With New Year’s Eve quickly approaching and many of us likely to be getting wasted to some shade of electronic dance music now is as a good time as any to swot up on some of the creative origins of the soundtrack to our excesses. I’ve posted below a couple of documentaries on the roots of dance as we know it today.
The first documentary called High Tech Soul: The Creation Of Techno Music was recommended to me by my friend Katrien (thanks!) and focuses on the roots of techno in Detroit and the three central figures who pioneered the genre and coined its name – Kevin Saunderson Derek May and Juan Atkins. It’s got some brilliant moments and has lots of exclusive interview footage with the Belleville Three themselves as well as some other techno legends including Richie Hawtin, Carl Craig, John Acquaviva, Kenny Larkin, Jeff Mills and Carl Cox.
Youtube has split the doc in to nine parts, the first of which is below. The DVD can be got for a reasonable price at play.com here.
An interesting short documentary on the amen break has also cropped up on youtube. Admittedly the narrator is slightly annoying, but on the whole it serves as an an incisive look at what is possibly the most influential six second drum loop ever created. For those who don’t know, the amen break is a short breakbeat sample taken from the middle of a 1969 funk tune entitled Amen Brother by The Winstons. It has been used extensively in hip hop, jungle and old skool rave – and still crops up on many records released today.
Depending on your perspective it can either seem a triumph of human creativity that people have been able to re-use, rehash and splice the same short loop to create a whole array of new and interesting forms or, on the other hand, it can be slightly depressing that in a way we’ve all been listening to minor variations on the same track since the 1980s. Either way…
As the title of the track suggests the song is one in a line of many dancehall tracks that is predominantly a meditation on the notion of badmanhood and more particularly what a badman shouldn’t do (a badman commandment if you will). Our friends over at Heatwave have already covered the area thoroughly and very humorously so I’d be best just referring you over to them for this:
Nick Whittingham has turned out a bumping little Christmas mix, and I’m quite keen on it. It generally plays to the fidgety end of the house spectrum without becoming crass. Couple of classics in their too and a nice little electronica track from the Field to polish things off and warm the cockles. Joy!
Ellen Allien & Apparat __ Do Not Break
Syephan Hinz __ Bacala
Xenia Beliayeva __ You Better (Andreas Henneberg Remix)
M.A.N.D.Y. & Booka Shade __ O Superman (Robag’s Pumper-Nickel Remix)
Sharam __ Crazi
Format: B __ Edding 850
Deep Mariano & Guille Quero _ WATD
Felix Da Housecat __ Jack U
Mujava __ Township Funk (Sinden Remix)
LFO __ Freak
MIA __ XR2
Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band __ A Fifth Of Beethoven
Frank Sinatra __ New York New York (Chew Fu Big Room Remix)
Twocker __ Stitch (Bass Kleph remix)
Crystal Fighters __ I Love London (KiD COLA Remix)
Digitalism __ Home Zone (Proxy remix)
Alex Gopher __ Belmondo (Just A Band Remix)
Field __ Over The Ice
New Year’s Eve with Mulletover & Tayo’s Trascksuit Pary at Eastern Electrics is set to be a sell out. Phillip from M.A.N.D.Y headlines the main room with support from Damian Lazarus and Simon Morell. Tayo and Serge Santiago shake it up in Room 2 and us lot (Man Make Music) taking care of proceedings in Room 3. Mulletover haven’t missed a beat on the London techno scene in recent years, having built a name for themselves as luminaries of quality four-four outside the big clubs. So we’re looking forward to something pretty special. It’s in a mystery heated storage space near the Tate Modern in Southwark which by all accounts is massive and just ripe for the party. If going to a super club and pretending to be a battery hen for the night whilst paying £50 for the privilege isn’t your bag then we suggest this…
Been a while since the actual party but gratitude has to be extended to Tristian Da Cunha, Cassy, Claude Von Stroke, Jesse Rose & all Made To Play lot, the cloudy apple juice people, Kevin Saunderson, the doorman/walrus-in-a-tuxeudo and anyone associated with running the best club in the world (no questions).
Thanks. We’ve been smiling all week.
Jaris Voorn’s remix of Sebo K’s “Far Out” was one of the highlights I believe. Get it on Beatport and all that, have a listen below.