Thunder Picks #041


What a weekend. A few of the extended Thunder family went up to Glasgow to check out Harvey at the Sub Club and were completely blown away, not just by the man himself but the residents and generally hospitality of our Scottish hosts. The Sub Club is outstanding too and if anyone knows of a better venue in the UK, please send your answer on a postcard to the usual address. It was a weekend that will live long in the memory, that’s for sure. Now down to business.

John Heckle – Laid Away EP (Scenery Records)

We were lucky enough to nab Mr Heckle to play at Thunder just before he became an international acid house superstar. We did so because he makes amazing music – and he continues to do so, with the latest release on Scenery records. The title track sounds like something that might have featured on the Second Son EP back in 2011, crashing percussion, a big Chi-Town bassline, a tweaky little acid line, emotive strings and even backward noises. Pretty strong stuff but then from out of the blue, in drop these keys –  amazing garage keys that completely blind side and sound like they jumped on the Greyhound Coach to Chicago from New York and gate crashed Virgo 4’s studio. As John’s city folk might say, “It’s boss” and actually sets it apart from anything I’ve heard from him before. And that really is saying something. There’s a couple of tidy remixes too, including one from Perseus Traxx and decent second track from John too. Heavy shit.



Neville Watson – Red Light Fever (The Nothing Special)


Whilst we’re on the subject of early Thunder guests that continue to make absolutely amazing music (and in this case, grow even more amazing beards), Neville Watson has got a new EP out too, on Craig Richards’ label. Of the three tracks, future ‘splogde house’ classic, ‘Heartstring’ is maybe the most attention-grabbing because it sounds quite different from much of what you’ll hear elsewhere this week. Stacco bursts of break beats rip through the melancholy of the strings before the flat kick drum hits and then the bassline before a delicate piano keys enter the fray. Really different and really quite beautiful. The other two tracks stand up too – the John Carpenter tinged, bass throbber ‘The Raw Fruit’ and then the title track, skips along, perkily, a little like a lost Gherkin Jerks track with darker strings. Essential.


Moodymann – Sloppy Cosmic/Hungover (Mahoghani Music)


Now we’ve got previous guest out of the way, here’s someone we would love to have play one day! But so would everyone… Anyway, always a huge fuss when KDJ releases a new record and there certainly was when this hit the shops, despite the title track featuring on his recent album, albeit in un-remixed form. This version of the reworked Funkadelic track certainly spices things up a little for dancefloor, so it’s worth picking up the 12” for this alone. However, that isn’t all on offer, because flip is the previously unreleased ‘Hangover’ featuring  UK vocalist Charlotte OC, with a teased-out intro and sleazy late night vibe, it’s an absolute cracker.  Great tunes but Mahoghani Music need to have a serious word with the wand that makes their videos.




Italojohnson – ITJ008 (Italojohnson)

The closest thing house music has to a boy band are back with their latest release. Having been blown away by most of what they’ve done I was pretty disappointed by their last effort, so was looking forward to an upturn in quality or emotion or something with this release. No such luck on first listen, all three tracks leaving me absolutely cold. Maybe they’ve run out of ideas? Maybe I need to listen more. I wasn’t impressed with ITJ005 but then heard it out and it melted my face off. Here’s hoping – and as there aren’t any decent links to the new release online, here’s the face-melter.



From the Vaults: Circulation – Patterins (Iz and Diz Dub) (Balance)


You may have heard about this already but eBay is the place to go right now for record bargains. The insanely over-inflated pricing on Discogs and not too wildly inaccurate grading from many sellers, has driven me and a few like me away and I’m slowly transferring my wants list over. This is a good example, a record I’ve been meaning to pick up for years, one quick look on the bay and I find an EX copy with a reputable UK seller for half the price of the cheapest battered copy on Discogs. Job done. Oh and Iz and Diz, bloody hell they were good in their prime.



Party of the Week – Wax’d and Dance Tunnel pres. John Roberts and Efdenim (Friday 9 May)


It’s a well-known fact that we love the Dance Tunnel but this line-up is beyond ridiculous. One of John Roberts and Efdenim playing such a compact (but perfectly formed) venue would be amazing, but BOTH OF THEM?!! There are a few tickets left >>here<< , I’d imagine they’ll go today, because it’ll be a roadblock down there. Be quick and see you down the front!




Mix of the Week – Aesthetics by Andy Green


As many of you will know, we have Keith Worthy playing at Thunder. This party that inspired Sunk resident and Thunder regular, Andy Green, to re-record a mix he originally put together a couple of years ago, that comprises solely of tracks from Keith’s Aesthetic Audio label. The music speaks for itself really but Andy’s done a great job of plotting a way through almost the entire catalogue. Have a listen and taste of what’s to come. Tickets for the party available >>here<<