Posted by: Thomas on Apr 9, 2012
Today sees the release of Traxman's debut album for Planet Mu 'Da Mind of Traxman' available on CD/2LP/WAV/MP3.
Cornelius Ferguson a.k.a. Traxman is one of the longest serving producers working in footwork with releases stretching back to the glory days of ghetto house on Dance Mania records in the nineties. He’s also one of the co-founders of Chicago's two-decades-old Geto DJz clique and a member of DJ Rashad & DJ Spinn's Ghetto Teknitianz and was one of the creators of the legendary mixtapes on coloured cassettes which were the prototype for footwork's evolution. His unique brand of footwork is very strongly rooted in Chicago's history of soul, funk, house and ghetto trax; he’s a veteran and renowned crate digger who has provided the sample sources for many of footwork's classic tracks over the years. His deep knowledge of music (check the mixes he occasionally throws up on the net) makes him one of the city’s most versatile and skilled DJs and producers.
Traxman's own productions are an incredibly well rounded suture between hip hop’s natural funk and resourceful sample flipping, the hyper-kinetic innovation of footwork’s stop-start, half-time to double-speed drum programming and a deep respect and understanding of Chicago’s house music past, that few producers can match; 'Da Mind of Traxman' is a testament to this man's skills.
'Footworking On Air’ starts the album in a relaxed and almost improvised mood with Kalimba melody, 303 acid line and martial drums. Then ‘Itz Crack’ puts strangely edited samples against echoey vocals and off kilter kicks to give the track a really unusual slip and slide feeling. Later, ‘Let There Be Rockkkkk’ takes an unusual sample source to build a track with a totally raucous rock vibe, whilst ‘Rock You’ simultaneously references house music’s roots and a beautiful soul sample. ‘1988’ is a tough 303 acid track with footwork drum patterns; 'Sound Filed' again tampers with house music's early rhythm tracks, bringing them up to date and speed with footwork's syncopations; while 'Work Me 2011' manages to fuse the soulfulness of deep house with the breathtaking energy of ghetto house and rave. Meanwhile, 'Lady Dro' makes good with some Mizell Brothers samples and loose congas, wrapping and looping them into a hypnotic vortex, while ‘Setbacks’ works a vocal and piano sample into tinkling abstraction. Traxman's skills are unmessable, you can tell from the minute the album starts that music is like breathing for him, and that the album also makes an incredible and skillful case for 'footwork' as Chicago's very own sideways evolution through hip hop via house with a rich history of soul.
Self-Titled Magazine have done an interesting interview with our very own Mike Paradinas. Included is this great mix of chilled out electronica with lots of exclusives and upcoming tunes.
In other news, we've just signed Konx-om-Pax who, coincidentally, has just made this brilliant video for Kuedo's Ascension Phase (taken from last year's acclaimed album 'Severant').
Konx-Om-Pax's own debut LP 'Regional Surrealism' will be out later this year. Kuedo's 'Severant') is still available from all good record shops as well as the Planet Mu Store.
On April 21st, Record Store Day, Planet Mu will be re-releasing Machinedrum's popular and influential Room(s) as a 2CD pack with unreleased tracks and remixes 'Room(s) Extended' "Room(s) Extended". The digital version of Room(s) Extended will be available 21/4, but the 2CD will be available on the Planet Mu site a couple of weeks after Record Store Day.
For a list of all participating stores please check this link.'LINK'
We have also re-pressed the 'original 2LP of Room(s)' which will now come with a download code for the new Extended version too (Ltd. 500 copies).
Since its release last summer, Machinedrum's "Room(s)" has been receiving the sort of critical reaction worthy of an album which has been such a big influence on the way we perceive the current musical climate. The influence of juke, footwork and classic jungle on Travis Stewart's immaculately produced, yet vitally propulsive grooves has increased the available tempo for the scene to the fertile space between 150 and 160 bpm. Combining this rhythmic innovation with the effortlessly melodic pop hooks and great album flow of "Room(s)" has made it a popular album.
The bonus CD includes three new and brilliant unreleased tracks from the same recording sessions as Room(s) along with the three B-sides from the Sacred Frequency EP plus 'TMPL' which was available as a bonus download on iTunes. In addition to this we also have five great remixes from our very own Falty DL, Chrissy Murderbot, Lasersword's Lando Kal and Chicago's finest footwork producer 'Traxman'.
On Friday 11th May Planet Mu are hosting a live gig at XOYO in East London. Click on the flyer for a link to ticket sales.
In line with their rich history of genre bending and melding, Planet Mu presents an evening of enthralling and diverse electronic music at one of London's finest clubs - XOYO.
Kuedo will be headlining Room 1 with a live show that will be a treat and half to hear on XOYO's cracking soundsystem. Like cruising through a retro-futuristic cityscape Kuedo's highly emotive album ‘Severant’ is so unmistakably his own, a rare feat in a world of copy-cats – with a unique fusion of synth, 808 inspired hip-hop and all other manners of influences.
Machinedrum will also present live his unique vision off the back of one of 2011's most celebrated LPs, ‘Room(s)’ - an album that truly encompasses 20 plus years of electronic influences from across the globe, be it the heaving sub-bass of jungle or the taut rhythms of juke. There are few producers who can meld such disparate elements into something so compelling and no doubt this will be transformed into a gripping live set.
Boxcutter in anticipation of a new Planet Mu album under his The Host alias will be keeping the floor moving with his deep and colourful sonic concoctions, Rudi Zygadlo who likewise has a heavily awaited LP will be showcasing live his strange yet fascinating take on electronic pop. To top Room 1 off the Tropics's will present their ethereal sounds which are sure to swell perfectly around the cavernous main room.
Room 2 see's the London collective Them showcase their warped and highly charged take on UK dance music with an exciting b2b set between Sduk and Cntrast. Other leading luminaries in forward thinking music, Tripper, Bagheera and Vortex SG top of the bill - all of whom promise to smash the living daylights out of Room 2.
With such celebrated artists and such a tightly curated line-ups in both rooms it’s sure to be an incredible night of beautifully strange music.
Click the flyer for tickets.
In May we will be releasing Aaron Funk's first album since 'My So-Called Life' (his debut on Timesig Records).
Last Step's new adventure is called 'Sleep' and - as the title suggests - it's a collection of compositions that Funk recorded quite literally as he was falling asleep.
For those used to Funk's more abrasive recordings the slower, woozy tempos and soporific atmospheres may come as a surprise. Recorded using his own arsenal of analogue synths and sequencers, Aaron has exploited the wandering timing and pitch of these old beasts to produce uncanny and evocative detuning effects which add to the induced torpor. Even the track titles relate to the theme: 'Xyrem', a narcolepsy treatment; 'Cimicdae', a name for the bedbug family. So, while the atmosphere may be unsettling in places, the tempos and structures are those of an experimental house music album, with abstracted 303 acid lines and classic drum machines acting as a welcome familiarity as you navigate the odd time-signatures and plastic aural sensations of Last Step's hypnagogic world.
In the words of the man himself:
"'Sleep' are tunes I recorded while falling asleep. These tracks are really different for me, really mellow and dreamy, that nice comfortable feeling when you're falling asleep. Feels pointless to describe it, that feeling, there really shouldn't be words for that state, so I describe the process a little instead. For awhile, when I was really tired and ready to go to bed instead of going to sleep I would make a tune. Get some stuff going on my sequencers, drum machines, patch up my modular and just jam it. Would fall asleep alot listening to the sequences, few seconds of sleep or a few minutes, wake up in it. This is what I sound like in my sleep."
In other Aaron Funk/Venetian Snares news, we are doing a very limited repress of 'ZIQ111 Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született' on 2LP vinyl and on CD' 'ZIQ111 Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született' on 2LP vinyl and on CD. Pre-order now to avoid disappointment.
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