Aphrohead – Resurrection TBC Promo Review

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We are proud at TBC to be able to bring you another promo album review and this time its the turn of Aphrohead with his album “Resurrection” on Crosstown Rebels. Already we can imagine you are asking “who is Aphrohead?” but don’t worry we initially asked the same question and in fact actually bypassed this album early on when it became available. With a little bit of detective work however, we found out that this is in fact an older alias of Felix Da Housecat which has been resurrected with an aptly named album title. Felix Da Housecat is an old favourite of TBC from way back in the early naughties when we were introduced to the sounds of electro clash which was heavily influence by the crazy electronica of the 80s but spiced up with the newer, more contemporary sounds of electro (heavy basslines, acid squelches, drums and many other effects you could throw in). The seminal track Silver Screen, Shower Scene lead TBC to discover artists such as Jacques Lu Cont (Thin White Duke remix of the aforementioned track), the label City Rockers which brought us some great compilation via Damian Lazarus (discovering Damian at the same time too who would go on to great things with Crosstown Rebels), Soulwax, Tiga, Ellen Allien and Miss Kittin to name but just a few of many, many DJs and producers. Once we found out who was behind the Aphrohead alias we therefore became very excited! The LP provides us with 10 new tracks to listen to and review which take us on a journey from electro to heavy techno, we hope you read on and can enjoy the album yourself.

Tracklist:
1. RESURRECTION
2. KlymaXXX
3. Come to ME
4. Let’s PRANCE
5. Elevator (I’ll Take The Stairs)
6. Grown Man Cryy
7. 1KING 1QUEEN
8. Medusa
9. Front to Backk
10. Sashe Sashe Sashe

From the 1st track you feel right at home with the album title track Resurrection which is signature Felix Da Housecat, vocoder lyrics, electro synth keys and uplifting tune ease you into the album, welcome back Felix! KlymaXXX steps it up a notch but continues in the electro clash style with a rolling bassline, uplifting synth keys and squelchy sounds that hark back to the early naughties and leave a smile on your face as you cannot fail to be entertained by this track, its uplifting, euphoric and feels like a sign of good things to come on the album. The track builds and builds to a climax, pardon the awful pun. Come To ME can also be put into the electro genre but with a more deep house feel, the track is atmospheric, moody and again delivers some excellent keys and a nice kick drum which moves along nicely. It is a step down in pace from KlymaXXX but nonetheless it continues a run of three great tracks to start the new album. At this stage it feels like Aphrohead was trying to lull you into a false sense of security where the three previous tracks sat nicely in the electro genre, this tracks introduces some heavier bass and a number of different drums which move the track into a more techno vein (which obviously excited TBC), by two minutes in you are wanting to prance like the track is telling you to as a marching techno beat kicks in, “let’s prance”. By the time you get to track 5 you start to forget that you had been enjoying the electro a few tracks ago as we move into some heavy bass tinged techno with Elevator (I”ll Take The Stairs). While we have no idea where the track name comes from and to be honest the title seems totally random, this track is an excellent bouncing, rolling techno track with some great percussion thrown in for good measure and the vocal is perfect. Play this track loud and you will be thoroughly entertained, turn the sub woofer on and you will be blown away and of course you will be upsetting the neighbours. Mid way through the album and you are well on course for the heavy techno we eluded to in our introduction.

Onto the second half of the LP we go and Aphrohead continues to deliver, Grown Man Cryy is up sixth and wow this is a stormer, it starts hard and continues throughout. This is full ‘pots and pans’ style techno, its fast, heavy, has a kooky lyric which delivers in a monologue style (which sounds like Felix himself, what do you think?) with some gospel style elements  and simply rocks. Some may be offended by the heavy nature of this track as it is simply relentless but TBC absolutely love it and it is one of the standout tracks on the album. 1King 1Queen, which some of you may recognise from a recent TBC DJ set is another of the standout tracks on the album, heavy techno continues and once again the vocal is on point to deliver a balanced package of tune and vocal. The techno is straight out of Tresor, hard, banging, fast and is right up TBC’s street. When the vocal comes in it is haunting and freaky along with a circus style fairground tune (a distorted accordion sound) before the techno bangs straight back in. Where has Aphrohead been hiding if he has had this level of techno in the making, this level of production is what we would expect from Felix but not on this genre! By the time you get towards the end of the LP you may be a little exhausted but track 8 Medusa does not relent however it doesn’t match up to the levels experienced in tracks 6 and 7. The production level decreases with a more acid squelch track that doesn’t vary too far away from its core apart from the Medusa lyric that is thrown in from time to time. The track is well suited to the second half of the album as it continues the heavy techno vibe but it fails to inspire, it does have some crazy, scary effects and sounds towards the end though. Front to Backk is the penultimate track and the you may think that Aphrohead would start to bring the album down a few notches but the heavy techno continues and the production level picks up a bit too from Medusa, returning to the style of the earlier standout tracks, turn it up loud and scare your friends, this track is crazy. The last track Sashe Sashe Sashe does finally see a slight drop in pace and is not as monstrous as the last 4 tracks but it still falls into the techno bracket and is a great way to end the album as it introduces some melody and atmospheric sounds to the techno structure. “Sashe let’s dance” is one of the lyrics but we doubt you will need this reminder as you will have been dancing your ass off for the last 40 minutes.

As the album comes to an end you will want to put it on loop and listen again, or extract a few favourites and belt them out loud to really appreciate this album. We will have this on our stereo and will be waxing lyrical about it at TBC HQ for some time to come. Super album Felix/Aphrohead, we are pleased you have resurrected this old alias courtesy of Crosstown Rebels and look forward to more of the same soon.

Thanks for reading, more to come very soon.

TBC

The Glitterous Disco Ball Parade!

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Well TBCers! The Glitterous Disco Ball Parade was literally the party to end all parties for this bitch! I partied so hard last Saturday that I have actually …………….(and I mean actually) ………….LOST MY HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!! Check out the picture for my new look involving minimal above neck action! I know, I know, it is hardly anything to make jokes about and I would be truly mortified (if I was capable of emotion without a head) if it wasn’t for the fact that I lost it in such a magnificent and glittery fashion! This party was so sublime that I was spinning, gyrating and throwing myself around on the mirror ball dance floor none stop for the whole 8 hours! I popped, I krumped and I did the robot until I lost track of all my senses – I literally knocked my block off!
 

The music was provided by Liam Spillane who pumped out some funky disco and electro numbers to get the crowd going at the start of the night. After that Oliver Cattley cranked up the BPM to play some awesome hard and fast techno and really got the dance floor going! Oli was really spurring on my head shaking action with his non-stop bouncing and grinning behind the decks! TBC residents Omar El Gohary and Simon Bryan were up next and they showed how awesome they sound playing back2back. I was in wild abandon by this point but I certainly remember a packed dance floor full of beaming faces going mad to some classic TBC style techno! James Avery certainly pummelled the TBCers with some hard techno classics. Tiga’s mix of Friendly Fires “Blue Cassette” was a particular favourite! Collect resident Ben Capiter rounded the night off perfectly and left the party crew gagging for more. His set was truly sublime!
 

Once again, guests of the glitterous parade went the whole hog with their outfits and there wasn’t a glitter free body part in sight! Coloured wigs, glitter top hats, sequin trousers and a disco ball jacket were all on parade! With a party guest travelling all the way from NYC it was a MUST that TBC pulled off a great party – the unbeatably friendly and fun Sheffield party crowd and top quality DJs ensured that her transatlantic flight was well worth it!
 

I may now be sans head but I’m sure after a bit of sleep and some therapy it will return, until then TBCers – party on!

Tramlines Party Hopping Horseplay!

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Well TBCers, that time of year is here again, the weekend when Sheffield becomes one huge party and with the flash of a wristband Sheffielders can party hop from venue to venue in a whirlwind of happiness and electronic beats (with some bands thrown in if you like that kinda thing). What am I banging on about? Yes ……………you guessed it……………. TRAM – TO – THE –LINES!!!!!!!!!

This year sees a line up like no previous year and there is a definite shift towards more electronic artists. The Tramlines team have really done Sheffield proud with the diversity and caliber of artists that they have managed to fly in to South Yorkshire’s marvelous annual party spectacular and all for the price of £28.00 for a full weekend festival wristband! Monsieur with these Tramlines DJs you are really spoiling us! So much so that it is difficult to know which party to go to, which awesome DJ to prioritise and which music to delight your ears with at any one time. Fret no more TBCers, Betty Bitch is here to share with you her meticulously researched, glittery, feathery, Tramlines party plan. Not only will following this ensure you don’t miss out on the best nights Tramlines has to offer, it will also allow you to shimmy on down with the one and only plastic fantastic as she cavorts to Sheffield’s finest Tramlines beats!

Friday

So Friday is a tough one because Tramlines in their infinite wisdom have put ALL the best techno and house nights on the Friday night. The Night Kitchen, Hopeworks, O2 Academy, The Leadmill and The Harley all have parties that TBC wants to go to on the Friday. So the choice is this: do them all, run around in a whirling dervish, get so wasted that you no longer know what city you’re in and consequently don’t venture out for the rest of the Tramlines weekend……….. a possibility. Alternatively, pick a select few of the best and still have some battery life available for a bit of Saturday shimmying. Betty’s choosing the latter and will be in attendance at the following shindigs:

The O2 academy: One word TBCers…………..T – I –G- A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes the Techno Breakfast Club favourite and all round God of our lives is playing in Sheffield! Granted its at the O2 academy but those of you who came to see Dixon there at the Collect weekender will know that as a venue it can actually work pretty well for this type of thing. Tiga is as hot as hell right now after the release of “Plush” and the frankly divine “Let’s Go Dancing” but has been knocking out delicious production work since his debut “Sunglasses at Night” in 2002. If you are into techno and electro and you don’t go and see him you need to have a serious word with yourself as he rarely plays in the North and he is an amazing party DJ. Check out his mix from Panorama Bar:

https://soundcloud.com/tiga/tiga-panorama-bar-live-mix

Following on from the Tigemeister and by the way, find out what time Tiga is playing, arrive exactly as he comes on, watch his set, dance like you’ve never danced before, then leave. We ain’t got time for any of the other artists on that line up. Next you’re headed straight to The Night Kitchen. Jimmy Edgar is headlining this particular danceathon. He’ll be throwing down techno Detroit style and playing hard with a real party, funky vibe going on. His Essential Mix was completely dreamy:

https://soundcloud.com/jimmyedgar/essential-mix-05-10-2014

Medlar and Alex Smoke are also going to be more than worth a listen and if you came to the Faction New Year Party a couple of years ago you’ll remember just how brilliantly Alex Smoke plays when he plays in the Steel City. The Night Kitchen is obviously the best venue for techno and house clubbing in Sheffield so you really would be a damn fool to miss this Tramlines party!

After that dust off your sequined trainers, re-apply your lipstick and find the coolest afterparty in town. Hunt Betty down before you leave – she’ll no doubt be going/hosting it!

Saturday

So once you leave the afterparty, drink a few smoothies, change into another spangly clubbing outfit and mainline berocca, its time for Tramlines Round 2. In the daytime make sure you check out Audiowhores at the Delve Deeper party at Bloo 88. This was Betty’s favourite party of Tramlines 2013 and you would be simply bonkers to miss out on their heavenly house beats on the sunshine terrace.

As night falls side step to the main stage to grab a glimpse of disco legends and all round Queens of the dancefloor – Sister Sledge!

Following that, hotfoot it to The Octogon to catch Lone’s set. This guy’s 2012 album: Galaxy Garden was simply sublime and one of TBC’s favourites that year featuring genres such as acid house, breaks, dubstep and bass. Stopping by for his set will therefore provide you with an interesting hour or 2 and is sure to get your booty shaking!

Now for a late night boogie fest and perfect follow up to the house and disco at Bloo 88 and the Main Stage. Seek out Horse Meat Disco. They are playing at Banana Hill at Queen’s Social Club. So TBCers follow those funky disco beats until you find what has to be the optimum way to finish your Saturday night. DJ sets don’t get much more fun that this and after the hard techno of Friday night this will be a wonderous way to sooth your addled Tramlines brain! Strut your funky, horsey stuff with Betty until the early hours.

Sunday

Pahhhhhhh you know you’re gona be rolling around in post party agony/ecstasy by this point! Don’t even kid yourself that you’re gona make it out to see the Sunday band line up! Betty sure ain’t!

TBCers all that’s left for you to do is purchase your wristband, douse yourself with glitter and join that party line to the best weekend of the Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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