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Stoked for SXSW Interview Series: 004 Phantoms

Posted on March 22 2015 by Jordan Farley

Since their last EP 2 years ago, dark techno-pop duo Phantoms is gearing up for their album release later this week. SXSW goers got a sweet preview of their new album, dropping later this year, so we chatted with them about their experience and the rest of their 2015.

Listen to the whole interview here.

Have you guys just been testing out some new material this week?

So we pretty much have one song out from the upcoming LP so we’re playing songs nobody knows or heard. So we’ve been testing out the album and we’ve gotten a pretty good response. This is our first time with a live set-up. It’s awesome. There’s nothing wrong with DJing but we wanted to try to take it to more a live show and have the control. If you hear a mistake, you know it’s live. We try to have as much fun on stage. There’s lots of dancing involved.

Do you have a signature dance move?

He does a head thing and gets whiplash. I’m a hopper, a jumper. I’m like a two year that just got a toy.

You mentioned you’re coming out with an LP. Can you tell me a little about it?

It’s up in the air at this point. We don’t have an exact date. Definitely some time later this year. We have a new song coming out in the next month. As we were writing it, we wanted to come up with a concept as we were going and it all sort of felt like a night out and the kinds of people you meet on a night on. You’re meeting the drunk guy and the girl who just got her heart broken, so you get a lot of different perspectives. There are guest vocals on the tracks, which is always fun to work with your friends. That’s the underlying idea but it’s pretty loose for interpretation.

How would you describe your style?

We’re somewhere between deep house, pop, and techno blended into one thing. As long as it has our sound and our feel, that’s what makes it a Phantoms song. We’re not necessarily genre specific. We like everything to be kind of dark with our esthetic. That’s just kind of the music we end up making.

What has been your favorite show?

I honestly want to say the show last night was crazy. Last night was definitely up there. THe show we did at Brooklyn Bowl was great. We played 9:330 Club with Viceroy and the venue is just amazing. People were nuts. It was crazy.

Ozker – Skeletons Mix / Two

Posted on March 17 2015 by Philco
Skeletons 2 mix

Blisspop resident DJ, Ozker, has released the second edition of his recent mix series “Skeletons.” Arguably one of the hardest working DJs in the DC area and certain home town favorite, the District native provides us with an hour of well crafted and expertly transitioned Deep, Minimal, and Tech House.

The mix starts with the Lars Behrenroth Remix of Gyasi’s “The Dance,” where the vocal sample of the track speaks “You have to realize that dance is from the people, should always be given back to the people. It’s not an elitist form, it’s a spiritual space.” This passage is very much embodied in Ozker’s DJ sets, where the vibe is about love, about the people, and most importantly about coming together around a passion for music. The feeling of Skeletons Two is no different.

If you haven’t seen Ozker behind the decks yet, we highly recommend it – we’re thinking of his recent opening sets for Kill Frenzy at Flash and Treasure Fingers at U Street Music Hall where both floors were so hot you couldn’t keep your feet still if you tried.

Much like the first mix in the series, this one is definitely worth a listen. We’ll be eagerly waiting for the third. Have a listen below.

Justin Timberlake, “SexyBack (Julius Jetson Remix)”

Posted on March 9 2015 by zacheser
Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.16.47 PM

All of the 90′s kids in the room are about to get seriously nostalgic. The latest from Julius Jetson – one of the boys from D.C.’s Nü Androids crew – is a fiery banger that oozes good ol’ fashioned, tasty audio sleaze.

Reviving Justin Timberlake’s immortal “SexyBack” and injecting it with a killer dosage of G-house flavor, Mr. Jetson transforms Timberlake’s original by laying on thick layers of crispy hi-hats and upbeat piano stabs that build to a spectacular crescendo before bottoming out into a bassline perfect for anyone in the general vicinity looking to jack their body. So don’t be surprised if Timbaland’s main commandment to “get your sexy on” strikes a nerve which results in an overwhelming urge to bust-a-move. It’s going to happen. Just go with it.

Listen to the Julius Jetson remix of “SexyBack” below and be sure to visit his SoundCloud for the link to download the track for free.

Carter Tutti – SIN

Posted on February 23 2015 by Michael Blackmore

If Uncle Sam were to hire me to DJ another one of his Gitmo dungeon parties, I’d open my set with ‘SIN’. Carter Tutti, an experimental electronic outfit comprised of Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, both of whom are former members of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle, present to you the soundtrack to the snuff bootleg of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’.

‘SIN’ is produced and arranged with a tender hate that requires at least a couple headphone listens to truly appreciates the bizarre drones, pads, panning and dead-on-arrival vocals. Disjointed and reptilian, it is the audible essence of writhing through the shit and the piss; erotic enough to push the listener to the point of turning villain.

It is the siren’s song for the postcolonial, postmodern, post recession, post-empire, post every-fucking-thing collapse when moral decay is the guiding ethos of the day. And it has a four on the floor beat. It would be far too cliché to play this track on the local industrial-goth night. It’s a brilliant drop when it is time challenge the psyches of the 13th hour stragglers who think they can last longer than the veteran behind the tables. It is a structured hazing ritual for the neophytes. Ennui is a dead scene when there’s disco.

Wandering slaughterhouse guitar wails rub salt on dry skin until there is a wound. Carter Tutti wants to dissolve the divide between pleasure and pain and they succeed in their decadent and decaying mission. Enjoy your post-Valentine’s comedown of kink and self-destruction. Don’t be surprised if you hear it on the dance floor. I’d put it out there if only for my own sadistic amusement.

The Spotlight: James Zabiela

Posted on February 13 2015 by zacheser

This is ‘The Spotlight.’ Many artists pass through D.C. on a weekly basis, but this column highlights one specific artist who happens to be playing in the district during the week so that you may join their journey in influencing the house music landscape. 

James Zabiela is a DJ who not only defies genre expectations, but he plays with them like it’s a game of chess. Having shared bills with contemporary legends such as Eats Everything, Paul Woolford, Carl Craig, and Huxley in addition to playing some of the world’s premiere clubs like the UK’s XOYO, Ministry of Sound, and Space in Ibiza, Zabiela is a force to be reckoned with. Having mastered the art of experimentation, no one DJ set is the same as he noodles with loops and beatmashing – oftentimes implementing homemade beats on the go – further solidifying his status as one of the most gifted technical DJs in house music. These facets, combined with his spectacular energy and love for rave culture, makes James Zabiela an unstoppable machine.

With influences that range from Chicago house to breakbeat and liquid drum & bass to tech house, this Southampton DJ/Producer, as a self-proclaimed “weirdo,” has never been the one to shy away from geeking out over really deep cuts or new, fusion styles. And with his nerdy obsession with new toys, whether it’s a new sampler from Pioneer or Ableton updates, James Zabiela oftentimes finds himself pushing the boundaries of the tools at his disposal. This wealth of musical knowledge has presented him with quite the mental databank to draw from which has led to credits on labels like Renaissance, Wall of Sound, and the legendary Global Underground.

More recently, Zabiela launched his own label, Born Electric, leading to the release of his track “The Healing,” a trance-infused, harmonious epic that saw love from Sasha, 3LAU, and remix treatments from Hot Chip and Doc Daneeka among others.

Tonight, you can catch James Zabiela in D.C. at U Street Music Hall with support from DJ Lisa Frank and Sumner. For more information, please visit U Hall’s official website.