Sunday, December 20, 2009

D Cup....

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A little while I go I was lucky enough to conduct an email interview with Sydney Production and DJ wiz kid Duncan MacLennan a.k.a D Cup. If you haven't heard of this guy by now then you're missing out on an emerging international star as he cuts his teeth playing around Sydney and Australia showcasing his unique "Nu Boogie" style of music. D Cup is one of a large crop of Aussie artists heavily influenced by the 70s and 80s disco movement making music which is gaining worldwide acclaim. Having released an EP already this year under the Sweat It Out! Record Label, as well as an album of remixes due out within the fortnight, D Cup has had a 2009 to remember, and as the turn of the decade comes soon, this guy will definitely be one to keep an eye on.

The interview I conducted was for a uni assignment I was doing about the current electro scene in Australia. Albeit sudo-academia, his answers showed the D Cup as educated and gave me a great insight into the Australian music scene through the eyes of one of its upcoming stars.

(max smart) What would you classify your style of music as?

(duncan maclennan) The music i make gets described as 'funk fulled disco for now'. The term NuDisco is very in at the moment, but i always drew inspiration from the boogie and synth-funk of the late 70s and 80s, so i tend to call myself NuBoogie. Disco, Funk and Boogie are subjective terms, meaning different things and evoking different sounds to all peeps. To me, Disco preceded House music, and is built mainly around the driving 4/4 beat of the kick drum. Boogie is more of a lovechild of Disco and Funk, focusing on a kick, clap combo, and more syncopated bass patterns.

(ms) (Can you describe your personal music taste? Any favourite artists/influences?

(dm) This question is the expansive bitch at the party no one wants to talk to. Sooo hard to answer this! Buying albums is a dying pastime, one I hope to pick up again very soon. Most of my cd collection (which is pretty tiny really) is modern soul music and hip hop. J Dilla never put a foot wrong. Quincy Jones is probably my biggest idol. Pharell Williams aint so bad either. The music I like the taste of needs a few key ingredients: Solid rhythm, chord riffs that create tension and resolve, good production, space, and if theres a vocal, i care less about whats sung than how its sung, but if theres meaning too then thats the icing on the cake.

(ms) What has been the biggest influence on your music career?

(dm)Having no mentor or guidence, staying away from the scene has allowed me to take my sound where i want to, which got noticed by Sweat It Out. They have been the biggest leg up in the industry for me.

(ms) What’s your opinion about the current crop of Australian musicians within the electronic music scene? Are there any particular artists that you can identify with as far as your music style goes?

(dm) Shazam and G.L.O.V.E.S are my favs. We are doing our own thing, which is great. There was a while when I felt we were importing to much live music, and wouldnt buy a mix cd done by an Aussie DJ, but now our producers are world class, and individual too, not just mimicking the ibiza sound.

(ms) How do you think Australia fits in with the rest of the electronic music scene across the world? Are we pioneers, forging a new path, or is there a style that we are aligned with?

(dm)We dont realise it (because we're immersed in it), but we really have our own thing going on here. People like Treasure Fingers, Chromeo from the US, and Lorenz Rhode, Sirisumo from Germany, get such huge love from Aussie DJs, and there a small outposts of this sound in Europe, Japan, US & Canada that worship whats going on here.

(ms) The use of sampling in creating new music has been described by some as “similar to stealing”... What is your opinion about this?

(dm) Obviously im not going to agree with this, but im going to give a rational argument. When miners take iron ore out of the ground, the are hardly stealing. They bought the land and the license but they did not put in the millions of years of hard tectonic work that put that iron there in the first place. When you buy a cd, its yours, you did not steal it. You are not free, however, to do what you want with the content, which is why this is tricky stuff. You can record yourself singing, playing the flute, banging pots together, but when you record a recording, thats 'stealing' because your now claiming anothers noises as your own.

But when the miners raw materials gets refined and built into buildings, some day that building will be demolished, and the scrap metal reused. The world trade center was made into a battleship. Its recycling.
That battleship had all the legal rights to be made from that steel, everyone encouraged it. But if they wanted to build a Mosque with it, they would have not allowed it.

Its alot easier, in 2009, to take a recording, sample it, and make it your own. And if you are sampling something widely recognised to gain recognition, without permission, then yes, you are a thief in my belief. However, there is a century of recorded material out there, so much it is hard to comprehend. Its not destroying the environment, but recycling some of it would only enrich the music of the future in my opinion. The equipment of yesteryear is become more rare and expensive, and may be lost, and the only way to get the sound of a 1950s recording desk will be by sampling a vinyl from your dads collection.
Sample away, i say!

(ms) What can you see in the future for the Australian electro music scene?

(dm) I hope for more innovation and more producers, less labels, more DIY mastering, promotion and distribution, kids really know whats up these days. Should be rad/

D Cup is probably most famous for his Yolanda Be Cool Remix of Afronuts, which featured on the Mashed album this year mixed by Miami Horror, how ever he's a couple more gems for the kids.

Night of the Hornheadz (D Cup Remix) - Act Yo Age

Sweet tune that you might already have but groovey as eff.

I Bought My Wife on the Black Market (D Cup Remix) - Pablo Calimari

Little known remix but a great take on the original by fellow Sweaters Pablo Calimari. Definately a tune every kid needs to have!

For more info check out , and if you like these tunes, more are available from beatport and the itunes store.

Keep Dancing,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

God Save the Queen from Electro

A few months back, the owner of the business I work for walked in whilst I was working, completely unannounced, for a random inspection. I had Triple J playing in the store. The acute hearing of said owner soon picked up on Peter, Bjorn and John calling for a boy to shut the fuck up. Long story short, 'Indie' radio stations were banned henceforth. Now I am stuck with Nova. All the new music their playing though... they're pretty indie, right?

I have to listen to commercial radio now at work, and as many of you have noticed, electro pop is really having an impact on the Top 40.

If you think back, lets say 3-4 years, electro was very underground. I used to work for a DJ company that did weddings and 21st birthdays when I was 18. If I even hinted at playing any form of electro, the dance floor would empty faster than Britney's Perth show when people worked out she was lip-syncing (freaking retards).

But now, Dave Guetta is the new Akon. Ministry Annuals are the staple diet for teen parties. Even Will.I.Am (sorry - Zuper Blahq) is in da house with Steve "I raped the Bloody Beetroots of their talent and now they're shit" Aoki. On that note, remember when the Black Eyed Peas weren't shit? Before Fergie? Before Boom Boom Pow? Yeah... so... electro's kinda big now.

So what is the emerging underground for today? For me, it is Dubstep slash Brit-Fidget. There are a select group of British DJs and producers who are leading this movement, many interchanging from Dubstep to fidget depending on their mood.

To start, depending on your download limit, I invite you to listen to this mix by Foamo for Chew the Fat. It is a brilliantly tight, well-constructed and banging mix of purely Fidget and Dupstep. And it is freakin awesome.

Foamo's Mixtape for Chew the Fat

Specific tracks however paint a picture of the future of 'underground' - or perhaps 'commercial' beats. This Jack Beats remix has certain elements of dupstep, particularly the drops, whilst retaining a constant 126bpm...

I Got You Dancing (Jack Beats Remix) - Lady Sovereign

... whilst this little edit bumps up to around 140bpm and illustrates the Dubstep/Fidget Hybrid.

Where's My Money? (Casper Remix - Jack Beats Edit) - TC

As does this little gem...

What (Foamo Edit) - Jack Beats

NB: For all you little kiddies venturing to Field Day, if you haven't worked out how amazing Jack Beats are by now and would rather see the Presets, please sell your ticket.

This track by Jak-Z and friend is very British. Scott Cooper and Foamo (from above) apparently produce each others stuff - like you can't tell.

Move Ya - Jak-Z & Scott Cooper

Finally, Harmonic 313. Apparently Harmonic 313 is a Sydney-based producer, but I can't put him in a genre. I wanna say Dubstep but it's so much more! But if you do find yourself battling after a night out, listen to their album 'When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence'. It is an absolute ear-fuck. This is the second track of the album.

Cyclotron - Harmonic 313

Peace and Love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All you need is G.L.O.V.E.S

The problem when it comes to electronic dance music is that much like diseased women available for hire, often outside of Kings Cross it can seem out of place. Not everyone is capable of listening to and putting up with dance music on their ipods and in their cars all the time, as often the shear repetition can lead to madness. What normally can seem perfectly acceptable on a Friday and Saturday night can make you feel seedy and attack your cat on Monday through Wednesday.

To help with this dilemma I've decided to introduce to Yama Indra; a producer and DJ out of Melbourne who goes by the name of G.L.O.V.E.S.

G.L.O.V.E.S has been around for a minute, formally making sweet music in a group known as Damn Arms who were best remembered for their massive hit of 2009, Destination. I recently listened to a radio interview with Gloves in which he talked about his musical beginnings in bands. Yama played guitar until he realised there were too many people already better than him at it, upon which he chose to focus on using drum machines and synths, a career change for which we are all greatly appreciative of. These days he produces originals and remixes under the Bang Gang 12 inches record label, his most recent offering being his P.Y.X EP which came out about 2 months ago. His signature style is dreamy synths coupled with belting bass lines which are impossible to dislike. I'll post a bunch of his tunes below as a little whitman's sampler of what G.L.O.V.E.S is all about.

Sometimes (G.L.O.V.E.S remix) - Miami Horror

This is a remix of Miami Horror's latest track due out on their new album which should drop early next year. Dreamy lyrics and gorgeous synth overtones. Try listening to this while wearing sunglasses and not feel cool.

Could be bad (G.L.O.V.E.S remix) - The Scare

This tune apart from being my ringtone at the moment is a complete knock-down renovation on the original tune by New Zealand post-hardcore-punk band The Scare. The slight autotune manipulation on the vocal line helps change this into a 7 minute long disco journey down the highway groove. yum.

Collision (G.L.O.V.E.S remix) - The Death Set

This ones a bit of an oldie, one of the first remixes actually released by gloves but after hearing it again recently in the Bang Gang Radicool compilation it caught my attention again. The natural baile funk feel of the Death Set is coupled with some cheeky electronic squeaks and samples, the overall effect being one jumpy ass toon.

Changes (G.L.O.V.E.S remix) - Van She

This is the first tune that got gloves on my radar. If it weren't for its 138bpm you would've heard this is plenty more clubs this year. Absolute masterpiece.

P.Y.X vs Word Up (Max Smart Bootie) - G.L.O.V.E.S/Cameo

Finally this is a cheeky little bootleg I made featuring the gloves original P.Y.X and an 80s tune most people would recognise called Word Up by Cameo. I think it's pretty neat but on the other hand I made it on Ableton in 6 minutes without using EQs so it could definitely be a lot neater.

As you can see, G.L.O.V.E.S has remixed some of the biggest names in Australian music, and yet he's really only just begun going solid in 2009. The future looks bright! All these tunes are perfect for summer BBQs and making it too.

You can listen to more tunes and find out more about G.L.O.V.E.S on his myspace and also all of his tunes are available for purchase on itunes and such.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


My name is.. what?? My name is ... who?? chicka chicka Slim Shady

Boy howdy it's good to be here. In a fast paced modern climate a boy can be excused for having a lot of feelings and blogging is certainly fantastic way to let you all know about them.

For those of you who don't know me my name is Max and safely now the saying "she doesn't even go here" no longer applies to me. Captain Sober a.k.a Bilbow Baggins a.k.a Ned Flanders a.k.a Naboo the Enigma has graciously allowed me to join the Groove City team and I'm happy to oblige. I've known the young man for a few years now and we always seem to see eye to forehead (which is pretty good considering I'm a 7ft monster) on most things musical, but for those of you who can't compete in a measuring contest with us, I'll spell it out for you.

I'm of the opinion that Riverside is one of the worst "songs" of all time.

I'm of the opinion that the Bloody Beetroots have forever scared a rich history of quality italian dance music.

I believe Prince was royalty, George Michael could get any broad in the world, and that Michael Jackson is not the king of pop; Calvin Harris is.

My beliefs, while sometimes obscure and controversial, are what they are. I much prefer musicianship over grammar, unless of course you are referring to the Nelly Album in which case consider me Miles Davis!

Over the next little while I'm hoping to take you on a journey through all genres of music from electro to hip hop, from funk to fidget and all things that make you want to shake your groove thing yeah. I'm a particular fan of Australian electro music, a genre which has gained massive world wide approval over the course of the last 14 months. Artists such as Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernaughts and PNAU have paved the way for a wealth of local talent which are currently recieving apt support from local record labels such as Sweat it Out! run by Sydney DJ Ajax, and also Bang Gang 12 Inches label which is run under the large modular group. But more about these things later.

Here's a remix of a great song by American group Classixx. The remix is done by Sydney based wonder kid Cassian. I dare you not to enjoy it.

I'll Get You (Cassian's I'll Get Yew! Remix) - Classixx


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Welcome... Lance Dior

As promised in an earlier post, I have decided that now is the time to feature one Max Smart a.k.a. Max Bryden.

Max is an all round top Aussie bloke disguised in skinny jeans, a Lakers jersey and slip on shoes customised with scissors to accommodate Max's giant feet. This is becoming somewhat of a tribute to him now...

More importantly, the vast majority of my music taste has been influenced by Max and his recommendations. I have a lot of respect for Max and his music library. He introduced me to every form of dance music since my 16-year-old Punk Rock phase. Every major electro group that has emerged over the past few years, including Bloody Beetroots, MSTRKRFT and Crookers - Max informed me of their presence circa 4 years ago (when these groups were good... not shit house like they are now).

Lately he has dived into the Nu-Disco that's making everything more... groovy.

He also loves DJ-ing. Like... really loves DJ-ing. He will man the decks for 6 hours at anyones 21st and DJ the shit outta the party if you give him the go ahead. Here is one of his mixtapes that shows more or less what he can do from copious amounts of bedroom mixing.

'I Like Popular Music' Mixtape - Max Smart

He graces Fringe Bar, Cargo Bar, Q-Bar and Ruby Rabbit with his ever dominating presence and is just an all round awesome dude.

On a side note, the 7ft monster will be contributing to this blog from here on in. Ooooo... how exciting.

Peace and love.

Monday, December 14, 2009

My Favourite Things

The following is a short post on some tracks that I have had on constant repeat recently. The first is a longer track by Burial and Four Tet called 'Moth'. Miss Gibbs told me about this track about a year ago or so and it's truly awesome. I have absolutely nothing to inform you on who they are or where they come from... so enjoy the track.

Moth - Burial & Four Tet

The second is a track by Ellen Allien & Apparat (notice I'm keeping with the dual artist vibe here) and it's called 'Do Not Break'. Real names of the duo are Ellen Fraatz and Sascha Ring, but the Ellen Allien alias comes from a fashion background. So she produces music and fashion. I think that's pretty funkin cool. Especially when you listen to this...

Do Not Break - Ellen Allien & Apparat

Finally, a remix of Visitor's 'Los Feeling' by Monsieur Adi. Signed to Techno Favrik, Monsiuer Adi resides in Milan in Italy, and represents the developing underground of Dream Wave Electronica. I like it.

Los Feeling (Monsieur Adi Remix) - Visitor

You might as well check his solo stuff too whilst your here. Cruisy, bassy, relaxing.

We Are the Romans - Monsieur Adi

Peace and Love

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Back by Request

Apologies for the relatively extended break... but do I ever have the goods for you. Richard Kingsmill featured the Requesters on his '2009' show recently, so that's where I first heard about them. It was difficult catching the name of this awesome Spanish duo given Kingsmill's keenness to smash out as much new music as he can in an hour or whatever. BUT... here it is.

The Requesters are (from what I can gather from primitive blog-based research) two brothers from Barcelona by the name of Pia and Oriol Riverola. And I think they are awesome. They seem to be a logical progression from the fading French house epitomised by Justice. Quite similar for my mind, but still distinctly original, cruisy and heavy without being... heavy.
'Warriors' is a brilliant introduction song for any set, with dramatic piano chords paired with blasting symbols. 'Chrisis' is the most Justice-esque track they have. But I already don't like comparing them against Justice. They are their own being. And their EP is launched in Europe next week. Go Spain!

Listen and enjoy.

Warriors - The Requesters

Strong Love - The Requesters

Chrisis - The Requesters

Piano Bytes - The Requesters

As Time Breaks Off (The Requesters Remix) - Delorean

Murderer (The Requesters Remix) - Grammatic

Peace and Love.