Tag Archives: Erol Alkan

two thousand and ‘i prefer the switch mix’ six

i’m going to kick this off with a disclaimer – over the last few years i’ve made a point of never copying a dj’s mixes, ie if someone mixes two tracks together that sound great, i’ll go out of my way to find other ways of mixing them. i don’t wanna jock nobody’s style. but i’ve done it in this mix. not as a ripoff, but as an homage. it was in 2006 that i first saw the great man that is erol alkan play, and his opening tracks that night were his own remix of i don’t feel like dancing by scissor sisters and trentemøller‘s remix of go by moby. after that, like many of his sets, i was completely stumped – it always seems that he kicks off with something HUGE, then follows it up with an hour of obscurity, and lays the bangers on thick for his grand finale. later on that night i heard him play some of the tracks that have come to define that year, half of which are included in this very mix. bump, sitwoc, magick. that was 2006. this was year zero for the current crop of electro kids who never before had any interest in “dance music” – rock and rave had already come together through the likes of soulwax and lcd soundsystem, now labels like modular and ed banger were, i wouldn’t say consummating that marriage – they were f*cking like rabbits. it was wild.
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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.

2005

yes on the last day of this year i’m posting the latest in my series of mixes that go some way towards encapsulating what this paste decade meant to me in terms of music, well, from a clubbing point of view at least. 2005 was a strange year – most of my clubbing was spent in what you might call “indie discos”, so i didn’t always get to hear some of the tracks i’ve included. but hey, i damn sure listened to them at home. so i’ve included a few tracks from the rockier side of my clubbing history – interpol, arcade fire, the killers, you know. it was in this year that a new form of dance music seemed to be taking shape – 2manydjs had already wowed the world with as heard on radio soulwax a few years before, but their nite versions album and tour(s) blew that out of the water in my opinion. we also had the debut album from lcd soundsystem, as well as a return from daft punk which, though arguably not as good as the duo’s previous two albums, paved the way for their mindblowing tour a year later.
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one louder

i was in town one afternoon in early july 2003. i had to drop something to the department of education for my brother. in the evening i met my friend to go to a play written by a friend of ours. in the interim, i picked up muzik magazine – it had p diddy on the cover! his much-lauded let’s get ill was, apparently, about to reshape the dance music universe. well, with the benefit of hindsight, we all know that never happened…

more important was the free cd that came with the magazine. i think i’d heard of the dj, erol alkan, a few months previously in the sunday times magazine, as one to watch. those profiles are all well and good, but mean nothing if you can’t hear what he’s about. this cd changed all that. the section of my diary entry (yes, i keep a diary) concerning the magazine read as follows: “Got Muzik with cool electro stylee cd.” if you forgive me for using the word stylee, you’ll understand what the relevance was. up to this point, i had moved from euphoria-style trance in the late 90s, to global underground and renaissance in the early 00s. a little of funky house had entered my sphere but not so much that i’d ever be tempted to enter that world permanently. this erol alkan chap helped redefine the sounds i was listening to. i must mention james lavelle, whose gu022 had ventured outside the prog-house mould and belatedly introduced me to the likes of dj shadow, as well as the solo work of thomas bangalter. i also got to know the beast that is unkle – but that’s a story for another day. this is about erol.

unfortunately i wouldn’t see erol in the flesh until 2006, but that wasn’t for lack of trying. once i was sick. once he played the trinity ball and i couldn’t find him. once he was playing just hours before i flew to prague. once i was in america. and so on. when i finally did see him, i wrote this.

you’ve read a lot to get this point. now you can just enjoy the mix.

Erol Alkan presents One Louder

01 Playgroup – Make It Happen (Zongamin Mix) (Edit)
02 Mitsu – Hush
03 Duran Duran – Girls On Film (Night Version)
04 The Faint – The Conductor (Thin White Duke Remix) (Edit)
05 Codec & Flexor – Crazy Girls Make My Heart Go Boom Boom
06 Headman – It Rough (Chicken Lips Mix)
07.a Goldfrapp/Benny Benassi – Train (Ewan Pearson Dub Mix)/Satisfaction (Acappella)
08 Grand Popo Football Club – Men Are Not Nice Guys (Goldrun Remix)
09 Tom Gillieron and Ravi McArthur – Now It’s Dark
10 Kiko/Alex Gopher – Italomatic (Kiko & The Hacker Remix)/Party People (Acappella)
11 Ferenc – Yes Sir I Can Hardcore
12 Archigram – Doggystyle
13 Uminski – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

fabric has nothing on this…

White Light 13 - Curtis Vodka

and yet again, i’m blogging about the white light series. gosh, damn. another entry for curtis vodka, i can honestly say i only know one of these tunes. i even wrote about it here. this mix might go hand in hand with my 5am playlist i mentioned a while back – only on a more electronic and less whiny-indie kinda buzz. as usual, be sure to check out the other mixes at the site.

When doing this mix, I decided to take it a little slow. I have been running low on energy due to our weather up in Alaska. This could be perfect for a slow day or when you are not done partying at 5-6am in the morning!

White Light 13 – Curtis Vodka

1. Javelin – Vibrationz
2. Bogdan Irkuk – Foreign Tongues
3. CFCF – Invitation To Love
4. Washed Out – New Theory
5. Marvin Gaye – Heavy Love Affair (The Revenge Rework)
6. Desire – If I Cant Hold You (Vocal Mix)
7. Kashifa – Help Yourself To My Love (The Revenge New Jersey Soul Mix)
8. Woolfy vs. Projections – Return of Starlight (Invisible Conga People Remix)
9. Skyy – First Time Around (Cosmo Vitelli Edit)
10. Bogdan Irkuk – Jewel of the Black Sea (Ultracity Remix)
11. Sandy Kerr – Thug Rock (M&M Mix)
12. Toney Lee – Reach Up
13. Canyon – Dancing on Slik
14. Christopher Wade – Be Still My Beating Heart
15. Omar – Feeling You (Henrik Schwarz New Mix)
16. Loose Joints – Is It All Over My Face (Larry Levan Remix)
17. Island And Holiday – Living

early top 10

i fear some of these charts may be getting a bit repetitive – but hey, i’m just repping what i love you know. glass house is slowly working its way up my tunes of the year list, may well be at the top by december. as for that hell track – yeah there’s been some controversy, but the remix package is to die for. radioslave wins for the sheer balls of making a motherf*ckin’ 28 minute version for the two motherf*ckers that understand it. i’m one of them 😉

1 Eli Escobar – Glass House
2 Kid Sister – Right Hand Hi (Kingdom Remix)
3 Erol Alkan & Boys Noize – Death Suite (DJ Mehdi Simple Acid Edit)
4 Jokers of the Scene – Baggy Bottom Boys (Original Mix)
5 The Count & Sinden – Mega (Schizofonics Remix)
6 Hugg & Pepp – Sweet Rosie (Turbo Edit)
7 Hell ft. P. Diddy – The DJ (Radio Slave Remix)
8 Jay-Z Feat. Rihanna – Run This Town (Fake Blood 1 Minute Mash)
9 Yazoo – Situation (US 12” Mix)
10 Model 500 – Night Drive (Time, Space, Transmat)

ten for tuesday

i had actually forgotten it was chart day until i saw nialler9‘s tweet – so i had to quickly gather my thoughts on what was rocking my world this week. i’ve been working on a mix for transmission so some of these tracks may well feature there, while others are just making me smile.

1 Erol Alkan & Boys Noize – Death Suite
2 Kid Cudi f. Kanye West & Common – Make Her Say (Nadastrom 88 Dub)
3 Zombie Nation – Mystery Meat Affair (Shadow Dancer Remix)
4 Dakunt – T’a Surdou
5 Sam Tiba – Weed Barbie
6 Animal Collective – Summertime Clothes
7 Eli Escobar – Glass House
8 Still Going – Untitled Love
9 The Field – Sequenced
10 Kanye West – Through The Wire