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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dig Deeper Phase One &Two

 Danny Howells upstart label in early 2009 reaches a three year bench mark. Obviously not an easy thing to do in this day in age of the madness of endless amounts of labels in digital distribution .  Danny has had  quite a staple of music. I find that 'Dig Deeper'  tracks  are more often some of my favorite tracks to play out over even  newer and even bigger tracks.
 Historically this label is the continued progression of where early nineties epic house changed into progressive house that stood side by side with trance once upon a time and for quite a few years. How ever the commercialization of trance only led  so many djs and music fans away from the genre with advent of the Electro House, Fidget and Minimal genres that pushed too many djs  on to playing current variations of questionable electronic music and only alienated people who were passionate about house music . While other sub genres of house have grown in the bleak musical times of electro &minimal.
This label stayed true to there underlying passion that at its core is House Music, and its disco parents in rhythm. 
This label started by Danny Howells in 2009 , was done to establish his obvious  high level profile into the world of djs owned & run labels. To have an output for the music and fellow dj-producers that Danny is passionate about .Dig Deeper has been a constant  shining light of modern house for cooler dance floors and djs who stress understated  track quality. It has stayed clear from gimmicks artist and remixes from flavor of the month acts. Dig Deeper has grown a reputation for underground credibility and playability in 2011 and beyond.

 This  Compilation split into two parts has some of the most impressive roster of producers, including Danny Howell's himself, Tom Budden, Johannes Heil , Stryke,Surrealism,Nick Warren,and Brendon Moeller.  A line up that continues to show understated quality over commercialism. A label that will continued to get plays from electronic music djs all over the world for quite some time. This label mirrors the quality of a Bedrock Records with out the hype. It stays true to its main focus as an underground house label.
It is refreshing when so many digital labels are going down a road that only the "noob"   generation is following.  This compilation also features Nick Warren, and some of his best solo material"Flowers" .Nick being one half of the infamous "Way Out West" . Also Dave Angel adds on of the best remixes I have heard in some time. 
I find the saturation in the digital music world  is slimmed down  a little bit with fantastic labels like "Dig Deeper" and  has enough track variety to stand out among the ocean of electronic music labels and artists.
If you want to stress quality electronic music "Dig Deeper " is a way of life. This label lives up to its name and is a must have for people who know what it means to "build it up"! and play enjoyable music. To make a statement with out having to play the biggest and  most grandstanding music and with out feeling like I need to bang it out harder than every one else to make a statement musically. Dig Deeper should be a staple in your play lists.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My write up in the Dallas Observer & Exclusive Mix Tape!

DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 37: Hulon Pate

Categories: DC9er Mixtape

Hulon Pate has a lot of love for house and techno tunes -- so much, in fact, that he spends most of his time on the look out for the next hot thing to drop at Absinthe Lounge, where he currently has a residency, Deep After Dark.

Pate's has been DJing for nearly 20 years now, and considers himself to be a genuine, unpretentious person -- which is what he claims sets him apart for other DJs in Dallas.

As for what to expect when you go to see him play?

"Deep and sexy vocal house early on," he says, "[It gets] more uplifting and moody as the night goes on. Techno and house music with club classics, and remakes with the focus on playing the newest music possible in the genre I play."

Catch Hulon Pate spinning techno, house and everything in between on Monday March, 21 at Absinthe Lounge, and, in the meantime, make sure to check out his exclusive DC9er mix and Q&A after the jump.

My Mix Exclusive For DC9er On Sound Cloud You can Down Load it!

Hulon Pate
For how long have you been DJing? 
I have been DJing since the early '90s, quietly buying records building my music collection.

How did you get your start?  
Making mixtapes for friends, playing in gay clubs, playing in back-rooms at rave events, and throwing one-off parties.

What was your first gig like?   
People asking for Abba. I was like, "No, but I got some Jeff Mills!"

Who/what are some of your biggest influences musical or otherwise? 
Detroit Techno, New Order, Underworld, BBC Radio 1 ,Carl Cox, Ralph Lauren, Mr.C, Mix Mag, Saint Etienne, Waterloo records, Depeche Mode, Front 242, Perfecto Records, Soma Quality Recordings, Moby, Tresor Records and early "Edgeclub."

Which DJs do you follow? Do you have a favorite? 
Shur-I-Kan, Pete Heller, Tony Lionni,  Ewan Pearson ,Charlie May, Francois K., D-Unit, Psycatron, Monaque, Radio Slave, Sasha, Agoria ,Jimpster and Laurent Garnier. Dallas locals Brett Johnson & Demarkus Lewis put out amazing records, too.

What's your favorite genre of music, both to play and to listen to? 
I love deep-ended techno and house to play out. Other bands I enjoy [are] Depeche Mode, White Lies, Gold Frapp, Bad Lieutenant and Groove Armada. I tend to listen to podcasts of DJs and producers and record labels on the go.

How do you decide what songs you're going to play? 
I make playlists to sort through everything that is new, and current favorites -- music I feel that is credible and will get peoples attention or a reaction. If people like something, they let you know.

How much preparation goes into putting a set together?
Being a resident at Absinthe Lounge with my Deep After Dark night, you learn how to play longer sets and can adjust to the many challenges and obstacles in a nightclub setting, and how to program music for longer periods of time. It takes up most of my time.

What are your main objectives when it comes to playing music? (Are you looking to entertain the crowd, educate them, or something different altogether?) I try to play new music first. People have every outlet for every other kind of music out there, streaming music -- FM and satellite radio, and digital distribution 24/7. I want people to dance and have a great night out, and hear something new that will catch their ear and be a memorable experience. Not just playing the same crap you hear everywhere else. That's too easy to do.

What can someone expect when they come to see/hear you play?  
I think people can expect one of the best music nights in Dallas.

What kind of equipment do you use?  
I use CDJs, Pioneer Mixer, 1200s, and a maxed out HP computer with Traktor Pro.

Requests. Love em or hate em? 
I try to make people feel good about themselves when they talk to me about a request. I tell them thanks for coming out, and make them feel like the most important person in the place.
If you could play a gig anywhere, with any other DJ/music act, with whom would you play, and where? 
I would love to play Space in Ibiza! I would love to play with Layo & Bushwacka or Andy from Groove Armada.

What sets you apart from other DJs in Dallas/Denton/Fort Worth?  
I stick to my strengths. I am just myself and not some pretentious fake person. I am comfortable with the quality of the music I program, and what I have to offer as entertainment.

When/where will you be playing next? 
I have an ongoing residency at Absinthe Lounge (Deep After Dark). March 21 is my next date. Add me on Facebook for more info.

What can Dallas expect to see from you in 2011? 
You can catch me once a month at Absinthe lounge. I also recently started a blog for electronic music I find interesting. You can also subscribe to my Grind2Shine podcast on iTunes. Hopefully, I'll have some dates to add over the summer. We are currently looking to host our sound system at various venues. I will release some new music this year under my lonestardjz guise.

DC9er Mix tracklist:
Tony Lionni - "Galaxia"
3 Mb Feat Jaun Atkins - "Die Kosmischen Kuriere"
Robert Babicz - "The Feeling ( Davi Remix)"
Derrik May - "Strings of Life ( Tom Middleton Remodel)"
The Normalities - "The Sun Rising (Shur-I-Kan Vocal Mix)"
Tracey Thorn - "Why Does the Wind (Andre Lodemann Remix)"
Tom Middleton - "Hypnotizer (Roland Nights Remix)"
MR. K Alexi & Jamie Anderson - "Cyclone (Fish Go Deep Vocal)"
Rasmus Faber & Alf Tumble feat. Candi Staton - "Wilder Side (Pete Tong & Paul
Rogers Wonderland Club Mix)"
Chris Lake - "Secrets In the Dark (Hector Couto Remix)"
DC9er Mixtape DC9er Mixtape, Vol. 37: Hulon Pate By Catherine Downes, 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hercules & Love Affair "BLVE SONGS"

On the new Hercules & Love Affair I find a group who have been pushing the Nu Disco sound that has been coming on strong for the last few years by way of artists like the Revenge, and the house hold names like Lindstrom, Prins Thomas, and  Holy Ghost. All of these artists have done remixes for major electronic acts like the Chemical Brothers & Moby. Hercules & Love Affair are in the same league. With their classic track "Blind" from 2008 remixed  by the God Father of House Frankie Knuckles that transformed the track into a modern house anthem.
  This Album starts out with a disco number "Painted Eyes" . It is easily forgettable in the first opening moments, with its lack of todays smooth F.M. slick pop and obvious classic disco  guitar throw back licks.  This album instantly transfers you into the past of the Paradise  Garage  or loft parties of  David Mancuso  in the 70s, the time where music was much more free to be an expression of sound and depth of an artistic endeavor.  "Painted Eyes " is a really deep disco with instantly recognized vocalist that is the Hercules & Love Affair.
It is really  just fun music for today. A throw to when people just chilled out and had a listen to what ever album someone had on. 
  The second track "My House", also the first single from the LP, will be the most played track with the original & remixes out now. It comes on like a piece of acid house with its throwback bass lines and classic house beats, sounding more like an 80s era acid House that the city Chicago made famous.
"Blue Boy"   is a moving piece of altered states and really has a modern day Pink Floyd style.
It's a long and drawn out  piece of classic acoustic guitars and synth .  It is about as epic as a song that 5 minutes in time will allow these days.
"Step Up"  is one of the most dance floor ready tracks.  Its production is a cross between Tensnake's 2010 anthem "Coma Cat " and  a classic hip hop record. This vocal  house track is my favorite of the entire LP. A track designed for today's vanguard djs and dance floors. One that Should be played for many years to follow.
 Noted there are are several tracks I did not take the time to review. However, they are all a mesh of memorable tracks that make up the entire LP. In spite of a world where most people just  down load the most popular cuts and have yet to experience any classic  long player albums of any time period or  taking the time to evolve as a listener, this Album is a must for  people who like deep cuts on LP's and not just the notable hits.

Finally, the most impressive was the last song" Its Alright". Easily recognized as a Pet Shop Boys classic track from the early 90s and one of my favorites. It is for the hard core purist a Sterling Void song originally . I am not sure who really cares even though I never understood why so many people  put so much mystique on Sterling Void.  "Its Alright" is a slow piano balled and  is what I like to affectionately classify as "Sad Bastard Music" and which is more often classified as a torch songs for the Rolling Stone review types.  It is a very emotional piece of music and its guest female vocals brings back images of the first Gulf War and the early 90's. It brings a smile that warms my heart as it reminds me of haunting memories of  my past, a time that was so free and life was what ever you wanted it to be.
 I can't tell you to get this and your life will be made better. It has many era's of production styles of music from the past three decades. For most people, this entire album will be dismissed. If you are a person who finds music timeless and  music to be a center point of your life I would place it  somewhere between Florence & the Machines  and Scissor Sisters meets Studio 54.
I find it refreshing someone is making tracks that are not mass marketed focused pop music. I myself have become more of a fan of Hercules & Love Affair from this album. I am going  under the surface to find more enjoyable music like this one. This album " Blue Songs"is by far one of the most creative music albums in early 2011. Can not wait for more remixes of this album.