When Neneh Cherry-singer, 80s it-girl, grandmother-announced a new record for 2014, it was met with a collective "huh" of quasi-anticipation. At least, of curiosity. This may be because, in spite of her past fame, most of us still don?t know who she is or what she has to say.
This will be the perfect dance track for serious technophiles. The last two tracks, 'Story of Aurea' and 'Wash Over Me', do precisely that and draw us back to sand at the edge of the sea to draw new faces, only to wash them away as Shifted's waves wash over me. This techno is truly great.
Elegant bits of string performance mix with studio chop-and-screw, funny mouth noises, cello farts, and dusty samples. It has no coherence as an artistic product, except what it is not?the album is an exercise in negativity, in showing what its creators are trying to avoid.
Probably because of Oliver Ho's tendency to weld mischief into the fray and open my mind even further to the fact that intelligent, experimental electronic musicianship like this still continues to exist and turn the pages of the industry like a book that you just can't put down.
When Zephaniah's silky voice says "Let me hear you say 'Multiculture'". (Amen.) Let me hear you say "roti, roti", we are hearing one of the finest observations in electronic music about the issue of cultural assimilation through a crass commodification that pervades Brtitish culture, which fails to address the ethnic diversity that underlies many of Britain's current social problems.
Techno purists aren't going to love this album and neither are the hipsters, but hey, hipsters are the exact same bunch that thought that Stacey Pullen was a woman. Nevertheless, I love this album - for every ounce of diversity and soul that it comes with, and will be probably be playing it A LOT in the months to come.
'Dettmann II', the Berghain minimal magician's sophomore album released on Berghain label Ostgut Ton, is a subtle step up from his debut effort ('Dettmann'), this time containing more well-rounded offerings and more spacious sound design, along with your usual dancefloor-oriented loop techno.
It's space-rock, for sure. But inner space. Jaar manages to conjure an expansive emotional landscape within an inward and rather constrained palette of sound. 'Psychic' is a microcosmos, a galaxy of infinitely small gestures. And at this tiny scale, every move feels important.
In a time when it's anyone's guess as to what form the next revival or sound might take, Moderat offers us a possibility that most would be able to derive much from. Sonically traversing the various eras, the trio have stitched together a record that celebrates the tension between underground credos and popular sensibilities.
Mauritian/Martian Avneesh joins our showcase tonight. Find out more about the multi-tasking music lover and man behind underground outfit electrocaine who not only lives and breathes music, but shares it with the world through his various projects and manifestations. Enjoy this one.
From Japan to Sydney and Singapore, Shigeki has been in the circuit since 1999, carving his unique sound between deep, soulful, progressive, tech house, nu-disco and chillout. Now part of a dynamic duo dishing out the business every Friday with Brendon P, Shigeki will be showcasing his Samurai skills at kyo for the Midnight Shift Label Showcase featuring Terrence Parker.
Brendon P probably no introduction. A stalwart of the Singapore scene (also reviewer for this blog), DJ for 33 years and with productions on labels such as Los Grandes, Love International Records, Rawjak, Reversoulmusic, Eclasia, Audio Parallax and In The Woods, BP has mentored whole generations of DJs while continuing to rock dancefloors around the island with his encyclopedic knowledge of burners. Catch him this Saturday for the Midnight Shift Label Showcase featuring Terrence Parker.
Emotive, self-referential, fun and undeniably talented, this album should not be cast away. Outwardly colorful packaging and distractive sideshows aside, careful listening and deeper digging reveal a sensitive artist wanting to be heard and make a difference.
For what it's worth, this album is an excellent showcase of Oliver's deep repertoire and what Vidab as a label has to offer. It has its hits and misses but fans shouldn't be disappointed. Also 'Out of the Dark - Remixes' is out now featuring three of my more favored tracks on the album. Check it out.
Just by reinventing himself, and bringing forth the kind of music he wanted to hear in his favourite club - a stripped down, sci-fi-industrial sound that crosses genres - Adam X got the scene to sit up and take notice, rising up not from obscurity but with it. And true to his alias, he did it all within a short space of time, in (inter)stellar fashion.
While Kaye (Darker Than Wax) may be a scene stalwart from back in the day, he remains a key innovator today with new toys and projects constantly adding to his repertoire and bag of tricks. Catch him perform an exclusive live set exploring a techier side just for Midnight Shift. Watch his 'lil teaser video 'Control Shift' here for a clue.
Ciara returns; Felix da Housecat's newest drop after almost half a decade; Four Tet gets house-ier; Black Butter Records' string of stellar releases with future house proponents Kid Kidnap and Gorgon City plus my pick of the month from the label's 19-year-old signee, Joel Compass; also, a censored music video. Damn, April. You're good.
Formerly from The Liquid Room, Butter Factory and now at Zouk, Adrian Wee aka weelikeme is founder of the island's longest running indie nights - Poptart - but has his beginnings too firmly rooted in techno. Read on to find out more about him and listen to his promo mix before his performance at the Midnight Shift Label Showcase on 13 April 2013 featuring Deetron.
The laws of physics seem to apply when the album is listened to as a whole. Dadub demonstrates an instinctive aptitude for building tension, momentum, density, and propelling an album through with sheer driving force. The end result is powerful but perfectly nuanced.
Zul Andra spills his picks for March from Singaporean gems such as Fauxe, Gema and Octover to international heavyweights KH (Kieren Hebden), James Blake and Justin Martin as well as Sam Smith, Sven Helbig, Tessela and Woodkid. He lays it down for us in alphabetical order.
Mr. 8040 has managed to write a storybook and a soundtrack to it that could very well be Star Trek re-visited, beyond the 24th Century, only a hell of a lot more funked up.
While it won't be surprising that this album might have mixed reviews, it's quite certain that longevity is to be found in change for Nosaj Thing...it does leave one wondering whether it would have made a difference if 'Home' was someone else's debut effort instead?
Channelling otherworldly 'cosmic intuition', Legowelt expertly conjures up some very sweet vintage synth sounds with his collection of analog equipment. Not to be dismissed as a mere exercise in nostalgia - there are nods to early techno, house, acid and rave (or as Legowelt puts it, "90's weird English stuff from all over the place") - the end product is decidedly modern.
In pursuing this creative experiment of fusing jazz together with soul and hip hop, the album unfolds in exceptional glory, seductive and romantic. It straddles between the contemporary and conventional, where music is injected with a fresh perspective without straying from the catalyst of traditional influences.
Mislav Bobic of the Burek record label and Singaporean event coalition, Mugic Soundsystem, waxes lyrical on the scene in Croatia, some of his favourite records, labels and his thoughts on the state of the music industry. Mislav will debut at Midnight Shift x Zouk: Alpha this 26 Jan.
Let's just leave pigeonholing to the folks at Beatport shall we. To do that with Keiling's work, would be a big mistake and a sad injustice in every sense. Just call it great music, soul food or mind fluid if you must. But it's something anyone who looks for beauty in life or in music should own.
From Manchester to Singapore, Lucas Burrows has been the visual backbone for performing artists such as Kyle Hall, Jamie Woon, Kode 9, Ikonika, Robag Wurhme, Superpitcher, Octave One...just to name a few. Here, Burrows shares his top 5 music videos and more and hopefully there will be no strobe light pumping needed for this talent to get noticed. Burrows will be going back to back with Avneesh on the visual controls for Midnight Shift's 3rd Anniversary this Sat 17 Nov 2012.
Meet Isaac Aesili, an integral member of many bands including Recloose Live, Solaa and Open Souls and deemed by Benji B to be one of the most exciting soul talents to emerge from the South Pacific. He is now part of Funkommunity (with Rachel Fraser) and Karlmarx (with brother Mark McNeill). The producer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ will be performing live alongside Singapore's Kiat this Saturday at Velvet Underground-Dance.
A pioneer of not just Singapore's DnB scene but underground electronica in general, Kiat is a firm stalwart who becomes more relevant with each year. Here we break an exclusive interview and a review of his LP 'The Inner Galaxy' released in June 2012. Catch his performance with album collaborator, Isaac Aesili for Midnight Shift's 3rd Anniversary on 17 Nov 2012.
Part of the self-absorbed They-Create-You-Tolerate movement, Max Lane's marriage of Malay ethnic beats with a cutting-edge sensibility has made many a ear perk up. Catch Max Lane doing something out of the ordinary at Midnight Shift's 3rd Anniversary on 17 Nov 2012.
The criteria of what makes a good mix, DJ or otherwise, differ from person to person. Agreed? Now that's out of the way, here are three mixes that have stood out lately, and in no particular order. Apologies that like most things in life, there's neither fancy artwork nor tracklists available for these mixes.
"Those randomly strewn hacked up pieces that glazes the cover of 'Traces', are significant and probably, also the solution to the jig-saw puzzle within the album. The sum of all parts add together to reveal an interesting collection of classic meets future classic." Brendon P reviews Delta Funktionen's debut LP 'Traces'.
With influences from ska, R&B, acid jazz, funk, rock, swing and electro to name a few, our unnamed vocalist will accompany Masterpiece in a hotly tipped debut live set on 18 May. Read on to find out what makes this enigmatic and distinctive frontman a hot favourite.
Midnight Shift x Zouk 03 on Fri 18 May will unveil Eddie Niguel, a Midnight Shift label artist who has been steadily climbing the ranks with chart-topping tracks on labels such as Get Physical, Nohashi Recordings and lately, Dig Deeper. Here we interview the DJ/Producer about making music from the heart.
"The musical arrangement and production on this is second to none and if this is anything to go by, a blueprint for other house producers to start re-building upon." Brendon P reviews Iron Curtis's debut LP entitled 'Soft Wide Waist Band', to be released on Mirau on 21 May.
"Without Delano there would be no Derrick" - Derrick May. Detroit's Delano Smith has been around the circuit since DJing in 1978 but only releases his first LP now (albeit after many singles). A real treat for fans tuned into his sound, but for new converts? The answer is 'maybe'.
Originally published by POSKOD.SG and republished here with their express written permission. SOUNDSCAPING is its special section that soundtracks Singapore's neighbourhoods. This edition sees the prolific Darren Ng aka sonicbrat tracking sounds from his idyllic neighbourhood: The bedroom.
There are few things that can beat knowledge and experience; and you can count on this veteran duo to deliver a sound education on the dancefloor. djB and Brendon P do a special reprise of their Houseysouldoingz outfit from back in the day at Future Bound on 25 Feb 2012 at their common playground, Zouk.
Let's talk about Kevin Lester. At 26, Kevin Lester is a rap artist, songwriter and producer and 1/9th of the band outfit Sixx out of the Singapura. Also known as the Lion City Boy, he has been garnering serious attention around the world and it's about time you did too. Kevin Lester will be honourable man on the mic at Midnight Shift x Zouk 02: Future Bound on Sat 25 Feb.
The local bar and lounge scene is ruled by the funk, soul brother sounds of DJ KFC (real initials), whose feel-good sets never fail to rouse both life and revelry. He graces us with the first set of the night at Midnight Shift x Zouk 02: Future Bound on 25 Feb 2012, plus a special preview mix recorded live at Overeasy that should get your mouth watering for more.
With podcast number 7 comes an exclusive interview with label artist Argy (Argyris Theofilis), who talks about his recent masterpiece, Fundamentals, as well as the art of sampling, Ibadan Records, his inspirations and being honest. Listen to his podcast for signs of a house revival in the horizon.
The Burden brothers aka Octave One release an album of favourites remixed by their favourite producers. Brendon P reviews and interviews the beloved duo as we welcome in the year 2012 on the right note.
The name on many lips and in as many record stashes by now, Basic Soul Unit aka Stuart Li graces us with Podcast #006 - a very cool, soaring techno mix also featuring his track 'Late Night Shift' soon to be out on the Midnight Shift label. We are grateful to have this insightful interview from our affable Torontonian.
Midnight Shift Podcast number 5 is none other than Terrence Parker. With more than 30 years in the industry, TP or Telephone Man as he is affectionately called has made his mark as a respected label owner of Parker Music Works, producer, remixer and DJ straight out of homeland Detroit. Legendary for his turntable skills and love for music (just watch his RTS.FM mix), TP has kept the fire burning bright for us all.
Reel by Real aka Marty Bonds makes a first comeback after 20 years. What are we to expect from this Detroit veteran?
It is these two local songbirds who have made our scene that much brighter with their mesmerising talent. Miss Mic (Michaela Therese) and Van Detta (Vanessa Fernandez) will come together as collaborators and friends for a special performance on Midnight Shift's 2nd Anniversary this Saturday.
Singapore's Eddie Niguel drops the Midnight Shift Podcast #003. Winner of the Get Physical remix competition of Patrice Baumel's 'Roar' in 2008, Eddie (also known under his production moniker Edel) has since been working his way slowly but surely to the forefront of where we are at today. Check his intense mix combusting into sheer techno flames to hear what we're talking about.
You might have already heard his 2-hour promo mix that has been the talk of the town. Now read the mind behind it. Since moving from the UK, Ming has quickly risen the ranks as Zouk's latest resident. Known for his spontaneous and sophisticated 3-deck mixing, he's clearly one to watch.
There is probably not a Singaporean musician alive who has not been influenced, inspired or touched in some way by the iconic X'Ho. A revered hero among many, the radio DJ, club DJ, band member, filmmaker and author (and that's just scratching the surface) is a national treasure. Let's give it up.
Omar-S, native Detroit DJ and producer, releases his second LP called It Can Be Done, But Only I Can Do It.
Fran Hartnett is possibly one of Dublin's best-kept secrets. Frequently featured in Surgeon's mixes, including Fabric 53, Fran's work is white hot. Here, he lays down an exclusive mix featuring his own jams plus the track 'Mutant Substance' soon to be released on the Midnight Shift album.
'90s drum and bass legend rises from four-year slumber with new and up-to-date sounds: surely a recipe for disaster there. But as it is for Photek and his storied production legacy, it would be fairer to embrace his resurrection with the forewarning that 'results may vary'.