Our good friend, DC local and U Street Music Hall affiliate John Johnson has offered up his opening set for last Saturday’s Tale of Us gig as a free download. Click the “Free Download” link via the Soundcloud embed below for instant access (you’ll have to like us on Facebook first if you haven’t already).
“We wanted to bring back a dance floor friendly vibe and also go back to the roots of house music… you know, deep house tinged with a good vibe for the dance floor,” says Bilal Arshad, who, along with Sam Kosh, founded DC based independent record label Silence in Metropolis (SIM) nearly two years ago.
“We’d been talking about starting a record label for a while,” said Bilal, whilst we Skype in two different time zones. “It wasn’t until we were in Miami for a music convention that we made it happen and cemented the idea.” And with that Silence in Metropolis was born, the label’s name an homage to the iconic 1927 sci-fi movie Metropolis–a cult favorite of their dance music generation.
“DC has started to pop recently, over the last five years you’ve seen a lot of new talent that you’ll see being released on our label. The great thing is that it is in an environment where things are fresh, you get a new perspective,” said Bilal, originally from Virginia. It is hard to deny Europe’s appropriation of house music over the last two decades and it seems SIM are trying to bring it back to where it started—a kind of correction—while at the same time providing a new progressive sound.
Bilal and Sam initially met via Soundcloud after Bilal commented on one of Sam’s mixes. “I noticed he was from the DC area and we were literally chatting face to face about music a couple days later,” said Sam. The two connected through their love of deep house and they were both keen on starting a label that involved blending their tastes and bringing together artists who they thought were both excellent and overlooked.
In 18 months the two of them, with the guidance of their good friends Jarett Parker and Greg Andrews, have managed to push out five expertly crafted releases and successfully run dozens of club nights. The label is now twenty four artists strong, bringing sounds from the likes of P Lopez in Paraguay and remixes by UK based JMF. Locally, artists such as Jus Nowhere and Funkdamentalist (Bilal’s DJ name) also bring some strong beats, reminding one of those warehouse parties way back when. Tracks like “My Soul” by Funkdamentalist and Dale Howards’ “Give Me” have a bright upbeat ‘get up and dance’ soulfulness that makes you feel that going back to basics is where you want to be.
The SIM gang will be performing alongside George Fitzgerald at U Street Music Hall Friday, December 20th. Check out their latest release from label head Funkdamentalist below.
Blisspop resident Will Eastman unveiled today his latest release via Main Course—a roaring one-tracker which the prolific producer/DJ has graciously made available as a free download to all. “Nikkei,” a tune which Eastman himself has rather aptly dubbed as “cosmic house,” shows the artist again in supreme form. Beginning with crisp hats, celestial synths and muted snares, the track quickly transitions from galactic exploration toward a thunderous four-on-the-floor romp. As the pace picks up, menacing stabs complement airy pads and a twisted, nearly unintelligible vocal sample which somehow manages to cling to one’s memory. After a serene recess, the track returns with an even bigger bang—this time showcasing a truly interstellar lead. This is easily one of Eastman’s toughest, most impressive tracks to date and is certainly not one to overlook. Be sure to grab “Nikkei” via his SoundCloud below.
This Saturday, November 23, BLISS hosts residents Will Eastman, Ozker and Baronhawk in celebration of Will and Baron’s birthdays. In conjunction with the party is The Illest Ingredient Allstyles Dance Competition presented by Urban Artistry. Contestants must register at 11 PM to battle for the $200 cash prize. Click here for more details.
Doors at 10pm, 18+ (18-20 by advance ticket only) $10; free before 12am for 21+