Wednesday, January 16, 2019

SHREM'S EXCLUSIVE: PERFECT PARTY PLAYLIST VOL. 18 by Josh Caffe

Photo by Matt Hass

It hasn't even been 2 weeks since I was honoured to welcome Amy Douglas here who kindly selected a deliciously eclectic Perfect Party Playlist of hers to inaugurate the 10th year of my adventure as a music blogger and I am thrilled again to share another very special list, curated exclusively for my blog by Josh Caffe. I've been following this London-based DJ, producer and vocalist closely ever since the release of Punks Jump Up's single "Give It to Me" which fittingly featured Robert Owens whom I also deeply admire in the house music department. Whether it's through his recent solo underground releases or his frequent and fruitful collaborations with a whole entourage of fellow dance and electronica enthusiasts, PJU, Lauren Flax, Hannah Holland or Hypnotic Lovers (to name just a few!), Josh Caffe continues to intrigue, surprise and add a darker twist, a mysterious tone to your usual club anthems. His Perfect Party Playlist selection is suitably diverse, unpredictable and off-kilter. Enjoy!

Connect with Josh Caffe:

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PERFECT PARTY PLAYLIST by Josh Caffe

1. "Clock Strikes" - Timbaland and Magoo

He was a big part of the underground RnB sound in the ‘90s that was coming out of Virginia, together with Missy Elliot and DeVante Swing. I was blown away by how they fused RnB with hip-hop with Detroit electro and house. When I heard the ‘One In A Million’ album and Ginuwine’s ‘The Bachelor’, I remember thinking not only how well produced they were but also where had this new sound come from? It was such a break away from the rest of the RnB productions that were on the radio and charts then. His ability back then to mix all these genres into a new hybrid inspired me a lot.



2. "Everybody's Soft" - Soft Pink Truth

This is track is so busy with samples but works well. I remember coming across the Do You Party? album for the first time and having it on repeat for ages. Everything from disco, booty bass, funk to electro, all melted into a beautiful chaotic music ball.



3. "Generate Power (Wild Pitch Mix)" - Photon, Inc. feat. Paula Brion

This is a track I play regularly, love it to death. When I first started making music, Wild Pitch tracks were really inspiring. I love how simple yet genius they are, dropping layer onto layer of strings, repetitive vocal samples. Hearing them in a club really gets me dancing.



4. "When a Thought Becomes You" - Blake Baxter

Blake Baxter is a true Detroit pioneer. His productions have stood the test of time and continue to inspire me. This track has all the elements I love in a vocal techno track, sexy, sleazy, seductive. I like playing this sped up at the end of my dj sets.



5. "Futurama" - David Carretta

A very nostalgic track. I discovered this on an old Gigolo International compilation, but its originally from the Le Catalogue Electronique record. This was played regularly at club nights Nag Nag and The Cock at Ghetto which are sadly no longer around.



6. "Lucida Obscura" - Crossover

For me Crossover have continuously managed to create quite interesting and diverse electro albums. Plus they're great live too. This is my fave track from they're first album Fantasmo.



7. "Start a Fire (The Carry Nation remix)" - Black Gold Buffalo

Hannah Holland plays bass in this band with fierceness Keziah on vocals. This dubby, tripped out acid remix from The Carry Nation is a gem. BGB recently put out they're first album on Batty Bass Records and if you love Cocteau Twins, you'll love this.



8. "Callin' On Me" - Matt Martians

The Internet really embody the alternative r'n'b/neo soul sound coming from LA and this track is taken from founding member, Matt's solo EP, The Drum Chord Theory. Its got a really nice 90's hip hop groove.



9. "I Know Now" - Ojerime

She's my girl crush. The video for this track is pretty cool too, very Aaliyah. I listen to her album at home while working. Very Nostalgic. Check out her EP Fang2001, moody r'n'b at its best.



10. "Streetplayer (Mechanik)" - Fashion

Classic, dramatic 80's new wave realness. AND a powerful video to match (soooo many lewks). This track has a post punk/ska feel to it that I love. Their Fabrique album is their best work in my opinion.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

SHREM'S LIST OBSESSION: "HELLO HAPPINESS" + Top 20 Greatest Chaka Khan Singles


Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan! To celebrate the release of Chaka Khan's brand new single, the immediately captivating "Hello Happiness", heralding the arrival of her first solo album since 2007, I have compiled a very special list. Spanning across over 4 decades of funk, soul, R&B and a multitude of exhilarating collaborations, here are the top 20 Greatest singles from the Chicago born living musical legend.




TOP 20 GREATEST CHAKA KHAN SINGLES:

20 "Everlasting Love" (1977) [with Rufus]



19 "Eye to Eye" (1985)



18 "Clouds" (1980)



17 "Heed the Warning" (1981)



16 "Watch What You Say" (1995) [with Guru]



15 "I Know You, I Live You" (1981)



14 "All Good?" (2000) [with De La Soul]



13 "(Krush Groove) Can't Stop the Street" (1985)



12 "Through The Fire" (1984)



11 "What Cha' Gonna Do For Me" (1981)



10 "Never Miss The Water" (1996) [with Me'Shell Ndegéocello]



9 "Love You All My Lifetime" (1992)



8 "Sweet Thing" (1975) [with Rufus]



7 "Papillon (Aka Hot Butterfly)" (1980)



6 "Any Love" (1980) [with Rufus]



5 "Like Sugar" (2018)



4 "Ain't Nobody" (1983)



3 "I Feel For You" (1984)



2 "I'm Every Woman" (1978)



1 "This Is My Night" (1984)





Tuesday, January 8, 2019

SHREM'S WORLDLY DELIGHTS: "Tell Me (Doko Mien)" - Ibibio Sound Machine


Our favourite London based Nigerian collective Ibibio Sound Machine continue to deliver some of the freshest sounds in the crossover of so-called world music and electronica. Their very own signature hybrid of afro-beat, electro, post punk and West-African funk creates soundscapes like no other out there. It'll be precisely 2 years since the release of their previous LP "Uyai" when Ibibio Sound Machine drop their brand new album "Doko Mien" via Merge Records on 22nd March. The title track serves exactly the kind of pick-me-up explosion of vital beats, synths and dancefloor-friendly energy we all need to cure these January blues.



Friday, January 4, 2019

SHREM'S EXCLUSIVE: PERFECT PARTY PLAYLIST VOL. 17 by Amy Douglas


It's about time I revived my Perfect Party Playlist thread, don't you think? It seems like an ideal moment to cure everyone's post-festive season blues with some quality dancefloor-friendly gems. And we begin with a proper BANG! One of the singing sensations of 2018 - the powerhouse diva Amy Douglas, whose untouchably anthemic "Never Saw it Coming" took over club dancefloors, vinyl sites and year-end charts, has kindly accepted my invitation to compile her very own selection of party favourites. The Brooklyn based boogie chanteuse, as she describes herself, is known for her delectable collaborations with some of clubland's most established names: Crooked Man aka Dj Parrot, The Juan MacLean, Horse Meat Disco or Luke Solomon, to name just a few. Having chosen "Never Saw it Coming" as one of my highlights of 2018 across a number of my #BestOf2018 rankings, I am particularly overjoyed and honoured to share this very special, hardcore muso edition of "Perfect Party Playlist" where Amy Douglas not only cherry-picked 25 (!!!) of her beloved tunes but generously accompanied each one of them with a lovely write-up. This is such a treat! THANK YOU!!!

Connect with Amy Douglas:

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PERFECT PARTY PLAYLIST by Amy Douglas [in no particular order]

1. "STOMP!" - The Brothers Johnson

Real talk? I’m really OVER disco. What you say? Shocking bleu? Nah. I mean I love disco, I do it, I sing it, I compose disco joints all the time, and in fact am starting 2019 with a feature on a very pure disco joint that I’m actually really PROUD of the writing I did for it (Horse Meat Disco’s “Let’s Go Dancing) but too much of it and eventually a sickly ennui settles in. I’m even more sick and tired of “disco edit culture” which I think has in fact destroyed disco, because the only thing that can surpass any genre, the only thing that matters is a great song, and THIS is not just a great song, this is the song you need to put on if you’re at the end of your rope, you feel spiritually drained, you feel like nothing is going right, the sun hasn’t seen the sky in months etc… From the song itself to Quincy Jones (the GOD)’s impeccable production, this song feels like someone force-feeding you pure sunlight. I have often told people, “there are disco songs that make me put a fist in the air, dance, laugh, and have a fantastic time, but there is only one disco song that can make me CRY tears of unabashed joy and emotion- and that is STOMP.



2. "GIRL FROM IPANEMA GOES TO GREENLAND" - The B-52's

Now mind you, we are talking about one of the ALL TIME PARTY BANDS. This song could have been 52 Girls. This song could have been Dance This Mess Around, or Legal Tender, or any one of their perfectly party engineered bangers, but dag nap it, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE Cindy Wilson’s vocal performance on this, and it’s SO funky.



3. "RIP IT UP" - Orange Juice

Some post-punk really aspires to be dance music in a way that never really works for me and some bands just NAIL it. There is no wonder why this song is still a classic to this day.



4. "E = MC²" - Big Audio Dynamite

A hook for DAYS. A sexy beat that never stops. MICK JONES OF THE CLASH’s “focused dance project”. The end. Get it in your life, get on the floor. Oh and speaking of The Clash…



5. "THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN" - The Clash

A note? Larry Levan LOVED to spin this at The Garage. I’d think beyond the fact that this is the fucking CLASH we are talking about, no less funky focused on booty shaking Clash, that alone would be enough of a tidbit.



6. "IT'S JUST BEGUN" - Jimmy Castor Bunch

A hip hop anthem that you can not stand still to. Also perfectly used in just the right part of Flashdance. 



7. "WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF" - Jermaine Stewart

I was in a club recently and someone popped this on and it took all of my energy to not bumrush the booth and hug the DJ.



8. "WORDY RAPPINGHOOD" - Tom Tom Club

No explanation necessary. Oh yeah, just two. TINA. FUCKING. WEYMOUTH and CHRIS. FUCKING. FRANTZ.



9. "FASCINATED" - Company B

Is it a slightly Yaz-esque rip off? Yup. Is the vocal nasal and borderline really annoying? Yup. Is this one of the best songs to dance too? YUP!



10. "BABY WANTS TO RIDE" - Frankie Knuckles/Jamie Principle

Time for some ultra classic Trax Records Goodness. This is one of the first really classic pieces of Chicago driven House Music that I actively went out and purchased.



11. "BRAND NEW LOVER" - Dead or Alive

I may be the only person alive who really prefers this song to Pete’s colossal monster “You Spin Me Right Round (Like A Record)” but this is just... one of my all time faves.



12. "JOYSTICK" - The Dazz Band

I keep having conversations across the board about “Post Disco” which is a never fully realized genre, but I think it could be the saving grace of where dance music is headed. Here is a Post Disco piece of perfection that sits comfortably along peers like Zapp and Roger, Lakeside, and the likes, but… is more sophisticated.



13. "ANNIE, I’M NOT YOUR DADDY" - Kid Creole and the Coconuts

If you call yourself a real NYC dance music head, then one of your all time Patron Saints should be the great August Darnell, he who co founded both Dr. Savannah’s Buzzard Band and The Coconuts. Their ability to fuse Caribbean influences, Latin American influences and this sense of a Big Band leadership into something so hip and cool is something that I believe needs to come back EN MASSE



14. "TOO MUCH BLOOD" - The Rolling Stones

WHAT? The STONES?????? FUCK YES! In fact I’d argue that there is no mega juggernaut band that’s kept the world dancing more THAN the stones. The entire Undercover album is so incredibly danceable, but this one is just….a stunning quasi Calypso guitar and horn driven inspired piece of funk wherein Mick goes to town describing grisly murder, cannibalism, horror movies, and I give Sir Mick extra points for putting “Bois de Boulogne” in any piece of music. Btw..in 2019 I’m joining Le Visiteur as a PT columnist and I WILL be writing a piece on all the tunes that if you’re a DJ worth your stones, you won’t leave a certain crop of Rolling Stones material home collecting dust.



15. "GIVE ME TONIGHT" - Shannon

In keeping with discussions about a “Post Disco” reality, when Freestyle came around it was hard not to love love love everything about it, especially the hard hitting hip hop percussive production values and often torrid melodramatic subject matter, a good piece of freestyle always just felt so EPIC. Again, “Let The Music Play” was the bigger hit, but this was my personal fave. That HOOK! Those perfectly arranged synth lines!!!



16. "THIS CORROSION" - Sisters of Mercy

Andrew Eldritch’s beyond haunting deep baritone (actually he’s really a bass). A choir. Production that sounds like a factory in overdrive. A song written by Jim Steinman. I do believe this is what you call a perfect storm and I defy you to sit down through that hook. Hey, now, hey now now.



17. "CHANGE" - Killing Joke

Postpunk is another element that lives within a Post Disco reality, and this puppy is one funky ass jam, put it on and watch all the punk kids get down. It’s the best.



18. "WARSAW GHETTO" - Nitzer Ebb

I am so all about industrial and hope it comes back EN MASSE and with a vengeance as these are NOT TIMES (IMO) for fluff. Nitzer Ebb are the kings of songs that force you to think while you dance, and usually scream and “join in the chant” (pardon the pun) while you’re moving along.



19. "COCAINE SEX" - Renegade Soundwave

Dubby, drums that sound like you’re getting fisted by Mike Tyson and salacious lyrics? SIGN. ME. UP. We’re gonna have some (ooooh yeah) we’re gonna have some fun.



20. "THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER" - Howard Jones

I love Howard Jones unabashedly I think he’s one of the great heroes of the synth driven 80’s and this song is like an instant shot of hope and funk.



21. "BEHIND THE WHEEL" - Depeche Mode

Can you have a great dance party without Depeche Mode being present in the mix? Sure. SHOULD you try to have a great dance party without Depeche Mode being present in the mix? FUCK NO!!!! Sexy, veiled and kinetic at the same time, this is a perfect song to pop on when you’re switching modes, speeds or moods.



22. "ELECTRIC RELAXATION" - A Tribe Called Quest

Smouldering, sexy and effortless and has IMO Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Q Tip’s best production collage. You’d think something so loungey and slinky couldn’t pack enough of a 4 on the floor punch to get down to, but…..then you’d be wrong. 🙂



23. "I LOVE MUSIC" - The O’Jays

Don’t @me. This is a fucking classic for a reason. Gamble and Huff gorgeousness with one of the most incredible vocal performances by a male group EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER. Brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. 



24. "WHAT YOU NEED" - INXS

I’m gonna dedicate this from the DJ booth of umm... my mind to Mr. Shaun J Wright. I know he’s a big INXS fan, and this is what you call a fail safe maneuver. This song is the first time INXS gets really purposefully DANCE focused with the Listen Like Thieves album, and I have never been to one single solitary event where this songs doesn’t come on and everyone HITS THE FLOOR with a vengeance.



25. "CONTROVERSY" - Prince

You can’t have a dance party without Prince Rogers Nelson. Ever since he left our world its never been the same, like the world can’t…..seem to spin all the way around. There are a GAZILLION songs…..that he engineered specifically for our asses to move to, but I feel like Controversy is so far ahead of its time, lyrically, arrangement wise, with a synth sub hook that is as catchy as any other part of the song. People will be playing it, and still trying to figure out how this man created something so genius.