Tuesday 29 December 2009

Dear Community...

I have a request. I've been listening to (and watching) a lot of Pogo music lately. Needless to say, I find him interesting. So...
I want to interview him. Bad.
If you guys can help me get a hold of him, in any way, please do. For the benefit of the site, and my own pleasure, help me out! An email address, referral, website, anything. And if someone has communicated with him before, better yet - drop him a link to the blog and I'm sure he'd love to contribute.

Let's Give It Up For...

What's good everyone. Now that the holidays are through, and most of you have settled down, allow me to introduce our shiny new writers.

To those who didn't make the cut, don't be so hard on yourselves. At the final count, I received 65 applications - and yes I read every single one. Believe me I saw some serious experience (as well as a lack of it), but my strict criteria was only met by half a dozen or so. After which, I went by personality.


Phil - 24 - South Africa Phil is a BAMF (because he's from South Africa) who has experience not only in the technical field (doing geek stuff like yours truly), but also in the music product field. He's a club night organizer and has set up many of South Africa's most influential parties. Why'd I choose him? He's from South Africa, knows his stuff, and writers well. So I'm totally looking forward to seeing what he's got in store. Drop him a line on twitter (@breakbones) or via email.

Chris (Wulf) - 16 - NJ, USA Wulf is a producer whose tracks we've posted here before. Not only is his own music good, but his French House collection makes mine look like the dance section at Sam Goody. Wulf writes a lot, and has a great taste in house music. If you want to catch him, shoot him an email.

So that's all, they'll be posting their asses off soon enough ;)

[Edit by Boba at 9:01 PM PST]

Thursday 17 December 2009

Album Review: Junior Boys- So This is Goodbye

You're probably wondering: who the HELL are Junior Boys? To be honest, I dont know much about them myself but I can tell you one thing: They can make pretty good songs. They have that kind of fell to them that is very reminiscent of DJ Hell, with a smooth pop-esque voice that just makes it sound even more amazing. I would label it as smooth electropop. As this is my first album review, I want to just get to the point and describe the songs and rate them.

First off we have Double Shadow:
At first I assumed it was bad due to a bland intro, but then it just releases into a very smooth and sexy track with nice vocals and cool drum beats. I would give it a ten if the intro wasnt so blah, but its nonetheless amazing so it gets a 8.5/10.

Next on the list is The Equalizer:

Its more popish than anything else, but it has some great electro riffs. I rather like the track to be honest. The only downside is that its too poppy sometimes. Regardless, I give it a 8/10.

First Time:
This is the most dissappointing song of the track. The vocals dont work, and the beats are ish at best. Very odd track really. 5/10.

Count Souvenirs:
Very Cool track indeed. The beats are very good with a great vocal piece to work with it. Its sounds very tronish in some parts. (When i mean tron, i mean the 80s movie) I give it a 9.0/10.

In the Morning:
This is probably the heaviest track on here. At the same time, it is also my Favorite Track on here. The beats are very catchy and it gives such a wide atmospheric feel to it. I would give it a 1 million but I cant so 10/10.

So This is Goodbye:
As the main track labeled on the CD, i would've expected something great from it. And i was right: it didn't fail to disappoint me at all. The whole thing sounds stellar. SO much so, i sometimes wonder if i am actually tripping out. This is the most electro (in my opinion) of all the tracks. It has flare. It has Style. Its Out of this world. 10/10

Like a Child:
Sounds very similar to In the morning with a DJ Hell-esque feel to it. There are lots of noticeable differences i dont have time to mention, but it has the same feel. I dont like it as much as In the Morning though.8/10

Caught in a Wave:
Reminds me a lot of the Basic Slack Mix of The Legacy theme, just not as electro or flangy. I think its cool, but the vocals are unnecessary in this track.I give it a 7.5/10

When No One Cares:
Quite possibly the slowest song on here. Not very electro or poppy. Just a lot of piano and instrumental fading. 6/10

Meh. Thats all i have to say really. It has a decent beat, but its just too slow and the voice makes it too dull. 7/10

Pros: Its very smooth and has sweet beats in it that makes you relax and hypnotized.

Cons: Its NOT a headbanger album, so it is a disappointment for people who are justice and Boys Noize fanatics. Some of the songs are a dull and can lead to boredom.

Overall score: 8/10

Now for my picks:

Happy Holidays Everyone,

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Twitterview with Lee Dunn (Ghosts of Venice/Youth Attack!)

Today I had the pleasure of having a chat with Leeds-based musician Lee Dunn over Twitter. Over the last couple of years he's been making a name for himself as one half of cut-up electro group Youth Attack!, but more recently he's started a new solo project, Ghosts Of Venice, which focuses on disco and house. He's already reworked Club Cavalry, Feadz and Shakira under his new moniker, and has his debut solo effort "I Learned From The Best" coming out later this month for FREE download! Here's what we nattered on about...

Hello GoV. If you had to describe your sound in three words, what would they be?
Probably "Party Filter House", I think that best describes it.

What do you think was the moment you decided "that's it, I wanna make music"?
There wasn't really a defining moment, I've been in bands/DJing for many years on and off. It kind of just happened. One day Chris [Petty, the other half of Youth Attack!] and I just decided to make a track together, and everything naturally progressed from there. The Ghosts Of Venice stuff came after my holiday in Ibiza with Jaymo and Grum, which made me fall in love with House music all over again.

With your new Ghosts of Venice material, which artist (if any) have you tried to emulate?
I wanted to do something that went back to the Crydamoure and Roulé era. The Ghost of Bangalter haha. It kind of evolved from that really.

What was the first track you ever made, under any band or alias?
I recorded an album with my first band, it was terrible. I think we sold about 100 copies of the CD, most of them were probably to our Mums.

Haha sounds fun. So, let's talk about your club night Kill The Rhythm. Who's been your favourite guest?
I think my favourite guest was In Flagranti, he's such a nice dude. But loads of our friends played the night, Hostage, Joe And Will Ask?, etc. So they're always good ones. We've stopped doing it now. But we've got a few dates planned in other cities in the new year.

Didn't know you'd stopped doing the night. That pretty much renders my next question useless haha.
Haha. We didnt make a big deal of it, it just had to happen. We had big names every week. I just had to take a step back and concentrate on making music. We're starting the Kill The Rhythm label in the new year too. I couldnt do everything! haha.

What's been on your stereo recently then?
The new Ocelot album, Those dudes are gonna blow up. I'm currently remixing the first single off the album due out new year. I've been listening to Le Principle, Paul Johnson, Strip Steve. The XX album has been on heavy rotation for me as well. My favourite band of 2009.

Time for a good old hypothetical: If you could pick one song to erase from history, what would it be?
Boomtown Rats 'I Dont Like Mondays'. Fair enough Bob Geldof did a lot for charity, but the guy is an idiot. He's been milking that song for about 20 years now!

Geldof's a cunt. So what does the new year hold for Ghosts of Venice, Youth Attack! and the rest of your crew? Any top secret dancefloor weapons in the works?
Well well, got some big things planned. I'm hoping to head over to Chicago in a few months to work with Le Principle on a GoV track, some big remixes coming out soon too. There's an EP in the works, and a Youth Attack! Album I'm starting on. We're launching the Kill The Rhythm record label which I mentioned before, some really good stuff coming out on it too. There's also a few other big collaborations hopefully!

Finally, Coke or Pepsi?
Coke all the way!

True dat. Thanks a lot for talking to us :)
Pleasure's all mine :)

Such a nice lad. We've been loving his remixes of Feadz and Heads We Dance on the blog, and the other day he sent us this nice little Christmas present. Enjoy :)

Janet Jackson - Make Me (Ghosts of Venice Edit)

Keep it funky,

Friday 11 December 2009

Quick Review: Basement Jaxx "Zephyr"

Oh, come on Basement Jaxx, you're spoiling us now. A mere three months after Scars dropped, Felix and Simon have unleashed ANOTHER new album, Zephyr. But how does it stand against its predecessor? I'll get to that, but first, a bit of background info...

Made during the studio sessions for Scars, the original plan was to release a double album: one disc of the lads' new direction of "soundscape" ambience, and another of the signature quirky house we've come to expect from Basement Jaxx. Felix and Simon later decided to release the latter as a standalone album (Scars) and release the "soundscape" material (Zephyr) at a later date.

So is it any good? Well, in short, yes. While we got a taster of Jaxx's new direction with Scars, it's on Zephyr that it really shines through. While the Jaxx's usual carnival of wonky guitar riffs, mashed up samples and demented synthwork are all present here, they are transformed from sure-fire house megahits into ethereal nuggets of freeform chillout. The term they love to use to describe it so much, "soundscape", is apt. Putting on one of the few vocal cuts "Where R We Now" or the fantastic jazzy ambience of closing tune "Ascension" and closing your eyes immediately conjures mental images of vast desert wastelands or lush forests teaming with life (I personally get visions of elephants in Native American headdresses having picnics with dinosaurs on a giant trampoline made of marshmallows in a reconstruction of the grand canyon, but it probably varies from person to person).

Normally I wouldn't be able to listen to an entire album of this kind of stuff without getting bored, but at only 33 minutes in length the album is finished before I do. With only ten tracks here, however, and taking into account that three of them are under two minutes in length, this could have actually used a few more tracks to flesh it out a little. Short albums are always a double edged sword. The good news is, if you don't like what you're hearing, it's not long until the next brainwave. The bad news is, if you do like what you're hearing, it's not long until it's over.

But enough of that, what do I think of it overall? Well, while it's not quite up to the standard that Scars set for it, Zephyr is still a decent listen and is worth a few listens if you're in the mood.

I give "Zephyr" by Basement Jaxx 3.75/5

Now here are my picks from the record :)


Keep it funky,

Monday 7 December 2009

Interview with a Phantom

I've loved The Phantom's Revenge forever - to the point where he is now basically a rock star in my eyes. His music is great, he's French, and if you Google him, you'll find a roller-coaster by the same name below his myspace.

Tell us about yourself, what was your life like before you started churning out massive tunes?

I was finishing a master degree of Marketing, I looked for jobs for a little while, worked in bank for a few months until my brain exploded, and I said to myself, what the fuck am I doing ?? let's make music !!

First record/CD bought?

I think that was probably a crappy dance single of the 90's, but the first vinyl I actually bought as a music lover was the first Daft Punk album.

What was the first track you ever created, under any alias?

It was a track i made on Music 2000 on Playstation, the game allowed you to take samples from a cd, the first track was about a Kool & the Gang sample, unfortunately the memory card was not big enough to record the track so I just recorded on tape and I lost the tape. I would give a lot to find that tape haha.

If you could describe your music in 3 words or less, what would you say?

Random Disco House.

We love your tracks, but do you have any new stuff on the way? Maybe some collaborations?

Yeah a lot on new stuffs, recently i took time to improve the quality of my work and soon you will listen to new stuffs. There will be an EP on January including my track When Mr Hyde Killed Dr Jekyll + remixes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6bJ8g2KqvU) and the disco will be back really soon on another EP ;)

What is your main goal when making music?

Having fun.

What do you use to make music?

So I use Fruity Loops, and here's a thing I wanted to do but never took the time, it's a kind of free EP with some of my tracks that were almost never published anywhere, it's all 320.

what an ass, i almost forgot the link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=ES7UGS5X

Do you have a favorite VST plugin on FL Studio?

My favourite is the classic filter, and i think it's obvious that I alsolove to use the dblue glitch VST.

Who is/are your inspiration/s?

A LOT of people inspire me, if i had to choose 3 of them, I'd say: Paul Johnson, Breakbot and Quentin Tarentino.

What songs have you been listening to a lot lately?

Lately i've been listening a lot to the last Phoenix album.

Favorite album? track?

My favorite album is definitely and by far the Justice album, and my favourite track, well let's say "Reckoner" by Radiohead.

From banker to music mastermind? Who cares, The Phantom's Revenge remains at the top of the myspace DJ pile with his glitchy random-ness and oh-so-funky sampling. We salute you, TPR.


Sunday 6 December 2009

This is so amazing

Thanks to The Silver Disco, I just obtained to french tracks from the 70's (YES. 70s) that sound 20 years ahead of its time. The band name is Space and these guys just blow my mind. Hopefully they will do the same to you too :)

Wait till the bass kicks in and it gets so much better (especially deliverance)

Enjoy these Epic French Choons from the 70s


Saturday 5 December 2009

Prez Reviews DJ HERO: I

Theme of this article: Appearances.

Running slow? Click here to replace images with a text link.

I'd greatly appreciate comments, especially if you have experience with this game.

I was super excited to try out DJ Hero for myself. I had seen videos of it, but I was curious as to how the game "felt" in my hands. Would the scratching feel legit? Were the mechanics well-planned? Could I expect another great music game from Activision?

Before I begin the review, let's plot out my expectations. Harsh, but I need to be legit here. Please note that this is before I even SAW the game in person.

1- This game will be too easy.
2- This game will be a popped out version of turntablism, and will make it look easy
3- The controller is going to feel cheap.
4- The music is going to be great. (daft punk <3)

And boy do I mean big, the package (which by the way was addressed to Jordan Scales of ilictronix.com - so professional) weighed a good 20 lbs and was almost as tall as I. Needless to say, I was stunned.

Alright, so now let's take a closer look at this box. I was excited, because I had no idea I was getting the Renegade Edition. It was shiny, clean, and had a good color scheme. Bravo Activision. Don't hate on me for complimenting this, readers, I am all about looks.

Here's a view of the front

...And the back

Okay, let's move on and unbox this badboy. DJ Hero: Renegade Edition, also comes with a gorgeous case that holds the turntable controller (with some padding, DJ Hero game, as well as some legs to screw into the case - I'll explain more later.

This case is NICE. It's sturdy, well built, and can totally withstand some bumps. It has a retractable handle, and some buckles on the side to keep the top down. The "bottom" also contains rubber feet, which is nice if you don't want to scratch this bad boy when you put it on the ground. It has a metal-finished side, and acts as a gorgeous carrying case for the whole set.

Also to note, this thing is pretty damn portable as a whole. I recently brought the whole pack on my long car ride and it comfortably sat on my lap without disturbing my brother next to me.

Opening it, I was a bit shocked at the layout. The padding is very nice and keeps the turntable controller nice and shiny as it is. With the top off like this, I can throw this whole bundle right on my lap comfortably and play the game. The controller itself is also nicely finished.

The Renegade Edition controller has a metal finished crossfader and effects knob

The buttons are smooth, easy to press, yet tactile and sturdy

A spot for the Wiimote to sit (which closes)

And here are the other contents of the case

Beneath the case sits 4 aluminum rods which telescope out (and these things can be LONG) and attach to the case.

A view of the screwholes
The finished stand, in less than 2 minutes
With the controller
It is also noteworthy how the Renegade Edition includes an exclusive Eminem and Jay-Z CD - the music's great if you like those two artists, and the CD design is also just wonderful.

So where are we at now? To clearly list some things...

- The packaging is just incredible.
- The turntable is beyond gorgeous, especially for the Renegade Edition. While the normal edition turntable is similar, to me, the RE controller felt stabler, and had more responsive buttons. Also, a nice metal finish.
- Fingerprints can get annoying, but I think that about anything shiny.
- The case is very well designed, and setting up the entire kit is a breeze.
- All in all, the whole thing looks legit.

Final words?
- It's pretty
- This peripheral seems MUCH nicer than those of other music games
- The setup is very pleasing to the eyes
- I recommend going with the Renegade Edition so far

What still needs to be discussed.
- Gameplay
- Music
- Price
- Overall experience

So far...
This game has greatly exceeded my semi-low expectations (sorry!). For the looks, among other things, this game gets a solid A, for now. Looks aren't everything, but they play a huge role in games such as this.

Phew, that was pretty long, and I haven't even played the game for you guys yet! Next installment I will discuss the gameplay, including DJ Hero's acclaimed music selection. Stay tuned, it's about to get good.