Green Velvet – Bijou Boston June 13, 2014 [Event Review]

The summer festival season is in full swing, which means artists are on the road, finally sharing some of the studio bombs that have been trickling out in the first half of the year. For those of us in Boston, Friday nights at Bijou provide an intimate experience, matching some of the best after parties found while artists are on the road. So when we heard Green Velvet would be making a stop before heading on to Spring Awakening in his home town of Chicago, we had to be there.

Known professionally as Green Velvet, Curtis Jones has been producing electronic music for over 20 years, and is one of the most well respected in the business. His unique style of music reminds us what tech house is all about, and his Chicago and Detroit roots clearly permeate throughout his sets. Under his Cajmere moniker, Curtis has also explored the depths of pure house music. From reading his interviews, it’s clear to us that the Green Velvet experience is all about transporting the crowd to a land of euphoria, solely with the help of his curated music. Alongside championing releases across his labels Cajual and Relief, Green Velvet most recently saw success with his 2013 full length album ‘Unshakable,’ which saw his single ‘Bigger Than Prince’ become one of the hottest tracks of the year.

Taking the decks in the warmup slot, Bijou’s usual Friday night resident, Tamer Malki welcomed the crowd in preparation for Green Velvet. Tamer is himself a talented producer, releasing tracks on Supernature as part of the duo Bedouin, and featuring prominently on this year’s edition of Soul Clap’s ‘Dancing On The Charles Volume 2’ with ‘Down The Blue.’ We were particularly impressed with Bedouin’s opening set for Lee Burridge a few weeks ago, and are always thankful to Bijou for selecting such an impressive resident. Before we knew it, Green Velvet appeared behind the decks, with his signature green mohawk and black sunglasses.

Shortly into his set, we heard the faint synths of the Maceo Plex edit of Gusgus ‘Crossfade’ and were beyond excited. We have been waiting to hear this one played out since it was released back in April. Its vocals, melody, and atmospherics all combine to make an excellent track early on in a set.

Throughout the night, Green Velvet spun many of his most well-known tracks, interlacing them between lesser known artists and label favorites. ‘Lazer Beams,’ ‘Percolator,’ and of course the Hot Since 82 remix of ‘Bigger Than Prince’ were all well received.

But really the crowd went truly wild when Green Velvet performed live vocals over ‘Flash.’ This one sounded so good live.

Ending the night with the vocal heavy classic ‘La La Land’ finished the set on a high note.

Above all else, it’s clear to our market research manager and I that Curtis Jones is one of the most thoughtful and engaging DJs out there. He took us on a journey that even now seems surreal, laced with both comedy as he danced along with the crowd and immense seriousness as he took us through highs and lows of an eye opening acid-like trip. No one else can do all this all while sipping on champagne from a flute with a smile constantly on his face. We’ll be saying #TechYes for many weeks to come!

As always, many thanks to our friends at Bijou for a wonderful night.

Franco Cinelli – All Frequencies LP + Interview

It’s rare these days that artists put out full length LPs and albums, but one producer to buck this trend is Argentinian Franco Cinelli. Famous for his remix of Cassius ‘Sound of Violence,’ veteran Franco Cinelli has also released music on labels including AirDrop, Bass Culture, and Ilian Tape over the past 15 years. Dropping into our inbox a few weeks ago, we had a chance to preview his ‘All Frequencies’ album out later this month via his home base of Esperanza. ‘All Frequencies’ is Franco’s first album in 8 years since his 2006 ‘Profundo Amor’ on Alphahouse. This one includes 7 tracks, one of which is digital only. We had a chance to speak with Franco about the album, so check out the interview below!

Out NOW via Esperanza!

If you had to describe your music in three words or less, what would you say?

Twisted-Tek-Funk? Difficult to say…

Could you tell us a little about how the album came to be? How long have you been working on it? What was an average day in the studio like?

The LP was created based on a row over a year of work, which could make enough tracks and test them every weekend. This plan includes an overview of what I’ve been doing this last year. I started creating music without knowing the results, and this helped me a lot to leave any work structure and flow without boundaries.

How did you get hooked up with Esperanza? What was the process like trying to figure out what label to release the album on?

Esperanza is my family, we have an excellent relationship, back in the year 2005/2006, since then we have been working together as much as doing releases and showcases. Kasper and Papol trust what I do and make me feel free and “at home”. What better than this to realize the idea. We came to a long time with the idea of ​​doing an LP in Esperanza Label. The only thing I needed to get the time to spend and do it. After about 20 tracks we made a selection together, as well as with Kasper and Papol, Esperanza Label owners and we decided to put these 7 tracks that are in the LP.

Our favorite track was definitely Juno Talks. What’s the inspiration and story behind this one?

The song came from a day session in the studio, thinking of nothing in particular, just let the sound of my Juno106 flow.

Which songs are you really excited about at the moment?

Andres Zacco – The Box (Greener)
Sparky – Portland (Ricardo Villalobos Remix) (Numbers)
Leonel castillo – 77 Ks (Groovear Cd Limited)
Jeff Mills – Chronicles Of Possible Worlds (Axis)

Now that the album is finished and soon to be released, what’s next in 2014?

As a producer after the album (All Frequencies), comes a new EP Psynote, a new alias eh created to released a different side to my daily productions, this will be published this summer by the German label Chiwax. Also a new partnership for Greener label (from my good friend Andres Zacco) plus some remixes for different artists. As a DJ I will continue with my regular dates in Argentina and Latin America and Early June I will be going on a new tour of Europe almost three months.

Sable Sheep – Vagabond From Hell

Vagabond is such a wonderful word, and it’s only fitting that the next release from the Desolat label of Martin Buttrich and Loco Dice feature this word. Following up to recent releases from Alli Borem (‘Destinations’), Cuartero (‘Abandonado’), and of course the Desolat-X Sampler, Sable Sheep is the next artist to debut on the label. Sable Sheep is a German producer with years of experience, releasing music on some of the finest labels in the business including DFTD, Defected, Be As One, and Moon Harbour, most recently appearing on Cristoph’s compilation album for DFTD. ‘Fallen Lead Showers’ (vinyl only) opens the EP with a distinct tech beat and a classic stab-focused sample. ‘Vagabond From Hell,’ our favorite from the EP is a hard-hitting tech banger with a crazy infectious bassline and grimy sub-bass. This one sounds so good live! ‘Sobriety,’ opening the B-side, is a production that really drives the EP forward, with an in your face siren-like synth, high energy, and almost industrial percussion. ‘Crown’ rounds off the EP in fine style with a slowly building bouncy beat, industrial bleep, showcasing a classy twisted house aesthetic. ‘Jaw’ (Digital Only) and shows a different attitude of Sable Sheep. More mechanical in nature, the synth stabs are pure electronica, and provide a melodic focus unseen with the other tracks. We’re very impressed with this EP, and commend both Sable Sheep and Desolat for another quality release.

Out now on Desolat. Previews to come! Watch this space.

Robert Dietz – Chrome/Famas EP

It’s always nice to find a track that you can dance to in bed, and Robert Dietz’s next release is perfect for that, fitting squarely in the minimal tech house realm. Originally based in Frankfurt and now in Berlin, Robert Dietz is a favorite of some of the hottest labels including Cadenza, Saved, Recovery Tech, and most recently, featuring prominently on Desolat’s X-Sampler (responsible for curating it). ‘Chrome/Famas’ EP is his first one since moving to Berlin, and it finds its way to Steve Lawler’s VIVa imprint. The four tracker delivers two originals and two remixes, and clearly demonstrates why Robert Dietz is so highly regarded. ‘Chrome’ opens with a sultry point counterpoint vocal that rolls over a driving bassline with head-shaking rhythms and a spacey melody. ‘Famas’ is perfect for getting in the groove, keeping your head towards the floor and fist pumping into the air. The deep groove provides an agressive overtone to the tribal percussion and dubbed yet simple pads. This one is by far our favorite. The B-side includes the two remixes, one each from Randall M and Fernando Costantini. US based Randall takes a crack at ‘Famas,’ pushing cracking 303s to center stage. Meanwhile. Fernando Costantini provides his take of ‘Chrome,’ resulting in a funky cross genre blend of bleeps, tech basslines, and snares – creating a full room experience. We take Robert’s EP as a sign of great things to come, so stay on the lookout for more music!

Out now on VIVa.

Origins Sound – Test Tape/MindField EP

Quickly following up their March released ‘Dallas’ EP, Origins Sound, comprising of Bath based producers Joe and Ali, now debut on Get Twisted Records with two new originals as part of their ‘Test Tape/MindField’ EP. After past releases on Leftwing & Kody’s new label Lost Records, Glasgow.Underground, and Sex Panda White, Origins Sound have begun to solidify a place for themselves in the rapidly burgeoning garage-based scene. Get Twisted Records is the label headed by duo Tough Love, and saw recent success with their own release ‘Bring The Heat Vol 1.’ ‘Test Tape’ kicks things off with a signature funky bassline that helps to drive the track forward as vocal samples jut in and out. The mixdown section of the track really highlights the vocal loop as the bassline fades away, only to suddenly return harder than ever. In a similar manner, ‘MindField’ is another characteristic production of the duo, and continues to advance their unique sound. The soulful yet faint male vocals grow in intensity as the song progresses, all the while layered over another bangin’ bassline. Another great EP from Origins Sound, and these two are definitely on our list to watch.

Out now on Get Twisted Records.

Patrick Topping – Boxed Off EP

2014 has been quite a year for dance music already, and Hot Creations, the label of Jamie Jones and Lee Foss, shares their next offering. After past strong releases from Tom Flynn and Fur Coat, Patrick Topping releases his ‘Boxed Off’ EP 2 months after his February EP ‘Get Beasty.’ ‘Get Beasty,’ also out via Hot Creations, saw significant support and with Patrick’s third EP for the label, he is a clear Hot Creations favorite. This time around ‘Boxed Off’ includes three more originals. ‘Forget’ starts things off right with a bumpin’ techy drive, sultry female vocals, and well-placed bells and shrieks. The title track is next with elements of industrial pads a-la Drumcode, uplifting synth progressions, and vocal snippets. Ending things we have ‘Schwicked,’ which is a fun piece of a hard percussion-based bassline combined with intricate atmospheric pitched sounds and the occasional melodic refrain. Another fine and funky Hot Creations release!

Out now on Hot Creations!

Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo – Girls/Breathe EP

Shadow Child and Kry Wolf’s Food Music label is among our favorites at the moment. We’ve covered recent releases from goldFFinch (‘Black Pyramid’ EP) and Lena Cullen (‘Timeless’ EP). This string of great releases continues with a two track collaborative contribution from Birmingham-based duo Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo with their ‘Girls/Breathe’ EP. Making a name for themselves with their 2013 collaboration ‘Dappy’ EP‘ also released via Food Music. We also loved their last winter’s dirtybird EP ‘Kneadin, ’ which showcased a different side of their musical minds. ‘Girls’ opens the EP, which relies heavily upon a classic RnB sample to provide a bumpin’ bassline. ‘Breathe,’ the B-side, sees the two producers explore a more atmospheric side, with deep pads and bouncing 808s.

Out now via Food Music.