Whether it be funky and deep, bompty and quirky, or just click-click beepy – this is your monthly house music source for what’s hot and churning on the dance floors at the moment. And with the Winter Music Conference just behind us, so many great choons are now on the market.
Ion - Everything - Aroma
During my daily routine, I'm checking out Myspace.com (which formerly should be retitled Crackspace), and I get an email from a DJ from New Mexico, Billa (who's interview is featured in this month's issue), and he proclaims that I gotta check out the new Ion on Aroma. So I jump online to come across the first track, titled "Everything," and I hear the very track that I have been hitting the repeat button to on an old Trevor Matthews mix CD. Needless to say, I picked up the track immediately. But that's not saying much about the B side, and there is a lot to be said about what can be found there. A sample-based jazz jacker with a heavy emphasis on the funk, "Ain't Missing You" won't have the pleasure of missing my crate.
Ohmega Watts - The Find - Ubiquity
Intelligent hip-hop with soul and nu-jazz flavors. If you like your beats fresh, underexposed and hip, then hop your way over to the online Ubiquity Record online-store. Ohmega Watts has put together a 22-tracker release that is nostalgic of The Roots, De La Soul and most notably - Pete Rock - then you've got a winner. But either way, you'd be the loser not to pick this up.
Mike Dixon - Cumba - Red Hot
Take a few latin classics from the tried-and-true Verve label, add a house beat, and you have Dixon's newest and hottest number. Often times latin house tracks consist of a horn and some hand-drum percussion, but these tracks have the characteristic hallowed out base with samba and salsa flair. And from my experience, dance floors react extraordinarily well to Latin, so I expect this one to go the extra mile in record ware.
Johnny Fiasco - Klassik Fiasco Vol. 1 - Klassik Fiasco
Big ego or big star? That is the question of our good friend in house music, Johnny Fiasoco, who has arguably taken an early step into the "classic" status. Personally, I'm all for what Johnny does. In fact, he's my favorite producer. I was just a bit surprised to see a record label titled, "Klassik Fiasco." Nonetheless, the first release has some reissue's of Johnny's older work. Most of them were featured on his mix, "Cycles: A mixed retrospective." Worth picking up if you weren't around for the first wave of Fiasco's ingenuity.
Sweet Clones - Vinces Big Con - Robsoul
Classic jazz sampling on this one. With a DJ Sneak and No Assembly Required remix, it's hard to pass up. The NAR mix has a very true-to-form drum solo break down, which can be found within jazz music, but has been little explored in house. Similar to JT Donaldson's "Vanguard Night's" rolling drum build up - the quirky aquatic sounds and spoken word samples make this a funky number to check out.
Mike Monday - What Day Is it - Play Time
Overly simple, nostalgically acid & most importantly - fun. I almost glanced over this track from the start, but giving it a dose of patience, I found myself curiously entertained by the sample-based acid line that arbitrarily takes on different reverbs and effects. Reminding me of an old-school Detroit techno, the rising climax isn't about taking the track to another plateau, but more about teasing the crowd to be entertained by the hypnotic groove.
Cielo - New York City
On a recent trip up to NYC, I vowed I would make it to Cielo. With residencies held down by notables such as Louie Vega, Kevin Hedges of Blaze, Francois K., John Julius Knight and Nicolas Matar - this soulful and afro-centered house spot is where legends play during their downtime. Given that (and the fact that they have been the winner of "Best Club" in Urb Magazine), you can see why I was eager to pay the $20 cover charge. Small, intimate, lush and particular were all observations I pleasantly noted before I payed $14 for a small Red Bull vodka and a soda water. (Note - next time bring a flask). With sub woofers that looked more like a concrete institution, the sound quality was impeccable. The dress code was high, but people still got down. Oddly enough, it's the first club I've been to with house music where couple dancing was the standard, and solo dancing was for the couple-less. As for the music, John Julius Knight took it into the more glam-clubby section. While he did have flawless mixes and highly like-able tracks, I was still waiting for that Masters At Work type drum work, and the deep-toned house melodies that I've heard was played there. Not this night. I don't know if it was the vibe of the crowd, or the mood of the DJ, but I felt disappointed.