Friday, 9 August 2013

SLL Oz Listening : Jan-Aug 2013 (Spotify Playlist)

Using a rather sexy lil' app called Unify, I've managed to collate a lot of the stuff I've been listening to in Oz into one bumper Spotify playlist, for your aural pleasure.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend peeps!

Album Review : Get Lost IV mixed by T.E.E.D. (out now on Crosstown Rebels)

Check out this wicked vid from Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels label. The latest edition of Rebel Rave follows Orlando Higginbottom - better know as Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs - on his hectic gig schedule in the US, whilst promoting his latest edition to the 'Get Lost' compilation series.

In true T.E.E.D. style, the mix is a truely eclectic selection spanning future beats, cheeky techno delights and epic deep house thumpers, including Orlando's collab with Eats Everything, as featured on last month's Soulful Eivissa 2013 Mix. Expect big names such as Underground Resistance, Trus'me, Breach, LFO and Âme.

And thanks to the wonders of the interwobbles, you can take a listen to the whole comp via Spotify.

If you like what you hear, you can grab the whole album in DJ-friendly, unmixed format via Juno Download here |


Crosstown Rebels is giving Damian Lazarus and Mathew Jonson's 'Going To The Desert' away for free, all in exchange for a like on their Facebook Page.


FREE MUSIC FRIDAY #FMF - 9th August 2013

There's been a bumper crop of great free releases this week. Here's my pick. Go download!


1. Lost Midas - Love Undone (feat. Taylor O'Donnell) (Tru Thoughts)

2. Superhumanoids - Bad Weather (Tropics Remix) (Innovative Leisure)

3. Tremor - Huella (Frikstailers Rmx) (WONDERWHEEL Recordings)

4. Positive Flow - Sunflower ft Donna Gardier (Native Source)

5. Carlos Rodriguez - Summer In Brazil (Extended Mix 2001)               (Soulplate Records)

6. Drake - Hold On We're Going Home (Ron Allen Deep House Remix) (White)

7. Alex Agore - Alex Agore EP (Kolour Recordings)

8. Volta Cab - Jamelia (Voyeurhythm)

9. Mr Oizo - Flat Beat (Aaron Snapes Rework) (White)

10. Pig&Dan - Breadrin Beats (Soma)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Nu Soul Review : Starship Connection / K-Maxx - A Taste Of Tempo Dreams Vol. 2 (Bastard Jazz)

The Vibe

Bastard Jazz have unleashed yet another modern classic this week, a dirty electro boogie package from San Fran's B.Bravo and Teeko as Starship Connection. And the second track - featuring vocals from K-Maxx - are as 80s RnB as their alter ego suggests.

Both tracks offer-up a slice of timeless lo-fi, key driven, guitar led electronic funk with throbbing bass rhythms. As a teaser for the full length 'Tempo Dreams' compilation, you'd have to be made of stone not to be excited by the prospect of the EP.

Sounds like

Mark Farina's Mushroom Jazz meets Tokyo Dawn. Now there's an idea...

Serving suggestion

One for the lovers. Best enjoyed at the back of the room, cosying up with the most gorgeous guy or gal in the room. Hearts will melt to this. It might as well be classed an aphrodisiac.

Did you know?

B.Bravo's studio setup consists of an MPC 2000XL for drums, Arp Odyssey, Juno 60, JP 8000, DX-7, Motif rack and MicroKorg. (via this great interview in The Quietus)

'A Taste of Tempo Dreams Vol. 2' is out now on Bastard Jazz via Juno Download |

World Review : Da Lata - Um Amor A Mais feat. Luisa Maita (forthcoming on Agogo Records)

The vibe

South America meets the Middle East via the 1950s on this incredible full-flavoured afrofunk groove, topped by the sultry vocals talents of Brazil's Luisa Maita. Difficult to believe the Da Lata outfit hail from good ol' London...

Sounds like

A naughty Caipirinha-fuelled beach party on a moonlit São Paulo beach.

Serving suggestion

The perfect soundtrack to any bright day by the ocean, be it Brazil or Bognor.

Did you know?

Cuts like this are termed 'organic electro skank'. Now there's a new one...

'Um Amor A Mais' is out on 19th August via Agogo Records and you can pre-order from Juno Download here |

Thursday Throwback : In Honour of George Duke (1946-2013)

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of legendary keyboardist, composer, singer and producer George Duke this week, aged just 67.

From the 60s right up until this year, Duke had been one of the foremost pioneers within the jazz and mainstream scenes, releasing over 30 solo albums during his illustrious musical career. George was also famed for collaborations with countless music legends and session musicians including Frank Zappa, Miles Davis and Michael Jackson.

So in honour of all the wonderful music George bought to us, I thought it was only fitting to dedicate this week's Thursday Throwback to three of my favourite Duke tracks.

So sad to have had another legend taken from us at such a young age, but safe to say George Duke's incredible music will endure forever.

RIP George Duke. January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013.

1.George Duke - Dukey Stick Live in the Studio with Sheila E (Epic/CBS, 1978)

2. George Duke - Diamonds (Columbia Jazz, 1977)

3. Michael Jackson - Off The Wall (Epic, 1979)

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Deep House Review : Tomson - Waiting EP (forthcoming on Illusion Recordings)

The vibe

This latest four-tracker from the Northern boys at Illusion Recordings is serious, driving, old skool deep house business. 'Waiting' features a killer, uplifting synth hook which'll have you rocking the floor into the early hours, with 'Washerman's Deep Chord Remix' tightening the beats even more with some classic Detroit-esque rhythms.

There's more of the same on 'The Drug Dealer & The Bookmaker', with one massive exception - an acid bassline that would make Josh Wink blush. Finally the EP rounds-out with John Dimas on remix duty who offers-up a funky techno take on the original.

Check out 'The Drug Dealer...' on the first edition of the SLL Nouse Mix series here.

Sounds like

...Stimming in the earlier days, or anything from any of the MoTown house heavyweights.

Serving suggestion

Best taken in the wee small hours, preferably as you hit your second or third wind.

Did you know?

Tomson and label co-boss Tom Craven lived down the road from each other in Manchester, only realising when Tomson sent his demo over to Illusion. Check out the interview with the label's head honchos on Australia's Pulse Radio here.

The 'Waiting EP' is out soon on Illusion Recordings |

Label Profile : Rhemi Music

Over the last few months I've been introduced to some great new labels through the various music PR peeps I keep in contact with.

One of the standout new labels I've been introduced to comes in the shape of Rhemi Music, the brainchild of UK house legend and Soul Heaven A&R man Neil Pierce and Ziggy Funk, who has also had a string of successful releases through labels such as DJ Spen's Quantize Recordings. The two met following an introduction by Sy Smith and after a few subsequent studio sessions it became clear the two had a great musical connection.

Neil Pierce

They began releasing joint projects under their Rhemi guise, collaborating with soulstress Kele Le Roc on their first single 'Friends', going on to release a further two successful singles on 'Warning' and 'Call On Me'. Remix work quickly followed, with the team having already produced remixes for DJ Spen, Marlon D and Booker T to name but a few. And all this from a collaboration only formed in April this year!

Ziggy Funk

The Rhemi sound is timeless, classic house music with exceptional production values across all their output. Joining the dots between vocal, soulful, deep, disco house and US garage, the ethos behind the label was Pierce and Funk's desire to release great house music, without compromise, free from the preconceptions created by pigeon-holing music into infinite genres and sub-genres. Here, quality is the only prerequisite, with that philosophy playing out on very first listen.

The future is looking great for this young production team and label with a host of remix work and original material in the pipeline. Particularly, look out for new releases featuring the vocal talents of Lynn Lockamy and Nicole Mitchell, and that's just for starters. In an age of abundant, mediocre house music, it's great to see a label staying true. Check out the Soundcloud set I've put together of all Rhemi's releases to date:

In the meantime, have a listen to their latest release, Rhemi's 'Bang For Your Buck EP'. And if you fancy hearing it in the mix, I've included 'Just A Feeling' on the first Nouse Mix I put out this week.

As ever - enjoy, and please support this fantastic new outfit.

EDM News - 7th August 2013

1. EDM's shameful secret (via The Guardian)

2. Carl Craig examines Detroit through a series of photographs (via Beatport)

3. Traktor hooks up with Pete Tong for a techno-inspired cooking event in Ibiza (via DJ Mag)

4. Annie Mac announces latest in essential AMP compilation series                (via Mixmag)

5. SpiritOfHouse reviews wicked new house comp from King Street Sounds, compiled by DJ Spinna (via SpiritOfHouse)

Monday, 5 August 2013

Stop.Look.Listen. Nouse Mix #1

Having started working with some wicked house labels over the last few months, I've started to make something of a habit of rolling out more big room-slanted mixtapes. As a result I figured we might as well make it a regular thing and start an SLL Nouse Mix series (you know, like, new house, intelligent house - argh...whatever - I like it!) to sit alongside the weekly podcast.

Nouse (/ˈnz/ noozAncient Greeknous, meaning intellect, or common sense

So here it is, #1 featuring two hours of brand spanking new deep, soulful, tech and minimal house, all blended by my own fair hand. As ever, we kick off the series with numerous upfront promos fresh off the press from killer labels such as R2, Hot Creations, Rhemi Music, HK Records, Diynamic, Restless Soul and loads more besides. 

Will post up the Juno Download links as the tracks become available (although some of the inclusions aren't out until October; if this mix was a steak, it would still have plenty of MOO).

Here we go... ENJOY!

#1 - 5th Aug 2013

01. Karizma - 2wice (R2 Records Promo)
02. Gulivert - Seven Wonders (Catwash Records Promo)
03. Harry Wolfman - Booty Call (Pete Dafeet's Bonus Dub) (Lost My Dog Promo)
04. Sasse - Got 2 Be feat. Ilija Rudman (Patrice Baumel Midnight Express Remix)
(My Favorite Robot Promo)
05. Guru Groove Foundation - It's Not The Time (Asaga Remix) (No Passport Promo)
06. Scientific Funk - Perception (Sounds of Juan Promo)
07. DJ W!LD - Narco (The W Label Promo)
08. Justin Jay - You & Me (Culprit Promo)
09. Funky Fat - Jealousy (Jamie Jones Remix) (Hot Creations Promo)
10. Tomson - The Drug Dealer & The Bookmaker (Illusion Recordings Promo)
11. Rhemi - Just A Feeling (Rhemi Promo)
12. Whitesquare - No Sleep (HK Records Promo)
13. Pat Lezizmo - Get Off (Conya Records Promo)
14. Studnitzky - Evora (Charles Webster Remix) (Sonar Kollektiv Promo)
15. Markus Homm & Leo Leal - Space Cowboy (Original Mix) (Colludo Promo)
16. Bambook & Andy Cap - Directions (Seamless Records Promo)
17. Selvy - Keep It Comin (Your Mama's Friend Promo)
18. Piemont - Fairplay (Original Mix) (Terminal M Promo)
19. Magic Eye - Inside My Love (Original Mix) (Strictly Rhythm Promo)
20. Pablo Valentino - What Does It Take (Original Mix) (Faces Promo)
21. H.O.S.H. - Astronaut (Diynamic Promo)
22. Scott Diaz - Therapy (Papa Records Promo)
23. AphroDisiax - Mind Ya Biz (Restless Soul Promo)
24. Blaze presents UDAUFL - Spread Love (Kiko Navarro's Keep On Dancing Mix)
(King Street Promo)
25. Namy & Kathy Brown - Not This Time (Director's Cut Classic Mix) (King Street Promo)

Mixed with NI Traktor DJ for iPad | Recorded at 119BPM

And if you fancy downloading the mix fo' yo' 'Pod, go here:

Soul News : 5th August 2013

1. Soul beard Cody ChesnuTT kicks-off a grueling US tour this month, ending at the Metro Theatre in Sydney this October. (via BWW)

2. Ghostpoet also hitting Oz to play a show the Oxford Art Factory in September. Trying to arrange reviews and interviews, so watch this space. (via Songkick)

3. New soulmate Thomas Coxhead announces the signing of Jabob Banks to Atlantic this week. Fantastic to see such talent recognised and rewarded, particularly as I was lucky enough to DJ alongside him late last year at Wired. Congrats! (via TheHouseOfCoxHead)

4. Chicster old boy behind Daft Punk's summer hit 'Get Lucky' Nile Rodgers is given the all-clear after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2010; claims a number one record aided recovery. (via BBC Newsbeat)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

SLL Asks The Bloggers - What Price Free?

This week I've been pondering a question that has kept me thinking ever since writing my dissertation on digital music about 7 years ago. The question is:

Does the limitless supply of free digital music prevent people from connecting with it in the way they used to?

Personally, I miss the days when I used to hear a track in a bar, club or on the radio and then make it my mission to track it down. As with most things in life, the thrill was in the chase - there's still no feeling quite like the satisfaction of finally getting that elusive track, plus the added kudos of acquiring such a hidden gem.

One of the first whites I chased relentlessly after hearing
Judge Jules open his set with it at Homelands in '99.

Having put so much energy (and usually cash) into getting hold of that new white label or rare 12, you would treasure it. In that one recording were countless hours travelling from store to store, crate-digging on hands and knees, conversing and negotiating with numerous wax pushers. You'd play it repeatedly because it was rare and valuable, often both in monetary and emotional terms - it was a way of expressing your individuality. As a result, it would take pride of place in your personal music repertoire along with a host of enduring neural attributions - emotions, events, places, people.

For the devoted trainspotter in the days of tangible record formats, a long sought-after single or album wasn't just a piece of music, it was the clearest and most personal way of capturing and subsequently recollecting a time in your life. And everyone's experienced it - most people can recall certain events in their life with the most amazing clarity when they are contextualised by a certain track.

Where the magic happened: Napier Hall in Horndean.
As photobombed by a random John Lennon fan.

I still remember my first proper kiss at a secondary school disco in a village hall near my home in Horndean. I don't remember the kiss being much cop (I think it was a fairly clumsy, sloppy affair all-round), but I do remember exactly what track was playing - Blueboy's 'Remember Me' (*ironic*). And my first proper cigarette to Dr Dre's 'Bang Bang'. And these were things that happened about 12-15 years ago. Having reached an age where I'm forgetting what I had for lunch at teatime, it goes to show just how powerful this phenomenon at least used to be.

These days the internet has given us no end of free music and ways of finding it, so the blood, sweat and tears of music discovery is no more. For every good tune we've heard for the first time, you only need to fire-up Shazam, Google the lyrics or hum the riff into an app and you're on the download. And that's if an algorithm hasn't already served you a link. So you download, listen and then typically move on to the next best thing before the track's even finished. After all, with limitless free choice, the next track might be even better than the first.

So I guess the question is: have we forgotten how to connect with music? Do we put more value in quantity, choice and accessibility over how a single piece of music makes you feel? Over the last few years, this has been my biggest worry as I can't recall many tracks that have really stuck with me, despite being able to recall dozens from the pre-internet years. It is in fact the reason I started this blog - to find music I really love and then put it into compilations (now the SLL Podcast) and listen to nothing but that during the week, all in an attempt to let the music have a deeper, more profound effect on me. And in the main it seems to be working, as I hope it will for you too if you're an avid reader/listener.

All this said, the art of crate-digging has evolved unrecognisably as a result, with anyone able to find unique, individual music without having to crawl through piles of junk in charity shops and dusty record shops. But where's the value in finding a tune which offers no commonality, no talking point with your mates? While people seem to be more accepting of listening to something different these days, the question is whether they're actually developing a connection with what they listen to. My guess is less so and I think this probably explains why the age-old Top-40 chart continues to evolve with the digital age and prove so popular - people still like to relate to common music that starts conversations and frames shared experiences.

As I'm sure you'll note from this incredibly long ramble, this is a question that's so complex and personal it was always going to be impossible to answer myself. So I thought I'd ask for responses from some of my top blogging peers - safe to say the replies were great. It's clearly a topic that many others have also considered.

So, are we no longer connecting with music in the same way? Or have we become, to quote Ziad from Salacious Sound, "just soulless fucks nowadays". Here's a few of the best responses I received - it'd be great to hear your thoughts after the jump.

Mike @

"I don't think so. I think it depends on the generation of the music listener. Somebody who grew up listening to new music before the internet became the main medium is likely going to have a different point of view then somebody much younger who has only used the internet as their source for music their entire lives. Music is today is so easily accessible, like so many other things nowadays via the internet, that there may seem to be connecting with it in a different way, but rather I'd argue that 'free music' just helps introduce people and consumers to new ways of experiencing and connecting with it on deeper levels (resurgence of vinyl records, cassette tapes, live shows/festivals, phones with music, etc.)"

Andrew @

"Not in my eyes. Yes, there is a limitless supply of free digital music but it's only opened up how we experience similar music (that we can connect to anyway).

It might sound silly but you're going to find the music you like regardless be it through any of the major music discovery platforms be it Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify/Rdio or Hype Machine.

The music game is forever changing and evolving and labels want to make sure you're still finding their wares, at the end of the day they must adapt or die."

Ayo @

"Yes and no and maybe that sounds like a huge anomaly but the truth is that the free digital music has changed how listeners connect with the music but it hasn't prevented the connection. If anything, it might have enhanced that connection in the sense that, we only connect with music that is exceptional and/or strongly speaks to us these days. Because of the constant influx of new music, our threshold for bad or mediocre music is at an all time low. Where before we might be more inclined to give certain music a chance via numerous listens, now (for us anyway), the sifting process in determining what I spend my time listening to is far more brutal and in the end, we find that we are connecting with music that actually speaks to us and that is of a higher quality than most."

Thomas @

"I always say this, but I think the Internet is the worst thing and the best thing to music.

I think it's the worst because of, like you say, how much free music and rubbish music there is out there right now. The internet, mainly leaks, makes us all the fastest critics in the world - as soon as a song goes up you have an opinion on it straight away and will probably download it for free or just never listen to it again. I would love go back to the 80's where it was all about hearing a track on the radio, or even better a Disco, and then have to go and find it in your local record store. Too many people illegally download music, but that is something we will never change now - it's all about finding other ways to make people want to buy music - Ed Sheeran & Adele haven't done too bad.

On the flip side, the Internet and free music are the most powerful tools going for artists, if you use them in the correct way. Engaging with fans on Twitter and giving stuff away for free on your SoundCloud is a great way to create a small loyal fanbase, which will then be there for you when it comes to releasing a single/album in the future. Also, if it wasn't for the Internet then The Foreign Exchange would never have happened, which is one of my favourite groups of all-time.

At the end of the day, people who want to buy physical music will still go to the shop and buy it, and those people who illegally download their whole libraries are probably those people back in the 90's who just didn't bother buying music and just listened to the radio. Everything is just easier these, but real music lovers still exist - myself being one them."

Maybe there's room for a more technologically advanced and engaging format to help us better connect with music in the age of abundance? So has the MP3 had its day? Check out our article The MP3 - What Next?

SLL Top 20 House Chart - July '13

Here's my house picks for this week's Juno Download chart, with many of the tracks featured on the Soulful Eivissa 2013 Mix I did earlier this month. Go buy!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Stop.Look.Listen. Podcast #17 *FREE TRACK DL PACK*

At last - here it is - episode 17 of the SLL Podcast series. I've been a little absent the last couple of weeks owing to frantic job interviews, but it does mean I had a wicked backlog of music to dig through and serve up for y'all.

The mix was compiled in the blazing sunshine in Sydney today, so I'm hoping I've captured some in the selection. Expect lots of lush downtempo hip-hop, funk, dub and electronica, as well as the usual quirky bits 'n' pieces. There are some epic free compilations out there at the moment, including new business from First Word with their latest 'Two Syllables' and Groovement's brand new 'Volume One' long-player, both of which are previewed here.

Also, as of this week I'll be offering-up all the free promos as a one-click download, if you fancy spicing-up your iPod and listening to some amazing new music. Enjoy!

#17 - 29th July 2013

01. Frameworks - Patience (First Word) [download]
02. Hanami - Fruition (Project: Mooncircle) [download]
03. Sparkling Bits - Land Of Thirst (Bandcamp)
04. Es-K - Coolin' In July (Millenium Jazz Music) [download]
05. Lakim - Mountain High (Soulection) [download]
06. Sir Froderick - bitesizesnacks (Bandcamp) [download]
07. Moka Only - Mercy (Bandcamp) [download]
08. Paul White - Lolita (One Handed Music) [download]
09. J-Felix - Lady T (Groovement) [download]
10. K-Maxx - Dreamin' Of You (Bastard Jazz Promo)
11. 813 - Village (Apothecary Compositions)
12. Dan Bodan - Anonynous (Kuhrye-oo Remix) (DFA) [download]
13. Hayden James - Permission To Land (Charles Murdoch Remix) (Future Classic) [download]
14. Pedestrian & Jasperdrum - Kalakuta vs Zombie (PEDit) (Self Released) [download]
15. Smokey Bandits - Subway Hustler (Renegades Of Jazz Break Remix) (Bombastic Jam Promo)
16. Harold Butler - Do It Anyday (Joey Negro Edit) (Z Records Promo)
17. Smokey Bandits - Smoke From The Attic (Blend Mishkin Remix) (Bombastic Jam Promo)
18. Dessy di Lauro - Mysterious (CrazyglueMusic LLC)
19. Riot Jazz Brass Band - Necropolis (First Word Promo)
20. MJ Cole - Crazy Love (Volta Cab Dub Mix) (Self Released) [download]

Automixed with Algoriddim Djay 2 for iPad
Style: Standard | Duration: 2.0 seconds | Auto-Sync BPM: OFF | Trigger Before End: 5 seconds


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