Friday, 27 May 2011
In 2006 Eric Cloutier decided to leave Detroit for pastures new, but I doubt that even he would have imagined that within the next 5 years he would become resident at New York’s most important techno club, a mnmlssgs favourite and one of the fortunate few people who gets to play records across the world.
We caught up with Eric to find out how things are going in New York, how his production is coming along, why he has decided to withhold tracklists and what he has planned for his European Tour, which sees him play Glasgow on July 1st.
Firstly why did you decide to leave Detroit? And what made you move to New York, at a time when many of your peers had already made or were making the move to Europe instead, is this something that you considered?
The thought of moving out of Detroit was in my head for quite a while, as I'd always been fascinated with NYC, and eventually living in Europe, so that was one factor. A second was just that musically, in Detroit, I had kind of hit a plateau, and in order for me to take the next steps with my career in music, I needed to get out of there and get some new insight on to myself and the scenes abroad. Though most of my friends were moving to Europe, I never really saw iHt as a viable option that early on, and was fine with staying stateside for a while longer to build more of a name for myself.
The attraction of living in a city that never sleeps is obvious, but how is the electronic music scene there at the moment? And what role has Bunker played in this?
The scene in NYC is really great. There's a fascinatingly diverse group of people that not only attend but throw events, and there's never really a weekend that there isn't at least one thing to go to, regardless of what style of music you're in to. The Bunker definitely has a huge impact on the city, as we're one of the only parties around doing the kind of techno and house that we do. Most others are a bit more mainstream where as we're catering to the true heads and presenting new music and artists all the time.
New York has a rich history of great techno DJs from natives like Adam X and Function to Jeff Mills’ residency at Limelight, are there any producers/DJs we should keep an eye out for?
Fred P and DJ Qu aren't new names to the scene, but they should always be on the watch by people. They're constantly creating and DJing insanely good music, so if you see their name on anything, you can almost assure quality will be the standard.
Bunker recently celebrated it’s 8th Birthday with special 8 hour sets from Donato Dozzy, Optimo & Derek Plaislaiko, how was the party? And do you have any personal highlights from the 5 years of which you have been a part of Bunker?
The anniversary party was, without a doubt, absolutely amazing. I can't speak for how Optimo did because i spent the entire night in the back room listening to Dozzy, but from all reports, both rooms were completely rammed the entire time, with nothing but quality music pumping through the speakers for all eight hours. My highlights of the Bunker are too numerous to mention. Every party is a great one, every guest DJ is a joy to hang around, and every chance I get to play as a resident is completely amazing to me. Its just one of the places I feel damn good at, month after month.
Donato spent a few weeks in America after the party, playing a couple more gigs alongside you and Spinoza, did you have an opportunity to get some advice or tips from him in the studio? How is your production coming a long? What software/hardware are you using in the studio? And when can we expect to hear something from you?
Wasn't able to pick Dozzy's brain much while he was here, but we do talk on the regular and he's always giving me a pointer here and there. My production's, however, aren't going as well as I'd like them to, but that's all part of the learning curve that I've mistakenly taken too long to jump in to. I'm mainly using Ableton as a scratch pad to get ideas out quickly, and then I eventually bring things in to Logic to warm them up a bit and lay things out with their far superior sound engine. As for when I'll have something done...who knows. I'd like to get an EP out this year, maybe a remix of someone, but I'm having a hard time getting the proper amount of time to sit in the studio and work.
Many of your friends started producing years ago, is this something that you wish you had been more active about or does it provide you with some extra satisfaction that you are one of the very few modern DJs who has made his name as a DJ?
If I could have another chance, or go back in time, I'd have started much sooner than I have now. I really wish I'd have made something and been constantly working on things for years, because I know that would help me a lot with where my career is heading. But its also nice knowing some of the amazing gigs that I've obtained have come solely from my DJing and nothing more. That's a feat not many people can accomplish these days. Its a small group of people that are in that group.
Your European tour starts in a couple of months, which sees you visiting Glasgow on the 1st July – where else are you playing? And do you have anything planned besides your gigs?
There's a whole slew of dates that I'll be doing, including the Toi.Toi 1yr Anniversary in London, playing at Cookies in Berlin with John Osborn, and playing an awesome open-air party in Paris for my good friend Celine called Sundae...but more dates are being added all the time, and I'm hoping I have an exceptionally full schedule for the three weeks that I'll be overseas.
You also return to Japan this year, playing alongside Peter Van Hoesen in May, is there any chance you will be making another appearance at Labyrinth in September? Can you describe your experience of the festival, and what was it like to play in such a unique environment?
No word on a return booking to the Labyrinth festival itself, but I just returned from my trip to Tokyo to play "Enter the Labyrinth," also thrown by Mindgames, as a pre-party for the festival. Without getting in to too many details, the gig itself was an absolute blast, and the entire night was filled with incredible music. Peter and I had an absolute blast, and I must thank both him and Russ from Mindgames for the chance to make it to Japan again. But regarding the festival...all I can say is its the best party I've ever been to in my life, filled with some of the greatest people I've ever met, which created some very long lasting, very strong relationships with many people, and I would absolutely love to do it over again - both as an artist and as an attendee.
mnmlssgs are huge fans of Labyrinth, and are also keen admirers of yours (Eric is one of the few DJs to provide 2 ssgs mixes), can you tell us how your ssg mix came about and if you have a personal favourite from the mix series?
Chris from ssg's had heard a few of my podcasts, and I was a pretty frequent commenter on the blog, and eventually we struck up a good friendship and he asked me to do a mix for them. It took me a while, as I wanted to present something really special to them, but once I did, myself and others were extremely happy with the results. The second one came about after I played at Labyrinth in 2009, and it was really meant to just be a continuation of the festival in some ways, highlighting some tracks heard while there as well as from what I learned being a part of Labyrinth. Too hard to pick a favourite, though - almost all the mixes are so solid you can't narrow down to one.
You mentioned recently that you are no longer providing tracklists for your mixes, is this something that you have been considering for a while and why have you made this decision?
I've always tossed about the idea of not including tracklists, but for the longest time I always did because it really helps people decide whether or not to download the mix. Everyone scans the tracklist, and if it seems interesting, everyone downloads it. That being said, though, I'm also a bigger fan of people just taking a chance - quit checking the tracklist, and just expand your mind for once, without having some pretense as to what the podcast may or may not sound like based on the song selection. I've been spending even more time hunting down quality music and spending hours a day on the hunt for new tunes that I don't want them to be easily picked up by sniping poseur DJ's and kids who just want to undercut me and what I've worked so hard to achieve.
Your most recent mix was a vinyl only, dub techno mix, why did you choose to record this strictly on vinyl? And is this something that is being reflected in your DJ’ing at the moment?
I chose to do it strictly on vinyl because most of the tracks that were used in that mix are vinyl only and impossible to find on digital. I don't see the point in encoding a record to play with Traktor Scratch when i have the physical vinyl in my hand, so I wanted to prove a point that not everything needs to be on Beatport's Top 10 to be good. But I've also been using more and more vinyl in my sets because the overwhelming amount of pathetic and mediocre music that comes in to my inbox was just becoming frustrating and tiresome. I'd rather ensure I'm buying and performing with the best music I can find, so eliminating one of the repeat offenders - shitty promos and underproduced / overthought techno and house - isn't clouding my judgement or taste.
Many DJs have been extremely open about their dislike for digital DJ’ing, as a DJ who utilises both vinyl & digital, what stops you from being exclusively digital?
Well this is not only a tired argument, but its also open to interpretation by all. "Digital DJing" to me is using Ableton or Traktor to autosync things, not using an encoded vinyl solution like Traktor Scratch or Serato, so firstly I have to address that separation. That being said, I don't really see the point in having the argument - if you're playing a set that makes me move, then you're doing something right. I don't really care how you go about it, playing good tracks in an intelligent manner is far more important than the avenue you take when presenting it. I've heard DJ's that can't beatmatch to save their lives play some of the most amazing records I've never heard, and that will be more important to me, every time, than if you can be rock solid behind the decks and play terrible music for ten hours. I'll never stop using vinyl in my sets, and I always like to surprise people now and then with a vinyl only situation, so it really depends on my mood. Very rarely do I ever perform with only my laptop...probably closer to never.
Can you tell us a bit about the mix you have recorded for us, what we can expect from you on the 1st? and what your plans are for the future?
Not really much to say about the mix - I'll let it do the talking. Its typical of me, though - deeper, slower, slightly darker, a little dubby, with a dash of house on the side - so it should fairly accurately represent at least one portion of the night when I play there on July 1st. Since I'll be doing the entire evening again, from start to finish, you can expect this to be a warmup to my warmup. As for my future - make a damn record!
It’s unlikely, but if we ever get the opportunity to visit New York, where’s the best place to get some Pizza?
Ahh, the standard "I'm visiting NYC..." question. Its impossible to answer who has the best pizza because there's so many pizza places. But if I had to shoot for two in my neighborhood, Roberta's and Grandma Rose's are pretty hard to top.
Check out the mix from Eric HERE
RA Event & Tickets
Massive thanks to Eric for thi and I hope you all enjoy the mix.
See you on the 1st.
Monday, 16 May 2011
Less than a week to go until Norman Nodge plays the sub club for Animal Farm, so I thought I would share my favourite Nodge mix with you to get you in the mood.
You will have probably heard it as it's mix 02 from the legendary mnml ssg series, but if you haven't then you're in for a treat!
I think this is the best representation of what Nodge is all about - grooving, purist techno expertly mixed. The mix is 3 years old but it still sounds just as good now as it did then, which is testament to his taste and ability.
Get it HERE.
And if you still need convincing, here's the tracklist:
01) Ron Trent / Dark Room / Balance
02) DJ Joey Anderson /Thee Analysis/Strength Music
03) Peter Van Hoesen /Trusted (Norman Nodge Reconstruction) / T2X
04) Add Noise/ Handwerk 3 A/ Handwerk
05) Baby Ford & I-Fach Collective/Tea Party/Klang
06) Shamus Coghlan/5000 Miles/ 807 Rec.
07) Sian/Wear Your Scars Like Medals / Aus Rec.
08) Robert Görl & Karl O'Connor/The Right Side Of Reason/DN
09) Reeko/The Gravedigger And His Bitch /Mental Disorder
10) Equalized/ Equalized # 1/ Equalized
11) Corrugated Tunnel / My Machine Code/Nightvision
12) Pacou/ Tangent / Cache
13) Marcel Fengler / Friction / Ostgut
14) Jeff Mills / In The Bush / Axis
15) The Mole / Baby You're The One / Wagon Repair
16) Superlova / All Night / Raw Elements
17) Punisher & John Overfriend /Thermal Underwear (John Selway Remix) / Hej Rec.
18) Leonid / Mora / Statik
Enjoy & see you Friday!
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Okay, not posted up some records in a little while so here's a few that I have been playing recently, a couple that are just out and 2 that you may have to go to Discogs for.
Mike Parker: Geophone 16
Unique, warehouse techno - a new Mike Parker record means a new essential purchase, this time we're treated to 4 tracks which will seriously mess with people's heads in the club. My pick of the bunch is probably B2 , it's not for the faint hearted but it will sound unreal on a good system. This is going to be in the bag for a long, long time.
Also, I think it's worth mentioning Mike's amazing artwork which is all done by him. Talented guy.
Analogue Solutions: Analogue Solutions 1
Sample heavy house & techno that just rocks on a good system, there's something for every set in the Analogue Solutions series and if you can, I suggest getting all 6 of them - my choice has to be 001 from the records so far, 3 absolutely killer tracks that will go down well anywhere - one of the highlights of the Electric Frog was Ben Klock dropping this.
Donato Dozzy: Acid Test 03
This didn't get the thumbs up over at LWE, but I really can't see where Richard Brophy is coming from when it comes to Dozzy. His Album 'K' was one of the best records last year, and tracks like 'Your Eyes' & 'Menta' are absolutely essential. Granted these are collabs, but I think you can definitely hear the influence Dozzy has had on the them.
As for Acid Test 03 it's a warm, relaxed acidic number that was made especially for Dozzy's set at Labyrinth, and on remix duties is Tinman in a role reversale from Acid Test 01 - The remix is my favourite track out on the EP, dark, trippy techno with a haunting vocal, if you were a fan of Acid Test 01, this will be right up your street.
Atom TM & Pink Elln: Live Volume 12 - 15.11.2009 Berlin Berghain
This is one of the best records in 2011 for me, over 20 minutes of analogue, hypnotic, acid-techno. A & B are both of the highest quality, don't miss this.
Get the B Side FREE - here. Rubadub did have this in stock, but it's not on the site.
The Secret Initiative II
Another white label, another anonymous producer, another fantastic EP.
I missed out on the first Secret Initiative, but on the strength of this release I will be purchasing that when I can. Both of these tracks are ambient/droning/spacey techno with a bit of melody that adds just enough light to the tracks, pick this one up if you can.
This isn't the most recent release from Relative, 4 & 5 are both out and I think you can still get them in most good record shops, but it's my favourite from this label so far.
It comes with 3 raw, analogue house bangers with 'Play Records' being my pick, it just destroys, it's a massive, massive tune.
I think this is one of the only tracks that has been played twice at one of our gigs
For those who don't know, Relative, Appointment, Restoration & Live Jam are all the same crew - and they are making some of the best house music around right now.
If you like your house to be a bit rough around the edges, then this is for you - all of the tracks are recorded on analogue gear, probably in 1 take.
These records just have so much more feeling and warmth than the majority of what is being released today, absolutely essential in my eyes.
* Don't wait around on these records because they are limited, vinyl only pressings and when they're gone you're looking at about £20 + for these on discogs
Also - I highly recommend checking out this mix from ISM if you're new to these guys
Sunday, 8 May 2011
It's a rare surprise when a new Verveine mix goes online, but to get 2 in such a short space of time.. Well it just doesn't happen, or does it?
The first mix is a 5 hour set back to back with Julietta, it's a bit of a marathon in terms of listening at home - but if you're having a BBQ or some friends round for a few beers, this is all you need. 5 hours of the very best house music.
The 2nd mix is about a year old and it's as techno as I've heard Eli, but still stays true to what she is all about. It's refreshing to hear a mix from her that varies from what's been before, so many DJ's are great at one thing but struggle when they get out of their comfort zone, this is further proof that Eli can easily hold her own with the best.
If you're into these then I also suggest checking out her Kapterka radio show mix, it's top class.
I don't know what it is about Eli's mixes, I don't if it's just the records that she's playing, or the way it's recorded but her mixes just have this really warm, raw, vibe bordering on distorted, but not going far enough for it to become uncomfortable or detract from the music. Whatever it is, it's quality and I hope that more and more people start to realise it.
Friday, 6 May 2011
It's 1 week until Margaret Dygas takes over the decks in The Admiral for the evening, and if you have yet to make plans for what you are doing before it then look no further.. Dan Hedley[Hotbox] and I will be playing some records at the pre-party (9pm -12pm) in The Admiral, with fresh wax from Analogue Solutions, Relative & Luv Jam in the bag, you can be sure that the tunes will be of the highest calibre.
Here's a couple of my favourite mixes from MD, if you don't know what she's all about then download these and hit play.
* I also highly recommend her LWE mix
Thursday, 5 May 2011
In 2011 being a DJ is tough, there's only been a handful of DJs in recent times who have made the journey from resident to international star. 3 that are well on their way imo are Eli Verveine, Eric Cloutier & Jackmaster (if you know more then please share them) but they're a rare breed and still, if they really want to take their career up to the level of their peers, they need some records out. The DJs at Berghain/Pbar are probably the best example of this, a few years ago many of them had never made a record, now they are international artists with albums to their names - maybe it was a natural progression from DJ to artists, maybe they're just DJ's who want more gigs.. based on the standard of the albums, I would go with the latter.
It's a shame, but that's the way it is.. Promoters want something they can sell to people, and having a hit record or being attached to a reputable label is going to help considerably if you're wanting more gigs, and to ultimately make a living from music.
Personally, I don't think it should matter who you are, what label you're on or who you're friends with.. if you're music is good or you are a skilled selector, then your talent should be shared.
So here's a mix from the latest DJ I have stumbled upon, Andrew Solomon. He has 2 mixes on his page, but I think the stronger of the 2 is definitely the December mix. The November mix is good, but it's just straight up techno, where as the December mix has a bit more to it and is a better mix to get an idea of what Andrew is all about.
If you're a fan of Milton Bradley, Sandwell District, Prologue etc.. I highly recommend checking this guy out.
Sunday, 1 May 2011
Brand new mix from us recorded exclusively for the Loopcast.
Here's the tracklist and download link for it, and if you enjoy the mix then make sure to check out mixes 1 - 4 for some excellent music from Glasgow's finest.
1. Inward Content – Continuum Mechanics (Meanwhile)
2. Atheus – 02 (Metrolux)
3. Deepchord – Grandbend - Echospace Edit (Echospace)
4. Tremsch & Metzler – 20 Toes - Salz Dub (Telrae)
5. Knowone – 004 A (Knowone)
6. Artist Unknown – Transit Ways (1XA)
7. Resoe – Minus - Sigha remix (Echocord)
8. Nax_acid – The Soul Trap (Aconito)
9. Donato Dozzy, DJ Say – Tutto Positivo (Mental Groove)
10. Plastikman – Helikopter (Novamute)
11. Giorgio Gigli – Chemistry of Life - Mike Parker rmx (Zooloft)
12. Milton Bradley – The Path to the Mathematical Truth (DNRTB)
13. Lucy – Krishnamurti Acapella Extended (Stroboscopic Artefacts)