Hi-Five: secretsundaze

James Priestley and Giles Smith's secret weapon—deep and emotive music—presented for your listening pleasure.
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Slow and steady (not to mention subtle and seductive) win the race. Need proof? It comes in the form of James Priestley and Giles Smith, the maestros of the London-based, lowercase-averse secretsundaze party. It was 13 years ago that Priestley and Smith began refining the secretsundaze ethos—rock-solid house and techno, of the deep, rich and emotive variety, often played in the open air and, whenever possible, on Sundays. Nowadays, the pair are doing pretty much the same thing—except now they travel around the world, and spin for crowds of thousands. The secret of secretsundaze, which has also expanded its global reach to the secretsundaze record label and a booking entity called TSA Artists, is that it's not too showy or trendy—you'll find only high-quality music played with love. (To that end, the everyone from Jus-Ed and DJ Qu to Peverlist and Martyn have hit the secretsundaze decks over the years.) Priestley and Smith are in the midst of a tour that takes them to the States, Barcelona (for an Off Week Sónar event) and Fabric—you'll find the specifics below—so we figured this might be a good time to find out just what makes the party tick, and the duo responded by naming a few of their fave secretsundaze anthems. A footnote from Priestley and Smith themselves: "These are just a few tracks that have been played at the party a lot in the last 14 years. They're not our definitive 'Top 5' secretsundaze tracks, but representative of the party and its sound." Whatever the case, it's a top-tier quintet of tunes, with artists ranging from the New Jersey house icons of Blaze to the newest signing to the secretsundaze label, Endian—along with a surprise guest appearance from Brian "BT" Transeau.

Los Hermanos "Birth 3000" (Los Hermanos)

This magnificent first release by Los Hermanos (Gerald Mitchell and Rolando) on the label of the same name was a huge track for us in the very first year of secretsundaze—2002. We used to open many of our peak time sets with it and still do from time to time. It has that majestic, powerful yet serene Detroit flavor with the Latin influence present in all Los Hermanos productions. "Quetzal" and "Resurrection" from subsequent EPs are staples, too.

Endian "Finish Me" (secretsundaze)
A future classic for sure. It's only just been released on our own label but we have been playing this in every set since we signed it mid to 2014 and it totally devastating. The sound George Levings achieves is just huge and the simple combination of the heavy, heavy kick drum, percussion, rude brass stabs and the Detroity strings make this a total winner. George grew up in the same area as us and we have been friends for many years, so it's nice to support and put out a killer from him.

Scott Grooves "Detroit 808" (Dub Delay Panther Version) (Natural Midi)
Huge fans of Scott Grooves. Could have picked a number of his tracks but this just pips it. Mesmerizing, game-changing vibes. If you wanna switch it up, bring it down or whatever this creates a special feeling on the dance floor every time.

Brian Transeau - "Relativity" (Carl Craig Urban Affair Dub) (Deep Dish Records)
Another track that we have played to death and has that technoid kinda hi-tek jazz/soul vibe. Futuristic, yet very soulful.

Blaze "Lovelee Dae" (Classic)
Could have picked so many Blaze tracks—"My Beat," "How Deep Is Your Love," Fantasy," "Sacred Sex," '"The Garden'," '"Lovely Ones," "So in Love'…we could go on. Just a perfect track. A little bit more modern production wise from Josh Milan and Kevin Hedge compared to some of their more classic NYC vibes on this one—pushy, hypnotic and soulful with that sweet vocal. Can't but get smiles from the crowd when we drop this during the daytime or as the sun comes up.

6/12/2015Flash Washington DC, USA
6/13/2015Electric Pickle Miami, USA
6/14/2015Output NYC, USA
6/21/201510 Years In Barcelona Party, Poble Espanyol Picnic Area & La Terrrazza, Barcelona, Spain
7/4/2015Fabric, London, U.K.