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.

Eric Cloutier

Eric Cloutier fell in love with techno at an early age and over the past 20 years has developed into an esteemed selector and curator. Born in Birmingham, Mich. he was first exposed to the culture of the scene while flipping channels and stumbling upon “The New Dance Show,” a low-budget Detroit version of “Soul Train.” As Cloutier grew older he became increasingly more drawn to the techno sound and scene in the city of Detroit.

Moved and moulded by Richie Hawtin’s moniker Plastikman, the 1994 album Musik was “damn near flawless” for Cloutier. In the beginning he moved to Detroit and started working at Oslo on Woodward Avenue, now known as the Whiskey Disco, for resident parties by way of Hawtin and Stacey Pullen. But Cloutier could be found playing or just spending his spare time in the dark backroom pit of The Works.

“Just growing up in Detroit was enough of a pedigree. You’re constantly immersed in exceptionally good and – at that time – groundbreaking music, so it’s near impossible to not have some level of inspiration come at you from all angles,” he says. “Going to raves and such in the late ’90s was a proper blessing. And just on those nights out alone, I think I learned more than I have in the last few years.”

By 2009 he became an official resident of The Bunker, a New York City-based party who have hosted an innumerable amount of incredible DJs. Cloutier first played in 2006 and just a month or so after made the move to the city. He reunited with Mike Servito and Derek Plaslaiko, formerly of Detroit who became Bunker residents as well. The liveliness of New York and the output of music there was an inspirational pool for Cloutier. There was something unique – it was ever-changing.

“Music is my life. It honestly gives me energy in the day, helps me through bad times, pushes me when I’m uninspired, and keeps me calm when I’m on travels, amongst other things. I honestly don’t know what I’d do besides working in music – it’s just what speaks to me the most,” he says. As his career grew Cloutier began landing gigs and exploring the European scene. He picked up his things once again and for the past three years he has been living in Berlin, another city rich in history during the birth of techno. Although he can be found playing clubs throughout Europe, Labyrinth in Japan and performing for thousands at festivals in places like the Netherlands, Barcelona, Russia, Montreal and more, Cloutier still understands the significance of his roots. Born into the concentrated dancefloors of Detroit, he nods to the importance of parties in small cities, and the role they play in the grander scene.

“If it weren’t for the smaller cities none of this would have really pushed boundaries. It’s so easy to rest on your laurels when you’re in a larger city, but when you’re the runt of the pack in a tiny corner of the Earth, you really have to do something profound to be heard and I think it’s exceptionally important for the little scenes to find their voice amongst the masses. All the most interesting stuff comes from the strangest places.”

The most unsuspecting cities, particularly in the Northeast, are establishing strong communities for house and techno. Cloutier says, “Without a doubt the tiny cites go off harder than the big ones, simply because it’s a luxury for an outside guest to come through and they make the most of it. You can tell people schedule their nights out around those once-in-a-while events, and it’s super important to them to get it while they can before it’s gone again.”

During his sets Cloutier demonstrates expert track selection and navigates the crowd, leaving them lost in time and space. His dedication to the music, whether as an opening DJ or headlining, has provided him a platform and a background for growth. For years Cloutier has explored the art and technical skill of DJing and it wasn’t until the last few years in his long career that he became more involved in producing. Although Cloutier releases will be relatively limited as he focuses on quality over quantity.

What’s next for the intrepid traveler? “Not totally sure where life will take me in the next few years. While the missus and I do enjoy Berlin, I can’t see it being the end point for my life travels…but who knows! As far as where to next, I’m always down to move to Amsterdam or the south of France, but…we’ll see!”

He kickstarted the techno scene for the debut Signal > Noise event in Rochester, N.Y. and now Cloutier returns to Western New York tonight for the next installation of Strange Allure in Buffalo, N.Y.

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


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: Jerome Hill [ILA004]

Jerome Hill was once a name associated with a sometimes forgotten rave sub-scene referred to as London acid techno. Guys like Chris Liberator, D.A.V.E. the Drummer, and The Geezer were the musical stalwarts behind this rambunctious, almost exclusively British offshoot. The music spurred by this camp featured blistering acid basslines but was far too driving and fast to ever call it house music. This was techno, yet defiantly at odds with more dominant styles of the time: “proper” Detroit techno and, at the other end of the spectrum, maddeningly repetitive, banging loop techno emanting from countires like Sweden and Italy. London acid was the bastard stepchild, complete with an irreverent punk rock atittude in the way they threw parties in crumbling squats where crusty ravers would dance all night as bonfires burned.

ILA004 - Jerome Hill

ILA004 – Jerome Hill

Coming from that background it’s no wonder that Jerome Hill’s music retains an unpretentious, nasty streak to this day, even as he’s slowed his BPMs down a tad.  Also still evident is his embrace of the Roland TB-303, heard loud and clear on his 2015 release for the I Love Acid label (operated by acid-dedicated UK duo, Posthuman). A four-track, limited-run, hand-stamped and numbered affair (only 303 copies pressed – cute I know. I hold #076), this thick slab of wax hits hard on every cut. From the opening track, “Consumed”, one can immediately hear the classic, stripped-down ’80s/’90s Chicago acid influence, albiet with some crunch-enhancing modern production techniques added to the mix. The TR-707 drumwork rattles your skeleton and the 303 bassline is simple, sinister and relentless, pushing the listener’s mind and body further into the abyss.

But for me, it’s A-2 “Controlled” that causes the real damage. The vocal commands “Let the beat conrol your body” over a monstrous acid bassline. Gone is the 707 here, replaced by a brash, distorted 909 kick (think 1992 Robert Armani) not often utilized in acid house music these days. This is a stomping acid tune for peak-time dancefloor devastation. In this instance, the tune is so singularly intense that the only challenge for a DJ is finding equally solid tracks to buffer it.

The B-side is just as good, with Altern-8’s Mark Archer (an acid guru in his own right) providing some melodic chord stabs over a supple acid line and 808 drums in his remix of “Moved”. In my opinion, this record is the strongest release on this consistently high-quality ILA label.

As a side-note, do yourself a favor and check out Jerome Hill’s own fabulous record labels, Don’t, and Super Rhythm Trax. Both are stellar, but the latter has been putting out some serious heaters lately for those that love the tracky classic Chicago house sound.

Wax Runoff is a weekly feature that will showcase new finds and crate favorites. Jim Kempkes of Rochester, NY has been a vinyl devotee since he was a teenage punk rock kid back in the late ’80s.

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