Will Azada’s “Floor Freakers” October Chart (w/ commentary)

The state of house, despite all the mediocrity and commercial saturation, is decidedly healthy from my perspective. 2011 was a truly memorable year, but three-quarters through 2012 and I’m feeling like this will be the best yet. Unfortunately, it’s also been my financially toughest year personally, so I’ve done my best to stick my head in the sand to numb the pain of missed records. Nonetheless, I am first and foremost a DJ and fan of music, so I can’t help but hunt, dig, and snatch up the best of the best as often as possible. With that said, here’s a snapshot of 11 releases that have been jacking my jock for the last while now.

Will Azada’s Floor Freakers! [October 2012]

PROPER 004 PROPER TRAX 4 CHRIS MITCHELL / GREY PEOPLE

1. PROPER TRAX 4 – Chris Mitchell & Grey People [Proper Trax]
This should be obvious, but I’m extremely proud of the fourth Proper Trax release. How could I not be, considering some of the tracks have been in my own DJ rotation for nearly a year or more at this point–and yet I never tire of them. Huge thanks to Chris and Alex for believing in the label and offering up their skills to proper it up.

2. TWENTY-THREE – Marco Zenker [Ilian Tape]
I like to think I have integrity and do my best to avoid tit-for-tat support of music for the sake of relationships or the continuation of free promos. Too often have I come across charts that are slathered with that mentality, and it is frustrating. I’ve been knocked off promo lists for giving honest feedback that may not be what was expected, because a lot of labels and artists are too caught up in their own greatness to accept that while I may appreciate gifts, I’m not going to kiss ass for them. However, when Marco sent me this EP a couple months back, I knew it was gonna be a fucking smasher from the first notes of “Anisa.” Each track here has its own distinct vibe, and it’s obvious that Mr. Zenker put his most into presenting a properly cohesive EP, the way it should be done. It doesn’t rely on big name remixes or filler garbage–it’s just one carefully crafted selection of top-notch techno. One of my favorites of the year!

3. EARTH CALLS – Joey Anderson [Deconstruct]
Even though its catalog is still in the single digits, Deconstruct has yet to do less than floor me with each release, and Joey Anderson’s latest is absolutely no exception. It’s rare I buy doubles, but in the case of this one, I was on top of it from the moment I caught Halcyon’s alert. Both tracks here are simultaneously tough, thoughtful, sexy and tense–the last of which is a staple of Anthony Parasole and Levon Vincent’s release mentality. Only kick out the best, and only when the time is right.

4. IDIOT SAVANT MASTERPIECES – Amir Alexander [Vanguard Sound]
Real. That’s all you gotta know about this one. “Realest of the Real” and “Sonic Weaponry” are my favorite jams here, but the whole thing, as with most of my favorite EPs, is a journey from start to finish. “Real” is just plain nasty, and sure to be rinsed for years to come. Driving, funky, and proper techno-house. Amir is on a roll!

5. ATLANTIC AVE – Anthony Parasole & Phil Moffa [The Corner]
“Atlantic Ave” is one (well, two) of those tracks that doesn’t really snatch your attention with a big hook or particularly polished sound design when previewing or listening on small sound. But when you take this fucking record out and put it in context…watch out! Both versions of the title cut are pure, unadulterated mindfuck jams that WILL melt faces when dropped at the right time. They’re particular beasts, and as is typical of Mr. Parasole’s (limited) discography, the time must be right…but when it’s that time, you will know. “Ocean Bottom” is a fine textural piece that I’ve not played out, but could see being just right for when you want to stir some shit up. Experimental, inter-dimensional techno that will fuck you up!

6. WHO CARES WHO WINS – Dense & Pika [Dense & Pika]
Awwww yeah. My kind of sleazy, trashy, shitty machinefunk techno-house. Hadn’t heard of these guys before, but got tipped off recently by Ste Roberts and received this one to preview. I like ‘em dirty, and this one does not disappoint with its degraded sound design and “fuck it, let’s roll” attitude toward arrangements. Just a selection of three proper fucking tracks, no bullshit, no dicky tricks.

7. NV ELECTRO – 2400 Operator [Tartelet]
Boss classic-tipped electro jams here from the one and only 2400 Operator, brought to you by one of my go-to labels for off-kilter dance tunes. Title track is my favorite, but once again, this whole EP has a cohesive quality to it that makes it worthwhile as a whole. It’s a little retro in approach, but to my ears it is skips out on the reverse-engineered retro revivalism of so many others and has no qualms presenting a polished piece with contemporary flair. Goddamn, that sounded like such a douche RA reviewer line. Tight shit, buy it.

8. MUSIC FOR COSMONAUTS – CCO [Lux Rec]
NEW CCO, NEW LUX, FUCK YEAH! If you’ve followed my ramblings/charts/mixes over the last year, you know I’ve got a boner for all things Lux Rec. Those motherfuckers have yet to fail, and this is another one of those must-have acid jams from CCO. His first for the label has stayed in the crate since I found out about the label in late 2011, and I’d wager this one will be honorably serving my cosmic-acid-love needs for the next!

9. CRITICAL DISTANCE PART 2 – Tom Demac [Hypercolour]
This one’s been making the trend tossers all hot ‘n’ bothered recently, but with all my hipster foresight, my recognition of this one’s curb appeal was immediate upon receipt. Wonky vocals that sound like Thom Yorke on (more) drugs veering into a huge-as-fuck bassline that will make even the most ignorant brostep/moombatron/trap kiddie a house convert…all while keeping the bar high in “legit factor,” if you know what I mean. Could have done without the remix, honestly, as it kinda ruins the surprise factor of the original. Nonetheless, a dope track that makes me happy and still keeps the crowd on their toes.

10. OUTTA SIGHT – Mr. G [Phoenix G]
MISTER FUCKING GEE BITCH. PROPER TECH-HOUSE GOD. RAW AND NASTY. I DON’T KNOW WHY THIS IS #10 AND NOT HIGHER, EXCEPT THAT I FEEL LIKE I’VE CHARTED AND PLAYED G’S BEATS SO MUCH AND FOR SO LONG THAT I TAKE HIM FOR GRANTED. DON’T BE AN ASSHOLE LIKE ME. FOR HE IS TRUTH.

11. LET YOU IN THE SKY – Lando Kal [Icee Hot]
“Let You In The Sky” is just…just fucking great. The rest is aight, but honestly, I keep going back to A1 and forgetting to listen to the rest. One day it will be that record that I flip over and go “oh yeah, I totally slept on this B-side.” Featuring a remix from Anthony Shakir. But don’t ask me what it sounds like, cuz I’m too busy listening to the title.

Now, click here to peep ‘em!

-Will Azada

Will Azada in the mix for Northern Purpose

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.

Will Azada’s April 2012 – “It’s Gonna Be a Nasty Spring” – Top 10

To celebrate a milestone of three new releases so far for 2012, and because I’ve been so wrapped up working on music, I decided I’d treat myself to a small load of new records this month, outside of my usual frugal digs through Discogs. As much as I love new vinyl, it’s not a cheap passion if you’re interested in new releases. And it seems I always end up having to import most of my snags from Europe at a shipping & exchange rate premium, even from the US labels. I can’t get nearly everything I’d like to have, but for now, that’s the way it goes, and I’ll continue to make the sacrifice for exceptional music. Win some, miss some, it’s all part of the fun.

So here are ten of my picks (well, nine not including the new MYST-01) for April 2012. Commentary included, because I need another reason to procrastinate on 003′s video job.

Will Azada’s “It’s Gonna Be a Nasty Spring” April Top 10 Wax

1. Echo 106 – Winter Music – Lux Rec [LXRC08]

Double EP, 12″ + 7″ with two extra tracks. Excellent raw analog collection for Lux Rec. Nice variety of nasties and deepies, my mouth has been watering since I heard the previews on the label’s Soundcloud a month ago. Now I’ve got it.

2. Developer + Truncate Remix – Programma EP – Modularz [MODULARZ 005]

Released back in October, but I’m just now getting around to it. Evil “storm the warehouse” techno. Big kicks, nasty reverbs on all four tracks…can’t really pick a favorite of the bunch…and that’s a good thing.

3. Vinalog – Lost Patterns – Relative [RELATIVE 008]

Vinalog is back with their 4th cut, the third for me. Loopy grit house, covered in lo-fi tape saturation and cut loud on the wax. Love these guys. Check out Vinalog’s Relative 4, also…probably my favorite of the series.

4. Jackson Lee & Ben Jenkins – No Mind – Blank Artists [BLNK-24]

I’ve had this one for awhile, thanks to Jake and Ben, but just recently saw it on pop up on Juno, so on the chart it goes. All four tracks are fab, deep dub tech-house cuts with a smidge of classic dark prog vibe, but still meant to hit the floor when it counts. Track 2, “Emerson,” was meant for 33rpm slow jam, but give it a shot pitched up to 45 for use on a heated crowd…bitchin’ release.

5. Will Azada / Jackson Lee – Untitled (Easy Does It / Three Mile Island) – Mystical Disco [MYST-01]

Yeah, I’m proud of this one enough to list it! My track, “Easy Does It” is a slow, acid stomper and mixes real nice, especially with more percussive tracks that lack big bass. Jackson’s two tracks, “Three Mile Island” and “One November” round it off with a continuation of his excellent dub style. “TMI” is the floor track, but “One November” really stands out for those contemplative moments. Give it a listen in the rain at night. Oh yeah.

6. Michael Frosinone – No 2 – Unpredictable [UNPREDICTABLE 002]

Weird and gritty looper house, quite right for fucking your head up in the daylight hours. Favorite is Track 2, as its just a proper low-slung funk workout.

7. Solenoid – Colony EP – Graphene [GR 002]

Hellish, stripped-down, cavernous “oh fuck, robots are chasing me” techno from Thomas Hessler’s Graphene imprint. No frills stuff, but that’s what I like about it. “Colony” and “Pandemic” are my choice cuts.

8. Adalberto – House Party / Addicted – Acidicted [ACIDICTED 0.0BLACK]

Straight-up 6-tracker of to-the-point, jackin’ ass acid house. Adalberto isn’t reinventing the wheel, but he makes a premium one. All six tracks bang the box.

9. John Swing – Clint’s Theme – Relative [RELATIVE 007]

Another Relative release stealing spots on my chart. I’m a fan of the sound and it’s rare the label disappoints, what can I say? Funky, bumpin’ deep cuts, as that crew’s known for. Let’s get the funk down, yo.

10. WAX – No. 30303 (Remixes) – Wax [WAX 30303]

Shed pumps ‘em out on a regular basis, and once again, he gets it right. But this time he’s got one weird-as-fuck druggy long chugger from the Hey O Hansen guys, who are known for some weirdo and off-kilter tunes. The Shed remix is more of what you’d expect–warehouse stomp chord crusher! My pick for originality is the HOH remix, but both are tight.

You can buy everything listed here on Juno.

Of course, MYST-01 is also available through the Proper Trax Store. Shipping sometime in the next few days.

That’s it for April, folks. Although I have no doubt in my mind I’ll be stumbling across more, as always. And there are plenty I left off, simply due to the fact that I can’t get ahold of ‘em or can’t afford ‘em! Life of the wax DJ, eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Azada’s Proper 12 to Begin 2012 Chart

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.