When it comes to East Coast house figures, there aren't many artists whose influence looms larger than that of Kerri Chandler. The New Jersey native is perhaps best known for playing a key role in the development of the '90s garage house sound, but he's remained incredibly active over the past two decades. During the past few years, he's re-started his own Madhouse imprint, which was essentially dormant during the '00s, and has also launched Madtech, an outlet for darker, techier offerings, many of them by up-and-coming producers. (Krystal Klear, Citizen, Lakosa & iO, and Waze & Odyssey are just a few of the artists that have released on MadTech.) After more than 25 years in the game, it's clear that Chandler and his music have rubbed off on countless others, which is likely why famed Berlin club Watergate has tapped him to put together the latest edition of its mix CD series. Watergate 15 comes out next week, but even after hearing it, we found ourselves wondering about the music that shaped Chandler's artistic vision. As such, we invited him to put together the latest edition of Hi-Five; his selections are intriguing, but more importantly, Chandler has provided some quality anecdotes about exactly how these tracks made their mark on him. Read more »
patten is a different kind of artist. Case in point: He isn't satisfied being labelled with such a specific title. He's the kind of, let's say, instigator who embraces the idea of a "compositional decision made by chaos," crafts a playlist of silent songs, answers interview questions with Wikipedia links, and uses Twitter to repeatedly post a black-and-white photo of a rock in a person's hand (not to mention follow the accounts of Disney, Lamborghini, MySpace founder Tom Anderson, Massive Attack, Oprah Winfrey, and the British Neuroscience Association, to name a few). patten's given name is known to the public only as D, and that includes everyone who works with him at Warp, his new label home. Calling the Londoner elusive, anonymous, or enigmatic would be missing the point, though; his main interest is making us consider and possibly rethink many of the common perceptions and practices that we regularly take for granted. Read more »
Nearly 30 years after its inception, pioneering Chicago house label Dance Mania is finally receiving the accolades it deserves. Launched in 1985, Dance Mania was operated by Ray Barney, a Chicago music industry heavyweight who grew up in music and inherited his family business (Barney's Records, a record distribution company and local retail chain that attracted touring soul artists and working DJs alike). Operating the label out of the company's existing business infrastructure, Barney went on to release approximately 300 Dance Mania records; looking back now, there's little question that the label spawned numerous bonafide classics, played a part in many legendary artists' careers, and essentially created the ghetto house genre. Even so, Dance Mania's eventual reach and influence wasn't apparent to anyone involved at the time; Barney claims the imprint was "just making records for DJs." He adds, "Nothing was manufactured. Everything was genuine. We didn't do anything to look good." Read more »
When we get ahold of Tom Banks (a.k.a. Lockah) via Skype, he's in the final stages of packing up his flat and moving away from Aberdeen, Scotland, the city he's called home for the past 28 years. He's headed for Brighton, England, to be close to his label Donky Pitch, and to have easier access to a larger scene. "I've been gradually getting money from gigs that's almost acceptable," says Banks, who recently quit an IT job he dreaded showing up to. Fortunately for him, it's looking less and less likely that he'll have to return to an office. After successful releases over the past few years on labels like Mad Decent's Jeffrees imprint, Mishka, and the aforementioned Donky Pitch, he's about to release a new 12", "If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want to Be Wrong," which will quickly be followed by his first full-length, a Miami bass-, electro-, and rave-inspired LP called Yahoo or the Highway that's set to drop in April. Read more »
With records for Kompakt, Stroboscopic Artefacts, and his own Perc Trax label accounting for much of his noteworthy discography, Londoner Ali Wells (a.k.a. Perc) has built a solid reputation over the last decade as a bastion of boundary-pushing techno. Presented in full-length form for the first time on 2011's Wicker & Steel LP, the range of Perc's talents have consistently proven to be far-reaching, as the time-tested producer has evolved and touched on a wide array of techno's hybrid sounds over the years. Now, with Perc's sophomore full-length, The Power and The Glory landing on February 17, we've tapped Wells to share with us his five favorite acid cuts—after all, it's a sound that Perc and the Perc Trax imprint have made use of often over the years. Reaching back to some classic UK fare while also citing some more contemporary Midwest tunes, Wells' selections reflect his longstanding love for the squelching pulses of acid house and techno. Read more »
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