Five Under Five #1: 9G Records

Dance music has has exploded in the years since this blog began, but for fans size is not all that counts.  The interest of the majors in EDM is here to stay and it represents the mainstream arm of a global dance sound still driven by boutique, vanity, and independent labels. After all, no matter how big the festival or bright the headliner, tunes from new and established independent labels dominate the sets. These labels are the primary incubators of dance music talent.

This series of posts recognizes that fact that interest in EDM comes from the ceaseless drive of individual tastemakers and tunemakers to make dance music available to people who want to listen to it.   I will point out five more or less new labels that are worth listening to—the only thing they all have in common is releasing amazing music.  None of them have been around for more than 5 years but all of them release some of the best dance music out there!

First up:

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Gabriel & Dresden’s Mixed for Feet Vol. 1

Today, Gabriel and Dresden’s new double CD mix Mixed for Feet is released.  The title could not be more fitting.  Reunited after three years on solo projects, Gabriel & Dresden are now in the middle of a North American and European Tour.  This weekend, in fact, they are headlining New York’s Electric Zoo festival on September 4th.  That’s good news for fans of house music–a trance influenced direction of the house sound has taken hold of popular taste.  The call of the day continues to be genre-crossing, and Gabriel and Dresden are on the pulse of the moment with this mix.  Along with tracks from Gabriel & Dresden themselves, there are tunes by Tiësto, Umek, Felguk, Dada Life, and Fedde Le Grand in the mix here.  That type of range in selection is the surest sign of the current era of electronic music.
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Dj Pierre & Green Velvet Vs. Phuture Acid Trax 2011 on Afro Acid Digital/Plastik

House has its history like every other form of music– there are books about it; documentaries about it; it even appears in movies (what’s that playing at the Hacienda?).  It was born recently enough that more often than not the story is told by the people who were there to see the beginning.  A classic house song like Phuture’s Acid Trax, therefore, is no secret but known the world over.  Phuture began as a trio of Chicagoans in early house music: Spanky, Herb J, and DJ Pierre, who had a rare gift for minting new genres as he made music.

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Tech-house Slices: Marco Corona & rEJEKTS

Its been forever. But its summer again, and content is king so its time for some updates. I figured that it would be best to get things going with some upcoming brilliance of the tech house variety. A little while I had the pleasure of catching Marco Corona on when Ritchie Hawtin flashed the news on Facebook. It was a remarkable set to watch even if beamed through cyberspace. Glad I saw it. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of grooving to Corona’s Tech House ’70 vol. 1. . .Spectacular tunes on that one! Here’s one of them:

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Summer Series part 6: Tommie Sunshine’s Summer Soundtrack ’10!

Tommie Sunshine at the decks!

Tommie Sunshine is amazing. If you don’t know that already, then you are in for a real treat. This Summer Soundtrack mix has made the rounds on-line because it’s excellent. Brooklyn remains one of the brightest and most vibrant centers for dance music of all stripes and Tommie Sunshine represents all the best reasons why! I should note that hearing Tommie Sunshine’s spring mix is part of the idea behind doing a summer series of my favorites mixes at all! Tommie Sunshine has been a fav since I heard his mysteriously sad track “Runway Runaway” on the classic Misery Loves Company compilation in ’02 from Ersatz Audio. Eight years on he’s even better and continues to be both astoundingly creative and productive. Enjoy this mix!

-Tommie Sunshine’s Summer Soundtrack inside!!->

Summer Series part 3: Randy Seidman at House of Blues Chicago

Chicago has a long and distinguished history in American music–once a center of American blues music through the storied Chess Records, one of its most recent claims to fame is as the christening place of house music. Rising out of the dynamite and steamrollers of Kaminski Park, house music is now one of the truly global forms of music. In fact, many of the Chicago pioneers–Frankie Knuckles, Jesse Saunders, and DJ Pierre–continue to tour the world as legends who have managed to remain fresh and cutting edge.

Like all forms of music house is as much about its present and future as its history. Randy Seidman work behind the scenes of the music industry has gained him as much attention as his work behind the decks and in the studio. His career as a DJ and producer has paralleled one as a tour manager for artists across a range of musical communities from hip-hop to dancehall to psy-trance.

-set inside!->

James Teej-Indecent Descent, The Spring 2010 Mix

“Evening Harvest,” the debut album from Toronto’s James Teej is out now on Rekids Records. Recently, Teej was touted as the protegé of Rekids’ label honcho Matt Edwards, best known for his work as Radio Slave, and that influence is palpable throughout Teej’s release, but the Canadian’s blend of minimal techno and soul has a singular quality. The deep atmospherics of this sound are part of the mix Teej has released in support of “Evening Harvest.” He calls his spring 2010 mix “Indecent Descent” and showcases the dapper mode of deep techno and house to which Teej’s work belongs. The entire mix runs just short of an hour, and throughout the propulsive drive of the tunes never falls short of emotion. Like the album it supports, Indecent Descent is a sleek and tasteful slice of electronic sound.
-Hear the mix inside!>