With our focus on all things music right back where it belongs, we are speeding our way through the colossal catch up that we promised we would complete by the end of this month, although for chapter three of four, we pause to take a slightly self indulgent look at the music from our most favourite club, now of all-time. There is no doubt that Beyond now reigns supreme in our twenty or so years on the clubbing circuit, the club also sporting some real superstar D.J.’s, a handful who are also accomplished producers, but talents that never fail to entertain us week in week out, whether on our spot in the main room, under the mirrorball in the chapel space, or treading the terrace rooms boards. So, with a handful of these Beyond stars having recently released tracks & compilations, it seemed appropriate to, in effect, proverbially kill two birds with one stone by combining our catch up with that slice of self indulgence.
So where do we start with this Beyond inspired catch up?, well with a D.J./Producer & music industry figurehead that has been part of Beyond from day one, that being back in 2001 when it launched as a one-off party following the Purple In The Park festival, but quickly established itself as an amazing afterhours, slotting into Sunday morning at The Colosseum in Vauxhall. And with the rest pretty much history and with scores of stars having trodden the beyond boards since, there is however only one person that can say he was there from the start, Steve Pitron being that man, we having marvelled at this man’s music from the heady days of Crash where he was also a main room resident. But while we have so many magical memories from Beyond at Colosseum, it is in its current home, Area, that we can count on some of the best times had anywhere in the world & in Steve superb musical hands, our infamous spot seeing week after week of emotional rollercoaster rides as Mr Pitron plunders us with one terrific track after the next. And you only have to see the reaction of the packed beyond main room to realise playing witness to a true legend and someone that remains at the very top of his gain some ten years on
And this year has already seen Steve lay down a truly awesome compilation in “Afterhours”, which we never thought would be equalled or topped, although with the release of “Summer 2011 Vol 1”, Mr Pitron seems to have at least equalled the former, if not exceeded it, 79 minutes of magnificent music that include tunes cherry picked from his stunning sets at Beyond. Opening with The Shapeshifters track “Waiting For You”, one that guarantees a joyful yet tearful reaction from us every time, the rest of this captivating compilation turning up track after track that transport us right to our spot at Beyond. Then with Bob Sinclair’s “Fuck The Disco” leading to real gems in the form of “Offshore”, “Starry Eyed”, “Stupiddisco 2011”, & “You Will Remember”, all having made it into our top ten tracks of 2011 and vying for top spot. And in this prolific Pitron podcast, it seems we may have another chart topper, so one we cannot recommend as an amazing addition to your collection by going to http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/ & scrolling down to “Vol 1”.
Now to another Beyond all star who has also been delighting us at Area for many a moon now, but who, like Steve, goes back to the days of Crash, albeit in the latter years, plus is a terrific talent who occasionally plays back-to-back with Mr Pitron, we having been treated to truck loads of terrfoc turns by Mikey D, both with Steve & solo, from sets at brilliant Beyond to their joint showing at the launch of Brazilian brand The Week in London last year, while Mikey’s solo performances at Later, Onyx, Room Service & Society never fail to hit the mark, very much proving him as one of the scenes most sought after stars. But like so many of its all-star residents, it is at Beyond when Mikey really shines, obviously at Area in London, but also on tour, he have featured large in their world tour last year, this despite, like Steve, keeping down a high powered job in the music industry that has recently precluded him from making as many appearances at Beyond as we would like, although when he does, he proves that the wait has been worth it, as what do they say? “…cream always rises to the top…” and Mikey certainly does that.
And when it comes to compilation releases, Mikey also keeps us waiting, a pretty long time in some respects, having released just one last year. However, what a corker it was, “Get Lifted” only being just piped to the post to topping our 2010 compilation chart. So, after another Dower drought, we were really excited when news hit our desks of a new release, indeed Mikey forwarding us the kink with the words, “…something to help with the recovery Matt…”, this latest podcast entitled “Heavy Baby” showing us a more tech house side to Mikey’s music and one that has seen him storm sets at Later recently, also reflecting how much depth there is to his sound style. And, having given the mix a full play, it quickly grew on us, not least as the departure from the Dower norm is a refreshing one, which, given the current domination of our earwaves by another, is a welcome alternative that we can easily see getting airplay when we are fit enough to spin around London’s roads again. So, get a feel of what’s filling Mikey’s playlists at his residencies across the capital right now, go grab “Heavy Baby now at http://mikeyd.podomatic.com/ as we know you will crave it too.
Right, let’s take a track interlude, the first of five in fact, and one that stormed straight into our top ten of 2011 so far, served up by probably our artists of the year too, as Pink Fluid seem to be able to do no wrong, the brilliant “Bitch Lady” neatly followed up by the spectacular “So Much Love” which, like the former, is given the creative Craziba mix treatment that makes it an absolute corker. Not yet spotted in D.J.’s live set playlists, this is definitely one of our “Summer Scorcher” tips, the full length version out at http://youtube.com/watch?v=kDkA-_-o8ak and one we are hopefully will be out in force next weekend, especially on the beyond dancefloor.
So let’s head to our next Beyond all star resident and one who continues to play an intrinsic part in making the chapel room the popular place that it has become, Sean’s style of future, funky & tech house very much hitting our mark. But he occasionally gets to warm up proceedings in the main room, employing a slightly more uplifting edge to his tech tunes that makes him a popular choice for the promoter. Beyond aside, Sean remains pretty busy both domestically as well as internationally, annual pilgrimages to Folsom in San Francisco, added to appearances in Rome, & Madrid, the latter seeing him play there at the forthcoming pride weekend, while on a personal front, 2011 has been a brilliant one for Mr Dickson, who tied the knot with long time partner Mike Springett, making his inclusion here very much a celebratory one, as well as a well deserved entry. But it is Beyond where we continue to enjoy Sean at his best, especially when we get the chance to dance under that chapel room mirrorball, of course after enjoying with him a characteristic “Hifi High Five” and when he treats us to his fabulous version of the classic “Get Busy” which still wears extremely will with age (a bit like us!).
As for his podcasts, or should we say “Hifi-casts”?, well Sean never fails to impress with his virtual monthly releases in the now long running “Deep House” series that has very much stayed the distance, pretty much taking over from his club dedicated compilations, whether it be for Beyond or to mark his worthy inclusion in the Orange “RAW” team. Indeed, since we last gave Sean a mention in a newsletter of ours, we find ourselves choosing between three offerings in May, aptly named “The Take Off”, “The Orbit” & “The Landing”, very much taking you on his so called psychedelic house journey (and a good one it is too) while his latest mix, “Deep Fried”, probably edges it for us and is symptomatic of Sean’s current style. And with play/download figures stretching into the 1000’s just nine days after posting on his podcast page, it is clear you agree with us that this is a worthy addition to any deep house collection, one which you can grab now by going to http://hifiseandj.podomatic.com/, leaving us to say, Sean, we dedicate this devotion to your future happiness now you have made an honest man of the marvellous Mike.
Onwards to a duo that have been at the cutting edge of the music & D.J. circuit scene for as long as we can remember, The Sharp Boys having travelled to every corner of the globe, their productions having made it to the playlists of some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as being included in main stream compilations on the shelves of the largest record stores in the world. Add to that a whole host or regular residencies across the capitals clubbing circuit, which include Orange, Popcorn, Later, Trade, The Egg and, of course, Beyond and it is clear The Sharp Boys are very much a tore de force on the scene, remaining as popular now as they were when they made those first gingerly steps in the infamous Trade “lite lounge” back in the mid nineties. With one half of the duo, Steven Sharp holding down considerable club promotions duties, not least Orange & now Open, he will also be masterminding proceedings at the Fire dance stage next weekend, while no mention in this Beyond dedicated music newsletter would be complete without hailing his terrific work as promoter of this awesome afterhours, Steve still sorely missed, having very much shown the way for his successor.
Turning to The Sharp Boys studio works, while we have needed to wait a couple of months for their latest “Sharpcast” it has proved well worth it, as the boys have pulled a real corker out of the bag, “Episode 9” kicking off with the truly awesome “You Will Remember” by Michael Gray, a track that could well be our top tune of 2011, albeit that it was brought to our attention by another, while with Stefano Noferini featuring large on this magnificent mix, we particularly liking the boys’ mash up of the magical “Move Your Body”, there are more treats in store on this 73 minute marvel, not least Craziba’s “Donuts & Stew” and the D Ramirez hit “Jump To It” and this is yet another accomplished compilation to add to the stable of others, which you can grab by going to http://sharpboys.podomatic.com/. But the boys are also renowned for producing top quality tracks, their recent release “Dansen” still stand-out, while new projects in the making include remixes of Jose Nunez’s “Are You Ready” & Champagne’s “My Love Is Real”, this on top of their “Sharp Tools Vol 6” which you can grab at http://selektedmusic.com/.
Time for another track interlude and this one has been rocking the dancefloors for quite some time, although this 2011 version is even better than the original, Mark Knight stamping his authority on the classic “You’ve Got The Love”, originally recorded by Candi Station, although this particular version the creation of Florence & The Machine, getting that 2011 twist that gives it an edge over the former. With a whole load of download options & having been included in a prolific podcast that we simply can’t put down, you can check out the track right here at http://vodpod.com/watch/6299122-youtube-mark-knight-vs-florence-and-the-machine-youve-got-the-love and transport yourselves straight to the Beyond main room, while it will come as no surprise when we say it is another of our top ten “Summer Scorcher’s”.
Back to our Beyond residents and next up is Berlin based D’Johnny, a Swede by birth, but a dynamic D.J. who has been part of the London clubbing scene for many years, having first come to our attention during those halcyon Saturday’s at Barcode Soho when he used to play back-to-back with fellow countryman & our super Swede, Per Q.X. However, while Per engrossed himself in the alternative scene out east, Johnny forged ahead with residencies, primarily for The Orange Group, having played for virtually every brand within their extensive family, from Gravity through Later, A:M to Orange and, of course, Beyond, Mr Cermann the only resident that has played in all three rooms at Area, that fact alone testament to the diversity in his music, which ranges from uplifting & chunky, through tech to deep house that makes him one of the most versatile talents we know. Add to that, regular appearances for Lo-Profile as well as for Barcode, Johnny jetting across to the capital virtually every weekend, and he remains as busy as ever, also having played for SuperMartXe & now being a feature of the massive WE Party brand here in London & now in also Madrid.
When it comes to studio works, Johnny is no slouch either, laying down compilations to mark his live performances, although we have to look back to December last year to find one dedicated to beyond, although it is quite special. As for more recent recordings, there are rich pickings that cover virtually every club he plays in the capital, Johnny marking his inclusion in the Orange “RAW” team with a mix from his back-to-back set with “RAW” original David Jimenez, a collaboration that has also worked like a dream in Beyond on more than one occasion. However, since we last gave Johnny a mention, he has produced no less than four mixes, two in this month alone, the first taken from his prolific performance at Saturday morning sensation A:M, on 11th June, when he mixed in those uplifting & accessible beats with the tougher tech tones he is better known for, while it is his Later recording from the following afternoon that does it the most for us, as it is pure & unadulterated D’Johnny delight, the mix flowing fabulously and very much reflecting how comfortable he is with his lot at Later. So, to get your slice of this Swedish sensation and his Later creation, go now http://djohnny.podomatic.com/ and while you’re at it, dig into the Johnny archives for three Beyond devoted compilations.
Now we move to a man that even sends D’Johnny’s versatility into the shade, as Gonzalo Rivas has been there & done it all, contrasting a residency at the techno fuelled Trade with that of the Salvation in his early career, while in more recent times he has played for virtually every club we can think of, stand-out residencies including those for Orange &, you guessed it Beyond, Gonzalo having recently traded spots in the chapel room for regular appearances where he rightfully belongs, under the main room spotlight. Furthermore, no special Beyond bash is quite the same without his inclusion, Gonzalo pitching his performance to match the magnificence of this majestic main room, while fast forwarding to a Monday morning, he is equally outstanding for Orange, but toughing up his offering to meet the “RAW” requirements. But the examples go on & on, he impressing us immensely wherever he plays, Later, A:M, Lo-Profile, WE Party, As One, Lovechild & Gravity all benefitting from this truly towering talent & his dynamic diversity. But his appearances across the clubbing circuit don’t stop there, as Mr Rivas has toured just this year with both Lovechild & Beyond, as well as playing back in his native Spain, his career behind the decks showing no signs of slowing down.
And we guess that such feverish activity means that something has to give, it being close on four months since we have been treated to a podcast, although his last offering “Deep Fried” from March, very much reflects the superb sounds he plays at his long standing Orange RAW residency, Monday mornings pretty much belonging to this beatmaster, So whilst this mix is a must for your collection which you can grab at http://soundcloud.com/gonzalo-rivas, we go back even further to January when he laid down a compilation for Lovechild’s “Snowball” party, Gonzalo picking on many of our favourite producers, including Tom Novy, Lizzat & Voaltaxx, Miguel Picasso, David Penn and in doing so, once again demonstrating that dynamic diversity for which he has become so well known & such an in demand D.J..So, whilst we await his latest podcast with bated breath, if you haven’t yet added this Lovechild compilation to your collection then do it now by going to http://gonzalorivas.podomatic.com/.
Now let’s get back on the track trail and another one that has been added to our “Summer Scorcher” top ten list, another that was brought to our attention by a Beyond all-star who has since included it in that podcast that we can’t put down. Unequivocally uplifting and euphoric in its composition, “Diamonds In The Sky” definitely has the Antoine Clamaran style of sound to it, this prolific producer having remixed the TV Rock & Hook & Sling hit superbly. Featuring the vocals of Rudy, we cannot wait to be standing on our spot in Beyond when the inevitability of its inclusion will send on yet another one of those emotional rollercoaster ride, this very much challenging the current DM/Pitron anthem & one you can catch in fill Clamaran remix glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=25N2jv21zPg.
Right, onto our next Beyond D.J., although this individual is none other than the clubs promoter, having taken over the role from Steven Sharp back in November last year. Jonny M is probably known to many as the man who headed up Friday night club Onyx, although in his position as director of events for The Orange Group, he has his fingers in lots of pies, this sometimes detracting from his duites at Beyond. However, recently weeks have seen a shift change in all this, a new Onyx promoter allowing Mr Marsh to focus more on beyond, he also taking up the occasional slot behind the decks, whether it be in the terrace or the main room(s). And Jonny is a reasonably accomplished D.J., having started out down in Brighton, making a name for himself with the city’s biggest gay clubbing group, Aeon Events, better known as Wild Fruit, offshoot Rebel a regular slot for him, while he has also played for Matinee up in London, as well as featuring in more than a handful of Onyx parties, along with a slot or two for Later.
Whilst we are not fans of promoters D.J.’ing in their own clubs, a trait that seems to be a regular occurrence in Orange Group events particularly, what it has done in Jonny’s case, is produce a podcast dedicated to Beyond which is crammed full of main room style sounds that make this a very credible compilation. With the “Doing The Disco Matt” 2011 theme “Now Or Never” & the fulsome “Hide You” by Sandy Rivera two of many fabulous floor fillers, this “Wonderland” mix, dedicated to the event of a same name in March this year, is definitely a worthy addition to any Beyond collection and on which you can download via http://jonny_m.podomatic.com/, while you can also grab some of Jonny’s previous mixes there too.
To our final Beyond all-star for this that catch up chapter devoted to the club and to a talent who impressed us from the moment we heard him play, way back when in Orange and has since been hitting our musical sweet spots whenever we get the chance to move & groove to his superb sets. Having very much stole the show at Lovechild’s “Makin Hay” event last June, Oli’s inclusion in the Beyond residency team was a foregone conclusion and whilst he occasionally plays in the main room, it is in the terrace where he really shines, Mr Bell very much loving the energy & vitally of the space. Indeed just a few weeks ago, we soaked up one of the most spectacular sets of his in a long time, dancing from start to finish, Oli mixing in classics with latest hits that made it an absolute winner. A product of the vinyl era, he still has a considerable collection and was famed for the so called “Vinyl Room” sessions at A:M, along with fellow enthusiasts Paul Martin & Jamie Head, while The Oli has also played for brands including Later & Gravity, while no special Bank Holiday Orange session is quite the same without his inclusion. With a varied career including working for Trax Records in Soho, as well as coaching hockey, Mr Bell’s talents show now bounds
As dynamic behind the decks as he is, The Oli has also been pretty busy laying down a succession of compilations of late, we feeling a tad guilty for not including him in our music newsletters for quite a while. So, making amends right here right now, we kick off with his “Promo Clubcast” for Gravity, just on 60 minutes of massive dance hits, very evocative of his style for this Thursday night frolic, neatly followed by his “Funky Weekender” mix, a brilliant blend of disco tipped classics with an updated edge, along with plenty of funky fillers & samples that rank this as one of our favourites of his. However, we then come to his “Never Too Late” podcast and one inspired by the club Later, this collection of tunes bursting with energy making it truly stand-out, Oli remarking “…I that haven’t enjoyed making a podcast as much as this for ages…” and it definitely shows. That said, we cannot conclude our look at Oli without including his latest mix and one lifted directly from his set at, of course, Beyond from two weekends ago (while we were laying in hospital), a performance packed with some of our favourite tracks, along with other gems, highlights including “Enjoy The Ride”, “You Will Remember”, “Pressure”, “Cross The Line” & “Move Your Body”, along with a handful of heavenly acapella inclusions giving added dimension to this prolific production, which made it straight into our collection and should to yours to by going now to http://theoli.podomatic.com/.
To our fourth track inclusion and another one that has made it to our top ten “Summer Scorcher’s” list, the truly terrific “Lift Me Up” having the Disco Matt musical mark all over it, uplifting & euphoric vocals by Michelle Weeks combined with the funky beats of its creator Cambis making it a sure fire hit in our books. Now, while we prefer the full-on club remix by Cambis & Felix, one which is available on a number of download sites, the dub version is pretty credible too and one that gives you a fantastic feel of just have fabulous this track is, so well worth a listen at http://youtube.com/watch?v=oObmxsLJxEM, while that club version can be found on that podcast we can’t put down.
So, by now you are probably wondering exactly what this podcast that we can’t put down is. Well, we kind of take you back to where we started as just seven days ago we were given exclusive access to Steve Pitron’s “Summer 2011 Vol 2” podcast, in the expectation & excitement that it would include some of the tracks that he had been pushing our way in the weeks following the release of “Vol 1”, as well as treating us to these tracks during his sets at Beyond. And we were not to be disappointed in any way, Steve somehow outshining his previous podcasts with this 114 minute marvel which is packed full of towering tunes that have left us breathless in admiration of this colossal creation. To list every track, each one deserving attention, would fill far too much space and we can’t even lay our hat on one track as being an outstanding favourite, although at a push it probably would have be the new Pitron/DM anthem which ends this magnificent mix, so one that just scrapes our vote. However, with the four tracks we have picked out for this newsletter included on this prolific podcast, you can probably gather just what sort of an influence this mix has had on us since its release, while it seems it has also captured the imagination of thousand’s, download figures in the first day alone way in excess of 3500. So if you are not one of those, then make sure you become a “Vol 2” addict by going to http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/.
Now, we simply had end with that Pitron/DM anthem we have been talking about and whist it seems that the world & his wife have jumped on this track, some wanting to take ownership of a record that looks set to the THE “Summer Scorcher”, like “Release Me” which has DM’ name all over it, so “Stronger” does too. And, while we missed Mr Pitron playing it for the first time at Lo-Profile two weeks ago and then at Beyond the following weekend, we simply cannot miss out this one, especially as vocalist Shawnee Taylor will be performing the track at WE Heroes this Saturday (3rd July), probably leaving us in a pool of tearful emotions. So, as we recover from our accident and feel “…stronger than yesterday, stronger than what it will take & stronger than what they say…” we cannot think of a more appropriate track & way to finish this beyond inspired “Colossal Composition Catch Up” than with a link to this towering track which is out in full club version glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=jKu1xXY9ESo.
Right, that is definitely it for this third chapter, we now looking forward to the fourth which will be a whistle stop tour of over twenty D.J.’s/producers and their latest works, thus brining you bang up to date in the most comprehensive way. So, in the meantime we hope you like our Beyond inspired choices here, leaving us to say, “…sit back, select those sounds, turn up the volume & let them play, as music is the answer…”. (DISCO MATT)