Ban Ban Ton Ton`s visiting house expert plugs into connections from London to Amsterdam. Collecting music that’s moving feet from Medellin to Motor City. Cherry-picking treasure both tech-y and deep. Disco and afro-beat updates, house that`s sometimes wonky, and sometimes symphonic – plus delivering the “way goods” on an out and out diva-driven anthem. A tune for the times.
Words, and hot house music, selected by The Insider.
KAI ALCE / LUV FANTASY / NDATL MUZIK
Kai Alcé aka ‘The KZR’, has been in the business of creating high quality house music for over a two decades. Moving to Detroit in the 1980s, he linked up with luminaries and legends Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Alton Miller and Chez Damier. With releases on Mahoganni Music, FXHE, Real Soon and Deep Explorer Recordings, in 2008 his label NDATL Muzik was born. Fast forward to 2021 and NDATL continues with its latest mission statement from the label kingpin himself. Known for his smooth, deep house sound, on this 3-track affair his signature sonics reign supreme. Heaven kicks off with driving drums and mesmerising chords, that keep the dancer in a trance. Title track Luv Fantasy dives deeper still, with punchy chords and snapping MPC drums – demonstrating that less really is the best. The package closing with the uplifting, smile-inducing, Stars.
THE PATCHOULI BROTHERS E.P. / MOTON RECORDS INC.
London’s longest-running re-edit imprint returns to action, with label co-founders Dave Jarvis and Diesel at the controls. The Moton Inc. series launched back in 1996, and alongside other edit imprints from the Idjut Boys, and DJ Harvey, it`s been instrumental in shaping the leftfield disco scene. Still going strong after 45 releases – dropping dope rearrangements of essential oddities – these veterans consistently deliver late night boogie-down antics and high-quality dance-floor goods. Predictably, there’s more brilliance to be found on the latest 4-track missive, from Canadian duo The Patchouli Brothers. This disco devil of an EP will have you turning up the dial to eleven and dancing around your kitchen in something fabulous until Horse Meat Disco opens again in June. Bravo Moton!
BOSQ FT. PAT KALLA / MOUNA POWER / BACALAO
Bosq is a complete sensation. When it comes to blending modern electronic dance music with organic afro-beats, there are few more capable producers. He’s an expert at joining the dots between contemporary culture and vintage African headiness. A Boston lad who moved to Medellin, Columbia, one of the world’s most mythical musical melting pots, to immerse himself in the sounds and colours that he loves and feels in his bones. As a DJ and multi-instrumentalist he’s been experimenting with all sorts of flavours and genres over the years. First bouncing out as one-half of the Whiskey Barons, then releasing solo on California’s Ubiquity, Fania Records and Soul Clap. On Mouna Power, Bosq joins forces with Pat Kalla – who delivers his playful vocal in a mix of French, English, and Cameroon over layers of percussion. Each instrument played by Bosq himself. This is afro-beat disco funkiness made for the flexible dancer.
FOUK / BLUE STEEL (GIRLS OF THE INTERNET REMIX) / HEIST RECORDINGS
Fouk are childhood mates Daniel Leesman and Hans Peeman, and they return once more to Dutch label Heist Recordings with Blue Steel. As well as establishing their own imprints, Outplay & 24 Carrot, the duo have furnished floor-fillers to Local Talk, House Of Disco and Razor-n-Tape – while further managing a run of remixes for Dave Lee, Groove Armada, and Kraak & Smaak. Radiating sunshine with their infectious mix of funky house and disco, Blue Steel finds the pair collaborating with Dutch saxophonist Rebiere on the title cut, and bringing in the big guns with Girls Of The Internet for a wonderfully wonky remix. Pick of the bunch, though, for me has to be the E.P. closer, Money – topping off it’s pumped-up dirty swagger and a naughty little vocal with ace acid lines. What a jam!
KAGE & TAHO / Détroit / MICHIGANDER MUSIC
Brian Kage is one of Detroit’s most in-demand mastering engineers. After releasing tracks on Omar S’s FXHE, Carl Craig’s Planet-E and Steve Bug`s PokerFlat, he started his own label, Michigander Music. On the Détroit E.P., Kage teams up with formidable French techno producer Taho – aka David Jacopin – a stalwart of renowned imprints such as Fcom, Ovum, Delsin and KMS. The monumental high quality of the E.P. is therefore not a surprise. The 4 tracks cover a full spectrum of Motor City house and techno sounds – detonating with D-Twah – which sends disco`s sparkle out into orbit. Galaxy hopping to rushing mood manipulating chord patterns. Tour De Troit moves to more robotic impulses – with an 808, 303, and bottomless pads. Jazzy synth waves cutting through its misty haze. Driving bass and techno stabs build tension in La Belle Vie, while piano progressions lift you up into the stratosphere. A little bit of Inner City in there maybe? The E.P. closer is a cinematic surprise. The orchestral symphony of Acid Renaissance powerfully concluding this rock solid and deeply authentic big D affair.
FIRE ISLAND FT LOLEATTA HOLLOWAY/ SHOUT TO THE TOP (HIFI SEAN REMIXES) / PLASTIQUE RECORDINGS
Back in 1998 Terry Farley and Pete Heller put out their cover of this Style Council classic. When I asked Terry about his version of Paul Weller`s anthem, Shout To The Top, he said that it was Andrew Weatherall who made him set about a remake. Apparently, Andrew played the Style Council original at a Boy`s Own party in the late `80s – in a warehouse full of bubbles and E punch. Loleatta Holloway happened to be in London for a couple of days, and somehow they got together in the studio and the results took Fire Island to No. 1 in the US Dance Chart. 25 years later, and Hifi Sean – who was once the leader of the Soup Dragons! – has reworked the whole record – from scratch – from a dusty old dat. This promo only piece of vinyl has been revived and renewed by this power house producer, giving us three versions on his Plastique Recordings, that range from soulful strings to gospel house, and an almost orchestral, symphonic, reprise. Hifi Sean skillfully plays around with the layers and the Disco Queen`s vocal to magnificent effect. The sadly departed diva belting out her mantra, something that we all wanna hear right now – “Everything’s gonna be alright.”
Selections from all these releases, and more, can be heard on Saturday – 8 til 9PM Japan time, from midday GMT – when The Insider will be my very special guest on The Remedy, care of FM Karuizawa 77.5 MHZ. Following broadcast, the show will be archived on Mixcloud.
Gene Tellem – Mind Readers – Wolf Music
Victor Mendoza – Salty Noodles (Nacho Marco Sweet Remix) – Loudeast
Dam Swindle – Breathe – AUS Music
The Spaces Between – Ghosts (Black Science Orchestra Remix) – F*CLR
Fire Island – Shout To The Top (HiFi Sean House Remix) – Plastique Recordings
Kage & Taho – Tour De Troit – Michigander
Patchouli Brothers – Lead Astray – Moton Records
Bosq – Mouna Power Dance (Dub) – Balacao
Kai Alce – Stars – NADTL
Fouk – Blue Steel (Girls Of The Internet Remix) – Heist Recordings
Jimpster – Soul Spectral – Freerange