Here at the Truants Mansion we love the idea of soundtracking this most beautiful day for all you Yung Khaleds. Whether you’re spending the time crying or grinding, we got the tracks to see you through.
<3 <3 Please dial 7-7-3-TRUANTS <3 <3
Spread the love with whomever and wherever you like today. Saint Valentine’s would want us all to get a bit wild. Whether you are out on a romantic date, home alone, or just hanging out with a couple of close friends, Traunts is here to make sure you turn this Hallmark holiday into a night to remember by listening to some seductive jams. Piu Piu, the French/Uruguayan DJ and songwriter put together a mix that is the meant to accompany late night love affairs. Featuring tracks from the divine darlings of r&b and hip-hop such as Jhne Aiko and KP & Envi, Girls Like Quickes Too is a short mix of sugarcoated hazy rhythms that will have you moving your body in ways you didn’t even think were possible.
Rather than sticking to a strict get-down / feel-down vibe, last weekend on her NTS show Throwing Shade aimed to take the listener through the full range of emotions that might pertain to Valentine’s. Nabihah Iqbal’s jazz and world picks are always on point on a Saturday afternoon, using them here to mix between themes of marriage and divorce, sex, jealousy and abortion, throwing out shout outs to the sweethearts in between. She takes us from Algerian fusion to Bollywood, through Cannonball Adderley and to a 1960s Nottingham club using a clip of dialogue from Brit film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (out to Alan Sillitoe). Really great range and always loads to look up afterwards.
Stream: Throwing Shade – NTS Radio
Last year, Pelican Fly’s very own Sam Tiba put out a Valentine’s mix that caught a lot of hype (and rightly so!). Mixing an impressively wide range of tempos and genres seamlessly whilst also featuring a few originals and edits from the man himself, it’s obvious a lot of love went in to this whirlwind mix. Whether you’ll be spending the day with boo (Lenny Williams – “Cause I Love You”), bemoaning your luck once again (DJ Jayhood – “Heartbroken”) or at the club falling in love with a stripper (Juicy J – “Bandz A Make Her Dance”), this mix will have you covered. One final note, a double helping of Jeremih should be an industry-wide standard for mixes of this nature.
Stream: Sam Tiba – Valentine’s Mix 2013 (Pelican Fly)
Last Month Dirtnap2 posted an Afrobeats mix by the guy for the job: Brackles. In the supporting interview, he talks about how it was grime aficionado; Dan Hancox’s article about Afrobeats in the UK that triggered his interest in the use of the (admittedly huge) genre. The Rinse FM regular’s taste for lusty rhythms and that Funky swing are applied here to create a more explicitly afro mix. And obviously, it works. Effortlessly adaptable, as always, he knocks up a chaotic yet considered mix of bouncy, ever-pleasing, passionate jams that sit on the sexier side of romance (meaning: perfect for grinding on Valentine’s Day).
Oneman made his name as a DJ unfazed by different BPMs or styles, encompassing all in his varied and wide-ranging club sets. His Month of Love mix from back in 2010 is emblematic of this approach. Kicking off the mix with Usher’s sensuous “Nice & Slow”, Oneman moves through a selection of seductive R&B slow jams which will be sure to have pulses racing. With a few curveballs thrown in along the way (Jeff Buckley’s “Everybody Here Wants You”, anyone?), the mix rapidly progresses to faster tempos. Whether it’s Cooly G’s atmospheric funky or Burial’s timeless “Archangel”, things are kept steamy throughout. With a running time of 33 minutes this is an ideal soundtrack for those more intimate encounters.
Stream: Oneman -Month of Love
If you haven’t heard of DJ Milktray, you’ve most certainly heard one of his edits in the dance. He’s been steadily releasing some of the most lively and infectious r&b edits this side of the pitch-it-down-and-slap-it-over-a-4/4 era. His take on Cassidy and Kells’ “Hotel” snaps with the elasticity of a rubber band; he adds a sinister bounce to the familiar Indian flute melody from 50 Cent’s “Just A Lil Bit”; and in his Aaliyah edit centres Timbaland’s ad libs over “Are You That Somebody?”‘s melodic stabs. As a Valentine’s Day treat, Astral Black are offering his free edit of Flukes’ “Wifey Riddim” – grime’s OG sensitive thug joint. The instrumental’s been used by everyone from Tinie Tempah to Sadie Ama, and in his Making It Personal edit Milktray excavates the original’s delicate surface and gives it a rougher, rolling deftness. With material forthcoming on Unknown to the Unknown, Astral Black and Glacial Sound (plus a Functions of the Now in the pipeline), we’re gonna be hearing a lot more from the Burberry-clad Glaswegian this year.
Stream: Flukes - Wifey Riddim (Milktray’s Making It Personal Edit)
Words by: Afi Baaqi, Eliot Brammer, Matt Coombs, Erin Mathias, Matt Gibney, Sophie Kindreich.
Words by Truants, 14 February 2014. Leave a comment
The saxophone has always occupied an unfortunate territory. Originally fashioned for use in military bands by a clarinetist who desired an instrument with the agility of woodwind and the projection of brass, it then found favour in symphonic ensembles and big bands. Its reputation in popular music, however, is tainted by scores of soft rock solos and 80s riffs, “Lost Boys” clips and the dreaded “Sexy Sax Man” and “Crazy Sexy Sax Guy”. When it comes to that wide banner of dance music, plus ça change. Mr Saxobeat. Calabria. Guido’s “Mad Sax” paired its novelty with crashing timps and warm synths, but that was an aberration. It’s been a pleasure, therefore, to watch the rise of New York’s Archie Pelago, the trio that blends live playing and improvisation with a hefty Ableton setup. Their Resident Advisor podcast last year was a glorious, life-affirming set, its combination of brass and woodwind with electronic beats offering a frisson often lacking in studio-recorded mixes. With “Lakeside Obelisk”, they’ve captured that magic and put down their most accomplished work to date.
Stream: Archie Pelago – Chilly (Archie Pelago Music)
“D’s Diamonds” opens with a slinky piano line reminiscent of (if not borrowed from) Joe Thomas’s “Venus”, which leads towards the frivolous yet expert sax improv from Kroba. The percussion underneath shifts in every section, mirroring the tenor’s meandering focus, these parts underpinned by that unchanging piano line and the occasional flourish of pads. It’s a thrilling opener, joyful and brimming with hopeful excitement, one that contrasts greatly with “Chilly”, a delirious run through gated synths and scattershot percussion. Hirshi’s trumpet leads the way here, punctuated here and there by detuned rap samples and twisted modulations. The title track sees offers dubby basslines and warm sax drones, Kroba’s recorded lines crushed beyond recognition over slightly contained jungle hits.
Turning the record over to weighty opus “Neighborhood Mephisto” we’re confronted with skittery juke rhythms, split sax lines and trance arpeggios. The twists and turns throughout lead the listener on a wild and ritualistic dance, as mischievous as the title would suggest. Midway through, the main theme is taken on by Cosmo D’s emotive cello, at once intimating a brief respite but instead bringing us into a breakneck 160pm. While “Saturn V” continues that frantic pace, its yearning cello, crashing timpani and celestial Japanese sample offers a stillness amidst its own recklessness. Ending the record on such a beautiful note is a wise move, the power of “Neighbourhood Mephisto” not lost but translated into pure emotion. What this release shows more than anything else, is that Archie Pelago aren’t just a here to show off, a group living off a gimmick showing how clever and talented they are. Behind all that talent and showmanship is the ability to craft real, heartfelt music with soul, not just empty bluster.
Archie Pelago – Lakeside Obelisk is out now on Archie Pelago Music. Buy here.
Words by Aidan Hanratty, 14 February 2014. Leave a comment
For our 90th Truancy Volume we’re proud to present Dakini9, a New York based producer and DJ, whose work as one half of Plan B Recordings alongside DJ Spider (of recent Trilogy Tapes fame) has made her a long-standing figure in New York’s deep, underground music scene. Joining Plan B after its first release in 2008, Lola Rephann has been responsible for helping put out more than thirty records from the likes of Amir Alexander, Chris Mitchell and Hakam Murphy, as well as productions from herself and Spider. Having set up Deep See; a weekly Tuesday night she started with E-Man in 2000, which lasted a decade, Lola has witnessed and been part of many cultural and stylistic trends in music which has matured her into a fantastic talent behind the turntables. With this and the news of her starting a new label called Sound Warrior with Jenifa Mayanja we decided to hit her up for a mix and interview which she kindly delivered hot off the back of her recent European Tour.
Want to start with asking you to tell us a little bit about you time growing up in New York and how you first got to be involved in the music scene here and starting nights such as Deep See? “I was actually born in New Haven, CT, but moved to NYC to go to school at 18. I started going out the first night I moved to NYC. I had already been turned on to house and techno at this point, and part of my decision to come to NYC was so I could be closer to the music and culture that moved me so much. I went out for many years, to Limelight and Palladium, Twilo and Mars, Shelter or Arc, Nell’s, Soul Kitchen, and Giant Step, before meeting Eric “E-Man” Clark. He was a local DJ on the NYC scene at the time, with history in the legendary NYC parties like Paradise Garage and the Loft. He was a very diverse DJ, dropping house, reggae, classics, funk, etc., but that’s also how NYC was at the time. He went on to release several big house records in the early 2000s, like “It’s Yours” on Chez Music.
Anyway, he was doing this event called “Bang the Party,” a real underground house party for heads and dancers, and it was my second home, I barely missed a Friday night for years. Some of the best DJs played there, as well as many locals. That was one of the hallmarks of BTP, local jocks always had a chance to get on the decks and E-Man nurtured a lot of talent that way. Observing this, one day I told him I wanted to become a DJ, so that I could better understand this relationship between DJ & dancer that I was so into. House music was always about getting free for me, that’s what attracted me to the music and culture, the feeling of freedom, so this is what intrigued me about DJing. How does the DJ do that to us? We (dancers) are so connected to the DJ. What is the relationship like in the other direction, from DJ to dancer? This really fascinated me. So I got my decks, and that led to me and E-Man starting “Deep See” in 2000. It was a weekly Tuesday night that sometimes went on until 4:30 or 5am, after the club was technically closed. We had so many of our friends and associates play: Rick Wilhite, Keith Worthy, Jovonn, Osunlade, Todd Terry, Patrice Scott, Mike Huckaby, Dennis Ferrer, Fred P, Karizma, Daz I-Kue…the list is long and we had so many incredible nights. Deep See was a huge part of my life, 10 years to be exact.
I understand you had a residency at Pacha NYC at one point too? I had a residency at Pacha NYC in the mid 2000′s as part of the group Stimulus Response. It was a group of 4 DJs and one promoter (Gabe “Silverbull” Mayorga, who is still active on the NYC scene). We played in Pacha at least 4-6 times a year, and that party lasted 5 years. Between Deep See, playing to small, tastemaker crowds and Pacha, playing to large, more diverse crowds, I got a lot of experience playing at different times, in different rooms, to different crowds.”
In a past interview you stated “since we (Deep See) were around so long, we also experienced many “trends” in music, stylistically, culturally, and technologically.” I was hoping you could elaborate on some of those if possible. “Certainly. When Deep See started in 2000, NYC was more or less a unified scene. The sub-genres of electronic music hadn’t really broken apart into strands and there weren’t the number and variety of parties you have now. Competition wasn’t as fierce and generally, the parties that did crop up at this time lasted a while. Some are still around, like Danny Krivit’s 718 Sessions. When we started Deep See, all venues had turntables and DJs were expected to play vinyl. New York City had amazing record stores, like Vinylmania, Dancetracks, Satellite, and Sonic Groove. Although the CDJ had been invented by this point, it had not achieved the status it has now. It was probably 2007 or 2008 before a guest of ours brought a laptop into the booth. So we went through this whole thing, bringing bags and even crates (yup!) of records to our gigs, to seeing things slowly, and then rapidly, turn in favor of CDs, then laptops. Deep See took its last voyage sometime in 2010…
We experienced many trends in music, like nu-jazz, broken beat, soulful house, minimal techno, and so on. Thing is, we always had a diverse taste in music and approach to our DJ sets, so we were always eclectic at Deep See, doesn’t matter the genre so long as it’s good music. I always felt we were ahead of the curve with that party, as we were playing Detroit techno and harder-edged house music for years before it became something that became widely appreciated in NYC.”
How did you move into production? From what we’ve read DJ Spider had a massive influence on you in this aspect. “In the mid-2000s, I was still only DJing. I had experimented with stuff I’d record into my computer using whatever rudimentary programs I had and was playing with mics recording sounds, and even bought a sampler that I fooled around with, but I hadn’t yet gone into anything remotely resembling production. DJ Spider joined Deep See (in 2007) to help us with the event. I had known him from around the NYC scene, but it was through working together on the party that we became friends. I always appreciated his energy and passion for music.
In 2008, he put out the first Plan B Recordings release, then asked me to be his partner in the label. I agreed and we are now approaching our 40th release! Anyway, he had a few years of production experience at this time, and I would go to his studio and work on stuff with him. I learned watching and working with him. We did a few collaborative projects together, where I was just using my name, Lola, before I created a moniker and an idea for what I wanted to do. Those were great projects, really raw creative energy. Around 2010, I started producing as Dakini9. Spider has been a huge supporter in everything I’ve done, and he’s also pushed me to keep going and given me tons of encouragement. He’s an excellent engineer and I’ve been able to learn a lot working with him.”
As an outsider, there definitely feels like there is a lot of great music coming out of New York at the moment with the whole L.I.E.S, Mister Saturday Night, White Material and Point Break crew making big movements in 2013. As someone who’s been through a decade of music in the city, how does the current state of music there feel for you from an artistic standpoint? Does it feel like a close knit community? “The NYC music community is definitely growing. It’s great to see people you’ve known for years doing well and staying active: releasing music, running labels, DJing around the world. For those who are enjoying some success now, it’s come after years of dedication and hard work. After 9/11 and during the Giuliani years, the nightlife scene felt dormant. The entire process of throwing parties became very complicated with things like the cabaret laws and “quality of life” police going around ticketing clubs. Then we got Michael Bloomberg, and everything in NYC became even more expensive. Many Manhattan bars and clubs chose to focus on bottle service and other extravagances, and the vibe was leaving fast. As the Wall Street lifestyle kept taking over, the music scene moved underground, returning to lofts, warehouses, and temporary spaces, mostly in Brooklyn. Thank goodness for these promoters who put their time, money, and energy on the line. From this, a new cadre of promoters, producers, and DJs has risen, and NYC’s underground music scene is definitely riding a new energy now.”
Keen to ask what you feel New York’s best kept secret is, that isn’t music related however. ”Well if I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret ;)”
You recently started a new label called Sound Warrior with Jenifa Mayanja. It’s obviously very early on it’s inception but we’re keen to know the thought behind starting the new label and any directions you and Jenifa may be taking it with it. “Jen and I started this label to help support and develop female artists & producers. We’re conscious of how few women there are in the deep electronic music scene. If men make up 95% of the producers & DJs you see on the bills around the world, on the websites, on the charts, that’s not an exaggeration. Being a woman in the scene, there can sometimes be a sense of isolation as you’re walking an artistic or professional path. Jen actually released an album called “Woman Walking In The Shadows” (on her own label, Bu-Mako Recordings). As far as the sound with the label, we go for tracks with a ritualistic or hypnotic feel: tribal percussion, organic sounds, something mystical or deep in flavour.”
Stream: Dakini9 – Trail Markers (Sound Warrior Recordings)
I was very excited to learn that you’re a dedicated yoga practitioner and instructor. I swear it’s every other week I see a DJ mention on Twitter that they’ve taken up yoga classes and that it’s benefited them tremendously. When did this interest first start and do you feel your yoga has an influence on your music and vice versa? “I’ve been involved in the study of the mind-body-spirit since I can remember. Even as a child I was always bugging my mother with questions about life and death. As a teenager I became interested in metaphysical things, exploring yoga and Taoism, reading I Ching, astrology, and so on. I became more dedicated to my yoga practice over the years, and became a yoga teacher about 4 years ago. At this point, yoga is such a huge part of my life that there’s probably nothing I do that isn’t influenced by yoga in some way. Yoga becomes a way of life, one in which you are constantly studying yourself, your actions and re-actions, your thoughts, aspiring to live in alignment with yourself, to discover your true essence. My music is certainly influenced by yoga, and to some degree, music influences my yoga practice as well. How to have more cross-pollination between these two passions of mine is something I’m trying to figure out how to manifest, what the message is I’d like to bring forth, what it is I’m trying to teach or express.”
Although I’ve never done yoga before I find tracks like “Daemon” and “Dust & Memories” would lend themselves beautifully to it if I tried. Do you base some of your productions around this or can it be a more subconscious process? “Thank you, I actually received a lovely email in the past, where someone told me she was using “Dust & Memories” for her yoga practice. Both of these tracks are very personal but I did not create either for the practice of yoga, although either could be utilized for it.”
Stream: Dakini9 – Daemon (Soul Music)
You recently came back from your European tour that included stops in Tel Aviv and Berlin for Panorama Bar. How did the trip go? ”It was an amazing experience that I’m still processing. I loved being able to travel to new places and meet new people, see how people in different places socialize and appreciate music, feel different energies.”
Can you tell us a little bit about the mix you’ve recorded for us? ”This mix was recorded very spur of the moment, just a few days after returning from my tour to Europe, in January 2014. Most of the selections are records I picked up during my trip. It was recorded live from two Technics 1200s and my Rane mixer.”
What’s next for you, release-wise, tour-wise, music-wise or just personally, etc.? ”I’ve got releases coming up on my labels: Plan B Recording’s Underground Sounds Vol. 2 and Sound Warrior 003. This winter, I plan to work on new music as much as possible. I have a few local NYC gigs in the spring, am playing in Hawaii in late April, and hope to return to EU in the fall/winter.
Finally, when was the last time you danced? ”I danced a little to DJ Qu’s set at Output in NYC a couple of weeks ago. I opened up the room, then Levon Vincent played, then Qu. I also danced to DJ Spider’s set in the Panther Room that night. But I am due a good sweat fest, that’s the best way to dance.”
Words by Riccardo Villella, 13 February 2014. Leave a comment
We first became familiar with the producer/DJ known as Akito through his near perfect remix of Jeremih’s anthem “Fuck You All The Time”. The remix blended the accapella with both Wiley’s Ice Rink, and Joe’s Claptrap, and reshaped the original slow-jam into something more suitable for the UK-leaning crowds and DJs. Around the same time he released his first original track titled Unacquainted on Sub Skank (a label which he co-runs), and although it was very well constructed it lacked the playfulness and character of his well-known remix. Fast forward one year to the follow up release Metamessage and this time Akito manages to get much closer to the mark.
Stream: Jeremih – F You All The Time (Akito’s F U On the Clap Trap Ice Rink – Bootleg)
As with many of the interesting contemporary club records it’s hard to put a finger on what exactly this music is, with influences spanning many of the “in vogue” genres, such as Grime and Jersey Club over the EP’s 4 tracks. The EP title track comes in two flavours; starting with the low-slung House original mix and is followed by a “Club Constructions” version of sorts which replaces the steady 4/4 with the sporadic Baltimore/Jersey style kicks that the series has become known for. Over on the B-side the track Aqua Tryst jumps between driving Jersey rhythms and laid back Grime patterns. The EP then closes with Bordello Bounce; the perfect combination of ennui filled atmospherics and tuff-as-fuck drums. Although the EP shares a very similar palette to many of the new wave of Grime artists, Akito manages to avoid many of their shortcomings, and by including elements from House and Jersey, he is able to re-inject some momentum into a sound which, I feel, is much too sluggish in its current form.
One of the EP’s striking characteristics is the depth of activity on each track. When looked at in a positive light this intricateness is what will keep people coming back to the record; however, at times there is a feeling of over-production and the songs lack the powerful minimalism heard on the aforementioned Club Construction series. Having said that, this detail and also his more Dub and Jungle influenced sound, is what separates Akito from his contemporaries and allows him to stand out in the every expanding and mutating “UK Club” spectrum.
Stream: Akito – Metamessage EP (Sub Skank)
Available digitally from Boomkat and all other good online distributors.
Words by Warren O'Neill, 11 February 2014. Leave a comment
David Spaans might have been responsible for a series of hot records under a collection of different aliases such as Hustler, Barracuda and Piranha throughout the late nineties, but something David might hold closer to heart is the number of producers who say they owe their career to the mentoring and advice given by him. One person who falls under this category is fellow Dutch producer Mark Du Mosch, who says a trip to his studio in 1995 and witnessing all his machines in action was all it took to start his interest in ‘great techno music’. A close friendship ensued between the two and before long Du Mosch had landed his first release on Keynote in 2006; a record which would ultimately be the last pressed from the label, since its inception in 2000. Du Mosch’s melodic approach to house, techno and italo-influenced electro soon found itself onto labels such David Vunk’s Moustache Records, Cyber Dance and Tabernacle; culminating in an expansive discography that led up to his brilliant debut album Salmiak on SD Records in 2012. We highly recommend checking out the video of the title track, featuring the man himself on some spray can tip.
Having earned the highest amount of respect in Dutch circles, it seems only natural that his latest release comes from Dutch label and general party throwers Dekmantel. After the roaring success of their first official festival last year in August, the label have since released two records; one from an artist across the pond in the form of Joey Anderson’s Fall Off Face and the other from native Du Mosch. Titled Bay 25, the release features two originals and a remix from Gesloten Cirkel, all firmly rooted in analogue goodness. Starting with title track Bay 25, you know those tracks that can set a dance floor alight from solely a kick drum, a baseline and a bit of white noise? Well, there’s a section in Bay 25 that will do exactly that and then some. Du Mosch’s aptness for skirting subtle melodies in the mix is in full effect here and the break like percussion adds a new dimension to effectively a techno tune. B side track ‘Living It Up’ excels with the melodies, adding layer after layer for an almost progressive like build up that will equally work a crowd but in a slower, slightly more engaging manner to its record counterpart. It’s incredibly busy yet the mix down is impressively done. Overall, these are two masterful tracks in abundance with variation that display Mark Du Mosch’s abilities as a producer as one of the best in the field.
Words by Riccardo Villella, 06 February 2014. Leave a comment