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Carter Tutti – SIN

Posted on February 23 2015 by Michael Blackmore
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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
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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.

Levon Vincent – Self-Titled

Posted on February 12 2015 by zacheser
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It’s been a couple of days since the bomb dropped. In many ways, the smoke has cleared and we’ve been given a glimpse into the madness of Levon Vincent, but there is much left to decipher from the NYC-bred DJ’s recent self-titled LP. The whole experience plays like clockwork in an old, mysterious, dilapidated grandfather clock setting a mysterious tone over the whole project; the time ticks by and by until suddenly something springs to life. In this case, much like My Bloody Valentine’s return last year, Mr. Vincent took to social media and Resident Advisor to announce that his latest LP would be released digitally for a short period prior to the vinyl pressing’s release. And now that light has been shed onto his newest efforts, what is there to be said.

It’s grand in scale and ambitious. Much like the work of Hans Zimmer or John Williams, the scope is miraculous and ventures beyond borders of house music to invent something symphonic in nature. Instead of beats composed to work a dancefloor, Vincent has managed to make movements, suites, and overtures that work best as a whole piece of music. In its grimiest moments, the LP dips into a 1980s, John Carpenter-esque vibe as pads and throbbing, heavy synths challenge us to visit and accept the darker recesses of dance music (specifically on the track “Junkies on Herman Strasse”). There are a few tracks, however, that could perceivably work on their own: the winding “Launch Ramp to Tha Sky”; the Human After All-era beat machine of “Small Whole-Numbered Ratios”; and the moody, Blade Runner-esque synthscape of ‘The Beginning” all work on a singular level.

But the true experience lies in listening to the record from beginning to end. Much like Daft Punk’s opus Random Access Memories, this album’s beauty is derived from its work as a whole. It’s a calling to an older era of music where the journey was the entire point – not the drop.

You can download his self-titled album on Novel Sound here.

CDC – Do It Like That

Posted on February 11 2015 by Philco
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CDC’s “Do It Like That” is the UK-based duo’s latest effort – part of a two piece EP just out on Twisted Fusion. Much like previous releases “Around You,” a brilliant rework of Toni Braxton’s “You’re Making Me High” and “Give It,” among many others, this release from the rising Tech-House outfit definitely delivers.

Clearly developed in the spirit of getting the club moving, this track combines playful vocals with a thumping bass line. Add in the well crafted percussion and the noticeable, but not overpowering crunchy synths, and you have a real weapon to get people bouncing on the dance floor.

Based on their current track record, CDC is definitely an act to watch in the Deep House and Tech scene in 2015 and beyond. “Morning Glory,” the other piece to the EP, is also worth giving a listen.

Human Movement – Paradise

Posted on February 6 2015 by Chris Kennedy
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The duo from Sydney just came out with a new track a couple of days ago with singer Eliza Sol. This genre-bender features elements from across the electronic music spectrum. Human Movement manages to incorporate a deep house groove with big electro-house synths, while at the same time having a dark techno feel. Oh and it’s a total banger. If you want to hear more stuff like this, they recently did a guest mix on Nest HQ that’s worth checking out. Also make sure you grab the track here.