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Archive for the ‘Links’

electronic disco

February 05, 2014 By: Brian Crawford Category: Links, Videos

Black Devil Disco ClubThe other day I was at the Apple Store checking out some computers, and I met a guy who works there who is way into music. Apparently he has a massive collection of vinyl that he is in the process of converting to mp3. He mentioned to me that he used to work at a record store; I found out a bit later when talking to one of the managers at the store that he used to own the record store. That’s one of the interesting things about the Apple Store – the employees there all seem to have diverse and interesting backgrounds.

At any rate, this fellow mentioned to me that one of his favorite albums is Black Devil Disco Club, an electronic music production created by a Frenchman named Bernard Fevre in 1978. I’d never heard of it, so I mentioned I’d check it out. So I did… and it is really quite an incredible piece of music. Some parts haven’t aged as well as others (for example, the weird chopped-up vocals), but other parts – some of the interesting melodic electronic bits – were way ahead of their time.

I’m not huge into disco, but I do like checking out some of the classics, and this album – while obscure – is definitely one of them! Here is a video on YouTube of the entire LP.

liquid dubstep

February 21, 2013 By: Brian Crawford Category: DJ Mixes

The Going Quantum PodcastThis morning I was pleased to see that another episode of the Going Quantum Podcast had appeared in my iTunes window.

This podcast is created by a Canadian guy (I think he’s from Toronto, like myself) who shares mixes of a variety of different kinds of electronic music. He focuses on dubstep, electro, glitch hop, and drum and bass, and also invites a bunch of different guest mixers to provide mixes for the show. His shows tend to last about 40 minutes. I find it interesting the variety that he provides on his shows… a lot of producers or DJs tend to stick to a single genre, but this guy is a little bit all over the place (albeit while remaining within the realm of the electronic) – some of his mixes will start off in one genre and then switch to another when the guest mixer starts to spin.

In my opinion, the reason these podcasts are so great is because of the liquid dubstep mixes – dubstep with a melodic edge. Seriously, this stuff is great! The two mixes that I have found are the best of the lot are episodes 50 and 75. If you’re into the melodic and the dubstep like I am, I recommend checking these two out.

E2-E4

February 15, 2013 By: Brian Crawford Category: Links, Videos

E2-E4In his 20 questions interview, Alex Paterson of The Orb indicated that the song E2-E4 by Manuel Göttsching was his favorite piece of music. I hadn’t heard this song before (or at least, I thought I hadn’t) so I checked it out on this YouTube video. You can listen to its six parts from this initial link. Interestingly, the song seems to be named after a series of chess tournaments in the United Kingdom.

It turns out that I had heard this song sampled in several ambient music mixes… one of them, in fact, might have been by Alex Paterson himself. It was also sampled on the song Sueño Latino in 1989, which I remember well – in fact, the main loop comprises most of that song. E2-E4 is a complete classic of course… an extremely chilled piece of music that, while purposefully repetitive, is complicated enough that it does not (at least in my opinion) get boring.

The question I have is… how the heck was this song recorded in 1981? This song was clearly well ahead of its time, and inspired a great many different artists… in fact, some say that it inspired the entire house music and, afterward, techno music genres of the late 1980s.

A true piece of music history!

history of dance music mixes

January 31, 2013 By: Brian Crawford Category: DJ Mixes, Links

Historical BeatsI’ve been known to take a trip back to the old skool now and then, so I’m always happy to find a podcast full of free music mixes that can take me on that journey!

Here is a huge archive of DJ mixes for anyone who grew up listening to 80s and 90s house music, freestyle, dance and electronica like I did. Some of these mixes are fantastic, with a great selection of songs – the history of rave mix, the classic house mix, and some of the mixes created per year are especially good in my opinion. Some listeners might feel that some of the transitions between the songs go on a little long, but generally these mixes are really well made. Some of these tunes I haven’t heard for decades!

I hope that whoever is making these mixes continues to crank them out – I’d really like to hear a mix of ambient electronic music from the 90s if anyone out there is listening! And if you’ve found any other quality mixes of old skool music that you’d like to share with me, I’d be glad to hear about them.

Chinese reggae music

July 22, 2011 By: Brian Crawford Category: DJ Mixes, Links

Reggae in ChinaI found the Shanghai 24/7 podcasts on iTunes a while back; I had been searching for drum ‘n bass mixes to listen to while working and found this one, a very good LTJ Bukem mix featuring some of his classics. Highly recommended.

after downloading this mix I checked out what else I could find on Shanghai 24/7’s collection of podcasts and found a reggae mix featuring all Chinese artists (available for free download as mp3 or Apple m4a). At first I didn’t realize it was created by all Chinese artists; I might not have downloaded it if I had. But I did, and when I listened to it in the car I was blown away by how strangely awesome it is – these are some very talented Chinese artists playing good reggae music, sometimes singing in English, sometimes in Chinese… one song, in fact, is by a Chinese group (Lions of Puxi) singing in French!

one interesting discovery – I studied Chinese as part of a Masters program and I was surprised that I was able to understand parts of some of the songs (and not just the songs in English, by the way!)… one song by Long Shen Dao, The Heart Guides the Way, was quite slow in tempo and featured some easy-to-understand phrases. So I would even recommend this mix to learners of the Chinese language.

be sure to check it out, and revel in the awesomeness that is Chinese reggae.

some killer acid trance mixes

June 05, 2011 By: Brian Crawford Category: DJ Mixes, Links

Trance partyas evidenced by some of my previous posts, I’ve been on a bit of a retro kick lately, listening to a bunch of acid house and old skool music from back in the day – even going as far as to buy myself a x0xb0x to play around with the TB-303 sound. Yesterday I was idly browsing through the various podcasts available on iTunes and did a few searches for some acid music. And after a little bit of searching, I found some killer acid trance mixes!

Johan Nilsson, also known as DJ Irish, is a Swedish DJ who plays a lot of trance, hard trance and progressive. He also has a page of old skool mixes that are pretty incredible – these mixes are chock full of songs that take me back to the early 90s when I used to listen to a lot of this stuff. And they’re all available for free mp3 download.

featured on the page of old skool mixes are three Acid Trance Classix mixes, some Inspirations mixes with some old classics thrown in there (Union Jack, Sven Väth, etc), and also some mixes of Labworks and Hardfloor tunes. I haven’t listened to all of the mixes yet but looking the selection he’s mixed in they’re probably all pretty quality. I’ve really been getting into the Acid Trance Classix mixes – for some reason I especially like the third one.

I’ll definitely be checking Johan’s site now and again when I’m looking for that acid sound…

dance music, mixed by Sharam

November 09, 2010 By: Brian Crawford Category: DJ Mixes, Links

Deep Dish

a while back I was listening to the Area channel (now called Electric Area – personally I preferred the name Area) on SIRIUS|XM radio. A segment called the Yoshitoshi Show came on by a DJ named Sharam that I had never heard of… and I was pretty much blown away by how much this guy’s style matches with my own tastes in electronic music! Turns out I shouldn’t have been surprised, as Sharam is Sharam Tayebi, half of the DJ duo Deep Dish, and Deep Dish I was quite familiar with (though obviously not familiar enough to recognize the name Sharam when I first saw it), because they are awesome!

Sharam’s mixes are available for free online at SHARAM, his official website. They are all quite deep, featuring tunes with some excellent drum machine work and catchy vibes. Two of my favorites are Wildcast 23 and Wildcast 21. Wildcast 23 is the podcast I first heard in my car, and what an intro to Sharam’s mixes – some great progressive house tunes capped off by Chemical Brothers and Underworld! Meanwhile, Wildcast 21 features a mix of grooves by a variety of artists who, for the most part, I have never heard of, but together they form a great mix.

definitely worth a subscribe!

classic house music from the late 80s and early 90s

May 07, 2010 By: Brian Crawford Category: DJ Mixes, Links

Roland TB-303a while back I posted a link to some old skool house mixes from the late 80s. These were pretty good, but in reality they were a bit too soulful even for me – I’m not as into the vocal, soulful, almost gospel style of house music from those days – I personally prefer the more hardcore acid house that also surfaced during that time.

naturally I started looking around the web for some good mixes, and by searching for “acid house podcasts” I managed to find the page of DJ JuJu, a British DJ from South London (now living in Norfolk).

I’ve never heard of him myself, but this fellow has a pretty good grasp of the acid. His site has a series of free downloads of mixes ranging from acid to vocal to hip house, and I’ve linked to them below.

DJ JuJuClassic House Part 1: Vocal house and garage from ’88 to ’90. Some big tunes in here (like Tribal House’s Motherland and Sweat by Jay Williams at the end of the mix), though as I have mentioned I wasn’t as big into the vocal house as I was the other stuff.

Classic House Part 2: More classic vocal house. Listen for Chanelle’s One Man and the Steve Hurley mix of Ten City’s That’s the Way Love Is.

Classic House Part 3: Deep classic house from ’88 to ’90. The instrumental version of ESP’s It’s You is one of my favorite house tracks of all time (and so much better than the vocal version), and Can U Dance by Kenny ‘Jammin’ Jason & Fast Eddie is guaranteed to bring it back.

Classic House Part 4: An awesome mix of acid house and Detroit techno, some of my favorite genres. Reese & Santonio’s The Sound is a true classic, (love that 808 drum line), plus there’s Ride the Rhythm’s This Ain’t Chicago for a killer acid line and the jammin’ Work It to the Bone by LNR.

Classic House Part 6 (there is no part 5): Some hip house classics. Yet another of my favorite genres of classic music! I recommend you skip the first part of the mix and start at minute 25:00. From there you’ve got the 1997 remake of Doug Lazy’s Let It Roll called Rollin’ On, the club mix of Mr. Lee’s Get Busy, Musto & Bones’ Dangerous on the Dance Floor, I’ll House You by the Jungle Brothers, Fast Eddie’s Yo Yo Get Funky and the white label Planet E. Seriously, this stuff is tremendous. If you don’t like this stuff you may in fact have no soul.

and this next mix isn’t a classic house mix, but…

JuJu 4 Hour Radio Show 19th April 2009: A mix of classic techno and rave music, for the most part. This is a massive four hour mix, containing three of my favorite classic techno tracks, Tronik House’s Up Tempo and Altern8’s Infiltrate 202 followed by Comin’ On Strong by Rhythm Section. If you want to listen to what I think is the sweet spot of this mix, start at about 2:25:00.

DJ JuJu has plenty of other mixes on his site (the last one uploaded on February 18th, 2010) so I recommend you visit his site and check it out! I’ll be heading back there on occasion to see if he’s put out any more compilations of some of my favorite classic tracks.

free Deadmau5 tracks – Project 56

March 24, 2010 By: Brian Crawford Category: Links

Deadmau5 at the OlympicsDeadmau5 is huge on the progressive house scene. There are plenty of songs and remixes out there that were either produced by Deadmau5 (and he has a bunch of them) or by someone trying to sound like him.

a while back Deadmau5 released Project 56, a series of 56 ideas, melodies, clips and grooves that he originally created as a compilation project for people with short attention spans. In the end he decided to stick the whole series online so that people could download them for free and to, as he indicates, “exploit these tracks in any way your evil heart desires”. His only request is that if you do use them in a production, give him some credit for doing so.

so… why not! 56 clips of interesting ideas by one of the biggest names in the business, available for free download. Is at least worth checking out.

one of the first techno songs?

March 21, 2010 By: Brian Crawford Category: Links, Personal, Videos

Information Societylast year I posted something about how I first got into electronic music; one of the songs I mentioned was this one, Information Society’s Running (Instrumental Version). I thought I’d elaborate on that post here, simply because I feel Information Society’s instrumental version of Running was a truly groundbreaking song. I still remember hearing this song in Toronto during the 80s and being quite blown away by it – there was nothing much like it at the time. I also remember subsequently hearing the “true” version of the song (with lyrics) and being horribly underwhelmed. To my young mind, the magic of the song was lost once they started singing overtop of it.

I’m wondering if Information Society (or someone else) were to make a version of this today, how well it would perform in the clubs. It would need a better drum kit – a deeper kick, some better compression, and some cymbal sweeps – and a more thorough bass sound, but with a little work I think this song could bring people to the floor in clubs today. Heck, it probably could right now, as it stands.

this may of course be one of those cases that my own sentimental value of this song outweighs its true value – I’d appreciate any feedback on that! And speaking of nostalgia… what the heck is with the clothes Information Society is wearing on their album cover? If we bring back classic dance tunes from the 80s, let’s not bring that part back as well…