I've got a lot on my plate this week, ladies and gentlemen, so forgive me for rushing through this week's Weekly Review of Dance Music. Next week will be a good one because Anne Savage will definitely be here to answer my MASSIVE QUESTIONS. That'll be a cracking post.
Before I start judging this week's records, let me plug #HueTube for a very dear friend of mine, Geoff Marshall out of the Londonist. The Londonist haven't offered me any work on their Theatre & Arts section yet, but if I brown-nose their best video presenter tube train enthusiast man on blogs like this and sites like this, then they're bound to get in touch and legitimise my work even further, aren't they?

#HueTube (if you're interested in taking part in any future events) is a monthly get-together of loads of like-minded adults and children where the aim is to dress in the same colour of the tube line you're getting on, gradually cram onto the same carriage and make all the other passengers in the carriage spit their drinks out and splutter, "whaaaaaaaa?!"

I went on the Central Line on Sunday afternoon wearing a red t-shirt and I had more fun than you did, staying in to watch Lionel Richie at Glastonbury on the telly. Get in touch with Geoff on Twitter if you want to get involved with his maniacal obsession with the London Underground, and if you're interested in tubes yourself, or have kids who are, get stuck into his Secrets of the... series on YouTube. They're ace AND accessible.

As I said, I'm in a rush this week. Here's some dance reviews:

Tresor '97 - '99 by Surgeon
I've not listened to this yet and Surgeon hasn't even sent me a promo copy. He's probably still reveling in the success of our February interview. Resident Advisor gave it 4.0 / 5 so in reality, it's going to be twice as good as a 4.0 / 5. You're looking at about an 8.0 / 5 in real terms.

RA don't half act all cool around the big guns. Me, I'm unashamedly obsequious and, I hope Surgeon doesn't mind me saying this, Tresor '97 - '99 is as powerful, as charming and as handsomely priced as his new/old clean-shaven image.

Buy it from here now: tresorberlin/surgeon-tresor

Strictly Jacked mixed by Luke Solomon
Again, I've not actually listened to this one yet (I've not read the email properly, to be honest, so I don't know if there's a download link or stream available), but when I saw that famous Strictly Rhythm red brick artwork with a massive JACKED typed all over it, I got so excited that I had to call my very dear friend, Luke Solomon, up to discuss what looks to me like being a brilliant album.

"Tonka", Luke whispered earnestly, "Strictly was quite literally THE house music label for me in my formative years. I bought everything", he continued, "even the records I wouldn't have played - just so I owned everything. Then, when I worked at Freetown I was lucky enough to become one of the few that got test pressings every single week”, he bragged.

I was now doing that thing where you deadpan the words, "yeah" and "I know", every few seconds and waiting for a pause in the conversation where I could say, "anyway", and end the call because I'd stupidly poured the hot water on my Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle before calling Luke and it was now losing its heat.

Luke didn't stop for breath though, “I've always been one for digging deep so naturally my contrary self gravitated towards the b-sides and the oddities. With that in mind and with the spirit of the jackin' theme, I took the Chicago-inspired route on this compilation; remixing and remastering some of my favourite records and adding some contemporary catalogue which will hopefully enable a new generation to discover a very important part of house music history. Anyway, you doing much tonight, Tonks?”

I said no and hung up, promising to call him back when my signal improves.

Release date: 24 July 2015
Label: Strictly Rhythm

Err. What else is in my inbox? This'll do:

Uncover Sessions: Mexico City Reinvented is now live!

Click here to tune in!

Boiler Room


Deary me. This post is probably the weakest post I've ever written, isn't it? Even worse than that Jeremy Healy interview. Like I keep saying, I'm in a rush and I have a lot on my plate at the moment. I'm so serious about delivering content TWICE A WEEK, EVERY WEEK though that I'm compelled to update WRDM without fail because I know that without YOU, the Weekly Review of Dance Music would just be a flake on a dead man's temple. Know what I mean?

Don't worry, this time next week you'll all definitely be stood around a massive water cooler talking about MASSIVE QUESTIONS with Anne Savage. Definitely.

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Who's (still) with me?


When I'm not moaning about the perils of freelance music writing or railing against the enormous multi-media corporations who fail to pay £75.00 invoices to the handful of idiots who read what I've got to say every week from the comfort of my £30k + salaried job like a dance music version of Russell Brand, I'm horizontal on my WRDM branded sofa, listening to all of the latest promos from organisations like Maouris, Disperson, MGMT PR, Get Physical Music, Pitch One Promo, Simple Things, The Rest is Noise, Beatnik PR, Trix PR, Defected and 9PR, carefully deciding which tracks I've been sent each week are the best.

I lay on my back with my eyes closed, red wine in one hand, TV remote control in the other, hi-fi remote control in the other, and loads of massive cigars in the other, Holby City on the telly, all of the promos being played on the hi-fi, one after another. Again and again. Over and over. Cool new music fills the WRDMHQ atmosphere every single day except for Monday; the day I write these words. Does life get any better?

However, on Friday afternoon I was provided with a promotional EP by an anonymous source claiming to represent Bleaching Agent, who himself is an anonymous artist. I've been told by a fairly strong source that Bleaching Agent is Jim 'Shaft' Ryan. Others say that he's Craig Burger Queen. My Nanny Kath told me that he was one half of Blacknecks; the mid-noughties power-tech juggernaut (with Trus' Me being the other one), but what does she know? Her favourite DJ is The Beverley Sisters. The point of this paragraph is the fact that I've got my baby soft, moisturised and heavily manicured hands on a copy of the eagerly anticipated new EP by Bleaching Agent on Overlee Assembly. It's called Static Renegade, and if there's been a more eagerly anticipated EP doing the rounds in the WRDM household office this year then I haven't been made aware of it. Or something.

Static Renegade stands out from the techno crowd by way of not having a proper kick hi-hat kick plus snare hi-hat kick hi-hat kick plus snare hi-hat pattern. Sometimes, the hi-hat comes in a collection of two, sometimes not at all - and they're certainly not played between the beats. I think the kicks were a 4/4 pattern, but the snares and hi-hats were definitely not layed out in a standard manner (unlike the FUCKING BANGING FROM THE VERY BEGINNING Perc Remix, where he keeps the drum pattern as it should be: kick hi-hat kick plus snare hi-hat kick hi-hat kick plus snare hi-hat). Both the original and Perc Remix are brilliant and, if I were a techno DJ, I'd definitely be playing both of them in every set I play for the next couple of months before I and everybody else gets bored of hearing it all.

Static Renegade is backed up by two additional songs called Indra and Quango (The Cobble). I listened to this EP on the tube yesterday morning and I can't remember what Indra was like, but I do recall that Quango (The Cobble) had me grooving out, tossing my hair and I even lost my mind. After the first few seconds, I started gurning a bit and threw my arms around a moody looking business man as we departed North Acton. The dirty look he gave me had a very sobering effect and I started to analyse the song properly for this post. If Bleaching Agent is an honest man/woman, he/she will come out and admit that they accidentally knocked the groove setting to maximum in Ableton 9 and didn't know how to set it back to normal when producing Quango (The Cobble). It's a very disorientating piece of music which reminded me of the Nite Versions version of Compute, in a good way.

BUY IT FROM HERE: decks.de/bleaching_agent-static_renegade

Static Renegade EP by Bleaching Agent on Overlee Assembly
Hunee. You can't move for Hunee at the moment, can you? He's everywhere. He played Thunder last week, he's playing the (I have to say this) unbelievably great, brilliant and amazing Farr Festival next month (tickets still available), he's been preparing a brand new studio album for release called Hunch Music and this week, he knocked out a podcast for FACT who, despite the properly atrocious artwork, are knocking out a lot of decent podcasts recently; Hunee's being one of them.

I've not listened to the whole podcast yet because I had the rest of the Festivals Britannia programme to watch on BBC iPlayer on the tube this morning. I tell a lie, I've listened to the first 14 minutes on the walk to Northolt Station from Oldfield Circus, but I'm not counting what I've heard so far as the actual podcast. Fourteen minutes in and no kick drum yet. No beats. Nothing in the way of dance. Loads of rattling sounds, warm pads, chitter-chatter noises, Balearic soundscapes and synthetic atmosphere do not a dance podcast make.

I know it's going to pick up though because it's Hunee, and I'm confident enough to give his FACT podcast a high score because of how good a DJ I know he is. I saw him last year at Farr and he LITERALLY blew me out of the water with his smooth DJ skills, song selection, epic beats and showmanship behind the decks. I didn't stop dancing throughout his entire two hour set, not even for a piss or a beer.

Hunee's FACT podcast, as soon as the proper dance music kicks in, will be/is absolutely fucking brilliant and YOU can JUDGE it for yourself by listening to it YOURSELF and rating the podcast with a score out of ten and sharing it on YOUR Facebook timeline. Here's my score:

FACT 501 podcast by Hunee
It's not often you stumble on a summer fete worth sticking around for, but on Saturday afternoon I did. I'd never ridden the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) before, so on Saturday morning I took the opportunity of a day off and packed a lunchbox full of sandwiches, crisps, chocolate and fucking hell, this bit is boring me already. I went to a fete near Canary Wharf by mistake after getting off the DLR at the wrong stop, had some cake, an ice-cream, watched an abysmal majorette display and had my face painted like a tiger before going to meet my friends from Ran$om Note in Victoria Park for some cheese, red wine, lager and more cake before going to McDonalds in Bethnal Green for a Big Mac meal before seeing the actress who played Lucy Beale (R.I.P.) coming out of Bethnal Green station as I was going in before going home and catching up on the previous week's EastEnders episodes I'd taped on Sky.

I also saw Henry Holland walking through Victoria Park with a bloke and a little dog.

Canary Wharf College Summer Fete - Saturday 20 June 2015

There we are. The summer fete won this week's WRDM Challenge with a very impressive ten out of ten - and if you read a Beverley Sisters reference in any other contemporary dance music publication this decade, I'll eat my socks and pants after I've shat myself whilst running a marathon. Anyway, must try harder, Bleaching Agent. Come on, Hunee, mate. Chin up.

Next week'll be a smasher. Anne Savage still hasn't sent me her massive answers but it's still going to be a smasher. Honestly, these lady hard house DJs, eh? Come on, Anne. The world needs to know if that girl from Faking It ditched her saxophone and kept with the DJing.

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I can't believe it's the middle of June already, ladies and gentlemen. It only seems like a fortnight ago that it was the BEGINNING of June!

LOLoutLOUD. That was, of course, a hilarious joke (at my expense) about my exaggeratedly poor perception of time. I always like to start each post off with a joke, as you know. Coming up straight after this explanation of the above joke is the serious business of reviewing new music. New fucking music.

Ch-check these out:
I'd never heard of Hauschka until 2013 when the Ran$om Note editor had a massive hard-on about going to see him with his missus in Dalston. He described him to me as, "a dark-haired German genius who publicly plays prepared piano in a plethora of perfectly unpredictable and non-perfunctory performances around the planet." I was listening to a lot of Blacknecks at the time and didn't want to know about a German bloke who flies around the world playing a piano. I wanted to know more about a Scottish bloke and a UK bloke who travel around Birmingham playing synthesizers and drum machines. Anyway, I nodded and lied about having heard of Hauschka, and lied about liking him, and lied about having seen him play before, and lied about just missing out on tickets for the Dalston gig because I was caught up in the middle of writing a biography of Hauschka for an imaginary Quietus article.

I'll tell you what though, he's got a new album called 2.11.2014 coming out soon that is only two tracks long! They're each about twenty minutes in length though. I obtained a promo copy, took it all in and I'm now about to review it on here.

Part 1 of 2.11.2014 whistled through my ears as I stood three feet east of Eros in Piccadilly Circus, arms outstretched and staring through the hordes of human beings that came and went with an intensity that, bizarrely, bordered on a sad, humid ennui. Thunderous winds forced my arms to wobble and half-windmill. The noise of nine thousand tourists under-dubbed the German dramaturgie unfolding in my ears...a tear...uninvited...

...only joking. I listened to 2.11.2012 whilst watching a game of Candy Crush being played over the shoulder of a blonde-haired bored girl in a cheap pink blouse on the Central line west to Northolt.

Part 1 starts off serious, with lots of atmospheric piano noises and melancholic, slow-motion pedal bashing. Then, out of nowhere, at 8 minutes, it becomes playful in a way I can only describe to YOU as sounding like an Ástor Piazzolla (Milonga Loca) and ADULT. (Silent Property) mash-up. It carries on in that style until 13 minutes in, where it goes a bit sad until the last 3 or 4 minutes.

Now, I'll be very fucking surprised if Ricardo Villalobos hasn't already sampled the last 3 or 4 minutes of Part 1 because it'd be right up his street. In my notebook, I scribbled the words: final 3 - 4 mins clipped, chiseled and snipped staccato piano style. V minimal. V classical. V Villalobos.

Part 2 of 2.11.2012 starts off fast and sounds just like a Jimmy Edgar track. Then, after 2 minutes it breaks down and doesn't stop breaking down for another 5 minutes, during which it DEFINITELY leaves the listener with the feeling that it's 4.40am and they're now on the dance floor at The End in 2008, listening to the shattered eccentricity of Roar by Patrice Bäumel.

On about 7 minutes the Patrice Bäumel percussive elements still flit in and out but the atmosphere has changed slightly. I felt a sense of both dread and optimism, the sense that the final ten minutes of this composition could LITERALLY go off into a direction that doesn't sound like this bridging section, if in fact it is a bridging section, it could actually be a proper part. No, it bridges to a section at around 10 minutes where the image it conjurers up is of a naked labourer running slowly across Westminster Bridge at 3am in the snow, unaware of his predicament. Running blindly. Running. Running towards a light that at 12 minutes almost promises to flame up and explode before suddenly transmogrifying into a musical derelict forest, with a woodland lower end piano melody that lifted my spirits for an athletic change of pace that never came.
On 13 minutes, Hauschka makes it dark and lonely again for a couple of minutes before tailing off into a final 6 minutes of the kind of thing I'd stick onto the end of a Fabric mix to make me sound like a proper DJ. By the time 2.11.2014 had finished, I was almost back at WRDMHQ. I was tired physically from having to stand up all the way from Bond Street and mentally from having to have listened to forty odd minutes of music that had fuck all in the way of a kick drum, vocal or bass line.

I don't know if I'm clever enough, poncey enough or patient enough to like Hauschka's music, but by way of appreciation to the PR bloke who was kind enough to send me the promo, I'll score 2.11.2014 quite highly.

2.11.2014 by Hauschka

2.11.2014 is released on the 22 June 2015, but you can pre-order a copy here: 02-11-2014
Show me a better review than that of anything this week and I'll show you a face (mine) that will say the word, "liar", to your face (yours). It's mad that I'm not writing for Pitchfork or The Guardian by now, isn't it? I was going to write two more reviews on this post tonight, but I can't be fucked now. I'll BANG on instead about how great I am and moan about how all these big websites and magazines are ignoring my talent. How many more times do I have to reference an Argentinian tango legend on a contemporary dance music blog before the main, cash-rich organisations recognise a unique voice and whack some more work my way?

Well, I say cash-rich. Half of them look like they've got loads of money because they're always putting their names on things like large-scale annual events in different cities around the world, getting bought out by multi-billion dollar media corporations and bragging on social media about how fucking brilliant and talented they are, but they don't half struggle to cough up a few quid to pay their contributors and, in some cases, staff after they've published an article that was submitted prior to the deadline set by the person who's asked for the article in the first place. LOLoutLOUD.
I don't know. I've only been stung once properly, and that was by Meoko. I wrote six articles for them in 2013 that, admittedly, probably nobody fucking read, but I was offered an amount of money per article before I agreed to do any work. Did they pay me? They paid for the first three articles (after email chase-ups) but I gave up chasing for the last three after a month or two. Silly of me. Shitty of them. I wrote about how lucky I am to not need the money these organisations pay for a 1000 word article last year, but it's still a piss-take and there are LOADS of struggling writers with bills to pay who are having to demean themselves and scrape to the cunts who don't have the decency to pay on time.

VICE. I had to chase VICE up in May for an article I wrote for them last December. VICE.

Fucking VICE magazine. Do you know how rich this magazine is? They're not even just a magazine anymore. They do everything that you can think of that sits under the umbrella of media, their boss wants "media domination" and they're backed by Rupert fucking Murdoch. They've got enough in the bank to pay a knob head like me on time.

They didn't even publish the article I wrote in December because, 1) it was atrocious, and 2) it didn't tie in with an angle about Nigel Farage I think they wanted to push. They offered me a 50% kill fee for it and it still took six months and a few emails until they coughed up.

I'm still waiting for the fee for that Bullshitter's Guide to Hard House I wrote in April. Again, fuck knows how many people read it. Fuck knows how many people at VICE gave a shit about it, but I was still promised payment prior to accepting the job and I think I'm still waiting - I haven't checked my online banking for a week, so maybe it's in there now. If it is (LOL), it'd still mean I've been chasing up a staffer at a multi-billion dollar company for less than a hundred pounds for two months solid. I'm not the only one who's getting fucked over like this but I'm the only one, as far as I know, who's posting anything about it...

...everyone else is trying to write for a living. They can't afford to call out tight-fistedness like I can. I'm a fucking super hero, me.
I know there are loads of mags and sites that pay on time, and are sound to deal with, and I'm only going off a couple of my own experiences and the anecdotes of quite a few of my industry insiders. RBMA (allegedly), Mixmag (allegedly), VICE (definitely) and Meoko (definitely) to name a few have all either failed to pay on time - and by a stretch that nobody on their editorial team would ever have allowed the submission of an article from a contributor to be as late by, or have thrown a massive pair of balls around and failed to pay at all. Cheeky?

Is this widespread or am I making a mountain out of a molehill again? Get in touch and let me know.

Personally, I don't care if I'm never offered cash to write for anyone else ever again (I'll always have WRDM and R$N), but I hope that the money-hungry, ad-chasing finance departments of these places get their acts together because if I see another of my writing friends suffer the indignity of having to bow and go all Oliver! to see some digits months and months after taking the time and effort to do some work, I'm going to smash the fucking lot up.

Next week, we've got that eagerly anticipated interview with Anne Savage and a load more Hilarious Lookalikes.

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WRDM48 - Ten Walls

Here I am, a day and a half late again. LOLoutLOUD. I'll get my act together one day and post on here whilst BREAKING NEWS is still BREAKING, and in the interest of people who get worked up by grrrrrrreading things in the dance music news.

Ten Walls, eh? Why did he have to think his thoughts and then type them out, eh? I hope he's got a few GCSEs or a trade under his belt because he's not getting any income from DJing this year, is he? He's been properly run out of town, hasn't he?
I'd literally never heard of Ten Walls until Sunday night, when everyone in the dance music world went postal, Radio Rental and apoplectic over him saying that a Lithuanian musician tried to wash his brain (what with, mate? Fairy Liquid? LOLoutLOUD) into not being so homophobic anymore. Ten Walls said that he then stumped his pal into silence by asking how he'd react if his sixteen year old son had had his browny ripped by a fella.

Ten Walls, real name: Marijus Adomaitis (which is an anagram of Adolf Jesus Male Mate) THEN went on to tell his Facebook friends that if you're gay, you're a different breed...a breed of paedophiles...just like the priests are. Fuck me, have you ever heard anything like it from a dance DJ before? I thought they were all on happy pills like the rest of us. What he said was bad, but I live with the words, Every Cloud, tattooed on the small of my back in Olde English font, so I looked for the positives in the story; the only one being that Ten Walls has provided me with the best description of anal sex I've ever heard in my life. Whenever one of the many photos from @DoYouLoveMyAss pops up on my Twitter feed I immediately say to myself, "he's really ripping her browny there, but look at the smile on her face. Aww."

So, is homophobia a big deal in dance music? I don't think so. Is it? Get in touch with me if I'm wrong. The number of comments on the Resident Advisor Feed suggests that one cunt out of an industry of cunts who said something homophobic is worth more conversation than, for instance, Bodyjack turning in a breathtaking FACT podcast today or the sensational news that Liam Gallagher is forming a supergroup with Roger Daltry and Ringo Starr's son for TFI Friday next week. A fucking supergroup...!

Is Ten Walls, and what he said, even worth discussing? What he said was so fucking mental that he has to be treated as an isolated case. Or am I bang out of order? Again, get in touch if you think it's outrageous of me to say that a couple of days of publicity (so far) for a bloke who thinks gay people are the same as paedophile priests is a waste and a shame for the thousands of DJs, producers, promoters, and punters who want to read about and contribute to the positive stuff that's happening in dance.

It's a shit-stain of a debate that has raised this bloke's profile (that hardly anyone I know had ever fucking heard of anyway), highlighted his prejudice and enabled some of the worst fucking people in the world to get online and throw their weight around. What he thinks doesn't reflect on the dance music community at all. Never has, never will.
Homophobia is NOT a big deal in dance music today. Has it ever been? Will it ever be? No and no. So, let the festivals cut his name from the bill, let his management company drop him and let all the message boards that are now flooded with either one extreme or the other die a fucking death because if I see one more boring, predictable troll speaking up for "freedom of speech" (comments that Resident Advisor are hilariously deleting) or another lightweight bozo on their high horse saying that they'd "accept an apology" from Boddika but if you still like Walking With Elephants, you're "supporting a known homophobe", I'm going to smash up every fucking dance music website in London and chuck them all out of the window. I'll then fuck off down Soho to pick up a twink, take them back to WRDMHQ, stick on Requiem and let them have a go at ripping my browny.

I'll be back next week with loads more opinion pieces about hard house, minimal techno, WWF wrestling, gangster rap and THAT interview with Anne Savage.

EPILOGUE: Here's a more measured reaction to Ten Walls, five days after this was originally posted: theransomnote/tonkas-week

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Cheer up, everybody, and listen to this: