June 22, 2007

Beatzcast #38: Crambe Repetita


Stylus editor Todd Burns presents a mix of electronic music featuring new music from DJ Koze, the Wighnomys, and Glass Candy, as well as new tunes from Mobilee, Cocoon, and Vakant…

01: DJ Koze - Cicely [buy]
02: Portable - Don’t Give Up (Lawrence Remix) [buy]
03: Keytronics Ensemble - Calypso of House (Julien Jabre Remix) [buy]
04: Stephan Bodzin vs. Marc Romboy - Callisto [buy]
05: Glass Candy - Miss Broadway (Belle Epoque) [buy]
06: Wighnomy Brothers - Guppipeitsche [buy]
07: Onur Özer - Halikarnas [buy]
08: Tolga Fidan - Venice [buy]
09: Marcin Czubala - Consigliere [buy]
10: Loco Dice - El Gallo Negro [buy]

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May 11, 2007

Charts: May 11 2007

Mallory O’Donnell
Soft Cell - This Last Night in Sodom [Some Bizarre]
Mysterymen - Everything But an Answer [Disko B]
Brian Eno - Ali Click [Warner]
Meat Glove - Meat Glove EP [Hardwood Floor]
Sneak Thief - G-String Orchestra EP [Klakson]
Ilya Santana - Discotized [Permanent Vacation]
John Cale - All My Friends [EMI]
Move D - AC1D [Modern Love]
Doug Lazy - H.O.U.S.E. [Atlantic]
Junior Boys - In the Morning (Hot Chip Remix) [Domino]

Michael F. Gill
Voice Farm - Elevate [Systematic Records]
Asha Puthli - Right Down Here [Columbia]
Willow Band - Willowman [Epic]
Company B - Fascinated [Atlantic]
Tumblack - Caraiba [Island]
Marlow & Delhia - Movin’ (Marlow’s Movin Bassline Mix) [Moon Harbour Recordings]
Kelley Polar - Rosenband (Instrumental) [Environ]
John Daly - Sky Dive [Plak Records]
Burial - Unite [Soul Jazz]
Solomun & Stimming - Eiszauberv [Diynamic]

October 6, 2006

Marc Romboy - Gemini (The Remixes)

Systematic has had a few great releases recently, in whatever sense each of the 20 or so Stephan Bodzin-related projects released in the last two months are great, rather than interchangeable. This remix package then, is a nice breath of fresh air, with Fairmont supplying the best of the three. He re-works “Model 1601,” arguably the only really great track on the Gemini album, adding his trademark weeping synths and making things that bit more epic. Williams takes on “Impact Disco” and comes up with a quirky electro track, though you can’t escape the feeling that the Williams well has run dry as of late. John Tejada meanwhile re-works “Jigsaw,” and well, it’s not tremendously exciting. However, the great Fairmont mix is worth a purchase, whether physically or digitally.

Systematic / SYST 0026-6
[Ronan Fitzgerald]

May 5, 2006

Bus Station John / Tubesteak Connection

Nobody I know ever saw Larry Levan. But can you really separate him from the Paradise Garage as a venue? I mean, the club unexpectedly closed in 1987, and Larry battled drug abuse until 1992 when everything finally caught up with him … so his personal history was always distinct from the club, and the era. As much as he did as a DJ, nobody can deny that a movement is never about any one person. Either way, because I’ll never see him spin, and I’ll never be clubbing at the Garage back in the 80’s, all I can do is try to understand what happened and try to appreciate it.

The spirit of what it is that I, in an incredibly limited personal sense, appreciate about that place and time is alive and well. Not just in some metaphysical sense, but in my own city: San Francisco.

Notoriously secretive about where he finds his art, typically 70’s gay porno, and endearingly pure about his motives, DJ Bus Station John has been all the rage on the internet for about the last month. Why? Well, anyone who can supply big screen b-boy projections, cheap drinks, early electro rarities, legit italo tracks, funky disco, and danceable champagne soul can find at least one person, in a room packed with people losing their shit, to go home and spread the word.

My first encounter with him was at a club called Aunt Charlie’s Lounge in the Tenderloin District for a weekly event called Tubesteak Connection. Anyone who has lived, or had an extended stay, in San Francisco knows that the Tenderloin is the neighborhood where sex workers battle pimps and the marginalized heroes of yesteryear beg for change and cigarettes. Even if you have a car, taking a cab is a good idea.

After paying my three bucks, I walk in to a small, dimly red lit room full of drinks clanking, Munich Machine posters, vintage gay porn flickering on a television, and shirtless man dancing to their heart’s content. To me, Aunt Charlie’s isn’t a dingy gay bar downtown, it’s one of the only places that I’ve been where you can hear serious early dance music without any sense of self-seriousness. There’s no retro value in any of the mashups, because there are none. Bus Station’s style is simply classic to classic via the fade. It’s a night all about track selection, not about the DJ’s ego, and what you are there for is the trip that he wants to take you on. And it’s great because this is a night where he shows the disco dorks and the disco devoid a perfect place to hook-up: the dancefloor.

Well versed in all of the relevant Mutant Disco, I-Robots, and countless numbers of Italo Disco compilations, I was floored by Bus Station. By the end of the night, and several very strong and inexpensive drinks later, I went home recognizing only one song: ‘Lectric Warriors – “Robot is Systematic.” But the thing about it all was not that he just played random twenty five cent finds off of Prelude Records or TSR, but every song is amazing … each one better than the last. First Choice, Invisible Man’s Band, Carol Hahn, Fascination, Gina and the Felixix, and Aural Exciters sit next to ‘Lectric Warriors as the night’s token “oh-yeah-you-obviously-know-this” tracks. Um, we do?

But more than anything, it’s about the music and the energy of the night. It’s not about obscurity, or DJ worship, but it’s about the way that he works the crowd and the environment that he provides. On one hand, the nights are definitely about hooking-up. After all, each event is at a gay club with porno on both the flyers and the projection screens. And I don’t want to ignore that aspect of Bus Station’s nights. I don’t want to gloss over the subcultural context and simply opt for the commodification of someone else’s culture. But on the other hand, each event has a certain honesty, a certain what-you-see-is-what-you-get, about it that would prevent scenesters from ever completely infiltrating. And honestly, DJ Bus Station John doesn’t seem like the sort of guy who’s going to sell out his crowd for a shot in the Cobra Snake or Last Night’s Party. When you’re at one of his parties, you definitely get the feeling that you are in his world, and you’re welcome there but it’s not about you, or even him for that matter. As I mentioned above, Bus Station seems to embody everything that I can only speculate about the Paradise Garage: movement, energy, a safe community, and fun. Pure, unadulterated fun. So, you can feel good about putting down the black hair dye and grabbing your dancing shoes.

[Cameron Octigan]

February 10, 2006

Marc Romboy vs. Fyta & Ray Willbern - Shake it Again!

The Systematic label boss finds himself on David Duriez’s label after his reworking of Fyta & Ray Willbern’s “Shake It” became too popular to be restricted to an odd vinyl sampler given away at the most recent Miami Winter Music Conference. “Reworking” is a generous word to F & RW, as Romboy uses only the acapella in his version, as do the other remixers here, London’s Mike Monday, and house duo Catwash. All three are aiming their productions towards the underexploited sub-genre of soulful electrohouse, with Romboy just barely coming out on top. It’s a bit of a grower, but would work well sitting next to one of Freestyle Man’s Nightstarter compilations and Quesh’s “Candy Girl.”

Brique Rouge / 051
[Michael F. Gill]