Rain Dance – Roberto Rodriguez

I’ve been waiting for this for ages. It’s one of them where the physical release is a few months ago before the digital – but it finally dropped in December.

Finnish producer Roberto Rodriguez skates between the organic pulses of Harrison BDP and the sultry house samples of James Welsh and comes up with a very nice groove indeed.

Shout out to Ben Gomori for the tip. You can find more of Ben on his excellent Turned On podcast – he just did a really tasty wrap of 2019 featuring Rain Dance and whole host of other bangers. Find it here.

Kuar (Henrik Schwarz Remix) – Emmanuel Jal

Happy New Year crew.

Boy do I have a treat for you today. I actually cannot believe I haven’t posted this one before. It’s Henrik Schwarz remixing Emmanuel Jal’s Kuar and it’s a stonker. It was the first track I heard this decade, and I couldn’t have been happier about it. Shout out to Philou Louzolo for a big New Year’s set at De Marktkantine.

So this track is massive in its own right, but I just read a bit of the back story of Emmanuel Jal and it is nuts. He was a child soldier in Sudan before he was rescued and smuggled out into Kenya. He then went on to forge a successful career across music, film and social causes. Read about him here.

Finally, as an extra special New Year’s treat, here is a playlist I put together on a similar vibe.

Big love for the new decade.

Piano Dream (Heaven & Earth Mix) – DJ Mountain Dad

I don’t know much (/anything) about DJ Mountain Dad, but he looks like a jolly fellow. Anyway, he (/she?) has a new release on Let’s Play House and it’s dreamy. Skip through the vacant 1 minute hard-house opening and tuck straight into the 100% good Gypsy Woman sample. Primo. Can imagine this going off at a festival somewhere.

The original for you sample-lovers:

Closing thought: this wave of electronic music producers with kind of ironic names is really fun. DJ Tennis, DJ Seinfeld, Ross From Friends, DJ Bus Replacement Service, DJ Boring… literally, what next?

Transition 2 – Joy Orbison & Ben Vince

A couple of weeks ago I made my first trip to FOLD. It is another club in the city that has been called “London’s answer to Berghain” again and again – basically because it has a 24 hour license and a very stripped down, back to the basics ethos. Aesthetically I would describe it as extremely unassuming, which is kind of cool – in a concrete multi-story car park kind of way. The music is front and centre, so make sure you pick a night with a lineup you like. Since I went, it has been shut down; the council revoked its license due to allegations that “fraudulent funds” were involved in the purchase of “approximately £200,000 worth of high-value DJ equipment”. And then they reinstated the license, pending the trial of two people involved. What fun!

Anyway, I chose to go when Leon Vynehall had an all night set on. As usual, he was pretty great. This was my highlight from the set: it is house meets The Great American Railroad. Atmospheric beyond belief.

Bonus track: Leon himself released a new one last week as well. Here it is:

The Bells of Mist – Skatebård

Now this is an interesting fella. Skatebård (real name Bård Aasen Lødemel) is from a small coastal town in Norway called Ørsta. This probably makes him your second favourite Norwegian DJ. He was originally a heavy metal drummer before getting into techno and rave, hip-hop, and latterly Italo disco. Not that these shifts away from heavy metal seem to have impacted his aesthetic.

He has released 3 full-length solo albums, the last of which was CDIII (geddit?). My pick is from that album, and it is called Bells of Mist.

Progressive house music made for the misty mountains. Lovely touch.

If you enjoyed this track, check out Wayward. Also delightfully composed introspective beauties.