Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A long weekend in Detroit [3]

This is my final post of a much-delayed report from DEMF.
If your appetite has been whetted, I'd like to recommend a couple of others - pipecock at ISM and kenny hanlon at bodytonic - I know, for example, they had a very different time to me at the Mills thing. And they're top lads with great blogs. Check 'em out. Meanwhile, read on...

Monday (Memorial Day)

The last day was always going to be tricky. I knew that I had to drag my arse off site by 7pm, so I could realistically be in the car and crossing the border by about 8ish, to have any chance of getting home at a reasonable hour to be functioning as a responsible parent for the next day and rest of the week (we'll just not even pretend to think work was even an issue - but a 2 year old is). And there's always next year, and the fact that Detroit's literally a drive down the road from ours these days. But still.

I knew I was going to miss Los Hermanos live - which, if the live UR showcase (Galaxy 2 Galaxy as a full band, etc.) the last time I was here would be anything to go by, would be a real kick in the teeth. Particularly in the light of how relativly underwhelming the day before had been on site.

At last, I finally get to see Flying Lotus after missing him several times in the UK. Holy. Fucking. Shit. Completely mental but totally kicking it. Finished with something that was almost twisted deep house then went down to half-step on a real Alden Tyrell "Phaze Me" tip. Oooof. No idea if that's a big tune of his or if he was just going for it on the spot, but a Movement Moment if there ever was one. Sun's been shining, great turnout, stages all close together so you can go and catch someone even out of curiosity - strolled past Ellen Allien as she was dropping LFO and cutting up Wee Pappa Girl Rappers somewhere in it all. Mental. Dennis Ferrer was pretty good, Carl Craig didn't seem to be doing anything ground-breaking, but maybe next year as musical director he'll get some of the duff aspects of the festival sorted (particularly the Detroit stage piss-poor excuse for a sound system - and the slightly patchy programming).

But it's not just about the actual festival itself. Memorial Day weekend in Detroit is about so much more. Catching up with old mates. Meeting a shitload of great new folk. Record shopping. Bloody great off-festival parties. Rooftop afterparties in Greektown with the sun blazing down as you realise just exactly where you are, looking around,and feeling there's no place like this on earth. And knowing you'll be back. Who's up for a meetup next year?

Monday, 5 October 2009

A long weekend in Detroit [2]

First, apologies for the delay between blog posts - real life got in the way too much this summer. Typed this up with a slapped wrist, promise to do better in future!

An early start was well rewarded with a lovely chilled set from Liz Copeland on the Beatport stage. Can't remember who else I heard for most of the rest of the day, as reconnecting with old mates (and new) from far and wide: Iowa, NYC, Rotterdam, Pittsburgh, Dublin, Atlanta - yup, people travel for this. And it really adds to the good-natured, sociable vibe that makes this special.

An early night was had, cos I wanted to make it along to the Omar S party the next day, which was basically one of the best things of my whole weekend in Detroit - lovely sociable vibe, top sound, 70+ degrees sunshine, and some great tunes from Dave Powers (including some top tunes I later discovered were his own - which will definitely be getting airing on Purple Radio) before Omar S himself. I'd heard a lot about his guy, and wasn't disappointed. House music can mean anything these days, and most of it ain't good - so it was a pleasure to hear someone who keeps the faith, and lived up to the buzz I'd picked up from many different quarters.

Innervisions live were pretty damn good, MK was very disappointing (dire sound on the Detroit stage), Wighnomy Brothers, on the other hand, were amazing - . Missed Octave One and Osunlade, but you can't get to see everything at these things, and apart from the terrible setup and unlistenable sound at the Detroit stage, it was all good, as they say over here.

Ended up that night at a Jeff Mills afterparty which was ultimately disappointing: waiting >30 mins so they could double the admission after midnight. So was fucking cold, $20 lighter, then stepped in to a not-that-busy venue with it banging out in two rooms. Great. It was *incredibly* fucking loud (even with earplugs), and hardly any real variation on an overall theme of bangbangbangfuckingbang. NFM, as they say on a couple of fora. Room 2 was equally banging (to about 10 people), and then by the time Mills came on, the room was packed and pretty uncomfortable to say the least. By which time, I was shattered, despondant, and wishing I'd gone to something else. Overall, a totally overpriced and utterly underwhelming event. Oh well. You live and learn (but I wish I'd fucking well gone to one of the house-oriented parties that was also on - went with the flow, and ended up at something that simply wasn't for me at all. You live and learn..

But fuck it. I think that was an official afterparty, and the promoters seem to be showing themselves as cash grab merchants this year much more so than previous years, from what I could gather (boat party was $50 - same price as the whole weekend ticket - WTF?! - yet sold out within days. Hmm). That said, it merely strengthens the case for checking out the many other parties in town, which have historically been the ones to check out - such as the sublime Omar S the day before.

Another epic win of the day was at the 'party store' ('offie' to our UK readers, 'beer store' to the Canucks). Michigan microbrew heaven, as discovered the first day I got here - so I stocked up as they were going to be closed on Monday (public holiday), and wanted to take some back to Canadia with me. Scored a couple of mixed cases, including: Third Coast Beer; Bell's Pale Ale; Arcadia IPA; and Arcadia Nut Brown Ale.

There's a lot to be said for the exceptionally fine ales you can get in this part of the world. And, indeed, some damn good places to eat in Detroit. Slows is incredible. This was another highlight of the Saturday, and one of my erudite and discerning buddies proclaimed they were some of the best ribs he's ever had. And he's not one to say such things lightly - far from it - so it would be churlish to disagree. Festivals in cities rule for this exact reason :)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

We've Moved!

After many months, the Purple Radio main site redesign has been compeleted (and *how* - big thanks to James and Laura for their sterling work.

After a few months of testing the water with this music blogging malarkey, the posts and comments from this site are now integrated with the remainder of our content, includng the forums, shoutboxes, photos and all manner of shiny, shiny toys, so come over and join us - the water's fine!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Two hours of Michael Jackson magic

Saturday Soul MJ special

Broadcast live 27th June '09

The Jackson 5 ~ Never Can Say Goodbye
The Jacksons ~ Heartbreak Hotel
The Jacksons ~ Blues Away
Michael Jackson ~ Girlfriend
Michael Jackson ~ Baby, Be Mine
Michael Jackson ~ The Way You Make Me Feel
The Jacksons ~ Blame It On The Boogie
The Jacksons ~ Shake Your Body Down To The Ground
Michael Jackson ~ Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Michael Jackson ~ PYT (12" mix)
The Jacksons ~ Skywriter
The Jacksons ~ Walk Right Now
The Jacksons ~ Can You Feel It
Michael Jackson ~ Off The Wall
Michael Jackson ~ Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
Michael Jackson ~ Rock With You
Michael Jackson ~ Do You Remember The Time
Michael Jackson ~ You Rock My World
Michael Jackson ~ Man In The Mirror
The Jackson 5 ~ I'll Be There
The Jackson 5 ~ Got To Be There
The Jackson 5 ~ Ain't No Sunshine
The Jacksons ~ Dreamer
Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney ~ The Girl Is Mine
The Jackson 5 ~ I Want You Back (Z Trip mix)
The Jackson 5 ~ It's Great To Be Here
Michael Jackson ~ Beat It
The Jackson 5 ~ Mirrors of My Mind
Michael Jackson ~ Thriller
Michael Jackson ~ Human Nature

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Down Under back over here.

Picked up a stack of tracks from an Aussie mate of mine the other day - we share similar tastes in music, so I send him links to British hip-hop and he returns the favour.

This time around, the recommendations were thoroughly sunny, so I thought I'd share a few of the best with you.

First up are Bliss N Eso. consisting MC Bliss, MC Esoterik and DJ Izm, they seemed to have been around on the Australian scene for a good few years now, so I feel I've been more than a bit behind the cutting edge on this one, this is cracking little summer evening number, from their album Flying Colours

The other end of the scale is Seth Sentry, who hasn't even been signed yet, but seems to be getting himself around a cult following around Melbourne. This guy has fantastic flow, and definitely falls under the 'relaxed, non-aggro' hip-hop that I really like. 'The Waitress Song' is due to be included on his yet-to-be-released EP 'The Waiter Minutes Promo'.

Last up is Shad, who isn't Australian, but Canadian. This track, 'The Old Prince Lives At Home', from the album of the same name, definitely ticks my 'phat horn line' box, and shows his skills with the acapella at the end - this bloke deserves to be better known over here.

Purple Radio presents: Big Chill Sundae