Tuesday, November 30, 2010

UM63 Tracklisting

Deep and tech house promo's from Night Drive, Deso Records, Bounce House, Nightchild Records, So Sound, Salted, Deepology, Tapas, Transport, Cubism, Aquamarine, Ospina Digital, Neurotraxx Deluxe, Musical Missionary, Ready Mix, Acryl Music, Deep Edition, Shaboom Records, Home Made Electronica, Tronicsole, Martijn, Da Funk, Dominic Martin and loads more in the mix.

UM63 - 30.11.10
1. Art Bleek - Blaue Kunst - Night Drive Music
2. Stu Patrics - Mindmap (Main Mix) - Deso Records
3. Fergus - I Got To - Bounce House Recordings
4. Freddy Parisi & Marco Soave - Don't You Moving (Moko Mix) - Nightchild Records
5. Red Box Lounge - Sweet Love - So Sound Recordings
6. Arco - Dancin - Salted Music 
7. Replika - Empty Beds (Original Mix) - Aquamarine Digital
8. Pedro Campos & Cristian Corrotea - Wolken - Tapas Recordings
9. Fabio Bacchini - In The Mood - Transport Recordings
10. Jesus Pablo & Vikte - Sunday Morning - Cubism Records
11. Suel - Rhythmic Hats - Deepology Digital Records
12. Davidson Ospina feat' MJ White - Well Of Love (Ospina 'Deeper' Vocal) - Ospina Digital
13. The Timewriter - NY Kick - Neurotraxx Deluxe
14. MikeZ - His Spirit - Musical Missionary
15. Soul Collective feat' Dania Shy - Shy (Original Mix) - Ready Mix Records
16. Tom Davis - In Your House (Chris Rawles Remix) - Deso Records
17. Da Funk - Gloomy Scene (Pablo Fierro Dub) - Acryl Music
18. Martijn - Sweet Sound (Original Mix) - Deep Edition Recordings
19. Shaboom - Totally (Doc Martin After Glow Mix) - Shaboom Records
20. Vampulator With Iggy Dub - Where Is Dublin - Home Made Electronica 
21. Dominic Martin - Tribal Tool - Tronicsole

Monday, November 29, 2010

UM Radio Scehdule

Maths isn't my strong point, sadly I was way too distracted undoing girls bra straps in class than working on long multiplication! Little did I know that in years to come I'd need a degree in maths to work out the world clock and keep a handle on what time the UM Deep House shows are playing all over the world.

As you'll know, you can check out the show on lowercasesounds, eNation and DiscothequeRadio already, and in the next couple of weeks that will be added to with another station, so to keep things in order I've pulled together this listing and will add to it as things develop and eventually as the clocks change again all around the world!


Monday: 1am CST / 2am  EST / 5 am  BRA / 7am  UK / 8am  EU / 9am  SA / 8pm NZ

(replayed Thursdays - check site for times)
Tuesday: 4pm CST / 5pm EST / 8pm BRA / 10pm UK / 11pm EU / 12am SA (Wed) / 11am NZ (Wed)

Wednesday: 8pm CST / 9pm EST / 11pm BRA / 2am UK (Thurs) / 3am EU (Thurs) / 3pm NZ (Thurs) 

If you run a station and are interested in broadcasting my weekly shows too please get in touch!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Interview: Inland Knights - Drop Music

DJ’s, Producers and label owners, Andy Riley and Laurence Ritchie aka Inland Knights are one of the names most people you meet have heard of, whether they like it deep  or a big techier - their reach is global with appearances around the globe and their label continues to produce some of the finest music some twelve years after it all started back in Nottingham's early house music days.

Nottingham boasts rich musical legacy, particularly for house music labels and artists - what is it about the area that makes it like that?
"From the 90's onwards there was (still is) a large free party sound system culture based around USA and UK house labels at the time. Dubby, funky, acidy and deep - hundreds of people around the area and years of parties, clubs, fields, disused buildings etc. The sound that came from these parties has remained intact to the musical productive diets of those around it and once DIY and then Drop Music and other labels sprang up around the area so did more productive talents."
Latest tracks by Inland Knights

The pair met in ’93 and cut their teeth DJ’ing for Smokescreen, the renegade sound system from which they drew their early inspiration. Smokescreen consisted of DJ’s, lighting people, sound people, a truck, a P.A, a generator and general helpers. Old warehouses, woodland, fields, quarries and houses were utilised with the sole intention of having a good time, for free! By the mid 90’s Smokescreen could guarantee a crowd of hundreds in attendance at their parties, and their club nights became local institutions that ran for years with packed dance floors, and still do to this day!.

The free sound system parties are such an important part of your back story, how do you keep that passion alive these days?
"The passion over the years has moved from the parties to the production for sure, But the parties always remain the main source of focus for inspiration when writing music. So I guess there's plenty of good memories and moments to take in still."

By ’98 Laurence and Andy had made the inevitable step into production and Drop Music was born with the release of ‘Inland Knights Vol 1’. After years of beans on toast, spending any spare pennies on vinyl, lugging sound systems around fields and clubs and playing free parties, the brainchildren behind Inland Knights thought it might be time to cash in. Almost all of the early output was entirely Inland knights, despite many monikers - Andy records also records under the guise of Toka Project,  while Laurence is also known as Larry Fives. They've also been Party Criminals, In House Alterations and Big Audio Spidermite over the years.

Drop Music has gone on to become one of the most highly regarded house labels in recent years (with 60 plus releases to date), and Inland knights have gone on to become one of the most respected production outfits in the house world, regularly taking on remix duties for fellow labels and producers. Highlights include the acclaimed ‘Mohammed Ali’ remix for Faithless on Cheeky Records, CD compilations and remixes for NRK and Om Records, Inland Knights first full length album entitled ‘Creative Spaces’, and more recently Inland Knights album to mark 10 years of Drop Music entitled ‘Dust till Dawn’.


How do you choose which remixes to take on - is it a feel or something else?
"Well,, it helps if there's some good samples to work with,, I don't mind what the original sounds like at all,, But it's important to have good samples otherwise you end up trying to polish a poo if you pardon the phrase."

To say thank you to all of the DJ's and house music fans who have supported them, bought their music legally, or been to a gig over the years, Laurence and Andy are giving away a brand new track ‘Don’t Need No One’ ahead of their forthcoming album ‘Inland Bites: Knights Classics’, released through Drop Music in December. 

To get the free track visit http://dropmusic.greedbag.com/freedownload/ and join the Drop Music mailing list. Being on the list will also give future access to free mixes, exclusive pre-releases and all the latest Inland Knights/Drop Music news.



The album pulls together your tracks from a stellar line up of other labels - which ones have a special place in your history?

"For me hot soup and slummin it." 

How would you sum up the sound of Inland Bites: Knights Classics?

"Sound's like an s3000 Akia sampler with no stereo outs put through a cheap desk in a room with no good  bass referencing, by two blokes that love house music and have too much time on their hands and not enough food in their tummies. Somehow it came out sounding OK."

Inland Knights - Inland Bites: Knights Classics (Drop Music) (Preview Clips) by Kahua Music

12 years on since their first release and the duo are undoubtedly amongst the most well known names in deep house, always staying true to the Midlands sound they pioneered back in the days of real free sound system parties held in muddy fields down country lanes.  Their typically bumping, deep and funky take on house music became known around the world and the Knights’ profile as international artists exploded.

After all these years of stepping into the studio how do you keep the label fresh and your sound at the forefront of the scene?

"Just by trying more and more to be satisfied with what we hear."

And that's gotta be music to everyone'sDJ's around the world.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

UM's High 5ives - 25.11.10

Whoooaahhh, four posts in as many days! I'm on fire! The downside of that is that there's not much to report from UM HQ. Tomorrow we'll have an exclusive interview with the Inland Knights, so check back for that, but for now feast your ears on this weeks select cuts from the deeper side of house.

UM's High 5ives - 25.11.10

Jayden San - El Baile EP - In Deep Records

Jayden San - El Baile EP by In Deep Records

Dapayk & Padberg feat Caro - Island (Michael McLardys Bootleg Mix)

Dapayk & Padberg feat Caro - Island (Michael McLardys Bootleg Mix) FREE DOWNLOAD by Michael McLardy

Pete Dafeet - In Flux (Atjazz Remix) - Lost My Dog

Pete Dafeet - In Flux (Atjazz Remix) (Lost My Dog) (Preview Clip) by Kahua Music

Marvin Zeyss - Tension (Original Mix) - Tanztone
Tension (Original Mix) by Marvin Zeyss

Suel - On The Groove EP - DD048 - Deepology Records 
Suel - On The Groove EP - DD048 - Deepology Records (CLIP) by Deepology

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

If you could listen to one last tune...

One of the undoubted joys of switching to digital formats is spending a lazy Sunday afternoon checking out those precious slices of vinyl I hang onto from a once immense collection. Sadly, not all my records could join me on the other side of the world, and I remember a cut-throat day or three of picking the two packing boxes of tunes that would, from that day forward, document my journey of record buying - not all of which I'd be proud enough to share here (we all make mistakes!).

Whilst there's plenty of some labels, there's just not enough of some and George Morel's Groove On is a classic example of leaving me wanting more, or is that needing? 

Of the three releases I own on this seemingly mystical label (you try and find out about Groove On anywhere other than Disogs - good luck to you!), Mood II Swing's - All Night Long is one of those tunes I've since purchased digitally and slipped into the odd mellower set - the reaction is always the same. When the synth chords kick in and the warm vocals drift people just flow with it.

For me the tunes came at point in my musical journey where I just started to take things seriously, exploring new artists and labels and taking a whole load of advice from Lofty down at Flying Records (Soho). Having graduated from Guidance and other formative labels searching for 'a sound' was what I think I was into? Even now, I think this is still in keeping with how I'd like all my mixes to sound. Mellow, warm, late night, a flutter of vocal to soothe you and that dreamy vibe.

Released in 1996 Mood II Swing made a few appearances on Groove On. The label only kicked off in 1994 and after a bit of a lull is back and available on Beatport. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

UM62 Tracklisting

UM62 - 23.11.10

1. Aquarell - Green Vision - Night Drive Music
2. Sasse & James Flavour - The Left Swing - Moodmusic
3. Migu - Classic Del House (Original Mix) - Nightchild Records
4. Monoman - You Been Lied To - Yakuza Recordings
5. Manteeno & Backlash - Kanoon (Original Mix) - Tanztone Records
6. Felix Leiter - Go For That - Cr2 Records
7. Re-Drum - Microcosmos (Marvin Zeyss Remix) - TFE Records
8. Asymmetric Soul feat' Ella - Now Is Our Time (Paradice Remix) - Adaption Music
9. Save. As - QT8 - Disclosure Project Recordings
10. Jesus Pablo & Di Riviera - Forward (Original Mix) - Deep Edition Recordings
11. Natural Rhythm - Like We Used To - Dufflebag Recordings
12. LHK - The Story - 3am Recordings
13. VIVID - Dr. McCoy - Broken Records
14. Howard Sessions - We Project - Retweak Records
15. Miles Maeda - Addicted Me w/ Love (Dark Dirty Edit) - Amenti Music
16. Hawke - Everything Is Happening At The Same Time (Atnarko Remix) - Eighth Dimension
17. Michael Vall - Relative Mode - Sound Mass Records
18. Marvin Zeyss - Tension (Original Mix) - Tanztone Records
19. Jayden San - El Baile De Sevilla (Echofusion's Deep State Mix) - In Deep Records
20. Pete Le Freq - Room of Strangers (2009 Remaster) - Llama Farm Recordings

Monday, November 22, 2010

Native Instruments - Kontrol S4

As you'll know by now I'm not the most technically adept person in the world - it's taken me over a year to get average using Traktor and the VCi-100 and despite the controllers bugs it's been fun. But I'm a sucker for a sales pitch and the marketing of Native Instruments newest controller had me hooked from the moment DJTechTools posted the video of Dubfire using it. After a 5 month wait for it's launch and some hard saving up, I was lucky enough to get mine two weeks ago - despite NI under producing them and causing a fair few frustrated posts on blogs around the world.

I'm not big on change either, so switching over to the S4 has taken me another couple of weeks to really get into, and with so much new stuff to learn I plan to keep flitting between the VCi-100 and the S4 until I've got to grip with the layout and new features of which the possibilities seem endless.

Along the way I'll be posting little updates on things here on the blog, sharing my discoveries and doing my usual rambling about what I like and don't like. I'm sure they'll be loads of people out there slamming digital mixing, with a view on why their mixer of choice is superior and all that, but at the end of the day I'm a vinyl convert who never even tried CDJ's and that's that!

So, first things first, as you can see it's pretty big compared to the VCi-100 and fairly wide not leaving much room on my bench! Typical having made it especially for the VCi-100. But fear not, it's about 3kg's in weight so easy to move around if you were going to take it around with you (you can purchase a bespoke flight case for it should you want to). In an early demo video released by NI the controller seemed to easily slide around if you were slamming the cross faders - I don't do that to be honest, but it's pretty snug on the bench I have so not a worry for me and you'd really gave to slam them to move it I think.

The sliders are really nice and short (half the size of the VC1-100), and the knobs have nice rubberised grips and a good feel for turning - typical of DJTechTools customised approach to the mixers they sell. 

The magnetic resistance job wheels might sound a bit futuristic, but they really are nice to use. I had mine on the VCi-100 set to tight, to avoid knocking them and moving the track, especially with my headphone chord, but the positioning on the S4 is nice and out of the way and with the headphone jack being on the front side everything's where it should be.
If you're a fan of lights, then the S4 has lots of nice ones, that cool VW dashboard blue kind of light, bits of green and red here and there too - it even does a little light show when you switch it on. I've not tried it with the room lights off yet, but will do for next time.

Speaking of colours... the new software that comes as part of the package is quite different to Traktor Pro from a visual sense. For me they've stripped back the palette making it kind of grey and green - it's quite dull and some of the type is way too big. But, maybe other people won't be too fussed.


The build in sound card really packs a punch too. Previously I'd been using a rather expensive Pro-Ject external sound card - but according to NI it's essentially the Audio2 DJ built in - Sounds great on my speakers.

Having watched the DVD through once I was able to plug and play, but giving the big new additional feature - the sample deck - a go it was a bit chaotic - recording a loop was easy enough, but stopping it and knowing where it was playing in relation to the other two decks got a but much and as yet I'm not sure what I did but it played even when I stopped everything - lesson learnt! Read the manual, or in this case watch the manual!

The only thing that really bugged me about setting up the software was having to run a 500Mb update - the controller's brand new and already needs an update? On the plus side it does copy all your folders across from Traktor Pro - but not your crates.



So far, and it's very early days, the best features I think are the looping function - being able to easily tweak this, set start points and adjust is great on the fly. And, the manual mixing ability is superb - actually being able to hands on adjust the beat matching, rather than just hitting 'sync' is nice - there's a little visual indicator of how far out the track is, but this is as close to mixing as I've been for a while!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interview: Olivier Desmet - Amenti Music

It's been a bumper month for new labels here at untitledmusic, and whilst I'm usually the one that's gone after them for their musical class, I'm the first to admit I often don't know a whole load about them. Amenti Music is one such label, a name I know is always up to the mark, had some top class artists release tunes on their, but what better excuse to ask a few questions of the man behind it all, Olivier Desmet and introduce them to you all.

Amenti Music has been at the forefront of the San Francisco deep house music movement for the past nine years, and, over the course of 50+ vinyl and digital releases, has featured a long list of house luminaries including Mood II Swing, Charles Webster, Fred Everything, JT Donaldson, LawnChair Generals, Giom, and many others.

Hailing from Belgium, Olivier Desmet is the man behind Amenti Music and the return of Primal Records. He began his career in Chicago as A&R and promotions manager for the late and lamented Afterhours Music, which released some of the best Chicago cuts in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

He began producing his own music under the guidance of Mazi before moving on to manage the renowned Moulton Studios in San Francisco in 2002. He's released works on labels including Aroma, Tango, Siesta, Deepfunk and OM (the San Francisco Sessions Vol 6 with Inland Knights), and remixes of artists such as Mood II Swing, Miles Maeda, Alexander East, and Demarkus Lewis. Among the many artists he's collaborated with are Fred Everything, Ken ECB, Joshua Marquez of Uneaq and Chuck Diesel.

Latest tracks by Amenti Music

Having grown up with house music his early influences include the likes of Kraftwerk, Nitzer Ebb and Depeche Mode not discovering house until his late teens. A self confessed Stella drinking (he's Belgian after all!) soulful, jazzy sounding DJ, label owner, producer, artist and digital record store owner you've got to hand it to the man - he's house to the core! So as a new label to the untitledmusic family I had a few questions for the man himself...

What is the idea behind the label – why did you start it?

"I got into the music business professionally about 10 years ago. I was living in Chicago at the time, and got a job as A&R and promotions manager for Afterhours Music. Afterhours was a great label, but the parent company that owned the label was badly mismanaged. This prompted me to move to San Francisco to start my own label, and Amenti was born."

How do you approach A&R to give the label its identity?

"First and foremost, I only sign music that I would want to play in my DJ sets. I am very picky about what tracks I play out. I will often spend 4+ hours shopping on Beatport or Traxsource, only to find 1 or 2 tracks that I like enough to buy! So that’s the deciding factor, signing music I would want to buy and play out. Amenti releases have had a pretty varied sound, some of it is quite deep, like the recent Todd Omotani and Charles Webster release for example, and some is prime time stuff, like the forthcoming Sonny Fodera release. But it’s all music I’d want to buy and play out." 

What have been the highlights to date?

"I’m proud to have had quite a few of my favorite producers, for example Mood II Swing, appear at some point on the label. The collaboration I did with Om Records to release a double mix CD of all Amenti material on their prestigious “San Francisco Sessions” series is also definitely a highlight. I would say that I’m also very proud of the killer yearly Amenti events at Miami’s winter music conference over the past 8 or so years, first collaborating with Aroma Records for the infamous “AA Meeting” parties, then now collaborating with Fred Everything’s Lazy Days Recordings for the equally great “Freeform” parties. Finally, a real highlight for me is that after close to nine years and 50+ releases, Amenti still going strong, which is quite an accomplishment in this business!"

What’s your favourite release?

"Picking a favorite release would be like picking a favorite child, pretty much impossible. Looking back at the catalog, I would still sign the vast majority of the releases today."

How did you get into music – what’s your story?

"I grew up listening to both funk music and “new wave” – stuff like Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, New Order, etc. This naturally led to house music in the late 80s and early 90s. I started DJing in 1990, and tried my hand at producing in the early 90s. But it wasn’t until moving to Chicago that I really started taking the whole music business seriously and worked at making a career of it."

What’s the story with Primal?

"I moved to San Francisco in early 2002 to manage my label, but also to manage Moulton Studios, which was a recording facility and record label owned by Jay-J and Chris Lum. This job ended when Jay-J moved to New York, so I got a part time job working at Primal Records to help make ends meet. Primal at the time was the biggest vinyl record shop in the East Bay (located in Berkeley) and was starting to do good business online. Eventually I became a minority partner in the business, and took over management of the business. We ended up selling ridiculous amounts of vinyl via the primalrecords.com web shop for a while, until the vinyl business sort of disappeared on us. Primal is now selling digital downloads, and it’s starting to do quite well at that."

What other labels and artists do you look out for?

"Some of my favorite producers at the moment include Fred Everything, Giom, the LawnChair Generals, and Joshua Heath. Jimpster is doing great things with his “Delusions Of Grandeur” sublabel."

As the industry utilizes more and more technology to promote itself, how are you finding the challenges of engaging audiences on social networks and the like?

"As a label, it’s a great way to easily communicate with your audience and fans. It’s free advertising and an absolute necessity these days. The problem of course is that everyone is bombarded with information all the time, so it’s not always easy to stand out from the rest. I’ve just relaunched www.amentimusic.com with a full online shop, so I’m very excited about that."

What are you listening to at home these days?

"A lot of demos! Amenti will be releasing more music than ever before in 2011, so I’m listening to a ridiculous amount of demos!"

What’s in store for the future?

"I’m starting a new mix compilation series called “Destination”. I did the first one; it will be released worldwide in December, and is available now on Beatport as a pre-release exclusive. I’m doing a full world tour to support the release via APT Entertainment (www.aptentertainment.com) and will be doing North American dates from January to May, then heading to Europe and Asia over the summer. As I mentioned, I’m stepping up the release schedule for the label to 20+ per year, so that’s quite exciting. Looking forward to new Amenti releases coming soon from Miles Maeda, Sonny Fodera, Atnarko, Fred Everything and me, and lots lots more!" 

Amenti Music


Thursday, November 18, 2010

UM's High 5ives - 18.11.10

There's only so much a man of my age who consumes as much booze as I do can learn in one week, so last Friday's arrival of my brand new NI S4 Kontoller has put a strain on the week so far! So much to learn, so little time after the day job's done!

I'm delighted to say a few more labels have joined the ranks over the last week too. In Deep, Nightchild and Tim Andresen's What Happens - things are really gathering momentum on that front of late and that's down to all of you tuning in, liking links and hopefully going on to buy the tunes too!?

In the next couple of weeks I've got some great new interviews for you kicking off tomorrow with another new label to untitledmusic - Amenti Music and the man in charge Olivier Desmet, then Inland Knights and Gavin Boyce waiting in the wings! Okay, let's get to this weeks choice cuts that I'm been enjoying in between everything else! 

UM's High 5ives - 18.11.10

Da Funk- Come On - Cabrio Records
Da Funk- Come On by Cabrio Records

Marvin Zeyss - Numb (Original Mix) - In Deep Records 

Numb (Original Mix) by Marvin Zeyss

Martijn - Sweet Sound (Original Mix) - Deep Edition Recordings
Martijn - Sweet Sound (Original Mix) // Clip by Deep Edition Recordings

AFMB - Nasty Disposition - Drumpoet Community

DRUMPOET COMMUNITY 34 | AFMB | "Nasty Disposition" by compost

Jesus Pablo & Di Riviera - Forward (Original Mix)

Jesus Pablo & Di Riviera - Forward (Original Mix) by jesuspablo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

UM61 Tracklisting

UM61 - 16.11.10

1. Tim Andresen - Wrong Ones (Denis Horvat Remix) - What Happens
2. K-Bana - Onion Trip - Night Drive Music
3. El Farouki - Ambre Dore (JP Phillippe Remix) - Disclosure Project Recordings
4. Scope - Feel It (The Timewriter Remix) - Beef Records
5. AFMB - Backup Days - Drumpoet Community
6. Ryan Truman - Underwear & Socks - Dufflebag Recordings
7. Le Vinyl - Operah (Bollo Remix) - Soluble Recordings
8. Sound Diffusion - Take Sub - Tapas Recordings
9. Pete Dafeet - In Flux (Atjazz Remix) - Lost My Dog
10. Filipsson & Ulysses - Dynamo (Freestyle Man Remix) - Jackoff Recordings
11. Da Funk - Come On - Cabrio Records
12. Rent√łn - Love (Original Mix) - Smiley Fingers
13. Dudu Nahas - Surprise Me (Original Mix) - Low Pressings
14. Eventual Groove - Do Nothing (Basement Jazz Ensemble Remix) - Konura Recordings
15. Jim Rivers - Junk (Roberto Rodriguez Remix) - Dieb Audio
16. DP-6 - Deep Sea (Toki Fuko Remix) - DP-6 Records
17. Carloscres feat' Gusher - Sleep Science - Society 3.0 Recordings
18. Roberto Rodriguez feat' Max C - Ride With Me (Matthias Meyer Remix) - Compost Black Label
19. Jesus Pablo & Di Riviera - Night - BM Slim
20. Shifter - Move (Main Mix) - Deso Records
21. Andy Clockwork - Clothes Off (Original Mix) - Pin Up Recordings

Friday, November 12, 2010

Interview: Mark Bell - Shaboom Records

Whether it's a sign my of age, or just being lucky enough to have been around when deep house really exploded in the UK I'm pleased to be able to count many of those formative labels as good friends today. Some, like Shaboom, we're part of the very early days of untitledmusic and like many of us took at little break in the mid 90's as being a grown up became a must. But like Paperecordings and Toko of late, Shaboom returned to digital retailers in late 2008 giving many old fans and new ones a chance to hear classics from the vault. The last year or so has really seen the renaissance of the UK's deep house founders and I'm very excited to say Shaboom are leading the charge with new takes on old tunes and new projects, the latest of which can be heard on UM60 this week!

For those of you who are thinking "Who's Shaboom?", let's start with a little history...

Shaboom Records was born in 1996 and named in honour of Blackpool’s seedy underground acid house club. Mark 'Blakkat' Bell (not to be confused with Mark Bell of LFO) Doc Martin, Majik Johnson, and Ben Davis (Paperecordings) were the founding fathers back then. All of the label’s early releases were produced in Mark Bell’s Studio Safe Productions complex and collaborators included the likes of house music icons Marshall Jefferson, Felix Da Housecat, DJ Sneak, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk, Marshall Jefferson, David Morales, Rae & Christian, Fred Everything, Crazy Penis, Norman Cook... in fact, anyone else visiting the UK from Chicago in the early 90’s was found on Shaboom soon after it seemed.

Latest tracks by Shaboom Recordings

Over the past 12 years, Shaboom Records created several limited edition and promo-only vinyl releases that fans still clamor for and still trade on the second-hand record market for big money. Releases like UBU’s ‘Pixels’, Shaboom’s ‘Sweet Sensation’, Blakkat’s ‘Full Circle’ and Eddie Amador’s ‘Holy Spirit’ established Shaboom as one of the hottest and most consistent quality dance music imprints in the UK. In late 2008 previous releases, plenty of unreleased and all new remixes of 'classics' were made available exclusively on Beatport.

So, when I got a chance to ask label founder, producer, DJ, the man behind Blakkat and these days US resident Mark Bell a few questions I jumped at the chance.


Shaboom’s discography was a who’s who of the industry, but then there was a long silence. What’s the story?

"To be honest I really needed a break from it all. In 2002 I produced, mixed and remixed 300 tracks that were all released on vinyl. I worked so much in the studio and spent the remainder of my time running the labels and touring, I now believe I had a longing for a little bit of normality. I met and fell in love with a wonderful young lady in New York and decided to up sticks and move to the USA. Within 6 months of arriving in America, I’d closed down my UK office and started to restructure my business. I’m very happy that I took the decision to start over because I have the same enthusiasm that I had as a teenager about the music I make and new things that I hear."

How have you found the differences between the UK and US scenes?

"I would have to say that a great party with a good DJ playing hot records on a dope sound system with an electrifying atmosphere could happen anywhere.That said to try and answer the question more specifically, the underground scene in the USA is what it’s all about for me, in my opinion it’s the best there is. I’m not a big fan of the huge rave type events in North America or the big clubs, but they do try and bring all the hype names for what it’s worth, but I do have to say that I love the lesser-known dj’s, which keep this music alive just for the love of it. In the UK I think the big events are really good, I always have fun when I go as a punter and love to perform at them. My memories of UK underground parties from the early 90’s are of very dodgy gangster types running the security and the promoters getting locked up for breaking the law, although there are great parties that happen all over the UK in the larger clubs that I’ve had many a good time at."


What’s in store for the new and old fans out there?

"I have a wonderful selection of new music in the pipeline for release over the coming months. I’ve been collaborating with different artist of late, lots of very cool new things for Shaboom Records and also for other labels. I’ve been working with Manuel Tur from Germany on his new LP for Freerange Recordings and he’s also been remixing several tracks from my back catalogue including Totally by Shaboom and several other cuts that we intend to make into a continuous mix. I’ve also been working on a couple of tracks with Dave Pezzner for his LP that will drop on OM records next year alongside some new material for Chez Damier’s labels and the next King Britt LP. I’m also putting the finishing touches to a Long Player for the Australian singer Holly Backler who is without a doubt one of the greatest singers I’ve ever had the pleasure of producing. Holly’s record is due for release next spring on Shaboom and has some hot remixes from the legendary Rune Linbaek amongst others."

What’s your view on the way digital retailing has impacted on the industry?

"There are defiantly pros and cons. It’s great that all that older music is being made available for everyone and anyone everywhere, and I do love the fact anyone can get their music out there without the whole process of a label or whatever, but the honest truth is vinyl sounds so much better if it’s played on a system that is dialed in properly, and I think it’s a shame that so many great record stores have closed down, but this is the new reality, digital retailers are here to stay and we all have to embrace it and work out how to function within this framework."
What labels are you looking for these days?

"There are so many great labels now the list would go on forever. I’m a huge fan of the Kompakt family and all the Compost labels, I also love Mild Pitch, Permanent Vacation, The Poker Flat labels, Rong Records and China Town from NYC."

Between Shaboom and Paper you were at the core of the UK’s deep and tech house scene – what’s your best memory of that time?

"Obviously the label parties, Paper Recording’s RoboDisco and the Shaboom ones for In The City with Doc Martin, DJ Sneak, Slam, Dick Johnson and Ben Davis. I also had an amazing live show at Fabric in room 1 with Terry Francis, Hipp e and Halo and as for the releases it would be Those Norwegians on Paper Recordings."

Which do you prefer, Djing or running the label?

"I love playing out, but I also get great satisfaction from releasing a new artist’s first records. We did it many times with Shaboom and I truly believe that it is a label’s reason for being, finding new talent and helping them develop into great artists."

As the industry utilises more and more technology to promote itself, how are you finding the challenges of engaging audiences on social networks and the like?

"In a word challenging. Trying to convince people to notice my music in an extremely overcrowded environment, quite frankly I find overwhelming. I’m very old school in my approach to this, if you make the best quality music you can it will stand the test of time, which in the current digital universe we don’t seem to have the attention span for. The upside is you get more than one chance to get noticed, and we don’t incur the same penalties that we did with physical releases in terms of returns and warehouse storage etc."

What are you listening to at home these days?

"Everything and anything, from classic soul and funk from the 70’s and 80’s to whatever fits the mood I’m in, be it recent recordings from the ECM label or Fever Ray, Estrella Morente or even Wildbirds and Peacedrums. I must also mention I’m a big fan of Kirk Degiorgio’s and Bill Lazwell’s podcasts and I do get sent some wicked sets from some of the DJ’s I have the pleasure of knowing."

As Blakkat you produced some of my favourite Shaboom releases – what is your favourite Shaboom release?

"Probably shab 050 - If you Need Me by Shaboom, the Blakkat Dub was used by Doc Martin on his Fabric release which incidentally is as of this moment getting a brand new remix from Manuel Tur."

Which opens up a whole new story about how Shaboom's back catalogue is being given new life.

"In the Summer of 2010 Manuel approached me with the idea of doing a continuous DJ mix for Shaboom Records. I agreed, and he then explained that he would give me a list of his favourite tracks and that he also wanted all the studio sessions for each piece of music. He requested the parts to over 30 different titles and immediately began dissecting the multi tracks and audio stems. He’s already remixed several tracks of which the first for this project was Totally by Shaboom that has just been released. For the mashups he has been using the beats from one cut then adding the music from another and has then placed vocals from another song on top. He then mixes it all down to create a new piece of music. He’s currently in the final stages of putting it all together, and if all goes to plan it should be available by early next year."

For those followers of Shaboom you'll no doubt already have checked out the first installment from the Shaboom Records Reworx series on Beatport. Classic House Music created by giants of the genre, DJ Sneak, Marshall Jefferson, Doc Martin, UBU, Blakkat, Paul Johnson & DJ Motion. The releases include Digitally remastered versions, and new exclusive mixes of selected Shaboom Records Classic catalogue.

There's something great about an old friend being back on their game and Shaboom's one of those labels that lingers fondly in the mind of fans like me. Seeing it back with new energy is a testament to just how good they were back then, and how even today the music that shaped mine and many more of our lives can find new audiences around the world.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

UM's High 5ives - 11.11.10

Man it's been a busy week. Got some great new articles on the way from the blog, this weeks will be a real treat! Of Novembers targets I've managed to sweet talk Amenti, 8bit and Beef Records to join the party and have new tunes from Drop Music and Tim Andresen's label What Happens to play with - it's all heading in the right direction! 

Unlike my brand new NI Kontrol S4, which after a marathon of phone calls, needing to register as an importer, filling in forms, supply ID and then waiting for a code I now sit waiting impatiently for NZ Customs to process my customs clearance. When that comes I have to pay some fees and then, and only then can I get my hands on the baby! Rant over - sorry!  (It seem NI under produced the units by a whopping 60% leaving plenty of paid up buyers waiting till Christmas or beyond - see things could be worse!).

It continues to be a bumper time of the year for new tunes and this weeks selection was another tough one!

UM's High 5ives - 11.11.10

Andre Crom & Martin Dawson - About You - OFF Recordings

A1 - Andre Crom & Martin Dawson - About You - OFF20 Cut by OFF Recordings

Peckos - Truffles EP - Lost My Dog

Peckos - Truffles EP (LMD039) by Lost My Dog

Utku Dalmaz - NYC Lights - Unsigned Demo

Utku Dalmaz - NYC Lights [Unsigned Demo] by Utku Dalmaz

Manuel Tur - Totally (MT Retronome Dub) - Shaboom
Shaboom - Totally (MT Retronome Dub) by Manuel Tur

Stu Patrics - Mindmap - (Delicious Remix) - Deso Records
Stu Patrics - Mindmap - (Delicious Remix) by desorecords