Disco Edit by Monchan
Artist: Greeen Linez Title: Hibiscus Pacific
Label: Alliance Upholstery
Release Date: March 25, 2014
Genre: Disco/Balearic AU-001
The first Balearic jam of 2014 has arrived! “Hibiscus Pacific” is a vision of island paradise, yacht party cocktails under the stars, and a tropical dream cruise into eternity. Swanky daytime disco dripping with layers of DX7. A slice of City Pop not heard since the Japanese economic bubble burst.
Greeen Linez is a collaboration between Chris Greenberg (from UK electronic pop band Hong Kong In The 60s) and UK-born/Tokyo-based DJ/producer A Taut Line (aka Matt Lyne, co-founder of the Diskotopia label). The result is yacht funk meets Balearica, that draws equally from boogie, jazz-funk, house, and Japanese supermarket muzak.
“Hibiscus Pacific” originally appeared on their debut album “Things That Fade” (2012, Diskotopia) and received positive reviews in The Wire, DJ Mag, and FACT. Support came from DJs and producers such as Julio Bashmore (BBC Radio 1), the Beat Broker (Bear Funk) and Magic Touch (100% Silk)- the latter collaborating with the duo on his “Nothing More” EP, on Tensnake’s True Romance label. Besides their own music, Greeen Linez have produced well-received remixes for Seahawks, Maylee Todd, and the Japanese Idol group Especia (reaching #19 on Japanese charts), among others. 2014 saw the release of their “The Landscape” EP on Japanese label Catune, run by 9dw’s Kensuke Saito.
Sorcerer (Tirk/Nang) throws the track in the passenger seat of his open-top Cadillac and cruises down a breezy, palm tree laden, boulevard into the blue horizon. A Balearic burner that’s just as comfortable lounging on the beach as it is dancing in the club.
The Jacques Renault (DFA/Let’s Play House) mix finds itself head down, eyes closed, gasping for air in the Liquidroom at 4AM. Unrelenting and minimal with a haunting synth line.
Moon B (Peoples Potential Unlimited) keeps the track out past last train and lures it up to his Roppongi Hills apartment overlooking the Tokyo skyline. Icy synths and fat percussion make this one to come back to.
The Hibiscus Pacific EP is a cinematic journey through a fantasy world of music, both familiar and unreal, and as perfectly suited to bedroom dreamers as it is to nightclub dancers.
Rush Hour (EU):
Cross Talk (USA):
Red Eye Records (UK):
Jet Set (Japan)
Paradise Garage. Studio 54. The Loft. The heady influence NYC’s clubs have exerted on global dance culture.
The case is harder to make today, but once upon a time New York hosted the most numerous and adventurous DJ-led party spaces in the world. Visitors testify they had never experienced anything like it prior to their trip to the city. Some even returned home with the dream of re-creating something of their own.
New York’s influence can be traced back to the moment at the beginning of 1970 when David Mancuso hosted the first in a series of shimmering house parties that came to be known as the Loft. Around the same time, two entrepreneurs known as Seymour and Shelley took over a struggling discotheque called the Sanctuary and became the first nightclub proprietors to welcome gay dancers into a public venue.
Selecting records in relation to the energy of their multicultural and polysexual crowds, Mancuso and Sanctuary DJ Francis Grasso established the sonic and social potential of a contagious culture. Better Days, the Tenth Floor, the Gallery, Le Jardin, Flamingo, 12 West, SoHo Place, Galaxy 21 and Reade Street bolstered the word-of-mouth network. With the media barely aware of its existence, the city’s dance scene remained resolutely subterranean – to most locals as well as tourists.
Mastering for Vinyl
By Recording Magazine
“LPs are staging a big comeback, which means there’s a lot to know before you send your music off for pressing.”
By Scott Dorsey
There’s something of a small renaissance in LP production these days, and we’re starting to see a lot of people in small studios producing material for issue on LP for the first time.
It’s not just in one sector of the industry, either. The guys producing dance music for DJ use have never really given up on vinyl because their customers like the ability to mix and scratch the stuff, but the techno music explosion has also brought in a lot of people intending to cut vinyl. There is an increasing amount of jazz being released on vinyl, and a number of small audiophile labels cropping up that release primarily on vinyl.
This is a bit of a problem, though, for people who want to get into this growth. LPs aren’t like CDs at all, in that a lot of manipulation has to be done to fit your material onto the disc. So there are a lot of things to watch out for that most folks who haven’t mixed for LP release might find a bit odd.
How LPs are made
Now, this stuff is actually more important than you think. When you release on CD, you don’t need to know a thing about the pressing process, because you know that the bits that get sent out to the plant will be the same bits on the disc you release.
This is not at all the case with LPs, and you need to involve yourself in the process a lot more. You also need to know how things work, because the probabilities of something going wrong are great, and you will need to talk with the manufacturing people and understand what they are saying. So a lot of this stuff may sound completely irrelevant, but it’s important in understanding some of the limitations of the medium.
In the beginning, we start out with an acetate blank (also called a lacquer), a disc made of aluminum with a thin layer of acetate plastic on it. It’s placed on a mastering lathe, which is a sort of turntable with a cutting head (basically a huge oversized phono cartridge in reverse) on a bar that is suspended over the disc like a linear tracking tonearm.
The head may be cooled with water or compressed helium because of the huge amount of heat generated by the high torque coils in it that are required to cut smoothly through the acetate surface without distortion. This is despite the fact that the cutting stylus is heated to help it glide through the plastic without tearing. [Read More]
[Preface: There is no argument for an objective superior. Steaks, hamburger and sloppy joes are all great. But to not know what you’re eating is only letting yourself down ….]
Any avid music fan has probably had the argument with a friend (or foe) about what the best way is, in terms of format, to listen to music. Since Napster shattered the customs of the music world in the late 90’s mp3s have become synonymous with contemporary music. The iPod has since come along and informed us we no longer needed shelves for our music collection, just a pocket. These developments are currently pushing the CD format closer and closer to its inevitable extinction. Yet ironically, as the CD slowly dies, vinyl records are storming back into popularity. So it appears that while the MP3 has unquestionably made music more portable and “share-able” (it is truly awesome to be able to bring your entire music collection on a plane ride!), it doesn’t seem to have what it takes to wipe out other formats completely.
So lets take a look at the science behind music formats and how we hear in general. An educated listener is a better listener indeed, and you may be surprised by what you didn’t know. We must start by examining sound in general.
All right, lets get some simple things straight about the way sound works for us humans and our brains. In general the human ear picks up frequencies between 20 hertz (Hz) and 20,000 Hz; hertz meaning the number of vibrations per second (“sound” is simply our brains perceiving minuscule air pressure changes, or vibrations). Yet the truth is most adults are only capable of hearing up to around 16k Hz (a little higher for females, you lucky ladies) because we lose the ability to perceive higher frequencies as we age. Sounds do indeed exist below 20 Hz (think of when you feel deep bass without actually hearing it) and upwards well beyond 20K Hz (think of a dog whistle, we don’t hear it but the pups sure do). So while we can pick up the most important swath of the sound-spectrum, there does exists a great deal of sonic information we just never hear because of the limits of our ears & brain. [Note: this phenomena also exists with our eyes, we only see a tiny portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum, which we call light & color]
So why care about these sounds our brains’ cannot even perceive, what the heck does that have to do with musical formats and listening to your tunes? Again, we have to look at some science basics (bear with me!). Sound is mathematical. Lets say you play an A major chord on an instrument. The fundamental frequency of an A major is 440 Hz, so that will be the most present frequency we hear, yet it will not be the only. Here is the math; that A note will also create and sound out its harmonics (or “overtones”), which are always multiples of itself. This means that 440 Hz A note will create another “harmonic” at 880 Hz (440 x 2), another at 1320 Hz (440 x 3), and another one at 1760 Hz (440 x 4) and it goes on and on. Harmonics are a large part of what make notes played by instruments interesting to our ears. Because different instruments (or vocal chords for that matter) will inherently create different harmonic relations to the fundamental frequency, this is in turn the reason why there exists a difference in sound from instrument to instrument, even when they play the same mathematically identical musical note. This difference is referred to as an instrument’s “timbre”. Think of a computer created “true tone”, one with no harmonics; it’s a shrill and sterile sound. So, consider this question; if the chords and notes that make up our music all create harmonics that are out of our hearing range, do those sounds have any affect upon what we do hear? Hold onto that thought, however, we can now begin our discussion upon music formats. [Read More]
Tips to keep vinyl records clean. Directions for deep cleaning records by hand or with a vacuum record cleaning machine. A shopping list of supplies and Q & A section with answers to your record care questions is included.
Good sound starts with a clean and static-free vinyl record. Whether you are a casual listener or a fanatical audiophile and vinyl record collector, many of us here at DiscoMusic.com have accumulated thousands of vinyl records over the years. In an effort to digitally preserve your priceless records you may have considered transferring and restoring your vinyl record collection to CD by using your computer and some audio recording / editing software. Before you do, remember that in order to extract the best sound from your discs it’s important to start with scrupulously clean records and equipment including your stylus.
Cleaning Vinyl Records by Hand or with a Machine?
Vinyl discs that are kept clean and free of dirt, dust and oils from one’s fingers will sound much clearer and more importantly last longer. Since clean records have less clicks, crackle and pop you’ll have less work when it comes to the restoration phase and attain much better results. The great thing about cleaning your records is that it doesn’t take a lot of equipment, but there are choices. Let’s discuss some proven ways of cleaning records either with a record cleaning machine or by hand with brushes and ready-made record cleaning solutions. We will start with the preferred way and work our way down. [Read More]
I’m writing this in Venice, Italy. This city is a pleasantly confusing maze, once an island of fortresses, and now a city of tourists, culture (biennales galore) and crumbling relics. Venice used to be the most powerful city in Europe – a military, mercantile and cultural leader. Sort of like New York.
Venice is now a case study in the complete transformation of a city (there’s public transportation, but no cars). Is it a living city? Is it a fossil? The mayor of Venice recently wrote a letter to the New York Review of Books, arguing that his city is, indeed, a place to live, not simply a theme park for tourists (he would like very much if the big cruise ships steered clear). I guess it’s a living place if you count tourism as an industry, which I suppose it is. New York has its share of tourists, too. I wave to the doubledecker buses from my bike, but the passengers never wave back. Why? Am I not an attraction?
New York was recently voted the world’s favorite city – but when you break down the survey’s results, the city comes in at No 1 for business and only No 5 for living. Fifth place isn’t completely embarrassing, but what are the criteria? What is it that attracts people to this or any city? Forget the business part. I’ve been in Hong Kong, and unless one already has the means to live luxuriously, business hubs aren’t necessarily good places for living. Cities may have mercantile exchange as one of their reasons for being, but once people are lured to a place for work, they need more than offices, gyms and strip clubs to really live.
Work aside, we come to New York for the possibility of interaction and inspiration. Sometimes, that possibility of serendipitous encounters – and I don’t mean in the meat market – is the principal lure. If one were to vote based on criteria like comfort or economic security, then one wonders why anyone would ever vote for New York at all over Copenhagen, Stockholm or some other less antagonistic city that offers practical amenities like affordable healthcare, free universities, free museums, common spaces and, yes, bike lanes. But why can’t one have both – the invigorating energy and the civic, intelligent humanism?
Maybe those Scandinavian cities do, in fact, have both, but New York has something else to offer, thanks to successive waves of immigrants that have shaped the city. Arriving from overseas, one is immediately struck by the multi-ethnic makeup of New York. Other cities might be cleaner, more efficient or comfortable, but New York is funky, in the original sense of the word – New York smells like sex.
Immigrants to New York have contributed to the city’s vibrancy decade after decade. In some cities around the world, immigrants are relegated to being a worker class, or a guest-worker class; they’re not invited to the civic table. New York has generally been more welcoming, though people of color have never been invited to the table to the same extent as European immigrants.
I moved to New York in the mid 1970s because it was a center of cultural ferment – especially in the visual arts (my dream trajectory, until I made a detour), though there was a musical draw, too, even before the downtown scene exploded. New York was legendary. It was where things happened, on the east coast, anyway. One knew in advance that life in New York would not be easy, but there were cheap rents in cold-water lofts without heat, and the excitement of being here made up for those hardships. I didn’t move to New York to make a fortune. Survival, at that time, and at my age then, was enough. Hardship was the price one paid for being in the thick of it.
As one gets a little older, those hardships aren’t so romantic – they’re just hard. The trade-off begins to look like a real pain in the ass if one has been here for years and years and is barely eking out a living. The idea of making an ongoing creative life – whether as a writer, an artist, a filmmaker or a musician – is difficult unless one gets a foothold on the ladder, as I was lucky enough to do. I say “lucky” because I have no illusions that talent is enough; there are plenty of talented folks out there who never get the break they deserve. [Read More]
by Michaelangelo Matos – NPR Music
On Friday, a documentary ostensibly about the rise and fall of a one time club king named Peter Gatien opened in New York (it opens around the country next month). In the early to mid-1990s – the height of rave culture in the U.S. – Gatien owned the biggest clubs in New York City, including Limelight, which lived in a deconsecrated Episcopal Church in the Chelsea neighborhood. Today Gatien lives in Toronto, where he was deported in 2003 after pleading guilty to tax evasion. And Limelight has . It calls itself a “Festival of Shops.”
Much of the story told in Limelight will be familiar to readers of , a book chronicling mid-’90s nightlife written by Frank Owen, who covered Limelight at its height and followed its scandalous end in the pages of local alternative weekly the Village Voice. It certainly was to the documentary’s director, Billy Corben, who read the book as he was pursuing another documentary about the man who ran the biggest club in Miami in the mid-’90s. Owen appears frequently as a kind of expert witness in Limelight.
“I had read Clubland because of our interest in Chris Paciello and Liquid in South Beach, and the Miami angle,” says Corben, best known for 2006’s Cocaine Cowboys. Corben and producing partner Albert Spellman still intend to make a movie about Paciello. But first, they’ve made Limelight, which focuses on Gatien, the eye-patched Canadian nightclub impresario who owned Limelight, Palladium, Tunnel and Club U.S.A., who was brought to trial by the City of New York under mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s mid-’90s crime crackdown, alleging that Gatien was overseeing a massive drug ring in his clubs. [Read More]
By Greg Wilson
David Mancuso’s London Loft party, ‘Journey Through The Light’, celebrates its 10th anniversary on June 23rd. Held Upstairs @ The Light in Shoreditch, it’s a party like no other, underpinned by a high-end audiophile sound system that has to be heard to be believed. Although its originator, now approaching his 70’s, hasn’t been able to make it in person during recent times, the party continues in his absence, Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy his chosen stand in (he hopes to return for future dates though).
Mancuso’s legacy to dance music goes deep. He was there at the very roots of New York Disco culture, dating way way back to ‘Love Saves The Day’, his inaugural party, held at his home, a loft space in NY’s NoHo district, on Valentine’s Day in 1970.
It’s almost 10 years since I attended my first London Loft. This was in November 2003, a month before my DJ return, and just after I’d reviewed, for Grand Slam magazine, Tim Lawrence’s riveting history of 70’s US dance culture, its title, ‘Love Saves The Day’, of course, taken from that original Loft gathering 43 years ago – Mancuso, the book’s central character, at the very heartbeat of the era (I posted the review earlier this month: http://www.gregwilson.co.uk/2013/05/love-saves-the-day/). Following this I wrote the piece below, ‘David Mancuso And The Art Of Deejaying Without Deejaying’, motivated by my discovery in Lawrence’s book of a direct link between Disco and Psychedelia, something which had only been hinted at in stuff I’d previously read about Mancuso. Although it was clear he’d been inspired by Timothy Leary, particularly the book that the LSD evangelist had co-written, ‘The Psychedelic Experience’, it was only on reading ‘Love Saves The Day’ that I learned there was a personal connection between them, and, in a eureka type realisation, understood the ramifications of this association.
Image courtesy of Jorge Fabel Pabon
The Tools or War Crotona Park Jams are a wall to wall Hip Hop legend-fest of epic proportions. And being something of a record collector, Biz Markie is a regular at these events. But this year, it wasn’t so much his ridiculous collection of rarities that caught people’s eyes, but the turntables he played them on. No, it’s not Photoshop — those really are 7? Technics decks. Allow me to explain.
Pioneer is set to enter the professional audio market with the launch of its flagship club sound system. Drawing on Pioneer’s rich heritage in sound reproduction, deep understanding of the club industry, and close collaboration with Gary Stewart Audio (GSA) and Powersoft, this exciting arrival promises to make waves in Ibiza this season.
Pioneer and sub-brand TAD’s expert sound engineers have been creating high-quality audio for many decades and, with Pioneer DJ’s unrivalled expertise in the pro-DJ market, the move into club sound systems is a natural progression.
To create the ultimate club sound system, Pioneer partnered with the legendary Gary Stewart of Gary Stewart Audio (GSA), whose sound systems have roused clubbers in the world’s most iconic venues, including Singapore’s Zouk and Club Vertigo in Costa Rica. The team partnered with Powersoft to provide high-performance amps that maximised the potential of the system.
Marta Robowsky, Manager at Gary Stewart Audio, explains: “We wanted to partner with a manufacturer who shared our vision of reproducing the best sound for the club environment. The technological synergy between Pioneer and Gary Stewart Audio will provide the ultimate nightclub sound system.”
Pioneer’s Alex Barrand, the sound engineer behind the Ministry of Sound London’s award-winning sound system upgrade in 2008, oversaw the development process. He explains: “We didn’t just want to enter the market; we wanted to be the best in the market. So we gathered the dream team: Pioneer’s pro-Audio R&D expertise combined with GSA and Powersoft’s club system credentials. You have to hear it to believe it.” [Read More]
Brought to you by 101 AppareL
by Wax Poetics
“I’ve always felt music has a much larger voice than just the words of a song,” says DJ and re-edit specialist Danny Krivit. “Like in a movie, the way a great soundtrack moment lifts the meaning of what is being said, I feel like music at its best speaks louder than words, deeply touching your soul and striking emotions. I especially love the musicianship and arrangements of ’70s soul and disco. Again, it speaks to you with a depth. When I started out, most good DJs played records that talked to you and altogether took you on a journey. Hope you enjoy this little journey.”
Danny Krivit is about as New York as they come. Growing up in NYC’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s, Krivit was the son of a jazz singer mother, and his father was Chet Baker’s manager. He was a boyhood friend of Nile Rogers, and he had the Mothers of Invention living just down the hall. At a very early age, he got to meeti a cross section of musical legends like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Charles Mingus, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono. His upstairs neighbor, the vice-president of Polydor Records, introduced him to James Brown, who gave Danny his first white-label promos—”Get on the Good Foot” by JB and “Think” by Lynn Collins.
Earlier that same year, in 1971, Danny had started DJing at his father’s club, the Ninth Circle, and over the years played at most every New York club worth mentioning, including the Paradise Garage. His early re-edit, “Love Is the Message (Edit By Mr K),” along with hundreds of others, helped to secure his title as the godfather of the current re-edit movement. When Danny is not touring the world, he’s also one third of the famed NYC party Body & Soul—and is now celebrating ten years of his own party, the 718 Sessions.
The developer of the first 3D printed vinyl record has taken her experiments a step further by laser-cutting wooden discs into playable records.
Ever get the feeling that MP3?s sound a bit wooden? Not satisfied with the synthetic properties of polyvinyl chloride and want a warmer, more organic sound? Amanda Ghassaei may have created just what you’re looking for. The software engineer turned hardwood etcher has created the first ever playable wooden record, using a 120-watt Epilog Legend EXT laser cutter to carve grooves that are up to ten times the width of those on a standard vinyl into maple and plywood discs. [Read More]
In order to explore the current limits of 3D printing technology, I’ve created a technique for converting digital audio files into 3D-printable, 33rpm records and printed a few prototypes that play on ordinary turntables. Though the audio quality is low -the records have a sampling rate of 11kHz (a quarter of typical mp3 audio) and 5-6 bit resolution (less than one thousandth of typical 16 bit resolution)- the audio output is still easily recognizable. These records were printed on an Objet Connex500 resin printer to a precision of 600dpi with 16 micron z axis resolution. The 3D modeling in this project was far too complex for traditional drafting-style CAD techniques, so I wrote an program to do this conversion automatically. It works by importing raw audio data, performing some calculations to generate the geometry of a 12″ record, and eventually exporting this geometry straight to a 3D printable file format. Most of the heavy lifting is done by Processing, here’s a basic overview of my Processing algorithm: [Read More]
Not too long ago, it looked like New York’s glory days as a center for dance music had passed. As the birthplace of disco and hip-hop and the home of legendary nightclubs like the Paradise Garage, Limelight and Twilo, the city has long been part of the cultural fabric. But as the notoriously grimy city of the late 20th century transformed into the sleek and hyper-gentrified metropolis of today, its thriving underground lost its foothold.
New Yorkers have long flourished under adversity, though, and its now bustling party scene is a testament to this. Promoters, producers and DJs jumped the East River to establish Brooklyn as a new creative center. Lofts and warehouses filled the void left by Manhattan’s shuttered nightclubs, and a new generation of producers is infusing the city’s musical legacy with the sounds of the international scene. But the luxury condos rising along the waterfront are a constant reminder that the city’s relentless evolution could easily stamp things out again. We burrowed deep for our latest Real Scenes film, discovering how some of the key players in this vast scene are hustling hard to make it last.
Visit the feature page on RA:
By Eilon Paz – Dust & Grooves
Rutherford has a unique vinyl collection. He only collects the Beatles first pressing of The White Album.
I met him in Recess gallery where he exhibits his collection.
In this show Chang is creating a record store that stocks only White Albums. But rather than selling the albums, he buys more from anyone willing to part with an original pressing in any condition.
Q: Tell me a bit about yourself. who are you? where did you grow up?
A: I’m an artist living in New York. I grew up in California.
Q: Did you grow up in a house of Beatles fans? When did you first hear about the Beatles? and about the white album?
A: My parents are from Taiwan and didn’t listen to the Beatles, so I didn’t grow up with the music. I bought my first White Album at a garage sale in Palo Alto for $1 when I was 15 years old.
Q: So how did you get familiar with the Beatles?
A: They are the biggest band.
Q: Tell me about your current exhibition “We Buy White Albums”.
A: My collection of White Albums is on display at Recess, a storefront art space in SoHo. It’s set up like a record store with the albums arranged in bins by serial number, and visitors are invited to browse and listen to the records. Except, rather than sell the albums, I am buying more. I currently have 693 copies. [Read More]
New Raw Detroit Soulful Vibes from Scott Grooves (Modified Suede).
This is Wild Oats Music first distribution project, one of few to come for 2013. There is so much quality electronic music being created in the city of Detroit and not all of it can fit into the release schedule of a single label. The Idea is to press up great records from people on the same wavelength and that share a similar artistic mindset. At the same time allow the artists to put something out that is 100% their own but with support of a kindred hand–Kyle Hall’s Wild Oats Record Distribution.
Click Here to listen
Since 1996, A-1 Records on Sixth Street has attracted countless vinyl enthusiasts to its bins of hip-hop, jazz, soul, disco, and house music. On any given afternoon, disc diggers discuss what white-label 12-inches they’re going to DJ, tossing out obscure names that are foreign even to the other die-hards flipping through the stacks.
Ron Morelli, one of the four employees at A-1, has seen dramatic changes in the city’s electronic music scene during his ten years of spinning vinyl. The DJ, whose discovery of punk and hardcore started him on his journey into underground music and culture, started the DIY dance music label, Long Island Electrical Systems, in 2009 to showcase gritty, analog-based techno and house. He’s also used L.I.E.S. as a vehicle to release his own music (along with co-conspirators Jason Letkiewicz and Steve Summers) under the moniker Two Dogs In a House.
The small-run 12” records that Mr. Morelli releases (many of which feature hand-stamped track listings on the dust jacket) feel intimate: it’s clear they’ve been lovingly assembled by hand. Early releases by Steve Moore and Professor Genius started the buzz that has collectors rushing to buy the releases before they hitDiscogs for quadruple their initial price.
Despite the sold-out events Mr. Morelli DJs in New York and Brooklyn and the label’s success in Europe, there’s a low-key presence to L.I.E.S. Rather than a lavish release party, L.I.E.S. artist Professor Genius first spun his latest 12″,“Hassan,” at Heathers Bar on a Thursday night. Recently, Mr. Morelli shared his thoughts on the changing face of New York’s electronic music scene and the state of record stores.