Peter Croce – Revival 12″ – Rocksteady Disco

RSD005Peter Croce puts house beats behind the words of Dr. William J. Barber II. The speech touches on the current political and social times in the U.S. and will likely resonate with many.

The drum programming is straightforward, and the track finds Croce adding some chord stabs that aid in deepening the vibe. “Revival” is mix-friendly and with the weight of Barber’s words, likely ensures that you’ll be hearing this out quite a bit.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Clark Street Jams @ aliveOne, Wednesday February 22nd, 2017

The Gramaphone crew fills up the back room of aliveOne with sounds, this time featuring Sassmouth (God Particle, Hej, Klektik, & smartbar resident), Leja Hazer (Hesperian Sound Division), & Alex Gonzales, who together bring a lot of experience to the fore. There’s no cover charge, aliveOne is located at 2683 N Halsted in Chicago.
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Ike Release – Finale Select 003 10″ – Finale Sessions

FSS003Former Gramaphone staffer Ike Release serves up a couple of techno-leaning, deep house cuts for Finale Sessions. “Tangerine” sports a groovy bass line and mellow vibes. The flip side’s “Tungsten” features atmospheric pads; it’s bottom end is also likely to get floors moving.

Both tracks are mix-friendly and chill. Those looking for deep house might want to give this record a go.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Bocaj – Already Used To It, Already Used 12″ – Deep Club

DC03Unfussy, heartfelt, melodic, effortlessly groovy tracks from Deep Club resident DJ Jacob Wood on his debut solo release. Based in Denver but with experience abroad, Bocaj performs solo and as half of Falling Into Places and has been honing his sound for some years.

Already Used To It… opens with Empty Is A Feeling, the most overtly atmospheric track on the release. Yearning, almost unbounded synths stretch over the energetic start-stop house beat. By contrast, Restart feels considerably more optimistic by comparison, with a subtle rolling acid line, sunlit chords, and bluesy asides. On the flip, What’s Your Addiction is a bit slowed down, leaving room for bleary vocals and a ten-minute deep house flow that sounds as indebted to mid-90s afterhours sounds (Charles Webster, Paul Hester, Paper Recordings et al) as it does to to contemporary deep house.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Gilles Peterson – Havana Cultura anthology 3xLP – Brownswood Recordings

bwood0158lpGilles Peterson’s 3-disc compilation celebrates almost a decade’s worth of researching, experimenting with, and exploring part of Cuba’s rich musical history. Songs like “Arroz Con Pollo” and “Ipacuba” breathe fresh air into styles firmly rooted in tradition. Meanwhile Mala and Tom Skinner hand in contributions that are more steeped in electronica. The former produces the smooth, bass heavy “Calle F”, while Skinner’s rework is slightly glitchy and sample-based. Peterson also employs remix duties to artists such as Motor City Drum Ensemble and Michel Cleis.

“Orisa” is a favorite of mine. It features really nice improvisation on the keys and embraces dissonance in a sophisticated manner. This is a nice compilation and features some gorgeous chords and riffing throughout. Those with a penchant or curiosity for jazz and/or Latin music should give this a go.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Tuner Blog Feature

After a few years of writing for Phonologue, I moved to Seattle, which seemed like the logical next step in my life. Although it’s a much smaller city, I’m constantly inspired by the musical community here; anyone and everyone is encouraged to play what they like, and there is always a venue for them to perform at. One thing I noticed is that there aren’t really many blogs that chronicle ambient/electronic music here, so I figured that was blank space that needed to be filled. To keep track of the music I was hearing and what was going on around me, I decided to create my own blog called Tuner. It’s a way for me to be part of the community by documenting some of what I listen to as well as exposing emerging artists to my readers. There is no specific Seattle bent to the site, but you will see a lot of local music on Tuner.
Some of the features are album reviews, like the recent one I did about Avishai Cohen’s Into the Silence, a jazz album from last year. Others are roundups of ways to find new or interesting music, like the post I wrote about radio shows from around the world. Tuner isn’t bound by any genres or writing style, but in general, the music that’s chronicled isn’t commercial. I plan to deepen my digs by doing interviews with local musicians and previewing cultural events coming up in the area.
If you have something you think I should write about, feel free to drop me a line at kera@tunerseattle.co or on Twitter: @quatrovingt.

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Dream House Tropicana Volume 3 compilation 12″ – Blind Jack’s Journey

blndtrop3Blind Jack’s Journey has been a extensively multifaceted outlet, a sublabel that’s spawned sub-sublabels, their balmy sounds capturing our imaginations as well as serving as a springboard for talents like Gnork and Acasual. Their latest venture is the Dream House Tropicana series, which seems to dig back into the varieties of sound that started Blind Jack’s Journey in 2012.

This third installment in the series of compilation 12″s features RNR, Deep88, and collaborative ventures between RNR & Luv Jam, and Gnork & Luv Jam. A remarkably prolific and underrated UK-based artist, Luv Jam’s contributions stand out here even amongst the quartet of excellent selections. This record doesn’t land far from last week’s K-rAd & Opcode 66 collaboration; a warm atmosphere and gently introverted melodies tie this collection together. Meanwhile, there remain a variety of rhythmic approaches: Room Of Soul is slow grind house, Talk To Me is UK artificial intelligence techno, Acid Casio is dry acid techno under the silky chords, and Zipppp is breakbeat house, a Gnork signature.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

SOLD intrainingmix008 on Soundcloud

SOLD has posted a re-recording of the set originally performed at In Training in Cleveland this past July. Incorporating elements of electro, post-punk, industrial, and acid house, it’s a set that conveys a particular approach to music as well as the attitude and atmosphere of the summer party.

DJ Dog & Double Dancer – Rebound Lounge 12″ – Rebound Lounge

RELO1DJ Fett Burger dons a different name and teams up with Double Dancer to deliver 5 house tracks. The sounds are cheerful, yet laid-back, and will likely add some mellow tunes to a house DJ’s bag. Most of the tunes have a retrospective quality in terms of palette and composition.

The duo keeps with the label’s theme by overlaying what sounds like an interview about basketball in the opening track. Dribbling and swishing sounds can be heard in “Rip a C”, and the pair samples referee whistles for the dreamy “Time Out.”

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Blender @ Copa Lounge, Saturday January 28th, 2017

There’s a full lineup this Saturday evening at The Copa Lounge near Old Town. This free event features dance music DJs Shmoo, Andrew Harris, and Gramaphone’s Jacob Hopes, as well as live performances by Lex Allen & Kaycee Ortiz. Copa Lounge is at 1637 N Clybourn, the event runs 9pm till 3am.
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Tim 2T & Hugo LX – Serving La Mona EP 12″ – Mona Musique

MM001France’s Mona Musique welcomes its first release with a pair of house tracks.

The A-side finds newcomer Tim 2t pairing 90’s style chord stabs with a recurring vocal sample. Hugo LX also echoes some distinctive characteristics of house generations past. A filtered feel-good melody, big open hi-hats on the off-beats, a boisterous bass line, and an effective vocal sample combine to form what should be the stand-out track on this release. “Driftin’ Away” is likely to get dancefloors moving and reminiscing.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

Clark Street Jams @ aliveOne, Wednesday January 25th, 2016

Back once again with the ill behavior, it’s Gramaphone’s finest coming together for a mid-week bash. Expect a range of vinyl selections, always spotlighting  house music from Chicago and beyond courtesy of Gramaphone employees and affiliates. There are a few dozen varieties of beer to choose from as well. It’ll be a 21+ at aliveOne, 2683 N Halsted.
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Redefinir @ Americano, Friday January 20th, 2017

Regular Phonologue contributor Ashina continues her irregular night at Americano this Friday evening. With music kicking off at 8pm, it’s a bridge between happy hour and the later evening parties, a social dinner soirée, or maybe a smooth way to ease into the weekend. In any case, the kitchen’s open until almost midnight. The music will be bumping without banging, it’ll be a good chance to catch Ashina playing an extended set outside of her regular Sketches broadcast on WNUR. Americano is at 2211 W North Ave, there is no cover charge.

Alton Miller – Nu Forms 12″ – Inner Muse

cs621435-01a-bigFlawless, passionate Detroit house, with a live sound and approach as closely tied in to Motown soul tradition as to modern dance music, this is the latest on Alton Miller’s own Inner Muse label.

Nowhere is the influence of Detroit’s musical heritage more clear than on Beautiful Brown People. Its supremely expressive flute and keyboard interplay over hand drums could moonlight as a Marvin Gaye instrumental. Nu Forms closes the EP with more of a boogie move, the title track has a more Chicago house vibe, but again less tracky and with a live jam feel. By contrast to some of today’s more self-conscious, ironic, or trend-following releases, this is one showing a more earnest, committed approach, as well as benefiting from Miller’s experience over two decades of musical dedication.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

 

The Penthouse – Debut EP 12″ – Round Town

img_3283Adam Klein and Nick Holm produce four stripped-down numbers that take notes from the “jackin'” house sound. Beats are favored over harmonies and melodies as the focus of the EP. With that being said, the B-side draws more interest for me; B2 or “Knawtie” particularly would be my pick for the record. There’s a little bit of lo-fi crunch, and an appealing synth line that accompanies the groove.

Listeners looking for rougher, almost tech-house tracks, will likely be drawn to the mixing functionality of the other 3.

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2843 N. Clark St.
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(773) 472-3683

Michael Serafini featured in Crack Magazine

Gramaphone owner and Smartbar resident Michael Serafini is featured in Crack Magazine with an exclusive mixset and profile. “Smattered with uplifting vocal tracks and jazz-endebted instrumentation Michael Serafini’s Crack Mix is unmistakably soulful and expertly blended – the work of a seasoned pro.”

In Rotation: Ashina Winter 2016

math093Audio Atlas presents DimDJ – Future Ancient 12″ – Mathematics
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auslp008Youandewan – There Is No Right Time 2xLP – Aus Music
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ysd72Nomumbah – Amanha 2xLP – Yoruba
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kimochi24Midnight Circuitry – Morphosis 12″ – Kimochi Sound
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kompakt354The Orb – COW / Chill Out, World! LP – Kompakt

K-rAd & Opcode66 – 002 12″ – KNO

kno002Veteran producer K-rAd has been in the midst of an apparent renaissance for the past few years: between his self-released 12″ series and getting his modular kit out for live shows, he has been an increasingly visible part of the Chicago musical landscape. Here he offers a second collaborative EP with Opcode66.

The A side is an uptempo groove but with a lot of melody, introspection, and structure. The Frankensynth Jam is just as layered, but this time with a more nonchalant rhythmic underpinning. Taken together, the release gives the impression of a comfortable collaboration, at ease with a balmy, psychedelic techno sound.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Hotmood – Hotmood Vol. 3 12″ – Tugboat Edits

hotmood3Chicago’s Tugboat Edits looks to Hotmood for another groovy, disco edit release. Expect plenty of mixing pliability; simple, yet catchy midrange riffs; and the kind of basslines disco is known for.

The B-side opens with a track that utilizes a Kurtis Blow sample and B2 centers around another infamous riff. All 3 tracks have feel-good vibes; those looking for a certain style of dance music might appreciate the vocal samples and snippets that Hotmood works over each groove.

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2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683

 

Kaidi Tatham – Freedom School DJ Series Vol. 3 12″ – Freedom School

fs006Kaidi Tatham hands in a trio of tunes for another contribution on Japan’s Freedom School. The energy is laid-back, feel-good, and loungy at times, as jazz, hip-hop, and funk seemingly serve as inspirations for Tatham.

The record has an airy, floating quality to it and grooves nicely. Listeners will find skillful riffing and improvising on the keys speckled over mostly downtempo grooves. This is a pretty, colorful record and will likely go fast.

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Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

2843 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 472-3683