‘There’s deep and then there’s David Alvarado‘ pronounced Resident Advisor on their review of his 2005 album ‘Transfiguration’, released on NRK Music. Checking out any of his releases that trace all the way back to 1993, you’d be hard pressed not to agree. Hailing from Los Angeles, David’s productions vary in form, yet maintain the same underlining semblance of Deep. ‘Worship’, the release under his Las Americas alias was picked up by Plus 8 Records founders Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva. There’s a hint of tribalism in many of his productions that echoes the sound of Peace Division. His productions have seen him remix U2, as well as release on Strictly Rhythm, Ovum Recordings and Peacefrog Records. The 2002 LP ‘Mayasongs‘, however, surely is the apex of his musical mastery. The quintessential tracklist is of such high standard, we were at pains on selecting which song should be highlighted. ‘My Plea’, however, takes the crown due to its timeless eminence.
‘Beautification‘, another of the tracks from the ‘Mayasongs’ LP ended up being featured on The Lab 03 by Seth Troxler. A series which also featured mixes by Steve Bug, Loco Dice and Paul Woolford is acclaimed for the supreme cuts it features. Alvarador’s track is a cutting-edge, spaced out affair, bolstering rotating drums and spacey pads. Therefore, it is unsurprising that in conversation with Droid Behaviour David described his sound as ‘very delicate fragile… waiting to fill every corner of that space‘. ‘My Plea’ is the embodiment of such ethos, hitting you with lashings of a Mediterranean sunset party. From the offset you can notice the producer’s piquancy to obliterate the listener with delays and reverb, as the track’s introduction features a female vocal breathing. Layered on top is a Latin drum pattern, similar to one found on his 1998 release ‘La Selva‘. A single note jazz hat oscillates with filter astutely, while a female vocal echoes in as a guitar sample is strummed in. The pads that eventually enter are stringently applied, rising elegantly as a sonar zip completes the soundscape of an aquatic journey. Continue reading →
Guillaume and The Coutu Dumonts – Fair Is the Field
DJs such as Floating Points, Francesco Tristano and Oliver Coates reached the peaks of the Underground by transferring their formal musical training into the Electronic sphere. Another fine example is Guillaume and The Coutu Dumonts. Montreal-born DJ and producer studied latin and classical percussion, and even played in a live funk band prior to undertaking the decks. Now a recognised name in the scene, his previous education has granted him an edge when it comes to his production. Unsurprisingly, his byzantine sound has seen him perform alongside Luciano, M.A.N.D.Y and Visionquest’s Cesar Merveille. His enticement for experimentation has been noticed by the DJs who share his enthusiasm. Released in 2018 on Musique Risquée as A2 of his ‘Shouts, Moans And Significance’ EP, ‘Fair Is The Field’ is a wizardous marvel that demonstrates the level of Guillaume’s savoir faire.
At its simplest terms, ‘Fair Is The Field’ is Ibiza‘s answer to John Coltrane. The sense of freedom exercised by the floating key notes that are with the skill of Bill Evans is only matched by the accompanying saxophone. Less than a minute in, the listener is introduced to a bass you’d expect from Serialism Records. Guillaume’s sophisticated percussion work landed him a release on Watergate Records with 2015’s ‘The Drums‘. What is heard on ‘Fair Is The Field Field’ come to be no exception. The samples of wild birds hooting evoke a tingling sense of finding oneself in a venue situated out in the jungles of Ecuador. ‘I love this music..and it’s 24 hours a day…You hear the same?‘ asks a husky narrator’s voice, the music fading out into oblivion. The returning amalgamation of components throws a ramshackling synth into the mix. With a potency that would take Alice back down the Rabbit Hole to the Wonderland, the track is intoxicating even at the most sober state. Continue reading →
The 90s was great a great decade for breaks. Normally reserved for fast-paced DnB or HipHop cuts, it inevitably it made it’s way into House. Gemini’s ‘We Are The Future’ released in 1999 showcases superbly how Breaks x House can complement each other. Chiwax, one of the phenomenon Rawax’s sister label did well to rerelease this. It’s a downtempo affair that certainly brings about hints of the Nu Jazz of Jazzanova inclusive of Acid Jazz elements. The looped drums sound like live instrumentation opening up the scope for listeners of neighbouring genres.
Pitched down, the drums are really brought to the fore of the track. They’re hit with conviction and nous of a skilled jazz musician. The same drum sample, albeit drenched with more reverb than a Patrick Topping set, was also used by Ron Trent’s USG project. Bass plods away sounding like a double-bass being slapped live. It brings an incredible funk sounding straight from an Erykah Badu Neo Soul cut. Single note chords enter the fray, before a sketchingly echoing like a car hitting the handbreak giving an off-the-wall feel. Stringed samples which Kanye West may use guide the track in a warm direction are used with care. Harmonized female vocals sing ‘We are the future’ imploring one to look ahead, rather than back, just as this track is forward-thinking. Continue reading →
Fred Peterkin’s Black Jazz Consortium alias is one he says he uses for making music which resnates exactly how he feels. BJC music is a melting pot of house, tech and jazz making it such a spellbinding project. Look to The Future was a track on his 2007 album RE:Actions of Light released on his Soul People Music label, and in line with all of Fred’s material it’s deeper than the Mariana Trench.
Eerie and extraterrestrial, synths sounding like filtered screeches of a Banshee hovering over earthy low end plodding bass. Peterkin loves a good bongo, and the those played in this track truly bring it to life slamming the other weird elements down with it for dance floor grooving. Ambient pads cruise in underneath a deity like vocal chanting ‘look to the future’. It’s a great amalgamation of jazziness and Michael Mannesque movie soundtrack.
Going by the vocals, Fred must have been feeling a bit philosophical when making this cut. ‘Look to the Future’ is a call to action for the listener to dive into a meditate state. Also Perfect for a low lit dance floor at 5am when the dancers are looking to stay lucid that bit longer.