2011 was an exceptional year for house and techno music, with too many underground artists and labels sprouting and establishing their posts for the future. We believe 2012 is going to be even more notable, judging from the landscape. Not only does Proper Trax have an absolute killer schedule set up to fill the pipeline, featuring upcoming EPs from Will Azada, Grey People, and Vanguard Sound / Plan B Records’ Tampa talent Chris Mitchell. But there have been a number of raw-as-fuck labels hard at work blazing trails over the past couple years, and we’d like to highlight some of the newer (and older) cuts that are blowing some minds with their gritty and fresh approach to house and techno.
Will Azada starts it off with his Proper 12 to Begin 2012 (which just so happen to be all 12″s, har!)
Will Azada’s Proper 12 to Begin 2012 Chart
1. D’Marc Cantu – Fallen [Creme Jak / Creme Org]
2. I:Cube – Lucifer En Discotheque EP [Versatile]
3. The Raw Interpreter – A One [Warm Sounds]
4. Traxx / JTC / D’Marc Cantu – The Definition Of Jak The Definition Of Hope [Lux Rec]
5. The Analogue Cops & Blawan – Cursory EP [Vae Victis]
6. Phil Weeks – Jack To My Groove EP [Robsoul]
7. Marieu – Urban Heat Island EP [Enchanted Wax]
8. Amir Alexander / Chris Mitchell / DJ Spider / Hakim Murphy – Vanguard Sound Vol. 3 [Vanguard Sound]
9. Villan X ft Naughty Wood vs Jonny Quest / JTC ft Rodger Devine – Prototype Substance EP [Nation]
10. Locked Groove – Rooted [Hotflush]
11. CCO – The Secret Life of a Transistor Bassline [Lux Rec]
12. Drumman – The Quasar EP [Lux Rec]
Yeah, three shouts to Lux Rec in one chart–these guys are doing it right. Slept-on heat. Analogue Cops, Marieu, and Blawan and the whole Restoration / Relative / Live Jam / Appointment / Enchanted Wax label orgy of greatness are also heavily repped and easily drained our lunch monies for the year on 12″ after 12″….and continue to do it for 2012. The Vanguard Sound / Plan B crew continues to bring the raw heat, this time shying away from the deeper sounds (although, they’re always deep) by bringing some fucking jackers to the start of the year with Volume 3, and officially establishing the Vanguard Sound label in the process. The Raw Interpreter is a new arrival, whom was just stumbled across during the dig–it’s like a dirt sandwich of Disco Nihilist and the aforementioned Relative crew, but with its own twist. Previously-dubstep/futuregarage/bass/whatever-focused Hotflush surprises with this mean release of warehouse stompers from Locked Groove. I:Cube brings the recharged vintage HEAT with his new release on Versatile (who dropped a lot of excellent cuts in 2011, most notably the Argy cut). Veteran Phil Weeks puts himself back in the spotlight, with the properly-titled Jack To My Groove EP. The previously unheard-of Nation (to me, at least) gets JTC on with dirtbag of his signature acid, along with an A-side of some psychedelic acidic excellence. And finally, D’MARC CANTU and his new LP on the venerable Creme Organization absolutely SEALS THE DEAL. The whole album is teeming with dirty-as-fuck Chicago-styled industrial/hard house/acid tracks that could have easily been commodified into three or four separate EPs and made those boys some LOOT. But Creme Org keeps it real and gives it all at once. 200 copies worldwide from what we hear, so get it quick. Available digitally, but really, this shit was meant for wax.
Of course, we have to mention our own end-of-the-year EP, Split Personalities II, which fits right in with its own take on raw–and begins the year with some love from Ostgut Ton’s very own Ryan Elliot, who charted it at #4 for January! Dopeness abounds.
Let’s get fucking tight, keep it proper, and blow it up in 2012. Thanks to EVERYONE who supports the international underground. Oh, by the way, buy some Proper Trax wax direct in January, and we’ll include a CD of some unreleased heat, so GET ON IT.