Archive for March 4, 2012
Having reformed & refocused his mind on the magnificent muse that is music, Disco Matt plucks from a lengthy list of potentials, a select few that, without doubt, fall into either the “Premier” or “Protégé” category and who, having been moving & shaking his musical world with their productions &/or sets of late, fit the bill for inclusion in this first volume of his new “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” newsletter series.
We cannot quite believe that it has been a whole five months (scraping ourselves off the floor) since we have brought you a music newsletter, it was 24th September 2011 to be precise, so, having firmly selected our seventh gear of sound & in so doing, compiling a list that extends beyond the half century mark, there is clearly much catching up we need to do. Therefore, with a planned separate newsletter series entitled “Allsorts In The Mix” picking up on the majority of these 50 or so D.J.’s/Producers, we decided that the select few that we call our “Premier” & our “Protégé” players deserved their own newsletter series, “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” being the result and a newsletter in its first volume of a continual series throughout 2012, that will pick on an exemplary eight that have either been delighting us on the dancefloor or have produced podcasts that have exhilarated our ears.
So let’s get to it and in choosing the first of our exemplary eight, the word premier hardly does this individual justice as Steve Pitron is, without question, top of our tree when it comes to both live performances & podcast productions, his sets, particularly at Beyond, leaving us breathless in adorable admiration of his masterful music, while there is no-one else that comes close to tipping us into tear filled emotional eruptions with his scintillating selections. But with regular fixes coming our way at Lo-Profile & Room Service, as well as the occasional treat at Orange, how could we also forget that euphoric evening on 1st January, when Steve stormed “Safari” and had us eating out of the palm of his magically musical hands. Then there are his podcasts and while they don’t come thick & fast, the lack of quantity is easily made up for by the quality of his outputs, 2011 alone seeing Steve produce three podcasts that took all three top spots in our Y.E. chart, such were their overriding excellence in comparison to the competition.
But if we thought “Afterhours”, & “Summer Vol’s 1 & 2” were exceptional enough, we were not prepared for Mr Pitron’s latest mind-blowing masterpiece and one that has pretty much ruled the musical waves of our lives since its release in January, we having played it on constant repeat when out on the roads and hardly allowing any other a look in, even his own previous podcasts. Then there is our time sitting in the study, when we cannot resist pressing the play button when at our computer, while such has been the impact of this colossal compilation on us, that we have not only been shouting about it from the rooftops but have devoted a special feature to it, our “Phenomenal Podcast Production” post hailing Steve’s “Jan 2012 Session” as his best yet and, given the magnitude of magnificence that his three 2011 releases attained, to top even those is an awesome accomplishment in our books. Indeed, we would go as far to say that even Steve is going to find it difficult to further top this podcast perfection with his next release, although we can reveal that he is currently collecting & collating a truck load of tracks in an attempt to do just that. So, naturally we are feverishly anticipating this new Pitron production which will no doubt feature in a subsequent newsletter (maybe even another special feature), but in the meantime continue to sink into his January session and suggest that you join the 10,000 plus (yes that many) that have already downloaded this dance dream, by going to http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com while we will let our feature at http://discomatt.com/web/2012/01/music-phenomenal-podcast-production-steve-pitron-jan-2012-session-wednesday-18th-january-music-is-the-answer-special-feature/ do the rest of the talking about this sensational selection of sounds.
Next up is another premier player of ours, one we sometimes refer to as our second Steve Pitron, not least that The Oli treads similar boards both in terms of live performances & productions, while some would say that their sound styles are quite similar, Oli certainly able to hold hs own in any main room and having often been billed alongside Steve in specialist events, the recent Orange “Electric” being a good example. However, with regular slots at Beyond, Later & A:M (oh & Orange too) a virtual weekly feature, Oli remains a star turn on the scene, while we know one of his favourite spinning spots is the terrace space of the awesome afterhours is Beyond and having entertained us immensely on many an occasion with a heady concoction of classics intermixed with new hits. Indeed his podcasts reflect Oli’s skills of blending old with new and it is probably why each & every production of his makes it into our collection. Indeed, Oli’s compilation devotion to our favourite club of all time (that’s Beyond if you didn’t know already) made it safely into our top ten chart of 2011, one which pushed out plenty of others that would normally have made it in, such is its brilliance and is the only one that sneaks into our Pitron packed playlist when spinning around the roads of London.
However, with his devotion to Later’s “9th Birthday” we have another that looks set to penetrate that playlist, Oli having treated us to something quite special, a collection of tracks that takes us on a jubilant journey through genres of tech, progressive, electro & funky house, also dipping into pure disco with tracks like Soulsearcher’s “Can’t Get Enough”, Oli cleverly chronicling Later’s musical history with this brilliant genre blending. Yet, having only discovered it as late as this morning, it will sadly need to wait until next weekend before it makes it in as our “Podcast Of The Week” slot, although has already made it into our collection, onto our iPhone, our MP3 player & our Motorola device and should make your collection too by going to http://theoli.podomatic.com and while you’re at it, grab his “Bit Of Latin & Sexy Tech” production too as, while it is one for Oli purists like us, it is nevertheless a damn fine compilation all of its outstanding own.
So, with Oli having to wait until next weekend to pounce of that “Podcast Of The Week” slot of ours, it seems wholly appropriate to tell you why, as the next in our exemplary eight is the individual that has stalled Oli’s podcast by seven days, Jamie Head another of our premier players that, like Mr Bell, is one that we can count on a single hand that has wrestled us away from a Steve Pitron set at Beyond and never fails to tip our musical scales with his barnstorming beats. Indeed, Jamie has been pushing our beats button for many a moon, having been right there in the Crash days, has been a fabulous feature of Beyond for the best part of its 10 year history & never fails to impress at Profile & Lo-Profile, while he would be the first to say that his sessions a Later, particularly of late, rank as his favourites. Indeed we ranked his set for Later’s boat party from July last year as well within our top ten of 2011, a measure of the man’s musical magnificence, while in the premier playing stakes, Jamie is right up neat the top of our list too, a whole host of other residencies & appearances making him an indelible inclusion & influence on the scene, as well as in our musical world.
However, when it comes to podcast production, Jamie’s contributions to our collection pretty thin on the ground, although when they do come around, they make it in easily, his devotion to WE “Attacks” a exemplary example, Jamie repeating that process with his dedication to WE’s “Pharaoh” event in which he played his prolific part just last night, (we reliably being informed) captivating The Coronet with a storming set. However, if like us, you missed out on WE, you don’t need to miss out on a Jamie jam, as downloading his pumping podcast at http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2012-02-27T12_21_46-08_00 will make you realise why it is this that has made it to our “Podcast of The Week” slot this week. As for catching Jamie out there playing, Later is a regular weekly slot for him, while appearances at Profile & Lo-Profile pepper his schedule, Beyond remains a Jamie jamming playing ground, as is A:M on a Saturday morning.
Onto our next exceptional eight inclusion and we zip over into France to find our (both premier & protégé) Parisian pal Leomeo Carandang who is one of the busiest D.J./producers we know, hardly a weekend going by when he isn’t playing out in some part of the world, his globetrotting taking him to Asia, & America as well as right across Europe, just this weekend seeing him hop over the border into Germany and to Frankfurt’s CK club where he headlined their “Killer Cow” event. And we highly suspect that the visit may be marked by the production of a podcast, our Parisian pal having already laid down no less than six compilations this year alone, one of our favourites being his “About Love” mix that was, naturally, dedicated to Valentine’s day, although his “Winter Chill In Paris” is also right up there for us, both showing a side to Leomeo’s sound that is somewhat removed from his live performances, yet reflect the depth of talent that is Mr Carandang.
However, it is his mix from his performance at Milan’s Hero club that gets our main attention here, as this is clearly much closer to the Leomeo music making we have come to adore (or should that say j’dore!), a breathtaking blend of tribal tech & upfront house that makes this amiable Frenchman with Malaysian roots so popular across the globe. And, very touchingly, Leo’s “Hero” mix starts off with a tribute few moments to the late Whitney Houston with a slice from probably her best know track “I Will Always Love You”, while it then dives into bits of Madge (that’s Madonna before you ask) remixed before taking us on a journey of neo tribal tech that is the basis of the Leo style of sound. But what makes this compilation stand out from his works of a year, maybe two years ago, is how Leomeo has continued to craft his art & evolve impressively with the times, that tribal part of his playlists still evident, but the upfront house very much more present both in his podcast productions as well as his live performances and “Hero” is an exemplary exponent of his evolution, so one you must grab by going to http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo/hero-the-mix-by-dj-leomeo, while by simply selecting http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo & doing yourselves a favour by hitting on those two other podcasts we mentioned, along with the veritable feast of others at your disposal.
Now for a quick track interlude and one of just two in this newsletter as we concentrate on the players a little more, although such has been the influence this tune and its creator had on us in the last few weeks that we couldn’t let the moment pass without including Rony Seikaly & his trance-tastic track which made our now regular “Track of The Week” slot back at the end of January, but still to this day never fails to send us into dizzy delirium & emotional enthrallment, “Take Me Higher” doing just that every time we listen to it (as it is right now). Sharing it here in fill length glory at http://youtube.com/watch?v=OYCts_4YJTY, we think this could have all the trappings for DM’s track of 2012 let alone track of the week, although there is one already knocking on its door that we have been sworn to secrecy on, so we are simply savouring this one for now, in the knowledge that Mr Seikaly’s towering track will surely be safely into our top ten come December, as far away as that is.
Right, back to it and we come to our next premier, or is it protégé player?, well a bit of both actually, as the delightful Danny Verde straddles the two categories like no other, although given how his career has continued to soar in the last few months, perhaps premier rather than protégé is more appropriate, not least all the notoriety he has achieved with his “official” remix of Lady Gaga’s huge hit “You & I”. Indeed Danny’s version has made it into D.J.’s boxes right across the globe, so to a wide variety of clubs & brands in the business to boot, the productions coming out of the hallowed turf that is his Holab studio, watched with eagle eyes & equalled eager anticipation. But as much as our Milano man is devoted to his studio work, his D.J.’ing duties continue to go skyward, very much like Leomeo, hardly a weekend passing by when he isn’t somewhere else in the world, be is Portugal last weekend for the Lisboa festival, or this weekend, when we find him in Miami, where he is in the thick of the action at the Winter Festival, just last night playing at club Flare & rubbing shoulders with Ralf Rosario & Abel.
But despite all this name dropping, Danny is still very much the man we knew a handful of years ago, modest, approachable & seemingly un-phased by his considerable stardom & taking it all in his stride. As for his music, well the uplifting euphoria that has always been present in his productions continue to feature large, that vein in his sound style pumping prolifically with his latest Gaga adventure, “Marry The Night”, which is up on iTunes, while his remix of the Pagano, Paramour & Peyton track “The Reflex”, shot up the Beatport charts when it was loaded six weeks ago & is our favourite version by a country mile. Then there is his re-work of Rosabel’s “Let Me Be Myself” which is being pushed hard in Miami & is a Danny dream, while his latest production still in the final making is his mixing mastery on Neon Hitch’s “Fuck U Better” which we are tipping for towering greatness, all these previewed at http://soundcloud.com/holabstudio with links to online purchase sites, while for a full fix of Danny devotions, check out his “Pink Party” podcast from last year at http://dannyverde.podomatic.com/entry/2011-08-28T02_37_56-07_00.
Onward we go with our exemplary eight and this individual certainly fits into both that bracket and is also one definitely of the premier kind, indeed of all our inclusions here, he is probably the most experienced & well trodden, Fat Tony having risen to fame & notoriety back in the 90’s at the height of Trade and the now infamous “lite lounge” of which he was a weekly resident. However, along with it came a pretty hefty cost to Tony’s health, one that was blazoned across the press at the time, although like all the best of them, he came out the other end and has since carved a continuing career behind the decks that sees him play four, sometimes five days in every week, some of those days seeing him hold down two maybe three gigs, occasionally one after the other. Indeed this week is a typical Tony one, having played at Room Service then Gravity on Thursday, A:M on Saturday morning, WE Party Saturday night & beyond this morning, while his weekend doesn’t end until tomorrow morning when he finishes his set at Orange.
On top of that, Tony is still riding the wave crest that was his new club outing Delooded which attracted a capacity & colourful crowd of east enders, west benders & much in between, making it the talk of the town , although one we sadly missed. However, what we didn’t miss were his recent sparkling sets for Orange & AS One, while no morning at beyond is quite complete without our Fat Tony fix in the terrace with the terrific Tom Fuller. All that said, while we really dig Tony’s style & style of sound, finding it in abundance away from the clubs is rare indeed, he not noted for laying down podcasts of any kind, although all this changed back in October when he recorded one especially for Orange “Electric” and, by jove, it’s a corker, being unmistakably him in every way, so one definitely to cherish & coax into your collection by going to direct link http://orangenation.podomatic.com/entry/index/2011-11-25T09_25_05-08_00. And don’t forget, you can catch this main man playing at Gravity, A:M, Beyond & Orange every week, along with Room Service once a month while Delooded’s return on Saturday 14th April is a must for your disco diaries.
Now to the first of our pure protégé players, although a premier protégé, as Zach Burns has continued his rise & rise in our exacting estimations since we came across this cute yet capable young chap last year, indeed since that glorious opening set at Gigolo’s launch in May, he has continued to hit a radar with his series of podcast productions as well as live performances, his residencies at Profile & for Lo-Profile’s “Playtime” being where we catch him most, although Zach’s resident repertoire extends to The Edge, Popcorn, Casalatina &, of course, Gigolo. And it is for this brilliant brand that we scored Zach only second to Steve Pitron in our year end set & podcast charts, that prolific Zach performance in May matched by an equally excellent one in December, like our premier player, Mr Burns selecting sounds that never fail to hit our musical sweet spots, while his Gigolo podcast remains a regular feature in our weekly MP3 play’s. But it is not just us that is noticing this bright young talent, as recently he has been scooped up by weekly gay rag Boyz to produce a podcast for featuring in their magazine, while just this week, he announced another commission, this time for GUSmen, the gay lifestyle monthly magazine, this exposure sure to further propel our premier protégé into the eyes & minds of clubs, promoters and events further afield from London.
And it is this latest podcast, pretty much hot off the press that gets our focus, one which we were chomping at the bit for when he split the beans on its release and were playing it in the wee hours of Thursday morning in advance of its official release, totally glued from minute one to seventy six, especially when we were given fair notice to, in Zach’s own words, “…listen out for your track(s)…”, he perhaps referring to the sensational new “Pressure” sample, or maybe the re-work of “Shine On Me”, but without doubt he meaning “I Really Want To Say”, known to followers of our tweets as “Track 3”, Zach picking on equally impressive sample of it to laud upon us, while the rest of this prolific podcast is jam packed with funky disco & tech toned house that vindicate our decision to rate him as highly as we do, it therefore going without saying that you should go grab your slice of Mr Burns pretty quick at http://djburns.podomatic.com/entry/2012-02-29T13_28_26-08_00, while keep your eyes on him as we predict huge happenings as the year progresses.
So we come to our exemplary eighth of eight and a brilliant Belgian that impressed us from the off when we tripped across to Antwerp on Christmas Day 2010 for Lovechild meets Red & Blue, a follow up trip in February confirming our conclusion that the terrific talent that is Elof de Neve should rank alongside the select few that have made it into our “Premier” & “Protégé” list slots, although like Leo & Danny, we reckon Elof straddles both categories. But what we are totally convinced about is the comparison we make with the likes of Steve Pitron & The Oli, Mr de Neve in effect being our international equivalent of these two London based boys, such is the uplifting & euphoric nature of both his sets & his studio productions. And,, since seeing him socially during Delice Dream, we have been tracked his progress and cannot be more pleased with some of the results, showings for Matinee in Amsterdam, along with his recent trip to Portugal for the Lisboa festival, playing alongside Danny Verde, just two of many other highlight happenings in his soaring schedule. Plus, with a trip to Berlin for club Propaganda & a return to Delice Dream on the cards, these on top of Matinee in Paris at Easter & his residency back home for Red & Blue and its all systems go for Elof behind the decks.
But it is his studio work that gets our main attention as Elof is constantly beavering away on track projects & podcasts although always erring on the side of quality as opposed to quantity, his trademark uplifting & euphoric house style of sound that is winning him friends far & wide central to all his productions, although is what he terms as “Energetic Iberican” music, that label good enough in our books. Indeed his sound is very much in the Matinee mould, partly due to, we suspect, the connections his production manager J.d. Cerronez has with this global super clubbing brand, although we have no doubt that it is Elof’s music itself that is doing much of the talking. And listening to his latest two track re-works, “Shine On Me” & “Finally”, we can see the Matinee appeal, while a little birdie tells us that the former track went down an absolute storm at Red & Blue last night. And keeping with the Matinee theme, we simply cannot put down Elof’s latest compilation in his “Finest Selection” series, his devotion to all things Matinee extending to this “Amsterdam To Paris” mix which we cannot recommend enough for your collection by going straight to the download button at http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve/elof-de-neve-matinee-from-amsterdam-to-paris-mix-vol27-2012, while simply selecting http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve will lead you to those two terrific tracks we have mentioned.
Well, that’s it for our exemplary eight here, but we haven’t quite finished yet as the equally exemplary Rony Seikaly gets his second track shout in before we close this first “Premier & Protégé Players” newsletter volume. And by golly it’s a good one, “Let You Go” having totally destroyed us in a pool of poignant tears just two Sunday’s ago at Beyond and you can guess who the protagonist player was!! However, having hit our musical radar a few weeks before at WE “Safari” and then seeing it appear on that phenomenal Pitron podcast, we kind of knew that this Seikaly smash would tug on our heart strings in a big way and while it doesn’t quite reach the dizzy heights of “Take Me Higher”, it is a emotionally tear jerking track triumph that we absolutely love, as we do the video that accompanies the tune at http://youtube.com/watch?v=fKEd-q-ivv4 and featuring the vocals of Polina, she of “Track 3” fame, another reason why we love this track so much.
So, that is now definitely now it, although we should make it clear that this first volume does not represent the full extent of both our “Premier” & “Protégé” players lists, the next edition delving into a new set of exemplary eight subjects as we continue our musical catch up. However, we hope you like our inclusions here and with over 20 podcasts &/or tracks to download, we end by simply saying, “…sit back, select those sounds, turn up the volume & let them play, as music is the answer…” (DISCO MATT)