Thunder Picks #040


Blimey, I’m still recovering from record Store Day. Not only did it rinse my bank balance within an inch of its life but it also turned Soho was like one huge, sprawling rave, with the DJs such Chez Damier and Paul Johnson playing in Phonica – at the same time!  It was so good you can only think that someone somewhere will decide people are having too much fun and shut it down soon, so enjoy it while you can! I also caught with a record shop types this week and to a man they were talking about it being the most financially successful day they had ever had. When you think that most of these shops are struggling survive day to day, it beggars belief that there are Record Store day naysayers out there in the record buying and collecting community. “Every day is Record Store Day for me”, really? Well it isn’t for everyone else and that’s why shops are going bust, so quit whining on the internet and get behind something that enriches and sustains part of the culture we love. Anyway, here’s some records and stuff.

Mark E – Product of Industry (LP, Spectral Sound)

Back in 2011 Mark released his first, full artist album on US label Spectral Sound. ‘Stone Breaker’ signalled a departure from the choppy edits that helped establish Mark’s production credentials and showcased his broader musical talent. It would fair to say that this is something Mark wanted to achieve with that album, but 3 years on, what is the vision behind the follow up, ‘Product of Industry’? Mark told me, “I didn't want this to be a house album where listeners pick a few of their favourites and stick to them. I wanted it to be something you can listen to as a whole. And I think I’ve achieved it. The approach was with an album in mind as opposed to stonebreaker which was a collection of tracks I’d amassed over time.” The album is out on Monday but you can stream the whole thing here. It’s very, very good.


DJ Fett Burger and Stiletti-Ana – Seriously Goodbye (Sex Tags UFO)

As regular readers will know, I love Fett Burger (and his ever more ridiculously named production partners). I thinkI probably prefer the more traditional house sensibilities of his productions to Sotofett’s. And that’s saying something, because Sototfett’s a borderline house music genius. This record came out a couple of weeks ago (but has only just appeared on YouTube) and is the latest in a long line of fantastic Sex Tags UFO releases. Deeper and more brooding than ‘Speckbass’ or ‘Tutti Frutti Del Mar’, it captures a different mood all together and yet is equally brilliant. You’ll need to move quick to snag a copy though. You can catch Feet Burger DJing in London this weekend though (more of that below).

John Barera and Will Martin – Flux  (Dolly)

I told you lot about Nu-Balearic Sunset Trance before, right? I bet you thought I was joking? Well I wasn’t, here’s this week’s Nu-Balearic Sunset Trance. Released on Dolly Records which means Steffi’s getting on the Nu-Balearic Sunset Trance bandwagon too. Remember, you heard it here first.

Listen on Juno here

MCDE – Rawcuts Remixes (EP, MCDE)

MCDE’s Raw Cuts are pretty much as seminal as modern house records get, so remixing them is never going to be easy. Mike Huckaby does a decent job though, Marcellus Pittman (playing Thunder in September btw folks) does even better but the real plaudits go to Recloose, who delivers a remix that may well prove to be one of the records of the summer. It’s out in about 2 weeks and I simply cannot wait to own this!

Kai Alce – NDATLTD (EP, Kolours)

In my not so humble opinion, Kai is one of the most underrated producers around. When NDATL and Wild Oats put out that limited special edition last year, everyone was raving about Kyle Hall’s track ‘The Architect’ but for me, Kai’s ‘The 48’ was the stand out. For Record Store Day he’s released an exclusive 3 track EP on UK label Kolours and it’s strong, so strong in fact I’d go so far as to say it’s the best record he’s ever released. The open track ‘Ahh’ is sublime, with its infectious piano stabs, then ‘Be Bop’ is a bit of a throw back to scatty New York house dubs of the early 90s and finally, ‘Spring’ is just beautiful, drawn out, laid back jazzy house music. These records were limited but I know for a fact some of the shop in Soho still have a few copies… if you’re quick.

Repress of the Ever: Arthur Russell – World of Echo (2 x LP, Audika)

I’m not going to bother trying to explain this, I can’t do it justice. All I will say that in pantheon of modern musical geniuses, Arthur Russell’s genius is unique. The repress is limited to 1000 copies and already tricky to pick up.

From The Vaults: Kathy Sledge – Take Me Back To Love (Roger’s Favourite Mix)

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far, far away, there was a man called Roger Sanchez. Not the bland Ibizan super club super star dick head you all know but a young, gritty house music producer from the mean streets of New York. A man who made GREAT house music, albeit whilst wearing questionable hats. One day a big, bad man from the record company came to Roger and said, “We have this singer who used to be in Swing Out Sister or something and we’d like her to have a big hit, can you make that happen?” Then the big, bad record company man gave Roger some tapes and Roger stuck pretty much all them in the fucking bin, and then made this with about 3 vocal snippets and the best piano you ever heard in your whole life. Everybody lived happily ever after. The end.

Party of the Week: Dream States with White Material and Sex Tags, Sat 26 April (Corsica Studios)

It would be fair to say that (i) our friends at Kristina Records have their finger on the pulse, and (ii) they know how to put on a decent party, as anyone who has been to a Dream States will be able to attest. However, they really pulled out the stops for this one, with White Material (a label that is hotter than the sun) and the Sex Tags crew (who are hotter than a hot bit of the sun) all playing at the same party. The line up is actually ridiculous and it’s going to be a roadblock. There are a few tickets left >>here<< though – and if you don’t know what I’m talking about (unlikely) then check some of the amazing music this lot have made in eth last year.

Thunder Party Alert! – Friday 16 May – Keith Worthy (Aesthetic Audio, Detroit)

I guess I should also tell you about Thunder’s next shindig, which see’s us welcome Keith Worthy to our sweaty little East London basement. Keith isn’t your standard travelling DJ, so this is an extremely rare appearance in London and the first time he’s been here since 2011 when he last played Fabric. Casting your minds back even further, some of you might remember Keith wiping the floor with (a not too shabby himself) Mr Carl Craig at Secret Sundaze in London Bridge. He really made an impression that night, and this is because despite being an accomplished producer, Keith is a DJ first and foremost. To quote a well known London based DJ agent (not Keith’s btw), “He’s the best DJ I’ve ever heard “. That’s pretty glowing praise.

There are limited Advance Tickets for £8 >>here<< and then it’ll be more on the door.

Mix of the Week: Chris Seddon – Into the Circle

The Christmas before last a good friend of Thunder’s decided to buy her fiancé, another good friend of Thunder’s,  a new turntable as a present, thus equipping him with two such pieces of hi-fi equipment . All he needed now was a mixer and he could have a little crack at DJing in his bedroom. Most people who do this fall by the wayside fairly quickly, so rather than let them invest more money, I had a scrabble around in the loft and dug out my old Citronic mixer. It had a dodgy cross-fader and was bright blue but it worked (kind of), so it would do a job.  A few months later I ended up round the lovely couple’s flat after one of our parties and the mixer was there, in all its bright blue glory, and the man in question was dropping a few rudimentary bur promising mixes. All this gear could still easily ended up down at Cash Convertors, like it does in so many instances, but fast forward about  a year and not only is the man in question, Chris Seddon, involved running in a successful club night (Sunk) where he now plays but he’s just turned out his first vinyl only mix on soundcloud. I think back to my first ever vinyl mix and let’s just say Chris is light years ahead. Brilliant track selection and tight mixing, this is a mix to be savoured. I’d like to think it was the magic of that old Citronic but I think it might have more to do with Chris just being quite good…

Miles 'Thunder' Simpson