Tomorrow brings the official release of the album the internet has been eagerly anticipating since a 16-second ad aired without fanfare during a March episode of SNL. Random Access Memories, the latest from French discotronic duo Daft Punk, has been streaming on iTunes since last Wednesday, and its lead single – the pop earworm “Get Lucky,” sung by the ever-charismatic Pharrell – has been bumping the XPN airwaves since last month.
But what about the album beyond that? There’s a lot of hype and excitement in the air for it, but hype doesn’t always equate to quality. Sure, the duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter released the trend-setting 1997 album Homework and the irresistible Discovery in 2001. And yeah, James Murphy name-checked them in that song title that one time. But less discussed is the uneven 2005 effort Human After All, or the Tron soundtrack.
Does Random Access Memories hold up? Is it a new chapter in dance music and a return to glory for these mysteriously helmet-clad techno-heads? Or is it a bunch of bluster that will breeze away with the next album-of-the-minute? We asked a handful of Philly’s own electronic music heads – from Chris Powell of Spaceship Aloha and Man Man to DJ Apt One- for their thoughts on Random Access Memories, and got a variety of responses. Check them out below. Continue reading →
Propelling out of the Mad Decent world to become a viral YouTube hit, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” is a dance-pop earworm with roots in Philly. Or so explains local producer and deck-rocker DJ Apt One in a post on his blog today. He writes:
In 2010, Skinny Friedman and I had just received some demos from Dave Nada and DJ Ayres with some of the first Moombahton tunes. We set about making some edits of our own, and we put out a free EP on the web called Moombahton de Acero Volume 1 (volumes 2 and 3 would follow later). Included on this EP was a bootleg of Gregor Salto, DJ Gregory and Solo’s “Con Alegria.” One of the samples I used on the bootleg ended up on a “beats and loops” breaks and samples record T&A Records put outwith a bunch of early Moombahton luminaries on it.
Baauer, formerly a up-and-coming Philly DJ/producer called Cap’nHarry, is an acquaintance and a good dude. I got to know him when Moombahton first blew up, Harry having opened for Dillon Francis and me at Fluid back in 2011. Harry used the sample in a tune called Harlem Shake, which ended up in my mailbox sometime in early 2012. Everybody who heard it thought it was a great tune, and we all appreciated the local incestuousness of its creation, but nobody expected it to become such a phenomenon.
Below, download “Con Alegria” – the song Apt One originally sampled – and compare it to “Harlem Shake.”
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Philadelphia International Records, a new collection of Philly International songs is being released in the UK on Harmless Records called Philadelphia International: Re-Edits & Remixes. The collection, sanctioned by Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff features remixes and re-edits of some of Gamble & Huff’s classic songs from various producers around the world. The only Philly producer represented on the collection is DJ Apt One with his re-edit of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ “Wake Up Everybody” that you can listen to below. DJ Apt One is throwing a record release party that he’s calling The Ball on Friday, January 20th at Kung Fu Necktie. The Ball is billed as an evening featuring “the Philly Sound and the Disco and House Music it inspired” with special guest DEL and residents DJ Bruce and DJ Apt One. For more information about the event go here.
CD 1 Uptempo Good Time Philly
1. Satisfaction Guaranteed Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 7.22 Morning Star Re-Edit
2. Only The Strong Survive Billy Paul 8.19 J*Ski Re-Edit
3. Save A Place The Trammps 6.37 J*Ski Re-Edit
4. Free Love Jean Carn 7.04 Victor Rosado Re-Edit
5. Do It Anyway You Wanna People’s Choice 6.35 Keep Schtum Re-Edit
6. Life On Mars Dexter Wansel 5.35 DJ Mila Re-Edit
Mysteries Of The World MFSB 6.00 J*Ski Re-Edit
7. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now McFadden & Whitehead 7.30 Noodleman Re-Edit
8. Dance Turned Into Romance The Jones Girls 6.55 DJ Friction Re-Edit
9. Be For Real Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 7.43 Tim McAllister Re-Edit
10. Message In Our Music The O’Jays 9.16 Jimmy The Twin Re-Edit
CD2 Mellow Slinky Philly
1. If You Wanna Go Back Jean Carn 6.46 Morning Star Re-Edit
2. Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby The O’Jays 8.08 Deep&Disco Rework Re-Edit
3. You’re Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else The Jones Girls 8.36 Henry Greenwood Re-Edit
4. Strategy Archie Bell & The Drells 6.05 Touchsoul Re-Edit
5. Let The Dollar Circulate Billy Paul 6.41 scratchandsniff Re-Edit
6. Easy Money Dee Dee Sharp Gamble 6.56 Todd Terje Re-Edit
7. Was That All It Was Jean Carn 7.59 Morning Star Re-Edit
8. Nights Over Egypt The Jones Girls 6.59 Womack & TOT Re-Edit
9. Don’t Let Love Get You Down Archie Bell & The Drells 8.00 Ed Zone Re-Edit
10. Wake Up Everybody Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes 9.31 DJ Apt One Re-Edit