Spring is in the air and the speakers at the Electronic Beats office are crackling with anticipation of a year of new and exciting music. In fact, there is lots of new music already that has getting has our feet tapping and heads nodding in the office – new bits from Hype WIlliams, Quadron, Deniz Kurtel and Charles Levine of Soul Clap. And of course this would not be the EB favorites with out some older gems – in the form of a tribute to The Guardian Angels and a killer edit of ALexander O’Neal. Enjoy!
The EB Office team is: Carlos de Brito (CDB), Gareth Owen (GO), Kazim Rashid (KR), Ari Stein (AS) and Agi Zelei (AZ).
Golden Flamingo Orchestra – The Guardian Angel Is Watching Over Us
(Taken from the 12" The Guardian Angel Is Watching Over Us (1979) on Golden Flamingo Records)
I wonder that I didn’t stumble upon this earlier as I’ve been exploring the world of the two underground disco geniuses Peter Brown and Patrick Adams in the last years, but it seems I haven’t been diggin’ deep enough. However, I discovered this tribute to the Guardian Angels (a volunteer organization of unarmed citizen crime patrollers originally from NYC, more information here) lately, which is true gem just in between the late disco days and the very early b-boy and hip hop culture that would rock any block party today. (CDB)
Hype Williams – Businessline
(Unknown release 2011)
Like many I am well and truly under the spell of Hype Williams – though I don’t have the desire to find out if they are real or not or what they are trying to convey. "Businessline" is widely available as a free download but I cannot tell you what album it comes from – if it comes from one at all. "Businessline" displays all that which is intangible and fascinating about this Berlin based duo. (GO)
Deniz Kurtel – The L Word (feat. Jada)
(Taken from the forthcoming album Music Watching All Over Me (2011) on Crosstown Rebels)
I haven’t been much in clubs lately as I’ve been on holiday, but if is this is not a massive banger in good house clubs around the world right now, then I should retire from going out. Deniz Kurtel is the next Wolf + Lamb protégée going big, this time with a soon-to-come album on Crosstown Rebels, which sounds very, very promising to me. You can preview it here. (CDB)
Maxxi Soundsystem – Criticize
(Taken from the 12" Criticize/His Hat Was His Home (2011) on Kojak Giant Sounds)
Picked up this 12" right at the start of the year and haven’t stopped playing it since. A seriously infectious edit of Alexander O’Neal‘s original from way back in 1987 – only this version is fatter, deeper, chunkier and will murder any dancefloor. (KR)
Janka Nabay – Eh Congo
(Taken from the EP Bubu King (2010) on True Panther Sounds)
This track was played to be my house-mate, who if I don’t credit for introducing me to it, will never let me live in peace again. Having said that, it feels like it has been a long time since I heard a track with quite so much groove. In fact, this track is the definition of ‘riddim’. (KR)
PhOtOmachine – Technicolour (Throwing Snow Remix)
(Taken from Technicolour EP on Super 2011)
I have actually been enjoying all of the mixes on this record – the Rafferite remix and the original are both killer and the fact that this is the debut release of PhOtOmachine makes me particularly excited to hear what’s coming next for this young producer. Forget trying to put it into a genre – it’s a simple, brilliant piece of 21st century electronic music. (GO)
Quadron – Day
(Taken from Quadron (2010) on Plug Research)
I just wrote a Ones to Watch piece on these guys. Very talented and very special, you’ll be hearing a lot more from these Danish kids in the future. This song is so enriching and poignant, the string section in the chorus just kills me. (AS)
Wendy Rene – After Laughter
(Taken from After Laughter (Comes Tears) EP (1964) on Stax)
I have come across with Wendy Rene’s classic track in a recent mix by Nicolas Jaar and haven’t stopped listening to it. Like many old classic songs, this track has several times been remixed, covered and sampled by ones like Lykke Li, Nicolas Jaar or Wu-Tang Clan; yet, it is still the original version, which gets me goosebumps every time. (AZ)
Soul Clap (Charles Levine) – Lonely C
(Taken from the upcoming DJ-Kicks mix CD Wolf + Lamb VS Soul Clap (2011) on !K7)
"Lonely C" is taken from the first collaborative DJ-Kicks ever: Wolf + Lamb vs. Soul Clap. Charles Levine is one half of the Soul Clap duo, and with this track he tries out his vocals chords, keeping the entire track on a slow burn. This track works as much on its own as it does within the compilation which consists of 27 tracks and comes out on March 28th on !K7. The dreamlike vocal of the song is a perfect match with the title "Lonely C". (AZ)
Young Athletes League – Jag älskar dig, Phil Collins
(Unreleased Demo (2010) from Soundcloud)
As it turns pout, I stumbled across these Dalston youngsters last week, really exciting new sound. This turns out be cheesy but also a kind of fun new way of looking at a classic. These two boys are just starting out but already they have started to garner hype and noise from the Eastend. (AS)
Recently Kenton Slash Demon listed these guys as one of their favourite artists they were listening to in our 21 Sauces Of Inspiration feature.
We should listen to K.S.D. more often, this new Danish neo-soul duo are simply spectacular. Nothing short of being one of the more fresher and innovative artists we’ve heard for a while. Some of you might be aware of the highly addictive, hit-in-the waiting "Pressure".
A blast of fresh air, lilting piano rolls and ‘shoo up, shoo up’ vocals. A soothing pop gem that brings out the sun even in the snowy peaks of Denmark. It reminds us of the same slow-build Aloe Blacc had with his smash hit, "I Need A Dollar".
The true talent of Quadron comes from the meek and truly soulful voice of Coco Malaika, an undeniable heavyweight when it comes to giving a song shine; she possesses a hugely expressive voice way beyond her years.
You can list any of these muses Jill Scott, Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill but you still would be missing the overt point of this group. They are trying to take this music that comes from a whole different place. Like a regenerated genre with Quadron spearheading the ship.
Some of the tunes are extremely uplifting, "Buster Keaton” picking up cues from every soul or Motown record from history then there are others that are as sad as you can possibly imagine, like "Far Cry".
"Horse" is a defining point on the record, as much as it is Scandinavian, it’s like Aretha Franklin fronting Prefab Sprout. Just odd, but it works somehow. The highlight of the record is "Day", it’s so enriching, and poignant, the string section in the chorus just kills me.
Quadron somehow found their careers opening up on other side of the Atlantic instead of back in Denmark. A DJ at influential radio station KCRW heard it played it, it went Top 10 at their station this then led them signing to the Los Angeles label, Plug Research, whose roster includes Bilal, Dntel, Flying Lotus, Daedelus and more.
So in the story that is Quadron there are already heavy cues leading them to serious success. Robin Braun already cites Pharrell Williams (N.E.R.D.) and James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) as big fans.
Robin has also collaborated with Aloe Blacc, Om mas Keith, Buraka Som Sistema, Wally Badarou (Talking Heads, Level 42), Erick Sermon and others.
Coco and her cohort Robin have made a debut record that keeps on giving and giving. Truly astonishing stuff, this is a soul train that isn’t stopping anytime soon.
Stay tuned for a remix EP of their single "Average Fruit" next month.