The Magician just pulled some fall tour dates out of his hat! Take it from us folks, that silver-tuned Casanova with a wand is about drop some heat on the USA. His former partnership with Aeroplane is barely a memory now. This artist has more than proven his worth in the electronic world as an individual heavy hitter. In just a few years he’s gone from playing a school-house rave in Connecticut (we were there), to having a video on MTV, worldwide radio presence, and bookings at venues like Exchange LA. The Magician puts 110% passion into his music and his performances. His styles may have shifted over the years, but we take full responsibility if you don’t have a blast at these shows. As far as the Northeast is concerned, he’ll be hitting Output in Brooklyn with the FIXED crew! Hope you’re ready for a pop soaked, piano-laden house party everybody!
As the southern region of the United States slowly slips through the icy grip of the unfamiliar cold, residents of the Northeast shake the snow off their heels and head to their venue destinations. Yes that’s right, we’re the crazy bastards with two pairs of pants on hitting the suicidal roadways in pursuit of the only things left to go bump in the cold of night. The winter months here are always abundant with live acts. All the money and 4-wheel drive in the world couldn’t get you to every one though, so we’ll send you in the direction of solid choices.
For instance, FIXED NYC presents back to back performances from Shit Robot and John Talabot at SRB Brooklyn this Friday, February 7th! The evening will showcase Talabot’s recent collaboration with DJ Kicks, and feature accompanying sets from DFA’s own Shit Robot, and sets from FIXED founders Dave and JDH!
Now we’re aware there are a few other formidable acts playing that night in the 5 Burroughs including Hot Since 82, and Claude Van Stroke, and you might be tempted to see one of them. Those are two fine gentlemen indeed, respectable chaps born with a vinyl thumb, but you would be missing out on a truly rare spectacle. Talabot is surely something to write home about, and Shit Robot gracing the stage is a treat in itself. Get your mind off the floor, and jump beyond the midnight hour into the psychedelic house grooves that this combination will deliver.
John Talabot gives a very psychedelic perspective to acid house roots. You can feel a sense of gratitude to his predecessors in his productions. His music drops layer over layer, never abrasively, but delicately and smoothly. With his mixes, the layers continue to overlap and connect until you’re into the territory of a new track. It’s sonic exploration ladies and gentlemen. His signature might be found in the drum tracks, they serve as details to the progression of the song, rather than just a device for carrying notes. His live performance (vs. a DJ set) implements an array of live percussion kits, and is pretty fascinating. Pitchfork gave the DJ Kicks an impressive 7.9, which granted doesn’t always mean much, but in this case it does. His exclusive featured track “Without You” is without uniform to say the least, and tells the story of his style pretty well. Prevalent drum tracks, the short, stabbing bass playing the role of percussion almost, it all tilts a nod to acid house until the vocals wrap around the rhythm with two falling synths. If that sound is any inclination to the contents of his live performance, than our anticipation has doubled.
It’s also fitting to be paired with Shit Robot, an artist who has been DJing and producing music for two decades. Marcus Lambkin, the man behind the bot, packed up his turntables and left Ireland in the mid-90’s to ambitiously integrate himself into the New York club scene. Not long after, he did just that when he met James Murphy and found a home with DFA Records in the early 2000’s, assimilating into the lifeblood of the Brooklyn nightlife. The man is a legend in his own right. Never following conventional formulas, he has always had an abstract approach to music. It’s that obscurity in his sound that pushes the envelope and has made him a respected name. Let’s face it, you can’t get away with making music under the moniker “Shit Robot” for that long if you don’t have any talent. The bill celebrates Talabot’s DJ Kicks release, but Shit Robot is also releasing his first studio album in years, titled ‘We Got a Love’ on March 17th! Thus, it’s very likely that he will be working some new material into his performance, which is certainly something to get excited about. If you want to get an idea what his skills behind the decks amount to, check out this mini-mix he did last month for Annie Mac here.
On one hand you have Talabot moving forward with a modern blend of influences, and on the other, you have Shit Robot, an artist nestled firmly in the roots and history of this music’s movement, with a touch of disco. Incidentally, you are witnessing firsthand the reciprocating evolution of house music. The city dwellers have it easy, but is this show enough to make the small-towners travel? Are you going to wake up the next morning in a radical shift back to suburbia, where the morning snowfall cloaks your home in silence, as if it were a all dream you never wanted to end? Or will you breathe a sigh of relief to be back? We can’t tell you that, but we can tell you those are the questions we live to answer. We can also tell you, that if this event receives the accolades of an unforgettable night, you’ll be sure glad you went. With these two headliners at the decks, and FIXED hosting the party, it’s a safe bet you won’t be forming a refund hungry, torch-carrying mob through the streets of Brooklyn.
Get tickets to the show HERE!
Copenhagen’s rising star Brynjoflur is a brand new addition to Europe’s disco mafia, Eskimo Recordings. His first single with the label, “I Love You”, was made as an exclusive for the compilation album ‘The Pink Collection’, in addition he released an EP as well. Disregard the fact you’ve never heard of him. Like that matters, because you will. The kid is fierce, and nestles nice and snug with Eskimo. Far from a lethargic DJ (we don’t deal with those types), he’s been playing piano since he was a tiny Danish lad and experimenting with house music since his adolescence. This is his first EP and he already has support from Tensnake, Djuma Soundsystem, and the release features remixes from Pharaoh Black Magic, and Peter Visti. His discography is short but saturated with style and zeal. Check out the new “I Love You Mixtape for Eskimo Recordings” linked above, starting off with the title track and over an hour of first class disco-house picks.
Aeroplane just released a new remix of Surahn’s “Wonderful”, which you can stream now (linked above). This tune is classic Vito (Aeroplane). To this day he hasn’t produced a track faster than 120 beats per minute, and he has no need to. The melodic piano rolls, the walking bass that just won’t quit, the flashy synthesizers, it’s all there. He has a brand, a patented style, and that is only one of several indications of his talent. After a long career with Eskimo Recordings and a brief hiatus, he founded his own Aeropop label last year. You can see him perform courtesy of FIXED in New York City at the Highline Ballroom on September 27th! The remix will be available for purchase on DFA Records September 24th!
Check out the new ‘La Crique’ August Tape from Zimmer! Summer may be at an end, but that doesn’t we can’t pretend. Zimmer crafted this mix to be “the perfect pool party music”, and meets that goal with much success.
Enjoy the beats folks, it’s a pleasure as always -Cb
Brooklyn continues to hold onto it’s reputation as the host to some of the most distinguished electronic events in the US. That accolade was emphasized again deep in the warehouse district of the New York Burroughs on Saturday night. FIXED NYC teamed up with Verboten to put on yet another stellar event this past weekend at Brooklyn SRB with sets from Tensnake, Flight Facilities, Light Year, and founders Dave and JDH. The outside streets were silent and none the wiser, but behind those walls an ongoing display of organized chaos raged on through the Easter sunrise.
Openers Dave and JDH of FIXED are always solid candidates for commencing a night. The crowd never seems bored and the tracks are seldom tasteless. After reaching close to a two hour set, they gave the decks up to Australian electro-indie duo Flight Facilities, who are most recognized for their exclusively vinyl DJ sets and the frequently circulated track “Crave You(ft. Giselle Rosselli)“. Last night was the culmination to their North American tour. The set contained a lot of the Nu-disco chart hits we hear in their mixes. The track selection was a bit stale and not exactly refined but they kept the night going just the same. Whispers of a rumored appearance from Jess Higgs circulated the dance floor and came to be true when she performed live vocals for the hit “Crave You”, and the award winning “Foreign Language”. This was the highlight of their set. Live vocals over DJ sets are a risky move; depending on the audio quality of the venue and the mixing of the DJ, it can often sound tacky and bittersweet at times. However her voice was crystal clear and executed beautifully despite not having a state of the art sound system, much of which probably had to do with the chemistry they displayed on stage.
T&A gives this Flight Facilities performance a 5/10
Tensnake was the real star of the night. By the time he took the stage the main dance floor was filled. Known for his live aptitude and unanimously respected productions, Saturday night fell nothing short. His music is an equal fusion of funky disco melodies and perfectly crafted club house. With the overdue break into the BBC Essential Mix it was clear the Disco Don was digging deep into his house tastes with instant success in mastering the forte. The way his live show sounds really seems to cater best to what he’s trying to accomplish musically. Every single note is accentuated. His particular skill with multiple MIDI triggers and mixers transition him through disco samples and house beats creating seamless mash-ups.
The set immediately ignited into an explosion of dance beats. Tensnake changed the pace of the night from a pop-soaked frenzy to esoteric intensity. Everyone in attendance was coerced into a mutual fervency by the aggressive bass lines and stabbing synths. Eclectic key changes and initial lack of vocal sampling cloaked the audience into an electrical abyss. Most house music doesn’t leave room for interpretation but this was truly of a different caliber. There was mystery involved. The sequential synthesizer riffs were released in a way that almost gave you the impression he was throwing them at the crowd. Toward the middle of the set he steered into a deeper ambience but didn’t linger for a long. Following a few breezy segments of admittedly needed breathers, he returned to the percussive bass-driven house he has adapted so well in his recent career. Some of the tracks featured in his mix on Saturday were his hit “Coma Cat” and remix of Radiohead’s “Everything in it’s Place”. He also played “Mainline” which serves as a pure, unadulterated model of colorful 90’s Pop-funk.
T&A gives this performance a 7/10.
The venue itself was more than satisfactory. Very spacious with a general admission balcony and upper platform, there was plenty of dancing room. Two fairly sized bars with great beer selection were located on each side of the club. The sound quality wasn’t superb but by no means was it gritty or unpleasant. This shines a light on the production quality of Tensnake’s live show, his performance seemed much crisper than the others. It’s a solemn feeling when an act disappoints you but this artist is a certified virtuoso in his element. Even among his peers, Tensnake is perceived as one of the most commended artists in the industry. One could argue that solo electronic acts are devoid of the organic feel you get with a live band, but this is not a run of the mill DJ act. There is life to it. He’s also announced with the release of the Essential Mix that he is working on a full debut album, set to drop later this year, so keep an ear out for that.
SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO w/ DAVE P AND JDH @ THE FONDA THEATER, L.A. 11/30/12
Its that time of year for Simian Mobile Disco to hit North America with their esteemed live performance. Last Friday they brought the heat to the Fonda Theater for their first US gig since September, also in the City of Angels, at Goldenvoice’s FYF Festival. No doubt 2012 has proven to be a busy year for the duo having released a full album and follow-up EP within just seven months, and touring heavily across the globe. But that’s their modus operandi. A perfect machine, meeting almost every need one fan could warrant.
Dave P and JDH opened with a minimal paced house set. Despite them holding a relatively menial rank in the grand scheme of honest artistry, these guys are always enjoyable. They seem to a have relationship of some unknown degree with the guys of SMD; I’ve witnessed them open for the duo three times this year and they’ve contributed to several past tours as well. Both Dave and JDH are partners in Fixed NYC, who have put on gigs for SMD across Manhattan multiple times over the years. These two certainly have experience in buttering up the crowd for headliners, although they did display a touch of rookie irony when they played “Seraphim” from Simian’s Unpatterns album just before they were take to the limelight. All in all they were again successful in getting the party started for their much anticipated followers.
The new album translated beautifully live, much better than I had expected and my expectations were quite high. There are so many aspects to Simian Mobile that differ them from their peers, but most of those characteristics lie within their live experience. Its similar to hearing a jam band play if they were personified through a set of turntables. Always possessing an odd, psychedelic approach to dance music, the material they’ve put out this year is a large step away from previous works like Temporary Pleasure, or Attack, Sustain, Decay, Release, and for the better. So much content is strategically flowing through deceivingly simple music, and that is the creative genius that I love about these two artists. Carefully delivered London-style house beats, low tones, descendant angelic synths, and dark crunchy progressions are key designs for the gentle, seamless plunge into a cozy, yet strange abyss the crowd was nestled in. Although they stand very relevant in electronic music, especially minimal genres, they consistently stay devoid of common formulas and can improvise a whole segment of dreamlike sequences of sound without even needing drum tracks.
Very well known for their theatrics, they’ve really dulled down their light show. Always remaining just under the mainstream radar while simultaneously maintaining a dedicated and large fanbase, I think this may have the intention. Jas Shaw and James Ford, the collective sagacity behind the SMD moniker, stated in interviews that Unpatterns would be a very different direction from their past works and that it was centered exclusively around the music that they wanted to make. Little did they know that their new album would explode on the charts and result in a much broader audience. A decrease in visual stimulus just puts more focus on the music, which puts them completely in control, and the end result is remarkable.
The “I Believe” closer is really difficult to explain. The song on its own its nothing short of majestic. For some reason, in my head at least, it always brings me to the image of Ryan Phillippe lifelessly sprawled in the middle of the street after being hit by a car. However since Jas and James are confirmed masters of sound-production, there is nothing like seeing it performed live. Intrinsic to their unique qualities, no set is ever the same, and the version sewn at the Fonda was just breathtaking. The song started in a standard fashion, however when it came time to cue that unmistakable bass drop after the first verse, it spiraled into an undeniable display of accented musicianship and integrity. The snyths were noticeably crisp and emphasized in a way I’ve never heard them, or anyone else for that matter, pull off. Each note is brought to life with such a delicate execution, no one can even come close to capturing such an organic feel with this genre like they manage to.
If Ketamine was converted into audio frequencies I have a hunch it would sound a lot like Simian Mobile Disco. This show will rank as one of the best I’ve seen this year, and I suggest you find yourself at one of the remaining tour dates.