A fun filled four days in Barcelona for the Sonar Off parties has just lead to a Saturday morning session searching some of the tracks. For many years Sonar festival has been gaining widespread recognition and is now a staple part of the Clubbers calender. More recently the city of Barcelona has been filled by club nights, record labels and international DJs across the week, running one of showcase events in a variety of temporary and permanent venue spaces across the city. Beach bars, hotel rooftops, museums, olympic stadium and even a monastery terrace played host to a range of electronic artists across the week.
Once – Dan Ghenacia & David Duriez
Arriving as the sun was setting the Mac Arena was filled with 600+ beach revellers huddled around the Beach bar with the Appollonia DJs laying down a range of 4×4 beats. This deep driving atmospheric track blared across the crowd lead by the protrusive snares and puckering groove.
March (Club Tip Mix) Feat. Franklin Fuentes - The Look
Deep bouncing 1993 classic from Brooklyn/Ibiza DJ legend, Danny Tenaglia producing under one of his aliases. No doubt slipping out for years in his marathon sets, this track was worked through by Shonky as the sun pitched to black. A strong mix of old school knacks, hits, ground breaking freq's; the US vocals still keep this tune close to hand for a host DJs who stay harking back to the early years.
Equilibrio (Original Mix) – Tale Of Us & Visionquest A deep atmospheric techno dub from the Visionquest crew of Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson, Shaun Reeves and Lee Curtis who have been working wonders across the electronic music scene of late. Laced with escalating piano synths, furturstic melodies and a errie racking high hits this track closed through the tail end of the session as hundreds remained fixed in a spot on by the Mediterranian sea which was complemented the beach side backdrop tampered by a industrial factory looming from behind.
Boo Beach club, a boat shaped venue which protruded out into the ocean was host to W+L's first Sonar party which was backed by label associates Slow Hands, Tanner Ross, Soul Clap and Voices of Black. Early sets paved through dreamy lounge sounds and deep disco electronica before merging into a crate digging vinyl showcase of trip hop, deep house, rock and hip hop. Tracks such as Womacks classic 'Teardop' were mixed into Larry Heard, Pepe Bradock and Homework with Nicolas Jaar making an appearance to play his edit of Missy Elliot.
Frequent Flyer feat. Jules Born – Tanner Ross Tanner Ross followed along the same lounge house dreamy hallucination vein, albeit slightly more uptempo. Featuring vocals by Jules Born, one half of the duo Voices of Black, a variety of 70′s/80′s influenced synths, and a heavy, but groovy bass line, “Flyer” is “sun-soaked electro funk” perfect for riding around with the top down and the system up.
Spyro Evo (Slow Hands Remix) – Chromatic Filters
Downbeat, slo-mo biz number from Chromatic Filters which is out on limited release on Rebirth. Deep electronic acid guitar-tinged track with a backbeat groove chant topped off with leading synths, ska jibes and euphoric reverbed vocals, a staple sound emerging out of Slow Hands live set at Boo Beach Club.
Love Vibe (Jimpster Remix) – Iz and Diz Iz and Diz began making music together in Chicago 1994, recording their first track at the legendary KMS studios in Detroit for the Prescription Records offshoot Balance. Revisiting one of their most notable tracks, Jimpster stears back into house territory with a dreamy, carefully build-up and slowly intensifying version that puts a nice twist on the melancholic piano chords.
Marseille Desole (Original Mix) – John Daly Sunday played host the Secretsundaze party in the incredible Montjuic hills looking over Barcelona. The walk through Poblo Espanyol lead to the outdoor courtyard set amongst towering trees and mystical winding pathways of the Spanish town. After the sun had set the party moved inside to the Terrrazza, a large multi-leveled space with raised dj booth and a central structure which dancers took full advantage of climbing all over.
No19. arrived in Barcelona for their first ever sonar showcase and chosen the brand new Almogavers club with a fully fitted function one sound system to ensure it went off. Following the success of the WMC party, Art Department, Deniz Kurtel, Russ Yallop and Tone of Arc ensured the club stayed open to the early hours with Luca C topping off the show with live vocals from Ali Love
Beautiful World (Deniz Kurtel Remix) - Amirali
Captivating slice of nu-wave wonky electronic melancholic house with Amirali's gothic vocals quickly being compared to Depeche Mode and Underworld. Deniz Kurtel Bringing down the pace on her set, allowing for plenty of spooky spaciousness, her rework is a master class in progression and sonic texture, effortlessly gliding from futuristic bleeps to funky licks and utilising the melody to devastating effect.
Kiss Jesse On The Dick – Jesse Perez
Out on a mix album from Mr.Nice Guy, "Head, Sex, & Welfare Checks" this stomping track has been sneaking out sets from several of the Rebels. With heavy sampling from the Digital Underground's 1980's hip hop tune 'Kiss You Back' this proven blend will always keep the party pumping.
LSD-25 – Butch On a limited vinyl release of 500 copies out on Cecille, this track is one to save for those special moments. A fusion of deep tech house and 60's progressive acid rock this track ties beautifully ties together both cultural sonic revolutions. Knocks, snares and deep groove are overlaid with a extended stressed guitar ballad that roars its way though the 11 minute long track.
Rampa – Everything 'Everything' starts off with Meggy moaning an affirmative mmmhhmmm through the first few bars before expanding into catchy and explicit lyrics. The spanking claps and overall pumping sex appeal of this tune will ultimately loosen all hormonal congestion a dancefloor could suffer from.
Dirty Honey – Tom Demac Hypercolour returns with another raw sounding, sub heavy house music hammer. The double kicks and eerie bass notes jostle about like mischievous loiterers until a recognisable “hey, today, baby I got your money” vocal sample from ODB/Kelis ups the ante yet further. Playful, poppy and propulsive.
Pride (Johnny D Remix) – Osunlade Johnny D steps in to revive a sleeping classic from Strictly Rhythm in the early noughties. Whilst the original is still fresh and vibrant with afrobeats and the consummate vocals of Nadirah Shakoor, the remix adds the traditional deep tech house groove bristling with tension and pure danceability.
Warm Cologne – Gabriel Ananda This summery track finds Ananda rolling out the warm bassline and glittering synths. Its simple escalating piano melody trips us along before strings sweep us through the break by a bouncy rasping snare.
Confessions - Burning Tears
Luv Shack records has been paving the way for Viennas new electronic music the scene, kicking of the proceedings with this all killer deep house electronica pack. 'Confessions' is a punchy almost reggae trance with the big claps and a massive gospel shout out that really do light up this energy laden track. Video & EP
Easy Life – K-nto
. K-nto's Rock Steady EP on Funk Mansion records is a short mix catalogue of classic jazz, disco and hip hop samples with funky basslines and strong beats combining with new sounds. Easy life is a feel good hip house groove sampling the delightful vocals out of Billy Stewart's 'Summertime'
Cereal Lover – Ray Mang This has probably been one of my favourite tracks over the last few months. Sampling 'Flakes – Sugar Frosted Lover' this re-edit sculpts it into a groovey dubbed out disco nugget driven by rhythmic guitar sequences fit for any occasion.
Let It Go – Huxley This track was signed to Hypercolour after Huxley dropped it at a festival to a 5 strong crowd gathered around the back of an ice cream van.Almost every section of this track is catchy; from the stuttering drums, the nagging basslines, the hefty leads and the prominent full vocal
One Lonely Knight - Arto Mwambe Beisswenger and Phillip Lauer ran into each other when releasing solo 12"s on Punkt Music (RIP) in the early 2000s. Since then they've been sculpting a live sound with the occasional release on underground german labels. This track outlines their deep skudge electronic crushed up rhythms
Belle Rive – Nicolas Masseyeff Following a string of well received EPs, Nicolas released a solid album "Motherland" on Stephan Bodzins 'Herzblut' label. This is one of several standout tracks, deep with pulsating synthesizer waves and an overall theme that’s both uplifting as melodramatic.
Can You Feel It (Supernova Remix) – Chez Damier Chez Damier has played close witness to many of the pivotal moments in the history of house and techno and 'Can You Feel It' stands up against every house record ever made. 20 years later Supernova adds to the package with a deep, rich, typically twisted, rolling groove.
Simple Girl (Tiger & Woods Remix) – Dale Earnhardt Jr T&W have placed their very gifted, very dance-oriented hands on the single, remaking it into a chilled-out upbeat electronic song for any weekend fiesta. Billowing soprano vocals scat for most of the seven minutes, intermixed with coquettish xylophones and drum machines. It’s smooth, lush, vivifying, and one song that will stay on rotation for the next few weeks.
Heartbreaker (Extended) – Crazy P
The UK musicians in electronica outfit Crazy P started out with a deep love of house and disco. Their fifth album, When We On, is a buttery mix of beats with the honey-hued tones of Danielle Moore. Today's Top Tune is "Heartbreaker."
In Love – Tim Green Feel-good, atmospheric, sunny-side disco-inspired piece. House at its finest with its smooth vocal cuts and creamy synth lines. A golden wave of dance club nostalgia comes over us in the most beautiful way, whilst holding its sounds rooted in the modern Tech House scene.
Jazz Fusic – Chris Lattner Fuse resident Enzo Siragusa, teams up with Lattner to create a querky little houser with a twist of a smile about it, Chunky kicks, overlay statements and a groove melody you can switch the lights off to.
Elements Of Fife (Main Mix) – The Revenge Scotish rising star, Graeme Clark, started creating a skewed blend of electronic music using a couple of his dad’s old drum machines, a 4 track and a sampler. This has continued to develop producing tracks like this slow grooving New York / Chicago style percussive house club jam
Playdo (Laura Jones Remix) – Matthew Burton & Nick Lawson A hypnotic groover, the original mix of 'Playdo' is alive with quirky sonic detail and trippy spontaneity, the spring-like sounds and spry electric keys provide ying to the yang of the moody bassline, clicky drums and evocative vocal ris
Step Aside (Lightweight) – Life and Death A slice of laconic lazy house with growling, pulsing bass line gradually turning more and more analogue and acidic as the warm enigmatic omnipresent pads infuse snarling dismissive vocals…serious sonic skullduggery.
Under The Sheets – Maceo Plex Fresh release from Jonny Whites’ No.19 Label, ‘Under The Sheets’ uses a deep hypnotic bassline, old school drums and distorted vocals to create a song which is mesmerizing from start to finish.
Quell – Real People Working with labels such as Ibadan, These Days, Offering recordings, Kolour Recordings and Blockhead Recordings, Quells music is not easily put into one category. Full of heavily reverberated vocals and uplifting strings make this track one for the old school house fans.
Think About It (Maceo Plex Remix) – Martin Dawson With a firm 'family' feel, Pets Recordings have been lucky enough to play host to many of their talented friends, all feeding off the special close-knit vibes to turn in some of their most special work. I heard Matt Tolfrey play this tune at Krankbrothers which started tearing at the seams as the deep groove bassline flowed through the temporary loft conversion. Infectious vocals, uplifting tones and alternating atmospheres… Maceo still leads the scene.
The Sun Can't Compare (Long Version) – Larry Heard This timeless track is mesmerizing, drawing on subtle features of acid house which recall back into the glory days of the rave movement whilst painting a deep atmospheric picture with pin-point edits, 303 pattern hat slaps, stripped back beats complimented by sensual vocal lyrics. This track has been slipped into a plethora of different genre sets, from deep dark techno to house to future garage.
Lady Luck (The Groovedoctor Edit) – Jamie Woon Man of the moment, Luciano was seen smashing various live edits of Lady Luck all summer at his Pacha and Ushuaia residencies and across his fully packed worldwide DJ roster. Overlaying the pure tone vocals of Jamie Woon along with a set of other sample suprises into his usual portfolio pumping underground tech house tunes, Luciano was able to recognisably carve out the summer party landscape.
Amame – Intruder Now and again a track emerges that is effortlessly cool as well as being an out and out show stopper which leaves a constant enquiry of what is this?and how can I get hold of it? Well thanks to the guys at Defected for sending it over to me last month, this track is an absolute anthem, electronic scaling riffs, kick clicks, hat taps and the most infectious vocal of the summer.
"A 90 minute journey through the dark techno tinged sounds of house, twisted bare grooves, emersive clicks & clacks and scattering snares worked over driving tribal rhythms. After months of careful crafting, the mix delves into and out of underground recognition whilst showcasing an essential selection of collaborations between electronic musics most esteemed artists."
Another World (Marcos Cabral Bay City Remix) – Andy Ash
Egotrippin (Original Mix) – Franck Roger
Keep On (Boris Werner Keeps on Truckin' Mix) – Matthias Tanzmann
Taped and Gorgeous (Nic & Mark Fanciulli Remix) – Shlomi Aber
Woodstock (Luna City Express Wooden Remix) – Mirco Violi & Domy
Talonkikit (Ray Okpara Deeptool Remix) – Sierra Sam
Solaris (Christian Burkhardt Unix Remix) – Martinez
What Your Soul Sings (Paul Ritch Remix) – Luca Bacchetti
Telesto (Martin Buttrich Remix) – Marc Romboy vs. Stephan Bodzin
The Unspoken Word – Reboot
Toscana (Loco Dice Remix) – Mousse T
You Got Me (Emerson Todd Remix) – Thomas Schumacher
The Unspoken Word (Edit) – Reboot
Fizheuer Zieheuer – Ricardo Villalobos
Parish Fair (Reboot's Catch The Bus Remix) – Luna City Express
Williamsburg (Arado & Marco Faraone Remix) – Martinez
Perfect Stranger (Guti Remix) – Phonique
Love Or Leave Me (Johnny's Power To The People Remix) – Johnny D
Doppelwhipper (Rocco Branco & Tobias Becker Remix) – Gabriel Ananda