I don’t often blog about music on here, which is ironic considering my sideline/hobby/’profession’, but sometimes music needs shouting about, and March is the release of an album by a personal favourite producer of mine, Anthony Collins. He’s been laying down amazing tracks since his first came out in 2006, balancing the modern European sound with an often afro-centric flair that gives a really old-school feel while sitting firmly in 2009. It’s hard to single out a highlight, as every one of the ten is brilliant in its own way, but the epic 13-minute Prism is a joy to listen to. If there’s any justice, this will catapult him into the stratosphere.
It’s out in April on Freak’n’Chic. Buy it. Simple.
While New Year’s Eve continues (like Valentine’s with it) to be as much of a shameless money-spinner as a reason to live it up into the next 365 days and propose a few shaky resolutions while wobbly on your feet, New Year’s Day seems to be the where the smart money lies in terms of a decent night out. And there’s no better place to add to the previous night’s hangover than in a distinctly credit-crunch free environment of a pub. And that pub is the Old Queen’s Head in Essex Road.
Home to Bugged Out‘s party for a few years now, it’s an odd contradiction in terms. Shoreditch scenesters and glammed-up Londoners shuffle outside the front door waiting for the one-in-one-out to allow them entry (this is to a free night, remember, and upstairs, when entry is finally gained, it’s not Berlin-tinged techno you’ll be hearing but everything from 10cc and Phil Collins to Donna Summer and Take That. In the hands of Tayo and Johnno Burgess (he of the most entertaining Resident Advisor podcast of the year in 2008), you won’t find a more entertaining way to bring in the New Year, and anyone that turns up their nose at the thought of compromising their artistic integrity need not bother making the journey. After all, isn’t it just about having fun? It certainly is here. Roll on 01/01/2010!
While those slightly behind the times may still see minimal as the sound of the underground, they’re the same that probably think Berlin is the sole arbiter of teuton cool. Robert Johnson, the pint-sized Frankfurt club, nestled in Offenbach, is one of many reasons to refute this. It has been busy getting on with its thing, long before Berlin became the place-du-jour, and 2009 sees it launch its first mix series. And it’s been worth the wait. My sneak preview of Chloe’s Live at Robert Johnson Vol 1 left me utterly inspired and in awe of the most aurally pleasurable house music I’ve heard in a long time. No fanfare, no big branding, just sumptuous music. And, being those paragons of design, there’s even a limited edition for the chin-strokers. Bliss.
It’s been a while since I’ve written about music or an artist, but there’s an album out now that’s worthy of praise, and it’s nothing flashy, glitchy, minimal, but just 14 tracks of beautifully prepared, groovy, perfectly-crafted house. Who is it? It’s Lee Jones. You may not have heard of him, but you deserve to have. He’s been slowly building a catalogue of fantastic records over the last few months: As You Like It, The Icetrain Cometh, Aria, but this is the confirmation of his talent.
Some may find it on the slow-paced side, but it’s clear that the detail and attention paid to the oft-neglected songcraft. Every track is so well put-together, and it builds slowly through the measured pleasure of Soon and Roadwork, through the whimsical and wonderful It Is, Isn’t it. But the highlight is the daftly and brilliantly-named MDMAzing. It’s a fitting end to a great record. It won’t get the fanfare, or the press it deserves, but it should, because it’s brilliant. Listen.