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April 29, 2010

BARCODE: 730003725722

That Juan MacLean is just a bundle of contradictions. Here he’s created one of the year’s best mix CDs—and not just a proper party mix, which it certainly is, but even what you might call an “important” mix, a timely lesson in the enduring spirit of house music—and how does he choose to describe the process of putting it together? As an “existential tailspin.”

“I really wasn’t joking in the liner notes when I said that in the six months I knew I was going to do this mix, I spent most of the time agonizing over the relevance of doing a DJ mix in 2010,” says MacLean, a cheerful neurotic who’s clearly serious about his craft. “So much about DJ-ing has changed in the last 10 years. It seems that anyone at home can make their own mix, whether they’re a proper DJ or not. Which begs the question, why bother putting them out at this point?”

“So at the end of the day I just came back to where I had started, which was basically wanting to do something that was representative of where I’m coming from in producing my own music, and also focusing on the current house music scene.”

That’s right: house music. Pumping, sweaty house music at its purest, from the churning pianos to the chopped-up vocals. Surprising? Maybe: DFA, the label MacLean calls home, is best known for post-punkish indie dance, and label co-founder James Murphy’s dance-floor tastes run mostly to vintage disco. But MacLean is undoubtedly DFA’s resident house aficionado, something you might have guessed from his anthemic 2008 single “Happy House,” a homage to ’90s piano house.

And ultimately, MacLean’s DJ Kicks is all about achieving that universal vibe, unconcerned with populist trends or trainspotters’ disdain.

A love-letter to house music penned by one of the music’s most sincere (and well-schooled) admirers, it’s a sweet, sweaty, wide-ranging set that wraps you up in chugging grooves. At a time of proliferating podcasts and fly-by-night mixtapes, it’s a welcome change of pace: a mix that makes its case the old-fashioned way, one perfect blend at a time.


1. Juan MacLean – Feliz Casa (Ian Breno Dub)
2. Still Going – Spaghetti Circus
3. Andre Crom & Luca Doobie – Ebony
4. 6th Burough Project – Planets (The Revenge Lost Groove)
5. A+O – Take Me
6. Rick Wilhite – Get On Up!! (Theo Parrish’ Late Dub)
7. Florian Meindl – Here Today Gone Tomorrow
8. Armando – Don’t Take It (Thomos Edit)
9. Jee Day – Like a Child
10. Giom – I Know You Were Right
11. Alex Niggemann & Superlounge – Chip Chip
12. Manuel Sahagun – Pieces Of Me
13. Sonny Foderra – Everybody Get On The Decks
14. Danny Howells – Laid Out (Fully Horizontal Mix)
15. Shit Robot – Simple Things (Todd Terje Version)
16. The Juan MacLean – Feel So Good (DJ-KiCKS)
17. Rick Wilhite – Get On Up!! (Theo Parrish’ Late Dub)
18. Juan MacLean – Feliz Casa (Frankel’s Rhodes Workout)



April 29, 2010

BARCODE: 730003113222

Special Kind of Fool is Ty’s story. The tale of an artist who after ten years,
three critically acclaimed albums (Awkward 2001, Upwards 2003, Closer
2006), collaborations with the likes of Tony Allen, De La Soul, Damon Albarn
and Estelle, a Mercury nomination amongst other accolades, and a worldwide
army of fans, has always followed his heart.
A fool for all kinds of music, only the drum patterns give the instrumentation
on this album away as being hip hop, as Ty and his long time co-producer
Drew Horley play with a palette of classic funk, soul, two step, 80s synth pop,
and glitchy electro samples and sounds. Ty’s lyricism is as insightful as ever;
balancing thought provoking subject matter with uplifting messages (I Get Up,
and Something Big which features Lovers Rock legend Carroll Thompson),
and moving social observation (Heart Is Breaking featuring Sway and Roses
Gabor). It also sees Ty exploring his emotional depths (I’m Leaving featuring
Anthony Mills, and Emotions featuring the legendary Shaun Escoffery and
newcomer Sarina Leah), and of course telling some home truths (Special Kind
of Fool and Me, featuring Erik Rico). Peppered throughout with shrewd and
often hilarious cultural references, political issues, diverse stories, and an
empathetic sensitivity to every day peoples experiences, Ty remains a unique
and refreshing voice in hip hop.

01. Don’t Cry feat. Corey Mwamba
02. Wait feat. Leo Ihenacho & Soweto Kinch
03. Heart is Breaking feat. Sway & Roses Gabor
04. Little Star feat. Wreh-asha
05. Something Big feat. Carroll Thompson
06. Emotions feat. Sarina Leah & Shaun Escoffery
07. Phantom of the Opera feat. Anthony Mills
08. Get to the Sky feat. Vula Malinga & Terri Walker
09. Happiness feat. Vula Malinga
10. I’m Leaving feat. Anthony Mills
11. Me feat. Erik Rico
12. I Get Up feat. D-Cross
13. Falling feat. Shaun Escoffery & Finn Peters
14. Special Kind of Fool feat. Erik Rico
15. Endtro feat. Leo Ihenacho & Robin MullarkeyI Need To


April 29, 2010

Cat No: !K7257CD
BARCODE: 730003725524

Some ideas are just so good, they deserve a second chapter. Like Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson Vol. 1 album, released in 2008, which featured instrumental jazz versions of legendary techno and electronic tracks including Derrick May’s Strings of Life, Kraftwerk’s Trans Europe Express and Josh Wink’s Higher State of Consciousness.

Now the Munich-based drummer, DJ and producer returns with a second volume of inspired electro-organic cover versions. The musical mix remains ambitiously broad, from Carl Craig to Laurent Garnier, from Underground Resistance to Jean-Michel Jarre. Since the first album, the Drumlesson collective has grown from a studio concept to a fully working live band. Christian was also more directly involved in playing drums, piano and percussion alongside guitarist Uwe Karpa, keyboard player Roberto Di Gioia, percussionist Ernst Ströer, bass guitarist Christian Diener and drummer Matteo Scrimali. After the recording sessions, he also worked on each track in his studio, switching roles from live player to electronic producer.

Christian and his band have also applied their open-minded jazz attitude to the cream of European house, techno and electro. The minimalist throb of Groove La Chord by Stockholm’s Aril Brikha is reborn as a futuristic tropical samba. Sleepy Hollow by the Berlin-based Stefan Goldmann becomes a kind of avant-garde film-noir soundtrack. And High Noon is a cool, moody version of an early cut by those Viennese rhythm maestros, Kruder and Dorfmeister. A regular collaborator with Christian, Peter Kruder was involved in mixing both Drumlesson albums.

French music is also well represented, with a lush chamber-jazz reinvention of Laurent Garnier’s club classic Acid Eiffel and an alluring deconstruction of Jean-Michel Jarre’s immortal electro anthem, Oxygène Part IV. ”The Jean-Michel Jarre track is not a club classic but it’s an electronic classic,” Christian explains. “It’s still very popular as it helped to make electronic music a household name so I tried to keep the well-known melody, but also do more of an avant-garde arrangement around it, like a Tortoise tune.”

Bringing the album full circle, Drumlesson Zwei ends with Sandcastles, a sublime instrumental soundscape based on the club smash by Dennis Ferrer and Jerome Sydenham. Jazz meets house, electronic meets organic, Drumlesson Zwei is a testament to music’s limitless potential for inspiration and reinvention.

Drumlesson Zwei is not about narrow labels, fads or genres. Great music lasts forever.


1. Sandstorms
2. Groove La Chord
3. Sleepy Hollow
4. Isolated Syncopation
5. Acid Eiffel
6. Distorted Rudiments
7. Oxygène (Part IV)
8. Jaguar ( Part One)
9. Jaguar ( Part Two)
10. Distant Rhythm
11. High Noon
12. Sandcastles



April 23, 2010

BARCODE: 850717001995

Okayplayer started as the online community that houses
left of center music artistssusch as: THE ROOTS,D’ANGELO, TALIB KWELI, DILATED PEOPLES
The Okayplayer brand has since expanded and has been associated with national tours,
the growing Roots brand, and has been responsible for introducing on left of center &
alternative urban culture.

Due to many relationships THE ROOTS have, and the strength of the Okayplayer brand
true notes vol 1 features some of the best names in Hip Hop. From the old school sounds
of the lead single “take it back” by Skillz, to the west coast vibes contributed
from dilated Peoples & Hieroglyphics, this album has a little bit of everything

01. ?estlove – Intro
02. Aceyalone & Madlib – 2 from the West
03. Little Brother – Shake it
04. Dilated Peoples ft Defari – Okay
05. Jean Grae – Fall back
06. Blackalicious – Just what could happen
07. The roots – Y’all know who
08. Skillz – Take it back
09. Little Brother – On an on
10. Hieroglypics – Respect Deez
11. Niclay ft Supastition – The williams
12. Skillz – Pastor Skillz
13. RJD2 – Act 2
14. Jean Grae – Scarface
15. The Chapter – It’s the Chapter Crew
16. Truck and Mac – Bang Bang
17. Dice Raw – I do what I like


April 23, 2010

BARCODE: 744302015927
CAT NO: BS 159

Oh that lady, lord, she let me go She laid me down, in pure white snow
But in the spring time, I’ll go down to São Paulo

From the classic rock echoes that hang heavy like the reefer smoke in the rafters of Detroit’s
Cobo Hall, to the soul reflected in the alleys and small faces of London’s Heavy Load scene to
the exile off Main Street, few bands channel the sonic groove generated at the headwaters
of our rock-and-roll DNA like Deadstring Brothers. They know that rock-and-roll is both disease
and redemption, penalty and reward, intoxicant and hangover. They know that a powerhouse
hook exhilarates even as you’re getting kicked in the heart. The Brothers, in their leather boots and
frayed jeans, tenaciously trudge through the oil slick puddles of a dying city, the hard light
splitting into prismatic rainbows, finding beauty in decay.
Lying at the (battered) heart of the record is singer/guitarist Kurt Marschke. When he sings
“I can kneel down, but I just can’t pray” on “It’s a Shame,” you’re hearing a man bloodied
and bowed. “Yesterday’s Style” is the sound of a soul breaking, a glassyeyed
1,000 yard stare, the ache coming through the speakers. Somehow, though, he manages to pull
together the remaining shards of his dignity to look forward and carry on in the closing track
“Always A Friend of Mine,” a song so good it should skate into
the pantheon of country rock classics.
1. São Paulo
2. Smile
3. Houston
4. Can’t Make It Through
The Night
5. Adalee
6. The River Song
7. It’s A Shame
8. The Same Old Rule
9. Yesterday’s Style
10. Always A Friend Of Mine


April 20, 2010

Cat No: cls0002052
Bar Code: 4260036283051

There are few musical styles that have such an extremely conservative image as blues. Blues is supposed only for old men with long beards, who always repeat the same twelve bars while smoking and drinking. Besides guitar, piano and blues harp all other instruments seem to be “prohibited”. Musically, it always revolves around itself for generations, like a hamster wheel.
Of course, there were and there are blues artists who try something new, but outside of the blues scene no one cares. Until 1995, the French House producer St. Germain is the first, who ventures to merge Blues with House with the title “Thank you Mum”. From then on the world knows, that it is possible to combine blues with electronic music.
Meanwhile much has happened: Skip McDonald has done it with his band Little Axe in England, merging blues with Dub. A similar attempt comes from the Danish team Banzai Republik and the British duo Up, Bustle & Out. The Canadian one-man-band Son Of Dave combines blues with folk-punk, the Vienna band Mummer presents blues in a downbeat context like it comes from Germany by Boozoo Bajou, Darjee, K_Chico and Amir Arab. Gabin come from Italy, from the Netherlands Gare Du Nord, but in the U.S. there are relatively few productions combining blues with trip-hop elements.

It would be foolhardy to say, that Blues-House and Blues-Downbeat are the the new, upcoming trend, because both styles are too specific. But in the clubs they are celebrated enthusiastically. The audience in metropolitan areas is happy, that it finally gets to hear something new, for hitherto blues voices and blues guitars had never been heard in house clubs. The conservative blues audience goes completely crazy, but the club scene is celebrating its new insider style.
This excellent double sampler “Future Blues Club Night” is compiled by DJ ralph “von” richthoven, the Global-Electronica specialist from Bremen, Germany. For years he composes with high competence the popular “Club Night” series for the Global Beat label LOLA’S WORLD RECORDS.


1. Jon Flores – Feel My Blues (Original Mix)
2. Joe Lewis Walker – Blues of the Month (Busy Remix)
3. Harold Heath – Mercury Blues (Kirby Remix)
4. Dirty Harry – Big City Blues
5. Big Mojo – Deep Passion
6. Franck Adam – Mombassa Blues (Main Mix)
7. Jon Flores – Feel My Blues (Mr Danny Remix 08)
8. Big Mojo – Downside Away Blues
9. Submantra feat. Francesca – Get Down (Big Mojo Juke Joint Remix)
10. Miguel Migs & Jay-J feat. Jo Jo Hailey – Friend Of The Blues (Dub Mix)
11. Dark Comedy aka Kenny Larkin – Chicken Blues (Part 2)
12. St. Germain – Walk So Lonely
13. Glenn Underground – The Blues (aka Tribute to GSH)
14. Motorcitysoul – (You Don’t Know) The Blues

1. Little Axe – Midnight Dream
2. Boozoo Bajou – YMA
3. Gare Du Nord – Pablo’s Blues
4. Johnny Farmer – Death Letter (Organized Noize Remix)
5. Banzai Republic – Gamblin’ Man
6. King Britt pres. Sister Gertrude Morgan – Take The Lord Along With U
7. Up, Bustle & Out – Rebel Satellite
8. Son Of Dave – Old Times Were Good Times
9. St. Germain – Thank U Mum 4 Everything You Did
10. Amir Arab feat. Artus Unival – Berlin Sunrise (Blues Mix)
11. Darjee – Nobody Knows
12. Baqua – Terrapin Blues
13. Gabin feat. Jho Jenkins – It’s Gonna Be
14. Son Of Dave – Nike Town
15. Dark Comedy aka Kenny Larkin – Chicken Blues
16. Big Mojo – Please Have Mercy On Me
17. MUM – Boychild
18. K Chico – Hey Hey


April 20, 2010

Cat No: cls0001972
Bar Code: 4260036282979

One of the most successful compilation series of recent years goes into the third round: “Sunday in Bed – Sexy Sounds for Lazy Lovers”.
As always, the makers use in their selection solely the best of the delicatessen department …
Music for the hedonist, pleasantly worn-out by his club visits of the weekend, for snuggeling couples or just for the friends of good music. They also should at least elevate their legs at the first contact with this compilation and make themselves comfortable on the couch. Distinctive relax is on the agenda!
“Sunday in Bed” owes its unique position in the increasingly unclear market of compilations the particular mix of top-notch pop, special casual Independent and Underground tracks and the best songs from the newer electronic lounge corner. A cliché free zone! Need examples?
An incredible groovy remix of “Lisztomania” the French superstars of “Phoenix,” next “Easy Confession,” a recent production of Michael Sauer, the longtime DJ of the legendary Hamburg MOJO Club, the Womack & Womack classic “Teardrops” in a stunning retro-punk version of the British media darlings “The XX”, along with Billy Idol’s “Adam in Chains”, a song, which finally here gets the honor it had deserved at its first appearance in 1993 (!).
Note: With “Sunday in Bed Vol. 3” you make discoveries.
Greg Haptor, singer-songwriter from LA, who managed with a self-production to be in the U.S. Billboard charts, but was never heard in Europe. Or, Kaki King, in the United States a celebrated lesbian icon and praised to the skies by the magazine “Spiegel” as the best female guitarist of all time. M. Ward, a hero in the Indi-scene, but escaped up to now a larger audience from mysterious reasons…
And again, on “Sunday in Bed Vol. 3 “, there is a duel of crooners: Italian Mario Biondi vs. the British Ashley Slayter. Both stunning! We think: undecided.
Additionally a brilliant jazz number by Eddie Roberts, the guitarist of the “New Mastersounds”, cultivated sound by the Swiss NuJazz Minus 8, relaxed electro-blues of Monte La Rue.
From the department of “New Stars in the Sky”: R&B-Mastermind Rayn Leslie, Britt-Popper Just Jack and Calvin Harris, Prince of the dance-floor.
“Sunday in Bed Vol. 3” is again a collaboration between the labels “Star Club” and “25 Records”. Planning the concept, the keywords quickly became clear: Music for the head, abdomen and tapping toes, a wholly unique track listing, many different genres, audible as a whole and mixed as a unified entity.
Whether that is successful? Listening makes smart!

CD 1
1. Greg Haptor – Everything
2. Phoenix – Lisztomania (Classixx Version)
3. Marcheselli Produzioni – Allo
4. Minus 8 feat. Miriam S. – Wonderland
5. Ashley Slater – Husband
6. Ryan Leslie – You’re Fly (Album Version)
7. Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement
8. Just Jack – 253
9. Billy Idol- Adam In Chains
10. The XX – Teardrops
11. Troubleman feat. Nina Miranda – Paz
12. Michael Sauer – Easy Confession
13. Blue Pilots Project – Gods Gift
14. Calvin Harris – Loves Souvenir

CD 2
1. Jonny Blender – Thinking Of A Better Day
2. Boom Clap Bachelors – Combinér
3. Cooking On 3 Burners – This Girl
4. Monte La Rue – In The Mood
5. The Christians – Born Again
6. Rinôçérôse feat. Mark Gardener – Weekend Of Sin
7. Eddie Roberts – Every Goodbye
8. The Bas Lexter Ensample – Great Day
9. Kaki King – Life Being What It Is
10. Mario Biondi & The High Five Quintet – This Is What You Are
11. Brenda Boykin – Be My Lover
12. M Ward – For Beginners
13. Lusine – Operation Costs
14. Bent – Silent Life (Album Version)7