This past Monday Will Azada made his podcast appearance for Detroit’s Blank Code series, with a one-and-a-half-hour mix of heated US-based techno. The mix consists of 23 tracks, spanning the gamut of unreleased exclusives to established classics, with a hefty display of Will’s own techno-leaning productions and those of Proper Traxers Alex Falk (Piltdown Sound) and Chris Mitchell. As Dakini9 of Plan B put it on Twitter, “cracking mix!” Proper.
After a bit of a gap from the first Proper Picks (thanks Grey People), we’ve got the second edition from San Francisco’s tastemaker, Ilya Galperin. Ilya’s a friend of the family, and for good reason–the man’s got some proper taste. His boundaries are far-reaching, and he’s a prime resource for all things [i]disco, house, cosmic, and librarian[/i]. And of course, he loves his techner. So for the long-awaited return of the Proper Trax Proper Picks, here’s an exquisite selection of songs from Ilya.
Asha Puthli – Space Talk – CBS, 1976
Preceding “I Feel Love” by at least a year and undoubtedly functioning as a massive influence on future disco productions, “Space Talk” offered up Asha’s strange brand of beat down, spaced-out vocals seated in an infectious bassline. Although this song has been edited and sampled heavily throughout the last 20+ years (see: Notorious B.I.G.’s “The World Is Filled…”), few attempts even remotely hold up to the original. If I had to recommend just one record from the space disco era, this would easily be one of the top candidates.
Armando – Don’t Take It (Thomos Edit) – Let’s Pet Puppies, 2007
Raw, gritty, and mean. The 303 line here is a perfect example of the power of restraint; it squelches and resonates slowly, the bulk of its impact coming almost entirely from the offbeat pattern itself. The vocal track — a spoken-word performance about female empowerment — is totally mad and gives me goosebumps without fail every single time. Originally recorded in ’88, “Don’t Take It” stands in heavy contrast to the overly aggressive acid sound of its contemporaries and, as a result, manages to be truly timeless.
Thriller – Point and Gaze – Thriller, 2009
“Point and Gaze” is what I imagine Actress would sound like if he did disco edits. This is probably because this track is widely believed to actually be Actress’; it shares his aesthetic for hazy, demolished beats, and appears courtesy of a Werk Discs sublabel. I have no idea what the source material is, but honestly, it doesn’t really matter. With so many disco edits floating around — the majority pointless and lazy at best — this track demonstrates that the person behind a rework really can inject new life into a piece of music as long as they approach it with a fresh perspective.
Williams – Love On A Real Train (Williams Odyssey Mix) – Love Triangle Music, 2008
A cover of the 1984 Tangerine Dream original from the Risky Business soundtrack. Stripped-back drum programming, the addition of little other than a simple driving bassline, and totally devoid of clichéd signifiers, William’s version is really one of those rare, excellent moments in modern trance. Studio’s take off the same EP is a slowed down, 9-minute journey through total balearic fucking bliss. Really, the entire record is excellent for zoning out at home, playing a sunrise set on some remote tropical island, or sexing up Rebecca De Mornay.
Cosmic Jokers – Galactic Supermarket – Kosmische Musik, 1974
Nearly 20-minute “jam session” arranged as a sort of collage from entirely independent recordings of krautrock musicians. The track weaves and turns throughout the duration and never quite settles into any sort of distinguishable musical progression for much longer than a minute. “Galactic Supermarket”, along with the rest of the Cosmic Jokers releases, was recorded and released without at least some of the contributing artists’ knowledge or consent; most takes being supposedly done under the influence of the LSD (provided via label head Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser). The resulting lawsuit by synthesist and early Tangerine Dream member Klaus Schulze bankrupt Kosmische Musik. Super trippy and super badass, “Galactic Supermarket” makes Pink Floyd look like space rock for children.
Tony Silvester & The New Ingredient – Cosmic Lady – Mercury, 1976
An original member of The Main Ingredient, Tony Silvester broke off on his own at some point and released this scorcher. Off the same LP as “Pazuzu” (a 5-minute porn jam full of lady orgasm sounds), “Cosmic Lady” takes the best parts of orchestral disco and mixes them perfectly with restrained funk vocals. Maybe it’s due to the bassline’s killer groove, but this song somehow manages to avoid any trace of cheese or novelty that so much other disco of the same era got sucked into. There’s a more toned down Harvey/Black Cock edit (“Cosmic” off BK068) that I still hear getting rinsed a bit but the original is where it’s at for me.
Here’s a Youtube playlist of the entire selection for those that want to lean back and enjoy.
That’s it for this edition of Proper Picks, ’til next time!
Spanish-language music reviewer Azterisco recently featured Will Azada for its second podcast, along with an interview (you’ll need to use an online translator service for the English version). Included in the mix are upcoming unreleased tracks from Marco Zenker, Kyle Geiger, Mekas, Magnus, Chris Mitchell, Grey People, and Will Azada himself–intertwined with a selection oldies and more recent releases. It’s both deep and bodyworking, clocking in at nearly two hours of music. The interview covers topics as mundane as breakfast for the day to some of the motivation behind Proper Trax. Also, catch a glimpse into his studio.
1. Marco Zenker – Anisa [Ilian Tape]
2. Levon Vincent – Deeper [Novel Sound]
3. DVS1 – Confused [Klockworks]
4. Actress – IWAAD [Honest Jon's Records]
5. Marco Zenker – Stressin’ Neighbor [Ilian Tape]
6. Kyle Geiger – Insulate
7. Magnus – Future Number 6
8. Mekas – Ciudad Oculta [Woods N Bass]
9. Will Azada & Piltdown Sound – Wet Feet [Woods N Bass]
10. Thomas Hessler – 12 Channel Madness [Graphene]
11. Will Azada – Pretense
12. Head High – Rave (Dirt Mix) [Power House]
13. Will Azada – Pump That Shit [Proper Trax]
14. Chris Mitchell – Fury [Proper Trax]
15. Will Azada – Low End Theory [Cubera]
16. Deetron – Isotope [Music Man]
17. Franklin De Costa – Queen Of Mars (Dario Zenker Remix) [Resolute]
18. Will Azada – Cry
19. Kyle Geiger – Underneath [Cubera]
20. Paul Maslin – The Jackronomicon
21. Will Azada – For The Floor [Proper Trax]
22. Grey People – Panik Mode [Proper Trax]
23. Paperclip People – Paperclip Man (Azada’s Refixmix)
24. Kraftwerk – Numbers (Azada’s 522 BoomBoom Edit)
25. Will Azada – Beatwo [Slapp Jaxx]
26. Dick Darling – Scheisse Frau (Freakin’)
27. Dick Darling and his Deep V-Neck Acid Orchestra – Ballsdeep
28. Moguai – Get:On (Legowelt Remix) [Superstar Recordings]
29. Detroit Grand Pubahs – Afterschool Special (ft. Miss Kittin) [Zomba / Jive]
30. Claro Intelecto – Peace of Mind (Electrosoul) [Ai]
31. Unknown – Disco 004 B1 [Analogue Solutions]
32. The Other People Place – Let Me Be Me [Warp]
Will Azada is stirring it up at London crew Northern Purpose, with a new mix of proper heaters and beaters, including two from the forthcoming Proper Trax 004 from Chris Mitchell and Grey People. Jam-packed with 21 low-slung “tech-house” jams in 77 minutes, it makes for a good look into the deeper, darker side of his style. Give it a listen.
Here’s the tracklist for those that may be wondering:
1. Will Azada – Sleazin’ [Unreleased]
2. Washerman – Basement Dub [Drumpoet Community]
3. Amir Alexander – Realest of the Real [Vanguard Sound]
4. Will Azada – Drunk Sequence [Proper Trax]
5. Grey People – Grim Premonition [Unreleased]
6. The Minister – Untitled [Creme Organization]
7. Echo 106 – Native Ancient Ritual [Lux Rec]
8. Mae – 665 (DJ Spider 6651) [EDEC]
9. Sawlin – Techno Dumping [Ann Aimee]
10. Vinalog – Pattern 2 [Relative]
11. Wax – 30303 (Shed o San Remix) [Wax]
12. DJ Spider & Hakim Murphy – Concrete Canvas [Plan B]
13. Analogue Cops & Blawan – Sickle [Vae Victis]
14. Claro Intelecto – Day [Modern Love]
15. Chris Mitchell – Fury [Proper Trax]
16. Will Azada – Pump That Shit [Proper Trax]
17. Lola aka Dakini9 – Shamanic Echoes [Supreme Scyence]
18. Grey People – Land Drum [Proper Trax]
19. Eduardo De La Calle – Untitled A1 (DISCO004) [Analogue Solutions]
20. Will Azada – My Restless Love [Unreleased]
21. xxx – xxx [xxx]
Length: 77m 11s – Recorded at the Proper Trax studio, July 17, 2012.
In preparation for Proper-004, Proper Trax is holding a photo drawing. Take photos of either Proper Trax stickers in strategic, public locations or Proper Trax records on the decks of a proper party (preferably with the crowd and/or DJ in the shot) and share it on our wall. For each unique location, you’ll get one entry into the hat for a free pre-release test pressing of PROPER-004, which will feature two tracks each from Chris Mitchell and Grey People. Shipping is on the label. Contest ends on August 4th. No bullshit photos of unstuck stickers in your mom’s basement or records at a sad party featuring your girlfriend and cat. Keep it proper!
There have been a few submissions already that were removed from Facebook, thanks to its spybot censorship. So instead, submit your photos to proper [at] propertrax (dot) com and they’ll be added to this site instead, to avoid takedowns and other horseshit.
Will Azada’s recorded set from his appearance at TV Lounge’s Night Turns To Day party on Memorial Day Monday in Detroit. If you weren’t there, you missed out…but since he’s on the ball with that portable recorder, you can still pretend you were sitting beneath a patio umbrella, on a dirty couch, in TV’s backyard, getting slathered with bumpin’ bass and fueled up with cheap Bloody Marys. Oh yeah. Download or stream the mix below, tracklist in the SC comments. Lots of goodies in there, including unreleased material from Proper Trax, Chris Mitchell, Will Azada, Grey People, and Jackson Lee…
Worth noting were the opening sets from Aran Daniels and the Northern Purpose crew bringing it deeeeep. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, we missed out on DJ Spider annd the Jane Fitz / Jade Seatle B2B!
Thanks to Jane Fitz, Brendan Clark, Mr. Joshooa and the TV Lounge staff for making this happen and providing a proper atmosphere for Monday morning!
We’re going to start a new (usually) weekly feature here that’s been kicked around as an idea for awhile, called Proper Picks , where Proper Trax asks label artists, friends, fam, and fans to pick a few tracks they consider proper tracks worth hearing. Simple enough. To introduce the series, we’ve got our very own Grey People with a four-track selection of house jams:
I chose 4 tracks that best represent my current taste. These tracks are in no specific order or ranking; they’re all number 1’s to me:
1) Full House – Communicate (dub) [DJ International, 1986] – I picked this up on a whim at the local goodwill (people are itching to get rid of this kinda shit in Nashville apparently) for 50 cents and it’s slowly crept into the majority of my sets. Definitely a great track that’s both aggressive and emotive; snares that make you wanna beat the shit out of someone with vox that makes you wanna fuck.
I couldn’t find the dub mix on the tubes so here is the original that is just as good.
2) Superlife – Go Bananas (Steve Summers Remix) [Peoples Potential Unlimited, 2011] – This track is weird and quirky is all the right ways. Think Klein & MBO meet Cybotron. Makes me want to go banannners.
3) 2 Body’s – Body Drill [House Records, 1989] – Nasty acid, beast of a track. This is one of those tracks you can really lose yourself in, hypnotic, pumping, sexul tension. This track still stands the test of time after all of these years.
4) Tang – Ominous [Emphasis Recordings, 2007] – This track is gorgeous, reminds me of getting lost driving in the suburbs while I was a teenager and listening to WNUR’s Sonic Sunset but losing the signal every 5 minutes. Pure fucking nostalgia….