Photo by Jos Kottman.
Following the first edition of Clubland, in which François K talked about the ethos of his influential N.Y.C. night Deep Space, the veteran DJ chooses four different records which channel the Deep Space spirit.
Objekt – “Agnes Demise” [Objekt]
I’ve been championing this heavily for at least half a year. I don’t know what style it’s supposed to be. I’m not sure if it’s electro—as in post-Detroit electro—or if it has dubstep affiliations or not. It’s just one of those songs I can fit into everything. It has a very strong, driving, electronic thing going on, which, as I say, reminds me of an offshoot of stuff like Drexciya but he has his own style, too. We’ve had TJ [Hertz] play a few times at Deep Space already, and every time he’s been absolutely terrific. The highlight of the record for me is that there’s a middle section where the beat completely drops and these electronic sounds sort of go into overdrive and distortion mode. It becomes the same thing that you sometimes see rock bands do with electric guitar, when the wall of distortion is so heavy it just drives people crazy. I think that makes the record absolutely stunning. It’s one that I have kept playing at Deep Space very regularly.
Jon Hopkins – “Open Eye Signal” [Domino]
DJ Cosmo/Colleen Murphy came to Deep Space to play with me in February and she brought a few records with her which I thought were absolutely stunning. She had this one that I was completely unaware of by Jon Hopkins, “Open Eye Signal”. This is one of those very dark, brooding records with distorted melody and bass. I don’t know what to compare it to, but it completely took me by storm. Let’s be honest, most DJs are turned onto music by other DJs. Of course, you do all the listening you can and you try to find all the stuff on your own, but at the end of the day, sometimes it’s really about going to see someone else play and they do something that you were never going to consider. The thing is, whether it’s at the record store or whether it’s listening online, music never sounds quite the same as how it’s going to sound at the club or a big party.
Special Request – Soul Music [Houndstooth]
I’m crazy about this album—I can’t stop playing songs from it. There’s so many great things on that album. What I really, really liked about it was that Paul Woolford managed to capture all the excitement and the mood of the junglist music from the mid-nineties but he completely updated it to a different context and different tempos. And it’s not just a nostalgia trip, Woolford managed to do something that’s very special and stands repeated listening. He managed to stray away from the original drum’n’bass tempos and actually present a lot of stuff that’s more dubstep tempo and some of which is almost house or tech-y tempos. I think that’s not just an accomplishment, but something that’s really special.
FK: My friend Matt Edwards aka Radio Slave gave me an advance copy of this. It’s a project he did with his friend Thomas Gandey, an album called Love Mistakes. The song that I’m in love with is “Warsaw”. It has a vibe that’s maybe similar to some tech house but more organic, more lush, with real instruments rather than just some pre-programmed crappy loops. When I hear it on the soundsystem at Cielo it’s gorgeous. It doesn’t fit into a mold of pre-packaged and endless corridor music, where you feel like you’re in a tunnel, and all you see is the side of the tunnel forever and it’s the same, the same, the same. Sadly, as I was telling you before, that’s the way I feel about a lot of music nowadays because people are adverse to taking risks. And because electronic music has been going on for so long, they’ve now developed it to such a formula that no one really needs to think about it. You can provide people with music that they can endlessly dance to, and it doesn’t matter whether the music is saying anything or not because the production, the presentation, the window-dressing is so strong. I remember last year when I was in Ibiza and many other places during the summer, I was going around listening to all these DJs playing music that was so incredibly made, powerful and absolutely lethal as far as slaying the dancefloor and immersing people in that sound. But for most of the crowd, that music went in one ear and thirty seconds later I’d be damned if anyone could remember any of it. Music has changed from being about the melody, the song, a story to being about delivering the maximum amount of efficiency. This is what club music has become, in many respects. However, “Warsaw” or some of the other songs on the album like “Love Mistakes”, they don’t conform to that. ~
For more editions of Covering Tracks, head here.
Published August 01, 2014. Words by Lisa Blanning.