So after a long hiatus, Our House Introduces returns, with Ben UFO, ready to take you through the music that has shaped his taste over the years. Ben co-runs the Hessle Audio imprint with Pearson Sound and Pangaea, which from its beginnings has consistently released a catalogue of varied and interesting, sub-driven music.
Here Ben maps out the sounds and tracks that hold some significance for him, taking us from his early childhood, through his formative radio years and into the current music that has cemented his reputation for varied, air-tight mixes over a wide spectrum of club nights.
As ever, we’ll be playing the tracks in full as Our House’s Frank Mitchell discusses the meaning that the music holds for one of today’s most versatile DJ’s.
Play here. (or right click, save as)
Photo by Elliot Holbrow
Little is known about these mysterious producers from outer space, other than the fact that, across labels like Bunker and Transient Force, they deliver ferocious encounters with hard electronic music. However, their latest release on Crème Eclipse, “They Arrive”, takes a look into the distant past of 2006, focusing on a planet called Earth, and the first landing of an alien race.
The first track, “See It Through My Eyes”, acts as the opening scene – filled with apocalyptic rumblings, swirling gas clouds and noxious fumes. Extra-terrestrial insects creep through ominous sounding pads and fearsome keys, offering no escape from invasion and refusing to give up the general feeling of unease. This is a zero gravity rhythm that comes to a final and complete stop on the edges of the atmosphere.
We enter the underwater recesses of Earth with “They Arrive”, excavating the deep sea with rounded, aquatic kick drums and an ancient white-noise perpetually humming in the background. Sonar fills the sonic landscape as mechanical highs propel this beat through the dark core of the Earth’s ocean. All of this is a precursor to the high pitched and minimal notes that signal the beginning of the end, gradually pushing their way through a methodical deconstruction of the planet from within. What we have here is an initial attack, subtle and unseen, but infinitely effective.
“A Strange World Between” features the sharp, tinkling residue of microprocessors, rippling out from within the deep rumblings of robotic murmurings. Slashing metallic sounds cut through a softly undulating sub-bass that is both strangely natural and deeply unsettling.
From ocean to land, the pace is much more fluid in “The Wrong Direction”. The muted sounds of the sea have been cast aside in favour of the crystal clear pace of land and air. The thumping of machines marching from the beaches sits alongside the wailing battle-cry of beings from another world. The rumbling pads are the thread that runs through this record, and by now your mind feels cocooned within a dangerous bubble of deafening low-end. But it’s the very last second of this song that makes it for me, a place where the march comes to a halt as every sentient being plants its feet in unison.
The short succession of radioactive pops that creep through the all-encompassing sub noise of “It Takes Place” signals the destruction of Earth.
“One circle”, in a way, marks the retreat of whatever force has taken over – catapulting itself through space with an infectious bass line, 90’s rave pads and rolling pattern. As each set of keys drive the track onward, a polyrhythmic acid line completes what can only be described as a complete departure from the rest of the record. This track sits better as a danceable club piece than the completion of a science fiction soundtrack.
The whole release is fantastic, with the first five songs all taking its listener into a land of ancient beings and ominous sounds. I’d have liked the last track to complete the story, however, in its own right, “One Circle” is a well-produced, interesting house tune and doesn’t really take anything away from what is a great story, masterfully told through music.
A1 See It Through My Eyes
A2 They Arrive
A3 A Strange World Between
B1 The Wrong Direction
B2 It Takes Place
B3 One Circle
Mark Du Mosch has been manipulating sound-waves from his underground bunker in the heart of the Netherlands for some time now, releasing some fantastic electronic music on labels like Cyberdance, Lunar Disco and Moustache records.
His latest outing on Glasgow’s Tabernacle Records is a veritable symphony of house music, each track perfectly complimenting the next, in a record that takes its listener on a tour of soft, lush soundscapes and vibrant, energetic club beats.
We’ve been lucky enough for Mark to put this mix together which further expands on his ability to guide you through the outer reaches of techno and house, and one that has been on constant play at Our House HQ ever since it dropped into our inbox.01. Mark du Mosch – Incense (unreleased)
02. Mark du Mosch – Birdsong (Tabernacle Recs, unreleased)
03. Rio D. – I’ve Got To Make It
04. Strobe Light Network – B1
05. D5 – Sides Of Space
06. I:Cube – Grandes Orgues
07. 3 Chairs – Misty City
08. Lars Bartkuhn – Dimensions (rmx)
09. DJ Q – Way Back Then
10. Sydenham / Ferrer – Sandcastles (Dub)
11. Traumprinz – Hey Baby
12. Common Factor – Will
13. Da Capo – Kalimba Dance
14. Knowone – 04 A1
The latest outing on Crème’s JAK series comes from an unknown UK house producer that’s shrouded in mystery. And although we know next to nothing about Myriadd, his record is packed with a collection of tracks that continue to channel the rhythmical embodiment of Chicago – throbbing bass-lines, short, sharp 303 modulations and that crisp 707 percussion – through contemporary production techniques, producing music that sounds both vintage and evolutionary.
The opening tune, ‘Beyond This Life’, glistens with gold flecked pads that fall from deep space, acting as the canvas on which this track is painted. All the other parts compliment it perfectly, creating a complete painting of interesting, deep house which exudes warmth and vibrancy.
‘A Hazy Memory’ takes us on a minor departure from ‘Beyond’, dropping you straight into a reverb drenched dance-floor, where your only concern is the mind altering acid-attack that appears to be slowly emerging from a beat packed with the lifeblood of quality music.
Likewise ‘Keep On Searching’ submerges listeners in an aquatic landscape full of warm undulations and funk-speckled synth-licks that slowly merge and change, accompanied by subtle vocal mutterings and staccato pads that are in a constant battle to break through the fluid patterns that drive the rhythm. ‘The Outer Limits’ takes us from sea to land with a solid kick drum and ominous bass line carrying us along a path littered with angelic stabs, soulful melody and choppy percussion.
Every track on the E.P continues to perpetuate the theme of records you could hear both on the dance-floor and in the bedroom, marrying the elements that keep a club moving with those that keep music enthusiasts interested.
The result is a release consisting of interesting and contemporary house masterpieces built on top of the key elements that made the music great in the first place.
A1 – Beyond this life
A2 – A hazy memory
B1 – Keep on searching
B2 – The outer limits
A host of great producers are turning their hand to vintage sounding house, making tracks that touch on the soul of Chicago while remaining fresh and contemporary. Perseus Traxx is one of them and This Is Our House caught up with him to talk about pre internet frustration, self releasing records and of course, house music.
Perseus, son of Zeus, and his mother Dannae were cast away from Argos, out to sea by her father Acrisius. Acrisius was warned by the Oracle that his daughter’s son would one day kill him. Perseus and his mother found refuge on the island of Seriphos, but endured decades of turmoil and violence at the hands of monsters and rouges, until the day Persues would return to Argos and slaughter Acredies.
And now, a man has come forth who bears the legend’s name, wielding vintage synthesisers and slaying sub-standard productions with unique and interesting rhythms.
Nigel Stephen Rogers is 35 year old, Cambridgeshire born Perseus Traxx. He’s had two releases – a wax stamped pressing on his own label Future Flash and the latest release from Dutch label Bunker. It’s Nigel‘s inherent soul and breadth of style – which can go from classic 303 manipulations, to a deeper, more atmospheric composition – which is also catching the interest of labels like M/O/S.
Tall, relaxed and broad shouldered, Nigel‘s non descript tee shirt and jeans hang casually, wisps of grey interjecting a mess of brown hair. His laughter is infectious as he chats in a soft Yorkshire accent about some early musical explorations.
His interest in dance music began at twelve, when reading about acid house while delivering newspapers, but with one record shop full of Indie and the other staffed by people exhibiting fairly typical, aloof behaviour, it was a struggle to feed his interest.
Then he received a small radio as a present. It had an antenna that clipped onto your inside aerial, picking up channels from around the U.K. He set about making some modifications, and with wire running over his lights and across the ceiling, he leaned dangerously out of his bedroom window and clipped it onto his gutter,
“That was it! On a Thursday night, for a few hours, I could pick up the Abstract Dance Show before it turned to fuzz at about one in the morning.”
Nigel exudes this can-do attitude. He leans back and talks modestly, but with deserved pride, about his first release, ’Remake 508’, a record which he funded with a settlement from a housing situation that went wrong.
“Guy [Tavares] at Bunker was interested in my stuff, but he had other music to release first, so I mentioned I was going to start Future Flash and he suggested I do ‘Remake 508‘.”
But releasing a record is not easy. Nigel’s demo was branded “too retro” by distributors who also requested a ‘big name‘ remix on it. Overcoming countless knock backs he eventually got a yes from Chris Duckenfield at All Ears Distribution.
After getting 100 pressed, Nigel hand stamped them with a wax seal, a task which nearly killed him. The sealing wax wouldn’t burn hot enough, so the wick had to be removed, leaving a pile of red lumps. With some angle nosed pliers, an empty tuna can and a small gas stove, Nigel began melting the wax down inside the tin and started branding each label.
“I stamped a hundred records. The fumes were brutal, I could feel them tearing up my lungs.”
Every copy of ’Remake 508’ went to Japan almost instantly, prompting Nigel to risk his life again and press another hundred for the distributors that had previously shunned him.
’Remake 508’ was a distinctly Chicago record – a sound that Nigel has set out to achieve – however his latest release, ‘Untitled‘, on Bunker, explores a wider sonic range.
Those tracks were composed over eight years, with a variety of hardware and software, under various living conditions. But, thanks to the expert selection of Guy Tavares, it works as a complete composition of interesting house music.
“’Untitled’ deviates from the Chicago sound a bit, some are more Detroit, and others, like ‘U-Boat’, I done quite a while ago.”
Some were even composed at a time when Nigel had become disenchanted with music. He was penniless and stressed, prompting him to sell his machines and begin a forestry course to take his life in another direction.
“It didn’t last long though, I was soon tinkering with software.”
Experimenting with Reason and Ableton, Nigel also began to incorporate some old samples from his machines, creating some of the acid sounds that feature on the record.
“I dropped out of the course and began buying equipment again, so some tracks are all hardware, but I don’t think you can tell the difference. It all sounds nice and fuzzy.”
And there is momentum building for his style of warm, analogue music. Nigel is already lined up with a release on legendary label M/O/S in the summer, as well as seeing offers from a few underground labels based in the U.K as well.
Perseus Traxx stands among the core group of producers that have one ear in Chicago and the other in the present. And just like the mythical Greek hero he is a battle hardened soldier, fighting against mediocrity and stagnation on the dusty plains of house music.