Thunder Picks #005
The sun is finally out and you know what that means, dont you? Yep, time to obsess even more about music on the internet. Heres this weeks Thunder picks.
Tony Humphries Live @ Voluptuous
Danny and Jenni Ramplings venture into the warehouse/film studio party scene in 1991 was a bit of game changer in London, as they brought New York DJ legend Tony Humphries over for a then rare appearance on UK shores. Even though the party was held on an industrial estate in some god forsaken North West London backwater like Stonebridge Park, it was essentially the Harvey at Oval Space of its day, with pretty much everybody who was anybody in London clubs turning up. Im not sure how anyone else threw a party that night because every DJ in London was there, with their beady eyes on The Hump and his fabled mixing skills. Before I heard this recording, I remember Tony delivering a master class in both mixing and programming, demonstrating a level of sophistication we werent used to in London. He did things like working two copies of Inner City Hallelujah (their last decent record?) and again with the brilliant but infamously short Masters At Work mixes of Chris Cuevas Hip Hop. There was mixing in key too and it wasnt just all garagey US house, with have weaving records like Cola Boy 7 Ways To Love and DJ Professor & Francesco Zappal 'We Gotta Do It' in with proper jazz house like Ace Of Clubs, and even early Wild Pitch. At the time, it felt like next level stuff but listening back now though, while all if the mixing is pretty tight, some of it isnt very adventurous, well, at least not as adventurous as he was on his radio show. And whilst musically it was great, as a party it never really went wild, which was a shame. This memory is borne out by the recording when MC Kinky gets on the mic and starts toasting, mocking the crowd for having too much smack in de ecstasy because they were not dancing enough! Tonys music made it a special night though and his last record was what really stuck in the memory – David Morales Serious Moonlight mix of Phil Perry Amazing Love. It is essentially a modern soul record and Morales turned into an emotional end of night anthem for slightly worse for wear dancers to hug their friends to. I get goose bumps just thinking about it, so hearing that, and the rest of Tonys set that night again after all this time, has really made my week.
Feelharmonic 005 – Depth & Weight EP
Feelharmonic Records is rapidly turning into one of my favourite new UK house labels. And surely the reason the output is so good, is because Tim Gibney, the brains behind the label, is doing it for love and nothing else. The releases so far have featured remixes from Anton Zap, Moodymanc, Ernie, and Iron Curtis, every single one of which has been strong I played the Moodymanc one at the Boiler Room. The latest release is Feelharmonics first double-header, the Depth & Weight EP, which sees Dublin-based duo Jervis Drive kick things off with their raw as title-track that finds its deadly groove immediately and stays there to great effect. Italian maverick Marcello Napoletano provides a twisted, fuzzy and leftfield alternative of the same cut. On the flipside comes Manchesters Tomson aka Tom Lynch (Development Music/we_ctrl) with the tension-building and euphoric In A House On A Street, while for something more heads down and deeper there is the DJ Aakmael Mixx. Both sides and all mixes are really solid but for, the original mix of A House On A Street, which is absolutely outstand and a record I can me playing for years to come. Just goes to show what you can do if you do it for love.The record will be available online next week and in the shops a few days late.
Shim Sham Time! Its Black Booby with Gene Hunt
At the start of this year, we brought Chicago legend, Ron Hardy protg, Music Box resident DJ, Gene Hunt over to London since the 1990s to play at Thunder. As fans of real Chicago house music, it felt like a big deal at the time. Gene grew up listening to the Hot Mix 5 on WBMX and attending Lil Louis infamous high school parties at the Bismark Hotel, before he started to make his own tracks and took up DJing at local parties, where he caught the eye of a certain Ron Hardy, who was so impressed by the 15 year olds performance, that he took young Gene under his wing and schooled him in the art playing house Music Box style, a club Gene would eventually become resident at. The party, in fact the whole week, was pretty intense, Gene is quite a character and we the Boiler Room and an instore at Phonica with him too, picking up quite a few new friends along the way. One of the connections Gene made while he was here was with Thunder regular and Black Booby Records boss Richard Rogers, a few months down the line, that relationship has really borne fruit, as Gene makes his debut release. Now this IS a big deal, Gene made his first tracks on the floor of his friend Larry Heards living room, his first record was released on Trax sub-label, Housetime and went on to become an acid house classic, he co-produced Phutures seminal Slam and Spank Spank with DJ Pierre, and has collaborated with Robert Owens, Paul Johnson, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Frankie Knuckles, and, of course, Ron Hardy. So its a real coup for Black Booby. And the record is ace too. The first track has a slight Moodymann-esque feel (horrible, clich I know), the second a heavy Music box late night pumper and on the flip Black Booby slams down a full blown Ron tribute medley if you like, incorporating various elements of tracks from Nitzer Ebb to Parlet, a true testament to the diversity of sounds Ron was so famous for. Its also the first in a series of collaborations for Black Booby, with Ashley Beedle up next. In the shops next week.
Not much to say about this other than its absolutely bloody amazing. Not amazing as a throw away term used to described all sorts of marginally better than average stuff but stop you dead in your, jaw dropping, tears in your eyes at your laptop at 1am in the kitchen, rewind, rewind again, shit its 2am, oh fuck lets have another listen, how much is a copy again, actually who cares, its only money, amazing.
Advance tickets for the next Thunder party with Rahaan are close to selling out. Grab yours by clicking that lovely blue link there.
Miles Simpson (Thunder)
Thunder is a party that happens once every 2 months. The guests and atmosphere at their parties is absurdly good. If you want to know about one of the truly great parties happening in London at the moment you really should get yourself down to one of their parties. (Ed) Oh and for the record last week I left the office at 2pm Friday. Plenty of time for a particular writer of a particular column to submit his very excellent article I'll have you know. x