Tag Archives: house

Future Grooves: Grown Folk

Is Canada the next future bass hot spot? The Great White North has given us Jacques Greene, Egyptrixx, and half of LOL Boys. On the strength of just a few releases, it may be time to add Grown Folk to that list.

Grown Folk is a Montreal-based collaboration between Drew Kim and Brendan Neal. The duo crafts house tracks that seamlessly blend old school and new school sounds; think Azari and III with the sensibilities of Kingdom.

Their debut City Wind EP, released earlier this year on Templar Sound, runs the bass music gamut. They come out strong with the throwback house of “The Uptown Shuffle;” “VVS (Very, Very Slightly)” is darker, with a clipped diva vocal loop that runs through the track like an electric current. On “Block is Hot,” Grown Folk shows the juke influences that they share with contemporaries Canblaster and Pearson Sound; Damu’s remix of the song is all sub-bass and laser-light synths. And don’t let the double entendre title throw you – there’s nothing halfway about the groove on “Halfway House.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/halfway_house.mp3″ text=”Grown Folk – Halfway House” dl=0]

The duo gets deeper on their latest offering, the Droptop EP on Silverback Recordings. The video for the title track is a summery acid trip well-suited for the song’s big bass line and sexy vocals, two things that dominate the rest of the EP. As remixers, Grown Folk has smoothed out tracks by LOL Boys and FaltyDL. They got in on the rhythm-and-bass game with a swirling bootleg of The-Dream’s remix of “Motivation,” the powerhouse single by Kelly Rowland.


Across its online presence, Grown Folk shares a telling epigram: “It’s a new decade / The usual lingo / The usual rhythm.” It’s a take on the intro of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Rhythm,” and if that doesn’t boil it down enough, the song’s subtitle does: “Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts.” Listeners and dancers alike will soon appreciate Grown Folk’s devotion.

Download: Grown Folk – U Know the Time
Download: The-Dream, Kelly Rowland, Lil Wayne – Motivation (Grown Folk Bootleg)

Future Grooves: Christoph Andersson

The term “wunderkind” gets thrown around a lot, especially with young musicians needing nothing more than an Internet connection to distribute their work. But what else would you call a producer who released four singles in less than a year, runs his own record label (Hurst Recordings), and is just barely 19 years old?

Christoph Andersson makes refreshingly vibrant electro-pop from his New Orleans home. Think mellow Kitsuné jams with the pop sensibilities (and without the ego) of Calvin Harris. While attending the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Andersson made his own music every day in the electronic music vacuum that is New Orleans. The result is shimmering dance music that is equal parts house, electro, and disco with a distinct melodic edge.

In a unique turn, Andersson’s singles have featured dual versions of each song (in addition to remixes by artists like Brenmar and Cedaa). The surging “Metropol” is chilled into the downtempo “Metropolis,” “Capital” keeps its anthemic chorus but becomes the mellow “Cache,” and so on.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/metropol.mp3″ text=”Christoph Andersson – Metropol” dl=0]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/metropolis.mp3″ text=”Christoph Andersson – Metropolis” dl=0]

The recently released Getaway single follows the same pattern. The title track adds elements of UK funky into the mix, while “Gestalt” is driven by exotic percussion and the electronic chirps of a Night Slugs track. Andersson’s catchy vocal melody is brought up in the mix, as well.

He might not be able to drink there, but Andersson plays U Hall this Saturday at Will Eastman’s Bliss Dance Party. Take a sneak peak at what he has in store for this weekend’s revelers with this mix, crafted for Big Shot Magazine.

[wpaudio url=”http://newsflash.bigshotmag.com/audio/BIGSHOTmix.mp3″ text=”Big Shot Guest Mix: Christoph Andersson” dl=1]

Future Grooves: Jacques Greene

When I wrote about the burgeoning rhythm and bass sound two weeks ago, I somehow neglected a major proponent of it. Maybe it was because I was focused on the UK and dubstep, instead of Canada and house, but whatever the cause: mea culpa.

Photo: © 2010 Andrew Gordon Macpherson

Jacques Greene (not his real name) in an enigmatic producer from Toronto who seemingly came out of nowhere late last year, releasing a pair of R&B infused house jams on compilation records. One of the offerings, the jangly “(Baby I Don’t Know) What You Want,” sampled Ashanti’s “Foolish.” Of all the samples in all the world, it’s a particularly evocative one: “Foolish” references Biggie’s “One More Chance (Remix),” which in turn samples DeBarge’s “Stay With Me.” Intentional or not, Greene reveals his roots in one loop.

It’s a pattern that repeats itself over his brief but rich oeuvre: wistful, nostalgic – but never obvious – R&B samples weaved into a warm blanket of Chicago house. Listening to his records is a giddy experience that will have music fans digging deep in their crates (or brains) for the originals that drive his tracks.

Greene’s New Year’s Resolution must have been to release new material early and often: he’s released two EPs for Glaswegian powerhouse LuckyMe in just the first quarter of 2011. The title track of The Look bounces along with a bit of Brandy’s “I Wanna Be Down.” The rest of the record is similar soulful house, along the lines of contemporaries Azari and III.

While The Look is non-stop, pounding house beats, Greene’s latest release is sparser, with more room to breathe. Mix Ciara’s “Deueces” with a Burial-ish dubstep beat and open into big, sinewy synths and you have “Another Girl.” Clearly, Greene is obsessed by the same muses as his peers, having remixed “Must Be Love” for Local Action’s love letter to Cassie, Skydiver. Greene gives the same lofty, romantic edge of “Another Girl” to “Broken Record” by muse-of-the-moment Katy B.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Katy B – Broken Record (Jacques Greene Remix).mp3″ text=”Katy B – Broken Record (Jacques Greene Remix)” dl=0]

We might not know much about Jacques Greene, but it’s clear that he’s a producer to watch. Check out the sinister tech-house of “Sorted,” grab the mix he did for URB, and pray for him to play the States again soon; would a Red Friday at U Hall be too much to ask?

Download: Jacques Greene – Sorted
Download: URB Presents Jacques Greene

Future Grooves: Azari & III

The transition from “dated and lame” to “retro and cool” takes about twenty years. For most of the last decade, the 80s dance party was a reliable staple of nightlife. But once the dancefloor is flooded with kids born after the time period in question, it’s time to move on to the next ironically detached, nostalgia fueled trend.

Forget about Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Dead or Alive, it’s time for C+C Music Factory and Deee-Lite. Fear not – leading the charge is Toronto’s Azari & III.

While the duo, comprised of Dinamo Azari and Alexander III, might claim otherwise, they make house music that is heavily influenced by a time period that is finally ripe for homage.

Their first EP features title track “Hungry for the Power,” a deep house groove that relies on Casio loops and rubbery synthesizers. The interplay between diva vocals and spoken word is provided by frequent collaborators Fritz Helder and SYF (Starving Yet Full). The sinister clip evokes the seedy, coke-and-whore clubs that the track belongs to (it’s also very NSFW).

“Reckless (With Your Love)” is the duo’s breakthrough for a reason – from it’s first syncopated beat, the track is relentless. Reminiscent of Robin S’ classic “Show Me Love,” the track is a modern take on house music of yore. And as strong as the original is, Tensnake’s remix goes even further in its tribute to an era, sampling Snap’s classic “The Power.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Reckless_original.mp3″ text=”Azari & III – Reckless With Your Love” dl=”0″]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Reckless_tensnake.mp3″ text=”Azari & III – Reckless With Your Love (Tensnake remix)” dl=”0″]

House music is nothing if not played properly. Luckily, judging by this DJ mix, Azari & III have the turntable skills to match their beat making. See and hear for yourself: the group plays tomorrow at U Hall for the weekly Red Friday party. At the very least, it beats another 80s night.