Aiden's Top 8 Of 2014

Aiden gives us a mighty batch of his 2014 selections...

Aiden's Top 8 Of 2014

Aiden gives us a mighty batch of his 2014 selections...

So I was gonna do a themed Top 8 (useless house reissues?) but I when I saw Mike’s ‘Top 8 West Ham Directors Looking A Bit Ridiculous’  I couldn’t compete so kept it to my highlights of the year – as I’m on a House Hunting hiatus this week naturally spammin’ this Top 8 with more house and more records Jesus…

HOUSE HUNTING

What else am I gonna begin with?! After having the honour of contributing to Thunder Matriarch Miles’ ‘Thunder Picks’ column earlier this year (Milo on a house hiatus at the mo hopefully the Gherkin Godfather will be back soon…) by waxing lyrical about my bargain basement finds in London’s record stores the seeds were sown and ‘House Hunting’ was conceived… Though still in its infancy (only been doing the column just over 6 months) I didn’t realise it was gonna take off as I thought there was only a small minority of acetate anoraks and original pressing militia who’d be as obsessive as myself… By writing the column weekly I have to be disciplined with my diggin’ exploits ensuring I’m checking record joints on a frequent basis though by doin’ this I’ve unearthed some killer long lost house records and Holy Grails. I’ve also had the opportunity to interview house heroes such as Walt J and Vincent Floyd and surprisingly the column has been a motivator in me gettin’ behind the decks again including slots as the swish South Place Hotel, a residency at hip Hackney haunt London Fields and even hosting a House Hunting room with Miles at a Boy’s Own event last month – and I ain’t even a DJ! Fellow R$N contributor and wordsmith wizard Manu interviewed me on the column recently which will also give you an idea what it’s all about check it out here. Speaking of DJing me and my House Hunting partner Tomi will be at the controls at London Fields this Friday getting’ the Xmas party spirit flowing – you know the score strictly vinyl and vintage house, original pressings no reissues…

VINYL REVIVAL

So record sales have hit the one million mark for the first time since ’96 so proper pressing plant pressure this year! With the renewed interest in the format this has been the catalyst in vinyl emporiums poppin’ up all over London Town meaning I have more treasure troves to unearth some wax gems when House Hunting… Latest store openings include Flashback Records adding to their Islington and Crouch End strongholds with a new branch in Shoreditch plus the SE environ of Peckham now playing host to a triptych of record joints including Rye Wax, Yam Records http://youandmusic.net/ and its latest addition the bijou Aladdin’s cave Do!! You!!! opened by NTS’ Charlie Bones. However, Hoxton wax haunt Love Vinyl has fast become a firm favourite (shouts to co-owner Zaf and Jarvo at the controls) always gettin’ in a fresh batch of vintage vinyl in decent condition including the Chitown and NY house flavas I crave – not to mention boss in-store sessions jet down to one if you ain’t already! Add to that a record shop recently opening next door to my flat (‘The Little Record Shop’ in Hornsey) and I’m sure 2015 record sales will continue to flourish – just make sure you ain’t online whores and pretend to cop some vinyl on Record Store Day the shops need your support 24/7 for the black crack yo…

HOUSE HEROES HOMECOMING

Amid the wave of house reissues that has descended upon the new release market (more on that soon…) there has been some more interesting records from former hierarchical house figures who have come outta retirement and released some new and previously unreleased tracks from the archives. These include Detroit UFO Walt J who after nearly two decades made a welcome return with the ‘Resurgence EP’ on Parisian imprint Unlearn, Harry Dennis of Jungle Wonz fame who along with house forefather Larry Heard resurrected their ‘The It’ alias releasing a new EP on Larry’s Alleviated Records stable and Chicago enigma Vincent Floyd who allowed Rush Hour to raid his vaults and release the ‘Moonlight Fantasy’ 12” – this one my personal favourite but all these records showing that some of the old vanguard still got it. Have a listen and decide for yourself…

THUNDER

Thunder restored my faith in goin’ out with 200 proper heads gettin’ down in the intimate enclave of Dalston den Dance Tunnel. Championing the more discernible and deeper facets of house hosting serious selectors such as Gene Hunt, DJ Nature, Rahaan and Rick Wilhite, the tight programming continued this year with Mark E, Chez Damier, DJ Sprinkles, Marcellus Pittman and Linkwood all jettin’ down to London Town and droppin’ superlative sets. Though the guests naturally the star draw I’ve always gone early doors to support the rezzies whether it’s Thunder Matriarch and fellow hardcore house enthusiast Miles droppin’ some proper long lost house obscurities or Rick adding a deeper flavour and techno flourish to proceedings – both holding their own against the big boyz… What I love about the night is that it never takes itself too seriously with the emphasis on dancing and having fun contributing to it having a proper communal spirit. Also Thunder wouldn’t be Thunder without the infamous afters (Miles reminding me Chez Damier trying to hit on me at the South Place afters-session) – shouts to my House Hunting partner Tomi hosting countless afters and Manu repaying the gesture by walking dog s**t in his gaff! Anyway for their next flash of Thunder in the new year they’ll be hosting Jordan GCZ of Juju & Jordash fame for his London DJing debut – no doubt will be a killer night check out the event details here…

ELECTRIC ELEPHANT

As Miles announced he was taking Thunder on tour to Electric Elephant in Croatia and loads of heads I knew were jettin’ out there including my House Hunting other half Tomi with his posse it was time I joined them on an Adriatic adventure… I’ll be honest didn’t know what to expect but it turned out to be one of the most entertaining escapades I ever had. Way too many highlights but my memorable montage includes: my biggest fan Chez Damier joining me and Tomi for a jive armed with his walking stick, Rahaan melting the Barbarella’s dancefloor at sunrise with the shimmering synths and yearning larynx of Jamie Principle’s ‘Your Love’, bizarrely meetin’ two guys from my Midlands hometown of Hinckley in the toilet queue on the MCDE boat party (turns out one of them used to go out with my Mum’s best mate?! “I hope I ain’t shagged your Mum!”), Derrick May tryin’ to hit on the Mrs and upon failing asking her to buy him some chicken wings, losing endless hours in the time-vacuum of the Vortex Bar, the Thunder groupies (too many to mention you know who you are!) and of course my festival fashion statement those glistening gold shorts – for real one woman was obsessed with ‘em and tried bribing me 50 euros mental… Hold tight tickets on sale 1st January via their website or if one week ain’t enough then you can now cop a combined ticket that includes the earlier Garden Festival. This will be their last one so a ridiculous line-up (Ransom Note representing!) and no doubt it’ll be a riotous cacophony of raucous further details here

NEW TV

Gone off the Richter scale here as I’m talking about a telly (no house or records? Need a lie down…) but if you’d seen our previous Philips TV (aka ‘The Beast’ – a hulking behemoth that is bigger than some of your studio flats) this is serious cause for celebration… I actually saved some serious £££’s to rinse on a new mixer (was gonna be a hipster and invest in a rotary) but typically The Beast who I’d thought would outlive us blew up… So the mixer funds had to go towards a new TV – proper nightmare though at least when we move flat we ain’t gotta move that telly anymore trust me the sofa easier to lift than that retro goliath… I ain’t bothered about new technology and I didn’t want a colossus 50” plus benefits stylee TV bigger than my lounge so got a new Sony Bravia that is small but perfectly formed… Highlights so far include it being tuned in wrong so I get East Sussex and Kent local news, streaming films and goin’ over our broadband limit so being rinsed by BT plus Netflix taking £7 quid outta my account every month even though I don’t like their ‘film suggestions’ – I still ain’t got my heard around the telly turner so I’ll just stick to house and records standard…

MARK SEVEN R$N MIX

One mix that’s been on repeat this year at House Hunting HQ is superior selector Mark Seven’s guest mix for our very own Ransom Note. I don’t get a lot of time to check out mixes and I have to adhere to a pre-programmed playlist at work (Disclosure and Kasabian – kill me now…) but when I saw that the Parkway Records patriarch and Jus Wax proprietor had laid down a mix I knew this was gonna be one I needed to rinse… Kickin’ off with the long lost Paradise Garage classic ‘You Got Me Running’ by Colonel Abrams and Boyd Jarvis, in true Parkway Mastermix fashion Mark segues a seamless medley of his influences and inspirations whether it’s the Chi-Town flavour of Mr Fingers’ ‘The Juice’, the proto-boogie styling of ‘I Surrender’ by Russell Patterson or the early hours haze of ‘Temptations’ by Ray’s Keys on Mark’s Parkway Records subsidiary Parkwest. Whether your preferred taste is house, funk, soul, disco or boogie this genre-defying concoction definitely a flavour worth checking complete with some lacing of obscure allure – check it out here

TOP 8 LOWLIGHT – REISSUES, REISSUES AND MORE F**KING REISSUES

2014 has been the year of the reissue… Jesus there’s that many flooding the market at the minute that the fresh batches of house records are drowning in repress saturation. I’m all for a long lost Holy Grail being reissued for the house masses and newer generation to enjoy for example Mojuba releasing MK’s ‘Strider’ previously only available by an acetate or I can understand some heads wanting to replace their rinsed Trax records drenched in damp and distortion. However, rereleases on labels like Express and Incognito where you can cop originals for a quid are pointless – what’s happened to the art of digging? Though I’m militant in tracking down originals (I just can’t cop a reissue anoraks anonymous…) for 2015 let’s have at least a bit of imagination when reissuing a record – i.e. joints from a long lost DAT or an exclusive from the archives whether it be Still Music’s Jackmaster Hater retrospective or the forthcoming Soichi Terada compilation on Rush Hour which has an alternative version of ‘Low Tension’ that is previously unreleased have a listen here…

If you’ve got this far well done gold star for you – if you need some eye candy check out R$N’s favourite felines via Ciaran’s Top 8 Cats for 2014. House Hunting will be outta hiatus if I’m still alive after the Xmas sales pray for me…

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