Amoeblog

A Basement, a Red Light and a Feeling

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 14, 2007 08:36pm | Post a Comment
This week I happened to receive new music by Elektrons, a Manchester-based duo who've recently released their second single, and it's one that has shot to the top of my chart - I've been humming it all week!

 

"Dirty Basement" features Eska, a vocalist who's worked extensively in the Broken Beat world with the likes of Bugz in the Attic and I. G. Culture, often the highlight of the songs she's singing, as is the case with the majority of Culture's vastly overlooked New Sector Movements album Turn It Up. She is wicked, and this is no exception. The staccato verses sound like she's channeling Missy Elliot a bit but once she really starts singing, it's purely Eska.



Elektrons
are also known as eclectic DJ crew  The Unabombers and throw an internationally-known club night called The Electric Chair (popular enough that they have their own CD compilations) that's been turning folks on to its varied music policy of fun, funky and leftfield dance tunes since 1995. Made up of Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey, the Unas both have a long history in music, with Crawford being behind jazzy downtempo act Only Child on Mark Rae's Grand Central Records as well as bassist for Madchester dance-rockers New Fast Automatic Daffodils (who are due for a major revival any day now - you heard it here first).






This tune. is. killer - check the Elektrons' MySpace page linked above to hear it. Any song with the chorus "All we need is a dirty basement/With a red light on" is going to naturally appeal to me (another lyric explains that "these are the only things that can keep me motivated". Me to a "T"). Singing the praises of dancing in the dark as a lifestyle might not be a new thing, but this is how its done properly and with style. It's part House and Disco, part Hip Hop, part Soul. Check it for yourself:



I completely love how it manages to be 100% contemporary pop but still bump and swing in the right places. Infectious.



Last year's Elektrons single, The Get Up EP, was an instant favorite of mine and in my bag for a solid year afterwards. I'd recommend checking out "Sunshine Love", a summery disco jam with a rubberband bassline and enough good spirit to propel multiple beach parties.

"Dirty Basement" is out now on 12".



World Wide!

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 7, 2007 07:45pm | Post a Comment
I co-produce a radio show on local community station KUSF called the Friday Night Session. Along with my fellow producers Andrew Jervis and Tomas Palermo, we visit brand new music for two hours every Friday night from 10pm to Midnight. While there's no set music policy, we tend to play jazz, soul, funk, latin, reggae and electronic dance music that is influenced by all those things, including Broken Beat, so-called "Nu-Soul" and Disco.

Last week we were lucky to have Gilles Peterson, BBC Radio One DJ and selector extraordinaire as our special guest. Gilles was in town working on the second volume of his Gilles Peterson Digs America compilation series for Ubiquity Records, as well as to DJ at local superclub Ruby Skye, but still found the time to kick it with us at the KUSF studio in SF's Western Addition.





Over a killer falafel plate from Haight Street's Blue Front Cafe and a wonderful bottle of wine, Gilles took us on a tour of his record box for two hours, while regaling us with tales of being a globetrotting DJ. Inbetween sips of cabernet, Gilles managed to play us a diverse selection of tunes ranging from latin jazz from artists like Tito Puente and Ray Camacho to more contemporary jams from Louie Vega and Simbad.

The show is available to be streamed online at the FNS website, as is a full tracklist  (plus three years' worth of archived shows to keep you busy). Enjoy.

GILLES PETERSON LIVE ON THE FRIDAY NIGHT SESSION 03/30/07
(streaming MP3)

Vertical Tones & Horizontal Noise

Posted by Mike Battaglia, April 5, 2007 01:25pm | Post a Comment

Andrew Meecham is The Emperor Machine, one of the best producers working in electronic music at the moment. A soundclash between influences as diverse as Can, early Human League, Hawkwind, George Clinton and Kraftwerk, Meecham's Krautrock-Disco bubbles and squeaks with analogue rock intensity while remaning funky enough to get your groove on.

Meecham started out in seminal 90's house/rave group Bizarre Inc. alongside Carl Tuner and Dean Meredith. They had a string of hits including "Playing With Knives" and "I'm Gonna Get You", both of which charted in the UK (the former hit #3, the latter #4) as well as the US (#47), and both are considered "club classics".

"Playing With Knives":


"I'm Gonna Get You" (one of my personal favorites):



After their second album, 1996's Surprise, was commercially disappointing, Bizarre Inc. disappeared until 1999, when Meredith and Meecham resurfaced with Steve "Fella" Kotey as Chicken Lips. Since then, it's been full steam ahead, with the boys finding a home at DC Recordings (scheduled to have its own Technophilia post anytime soon) as Big Two Hundred, aka "the dark side of Chicken Lips", and two side projects: Meredith as White Light Circus and Meecham as TEM.

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