almost not behind on updates, part 4

Because I’m a huge nerd, I’m going to talk a bunch about the ins and outs of the set I played at VEMF. Be warned, there is DJ talk ahead.

1: BT – Dynamic Symmetry
2: High Contrast – Make It Tonight
3: Grayarea – Yewminyst
// Opus III – It’s A Fine Day (Accapella)
4: Sasha – Wavy Gravy (Wavypella)
5: Brian Eno – Lizard Point
6: Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings Of Life
7: Petter – Modern Eternity
// Eddie Armador – House Music
8: The Sky Patrol – The Ultraviolet Catastrophe
9: Mangan & Bonnici – Fuck Dude
// Justice – D.A.N.C.E.
// Larry Heary – Mr. Fingers (Accapella)
10: Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body

This set had its proper genesis in Brent Carmichael’s set from VEMF 2004. He played this odd, disjointed, jumping-around sort of set that had drum & bass and some older breaks tunes, and some trance, and classic Underworld, and so on, and I didn’t get that he was doing a history lesson until about halfway through. The idea’s always stuck with me since then, and I figured that it would be a good and original place to start planning a set from. With that said, I’ll go through each track, Ewan Pearson style, and talk about why they’re there:

1: BT – Dynamic Symmetry. Not only is BT a damn important figure historically, his new album is fantastic, and has tracks like this, that go from downtempo and 5/4 time to 160 bpm and 4/4 – which makes it mixable with drum & bass, and I wanted a drum & bass track.

2: High Contrast – Make It Tonight. I bought this on vinyl back when I bought drum & bass, then traded the record to a friend, and then went out and bought it in digital for this set. It’s a great summer festival tune: jazzy, dancey, lovely. I wish I had had time for more D&B.

3: Grayarea – Yewminyst // Opus III – It’s A Fine Day (Accapella). Top secret trick alert! You can play Yewminyst on 45, and it sounds like a kinda ravey, but pretty, drum & bass tune. There is then a fill that’s pure noise before the second synth breakdown, so you can wind it down, cut it back in at 33, and it sounds great. I play the accapella backwards, on CD, and mixed it low.

4 / 5: Sasha – Wavy Gravy (Wavypella) and Brian Eno – Lizard Point. Bring out the big guns! The Eno provided a nice ambient wash to fill the space under the Sasha synth part, which was mixed over the outro of Yewminyst. This was, obviously, the “progressive” section of the mix.

6: Rhythim Is Rhythim – Strings Of Life. This record is from 1987. There’s something satisfying about playing songs that are older than a good chunk of your crowd. I was debating an entire set of Detroit stuff, so this was the least I could do. Old Detroit stuff also has a lot more in common with that whole “progressive house” thing than most people think.

7: Petter – Modern Eternity // Eddie Armador – House Music (Accapella). Case in point: Modern Eternity let me check off ‘Acid’ and the very modern neu-trance / Border Community sound, as well as slide one of the timeless accapellas over one of the acid sections.

8: The Sky Patrol – The Ultraviolet Catastrophe. Never to proud to play something on my own label, and this tune sums up the modern electro/techno trend perfectly. In my original set notes, this was going to be my last track before dropping Move Your Body, but I would have been done too early.

9: Mangan & Bonnici – Fuck Dude // Justice – D.A.N.C.E. So I added this track, pretty much so I could slide the intro to D.A.N.C.E. over it. It’s a wonderful record, but doesn’t add anything to the set. Justice, on the other hand, are probably the most important electronic music act since 1999 or so.

10: Larry Heary – Mr. Fingers (Accapella) // Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body. Maybe the best known accapella of all time, and maybe house music’s first crossover hit, from 1986. I couldn’t think of a better way to end.