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David August – The Spell

The formidable David August returns to Ninja Tune’s Counter Records with ‘The Spell’:

As we’ve come to expect from the Berlin-based producer there’s a lot take in, with propulsive breakbeats, dreamy soundscapes and chilling samples all intertwining to create a, naturally, spellbinding tune.

Grab a copy here and keep your ears peeled for ‘A Golden Rush’ on the flip-side.

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David August – J.B.Y.

David August is back.

It’s been two years since his last solo record, and ‘J.B.Y.’ is worth the wait. The new single, released today by Ninja Tune’s Counter Records, is as epic and melodic as the German producer’s previous work – but with more complexity. It’s a many-layered production, featuring a brilliant breakdown after the three-minute mark and a sense of brooding menace throughout.

The label say: “This isn’t house music, this isn’t the clubs, this isn’t the places August has been hitherto. ‘J.B.Y.’ resolves not with an explosive “moment” but with delicately beautiful Erased Tapes-esque piano introspection and the evocation of tape-hiss drenched ambience.”

It’s certainly a unique piece of music, and you’ll be able to enjoy it as part of his live show at London’s Koko in June. More here.

 

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David August – Her Myth 

David August reached 100k Facebook fans last week so decided to release the delicious ‘Her Myth’ on a free DL, good times. It’s the sort of ambient dance music we’ve come to expect from the Berliner in recent years, littered with minimal melodies and varied synths. Take five and have a listen:

If you’re wondering how this relaxed number would fit onto the dancefloor, listen no further to his Boiler Room from last year, it’s a real treat:

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High Heels Breaker – Come Easy feat Sarah Palin (David August Remix)

As is his wont, today David August caught our attention by uploading a new track to his Soundcloud page. A remix of ‘Come Easy’ by Switzerland’s High Heels Breaker, it’s a sparse little number which evokes (to our ears) the great Nicolas Jaar. It’s an atmospheric listen, with nervy synths and twitchy percussion – and it’s an impressive change of pace from the original. It’s also apparently a snippet of the full remix, but David has never been one for concision: it’s 04:34. Finally, it features Sarah Palin on vocals. That is Sarah Palin, the Zurich-based vocalist and songwriter – not the other one (although we’d be intrigued to see that collaboration next).

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Top 10 Tracks of 2016

Goodbye 2016, and good riddance. As a disastrous twelve months for the human race comes crashing to a close, sweeping up a few more icons of music and cinema along the way, solace can be found in those parts of the year that weren’t cataclysmic. Searching among the debris for our tracks of the year, we found these ten diamonds in the rough and we present them to you, polished up and proud as emblems of the fact that – in a world with room for Trump and Farage but not Bowie or Rickman – all is not (yet) lost. You can also find them in our Best of 2016 playlists on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.

1. The Blaze – Virile: The debut release from French duo The Blaze went largely unnoticed at the start of 2016. With its pensive vocals, catchy melody and rising synths, the tune is at once euphoric and reflective. The lyrics stress the importance of love and togetherness and this warmth is brought to life wonderfully by friends of The Blaze in the accompanying vid. A real delight.

2. Midland – Final Credits: An outstanding Essential Mix and a brilliant EP (‘Blush’) were followed up by his highest position on RA’s top 100 DJs. Whilst 2016 was awful for almost all of us, Midland kept doing what he does best and enjoyed another great year. It was ‘Final Credits’ though – released on Midland’s very own Regraded label – that stole the limelight. Mixmag’s track of the year, ‘Final Credits’ combines a melancholic Gladys Knight sample, with a trademark heavy house beat. It was irresistible at festivals and clubs the world over in 2016.

3. Mood Hut – Better: This bundle of fun came out on Vancouver’s Mood Hut in August this year and harks back to label affiliates JLM and Chris Wang’s Love Dancing parties back in 2009. Both this and B-side ‘Fever’ are irresistibly colourful disco numbers. Credit here should also go to Gladys Knight.

4. Lindstrøm – Closing Shot: It takes a couple of minutes for Lindstrøm to really set the scene here, but once in full bloom ‘Closing Shot’ rivals fellow Scandi-disco bossman Todd Terje for anthemic, feel-good vibes. We’ve had it on repeat since coming out in March.

5. MLiR – People: The Swedish duo that is MLiR (Modern Life is Rubbish) released their debut EP on the excellent Studio Barnhus on 20th June, and this vibrant gem always brings a smile to our faces. Looking forward to hearing more from them in 2017.

6. DJ Sotofett – Current 82 (12 Mix): DJ Sotofett’s 12″ mix of ‘Current 82’ is nearly 14 minutes long. We’ve lost count of the number of times we settled down to listen to this track, only to be interrupted and have to start from the beginning. It was never a chore to do so. Our first discovery of ‘Current 82’ was courtesy of a trippy, slowed down YouTube video, seemingly of the final moments of a rooftop rave. The sun coming up, crowd looking frazzled but happy, this scene was the perfect accompaniment to a remarkable track. Whilst not a club banger, it reminds us of the great qualities dance music is capable of possessing.

7. David August – J.B.Y: The Hamburg producer extraordinaire returned after a two-year hiatus bigger and bolder than ever. This epic and melodic track was his first release on Ninja Tune’s Counter Records and proved to be an excellent addition to his all-new live shows.

8. Jump Source – All My Love Is “Free”: Canadian house music continues to provide understated gems. Elsewhere in our Top 10 we’ve already touched on the Vancouver-based Mood Hut, and Jump Source – helmed by Montreal’s Project Pablo and Francis Oak – replicates the feel-good vibe that has become the trademark of the blossoming Canadian scene. ‘All My Love Is “Free”‘, all high hats and echoey piano, is a warm summer day of a house anthem. A lot of the tracks that we put forward for this year’s final playlist had an introspection that reflected the melancholia of 2016. By contrast, ‘All My Love Is “Free”‘ is pure escapism.

9. Fort Romeau – Secrets & Lies: We continue to be very fond of Fort Romeau’s production and DJ skills. He seemed to take things to a new level in 2016, with the establishment of his Cin Cin label as an essential name for record collectors and DJs. His ‘Secrets & Lies’ EP, released on Live At Robert Johnson way back in January, stood the test of time to make it onto this list. In all honesty, we could have selected either ‘Facing The Sea’ or ‘Secrets & Lies’, but we plumped for the title track in the end. Ten minutes of acid, with a Dirty Dancing sample on loop. Magnificent.

10. Gonno & Nick Hoppner – As Above, So Below: Panorama Bar resident Nick Höppner teamed up with Japanese producer and DJ Gonno to create this dreamy slice of house. Featured in John Talabot’s brilliant Phonica mix, and released soon after on Ostgut Ton, ‘As Above, So Below’ has a lot going on – most prominent of all is a beautiful melody that really got under our skin in 2016.

Head over here for our ‘Top 10 Albums of 2016’ and here for our ‘Best Mixes of 2016’. Alternatively tuck into the below for our extended ‘Best of 2016’ playlist.

Check out these tunes along with our other favourites of 2016, in playlists on Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube. And look out for our favourite mixes and albums of the year on the blog too.

See you in 2017.

 

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Human Drizzle: The Playlist, March 2016

Short and sweet playlist this month, with loadza good new music to get your teeth into over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

A strong return to the game from David August, Lindstrom and Detroit Swindle. New labels from Kidnap Kid and South London radio/party No Bad Days, a sparkling remix from Four Tet and dreamy cuts from Seb Wildblood and The Range.

Most noticeably Laurence Guy’s popped up on the blog with a storming start to 2016. In just under two months he’ll be heading things up for our party at the Bermondsey Social Club on Friday 13th May. More details on that intimate affair here.

For now, tuck into this and enjoy x

 

 

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OFF Sonar Barcelona

HD returned a little bleary-eyed yesterday from the 2015 edition of OFF Sonar, a week of parties put on in stunning locations around Barcelona.

OFF Sonar

Once a year, the Catalan city plays host to Sonar and its partner festival OFF Sonar, producing line-ups that rival Ibiza opening week in venues ranging from hillside monasteries to hidden beach coves. We know you’re busy, so here’s our best effort at summing up the madness in your 5 minute coffee-break.

First up was Poble Espanyol, the 1920s museum in hillside of Mt. Montjuic, for the showcase of Mano le Tough and The Drifter’s label, Maeve. Despite a lineup that boasted Innervisions‘ head honcho Ame and the emerging talent of Aera, it was Mano himself that stole the show with a sunset session that will stay long in the memory. Here’s a taster:

Next up was Resident Advisor’s night at el Monasterio, another stunning hilltop spot on the outskirts of Barcelona. With a varied lineup that featured Pearson Sound, Felicita and Andy Stott, the music flew across genres, sometimes giving the night an uneven feel. That was until the much-anticipated duo of Gerd Janson & Jackmaster took to the decks for a disco masterclass, playing tunes like THIS:

Saturday night meant a trip to the beach to enjoy the delights of Solomun’s Diynamic Records, specifically David August’s ambient live set followed by Adriatique. The Swiss Duo unsurprisingly played a lot of their productions, including this beauty

Sunday brought around the crux of the trip, the Social Music City night at Plaza Major, an old town square inside Poble Espanyol. The lineup boasted wall-to-wall giants including DJ Koze, Maceo Plex and Tale of Us. DJ Koze, given the difficult earlier set, appeared to single-handedly bring the sun down with this one

Facing down the festival equivalent of Day 23 of the Tour de France, we summoned the last of our energies for the evening session. Feeding off a crowd on their last night of a draining week, Maceo Plex laid down a closing set piled high with emotional melodies. Imagine a full orchestral breakdown followed by this and you’ll pretty much get the picture.

Despite all this, we barely scratched the surface of the events on offer. We missed an all-nighter curated by Tim Sweeney, a Villalobos pool party, Nina Kraviz in an aircraft hanger and countless others. Where we did make it though, the venues were surreal, the crowds were friendly and the tunes were always spot on. See you there next year.

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Stephan Bodzin & Marc Romboy – Kerberos

As summer draws to a close, darker days mean darker tunes.  ‘Kerberos’ is haunting techno at its finest, with an enchanting melody and atmospheric build-ups all the way through.  Very reminiscent of David August’s work we raved about here.

Released on Romboy’s Systematic label, ‘Kerberos’ is the latest in collaborations between these techno titans that go back to 2005.  It’s sparser and darker than what we’ve heard from them before, but it’s all the better for it.

If you like it, check out their Boiler Room in Sao Paulo last month for more of the good stuff.

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Innervisions 50th Release

German techno and house music pioneers Innervisions have reached a half-century of imprints. They’ve done it in style too, with a bumper four-part, nine-track release…

The opening exchanges – IV50.I – belong to Recondite and his release ‘PSY EP’, the title track of which is soaring tech-house, with a distinctive Innervisions feels to it. It’s one you’re sure to be hearing a lot more of in the coming months.

Frankey & Sandrino  are at the helm for IV50.II – ‘Save EP’. Slower tempo than ‘PSY’, both tracks are gradually-building deep house. ‘The Edge’ was featured on Innervisions head honcho Dixon’s Essential Mix last year – it’s a bomb…(Dixon seems to have his eye in at the moment too, FYI).

IV50.III sees Diynamic Music stalwart David August release ‘Epikur’, which first came to our attention earlier in the year (it’s sensational). On the reverse, ‘Agatha’ again combines that thumping beat with shimmering synths and pads.

Finishing this epic release, is Orson Wells. IV50.IV – ‘Endless’ – features three tracks. ‘Obsidian’, is ebbing and flowing techno, an awkward sound that is seemingly relieved before the end with the introduction of a crushing bass line. ‘Nightshift’ is urgent house, up-tempo but with that strong emotive feeling that is present in Innervisions work. Finally, ‘Endless’ the EP’s title track sounds like something that you might expect to hear from Henry Saiz or Guy J.

Innervisions are one of the most revered labels operating at the moment. Dixon plays London tomorrow, at a sold out, all night takeover of Studio Space in Wapping (tickets are still available for Recondite joining Scuba for the warm-up tonight, as part of a Hydra double-header.)

If you missed out on tickets for this weekend, fear not – Innervisions will be taking their Lost in a Moment party on tour, and it will be swinging through London in October.

Get. It. In. The. Diary.

Phew. That’s probably more Teutonic techno than you’re used to from us here at HD, but we like to keep you on your toes.

Sailor & I – Turn Around (Âme Remix)

Firstly a tune which is already enormous but will surely explode this summer. Frank Wiedemann and Kristian Beyer of Ame have remixed Sailor & I ‘Turn Around’ and it’s absolutely stunning. We loved the Aril Brikha remix of Sailor & I’s ‘Tough Love‘ a couple of years back but we think this is superior. And this is despite the only version currently available to the man on the street being this rip from the BPM festival in Mexico. We think you can get the gist though.

Due for release ‘soon’ on the excellent Life and Death (who are really spoiling us at the moment after giving us the awesome ‘Requiem’ by Ten Walls at the end of last year.)

(You can now hear the full, un-ripped version on Human Drizzle here…)

The second Germanic selection we want to bring to your attention sees David August return in some style, after a breather away from these pages.

Normally associated with the Diynamic stable, we are under the impression that this one will be out on Innervisions this year. No great surprise there – it was featured on the Innervisions boss Dixon’s Essential Mix last year. Which gives us yet another opportunity to point you in the direction of this…

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