We’re huge fans of Cassie Ventura here at Truants HQ. You may be surprised to see a pop star who hasn’t had a hit in over five years at the top of the Truants webpage (though admit that, aesthetically at the very least, the surprise is incredibly pleasant) but even those so dedicated to the underground they’re basically fossorial can’t deny Cassie’s appeal: her tunes have been shown love by some of our favourite electronic artists, like Xxxy, Deadboy and Jacques Greene. She’s so much more than a disembodied vocal sample, though; there’s a frailty to her voice and echoes of real human fallibility in her personal life you’d be hard pushed to find the mirror of in such fiery pop stars as, say, Beyoncé. Her output amounts to than her greatest hit too, the endlessly sampled “Me & U”. Rumours of a sophomore album in 2013 have been flying around for some time now, but any fan of Cassie has already drily accepted its potential to be a complete trainwreck. That partly explains the sheer unabashed delight we felt when a Weeknd-esque trilogy of fan-made mixtapes cropped up on the internet a few weeks ago. Compiling Cassie’s unreleased gems into a trilogy of mixtapes – with the themes of R&B, electro and pop – was a stroke of genius, and helped us fall in love all over again. All three tapes are available for free download over at Cassie Collective but our personal favourite is the silken “Velvet Night”, a collection of smooth jams perfect for bringing a little heat to bitter days.
Finding the time in your day for four hour plus mixes may deter and frighten some of the more busy ones among us but as Daphni proved with his colossal seven and a half hour mix from late last year and the 50,000 views it amassed, it seems listeners are still expressing massive interest in hearing long recordings of artist’s sets. Despite these mixes often lacking in any form of tracklist, it’s great to marvel a great DJ transgressing so fluidly through a bunch of genres and atmospheres. A recent mix that caught our ears comes from a recording of English producer Ewan Pearson‘s set at Stattbad Wedding in Berlin. Four hours in length Ewan has decided to break the mix in two parts with the second two hours hopefully going up on his soundcloud in the next couple of days. Starting at 95 BPM the mix gradually ramps up and glides through a mixture of acid and cosmic goodness with some absolute basslines to die for. With some track highlights including Ewan’s own ‘negative capability remix’ of Jessie Ware’s “No To Love”, Tanner Ross’ infectious “Straight To The Moon” and some belters from Andrew Weatherall, the whole first part is worth listening through in one sitting if possible. With the second part most likely heading into peak time hours in terms of selection it would be a shame to miss out on the first half.
Stream: Ewan Pearson – Live at Stattbad Wedding (Part One)
Last year has been another very good year for Editions Mego, with excellent full-lengths from Russell Haswell, Lorenzo Senni, KTL, Nick Edwards (aka Ekoplekz), Mark Fell and Emeralds, as well as a number of superb releases by Bee Mask, Container, Motion Sickness Of Time Travel, Plvs Vltra, Robert Turman and more on Mego’s young sub-label Spectrum Spools (run by Emeralds’ John Elliot). Meanwhile, Sensate Focus was used to release a series of experimental house singles from Mark Fell’s project of the same name.
In this podcast for Secret Thirteen, Vienna-based musician Peter Rehberg, who runs Edition Mego, collects a selection of tracks from the label’s past and future releases. It is both a useful primer for those looking to get to know the label’s back catalogue as well as a preview of the exciting new music that we can look forward to hearing. While you are there, we recommend that you also check out mixes by a member of the Downwards-affiliated new wave band Tropic of Cancer Camella Lobo, who presents a moody collection of new wave, post-punk, industrial and experimental sounds (a ‘nice’ accompaniment to the season’s chilly weather). and one of experimental and modern classical compositions from across the last four decades by mnml ssgs’ Chris Hobson.
Stream/Download: Peter Rehberg – Secret Thirteen Mix 045
One artist that’s been particularly fun to pay attention to over the past few years has been Montreal native Michael Silver, bka CFCF. Since his stellar unofficial remix of Cassie’s “Official Girl” in 2008, CFCF has released two albums, five EPs and done countless remixes. Back in 2008 when he was still relatively unknown, Silver did a wonderful mix for Discobelle.net that we still listen to time and time again. Much like his excellent Night Bus mixes, Silver not only takes the listener on a journey but does it with deft precision. With first three tracks all borrowing from Tangerine Dream’s “Risky Business Sountrack,” it’s hard not to imagine yourself as a young Tom Cruise on the L while listening to this one. Silver provided a description of the tracks way back in 2008 which is definitely worth a look but we think he described the mix best when he said “Disco-italo-disco-piano-house-balearic-8-bit-ambient-stomper.” The mix has long disappeared from Sharebee’s servers, but fret not, we’ve re-uploaded it for you again here.
Stream/Download: CFCF – Discobelle Mix 101608
“You are now tuned into the mutherfuckin’ Tra-Tra-Tra-Traxman!” Damn right, you are. Chicago’s legendary Traxman has had a year to remember after all, releasing one of the year’s best and most essential albums in “Da Mind of Traxman” as well as two equally excellent EPs on Sewage Tapes and France’s Booty Call Records. Exquisite production aside, Traxman revels in the mix – here incorporating longer blends into his signature quickfire style (perhaps an influence of his extensive European touring this year?). Working his way through a bag full of unreleased Teklife material, whose roster includes elders DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn and young guns DJ Earl and DJ Manny. From jazzy guitar licks to brutal vocal-bang workouts and woozy soul samples, Traxman never misses a beat, never misses an opportunity to get those feet workin’. After an entire year of juke’s dispersion throughout the world, Traxman is reminding us that the genre’s forefathers are still, in many respects, running the show. We advise you to keep a close eye on his Soundcloud, you’ll find other mixes aplenty as well as unreleased exclusives and previews all of which are worthy of your attention.
Stream: Traxman – Footworkin on Planet Tekk
Words by: Maya Kalev, Riccardo Villella, Eradj Yakubov, Tim Willis & Tobias Shine.
Read our past instalments in the Five Mixes series here.