Author Archive: Kuri Kondrak

Arne Weinberg, Integrity Constraint Part 1

The first in a series of singles for aDepth Audio, Arne Weinberg’s Integrity Constraint Part 1 continues his explorations of a rich vein of deep techno.

BBH: Vincent Floyd, I Dream You

Vincent Floyd’s 1991 release for Dance Mania, I Dream You, stands as one of the deepest examples of Chicago house.

LWE Podcast 55: The Oliverwho Factory

The Detroit duo of Daryl and Shone Caliman, better known as The Oliverwho Factory, have developed a sound that while rough and raw production-wise, is beaming with warmth, character and soul. In our interview The Oliverwho Factory acknowledge that substituting of limelight for midnight oil is not in the cards. And while neither is exactly a DJ, the pair recorded their first exclusive podcast mix that narrates where they’ve been and where they’re headed.

Red Rack’em, Exhalt/Underground

On his first release for London-based Shift, Red Rack’em shows a deft hand at keeping us guessing on what actually qualifies as deep house these days.

BBH: Ross 154, Until My Heart Stops…

Listening to Delsin’s reissue of Until My Heart Stops… by Ross 154, born as Jochem Peteri but best known as Newworldaquarium, trying to pin down its exact origins blindly gets a little tricky.

BBH: Projekt: PM, When The Voices Come

Kuri Kondrak considers Edgar Sinio’s When The Voices Come EP as Projekt: PM, which helped put Guidance Recordings on the Chicago house map in 1996.

KiNK, Rachel EP

After listening to the track “Existence” from KiNK’s Rachel EP for Ovum Recordings, I found myself slightly appalled. Essentially it’s a rework of “Changes of Life,” a 1992 cut by Jeff Mills, done as a tech-house wind up. Fitted with a new set of filters, delays, and freshly phased drum rolls, “Existence” dices up that signature piano riff to closely resemble its exemplar but remain just different enough to warrant being called its own.

Jamie Read, Never The Future EP

After digging into the origin of the Joe Louis’s Back To The Beginning release for last year’s BBH review, I realized Jaime Read hadn’t fallen off the face of the earth after a few solid releases in the ’90s and a trickle of collaborative material with Felix Dickinson as L.H.A.S. Inc. (short for Larry Heard Appreciation Society). Contrary to my speculations, he hadn’t given up producing after a few frustrating encounters with the shadier side of the music business so much as fallen into the obligations of domesticity and let music take the backseat. So it came as quite an exciting discovery to learn he was working on new material to be released on UK label Elektrosouls Recordings.

BBH: Glenn Underground, Future Shock

Within the scope of Chicago’s early/mid ’90s house renaissance Glenn Crocker, aka Glenn Underground, played a strong role in helping to define what was an emerging new sound for city. Along with fellow artists Boo Williams, DJ Sneak, Tim Harper and several others they formed a dichotomous current that for several years was defined by the direction of the Cajual and Relief labels: disco-styled house for the former and banging raw tracks for the latter. European labels quickly picked up on this and plucked nearly all of the aspiring new faces on the scene for at least one 12″ and at most two albums. Crocker was one such artist that technically got his start on Eindhoven-based label, Djax-Up-Beats, with the Future Shock 12″ in 1993.

Kirk Degiorgio, Membrane

Back in 1992, Kirk Degiorgio’s first ART EP (originally released by R&S Records) found itself getting licensed to Planet E, albeit in a slightly paired down and remixed form, but nonetheless giving two of productions front and center billing. He returned the favor soon after, providing a home for some of Carl Craig’s finest work under his Psyche and BFC monikers on the ART 3 EP. Fast forward 18 years and Degiorgio has returned to Planet E with his latest 12″, Membrane. With Degiorgio reviving his ART imprint and catching his second wind on the techno front, this would seem a perfect fit if not somewhat of a homecoming.

DJ Bone, Sunday Morning/Sunday Night

If you’re an avid LWE reader you may remember DJ Bone’s debut for then unheard of Sect Records that arrived mysteriously in a plain white CD sleeve, which had staff and readers alike speculating over its provenance. Nearly two years on, Sect has introduced the wider world to aspiring techno artists such as Grovskopa, Jolka and even Bone’s own daughter, Aleckxis Jaina — -as well as serving as a reintroduction to the underrated D Knox. Bone, on the other hand, has been keeping steady with his own Subject Detroit label, almost single-handly keeping techno (in a purist’s sense) alive in his hometown.

RezKar, Cosmos

Rezenio Kariem may not be a name that rolls of the tongue but the reclusive South African producer is slowly building a name for himself under the RezKar moniker. Until last year his output had mainly arrived by way of little known net labels such as Microlabel and Mixomat Recordings, and he may have languished under the radar if not for a stunning contribution to the Meakusma Rüts 2/3 compilation and a couple releases for Altered Moods Recordings. 2010 will very likely see RezKar’s profile heightened with an upcoming release on Running Back and this Cosmos 12″ (also released as 7-track digital release) already out at of the tail end of last year.

Santiago Salazar, Your Club Went Hollywood

If you have a penchant for dance music, are over 21 and living in any moderately sized US city there is almost no avoiding nightclubs. They serve as the most likely environs to experience a DJ but often times they are venues ill suited for the music. Be it shitty sound systems, poor layouts or staff with attitude to spare, a bad club can ruin a great DJ’s performance, but more importantly they counteract the whole reason for going out in the first place. Santiago Salazar’s debut 12″ for Wallshaker Music takes the modern club owner to task for those very sins and more.

Simon Hinter, Klappsn’ Funk EP

Generally speaking, I can’t say I’m much a fan of the ProgCity Deep Trax label. The name itself suffers from genre fatigue with a potentially misleading composite of modifiers that typically do not sit well together. How often do you see “prog” and “deep” in the same sentence other than as a nullifying denouncement of one or the other? The music that has typified the label runs a consistent line of tech-house with occasional interjections of clean cut European deep house. And being a sub-label of ProgCity, which championed a gilded house sound through much of the ’90s and early ’00s, doesn’t inspire much confidence in their releases either. Once I put all that aside, though, something caught my ear with Simon Hinter’s Klappsn’ Funk EP.

Lerosa, Dual Nature

Releasing a debut album on a TDK cassette only format limited to just 100 copies seems like a peculiar career move for an ascending electronic artist. And for someone like Lerosa, collaborating with Further for the release is even more puzzling. Since 2005, Lerosa aka Leopoldo Rosa has established himself with a string of critical 12″s that could be declared loosely as house, but have incorporated stylistic markers that span from acid and techno to jazz and electro. Stamped with a quirky identity, Rosa’s productions may nominally fit the deep house billing their often filed under but there’s much more hinting at expression. On the other hand, the newly formed Further label has established itself with digital-only releases that are aimed at progressive house and the trance end of techno audiences. In other words, adding Lerosa to the roster stands out like a sore thumb. But according to Rosa, the release and format was a deliberate move by the label owner to allow for more freedom to the artist, less financial risk by label while still producing a tangible object, which Dual Nature accomplishes.

Vince Watson, A Very Different World

A couple months ago Vince Watson posed a question to the Facebook massive wondering if he pressed his upcoming album on vinyl how many would actually fork out the cash to purchase direct from him. The hook being that you would not only be buying a copy of it on vinyl but it would be a personalized version made more special and could include yet to be determined “extras.” This seems to be a growing trend with label owners who realize that in the battle against digital you’ve got to deliver a more satisfying experience to set yourself apart.

Luv.Renaissance, Once Chance Luv

It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that the majority of LWE’s readers haven’t heard of Altered Moods Recordings. In fact, I only discovered the obscure imprint earlier this year myself. What struck me most was the unassuming and dogged path that label owner, Malcolm Moore, had set off on after starting it in 2004. The focus of Altered Moods has clearly been on developing promising talent and releasing records he truly believes in rather than chasing a quick buck. With 10 releases that reach from deep house to ambient under its belt and no marquee names emblazoned on its record sleeves, you know this is a labor of love.

Tony Lionni, Treat Me Right

For Tony Lionni, 2009 seemed like the year he hit on a formula that elevated his stock to new grounds. Which isn’t to say his productions have been formulaic, but what has stuck out in people’s minds has been a pronounced usage of vocal samples that bring a stunning flow to his tracks. The vocal patterns are used in such a way as to bridge the techno/house divide with a remarkable ease. Call it tech-house, house-y techno or what have you, but at the end of the day this is dance floor blue-plate special material that refuses to fit neatly in either camp.

LWE Podcast 36: Kirk Degiorgio

Kirk Degiorgio’s name is not synonymous with minimal techno. Over the course of his 18-year career you could count on your hands the number of releases that would even qualify as club-approved tackle. Degiorgio made his name with multi-hued Detroit-inspired techno and went on to produce soulful music in a variety of genres, but rarely touched on straightforward dance floor-ready tracks. Today we see Degiorgio taking a new path that embraces this side of techno, both in terms of production and DJing. Degiorgio rebooted his Applied Rhythm Technology (ART) label this year and is focused on creating full sounding techno that works in club environs. That approach is paying dividends with the recent “Isomer Shift” release on B12, his new “Swarm” EP, the first release for ART’s new Dance Division series and one forthcoming on Planet E. He has applied this same concept to DJing, choosing to play the same type of material he is championing through his own productions. For LWE’s 36th podcast, Degiorgio shares an exclusive mix of what he’s currently spinning and sits down to explain the finer points of running a label, his relationship to DJ technology, and to set the record straight on techno’s debt to jazz.