Posts Tagged ‘Danny Verde’
Back into music mode, we kick off by selecting our latest podcast & track of the week choices, Done & Dusted’s compilation & a brilliant Verde, Redant & Scheiman collaboration our choices, download/stream links, respective banner clicks in our adjacent music section or by image clicks below, while we delve into the detail of these dance delectations beneath.
Having been out of action for a while, a good three months to be exact, it’s a great feeling to be back into music mode once again & picking our podcast & track of the week selections, our podcast pick a hot off the production press compilation, while our track choice is one that was released a couple of months ago, but has been on our musical radar since. And with download/stream links to both within the “Podcast of The Week” & “Track of The Week” rotational banner clicks away in our adjacent music section, we also share these links within the large images below, while also digging a little deeper into the detail on the producers & their prolific productions.
So to our “Podcast of The Week” choice first and to a duo new to our music selections, Done & Dusted having original formed back in 2010 as Dun & Dusted, this D.J. duo, brothers Simon & Louis Lennon, their “Summer Tech Part 1” podcast published under the “Audio Orgy” musical network in July last year, on the back of a handful of appearances at Ministry of Sound for the clubs “Above & Beyond” branded parties. However, with the brothers heading in different musical directions, we fast forward to 2013, where we find the re-formed & tweaked Done & Dusted duo, Louis Lennon joining forces with experienced & scene favourite Alan X, they quickly scoring a number of guest slot gigs across London, including at The Eagle in Vauxhall, a residency for the manly Thursday night meet, Butch, at East Bloc in Shoreditch & a Friday slot at Soho’s Manbar, while they also played their part in the successful launch of new collaborative clubbing collective, This Is Prohibition in February. Indeed, it seems they very much hit the ground running, as the spring has already seen them jet out to Copenhagen to play at the popular “Bearserk” event, while they also starred at the Summer Rites pre-party at Heaven back here in London the previous weekend. But this coming Bank Holiday Sunday (26th May) will mark Done & Dusted’s biggest gig yet, as they will feature in the massive As One In The Park festival, they representing brand Bearracuda in what looks like being THE gathering of the year so far, a real coup for both Alan & Louis who we now are really excited about being involved.
But it’s Done & Dusted’s first podcast that we are concentrating on here, the blend on sound styles between Alan & Louis working like a dream, the digital intro setting the scene for an upbeat funky & tech infused set of sounds that got our feet well & truly tapping from the off, Alan’s sneaky vocal injections adding brilliantly to the high octane pace of the track selections. Indeed, it seems that this is a duo match made in heaven as, unlike a few playing partnerships we could mention, the switching between the two is pretty much seamless, they clearly having put a huge amount of hard work into choosing the tracks that have resulted in one of the most compelling compilations we have heard in a long time. And while we don’t benefit from a full podcast playlist, our attention is grabbed along the way by a smattering of familiar tunes, some classics remixed, while it’s the pace of the beats, those vocal infusions & the quality of the production that ultimately kept us hooked from minute one to sixty seven and will surely you too when you head to http://audio-orgy.com/ & hit the download button, while you can stream the mix via http://mixcloud.com/donedusted50 and also subscribe to this & forthcoming mixes by heading to the iTunes link at http://tinyurl.com/2w9algh. Plus, if this magnificent mix is a barometer for Alan & Louis’s live performances, then we will definitely be hunting a gig of theirs down when we are fully back on our feet, while we are sure they will go down a storm in Victoria Park at the end of the month, so wish them well with that, a reminder that you can keep track of all of Done & Dusted’s productions, gigs & activity by liking their page at http://www.facebook.com/djdonendusted.
Onwards to our “Track of The Week” and while, as we mentioned earlier, this a release from two months ago, having made such a splash when it hit the airwaves, we have had it on our radar & list since, it beating off a considerable amount of competition to make it to our first full-blown featured “Track of The Week” slot since February. And it is fully deserved on a number of fronts, first & foremost that our particular choice brings together three D.J./Producers (known here as the Bent Collective) that are not just good friends of ours, but are, in the case of Danny Verde & Steven Redant, huge stars across the global clubbing circuit, Danny particularly having gone meteoric in the last couple of years, having made it big in The States, Canada & the rest of the America’s as well as Europe & Asia, while Mr Redant’s jet setting D.J.’ing life continues unabated, he bouncing from one continent to another with relentless regularity. And the third man in the Bet Collective equation, Guy Scheiman, is very much now following in their footsteps, a pretty prolific 2013 seeing him score no less than eight European gigs so far, with much more to come, no mean feat when you realise he is based in Israel.
So, joining forces for this first track project seems to fit & sit well, while in this collaborative track production, Danny, Steven & Guy couldn’t have chosen two more prominent names on the music scene to employ their remixing skills, Avicii having hit the big time with his massive smash, “Levels”, since carving out an impressive D.J.’ing & producing career in the global spotlight, while Nicky Romero is a name synonymous with chart topping track production & remixing, he also having worked with the likes of Freddie Le Grand, David Guetta & Calvin Harris and has a discography extending to well over 50 official releases. And with these two huge names on the scene having combined forces on the track smash “I Could Be the One”, in original mix form here,
given its chart topping status in both the UK & the US among other countries along with its production quality, this terrific track was ripe for remixing, three official re-works having been accredited since the original’s release on Boxing Day, the Bent Collective our choice pick, not least as of all the three, it has the best dancefloor credibility, perhaps reflected in just how quickly it raced up the download charts when it hit the ground running in March Plus, what it reflects in its production & sound, is the style of all three contributors combined, definite flecks of Danny Verde in the beats & twisting of the vocals, while the euphoric undertones that then explode into intermixed tech tones throughout the rest of the re-work are symptomatic of both Steven Redant’s & Guy Scheiman’s styles of sound. So, all in all its an amazingly accomplished addition to the “I Could Be The One” track collection, we even preferring the boy’s video
while for further snippet streams you can head to https://soundcloud.com/dannyverde/avicii-vs-nicky-romero-i-could &/or https://soundcloud.com/guyscheiman/avichii-vs-nicky-romero-1i, the official release & download options can be found by going to this Beatport link at http://.beatport.com/search?query=Avicii+vs+Nicky+Romero+I+Could+Be+The+One+Bent+Collective+Remix.
So, that’ it for our weekly choices but, with our eye firmly on catching up on the couple of months missed, plus having updated our website podcast & tracks section(s) with our pick of the best & latest releases, watch this space for the next volume in our 2013 music newsletters, “Podcast Picks & Tracks In the Mix” coming up next, while in Done & Dusted, Danny Verde, Steven Redant & Guy Scheiman, we have five terrific talents who, through these prolific productions, prove that “Music Is The Answer”. (DISCO MATT)
Tapping into familiar & traditional territory, we land our Podcast Of The Week choice on a compilation that marked the launch of new digital radio station, Sauce FM, while our Track Of The Week come from the hallowed green turf of Milan & a producer of prolific proportions, download & stream links, respective banner clicks away opposite or image clicks below, while we expand on these musical masterpieces beneath
Well, it’s certainly been a week of musical nostalgia we having dug deep into our MP3 player archives, finding a handful of heavenly house music mixes from 2010 that have more than satisfied our ears while spinning around London’s roads. Plus this look back in musical time has re-opened our eyes to talents we have perhaps been overlooking of late, while with tracks announcements flashing up on Facebook, the choices for both our podcast & our track of the week choices kind of fell into a lap quite easily, both reflecting two stars of the scene, one here in London, the other internationally, that have been marvelling us with their music for many moons.
So to our “Podcast Of The Week” first and one that was spurned from that nostalgic trip own the Brent Nicholls compilation path we trod (or was that pedalled?!) during the week, his LGDF Volume One the catalyst for others that hit our playlist, including his Get On My Gay Face mix that holds so many magical memories from our trip to Berlin two years ago. And this somehow brought us to one of his latest releases, a podcast dedicated to new digital radio station, Sauce FM, which began broadcasting from its Brighton base on 8th February, Brent’s “Saucy Beats” composition played live on air that weekend. And, while we have found many of his podcast productions of late missing our musical mark by a considerable margin, this one grabbed us right from the off, the first track, “Hum” by Gabriel Castellon gets us in a mesmeric mod straight away, Richard Grey’s remix of the Human League classic “Don’t You Want Me” also doing it for us, while other classics in the mix/remix include U2’s “Pride (In The Name Of Love) and the disco delight “Music In Me”. However, in the Shahaf Moran extended remix of Adele’s first 007 theme tune, “Skyfall”, we are treated to the best re-work version of this we have heard track yet, while of the other towering tunes, thirteen in total, it is Tom Forester’s truly amazing “All I Need Tonight” that is the huge highlight for us here
while Brent’s “Saucy Beats” bonanza is definitely one for you collection, download/stream options a “Podcast Of The Week” selection opposite, an image click above, or by going to http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2013/02/11/podcast-saucy-beats/.
To our “Track of The Week” now, we being faced with a tough choice as our Milano man Danny Verde, just ahead of his latest trip to Sydney Mardi Gras, has been beavering away in the hallowed recording turf that is his beloved Holab Studio’s, the first one we needing to consider, one which is a joint venture with Steven Redant & Guy Scheiman looking like taking the slot next week, not least that with over 60,000 hits in just four days, it looks like being absolutely huge. So, without already spoiling our own track choice thunder and wanting to let the delirious dust settle on this phenomenal production, we instead picked out Danny’s other remix composition, his remix work of Nikki Williams’ “Glowing” having all the hallmarks of a Mr Verde version, the uplifting big room sound that shouts from previous productions such as Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed”, Lady Gaga’s “You & I” and Blake Lewis’s “Till We See The Sun” , albeit on this latest work, a tad more restrained. However, its only when you compare Danny’s delight with the original right here
that you can totally distinguish his style, one which continues to press all our musical buttons. Will it go down as a Mr Verde classic, we are not yet sure, although it does prove that man is still on the money when it comes to his studio productions, even of they now playa signifcan second fiddle to his huge international D.J.’ing career which we, after following, befriending, supporting & promoting this incredible Italain individual over the last five or so years, can only be immensely proud of. As for “Glowing”, you can download both all three of his remixes, that is the radio edit, the dub and, our preferred, the club mix, via Beatport at http://beatport.com/release/glowing-the-remixes/1039375, while head to his renamed Soundcloud site at https://soundcloud.com/dannyverde for his pre-release snippet, or simply click on our “Track of The Week” banners opposite.
Well, with a music march in in our step and our next 2013 newsletter volume on the near horizon, we can say that in both Brent Nicholls’ podcast & Danny Verde’s tracks, we have two productions that, just like the men who made them, prove yet again that “Music Is The Answer!”. (DISCO MATT)
Having propelled podcasts in the primary in volume one, it’s the turn of tracks in this our next music newsletter of 2013, we picking out the producers we promote right here on our website, looking through their recent productions & picking out our highlights, while podcasts get a little look in too.
After a couple of false starts towards the end of last year, we are filled with a huge sense of relief that the clouds that hung over us in 2012are lifting, along with the braking of certain shackles that were all too often dominating our lives, we very much finding ourselves back in the writing grove and feeling great for it. So while we sit on our sofa nursing our first (hopefully only) injury of 2013, the order that has seemingly returned means that we are in action stations mode to propel the prolific track producers that gain our support right here on our website. And what a spectacular six they are, all star players on the global clubbing circuit and whose tracks & productions are, in our books, right up there with the best in the business, meaning it is with complete & utter joy that we will be sharing with you, snippets of their biog’s and discog’s and then selecting our tip top tracks with links to official download pages & video clips. But this second volume in our 2013 music newsletter series is not entirely about the towering track producers, we finding room for a couple of podcast mentions, while also propelling a new(ish) production that we have been itching to share for a few weeks now.
So let’s get down to business and to the first of our spectacular six, a man whose work we have been following for over five years now and someone we are privileged to call a great friend, Danny Verde having exploded onto the international D.J.’ing stage in 2009 after building the solid foundation that is his track recordings, the hallowed Holab Studio turf that is his home, this marvellous Milano man having been in the music making business since 1994. His early years saw him make his mark in Italy, while in track terms, his big international break was the release of “Pushin To The Top” in 2008, this pretty much opening a floodgate to remix opportunities that have since seen him work on productions for Lady Ga-Ga, Cyndi Lauper, Kelly Rowland &, most recently, The Scissor Sisters & Mariah Carey. But setting his studio work aside for a moment, Danny’s D.J.’ing strides have been pretty huge in the last three to four years, very much propelling him to the top of his game, Europe, The America’s & Australasia his prolific playing field, he having cracked the US nut a couple of years ago and hasn’t really looked back. And you just have to look at the schedule he is about to embark on, to see that Danny is a gig globetrotting giant, The Atlantis Cruise seeing him sail the Caribbean in just four days time, this followed by Mardi Gras in Sydney, then Moscow, Palm Springs, Bangkok, Paris & Dallas, while Mexico & Brazil are regular & rich playing fields for Mr Verde, his trips to the UK sadly pretty seldom, although we did manage to spend a wonderful short weekend with him in Brighton last September.
So to those tracks and if there was ever a production that shouts Danny Verde it is “Pushin To The Top”, while his other fully fledged single “Express Yourself” has, perhaps, enjoyed much more exposure both across the worlds dancefloors and on the international radio airwaves, while a third track, our favourite of the three, “Open Your Heart” is one that has dipped under the popular radar a little, not quite emulating the success of the other two, but is an equally good example of Danny’s talent for turning out a tip top track. However, it is his remix productions that have been pushed to prominence, a veritable feast of beauties in his beats batch, many holding magical memories for us, his incredible interpretation of Blake Lewis’s “Till We See The Sun” reminding us of a brilliant last trip to Berlin, while his re-work of Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed” is us on our Beyond spot through & through. Then there is Lady Ga-Ga’s “You & I” which recalls the fabulous Friday we spent by Danny’s side at Muccassassina in Rome, while his nifty work on Neon Hitch’s “Fuck U Better” not only links us with racing around London’s roads, but made it safely into our top 40 track chart of 2012, beating off plenty of stiff competition others in the process. However, while Danny has amassed no less than six official remixes in the last year alone, all which you can preview via https://soundcloud.com/holabstudio, some also up on his Beatport page at http://beatport.com/artist/danny-verde/70306, if we were pushed to pick a favourite of his many marvellous mixes, it probably has to be Danny’s remix of the Pagano & Wayne G track “Trapped” featuring the vocals of Peyton, one which this incredible vocalist would, we expect, rank as an all-tile anthem, as we do.
To the second of our spectacular six and the superb Guy Scheiman, another prolific producer that we have befriended in recent years, just three weekends ago helping him celebrate his birthday in Paris, that same weekend witnessing a truly scintillating set of his at Scream, while the memories of the terrific time we had together at Delice Dream a couple of years ago will live with us forever. But there have been opportunities missed, Guy’s part of the Hustlaball London playing package in 2011 one example, we having been laid up in hospital while just this weekend, we could have been with him in Bristol but for yet another injury. And we have to grab these chances swiftly, as his Tel Aviv base means this impressionable Israeli rarely makes trips to The U.K., while Germany, Spain & soon to be a tour of Mexico are destinations you will find the genial Guy when away from home. However, home is where Mr Scheiman is at his most productive, devoting much of his spare time to his studio sessions, while the clubbing scene in his own backyard has been familiar territory for many years, guest slots come residencies at the likes of Penguin, Supermarket, Oman 17 and Cat & Dog are all part of his playing portfolio, while his insatiable desire to carve out a career behind the decks oozes from every pour.
However, there can be no doubt that his absolute passion for amazing music runs through his veins, not a day going by without him delving deep into the bowels of Beatport & other such sources, this then flowing his creative juices & his powerful intellect pumping, tuning him into potential mix/remix projects, one after the next. Indeed, looking through Mr Scheiman’s studio work in just the last twelve months, we count a stunningly staggering twenty four track productions, a mixture of official, unofficial & bootleg releases, but a figure that is quite phenomenal when you consider Guy also holds down a full time job in sports physiotherapy. Therefore, finding a favourite is a taxing task, the choices extending to artist that include Anjulie, The Saturdays, Ciara, Ellie Goulding, Kazaky, Katy Perry, Doxi Jones, & Beyonce, while his official remix of The Scissor Sisters track “Only The Horses” probably tops this particular pile for us. But Guy also produces his own tracks too, two notable successes being “My Life” & “Ibiza Trip”, both finding favour internationally, while he has charted collaborations too, most recently with performing artist & vocalist, Peyton, the result the rapturous “Reach Out” which is, even more than The Scissor Sisters snippet, knocking on our number one Guy track door. So, with so many to choose from you can see our towering task, one which we have, once again, enjoyed being engrossed in, a terrific trip you can too take by heading to https://soundcloud.com/guyscheiman, while that top of the tree track belongs to his resplendent vocal remix of Flo Ride’s “Wild Ones” featuring the vivacious voice of Sia, one officially released on Atlantic Records, one which we share in full video glory beneath, while, to add it to your collection head to https://itunes.apple.com/album/wild-ones-guy-scheiman-vocal/id500366574?i=500366580&affId=1590916&ign-mpt=uo%3D5
To a podcast mention now and our attempt to draw a line under 2012 once and for all has been fabulously thwarted by Brent Nicholls who has shared his picks of the year, a brilliant blend of the genres Brent lists as “…commercial tracks, dirty tunes, old school flavours, remixes, covers, pumping & jumping…” no less than 34 tracks that make this three hour compilation one that offers something for everyone and everything for someone, download/stream options a click away at http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/2013/01/23/mmxii/.
Right back to our track producers and to Javier Medina, the next in our spectacular six, he like the two before him, despite the distance between us, having become a close companion, over three or so years this partly due to the fact that we share a fellow friendship in Leomeo Carandang. but moreover through the support we afforded him from when we started following his music making back in 2009. And while we cannot in any way take the plaudits for propelling him into the path of Alex Erfan who brought Javier across from his Barcelona base to London to star in both As One & Lovechild parties, we reckon our music features & podcast promotions helped in some way. That said, Mr Medina up until this time had made his wonderful way around Europe & across to Australia, that on top of regular residencies back home for Dboy & Devotion. However, without question, his biggest break in a long & hard working career in music, has been his marriage with Matinee, one that now sees Mr Medina as a prominent part of a world tour team that includes Taito Tikaro & J Louis, trips to Miami, New York, across Europe and also here in London have undoubtedly increased his playing profile, we making the most of the brief catch up back in the summer. And while we will be missing out on his headlining appearance for Matinee “Pervert” this coming Saturday, as we are away in Antwerp, we have no doubt he will make his magnificent mark, his influential involvement in the brand, to our mind, having contributed to s shift in musical genre & style.
However, all that said, Javier’s studio work spans his career as much and with the recent formation of Classroom Records plays a significant part in Javier’s day to day life, an independent dance music label which he formed with fellow Spaniard & D.J. Jorge Soüst, both individuals sharing the ethos of the label which they describe as one born out of “…more than 10 intense years of experience behind the desks, in which we have developed our own concept about music, beyond the ideas and limitations pre-established in each moment of our professional careers, allowing us to synchronize both biorhythms in a constantly evolutionary state…”, adding of the label’s aims which are to “…keep on exploring & experimenting, to show the world our own vision of the current clubbing scene…”. And since its birth in February and formal launch in May, Classroom Records has released five tracks, each with a variant of remixes, productions extending to Oscar De Gala’s “Mechanish” & Marc Galindo’s “Space Invaders” while both Javier & Jorge have produced one each, “Hole In My Bed” and “Gypsy Clap” while the latest is a Sebastian Manuel & Hony Dijon recording, “The Age Of Communication” doing great guns, not least that it featured on the front page of download site Beatport’s house genre section, no doubt propelling Classroom Records as a label to a wonderfully wide audience. Yet with the tracks firmly in the tech to techno bracket, with our aging tastes, they are not really our bag, while you can soak up all their splendour by heading to https://soundcloud.com/classroom-records while for our tip top Javier track we go on a nostalgic trip, finding the delightful “Nirvana Dream”, a joint production with Mr Medina’s & our Parisian pal, Leomeo.
Onto fabulous number four of our spectacular six and a fellow resident of Barcelona who too manages his own record label jointly with Nacho Chapado, the label in question being Guareber Recordings and the man of the moment, Ivan Gomez, a D.J./Producer of profound proficiency who has been treading the live set & studio boards for over fifteen years now, in that time amassing an array of club residencies & guest slots right across his home country & the whole continent. With appearances here in London for the huge LGDF Festival & at Beyond, memorable moments for us, Ivan follows a feverish schedule that still sees him continue to party in Portugal, spin in Spain & impress in Italy, while continental switches also see’s Mexico a dynamic destination for him. However, hoveringly in recent years, the studio has taken up more & more of his time, Ivan’s passion for production evident in the output which never fails to impress, while the Spanish spirit that is his every heart beat shows through in his music making magnificently, the genre blend come hopping that includes tech, progressive, tribal, minimal & underground, occasionally tinged with uplifting vocals, also mirroring in his live set performances. Add to all that, when you see the vast array of artists works he has remixed & D.J.’s he has covered, Peter Rauhofer, Offer Nissim, Mike Kelly & Pagano just four examples and labels that have carried his work including Star69, Twisted USA, Matinee Recordings, & Sorry Shoes, Mr Gomez’s considerable credentials cannot be denied, rather celebrated.
So to the Gomez studio of productions we go, first taking a quick look at a just one of many notable achievements, he having as recently as 2011, achieved a number one on the prestigious Billboard list in The States with his remix of Yoko Ono’s “Ono Move On Fast”, while heading for that outstanding output we deluded to just now, we find a Soundcloud site packed with no less than seventy two productions in the last twelve months alone, a truly phenomenal number in some ways difficult to comprehend as that means, on average, he has produced a track or podcast every five days of the year. So picking out highlights from all these is pretty mind boggling, we concentrating here in Ivan’s own tracks for the first, which include “Funkagain”, “Your Love”, “Get Well”, “The Rhythm”, the interestingly titled “Cada Die At 5am”, “La Musika”, “Somebody 2 Love” and “2 The Sky”, while “You Drive Me Crazy” definitely floats our beats boat the most. As for of the many he has remixed with Nacho Chapado (and there are a lot), Offer Nissam’s “I’m In Love” is close to the top of our list, although we head slightly further back into 2012 to fall on The Free Radicals Formation, a trio that is actually Ivan, Nacho & close friend & fellow producer, Fran Ramirez, their towering track “World” without doubt top of our tree. But with so many other’s to choose from, the Ivan Gomez world is your oyster at https://soundcloud.com/ivangomezmusic, while his Beatport page at http://beatport.com/artist/ivan-gomez/70053 is a great nitro for the uninitiated, we that fave our ours, “World”, in Fran Ramirez radical mix form, right here.
To that track mention we have be itching to share, it coming from London producer Matt Kotchi, who has worked with fellow friends & other seasoned scene faces Rich B & Chrissy Darling, he an east end exponent, circulating clubs such as “Songs Of Praise” & “SOS”, while his latest release, “Play Our Music” is the one that gets the DM mini mention, hitting on https://soundcloud.com/matt-kootchi/matt-kootchi-ft-martin-kirley serving up a short teaser, while a search on iTunes & Beatport will find official downloads via Toolroom records.
Onwards to our fantastic fifth of six producers focuses and we find Taito Tikaro occupying a spot that is richly deserved solely on the strength of the phenomenal productions that well & truly rocked our world in 2012, a string of hits that have not only, each & every one, made it into out Y.E. top 40 chart, secured ninth with “My World”, this amidst one of the closest top ten’s in our chart history. However, virtually from nowhere in November came his huge & heavenly remix of DHP’s “Not Alone” with studio recording partner Flavio Zarza, it claiming number one spot ahead of, what was till then, an almost certainty in Rony Seikaly’s “Take Me Higher”. But we digress as there has been so much more to Taito’s year & indeed career, he a major torre de force in the Matinee package, probably their biggest resident D.J. in terms of stature and has played for the brand for close on ten years, not only playing a major role in this Spanish super clubs world tour, but, during the summer season, performs regularly at Amnesia in Ibiza, L ‘Atlàntida in Sitges, DMIX & Le Madame, as well as all the major Matinee parties in its base in Barcelona, including the massive Circuit Festival every August. But Matinee aside, the list of clubs Taito has played reads like a who’s who of clubbing, Rome’s Muccassassina Haoman 17 in Tel Aviv, The Week in Brazil, Paris’s ShowCase, Space in both Ibiza & Miami, Madrid’s Space of Sound and Space both in Ibiza & Miami, while we can never really escape his Matinee connections, global destinations he has travelled & played for the brand over the years including in New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Toronto, Paris Amsterdam and, of course here in the capital, where, in the heady days of the Matinee London between 2006 &10, he starred The Collosseum & at Cable.
But it’s his studio work that we focus on here, as his production list is substantial to say the least and the labels he has recorded for just as impressive, major ones including Spinnin Records, Tommyboy, Gusto Records, Armada Music, Juicy Music & naturally Matinee Records, Taito describing his style of sound as “…hybrid, merging different styles to create a very personal overall genre, gliding across techno, electro, progressive and deep house…”this as accurate assessment as we could make, as you only have to listen to one of his tracks having read that to realise that pinpoint assessment. In terms of his discography, it’s a question of where do we start?, the list considerable, Taito having worked with fellow Matinee resident J Louis on a number of mix & remix projects over the years, not least, “The Bodies Connection”, the massive anthems “Shine On Me”, “The Time Is Now” & “Looking For Love”, while you will notice from more than a handful of his productions, that he also works closely with vocalist Vanesa Klein, who is too part of the Matinee machine, “Addicted” just massive, while for us, “My World” wins this mini competition hands down. Other huge dancefloor hits that have received the Taito mixing magic have included “Miracle Of Love” & “Show Me Love”, the latter having been re-engineered for 2012/13 and is simply stunning, while more recently he has collaborated with fellow Spaniard Flavio Zarza on their track “Lift Me Up” as well as remixes of Florence & The Machine’s “Spectrum” along with that number one of ours, “Not Alone”. So, to pick out a favourite leaves us in a real dilemma, while you can choose your own or just soak up all of Mr Tikaro’s terrific tunes by going to https://soundcloud.com/taitotikaro or checking out his Beatport page at http://www.beatport.com/artist/taito-tikaro/14553, while having landed on “Not Alone & “My World” so many times, we thought we would rather share that re-engineered 2K13 mix of “She Loves” which we adore.
To superb number six of our spectacular six and, in reality, the word superb hardly does this Sicilian justice as the career he has carved out for himself both behind the decks and in the recording studio is nothing short of colossal and while some of our critics have questioned our occasional stance towards Francesco Pagano’s style of sound, in the many years we have known this extravert individual, we have always admired his achievements and soaked up his scintilating sets, Plus simply by researching this piece on Pagano, affectionately called “The Italian Stallion”, we cannot help but marvel in his music, while when you glance through the global list of clubs he has played in recent years, there is no-one we know that compares, huge guest appearance highlights surely Alegria in New York, Miami’s White Party and Winter Party Festival, White Party Palm Springs, The Week in Sao Paulo, Living in Mexico City, Arq in Sydney, Circuit Festival in Barcelona, Space Of Sound and WE Party in Madrid, Space and Privilege in Ibiza. But we could go on & on really, not one corner of the globe untouched, while regular roving residencies in Europe include La Demence in Brussels, Rapido in Amsterdam, GMF in Berlin & Scream in Paris, while with Francesco considering himself as a proud Londoner, we would venture to suggest that is heart remains here. With the likes of Trade, Beyond, Matinee, SuperMartXe, A:M and even Onyx all part of his playing portfolio & magical memory moments for us, we also recollect with real fondness those heady days of Barcode Vauxhall, when he pumped & packed out the place with his phenomenal progressive performances. Plus with recent appearances for Deelooded & Room Service combined with his own club night Deviate, it seems that Pagano’s roots remain here in the capital, even if he lives out of a travelling suitcase more often than not.
However studio productions are equally as impressive, in some ways more, as not only has he mixed & remixed for music industry a-list of artists, but he records his own tracks, occasional puts them into compilations that are of very much in the true sense of the word and he even has his own record label, Deviate (hence the club night of the same name). So what of those music industry stars, well Pagano’s remixes & collaborations include The Scissor Sisters, Freemasons, De’lacy, Robin S, Kathy Brown, Peyton, Lisa Millet, & Billie Ray Martin, while he has also worked with fellow producers including Chus & Ceballos, Ralphi Rosario, Wayne G & Stewart Who?, labels supporting the long list of Pagano productions stretching to Stereo Productions, Nervous Records, MN2S, S2G Productions and biggies Kult Records & Universal. Add to that support for his recordings from industry heavyweights Carl Cox, Paul Van Dyk, Bob Sinclair, Fergie, Cevin Fisher, Danny Rampling, & Quentin Harris, early productions including “The Ride”, “Lessons In Love”, Rocking Beat” & “My Religion”, more recently his notable track achievements include “Trapped”, “Kissing The Wookie”, “Hispanicity”, “Perfect World”, “Loca” “The Reflex” &, “That Disco Fever”, while we simply love his track “My Name Is Pussy Galore”, a 007 sampler that never fails to make us smile. And as a measure of his success, not only have many of these original productions hit top ten slots of the official dance charts in the UK, USA, Germany & Italy but his latest mixed compilations “Digital Generation Vol. 2″ and “Trade – The Dark Side” have both reached the number one spot on the sales chart of Beatport, this the best source for his music, a click on http://beatport.com/artist/pagano/18177/ revealing all, while we leave you in the “Perfect World” of Pagano, this Ralphi Rosari remix right up there as our Francesco fave.
So, while our last mention was planned as a podcast propulsion, after that Fran finish, it seems right and proper that we wrap up this newsletter now, the proof of the pudding that this spectacular six of ours fully deserve that support we give right here, while for us, they are the cream of the track production crop. So, here’s to Danny, Guy, Javier, Ivan, Taito & Francesco, may you all continue to wrap us in rapture with your records and continue to prove that “Music Is The Answer! (DISCO MATT)
While the shock of the sad news of Gaydar Radio’s demise may have diminished, the tons of tributes to what was a gay institution still keep flooding in, so having shared the facts, the figures & the feelings in our special report, we thought it only appropriate to add an epilogue to exemplify the emotions felt by thousands, through the messages of a few, which reflect just how much heartfelt sentiment there is for this splendid station & it’s terrific team.
It sometimes takes a lot to shock & surprise, well apart from a Pitron tickling pounce, the very sad news of the demise of nothing short of an institution, Gaydar Radio, catching us completely unaware when the announcement came trickling through Facebook feeds & other social network mediums, the size & scale of the shock leaving us totally floored when the realisation hit us hard yesterday morning. So we had to mark the occasion with a special report looking into the facts, the figures the feelings surrounding the DAB radio stations owners’ decision to close shop on this eleven year old broadcast medium that attracted over 750,000 listeners a month. Yet, at the time of our post, what we soon saw was an overwhelming outpour of emotion, love & loss for what will be a void left by its closure when the Gaydar Radio airwaves finish their final broadcast today (Sat 5th Jan), so we thought it only right & proper, having shifted through scores of tributes & posts, to share just a few in the epilogue to our special report and with the news having sunk in, the shock having subsided and some reassuring words from a couple of people at PLAY>TIME last night, we will pop in some brief but pertinent points relating to the comments included.
So, let’s get straight to it and, as he was such a key player, the first few words go to Quentin Neild, who was there right from the start & will be there at the end this morning, he having worked tirelessly to build, promote & make Gaydar Radio what it became, a range of emotions shown in the following posts, very much reflective of the passion he had for this gay institution, this his first reaction as the news hit home, “…Just had the best New Years of my life ruined by the news about the radio station I built, and spent 10 years nurturing…”, Quentin at the centre of the station’s operation from day one, his reaction unsurprising given just how close he became to Gaydar Radio & the people involved. And so it would be inevitable that he would want to say thank you to the mound of messages, posts & calls that came flooding in, this sent out on Twitter, “…thanks to EVERYONE who sent messages of support over the last 24 hours. I am truly touched by the outpouring of love for Gaydar Radio…”, while his Facebook posts were pretty brief, many others comments shared on his wall, although he himself had this short but sweet sentence to steer in Steve Pitron’s direction, “…“…Just wanted to say thank you from everyone at Gaydar Radio for the fab music you and Max Sanna have given us – you were a big part of our sound…”. So, we can only imagine the range of emotions he is going through right now, partly the reason why we are gutted we won’t be able to say a fond farewell to Gaydar Radio with him & a whole load of others this afternoon, although the magical memories (not least all his tweets) from last year’s Lovebox, will live with us forever.
But there were other presenters that wanted to say their thanks too, a cornerstone colossus for the stations “ClubNation” show, who had worked for Gaydar Radio, on & off, for over six years and whom, like Quentin, we are privileged to call a friend, Phil Marriott, had this to say to listeners yesterday, “….“…My mind has been blown today. I have had such an amazing 6 years at GaydarRadio, and have many important people to thank for influencing me and supporting me during my time here. I will attempt to do a full shout out on my show tonight, but in case I miss anyone in my show, I’d like you to know that I am extremely grateful. You know who you are…”, while another long standing member of the presenting team, Simon Le Vans, showed his gratitude to both colleagues & listeners alike when he said “…The amount of posts and comments on Facebook about today’s news has overwhelmed me. Thank you so much for taking the time to say so many lovely things about me and the rest of the amazing team. It’s been a real privilege to work with such talented, dedicated and lovely people. Without you listening there would have been no station so let me take this opportunity to thank all you for your support over the years. It means a huge amount to all of us…”
And the news certainly rocked the world of many D.J.’s & music producers, not just in London, but around the globe, Danny Verde one of the first to send in this tribute, “…“…I want to thank all the Gaydar Radio D.J.’s presenters & speakers who supported all my productions for years and gave me the chance to spread my music with hundreds & thousands of people all around the world. This is the end of something great but I wish it will be a start of an even better brand new experience…”., other D.J./producer friends soon following, Adam Turner remarking “…Tuned into my studio partner and very good mate Simon Le Vans on Gaydar Radio for the last time! As a late night DJ myself, he’s always been my breakfast show. Thanks for all the advice, tips, and inspiration to get back into radio myself, Simon – without your show, I doubt I would have been motivated to make the move back to radio. The airwaves just won’t be the same without you…” while Kris Di Angelis posted this,“…Just thought I’d take a moment to say goodbye and thank you to Gaydar Radio. Robin Crowley you were bloody brilliant, involving only the most likeable people on your cutting edge commercial radio station. Thanks for Lovebox, thanks for the radio training, thanks for the memories…”, we also holding lasting memories of Lovebox from the last two years, our nibble size tweets followed & replied to right through the day by Quentin, terrific times we will never forget.
But while there were scores, no hundreds of well wishing comments we could have shared here, Wayne Horne’s reflective of the feelings many were going through when he said, “…“…Emotional wreck today. I have listened to Gaydar Radio every day for a few years. Getting ready for work with N-Debz, having lunch with Simon Le Vans and working out at the gym with Phil Marriott. As from Monday, that won’t happen anymore…”it was perhaps the amazing article published by Pink News & former Gaydar Radio news editor, Scott Roberts, that was the most comprehensive & reflective of all we have seen, his devotion including “…I am dismayed and saddened to learn of the demise of my former station, Gaydar Radio. Its impending removal from the airwaves is a huge loss to the radio industry and also the lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community…” plus “…before I crossed over the fence to edit Pink News – a publication that took me on because of my time at Gaydar – I had worked at eight different radio stations. Gaydar, where I was news editor until July 2012, will always be the favourite, and taught me a lot about myself as a gay man…” and “…When I left, I always knew that no other commercial station in Britain would be such a creative and vibrant place to work…”. But there is much more in his Pink News published piece, other snippets including “…Gaydar represented a DAB jewel in a frequently sparse and autonomous radio sector. Content-heavy, with generous links that were actually live; freedom for presenters to have personality and a rant – doing so out of the news was a much-loved feature of lunchtime presenter Simon Le Vans…” and “…People also listened into the station from all over the world and especially in the US, where Phil Marriott’s evening show was their “morning” show. But I often saw emails from people listening in from countries with appalling LGBT rights records, even one in Kazakhstan. Gaydar truly was an international station…”, he ending the article with a tribute to Robin Cowley by saying, “…My former boss, Robin Crowley, once told me that radio would always survive because it was a valued “friend” for the listener – well I have lost a great bunch of friends on the airwaves…”
And that is where we end this special report epilogue, the final last few words going to Robin himself, who, amongst many other messages, posted this “…“…With all this thank youing going on, I forgot to thank a couple of men who made it all happen, who’s belief in Gaydar Radio was unwavering! Thank you Henry Badenhorst and Trevor Martin We have had a lot of fun, laughs and produced something that will carry on servicing the LGBT community. Good luck Gadio…”, we, on reflection and despite some of the remarks in our report, what a tough decision Gaydar Radio’s owners were faced with & had to make, one which has affected the lives of very close & dear friends of theirs. As for us, well we remain deeply saddened by this end of an enthralling era monumental mound of moments and while not a regular listener, we will never forget how it helped us through our five day hospital confinement, bringing joy & laughter into our days, as it did for many thousands more. So, as the team say a fond farewell in a gathering in Rupert Street, Soho, this afternoon, we will be raising a toast from our Paris point, to both friends & everyone connected with this already much missed gay icon institution, cheers everybody, here’s to new & brighter beginnings. (DISCO MATT)
What a year, one of considerable challenges to conquer, music being the answer on so many fronts, not least the prolific podcasts & producers that paved our path with pulsating productions that saved our 365 day & days, meaning we couldn’t complete our 2012 review series without celebrating the colossal creators that combined to deliver the most divinely delirious dance delectations in a decade or more.
When we look back across the last year, we have had some pretty hefty mountains to climb, from family health issues to our own, which continue to cause concern, while we have been very much off the writing boil, out kettle often running on empty and so ending up as dry at the Kalahari, our music focuses, features & newsletters affected nearly as much as our reviews. Yet while we may have had a continual catalogue of considerable challenges to conquer, a number of false music writing re-starts part of the picture, the one constant we have been able to rely upon, has been the music itself, a pack of prolific podcasts & producers not just helping us through the tough times with tons of towering tunes, but some have consumed our lives, whether it be while pedalling around London’s roads, heading out to our various clubbing commitments, or simply sitting back on our sofa, soaking up scores of superb sounds.
So, in a year that music definitely was the answer and with those prolific producers we deluded to, proving to be our sanctuary & our saviour amongst the sorrowful slices of the last four seasons, some have amazed, excited & inspired us with their fantastic productions, some reaching phenomena & heavenly heights, it was a foregone conclusion that we would devote separate part of our “What A Year!” 2012 review series to them. And here it is, a run through the podcasts & the producers that rocked our would in the last twelve months, we landing on our top five producers, in the two categories of “podcasts” & “tracks”, while also picking out our top ten productions from those players whose compositions have made the most considerable contribution to our “music was the answer” year.. Plus with some special mentions for a few others whose tracks have rocked our world in the last twelve months, we will recap on some of their entries into our top 40 chart, while finishing this final 2012 review feature with the podcast & producer chart listings.
Well lets get to it and take a look at the track producers that have made it big in our music world during 2012, Rony Seikaly making the first impression back in January, his two tracks “Let You Go” & “Take Me Higher” making us stand up and notice this basketball player turned producer, the latter production gripping us like virtually no other, which as early as the second month of the year, had already secured him, at least, a top 10 position in our track chart, it actually making it to a soaring second. But there were other, Erick Morillo impressing us with a duo of dynamic dance delectations, “Murder The Dancefloor” & “Gravy” examples of our slant towards tech in the last twelve months, while Chris Lake, who is no stranger to our sound sorties, hit us heavenly hard with a pumping production, “Stand Alone” ending up one of our Y.E. favourites, despite only making an impression in November. As for others, Crazibiza tickled out tunes taste buds with a trio of triumphs, “Must Be The Music”, “Show Me Love 2k12” & “Finally I” shining examples of these mix masters at their brilliant best, while Steven Redant & Phil Romano were our superb surprisers, their mix of Kylie Minogue’s “Timebomb” tremendous, our last special mention going to Jay Lumen for the simply stunning “Strange Fruit”, like Chris Lake, trouncing us with a tech tower of a track that was oh so close to a chart podium position.
So we come to our top five, each here for good reason, as they both influenced & indented our musical year in many (sometimes different ways), Carlos Gallardo the first, who comes in fifth, a string of scintillating sets at WE Party in London leaving us more than satisfied, while being up with him on stage for “Safari”, “Hi Japan” & “Formula 2” will live with us forever. But the superb Spaniard is no slouch in the recording studio either, collaborations a plenty including with vocalists Bobby Alexander on “We (Eloise)” & Peyton on “Desert Rose”, particular highlights, while it was his track composition with Rebeka Brown that contributed to him being here, it creeping into our top 40 chart, no mean feat considering the competition and one that immensely impressed us on our very first listen.
To our fourth position producer and another Spaniard, there seeming to be a wealth of talent emanating from the region of Europe, Ivan Gomez, in our books, right up there with the best, his collaborations with Nacho Chapado under the Gurabear label diving deep into double figures, a 2012 highlight their “We Have Disco EP”, while on a singular front, Ivan’s list of track productions is enthralling exhausting by sheer volume, favourite picks of ours including “La Musika” & “Somebody 2 Love”, his 2012 releases encapsulated in a special compilation which is well worth a listen at https://soundcloud.com/ivangomezmusic/sets/forthcoming-tracks-remixes while shifting through his soundcloud site alone is a terrific task & a half, evidence of just how bust he is in the recording studio. However, from our track chart point of view, he made his mark with the remix of Offer Nissam’s “I’m In Love”, while it would be The Free Radical’s Formation, of which he & Nacho are members, that would rate the highest, “World” in Fran Ramirez (the third link) remix form our favourite of Ivan’s pack of productions.
Onto our track producer third now and to Milano man Danny Verde, who’s meteoric rise to fame & fortune of the world clubbing & D.J. stage three or so years ago was due, in no part, to his superb studio productions and while Danny now has an exhaustive schedule that sees him jetting across to all corners of the globe, its roots remain in his hallowed Holab, the name he gave to is recording studio many moons ago. The likes of “Pushin To the Top”, Open Your Heart” & “Express Yourself” propelling him as a prolific producer. However, with official remixes for Lady Gaga sending him to another outstanding orbit, 2012 has seen him work on tracks from the Wanted, Cyndi Lauper, The Scissor Sisters & Mariah Carey, while our best of the bunch and one that made it into our top 40 chart was & is his rapturous remix of Neon Hitch’s “Fuck You Better” the first reason he is here, that awesome weekend with him in Brighton back in September the second.
So to second and the exceptional Etienne Ozborne who repeated his incredible influences on our year, as he had done in 2011, although in a way, even more so, as it soon materialised that it was he (along with studio partner Zolton Kontes) who was behind our now infamous “Track” three, which turned out to be the huge hit “I Really Want To Say”, Polina’s vocals appearing for a third time in our year. But standing alone with the spectacular “Feeling For You” has surely got to be one his own highlights of 2012, this terrific track having made it big across dancefloors right around the world, while Mr Ozborne has had his fair share of global gigs too, Seoul his last, while we are just getting into his latest release, “Undecided” looking like it will chart in 2013. However, all that said, it is probably down to the stunning “Sotto” that he finds himself in second spot, this towering tech tune yet more evidence of our slant away from uplifting & vocal, or at least a better balance strike between the two, while the horn effects on this colossal composition still blow our minds, it securing a healthy fifteenth in our track chart.
To our top spot and, despite everyone before him, this Spanish superstar D.J./Producer came home first by a country mile, no-one else in this category coming near in terms of impression & influence, his five track entries into our top 40 chart speaking volumes enough, although it goes much deeper than that, the quality, the style & the pace of his productions just perfect. And while we waxed lyrically in our chart review feature, “Not Alone” seeing him to top spot there too, Taito’s year has not just been about the recording studio, as he has played right across Europe & elsewhere, he flying the Matinee flag mainly, a summer season in Ibiza seeing him prove one of the biggest draws on the island, while sets in Sitges & the brands Barcelona base were also huge highlights of what was a breathtakingly busy year. However, back to those studio recordings and while both “Lady Luck” & “Lift Me Up” were magical markers, it would be his interpretation of the classic “She Loves” in 2k13 remix that really impressed. But even that paled in comparison to the mighty “My World” which, if we are entirely honest is right up there with “Not Alone” and may prove to have lengthier legs than the latter, this towering Taito triumph as much of a tear tumbler as our number one of 2012, meaning a first podium place here richly deserved.
Well, that’s the track producers covered, now to the podcaster’s and a snap decision to dive straight into our top five, those extra mentions having to wait for a forthcoming 2013 music newsletter. So to out fabulous fifth and it’s to Greece we go to find GSP (short for George Spiliopoulos) who has consistently created compilations that drove right up out superb sound street throughout 2012, while we were fortunate enough to see him play over here in London, at Beyond no less, his set on Easter Sunday superb & setting the scene for a season of XLsior pre &main parties that took him to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, the latter part of the colossal Circuit Festival. But GSP will, for us, always be connected with the Mykonos five day meet, the news this year being that it was THE place to be, the Greek isle seemingly back on the up & up his podcasts reflective of this, as no less than eight devoted delectations to this five day dance festival, while we had a particular penchant for his “Energy” series of podcasts, volume two pretty much the responsible party for placing him as our fifth most prolific podcast of 2012. But you may have your own favourite from the fifteen he produced, a trip to http://djgsp.podomatic.com/ helping you decide which or how many to add to your collections.
To our fantastic fourth now and a Belgian based beatmaster who’s 2012 was simply stunning, an impressive set of new trails trodden and events enriched by Elof de Neve, his residency at Rome’s Muccassassina one, while Sexy in Cologne was another, trips across to Spain a regular feature of his spring & summer season showings, the “Get It On” world tour kicking off in Barcelona seeing him play, while Sitges Pride was a fabulous feature, his festival frolicking extending to both Lesbos in Lisbon & Circuit in Barcelona. But his base in Belgium, Antwerp’s Red & Blue remained an Elof anchor, from where he popped across both the north & south borders, playing for Matinee in Amsterdam & Paris, both which have dedicated podcasts, while even given the his hectic schedule, Mr de Neve has stepped into the studio on plenty of occasions, the result being two compilations that are pure Elof through & through. And like GSP, our Belgian mixers beats very much hit our heavenly music mark, his uplifting, euphoric & energetic house, us down to a t, while he has taken (or at least dipped his toe into) a more tribal come tech direction during 2012 to reflect the kind of clubbing crowds he finds himself in front off, a trip to https://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve seeing you safe into his series of sounds.
Now our tremendous third and without doubt the busiest D.J./producer we know, both in terms of live performances and podcast productions, not a weekend going by when he isn’t jetting off somewhere, whether it be as near as Bordeaux or as far as Bangkok, his Philippine routes seeing him travel back to Asia quite often, while Canada is also another regular long haul house music destination in his rampant roster. But what is just as jet-setting in terms of both frequency & volume are the plethora of podcast productions that come our way, 2012 having been no exception, a staggering twenty one mixes dedicated to a whole variety of his visits around the globe, Leomeo not shy in coming forward with a little self promotion, daily posts on Facebook cramming our notifications window full with his posts. However, it seems to work as, his download figures are pretty impressive, while his beats bag holds the whole house spectrum, from tech, tribal & trance, to progressive, euphoric, uplifting and everything in between. So, laying you hat on one particular podcast from the twenty plus in 2012, is down to preference we guess, but with all bases covered, a shoot onto his Soundcloud site at https://soundcloud.com/djleomeo should sort it.
Well, we come to second slot in our treasured top five and here we find our premier protégé player, Zach Burns, who like all the entrants thus far, had a amazing 2012 in terms of all sides of his production premises, a score or more mixes laid down simply from his sets at various locales, CasaLatina, D.J.’s At Work, Gigolo, Matinee, PLAY>TIME, Popcorn, Profile & The Edge, London spots where he has played or held residencies during the year, while both Berlin & Paris played a part in proceedings, GMF in the former & Scream in the later, very much propelling his profile & stature significantly. And while we missed out on many live performances of his, all those post gig pressings helped us keep right in touch with our PPP’s progress, although it is his “House Sessions” series that sees Zach safe into second spot, the once a month releases never failing to make it into our collection, one in particular even tumbling (albeit for just a few days) another phenomenal podcast of its playing pedestal. Indeed with a blend of beats that edges towards funky, Zach is also sometimes experimental with his genre mixing, creating compilations crammed with character, as well as terrific twists & turns, a trip to http://djburns.podomatic.com/ sure to find favour, while his “2012 Top 12” production has already been earmarked as our first “Podcast of The Week” for 2013.
So, who stepped up onto our top podcast producer podium position? Well, if you follow us religiously, regularly or even irregularly, the then name Steve Pitron will appear with just as much regularity, 2012 having proven a phenomenal period in his production pressings, the year kicking off in scintillating style with his “Jan 2012” mix, one which ended up responsible for rearing seven tracks that had a impressive impact on our top 40 track chart, one securing second slot, at the time we remarking that we couldn’t see this total triumph being topped. But Mr Pitron being the superstar that he is, came back at us with a two part “Summer” series that did just that, collectively combining to make an monumental mark on our track chart, as well as our airwaves, with some of the best beats of the year, real highlights in the thirteen that made it in, “My World” “Sotto”, “Symphony” and “Must be The Feeling”, the latter coming third. Yet, he was clearly still not satisfied with delightfully destroying us with these two summer stunners, as we were literally both blown away to compulsively consumed by his phenomenal “WE Formula 2” podcast, the benchmark set in the summer, smashed to smithereens by the most spectacular set of sounds we have come across ever. And when you consider that with just one mix, Steve managed to fill out fourteen places in our track chart, including number’s one, four, five, six, seven & eight, is testament to its captivating qualities, ensuring that, at the risk of upsetting the competition, he romped home with the top place podcasts production plaudits, no more words among the myriad of features, focuses & mentions able to add to the simple fact that each & every 2012 pressing has to be in your collection and if not, then get on that computer and get downloading now at http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com.
So, that’s our top five producers of tracks & podcasts, but what of the podcast chart positions? W, given how extensive this review has been and with further commentary coming on some of the compilations, rather than cutting back completely, we thought, as with did with our tracks, that splitting it off into a separate shortened special review, part four now our final feature, the chart inclusion & topping bean spilling having to wait just a little bit longer. (DISCO MATT)
We struggled to download it on Monday, were completely consumed by it on Tuesday, so planned to extol its virtues on Wednesday, but with the day one frenzy growing with each & every passing hour and the following four days ending in total destruction, it is only now, on day six, that we have summoned the strength of mind to piece together our review of Steve Pitron’s new podcast, “WE Formula 2 Part 1”, into this special super sized feature
From a tender age, there have been plenty of passions in our lives but nothing greater than music, mounds of significant moments both home in South Africa, here in London & on our travels, bookmarked by this magical medium, whether it be a single tune or a collection of tracks, artists or even film scores. Indeed, the list, if we were to make one, would be very varied, a generous genre of sounds from pop to classic, instrumental to vocal and much in between, although since that fateful day when we made our first steps into a club, it has been house music that has dominated those bookmarked moments. And while, like with every other genre, there are tracks that we readily recognise as being attached to places or people in time, it is also true that compilations hold magical memories of their own, especially when travelling, Mikey D’s “Lose Control” compilation forever about Paris, Danny Verde’s “Escape From Paradise” podcast lovingly linked to Berlin & Jamie Head’s “WE Attacks” mix inextricably connected to Brussels, just three examples of many more. However, back here in the capital there is one podcast producer that rules our airwaves, his prolific productions entertaining us virtually everywhere, whether it be spinning around London’s roads, sorting the weekly shop, heading to & from a club or even completing the household chores, our other three afore-mentioned men finding themselves in distinguished company when we reveal that it is Steve Pitron.
Yes, since summer 2010 (the compilation & the year) Steve’s sounds have well & truly dominated our musical minds, yes we have continued to promote a long list of others through our newsletters, focuses & features, but the common denominator, or perhaps better described as the returning point, is Mr Pitron & his podcasts. And, without exception, with each new release we are sent into a surreal spin by his sounds, some productions affecting us more than others, Steve having the uncanny knack & ability to hit our musical sweet spots so hard that those now infamous trademark tears tumble. Indeed, while these emotional eruptions are well documented in our regular reviews, it is when we are alone with his podcasts playing that they are exacerbated the enth degree, certain tracks causing spills as well as thrills, his “Jan 2012 Session” probably the most notable protagonist to date, although aspects of “Afterhours & Summer 2011” are equally responsible, as have proved his two “Summer 2012” compilations, stand-out tear tumbling tracks being “Take Me Higher” & “My World”, while superbly spine chilling & goose bump boasting moments occur on every single podcast of Mr Pitron’s, hence why we hold them in such high regard.
So when news hits of a new Steve Pitron podcast, it is headline grabbing musical material, not just for us, but for thousands around the world who clammer to add his latest compilation to their collection, the download figures making quite spectacular reading, “Jan 2012” for example reaching the dizzy heights of well over sixty thousand on Podomatic alone (he has iTunes & Soundcloud too), while stats across all the podcasts from just this year, exceed the 175,000 mark. And while we can count our downloads within that fabulous figure, we can also count ourselves as extremely privileged to have been a few hours or even a day ahead of the game, as this prolific podcast producer gifts us with advance copies of his new production pressings, but with the release of “WE Formula 2 Part 1” and this advance absent, we were akin to a Lotus at the back of an F1 grid that is left standing at the start. Indeed, following its release on Monday morning, while others sped to Steve’s podomatic page to grab their copy of his latest triumph, the hoards of house music heads racing ahead of us like Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull car, we were left for dust as we grappled with computer glitches, meaning it was a good ten hours before we could get this most treasured prize into our collection. Moreover, while we were left floundering in a download failure frenzy, this Pitron podcast production was lighting up the walls of social networking sites everywhere, this amazing activity not just restricted to the usual faithful, but messages flying in from across the globe, sources including Sydney, New York, Rio & Cape Town, download figures simultaneously lighting up the podomatic board like never before. So it became quickly apparent to us that tons were tuned into this dynamically diverse direction Steve was taking them on with his 2nd WE devotion in four months, the directional twists & turns tighter than the Monaco grand prix circuit and more stunning than the spectacular storms at Sepang.
So, finding ourselves in our own pole position with the podcast, Tuesday was to become a momentous occasion as this wonderful “WE Formula 2 Part 1” production would be the very first to be nibble size reviewed on Twitter, we posting our thoughts, track by track, in a captivating commentary which soon served to highlight, not just the terrific twists & turns Steve was steering us through, but moreover the tear tumbling and emotionally enthralling journey this resplendently recognised phenomenal podcast was taking us on. Now, you can still see that live commentary for yourselves today by clicking on http://twitter.com/discomatt, but no review of a compilation this colossal would be complete without further commentary, although with hardly a touch paper width between all twenty one tracks found on this Pitron production, it is difficult for us to leave out a mention for any one tune. That said, there are some heavenly highlights, the opener “Finally I”, the first, and one that attaches huge emotional & sentimental value to a recently formed friendship, Alex Roque’s stunner having been given the rousing Crazibiza remix treatment here, while others tipping our nerve gangling, tear tumbling & spine shivering scales (all good feelings you understand) are “I Do”, “Symphony”, “Murder The Dancefloor”, “Strange Fruit”, “Stand Alone” & “Naturally”. Then we come to “Can’t Stop Me” Carlos Fas’s tune terrifically trapping us hook, line & sinker, the combination of vocals & tech/progressive beats simply breathtaking, this very much a pattern of the whole podcast, Steve somehow (and spectacularly) dipping in & out of the two with enthralling effect, vocals quickly replaced by full on tech and back, over and over again, again and again, until we effectively wave the white (rather than the chequered) flag of surrender to all these scintillating sounds.
But while all the above tracks are compelling enough, there are two that, like “Finally I”, stand out for us, we zooming to the end of the compilation to find the mind numbingly magnificent “Not Alone”, artist DHP employing the vocal services of Sunday Girl, while the version Steve has selected comes from Spanish superstar D.J/Producer Taito Tikaro (along with studio partner Flavio Zarza)
the duo having pulled out another incredible interpretation that matches the might of “My World” & “Lift Me Up”, very much like the first track on this Pitron production, proving prolific as a closer and very much tempting you to play the whole compilation over again, just how a curtain call tune should be in our books. However, if there was ever a track to completely stop us in our tracks, and we mean literally, as we had to suspend all work & other duties as the emotional enormity of it hit, was & remains “Beautiful Lie”, a last minute addition to this phenomenal podcast, but an inspired one as , like so many others, it sits right between two tech tracks and exemplifies all the terrific twists & turns that make this captivating compilation compare with the most compelling race & circuit on the Formula 1 calendar. Masterminded on this mix in an, as yet, unrevealed re-work format, the story behind how it made it here is tear jerking enough (could share it all although is pretty personal stuff), but when we searched through Youtube to find it, we came across a whole host of versions, Henri Josh’s remix one, DJ Paul’s another, while it was the video connected with the Chuckie, Ortzy & Nico Hamuy remix version that brought the whole story together for us, since when this masterful piece of music has attained the status enjoyed only by one other track this year, “Take Me Higher” having had a similar effect on us, those emotional eruptions, goose bump reactions & superbly spine shivering sensations so similar its uncanny.
Yet all these heavenly house music highlights aside, we can say with complete conviction that “WE Formula 2 Part 1”, from superb start to fabulous finish and track one to twenty one, has had an unprecedented effect on us, each & every time we press that play button, we immediately sinking into successive sensations that include our breath being taken away, our heart pounding, our stomach churning and (naturally) our trademark tears tumbling, each day these feelings becoming more intense, day by day and hour by hour, to the extent that, by close of play on day 5, we were left totally yet delightfully destroyed in a delirious dance music daze. But perhaps the most spectacular slice of this superb story was the news that news that this stunning Steve Pitron production made it to the number one Podomatic chart podium position (and remains there today), a richly deserved achievement which we exclaimed with just one word, awesome, this masterpiece in mixing proving to be just that, he yet again pushing our emotionally erupting envelope. So it is a podcast publication that we have not only named as our podcast of the week, but one that is surely destined to be our podcast of the year and quite possibly of all time, so one that we cannot recommend highly enough, such is the skill, diversity, dynamism, & splendour of each & every of the Steve sound selection, one you can download for free right now by going http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com, while a visit to permalink http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/entry/2012-11-19T02_05_36-08_00 gives you the opportunity to “like” the podcast, pop on a message of appreciation and surely also add it to your podomatic playlist(s), over 8000 downloads so far making it the fastest achiever of any of his productions yet.
So, with all those emotions running through us in extolling the virtues of this colossal compilation,we couldn’t think of a better way to end our super sized review feature by echoing a track on this Pitron pressing that has been our catchphrase since we started out in life and what this phenomenal production shouts from every rooftop we can imagine, that being that in both Steve Pitron & this “WE Formula 2 Part 1” podcast, “Music Is The Answer!” (DISCO MATT)
It hardly seems twelve months since we stepped out onto the delightful dancefloors of Rome’s finest, but as Muccassassina calls the curtain on its 22nd season with a swansong of a showstopper this coming Friday (25th May), it simply had to make it to DM’s pick of the day, all the event detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while DM looks back a year with extracts from his review & his take on guest D.J. Jamie Hammond beneath
DM looks back 12 Mucca months…
To think that it is literally twelve months ago to the day that we were getting excited about our trip to Rome & a liason with Muccassassina, still fresh from playing witness to their spectacular stage showing & event at Delice Dream, yet as another season in Mucca land draws to a close, we couldn’t resist looking back a year & sharing our experience of the magnificence of Muccassassina.
“…From the very first time we saw Muccassassina’s magnificence in the flesh, we have adored everything about this brilliant Italian brand, having seen it out & about on tour both for the massive London Global Dance Festival & then at Delice Dream in Barcelona, the opportunity, however, to see it in its natural home in Rome a dream in itself. But with the added ingredients of two brilliant Bello’s in Danny Verde & Micky Galliano, along with a reunion with Mucca’s (the affectionate term) creative director Diego Longobardi & his terrific team, the opportunity to head to the Italian capital for this monumental meet up was too much to resist…”
“…So, with an in & out schedule sorted, we took a flight down to Rome on the Friday, hooking up at our nearby hotel with both Danny & Micky for a pre-club bite to eat, we showered & shooshed ourselves up for the short hope down to Mucca’s host venue, Qube, arriving at just before 11.30 p.m., in plenty of time to see the whole of this voluptuous venue in its pre-opening state. In the capable hands of Mr Verde, we were shown each of the three floors in sequence, Danny explaining the different musical concepts associated with the individual & very different spaces, the ground floor reserved for V.J. style classic nineties & noughties pop music, a huge back of video screens the focal point, while the first more mirrored & expansive space housing R&B, although it was the top floor that was the icing on the Mucca cake, a huge square shaped room encased by an upper viewing balcony, a massive stage at one end, with the D.J. booth up even higher behind, a truly spectacular space with the biggest mirrorball as a centre piece we had ever seen…”
Plus, to make the stat of this magnificent Mucca experience more magical, we got to kick back while the drop dead gorgeous dancers dress rehearsed the main stage show, Diego in the thick of the action, masterminding the whole operation with his usual flair & flamboyance. But we were here for the Mucca proper and it wasn’t long before the club was swinging into action, a sortie down to the ground floor finding that a large number of clubbers had already descended on Qube, a marvellous mixture of guys & girls, the expected Italiano trendy set very much out in force, as were the muscle mary’s but not overpoweringly so, regular club kids just as if not more plentiful, the one thing everyone having in common was to have the best time possible…”
“… And that’s exactly what we did, first lapping up every tiny morsel of the impressive & uplifting scorcher of a set from Mr Verde, who wowed us from start to finish of his superb stint, a performance packed with favourite anthems among newer tracks, treating us tremendously. Then, we enjoyed equal pleasure from the tougher yet still amazingly accessible accomplishments from Micky Galliano, very much giving Mucca’s main room the vroom we had expected & now adored. Plus, with stage showing after showing by those magnificent Mucca go-go dancers, resplendent in blond bob wigs in celebration of the “Raffaella” theme of this event, we hardly needed to leave the main room space, such was our complete captivation for this colourful & complete clubbing colossus. So, with a massive thank you to Diego, his top draw team, to our Bello’s Danny & Micky & to everyone involved in this Mucca magnificence that delivered resplendent rapture in Rome…”
DM says of guest D.J. Jamie Hammond…
Terrific talent Jamie Hammond first came to our attention a couple of years ago when a sudden meteoric rise saw his name in the frame for a whole host of clubs & events in the capital, a residency slot at Friday nighter Onyx soon spring boarding him to other openings, including Heaven’s “Popcorn” & even slots for awesome afterhours Beyond, some next to his pal & Popcorn playing partner, Alan K. But while Jamie made a substantial splash on the scene, it seems he has, like many other new names, suffered from the close knit & dare we say, closed shop syndrome that promoters seem to follow & adopt in the capital, established names consuming the lion’s share of gigs in the more mainstream clubs & the alternative scene having their our bunch of beatmasters, all of which has left Jamie tintering on the edge of greatness. However, with his gigs at Popcorn & Mucca, that along with a string of other gigs far & wide, including The Week in Brazil & Pacha around Europe, as well as a selection of gigs at clubs off the usual gay circuit in the capital, Jamie is certainly keeping his hand in on the D.J. game, while balancing a second career as a personal trainer in with his hectic life schedule.
So, while last year saw a plethora of podcast productions, each very much echoing the Jamie style of sound that is progressive & uplifting by nature, he jumping between the two genres with consummate ease, 2012 has seen a slight slowing of compilations, just two in fact, one devoted to his Popcorn residency & to the Royal House party, while the other & the one we are honing in on here, to the magic of Mucca. Indeed this superb sixty three minute mix reflects the slant towards the more Eurobeat come tribal sound that seems to go down so much better on the continent, the Roman’s certainly lapping up Jamie’s sets in this style with gusto, host venue Qube always packed to the rafters whenever he plays in the so-called “Elektro Noise” main room, a space that is second only to our beloved Area of all the clubs we have visited in the world. And with this compilation creation of his, you can certainly sink into the fabulous feel of a dervish on the Mucca dancefloor, Mr Hammond drawing us in with a disco dance classic remixed & then keeping us glued with a brilliant blend of those tribal, progressive, uplifting & euphoric beats that very much transport us right back to the Roman capital, that & soaking up a superb Jamie set as we have done on so many occasions. So, if like us, you can’t make it to Mucca for the season swansong, then the best next thing is to press the play button as you select Jamie’s Mucca devoted dream of a podcast at direct link http://d-jamie.podomatic.com/entry/2012-03-06T13_53_06-08_00, while a run through some of his other mixes is also very much in order. (DISCO MATT)
With an eye on the coming weekend, Disco Matt casts his picks net in an international direction, as he reaches out to Rome & Muccassassina’s hat party, which takes place this coming Friday (4th May), as his pick of the day today, all the detail a banner selection away opposite or an image click below, while DM focuses on star D.J./Producer Danny Verde before editing the event detail beneath.
Disco Matt say’s of Mucca Man Danny Verde….
What can we say about the superstar D.J./Producer that has become Danny Verde, that we haven’t said already?, well plenty actually as this now global name on the clubbing circuit of the world continues to be as busy as ever, like a handful of his more experienced compatriots (Leomeo, Pagano & Steven Redant, Oliver M), Danny continuing to forge a D.J.’ing path that takes him to a different country & club virtually every weekend. Indeed, just last Saturday saw him star at Scream in Paris, while recent tours of Brazil & Mexico, along with D.J. dates right across Europe & The States means Mr Verde hardly has a chance to empty his suitcase before another trip looms. And all this from a talent that has grown remarkably in the five or six years we have been tracking him, that major breakthrough in 2009 sending Danny skyward & further cementing the spectacular studio work that has been the foundation of what has become a considerable career for him.
So looking at that studio work, we see a discography littered with chart topping hits, his earlier works including “Pushin To The Top”, “Express Yourself”, Let Me See Your Underwear” & “Open Your Heart” very much cementing his reputation for prolific productions that make it to countless fellow D.J.’s playlists & dancefloors. But his re-work of Lady Gaga’s track “You & I” really hit the big time last year, rocketing to the top of a whole load of music charts & this has since led to another piece of work for this iconic artist, “Marry The Night” another official remix that is due for release anytime now and is sure to mirror the success of his previous production. However, for us it is his two track remixes, first Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed” from last year & his latest, Neon Hitch’s “Fuck U Better” that sit right up there as his best, while “Till We See The Sun” always hits our high notes when we hear it played out. So, for those of you yet to be initiated with this Milano man’s music magnificence, just take a trip http://soundcloud.com/holabstudio/, where you can sink into this superstar’s scintillating sounds.
As for Danny & Muccasassina, well the relationship come love affair between these two Italian giants of the scene stretches back a few years now, Danny having been introduced to Mucca & it’s then artistic director, the fabulous Diego Longobardi, by close friend Phil Romano, with whom Danny has shared to spoils with that exceptional track, “Express Yourself”, that introduction having led to a succession of gigs that affirmed Danny as one of the clubs leading stars, the Roman’s lapping up his energetic & uplifting house sounds, packing out host venue Qube’s majestic main room (one of the best we have experienced anywhere) & enthralling us last May with a simply stunning set. Therefore it pretty much goes without saying that we cannot recommend Mr Verde & his music enough, so if you find yourselves in Rome this coming Friday evening, then make Mucca your meet & head for the “Elektro” space & a date with Danny & his delightful dance deliveries.
Venerdì 4 maggio (Friday 4th May)
Il Circolo di Cultura Omosessuale (the circle of homosexual culture) Mario Mieli
MUCCA DA’ ALLA TESTA (Hat Party)
Music across four rooms/floors including….
Elektro Noise (Main Room) Space
D.J.’s Luigi Rosi & Danny Verde
On stage: Simone Voice & his Mucca gogo’s.
Vocal Diva: Sarah Jane
Bust A Groove Room:
D.J.’s: Atrim & EasySqueezy
Dancing Queen Dancefloor
In consolle: Joao e Daniele Quinzi
On stage: La Diamond & Mucca Factory Dancers.
Doors Open 22.00
Muccassassina @Qube, il palazzo del piacere, via di Portonaccio 212
Terl (Rome) 0654133985
Regardless of the topsy turvy times & the rollercoaster ride twists & turns that have become part & parcel of our lives lately, being charmed by a creative compilation, passionate about a prolific podcast & titillated by a terrific tune means that music always seems to be the answer. And in finding that answer to our problems, Disco Matt is once again ready to extend his enthusiasm for the art of music making & music makers with the return of his regular features, focuses & newsletters, this report hinting towards a mass of activity to come.
There was a time not too far into the distant past when not one Saturday would go by without a music feature or focus of some sort making it to our former BlogSpot page or subsequent website section, although we would be the first to admit that our attention has been somewhat diverted by non Disco Matt duties & devotions recently, while we are somewhat shocked just how derelict & devoid have been our dedications to D.J,’s & producers that were once a weekly norm. Indeed, having looked back through our archives, we cannot quite believe it was September since we posted our last music newsletter, while to be fair to our activity, we did share a string of track selections that made for our top 40 of 2011 in the last forty days of the year, following that with our most comprehensive & three part review of “The Podcasts”, “The Sets” & “The Tracks” that made 2011 our best music year yet.
However, having hardly given that claim justice by our infrequent features & focuses, we are determined that March will signal an about turn on our tardy coverage of the single most significant passion in our lives, music making & music makers. So, from next weekend, Saturday & Sunday will signal the two days that Disco Matt will devote to D.J.’s, to producers, to compilations & to tracks, mixing up his activity between special features, specific focuses & the much loved newsletters that have all been noticeably absent. Starting with a focus on impressive Israeli Guy Scheiman, other D.J.’s/producers that will be reaping our focus attention in March will include Zach Burns, Elof de Neve, & Paul Moreno, while we will be re-starting the special focus features on music makers that have influenced our lives both past & present, so having covered Steve Pitron, Leomeo & Danny Verde already, we will be moving onto Javier Medina, Brent Nicholls, & The Oli during March, with many more to follow in the coming months.
But our music coverage reconstruction story doesn’t stop there as it is the podcasts & the tracks that will also be at the forefront of our attention, we both catching up on the months we have missed as well as restoring some sense of stability to our newsletters. So, in order to achieve this & maintain our coverage, we have decided that, throughout the remainder of 2012, we will be running two distinct music newsletter series’ in a sequence of volumes, the first entitled “Premier & Protégé Player Productions” and devoted to those handful of music makers both in London & internationally that have attained this privileged position within our extensive player & production list, while the second series, simply called “Allsorts In The Mix”, will cover the rest, planned subject matter’s in forthcoming weeks including Potential Protégé’s, Lofty Londoner’s, Exemplary European’s & Superb Spaniard’s, the aim being to encompass a list of scene stars & indelible music making influences that, both at home & abroad, extend well into treble figures.
Add to that the return of our music features devoted to specific events, such as Delice Dream, Gay Pride & Circuit Festival, along with particular parties, club brands & production houses and it is clear we have our work cut out. However, with music having been the answer to the rollercoaster rides we have found ourselves on of late, we feel it is high time we paid our dues to those protagonists that have helped us through these tough times and in so doing, paying homage to a medium that means the world to us and without it, would mean a very different world indeed. (DISCO MATT)
We have covered our track chart, published our podcast picks, so it just remains for us to share our sets of the year in this, the third part of our music review of 2011. So the wait is over as we countdown, from ten to one, our most prolific players & their scintillating sets, revealing who tipped our musical scales the most.
While there is no doubt that 2011 had its huge highs & large lows, very much reflective of the rollercoaster ride references that were so much a part of our journey from January to December, music continuing to be central to or existence, whether it be the terrific tunes or the captivating compilations that filled our ears throughout the year. However, if it wasn’t for the prolific players across the capital’s clubbing circuit, or indeed those inspirational international spinning stars that entertained us during our expeditions across Europe, what we have termed, musically wise at least, as being our “Best Year Yet”, could not have been complete without the scores of superb sets we were so privileged to be part of in 2011. But while we would love to capture each & every entertainer in our lengthy list of dynamic D.J.’s that sparked us to spin on our spot, whether in London & Antwerp, Barcelona & Brussels or Paris & Rome, we had to slice our set selections down to just ten, devoting five to stars here in the capital & five to those based abroad. So, by giving you a flavour of their storming sets through extracts from reviews of the time, we will hopefully demonstrate why these terrific ten made it into our Y.E. chart, but by also pointing you to their Soundcloud sites, Podcast pages or Website windows, so you too will be able to melt into magical music that amassed in our bountiful memory banks..
So let’s get to it and to our tremendous tenth first, a Parisian player whom we got to meet properly for the first time back in February when we paid a visit to the French capital, although his work had not gone unnoticed before, his inclusion in the massive LGDF dance festival here in the capital a year earlier got our focus. However, we counted ourselves honoured to meet Ben Manson while shopping with our Parisian pal Leomeo in Le Marais, which prompted a visit to the superb Spyce Bar in this delightful district and it was here where we witnessed the brilliant Ben in action, his lofty position above the impressive & striking LED wall & displays adding to the amazing atmosphere he was creating that night. Treating us to a truck load of towering tunes, we included the following in our review of his prolific performance, “…soaking up the brilliant Ben beats and a better set we couldn’t have wanted for, Mr Manson delightfully blending tech tracks, with tribal beats, infusing these with euro style sounds & uplifting vocals, then taking us back again on this magical musical journey he was carrying us away on. Indeed, a better set we couldn’t have wished for, especially when he selected the heavenly “Hide You” by Sami Kivera, then having dived back into a trio of tech tunes, lifted the already amazing atmosphere with another vocal dream, this time “Show Me Your Love”, the crowd reacting accordingly and showing their appreciation with dextrous dance moves coupled with whoops & cheers, we ourselves succumbing to these scintillating sounds, spinning on our spot as though we were cavorting in a club….”. So, it is no surprise that Mr Manson simply had to make it into our top ten with his Spyce set. But, with superb showings for Salvation, SuperMartXe, Scream, as well as La Demence & Beyond (to name just a few), there were plenty of other reasons why Ben won us over, while you can you can too be won over by the man’s musical magnificence when picking on any of the 20 or so podcasts on his page(s) at http://benmanson.podomatic.com/.
With nine out of ten of our set selections so close to call, nominating our noteworthy ninth was a tricky task, but someone had to make it and so it goes to Brent Nicholls who didn’t feature in our year anywhere near as much as in 2010, although that said, on the few occasions he did, he never failed to score significantly with his superb set showings. With Hard On!, Rupert St & Profile/Lo-Profile considerations, Industri was nowhere near the tour de force it had been, a switch to Soho reducing our weekly institutional visits to just a few occasions while trips abroad were other reasons for not appearing as often as we would have liked. But like Industri, Brent’s other playing ground in our clubbing cavorting, Lovechild, pretty much split our year down the middle, the first half much more a feature of our frolicking, Mr Nicholls pretty much the master of the “love lounge” where we land on his most magical memory making masterpiece from January & Lovechild’s “Snowball” event, our reflection of Brent’s showing including “…it was time for us to find safety & solstice in the lounge space, where Mr Nicholls was firing up what would turn out to be our performance of the night…” along with “…Brent was definitely hitting our musical sweet spot, with one favourite track after the next, “Release Me”, Now Or Never”, “Trapped” & even “Stereo Love” all getting airplay, the latter sending us into an emotional state & floating our thoughts across the miles to a Lovechild inspired experience far away…”, he set showing here, like too many we could mention, delivering delightfully, Mr Nicholls’ distinctive nu-funk style never failing to hook, line & sink us into s pinning frenzy. And, there is plenty of that so called “nu-funk” style of his in his plethora of podcast releases in 2011 alone, so if you haven’t sampled a live set, then the next best thing is to go straight to http://djbrennicholls.com & choose any one of the twenty or so releases from the year.
To our enthralling eighth now and we stick to London and a fellow scene star that has been cutting a significant stride for many a year, our first memories of Jamie Head stretching back to those halcyon days of Crash, the club that started the whole Vauxhall clubbing movement around the turn of the century. However, Jamie has remained a feature of the capitals clubbing circuit since, regular appearances at Beyond, Profile/Lo-Profile, A:M, & Later scoring highly in his schedule, while we look back just a couple of months to WE’s 1st Anniversary, when he set us off on our “Disco” dancing dervishes delightfully. Then there was his set at WE “Attacks” at the beginning of the year which also spurned a rare podcast, leaving us with plenty of choices for his inclusion, this along with a handful of Terrace Room treats at Beyond being edged out by his prolific performance when Later took to the high seas of London, well the Thames actually, Jamie nailing a superb set during this aquatic audacity. And having remarked in our review that “…with many still packing the outside deck, we laid our hat inside and for good reason as Jamie Head was now in charge of the tunes, serving up a set to savour, a whole host of classic hits remixed & rehashed hitting the mark with many, we finding a spot to spin not far from the makeshift D.J. booth, our dancing dervishes increasing with every track he picked, the dancefloor erupting when the truly brilliant “Enjoy The Ride” played out & seemed so appropriate for the terrific time we were having, this ride on the waves in the hands of Mr. Head a huge highlight…”. And it seems that, despite all his other amazing London appearances, Later seems to bring out the best in him, next Sunday (28th Jan) a definite date in to put in your diaries, as Mr Head hits the Later decks for an exclusive back-to-back set with Mikey D, while if you haven’t sampled a Jamie set, then you can do a lot worse than checking out his “Tech Head” compilation (which is pretty close to his Later showings) at http://soundcloud.com/jamie-head/tech-head, while his “WE Attacks” podcast remains one of our firm favourites & his still available to download at http://jamiehead2.podomatic.com/.
Onward to our superb seventh and we switch back to an international globetrotting star, the Belgian born but Barcelona based Steven Redant, who impressed us on more than one occasion during 2011, although is a D.J./Producer we have been tracking for much longer, Steven having hit our radar when he landed on London to guest for Matinee when it moved to Cable in London Bridge, Mr Redant also a feature of the massive London Global Dance Festival a couple of years ago. But global is very much a word that sums up Steven’s activity, hardly a weekend passing by when he isn’t jetting to some corner of the globe, he being noted for saying on many an occasion of his travels, “…it’s relaxing after a week in the studio…” Mr Redant also noted for his production work, recording’s with fellow Barca based boy Lenz Garcia & his major playing partner in crime, Phil Romano, a whole string of sounds coming out of this threesome stable. However, we found ourselves incredibly fortunate to witness a simply spectacular set of Steven’s at La Demence back in February 2011, a trip to this long running & popular club part of our mini hop between Paris, Brussels, Antwerp & Amsterdam, our arrival at Fuse & a spot by the D.J. booth made all the better by the warm welcome & hospitality we received from Mr Redant. But it was his magnificent music that truly won over our mind body & soul that night, our review, “Brilliant Brussels Beats” remarking of Steven’s performance, “…And with Mr Redant truly radiant & on fabulous form, delivering an equally dreamy set of dance, house, tech & uplifting tunes, we were sent into seventh heaven with a succession of scintillating sounds, hard edged hits intermixed with uplifting vocal smashes that was leaving us wanting more & more, not least when the awesome “Till We See The Sun” was rolled out, Steven’s prolific performance seemingly going from strength to strength., we now doing the Disco Matt just like we were at Beyond…” we concluding “…Steven Redant pretty much stole the show with a scintillating set that had us spinning on out spot for the duration…”, hence why it & he simply had to make it into our Y.E. set chart. And the great news is that if you weren’t there, fear not, as Steven produced a podcast to mark the occasion and one you can still download by hitting on the direct link at his podcast page, http://stevenredant.podomatic.com/entry/2011-02-10T04_51_37-08_00.
Now as we move to our spectacular sixth, it’s getting tighter & tighter and virtually to close to call between the next two, both who floated our boat while away in Barcelona in April for Delice Dream, although Carlos Gallardo had treated us to some superb sets at WE Party in London during 2011 too, “Attacks” & “Candy” two huge highlights, we being privileged to get an on-stage intro at the NYD party last year, while we simply had to mention our mini “Doing The Disco Matt” moment with Mr Gallardo at this NYD’s “Safari” event, we once again finding ourselves in the privileged position by Steve Pitron’s side on stage when Carlos arrived to take over with another superb set showing. But all that is for our review still to come, while here we are taking you back to April 2011 and when Carlos represented WE at Delice Dream, the following extracts from our review of the whole festival, focussing on Carlos’s exemplary efforts, we first remarking “…And to then add to this now audacious action, incumbent D.J. Carlos Gallardo began to steal the Delice Dream show, taking the initiative…” neatly followed by “…with the atmosphere now amazing, in the hands of Carlos, the party hit top gear terrifically, track after track wowing the captivating clubbers & seeing us go into “Doing The Disco Matt” overdrive, even the drop dead gorgeous Delice cover boy Mourad dancing in very close quarters, sending our senses skyward, while the night was Mr Gallardo’s who gave the performance of the festival so far, the whole WE party under his steership attacking the minds bodies & souls from start to finish of his simply scintillating set…”. Yet, while we can’t share the sounds of this scintillating set with you, a flavour of the man’s magnificent music is available from a rare podcast pressing that Carlos made in advance of WE’s “Candy” event in London at the end of May, so one very much a must for your collection by going to http://wepartylondon.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-16T06_26_59-07_00, this on top of a year when Mr Gallardo teamed up with prolific P.A. Peyton at a whole host of WE parties, including at Delice Dream, the product of the partnership a superb single, “Let It Go”, a terrific tune full of vivacious vocals & brilliant beats that showcases Mr Gallardo’s studio talents so one well worth picking out via Carlos’s Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/coar/peyton-carlos-gallardo-let-it.
Onward to our fabulous fifth and our fourth international D.J./Producer to pack it in our top set “The Sets” chart, a man from Milan, Danny Verde, who’s 2011 has been, like our musically wise, his best year yet, tours of The USA, Mexico, & Brazil major features, while he has touched virtually every country in Europe during 2011, not least two showings in the U.K., first in Brighton back in January for club “Kinky Dangerous”, a weekend we were privileged to spend in his company, then just two months later in March, he was right here in London, playing for “The Black Party”, joining at the Beyond which immediately followed and making for a morning packed with magical memories. However, it was our turn to hit his turf a little later in the year, May in fact, when we made the trip across to Rome and to the magnificent Muccassassina. And seeing Danny playing in his own back yard (well almost) was an experience we will savour for a long time to come, the whole 24 hour expedition ranking among a handful of heavenly highlights of our year, although it was one of just a few exceptional events that we missed capturing in a full-on review, or even one of the bite size variety, rather a simple preview the review rapture which summed up Danny’s substantial showing at Mucca in May their “Raffaella event, when we simply said of or Milano Man’s showing, “…we lapped up every tiny morsel of the impressive & uplifting scorcher of a set from Mr Verde, who wowed us from start to finish of his superb stint, a performance packed with favourite anthems among newer tracks, treating us tremendously…”. However, with this proving one outstanding outing among a trio of Danny set showing 2011 treats, Delice Dream the when we declared of his performance on behalf of Mucca in Barca “…and we were not be to disappointed in any respect, the right royal send off we had been hoping for very much delivered from the off, resident D.J. back in Rome, Danny Verde, kicking off the night at Zillion in scintillating style, gloriously gathering an ever increasing crowd with a solid string of superb sounds, some Verde classics, others new tough tech & progressive beats that won him even more fans than he already had…”, it is no surprise that he has been included in our terrific ten, that on top of track remix productions a-plenty including Ellie Goulding’s “Starry Eyed” & Lady Gaga’s “You & I”, both ranking highly in our Y.E. chart, a glance at his Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/holabstudio giving you indication of why this man’s studio reputation is of the magnitude it is.
Now we find ourselves at our fantastic fourth and another international D.J./producer who rocked our 2011, he like the two before him, a feature of our fantastic five days out in Barcelona in April and a time when we got an opportunity to really get to know about the enigmatic Belgian & his work. However, it would be his home country where we would draw his set showing and one that sees him top our chart as best international D.J., despite the overall fourth position, this accolade as our best overseas entrant down to a simply scintillating set at Antwerp’s Red & Blue club back in February, when the club played host to Spanish brand “I Wanna F***”, although rather than its own resident shining the brightest, it was our Belgian beatmaster that would stand in the shimmering spotlight with a pulsating performance. So, letting our review of the event do the talking, this is what we had to say of his stellar set, “…a quick glance up confirming we were in the majestic musical hands of resident D.J. Elof De Neve, the man pumping out a superb selection of euro-style beats, uplifting vocal sounds and tech house drenches that had the dancefloor delirious with his selections…” further references including “…, the terrific talent Elof treating us to a storming selection of scintillating sounds, barnstorming beats & vocal infused euphoria that would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame. Indeed, the roof short of lifted off Red & Blue when he picked out one of our favourite tracks of now, Danny Verde’s vivacious remix of Blake Lewis’s smash “Till We See The Sun”, sending us into a spinning frenzy and the atmosphere in this “I Wanna F***” inspired event, stratospheric…” and “…in Elof De Neve, the Red & Blue team have a terrific talent of a resident D.J. and his performance on this occasion once again impressed immensely, definitely further elevating him in our estimation and, as we hinted before, someone who would put many a Matinee D.J. to shame, especially with the truly tremendous set we had the privilege of witnessing…”. So, that pretty much say’s it all for us, we rating Elof as our international equivalent of Steve Pitron, a truly towering talent that should & is going places, 2012 looking even brighter than 2011, while a visit to his Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/elofdeneve/ will allow you to engross in Elof’s excellence.
So we reach our top three and look to London for all of them, two no strangers to our Y.E. music reviews, while our thumping third is a newish kid on the capital’s clubbing circuit block, although one that made the biggest impression on us in 2011, hence his lofty postion in this chart. Plus, being one of our protégé players, Zach Burns’ inclusion having already been confirmed as our best newcomer of the year, ranking very highly in our podcast part of this music review of the year had to make it into our set chart too, although it was well earned as his set at Gigolo’s launch back in May and then a close on pitch perfect performance in December have secured his third overall position here. However, splitting these two sets was too tough a call, so we decided to include them both, our reflection on Gigolo’s launch having very much a Zach theme, the title, “Brilliant Burns Beats” shouting out enough, while our remarks that included “…our attention was now drawn to the music and the cute yet capable Zach Burns, who was treating the classy crowd to tons of terrific tunes, a magical mixture of old classics re-made, intertwined with up to date floor fillers, the pace & pitch of his performance perfect for this superb Soho society social soiree that was definitely soaring by the minute…” as well as “…we were soon in seventh heaven when Zach pulled out our favourite tune of now, the awesome “Stupiddisco 2011 Original Mix” by King Richard & Danny Thomas, we finding our favoured spot by the D.J. booth to invoke a mini “Doing The Disco Matt” routine…”. But we were even more lyrical of his December delight in saying “…it would all pale in comparison to its & our star turn, the cute yet commandingly capable Zach Burns, his arrival & the assumption of the decks the real lift we had been looking for, this terrific talent who had impressed us from the moment we first saw him play, immediately setting about sorting a selection of sounds that would hook us for the whole heavenly two hours of his spectacular showing….” we adding “…with tracks that included “Music In My Soul”, “Last Night A DJ”, & “Here Comes The Rain”, these along with a magical multi mixing moment when Zach chose to combine “Stupdidsco” & “Don’t Go” with mesmeric effect, we were going nowhere, rather glued but spinning on our spot right next to the D.J. booth…” as well as “…with yet more treats in store, Danny Verde’s track “Open Your Heart among them, it was no surprise we were drawing comparisons of the brilliant Mr Burns to our other top draw D.J. Steve Pitron, the duo having played out pulsatingly just a handful of weeks ago at “Playtime”, even the occasional looks Zach was giving us over The Shadow Lounge decks akin to those we get from our other superstar turn…”. And, in essence, there is not much more to add, these two sets with the only exceptions of another two ahead of them, the most stand-out of our 2011, Mr Burns having laid down a podcast pressing lifted from that “launch” party at Lo-Profile which you can still grab by going to direct download link http://djburns.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-11T12_00_38-07_00, this coincidentally being the compilation that made it into our podcast chart.
So we come to our spectacular second and, as we hinted, an individual how is no stranger to our year end round-up’s, although 2011 was a year when Mikey D’s impact on our music world was not as extensive as previous years, as like football, it was a year of two halves, the first six months seeing him play out plenty of times at Beyond & at Later to exceptional effect, while the latter six saw just the odd appearance here & there, like so many people, Mikey having to devote his energies more & more to his daytime occupation. However, they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and it is perhaps this thought that secured his second place, Mikey’s set & reappearance at Beyond in December making an indelible impression, we remarking in our review “…back being an appropriate word as we couldn’t have been happier to see Mikey D at the decks, our short absence nothing compared to his, although in an instant it felt like he hadn’t been away at all…”. Indeed, such has Mikey become part & parcel of what is so brilliant about Beyond, his return definitely stood out head & shoulders above the other entrants in our set chart so far, we going on to say of this pulsating performance, “a glorious mix of tougher tech tunes intermixed with dancefloor delights, “You Better”, “Souk” & “Pressure” among them, while a look in our direction & then a quick chat over the booth confirming that we were nibble size tweeting, made both of us feel right at home…” along with “…Mikey masterminding mounds of majestic music moments, we knew that Beyond in his hands was once again the place to be…”. But the true depth of this stunning set was just how Mikey managed to lift the atmosphere through his spectacular selections and, like only one other, held us spinning on our spot literally from start to finish. So while we look forward to just next Sunday (28th Jan) when Mikey will be playing back to back with his old Crash sparring partner, Jamie Head, we look back on this set showing at beyond with fond reflection & marvellous memories, which, like the man has done for many a year now, fill us with joy & happiness through his magnificent music making, while his rare 2011 appearances are matched by that rare podcast production, “Heavy Baby” from June & still available at http://soundcloud.com/mikedower/heavy-baby, an exceedingly good example of his music diversity.
So to our phenomenal first, 2011 absolutely littered with prolific performances from one Steve Pitron, magical memory making moments at Beyond, Room Service & Lo-Profile a major feature of our year, while London gay Pride was a day we will never forget, Steve being an intrinsic part of the rollercoaster ride that made up our year of heavenly highs & lousy lows, although his music, perhaps like the place where he was always his most magnificent along with he himself, three of the compelling constants that made 2011, as we have indicated in this massive music review, our “Best Year Yet”. Therefore choosing a set showing of his to make our number one was an extremely difficult task, it could easily have been the porridge ridden Room Service showing in July, it could have been the superb send-off he gave us at Beyond Erotica in February, just hours before we flew home to South Africa, or the Beyond that welcomed us back to London in March, first “Muscle” when we & then “Black” leaving us to remark that “…as much as we were missing South Africa, we knew that right here right now, we were at home, Beyond in the hands of the (we love to say it!) pitch & precision perfect Pitron simply “doesn’t get any better than this”…” But while occasional invites up into the Beyond main room D.J. booth made these & many more very special, after much deliberating, we decided that it was his set showing at Orange Electric in November that would get our vote, it marking our return after a six week break, our absence through October having backed into his in September, meaning it had so much poignancy, highlight comments from our “Emotionally Engrossing Euphoria” review including “…another dynamic delivery of dance delectations he delighted us and a now near capacity Electric crowd to, a magnificent mixture of classics, classics rehashed & up to date hits, cleverly interwoven into a scintillating string of sounds, one track after next sending us into a spin behind the stage…” along with “…the track choices Steve was making, first “Last Night A D.J. Saved My Life” (Mr Pitron was definitely doing this tonight!)…” as well as “…balanced by more up to date tracks too, crowd pleasers for sure, “Live Your Dreams” one of them and “Pressure” another, both which, as they always do, sent us headlong into that tearful & emotional rollercoaster ride, while our vantage point right behind Steve was the best we could have asked for…” much more on this a read away at http://discomatt.com/web/2011/12/reviews-emotionally-engrossing-euphoria-orange-electric-saturday-26th-november-full-size-review/. But, while we cannot share a podcast pressing that comes close to this scintillating set, what Steve has produced in his “Jan 2012 Session” compilation is equally as emotionally engrossing as the euphoria he created back in November, so an absolute must for your collection by going to direct link http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/entry/2012-01-18T00_07_36-08_00.
Well, that rounds off the most comprehensive music review of ours to date, a three part epic that covered “The Tracks”, “The Podcasts” & “The Sets” that made 2011, musically, our best year yet and with 2012 starting off in a similar vein with that phenomenal podcast we have just mentioned, it’s now time to look forward to a year full of tremendous tracks, captivating compilations, but more than that, stunning sets that are the core of this rapturous part of our review. (DISCO MATT)