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Entries in Classic House (3)


Techno Virtuoso

I think I took my first piano lesson at the age of seven, at my first live performance a year later I absolutely murdered Eensy Weensy Spider and was convinced my path to stardom had begun.  After 6 months my skills began to plateau with Pop Goes the Weasel, so deciding it was best to stop turning sheet music into shit music (I blame my wench of an instructor), I announced my official retirement.  The same unfortunate tale cannot be said about Francesco Tristano, this 29 year old classical pianist's work calls all prior definitions of techno into question with his highly original take on electronic, piano bench house?  I picked up his Idiosynkrasia EP a couple months ago and it's simply stellar, the InFiné release includes remixes by Ben Klock, Ark, Fumiya Tanaka and others.  Anyway I'll shut up and let this gifted bastard's music do the talking, be sure to check the full live show with Carl Craig at the bottom...enjoy.


The Foundation (001)


Spencer Kincy, aka Gemini, was a legend in the making.  The American native was a Chicago DJ in high demand, and a seriously talented and prolific producer who made tunes which were before their time and which still blow up the dancefloor as hard as they did in the 90's.  This guy is a phenomenal.

So who is Spencer Kincy?  5 Magazine tells us:

"Spencer Kincy was giant in Chicago's House Music revival - part of the second wave of younger DJs and producers that took the music of the early 1980s, rubbed it up and dropped it in places like 500 West Cermak, Medusa's and the Vault. A lot of people who are now superstars of the scene - Mark Farina, Sneak, Derrick Carter, and dozens of others - were a part of that movement, too. Spencer released a number of tracks on Relief, Planet E, Cajual, Peace Frog - labels representing the classics of that era - and he usually recorded under the name Gemini. 

And as gritty, as grimy, as jarring and noisy as his productions could be, he could also make them sing. His collaboration with JT Donaldson, the Duality EP, wasn't just a play on his DJ name. A track like "Changing Times" was deep, controlled, almost gentle, presaging some Deep House currents by nearly a decade. And he could follow it up with a jarring track of completely abstract sounds - a thunder that would shake the 16 inch reinforced concrete walls of a warehouse. He could work with live musicians or filter a disco loop, pound it into the ground and make it more inspirational than any gospel choir, as he did on "Stand Up" (Relief). The output was eclectic, and sometimes it missed its mark, but he always pushed the envelope forward."

When listening to some of his tracks, it's easy to want to run out and buy some, or the whole collection for that matter.  It's not that easy, as most of it is on vinyl and out of print - - and Kincy isn't interested in having more printed or released digitally.  Robsoul recordings did put out a Tribute EP this year though, so definitely check that out.

Fact is, Spencer Kincy inexplicably dropped out of the game and disappeared, obviously leaving a huve void in the scene, and a lot of questions and speculation.  From my own research, and by reading some articles on 5 Magazine, people still don't know why such a genius would just fall off the way he did.  No one knows exactly where he went to, although death is out of the question according to some sources.  Either way, this guy has left a major mark in House music, it's just a shame he didn't stick around to make more of it.  Gemini, come back and make us some more heat, please! 

You can see and hear lot's more of Spencer Kincy's awesome music here, at a Facebook Group dedicated to this legendary House producer.  Get that.





It's Been A Minute....Dive In It

It sure has been a minute.  It's even been a few minutes.  Despite how long it has been, some classic house and techno tracks are still being played relentlessly in clubs across the world, bringing back memories to those die hard clubbers who still grace the dance floor, and forever changing the lives of the younger cats who are amazed that the tracks they flip out to were produced 20-30 years ago.  Sometimes forgotten, there are so many tracks that need to be brought back into the mix because, well, they are just so damn good.  

Here are some serious bangers that have undoubtedly influenced and shaped the modern Electronic Dance Music (EDM) that continues to move our feet today.  You may have forgotten, you may not have even known it existed.  Either way, let's bring some of that good shit back and freak the fuck out to it.

Cybotron - Cosmic Cars (Detroit Style Mix) ... [1988]

Cybotron, a duo made up of early Detroit techno pioneers Juan Atkins and 3070 (Richard Davis), is without question one of the most influential groups in the history of Techno.  'Cosmic Cars' was originally released on wax by Atkins' own Deep Space Records in 1982, but this version -- the Detroit Style Mix -- was released six years later on Fantasy Records.   

A Number Of Names - Sharevari ... [1981-82]

Along with Cosmic Cars, another infinitely important song in the evolution of techno was called SharevariThis song was another homegrown creation from Detroit producers  known as A Number Of Names.  Along with Cybotrons initial releases on Deep Space Records (especially 1981's Alleys Of Your Mind), Sharevari is considered to be one of the most important landmarks in the birth of what we know today as Detroit Techno.  History sounds good, doesn't it?


Nemesis - After The Storm ... [1989]

Nemesis was one of many aliases used by American house, techno and breakbeat producer Toyin Agbetu, who had a number of releases in the late 80's and early 90's under this moniker.  After the Storm is a simple but powerful house track that moved people emotionally and gained huge popularity during a time when Techno was gaining ground and competitng for the hearts of clubbers on the dance floor.  Toyin released a number of albums as Nemesis, gaining great popularity during this period and continues to retain a cult following for his amazing house music. 

Precious - Definition Of A Track ... [1989]

Released on Big Beat Records in 1989, In Motion by female rapper Precious was to become a major house shaker.  Track B1 on this release was produced by Cassio WareDerek-A-Jenkins and Dwayne "Spen" Richardson and would become the Classic House tune known more commonly as: The Backroom ProjectDefinition Of A Track.  That bassline is just so incredibly greasy and hard hitting that it makes me want to load myself into a huge carnival cannon and shoot myself into a sleazy afterhours jam filled with dancing gnomes and less than savoury ladies.  Grime time bass line.


Model 500 - The Chase (Express Mix) ... [1989]

Following his break from Cybotron and partner Richard Davis in 1983 -- a resulrt of creative headbutting -- Juan Atkins began a solo career producing techno under the moniker Model 500, while Davis took Cybotron on a path towards a more "rock and roll" sound.  Cybotron was quickly forgotten, while Atkins flourished on his own, leading into the mid and late 80's, at which time he produced his most influential and renowned work.  Although not his biggest track during this time, The Chase was none the less one of his most popular and best selling releases.  It is definitely my favourite Juan Atkins tune, along with No UFO's, released in 1985 on another Atkin's label Metroplex.

Model 500 - No UFOs ... [1985]

Don't forget to show that cybo-swagger when you dance to Juan's killer know, like this.