Tag Archives: A-Trak

anywhere but here

heaps decent, that australian initiative put together to help underprivileged local kids learn how to make music, has just come up with a new goodie. produced by a-trak, it’s a grinding hip-hop beat with raps about the monotony and loneliness of time spent behind bars. it’s a free download, but you can make a donation to heaps decent here. there’s also more info on the track on the group’s website.

Heaps Decent feat MC Huz & The Riverina Crew – Anywhere But Here (Produced by A-Trak) by Heaps Decent

stuff what is out

it’s great when artists you like give away stuff for free. one such artist is a-trak. a few years ago he impressed us all with dirty south dance, that peculiar combination of electro and rap, and now he’s done it again with dirty south dance 2. i’m not quite sure how impressed i am second time round, but it’s definitely worth a listen, and will most likely bring a smile to your face at least once. hearing diddy rapping again is also a trip! just bear one thing in mind: “if you choose to download the audio in Ogg Vorbis format you’re a weirdo”.

another great act, haido/transmission favourite shadow dancer, has put together a couple of exclusive mixes of late. one was for the aforementioned transmission blog, and the latest is to herald the southwest four weekend in this coming august. you have to register to the sw4 site to get the mix, but that’s certainly a trial worth enduring. i mean, check out this tracklist! oh and if you haven’t already, check out the lads’ sound and mixclouds, one full of demos and the other full of mixes new and old. a veritable treasure trove.

BANBARRA // Shack Up
GRANDMASTER FLASH // Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel
IRON CURTIS // Großreuth
RESET // Robodisco
LINKWOOD // What’s Up With The Drums?
THE ORB // Oxbow Lakes (CARL CRAIG Remix)
KiNK // Rachel
ZDAR // Don’t U Want (CASSIUS Remix)
THE HUMAN LEAGUE // The Things That Dreams Are Made Of
WAX // Wax 30003 (A)
M/A/R/R/S // Pump Up The Volume
SIR DREW // Fat Foot
ALDEN TYRELL // Love Explosion
MODEL 500 // Future

obligatory year-end list part two

and now for me second entry of the songs that spoke to me most in 2009.

Animal Collective – My Girls

time for original hour… i remember the first time i heard my girls. i had recently been talking to a friend about how much i had, belatedly i might add, grown to love the fleet foxes album. he was not as impressed as i was – being a big fan of the beach boys he felt this particular band’s attempts at harmony and lightness was contrived and derivative. we agreed to disagree. in mid-january, as i walked towards dundrum town centre to get my eyes tested, i was listening to a leak of merriweather post pavilion and i was so stunned by the album’s second track that i actually couldn’t listen any further. my first instinct was to text my friend, telling him that whatever about fleet foxes, animal collective were the natural, 21st century successors to brian wilson and co. unlike many reviewers/ bloggers/commentators, i don’t care much for the song’s lyrics. it’s not that i don’t appreciate or understand them, rather that the sheer sonic assault is so overwhelming that they could be singing incoherent nonsense (not that they’d ever do that) and the overall effect would be the same. given the difficulty i’ve had listening to animal collective over the years, this was like a breath of fresh air. an unashamed ‘pop’ song with a realistic tangible lyrical theme, especially given the timing of the release, it almost seems to stand outside of their entire oeuvre to date. but hey, they’ve earned that. in some sort of cyclical conclusion, i bought the album on the same day that i picked up my glasses. go figure.

Michel Cleis – La Mezcla

i was put on to this one by my man bushy – he’s a dude from philly who’s had a more exciting life than everyone i know put together, he reps for hip-hop and the eagles but then he djs at pop bars and is obsessed with eric prydz – despite this seemingly disparate palate of interest and influence, he always manages to know what’s what before anyone else. wish dude was making music too. anyway, he alerted me to this beautiful track, 12 beautiful minutes of latin percussion, flute and tribal-esque wailing. it’s a weird one to pin down, i’ve no idea how i could ever categorise it, but that hardly matters. this michel cleis dude is no one-trick pony either – the bould radio slave included not just la mezcla but also cleis’ remixes of baeka and spencer parker on his deep’n’trippy fabric mix – and if it’s good enough for radio slave, well, that says a lot.

Sebastien Tellier – Kilometer (Aeroplane ‘Italo 84’ Remix)

i didn’t really know what to make of this at first. at the start of the year i was enamoured with a-trak‘s take on this song, with his strings and around the world-esque bassline. over the months that followed i found myself drifting towards this slower, darker, more sensuous remix by those belgian proponents of nu-disco (eugh) gave us their own stellar remixes of the shortwave set, friendly fires and grace jones in 2008. this one, well it starts off with this weird sound that makes me think of pipes and engines, over some crackling hi-hats. then comes the bassline, and all of a sudden we hear this flashes of beautifully textured swooshes that hit you in your solar plexus. after that it’s just a dirty, sweaty, swarthy collection of synths, sex noises, and beautiful sonic textures. i have to thank my friend kate aka masonic boom for that phrase – the tweets and forum messages about that song made my summer a hell of a lot more amusing than it would have been otherwise, and when i met her at field day, during aeroplane’s set no less, it was a delight to see this as a work in progress.

UNKLE – Heavy Drug (Surrender Sounds Mix)

it’s kind of bad when a remix package reminds you of how great the original track is. i was first introduced to unkle‘s heavy drug on james lavelle‘s 2009 entry to the global underground series. the first thing i thought was that it reminded me of deep dish‘s mammoth remix of sven väth‘s my name is barbarella. droning and repetitive yet at the same time starkly beautiful, both tracks feature the briefest amount of chordal variation yet in no way suffer because of this. they also both feature stunning breakdowns laden with unuttered vocal expressions – a series of melancholic sounds that call to mind some sort of joyous wailing or anguish-ridden mourning. tonight i purchased the heavy drug remix package and, alas, none of the tracks come close to beating the original, but if nothing else, listening to them reminded me of how much i loved this track, and how much it deserved to be in this ever-so exclusive list 😉

Phoenix – Lisztomania (Classixx Remix)/
Holy Ghost – I Will Come Back (Classixx Acapulco Nights Remix)

this is just too hard to call. i’ve never been as wowed by phoenix in the way that some people have. i don’t really know why, i guess i just haven’t given them the time they no doubt deserve. but this remix, wow. classixx took what was an energetic pop song alluding, i gather, to orgies and fandom and all that malarkey and created a blissed-out slice of disco that is so cool i haven’t ever been able to play it out. believe me, i’ve tried, but it’s just a tad too slow, and it’s one of those few tracks that really deserves to be left alone at its original speed. the reason i mention another song is that i’m not even sure that lisztomania is their best remix. i adore holy ghost!, as is clear i’m sure from my previous list, but something about i will come back left me a little cold. i could never quite put my finger on it, but i just felt that the song was a little flat, that it was missing something. when classixx put their hands on it i found that i didn’t listen to the original for a good four months. it was just too perfect. again with the blissed-out feel, just at a higher bpm, this track is so perfectly titled that, when i made a mix for my girl for her birthday, i played it just after club tropicana. what makes it even better is that when i eventually went back to the original i found that all of my favourite parts of the remix were just elements of the original that classixx had isolated and moved around – much like in that beautiful trio of remixes done by erol alkan in late 2006. if classixx can follow up their 2009 output with something even half as good, we are in for some truly beautiful music.

let’s hope it’s a good one

so my first new year’s eve spent anywhere other than someone’s house or a starbucks (long story) was pretty crazy. schizofonics rocked a transmission crowd through the midnight shift, and myself and jon averill kept things going before hystereo and shit disco brought the proceedings to a close. the insane sight that was dublin’s streets almost entirely bereft of taxis was compounded by the ice-rink-like quality of the city’s pavements – drunken revellers were lucky not to fall over as they warily made their way home. i myself had to grab on to lamp posts and even a bridge at points in order to escape the cruel hand of gravity. town tonight was like some sort of post-apocalyptic nightmare, as city-dwellers and the unlucky few who found themsleves working tonight shuffled gingerly across roads like cold-stricken zombies.

if i didn’t have to do it myself it’d be hilarious.

anyway – this is kind of pretty much what i played last night – jon also played (at the very least) some old school rave, a-trak’s heads will roll remix and star guitar somewhere in between all of this. want to do more b2b sets now!

Simian Mobile Disco – Hustler
Spank Rock – Bump (Switch Remix)
Erol Alkan & Boys Noize – Death Suite (DJ Mehdi Simple Acid Edit)
Arcade Fire – Rebellion (Lies)
Boys Noize – Oh! (A-Trak Remix)
Surkin – White Knight Two
The Rapture – House of Jealous Lovers
Daft Punk – Crescendolls
Fake Blood – Fix Your Accent
Tiga – Hot In Herre
Empire of The Sun – Walking On A Dream (Treasure Fingers Remix)

hot mess!


the latest mixmag podcast just went up today, it’s got some great tunes and an interview with a-trak. it’s a bit sloppy, but worth a listen all the same. check the great michel cleis remix of river ocean’s love and happiness, as well as the embarrassing diddy impression. also – duck sauce (armand and a-trak, if you didn’t know it already) have mixed the next mixmag cover cd. holla!

Mixmag Podcast No. 14

i’m not a zero

everyone’s going crazy for duck sauce, but i think, as may be the case with major lazer, people seem to be more excited about who’s behind it than the project itself. armand and trizzy both go way back, so their reputation is unquestionable. i still have an armand poster on my wall from around the time you don’t know me came out – i don’t remember what the magazine was but i remember there was an interview with lisa simpson in it… hmm. anyway i found this today – an interview with armand from the now-defunct ministry magazine. june 2001, just before gandhi khan came out. the same magazine gave that album a panning, but why can’t you free some time is a stone cold classic.

the interview features his side of one of my favourite dj-related stories – when armand got booed off the decks at space in ibiza in the summer of 2000. for playing hip-hop at one of the biggest house clubs in the world. while for most people that story cemented steve lawler‘s reputation as the king of space (lawler quickly took over and brought back the pounding pounding techno music), in my eyes van helden became king of not giving a fuck. hero.


Ghostface Killah – Cherchez LaGhost
Armand van Helden – Why Can’t You Free Some Time

crowd pleaser

apparently most people who happen upon this blog are looking for little boots, blair waldorf or amerie. i figure i may as well give the people what they want, and do a little write up on these three very lovely ladies.

i included this remix in my chart this week – a-trak blogged it as part of his pre-infinity +1 tumblr, and to be honest i wasn’t really feeling it at the time. it wasn’t until i heard the girl play it herself last weekend in a dark and smokey club that it really made sense to me. with its blue monday-esque kick and soft, spacey synths, it’s a worthy reworking of victoria hesketh’s best song. far better than the truncated and heavily reverbed version that found its way onto her album…

Little Boots – Stuck On Repeat (Alexander Robotnick Remix)

apparently (so i’m told) a sex tape “starring” one leighton meester (aka gossip girl’s blair waldorf) surfaced recently, but hey, this is a classy blog, so that’s not my concern. after a week in which i watched all of the first season, i kind of lost interest in gossip girl mid-way through season two. the unscrupulously manipulative blair is probably the most compelling thing about the show, so have a wee look at this.

and as for amerie… what’s she up to these days? her website is trapped in 2007, but in fact she’s about to release her fourth album next month, called in love & war. ahead of that she’s dropped a mixtape called what chu know about amerie, and a single called why r u. while previously some of her hits have seen her singing over funk and soul heavy beats, this time around she’s appropriating an old masters at work‘s sample and sounding all the better for it. i found that her best tracks are the party stormers like 1 thing, touch, because i love it etc. when she slows it down and thanks the lord, great as her vocals are, it gets just a bit dull. thankfully this track stays on the right side of righteous.

Amerie – What Chu Know About Amerie (via Mark Edward Nero)