Anthony Nicholson & William Kurk – Humpty Dumpty 12″ – Circular Motion

CM057Nicholson and Kurk deliver a feel-good, shimmering, house cut for Nicholson’s label. There’s some gorgeous work on the keys and steady, rolling percussion, giving the song a summery, deep house vibe. This single will appeal to steppers, original house heads, and hopefully new ones too. For those less familiar with Nicholson, this song should also resonate with fans of Joe Claussell’s Sacred Rhythm Music, some of Kerri Chandler’s work, Vick Lavender, and the likes.

It seems like the labels might not correspond with their respective sides. Either way, the beats and pads are included opposite of the main track for your mixing adventures.

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

Roger 23 – Automotivation 12″ – No Suit

NOSR006There’s a certain drifting quality to the textural explorations on Roger 23’s latest, appearing on the four year old No Suit imprint. Output has a similar approach to that of René Löwe’s more ambient output, whereas Step Mix Dub X has a riddim more along the lines of Ulrich Troyer or Daniel Meteo, a sparing skank, a spectral stepper. But through the course of each, there’s a meandering patience that draws attention towards the process and slow movement, rather than to any arc, crescendo, or drop.

Neither track is particularly light, but nor are their keenly rhythmic grooves anchored by any heavy percussive elements. Instead, Roger seems content to tread purposefully in a sort of middle ground.

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

Kike Mayor & He Did – Esperanza 12″ – Detroit Vinylroom

DVRM002FrontCoverDetroit Vinylroom welcomes its second release with the help of Kike Mayor and He Did. The label name may throw some off; those seeking “Detroit-inspired” tracks will find grooves that are perhaps a little closer to latin-influenced, minimal house. For me this is redolent of some minimal music that was released in the late 2000’s. It reminds me of Richie Hawtin and outdoor festivals. The original track features 4-to-the-floor grooves and an opera sample. Meanwhile Denis Kaznacheev spices up the groove a bit with his remix.

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

In Rotation: Sassmouth Spring 2017

SPMB011Niro – The P Connection 12″ – Soul People Music
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IYSTB002Unknown – Staub 2 – I/Y
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BAH002.2Lost Tracks Vol. 2 compilation 12″ – Box Aus Holz
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MMM03James Hadfield featuring Danny Linton – Soak 12″ – Me Me Me
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KANN29Cmd Q – Dedicated To Someone Both Of Us Know 12″ – Kann

Sassmouth in Thump

In advance of her set at smartbar with Virginia & Jarvi later this month, Sassmouth was interviewed for a “The Last Record” feature with Vice subsidiary Thump, discussing some recent musical selections. The Gramaphone shop and local Perpetual Rhythms crew feature prominently.
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Richeart – Night Portrait 12″ – Still Music

STILLM040Upstart Italian house head Riccardo Schirò aka Richeart came out of the gate in 2015 and made this elegant entry with Chicago’s Still Music in the dusky closing weeks of 2016.

Night Portrait contains three extended tracks, none of which are a slight to the others. On YesterdaySaidTomorrow, Richeart pairs a pattering kickdrum, acoustic rim clicks, and a cadence of chunky keyboard chords, with a vocal cut-up modified just enough to be indecipherable (is it “bring the lights back?” or “bring the night jack?”). It’s a track sidling with reverence, alongside classic Chicago house structures and some soft-stepping Prins Thomas-esque mannerisms.

Still Music head Jerome Derradji touches up Heaviside Function with a polyrhythmic low end stomp that spills out of the sub like a broken dam. B-side “Double Paradiddle” is a miasmic swirl of acid bass, bluesy synths, and tectonic beats floated with a layer of vocal scatting. All told, Night Portrait is a sublime soul excursion imbued with footwork and matching our standards in resonance.

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

In Rotation: Michael Serafini Spring 2017

chiwax012ltdDJ Skull – As One 12″ – Chiwax
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hja2016003Tikkle – Outer Limits 12″ – House Jam
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nm009Scott Grooves – Parts Manager Pt 2 12″ – Natural MIDI
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cs622834-01a-bigJavonntte – Mind Over Matter 12″ – Sistrum
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ner23988Nervous 25th Anniversary compilation 2xLP – Nervous

Clark Street Jams @ aliveOne, Wednesday March 29th, 2017

SOLD & Justin Mitchell feature in this month’s installment of Clark Street Jams, the Gramaphone resident showcase at aliveOne in Chicago. They’ll get groovy in the laid-back neighbourhood spot’s charming back room, it’s a perfect opportunity for a mid-week rendezvous or to get loose on the dancefloor. There’s no cover charge for this 21+ event, aliveOne is at 2683 N Halsted.
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Ultimate Crew – untitled 12″ – Acoustic Division

AD013This record displays 4 tracks geared in the direction of acid house and electro. The EP consists of repetitive loops of vocal samples, quite a bit of squelch, square waves, and what seems like a mostly monophonic palette.

“Elastic” is first up, featuring rave-esque squelch and a sample of the hi-hats from Fast Eddie’s “Hip House”. The synth line and some of the elements in “Future” almost reminds me of Drexciya, and I can’t help but think of Theo Parrish’s “Falling Up” when I listen to “Method”. I’m not partial to this record, but it is mix-friendly, and has many of the sounds one might expect to hear on a dancefloor, so it may come in handy for some.

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

 

In Rotation: Leja Hazer Spring 2017

DAS016Anthony Nicholson – Gravity 2xLP – deepArtSounds
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MSLP006Skymark – Resistance Sonore LP – Modern Sun
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IDWT001Chaos In The CBD – Accidental Meetings 12″ – In Dust We Trust
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SRR002Cuisine Dub – Vacationland 12″ – Sound Reflection
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MFM01601Outro Tempo: Electronic & Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992
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Gravity release party in-store Saturday, March 18th 2017

Veteran Chicago house auteur Anthony Nicholson’s newest full-length, “Gravity”, is being celebrated this Saturday evening at the store. The album is coming out on the Swiss deepArtSounds imprint and includes contributions from Cara Dawn, William Kurk, Chris Rob, Matt CashDollar, Felena Bunn, Chestor Gregory, Asa Watkins, Andrew Scalercio, and Boobjazz’ Lars Bartkuhn.

For the party, there will be a 10% discount off the featured release, half off all used music, and refreshments while they last. Festivities kick off at 6pm.
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In Rotation: m50 Spring 2017

SYNAPSIS013Miltiades – Outermost Sensitive Paranoia 12″ – Synapsis
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RH10412DKenny Larkin presents Dark Comedy Pt 1 12″ – Rush Hour
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jaydeeJaydee – Plastic Dreams 12″ – R&S
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MyownBubbleMyown – Bubble 12″ – Kimochi Sound
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seq010Ephemeral Nature compilation 12″ – Sequencias

Robert Williams Birthday Celebration @ Elastic Arts, Saturday March 11th, 2017

Robert Williams, founder of both the Warehouse and Muzic Box venues in the 1970s, will be celebrating his birthday tonight. Music will be provided by Ron Trent, Lee Collins, Duane Powell, and special guest Nicky Siano from New York City. Amongst these musical visionaries, Siano played at The Gallery, an inspiration for Robert Williams’ Chicago endeavors. These projects crossed paths with Frankie Kuckles, Larry Levan, and Ron Hardy in laying the foundations of house music in America. This 21+ event is hosted with the help of the Frankie Knuckles Foundation, presale tickets are available online via the Facebook event page, it kicks off at 8pm.

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K-Hand – Project 6 EP 12″ – Acacia

ACACIA3001Kelli Hand has been at it for a couple of decades. This release finds the Acacia Records founder opening with the twisting, somewhat heavy, and hard-textured “Boiler Room Teaser”, and sampling disco on the B-side. The EP is seemingly oriented for big room dance floors, and will likely resonate most with those looking for exactly that.

K-Hand will be playing with DJ Heather and MTZ at SmartBar on March 31st, 2017.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

Rescue Me release party in-store Thursday, March 9th 2017

This will be a very special release party for Vick Lavender, announcing a release featuring Spike Rebel on his own Sophisticado label. Vick and Spike will be performing material from the new record live in-store. Sean Ali from Sophisticado will also be playing forthcoming music from the Chicago-owned imprint. As usual, special deals on the featured release & on used-record are available during the event, refreshments will be provided.
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In Rotation: Jacob Hopes Spring 2017

SEQ014Area – Enough With 12″ – Sequencias
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EGC4020Thoughts From Chicago Volume 4 compilation 2xLP – Eargasmic
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GR1210Shafty – Deep Inside (Of You) 12″ – Groovin
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DMX02Robert Armani – Work That 12″ – Domina Trxxx
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MC001Iz & Diz – Mouth (Pepe Bradock Remixes) 12″ – Mint Condition

Collaborations 3 compilation 12″ – Unlock Recordings

UNLOCK006Argentina’s Unlock Recordings presents 4 DJ-friendly house tracks for this 12″ compilation. The production throughout is pretty sparse, with an emphasis on 4-to-the-floor beats. Some of the tracks have qualities that remind me of Johnny D or Seuil and their minimal approach to making house grooves. Ronan Portela’s “Changing Minds” offers the most color on the record, getting a moody sense of movement from its chords and wandering synth lines.

Those looking for some minimal building blocks may want to pick this up. The release also gives some insight into housey things happening south of the equator.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

Vick Lavender – Rescue Me 12″ – Sophisticado

SR06Part of Joe Claussell’s Sacred Rhythm Music family, Sophisticado has been a regular outlet for Chicago’s Vick Lavender for about ten years now. On this latest outing he’s produced three distinct versions of the title track with contributions from Spike Rebel, Sean Ali, Corey Munk Julious, and Shawn Hibbler.

This is deep house that overtly marries spirituality to sensuality through the sumptuous instrumentation, gospel and choral vocal stylings. Probably the most impressive aspect of this package, even beyond the extravagant orchestration, is the diversity between the three interpretations; though the labeling might present them as different edits, the compositions are so varied that they could all be played together without repetitiveness.

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Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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

 

In Rotation: Joshua Adam Spring 2017

GAMM108Al Kent – So Good 12″ – Gamm
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DUDI002S&W – Dub Disco 12″ – Dub Disco
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VIBR005Minimal Vision II – The True Underground Sound Of Rome LP – Vibraphone
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AUDAZ01Alkalino – Reworks Vol 1. 12″ – Audaz
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PDR001eoism – Cellarworx 12″ – Pulse Drift

Cuisine Dub – Vacationland 12″ – Sound Reflection

SRR002The affable, jazzy mind behind the Fields & Forests label & events series emerges here on the Chicago-based Perpetual Rhythms sublabel Sound Reflection. Like a (reverse?) raindance, beckoning warmer weather and lighter moods, this record feels like a lighter, more luminescent version of his free-floating approach on 2015’s Fatureta 10″. While a house-tempo rhythm underpins four out of the five songs included, the weightlessness throughout almost completely disguises any type of prosaic functionality.

Listen at GramaphoneRecords.com

Visit or call Gramaphone Records today!

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