We shamefully overslept on some really great news folks, but this should make a lot of people happy. Abakus released a TON of new music since February, including two DJ mixes, and the new EP ‘Tokyo Express’, which was just released this month on Modus Records! We happily present to you (with our tails between our legs) two new mixes for free download, as well his first studio compilation since the ‘The World of Silent Geometry’, released early April of last year. Grab them below, and check out the new EP!
London’s super-producer Russ Davies, the man behind the Abakus/Cinnamon Chasers monikers, seems to be back at it ladies and frogs. If that is so, then we can likely expect some more releases this spring and summer season. Russ has an absolutely fierce work ethic. Between making music as CC and Abakus, and consistently producing back to back to back (and more) albums for both solo projects, one wouldn’t be foolish to think he lived in that London studio. Up until a brief hiatus which has just been broken, he is one of the hardest working musicians in the industry. His son, whom he somehow manages to father full-time, has got some big shoes to fill. Read the rest of this entry
If you live in MA and you’re into the electronic jamband wave, then you’ve probably heard of Jules Jenssen. Years ago he formed a three piece band called Higher Organix, based out of Great Barrington, MA. Starting as a local outlet for the hillside “jamtronica” fans to get their kicks, HoX themselves got more involved in not only bringing their music to like minds in the community, but also became an intergal part in bringing more acts, and better events to the home front. Their skills in promotion, and the help of others got acts like Ott [Twisted Records] to play our county. Jules and Higher Organix are also directly involved with the development of the Let It Roll music festival, which eventually became the short-lived, but heavily praised and greatly missed Big Up music festival, both located just outside of MA, in Eastern New York State. Unlike most festivals which evolve over the years, The Big Up came out swinging with it’s initial lineup. Ian Stewart was right there next to him. For several years he has been bringing his heavy house vibe to hillside parties, including the previous festivals. He’s shared the bill at most of the events these two have helped to create. Jules has acknowledged him as mentor is his musical journey as well, which speaks greatly upon his own abilities.
Jules’ talent echoes far beyond the blue hills of Western MA, Eastern NY. Although a founding member of Higher Organix, he has since moved on become to full time drummer for Boston-based electronic jamband, The Indobox. Like Mr. Jenssen here, this band quickly escalated from local stardom to full touring status and mass appeal in the northeastern jam community. Since joining, their fanbase has increased immensely, and their tour presence with it. There’s a noticeable difference in the group’s overall style; they’re bringing more definition to their sound, and much harder dance grooves to both their studio work and live imrov. You can check out some of the material off their last album ‘Shapes and Colors’ here, or below!
Recently Jules suffered from a slipped disc in his back, which forced him to endure a surgery procedure that put him out of commission for a bit. The little black cloud hovering over his drum kit turned into a full fledged thunder storm when the original wound got infected, resulting in two additional surgeries and even more time from his passions. As a drummer, this is a nightmare come true. This kid won’t get taken down by a few minor back surgeries though(please not our sarcasm), there’s a beast inside this boy. Full recovery will be a slow burn, but he’ll be back on the kit before you know it. That will make his fans happy, which is a surprisingly large group of people, all who have shown overwhelming support. We wouldn’t mind hearing more beats like this EP he and Stewart just released!
JJ got off the stool and into the studio with long-time friend Ian Stewart, collaborating as Weird Zero. Just two weeks ago the newly formed duo released their debut EP ”The New Depth‘. No stranger to the studio, along with The Indobox and HoX, Jenssen has also toured under the moniker ELECTRONICAnonymous. Strike that all from the record though, we have an entirely new specimen on our hands.
The EP opens up with the titular track “New Depth” and it gets right to the point. Heavy industrial synths come at you in a slow, repeating assault, and they keep coming for the duration of the song. The second track follows in the same fashion, only carrying on with a gentle melody that eventually wraps into a dark, disco laced culmination. The gritty, low distortion, and heavy weight behind these bass synths, almost sound like the dark and down low style of Soulwax, but with more colorful textures similar to Cinnamon Chasers, or Abakus. In the vein of those musician’s works, these rhythms crawl up your spine and throw your body into motion. It’s becoming more clear why Jules slipped that disc in his back I think. The third track “The Altar”, is a haunting “deer in the headlights” tune, you can’t get away from it. Saylor’s vocal contributions resemble closely to Adelle, if she were singing in the neon rooms of UK disco clubs. The four tracks roll into each beautifully. The EP starts off with such intensity, but as it progresses each track gradually gets more a bit more melodic than the last. This was likely deliberate, regardless the payoff was the same. When you’re dealing with a group of songs that share similar themes, the arrangement can add so so much to the story being told. Finally it ends with “Dock Monster”, which is down tempo tribal mind-bender that slowly develops into, well, a monster really. Ian Stewart is likely responsible for the fresh housey kick to these beats, and they certainly kick. We don’t get much in these parts for house music, but Stewart has always shared his refined tastes with the crowds both local and distant.
Over the years both parties have shown skills in various live formats, and now they’ve brought a nice little electronic release, new and hungry for your speakers. The entire EP was recorded and produced by Ian Stewart and Jules Jenssen themselves. We’re proud these local musicians have come to achieve so much, but then again, everyone has to come from somewhere right? Listen to it below, and try to catch them both at a gig near you!
Bella Terra Music Festival just announced its lineup for the 5th annual year of the event. What started out as a mediocre concert set on the highway of Route 7 in Massachusetts has turned into a pretty impressive convention of diverse music and art. Located in rural Stephentown, NY for its 4th year running, each year has topped the last. Last year saw super group Suckerpunch(with members of The Disco Biscuits, Brother’s Past, and The New Deal) headline the festival with an attendance of over 4,000 music goers. Unlike some stale festivals in the area, these organizers are bringing in more entertainment, better music, and bigger crowds each consecutive year, forming their own personal brand in a very flooded event category. The season is upon us ladies and gentlemen. Between Camp Bisco, The Big Up, and Bella Terra, upstate New York is taking the limelight with Northeastern festivals in 2013. Bella Terra is located at Gardener’s Farm in Stephentown, NY and runs from August 15-18th. Mark your calendars and ready your camping gear, this summer is going to be HUGE…
The 5th Annual Bella Terra Music Festival Lineup
LIQUID STRANGER. EMANCIPATOR. ZACH DEPUTY. MAX CREEK. MINNESOTA. ABAKUS. CINNAMON CHASERS. START MAKING SENSE (Talking Heads tribute). TURKUAZ. THE ALCHEMYSTICS. HOMEBOY SANDMAN. ARCH NEMESIS. BASTINADO powered by Reactable. CARAVAN OF THIEVES. GOOSEPIMP ORCHESTRA. DEEJAY THEORY. CHEAT CODE. LEAVE IT ON STAGE. DIGITAL $TORM. COSMAL. THE EDD. THE BLACK REBELS. DANNY PEASE & THE REGULATORS (DPR). ORANGE TELEVISION. MENTALLY ILL. WOLFMAN CONSPIRACY. WAYLON SPEED. LION-BIRD SOUNDSYSTEM. DIGITAL DHARMA. GANG OF THIEVES. GREAT WHITE CAPS. LEILA. MASS AIR FLOW. VOLTRAN. LUZCID. THE CHRONICLES. THE PROFESSORS. MASS. TWEED. OUTER STYLIE. THE HORNITZ. SEROTHEFT. REDSHIFT. IGANIC SOUNDSYSTEM
Make way for Evanton, a fresh Italo-funk duo from Greece just making their professional appearance in music less than two years ago. Their debut self-titled album came out of nowhere and with almost instant success. Anton Manetas and Evan Zacharopoulos provide a stylishly new take on synth-pop and disco, a genre that is becoming increasingly relevant again and unfortunately a tad flooded. Have no fear, with one having a background in 80’s electrofunk and the other specializing in Italo styles, the convergence is destined for greatness at the get-go.
Their newest EP Hit After Hit, released earlier this month on Binalog Productions, is pure merciless funk that hits the floors with a cool breeze and a heated edge. What we have here is vintage instrumental soundscaping applied to more modernized house style arrangements, a blend most notably achieved by Cinnamon Chasers. By straying away from vocal samples, they leave you to focus on the progression of the music. What is so integral in making this duo unique is the vividness of the sounds used and the above average mixing. Evanton fully embodies the 80’s atmosphere, while at the same time seamlessly progress through the realm of disco-house. Rather than hearing colliding notes of each influence like in other artists, you hear them as one entity, creating something new. The production value of this duo is undeniable, and we can’t wait to see what they do next…
Early this morning Space-funk sensation Cinnamon Chasers premiered his new music video for “Lights”, off his recently dropped album Dreams and Machines.
CC is the same galactic maestro behind the Abakus moniker, Russ Davies, the son of The Kinks’ founder Dave Davies. Not only did Davies put a large portion of his heart and soul into the album, he took the reigns on supervising and contributing directly to the music video, inadvertently turning it into yet another Russ Davies sideproject rather than a routine music video to help push the relevance of his new release. He was a core instrument in directing, editing, and producing the video, and features himself in the final product, but not in an exploitative position. Ego is certainly involved, not for self-gratification or his fifteen seconds, but for making sure that the integrity of the song and he himself as the creator, remains untainted.
Dreams and Machines is an aesthetic compilation of digital space beats and psychedelic soundscapes, and a likely contender for one of the top albums of 2012. “Lights”, although perceived as softer than the other tracks on the album, is able to personify the themes and styles present throughout the entire release. Great factors for choosing a target single, and furthermore, an appropriate greeting to the listeners as they enter the extraterrestrial world of Cinnamon Chasers.
Camp Bisco Music Festival, presented by the northeastern EDM capitalists Meat Camp Productions, held its 11th annual bash at the Indian Lookout Country Club in Mariaville, New York this past weekend. Acts included Big Boi, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Porter Robinson, Lotus, Oliver, Simian Mobile Disco and A-trak to name a few. As the legendary festival hosts The Disco Biscuits took the stage in anticipated eruption Friday night, true fans of tech house gathered in small number for the Abakus late-night set in the Big Dance Tent.
Abakus initiated the set with digital ferocity. Energy embedded in the first two and half minutes of the mix grants him a swift grip on the audience. Captivating every moment, intrinsic to his trademarked demeanor of an iconic space bass phenomenon, he never missed a beat. Psychedelic rythms and space born crescendos cross over high speed perpetual basslines, self-narrating their journey through the cosmos, and creating an atmosphere both composite of high-tempo industrial chaos and metaphysical insight. Although juxtaposed to the Biscuits, Abakus prevailed with an incredible demonstration of his abilities. Its house music on a cellular plane.
The show itself is performed on Ableton Live with synths and controllers similar to a large portion of DJ’s across the globe, but what sets the great divide between he and them is the fact hes spinning tracks he originally produced and sweat over. As a consequence of his pristine and concise productions, expectations from the fans give surmounting pressure to his on-stage performances, making every event pivotal in his expansion. My first encounter with him was one for the books, taking a headline late night slot at the Big Up Festival in August 2010 where his two hour set(which had to be cut off) made respected spinsters Orchard Lounge look like slackers. The BB King afterparty in NYC and opening slot at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago in late December left fans with a desire for more however, lacking in the unremitting intensity found in his earlier performances in 2010/2011. Support of the Disco Biscuits’ past new years tour served as menial evidence of his capacity to disappoint, but behind the tables, he is a human being(a notion I consider to be arguable) and we forgive him. Abakus quickly persevered these extraneous times and continued to patton his own avant-garde style while maintaining the traditional club house atmosphere that seems to be forgotten in time.
The entity Abakus is the brainchild of Russ Davies, hailing from electro clubbland London. One could compare his sound to a bit of Wolfgang Gartner meets the Chemical Brothers, but unlike many of his peers, Davies is not limited to the restrictions of genre. Finding his niche in both worlds being a producer and live performer after 10 years experience, his project has taken a life of its own as a bass driven Frankenstein. His other monster creation as the alias Cinnamon Chasers, a nu-disco house project more adroit in remixes and edits, has received loads of success as well. He is a master of his own universe. Basically every song he produces gains instant success. Last years release of Prisms, on Modus Records,left critics singing his praises and recently Davies has found a home in the top of the Beatport Charts with the release of Abakus’ third album Futurism Pt1, also on Modus Records.
Precise execution of his serpentine beats and a staunchly tasteful fanbase make Russ Davies’ ascension to greatness inevitable. This years Camp Bisco set was a strong reminder of who the boss of psyche-house is. The performance, featuring tracks from his latest release, was available for live stream on the newly launched DJCN.com and you can listen to the soundboard on Soundcloud now!