Sound of Thunder #060 – Retirement Age?!


All good things come to he who waits. Especially he who waits bloody ages. So here it is, almost exactly 2 years after the first edition of Thunder picks, the column finally turns 60, so it's a week of birthdays here at Ransom Note, with the outstanding House Hunting celebrating its first anniversary too. Jelly and ice cream all round, is the order of the day. Oh and here's some house music too!

House of Doors – Starcave/Burmstar (Moodhut)

Yep, it’s time for the weekly(ish) Mood Hut section of Thunder Picks. House of Doors, aka Bluntman DJ, provided one of the highlights of the label’s catalogue so far, in shape of the The Dolphin Hotel Affair EP, and now his back. Like his previous effort this one of the more dancefloor friendly releases on Mood Hut, with Starcave channelling the energy of early Strictly Rhythm releases and the flute mix of Burmstar coming on like one of those amazing Strictly b-sides that you never really knew you had. Don’t muck around with this, get it on pre-order now.

Jack J – Thirstin’/Atmosphere (Future Times)

If one Mood Hut related release wasn’t enough, here another one just for luck! I actually got a play a few records with the Pender Street Steppers last week at the FARR Festival Luanch party at Corsica. Well, when I say ‘play with’, I mean on the same bill, I think they were kind of in the room for about 20 minutes well I was actually playing. I managed make my one mixing balls up in almost 3 hours during that time. Nice one. Anyway, they were both nice guys and very good DJs. I’m not sure which one is Jack J though, the tall one maybe? Possibly the one with long hair? Whatever, he’s dead good at making really summery records and he maybe even tops last year’s effort, Something (One My Mind), by adding his own breezy vocals to Thirstin’. It’s really quite lovely, washed out house music for balmy summer evenings and hazy mornings.

Caribou – Mars (Head High Venus Mix)

Well this is an interesting combination, Head High takes a Caribou album track, adds his trademark hard hitting drums… and then turns it into a UK garage track. Slightly weird hybrid but an absolutely devastating one.

DJ Koze – XTC (Pampa)

Now I’m a pretty big Koze fan and it’s always exciting when he releases something new on Pampa. The production on this doesn’t let fanboys like myself down at all, but the vocal? THE VOCAL?! Why?! Maybe it’ll grown on me? Maybe I’ll edit it out and play it off CD? I don’t know but I’m not feeling, because let’s face it, records that bang on drugs are pretty fucking boring. The B-Side is decent though, in less housey way. I’m still going to buy it.

Westbam and Nena – We Are The Future (Fuck Reality)

Right, let’s cut to the chase, the Smallpeople mix of this is the best thing you’re going to hear this year. Taking a 13 year old (I think) rave track and turning it into something utterly blissful, showing Mr Koze you don’t actually need to actually say the word ‘ecstasy’…

Melchoir Productions – Return of the Cosmic Kids Vol2 (Aspect Music)

The first volume of Return of the Cosmic Kids dropped back last, a slice of spacy house music at its best, I think described it as ‘Nu Balearic Sunset Trance’ (new genre alert) but someone on Discogs probably nailed it with “10 minutes of eternal dreams”. Well volume 2 is here and Sometimes continues where volume 1 left off. However, the flip Liquid Moves is the one that really does it for. Kind of like hypnotic garage, it doesn’t actually do much, but that groove just sucks you in, really trance without being anything like trance. I think it’s actually better than the first volume. Maybe.

Black Booby – Jungle Booby (Black Booby)

Black Booby remains one of the most consistent edit labels around, carried along by the unbridled energy of head honcho and production whiz, Richard Rogers. Jungle Booby mashes up elements of Kikrokos ‘Jungle DJ’, which was also famously re-edited by some dude called Ron from Chicago, and turns it into a tribal disco monster. Boiler Room loved it so much they included it in their Debuts series and it’s now pushing well past the 20,000 plays mark on soundcloud.

Album of the Week: Hunee – Hunch Music (Rush Hour)

Okay, I need to a declare a personal interest in this record, because we have Hunee playing the next Thunder (more on that in a minute). However, the reason we booked him is because the boy’s bloody a genius. A great DJ, yes, but a super talented producer too. This album is actually an ALBUM too, avoiding the traditional house music long player pitfall of just being a bunch a house tracks shoehorned into one package. There is full on dancefloor action, there’s laidback dreaminess, there are off kilter interludes, there are afro-jazz vocals, here are moments of outright weirdness, and more, as the various influences that have shaped Hunee’s sound, gently weave in and out of his own sounds. It really is as good an album as you’ll hear from a house music producer. Out next week, pre-orders at the ready!

From the Vaults: Omar S and Shadow Ray – Seventeen (FXHE)

I was flicking through an old mix this morning and happened across this track. Jesus. I’d hadn’t forgotten about but it’s been a long time since I listened to it. Essentially the track turned me onto Omar S, it still sounds as raw and powerful as it did the first time I heard it all those year ago. Crazy, crazy, dark, lose yourself, dancing music.

Party of the Month: Thunder with Hunee (Friday 19th June at Dance Tunnel)

Unsurprisingly, I think the party of the month is going to Thunder next Friday 19th June, with Hunee. As touched on above, Hunee has carved out a reputation as a musical connoisseur, both in his productions and more importantly for us at Thunder, with his DJing. Tireless, enthusiastic, his selections are made with a palpable passion and cover a cultured cross section of essentials from house and disco to afro and techno. The music he serves up comes from a place of love and knowledge in equal measure. So it’s a rare opportunity to catch one of the brightest rising stars in house music play to just 200 people in the intimate environs of sweaty basement home, Dance Tunnel.

There are some advance tickets still available >>here<< and there will be some held back for the door too, but they will cost more. Oh and we have  5am licnce too, LET'S RAVE!

And Finally…

Back in the first edition of Thunder Picks, I told you about Kenny Hawkes’ memorial bench in Brighton >>here<<. This Wednesday saw the 4th anniversary of Kenny’s sad passing. We have some old mixes of Kenny's we've uncovered coming soon, to remind us of what a great DJ he was, but in teh meantime, maybe take a moment today to remember him and what he meant to so many people – and if you’re out this weekend, Dance For Kenny.