“Glasgow Underground 2014” is a round up of the best music we’ve released in the last year plus some ones we just can’t live without from 2011-2013. There are 32 tracks in total and 2 x DJ mixes from Kevin McKay featuring his “Before Midnight” and “After Midnight” selections. The compilation was released in partnership with our friends @ Toolroom Records and features the following tracks:
1 Romanthony Trust (MCDE Deep Mix) We’ve been a fan of Motor City Drum Ensemble since the brooding and eerie “Escape To Nowhere” in 2007 – a track that sounded like someone had listened to “French Kiss” on acid and then tried to recreate what they heard. So when we started re-issuing Romanthony’s classics with fresh remixes, MCDE’s Danilo Plessow was always someone we wanted to on the project. It has taken 2 years to organise this mix and now it is finally here it doesn’t disappoint. Taking on “Trust”, most people would head straight for the vocal but Plessow instead eschews that idea for a warm, low slung dub mix reminiscent of Muzique Tropique and early Glasgow Underground releases by Studio Blue.
2 Illyus & Barrientos The Times We Shared We’re just a little bit proud of this collaboration. We’ve been working with these two guys for a while now and thought their talents would be a perfect match. After a bit of cajoling, we got the two of them in the studio and boy are we glad we did. “The Times We Shared” is a moody floor-filler. It oozes vocal style like the best of Diynamic but with some added super-tough Glaswegian beats that take the record into the kind of territory Deep Dish would be in (if they were still making records as good as they did in ’94 today).
3 Romanthony The Wanderer (Dixon Edit) Originally released as an ultra-limited 12″ on Philomena [which are now fetching upwards of £200 on Discogs] Glasgow Underground re-issued the classic Dixon edit of Romanthony’s The Wanderer on vinyl and revived this underground classic. Much in the spirit of the original/Prescription Underground “CD #9 Version” [which Michael Mayer puts in his all time great dance records] Dixon delivers a sun-kissed, bass-heavy groove that is pure Panorama Bar house music at its very best.
4 Romanthony Bring U Up (PBR Streetgang Remix) Bring U Up originally appeared on Roman’s Blackmale label in 1995 as a rumbling slice of New Jersey garage complete with gospel samples and Romanthony collaborator The Trojan Horse. It was a bit of a cult favourite with underground heads like DJ Deep. It wasn’t until Roman completely re-produced and re-sang the song in 2000 that it fully took on anthem status. Out went the heavy kicks and hypnotic moods and in came James Brown horn stabs and a live beat that sounded like Bernard Purdie had joined him for the session (the drums were actually provided by Roman himself). The result was an instant club hit with everyone from Pete Tong to Francois Kevorkian that reached (a very respectable 74) in the UK national charts. Here PBR Streetgang deliver a wonderfully deep modern house groove that got the support from the likes of Andre Crom, Mosca, Agoria, Junior Sanchez, Laurent Garnier, Joakim, Aeroplane, Noir, Dusky & Jimpster.
5 Kevin McKay Body Talk (Grum Remix) Grum – clearly enjoying his new found love of house music – takes Kevin McKay’s Body Talk and transforms it into the kind of air-punching p-funk bomb that you’d normally hear from Maceo Plex. Add to that some gorgeously Grummy uplifting chords and you’ve got the kind of record that was made for dancing in the sunshine.
6 Romanthony Floorpiece (Claptone Remix) Claptone was one of the first names on the list of people we wanted to remix Romanthony. Amazingly, right at the beginning of the whole project he agreed. But for some reason or another, it just didn’t work out. Each time we put together a new remix package, we would check and see if he was available and each time something meant it couldn’t happen. Either the track didn’t work for him or he was too busy. It looked for a while like we weren’t going to get our man. Finally, late last year, we sent him the Floorpiece acappella and that was it. Something clicked and he delivered this MONSTER of a remix. Like Schatrax’s “Mispent Years” or Inner City’s “Ahnonghay”, this is underground house music at its very best. Heavy garage beats, a dark’n’moody bassline and some killer keys underpin Romanthony’s unmistakable story about his Dj-ing experience.
7 Brett Gould Rhythm Drop We first met Brett handing out CDs at ADE in 2012. From there we picked up his trippy, 20:20 Vision style “You Say” for our Super Heavyweight release last Spring. Since then, Brett has gone on to remix Kevin McKay’s “Club Trax” for OFF Recordings and record this varied 3 tracker for us. If – like us – you’re sick of hearing Double 99’s Rip Groove being but you’re definitely up for some system bending bass and rapid-fire garage beats then Rhythm Drop is the cut for you. Like a cross between Martin Ikin’s “Rhythm” and Gorgon City’s “Thor” this a pure dancefloor monster.
8 Romanthony Ministry of Love (Andre Crom Remix) Andre Crom takes Roman’s 1995 classic and takes it on a modern day garage journey filled with skipping beats and stabbing chords and – in tribute to the original – one massive organ bassline. Big tune.
9 Metodi Hristov Step Outside We love a good tech house record. The best ones are simple, infectious bombs. However, because they sound simple, a lot of people think they are easy to make. And that means there is a lot of dumb shit out there. One guy who definitely knows what he is doing is our favourite Bulgarian producer, Metodi Hristov. He first came to our attention with his OMG Ep on Suara. His tracks “Over” and “Entropy” from that ep had everything we look for in a heads down stomper: heavy beats, loopy hooks and monster basslines. “Step Outside” has a cool percussive beat, quirky electronic vocals and Art of Noise-esq piano hook coming together to create a classy peak-time roller supported by the likes of Seth Troxler, Audiojack, Detroit Swindle, Ramon Tapia, DJ T, Stefano Ritteri, Sidney Charles, Kiki, Matthias Tanzmann, Droog & Waifs & Strays…
10 Daniel Trim Asimo On “Asimo”, Trim shows – with this spell-binding tune – that he really is a master of the melodic rave. Like a techno version of Ten Walls “Requiem” this track has one of those baselines; a creeping, throbbing monster that will hook you and and leave the dance-floor totally locked in the groove. The feedback on this track read like a who’s who in house music right now: Jackmaster, Gilles Peterson, Jimpster, John Digweed, Alex Metric, Skream, Sasha, Solomun, Funk D’Void, Pearson Sound, Kiki, Trickski, Joyce Muniz, Justin Sloe, Kolombo, Kruse & Nuernberg, Nice7, Simon Baker, Ray Foxx, Josh Butler…
11 Romanthony Let Me Show You Love (Gerd’s Crooklyn Full Vox Remix) Gerd is dutch producer Gert-Jan Bijl. Under one alias or another he’s been making records for labels as varied as Universal Language and Rejected since 1994. Most recently his “Palm Leaves” 12″ on Royal Oak (as Gerd) showed that he’s up there with Andres & KDJ when it comes to soulful Detroit style house music. Recording as Geeeman his huge warehouse anthem “Bang’t” – the kind of no-nonsense jacking groove that you’d expect from Dance Mania – was one of Phonica’s records of 2012 and as NY Stomp he delivered “The NY House Trak” a slice of rolling house business that harks back to Black Traxx and Mijangos and forward to Bicep, Huxley and Ejeca. On the subject of his “Let Me Show You Love” mix, Gerd said, “Best mixes of this ultimate classic are the Crooklyn Mix and Quick Dub. But both mixes do not contain the full vocal. When I was asked to do this remix, I decided to go for the same vibe but make use of the whole vocal (verses, chorus, etc). I thought there was no use trying to do something completely different. it’s hard to beat this classic. Now there finally will be a Crooklyn Mix and/or Quick Dub with the amazing verses! I only received the vocal parts, no other parts, so it took me a while to rebuild the track with same sort of ingredients and especially to get the sounds very similar to the original”
12 Illyus & Barrientos Do Anything You Wanna There is no other way to put this – “Do Anything You Wanna” is an absolute anthem. The vocals are hooky like “Shake That”, pianos classy like Ejeca’s finest and its beats walk around like they are bigger than Prince. An instant dancefloor bomb supported by the DJs like John Digweed, Sasha, Gorgon City, Groove Armada, Waifs & Strays, Russ Chimes, Amine Edge, Funk D’Void, Kry Wolf, German Brigante, Compuphonic, Mark Knight, Stacey Pullen, Golf Clap, Danny Howard, Ray Foxx, Actor One, Dmitri Nakov (Ushaia), Supernova.
13 Romanthony What $ Love (Christian Nielsen Remix) “What $ Love” is one of Romanthony’s rarest songs. The original house mixes – only ever released on the fleeting US imprint Vinylmania – is one of his most sought after pieces of vinyl with pristine copies selling for upwards of £100. Roman did make an R&B version on his Glasgow Underground album but the house mixes with their low-slung dubby organ & bass grooves are the real dj deal. Christian Nielsen delivers a brilliant club-friendly mix taking Roman’s vocals on a tough, percussive, jacked-up house groove.
14 Romanthony Floorpiece (Alex Arnout Remix) Dogmatik main man Alex Arnout takes a subtle approach on this remix. Fresh from his killer “One Nation” track with Tyree Cooper on One Records, the Circo Loco resident delivers a super deep bass-heavy mix filled with dubbed-out vocals and spacey arps. One for the afterhours…
15 Mash Somebody’s Property (Sei A Remix) “Somebody’s Property” is a spooky dub disco classic from Mash. First released on vinyl only in 2006 this wonky DFA-style cut used samples of children singing, “We don’t want to become somebody’s property, we don’t want to give up on our liberty, no legs, no eyes, so I walk just because we are told.” over Mash’s distorted beats and bumpy live bass. It was a big hit with influential Dutch DJ i-F and featured on his much-loved “I-F – Mixed up in Dublin (07/10/2006)”. Sei A’s remix was originally released in 2011 and the Turbo Recordings artist delivers a deep, kick- heavy, hypnotic groove.
16 Solaris Heights Together When it gets darker and colder here in the UK, our mind turns to the kind of songs that strike a chord with those long winter nights. For our house sets that means darker, weightier cuts. Here we welcome the return of Solaris Heights. Since 1998 Anton Fielding and Bryan Robson have been recording for classic imprints like Guidance, Paper & Airtight as well as labels such as Boxer and Jimpster’s Freerange. “Together” is their first release since 2008. Its heavy beats, jacking bass, killer vocal and intro that reminds us of our favourite winter record ever (Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls”) prove that they are definitely back with a bang.
17 Kevin McKay Baby Come To Me (Kevin’s Edit in A) An exclusive to this compilation, “Baby Come To Me” was first released on Glasgow Underground’s Winter Collection 2013. It went on to be played by the likes of Gorgon City, Droog, Severino, Ray Foxx, Kruse & Nuernberg, Doctor Dru, Joyce Muniz, Hernan Cattaneo, Oliver $, Davide Squillace & Gabriel Sordo and feature on the big-selling Hed Kandi Deep House album the following year. On this edit, Kevin fattens up the bass and toughens the beats giving an all-round warmer feel to his souled-up, spaced-out vocal .
18 Barrientos On My Mind (Illyus & Kevin McKay Edit) Another exclusive. “On My Mind” first appeared on Barrientos’ “Feel The Waves” EP in the summer of 2013. It got plays on Pete Tong & Danny Howard’s shows on BBC Radio 1. Here Illyus & Kevin McKay toughen up the beats and make a wee garage anthem out of it.
19 Those Beats Lead Me On Those Beats spent a wee bit of time following up their last record [the excellent Discontented EP from last year that got support from a wide range of DJs from Jimspter to Pete Tong]. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve not been slacking, its just that for two people who spent so much time on the Sub Club dancefloor we felt that they had a big Subby tune in their heart and it just needed a wee bit of extra coaxing out of them. And here it is. “Lead Me On” is the kind of kick-drum heavy, ass shaking piano anthem Bicep would have made if they’d eaten more square sausage, drank more Irn Bru or Buckfast and spent more time organising after parties on Jamaica Street at 3am on a Sunday morning. And if you’re still not sure what I’m getting at then apologies for the heavy Glaswegian references – just think Seven Grand Housing Authority but with catchy-as-fuck vocals that go round and round in your brain for days.
20 Mash Style Is The Answer “Style is the answer to everything,” booms the gravelled American drawl over Mash’s bass-house groove. The Bukowski monologue continues, “To do a dangerous thing with style, is what I call art”, and develops into one of the finest examples of spoken word house up there with Sagat’s “Fuk Dat” or DJ Duke’s “12 Minutes of Dreams”. Supporters include; Francois K, Seth Troxler, Agoria, Marc E, Round Table Knights, Pezzner, Tom Flynn and Untold. Radio support comes from Rob Da Bank, Andi Durrant & Mash himself.
21 Ovr Kill Jakeball Summer OVR KILL are Rob from Mia Dora and Glasgow DJ Ross Stenhouse. They have previously released on Kitball, Kling Klong and produced the highly underrated “Floating Point” last summer on GU. “Jakeball Summer” is the perfect Ibiza tune. If you distill it down to its elements what you have is a cool vocal, a gloriously uplifting synth line and a fist-pumpingly good bottom end (and no cheesy samples in sight). But that doesn’t really do this monster tune the justice it deserves. So, imagine “Walking With Elephants” if it was in a better mood. Or the kind of music the 90s revivalists would make if they took more E (like they did in the 90s). And hopefully you end up somewhere near “Jakeball Summer”. It is one big smiley of a tune. Support from: Skream, Grum, Supernova, TCTS, Panda, Btraits, Chus & Ceballos, DJ T, Bodden, German Brigante, Vanilla Ace, Illyus, Newbie Nerdz, Mash, Ray Foxx, Origins Sound…
22 Daniel Trim Odet “Odet” is like a modern day version of “Last Rhythm – one of those tunes that was made for dancing on ecstasy. It has everything you would want at an MDMA party; punchy beats, warm rolling bass and the kind of spiralling synth hooks and blissed-out chords that make you grin wide, bounce high and make silly moves. While every other producer on the planet is raping their 90s US house collections, Trim heads somewhere else entirely.
23 Those Beats You Don’t Those Beats are Glasgow production duo Brendon Hislop and Mark Scott. They make, tough, uncompromising, hooky-as-hell house music. They cite their influences as a classic mix of soul, funk, house, garage and techno but – in reality – they’ve spent too long on the Sub Club dance-floor being schooled by Harri and Domenic Cappello in the art of innovative house and techno to make anything other than that. So if you are a fan of Last Night On Earth, Thermal Bear, Scuba’s Adrenalin or Sasha’s recent productions, their productions will be right up your street. “You Don’t” incorporates some classic house elements; nagging vocal, classy piano hook, killer bass rhythm and a big old kick drum. But this is far from a derivative work. The elements – each with its own unusual twist – slowly weave in and out casting a hypnotic, feel-good spell on the mix. It’s the kind of record that’ll have dj after dj up to the booth to find out what the hell is doing the damage. Probably when Pete Tong, B Traits, Sasha, Jimpster, Groove Armada, Orde (Slam), Simon Baker, Chris Lake, Tom Flynn or Harri from the Sub Club are playing it.
24 Origins Sound Eyesdown Origins Sound are Bath based DJ duo Ali Mehrkar and Joe Price. Their regular Origins Presents nights at the legendary Moles Club have seen them play host for the likes of Medlar, Leftwing & Kody, Krywolf and Squarehead. Their productions have so far appeared on Underground Audio, Morris Audio and Chew The Fat. Brought into the Glasgow Underground fold thanks to some top A&R spotting from Barrientos, their debut EP for the label is the kind of booming house music that Funktion One sound systems were made for. “Eyesdown” comes across like the best of Gorgon City or Martin Ikin but with a vocal to die for, this is the kind of cut that will make the dancefoor bounce like Beyonce and have its killer refrain running round your head for days. Supported by headliners like Laurent Garnier, Groove Armada, Waifs & Strays and John Digweed.
25 Franky Redente What U Want (Kevin McKay 2014 Edit) Another album exclusive. Franky Redente is a London dj and producer. As one half of Photo 51, his remix of Romanthony’s classic “The Wanderer” found its way into Seth Troxler’s playlist and on to DC10’s closing party dancefloor. “What You Want” is all about the bassline. The keys shimmer hypnotically and the drums make a real impact on the system but the long, snaking baseline – part analogue funk, part piano house – delivers the real wiggle element to this dancefloor monster.
26 Ovr Kill Floating Point Floating Point is 8 and a half minutes of dancefloor love. Its warm chords, swooning synths and soaring fx tug the heart strings while the bass and drums slowly jack your body on the floor.
27 MermaidS A Pale Wolf Mermaids are a band from Glasgow who’ve previously released their own blend of live, slow-burning disco on labels like Foto, A Friend In Need & Non Local and supported the likes of Errors, The Field and theeSatisfaction. “A Pale Wolf” is a kind of Pachanga Boys-esque trip that’s already found a home in the sets of Jackmaster & Dixon Avenue Basement Jams
28 Dana Bergquist & Holosound Stoned Love Sweden’s Dana Berquist and NYCs Holosound contribute the kind of heady, swirling, bassy groove that you’d hear Seth Troxler or Lee Foss playing to intimate dancefloors in the wee small hours.
29 MermaidS Callisto Callisto” sounds like Idjut Boys and Bugz In The Attic remixing Candido’s “Jingo” into a Mr Scruff-friendly broken groove.
30 Admin This World Bristol’s Admin takes us deep and heavy with jazz vocals and a monster bass line conjuring up the kind of late night smoky moods that St. Germain did in the 90s. But with that added Bristolian bottom end.
31 Barrientos Los Suenos We first discovered young Glasweigian talent Barrientos in 2012 via the always on point synthglasgow.com blog. His debut mix for them effortly mixed tracks from Atjazz and Matthew Styles to Loco Dice, Vince Watson and Steve Rschmad and took the listener from the early bounce as the club doors open right through to hands-in-the-air madness of a packed dancefloor. We loved it. He alsoreleased the good-time, sun-soaked Sky EP (for free via Soundcloud) around the same time and the quality of both his music and production really stood out from the crowd. Since then he has delivered 3 remixes for Glasgow Underground (Romanthony, Walker & Royce & Visitor) gaining support from a wide range of DJs such as Junior Sanchez, Mark E, Sasse, Sean Brosnan, Grum, Russ Chimes, Coyu and Severino. “Los Suenos” is a solid, slow-burning Latin groove that sounds like Mark E remixing Gui Borrato.
32 Small Pyramids Drifting
Small Pyramids is LAs Zach Hunsaker. Heavily influenced by nu-disco, early house music and edit culture, Zach began cutting up old disco, funk and r&b tracks for his DJ gigs in Los Angeles as Small Pyramids. Making the move from producing edits to sampling for original tracks was a natural progression and crucial step to developing a unique style. As a result of remixing acts like NightWaves and Arohan, Small Pyramids gained blog exposure on sites like Disco Workout, Tracasseur, In the Deep End and Disco Delicious. The first Small Pyramids EP, Another Way to Feel was released late in 2010 to great critical acclaim and shortly thereafter Zach signed to Glasgow Underground. His first single, the foot-stomping disco of I Want Blood came out on a limited 12 in November 2011 and made it straight into DJ Magazines Tunes of the Year. Zach followed that up with a contribution to GUs Spring/Summer Collection 2012. The Music is a slice of prime time hands-in-the-air goodness complete with elated vocals and butt-wiggling bass. Diverse DJs began picking up on Zachs sound with RubnTug, Laurent Garnier, Grum, PBR Streetgang and Harri from the Sub Club all play-listing his tracks. As well as his original material Zach remixed Mary Epworth, Sam Sparro and local hero Goldroom and found blogs like Golden Scissors and La.Ga.Sta full of love for his sun-kissed sounds.