Erol Alkan Serves Up Two New Mixes on Double Disc Bugged Out / Bugged In Due September 4th
The clichés about DJ mixes are well worn. It’s a journey, it’s educating the listener, it’s telling a story. All those descriptions, hackneyed though they may be, apply to Erol Alkan’s new 'Bugged Out' mix and 'Bugged In' selection, but they don’t come close to capturing the indefinable magic that makes it sing. That comes from the sixth sense all great DJs have, the unconscious force that draws them to the next song, somehow knowing it will fit with the previous one even though it might seem unlikely. Call it musical clairvoyance, seeing into the sonic future. And no-one has the gift more than Alkan.
It’s there from the start on CD1 of this two-CD set - one side club-oriented, one aimed at home listening. He opens with the pulsing bass and twangy guitars of "To Our Disco Friends" by Smith N Hack, a track that’s ten years old, but which sounds bang up to date. He follows it with "Sensation" by legendary Chicago house DJ Ron Hardy, then "Gridlock" by In Flagranti. Who else would put those three tracks together, spanning three decades in the process? No-one, that’s who.
Erol mixed the set live in a couple of takes, no computerized beat matching or studio trickery. Why? “For me, that’s what DJing is about, spontaneity, mistakes, records trying to keep up with one another” he says. It took just two takes, as he was nearing the end of the second, the sub bass of Spandex's "The Bull" shook the speaker off the mantelpiece of his music room at home and sent it crashing to the floor, leaving a deep dent in the floorboards. “I just thought, It’s going so well I’m going to carry on,” he laughs. “I didn't want to detract from capturing that moment. That’s where - for me - the electricity lies: in the moment, not crafting something that’s perfect on a computer.”
Of course, it’s not the first time Erol has released a Bugged Out compilation. The current mix comes eight years after 2004’s landmark ‘A Bugged Out' mix, which defined the then nascent electro house scene, featuring music from the then relatively unknown Justice alongside Steve Bug and Roman Flugal. However, Erol feels that it was the second disc, the ‘Bugged In’ selection, that made the most impact. “The club mix was fine, it was representative of me evolving at that time, but it was the more gentle - and far more musical - mix that seems to have stayed with people over the years.”
The reason is simple enough. Erol is an obsessive crate-digger, both real world and virtual. He spends thousands of hours searching for lost gems. And his knowledge of music is encyclopaedic. He was keen that the ‘Bugged In’ disc have a similar impact this time round and spent time searching for the right songs. “The internet means that everyone has access to the same records these days, however many there are out there, there are a hundred times more which have yet to exist in digital form” he explains. “The only way to stand out is to find tracks that people have forgotten about, music which is off the beaten track. Then you have to assemble them into something that works as a whole.”
It certainly does that. The ‘Bugged In’ disc is a revelatory listen. It starts with "Don’t You Know" by the Jan Hammer Group. Yes, that Jan Hammer, the one who composed the Miami Vice Theme. “That’s what many people know him for, but in the late ’70s he was considered the top electronic musician in the world,” says Erol. “It’s a beautiful record, and miles away from what people would expect from him.” It’s followed by "Leipzig" by Matthew Herbert, which he describes as like “an electronic version of ‘A Horse With No Name’ by America, but documenting a trip to a night club rather then the desert.” Perhaps the most surprising track is "Major Tom (Coming Home)" by The Space Lady, an electronic cover version of Peter Schilling's 1983 hit song performed by a Los Angeles busker and sourced by Erol on cassette. How’s that for hunting down an obscurity.
Looking at the two CDs as a whole, Erol sees them as a statement of where his head is currently at. “It’s an exciting time right now,” he says. “It feels like the year 2000, just before electroclash happened. Not the sound of the music as such, but the way that all these different strands of music are coming together.”
It’s an interesting thought. As a taste maker, he’s uniquely placed to make such predictions. Either way, his ‘Bugged Out' mix is an exhilarating document, club music at it’s most urgent and irresistible, the 'Bugged In' selection is after hour sounds at their most dreamlike. No-one else DJs like this.
CD1: Bugged Out
1. Smith n Hack - To Our Disco Friends 2. Ron Hardy - Sensation (Obi Blanch edit) 3. In Flagranti -Gridlock 4. Seaside Houz Boyz -From A Man's Journal 5. Umba -Concussion 6. Jimmy Edgar - This One's For The Children 7. Model 500 - No UFO's (D-Mix) 8. Unovidual & Tara Cross - Comme Je Suis (Based in the Sling & Samo mix) 9. Agoria feat. Carl Craig & La Scalars - Speechless (Gesaffelstein Remix) 10. T.S.O.S. - Over And Over 11. Scuba - Never 12. Secondo - Discombabulate 13. Amin Peck - Girls On Me 14. N.Y. House'n Authority - Ravenswood House 15. Jared Wilson - Let Your Body Make Your Body 16. Factory Floor - Two Different Ways 17. Children Of The Night - It's A Trip (Mike Hitman Wilson's Mix) 18. Gingy & Bordello - Body Acid (KiNK's on Acid Remix) 19. Spandex - The Bull (Erol Alkan Rework) 20. Kölsch - Opa 21. Connan Mockasin - Forever Dolphin Love (Erol Alkan Rework Version 2)
CD2: Bugged In
1. Jan Hammer Group - Don't You Know 2. Matthew Herbert - Leipzig 3. Bibio - All The Flowers 4. Michael Head - Queen Matilda 5. Adjagas - Mun Ja Mun (Instrumental) 6. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Miss Trudy 7. Mickey Moonlight - We'll Meet Again (Bugged In Mix) 8. The Make Up - I Am Pentagon 9. Dibidim - Badminton Bay 10. The Space Lady - Major Tom (Coming Home) 11. Jai Paul - Jasmine [Demo] 12. Margot - Voci Giaga 13. Chromatics - A Matter Of Time 14. Space Dimension Controller - The Love Quadrant 15. Robert Wyatt - At Last I Am Free 16. Walls - Gaberdine (Nathan Fake Ambient Version) 17. Buffalo Springfield - Expecting To Fly 18. Plush - Soaring and Boring
2012 marks the 27th anniversary of !K7 Records. The label will be celebrating with a series of live events, releases, and special projects incorporating music and artists from past, present and future of the label, and the DJ-Kicks series.
Repping Juice Town, CA is Parallel, presenting the LiveFree-produced music video for "California Mindstate", the newest single from their recent album Don't Sleep. Airborn, Deprave, Dope-1, Fatty B, Groove, Herrera, Holiq, Hyphen-Select, Jahs, Lawjik One and Wushu are just some of the artists within Parallel's ranks, and they have been making music as a unit since 1998. Parallel maintains a solid SoCal performing schedule, and has rocked the stage alongside the Wu-Tang Clan and many others. Their next release, No More Secrets, is dropping soon.
Canadian Super Producer T-Minus Covers Urbanology Magazine Summer Issue NYCE, JD Era, Raz Fresco
He is the musical mind behind some of the hottest beats of recent hip-hop smash singles, including “HYFR” and “I’m On One”. Tyler Williams, a.k.a. T-Minus, is a major part of a new wave of super producers in present-day hip-hop and he is homegrown Canadian talent. In an exclusive six-page feature, Urbanology’s Senior Reporter Sean Watson explores the young producer’s journey to his current success, his relationships with superstar friend Drake and fellow producer Boi-1da and how he feels about copy cats and haters. The in-depth feature reveals many lesser known sides of T-Minus.
“I appreciate Toronto recognizing me as someone impacting urban culture,” says the Ajax, Ontario native. “I just want to continue to put us on the map. Much love to Urbanology Magazine for this.”
Also included in this issue of Urbanology are articles on artists like the recently signed to Raekwon’s IceH20 label, JD Era, hard-working up and comers Raz Fresco and NYCE on their grind, former Odd Future member Casey Veggies, Duck Down’s Promise, 2012 Stylus Award Winner of Toronto DJ of the Year, Lissa Monet and foundation emcee Theology 3. Plus, there is a must-read three-part feature on violence including articles on recent concert violence in Canada, an initiative to honour the memory of 11-year-old murder victim Ephraim Brown and an analytical piece on Trayvon Martin’s murder.
This is a must-read issue. Pick up your copy of this issue at your nearest Chapters, Indigo, Coles, Gateway Newsstands, Wal-Mart, Mac’s Milk, Petro Canada, 7 11 or Barnes & Noble.
Earlier this month, Kool Keith released the 13th album of his career, Love & Danger, via Junkadelic Music. Since release, Keith has walked the red carpet at the recent New York City screening of Ice-T's hip-hop documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, and celebrated Love & Danger's release this past week with two hometown performances: a solo show at Brooklyn Bowl and a performance with Ultramagnetic MC's at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
Today, Kool Keith is excited to release a new song, the non-album bonus track, "Acura." The track, which is produced by Junkaz Lou, features fellow New York rapper AG, of the legendary Diggin' In The Crates (D.I.T.C.) crew, and throughout the song, Keith and AG take turns behind the mic as they wind and weave bars atop a dark, harrowing instrumental. "I heard thugs got a team coming up, but they're all wack/ I'm walking up with the heat, the baby sawed-off looking like Count Drac."
UK producer TRICKSTA drops his debut 'artist/producer' album today. Producing and consistently releasing music since 1996, Tricksta is a well known name in the UK Hip-Hop scene through his UK Runnings mixtapes, promo company Park Street PR as well as being the co-founder of Wolftown Recordings and Rago Magazine.
"Out Of Darkness Cometh Light" is a sixteen track album that is out now on RGS Entertainment, and features Iron Braydz, Genesis Elijah, LATE, Scorzayzee, MCD, Karl Hinds, TBear, Supar Novar, Seanie T, Wordsmiff, Big Cakes, Dubbledge, Cyclonious, Serocee, Logic, Shameless, Phoenix Da Icefire, Ramson Badbones, Cons, Big Ben, Big Dutty Deeze, Yogi, Twissman, Tenny Ten, Cobane, S. Kalibre, Inja, D Gritty, Jai Boo, K9, Sonnyjim, Deadline, Quest Rah, Reain, Conman, Streetz, Grizzly, Size8, M.A.B, Sketchman, Joe Gutta, Reload, Taurus, Marc Anthony, Double E aka Brinkworth and scratch deejay Jabba Tha Kut. When asked about the project Tricksta had this to say.
"I wanted to create something that I could look back at as a 'celebration of UK Hip-Hop'. I've been on this journey since the late 80's starting out on pirate and I've seen the genre grow, develop and progress. I wanted to celebrate the fact that there is so much talent in the UK by getting everyone together for one project. I can't thank everyone enough for their contributions as every single featured guest has brought fire to the album. I really hope people take the time to absorb it and enjoy it as much as I did making it."
Tricksta 'Out Of Darkness Cometh Light' Full Tracklisting: 01 - Out Of Darkness Feat. Supar Novar, Cyclonious, LATE, Streetz & Deeze 02 - The Essence Feat. Iron Braydz, Genesis Elijah, TBear, Dubbledge, Supar Novar & K9 03 - Bars Feat. Size8, Yogi, Dubbledge, TBear & Serocee 04 - Fling Ya Hands Up Feat. Reload, Serocee, Grizzly & Sketchman 05 - Step Steady Feat. Cyclonious, Karl Hinds, Genesis Elijah & MCD 06 - Hip-Hop Feat. Big Cakes, Cobane, Shameless, Big Ben, Reain, LATE, Genesis Elijah, Phoenix Da Icefire & JabbaThaKut 07 - Third World Feat. Phoenix Da Icefire, Big Cakes, Cyclonious, Reain & Big Ben 08 - Death By Dishonour Feat. Iron Braydz, Scorzayzee & Ramson Badbones 09 - In These Manors Feat. Deeze, Conman, Streetz, Marc Anthony & Phoenix Da Icefire 10 - What's The Point Of It - Feat. TBear, Twissman & Tenny Ten 11 - We're Goin In Feat. S. Kalibre, Deeze, M.A.B, Deadline, LATE, D Gritty & Jai Boo 12 - For The Slums Feat. Wordsmiff, Big Ben & Supar Novar 13 - Big Figures Feat. TBear, Iron Braydz & Reload 14 - Think Positive Feat Logic, Cons, Big Ben, Shamless, Cyclonious & Quest Rah 15 - Strength In Numbers Feat LATE, Seanie T, Supar Novar, Inja, Double E, Sonny Jim, Cons, Joe Gutta, Conman & Taurus 16 - Life Is So Amazing Feat. Jai Boo, Deeze & LATE
Here is T.S.A.'s new "Mercy Riot" freestyle video! This track appears on The Candidate Mixtape: Business & Politricks coming in July! Once T.S.A. (True Sun Ali) unveils the mixtape, he will finalize his full length album The Candidate, slated for release this Fall via New York-based label Checkmate Game Over.
It's time for another new edition of The Hip-Hop Shop. Episode #178 is called Lung Butter for two reasons - chief of which is that host Steve 'Flash' Juon is keeping his mouth shut after a weekend of smoky dives and clubs. The emcees on this show know that feeling well though - veterans of the rap industry like Backbone, Soul Khan, yU and James John! Please send your feedback to email@example.com or @RapReviews on this episode! Thanks for listening and remember to share the show with a friend and tell them to check it out every Tuesday on RapReviews.com! Don't forget to subscribe to our RSS newsfeed and follow us on Twitter so you never miss a new episode.
* Gee Dubs - Chemical Mix * Trafek & V!rtu - Done * Soul Khan - Soulstice 4 * Sincere the Prodigal Son - Antifreeze * yU - I Believe (Oddisee Remix) * James John - Boxes * Kool Keith f/ A.G. (D.I.T.C.) - Acura * The Dungeon Family's own Backbone Presents Generation X - Beautiful Blue