Footsteps on the Decks #4: Waxxx double header, 303’s Birthday, Octave One and May’s bank holiday bonanza

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Dave Clarke heads up a timeless line up for 303’s birthday in Liverpool this month

With the Bank Holiday and a busy May around the corner GetintothisMartin Guttridge-Hewitt looks ahead to Waxxx, the 303 Birthday and High Hoops at Roadhouse.

Christmas is often referred to as the most wonderful time of the year, although if that Staples ad from the 1990s is anything to go by, some believe said accolade should be reserved for September, when the kids go back to school and leave their parents alone for a bit. We disagree with both.

Between April and June Britons are treated to more four day weeks than at any other point in the calendar. All of which means more time to party, and as such it’s unsurprising there are so many great events vying for business on these long weekends. Indeed, it’s enough to make you forget Mondays ever existed in the context of work.

It’s also a ridiculously busy time in the release schedule, which means any artist hoping to grab column inches in the press has their work cut out for them. With that in mind, massive props to those who have made it into this edition of Footsteps given how fierce the competition was. Take a look below for evidence of exactly what they have done right.

Various Artists Actress- DJ Kicks

!K7‘s much-lauded and rightly revered DJ Kicks compilation series opens up the scoring this time round, on May 1. Handing the baton over to Actress, who may or may not be correctly described as something of a British Flying Lotus, it’s a cunning meld of deep tech chuggers, ‘What was that’ offbeat oddities, moody downtempo moments and uplifting alt-disco anthems (albeit plucked from some pleasingly obscure sources). A worthy addition to this ongoing institution.

Terranova Restless

It’s hard to put into words how much fun can be had listening to Terranova‘s work, and this point is evidenced in a massive way on the latest full lengther, Restless, which lands on Kompakt May 11. A combination of soul-infused vocal numbers- featuring the likes of Cath Coffey, Stereo MCs and Bon Homme– and straight up bangers like Kepler 186F, you will be hearing plenty of this on the floor in the coming weeks. Sadly, though, there are no streams for available at the time of writing.

Maxime Dangles Resilience

Fans of big room techno sounds will have plenty to get involved with elsewhere on the same day via the debut album from French thumper Maxime Dangles. OK, so granted there’s more to this than sledgehammers alone- Doctor Rules, for example, is a broken, bleepy, stripped number that’s more avant-electro-pop than anything else- but as Amsterhodes proves here, when the producer gets tough, he gets tough.

The Analog Session Black Ground

It took about seven seconds to fall for the second L.P. from The Analog Session, AKA the legendary Alexander Robotnick and his partner in crime, Ludos Pinsky. Something of a concept album, it traces electronica’s path from the 1970s underground to modern techno via original productions, all of which were made on vintage synth kit (hence the Analog thing). It’s also incredibly infectious, as the title number should hopefully go to show.

Various Artists Balance presents Fur Coat

If the Fabric mix saga is the most prolific and reliable DJ-set-on-CD series known to mankind, Balance ranks second. The Australian crew only release a fraction of the number those London heads do, but there’s yet to be even an average one, and May’s installment falls to Venezuelan-born, Barcelona-based duo Fur Coat. Akin to a club set- recorded live on TRAKTOR- from solid proggy groove’s like Monday, to Agoria‘s remix of Metronomy, Slam, Cesare vs Disorder, and Michael Mayer, it’s crammed full of incredible tunes, and pieced together in a way that will definitely get a room moving. Even if that’s your kitchen on a Tuesday. Make a note of May 18 then.

Octave One Burn It Down

Is this the most exciting album of May 2015? Who knows, and, quite frankly, who cares? Either way, Burn It Down marks an end to an eight year absence from the LP release schedule for one of the most enduring and influential Detroit techno acts in the history of enduring and influential Detroit techno acts. Fans will not be disappointed, with every cut defining the Motor City sound that remains as essential today as it was upon inception four decades ago. Enough said on that note then.

Tsunga Maris Piper / B More Dog

Whether you think a type of potato and mobile phone network advert make for good track titles or not, there can be no arguments that Tsunga‘s two tracker on the ever-impressive Black Acre imprint deserves to head up our singles and EPs. Marrying early-90s hardcore breakbeat, jungle and raw UK bass in a compelling and rather immediate way, it’s one for anyone who has ever wished they could reach out and touch a stranger, whistle in mouth. Sweaty warehouse vibes on May 4, like.

Mark Broom Neon EP

It’s logical that Mark Broom makes tracks with titles that sound like models of machine guns, given how wonderfully threatening his take on techno is. Again, we searched high and low for samples, only to come up short, but surely that should be taken as a sign of how impressive his Neon EP actually is- we don’t want to include stuff you can’t hear, yet were powerless against the lure of this three part offering. Running from M19– a mammoth excursion into the world of 6AM drums and frenetic energy- to the minimalistic wasp-in-a-jar loops of Neon, and Involver‘s timeless string arpeggios, it really is worth buying on May 11.

Dan Curtin Selfish EP

If you’ve not heard of Dan Curtin then it’s probably time to ask a few questions about what you’ve been doing since his days on Detroit’s 33RPM Records and Beligum’s Buzz imprint circa 1992. Since then he has consistently produced exceptional house music, and the Selfish EP, which arrives on Turquoise Blue Recordings May 11, is no different. Composed of four tunes, including an excellent Analogue Cops edit of the eponymous effort, our pick would be the somewhat crazed melodies, hypnotic refrains and crashing drums that define Undeniable Force, but unfortunately we can’t find any embeds to back up that claim.

DoubtingThomas The Modern Sound of Yesterday

We’re not doing that well this month on the whole singles and EP samples front, are we? Nevertheless, although not much really happens on the latest from Berlin’s DoubtingThomas, we’re not going to deny being obsessed with this release. Modulé
2Sch’feld
3Anpe
4, and MissJikeli are, in the words of Eric Cartman, sweet, taking us down stripped house avenues that are deep without being Deep. Set to be unveiled on May 18, each is packed full of subtleties- from slowly emerging vocal harmonies to noises that make you stop and wonder how someone could ever create noises like that- The Modern Sound of Yesterday is less is more done properly.

d’Julz and Phil Weeks Second Hand Smoke

Launching a brand new label from the 26-year-old Parisian Rex Club we have D’Julz and Phil Weeks, respectively bossmen of the Bassculture and Robsoul imprints, not to mention veterans in their own right. The quality of production is, as you’d expect, very high indeed, ranging from the filthy warbled hook of LigneB to the relentless peak-time bomb that is 2 Miles Away, it’s rolling rhythms and opiate brass lines, rounding off our releases for the month on May 25.

*** May’s event highlights ***

* 303 Birthday at Camp and Furnace – May 3, £20

An entourage of UK DJing legends descend on Camp and Furnace to help mark 24 months of 303 on the Liverpool scene. Expect Dave ClarkeBilly NastyAndrew Weatherall and Justin Robertson to be in attendance, with North West crew LOLiFE manning the back room via resident and promoter Lauren Lo Sung.

Competition!

* We’ve got two pairs of tickets to give away for Saturday’s 303 show, all you need to do is like our Facebook page and leave the answer to the following question beneath our post.

What is the name of the Midfield General track Dave Clarke infamously remixed at the start of the century, creating one of the ultimate Bugged Out anthems in the process.

a) Coatnoise

b) Trousernoise

c) Socknoise

d) Can You Turn The Noise Down, Please?

* Waxxx at 24 Kitchen Street – May 8, £8 – £15

If last week’s techno madness didn’t quite do you in then don’t worry too much, 24 Kitchen Street, easily one of our favourite of the Baltic Triangle spaces, has more in store, with UK turntable technician Ben Sims booked to headline- a chap who never, ever disappoints when it comes to destroying parties. Get involved.

* High Hoops at Roadhouse – May 15, £15

Meanwhile, over in Manchester, the decade-spanning Roadhouse venue is soon closing, but before that Terre Thaemlitz, AKA DJ Sprinkles, makes her Cottonopolis debut at the club. She’ll be on for a generous three hours, so expect quality house, electronic jazz and crazy weird impromptu keyboard business. Guaranteed to go off.

* Waxxx at Camp and Furnace – May 22, £20

The second Camp and Furnace event to make our recommendations, and the second Waxxx party to boot will see Detroit hero and all-round DJ innovator Jeff Mills  heading up a bill that also boasts Blawan, one of the most exciting of the techno new breed, and Spanish label boss Psyk. Need we say more?

* Cohesion at Sankeys – May 29, £12.50 – £20

Providing a welcome break from all those four fours, we finish the party off at Cohesion, where a who’s who of drum ‘n’ bass heads will keep people skanking until 6AM. Ed RushDom & Roland, Bailey, Chris Inperspective, Altered Perspective, Digital & Spirit, and Artificial Intelligence are just a few reasons to head down.

 

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