Category Archives: Virgo

Best of 2011, part III: Get fit with 20jfg

Whether your with Dunbar on music and dance evolving as mass social grooming, Darwin and his strutting peacock, or feel dancing and music is tickling the brain in ways nature cannot, dancing is a part of our humanity and has been for a very long time. 2011 was a good time for music you could dance too…

 

Lindstrøm : De Javu When you play a Lindstrom track in your dj set its always difficult to follow. It’s normally difficult to know what to play it after too becuase, lets face it, no one else makes records that sound like this. The new album Six Cups Of Rebel is out on Small Town Supersound in February.

Lindstrøm – De Javu

Buy : De Javu

 

James Fox: New Jack Swing James Fox laces pristine mid-tempo dance with some silky new jack swing vibes, projecting us inside an utopia of white and honey which is to mainstream house music what romance is to porn.

We are believers in the possibility of a non-fucked up after-hours club where the tribes congregate to squeeze the last ounce of physical sweetness of the ephemeral night, rather than gurn their way into infinity. If that place exists, this is its theme tune.

James Fox – New Jack Swing

Buy: New Jack Swing

 


SebastiAn: Love In Motion Feat. Mayer Hawthrone
  More Stones Throw related goodness by way of the loudest Banger on Ed’s roster pitching Patrick Cowley’s Lift Off Down to an unmistakably Purple Oneesqu slowed clap groove.

SebastiAn – Love In Motion Feat. Mayer Hawthrone

Buy : Love in motion

 

Machinedrum: Come1  Riding last year’s bubbling up of Juke and snapping it into a piano-house ghost-ballad workout.  With an opening the hits right in the feet and then proceeds to gently let up over the next six minutes Come1 is the reverse of most dancefloor equations.  Drawing you in with it’s hedonistic intensity from the off then taking you on a tour of its sorrow.

The whole album’s a near effortless reminder of how good dance albums can be.  building upon a Footwerk foundation to deliver everything from a dancefloor Boards of Canada (Now U Know Tha Deal 4 Real) to one of the most cathartically maudlin pieces of music this year in Lay Me Down (which has the audacity to not actually be the last track on the album).

Machinedrum – Come1

Buy: Room(s)

 

Graphics: Adjectival E Well Rounded are quickly and efficiently becoming a treasure of the Brighton Vs. Hove demilitarised zone.  Graphics is the second release on offshoot, Well Rounded Individuals and is a towering example of Fractured British Dance Music.  A sliced vocal looped and buried under fabric-thin waves of synth washes haunts the intricate drum programming and sweeping siren-calls that interleave and enchant.  Which is not to say it’s adverse to a break and a surging refrain, that’d be silly.

Graphics – ‘Adjectival E’

Buy: Adjectival E / OK Rainbow

 

Den Haan: Gods From Outer Space Bandying “macho disco” around like leather, sweat, and guitar riffs were about to go out of fashion Gods From Outer Space is probably more fun that you can actually ever have in a club, but with this as your soundtrack it would be impossible not to try.

Den Haan – Gods From Outer Space

Buy: Gods From Outer Space

 

D/R/U/G/S: Connected Connected doesn’t waste much time bringing its snippets of Techno and House to bear on the floor.  Far too much has been written about ghostly reconfigurations of former genre glories and the pillars that this stands upon are amply described by the track itself in the opening minute and a half.  Exercising aCraig-ian approach to the build, the drop finally arrives and the euphoria is suitably unleashed.  Not ones to paddle in the pool of anti-intellectual hedonism, 20JFG are satiated by the wiring machine ballet that seems to underpin the ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE HANDS IN THE AIR PIANO HOUSE that forms the back end of the track.

D_R_U_G_S – CONNECTED

Buy: Connected

 

Magic Touch: I can Feel the Heat  Imagine a unicorn leaping out of an original pre-hipster/Urban Outfitters post-everything appropriation 1980s t-shirt, into a rainbow pond of everything that’s awesome about disco music, and out again into the garden of eternal delights that lies beyond, where it dries itself with an almighty shake, droplets of joy splattering all over in a kaleidoscopic rain which is photographed with minimum exposure, the ensuing images (or their emotional equivalent) are then pressed on vinyl for the whole world to dance to.

Magic Touch – I can Feel the Heat

Buy: I can Feel the Heat

 

Ital: Ital’s Theme Ital soundtracks the muscular leaving party for a space marine squadron. A glimpse out of battered portholes onto the uniquely specular beauty of crystalline asteroids, for a moment…before the pounding of the room draws their attention back to the dancefloor with a heaving, looping ecstatic roll of wave after wave of 23rd century Italo instrumentals.

Ital – One Hit

Buy: Ital’s theme

 

Death in Vegas: Trans-Love Energies Richard Fearless returned with a 7+ minute track referencing the soundtrack to New York’s The Loft and the UK Acid House scene featuring the considerable vocal talents of Katie Stelmanis of Austra, and we couldn’t stop playing it. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a 30min extended remix. The rest of the album wasn’t bad either.

Death in Vegas – Your Loft My Acid

Buy : Trans-love Energies

 

Austra : Beat and the Pulse EP This Domino records early 2011 release of haunted industrial folk has, deservedly, has stayed with us all year.

Austra – Beat And The Pulse (Extended Version)

Buy : Beat and The Pulse

 

Hans Tanza: An Audience with Hans Tanza Nutjob consultant extraordinaire Hans Tanza convenes a board meetingto discuss the quarterly impacts of psy-trance flotations on the  futures market of electro-acoustic academia circa 1976

Hans Tanza – The Insight Generator

Buy: An Audience with Hans Tanza

 

Mi Ami: Dolphins EP Mi Ami’s vessel plunges through a forest of cyclopean futurist hulks, its distorting, tape-bent beats pounding off the walls.  High above Gavin Russom watches from a former car insurance office (now sans walls) and smiles to himself in the knowledge that there are others.  Glancing upwards for a moment he catches the forms of Derrick May and Carl Craig huddling around a fire, lit on an equally exposed floor of an old financial institution. Down below the vessel nears the source of the sound as light cascades from the rising sun.  Hundreds of people throb around a fire giving thanks to those who came before, those who provided us with such riches.  A badly painted cloth hangs from an old piece of corporate art and reads: ‘Things should be made anew before they are destroyed again.’

Mi Ami – Sunrise

Buy: Dolphins

 

Virgo: Resurrection (reissue) To call this life-changing is no exaggeration. Imagine the most intimate moment of ‘It’s You’ by ESP’ time stretched across a 3 hour movie about Jamie Principle floating on the ethereal plane and perhaps you’re getting there.

Virgo Four – The Mop

Buy: Ressurrection

 

Daphni: JIAOLONG001 While we found Caribou’s recent album to be not as up our street as the previous few we did very much enjoy the Daphni remix project which re-visited the gratuitous psychedelic elements we loved about Caribou’s sound.

Cos-Ber-Zam – Ne Noya (Daphni Mix)

Buy : JIAOLONG001

 

Wheez-ie: All Werked Up EP Texan Juke desperado Wheez-ie’s  veers between hardcore footwork punishment and futuristic heartbreak – ‘Leave her Alone’ hovers above the battlefield like the X-Men’s Storm, convening from the summer skies a purple hurricane of emotion at whose eye spins a silver music box delicate ballerina.

Wheez-ie – Leave Her Alone

Buy: All Werked Up

 

Xander Harris: I want more than Just Blood/Urban Gothic If you like your drum programming hand built from the Dopplereffekt textbook of absolute rigidity,  and your synth lines played straight from the pained claws of The Phantom of Paradise, then Xander Harris is the pick for you.

Xander Harris – I Want More Than Blood (High Heels Remix)

Buy: Urban Gothic/I want more than Just Blood (sold out)

 

Innergaze: Shadow Disco Innergaze take us in a strut through a parallel land where mirrors, glitter and dances are the holy sacraments of a mainstream religion whose father  is Liquid Liquid (on a dubby bender), the son is Daniel Wang and the holy spirit Arthur Russell. On its journey it collects a thousand scuzz tropes and redistributes them across a skeletal groove so lazy, it makes E.S.G sound like a clinical minimal techno project devised by the appointed keepers of metronomic purity. Spectral hedonism, that’s our new calling.

Innergaze – Shadow Disco

Buy: Shadow Disco.

 

Factory Floor: Various 12’’ Factory Floor strip dance music down to its bare components, and configure them with the grim nonchalance of a murder squad retained by the black ops soviet. Synth loops blast like machine language glyphs straight off Nitzer Ebb’s and Front 242 body music usage dictionary.  The motorik beats read like input-output flows in a 5 year programme of industrial production that measures results in terms of sweat. The shards of distortion are cruelly designed to produce collateral damage, demoralization and mass surrender.

Factory Floor – Lying (Chris Carter Remix)

And then there’s this…

 

Buy: Blast First 12; Two Different Ways.

 

Zomby: Dedication Zomby  buries us in a frozen dead ocean, where we float surrounded by a constellation of discrete music molecules floating in stasis. They recall the past (massively compressed Jarre, blocks of primary colour which are the slices of a Jan Hammer gradient) but aren’t it. Rather, evolved echoes, nano-designed DNA blueprints for a future fauna of Cupertino Panthers and fractal wing dragonflies.

Zomby – Mozaik

Buy: Dedication

 

Lumpen Nobleman: Grusha Lumpen Nobleman’s (no link, alas) is all about the deepness, the abyssal and the sub-dermal, ochre drones awesome like the ornate dome of a defiled Orthodox monastery breaking through the mist, grim commandoes in ghillie suits pulling their best Snake moves up the snowy hill, an inhuman metronome ticks away at the heart of the ruins, counting down the time left for the start of the paranormal firefight.

Lumpen Nobleman – Scaling the Yablonois

Buy: Grusha..

 

FWY: Ventura EP We continue our love affair with Edmund Xavier and his FWY’s trucker techno-gamelan escapades. Watch out for the title track’s superb melancholy drone, like Cormac McCarthy’s existential cowboy gazing into a neuromantic dead-channel sky, a moment before stepping past the borderline.

FWY – Ventura FWY

 

The Passenger: \_| The Passenger’s \_|  combines Armando’s optimistic bass rumbling, Orbital’s playful chimes, Wendy Carlos binary fairy-telling and the sort of acid riffs that Plastikman would have come up with if he had been commissioned to update Maurice Sendak’s bibliography, in collaboration with Paper Rad.

The Passenger – Entitled One

Buy: \_|

 

Pye Corner Audio: Black Mill Tapes Vol.2. The first post witch house record? Made by someone who probably never heard of witch house? Slow techno and radiophonic electronic passed through a hauntology filter to create one hell of an immersive experience. Why this isn’t on everyone’s albums of the year list is mystifying.

Pye Corner Audio – Electronic Rhythm Number Seven

Buy : Black Mill Tapes Vol.2.

 

An Appeal From Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales

Featuring : JR Seaton + Virgo

We recently received a phone call from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, asking us to stop putting articles about Sci-Fi author Preston G. Parallax up on Wikipedia. When asked why, he said it was because the supposedly fake (his words) scribe didn’t meet their ‘notability guidelines’ (whatever they are). Considering that to us, Preston is one of the most notable figures in the development of speculative fiction and pseudomusicology, we found this statement very odd (citation needed).

We know Jimmy’s been down on his luck lately, so rather than give him a hard time we went down to Wikipedia Inc’s HQ with Preston, to prove that he is in fact flesh and blood. The receptionist there was everso helpful, and guided us to a waiting room simply marked AUDITS. There we took a ticket, and sat next to a man named Jesus. He was just about to reveal the secret of staying on Wikipedia when your existence hasn’t been proved by any legitimate source, when we were called in to see THE AUDITOR OF ALL KNOWLEDGE and his special team of advisors.

THE AUDITOR OF ALL KNOWLEDGE was a white-bearded man of about 70 (although he could have been about 970, such was the incredible wisdom emanating from his face). He stood in a white room with a white clipboard. The room would have had a kind of pearly gates atmosphere, were it not for the huge concrete bunker placed sinisterly behind the Auditor’s white desk. All Preston could make out in the bunker window were several sets of radiant red eyes. The Auditor spoke…..

“SO PRESTON, YOU’D LIKE TO JOIN WIKIPEDIA – WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT’S OF ANY NOTE?” (The Auditor didn’t shout, but what he says is so authoritative that it has to be written in block capitals)

“Well, in the early 80s I wrote a couple of Science Fiction novels..”

“THAT’S GREAT PRESTON, BUT WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT’S OF ANY NOTE?”

“Well, they were quite well recieved…”

“HOW MANY COPIES DID YOU SELL?”

“Um, the first one sold 36 copies….”

“THAT’S NICE PRESTON, BUT WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT’S OF ANY NOTE? WE ONLY TAKE NOTABLE PEOPLE HERE”

“Well once someone quoted me in their school thesis once….”

“HMMM, NOW YOU’RE ONTO SOMETHING”, he turned to the bunker “ANY OF YOU LOT HEARD OF HIM?”. There was a negative murmur from his team of advisors.

“I’M SORRY PRESTON, BUT IN ORDER TO BECOME PART OF THE SUM OF ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE THEN, YOU MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING NOTABLE….” he paused and took a second look at him

“HANG ON A SECOND, YOU’RE NOT A FICTIONAL CHARACTER ARE YOU?….”

We will get poor Preston past THE AUDITOR OF ALL KNOWLEDGE, and into his rightful place on Wikipedia soon – watch this space……

Seems like to get on Wikipedia these days you gotta shift some serious units, so let’s help some people do that! Last week we introduced you to the Call Super supergroup of which J R Seaton is a member.

JR Seaton – In Your Mask (Strip 4 Drumstix)

Not content with that supergroup, on his new EP ‘The Grey Flower’ he has assembled another one. This time with Brassica and Binary Chaffinch, and as you can imagine the results are very pretty, and highly dexterous (to say the least). ‘In Your Mask’ is a solo effort, and we guess this might be the track from the EP that people who use terminology like ‘big room techno’ might go for. Here at 20JFG we like ‘cloak room techno’, so Joe’s slightly stripped down version (not available on the EP) is just the ticket. As instructed, we take his hand. He doesn’t mind when ours gets a bit clammy. And it does often because ‘In Your Mask’ is an exhilarating flight through jagged analogue terrain – a bit like the ‘virtual reality’ game Pierce Brosnan used in the Lawnmower Man, except reprogrammed by the Tyrell Corporation (that’s Alden Tryell the artist not Alden Tryell the character, but if you like…..).

The Grey Flower EP is being put out by the very nice Relish recordings crew this very Friday (available in Beatport only apparently, vinyl coming soon!)…

 

Oh, Virgo Four boxed-set, where have you been all our lives?

Virgo Four – The Mop

Whilst currently scraping together enough pennys to collect all thirty tracks, may we pay homage to the vibin sounds that have cleansed our ears and embellished our souls for the past couple of weeks. If you haven’t already seen/heard about the Virgo Four ‘Resurrection’ album then it’s some total ‘lost tapes’ affair which makes you glad you live in the age of reissues, and also the age of the internet. We already used the term ‘life changing’ to describe this album to our 20JFG colleague this week ,and that’s no exaggeration. Imagine the most intimate moment of ‘It’s You’ by ESP’ time stretched across across a 3 hour movie about Jamie Principle floating on the ethereal plane and perhaps you’re getting there.

If you’ve never really listened to much Chicago House, or you’re feeling stuff that Future Times are putting out then we totally recommend picking up the cd version at least. But really it’s gotta be the wax – both very much out now on Rush Hour – just save us a copy, OK?

 

 

Jacking Atlantida

When we started our journey we never meant to be a blog focussed solely on new music, indeed, it was our original purpose to establish connections between the musics of the past, and those novel efforts that they informed and inspired, like a psyche-historical account of the evolution of the sounds that make us go woah. For instance, the first two songs that we posted were ‘Hot on the Heels of Love’ and its descendant ‘Rise’ by Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom, as remixed by DFA. Those where the days, heh?

With time we have come to be seen as a place to search for all that’s new, and that’s not bad, it’s simply not the way it was supposed to be in the beginning. Let us start redressing this imbalance with an escapade into the wonderful phuture dance sounds of the Atlantidan refugees that made their home Chicago.

Zion has fuck all on Atlantida, it was those hairy dudes living in pyramids rising over the oceanic waves who developed the original groove using alien technologies straight from the beta sector. As some of you know, their paradise was eventually destroyed by forces that shan’t be named, yet their legacy survived in a diaspora of dance architects who spread across the shifting continents, a network of independent cells in the savannah, Mexico, Bali, Mesopotamia, all of them working towards a single goal: to build the house of house like those motherfuckers behind the Temple of Solomon, but more jacking.

Chicago’s stark skyline, reborn after its Great Fire was an obvious port of call- it’s not a coincidence that the Masonic Temple which rose there once towered above all other American skyscrapers, like a beacon drawing the psychically attuned in a ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ fashion, replace the new age melody with Kraftwerk bleeping.

The rest is dance history, here you have a couple of milestones, new levels in a Babylon tower aimed not upwards at God, but inwards into a past of communal celebration encrypted in our genes.

The question that Virgo pose in their elysian roller ‘Do You Know Who You Are?’ summons a glowing portal that can only be transversed with a code encrypted in its Balearic guitars and hazy synthetic refrain, the beat is but deft carpentry performed dangling from the scaffolding that envelops the cathedral of hedonistic enlightenment. This song is the door, and also the key that opens it, but you will only find it if you search in the throes of some seriously sexy dancing.

Virgo- Do You Know Who You Are? (1989)

Virgo’s astonishing S/T album was recently reissued by Rush Hour/Trax Holland. Go get. And props to Manny.

Having found who you are, and in doing so, stepped past the portal and into the zone of nice where the keepers revel, you need to show that you have the chops, that is, answer the question that Fast Eddie Smith and Kenny ‘Jammin’ Jason ask in our second tune, viz ‘Can U Dance?’

You need not panic, for in this case the doing the walk is in the walking, and this tune holds you by he hand as you do so. It’s awesome like some sort of Marine camp instructor of good times, harsh but fair with its double tempo jack it barrage, Vito versus Raheem synthesiser stabs and trans-atlantidan express gay breakdancing bambaata boogie antics. By the time the tribal rainstorm reaches its peak you will have learned the lesson taking you to the next level: just move it.

Fast Eddie Smith & Kenny ‘Jammin’ Jason- Can U Dance? (1987)

Get it from ebay and stuff.

It feels aeons since you started your journey, but it has only been a handful of minutes, the perfect beat will mess with your space-time perception. You were sitting in your bedroom all by yourself then, now you are inside the hot pentacle surrounded by a squadron of beautiful percolators. We are approaching that Dr. Manhattanesque scenario where we rebuild the Atlantidan diamond-pyramid through our sheer collective willpower, we only need a quantum catalyst to transform our energy into matter.

Enter the preacher.

Finger Inc & Chuck Roberts ‘In Our House’ version of ‘Can You Feel it’ is the invisible puppeteer that pulls all hands in the air, from each fingertip jumps a laser converging into the apex whence the four edges of a geometric spaceship expand like Case’s most soulful Matrix dream, press ignition, destination Beta Sector.

We are going home.

Fingers inc featuring Chuck Roberts- Can You Feel it? (In Our House) (1988)

Discogs info.