Wax Runoff: SCHATVV03

Not much is known about Joshua Brent, the enigmatic producer from the Isle of Wight whose Schatrax moniker has churned out some of the most functional dance floor classics from the early ’90s. Though he has reared his head few times in this millenia (for a festival gig or the occasional remix), he has managed to stay top of mind for old heads and new collectors alike by reissuing much of his back catalog over the last year.

SCHATVV03, Schatrax, Vintage Vinyl, Sequencer

SCHATVV03

Schatrax’s Vintage Vinyl series first saw the light of day in 2008 with back-to-back reissues of some of his most timeless tracks. In 2015, the idea was furthered by issuing a series of individually hand stamped, colored vinyl every few months. I’ve managed to add most of these reissues to my collection and while it would be nearly impossible to pick a favorite, I’ve chosen to focus on #3 (Orange) in this week’s Wax Runoff.

Number Three opens up with “Misspent Years”, a timeless and functional track that relies heavily on classic machines, sounds and textures. With some spooky notes scattered throughout the peak, this one will keep it creepy as we approach Halloween. However, what makes “Misspent Years” stand out are its long and drawn out, almost booming bass tones slid underneath the grid-locked percussion. On the flip side we’re given “A Question of Timing”, a chugging house track that could fit just as well into a techno set. With an aggressive bassline that can get lost between the thumps of the thick kick drum, an eerie lead and a chopped vocal sample, this one checks all my boxes. Last, this release closes with “Slumberkings”. Friendlier sounding than the other two on this release, warm Rhodes chords take the lead. Deep and at times spacey, this one is perfect for the late night chill out or after-hours wind down.

With the reach of the reissues spanning so wide, most of these are still available at online retailers, your local shop, or on Discogs for about $10. If you’re looking to add some serious, classic tunes to your collection at a low cost I definitely recommend checking them out.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway, of Chicago, is the label manager for Yoruba Records. He has spent the last 10 years developing his sound by digging deep in the bins wherever records are sold.

Wax Runoff: GR024

I recently caught Brawther giving a master class during a sunrise set at Heideglühen in Berlin. While he was playing track after track, I was fighting off the urge to ask him what every song was. Finally he played something that fit the moment so perfectly that I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t ask what it was. When I made it up to trainspot, he politely told me it was Jorge Caiado’s “Sunny Days Are Coming”, and by the next day it had found its way into my collection.

Having briefly been acquainted with Caiado though his prior release on Chez Damier’s Balance Recordings, it was refreshing to hear his latest work in this setting. As an up and coming producer from Portugal, Jorge is known for his deep cuts, thick basslines and his work for Groovement Records, which put out this release.

Opening up this release is the title track: “Sunny Days Are Coming” – a nearly 10 minute long ballad that is ripe for early morning sets. Starting off with a classic sounding drum track, the addition of a low key bass thump and cinematic sounding pads usher this one along as it begins to open up. A set of bright, dreamy keys have you almost picturing a sunrise in your head before the main kick and bass sequence takes it into overdrive. The bright tones of this track seem to continue to ascend for the duration, making me thankful this cut got one side of the record all to itself.

Flipping it over you’ll find the title track’s dub mix. While this one keeps quite a few elements of the original intact, you’ll find it a little less epic and more suited for late night than early morning. With the presentation of the straight forward drums and the bass given more room to breathe, this one is definitely a chugger. B2 brings you “About Love”, a chilled out house tune with clean sounding drum breaks, soft pads and chopped vocal samples spaced throughout. Though the groovy bassline on this one is a treat, this cut is definitely more of a wind down track for me that gets overshadowed by the others on this release.

While Caiado’s discography doesn’t appear to be very deep at the moment, I’d recommend keeping an eye on his future releases. Though GR024 is sold out on Groovement’s store, I had no problem finding it on Discogs or other online retailers like hhv.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway, formerly of Chicago, is now based in Greece as the label manager for Yoruba Records. He has spent the last 10 years developing his sound by digging deep in the bins wherever records are sold.

Wax Runoff: DKMNTL035

If you spent any measurable amount of time last week on the internet you likely had a hard time escaping the posts about Dekmantel Festival (or their live Boiler Room feed). Each year the festival, which takes place outside of Amsterdam, plays host to top notch selectors like Motor City Drum Ensemble, Moodymann and The Black Madonna, sending waves of jealousy rippling through the dance music community. Outside of this one hectic weekend a year, the Dekmantel crew can be found heads down, cranking out quality house and techno tunes on their own vinyl imprint. 

Launched in 2009, Dekmantel Records’ lengthy catalog features releases from the likes of Juju and Jordash, Matrixxman, Vakula, and this week’s feature: Central.

Central, Dekmantel, Political Dance, Regelbau

DKMNTL035

Part of Denmark’s Regelbau crew, Central is no stranger to dance music, and his latest release on Dekmantel highlights his ability to craft classic, functional floor ready cuts seemingly with ease. Political Dance presents itself as an album, though split across two separate EP format releases, Political Dance #1 and #2. The no frills jacket caught my eye and sent me home with the first record. After a day of listening I had to head back to the shop and pick up #2, which has quickly become my favorite.

Opening up this release is A1’s “Convenient Departures”, a basic, deep-ish house jam that brings nothing new to the table but does it extremely well. Simple four-four pattern and welcoming bassline keep this one moving while the atmospheric pads make it perfect for warming up or winding down a night out. “Detour King” on A2 opens up with a break loop that ushers in the perfectly meshed rolling bassline. The addition of well-layered synths and pads give this one a spacey vibe that sits well with me. On the flip side, “Political Dance”, the title track and my personal favorite of this release starts off with a thick kick and a tripped out organ loop. I really enjoy how the low end of this track evolves from subtle and complementary to full on leading the track about halfway through. Finally the release closes with “H’ Ain’t Nothing But A Number” – another functional, deep and spacey house cut. It’s nice to find quality, timeless sounding house records still being pressed, sometimes that’s worth the purchase alone.

If you’re a fan of the tunes here, I definitely suggest checking out the first half of this release. Both are widely available on the web and a little bit cheaper on Discogs. If doing your homework is more your style, dig a little bit deeper in to the Regelbau crew and the records they’ve put out over the last year.



Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway, formerly of Chicago, is now based in Greece as the label manager for Yoruba Records. He has spent the last 10 years developing his sound by digging deep in the bins wherever records are sold.

Wax Runoff: RTR-11

If you’ve spent any amount of time collecting records you know how addicting of a hobby it can become. Aside from the joy that records bring, I find myself drawn to the culture that surround them. From digging with friends to record release parties and visiting new shops to becoming a local at an old favorite, this is one of the things that makes me tick. 

Last week I was fortunate enough to find myself taking a stroll through La Source in Paris, the official home of Smallville Records in France. Not only was the staff super welcoming (whaddup Jacques!) but the bins were extremely well curated and I walked away with a stock of new finds and long sought after 12″s.

Session Victim, Retreat, Retreat Vinyl, Quarion, Hauke Freer

RTR-11

Among this week’s finds was Treats Vol. 4 from Retreat Records, a missing number from a catalog I’ve been actively seeking to own the entirety of. Started by Session Victim’s Hauke Freer and Yanneck Salvo aka Quarion, Retreat has been churning out funky, sample heavy cuts since 2009. After getting over the initial surprise of seeing this one in the wild, I immediately put it in my “coming home” pile.

Part of the Treats series, RTR-11 is a lovely three-tracker with contributions from Session Victim, The Hints, Iron Curtis & Leaves. Opening up this record and taking the entirety of the A-side is my pick of the release – a rare cover of an already iconic house cut – “Harlequin” by Roostrax. Already a massive fan of the original, I couldn’t pass this one up. It’s all about that bassline and this one nails it with Session Victim’s signature live bass. As much jam band as it is floor-filling house it won’t be leaving my bag any time soon. On the flip side you’ve got “Downtown”, a slow but chugging bass-driven number from The Hints (Quarion & Jules Etienne). The addition of some wonky chords here makes this one quite fun. While it sits at a low 110 BPM, something tells me speeding this one up would get people moving. 

Lastly, B2 comes from Iron Curtis & Leaves with the chilled out Rhodes-led “A&F”. I’m a total sucker for nice sounding hi-hats and the texture of this is right up my alley. If that wasn’t enough, the way they’ve played with the timing on the third beat gives it a certain stutter-step depth that adds enough character to get behind.

Flipping through my record bag on any given day you’re bound to find at least two records from the Retreat catalog. If you’d like to track down a few of your own, you can buy direct from their site, retreat-vinyl.de or find the rest on Discogs.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Colin Boardway, formerly of Chicago, is now based in Greece as the label manager for Yoruba Records. He has spent the last 10 years developing his sound by digging deep in the bins wherever records are sold.

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.