Interview with Winston Hazel

Winston Hazel Interview April 2015_0021

When considering potential interviews for TBC we would be hard pushed to find a better person to comment on the club and electronic music scene in Sheffield than Winston Hazel. One half of the team behind the legendary Sheffield 80s club night Jive Turkey, one half of the pioneering techno outfit, Forgemasters and the driving force behind Kabal, Hazel has been shaping the scene in the steel city for the last 4 decades. Jive Turkey may not be a night that TBC readers will necessarily be aware of. It hasn’t received the notoriety or infamy of nights such as the Hacienda from the same era. When it comes to club nights that have made an impact both socially and politically however, Jive Turkey is up there with the best of them. At the time Jive Turkey was one of the biggest and most revered nights in the country. Its events at Sheffield City Hall and Occasions attracted party goers by the bus load from all around the UK and internationally with people coming from as far as Canada to experience a piece of the Jive Turkey action. The coming together of Hazel and DJ Parrott (Richard Barrett) meant that Jive Turkey was one of the first nights where both black and white clubbers came together under one roof to party side by side in what had been, up until that point, a very segregated scene on a national level. In addition, Hazel was well known for his shows on pirate radio stations as well as working at the FON record store both of which helped him in making a huge success of his Track with no name” as Forgemasters with Rob Gordon – the first track to be released on Warp Records. As if that wasn’t enough, over the past 15 years, Hazel has put on almost 50 Kabal parties in various unique and alternative venues across Sheffield. We met the man for a coffee and a chat and were blown away by the positivity and humility of this local hero. Despite being booked into a nearby studio to work on new productions on Shabby Doll records, he gave up over 2 hours of his time to provide us with the detailed and fascinating history of Winston Hazel, Jive Turkey, Forgemasters and Kabal as well as the scoop on his exciting new projects. Hazel said that in each interview he has given he’s shared more than the previous and this was no exception.

When interviewing Hazel it would be remiss to start any where other than by obtaining a detailed history of the seminal club night he co-ran with Barrett, Jive Turkey. For those that don’t know and for many that are too young to remember, Jive Turkey was a night which began at a club which will be known to local clubbers today as Fez but back then was called Mona Lisa’s. Hazel already had a huge following from his DJing at Turn Ups – a big night on the black scene in a club in one of the buildings near Commercial Street Bridge. In addition to that however he played at a night called Maximillion’s held at the club underneath Mona Lisa’s and it was from this gig that Hazel’s path first crossed with Barrett’s. Eager to find out what was happening upstairs, Hazel went up for a listen and enjoyed the 70s disco, funk and go go music played at Hothouse, as the night was then called. This was a nice contrast for Hazel to the music he was playing at that time at Turn Ups and was different to the music his black friends were into. “A lot of my black friends weren’t into 70s funk. What I played was more progressive – the early funk bands like Zap and Clear. I went along and I brought my mates. Parrot invited me to play with him as I was playing the new electro- he knew I knew what I was doing. I invited him to come to Turn Ups which he found a bit of a strange experience as it was like: “white man in here”! He liked the fact that it was quite complimentary to what he was doing. I didnt invite him to play at mine. My crowd were quite snobbish. There was a black white separation.

At Barrett’s night the crowd were however more open and one thing that Hazel found particularly satisfying was that the dancing started as soon as people got into the club. A main player in the Footworking and Fusion Footworking dance movement, Hazel and his friends that came along to Hothouse were always dressed, ready for a dance battle: “We used to make our own clothes: the funk ruffle jeans – we cut the back and put blue zips in and a red strip. When you’re ready to battle you would pull the zips down. We had a little towel hanging out of the pocket and cap and when the bad tunes came on wed slam the towel down and start footworking. People would start to try and copy us. They couldnt do it but it was brilliant. Thats what you want as a dancer!.

Hazel’s friends and fans from Turn Ups didn’t venture to Jive Turkey: My crowd were a lot more flippant about what they didnt know, however, that all changed with the collapse of the jazz funk all dayer scene. Hazel had also been a big name on this scene djing at parties at The Palais in Sheffield, the Humming Bird in Birmingham, Rock City in Nottingham and Hammersmith Palais, London. He played along side DJs such as Jonathan, Hugh and Clark and Mark Shaft at the all day parties and as a scene this was far more mixed in terms of its crowd. When the all dayer scene collapsed in the mid-eighties there was nothing like it in the country except for Jive Turkey. Hazel’s position at the forefront of this scene created a surge of interest in Jive Turkey and the night catapulted. Far more black clubbers started to come to the night creating a more diverse demographic at Jive Turkey that was reminiscent of the all dayer scene. In addition, a lot more white males and even football hooligans started to come. Jive Turkey was seen as an Owls club but due to the eruption of ecstasy use there was never any trouble in that regard. In relation to the impact of ecstasy on Jive Turkey Hazel said: “the e thing made the party bigger than the venues. Whereas you would have people dancing on the dance floor only before, when ecstasy came in, the party was happening all over the club. It was incredible to see that erupt!.

Then the Warp sound started to rear its head. Hazel was working in the FON record store, which was run by the founders of Warp and he also hosted The Friday Afternoon Dance Party on pirate radio with the tagline: “Get ready for the strong end of the week cos we don’t do weekends!. Unbeknownst to him, his radio show was reaching as far as Leeds and Bradford. People started to travel around to funk nights in other parts of Yorkshire. “These nights existed but Jive Turkey was the one everyone talked about. Something was happening on a bigger scale. The budding artists were coming to Jive Turkey as a means of finding out what was going on and people were bringing music for us to play. Jive Turkey brought huge names such as Todd Terry and Roger Sanchez to Sheffield for big parties at Kiki’s and Occasions – a club with a capacity of around 350. Hazel and Barrett however, overfilled it with 700 people with crazy parties where people would be banging on the roof. It also transpires that Sheffield was infamous for producing good speed and Hazel even told us about a pensioner who used to make bath loads of the stuff! In describing the Jive Turkey crowd Hazel said: “Everybody knew each other. We were the part of society that bucked the system – that would question the authorities – the creatives. The more raw, techno side of the music played at Jive Turkey completely fitted the phonics of Sheffield. “We had that pounding noise of steel thudding……ricocheting across the hills. My bedroom looked over the park way. I saw them digging that up. I watched them digging it. These things had a huge impact on the music that we wrote. I was optimistic through all that as for me that was change and I like change but it kept me motivated. I had the belief things will change in time. For Hazel, the economic and social issues in Sheffield were the reason that Jive Turkey existed and parallels can be drawn with the eruption of techno culture in Berlin and Detroit. In the UK, the all dayer scene and Northern soul were the glue that stuck the disenfranchised youth at that time together and Jive Turkey came along and took things to a new level. Winston states with conviction that it was the marriage between him and Barrett that allowed for this to happen creating the mix of black and white. “Jive Turkey was culturally and politically super important in this country.

I asked Hazel about his discovery of bleep techno to which his blunt response was: “Bleep techno never existed as far as I was concerned. We weren’t making house music/ techno, we just knew what worked. When I went into the studio with Robert (Gordon) it was a bi product of really good radio stations, really good nights, like attracting like and if you’re doing something really good you attract other really good things. Im a firm believer in the universe providing you with what you need.” Hazel had met Gordon (The other half of Forgemasters) at school. It was the pirate radio stations and Jive Turkey that allowed Winston to reach a lot of people and promoted a belief in him. The seminal Forgemasters tune: Track with no name was produced when Gordon got his hands on an Akai s100 sampler. “I was blown away by it, he was blown a way by it. We were experimenting in the studio for about four hours and ended up with a broken riff with the sampler. We didnt even known it was finished but then we played it and I was like get it on tape Im playing it on the radio tomorrow! We couldn’t think of the name and we both shouted, at the same time, Track with no name!. The reaction when Hazel played it on the radio the next day was insane the phones went fucking mental – next day people were ringing the shop asking about it”. People started to copy the sound and bring tapes to the club for Winston to play: I was playing it having not listened to it, the rougher the better!.

The track had such a positive response that Hazel and Gordon decided they needed a name and what could be more fitting for a techno outfit from Sheffield than Forgemasters? Hazel and Gordon decided to press 500 white labels of “Track With No Name” and they even hand wrote them. Hazel had friends in many high profile records shops and he got 5/6 of them to distribute the track including Groove records, Spinning in Manchester and Blue Bird in London. When Hazel phoned them to find out the 5 top tracks playing at that time, in every case “Track with no name” was one of them!

In 2014 Jive Turkey was recognised by Red Bull Music Academy when it was chosen to host a pod in the land mark event “Revolutions in Sound” at the London Eye. Twenty club nights were honoured in this way, hosting one pod of the eye each. “It was a great experience! Parrot loved it and he is very hard to please. There was a panel of twenty people who decided which nights should host a pod and Jive Turkey was the only night that got a unanimous vote. “We intended on making our pod an incredible experience for the people that came to it. We said we wanted 8 dancers of our choosing to come in. They understood by the time the pod had done its first rotation. We did not want head nodders – theres nothing more uninspiring. The girls were zumba dancers that come to our parties now. They weren’t probably alive at the time of Jive Turkey. The foot workers were a bit stiff but we all had a brilliant time!

A lot of Winston’s contemporaries left Sheffield around 1999/2000 due to a change in the scene prompted by the rise of the super club. When Gatecrasher became so huge in the Steel City Hazel along with many other were left thinking as he put it: “What the fuck”? “Do you not get it”?. Hazel moved to London and set up some parties in the capital but resented always fitting into somebody else’s thing. He had to go though he says to give Sheffield space to breathe. What I recognised was that there had been a lot of animosity towards me and Parrot. A lot of people resented us and people wouldnt let us play at their nights. People saying: you get all the work. When I left for London I said I was going to give Sheffield some time to breathe but it was important for me to come back. It was love that eventually motivated Hazel to come back up North as he met his current partner, Rachel and fell in love for the first time. It was during this period that Kabal began as well as Scuba, a club which provided Hazel with many fond memories.

Over the last 15 years Hazel has been part of team Kabal putting on famously good parties in alternative, unique venues in Sheffield. He described the early days of Kabal as a product of his emerging friendship with friend Raif Collis who had offered to catalogue Hazel’s extensive, 25,000 strong, record collection. Raif, who had a passion for funk music, took a year out of his calendar to sort through this huge treasure trove of music and in payment, Winston told him to keep a copy of any that he liked. As a result, hardly surprisingly, Raif developed a taste for dance music. Raif was someone who Hazel said was instrumental in bringing people together on a social level and no where was this skill more utilised than with the bringing together of the Stone Jam collective. Stone Jam was a project started by Andrew Greenlees, now sadly deceased. The aim was to bring creative people from different groups in Sheffield together and the venue for this collective was the newly opened Castle Court flats:

“Castle court when it opened was like creative hotel – it was incredible. Everyone looked after each other making it a very safe environment. There were lots of parties and lots of drugs. I lived there for 3 years. It seemed like the longest time ever. Where I lived in Castle Court was actually a few doors from where I lived as child. The parties at Castle Court were legendary – people came over from Manchester to party and the parties went on for days and days”.

In 1994 Hazel went to Jamaica for the first time and Raif went with him: “That was when I knew this was my best friend“. Hazel went away to discover himself at a point where he says he needed to stop himself from “tipping over the drug edge“. When asked what he discovered, he said with utter conviction: “Winston Hazel“. “I had been taking so many drugs that I went to Jamaica and I didn’t even feel black. I went out there and I took off all my gold and my glasses. I felt like I stood out people would shout out “yo english” when I walked down the street. I really quickly wanted to feel it was home, I didn’t want it to feel alien. That decision to strip myself down and blend in was really important for me to feel happy with myself and feel happy with my background. Embracing the music, the culture. I never saw so many people so happy with nothing I aimed to emulate that and keep it with me forever”.

Hazel was clearly highly influenced by what had happened in Jamaica and he and Raif came back with a new sound for Sheffield. At the time DJ Pipes (Peter Donohoe) along with Ben Weaver, Ashton Thomas and others ran a night called Waxlyrical. The sound that Hazel and Raif brought fitted the sonic emphasis for bass and ticked a lot of boxes for Sheffield. “I came back with a heart break rhythm, ragga rhythm track – i was taking ragga and funk and soul and also infusing rage as instrumental tracks back to back to back to back – never been done tracks, mixing them all together.” This certainly created quite an impact: “The techno heads were listening up and the reggae heads started to hear it as well. This started to spark similar feelings to those that Jive Turkey had created.” The upshot of all this creativity and new musical energy was to give Raif the desire to put together Kabal and Rude Movements. Kabal is now in its 15th year and has only one more party planned in Spring which will be the 50th and very sadly the finale. TBC went along to the free Kabal all day party at this years Tramlines and can only say make sure you get a ticket for the Autumn Kabal because the atmosphere and music in that place is like nothing else in Sheffield.

Never one to standstill however, of course Hazel is already channeling his energies into new and equally exciting projects not least his work as part of The Originators. The Originators is a collective of electronic music outfits who started out at the time of the fall of the Berlin wall and comprises one member of each of the following: Forgemasters, Unit 3, Altern8, Rhythmatics and LFO. Each produces a track and then forwards it to the others to remix. The tracks are to be released on the experimental Chill Records and rehearsals for a live tour start next year. Keep those eyes peeled for up coming gigs TBCers, this one is not to be missed! In addition Hazel is also producing music for Shabby Doll Records run by Matt Swift.

Well readers that’s the story of Winston Hazel, a true Sheffield hero and one of the most inspiring people TBC has ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Maouris Promotional Reviews – January 2015

HotC056 SEFF

This will be our third promotional review linked with Maouris promotions and we are grateful for the opportunity to listen to and review their latest releases. This time we have been fortunate to have access to 15 of their latest single/EP releases from November/December 2014 and January 2015 which have ranged from blissed out electronica to techno including some disco, house and electro. The format of this review will be a brief summary of the releases, labels and tracks followed by a more in depth review of the best three releases from which we will select our favourite release.

We were kindly informed by the Maouris team that our access would include a greater range of labels this time round including; Visionquest, Rebellion, Hot Creations, International Feel, Crosstown Rebels, Eskimo Recordings, Soul Clap Records, Firehouse Recordings (Kim Ann Foxman’s new label), BOSO (Mario Basanov/Ten Walls label), Play It Say It (Seth Troxler’s label) and boy were we pleased to have such great access to this cross section of the electronic music market. A great deal of time has been spent listening, repeat listening, researching and providing our feedback to Maouris, now it is time for us to spread the joy to our followers and friends at TBC. The artists which featured along with their release title, record label and short summary are listed below:

  • Jay Haze – The Mulatar House (Soul Clap Records) – This EP features the bizarre and interesting Mulatar 3 sided string instrument which provides the foundation for the three tracks. Wonky, dreamy, balearic sum up this release.
  • Kim Ann Foxman – Firehouse 001 (Firehouse Recordings) – Hercules and Love Affair vocalist Kim Ann Foxman has been toying with electronic music production and featured vocals for a while now which has lead to her setting up her own record label fresh out of Brooklyn. Groovy, Acid Squelch, Haunting vocals and trip breakdown sum up the release.
  • Subb-An feat. The Million Plan – Vapour Trails (Crosstown Rebels) – Very extended player should be the format of this release as it features 6 tracks including the title track, Oasis and Black fire plus some great remixes including a Mathew Herbert classic. Bassy, Dubby, ‘Herbert-ised’ (new word for Herbert’s ability to create a new track with his remixes), Acid Arab sum up the release.
  • Johannes Brecht – Enjoy the Void (BOSO) – Mario Basanov AKA Ten Walls has helped set up and launch the label with this immense Ten Walls tracks over the last 12/18 months and this new release is cut from the same cloth with the signature sound that the label is now renowned for. Progressive, Emotional, Atmospheric, Uplifting, Eclectic sum up the release.
  • Len Leise – Music for Forests (International Feel) – the most bizarre release of this promotional selection and it needs to be heard to be believed. The words used to introduce this track by Maouris cannot be topped so I would recommend having a read – http://maouris.co.uk/music-detail.php?c=ifeel035-music-for-forests. Chilled, Dreamy, Nature, Percussion, Animals, Meditation sum up the release.
  • Luca C and Brigante feat. Roisin Murphy – Invisions (Hot Creations) – The follow up track to Flash of Light from the same team gives us Invisions which is another great release featuring Roisin Murphy who is a TBC favourite through both her Moloko and solo artist releases. Deep House, Summery, Amazing Vocals, Luke Solomon Remix (which is epic), sum up this release.
  • NTEIBINT feat. Birsen – Riptide (Eskimo Recordings) – George Bakalakos or NTEIBINT has releases on Warp, Kitsune and Bang Gang which ticks a lot of boxes that TBC admire in regards to record labels and musical genres. We were intrigued and interested with this release which is a blend of pop and disco. Electronica, Amazing Vocals (from Birsen, a Belgian vocalist), Pop, Disco, Electro sum this release up.
  • Berkson & What – Make it True feat. JoJo De Freq (Play It Say It) – in 2014 Seth Troxler set up his own label which has featured Sharam, Clarian and Steve Lawler releasing tracks with a sound that you would be familiar of having listened to Mr.Troxler’s own DJ sets. Sunshine, Groovy, Acid Squelch, Luke Solomon Remix (he is on fire at the moment, Essential Mix on the cards for Friday 16th January, don’t miss it!) sum it up.
  • Davi – Gates of Babylon (Rebellion) – From a subsidiary of Crosstown Rebels vast music empire comes a release via Rebellion and it is on the back of a recent wave of Arabic inspired tracks that Acid Arab have brought to the masses over the last 12/18 months. House/Techno, Progressive, Hazy, Summer, Arabic sum this one up.
  • Laura Jones – Eskipade (Visionquest) – Laura Jones is a fan favourite since her rise in the DJ ranks over the last 3/4 years courtesy of great DJ sets and releases. TBC were fortunate to see Laura in her early days when she played with Ellen Allien at Sankeys in Manchester (October 2011 – Queens of Sankey’s) where she was excellent. This new release is more straight up dance floor music with a heavy groove consistent throughout, perfect for the bass rich club sound system. Tech-House, Heavy Groove, Acid Squelch, Kick Drum, Hand Clap sum up the release.
  • Steve Lawler – House Record (Hot Creations) – Steve Lawler is a house music legend and provides the latest release for Jamie Jones and Lee Foss on their Hot Creations label with a sound that you would expect from the label; catchy, groovy house music. Acid House, Old School, Energy, Hand Clap sum this one up.
  • SEFF – Jack’s Back (Hot Creations) – a great EP from a new artist to TBC but SEFF has worked with Steve Lawler and Dave Seaman already which gives him a great pedigree. House music with electro and great basslines which sound excellent played loud. We will keep an eye out for SEFF in the future. Electro House, Old School Vocal, Sub Bass, Evil Synths sum this one up.
  • Sandeman and John Monkman – French Girl in Berghain (Rebellion) – Another release from Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels with a bizarre house track and a porno sounding female vocal that was born out of an experience at Berghain in Berlin for the tracks producers. Freaky, Shonky, Wonky, Epic Breakdown, Bizarre, Berghain sums this up.
  • Moreon & Baffa – A Mental Process (Visionquest) – This producer team hail from Venezuela and now reside in Barcelona, which is one of TBC’s favourite places in the world, and their roots and environment suit their production style. They are traditional producers who understand music at a ground level and are renowned for their music ‘architecture’ and sonic landscapes. Progressive, Structure, Minimal, Deadbeat Remix (heavy, synth noises and storming bass) sum this one up.
  • Dave Angel – Revelation (Crosstown Rebels) – A new release from a UK techno legend who has been around in the music industry since i was born in 1983. Dave Angel is well know for his 1990 mash up track featuring Sweet Dreams from the Eurythmics titled the Nightmare Mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pegKuWUR84Y) which is an acid house/rave stormer. Since this time he has released over 50 singles and albums making him a stalwart for the UK techno scene. Progressive Techno, Old School Vocal/Sample, Synths, Keys, 90’s, Bass sum up this release

As you will have identified from the diverse selection we have reviewed and summarised above selecting our best three releases and our favourite was very difficult. The variety of musical genres, some great remixes which transformed the EP, brilliant producers and featured artists have both entertained us over the last few weeks and had TBC asking themselves which releases stood out above the rest. The shortlist in no particular order:

1. Davi – Gates of Babylon (Rebellion)

  • Over the last 18 months Acid Arab have brought us their collection of tracks, an amazing RA podcast and influenced a whole scene in House music where the arabic sound has become very popular. TBC have enjoyed this direction in House music and always keep an eye out for new records that sit in this sub-genre of which Davi has now added his production work via Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels. This EP is excellent, it oozes quality production skills and the progressive style used works perfectly with the arabic sounds. You can play both tracks back to back and they mix perfectly which is proof of the quality in the production. It is hard to pick a favourite out of Gates of Babylon and Eclipse so we can only recommend them both.

2. SEFF – Jack’s Back (Hot Creations)

  • SEFF’s credentials over the last few years would enable you to predict that a great release was on the cards, working with Steve Lawler and Dave Seaman (two of the all time dance music greats) on their respective labels and with Great Stuff Recordings which is a TBC favourite label, however having not heard of the DJ before we were both surprised and excited with this release. Jack’s Back features three tracks; Like That, Jack’s Back and Zoot, and they are all excellent in their own way. Jack’s Back, the title track, is probably the weaker of the three but it still provides a great party feel and would be more suited to earlier in the night. Like That and Zoot are right on the money and provide energy, basslines, synths and old school sounds which sit between House and Techno perfectly, with Zoot being our favourite due to its marching beat and evil sounding synth sounds. We look forward to more from SEFF.

3. NTEIBINT feat. Birsen – Riptide (Eskimo Recordings)

  • The most leftfield of our selections in the top three but we would expect nothing less from an Eskimo Recordings release and an artist that has featured on WARP, Kitsune and Bang Gang which is a diverse yet excellent array of record labels in their own right. NTEIBINT has produced a track which sits well within the urban electronic pop genre which has been very popular over the last few years nesting nicely between commercial pop music and the gritty urban club scene. The radio edit is probably our least favourite version of the track as it doesn’t provide you with enough of Birsen’s beautiful vocal and NTEIBINT’s electronic production skills. The extended version sits at around 7 minutes and is the perfect duration to enjoy both aspects of the song. You will definitely find yourself bopping away to the tune, humming to the vocal and wanting to play on repeat. The Dub version even provides an option to play out in the club during a disco or house set which is nice.

We would highly recommend all three releases but our favourite has to be SEFF as it is the most suited to TBC and we could imagine dancing around to Like That and Zoot on the loud sound system at one of our nights. The EP features three great tracks, doesn’t worry about remixes and just focuses on the dance floor and production. We hope to see SEFF playing out at some stage and hope the next releases maintain the same quality and style.

Notable mentions go to Johannes Brecht’s Enjoy the Void on BOSO and Subb-An’s Vapour Trails on Crosstown Rebels who were close behind the selections above but didn’t quite make it. There are also some notable tracks also that did not make it onto the shortlist but they were true gems on their respective EP. Luke Solomon’s remixes are standout for Luca C & Brigante feat. Roisin Murphy Invisions  and Berkson & What Make it True. These are the two most recommended remixes across the selection. The Mathew Herbert remix of Subb-Ann Vapour Trails is a close third.

We hope you have enjoyed reading, look forward to your feedback and we will bring you more promo reviews soon.

TBC

Promotional Album Review – Eskimo Recordings pres. The Green Collection

Eskimo Green

Good evening TBC. Hot on the heels of our last promotional review post, thanks to our recent tie in with Eskimo Recordings via Maouris Promotions, we have another post featuring a new compilation called The Green Collection. If you have been fortunate to listen to the previous two releases titled the Pink and Blue collection you will know that Eskimo Recordings releases are as cool as their name suggests, they seem to effortlessly select the most upfront disco, deep house and house that is currently on offer. We would highly recommend that you check out the previous collections along with the record labels back catalogue which is extensive and equally as impressive.

The most difficult thing in the dance music industry is to be able to continuously put out single releases, albums and compilations while remaining at the forefront of your specific music genre. If you were to base your assessment of Eskimo on their last two releases you would believe that they were up there with the best in disco and deep house. They have managed to secure tracks by big artists such as Freeform Five feat. Roisin Murphy on their last Blue collection and have their own label favourites such as Satin Jackets who have a track on each of the three albums in the series. The Blue collection is one our favourite releases of 2014 at TBC and therefore we were apprehensive when we heard that a new collection was out so soon. Could it live up to its predecessor?

You first notice when listening to the new Green Collection compilation that a shift has taken place since its predecessor where the focus has moved to a more dreamy, percussive disco track structure on the first half of the album and a more upbeat, ‘spacey’ disco, synthesiser lead structure on the latter half. If you had your heart set on more of the same you may well be disappointed but you shouldn’t be because Eskimo have provided an alternative side to their label which should excite and captivate you. The earlier tracks from Knight One, Alexander Skancke and Horixon (the latter two were reviewed on TBC in September – follow this link https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2014/09/28/album-and-single-releases-promo-reviews/ ) are well produced, dreamy disco tracks with each one having its own quirky take on the Eskimo sound. Vinny Villbass (an Eskimo favourite who provided a great remix to the Found my Place track by Skancke), Mees Dierdrop and NTEIBINT pick things up a bit with their funky, spaced out disco sounds that have a more eclectic feel featuring wonky strings, ‘trancey’ lullabies and space funk respectively. From track 7 onwards is where this album moves onto a different level, lead by an amazing new track from Kraak & Smaak who are underground house legends from Netherlands. Their track Ghostnote has to be the standout track, oozing class and showing off an 80’s power track that wouldn’t go amiss in a stylish movie soundtrack like “Drive”. The synth lead piano track rises and falls throughout the track leaving you powerless to avoid grooving away. Duncan Grey, Blende, Trulz & Robin and Man Power continue the more upbeat focus of the album with tracks well suited to follow the monster Ghostnote. Blende’s track Sparkle would have to be the second stand out track, another great, classy, synth lead, space disco track (see sample below). The album ends with an almost Moderat-esque euphoric track by Satin Jackets featuring a superb vocal from Patrick Baker that will emotionally move you, a great way to end the album.

Overall this is a great edition to the Eskimo Recordings catalogue and creates a superb trilogy that all disco and house fans should own. Is the newest release better than the Blue Collection in TBC’s opinion I hear you asking? We wouldn’t say so, but the former collection was an exceptional release where each track shone, whereas the latest Green Collection provides a more diverse selection of what Eskimo have to offer that impresses in its own way.

We hoped you enjoyed and we have another great promotional label tie in to announce soon so keep you eyes peeled.

TBC

 

TBC Playlist June 2014

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BBC Essential Mix – Magda (2014)

Decay – Efdemin (2014)

Love Letters – Metronomy (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Jackmaster (2014)

Future Disco Vol.7 ‘Til The Lights Come Up’ – Various (2014)

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Daniel Avery (2014)

FAZEmag in the mix 26 – Ray Okpara & Anja Schneider (2014)

Eskimo Recordings pres. The Blue Collection – Various (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Bonobo (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann (2014) *

Netzwerk der Zunkuft – Anthony Rother (2014)

Intensity – Eric Sneo (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Jimmy Edgar (2014)

Bleep 10 – Various (2014)

White Woman – Chromeo (2014)

Future Disco pres. Poolside Sounds Vol.3 – Various (2014)

I Am Ok – Oliver Koletzki (2014)

Live in Miami – John Digweed (2014)

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn (2014)

Bizarro World – Dj Overdose (2013)

Resident Advisor #417 – Downliners Sekt (2014)

Solens Arc – Kangding Ray (2014)

Smell the DA.I.S.Y. – De La Soul (2014)

Fabric #75 – Maya Jane Coles (2014)

Mi Senti – Roisin Murphy (2014)

The Feast of the Broken Heart – Hercules & Love Affair (2014)

Reality Testing – Lone (2014)

Code – Answer Code Request (2014)

 

Classics

Elaste Vol.1-3 – Slow Motion Disco (2006), Space Disco (2008) & Super Motion Disco (2010)

Bugged Out Pres. Suck my Deck – Friendly Fires (2010)

BBC Essential Mix  Live at Pacha, Ibiza- Frankie Knuckles (2000)

Piece Works – Ewan Pearson (2007)

The Trip created by Saint Etienne – Various (2004)

We Are Punks Vol1-3 – Anthony Rother (2007-2008)

The Future Will Come – The Juan Maclean (2009)

Heartbeats – Grum (2010)

Choice pres. A collection of Classics by Frankie Knuckles – Various (2000)

Bedrock – John Creamer & Stephane K (2002)

Blackmusick 10 Years of Tiefschwarz – Tiefschwarz (2007)

The TBC playlist has finally returned for only its second instalment of 2014, apologies for all those who have missed our regular instalment of music appreciation. Since February (when we last published our playlist selection) its been a busy time and as you know time flies when you are having fun! TBC has been on tour to the Big Apple to see what’s going on the other side of the pond, we partied for a lot of May with the bookended Bank Holiday’s and generally been busy little bunnies. This has meant however that we have been listening to a lot of music, and I mean a lot. If absence makes the heart grow fonder then my absence from my regular playlist blog has made the music selection grow stronger and my need to bring a wealth of music appreciation for the TBC followers enjoyment.

First things first, the slow start to the year on the music front has ceased and we have had the pleasure of enjoying a great selection of artist albums, mix compilations and podcast & internet/radio shows. The long playlist above has been split to give you the current gems that we have been listening to at TBC HQ along with some of the classics we have dusted down over the last few months. If you already own some of the playlist above then I am sure you have enjoyed them however if you don’t I would highly recommend a good hunt for some new music as there is some serious aural enjoyment to be had. In order to summarise the playlist we have Techno, Electro, House, Disco, Electro-Pop, Progressive and Hip Hop, of which predominately Techno and House feature heavily as ever but I would highly recommend the alternative treats offered by the Disco and Electro.

We have followed the typical playlist structure; there is the best selection of music from the last few months in 2014 (with the aforementioned classics separated below), the best picks have been highlighted in bold as these have best entertained TBC HQ and will remain on the stereo for the near future and the ‘best of the best’ will have its own TBC star treatment with the * award.

Decay – Efdemin (2014)

Efdemin has been a favourite at TBC ever since we discovered his self titled first album Efdemin (2007) and the follow up Chicago (2010). His sound has always hovered around quirky minimal techno with a raft of haunting and unusual sounds thrown in to create an interesting production style however this latest album has seen him going off at a tangent towards to the harder bass heavy sound of techno which has left us very excited. The ever influential sounds of Berghain in Berlin seems to have transformed the amazing production style of Efdemin to new levels and there are some dark and heavy tracks on this new album, our favourite being ‘Some Kind of Up and down Yes’. Since its release in March this year we have been unable to stop listening to this LP and we would highly recommend a listen.

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje (2014)

First we had the Swedish House Mafia and then we had the Norwegian Disco Mafia; Prins Thomas, Lindstrom and Todd Terje. The latter has been the most illustrious of the trio, only playing exclusive parties and gigs, releasing EP’s and singles along with two mixes; Resident Advisor Podcast #98 (2008) and Remaster of the Universe (2010 – this is a superb collection of disco which is also highly recommended). Todd Terje has now released his first LP ‘It’s Album Time’ and also announced his status as King of Norwegian disco. It has been a long time coming since his first release in 2004 but its worth the wait and he seems to elude to this with the simple album title, even though it should be more like ‘It’s about bloody time for my first album’ but that doesn’t quite have the same ring or marketable value. From the intro track to the final classic song Inspector Norse this is one epic album, ranging from the traditional disco sound to electro-house tinged classics and the more eclectic Jonny & Mary (which features Bryan Ferry and covers a Robert Palmer track). Our favourites are Delorean Dynamite and Oh Joy however it is hard to not love every track. This album has been well worth the wait and will feature in the top albums of 2014, Mr.Terje will struggle to better this next time round but what a great challenge to set yourself.

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann (2014)

Pete Tong continues to provide a ceaseless roster of high-end DJ’s for this years BBC Essential Mix show and this mix from Marcel Dettmann is superb. It is always difficult when one of your favourite live DJ’s provides an instalment of a mix series; Essential Mix, Fabric, Resident Advisor podcast etc. however Marcel Dettmann has delivered time and time again. His Conducted mix CD (2011) is simply brilliant, his Groove podcast from this year is an excellent eclectic mix and the older FACT (2010) and RA (2008) podcasts are both top draw. The ability to bring your live sound to CD or podcast is always difficult but Dettmann consistently delivers and this Essential Mix continues in this vein. The track selection is immense, the names you would want to feature, that you would have heard booming on the dance floor in Berghain, are all apparent. The mix starts with a few atmospheric tracks as you would expect from his famous live residency sets in Berlin, really picking up pace from around the twenty minute mark with a great tune from Tobias called Fast Null. At the 45 minute mark there is a creepy, atmospheric, industrial, electro-techno track Eurovision by Laibach (Dettmann remix) which is excellent, a great inclusion in this mix albeit a white label that we may never get our hands on! LB Dub Corps (A.K.A Luke Slater) has a couple of tracks featured, there is an amazing Stephan Linzetti track View From The Collapsing Centre which is a crazy, haunting techno number and there are countless other techno stormers.  I can only say that you must listen to this mix, it is perfect TBC music and a great party mix. The Soundcloud link is below:

https://soundcloud.com/everybodywantstobethedj/marcel-dettmann-essential-mix

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn (2014)

This EP from Robyn and Royksopp was one of my personally most anticipated records of 2014. Both artists have been favourites of the TBC crew for years, Royskopp have provided some of the most progressive and blissed out electronica and house that Scandinavia/Sweden  has had to offer and Robyn (similar to another of my favourite female artists Annie) brings her own quirky Swedish electro pop in her two most popular artist albums; Robyn (2005) and Body Talk (2010) even though she has been around since the mid 90’s even delivering some classic dance tracks like Show Me Love (1997). When we heard that they would be combining to perform as a super group in 2014 and saw the teaser trailers we were jumping around like lunatics, check out the video for yourself:

Röyksopp & Robyn Do It Again Tour 2014

Their EP Do it Again only contains 5 tracks but it does show off their new awesome electro techno sound which is reminiscent of Justice a few years ago now, pulsating electro bass music with Robyn’s lyrics and vocoder samples. The first two tracks ‘Monument’ and ‘Say it’ will be amazing live performance tracks, the remaining three could be new releases for Robyn and Royskopp on their own and represent each of their familiar styles. The EP lives up to the hype and we cannot wait to see them at Melt in Germany in July.

Fabric #75 – Maya Jane Coles (2014)

As with my previous comments concerning great live DJ’s and their transformation onto a famous mix CD series or podcast/radio show it is always a risky affair but, as with Marcel Dettmann, Maya Jane Coles (MJC) has consistently performed with a wealth of mixes; DJ Kicks (2012), two BBC Essential Mixes (2011, 2013), RApodcast #241 (2011) and a couple of Mixmag CDs (2011, 2013) and a great production album Comfort (2013). Fabric has been a hit and miss CD series for a few years now, delivering some excellent instalments but following them with bland and mundane mixes, TBC remains a subscriber to the long running series and our loyalty was repaid with the MJC #75 Fabric mix. This is a darker side than previously experienced with MJC mixes and it doesn’t take long to move into a techno grove which captivates you for 74 minutes. The opening, dark techno track called ‘Somebody’ by Trus’me is a superb introduction to the new darker MJC sound. There is a great track from the ever trusty Mathew Jonson called ‘Level &’ (Dixon remix) and ‘No One Gets Left Behind’ by DJ Yellow & Flowers And Sea Creatures is just epic. The mix flutters between techno and tech-house with a great remix of an old Paul Woolford classic ‘Erotic Discourse’ by one of our favourite artists Dense & Pika, to a dirty, grimy, bass track by Yenk called ‘Basement’, ending on an eclectic vocal track by Fran Von Vie feat. Cio May called ‘Lonely Nights’. Once finished you feel like you have been on a journey courtesy of MJC, one which you would have loved to experience in a club with a monstrous sound system but just turn it up, start from track 1 again and you can enjoy in all its glory. A classic in the Fabric CD series.

 

As ever, it is so difficult having shortlisted our favourite albums and mixes to select a favourite. Each selection has been listened to multiple times over the recent months and enjoyed at TBC HQ parties, chill sessions and while researching and trawling through the multitude of music releases and internet mixes. We managed to narrow it down to Todd Terje’s super disco debut album and the immense Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann’s BBC Essential Mix but the winner has to to be the latter. Dettmann managed to harness all the best parts of one of his epic 6 hour plus Berghain mixes into this essential mix for everyone to experience the true brilliance of his tune selection, set structure and pounding, pounding bass laden techno music. This mix is TBC down to a tee and therefore is our star selection for this edition of our playlist. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading, hopefully you made it this far and can enjoy some of, if not a lot of, the playlist we have provided this month covering the last 4 months music plus some great classics from years past.

TBC

TBC Playlist 28.10 to 22.11

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Green Velvet – Unshakeable (2013)

Axel Boman – Family Vacation (2013)

Dj Alfredo – Ibiza Spotlight Pres. The Heritage Project (2012)

Motor City Drum Ensemble – DJ Kicks (2011)

John Talabot – Dj Kicks (2013)*

L.B.Corp & P.A.S (Luke Slater) – Resident Advisor Podcast #389 (2013)

Dj Tennis – Live @ Panorama Bar (17.02.13)

Machinedrum – BBC Essential Mix (16.11.2013)

Boys Noize – Fabric Live #72 (2013)

Various Artists – In The Dark: Detroit is Back (2013)

Bonobo – Later Night Tales (2013)

Lee Burridge – Live @ Robot Heart – Burning Man Festival 2013

Special Request (Paul Woolford) – Soul Music (2013)

Gesaffelstein – I Love Techno 2013 (2013)

Gesaffelstein – Aleph (2013)

Tiga – FACT Podcast #411 (2013)

Dj Bobafatt – Death Waltz’s Halloween Mix FACT Podcast #407 (2013)

Benjamin Damage – Heliosphere (2013)

Letherette – Letherette (2013)

Sven Vath – In the Mix : The Sound of the 14th Season (2013)

Azari & III – Body Language Vol.13 (2013)

Marcel Dettmann -Conducted (2011)

Gary Beck – Bring a Friend (2013)

Factory Floor – Factory Floor (2013)

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind (2013)

Mark Houle – Undercover (2013)

Tube & Berger – Raveline Mix Session (2013)

Scuba – Update (2013)

Various Artists – 30 Years of R&S Records (2013)

The Classics:

Nick Warren – BBC Essential Mix (20.08.1995)

Johannes Heil – Freaks R Us (2006)

Gregor Tresher – Neon (2006)

Mauro Picotto – Meganite Vol.3 (2006)

Kevin Saunderson – Faces & Phases (1996)

Roisin Murphy – Overpowered (2007)

Phew!… its been a while but its good to be back and writing up the TBC music highlights of the last month. There are no fewer than 35 mixes, CD’s and podcasts that we have managed to  bundle into this months playlist and what a bumper playlist it is. This volume of music represents some quality listening time at TBC HQ during an unnaturally quiet month and the wealth of music that has been released recently, some of which is spectacular. There are also some ‘Golden Oldies’ that have been dug out from the collection and dusted down for a reminisce. Some of which we are sure will feature on your all time greatest album/mixes lists.

This is now the fourth appearance of the TBC playlist so you should all know the format by now but if you don’t, our favourite mixes are highlighted above in bold and the best will have a ‘*’ next to it, our mark of appreciation for a supreme effort by that DJ, Producer or Artist. We hope you enjoy the review below and having a root around to source the music and appreciate it as much as we have.

The Shortlist:

To start with the Classics:

Nick Warren – BBC Essential Mix (20.08.1995) – If any of you are lucky enough to have an arsenal of BBC Essential Mixes that includes gems going back as far as 1995 or have a selection of mixes from some of the greatest electronic artists in the last 3 decades you will undoubtably have this little number. 2 hours of Classic Nick Warren taking us on a journey from psy, trance, house , progressive and techno. This mix had been hidden away for a long time but a recommendation from a friend encouraged me to go searching for it and boy was I pleased I persevered and found it. I would highly recommend you do the same and get searching, you won’t be disappointed.

Mauro Picotto – Meganite Vol.3 (2006) – Mauro Picotto has been a favourite of mine going back to the ‘reach for the lasers’ era of trance in the 90’s/00’s with Lizard, Iguana, Awesome & Bangkok where I was fortunate to experience some amazing Picotto sets at  Gatecrasher (6-8 hour sets!) and a number of other nights/festivals. What became apparent in these sets was that Picotto had a seriously dark side and his love of crazy techno and electro was infectious, resulting in my growing love of techno. His Meganite Ibiza residency has been famous and notorious with many tales of dark, sweaty, packed, loud, monstrous, techno-laden nights. This is the third volume of the mix Cd compilation that accompanied the night and it is brilliant. Gregor Tresher, Joris Voorn, Stephan Bodzin, Oliver Huntemann, Adam Beyer, Maetrik (early appearance for Maceo Plex who was to become massive a few years later) and the legend himself Picotto all provide tracks for a superbly mixed and compiled selection of electro and techno stompers. A must own!

Now for the recent releases:

Gesaffelstein – I Love Techno 2013 (2013) – Having been a long running fan of the I love Techno series going back to the legendary Marco Bailey I Love Techno 2001 – Issue 02 I am always a little apprehensive when a new volume is released. This is only too easy to understand since I Love Techno has pursued a more popular music scene at its festivals in recent years with their respective CD’s by Steve Aoki (2010) and Erol Alkan (2012) not being my cup of tea. This apprehension was misplaced when one of my recent past French favourites Gesaffelstein was drafted in to mix the most recent 2013 edition. This mix is superb, right up our street at TBC; ranging from electro to storming techno this mix has been enjoyed on more than one occasion in the last month and has been a great treat when driving, especially on the long drives where I may have been seen bopping around in my car! The CD peaks with The Hacker’s, Pure Energy and ends with a gem from Gesaffelstein’s new album (Aleph – listed above) called Pursuit.

Lee Burridge – Live @ Robot Heart – Burning Man Festival 2013 & Dj Tennis – Live @ Panorama Bar (17.02.13) – It’s a rare treat to find two epic mixes from either club nights or festivals but this month we have one from Lee Burridge and a second from (the comically named) DJ Tennis clocking in at 4 hours 1 minute and 2 hours 43 minutes respectively. Both mixes are superb and well worth the time investment as they rarely falter, delivering a huge range of house, electro and techno that could provide the music for the entire duration of a house party! The legendary Burning Man Festival has provided great mixes before from Thugfucker and Damian Lazarus right from the heart of Black Rock Desert in Nevada and Panorama Bar continues to spoil us with yet another legendary set (there are literally too many to name).

Here are links to both, I hope you can download and enjoy:

And Finally….almost running out of energy at this point but spurned on by the best in the selection this time round…

John Talabot – Dj Kicks (2013)* – Being resident in our favourite city outside of the UK, Barcelona, John Talabot is somewhat of a dark horse on the European electronic music scene. Slowly building his image, status and style from one of the best debut albums I have ever heard, Fin (2012), John Talabot remains an elusive DJ and producer appearing on few line ups and treating us with only the odd remix and podcast. We should not be deterred by the infrequent releases and appearances but motivated to find a night where we can experience John Talabots genius. This new entry into an already well established Dj Kicks roster (one which TBC are VERY familiar with) really goes to town with a an amazing journey of blissed out electronica to beautiful house music and on to more techier sounds later in the CD. This CD can literally be enjoyed at any time of the day; early morning wake up call, midday relax or evening party and allows John Talabot to entertain us with 27 tracks in a superbly crafted mix. Particular highlights are Axel Boman’s Klinsmann, Motor City Drum Ensemble’s Escape to Nowhere and Talaboman (Talabot and Axel Boman!) Sideral. This will be one of the CD’s of 2013 and will be on our playlist for some time at TBC HQ. A must buy for everyone.

Many thanks to everyone who has managed to make it this far through this recent TBC playlist, hope you enjoy and see you all soon!

Thanks for reading.

TBC