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The Blinkhorn Batch #2

Posted on September 3 2015 by Patrick Blinkhorn
The Blinkhorn Batch

The Blinkhorn Batch is a deliberate and meticulous selection of new dark, deep, and occasionally sinister sounds followed by a classic production of the same style. This ongoing series of posts is curated by Blisspop author Patrick Blinkhorn. 

Starting off the second installment of The Blinkhorn Batch is the new Yotto release on Anjunadeep. “Wondering Feat. CAPS” starts off simply, gradually adding captivating percussion until the vocals come in with the bass. By the time the horn synth comes in, Yotto has the listener’s undivided attention. What a beautiful track.

Next up we have a snippet of Maceo Plex’s forthcoming release on Kompakt. With its driving bass line and haunting vocal samples, “Mirror Me (Dark Dub)” will inspire the the devil within the most innocent cherubs.

San Francisco based artist Clint Stewart has more darkness in store for us from his Shelter EP on Second State Audio. Here are two stellar tracks off the EP:

Moscow based duo Gorje Hewek & Izhevski came out with a superb release on Lee Burridge and Matthew Dekay’s label/community, All Day I Dream. “Zakkat” takes the listener away, meandering through a sonic soundscape.

Boulder, Colorado based artist Mark Banzhoff recently uploaded another well designed / composed track, “Hematoma.” Keep an eye out for more music from Mark.

Melissa Nikita + VTONE finish the new music section of this post strong with their earth shaking track, “Inizio.” While this Nervous release has all the ingredients of peak hour warehouse techno track, the piano centered breakdown makes “Inizio” stand out.

And without further adieu, the classic this week is Gui Boratto’s remix of Massive Attack’s song, “Paradise Circus.” This remix falls under a certain category for me. The category: “I can pinpoint  the first time I heard this track.” There are only a handful of tracks in this category for me. The first time I heard this track, I was walking back from work – I was crossing P Street where it intersects with Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. In order for a track to fall into the “I can pinpoint  the first time I heard this track” category, it must have attributes that will stick with me for years, decades … a lifetime. The track structure, electric guitar and bass, and the elements Gui Boratto used from the Massive Attack song make this track very special to me. I hope now that I have shared this track on Blisspop, you will classify this track into your “I can pinpoint  the first time I heard this track” category.



Baskerville – Times

Posted on August 28 2015 by Chris Kennedy

A little late on this one, but it deserves a post nonetheless. Dutch producer Baskerville released this bomb on MTA last month and has been gaining support from people such as Pete Tong, Tensnake, and The Magician, to name a few. It starts out as what seems to be an indie track, going half-time with some echoing anthemic vocals. Then Baskerville flips a switch as the breaks slowly enter and the acid (synth) kicks in. It eventually develops into an epic jackin’ style house track, similar to that of Boys Noize‘s productions. It may be classified as electro house, but it definitely can have its place in all sorts of situations. Get it while it’s hot!

The Blinkhorn Batch #1

Posted on August 25 2015 by Patrick Blinkhorn
The Blinkhorn Batch

The Blinkhorn Batch is a deliberate and meticulous selection of new dark, deep, and occasionally sinister sounds followed by a classic production of the same style. This ongoing series of posts is curated by Blisspop author Patrick Blinkhorn. 

Hunter/Game’s rolling bass driven remix of Weval’s “Gimme Some” sets the stage for this post. Italian producers Hunter/Game add elements in a deliberate manner over the course of the remix. The result: an appropriate edition to the Kompakt Total 15 release that is perfect for building tension on the dance floor.

Bremen, Germany based artist Stephan Bodzin gave us his take on fellow German producer Marc Romboy’s track, “Hypernova.” Bodzin’s remix is full of dark timbres and builds in intensity as the track progresses. The track is out on Systematic Recordings on 8/28/15.

Next up is the Tallmen 785′s new Stead Fast EP on the elusive label, Rhythm Nation Records. Kansas born but now Berlin based, Tallmen 785 has more than twenty years of musical training. His productions are essentially techno, but they have a distinct Tallmen 785 flair to them. All four tracks on this EP are well done and one (“Frog Maschine”) was premiered on Boiler Room’s SoundCloud, but my favorite of the bunch is the earth shaking “Stead Fast Drum Machine.”

Swiss producer Bastian Bux gave us some deep house fire with “Tempus Fugit (Original Mix)” on Suara. The synths along with the melodic and rhythmic statements in this track will drive fans of the Cityfox / Adriatique / Tale of Us sound to dance.

Closing out the “fresh” section of this first edition of The Blinkhorn Batch, Brazilian artist Alex Justino gives us his take on deep take on Radiohead’s “Everything In It’s Right Place.” Justino uses vocal effects and synth design to a spectacular effect in what he is calling a Re-edit of the original.

Hold on to your seats, because this classic is a doozy. Max Cooper’s Remix of Pig & Dan’s “Tears of a Clown” is one of my all time favorite remixes. The track in its entirety is over ten minutes long, but Cooper still manages to captivate the listener’s attention for the duration. Perhaps the most impressive feat Cooper pulls off in this remix is the restraint he shows in the track structure. Cooper designed a face-melting bass synth and he uses a captivating distorted electric guitar sample, but he somehow manages to wait three and a half minutes to bring the bass in and then five and a half minutes to bring the electric guitar in. Cooper’s purposeful track design gives the listener an exquisite aural experience. Here’s a clip of the original remix, but I highly recommend you stream or purchase the remix via another medium for the full effect:


CULTURE: Why ROAM is the Best Thing to Have Happened to DC Dance Music

Posted on August 24 2015 by Zach
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“No one man owns house because house music is a universal language / spoken and understood by all.

House is a feeling that no one can understand really / unless you’re deep into the vibe of house.”

‘My House,’ Rhythm Controll, 1987.

The above lyric is the “be all, end all.” House music, from the beginning, was about the desire to be free: free of restraint; free of societal baggage; free to be whomever you wanted to be whenever you wanted to be it. House music used to be about therapy, about shared experiences, about finding the things we have in common with those whom we’re not common with. And, at some point, dance music lost that energy.

Thanks in no small part, however, to the dedication and perseverance of some, the dance music community seems to be back on track with a newfound desire to reach deep and rediscover the roots of house music and its very nuanced, colorful history. One of the many ways this is occurring across the world is through the carefully plotted implementation of the warehouse rave: a type of event popularized in the 90′s during the first major wave of dance music which was largely underground, grassroots organized, and resourced mainly by – and for – DJs and hardcore dance music fanatics. In recent months, artists like Hot Since 82 have been making headlines for throwing things back to the heyday of techno and trance by holding secretive warehouse raves as a means of trying to recapture some of the magic that has faded since the explosion of EDM (and of major, soul sucking festivals such as Ultra, TomorrowWorld, and Electric Daisy Carnival to name a few). But, more importantly, these parties have started to make their way into D.C.’s own backyard.

Inspired by their experiences in club culture, and a life-changing trip to Movement Festival in Detroit a few years ago, a group of friends – Morgan Tepper, Chris Nitti, and Sami Yenigun – decided to start making waves in the burgeoning music scene which had begun blossoming in Washington. Together, they forged ROAM.

A party founded on the principle of sharing underground music in secret locations throughout the city, ROAM has quickly become a much gossiped about, cultural cornerstone in D.C.’s dance music community as its growth has started bleeding into Washington’s mainstream nightlife scene. A safe space where things like gender, sexuality, or walk of life are inconsequential and all that matters are the music and the vibe, the ROAM crew are painting an eclectic portrait for people to cherish and enjoy. By and large, it’s a party that offers a unique experience you can’t find in the city organized by the hip kids who can tell you the difference between techno, grime, deep house, and everything in between.

In other words, this party is nothing like the raves one could expect at a venue like Echostage because the types of events at Echostage are, frankly, more about money than the actual shared experience of being united through music. On the contrary, ROAM is thriving because it is 100% about the music, the community, and the legacy of dance music and sharing those things with the uninitiated.

At any of these parties, be prepared for a sea of writhing bodies packing the dancefloor, Solo cups in hand, feet pounding into the concrete and sweat causing clothes to stick to skin like marshmallow on hot cement. The DJs play house music for house music’s sake; not because it’s popular, but because it’s a lifestyle and a mindset worth preserving. The venue, if you’re lucky enough to get an invite, is announced 24 hours before (and surprisingly well-guarded given today’s reliance on social media).

This attention to the purity of the experience is what makes ROAM so refreshing because there’s no room for irony, condescension, or baggage; it’s all about being at a place at a time to be yourself without a care in the world. It allows for sexual, ethnic, and cultural diversity – something which the mainstream EDM culture sorely lacks. And by packing house time and time again, the event displays a real hunger for something with more substance and intellectual panache than $30 tickets, a light show, bottle service and a dress code. In many ways, this is house for the masses: the experience which those in Chicago and Detroit and the gay community and the dirty discotheques probably intended before it was raped by capitalist enterprise. Obviously, the scene is different and broader than it was 25 years ago, but events like ROAM are the baby steps the current generation of ravers should be walking in order to comprehend the power, and rich legacy, that dance music has to offer. A power which, for a long time, was obscured by the biggest bang you could get for your buck.

That’s not to say big, loud, and obnoxious can’t be fun. It can be. But if dance music wants to evolve and pay tribute to the house that built it, we need more parties with the intricacies and love for the lush cultural backdrop. We need more love for local DJs who are in the game because they feed off that love. We need more focus on history. We need more animals, more geeks, more weirdos, more rough edges. Thankfully, Washington, D.C., our home, has all of that. And you can find a lot of it at ROAM.

Sinden & Christian Martin – Ready

Posted on August 24 2015 by Chris Kennedy

Wait, where are all these Christian Martin tracks coming from? He’s been a part of some great collabs lately and I’m all about. Working with Sinden this time, the two managed to create a bizarre jackin’ house track that sounds like it was made a few years ago. 2010 vibes for real, and that’s a great thing. The track has remnants of acid house as well, which is no surprise seeing how Sinden and Christian Martin both often include acid in their own productions. Grab it from Beatport as a part of Sinden’s Thick As Thieves Pt. 1 EP from  Sweat It Out! Music.