Thursday, 27 February 2014

More recent music: Watergate 15

Sometimes it's nice to get something unexpected. I've been a big fan of Berlin-based club Watergate since I first heard Sebo K's Watergate 4 in Swag Records (RIP) as a place to get really good quality house music that has more emphasis on underground vibes and as few commercial tracks that might feature on a throwaway Ministry of Sound compilation as possible.And in keeping with the rest of the series, the album art is really striking and impressive. It's the sort of artwork that really makes owning a physical copy of the CD worthwhile

So cue Kerri Chandler. Oddly enough, the first track I ever heard from him was the lovely Digital Love Affair from Sebo K's Back Up Volume 1 and this really set the scene for this release. It's deep, American house with some excellent synth bass and lead lines, opening up with a really soulful number from Detroit Swindle and continuing with funky basses, some lovely vocal samples and that Chicago drum shuffle that makes this a catchy little mix. It's at once a nostalgia-infused throwback to older records from the early nineties as much as it is a presentation of more recent productions.

In terms of slotting in with the rest of the series, this really hits all the right notes you would expect from a Watergate mix: an excellent compilation and well worth owning.

Monday, 24 February 2014

CD Haul - 22 / 2 / 2014

A recent trip round a nearby car boot sales yielded some very cheap classic dance singles - I'm really feeling the mid-nineties Baby D / Let Me Be Your Fantasy and Livin' Joy / Dreamer EPs in particular. Both of these have about six or seven tracks EACH: a radio edit, full single version and tons of remixes. Gone are the days when CD Singles were good value, you're lucky to get four or more tracks these days. Sure, some of the remixes are hit and miss, but the more the merrier in my book.

I'll pick up anything by Blue States for the unreleased B-sides, but as of writing I haven't actually got round to listening to it yet. The same is true for Sincere, thought while I bought MJ Cole's classic for the B Sides, it was only when I got home that I realised that it came with the video and a Jazzanova remix that I hadn't heard before - it's a tasty track indeed.

All this for a quid - can't really go wrong there.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Roland Aira

Well it's nice to be proved wrong every now and again, with the new Roland Aira units. Judging from YouTube reviews that have been dropping in from a European DJ show where the Airas have been debuting, there's plenty of new information coming out. Now that the dust has settled, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on these units.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Aira Teasers

So after the release of a couple of extra videos to hype up the tension, there are few new developments in the Aira saga ahead of the official unveiling.

I've been looking at a lot of the coverage online, as this is one of the more interesting hardware launches from Roland, who generally release expensive keyboard workstations that I neither need nor afford. Here's a little roundup...

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Kaossilator GONE

It's time to say sayonara to my little Korg Kaossilator, for which I received 50 clams for this morning via Gumtree and has gone to live with another user, much like my MicroKorg and its virtual analogue sound engine.

Of course, I did quite like using the Kaossilator for doing phrases with and also for adding sound effects when playing with my Volcas, but there are quite a few problems with the Korg Kaossilator v1 that I think need to be made clear.