Category Archives: Reviews

Review – Get Physical Music Presents: Heller & Farley’s ‘Tears’ – A Deep House compilation.

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Heller and Farley. If you’re pushing 40, like me, then you’re going to remember these two as part of the pioneering movement that defined house music DJ scene in the UK back in the 90’s. They weren’t that prolific but the few releases they did out out went down in house music history. Alongside this, as DJs, they certainly knew their craft. Their Essential Mixes on Radio 1 proved they absolutely did know what they were doing.

So when this 2 x CD DJ mix landed in my inbox (yep, you read that right, it’s a 2xCD DJ mix) I was immediately intrigued. Had they sold out like many of the DJs we grew up with and came to know and love? I was reading today how somebody had gone out to see Carl Cox last night, they’d been looking forward to this for ages. I mean, it’s Carl Cox right? Twisted acid infected basslines driving that distinct Cox sound and carrying you off far into the night. What more could any deserving fan want? Turns out he played a full set of ‘upfront house’ whatever that is. It’s certainly not what you’d expect from that particular DJ and the same would be true for Heller and Farley.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. This is a couple of mix CD’s you’re going to want to listen to repeatedly. Both mixes have been in my top 10 for the past month or so and they’re not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. I mean come on, any recent mix compilation featuring DJ Pierre, Mr Fingers and Frankie Knuckles deserves a purchase.

Get Physical Music Presents: Heller & Farley’s ‘Tears’ – A Deep House compilation. Is out at all good record shops.

Cue Our Price advert…

Tycho – Awake

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If you’ve heard of Tycho before then you know what to expect from ‘Awake’, his latest offering released this year in March. It’s rich, deep and full of mesmerising melodies and harmonies. It’s technically spot on and a nice step up from his 2011 release ‘Dive’. Personally I’ve had ‘See’ on repeat a few times and ‘Dye’ is coming in a close second. It’s a brilliant album and makes me wish I had one of those really expensive hipster turntables and some really obscure German speakers to play it through. He’s touring over here in the UK soon and if you get a chance to see him then do it. You won’t be disappointed.

Whatever you do, just don’t called it ‘chillwave’.

Listening to: Deetron’s Music Over Matter (Music Man Records)

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deetron_mmlp040_outersleeve.inddI’m always on the look out for new good music, so I was happy to receive a heads up about Deetron’s album Music Over Matter at the end of last month, out on Belgian label Music Man Records. This is the Swiss techno artist’s second album, eight years in the waiting.

In Music Over Matter, Deetron’s artistic expression weaves an interesting musical vein through the house genre on this overall danceable 13 track album. The album is an eclectic mix of house and tech house.

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Sonus Festival 2013 review: Where the party never stops

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It’s Sunday evening, and I’m watching the sunset over the hills from Sv. Duh campsite in Croatia, and already the glorious epic memories from the Sonus Festival feel like a strange and unbelievable dream.

Amongst the fig and olive trees, noisy cicadas and barren hills, legendary German techno party promoters Time Warp presented a spectacular techno and house programme to Croatia’s party beach playground on Zrce beach on Pag Island from some of the world’s best parties and labels, 21 to 25 August 2013.

Despite my wallet getting stolen, moving accommodation three times, an Italian breaking my sunglasses, my tent flooding and ending up in Zagreb with all my belongings wet, sandy and dirty, the fun memories definitely outshine the momentary blips.

Highlights include seeing world-class DJs, securing interviews with DJ/producer and promoters  tINIEnzo Siragusa and Jacob Husley and others, meeting other music journalists, and becoming friends with loads of friendly clubbers from around the world.

The first annual Sonus Festival spanned over two nightclubs on either end of a beach club strip on the island, plus a series of day and night boat parties. Papaya is an awesome multileveled club built about 20 years ago and fitted out with swimming pools, terraced seating and a strong sounding PA on a main stage. On the far end of the strip is Kalypso, an outdoor venue with a medium stage,  smaller covered bar areas and several four poster beds (for the much needed disco naps in the early morning hours.)

Although the festival did not have a typical set up, it was clear you were part of an elite party the whole week when you passed the other beach strip clubs pumping out their abysmal fare and entered top quality clubs with even better beats.


Photo: Goran Peresin Gox

Wednesday 21 August 2013

I arrived in Zagreb on Wednesday morning on Easyjet. The festival offered direct shuttle transport from the airports to Novalja, the nearest town to Zrce beach. I shared a pleasant two-hour ride with an Australian and the Croatian driver.

‘Pag is nice,’ the driver told us, ‘but there’s too many Italians. You’ll see what I mean.’

On the ferry to Pag Island, I clocked a topless man wearing a Croatian sailors cap, holding a large beer who looked wrecked. His friends, also topless and wasted, came up shouting.‘I wonder if they’re Italians,’ I said to the Australian. He nodded.


As we wound through the hills to the ferry, it was like approaching a lunar landscape, with dusky stripped down dunes and blue swathes of sea. Novalja is a beach side resort, and it was clear that the town was busy for the festival.

I spent the first three hours in Novalja waiting in a hotel restaurant for my hotel room, surrounded by the event organisers and DJs  then went to my Hungarian friends’ campsite on Pag beach.


Sv.Duh, literally meaning ‘Holy Water’, is a quiet secluded beach, about 10 km down the road from the festival and obscured by hills. The campsite is owned by a tall Croatian man with a long ponytail called Anthony.  Anthony was born on the land. ‘This is a special place,’ he told us. ‘Many come back here every year.’

The long sandy beaches are testament to why. Straight away, I felt a nice sense of community and thought ‘this is where the festival is.’ My Hungarian friends agreed.


One Londoner said, ‘Sonus is a package clubbing holiday. In a real festival, you’re all staying together and the whole point is that you’re united in a bubble. Right now I feel like anyone can go to the club. It’s a two club week-long party.’

It was dark when we arrived at the clubbing beach strip on Wednesday night on the festival shuttle bus. At night, the strip seemed like a carnival site, with neon whirling lights, oversized novelty drinks and a bungie jump and a hopping beach. The first night was a blow out with a late night hotel move, alcohol blearyness and exhaustion, and I called it a night.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Thursday, however, saw a new day. An alfresco lunch on the seafront, followed by an impromptu party at my hotel with some Austrian DJs and producers set a fresh tone.

That afternoon my Hungarian friends and I explored Papaya and caught Berlin duo Pan-Pot pounding out some top notch house and techno. They played over the swimming pool area, which was awash in neon tops and swimwear.


I spotted three girls wearing ‘I heart Joseph Capriati’ halter tops, while another wore ‘I heart Ibiza’. I wondered if one day people would wear ‘I heart Pag’ T-shirts. One hour in, sound issues were corrected and a loud burst of ‘Do you like motherfucking bass?’ was met with whistles and catcalls, as the party music went progressively deeper. Unfortunately we missed Italian techno legend Joseph Capriati, who was on next, as we had to go chill at the campsite. We knew it was going to be a long night.

Later that evening, I saw German DJ Meat at Kalypso, while at Papaya, DJ Sneak and Loco Dice scooped up the crowds’ awe with their prowess. For the rest of the week, everyone I met went on about Loco Dice. Also, the big debate was, was his name pronounced ‘dice’ or ‘di-ce’? Personally, I loved seeing DJ Sneak who played some nice hip hop based house tunes and who I share a Puerto Rican affinity with.


Photo: Goran Peresin Gox

Sonus Festival attracted a friendly and interesting group of people from around the world.

I met party goers from all over Europe including Scotland, Paris, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Hungary and then beyond, to Chile and the US. I heard about underground clubs in Vienna, a trance festival in Hungary (Ozora), and a psy-trance festival up in the Croatian mountains.


The Brits were few and far between and were easy to spot, groups of Afro-British guys with cool moves or pale white guys and university students. Unless they were the organisers, Croatians also seemed few in attendance.  Someone mentioned that the cost of the festival ticket was more expensive than most Croatians could afford, and the Croatians I met said that income was pretty low in the country.

Last but not least, the Italians, the ‘dreaded Italians’. One person said, ‘They’re all young, rich and stupid and come over here to annoy us.’ My experience was mixed; the majority of Italians I met were lovely and smiley, while only a few were annoying.

For example – during the Saturday after party, one guy kept shoving the barrier closer to the DJ booth during Sonja Moonear’s set in the torrential rain showers. I shouted at him, ‘You’re not being helpful!’ He shrugged and said, ‘I’m Italian, what do you expect?’ Needless to say, I gave him a piece of my mind.


Friday 23 August 2013

On Friday morning, we watched the sun come up at an after party at Kalypso, which saw German DJ/produer tINI playing a legendary rinse out set back to back with British DJ/producer Enzo Siragusa from 6am to 11am. Like all great after parties, it went on later than scheduled, until midday.

Afterwards, I had the opportunity to interview tINI. I asked Enzo for an interview but he smiled and held up his hand. ‘Mate, I’d be happy to but I’ve been awake for two days straight. I’m afraid I won’t make much sense. Catch me anytime, I’ll be here until Sunday.’ (I interviewed him later – see below)

tINI was lovely and obviously a hardworking DJ who had clearly delighted audiences throughout the night, and it was great to interview her.

On Friday morning, I had about three hours sleep on the beach at the campsite.  That evening, a big group of us alternated between the two clubs in equal measures.

Kalypso had on British DJ Scott Bradford and London-based DJs/producers from Wet Yourself!, which has seen 6 glorious years at London’s Fabric so far: Cormac, Peter Pixzel, and Jacob Husley. While at Papaya, we wanted to see Magda and Seth Troxler. Difficult decisions.


While waiting to interview Magda, I met two British photographers from FuturGroov who kept me entertained with their antics.

Together we wandered over to Kalypso for the late night party.  German DJ and producer Matthias Tanzmann played  from 4am to 7am. He was consistently upbeat during the final hours. Epic.


Saturday 24 August 2013

On Saturday, the final evening of the festival, most people were happy but jaded, with barely 11 hours sleep in the past 3 days – if that. In the afternoon, Parisian and Scottish friends and I had a swim, then I said goodbye to my Hungarian friends.

A group of us went to Papaya to catch Chilean DJ Ricardo Villalobas busting out a mammoth four-hour set from 2pm to 6pm. He was on top form, moving from house to techno to acid house, using only vinyl, and doing his funny wave to the crowds cheers. He played loads of old classics like ‘Shake your body’.

When he finished, I wasn’t sure how the next DJ, Turkish Onur Özer would follow Villalobos, but I can assure you he mopped up the hungry crowds, putting on moody techno followed by bass heavy beats that got the crowd moving and dancing.


Photo: Goran Peresin Gox


Photo: Goran Peresin Gox

After seeing Onur, I was keen to interview him, and went to the back parking lot to lurk with the Sonus organisers.

After waiting 10 minutes, Enzo emerged from the darkness, followed by Jacob Husley from Wet YourSelf! and Enzo’s business partner, who I later found out was his cousin. I called out Enzo’s name. ‘Hey mate!’ he said and hugged me.

‘How about that interview?’ I said.

‘Are you going to ask him his deepest darkest secrets?’ his cousin asked.

I shook my head. ‘Nah, I’ll keep the grilling pretty light.’


We decided to have the interview in the parking lot. After, I explained that I was waiting to interview Onur. Enzo shook his head. ‘I don’t think he’s in much of a state to be interviewed,’ he said with a laugh, then added, ‘Hey what are you doing right now?’

‘Nothing, just going to get some food.’

‘So are we. Come with us.’

So 10 minutes later, I found myself in a van, heading to Novalja, talking shop with the guys.

‘Now you’re going to get the deep dark secrets about Enzo!’ Jacob said and we all laughed.

The guys all decided to stop at a place with three pigs roasting on a spit.

‘Man I fancy that pig!’ Enzo said.

‘Yeah!’ everyone agreed. ‘Let’s do the pig!’

While we waited for the pig to arrive, I had an interesting conversation with Enzo’s cousin, who explained how they’d been developing relationships with the Croatian partners for about 5 years to make this festival happen. It was a real coup, after doing their weekly night in Ibiza.


Later over dinner, we were talking about our own drum n bass and jungle roots, and Jacob busts out with this funny story. My memory is hazy, but I think it’s about some time Grooverrider got pissed off when Fabio didn’t return Grooverider’s text messages (or perhaps vice versa?). Anyways, here’s Jacob telling the story.

Jacob: ‘By the way, Fabio, I’m sorry about the last time with your phone, just like right, I’ve just got to tell you this story. This random girl walks in to buy a phone in Carphone warehouse in Brixton. The phone comes out and this geezer is standing outside saying ‘you want to buy this brand new phone for 50 quid?’ She checks it out and the phone works so she buys the phone. When she switches it on, all these texts just start coming and one is from Bryan Gee, and Bryan Gee was the dad of her son.

Enzo: ‘No!’

Jacob: ‘She calls up Bryan and says ‘Bryan, I just got this text’ and he says ‘ah, that must be Fabio’s phone’. So Fabio buys his phone back for 50 quid. What are the chances of that?

Enzo: ‘That’s ridiculous! What are the chances of that?’

Me: ‘That is so funny!’

Enzo: ‘What are the chances of that?’

Jacob: ‘I know, it’s ridiculous. It’s hilarious.’

After our pig meal, with potatoes and mangold (Croatian spinach) and wine, we went back to the festival.  We headed to Kalypso to catch the Club Der Visionare hosted party with Berlin DJ Binh, Sonja Moonear, Margaret Dygas and German DJ Zip.

It was empty when we arrived at 10pm. ‘No one’s here,’ I said.

Enzo’s cousin waved it off. ‘Trust me, in the next half hour, this place is going to be packed. Everyone’s gonna want to be here.’

After about 15 minutes, the outdoor club began to fill, and I watched Binh played a technically tight set. Sometime in the early morning, the rain began to fall hard, and Kalypso got shut down for about an hour.

The final festival after party was due to start at 6am there and there was no end to the rain. I went off to Papaya, who were handing out free rain panchos to clubbers. I became friends with a Croatian during Mirko Loko’s set, had a disco nap in the club, then we returned to Kalypso.

Sunday 25 August 2013

The after party had been moved to the bar area, which was covered with straw beach umbrellas.

Zip did an excellent acid house set. He had the party jumping!


The after party took a sudden turn of events, which incidentally created the real festival highlight. During Sonja Moonear’s set, the rain suddenly came down harder than ever before. Water dripped down the sides of the tarp covering the decks and was threatening to soak the impromptu booth.

The Time Warp promoters went into quick action. Working in relay, they brought in plastic buckets to catch the rain water, then ran outside to dump it.

The crowd crammed into the limited covered shelter, and the vibe intensified as Margaret  continued to DJ around the obstacle course and busted out some awesome tunes, smiling, pushing the volume higher and higher. She played for the next couple of hours to the captive crowds, until about noon,when the rain lifted up and the sun came out.


Ricardo Villalobos never turned up – I heard later he’d gone to Italy to DJ but didn’t come back, most likely due to the intense rain, which flooded all of our campsite tents.

That Sunday, I hung out with new Croatian friends and enjoyed a farewell dinner with campsite friends, then onwards to Zagreb. A Sonus Festival ending on a great note.

Future thoughts


I look forward to seeing what next year’s Sonus Festival brings, but I also wonder how the promoters will deal with a few issues this year’s festival presented, either real or hypothetical.

1) Popularity. There is speculation that Zrce beach is tipped to be “the next Ibiza”. If this is true, this will mean the popular beach resort will become increasingly expensive, outpricing both locals and your average techno enthusiast, who don’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for yet another festival on the increasingly busy festival offer in Europe.

2) General safety and crowd control. Over the week, I heard reports that on Thursday or Friday a man was beaten up and murdered outside one of the Zrce beach clubs – not one of Sonus Festivals – but still a concern for the imminent safety of people coming down to the beach. Someone suggested that it was Italians seeking revenge on another Italian. Although it didn’t happen at a Sonus club, the organisers might want to consider how they protect their audiences from a potentially dangerous environment.

And what about numbers? Already this year there was an issue of overcrowding on the festival’s boat parties. There were six boat parties this year, and I heard from several people that there wasn’t enough room to dance and they thought there were too many people on board. Which is a shame, but something easily mitigated by the festival organisers.

3) Festival’s overall cohesion and togetherness. Several people I talked to complained that anyone could go to the clubs used by festivals, not just the festival-goers, so ‘how was this special?’ A possible solution is to take over the whole Zrce beach club area for the festival and ticket-holders. Or make it all camping? Who knows?

I’m certain Time Warp and Sonus Festival will come back next year stronger and even better prepared to create a new Mediterranean legend.

— Zagreb, 27 August 2013

Gaur – Sagenz (Techno/Tech-house)(Digital Release) (Pay What You Want)

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Gaur the newly formed partnership of Elliott Gregg & Aaron Udy will be dropping their second release “Sagenz” today (July 1st!). A pay what you want digital release on their own label, Remit Sounds.

Sagenz described in one word would be “groovy”, the kind of thing your going to bop your head to and swing those hips whether you like it or not. The infectious riddim from that bassline will put some swag in your step for sure.

With an exciting remix from the Kj’s to boot, I caught up with “Gaur” to find out a little more  about themselves and how this tune came about.

RP: Hi guys, first off who is Gaur?

AU: Well I’d be Aaron Udy or simply Udy and I’ve been around and about producing and DJing different shades of electronic music for about 15 years now.

EG: I’m Elliott Gregg, I started DJing about 5 years ago, and have DJ’d mostly Hip Hop and Electronic music with other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure. I’ve been producing music for about 10 years in various forms but have never released anything of my own until now.

RP: How or why did you get together?

EG: I’ve been playing the Drums in bands for years and always had a huge interest in electronic dance music. I knew Udy through friends and knew he ran some labels so approached him with some of my material and asked if he’d be interested in releasing it. Through that we got chatting and ended up working on each others tracks and decided to release stuff as a duo as well as individually.

AU: I’ve worked with a few people here and there but have generally found collaborating quite hard in the past. I’ve been doing pretty ravey bass and breaks stuff for years now but have always loved my techno and tech house. I saw an opportunity to come at my music from a different angle and work with someone with a better musical background than myself but with equal levels of enthusiasm.

EG: Hah, enthusiasm, definitely bags of that.

RP:  So, this song, what’s that all about then?

AU: It started life as a track from Elliott, pretty much the first one he played me to be honest. As it
needed work and fired off some different ideas in me it seemed like a good place to start. The first Gaur release (Cracked) started life as one of mine so we’re 50/50 at the moment.

EG: Yeah, I had this track in my back burner for quite a while and as I mentioned, approached Udy with it to see if he would be interested in releasing it. It didn’t quite fit the KMB vibe so we thought about doing a spin off label and playing with the track until it felt like we had a “sound.”

AU: The way we work encourages one of us to submit an idea to the other and then go through
revisions from there.

EG: Indeed and after several back and forths we settled on a style we liked for it.

AU: What’s quite amusing is I asked KJs (Manchester bass production trio) to remix a relatively early version of the track with different riffs and sounds. It’s obviously still in the same key and you can tell it’s from the same place but it’s funny for us two hearing what they did because it’s basically a much better version of how it sounded to begin with!

RP: So what is the future for Guar?

AU: Our main focus is simply writing tunes and developing our style. We’re on the lookout to remix for other artists/labels and have a couple in the works already. We like to think we spin a mean DJ set spanning genres so we’re looking for bookings with a view to building up to some festival action next year.


So there you have it! What are you waiting for grab yourself a copy of this digital download and hopefully chuck them a few quid so they can keep making more dance floor groovers!




Sonic Construction’s From Now Til It’s Done (Mindbending)

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Bass heavy fans need to get their ears round London producer Sonic Construction’s genre-packed 9-track debut album From Now Til It’s Done. This ambitious album doesn’t try to hit just one genre – it’s a fast romp across several electronic music genres, a bit like going to a festival without leaving your house. Nine tracks, any genres: drum n bass, dub step, breaks and techno, plus a bit of ambient/chillout for when you’re feeling a bit worn out by too much dancing.

The album was released on Friday (21 June 2013) on new UK electronic music label Mindbending, which was born out of a 2001 London underground party soundsystem of the same name.

My favourite tracks are the rave oriented ones such as the acid-tinged ‘Total Reinvention’, which reminds me of the good ol’ days of breakbeat, and ‘Opening Doors To The Astral’, which has a really old school rave vibe about it. Really dancey hands in the air tune, definitely one that I see going far.

Although I’m not a fan of Skrillex or drumstep, I’m finding ‘It Started Everything From Now ‘a compulsive listen. To preview the album, I recommend having a listen on Spotify, which has a better sound quality than previews on Juno, etc.

Album cover SC_From Now Til It's Done_346x346 72dpi for iTunes

The thing that I like about Sonic Construction’s album is he’s coming from a place as a DJ, with over 20 years under his belt, and knows what other DJs want to hear. Sonic Construction (Alan Mathers) started DJing acid house in the late 80s and early 90s in London and was turned on at an early age by pirate radio stations like Energy 87.9, Pulse FM, and Kiss FM, and more recently Rinse FM, Bassdrive, and Di.FM.

Sonic Construction says, “I started getting into house from a friend who was playing it to me, I DJed at some parties, playing stuff like Orbital and Richie Rich’s Salsa House – real house classics. When I realised my main passion was making music, I started building up the musical equipment, and I spent all of my time putting together my own version of house tracks and acid music. I started with Atari. I was given a couple of workstation keyboards and started using those.”

A lot of producers wouldn’t take the risk of working in so many genres, and I know you get a lot of politics with genres, so I’m always pleased when producers turn their hand to several and can get it right.

Sonic Construction’s is now on sale (£6.99) on digital format from Chemical RecordsJuno Download and Amazon.

Monk3yLogic – Control the Void EP (Broken Records)

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So, I don’t normally do this, but this release is so damn good it deserves a post all of its own. Monk3yLogic have been on my radar since I heard Where’s the Car?, a bouncy piece of electro breaks that has found its way into damn near all of my sets. Now they are back with a huuuuuuuge EP and Too Dusty on remix duty. I’ll pass it over to Broken Records to give you all the details below; but take note, this one is big big big!

Control The Void (Broken Records 028) – Monk3ylogic w/ Too Dusty Remix is released on 24 Dec 2012.

2013 is nearly upon us…  Broken Records wants to celebrate the end of our planet as we know it, with a truly monumental release!

So we give you Monk3ylogic`s “Control the Void” EP and who else could possibly be partner to the soundtrack of this Quantum Shift but Senior Too Dusty!

Over the past year, the inimitable Monk3ylogic, have been peeling dance floors across the globe and working tirelessly in the studio, to continue producing their unique groove drenched style. The Bristol based Duo are continually evolving, keeping their sound as fresh, as when you first heard it, embracing so many genres fluidly, which is obvious to every dance floor while it throbs  effortlessly with their electrifying live shows. With releases on Perfecto, Kick it, Broken Robot, Aux, Straight Up!, Logariddim, Rune, Armada & Liquid, they are truly at the forefront of the front bits of the front seat.

Too Dusty has similarly for us, been pushing his totally uncompromising Cybertechfunk sound further into the Noosphere. And every dance floor knows it, during and after his sets, with his tight percussion and pulsing rhythms, and leads and kicks that seem to come straight out of a science fiction movie score. Too Dusty has become the soundtrack to so many Producers, DJ`s and Dancers lives and Sergio does all this so very high up, from his home town of Granada in Spain, with many releases already on Hard&Hits, In Bloom Recordings, Warped Recordings, The Pooty Club Records, Elektroshok , Distorsion Records, Divergence Records, Kindcrime and Perfecto Records.

For more Broken Records go to:

Caravan Palace release new video for ‘Dramaphone’

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Caravan Palace - Panic

Platinum selling french hipsters Caravan Palace’s have just released an awesome new video for their track ‘Dramaphone’ (taken off their new record). Check it out here:


They release their new album ‘Panic’ on November 19th through Café De La Danse and tour the UK from November 21st.

Having recently released their single ‘Clash’, Caravan Palace have been relentlessly busy this summer touring across Europe and wowing UK festival audiences at the likes of The Secret Garden Party, Larmer Tree and Boomtown Fair with their legendary live show.  They are set to hit the road in the UK from November 21st.

From the laid-back opening track ‘Queens’ with its thunderous sub bass and Django-esque guitar hook through to the raucous ‘Dramaphone’ and swung refrain of ‘Sydney’ this album is a powerful statement of intent. Throughout the LP layered strings and horns build and sit perfectly over the driving beats, whilst clever use of delays and amesmerising vocal delivery create a unique sound that is as arresting to thefeet as it to the ear. Whether your dancing the Charleston or popping the robot there is a little something for everyone.

Caravan Palace’s strength lies in their common passion for electronic music.  But Charles, Arnaud and Hughes, the founding members of the ensemble, also love swing, jazz, Django and playing those traditional instruments with flourish– guitar, double bass and violin.  It is this mash-up of the new electronic and the old traditional that ironically gives Caravan Palace such a fresh sound…this is music that swings!

Enlisting singer Sonia, Clarinettist Camille, Vibraphone player Paul-Marie, and Antoine (dancer, DJ, trombone) has enriched this accomplished musical combination.  For the new album they’ve taken inspiration from the best of the best – artists like Massive Attack, Gorillaz, Ninja Tune and Isolee. They’ve also rediscovered 30’s and 40’s swing jazz – Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Chavers and Mildred Bailey – just a few of their favourites.

The story began several years back when their first eponymously titled album sold over 150,000 copies making them the surprise breakout band in France in 2009.  In the UK the electro-swing jazz movement has been bubbling away for the past couple of years through stylish underground clubs. This dynamic music style is now on the verge of bursting out of these subterranean venues into the musical sunshine and Caravan Palace are the protagonists ofthis exciting new movement.  Appealing to dance and jazz fans in equal measure they have built up an enthusiasticallyloyal cross-section of supporters.

Files and ideas were exchanged before they regrouped in the studio to record the new single and album, using 15 vintage keyboards in the process, tirelessly trying out newcombinations before merging this mix of styles in their uniquely creative way.

So jump aboard the Caravan. Seeing the world upside down guarantees the best sound.


Track Listing:

1. Queens
2. Maniac
3. The Dirty Side Of The Street
4. 12 Juin 3049
5. Rock It For Me
6. Clash
7. Newbop
8. Glory Of Nelly
9. Dramaphone
10. Cotton Heads
11. Panic
12. Pirates
13. Beatophone
14. Sydney


UK Tour Dates:

21 November          LONDON, KOKO

22 November          BRIGHTON, CONCORDE 2

23 November          BRISTOL, TRINITY HALL

24 November          NORWICH, OPEN VENUE

26 November          BATH, KOMEDIA

24 January               GLASGOW, 02 ABC


For a full list of international dates click here


Caravan Palace Are:

Arnaud Debosredon – Guitar, Programming
Charles Delaporte – Contrabass, Programming
Hughes Payen De La Garanderie – Violin, Programming
Antoine Toustou – Trombone, Programming
Sonia Fernandez Velasco – Vocals
Camille Chapelliere – Clarinet
Paul-Marie Barbier – Vibraphone, Brushes

C’est bon.


Freaks – Black Shoes White Socks -Review

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The ever evolving and never predictable music venture Freaks are Luke Solomon and Justin Harris. Since 1996 the duo have turned out a slew of singles and long players on their own Music For Freaks imprint and have remixed for the likes of  Matthew Herbert, Derrick Carter and Tiefschwarz, to name a few.  They also enjoyed chart success back in 2007 with their track ‘Creeps (Get on the Dancefloor) which went to Number 9 in the UK Single Charts. 

Black Shoes White Socks, released on Hot Creations, is their latest EP, and includes remixes from Cajmere, wAFF, and Darius Syrossian (digital only)

The original is a concoction of disco, house and synth pop. With bendy synths, and an off kilter Arabian flute, the track has a real sense of fun about it….matching the title. And yet the dominating male and female vocals running through the track add a slightly melancholy tone…

“as they played on from song to song, passing through the years, so many tears…..sad songs are played”

The first remix is courtesy of Curtis Jones aka Green Velvet using his Cajmere moniker. It’s a more deep and groovier affair. It’s powerful bass, shoulder shifting clap, accompanied by atmospheric stabs and reverbs make it darker than the original, and I like that:

Following on from his Rainbows EP, UK based DJ and Producer, wAFF’s remix is up next, with the biggest and longest track on the EP. It’s a deep techno affair with synthy percussion and nice pads – definitely one for peak time dancing.

For the digital only release it’s Darius Syrossian whose works his raw house magic into his remix with his bass pounding bit crushed remix….with it’s reverbed vocals it keeps marching on and is sure to move you to ‘get on the dancefloor’.

The majority of the Freaks back catalogue is currently being re-mastered for digital and will be made available in the Autumn, including the studio album ‘Meanwhile Back at the Disco.’ ” Click HERE for more info.

The Pyro-mid Burn at Glade 2012

Glade Festival 2012 – A Brap.FM Review

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Glade Logo

In a move some said was inspired, others said was downright foolish, Brap sent Guy the Rev and Kevin Godden to this year’s Glade Festival. To most people’s complete astonishment, they emerged relatively unscathed!

Here, in the first of the two reviews of the event, discover Kevin’s thoughts on the festival which started life at Glastonbury, but has been ‘re-imagined’ by the team behind The Secret Garden Party:

Glade 2012


My festival experience to date has mainly consisted of community events and large events centred around live music. Glade was my first festival dedicated to electronic and dance music. Eager research had certainly whet my appetite for a weekend of dance music to suit all tastes, but it didn’t prepare me for the full-on party vibe and positive atmosphere that the event would generate.

With a capacity of 10,000, Glade is a fraction of the size of it’s mother, the all conquering Glastonbury, which has many advantages; the size of the site is manageable – it is easy to cruise around the 14+ different stages to find something to get you going, whilst being big enough that the numerous sound systems don’t clash. It is also a bearable distance from parking to camping to main arena, often the most arduous aspect of the big festival experience.

So, car abandoned for the weekend, tent erected (just in time to shelter from a deluge of biblical proportions), I set out to check out the site. The 14 scheduled arenas (there were countless other café’s / stalls with their own sounds) are set mainly in 2 fields, with the remainder smuggled away in the woods.


The first thing to strike the sober observer was how much work and thought had gone into preparing the site. From the simple ‘Big Top’ of the main Glade Stage, to the quite extraordinary outdoor experience that was the Meteor (more on that later), there was a clear attention to detail and focus on the visual as well as audio experience. Each area was also unique, inside different structures with varied décor and lighting. The centrally placed ‘Pyro-mid’ stage was constructed purely of smaller wooden pyramids – a stunning structure which deserved to be the centrepiece of the spectacular close of the festival to come. It was plain to see that some areas would only come to life after dark, but as it was the whole place took on a new life at night. Internally equipped with stunning lasers and lighting effects, the various tents and stages also became canvases for elaborate projections and lighting effects which brought them to life in the early hours.

Judging by the talk on site and discussions afterwards, the biggest hit was the all new meteor stage. Buried in a crater deep in the woods, this boasted two remarkable features; firstly the DJ booth was a ‘flying saucer’ raised into the trees, majestically and ominously overlooking the second remarkable feature – a wooden dancefloor with sub-woofers installed beneath! A few rather slippy  steps (or in my case a drunken slide and stumble!) took you down into the smoke-filled crater, where you could truly ‘feel’ every beat of the bass-heavy tunes emanating  from the imposing UFO. Absolutely amazing and I dare to say ground-breaking (pun intended!).


So the site was clearly designed to appeal to all senses, but of course the most important is the sound. Here we were not to be disappointed. Generously equipped with what looked like brand new stacks from Function One, each area boasted incredible sound quality. No hastily cobbled together carpeted drivers here – instead every system was operating well within it’s capacity – resulting in a great sound that wasn’t being over-driven and left no discernible ringing in the ears. In fact I was so struck by the awesome sound mix during the Dub Pistols set that I felt compelled to congratulate the sound tech –who clearly thought I was stoned/wasted/nutter or all of these!

So, what about the music? Clearly with so many choices, it was always pretty easy to find something that appeals to your taste, whether you are tickled by house / techno / trance / breaks / dubstep / D’n’B – all of these were in pretty constant supply. At times some genres dominated – Saturday night was a trance and techno treat, whilst the dubstep warble dominated Sunday afternoon, but alternatives were always available. As House-heads, fellow brapper Guy and myself soon discovered that the ETA stage (run by the organisers of cool loft parties in West London) was the place to be for around the clock house music of the highest quality, and many a fine tune was enjoyed here.


The first major act of the weekend for us was ‘Tricka-technology’ AKA Krafty Kuts , A-Skills and Dynamite MC. I’ve seen the two undoubted kimgs of the  breaks separately, and I was wondering what more they could bring to the party. I was delighted to discover that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. The interplay between the two was a joy to see, and this sense of fun and enjoyment was mirrored by the bouncing early-evening crowd. Dynamite MC, bounding on stage half-way through, whipped the crowd to a greater frenzy – to the point where I had to bail out to get some air and cool down. There’s no disputing that these guys are the crème of the breaks scene (Breakspoll DJ of the year last year was A-Skills,who managed to wrestle it from his mentor Krafty Kuts) and as the rapturous reaction accompanied them off stage, it’s not hard to see why, mixing and mashing original productions (Pounding, Let’s Ride) with funked-up re-rubs of classics (California Soul,  ABC) into an infectiously fun finished package. Brilliant.

Riding the euphoria and excitement which was building, your intrepid brappers, Guy and myself, embarked on a tour of the site, fuelled by cider and some particularly potent espressos! I must confess the rest of the night is something of a blur, but I do recall snippets: a great electro-house workout by a pair of DJs sporting jackets with built-in synchronised lighting displays in the woodland Liquid tent; a cracking house set from a DJ who we only learned at the end was the brilliant Mosca on the Pyro-mid, plus extended spells at the aforementioned ETA and Meteor stages. Apologies to the DJs who were all top-notch, but I am unable to put names to sets. Oh, and of course there was also time to squeeze in a go on the dodgems, and round off the night chilling in the Inspiral tent.


Highlights included live action in the Glade tent, firstly from Killaflaw. Opening the main stage is a tough call – most punters are still in bed! – but they put on a good show appreciated by the small crowd.
They were followed by a superb set from The Dub Pistols, who had dragged many more out of their pits to skank along to a high-energy and fast paced set, stand out tracks being ‘Revitalise’ and ‘Gangsters’.
Then it was time for the DJs to take over.
Stand out set from Eats Everything on the outdoor Pyro-mid stage, an education in the ways of Electro Swing in the Roller Disco from DJ Jon Bongly, and a top-notch 3 hour headline set on the main stage from Sven Vath followed:

Eats Everything (Bristol’s Daniel Pearce) has burst onto the EDM scene with productions that encompass elements of rave, techno, house, jungle and electro, and his tightly mixed set was a funky affair enjoyed by a good crowd at the Pyro-mid as darkness fell.

Saturday evening in the roller disco tent saw the skates packed away and the retro sounds of electro-swing taking over. Love it or hate it, this marrying of twenties / thirties / forties tunes with 21st century beats and bass is, when done well, incredibly good fun. On a couple of visits during the night, I really enjoyed the sets played by DJ Jon Bingly Bongly (who wins the Brap prize for best name!)and DJ Odjbox, both to dance to, and to kick back on a hay bale and listen. The vibe in the tent was great – smiles adorned every bobbing head. (I can’t remember their names, but hello to the guys from the ‘Sausage Fest’ kitchen who I met in the roller disco).

After a well needed power nap, it was back to the Glade stage to check out headliner Sven Vath. I can’t claim to be a big fan of Vath – prog house / trance is not my primary choice, but it would be impossible not to get sucked in by this master of the mix and spat out on the dancefloor. The mixing was flawless – not a beat missed in three hours – and subtle to the point where I had no idea when transitions were made, but not predictable, with the occasional drop slipped in a couple of beats early. As the lights came up on the man himself the huge  dancing mass of happy feat-goers stumbled out into the early morning light – bliss!

Another hour or so of house courtesy of ETA, followed by a welcome mug of tea and chill-out in the Inspiral tent. Vague recollection of a random conversation as to the whereabouts of the Czech Republic with a couple of friendly folk before I hauled my aching frame off the cushions and away to bed. An epic night!

It is very difficult to convey the random acts / conversations / experiences that makes Glade such a cracking festival. The crowd is varied and diverse – from the career festival-goer to the casual clubber – but they are united by a love of the music and the desire to dance till they drop. The result is a positive, friendly and happy vibe, where fancy dress is optional, but a smile is mandatory.


Day 3 of Brap’s adventures in hedonism – aka Glade festival – began with mixed feelings, including pain (back, legs, feet) caused by pretty much non-stop dancing, and a little sadness that this was to be our last day.But as the bass vibes drew the intrepid Brappers from the sanctuary of the press tent, any negative thoughts or feelings were soon forgotten- as long as the festival was still open, there was still much fun to be had.
So, less of the flannel – Sunday highlights:
At lunchtime – which translated into Glade-speak means “early as hell” –  I felt privileged to join a select dozen or so to witness the legend who is Don Letts playing a sweet selection of dub. Not the over-used, over-rated and at times over-exposed ‘Dub-Step’, but proper, old-fashioned dub.
After Letts, the nu-school dub-fest was due with Toddla-T – time for a wander!
Actually, I can’t remember much about the afternoon, but at one point Guy and I did enjoy some of the Maribou State set in the sunshine outside the Bassment tent – every tune was a winner, but seemingly no real thread to the set – just a random selection of party tracks sort of chucked together. Lots of ‘dub-step’ warbling from too many stages this afternoon .
The highlight of the day for me came in the Glade tent (now considerably busier) at 5.30 – when Stanton Warriors launched a brutal 90min set of breaks, bass and big-beats. Whilst lacking some of the guile and humour of the Krafty Kuts/A-Skills team, Stantons tread a similar path, relentlessly mashing mostly familiar tunes. I realised that there had been a lack of big-beat over the weekend, and the wildly enthusiastic crowd were lapping it up – festival fatigue forgotten. Having peaked with their great mix of ‘Good Vibrations’, the duo almost took the roof off the huge tent with the full force of the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage. A highlight of the weekend for me.

Checked out more action in the Bassment tent later – particularly liked Foamo who played a great electro set – then after a trip on the Big Wheel (which Guy was campaigning for all weekend) settled down to watch the spectacular ceremonial burning of the centrally placed Pyro-mid Stage. Not going to go on, this will be covered far better else where – but while this was a great end to the festival for the punters I couldn’t help but think of how powerful a moment it must have been for the team of awesome heroes who put this festival together. We were lucky enough to meet a few of them, but I know many go un-noticed and un-credited. I would also like to credit the security team at the festival: though lots of them, they were all good humoured, pleasant and friendly, and I’m delighted to report I didn’t see so much as a hint of trouble all weekend.

I feel it would be a little remiss of me not to mention drugs in this review. Though obviously greeted with zero tolerance by festival organisers, they were plentiful and easily accessible. It was barely dark on Friday before the first signs of over-indulgence were evident, with some fest-goers passed out and many more the worse for wear, including one young lady asleep in the middle of the Inspiral dancefloor. Whilst in  no way condoning the use of illegal substances, I was heartened to see how those suffering the effects were treated: a team of medical staff constantly patrolled the site and checked on anyone who may be in trouble, and impressively, they were also well looked after by their peers – our friend on the dancefloor would have awoken to find she had been covered with a warm blanket and supplied with a bottle of water! This was indicative of the strong feeling of camaraderie and unity that made Glade 2012 such a special weekend – and one that will have many, including this reviewer, making the trek East again next year.

Keep it for the Glade vibe 24/7.

Kevin Godden