Thunder Picks #030


Im still basking in the glorious afterglow of last Fridays Thunder party with Mark E. And what a belter that was, with Mark properly tearing up. If youre wondering what you missed, the good news is we recorded the whole night. The bad news is the recording is pretty ropy but were going to put it up on Soundcloud soon anyway. In the meantime, heres Thunder Picks, so fill your boats with good stuff and WIN FREE DANCE MANIA STUFF!!!



Record Store Day Special: Dance Mania Revival Tracks EP (Strut)


Avid Thunder Picks readers will know that I had a little bit of input into the new Dance Mania compilation, Hardcore Traxx, which was compiled for Strut Records by Conor Keeling and two other blokes called Ray Barney and Parris Mitchell. It finally hits the streets later this month, with lovingly compiled, comprehensive sleeve notes by Chrissy Murderbot, all beautifully presented in top notch packaging. There will be a vinyl release too, which includes the CDs and is available via the Strut webshop only. And if all this Dance Mania stuff is new to you, the comp has been featured on National Public Radio in the USA (I think thats kind of a big deal) and theyve posted the whole bloody thing online to listen to!


Emboldened by the overwhelmingly positive response to Hardcore Traxx, Strut decided to delve deeper into the Dance Mania archive to produce a special one-off EP for vinyl lovers, which will be released on Record Store Day. I was lucky enough to help select the tracks on the A-side, two bangers from 1994 – Drewskys Wigged Out (produced by DJ Deeon and mixed by DJ Milton) and Club Styles Spirit (recorded by Paul Johnson and Robert Armani). On the flip is a previously unreleased cut from Parris Mitchells Rhythm II Rhythm moniker. Recorded at the same time as the classic A Touch of Jazz in 1992, Mellow Magic is another subtle house gem which was shelved due solely to the hectic Dance Mania release schedule. Limited to 500 copies worldwide, available exclusively from participating Record Store Day retailers on Saturday 19 April.


COMPETITION: Win a copy of Dance Manias Hardcore Traxx!


I have a beautiful, sealed production copy of the CD release of Hardcore Traxx, to give away. Simply answer the following question and it could be yours. 


Which of the following is a recording alias of Dance Mania artist and joint owner, Parris Mitchell?


– Rhythym is Rhythym

– Rhythm II Rhythm

– React 2 Rhythm


Stick your answer in the title of an email and send it to:  Ill announce the winner in Thunder Picks next week.


Magic Mountain High Tiny Breadcrumbs EP (Off Minor Music)


The second release on Off Minor Records sees Jordan Czamanski, who was behind the huge debut release Crybaby, team up with his Juju and Jordash partner Gal Aner and Move D, for the trios first release as Magic Mountain High outside the Workshop Records stable. The beautifully packaged 4 tracker is what weve come to expect from MMH, swirling synths, melancholic melodies and a darker shade of deepness. This really is 6am music.





DJ Ford Foster 


Another producer keeping the spirit of Dance Mania alive in 2014 is Ford Foster, with this killer ghetto tinged EP on the amazingly named Bad Mums Club Records. Four tracks that really are just that, tracks. My favourite is Low Ceiling with its phasing vocal loop but I think lots of people are going to go straight for House Chant which sounds like it was beamed here straight from a circa 1997 Daft Punk. Big Bangers and Pure Pumpers for Bad Mums!





Marquis Hawkes Feed The Beast (Dixon Avenue Basement Jams)


There has been a real buzz around DABJ in the last 18 months or so, but to be honest, I havent really been feeling the labels output. The aesthetic is great, as is the labels ethos, and the guys behind it know their stuff and are stalwarts of the Glasgow underground BUT the music just hasnt done it for me. It feels like yet more generic jackinacid from the likes of Jared Wilson, whos never again reached the heights of Ghetto Blaster, and Ive heard enough of that stuff to last a life time. This release steps things up a level though. Four tracks, kicking off with the Chicago Street Player sampling Honey Kisses, which manages to pull off that trick without sounding cheesy, before we get the piano party pump of Lets Do It. Flip the record over and things start to get serious with the acidic rawness of House Is My Castle, which in theory fits the generic jackin acid I mentioned above but somehow manages to sound fresh. But the standout for me is the final track on the EP, Roger Funk, which is just brilliant moody house music. It all comes packed in a DABJ tote bag too and now I own one of their records, I can treat myself to one of their ace t-shirts too (Thunder Rule # 327: never wear a record company t-shirt without owning any of their records). Winner!




An-I – Kino-I (Citi Records)


Ani-I is Lee Douglas of Rong Music fame. This isnt like his Rong music stuff. It starts off as a fairly driving acid track and goes more and more bonkers as the track wears on. Pressed on heavyweight, fluorescent yellow- green vinyl, if I were to summarise, I would say it looks absolutely fantastic and sounds absolutely batshit. 




From the Vaults: Jared Wilson Office Analogue (7777)


You know I mentioned Jared Wilsons highpoint being his Ghettoblaster EP? Well this is the highpoint of that highpoint. A truly unique acid track with wicked piano hook chucked in for good measure. You can still pick it up fairly easily, so maybe you should?




Mix and Interview Me!


Ive done a mix for Mavrik, a house music collective from Leeds, and if youre not sick to the back teeth with hearing me bang on already, theres an interview too.


The mix is okay, slightly loose, but it was largely off the cuff and done in a single pop, using vinyl. If youve heard me play live, youll know my DJing is slightly loose anyway, so its a fair cop!


Miles Simpson