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All posts for the month October, 2014

Keinemusik (Photo by Sebastian Pielles)

Keinemusik (Photo by Sebastian Pielles)

Happy Anniversary, Keinemusik!

Nov. 17 marks the release date of the Berlin collective’s Workparty Five EP, which will be available on double vinyl with a specially designed gatefold cover. That second piece of vinyl is part of the anniversary celebration: It’s a bonus disk that features an exclusive Keinemusik remix of each track.

Each of the crew’s producing members (Adam Port, David Mayer, Rampa, and &ME) contributed a tune and the result is a wonderfully crafted blend of deep and tech house. The infectious synth-vs-percussion battle of “Mod” opens up the EP, followed by the minimal, drum-fueled “Smoke”. The urgent groove and tribal drumwork of “Birdland” will certainly urge bodies onto the dancefloor, while a classic, hands-in-the-air-at-5am vibe pervades “Place,” which features Stereo MC’s. I know…pretty happy about this one.

Check out the Keinemusik crew on SoundCloud, Twitter, and their website.

Nicole Moudaber

Nicole Moudaber

Say “five-city warehouse tour” to most people and they look at you funny. Kind of a blank stare. But that’s not the case with techno fans, and certainly not the case for Nicole Moudaber, who has embarked on one such warehouse tour, named “MoodRAW”. From festivals to nightclubs, she’s well-known for fun, yet intense take on dark techno.

With this tour, Moudaber is aiming for the underground, which these days is a byword for pretty much anything but underground. But for longtime fans of the sound, many of whom got their first taste of techno in warehouses, Moudaber’s production certainly evokes some good memories. Those days, all it took was one dark room and a powerful sound system.

The accompanying EP release on MOOD, titled “The Whippin’ I’m Dishin’’ certainly matches that dark-techno-in-a-warehouse spirit. Nicole’s original mix sets the tone for remixes by Gary Beck and Robert Dietz.

Moudaber’s MoodRAW Warehouse tour hits Chicago on Nov. 7.

Since the launch of his Knee Deep In Sound label in March, Daley Padley (Hot Since 82) has been on quite a tear. With a summer of events, releases, and A&R work behind him, Padley is set to embark on a North and Latin American tour in support of the Knee Deep In Sound mix album he’s compiled. The album will be released on Nov. 17 and not only serves as a debut for many of his recent signings, but also as a vehicle for some new and exclusive Hot Since 82 productions.

Hot Since 82 kicks off the Knee Deep In Sound tour with an appearance at Spybar on Oct. 30.

Check out a promo video for Knee Deep In Sound.

Check out Hot Since 82 on SoundCloud.

Les Sins photo by Andrew Paynter

Photo Credit: Andrew Paynter

Chaz Bundick’s (Toro Y Moi) dance music project, Les Sins, is currently touring in support of his upcoming album, Michael, and will appear at Smart Bar on December 5th.

Michael seems heavily inspired by classic house and techno, but some 80’s and hip hop sneak in on occasion. The album doesn’t follow a clear musical path–rather, it seems like a collection of tunes, like a bag of records. All of which bodes well for fans attending the Chicago tour date, as the influences on Michael feature heavily in standout Smart Bar DJ sets.

Listen to “Why” ft. Nate Salman.

Watch the video for “Bother”.

Listen to “Bother”.

Listen to the entire album on NPR’s First Listen.

MAKJ press photo

MAKJ

MAKJ just made it to the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs list and he’s only 24. Well played, sir.

The producer/DJ, also known as Mackenzie Johnson, kicks off the Halloween weekend in Chicago at Studio Paris on Wed. Oct. 29 as part of his national tour. He’s fresh off a highly-successful European tour and collaborations with Lil Jon and Bassjackers, making 2014 a great year thus far for MAKJ.

Check out tickets and tour information.

I hope you enjoy the mix I recorded for October 2014.

After speaking with a close friend and former colleague, with whom I used to edit a certain magazine’s music section, I came to the realization that I’m not as interested in DJing for gigs these days. Instead, I find myself increasingly drawn to towards DJing for kicks. We discussed some well-known outlets for such efforts, most notably the Back to Mine and DJ-Kicks compilations.

With all of that in mind, and with a healthy amount of new and exciting music at my fingertips, I embarked on a true “I-just-want-to-hear-how-these-tunes-sound-together-because-I-dig-them” sort of DJ mix. The result is “Fall Back,” a mix filled with all of the melancholy and angst inspired by autumn and Daylight Savings Time. We will all ‘fall back’ in a just a few weeks and I hope you’re listening along when that happens.

Listen to “Fall Back” on SoundCloud.

You can also find a few of my mixes on Mixcloud.

You must have read the news last week that Apple is joining the ranks of firms that are providing to female employees the benefit of freezing their eggs. NPR discussed how this benefit could be misconstrued as a company urging female employees to wait to have children. And Bloomberg View ran a decent counterpoint to the idea that this is a corporate conspiracy bordering on sexism and ageism.

I didn’t take either side of that argument. Instead, while I was reading about it, I considered long view and how it relates to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the ‘app-ification’ of every aspect of our professional and personal lives. I fully expect all of this to become a far-reaching trend with a corresponding app. And I don’t think it will stop at egg-freezing. I see an entire child-making, child-rearing industrial complex growing so that no one really needs time off from work.

Admittedly, I have a fairly dystopian outlook on our technology-driven future–maybe something to do with my penchant for movies like “Elysium,” “The Terminator,” and “Children of Men,” and “The Matrix,” which has me imagining massive human battery factories  (Hello, Tesla) and then massive child-care facilities run by robots and software. Do you remember the human battery scenes from “The Matrix”? Maybe it won’t be so gruesome and bleak, but technology would essentially help society thrive by helping society offload the pregnancy and development process. At least until children are old enough to accompany parents to the restaurant.

And then there will be a plethora of applications that enable mothers, fathers, partners, et al., to check on their eggs, their sperm, and their spawn just as folks check on their finances, or their pets–perhaps a more fitting comparison.

O say can you see the opportunities? 80-hour workweeks. Jet-setting to various global destinations for company or personal retreats. Shit, we’re talking the future here…perhaps by then we’ll be transporting, a la “Star Trek,” ourselves to such locales.

Think of incubation units with integrated Google Hangouts or Apple FaceTime or Microsoft Skype. We can sing lullabies and read bedtime stories virtually before jumping into a power dinner with clients or that board of directors meeting that we cannot afford to miss.

Robot nannies and butlers will ensure that teeth are brushed, lunches are made, and tablets are charged–although kids probably won’t be playing tablets anymore. Smart kitchens will dispense three square meals to our youth while we watch on a mobile device from Hong Kong or Ibiza.

The technology-fueled take on leaning in is just around the corner and so is the upside of no economic slowdowns, a world in which paternity and maternity leave have no place, because we won’t need the paid leave.

It will begin with companies competing for and retaining top talent via egg-freezing benefits and other ‘perks’ and it will end with Ender’s Game. We’ll be connected to our progeny via mobile apps and video conferencing.

We can have it all!

Bonobo has a creative, interactive website in place to drum up awareness for a new EP, which comes out in December 2014. It’s called Flashlight and the title single from the EP is quite good. You should listen to it.

I’ve been a fan of Bonobo’s music for over a decade and can still remember getting my copy of Animal Magic and playing it over and over again. Nearly every playlist I create includes a few Bonobo tunes. And I love witnessing a room’s reaction to those tunes. Green’s music has a sense of urgent melancholy that collides with layered instrumentation to gently push feet to the dancefloor, or at minimum to send heads bobbing and knowing glances around the room as if to confirm, ‘yeah, this is really good’.

Bonobo’s Simon Green has been touring for nearly two years in support of his previous album, The North Borders. To be sure, the live show has become a beast of its own, spawning a well-worth-the-money tour package. I was lucky enough to catch the tour in Chicago last year. Very impressive.

That said, this three-song EP is a brutal teaser. Considering the breadth of The North Borders, I imagine Bonobo’s next full-length project will shatter expectations. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to find Green back in the studio. True to form, he provides a subtle, yet brilliant push of the envelope, weaving synths and breakbeats into his seemingly effortless blend of house, funk, and bass-heavy jazz.

Waiting for that next full-length is the difficult part, but I’m pre-ordering the Flashlight EP to tide me over.

In the meantime, Simon Green is on a DJ tour in North America and will close the curtain on The North Borders show with a sold-out final stop at Alexandra Palace on 11/28 (with Gold Panda and DarkStar).

Oh jeez, the afterparty looks amazing, too. Tickets here.

Groundislava’s video for “Girl Behind the Glass” made the rounds to wide acclaim and I would be remiss if I didn’t guide you towards his appearance at Primary this evening.

His new concept album, Frozen Throne, (Friends of Friends) is about finding true love in a cyberspace-obsessed future (hence the game-themed music video that had everyone talking) and we’re all quite excited about it.

Groundislava, part of the LA-based Wedidit Collective, is appearing with Distal, one of my favorite, genre-bending producers, and the Them Flavors DJs.

Primary is located at 5 W Division St (between State St & Astor St) in Chicago, IL. Cover is $8.