Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Love & Pain

Photo: Memorial Wall - Baldwin Street, Toronto (August 2023)

Last week, in the run up to the most recent INTERGEN night my partner and I played at The Little Jerry here in Toronto, I thought to record a little mix consisting mostly of house records I had acquired and enjoyed in the past few months. After listening to this mix on my own for the past week or so, I thought it would be a nice one to put up online.

Starts out in a deeper mood, before going into some classic era 80s-90s house, then coming full-circle again.

Included a tracklist and track notes below, hope you enjoy!

Love & Pain (Download)


Kemt - Asok
&Me, Black Coffee - The Rapture Part III
Shahrokh Dini - Dust (Instrumental)
N.Y. House’n Authority - Apt. 3A
Lisa Mitchell - Rescue Me (DJ Stomp Mix)
Monique - Love And Pain (Love Dub Pain Overdub)
Shinichiro Yokota - Do It Again
Marvin Springer - Lies (12” Vocal Mix)
Billie Ray Martin - Running Around Town (Extended Mix)
Modern Mechanical Music - Persia
East Coast Love Affair - Chicago
Swayzak - Fukumachi (2023 Edit)
Nic Joseph - Love Is Here

All the records used in this mix

Track Notes:

Kemt - Asok: I've been enjoying some lovely releases from the Bristol label Shall Not Fade these past few years, including this most recent one from French producer Kemt on their Lost Palms imprint. This track, side A of Kemt's Moony EP, had a moody airiness that struck me right away, one which felt right to use as a starting point here.

&Me, Blackcoffee - The Rapture Part III: This release has been my intro to &Me, Blackcoffee and the Keinemusik label. I didn't have much to go on when I first saw this release, but upon hearing it, I had to buy a copy. There's a melancholy about this track that drew me in, particularly in the piano which is so deftully and delicately deployed here.

Shahrokh Dini - Dust (Instrumental): I recently got a 12 year restrospective compilation of the Compost label, full of quality material, which certainly put it on the map for me. As I was looking through the label's releases, found that this single from 2021 was still in print. When listening, I was taken by the melancholy feeling here, which moved me in a similar way to the previous track. Not sure why I played the instrumental instead of the vocal here, nevertheless, the instrumental hits all the same emotional notes.

N.Y. House’n Authority - Apt. 3A: Got this classic in a recent online purchase. And while Nu Groove is one label I'm always looking out for, this marks an ideal introduction of sorts to the work of one of the label's principals, Rheji Burrell. All the tracks on the APT. 12"/EP are quality, but I thought this had some nice sonic motifs that worked well with the previous track.

Lisa Mitchell - Rescue Me (DJ Stomp Mix): Got this at a local record store recently, and the appropriately named 'Stomp Mix' had me spending a little extra time at the preview station! While this seems to be the sole release for singer Lisa Mitchell, the producer James Bratton had been the producer on a lot of Sybil's releases around this time, as well as others on the Next Plateau label, like Kelly Charles' "You're No Good For Me," which I'd first heard on one of the landmark House Sound of Chicago compilations.

Monique - Love And Pain (Love Dub Pain Overdub): Lovely classic sound from 1992 here, also one that I found recently at a local record store. Hits all the marks of bounce, depth and soul that I love, all given extra space in this particular mix on the single's B-side. Released on Mascot Records an imprint of MicMac Records, which in a little interesting disco connection, was established by Mickey Garcia and Prelude Records' founder Marvin Schlachter.

Shinichiro Yokota - Do It Again: Heard this on the recently re-pressed Soichi Terada compilation, Sounds from The Far East from 2015 on the Rush Hour label. One that I've been enjoying a lot recently and highly recommend. For me, this is one of the standouts!

Marvin Springer - Lies (12” Vocal Mix): A lovely Basement Boys production from 1999, which I also got recently at a local record shop. The soulful vocal and bounce of this track had me immediately hooked. There's an "LP Mix" of the track on the B-side, which I took to hint at a forthcoming album, which evidently never happened. That said, I'd be curious to know if The Basement Boys have anything else in the can on this vocalist.

Billie Ray Martin - Running Around Town (Extended Mix): I'm always on the lookout for Billie Ray Martin releases, and when I saw this 12" at one of my old Calgary stomping grounds on a recent visit, had to snap this up! Besides a vocal that I love, it has a certain trademark synth sound characteristic of some popular house records of the early-mid 90s (see Robin S. - Show Me Love), which seems to be coming around again these days.

Modern Mechanical Music - Persia: The title conjures Persia, but it's more like Chicago circa 1986 with this track, another one I found at a local record shop. This particular 12" has a roughness that appeals to me, one that other earlier house records from this time share. The synth motifs and chants here also seem to have one foot in the electro sound of the time too, which I have to say also appeals to me quite a bit.

East Coast Love Affair - Chicago: Keeping with the Chicago theme, the Athens of the North label has been on my radar now for some time, due to their reissues of rare soul/disco records, but some of their more current/original material has also been capturing my attention. Case in point being East Coast Love Affair - a duo consisting of label boss Euan Fryer and Nick Moore (AKA Linkwood). Their cover of this Roy Ayers track from 1983, translates so brilliantly and perfectly into a classic house groove. I had first seen this on a recent release list, but after hearing some DJs play this out one night at work, I had to purchase it straight away!

Swayzak - Fukumachi (2023 Edit): My partner, Andrew recently turned me onto Swayzak. When he saw that there was a 25th Anniversary reissue of their 1998 album Snowboarding in Argentina, he encouraged me to give it a listen. Loved it so much, I ended up ordering a copy. Am quite drawn to the deep, minimal sound on the album, which is among one of my favourite listens recently. Track C1 is one that I flagged early on as a favourite, so am glad to find a place for it here.

Nic Joseph - Love Is Here: A recent release on the Berettamusic label out of Detroit that I picked up earlier in the year. This particular track (the title track of the EP) moved me straight away, in large part due to the beautiful vocal (sample?) that's weaved throughout. The feeling of that vocal was the ideal motif to bring this mix to a full-circle close.


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