WRDMonthly Review of Dance Music

Fuck me, I've only been banging on about doing a podcast for about a billion years! This is it. Last Thursday night I felt like Eminem on his way to that rap battle in his film, The Eighth Mile, all nervous and pumped up, drinking about six cans of Red Stripe before even stepping foot into the microphone.

Not really. It's called 8 Mile.

Get your bonce around this and share it around the internet. The next one will be in May 2014.

MRDM is a collaboration between WRDM, Ransom Note, Butchers Row Studios and YOU, the loyal listeners.

Extra special thanks to Leaf, Wil, Mike Boorman, Ania, Manu and Shabs off of Channel 4 Drugs Live.

LISTEN:

WRDMusic Conferences

Can you imagine going to two dance music conferences in one weekend? Eh? Can you? ONLY in London and Brighton can you go to two dance music conferences in one weekend and that's exactly what I'll be doing this weekend when the weekend comes and I go to the Brighton Music Conference and the London Electronic Music Event over the course of just one weekend to cover both events for the Weekly Review of Dance Music and Ransom Note, who are on a different channel.


I've not been this excited since the time my lady doctor diagnosed me as being addicted to not having blow jobs and prescribed a course of three blow jobs per day for six months, with weekly check-ups at her surgery for blow jobs off of her red hot German teenage lesbian bisexual junior doctor. The BMC and the LEME are going to be fucking brilliant.

I'm looking forward to meeting up with the great and the good of UK and abroad dance music. I'll be attending as many workshops and PowerPoint presentations as I can. I'll be mingling with the top brass from record labels and networking like I've never networked before.

- Why Tonka?

- Because I'm a brown-nosing cunt who thinks that it might be financially beneficial to me in the long run Because I love dance music and it's my duty to be there, to represent the blogging community and to file a responsible and objective report on the two conferences.


Everyone bangs on about Miami, Amsterdam and Miami but, for my money, Brighton is where it's at. Stony beaches, wind and rain, a colourful social life for gentlemen who like gentlemen and women who like women and a pier that has a few amusement arcades on it all welcome you in like the first smack of smack after you've injected a little bit of smack into your knackers. I love Brighton, I've been there twice in the last thirty three years and I can't wait to get back there this weekend for the BMC.

I have a busy schedule lined up. I'm not allowed to say who I have confirmed for an interview at 1pm on the Saturday for legal reasons and I'm not going to give you any clues.



I will just say that I'm very much looking forward to asking some MASSIVE QUESTIONS and leave it at that.

I'm also looking forward to the following:

11:45 - 12:15
Exhibition Floor
Occupational Health and Safety in the Music Industry

Clubbers, DJs and people in the entertainment industry don't think enough about health and safety. At WRDMHQ we have a H&S representative and three fire wardens for each department. Can you imagine if an employee or punter died at YOUR club and the blame game was played? Imagine losing the blame game and having the local authorities closing down YOUR club. If you don't adhere to basic H&S in the workplace then you're liable for all sorts of action further down the line and the action I'm talking about won't just be terminal for the poor fucker who died bending over to pick up his dropped pill instead of bending his/her legs. I'm talking about potential fines and licencing sanctions. Think about it and get yourself down to Brighton for this eye-opening talk by Jonathan Heale from Advanced Communication Solutions Ltd.

Not sure what time
Not sure which café
Resident Advisor's Ryan Keeling interviewing Eats Everything in a café (!)

RA man, Ryan, having a chat with Eats Everything over a cup of tea and a slice of cake. I hope Ryan doesn't turn his back because Eats Everything will no doubt eat everything off of Ryan's plate! LOLoutLOUD.


15:05 - 15:50
The Founders Room
History of Electronic Music

Not that I need telling, but I'll be going along to this to support friend of WRDM, Bill Brewster and potential friends of WRDM, Dave Haslam, DJ Pierre, Dave Pearce and Tony Andrews from Function One. I'll be the one in the audience nodding and pre-empting everything everyone on the panel has to say.

16:45 - 17:15
The Founders Room
The Journey to the Top for a Female DJ

I'll be quite pissed by this stage of the day so I won't be moving far from The Founders Room. Luckily for me, I'll be nice and settled for the final masterclass of the day. And what a masterclass, eh lads?! I'll be sat there, all boozed up watching Anne Savage, Lisa Lashes and Miss Monument talking about how they made it to the top and stayed there (at the top). If I'm feeling boorish, I might shout out the occasional sexist comment and look around for encouragement from other men. That's a big 'if' though. I'm more likely to be making notes on my notepad for the BMC review I'll be writing as soon as the conference finishes.

Get yourself to the inaugural Brighton Music Conference (11 - 12 April) and be a part of an event that is a long time coming to the UK.

BUY TICKETS: brighton-music-conference-tickets


Over-lapping the Brighton Music Conference is the the London Electronic Music Event, in London. I don't know too much about LEME, as I affectionately call it, because I've only recently started to get interested in these kinds of things. However, what I do know is that you cannot argue with a line-up containing Karenn, Hypercolour, Ableton, Theo Parrish, Legowelt and Tonka. Those kinds of names echo down the ages and fill you with enough confidence to buy a ticket for the event.

LEME takes part over the coming weekend in Bethnal Green at Rich Mix. It's a lively venue and perfect for a couple of days of artist keynote speeches and performances, industry panels, production workshops and networking sessions. I'm very proud to have been asked to sit in on a panel discussing the future of music journalism on the Sunday morning. Whether I'm in any fit state to open my mouth after BMC remains to be seen, so see it for yourself buy purchasing tickets.



I'll be trying to keep my head above water and pretend that I know what I'm talking about with Dan Beaumont, Terry Farley, a journalist from The Times, a PR lady and a bloke called Miles who puts on parties with people like Keith WorthyDJ Sprinkles and Marcellus Pittman. I'm absolutely fucking shitting myself.

BUY TICKETS: samplemagic.com/leme-full-weekend-pass

I'm bored of writing now and I have to go and have my third blow job of the day. I'll be back next week with MASSIVE QUESTIONS with the person I interviewed at BMC and much, much more.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
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Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

MASSIVE QUESTIONS with IAN M


For men and women of a certain age (33 1/2) who grew up in the midlands and went to the same nightclubs as me, and were into the same DJs as me, and were into hard house like what I was, Ian M is a name that will send shivers down and up their spines.

Ian M is one of my all time favourite DJs and producers. He, along with Tony De Vit, Dave Randall and Untidy Dubs were music makers you could rely on to churn out hard house of a quality that was sometimes rare in the late nineties/early noughties. After Tony died, Ingo Starr, Fergie and Eddie Halliwell fucking ruined hard house and I don't mind saying that out loud behind a blog that I don't put my real name to.

- How did they ruin hard house, Tonka?

- They just did.

Ian M plays rock hard but with a panache and sensitivity that makes you forget that what you're listening to is about 145 bpm. I remember seeing him at the Mezzanine in Wolverhampton for a Tidy Trax party and he played a track that sounded like a rubber band being flicked over a 909 kick, but the rubber band sample had been pitched down so low that it sounded like the colour black, if that makes sense? Just a 909 kick and a pitched down rubber band sound for about nine minutes. It was fucking brilliant.



I met Ian M for dinner at the Osteria del Portico in Ealing. I paid for a delicious three course meal and drinks on the WRDM company card and we conducted the entire interview in Italian, for a laugh.

Here is the translated transcript of everything we said to one another:

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Q) For anybody unfamiliar with the name Ian M could you tell us who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A) For any 'absolute virgins' of the hard house/dance scene, I have been a full time DJ for more than five mins (joke!). I was one of the main residents at Trade at Turnmills (considered in its day to be an industry standard) for about 8 years before I left around 2001. I followed on from Tony de Vit’s 8am til 10am set at Trade every week which, when I reflect back upon, think to myself that it was a bloody good experience.

I have also been involved with and released original tracks and remixes (e.g. The Dreamer and Annihilation) for various labels like Tidy Trax, Tripoli Trax, Mohawk & others (go to discogs.com/Ian-M for more details).

Finally, with the question, “Why do I do it?” my answer is simple, it must be my love of good music.



Q) Was establishing yourself in the music industry a MASSIVE uphill struggle or something that you were all cocky about because you knew you had the talent for it?
A) I have never thought myself to be cocky or even thought of myself as God’s gift. I would say it was not easy getting to where I am nowadays. I have had loads of peaks and dips throughout my career but you learn from the experiences. It has always been a struggle being a DJ and more so today, because everybody wants to be a DJ. Even now, I am always learning to be better.

However, as I have said before you put it all down to good experience, as some people will say it is like doing your apprenticeship.




Q) How did you come up with the moniker, Ian M? Did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing it with DJ, like a proper DJ (DJ Ian M) or suffixing DJ with something more exciting like ‘Brick Knocka’ (DJ Brick Knocka) or ‘Mix Masta Masha’ (DJ Mix Masta Masha)?
A) It was actually Alex Laird (Manager of ex-Subway City) who came up with the idea for a Thursday night event called Rim held at Bakers, but he spelt it as Ean M at first. After slagging him off for the mis-spelling, we agreed on the Ian M moniker in the end because we thought it was better than people having to say my full name. So today, I just call myself Ian M but some promoters put my name out as DJ Ian M, most do not.

At end of the day, what difference does it make? If I am booked to play at a club, then it is pretty obvious. And I wouldn’t really say calling yourself “Brick Knocka” or “Mix Masta Masha” as exciting. Nowadays names like that make yer sound like a prat as far as I’m concerned.

Q) One bar snare fill or a high pitched vocal “come on!”?
A) Both please with a side dish of cheesy fries & a dildo smile.




Q) As a successful DJ, are you able to go clubbing and relax or are you constantly comparing yourself to who’s playing?
A) It’s very rare I would go to a club when I’m not working but whenever I have popped into a club, I get the odd funny look and people shake my hand & generally say hello and sometimes we’ll end up in conversation. Moreover, I never compare myself to anyone else because every DJ is different in his or her own special way.

Q) One of the saddest days of my life was when Pulse (Birmingham) got closed down. I thought that it was the spiritual home of Sundissential and my hard house days started to wind down shortly after. What are your memories of the late 90s hard house heyday?
A) Funnily enough, I remember that place as The Powerhouse (with DJ Funky Dunk) before it was called Pulse. I do remember the Tony de Vit Memorial Night with Boy George and Judge Jules playing. However, when it comes to memories from those times, they are few and far between, it was a very mental time to be a DJ. Sometimes we had around four or five gigs in ONE NIGHT, we were rushing around the country like headless chickens. Actually, friends remind me of some of the funny times we used to have at the old gigs around the country.


Q) Do you have any good Madders anecdotes?
A) When it came to Madders, you were worried in case he never coughed up the DJ fees. Afraid he owed me a few pennies in those days; of course, you have to write it off now. But I like to joke about it.........NOT!! I remember he used to come up to the DJ box either in Brum or in Leeds and shout to me “COME ON!! BANG IT OUT WILL YER!!” because I use to hold back playing the harder tunes.

Q) Where is Madders now?
A) Why? Does he owe you money as well? He, he!



Q) Some people are quick to slag off hard house and dismiss it as fairground music. Am I right in saying that in a game of Top Trumps, Tidy Trax and Tripoli Trax of the 90s/very early noughties would fucking hammer a team of Ed Banger and Kitsuné?
A) Fairground music? You must be joking! Have you heard Hardcore or Hard Style these days? As per any music genre, there are sub-levels to it as well. Therefore, with Hard House, of course, you can have some fluffy flavours but it can also have some 'fucked-up' hard flavours. Some tunes would give some Lenny Dee tunes a run for its money.

I think people are mixed up with all the different genres these days. I know I do. So nowadays, I tend to call em all “Council House”. In addition, get this interesting fact, in America Todd Terry is considered to be Hard House. Work that out eh? And these are the people who call “EDM” dance music these days. I shall say no more?

Q) Kathy Burke. Would ya?
A) Would you?


Q) Was there a Tidy Trax and Tripoli Trax beef or did they get along well?
A) Many moons ago, they got on like a house on fire but bugger knows these days? I would say they STILL love each other. Amo loves everybody!! Anyway, does it matter? Don’t think I’ll lose any sleep over it.

Q) Curate your fantasy club night. What’s it called? What’s the line-up (dead or alive)? Where’s the venue? Is there a dress code?
A) I would probably call the night either 'Cum & Get It' or 'Up Yours'. The line up would be DJs who are really, really passionate about the music they play and it will be properly programmed. I know who I’d personally ask to play but I’d like to keep it a secret.

The venue would be a “Turnmills” style club with the most unreal Digital 3D/Surround Professional Sound System. In addition, of course, I wouldn’t have a dress code. People can come as they want, dress as they want BUT leave all the attitude outside the door also come with a musical open mind because the night wont be sticking to one music dance genre.

Q) What advice would you give to me any young readers of this blog who want to make a name for themselves in the music industry?
A) DON’T!!! Unless you are willing to sell yer soul to the devil. I tell the young un’s keep yer full time job and look at dj’ing as a part time hobby cos I’m afraid there isn’t any money in the music industry, that’s unless yer Simon Cowell obviously.

The government is going out of its way to close club land down, you only have to look at all the clubs that have closed in London recently. Don’t forget to thank Mayor Boris for making it difficult to license venues as well. The Ministry of Sound club recently nearly copped it but they managed to fight back and keep themselves open but what have they done, put bloody flats next door or close by. They have done the same around the country in all the cities. It is outrageous really! Eventually, the people will bite back but it maybe too late at this rate.



Q) Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A) I have done one of these descriptions only once and vowed, I would not do it again. Guess which one.

Q) What are your plans for 2014?
A) With the new label, running that will keep me busy in one form or another. We’ve got some wicked stuff due for future release, from the likes of Steve Thomas, Andy Farley, Little Jon, Knuckleheadz, 12” Thumpers, Kris O’Rourke (originally from Derby but now lives in Brisbane) and some new local Midlands artists like Kieran Browne and Dark Element...and of course, me!!!

I shall be embarking upon my second PURE IAN M 6 hour set in October. The first one was such a success, the MORE ON THE DOOR boys decided on the night to hold another one in 2014. It was fun because it gave me chance to play different types of music and styles. I think it surprised many people and was talked about for weeks. In addition, it gives me a chance to highlight new talent to the London crowds like Tim Clewz & Kirsty Lee James.

Finally, I’d really like to earn enough to survive and pay the bills. Times are tight out there people.



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What a lovely man! Nobody has ever said to me that I sometimes use the Weekly Review of Dance Music for selfish and nostalgic purposes, and to form balsa wood contacts with DJs, producers and people on the scene I would never had got access to ten years ago, but I regularly imagine that that's what people think. Let this weeks MASSIVE QUESTIONS be a MASSIVE message to anyone who thinks that I live in the past from time to time.

Ian M is a hero of mine and, as I said before, a lovely young man, so do me and him a favour by getting right behind him from this day forth. All of the YouTube clips I've included in this post prove beyond doubt that hard house, when done properly, and with the right amount of subtlety, can be just as fucking good as your technos and your minimal technos.

The official Ian M Soundcloud page, not one of the many hundreds of bootleg pages: soundcloud.com/dj-ian-m

The official Ian M Mixcloud page, not one of the etc, etc: mixcloud.com/DJIanM

Carboned label Soundcloud page: soundcloud.com/carboned-recordings

I'll be back next week with a very special post about something I've not yet thought through and Tonka's Week on Ransom Note will be on Friday, as agreed.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm
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Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

These tracks also prove that hard house can be good:













LIVE AT TRADE:

UPDATE:  This is a live Ian M mix, rather than Tony De Vit, as stated. Whoever uploaded it has made a MASSIVE mistake. Ian assures me that he has the master tape for that particular mix and I have no reason whatsoever to disbelieve him.
































































LOOK:



WRDM32

One of the best things about being a world famous dance music blogger writer is this: your electronic inbox gets ramma jamma full of dance music promos every day. I fucking love dance music so I'm in a win-win situation viz-a-viz the receiving of emails with dance music songs in them!

I was too busy to write a proper Tonka's Week on Ran$om Note last Friday but when it comes to the home games, I'm always focused and ALWAYS have something prepared. YOU, dear readers, are the reason I write every fucking week for zero fucking pence about stuff that I don't always like and sometimes about people I fucking hate. Remember what Morrissey said about kicking people in the eye?


So, this week on the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music is a very special PROMO SPECIAL. I've taken the time to listen intently to three randomly selected promos and judge them on THIS blog website to hopefully boost sales and to ingratiate myself further into the lives of people in the dance music world.

However, I need to make this very clear: if you spot a load of spelling mistakes, shit use of grammar, regular inconsistencies and sentences that sound like they've been written by someone who spends every day of their lives eating sweets, listening to whatever the RA Mix of the Day is and consulting Mixmag for genre-classification assistance, it's because I've copied and pasted every single fucking word from the emails I've received in my inbox. Starting from now...

...from now...

...NOW...

Artist: Franco Cinelli
Title: All Frequencys
Label: Esperanza
Released: Summer 2014


Seven years after his last LP on Alpha House, Argentina’s Franco Cinelli has finished his next full length, All Frequencies, due for release on Esperanza in February 2014.

Over the course of the last 15 years, Cinelli has released countless EPs on labels like Bass Culture, AirDrop and Ilian Tape and has proven himself to be a master of the groove, be it a house, techno or disco infected one. This new album encapsulates all that and channels his decades of musical experience into one album that has the dance floor as a common denominator. Disco, funk, house, techno, soul, dub, hypnosis, technology, love and peace are among the constant frequencies that permeate this album and make it such a compelling proposition.

No time is wasted in getting down to business and opener ‘I Feel It’ pairs classic house percussion with heavy kick drums before playing with various filters, chucking in bleepy melodies and nice organic human voices. It’s an immediately arresting house track that leads on to the firmly rooted beats of ‘Chi-Trax’. This one is run through with some fine and pixelated synths, chattery claps and icy techno hi hats and it really makes you move.




Form there the likes of ‘Cargo’ is built from some nicely rough edged sounding loops and ravey chord stabs, ‘Infiltrate’ drops into a much more subliminal and deeper techno groove and ‘Slippery Arp’ plays with a dynamic synth line that bubbles and boils up and down through the mix and take you with it every step of the way.

Finally, there is also digital bonus track ‘Deep Forest’, a serene and emotive techno jam that is more about mind meditation and widescreen synths than it is sweaty dancefloors. It’s a beautiful way to end an album that is full of memorable moments and cultured but club-ready dynamite.

Franco Cinelli
All Frequencies - 10/10

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Luciano & Friends - Into The Aether (Part One)
(It's on Cadenza but I don't know when this is released, didn't say in the email or promo download site)


Cadenza head honcho, Luciano, often collaborates with many other artists, his constant touring schedule blessing him the opportunity to write and produce music with a multitude of like minded producers, and on “Into The Aether”, we get the first part of a two part series of tracks composed with various other Cadenza personnel.

“Arizona Green Song” sees Luciano and Marlowe (AKA Digitaline) get together for a vibrant and busy freak out. A plethora of rattling and sharp percussion cuts through a simple melody line and low slung groove. Building over ten tantric minutes, dubby inflections and hidden voices are woven into the detailed arrangement to great effect.




A collaboration with Dani Casarano results in “Bell’s & Tonic”, a slower paced vibe here, but with plenty of funk, from it’s bending bass line and hand claps to the deft organ touches and shuffling shakers. A world within is created here, again distant voices, rattling cow bells and (yes) livestock and other field recordings are layered here to create a unique ambience.

Uncompromising and original music then, from Cadenza’s boss and friends. Expect a ‘Part Two’ to be released in the coming months…

Luciano & Friends
Into the Aether (Part One) - 10/10

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Artist: dubspeeka
Title: Leaving Home
Label: DEXT Recordings
Release Date: 14/04 (vinyl) 28/04 (digital)



DEXT Recordings is a brand new label kicking off with an EP from dubspeeka complete with remixes from ApplePips boss Appleblim and Aus artist Komon - and it’s a bit of a Bristol affair.

dubspeeka, the elusive Bristol based producer who has released on Oliver Huntemann's Ideal Audio, Waveform and has remixed for Evolution, is sure to become big news in 2014, especially once the world gets to hear this new EP.

Opening track ‘Leaving Home’ is a dark and broody affair with thick basslines, eerie pitch shifted voices lurking in shadows and plenty of spangled synths wrapping around it from start to finish. ‘Special Occasion’ is then a fulsome, swaggering house track. The drums are bulky, the percussion is crisp and the chords rattle with plenty of menace. Next up, ‘Creature Funk’ again fuses elements of house and bass into a skipping track that sways to and fro as si ren like tones survey the bleak horizon. It’s arresting, strangely funky stuff that sound like little else.




Komon & Appleblim have teamed up many times before now, for both remixes and originals, and here the pair refix ‘Creature Funk’ into a nimble, supple bit of grainy but bulky techno that skips and scrapes with a real late night and underground swagger. Komon then remixes ‘Leaving Home’ on his own and turns it into a reflective and pensive bit of house with nicely shaped synths off in the distance as infectious percussive slices churn out a pattern in the foreground. dubspeeka’s production is fresh and filled with plenty of personality and all three tracks here are likely to become seriously highly rated weapons for DJs in the know in the coming months.

Having already featured on the Aus Music Boiler Room Session and the XLR8R Podcast by Komon and Appleblim, this is one to watch.

Dubspeeka
Leaving Home - 10/10

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...and ending now.

Fucking hell!!! Those promos all scored 10/10!!! They must be fucking brilliant, so make sure you go out and buy them all.

Whoever says I'm going through a bad patch with my writing and general creativity at the moment can fuck off because I'm not. Am I?

Keep your lids peeled for this Friday's Tonka's Week on Ran$om Note. I'll be giving you the first listen to my new track, 2 Frightened 2 Dance (Pinhead Trick Mix). I've taken the 200+ bpm terrorcore sound (so loved by my new pal, Shabs from Channel 4 Drugs Live) and put a minimal (so loved by me in 2005) twist on it to create a whole new genre of music; minimal terrorcore.

Shabs told me about terrorcore last week. I had a listen to some of it and couldn't figure out if my tape player was broke or not. It turned out I was listening to it on Soundcloud and it was supposed etc, etc.

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COMING UP NEXT WEEK:

MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Ian M


Please follow me: @tonkawrdm
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Please email me more dance music promos: tonkawrdm@gmail.com
































































































WRDM31

This week's sassy reviews. Today.

NOW.


PillowTalk released an album called Je Ne Sais Quoi this week. I put that album title into Google Translate and it took me ages to figure out what it means, I'm still not 100% sure. Either my Google Translate is fucked or somebody in PillowTalk has made a spelling mistake. Either way, I don't know what the album name means. Know what I mean?

Je Ne Sais Quoi is a triumph. It's a smooth dance-pop record with enough sass and vocal interchanges to keeps the listener (me) interested throughout. No, you won't hear Surgeon, Ancient Methods, Dave Clarke, Ben UFO, Marcel Dettmann or any of that miserable lot from Berlin playing anything off of this album. If you want to hear any of this album played out, you'll probably need to go to a Soul Clap v Wolf + Lamb Crew Love thing, a No Regular Play set or a Kensal Rise independent stationery, gadget and card shop where it'll be blasting out of the iPod dock along with the new Liars album, Radio 6 Music and Tapestry by Carole King.

I like it and I got into a MASSIVE Twitter argument with someone from Mixmag for backing it to the hilt. Mixmag turned nasty, I'll be honest, but you tell me who won. I was fucking shaking as I typed that last full stop.


Sorry, Sean. Je Ne Sais Quoi scores a very respectable 8/10 at WRDM. Some of it might sound like something Hot Chip would have shat out in 2007 but that's still better than a lot of stuff that comes my way these days.

PillowTalk
Je Ne Sais Quoi - 8/10

Buy it from here: release/je-ne-sais-quoi


I went down The Nest on Friday night to see Pittsburgh Track Authority. I washed my hair, drenched myself in Lynx Africa, put my best black t-shirt on and practised my dance moves and vogue shapes in front of the mirror to a bleak, yet colourful mix of disco break loops, acid and sass techno to get myself in the mood. Pittsburgh Track Authority actually deliver on the hype so I was looking forward to seeing them. After buying a gram of MDMA from Ragdoll in Balham, I travelled up over the river in a taxi, occasionally rubbing crushed crystal into my gums and talking to the driver about foreigners, asylum seekers, women and things that he hates. By the time I got to Stoke Newington I was nicely buzzing. Not quite floating yet but a beer and a proper sniff away from knockin' on Heaven's door. Pittsburgh Track Authority. Fucking come on, I said to myself.



Opening the front door to what should have been a wall of pure house and disco, I heard nothing but UK 2-step garage and saw lots of men and women wearing gold and black designer clothes and massive ear rings. They were stomping around and smoking weed instead of grooving to an e-theme. Confused and a little bit higher, I looked over to the DJ booth and saw New York Transit Authority on the decks! I rolled my jaw around a bit and laughed at my mistake. I decided to stick around and bore everyone I spoke to with the anecdote throughout the night. Mike Skinner from The Streets also played. I waved at him from the dance floor and he definitely nodded back in my direction. For what was a MASSIVE mistake on my behalf turned out to be a lovely night. Everyone who played sounded brilliant on MDMA.

Mike Skinner + New York Transit Authority + Khalil at The Nest
10/10

What's on next at The Nest? This: ilovethenest.com/events


Can you imagine if drums could talk? DrumTalk has done just that and created a pseudonym for himself to explore that side of his imagination. Another one for not using spaces to separate words (see also PillowTalk), DrumTalk makes music that is fucking brilliant for mixing together with other records that have a 4/4 beat at similar bpm levels. Resident Advisor's Andrew Ryce says that the two tracks on DrumTalk's new EP are percolating rhythms. I don't know what that means so I'll just say that Time has enough sass in the vocals to carry what sounds like a pitched up, vibrating bass-line over some African style percussion, in a good way.

Magnetic sounds like you're walking down some stairs after twelve cans of Stella and you're in a bad mood because the spot on the end of your nose won't fuck off, in a good way. It's definitely something you'd hear Surgeon, Ancient Methods, Dave Clarke, Ben UFO, Marcel Dettmann or any of that miserable lot from Berlin playing out in Berghain or House of God or something.

DrumTalk
Time EP - 9/10

Buy it from here:release/DrumTalk


Some great reviews there, I'm sure you'll all agree. Please join me in congratulating all of the above for scoring so highly.

Some people say that scoring artistic endeavours is a waste of fucking time because creative work is all subjective and just because one person likes something, the next will think it's shit. You stick with the world famous Weekly Review of Dance Music though because my taste is better than everyone at Mixmag, everyone at Resident Advisor and everyone in the world put together. It's even better than the people who write the music reviews at the Guardian Guide on a Saturday!

Come back next week for MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Ian M and loads more judgements on what is good and bad in the world of dance music.

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Email me: tonkawrdm@gmail.com

IN SUMMARY THEN:





WRDM30

"If I got to choose a coast, I've got to choose the East. I live out there, so don't...go there." Those were the last words spluttered by The Notorious B.I.G. as he lay paralysed from the arse down after being shot in the chest by one of 2Pac's henchmen in Las Vegas. He later died in hospital from gunshot wounds.

2Pac died exactly one week later when he was stabbed up by members of Junior Mafia whilst rollin' through Brooklyn looking for Puffy.



I wrote those words in 2011 and they are as relevant, if not more so (relevant), today as they were three years ago in 2011 when I originally wrote them on the Weekly Review of Dance Music, this website that you’re reading at the moment, today. The Black Frank White got clipped 30 minutes after winning $500 in a game of strip poker in the old Las Vegas casino, The Rendezous. Mystery surrounds his death, and that of his one-time friend and rap rival, Tupac Shakur. Who exactly killed them? Why were they killed? Are they actually dead or is the whole thing just a MASSIVE CONSPIRACY and a trailer for their big comeback tour in the next few years?

It's been 17 years this week since Big Poppa last laid waste to some pussy. What is his legacy, if he's actually dead? The Weekly Review of Dance Music now presents to you an article that will explain everything there is to know about Marcellus 'Christopher' Wallace, the King of Brooklyn...



Here are some facts:

FACT: The Notorious B.I.G. was murdered by West Coast Crip gangsters who worked for Tupac Shakur, aka 2Pac, aka Makavelli. FACT.

FACT: Suge Knight, the bouncer-cum-executive producer of all Death Row Records songs, drugged 2Pac with weed smoke and turned him against his old friend, Biggie, so that the West Coast/East Coast rivalry would escalate. The reasons for this are unknown. FACT.



FACT: 2Pac got off with Biggie’s wife, Foxy Brown, whilst pretending to be meeting up with Lil' Kim and ended up shagging her hard on the balcony of her apartment as they looked out over the bay, as eerily predicted towards the end of the song, Whatz Ya Phone #, a full three years before his death. FACT.

FACT: If Biggie and Tupac were to actually have had a fight, in a boxing ring or alley-way, Tupac would have won. FACT.



FACT: Biggie was jealous of Tupac’s movie-star good looks and, before his death, was working on a plan to have him disfigured in a shopping mall razor-blade attack in Miami. The Notorious B.I.G. was going to shrug his shoulders when asked about the attack on MTV before dropping subliminal hints in a number of tracks on his never-to-be-recorded third LP, Not Gonna Die Yet, suggesting that he was, in fact, behind the attack. FACT.


ALL THESE FACTS ADD UP TO ONE THING: Biggie Small's death was a premeditated attack by one or more members of the West Coast G-Funk rap gang. In the West Coast, the only record label worth rapping on was Death Row Records; home to Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dr Dre, Tupac, Nate Dogg, Warren G, The Lady of Rage and MC Hammer. Danny Boy was also on it which, to me, was a bit too much. Death Row already had the best gangster rap crooner in the world, Nate Dogg, so I always thought Danny Boy should have transferred to Bad Boy on the East Coast where he would have got more playing time.

Either way, Death Row Records exacted revenge most foul on Biggie and acted out the gruesome fantasies of their most depraved rappers by meting out a final sentence outside a Las Vegas casino in 1997, paying a young Crip henchman $70 to fire a few bullets directly into Biggie Smalls' big, barrel chest and killing him because Suge Knight brainwashed Tupac into not liking anyone on the East Coast anymore, especially The Notorious One.



Believe it or not, Big Poppa and 2Pac were once friends; 2Pac used to let Biggie sleep on the couch and beg the bitch to let him sleep in the house. However, after a while, Biggie Smalls became jealous of 2Pac and, after slagging him off with Puff Daddy in a Californian swimming pool, he tried to have Makavelli shot dead in a botched recording studio ambush. Biggie even had the balls to sing about it live on Top of the Pops on his UK top 20 hit, Who Shot Ya, whilst 2Pac paced up and down the green room waiting to sing 2 of Americaz Most Wanted with Snoop. This was the moment 2Pac's patience snapped and he decided there and then to put a call in to Suge after the show to express his disappointment in what he saw as the East Coast Bad Boy rappers making fun of him on BBC1. The rest is history.

Three weeks later, the Glock went 'pop' and Biggie lay dying in Southern Hills Hospital and Medical Center wishing that he hadn't made fun of Makavelli and, by extension, the entire West Coast.

Some people have accused me of either rambling or not having a coherent argument and theory with regard to the death of Christopher Wallace, the King of New York, but I have. Read this article again and you'll know what it is.



Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom, eh? Let’s celebrate the music. What a rapper! Check out my top three Notorious B.I.G. songs and try and argue with them. You can’t.

Number 3
Unbelievable


The backing music to this track is the sole reason it makes my Top 3. I haven’t got a clue what he’s rapping about on Unbelievable or why, but the music is proto-minimal East Coast G-tech stutter at its best. I don’t know what instrument is used on the melody so I’ll describe it: it sounds like a 40oz ball-pein hammer hitting an anvil toned down to about -18 but with the pitch up to about +12 with an alternating pattern depending on whether he’s rapping verses, spitting the chorus or prepping the bridge. Even today, it’s an astonishingly fresh cut.

Ch-ch-check out the vocal scratching at the end.

Number 2
Hypnotize


Best bass line in rap history. No dizout. Hypnotize is Biggie’s ode to splashing out on fancy goods in order to ‘hypnotize’, or have sex with, women. I like the bit when he lists all the different clothing brands and associates them with the locations of the women who like those brands.

Number 1
Juicy



Juicy is the only Notorious B.I.G. song I know all the words to and would be confident performing at Hip Hop Karaoke down The Social every Thursday night (7pm – 1am, price: £5 entry. Upstairs is still FREE entry before 9pm.). This is the ultimate rags-to-riches song. He brags about owning a Super Nintendo AND a Sega Genesis, he boasts about owning a green leather sofa and shows off about his $2000 phone bill! The music on its own is something you’d probably hear as filler in the middle of a Johnno Burgess yacht rock set at Bestival, which is no bad thing.

I love Juicy because it makes me feel sorry for him. Biggie’s life pre-rap sounds fucking shit, and if only he’d kept his mouth shut about 2Pac and the West Coast he’d still be alive today, no doubt sipping champagne every time he’s thirsty! Winking smiley face.

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Honourable mentions, or ‘shout outs’ as Biggie would no doubt have referred to them as, should also go to the following songs:

Going Back To Cali



If I ever get the chance to go to California twice, I’m hoping to remember to play this song whilst getting ready to go the second time.

Big Poppa



This track plays in my head every time I’m in the VIP area of a club with the Ran$om Note team. I’m Biggie to Ran$om Note’s Junior Mafia. Kristan J Caryl is probably Puff Daddy and the woman at Maouris who sends me the Soul Clap promos is Lil’ Kim. Everyone else in the club are you, the readers, looking on with an equal amount of jealousy and admiration at how much Tanqueray, power, style and influence I have.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems


Not for me. The more money I make, the easier my life becomes. Saying that, I make zero pence from writing this so I don’t fully understand where he’s coming from. Nevertheless, this was the first Notorious B.I.G. song I ever heard. I was sixteen years old and skulking around Virgin Records in Walsall, gazing at the gorgeous Gothic girl behind the counter who was about nineteen and wondering if she’d go out with me if I asked her. I was stood in the long queue to her till with the CD single Jungle Brother by the Jungle Brothers and a Sam Kinison video when I heard a couple of smooth, childlike verses get disturbed by an impatient, almost aggressive spit over a shiny, scratch flavoured 70s disco beat. I looked at the big screen in the shop and saw Puff Daddy playing golf with Ma$e whilst Biggie popped up occasionally on a space-age telly. From that moment on I was a big fan of The Notorious B.I.G.

R.I.P. Christopher Wallace, you big fat bastard, you. God bless. I'm pouring some Alizé all over my laptop for you.

I’ll be back next Tuesday with Ian M answering my MASSIVE QUESTIONS and some unbelievable dance music reviews.

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MASSIVE QUESTIONS with PERC


Everyone keeps banging on about Perc, don’t they? They do though, don’t they? EVERYONE. Even I’ve been banging on about him! I reviewed Perc’s new album, The Power and The Glory, on THIS website the other week and scored it 9/10, which is highest score you can get without getting a 10/10. Yes, it might have a scary cover and yes, it might be full of scary music but underneath the horror is a lovely young man called Ali Wells who, on Friday night, was kind enough to meet me outside the Queens Avenue flat I used to live at in Muswell Hill for this EXCLUSIVE interview.

We walked and talked around the corner to the Broadway and sauntered cockily past the queue at Toff's, where I ordered us both my usual; chips, two saveloys, brown sauce and a can of Dr. Pepper. Each. We sat on the wall outside St. James' Church and tucked in as a dozen 4x4 people carriers in different shades of black created traffic and a line of white, long-haired, teenage boys with guitars over their shoulders tracked the pavement back to their enormous houses off the Muswell Hill Road looking like Alex James before he turned twenty. When I was their age I was knocking on factory doors in Oldbury wondering why I was bothering to breathe.


After Perc and I finished our chips, we went to O'Neills to finish the interview and got fucking hammered. Here's what I remember:

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Q) For anyone unfamiliar with the name Perc, could you tell them who you are, what you do and why you do it?
A) I’m a producer, DJ and label owner. Based in north London. I make something close to techno but hopefully a touch more interesting than a lot of what passes for techno in this day and age. I do it because I love making music, I love releasing music by other people and I love DJing, but mainly I do it because I hate seeing music that I dislike doing well, so instead of just sitting there watching crap get celebrated I like to fight back with music I really believe in.


Q) Is Perc short for Percussion, Percolator, Percentage, Percy or something completely different?
A) You were right first time; it is short for Percussion, though now it just seems like my name and is not really connected with its origins. I still love the name, though I can’t stand it when people ask me to play Percolator as my opening track. Next time that happens they’ll get the Van Dyk remix of Binary Finary instead.

Q) Has establishing yourself in the music industry been quite hard to do or has everything just fallen onto your lap?
A) I’ve had a few lucky breaks but generally it has been a long, slow grind. It is a cliché but you make your own luck, by working hard and doing your best not to be an arsehole. I always try to remind myself that it did not happen overnight and it could all end tomorrow, so be a decent person and enjoy it while it lasts.


Q) The Power and The Glory is ‘punishing, often superlative techno’ (Drowned in Sound), ‘beat music’ (FACT), ‘too fat, too dirty and complex’ (Electronic Beats) and ‘fucking brilliant’ (Weekly Review of Dance Music). How would you describe your new album?
A) It is very ‘me’, very personal and it captures a certain period of my life, which I hear the moment I start listening to the album. Being at the centre of it all makes it hard to know what people will make of the album, but I am happy with it and the reviews that matter (yourself included) have been good so I can’t ask for more than that.

Q) You told Vice that track 5, David & George, is a song about the current Prime Minister and his Chancellor of the Exchequer. I’ve listened to it about nine times now and I just think it’s a song you can dance to in a nightclub. Who’s right, you or me?
A) It’s intended for people that like to dance in nightclubs to songs about senior government officials, so we’ll call it a draw. A niche sub-genre I know, but one that I think has some potential. Currently I’m working on a 4-track dub techno EP based around the life of Harriet Harman.


Q) High-pitched vocal “let’s go!” or a one bar rising snare roll with cymbal clashes on each of the four beats?
A) The "let’s go" sample every time. If you are going to use a snare roll it needs to be at least a minute long. With a one bar roll, by the time you hear it, it’s already over. Pointless.

Q) When you were growing up, did you ever toy with the idea of prefixing Perc with DJ, like a proper DJ (DJ Perc), or suffixing it with something more exciting like Hertfordshire Hammer (DJ Hertfordshire Hammer) or Sick Beatz (DJ Sick Beatz)?
A) Perc works for me right now. Some DJ’s with ‘DJ’ at the start of their name sound good, whilst for others it makes them sound like total knobs. One prominent website did call me the Haringey Punisher once, which some friends call me for a laugh, but I’m not too keen, it makes me sound like a serial killer.


Q) I know Christopher Lee’s daughter, Christina, and she told me that her dad loves Wicker & Steel (Perc's debut album). Have you had any other celebrities say they are a fan of your music?
A) Not really, I don’t really count the big techno DJs as celebrities, though some people might. Christopher Lee is a big one though; I’m a massive fan of the Hammer horror films, so this has made my day.

Q) You played House of God in Birmingham last year. I went there by accident for their 19th birthday and was blown away by how friendly, mature and musically sound it was – I came back for their 20th birthday and am sorry to say I had to miss it this year because, although I was up in Birmingham that weekend, I was there to see my Nanny Kath who had a fall the other week. She fell over by the shops, banged her head and needed stitches. She then had an infection in the stitches and they turned septic so the doctors had to drain her forehead. She’s 88 now so I went up there on the 22 February to see her because you never know when it might be the last time you see your Nan so, unfortunately, I couldn't really go to House of God and get trollied like I usually do. Know what I mean? My only gripe is that every so often someone would get on the microphone and scream something like, “Get on your knees, sinners!”

When you played there, were any of your tracks MC’d over in a darkly theatrical manner? I.e. did you have a good time?
A) Yes, the MC was in full flow when I played, but it fits the event and crowd perfectly so I love it. An MC that raises the tension and energy of a night is fine, if it is just some bloke desperately trying to rhyme together whatever random word tumbles out of this drug-addled mind then I’m not a fan. BTW - hope your Nan is on the mend now.


Q) Stone cold sober or absolutely fucking terminated?
A) Recently it’s mainly been the former, but if the time is right then there are few things better than getting wrecked with friends. I’m past the point in my life where I’ll party hard in any club, the music and company has to be right as well. Being wrecked in a club, just because you can, when someone is playing awful music is not my thing anymore.

Q) You look very serious in press photographs but I’ve heard that you’re supposed to be a very cheerful man. Are the media demands for moody looking DJs appropriate given that the people who actually go to clubs take drugs, listen to their favourite music and have some of the happiest times of their lives?
A) Good point. Dance music press shots usually fall into two camps: looking all serious and moody or larking about, trying to be funny and subsequently looking like a bell-end. I prefer the former, though the occasional photo of me smiling might be a nice addition to my press shots. I think generally the dance music media likes ‘moody DJ’ shots as it adds weight to their serious appraisals of new releases. Writing 500 words on a techno concept album when the accompanying photo is someone acting the fool might seem a bit weird.


Q) Lisa Lashes or Anne Savage?
A) I’ve actually met both in a former job of mine before I was doing the Perc / Perc Trax thing full time and I would have to say that Anne Savage was the nicer person.

Q) Do you have any advice for the many young DJs and producers who read the Weekly Review of Dance Music?
A) Try to sound like yourselves and not someone else. If you make a track or sound that sounds like one of your heroes, learn from it and then delete it. We already have the perfect Chris Liebing, Ricardo Villalobos and BK, better to be the best version of yourself than a crap copy of an established name.


Q) What are your plans for the rest of 2014, work-wise or otherwise?
A) The album tour is happening right now and a 3-track remix EP from my album is out at the end of March. After that I have a few gigs at Awakenings with Truss which I am really looking forward to. Then the 2nd half of this year is all about the 10-years of Perc Trax releases and events.

Q) Any other business?
A) Not really, just fighting the good fight as always.

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What a lovely man! If you're somebody interested in doing something in dance then read that interview again and join me in wishing Perc all the very best for the rest of 2014. Spend your pocket money on both of his albums and go to see him live as much as you can. If you see Perc in the street, don't hassle him for an autograph; a nod of the head or a wink will do.

BUY The Power and The Glory here: perctrax/the-power-and-the-glory

Follow Perc: @perctrax

"Like" him: facebook.com/PercTrax

Support him at gigs: UPCOMINGS


I'll be back next week with more news, reviews and interviews. On Friday night, I'll be signing copies of THIS Weekly Review of Dance Music at The Shelter in London for UltraDisko. Come down and ask for Tonka. I'll buy you one pint of beer.

Friday's on Ran$om Note is Tonka's Week. Here's what I did last week. LOOK: Tonka's Week

Right, you can fuck off now. Before you do (fuck off), please connect to me on social media and share my words around the internet. Spread me like lemon curd on toast.

Follow me: @tonkawrdm

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