Proper Picks 003 With DJ Deep

It’s been another long wait for the next edition of our Proper Picks feature, but what better way to kick off 2013 than to present the the man behind Deeply Rooted House, DJ Deep! Cyril Etienne’s impeccable taste and mixing skills have helped solidify him as a stalwart veteran of the French house and techno scene. With his brand of boundary-blurring “deeply rooted house,” and imprint of the same name, he’s helped revitalize contemporary dancefloor sounds with an inspired run of releases from a variety of house/techno veterans and new blood. Capturing his “DJ diary” of 2012, he was invited to kick off Tresor’s KERN mix series, introducing a broad base of listeners to some the favorite tracks of his career.

For this Proper Picks, Deep wanted to highlight what he considers to be five underrated and overlooked gems of 2012 spanning the sounds of house and techno. And after having heard them (with the exception of “Easy Does It” — I promise I did not put him up to that!), I can understand why he curated these particular records! Without further ado, Proper Trax presents DJ Deep and his Proper Picks.

Matti Turunen – Elokuu [Muhk]

A promo of this was sent to my house which is something that does not happen anymore for me. I absolutely love the title track “Elokuu.” It’s definitely a deep track with a bassline reminiscent of classic Chicago house, but it has a lot of personality, and I find myself touched by it’s unique vibe. I feel lucky to have received a promo record that I feel so much!

Markus Schatz – Smoking Wild Album Sampler [Salon]

I absolutely love this record. Since I got it, it’s stayed in my bag. It somehow reminds me of the early days of Deepside and St. Germain. Not that it sounds like them, but the structure of the tracks have a feeling that is close to that era. My favorite from the sampler is “Deep X” but the flip side is also very nice.

Claudia Anderson – Hysteria [Singular]

Marcelus’s first release on his Singular label is by a young Austrian female producer, and I have to say the track “Falling Lines” really grew on me. When I first heard it I thought it was perhaps very inspired by Marcelus’s EP1 on Deeply Rooted House, but I realized after playing it that there was more to it, and I got hooked on “Falling Lines.” I think it takes a little time to really appreciate this record.

Will Azada – Easy Does It [Mystical Disco]

This one is stuck in my record box, and I even had to buy a second copy, which is the same thing that happened with Zadig’s “Manic Mansion.” It’s got a unique feel that for some weird reason reminds me of Armando but it has no element in the track using any of Armando’s signature sounds. It’s “classic” feeling but not retro in approach, which shows Will has a great talent for showing respect to the early days of House, but brings something new and personal to the table. This is one of my favorite records!

LIBRAH – 2BWU [Parkwest]

I guess man is made of contradictions right? On the one hand I am sometimes a slightly disappointed how people copy their mentors or push their nostalgia so far that they do carbon copies of past tracks by House heroes such as Kerri Chandler or Ron Trent. On the other hand, I like this record which definitely pays tribute to the original House
creators, but I also like the fact it’s somehow fresh and naive—at least this is the way I hear it!

For more insight into the mind of DJ Deep, check out his recent interview with Juno Plus.

Proper Picks – 002 – Ilya Galperin

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!

Proper Picks – 001

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.

Full House – Communicate

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.

Superlife – Go Bananas

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.

2 Body\'s – Body Drill

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….

Tang – Ominous

Sonic Sunset archive:

Check out Grey People’s latest mix, Strange Feelings Vol. 1: