Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Column

Ben Lovett - The Grooveyard (March)

Ben Lovett - The Grooveyard
Ben Lovett - The Grooveyard Martin Stimming @bluesandsoul.com Martin Stimming: Liquorice Martin Solveig @bluesandsoul.com Tom Middleton: Cicadas Simbad feat. Brian Temba: Come Join In Reel People feat. Tony Momrelle: Tell Me Why Moby: Destroyed Body & Soul - Shelborne South Beach Resort - March 12 Kim Fai: Era-Supernova EP Frankie Knuckles & The Shapeshifters: The Ones You Love Alpha & Olmega feat. Sheyi: The African Drummer Defected In The House Miami 11 Remixed & Recovered: A Yoruba Records Collection Daniel Steinberg: Shut Up Aurelio: Laru Beya Future Disco 4: Neon Nights The Soul Of Disco Vol 3 Fabric 56: Derrick Carter

Stimmingâ¦. Martin Stimmingâ¦. Heâs definitely got with a license to thrill this month⦠and, well, baffle. His new album Liquorice is the definitive âgrowerâ and well worth persevering with but accessible it isnât and, as is the custom with material by some of clublandâs more complex and eclectic producers, you really will have to demonstrate patience and open-mindedness to reap the sonic rewards.

Born close to Frankfurt, Martin was playing the violin, piano and drums by the age of 10. In his mid-teens, he found electronic music for the first time â massively influenced by the atmospheric hip-hop of DJ Krush and muscular jungle breaks of Grooverider â and subsequently joined drum & bass crew Breakaholics, as well starting to produce âspeed garageâ records.

Techno entered Stimmingâs world just a few months later via the entertaining DJ sets of compatriots Chris Liebing and Sven Vath â its dynamism and energy hooked him, prompting the swift acquisition of some decks, mixing gear and records. DJ sets of his own followed and, in turn, a desire to produce techno tracks, rather than simply âbroadcastâ them.

Today, Martin has a long list of quality club productions to his name â many, the offspring of a highly successful relationship with renowned imprint Diynamic; but all, in a melodic and deliciously multi-layered tech-house style that, to date, has become something of a Stimming trademark.

The last four years have been busy, collaborations with HOSH (Radar), Einmusik (Magdalena) and South American folk singer Violeta Parra (2008âs Una Pena) proving particularly popular; so too Stimmingâs debut album Reflections and one-off EP outings on labels Freerange and Buzzinâ Fly.

But weâre here to talk about that baffling new album. The title is a good place to start, Martinâs choice, Liquorice, neatly reflecting the love-hate dynamic he expects his work to demonstrate. âLike the sweet itself, itâll divide people Iâm sureâ he answers. âI never intended this as an album. It started as a personal reaction to a situation. But then I was walking through the local park one day with my headphones on listening to what Iâd already recorded, and I was like âshit, this is great⦠no-one has heard anything like this before, Iâve got to do something more with itâ. So I did, spending another five or six months adding to it and turning it into a proper album.â

The situation that started everything was a relationship split; a pretty severe one by all accounts. âI couldnât be in our flat at the same timeâ he carefully confesses. âIt was totally stressful and so I was sleeping on the couch in my tiny studio. It was very, very intense.â

Perhaps inevitably, Martin used his studio space as a channel for his darkest thoughts and feelings; the console had become cathartic: âIâm not sure I could make Liquorice again; it fits perfectly with that particular time of my life. But it wasnât all anger and bitterness. I still found myself enjoying putting those tracks together, even though everything was dark and going wrong for me at home. I managed to channel the negativity.â

Liquorice is almost indescribable. Martinâs PR people call it âelectronic free jazzâ and there are loose but discernable elements of house, minimal techno and dub in there but, really, this is improvisational soundscape anchored (in the most casual sense of the word) to left-of-leftfield percussion and the artistâs trademark use of âfieldâ recordings (and these range wildly from dustbin lids clanging to coffee machines percolating) and quirky b-line.

Martin is widely-respected for his radical musical iconoclasm but even he harbours doubts as to whether the kind of creative freedom enjoyed on Liquorice is achievable, and sustainable on a regular basis.

âI donât care who ends up liking this new stuffâ he remarks. âI was screwed up at the time and had this sort of punk âf#*k youâ mentality so it was very easy to let go. Usually, for sure, itâs more of a struggle to be free. I think those of us who work in the music industry today can always feel the audienceâs expectation; weâre more aware of it now because of the internet and because club music has exploded so. We feel a pressure to do certain things in order to stand out and avoid getting lost in all the noise.â

One thingâs for sure Liquorice â released via Germanyâs Diynamic label on March 28 â will definitely stand out.

And so on to other newsâ¦.

WANT TO BE A PRODUCER?

Chic Câest la Vie producer Martin Solveig is partnering with Beatport to offer wannabe producers the chance to remix his 2010 hit Hello and have their efforts released.

Hello is Solveigâs biggest single to date, topping charts around the world. Special remix components of the track are already available to download on Beatport and remix submissions will be accepted throughout March. Overall winners are announced April 5.

The three main winners will have their remixes released on Solveigâs own Mixture imprint, as well as receiving some âseriousâ studio equipment from manufacturers including Native Instruments, Novation and Point Blank.

The Hello download can be found at: beatport.com

The competition rules are here: beatport.com/rules

BODY & SOUL (MIAMI)

Miami, meanwhile, will host world famous club night Body & Soul for the first time when it arrives during this yearâs earlier-than-usual Winter Music Conference.

Body & Soulâs Miami bash takes place March 12 at the Shelborne South Beach Resort and tickets are already flying. Guests can look forward to a special back-to-back set from the nightâs three heavyweight founders Francois Kevorkian, âJoeâ Claussell and Danny Krivit; there are no other guests.

Body & Soul made its name, of course, on Sunday nights throughout the Nineties and âNoughtiesâ at the Vinyl club. After Vinylâs closure, the night appeared irregularly in the Big Apple and then at various key venues around the world.

For more hit bodyandsoul-nyc.com

MOBY NEWS

Similarly revered, producer Moby is back with a new âelectronicâ album, Destroyed, this spring.

The 15-track offering arrives over a decade after Mobyâs landmark, best-selling album release Play; his last long-player release was 2009âs Wait For Me.

Destroyed was written late at night whilst Moby was on the road and aims to convey an âemotionalâ sense of what his constant international travelling is really like. The package is accompanied by a photo journal, based on the images taken by Moby of everything from airports and freeways to hotel rooms and backstage spaces.

Destroyed is released on Mute (as well as Mobyâs Little Idiot label) on May 16.

A NIGHT WITH...

Before we launch into reviews, just one final bit of news - Chicagoâs jack-house king Derrick Carter launches the popular warehouse-style A Night With... season (promoted by London Electronic) on March 19 at The Basement, 12-18 Hoxton Street, London, N1. The party runs 10pm to 6am; tickets are £10-15.

Expect plenty of sharp âboompty-boompâ grooves as per Carterâs new Fabric mix compilation (review below) and, beyond the opening party, a series of quality A Night With⦠events hosted by the likes of BPitch Control founder Ellen Allien, German house maestros Tiefschwarz and Brit Radio Slave.

OK, OK, reviews now, and a few singles to start withâ¦.

SINGLES

Reel People feat. Tony Momrelle â Tell Me Why (UK Reel People Music)

Another wonderful song taken from the latest Reel People album Golden Lady â Tell Me Why is a slick, breezy mid-tempo groove swinging off of subtle but sassy production and Momrelleâs seriously accomplished vocals. Spring is in the airâ¦.
4/5

Tom Middleton â Cicadas (UK Lo:Rise)

This opening gambit by one of Defectedâs new affiliate house labels is rather good, rolling in on a wave of infectious tribal percussion and cicada-style clicks and whistles. Marlon D and Maya Jane Colesâ solid remixes take things deeper and a tad bouncier but itâs Middletonâs original with its nose in front. Great package.
4/5

Simbad feat. Brian Temba â Come Join In (UK Hi:Rise)

East London-based âFrenchieâ Simbad ropes in South African singer Brian Temba for this skankinâ vocal-house jam through Defectedâs other new (more soulful) sub-channel. Percussion and keys are tight; Tembaâs vocals (he previously performed in the West End production of The Lion King) powerful and engaging. Synth-driven remixes from Bertrand Dupart up the dancefloor ante.
4/5

Kim Fai â Era/Supernova EP (UK Size)

Fai, the Black Countryâs fast-rising techno and minimal house specialist, crafts an EP double-header worthy of stadium tours â epic drums, colossal b-lines and soaring synth-play colliding in a series of happy sonic explosions. Fai has already toured with Swedish House Mafia (this release arrives on Steve Angelloâs Size imprint) and Deadmau5; and remixed for Lady Gaga. Up to usual standardsâ¦
3/5

Frankie Knuckles & The Shapeshifters â The Ones You Love (DJ Meme remix) (UK Nocturnal Groove Digital)

2009âs well polished house collabo between Chicago legend Knuckles and relative newcomers The Shapeshifters should have smashed it but somehow didnât. Some 18 months later arrives this amazing remix by in-form Brazilian DJ Meme, a remix which is already causing positive rumblings on the download and hype charts. Itâs seriously classic soul-house â a jaw-dropping acapella intro, backed by French Kiss-style b-line, making way for hot keys, euphoric piano rolls and those punchy vocals. Inspired re-visit and a column highlight this month.
5/5

Alpha & Olmega feat. Sheyi â The African Drummer (UK Tribe)

Sizzling, exuberant afro-house from two of South Africaâs rising production stars Alpha and Olmega, which is given added impetus by the vocals of Sheyi, best known for his percussive support at the Tribe labelâs various club nights around London. Top remixes, too, via Fabio Genito and Zepherin Saint.
5/5

Now for the albums:

ALBUMS

Various Artists â Defected In The House Miami 11 (UK Defected)

Power-âhouseâ London stable Defected offers its latest Miami Music Conference compilation, a nod to those upfront cuts likely to become clubland staples later this summer. Interestingly, the double-disc package is overseen by able Spaniards DJ Chus and David Penn; a savvy nod to the fact that, these days, over 59% of the local community is Hispanic. Expect, then, plenty of thumping, peak-time âIberican houseâ in the form of Chus and Pennâs own remix and production work â their Cevin Fisher production Libres Para Siempre is an album exclusive â as well as bullets from David Morales, Olav Basoski, Central Avenue and Copyright. Fully involved four-to-the-floorâ¦.
4/5

Various Artists â Remixed & Recovered: A Yoruba Records Collection (Gr Yoruba)

A delicious delve into the Yoruba vaults, this, presenting 13 previously unreleased remixes and productions in that impeccably smooth, super soulful style that Osunladeâs label has made very much its own. Highlights have to include Jimmy Abneyâs bumpinâ MAW-style vocal number Crazy Love and Yotam Avniâs majestic old-school house remix of Osunlade track The Day We Met For Coffee, but not everything is deep, mellow house; the tracklisting also incorporates tech, hip-hop and mid-tempo R&B. The production standards are high throughout; the albumâs flow beautifully consistent - Remixed & Recovered is in no way a âbonusâ disc; itâs meaningful music every beat of the wayâ¦.
5/5

Daniel Steinberg â Shut Up (UK Front Room)

Berlin-based Steinberg has been producing his own rich and distinctive brand of four-to-the-floor since 1994 and Shut Up, remarkably, represents a first full-length album. Itâs confident stuff, neatly reflecting the quirky, non-conformist attitude of his DJ sets and discography to-date. Steinberg artfully manipulates Berlinâs dancefloor conventions, juxtaposing a myriad of colourful soundscapes, kooky vocals, and exotic samples with stripped-down rhythm tracks and minimal grooves. The results are always engaging, tracks such as the Latin-spiced Attencion and future disco-licked Time Is Not Forever proving particularly memorable. Steinberg is well-known for his aversion to media but Shut Up will only feed his growing legend. Impressive.
4/5

Aurelio â Laru Beya (UK Real World Records)

On evidence of Laru Beya, his second album, Honduran singer and guitarist Aurelio Martinez is shaping up as a âworld musicâ star-in-the-making. Laru Beya is both light and playful, and stirringly melancholic, pivoting on the distinctive rhythms of the Garifuna community (originating from African slaves shipwrecked on the Caribbean island of St Vincent) in which he is so well grounded. There is an undeniable lean towards reggae here but the influences of salsa, Cape Verdean folk and Afro-drum (via a mentorship with Senegalâs Youssou NâDour) are also refreshingly present; Laru Beya is all the more complex and beguiling for it.
5/5

Various Artists â Future Disco 4: Neon Nights (UK Needwant)

Sean Brosnanâs award-winning compilation series goes from funky strength to funky strength. This fourth fantastic instalment offers more in the way of loose, uptempo house, but cool, laidback nu-disco vibes - with a classic 1980s sheen, of course â still top the agenda. Old hands Hot Chip, The Revenge (with a great tranced-out cover of SOS Band hit Just Be Good To Me) and 2020 Soundsystem return alongside relative newcomers Mario Basanov and Bonar Bradberry; a contribution from Midnight Magic (Beam Me Up) summarises this album perfectly â irresistible funkiness for the digital ageâ¦.
5/5

Various Artists â The Soul Of Disco Vol 3 (UK Z)

If Brosnanâs comp above is the future, then this one from Z boss Dave Lee is, lovingly, the past. In fact itâs Leeâs strongest contribution to the series yet, a series exploring the exciting stylistic boundary over which four-to-the-floor rhythm and sweeping Motown and Philly soul increasingly crossed during the Seventies and early Eighties. Volume 3 showcases another two discs of collectorsâ nuggets â Jackie Stoudemireâs strident, slap bass-funked Invisible Wind , Board Of Directorsâ jazz-juiced instrumental Hanging Tough and Gloster Williams & Master Controlâs storming gospel-disco creation No Cross, No Crown to name a few. But the overall offering is as educative as it is entertainingly accessible.
4/5

Various Artists â Fabric 56: Derrick Carter (UK Fabric)

Chicago house king Derrick Carter is king for a reason as this intense rollercoaster ride mix from Fabric duly testifies. Itâs all about his unique âboompty boompâ flow â chopped-up bass, tight, loopinâ drums, wired vocals and zippy samples â which reigns supreme for 17 tracks and should, come the final drum, leave you gasping for more. Indeed, Fabric 56 is a fun but exhausting business, its compere moving dashingly through the gears and genres â soulful house, electro hip-hop, industrial tech, disco, even swing â thanks to expertly chosen cuts from the likes of DJ Sneak, Scrubfish, Cricco Castelli (with 1999âs classic sax-sampled First Love,) and Tripmastaz. Carter provides plenty of his own peppy beats too, including remixes of Cajmere classic Percolator and Green Velvetâs La La Land. This isnât one of Fabricâs most innovative mixes, but then it doesnât need to be in the hands of a party master adept at keeping things simple and shouting them gloriously loud.
5/5

Untill next time
Ben

...Still working the late shift!

Please feel free to contact Ben with any House & Dance news that you feel would benefit others ben@bluesandsoul.com Thank you.

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