestlist places for most shows.
SHOW DOWNLOAD DETAILS:
SENDSPACE DOWNLOAD MP3 (Sendspace) (full show)
MEGAUPLOAD DOWNLOAD MP3 (full show) (Megaupload)
RAPIDSHARE DOWNLOAD (Part One - Split Show)
RAPIDSHARE DOWNLOAD (Part Two - Split Show)
Here are some other options to download the mp3:
DOWNLOAD MIRROR (Russia)
DOWNLOAD MIRROR (Tibilisi, Georgia)
:: Elite Force Mix ::
01 Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want (Soulwax mix) [CDR]
02 Re Dupre - Sound is Sexy (Original) [Lo Kik]
03 Modeselektor - The White Flash (feat Thom Yorke) (Trentemoller Mix) [BPitch Control]
04 Ned Shepard - A Fine Balance (Lutzenkirchen Mix) [Harem]
05 Ido Ophir & Miki Litvak - Shnorkel [eVapour8]
06 Hyperion - Gotta Hold It (Calvertron Mix) [U&A}
07 Harnessnoise - Take No Connect (TG Mix) [Phobic]
08 Paolo Mojo - Home [CDR]
09 Eargasm - Everybody Dance [L8-Night]
10 Zodiac Cartel - Robots (part one) [CDR]
11 Unknown - Unknown [CDR]
12 Presets - My People (DIM Mix) [CDR]
13 Elite Force - White Lightning (Broombeck Mix) [U&A]
14 Workidz - Washingmachine [Toolroom]
15 Perc - Cylinder Swing [CDR]
16 Mark Brown - New Heights (Christian Smith & John Selway Mix) [CDR]
17 Hardfloor - Silver Box (EF re-touch) [Hardfloor/CDR]
18 Fake Blood - Blood Splashing (Fake Blood theme) [CDR]
19 Unknown - Violator (Jack Beats Mix) [CDR]
20 Elite Force - Jack the Joint (Zodiac Cartel's Bumpin' Mix) [U&A]h
21 Sharon Philips Vs the Bassface [CDR]
22 Hatiras & Jelo - Donkey Punch [Hatrax]
23 Refunk - Mr. Mole (Rektchordz Mix) [ReConnect]
24 Ryan Galbraith - This is My Sound [CDR]
25 D Ramirez - Venus & Mars (Meat Katie & D Ramirez Mix) [Lot49]
26 X-Press2 - Smoke Machine (James Talk Mix) (EF Re-master) [Skint/CDR]
27 TJR - Sonic Chronic [Wearhouse]
28 New Originals - 1979 [White]
29 Chemical Brothers - Electronic Battle Weapon #10 [Virgin]
30 The Subs - Papillon (Yuksek & Brodinski Mix) [Lelktroluv]
31 Wolfgang Gartner - Frenetica [Kindergarten]
32 Noir - Planta [Noir Music]
33 Freaxx Brothers - Tension (Popof Mix) [CDR]
34 Dubfire - Emissions [Minus]
35 Aquaviva & Madox - Feedback (Original Mix) [Mantra]
36 Cirez D - Knockout [Mouseville]
37 Evil Nine - Lovers Not Fighters (BLIM mix) [Botchit]
38 Stri Fry - Breakin' on the Streets (PMT mix) [Kilowatt]
39 Marco Bailey & Tom Hades - Blast [MB Elektronics]
40 Alex Dolby - Hazy Way (Evil Nine Mix) [Mantra Breaks]
41 The Roots feat. Lior Attar - Lo Step [Quad]
42 Frank & Nancy Sinatra - Something Stupid [CDR]
::: end of transmission :::
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Hyper in Hong Kong. He spent a few days longer here than he
originally intended. The outdoor party he was playing at (alongside
the Plump DJs) was raided by a couple hundred of HK's finest shortly
after kick-off (due to the promoter not having secured the correct
licenses ... doh!). And as a consequence of checking everyone's ID
cards & Passports (required by law to be carried in HK) Hyper had his
collar felt for DJing without a work visa. Funny thing was that the
local press reported the arrest of "the Plump DJ" ... glad they took
the time to get facts right. I noted Guy had put on a few pounds
They were never going to charge him (2 months mandatory sentence if
you're brown. Slap on the wrists if you're white. Sad but true.) but
the nature of the process meant they had to keep him 24 to 48 hours
so Immigration had time to respond. Touring DJs beware! HK gets you a
36 hour stint in the nick. In Bangkok it'll cost you a couple hundred
clams to walk free. Do Malaysia even have Police? In Singapore they
ram bamboo spikes up your funk passage then hang you just for the
hell of it. Allegedly.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Title: Beaver Blink
Genre: House / TechHouse
Label: Chi Recordings
Zodiac Cartel first appeared on the U&A imprint towards the arse end of last year & has been up to only big 'tings ever since. Most recent work from him / them (?) is an awesome mix of Fine Cut Bodies' 'Beaver Blink', which they themselves describe as "wonky-house with a techno-soul". Nice. Coming out in a few weeks time @ Beatport ... In the words of none other than D Ramirez, "I absolutely LOVE it!!!! Played it 3 times last week, once in Dance Valley Amsterdam and it took the roof off. Very clever, almost Switch like but with more groove and soul."
Here's an edited preview of what's in store
Fine Cut Bodies - Beaver Blink (Zodiac Cartel Mix - edit)
SHOW SOME LOVE TO ZODIAC CARTEL ON MYSPACE
inviting me to post blogs on the TFM. For those reading who do not
know me, I am a record producer & mix engineer based out in Hong
Kong, living / releasing / occasionally DJing / getting arrested
under the name Dan F. Google "disuye" and that'll be me or one of my
studio crew scribbling on teh interweb; Disuye both being the name of
my tiny label and modestly sized production company. My day-job is
producing, mixing & pre-mastering commercial music for the Chinese,
SE Asian and Australian pop market whereas and my night-job is filthy-
noisy-shuddering industrial and a bit of techy-breaky-housey
weirdness. Flip phase on one line of output and they cancel out. I am
carbon neutral in terms of music.
Will leave sHack to post about new artists, touring, tracks, the
business and such. My specific areas of interest revolve around
studio technology and making noise. I will make no apologies for
posting up seemingly irrelevant technical waffle! If you don't get
it, then ask me questions or skip to the next post. From time to time
I will comment on the music industry but in all honesty, whatever
happens in the next 5 years will be irrelevant in the next
Feel free to ask me questions, technical or otherwise. Images show
you where my blogs will originate from – most of the time!
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
7 - 10 pm UK Time / 2 - 5 pm EST on protonradio.com
to convert to your own timezone : www.timeconverter.com )
Featuring an exclusive 3-hour mix from your host, Elite Force.
Welcome to the Strongarm Sessions Endgame.
Six & a half years ago I began broadcasting a weekly show using some dodgy old software on my Mac & streaming live two-hour sets to the 'world' via the nubreaks.com servers over in the US. With a hand-held mic, the sirens of south east London blaring in the background, an irreverent online chatroom and my manic puppydog, Spears, periodically running off with my headphones, it was a random affair to say the least ... and one that became even more so after I moved out to the country to enjoy an isolation which was splendid, save for the lack of broadband for two whole years.
During this time I drove 150 miles to London & back to play live from the studios of BreaksFM every Thursday - harsh times, but they did build a massive following for the show, and one that has only been enhanced during the last 3 years with protonradio. With the show routinely receiving over 20,000 downloads per session & having racked up no fewer than 4 Breakspoll Nominations for Best Radio Show, I've had a blast doing it, but I've also realized recently that the time is now right for a chance of focus, and whilst it won't necessarily be the 'end' of the Sessions, there will be no further regular shows after this one, as I look to focus on running my U&A imprint, and spending more time working on new music.
As ever, the Tech-Funk forum, and Strongarm Sessions Mailing List remain the primary places to head to for information on the music you've been hearing over the years, and I'd suggest that you sign up to the mailing list if you're not already a member, as this will be the first place to receive notification of any future downloadable mixsets as well as offering up free guestlist places for most shows.
STRONGARM MAILING LIST
So it just remains for me to thank everyone who's been a guest on the show, and to all those who have tuned in, downloaded, and most of all _contributed_ in some way. I hope you've all enjoyed it as much as I have.
To listen to the previous show (June 2008) with exclusive mixes from Elite Force & 30Hz:
DOWNLOAD MP3 (Sendspace Link)
DOWNLOAD MP3 (Megaupload Link)
RSS FEED to all recent shows
onwards & upwards,
So much has changed in the past 15 years.
Back in the day, £10k would get you little more than an entry-level studio set-up - good for demos, but lacking any real polish except in the hands of 'the rare genius'. There was a profound disconnection between the artist & the idea, and the end-user (that being the clubbed up drug monkey), to such an extent that the joining of the dots from creation to delivery relied on a series of conjoined professions, from engineers to producers to the cutting room, from the pressing plant to the postie to the dubplate.
It all cost money, it cost time (lots of it) and in many ways, the resources to genuinely express the inner workings of the creative mind, were not yet available. At each stage of the process, there were third parties sticking in their oar. Some might argue that this reliance on dedicated professionals led to a more finely honed end product; others might put the opposing view that their involvement diluted the creative process, but there's no disputing the simple fact that we now live in an era where instant gratification is seen as an unimpeachable right!
This is no bad thing, but as producers and DJs we need to adapt and we need to change. Would Mozart be scrawling his ideas on manuscript paper if he were alive today, or would he be exploring the outer reaches of modern sound production with his pioneering spirit at the fore? The fact is that the 'halcyon' years we grew up with were not the utopian, rose-tinted times we like to credit them for, they were simply the times that had the most impact on us during our formative years.
The days of staggering around America with a big steel box full of dubplates I'd got freshly cut for the trip at Abbey Road are, thankfully, a distant memory (although my spine still needles me about it from time to time). Nowadays, we are about file management, re-editing tracks on the fly, programming radio mixes on long hauls, networking through myspace, facebook, bebo, chatting in realtime ... blogging on the fly. Anywhere that has an internet connection means that my 'office' is operational, and it's the first thing I do whenever I arrive at a hotel, or an airport.....
..... which really brings me to this new blog of mine. Here's a concept that encapsulates the new aesthetic, the demand for instant gratification, the 'out-of-the-box' culture that we're now so subsumed in. All too often download sites can become like sifting through a musty library, randomly categorized and full of unreadable, incomprehensible tomes, far from the instant gratification they purport to offer.
I've been discussing this with people on my forum [ http://www.strongarmsessions.co.uk/techfunk ] for some time now, and there's a consensus evolving that is demanding more 'personal' input from artists, journalists, fans, to de-mystify the library, and to give the whole experience more of a human face. So here's that human face :)
I'm not setting out with these slabs of blah to do anything other than filter some of the flotsam & jetsam of my own experiences and thoughts right back at you; filtered, processed and imbued with a humanity that I hope some of you can relate to. These will be regular 'blogs' from the front line, ranging from travelogues to musings on the state of the industry, from the current crop of tech-funk tuneage to insights behind the studio door in sound, and vision.
More to follow ...