Electro Of The Week: ‘To Get’ by H.M.L (Cover of EBTG’s ‘Missing’)

2009 Listen.to.it.

No, I am not drunk, that’s the name of a superb label I just discovered. They probably came up with it when they were drunk. Try googling it! Yikes.

House Wave Vol. 1 is their latest collection on Trackitdown and features several standout tracks including Gimme Fantasy by Italian DJ Gianni Coletti and Suspicious by Stephen Claude, among others. The Electro Of The Week, however, is a cover of the Everything But The Girl hit Missing, this time inexplicably titled To Get. The name of the artist? H.M.L.

H.M.L? Seriously, this anonymity thing is cool, but that sounds like the name of a shoe store. The track is fantastic though, and I especially appreciate the fact that the singer and producer decided not to go for the cliched ‘Dance Diva’ vocal (she sounds fantastic, and the accent ain’t bad at all). Musical, driving and emotional, this would be a winner on any night.  It’s a vibrant update to a classic tune and comes highly recommended.

O.K. So I have been informed that H.M.L. stands for ‘House Music Lovers’. Much better!

Great Moments In Electro- I Program My Home Computer!

In my first article in the series, I argued that ‘Electro House’ did not originate in the early noughties (like some Internet reference sites seem to suggest, wink), but has been around for just a little bit longer than that. Sure, the kicks are now thicker than Oprah’s thighs, and there is a lot of sucking going on (sidechain compression you pervs, what were you thinkin’ of?), but the elements are the same.

Now Kraftwerk is widely considered one of the most influential acts in electronic music, so there were a couple of great tunes to choose from. I was initially going to pick ‘The Robots’ (brilliant!), but this mechanical monster (taken off the 1982 ‘Computer World’ record) is a particular favorite of mine, and one of the group’s lesser known classics. Every element screams pure Electro and should be considered a masterclass, not just for the electronic apprentice, but for every self respecting devotee of dance!

This is where it comes from children…

Spellbinding stuff.

Forgotten Classic: Rob Acid-Acidwave

This is Acid House. Done right! And the only thing that hits harder than Acid done right is the bouncer at Acid House night (look mommy, I rhymeded). Absolutely nuts tune that appeared on the 2005 ‘Acid Condenser’ compilation. I love that it’s not fixated on the 909*, skipping the old beat box altogether for one of the tightest grooves you’ve ever heard. And just listen to that 303 riff. Up there with Wink’s ‘Higher State…’? Does a bear…?

Drop this at 2 am with a full room and enjoy the chaos that ensues! Brilliant! Timeless!

Pitched up a bit much innit?

*at least it doesn’t sound like a 909. Rob?

The Internet: All the music in the world that nobody’s buying…

Do this exercise: go to Trackitdown.net, click ‘House’, go to the ‘New Releases’ tab and select ‘Electro’ in the Genre drop down menu. Finally, choose ‘Last Two Weeks’ under time period. What do you see? More than 40 pages of new music? 879 tracks! And that’s just the Electro section. So even if you know what kind of music you’re looking for, good luck getting to that gem on page 8 buddy. More often than not, you’re going right to the ‘Featured Tracks’ section, and why wouldn’t you? You wanna funk, and if the Nice Man on Trackitdown is telling you what to rip and what to skip, why thank you Mr. Man. Here’s me credit card number…

But what about song 433 on page 12? And what about all those labels and all those artists putting out song after song on sites like Beatport and TID, only to get lost in the monstrous deluge of never ending new releases? Who are these artists and labels, and what is their goal? Vanity projects? Most certainly some, but not all. Its so hard to get on a Beatport or a Juno, that for a lot of labels the opportunity to sell their music alongside the Skints and the Get Physicals of the world is accomplishment enough. But where to after that?

As the owner of a feisty Internet label, I am well aware of the futility of the digital promotion game. That’s why I don’t release a track a day; you simply can’t do justice to each single in terms of promotion and sales. Why put out a beloved tune only for it to get sucked into the vortex of the interwebs?

Remember when all this music was supposed to be a good thing, and how the MP3 was forever going to revolutionize and democratize music? The little label was finally going to have a voice. What happened? Thousands of tracks released each month, only to disappear into the ether. Revolution? Bollocks.

I wish it was 1993 again. In ’93, if you were making tracks, you were releasing tracks, and if you were releasing tracks, there was a good chance people were buying ’em. Revolution? My arse…

How long did it take for the majors to realize that they had to get in on this sweet deal and make it ‘business as usual’ before long? Revolution? F@$k off!

Slappin’ The Bass! Great Basslines In Dance: Jamie Principle & Frankie Knuckles/Your Love

This groundbreaking 1985 House track still gives me goosebumps. With a rollicking bassline (4 string or Korg M1? Who cares?) and an incessant arpeggio, it grabs you from the start and keeps you there till the climactic end. It’s supremely satisfying , musically complex and full of surprises. When was the last time you heard a House track that did all that?

Who’s Jamie Principle you ask? Principle was the true technical wizard behind ‘Your Love.’  Knuckles did help popularize this gem and put it out on vinyl – but with his name on the cover. Ouch!

Nice vinyl version!

The entire instrumental was lifted  by The Source for the 90s Candi Staton bootleg of ‘You Got The Love’.  That one’s quite an anthem as well!

The arpeggio in my hit track Booty traces its inspiration directly to this classic.

Isn’t she adorable?

Electro Of The Week: ‘Klassik’ by Neon Stereo

This one almost slid under the radar. It’s the latest from the mysterious Neon Stereo, an up and coming Australian producer with several high profile remixes (including Steve Angello and the ubiquitous Deadmau5) under his belt.

The modestly titled ‘Klassik’ is a moody reverb-drenched workout that boasts some really infectious arpeggiated synth melodies and a crisp groove (can a groove be crisp? Where are my Pringles?). It’s dark and laid back, not unlike yours truly, and perfect for getting intimate with your audience. Also, not unlike yours truly…

Get it from Trackitdown below!

Michael Jackson’s Echo…echo…echo…

In the hit Michael Jackson documentary/concert film This Is It, the King Of Pop asks for more ‘echo’ on his vocals, something that struck me as odd. You see, ‘echo’ is what a layperson would call a delay and/or reverb effect, and while there are certainly boxes with ‘echo’ in the name (Space Echo, Echoplex, Echoverb), they are primarily delay/reverb units.

An echo is a type of delay/reverb. ‘Echo’ is something my mother would say. What Michael may have been referring to was not the effect itself, but a particular favorite preset. Listen to tracks like Dirty Diana, and you will hear a very prominent use of said ‘echo’. Of course, who would correct him. Your butt (Michael would always say ‘butt’, never ‘ass’) would be outta there, don’t matter if its black or white. Shamon…

I know I’m being pedantic but I was just a little surprised that MJ would use such terminology considering how involved he was with the production of his albums.

So what? He made Thriller! Thriller…

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