It seems like settling in to a new decade has happened pretty quickly. Maybe that’s because there were a lot of forgettable goings on in the “naughties” (no-one ever did come up with a better name, which says a lot). Purpose Built has gone all 2010 with a bit of a new look, and to mark this new start, one of the Godfathers of dance music in the UK has very kindly given us a live mix to share with you.
It’s been hard to steer clear of the shallow but sprawling pile of “reality” music over the last decade but fortunately the underground caverns have produced a big store of quality, soul-filled records. Fortunately Mr Greg Wilson untangled his headphones to come out of dj retirement in 2003, to carry on where he left off in showing us the way to this dancefloor treasure. His sets over the past few years – from the Bestival to a long-overdue Radio 1 Essential Mix – have satisfied his old faithful and won over younger heads at the same time. His trademark razor-spliced edits of yester-year sound as fresh as his new interpretations, and have influenced a new generation to fire up Ableton and re-work disco, funk, boogie and electro groovers for the 21st Century.
Greg was a pioneer the first time round (he was one of the first DJs in the UK to mix 2 records together don’t you know: see for yourself!), and is without question one of the key players of the latest disco revival, as well as one of the most genuine characters in the game. This mix is Greg’s appearance at Manchester’s mighty Warehouse Project last November… It hasn’t seen the light of day before now, and features plenty of his own edits, so get it going through your speakers:
Some say that originality is dead in music – that fewer creators are pushing things on – but in my book, fresh edits of past sounds educate the young about the old, pointing towards hidden gems. In our age of throw-away culture, music as commodity, we need to get back to the stories behind the beats. I grew up with vinyl. I get how great it is, that it’s hard to grow attached to an mp3, but if our ipods open up new ears to the massive store of musical greatness and the lives behind it all, reality might just stay real, and music might still have feeling for a good while yet.
Click here for Greg’s myspace, check his excellent site Electrofunkroots for more of his backround story and dancefloor history, and grab some of his tasty edits + more mixes from his Soundcloud page.
Without getting all fanboy, every Prime Numbers release so far has found its way onto the record shelves at PB Towers. Not least because I’m a sucker for design gimmicks (they’re spelling out the label name with scrabble-like letters on every 12″ sleeve, as well as going up the prime number scale). The preview below is the next piece (E11), and features none other than Mr Scruff, one of Stockport’s finest exports. He’s enlisted legend Kaidi Tatham on keys & flute, for a track that has that trademark Scruff bounce but less of his usual bass wobble. Instead the sound is a more stripped back, slo-mo house affair. Certain to get them to get a move on. Drops on 30th November. And apparently, as it’s a split artist ep, we can expect Andres and Motor City Drum Ensemble as well! Triple Word Score.
Our fellow Mancunian beatblog friends the Disco Outcasts very kindly put together this KILLER selection of balearic disco goodness for our inaugural guest mix. And boy is this good! Balearic getaway gems lead seamlessly up to some heads-down belters:
Manchester hero Stefano and rising star Leo make up the Disco Outcast duo – just check out this impressive biog:
“Stefano is a real legend in the Manchester music scene, having released records that sold in excess of 70,000 units and playing everywhere from the Hacienda to Glastonbury, from Ibiza to Reykjavík… Stefano has toured with acts such as Oasis and Run DMC, demonstrating he’s one of the most versatile DJ’s around. Leo has quickly become one of the city’s most exciting talents, with a record collection reminiscing those who are twice his age. His technical ability has allowed him to impress many a veteran, dubbed junior disco amongst his peers. Leo is the brains behind Manchester’s legendary Phuture parties, as well as holding residency for Ibiza’s notorious Zoo Project crew.”
The pair offer up their electric eclecticism every Saturday night at Manchester’s kitsch disco dive The Purple Pussycat, 19 Backstreet (just off Deansgate) – packing them in every week. You really need to get there.
Speaking of disco, this has got me HOOKED. A deep melodic groover from the consistently good Bearfunk cave – Ronda give us “Forlana” on the Hibernation vol. 1 sampler. Have a listen here and get ready for the drop at about 4 mins (how good has sound cloud turned out to be eh?!) And check the bearfunk back catalogue at the label’s home.
Go buy it here or here, or the bears will wake up and come find you.
Now back in Manchester, I’m noticing how the change in location from South to North has coincided with returning to music I’ve not picked up for a while, and at the same time led me to look in new corners I would have passed by before. It seems like a bit more freedom exists up here to mix and match different styles together just for the sheer love of it, not just for the dancefloor but also with people’s individual tastes. Music trends are obviously still as prevalent as elsewhere but genre labels seem to me to matter less.
Also, the financial doom times we’re in at the moment can only be good for music. I’ve always held to the idea that great music is born out of hard times – Blues music during the emancipation from slavery, the desertion of inner city Detroit aiding the birth of Techno (Derrick May genius here) and rise of Manchester’s clubland, acid house growing as a reaction to late 80s Thatcherism. Music for escape more than identity.
My latest sonic travels have been with Jazzanova’s new album. Being a long-time fan of their output, especially “That Night” (with Wahoo’s amazing remix) and their remix of Mr Scruff’s “Boom Clicky Boom Klack”, I was looking forward to discovering the direction they had taken in 2008, what seems to be a year where attention is perhaps more than ever, on the producer. From sunny vibe of “Gafiera” to the Ronson-esque (but better) drum breaks of “I can see” featuring Ben Westbeech, they’re obviously pushing the jazz in Jazzanova, with production opening up a live sound rather than letting samples do the talking. There’s no overdoing it with the noodling however – this is solid soulful stuff, with vocals not just tacked on as an after thought, but entwined with the production. “Let me show ya” is one of the standouts of an album with no filler. Well worth checking.