thunder picks #034


Intro, shimtro. This week we have loads of bangers, a few great parties too and just over a week till Chez Damier. DEAL WITH IT!


DJ Sotofett presents Another Bhakti Mix – Trans-Jungle-Ride (Wania)


I was talking to someone online the other day (someone who is a well-known authority on tracks in a blue collar city in Pennsylvania), and he claimed Sotofett wasnt very good. And nor is Sex Tags and by extension, Wania. I simply cannot comprehend this. Sotofett, Fett Burger and the whole Sex Tags aesthetic are like a huge breath of fresh air and yeah, they dont always get it right but thank god theyre doing something different. This 12 is another that taps into the rave culture, with jungle sensibilities presented in a in a more leftfield context. The main mix is fairly straight-up with the hugely catch piano hook melded with fiery breaks and 4/4 beat. Possibly a little overly long though but for me its all about Trans Jungle Tide on the flip, bass heavy, with its eerie chords swirling around drums that never actually drop. This is going straight into the first hour box for Thunder for sure.





Life Recorder / Semerka – EP (Bokhari)


I bought this record for the latest effort from Marseille based producer Life Recorder and his productions here are indeed excellent, especially Track Mood with its spacey, synth sweeps, before he takes things back down with the atmospheric acid of Toms of Times. Had this record just contained these two tracks it would be belter but on the flip theres a bonus from yet another artist Ive never heard of, Semerka. Kadinsky is a pretty euphoric affair but then Fudge Fingaz gets his fingaz on it for a remix and WOOOOOSSSSSHHHH, hes found a piano and we have ourselves an anthem! This whole EP is getting hammered for the foreseeable future and you can catch Life Recorder playing at the wonderful Nightmoves on 22nd of the this month. Check it!



Forthcoming: Galcher Lustwerk Nu Day (Tsuba)


The first release from Mr Lustwerk (guessing this isnt his birth name) outside his own White Material label. The Brooklynite might be hotter than the sun at the moment but he caused a bit of a kerfuffle recently with his description of how he prepared his RA podcast (on his laptop in his pants or something). The general consensus was, however,  this was actually humour rather than Jay Daniel-esque impudence. Also unlike young Jay, this guys music really does cut it. Yeah, if you picked up his previous Tape 22 EP maybe this isnt breaking new ground but compared to other house music out there, its really quite unique sounding. From the laid back, head fug music of 216 with its laconic MCing to melodic deepness of Fate and Nu Day 2 to the bright, nu-wave punchiness of Chillin in the Both, every track has something to offer and when brought together as one package, this is a record you need to own. I was in Phonica when this was played and there was quite literally a rush to the counter for copies. Its a limited Tsuba pressing and is available on vinyl only.  





Pender Street Steppers Opening Up (PPU)


This record has been out for a few weeks now and I keep forgetting to write about it. It was top tip from Thunders, erm, Art Director Will BusterWebster and what a cracker it is too. I hadnt really heard to the Steppers before but thats unsurprising really, given the sum total of their previous output was a mix tape (thats a real cassette btw not a mix tape) put out on Vancouvers Mood Hut records.  Crisp house music that skips along aided rhythmic vocals snippets, its one of those records that just sucks you in. Play it, do something else, youre tapping your foot before you know and then a couple of hours later, youll find it nagging away in the back of your mind. 




Pender Street Steppers – Bubble World / Love Theme / Temple Walk (Mood Hut)


So it seems Pender Street Steppers records are a little like London buses! This one has actually been knocking around online for a while but only just pressed up because of some sort of issue at the pressing the plant. Which I guess is like the bus stop indicator saying the bus is 2 mins away and it turning up half an hour later? Or is that an analogy too far? Maybe. Anyhoo, two of the three tracks on this record arent really doing it for me but bloody hell, the Bubble World makes up for it. Floaty synths and  bubbling sound fx, the production is dreamlike perfection. Actually Love Theme is decent too, heavy bass and staccato bursts of percussion, it feels almost like a lengthy intro to a half speed drumnbass track. 




Stephen Brown Illuminance EP (A.R.T.LESS)


Stephen Brown is pretty techno. Hes recorded a load of records on Saskia Slegers Djax-Up Beats (well techno). Hes recorded a few records for Derrick Mays Transmat (well techno). Hes recorded a bunch of records for DJ Bones Subject Detroit (well techno). And hes a baldy, grumpy looking Scottish bloke (as techno as it gets).  Now hes on Mojuba spin off label A.R.T.Less with two killer cuts, the first of which seems to combine loopy techno rhythms with steel drums and getting into a little darker music for the wee hours on the flip. If you search really hard you might nab yourself one of the limited hand pull silk screen printed sleeves that came with some of these records. I didnt. But not bothered about it at all. Oh no. Wankers.




Omar Santis EP (Woodsmen and Lady Log)


Straight outta Stockholm! Apparently, The inspiration for Woodsmen & Lady Log is drawn from our various, even opposing surroundings and backgrounds from the wide-open plains of southern Sweden, to the deep, dark forests of the north. He Swedes definitely love a bit Nordic nonsense when they talk up their house music but theres also no getting away from the fact they make and put out some pretty good music, like the 3 tracks of super deep sub-aquatic house lurking in the grooves of this EP. The bluesy Red Ones or Gold Ones is especially good. Seek out.



Forthcoming: Chicago Damn (MERC)


MERC is back with bang this year for sure. And one of the stars of the labels early releases is back too, in the shape of Chicago Damn. Four tracks here are all quite different, carnival rhythms meld seamlessly with disco and party-starting house beats. But my favourite has to be The Only Life I know with its devastatingly effective but outrageous sampled vocal hook. Try and figure it out answers on a postcard to the usual address. 




Repress of the week: Delroy Edwards 4 Club Use (L.I.E.S.)


Okay, its not technically a repress yet but Ron Morrelli has confirmed that one of the best and most sought after L.I.E.S. releases is getting a repress. All three tracks on this records are absolute pumpers and are already underground house classic.  So ,stick two fingers up at the Discogs hawks, buy ten copies and make a mint. Oh hold on



From the Vaults: Ani Love is Message (Prescription)


Were just over a week away from Thunders (sold out) party with Chez Damier and disappointingly there are no Chez re-releases to tell you about for once So heres a slightly lesser known classic from Prescription to get your lugs around. For those that didnt hear it the first time.



Party of the Week #1: The Idiots Are Winning, Friday @ Dance Tunnel


The Idiots Are Winning are our favourites idiots in the whole of London. This Friday sees their annual launch of all things Electric Elephant with Luke Unabomber, Bill Brewster and resssie, Chris Duckenfield. As the say, if you don't already know who this lot are, you need to question your own party credentials, not theirs! Advance tickets have gone but there will be plenty on the door, so get down there early.  


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Party of the Week #3: Subculture Dance Tunnel Residency, Saturday @ Dance Tunnel


What is there to say about this? Subculture is probably the best and longest running weekly night in the UK. Harri and Domenic have been residents there since day one, every weekend for donkeys year, playing to crowd that dont just know their music but dont accept anyone or anything that isnt up to scratch. This has led to the boys becoming two of the most accomplished DJs youre ever likely to hear, as you will have heard if you came to either the two Thunder parties with Dom. Now theyre back at Dance Tunnel for the first of a quarterly party theyre going throw in London, so you too can sample a bit of that Sub Club magic without the 6 hour train journey either side. Doors open at 10pm, no advance tickets.


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Miles Simpson