WARMER MIXTAPES #743 | by Christophe Monier (The Micronauts/Impulsion/Discotique/The Eurostars/Nature) and Thomas Regnault (Dew Town Mayor/Loony Wise Men/Fanfan Modeste) of Rituel
Rituel current top 10, in BPM order…
JEREMIH “773 Love (Prod. Mike Will Made It)”: R&B was very innovative in the late 90s and early 2000s. Then it became too pop and commercial. Luckily a renewal has occurred last year. This song is part of that.
USHER “Climax” (RCA): The most modern form of R&B you can find. Minimalistic yet tension-filled production and spectacular singing by Usher. A beautiful melody that doesn’t seem to have been heard a thousand times. This will definitely remain one of the top singles of 2012.
SWISHER “Slot Machine (Original Mix)” (Scattermusic): Trap music doesn’t get any better than this. The atmosphere is amazing, it’s like the soundtrack for a futuristic horror movie. Instrumental hip hop meets dark minimal techno.
IRON GALAXY “Attention Seeker” (Audio Culture): One of our favorite tracks of last year, amazing production blending nu disco and deep house with an electronica feel, beautiful.
VIADRINA “Spellbound” (Lower East): What a bomb! This track has a little something that makes everybody remember it. Every time we play it, we can see the atmosphere change on the dancefloor.
NICK CURLY “Underground (Dennis Ferrer Remix)” (Defected): This has “New York Underground” written all over it. Dennis Ferrer is a master.
CELSIUS “Must Be You” (Moda Black): There’s everything we love in this track: a sensual—almost cheesy—melodic break, a physical—almost aggressive—bassline and a tight shuffle on the beat.
DUKE DUMONT Feat. EXTRA CURRICULAR “No Money Blues” (Turbo): Perfect combination of deep house and bass music, dancefloor-killer and very innovative, a future classic without a doubt.
OLIVER SCHORIES “Mother” (Parquet): This one sounds instantly like a CLASSIC piece of emo tech, the kind you play peak-time and makes the crowd unite, scream and possibly cry.
LAST MAGPIE “No More Stories” (Losing Suki): A taste of early 90s british raves, when breakbeat was king, mixed with post-dubstep vocals.
SIDE A | by Thomas Regnault
LAURIE ANDERSON “O Superman (For Massenet)” (Warner): So few elements and yet so many variations, surprises and different feelings. This song goes from oblivious joy to apocalytic sadness with perfect fluidity. Amazing masterpiece of experimental music, absolutely timeless.
OCTAVE ONE Feat. ANN SAUNDERSON “Blackwater (Urban Soul Orchestra Full Strings Vocal Mix)” (Concept Music): One of the first electronic tracks I heard, I loved it instantly and still listen to it with the same amazement to this day. This track is filled with love and passion. Huge classic.
R. KELLY “Heart Of A Woman” (Jive): Certainly my favourite of Kell’s countless classics. Typical love song, almost cheesy, some would say very “cliché”, but once you get over that you find an outstanding level of writing and production, this track is perfect!
TRENTEMOLLER “Take Me Into Your Skin” (Poker Flat): Its hard to describe this song… probably the most complexe piece of music I know. Highly sophisticated production, beautiful, narrative composing taking you from deep soulful parts to darker developments with genius, I always close my eyes when I listen to it, its like a dream to me.
JOKER Feat. JESSIE WARE “The Vision (Let Me Breathe)” (4AD): Certainly my favourite dubstep track. Powerful electronic production, anthemic melody and ecstatic singing, all the right ingredients, what a BOMB!
CRAZY P “Never Gonna Reach Me (Hot Toddy Mix)” (20:20 Vision): My favourite nu disco track. Hypnotic groove, classy and sensual progression, this track is the proof that dance music can have an amazing drive an dancefloor appeal even with a slow BPM.
NATHAN FAKE “The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)” (Border Community): Also one of the first electronic tracks I heard, one of those that attracted me to this genre. The deepness and narration in this kind of melodic techno instantly fascinated me.
DJ PIERRE, DAWN TALLMAN “The Spirit (Phuture 303 Underground Dub)” (Afro Acid Digital): This track—as many other classics from Dj Pierre—has everything I like in electronic music: a sensual, mesmerizing, souful vocal for a human touch lost in a raw-sounding, machine-generated production. DJ Pierre’s mastery makes the whole thing sound absolutely unique. No clue of a traditional instrument, revolutionized influences, this kind of tracks really defines electronic music as a genre to me.
NTM “Ma Benz” (Sony): French rap at its best. Raw energy on the vocals, ground-breaking instrumental with a pounding sound. It will never get old.
DIANA ROSS “Upside Down” (Motown): I’m lucky my parents had the vinyl of this song and a few other disco classics when I was a kid, I’ve been introduced to good music very young! Its one of the very few songs that I was listening to before 10 years old and that I still listen today.
SIDE B | by Christophe Monier
STRAVINSKY “The Firebird”: I listened to it for the first time in kindergarten at the age of 4. it gave me my first aesthetic shock, which determined my future as a musician. Then I discovered “The Rite Of Spring” and “Petrushka”. This is a trilogy of ballet music that blends avant-garde with popular folklore. Ultimately these three elements (dance, experimentation and popular music) are what I expect from a great electronic dance track! Today Stravinsky remains one of my favorite classical composers with Debussy, Ravel, Bartók and Messiaen.
KRAFTWERK “The Man Machine” (EMI): When I was a kid, I was very much into science fiction. The song “The Robots” by Kraftwerk was used to announce a radio show. It sounded like true science fiction to my ears. I asked my parents to buy me the album. This is the first record of “real” music I’ve owned. But I could have chosen as well the albums “Autobahn”, “Radio-Activity”, “Trans Europe Express”, “Computer World” or “Electric Cafe”—Kraftwerk is such an important band. They used to record their albums in several versions, each in a different language: German, English, Spanish and French. Years later, I took advantage of a trip to Germany to buy all the album in German, which in a sense are the original versions.
AFRIKA BAMBAATAA & THE SOUL SONIC FORCE “Planet Rock (Vocal)” (Tommy Boy): This is the first hip hop record I bought. I was a young teenager in linguistic travel in Washington DC. We were hosted in a military base—don’t ask why! The advantage is that parties and music were very mixed. I immediately noticed this song, with its electronic sound, its synth hook taken from Kraftwerk “Trans Europ Express” (a novel idea in itself) and its unique vocals. Then I heard it in a mall. Given hip hop was pretty new and underground at this time, I stopped the first African American I saw to ask what it was. My English was awful so he kindly wrote it on a piece of paper. Then I entered the first record shop, showed the paper and bought the record. Only the maxi single with generic white sleeve was already released. I still have this record which I am very proud of. Shortly after my return, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash was released and hip hop exploded in France. Obviously I bought it, as well as a bit later, the hip hop records released on Celluloid, that I would compile years after on the album “Celluloid – The Electro Years – Why Is It Fresh?”.
NEW ORDER “Bizarre Love Triangle” (Factory): When I was a kid, New Order was my favorite rock band. Slightly more than Joy Division, thanks to the synths and drum machines they used. Going through their albums to choose a track, I can say they still are. Besides, I really struggled to choose. It is totally arbitrary. They wrote so many great songs!
PHUTURE “Acid Trax” (Trax): It’s hard to imagine how mind-blowing the screaming TB-303 sound was, when first heard late eighties. It was unlike anything known. Early acid tracks from Chicago had everything: soul, groove, experimental sounds and structure, far-out harmonies and melodies, the power of the machine, mastered and played by humans. Historically Acid Trax was the first. But “Slam” released under the same alias is perhaps even better. DJ Pierre is so underrated. Many of his wild pitch tracks released in the 90s on Strictly Rhythm are gems waiting to be rediscovered. To convince you, check out “Fall”, “To Tha Muzik”, “Rise From Your Grave” and, released under the alias Darkman, “Annihilating Rhythm”.
INNER LIFE “Moment Of My Life” (Salsoul): French punk rocker and disco DJ Patrick Vidal introduced me to disco music, the real one, soulful and underground. I was a house head and still believed disco was this awful music, light, mainstream and commercial made mostly by European producers. What a shock. I discovered little by little the source songs of the samples that littered early house tracks. The disco club was an achieved utopia, where people of all age, sexual orientation, social and ethnic origin were in communion, happy together. It was then killed by conservative forces through the “disco sucks” movement. The house nation revived it. In this song, we hear emblematic features of the Salsoul sound like funky bassline, sophisticated percussions and a striking vocal performance by disco diva Jocelyn Brown. The same Jocelyn Brown who later worked with house or garage producers such as Todd Terry, Incognito or Masters At Work.
SUENO LATINO “Sueno Latino (Illusion First Mix)” (Creative): The original is an Italian track built around a sample of “E2-E4” by Manuel Göttsching (founding member of Ash Ra Tempel)—both are amazing. This remix by Derrick May takes us even higher. This is the perfect musical translation of Ecstasy. The creative process to get there is very interesting, postmodern. This is further justification and legitimization of sampling. Of the originators of techno music, May is the most musically inspired, which says a lot since they’re all great. His tracks can require several listenings before getting into it. Then you never get tired.
LIL’ LOUIS & THE WORLD “Do U Love Me” (Epic): This song is the pinnacle of the deep garage melancholia. It gives me the chills each time I hear it. The great Joi Cardwell is on the lead vocals. The track ends with a fade out on a beautiful trumpet solo. It’s from the album “Journey With The Lonely”, one of the few really great house music albums. It includes several classics such as “Club Lonely”, “You’re My Reason”, “Share”, etc. A friend and I, we interviewed Lil Louis when the album came out, for a fanzine we were doing at the time called eDEN. Lil Louis told us the song “Do U Love Me” existed in an extended version, with the trumpet solo in full. I have long watched the release of this version in record stores, but it never came. Probably because the album did not sell enough and Epic, part of the major label Sony, cancelled the contract. If only Lil Louis could leak the extended version on the internet…
SKREAM “Rottan” (Tempa): I was in the subway listening to my iPod when I first heard Rottan in a mixtape. Sometimes I hear a piece of electronic music, and I think this is what a classical composer would have done today. This is the case of this track. Actually it’s with this track that I went crazy about dubstep. Dubstep is such an important thing that has happened in the 2000s.
Wildcard: As 10th pick, I do not choose a particular song, but the list of my favorite tracks that I update and supplement regularly on my blog. There are hundreds, for the past five years and for a few chosen genres. I took this habit because I’m usually horrified by music reviews and the yearly “best of” selections found in magazines at the Festive season, especially here in France. It’s a way to guide people directly to what I think is good music. It’s also a way to acknowledge what music I listen to, I play and inevitably influences me. I take it almost as my duty as a DJ and music producer. It’s certainly an imperfect exercise, but a bit less reductive and unfair than choosing a handful of favorite tracks. I’ll post soon selections for garage and Detroit techno.