HACKMAN - FORGOTTEN NOTES
I can’t really put into words the effect this song just had on my body and mind.
If I were to attempt a description of those feelings, it would probably sound like I was rolling. I don’t know how Ben (Hackman) managed to encapsulate these deep, emotional vibes, but I imagine he was feeling them when he made it. I never thought I’d describe a song with “jazzy” undertones and subtle “disco” leanings on this blog, but it’s happening.
This is a limited 10” pressing on Records Are My Pillow (RAMP), and one that you’ll feel ashamed for missing out on. Pre-order this in physical form, and copp the FREE digital over at Juno. Show some love to Hackman on his SoundCloud, and as always:
A Leaving Scene Mixtape
01. The Organ Grinder - I Don’t Love You (Ft. Jessy Allen) 
02. 24Hour Experience - Take Me Up To Bed (Filthy Dub) 
03. Alex Agore - I Got Something 
04. X-Factor - Com’in 
05. Bicep - $tripper 
06. Raw Power - Wanna Be Your Girl 
07. Osunlade - Envision (Argy Vocal Mix) 
08. MK - Love Changes (Ft. Alana) 
09. Detroit Swindle - Nothing Else Matters (Morning Factory Remix) 
10. Andrea Mendez - Bring Me Love (M&S Smooth Dub) 
11. Jason Grove - Mastercuts 4 
12. David Anthony - Do Me Like That 
CHAMBOCHE - SMOKE SCREEN (KRL REMIX)
Good lord, KRL killed this remix. Murder. All-out massacre.
Ever since he threw up a clip of this track, I’ve been drooling. I just live for when that bass hits and the world stops and life reeks of glorious victory. Vocals are, of course, on point as ever; filtered to match the uplifting atmosphere of the track. This one’s a stomper.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been rinsing the vinyl release of this for a week or so, and was kind of hoping it would never be released digitally. Sometimes music discovery is a selfish pursuit. But, I found myself pretty stoked last night at 2am when I saw Juno had an exclusive digital release of the EP, and of course immediately copped it.
Check out the rest of the EP, including a remix by Wolf Records alumni Bicep, and two original heated tracks by Chamboche. Keep up to date with Under The Shade Records, and as always:
BAD BEATS - BE MINE
Well, that was just too easy.
After a disgusting amount of time since my last internet rabbit hole music binge, this was the first thing I came across. I didn’t really need to go any further.
That minimal beat, piano progression, and on-point vocal sample nailed it. I can’t for the life of me figure out which happy hardcore song from my teen years used the same sample, but that’s a rabbit hole I’m not willing to fall into.
I also can’t find a single thing about the human behind the Bad Beats name other than a FaceBook page which continues to tell me nothing. On the other hand, the Mood You record label is easily a new favorite, and one that I’ll be watching closely. Go grab this whole EP digitally, and as always:
ANDY ASH - LOVE ME STRAIGHT
Gimme orgasmic female vocal snippets any day. I’m all for it.
I don’t need to talk about what this guy has under his belt in terms of fantastic releases, you can research for yourself with a quick googling. What strikes me the most about him is the breadth of knowledge and passion for not just one breed of house.
I don’t normally get down with disco-tinged stuff; I understand and appreciate it, but it doesn’t move me like US Garage & Deep House do. On this release, I found myself enamored by the funky, soulful A-side tracks just as much as the B-side (which I specifically purchased the vinyl for.) I have to say, this guy put some kind of energy into it that really moved me.
I’m still gonna focus on the deeper, more two-step track on the release, because of my slight obsession with it. It’s now available as a digital download (thank gawd), as well as on vinyl. Listen to more from Andy Ash on his SoundCloud, and as always:
MR. G - DAILY PRAYER
"Heal my heart. Ease my pain. Give me the strength to love again."
I feel like I can touch the ceiling listening to this. It’s like you’re getting lifted up, but your feet are planted firmly on the [under]ground.
Mr. G, AKA Colin McBean, has two decades worth of deep roots in the house scene; that’s a history that can’t be touched. His personal label, Phoenix G Records, is a solo mission and body of work that is prolific unto itself. With this release on said label, McBean takes one of Kerri Chandler’s classic diva vocals (by Treasa Fennie), and does something truly beautiful with it.
While this was released last year on vinyl (long sold-out), this was recently released digitally for the world to enjoy. I’m particularly obsessed with this track, and can’t speak more highly for the work that McBean has done. Look out for his next release with Holic Trax, (stream a preview here) and as always:
MOONY ME - KONFUSED
About three seconds into a preview of this track, my fingers panicked and hit the “buy” button for its vinyl release. I suppose the panic was induced by the possibility of not owning it in physical form, but also by the possibility of never hearing the song in full.
Fortunately it was released digitally yesterday, and the vinyl has gotten a heavy rinsing in my living room for the past week. There’s some serious kind of magic in this track. Maybe it’s the starry atmosphere; those chimes that feel like night time and mystery. The start-stop hi-hats leave a negative space that is filled beautifully by the unintelligible vocal snippets, and the song begs for a repeat.
These Days Records is Argy's label; an outlet for new artists as well as his own productions. This release includes his own “Back To The UK” remix that complements it perfectly. The current series of EPs is said to be a puzzle that will fit together in the end, told in pictures and music. Look out for more from Moony Me on his SoundCloud, and wait to put the puzzle together with more from These Days. As always:
THOMAS GANDEY - THE ORGAN TRACK
My life has been really 110bpm lately. Fortunately, the guys at Southern Fried Records have released another epic EP that picks me up and makes me move.
The deep organ noise that Thomas Gandey has developed is a refreshing take on a nostalgic trend. We’ve been hearing it everywhere; that Robin S. “Show Me Love” sound that doesn’t seem to get old. Granted, you can’t touch a classic like that, but apparently it is possible to flip it into the future.
The layering of elements in this song is breathtaking. I try not to envision what it looks like on a computer; I’d much rather get caught in its ethereal bliss, whatever visions may come.
Now available digitally from all your favorite outlets, go buy this and get ready for summer. With three remixes and an addition “Stripped” mix, this EP does not disappoint (the Maxxi Sound System remix is a devastating banger). Listen to more from Thomas Gandey on his SoundCloud, and as always:
***THE DOLLAR BIN***
ANDREA MENDEZ - BRING ME LOVE (M&S SMOOTH DUB) [124bpm]
Okay, this wasn’t actually a dollar. But, mathematically, the track itself was.
Black Pancake Records in SF is my go-to spot for a relaxing, no pressure digging experience. Not to mention they actually have [nice] turntables available for previewing vinyl. At other shops I’m forced to use my intuition; based entirely upon year of production and visual aesthetic. Let it be known that this trick doesn’t always work.
So, when I dropped the needle on this one, headphones on and no expectations whatsoever, I couldn’t bare to listen to more than five seconds of it, because it was too good. I wanted to wait until I got home to really experience it, in full effect and free from physical inhibitions in order to dance.
Worth every penny. With more than 20 different releases and re-releases of this single, I’m pretty stoked to have stumbled upon this one. M&S did all four of the remixes on it, and this one just happens to make me the happiest. Hope this gets your day going.
Catch up on The Dollar Bin episodes HERE.
POLKADOT - SOUTHBANK
How do you react to a 17 year old making this calibre of music? Personally, it makes me wonder what I was doing when I was that age, and it sure as hell wasn’t producing banger tracks like this.
UK native Sam Bevan is the one behind this heaviness. His youth shows in the new-school bass, and his historical knowledge is displayed within the percussion. When the rap sample comes in (“Yo, check this out”), he’s literally telling the world to pay attention, and with a drop like that we definitely should. You can play this on your pathetic laptop speakers, but its effectiveness is truly experienced on a good system.
Sam was kind enough to send this to me last week, and I’ll admit it’s been getting an embarrassingly high play count in my car. At less than four minutes long, it just begs for a repeat.
His EP “Don’t Pigeonhole Anything” was released today as a free download on his SoundCloud, and why it’s free I couldn’t possibly tell you. 97Sides is the label behind it, and they appear to be more invested in pushing good music than pulling in dollars. Go grab this ASAP, rinse, repeat, and as always:
NICK HARRIS - HALLUCINATIONS
Relying solely on the strength of the music, Nick Harris doesn’t bother dabbling in vocal samples. I recently talked about how a dancefloor, myself included, seem to react more intensely when there are vocals to [unintelligibly] sing along to. Then, the very next day, Nick Harris’ Hallucinations EP dropped like a sign from the gods of house, laughing at my insight.
Every time I listen to this track, I like it more. I’m not usually one for songs that “grow on me,” as I can generally tell within four beats whether or not I care. The first notes of this caught my attention, though. And then the way Nick transforms those same notes after the drop at 2:20 just nailed that coffin shut. Fuck a vocal sample, this is more than enough.
Being the founder of NRK Music, with 15 years worth of house knowledge, I suppose it’s to be expected. Hallucinations, the second EP on the Stoned Immaculate series is likely a window into the future, as he branches out and looks forward. Grab the whole digital, and don’t expect any vocals. Keep in touch with Nick on his SoundCloud, and as always:
MICHAEL MCLARDY - COLOUR BLIND (JMX REMIX) [120bpm]
Do me a favor and just wait until the 2:42 mark. You can even skip ahead, and it’s guaranteed you’ll go back to hear what you missed.
The original is a party-starter; it feels like it was made specifically to get people in the mood and hopeful for the night ahead. What John McIver, also known as JMX, has done to it is absolutely breathtaking. He’s taken the subtle vocal samples and put them at the forefront. Uplifting, slow-but-steady pads sneak in, and then, oh, and then… That moment. That drop. It’s just too good.
Now available digitally from Assembly Records, the entire EP is not be missed. The other original track, “Long Sided,” is deep and burning with intensity. Check out more from Michael McLardy on his SoundCloud, and more from JMX as well. And, as always:
AARON ‘FIT’ SIEGEL - TONITE (DETROIT MIX)
I wish I could crush this track up and ingest it, as it’s pure happiness. It hasn’t been removed from my turntable in over a week, and I’m elated that the mastered version has now been made available digitally.
The prophetic Omar S now presents the world with Aaron ‘Fit’ Siegel’s first ever release on the FXHE label; and it’s a euphoric dancefloor heavyweight. From the very first note, everyone’s attention is caught and the “skip” button is out of the question. While the original track on the A-side lets the classic, groovy Detroit vibes flow, its B-side “Detroit Mix” goes in for the kill. With simple, understated vocals from L’Renee, this track positively glows.
Get this release on vinyl, as I doubt it will last, and is easily one of the best releases of the year thus far. Yes, we live in a digital age where a record player isn’t always available, or portable, so go ahead and purchase the digital version on Beatport. As always:
CRYPT - WHAT YOU ASKED FOR
There I was, writing about mourning, loss, and hope for the future. Listening to what appeared to have been the last track ever by the young, enigmatic UK producer known as Crypt.
Turns out the dude’s got jokes. April Fool’s.
The track would have sufficed, though. If it had legitimately been the last thing he ever produced, I probably would have understood, and maybe even been at peace with it. His percussion is clean and sharp as hell, cracking like a whip. Dark bass and ethereal background noise join, causing the listener to be torn between emotions. Ultimately, I found myself repeating it, and feeling something entirely different with each listen.
Before I found out it was all a prank, I went down memory lane and revisited the remix he did of Switch’s “I Still Love You,” which was featured here, and was easily one of my favorite tracks of 2011. Then I panicked and figured I should order his white label EP on Get Some UK before his only physical release was gone forever. Well, the panic has subsided, and we’re cool again. In the meantime, you can download this track for free on his SoundCloud, and listen to a plethora of equally deep music. Look forward to more from this guy, and as always:
MEDLA - ANYTHING
I found myself turning the speakers up rapidly throughout this track, which is the telltale sign of a banger.
The ever-mysterious Transmission Collective have added to their collection of producers, and ultimately art. You may recall a few Wolf Cub tracks on this blog; all of which were ethereal and uplifting. Now we’re presented with Medla (also known as Kahwe), dropping another magical track on the world.
Immediately the listener can hear/feel so many musical influences that genre name-dropping becomes futile. Yes, there is garage. Yes, there is hip hop. Yes there is deep house. And no, it doesn’t matter. The vibe is just fresh, and ultimately makes me happy every time I hear it.
Be on the lookout for more from Medla, who’s gaining some well-deserved hype in the online community. Also, do a little tumblr research and you’ll find that my boys from Life Crushed, as usual, were the first to stumble upon and believe in this artist. Keep paying attention, and as always: