Wax Runoff: Royer [NUDES005]

Sometime last week I began the task of properly organizing and cataloging my record collection. Among a handful of those records that truly inspire me, I wanted to draw attention to NUDES005, a 12” that is rounding the corner on three years of not leaving my bag, seriously.

Royer, Nudes005, Tasteful Nudes

NUDES005

Comfortably nested under Chicago-based parent label Argot, the Tasteful Nudes sub-label takes an international focus and boasts output from Anaxander, Janis, and the artist behind this week’s Wax Runoff: Royer.

A Parisian known for his ability to cleverly flip samples, Royer’s steady hand in production has earned him releases on Material Image, Lobster Theremin, and Moomin’s Closer label. Though admittedly I’ve tracked down most of his work, 2014’s Tough Questions is a highlight.

The record opens up with the title track, a bright and summery day starter built on filtered down samples and a smooth organ loop. The hi-hat patterns here give movement to the track without getting ahead of themselves.

A2 follows up with “Us”, a textbook Chicago-influenced deep house cut. Classic 909 rhythms mixed with a slowly building organ line and a moody, almost call-and-answer bassline make this perfect for a late night wind down.

On the B-side and generally understood to be the stand out track from this release, “Morning Thea” is a head-bob-inducing, sample-heavy house groove. The filtering on this track adds just the right amount of haziness and allows the crisp, punchy snare to cut through the mix. With the addition of a few choice snippets from The Ahmad Jamal Trio’s “Dolphin Dance”, this one checks all of my boxes. I just wish I could pick up on that vocal sample.

Rounding out the EP on the B-Side is “Grid Like”, a spaced-out dance floor cut that begs for late night air time.

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: Krimp [SR 12440]

Any DJ or avid record collector will agree, it pays to explore the back catalogs of record labels. For me, that’s been the case with classic New York house label Strictly Rhythm. While I’ve always carried a couple choice cuts from the label in my bag, revisiting their output frequently has helped me expand my horizons and pick up records I may have passed on merely six months prior.

Krimp, Dana Kelley, Strictly Rhythym

SR 12440

Such is the case with a recent score of House of Pain / In The Spirit by Krimp, aka Dana Kelley. Originally from Boston, Mass. Kelley is known for his output of classic deep house and garage tunes, under a number of different aliases, on labels such as Strictly Rhythm, Guidance, and Large. Sadly Kelley passed away in 2013, however, his music lives on in this week’s Wax Runoff.

Opening up the record is the Citrus Mix of “House Of Pain”. A moody late-night jam, this one starts out smooth before layering a number of textures and building tension. While “The Clouds Mix” retains much of the character of the previous mix, the drum beat has a bit more theme to it and the synth has all the hallmarks of a session jam. Crafting a sort of wonky organ style sound, this one has me very excited to play out. On the other side of the record we have two mixes of “In The Spirit”. The first (and my favorite of the release) is the “In The Spirit Mix”. Starting out with a simple, yet effective bassline, the addition of some mellow keys push this into true old school deep house territory. When this one starts lifting off, it feels like the vocal calling out “in the spirit” is the only thing keeping you grounded. Closing out the release is “In the Spirit (The Perk-Us-On Mix)”. Again, the inside track is much dancier with this one having considerably more drive and at times feeling almost like an old techno track. Given the context of the backing track the vocal evokes a completely different feeling.

Being an older Strictly Rhythm release, this is one of those records that you may just get lucky with when digging in a bin somewhere that hasn’t been too picked over. If you’re interested in grabbing your own copy, there’s plenty on Discogs at a reasonable price, but it looks like you’ll have to pay the shipping from Europe.

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: Mood II Swing [MF-02]

If you’ve been keeping a close eye on the dance music circuit you’ll undoubtedly have caught wind of the 2016 return of Mood II Swing. The duo, comprised by John Ciafone & Lem Springsteen, is responsible for seminal underground house and garage hits earning them the favor of DJs since the early ‘90s. With the bubbling excitement of their upcoming set at Smartbar, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase a classic record from my collection – Mood II Swing’s Move Me.

MF-02

Opening up with the title of this release, “Move Me” is a stripped-down stomper of a track. With a straight forward kick and hat pattern, subtle, rolling bassline and classic dub sounding stabs this one keeps it as deep as they come. What really stands out about this track, however, is the vocal sample. Lifting portions of a spoken word record by Barbara Ann Teer, Mood II Swing inserts themselves into a conversation about dance as a means of overcoming depression.

The follow up track, and my pick of this release, is the alternate mix of “Move Me”. Where the original is chunky and deep, the alternate mix is bass heavy and has more of a UK garage flare. Sampling a funky bassline from Booker T & The MG’s “Melting Pot”, the music fits the tone of Teer’s spoken word which is again sampled in this mix.

On the opposite side of the record is “Call Me”, a bright and dancey garage house track. Where the vocal can get a bit cheesy at times, the classic house bass is what stands out most and makes this cut so special. Lastly, the record closes with “Function”, a repetitive boogie-turned-house track that commands you to “let your body move”. The addition of the keys at the halfway mark would make this cut fit perfectly into any ’80s sounding DJ set.

Originally released in 1995 on Music For Your Ears, this one saw a repress in 2014 that you can still get your hands on through Discogs for under $10. With four quality, inspirational tracks that can fit almost anywhere in a set, I highly recommend picking up this feel-good classic.

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: Schatrax [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: Jorge Caiado [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: Central [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: Treats Vol. 4 [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: Nebraska [RH-N4]

Do you have any songs that you can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing the first time you heard them? I’ve got a few, but the one that stands out the most is Nebraska’s “This Is The Way” from his 2010 EP on Rush Hour, Four for Four. Hailing from London, Ali Gibbs aka Nebraska has been churning out deep and jazzy electronic music since the early ’90s. With recent releases on Delusions of Grandeur, Retreat, Mister Saturday Night, and Heist, I figured it was about time to shed some light on another favorite.

Nebraska, Rush Hour, Ali Gibbs, This is the way

RH-N4

The EP starts off with “This Is The Way” — a blissed out funk drenched jam with a hint of Cuban flavor. The way this track builds into a crescendo and then opens into something busy but dancey can always put a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. This is feel good music at it’s finest. A2, titled “Bar Story”, for me follows the arc of a night out. First starting out with clean, organic tones and textures, by the half way point the energy of the track reaches a peak with more electronic synth and basslines before mellowing back out at its finish. On the flip side you’ll find “Ras El Hanout”, a track that I’ll admit took some time to grow on me. With a more straight and pronounced four-four kick pattern, low slung bass and delayed hi-hats this one has a certain raw energy that makes it a bit more suitable for the club. Lastly is “Arrondissement” – another funky and sprawling track that takes you on a journey. With a sample that could be cut straight from Bibio’s “Lover’s Carvings” and a silky smooth hi-hat pattern this one feels like it’s destined for the outdoors on a sunny day.

Originally pressed in 2010 this record mat be hard to find in any shops but Discogs has plenty. For what it’s worth I strongly suggest taking a peak at his more recent releases, especially his first on Mister Saturday Night. If mixes are more your thing, head on over to the Louche site for his podcast episode which still gets constant rotation from me.

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: Gari Romalis [SAVOR011]

One of my favorite parts of about record shopping – actual, physical, getting-your-fingers-dirty record shopping – is the ability to educate myself on some of dance music’s heroes that often go overlooked. I was reflecting on that concept when I decided this week’s Wax Runoff had to feature the latest release from Savor Music, an Argentinian label that presses some of the smoothest deep house records around. SAVOR 011 comes from Gari Romalis, a Detroit don with more than 30 years in the business. Having worked for Derrick May’s legendary Transmat Records and pressed releases on labels such as Soma and Housewax, Romalis is someone I should have already been keeping tabs on, but had somehow slipped through the cracks.

Savor011, Savor Music, Gari Romalis

SAVOR011

The Boomerang EP gets right down to business, opening with my favorite of the release: “Q-Dig (Dam Right Mix).” Though it starts with kick I like to imagine was recorded underwater and a slightly dubby, reverb’d out synth loop, it’s when the bassline starts teasing that you know for sure that it’s destined for the club. The addition of simple piano chords elevate this track’s playability from warm up to peak hour – I can’t recommend it enough. A2 will find you getting lost in the deep and melodic “From Detroit With Luv.” At times feeling like a locked groove, this would make for a nice end of the night wind-down. Flipping the record over, you’ll find the title track of this release: “Boomerang.” This to me feels like a classic Chicago cut but slightly stripped down, perfect for in the car or warming up a room. File under: mixes well with disco. The EP closes out with “Strutt (Stretch Mix),” a dreamy, spaced out odyssey that’s driven by a thick bass groove, it’s nearly impossible to hold your head still when those hi-hats come in.

I was a bit surprised to see this was sold out in most of the online shops I checked, but if you need a copy of your own it looks like Gramaphone still has one in their online shop. While you’re digging, it’s worth checking out Savor’s site for their full list of releases plus the Savorcast, a series of mixes guaranteed to get you moving.

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: Fur [UNTHANK007]

In this week’s Wax Runoff I wanted to draw attention to one of my favorite family of record labels: Firecracker Recordings. Based out of Edinburgh, Scotland, Firecracker and its two sub-labels Shevchenko and Unthank take a unique DIY approach to releasing top-tier tunes with some of the most aesthetically pleasing packaging in the business.

Recently making waves with a long awaited repress of their first four releases, Firecracker is known for their consistency in releasing deep, left-field and often melancholic tracks by the likes of Linkwood, Inkswell, Vakula and the subject of this week’s feature: Fur.

Unthank, unthank007, linkwood, firecracker recordings

UNTHANK007

Appearing on the Unthank imprint, Fur’s Pulp is a deep and moody two tracker pressed to a limited run of 10” vinyl with a gorgeous hand screened jacket. While I personally find 10” records a little awkward both in the bag and on the platter, the depth and floor appeal of these tracks more than make up for it. Opening with mix of sounds that beg you to picture a rainy day, Fur’s original mix of “Pulp” teases you with a slow, jazzy piano line and a spaced out theremin before scattered hi-hats move you through to the track’s climax. Though it takes a bit to build, this one is destined for a late night dance floor or a smokey, dimly lit after-hours. On the flip side you’ll find my pick of this release – Linkwood’s “Pulp (Stargazer Mix).” As deep as it is spacey, this track is dripping with warm analog sounds and a few eerie but well placed vocal samples. A simple bassline and classic sounding 909 pattern keeps this one chugging along but it’s the pads that’ll have you questioning your existence, should you ever find yourself in the middle of a dance floor when someone puts this on.

Even for the casual home listener this release is a treat, and for just $10 on Discogs it’s a little hard to pass up. If you’re moved by these sounds I definitely recommend checking out Firecracker’s Bandcamp page – you’ll be able to find all of their releases (also available digitally) and I think it’s worth a look for the artwork alone.

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.