Looks like this chart business is harder to keep up with than I first anticipated. Here is what’s getting maximum rotation on the Energy Flash decks this month.
Ican – Make It Hot (Ican Productions)
This is one of the tracks off the El Quinto EP that seems to have gone under the radar, despite its raw energy and broad appeal potential. “Make It Hot” is fueled by a swirling organ pattern and tight bassline that create a hypnotic flow, but it’s how they break that flow with a quick pause and syncopation beatdown that makes this track’s groove so compelling. “Make It Hot” is bolstered by vocal samples from Midway’s “Set It Out,” with pleas to “really make it hot” and “don’t you ever stop” that give this track a sense of urgency and referential history. Oh, and did I mention the funk keyboard solo about 4 1/2 minutes in? What more can I say, this track lives up to its name.
The Florian Muller Project – The Fire Under The Ice (Logos)
Taken from upcoming album Blessing, this track is one of several that stand out. This unknown French artist takes his cue from jazz and funk imparting his music with grand melodic gestures and this track is no exception. Grounded with a protracted 3 note bassline the strings start to build, the pads layer over growing keyboard lines before the sky opens up with an epic synth progression that rises with every chord turn. Techno to get lost in.
Orlando Voorn – Power of Beauty-Tribute to mix (Divine Karma)
What turns out to be the planned first release on Voorn’s new label is also a perfect piece of deep house that he admits is an homage to the masters of the sound (Larry Heard, Frankie Knuckles, etc.) and is calling “soulfulmindmusic.” I’m not sure what style of music OV hasn’t tried his hand at and not hit out of the ballpark. Looks like the classic “Love Break,” his collaboration with Blake Baxter will also share pressing space on the A side with a few remixes.
The Moderator – Bump! (Eevonext)
I’m really not that familiar with The Moderator’s work even though judging by the fact he’s had releases on Eevolute and DJax from back in 96-97 and an EP or two on DownLow I really should be. So it took me awhile, but here I find myself falling for the gorgeously funky update of the Eindhoeven techno sound.
Marvin Belton – Feelin Good – SF Dub (Ferrispark)
Scott Ferguson has been kind enough to get some repress action going on with his Ferrispark label. The Bleed To Be Free EP from 2002 features Marvin Belton’s strong soulful pleads, channeling Marvin Gaye on the title track, but it’s Ferguson’s own dub of “Feelin Good” that gets me in the mood. Coming on like a Ron and Chez KMS joint, this is house music that is both deep without losing the dance floor direction. Look for the Dump Days EP repress as well.
John Carpenter – The President Is Gone (BBE)
One helluva slice of tension setting mood music, Carpenter’s short piece taken from his 1981 film Escape From New York, features on Ame, Henrick Schwarz, Ame and Dixon’s Grandfather Paradox compilation as well. I can remember being 9 years old and seeing this in the theater and just being mesmerized by the concept of NYC turned into a maximum security prison, Isaac Hayes as the Duke of NY driving a caddy with chandliers, and mines on the Brooklyn bridge. Plus Snake Plissken kicked ass.
John Tejada – Better Days (Palette)
Good to see Tejada coming at music with the same stance that endeared him to me back when I first heard the Ebonics EP. Melodically rich, funky stabs and chunky bass, and ever advancing sound design. You can’t keep a good artist down.
Sheharzad – Yalla Yalla -Panoptikum Remix (Fine Art)
This remix takes the original, an acoustic middle-eastern song, ditches the vocals, infuses arpeggio bass and digital trills while hanging on tightly to the multiple string harmonies. Reminiscent of Kelley Polar’s string laden neo-disco-isms.
Cobblestone Jazz – Traffic Jam (Wagon Repair/K7)
Coming on less restrained and subtle than some of this trio’s previous work and with a more straight-on groove locked in, this track’s strength is in the group’s renowned rhythm swing with a thick layering of mutating bass curls driving it in a direction that seems like anything but rush hour traffic. But they still manage to interject their jazz chops with a sporadic keyboard riff that cements this tune’s place in many a set to come.