Monday, 5 August 2013

The rise of House music, from Detroit to Manchester

[Interior of the Hacienda nightclub, Manchester]

As the 90s progressed and drum machines gave increasing power to DJs while allowing producers to explore different sounds and increasingly complicated rhythms, new genres sprung up faster than most people could keep up with. By the late 90s things had reached a climactic peak of idiocy, with music fans and artists hell bent on sub-classifying house music into increasingly obscure and pointless genres that often made little to no sense at all. However, broadly speaking, in many of the clubs in Europe (especially Berlin) house music was becoming more sparse, with DJs favouring minimal melodies and ambient experiments paired with driving beats that could come and go like a aural tide.

Drawing inspiration from the sparser sounds of Detroit techno, Deep House softens the harsh edges of industrial beats and relies of bass-heavy warmth to drive bodies on the dance-floor. Often classified as progressive house, trance, minimalist or tech house, its resurgence in popularity thanks to newer artists such as Deadmau5 will ensure that the delights of enraged genre debates can continue in future generations.

Deep House/Techno DJ mix:

Artist // Track

1. Begin - Elate
2. Deadmau5 - Faxing Berlin
3. Daft Punk - Contact
4. System 7 - Spacebird (Dubfire remix)
5. Underworld - Mmm... Skyscraper I Love You
6. Shlomi Aber & Itamar Sagi - Blonda (Original)
7. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver
8. Orbital - Belfast

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Saturday, 3 August 2013

Track Highlight: Mother of Pearl

The original Dorian Gray, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music has made a career of looking for love in all the wrong places. Before sliding into a wearied but knowing collapse of easy listening, Roxy Music spent the 70s as one of the pioneers of British art-rock, mixing experimental studio techniques with high-brow lyrics and unsettling performances.

This song from their third album is a story told in two parts, with the narrator finding himself in the middle of a frenzied party, frantically trying to be noticed. Later, reflecting on the night, he stumbles upon life's inner meaning and ponders on the futility of his search for love. Those familiar with Ferry must wonder at the obvious parallels with his own life, and the tragedy of predicting his own personal troubles while being unable to avoid them. Still, it's unlikely he'd change it for the whole world.

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