Wax Runoff: SPLS 001

This is a special week in American dance music culture. Thousands of punters from across the states and beyond will descend upon Detroit to take part in a nearly two decade old tradition. Whether it has taken the form of Detroit Electronic Music Festival or Movement, one thing from this weekend is clear- it’s about dance music, and honoring the home of one of its founding cities. With that said, this week I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite Detroit producers, Andrés.

Andres, Spills, SPLS001, Sequencer, Dez Andres

SPLS001

Having honed his skills as both a record collector and DJ around Detroit, Andrés served as the DJ for legendary hip-hop group Slum Village (as DJ Dez) before crafting his own unique house sound in the late ’90s. With this hip-hop influenced approach to creating house tunes, Andrés released a string of now classic records on Kenny Dixon Jr aka Moodyman’s labels KDJ and Mahogani. Following the success of these releases he went on to start his own imprint, La Vida, which pushed out one of 2012’s most charted records: New For U. Squeezed in between these releases is a little known cut off a now defunct label: Spills, that I chose as this week’s Wax Runoff.

My first trip to Berlin’s famed Hardwax records had me digging for slow and funky jams, which as luck would have it is exactly what I found in this record. A simple four track EP with both a vocal and an instrumental version of two songs, each tastefully sampling a Michael Jackson vocal hook. Side A presents “As We Rock On,” a slow and smooth conga-led track supplemented by keys reminiscent of boogie’s bygone era. This one samples MJ’s classic “Rock With You” and has worked well for me in opening sets or when I’m going for a more loungey vibe. Though I play the vocal, the instrumental is equally as nice and with a baseline that’s less obscured by vocals is ripe for a homemade edit. Flipping the record over you’ll find my personal favorite from this release, “A Time to Boogie.” With an infectious bass groove and less of a four-to-the-floor beat, this one is certainly a unique addition to anyone’s record bag. Here Andrés samples “Blame it on the Boogie” but chops the vocals in a way that gets his message across – “Sunshine, Moonlight, Good Times, Boogie.”

Though it doesn’t look like Spills will be pressing new records anytime soon you should still be able to find SPLS001 on Discogs for only a slightly inflated price. If that’s not really your style but you’re heading to Detroit this weekend you can catch Andrés at Cosmic Disco (Saturday), Day Life (Sunday), or Something Different (Monday).

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway is a Chicago-based DJ who has been collecting wax and enveloping himself into the city’s house and techno scene.

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Dig Deeper In Detroit: Inspiring Events During Movement

Movement is upon us. Detroit is near. Not only does that mean exploring stages within Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit, but also a domino of parties in between. A full list of the Movement Afterparties can be found here. However, there are also some other inspiring happenings throughout the next several days that explore more facets of techno’s art and culture in different formats. Here’s a little guide to some of the events, in case you want to take a peak into something different this Memorial Weekend.

Wednesday, May 25

 

Moodyman

MOODYMAN – PHOTO BY MARIE STAGGAT

✦ 313ONELOVE Book Release
6–8 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48201)
Free ($5 suggested donation) | Facebook event page
Just before the festival begins, Berlin-based photographer Marie Staggat will celebrate her book release of 313ONELOVE which has been deemed “an extensive picture love letter to Detroit’s influential electronic music scene.” In her book she uses 170+ photos to capture the historical significance of Detroit’s house and techno scene. She shot close-up portraits of the DJs and producers to depict their tools of creative output.

 

Marie Staggat

VIA 313ONELOVE BY MARIE STAGGAT

Thursday, May 26th

 

Alan Oldham

ART BY ALAN OLDHAM

Return to the Future: Art of Techno Gallery Pop Up
Noon–8 p.m.
Apothecarium (5101 Trumbull St., Detroit, 48208)
Free | 18+ | Facebook event page
Ever been curious about the visual side of techno? This event will showcase artwork from Alan Oldham [DJ T-1000] and Abdul Haqq. At the opening reception on Thursday, there will be an opportunity to meet the artists. They will discuss being a part of the birth of Detroit’s techno, including their involvement with Underground Resistance. An opening Movement Reception will take place on Friday, May 27 from 7 p.m.–midnight with artist interviews by Carleton Gholz from the Detroit Sound Conservancy. On Saturday, May 28 the gallery will be open from 2–8 p.m. and on Sunday there will be a BBQ from 4-7 p.m. Comics, prints, and paintings will be for sale. Presented by Oldham Industries, Pure Comics, and Pure Sonik.

Friday, May 27

 

Plastic Dreams: The Forgotten Future of the Vinyl Format
2–4 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48201)
Free ($5 suggested donation) | Facebook event page
Join this panel discussion that will explore the resurgence of vinyl and the impact this output has had on the music industry, especially on a local level. Panelists will include Kai Alce (Owner, NDATL Music), Anna Atanassova (Owner, Paramita Sound), Dave Buick (Vinyl Release Specialist, Third Man Records), Andy Garcia (Archer Record Pressing), and Mark Sandford (FIT Distribution).

Carl Craig In Conversation
7–9 p.m.
The Underground at Detroit Institute of Music Education (1265 Griswold St., Detroit, 48226)
Free | Website event info
Detroit legend Carl Craig will be hosting a free masterclass at the Detroit Institute of Music Education. This event will be open to the public, so get there early to save a seat. Learn more about DIME at www.dime-detroit.com.

Saturday, May 28

 

Girls Gone Vinyl

GIRLS GONE VINYL

Girls Gone Vinyl 10 Year Anniversary Fundraiser
11 a.m.–8 p.m.
MIX Bricktown (641 Beaubien St., Detroit, 48226)
$10 | Facebook event page
You won’t find this event on the official list of Movement afterparties however it’s one you may be interested to add to your list. Girls Gone Vinyl will be an official project party which will raise funds to send young women to DJ school at the Music Industry Academy. Additionally, Girls Gone Vinyl is working on educating others about the true story of women in DJ culture around the world. Lineup will include Alison SwingNicole Jaatoul (Choice), Adia, SchmadiaMarissa GuzmanDJ HolographicSuperDrePilar, CoteKora Noir. The event will also host the young lady they sent to DJ school this year, Jada Tabbs aka DJ 007.

Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson in Conversation
2–5 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48201)
$5 (free for members) | Facebook event page
Juan Atkins, Derrick May (MOCAD board member) and Kevin Saunderson are legends to the invention of Detroit techno. The three artists will discuss the music and the culture surrounding it, followed by a Q&A session.

If there is an event that you think should be added to this list, email information to alicia.sequencer@gmail.com.

Wax Runoff: UV019

The other day I was reorganizing my records and came across an old favorite that had been buried by my almost daily record buying obsession. I threw it on my turntable, pushed up the fader on my mixer and was quickly reminded how Cuthead became one of my favorite artists. Based in Dresden, his music adds depth and character to an already stacked Uncanny Valley records catalog. With styles ranging from hip-hop to breaks to house, his unique sample based approach to making music all but guarantees a “buy on sight” designation when I find his work in a record bin.

Cuthead, Everlasting sunday, sequencer

Everlasting Sunday


Originally pressed in 2013, Cuthead’s Everlasting Sunday is a full album pressed to a single vinyl but presented in two parts. Highlighting his mastery of musical styles, the A-side of this release consists of three chill, funky and otherwise melodic house jams, but flipping the record over gives you six dusty hip-hop instrumentals. My pick of this release is found early on in the A-side with “Maputo Jam.” A hi-hat led drum intro pairs with a bright sounding key loop before the track opens up into a sun-drenched daytime dance bomb. The indecipherable chopped vocal adds a sort of creepy element to the tune that meshes perfectly with the static crackle of his samples. My runner up, also on the A-side, is “Minerals” – another sample heavy cut; I haven’t quite heard chimes used like this before. Layered horn and string loops and abrupt key changes make this more of a ballad than chill out material. I can’t get enough of it.

Even if you’re not one for hip-hop, the six cuts on the B-side are a welcome flexing of Cuthead’s studio chops. Each is practically dripping with an old school MPC sound reminiscent of dons such as Dilla and Madlib. My favorite of these is probably the title track of this album, “Everlasting Sunday.” Coming in at just over 3 minutes, a super chunky bassline meshes with another slick vocal chop making this one, as it’s name suggests, perfect Sunday vibes.

A repress of this album in 2015 brought it’s price back down into an amateur collector’s range. While you can find this on Discogs, I recommend heading for Uncanny Valley’s Bandcamp page where you can find a handful of other Cuthead releases and nice tunes from their other artists.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway is a Chicago-based DJ who has been collecting wax and enveloping himself into the city’s house and techno scene.

Paula Temple’s ‘GEGEN’ advoates for the Berlin Refugee Movement

The ability to move is something that many may often take for granted. Movement toward change, peace or safety is not accessible to all. For some, the right to movement is being actively denied. In Germany the term gegen has become one of significance and holds an immeasurable amount of political weight.

Through Noise Manifesto in 2014 Paula Temple released her track titled “GEGEN.” The term is a very powerful and complex word in German. With two opposite meanings it translates to “against” but if applied to time it means “around.” It is a word of tension and a term that drives protest. A club night called GEGEN Berlin creatively took the term and uses it as a tool to lead a very specific mission. The collective strives to break the structural identity and to be “Against yourself. Around queer narratives.” The aim of the party according to their website “is playing with the solitude of the political meaning of gegen as a suicidal mechanism of the ‘self’ or the sublime crisis of enemy subtraction as the aggression of dialectics.”

Gegen is a term being used heavily by protesters, specifically now with the upheaval of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany.

“Sadly Europe has been closing its borders especially since introducing Frontex, making agreements, supplying arms that are causing unnecessary cruelty and murder to innocent people. As refugees fleeing for their lives it is shocking we are creating similar conditions and hateful rhetoric as what happened in 1930s pre-WWII for political gain,” says Paula Temple. “My personal hope is in our efforts to diminish the climate of hate with an overwhelming climate of empathy. This is not do-gooder blah blah, this is life and death.”

The O Platz Refugee Movement in Berlin is a group of refugees driven by self-organized protest and who are choosing not to accept the disfranchisement by the German state. The group set up a protest camp/home base at Oranienplatz in Kreuzberg, Berlin. Through a list of demands and by publicizing the cause through protest and media, they hope to achieve peace for refugees in their state.

The group demands mandatory residence. The Residenzplicht is a unique legal requirement that is affecting foreigners living in Germany; rather, they are applicants for refugee status or those given temporary stay of deportation. Under this requirement refugees are required to remain in a certain area which is a violation of human rights.

O Platz demands an abolishment of all “Lagers” which are forced refugee camps. According to the organization’s website these locations are “mostly completely isolated from society, under inhumane living conditions and constant surveillance by authorities and Lager-guards.”

This group demands an end to deportations and also The Dublin III, which is a European Union law that the O Platz group deems “nothing else than a network of human trafficking between European countries.”

“I have freedom of movement, I can go in and out of countries. Since moving to Berlin I have been lucky enough to travel the world, meeting many techno communities and queer communities who share a sense of care and responsibility for each other.” – PAULA TEMPLE

HYENAZ, an electronic band from Berlin that have evolved a cult following for their immersive live shows, were inspired by Paula Temple’s track. They released a special edit this month that lays angry punk vocals over the tune, yelling for a desire to move and evokes a jarring sense of solidarity. It is abrasive, but that naturally reflects the political situation at hand. This is an edit specifically made for the refugees and asylum seekers that are in need. HYENAZ says, “The urgency of its siren-like lead synth speaks to the militarized policing of national borders and the desperation that pushes people to risk everything in order to exercise the human right to move freely.”

According to a statement from HYENAZ, “So many assumptions are made about why people choose to move, who has the right to move, and who does not, who can simply travel on a whim and who must risk everything to leave their lands for others. Our sense of time and space is increasingly unbounded, as access to knowledge, art and the public sphere shared through electronically mediated communication. Yet so many still have to risk death or internment to cross national borders physically, with access to migration arbitrarily determined by pieces of paper distributed along class and racial lines.”

The track is available for purchase. For each purchase Paula Temple and HYENAZ will personally double the sale and the whole amount of funds will go to the Berlin O Platz Refugee Movement, who is tirelessly providing to help to refugees and fight for their rights. Funds will go toward the constant need of resources and money to pay lawyers fees, help to run education tours, or to provide food and activities for mental health relief.

Paula Temple says, “I’m not expecting anything big with this, simply being part of the dialogue for empathy, however your support here and now would be much appreciated. Please buy the edit, even if you never liked ‘GEGEN.'”

“GEGEN (I Want to Move! HYENAZ edit)” is out now on Reveller Records Berlin and can be purchased by following this link.

 

Wax Runoff: KNOE 5/1

Alright, I’ll be honest. I haven’t actually played this one out yet but I’m so geeked on this record that I couldn’t not write about it this week. Fresh off the press, Boe Recordings sublabel – For Those That Knoe – delivers an incredible collection of reissued tracks from Irish producer and unsung hero Derek Carr. Admittedly, I wasn’t too familiar with his work prior to hearing this record. That being said, I don’t feel too out of the loop considering they deem themselves “a house and techno label from the UK focusing on under-the-radar tracks recorded by unsung heroes, ripped from dusty DATs and lovingly re-mastered and pressed onto vinyl.” With this record, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

David Carr, Boe Recordings, Those That Knoe, Sequencer

KNOE 5/1

Originally appearing on Geek Record’s 2003 release Destiny, the track “Dancefloor” opens Knoe 5/1 with a drifting, spaced out intro before cleverly panned hi-hats help it materialize into a groovy, late night earworm. Easily my pick of this release, I’m already planning on how to make it work in the mix, intro and all. A2 gives us “Epidemic” which I believe is the only new or likely previously unreleased cut on this 12”. Deep, fast, and hypnotic the Detroit influence is clear on this one. Flipping the record over you’ll find “Planet Jump,” another hot find, reissued from Headspace Recording’s 2004 release under the same name. I’m wont to call this the danciest selection on this record – a chunky, rolling baseline and programmed 909 lend themselves well to these deep and timeless Chicago vibes. Lastly, the 12” closes with “Synapse 136” – an aged-well B-side bomb that originally appeared on a release from Digital Soul. When people describe Carr’s music as “tuneful” this is definitely what they’re getting after.

It’s hard to navigate internet hype and not become a “reissue DJ.” Though these tracks totally fall within that range my gut says this one will more than earn it’s place in my bag. With each original release fetching near $60 on Discogs, save yourself a few bucks and grab this 12”… if you can find it.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway is a Chicago-based DJ who has been collecting wax and enveloping himself into the city’s house and techno scene.

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