Brad P – Inner Visions – Inner Shift Music

Brad Peterson is one of those producers who can do no wrong in my eyes. Or should that be ears? Either way, his solo and collaborative track record over more than a decade with Minuendo, Moods & Grooves, Yore et al speaks for itself and his output on his own label Inner Shift Music is just as tidy.

Indeed, the Inner Visions EP, his first solo venture for the imprint he runs with partner Rai Scott, is not only a fine record but also a snapshot of what Peterson is all about.

The opening track is perhaps everything you might expect from a cut called Light Years. It’s ethereal and spaced-out deep house, the kind of thing Peterson does exceptionally well at the best of times anyway but here he is at his most excellent. In the hands of lesser artists the ‘otherworldly’ vibe can sound hackneyed but not so with the quietly-spoken American, who works at a higher level than most in this field and who always imbues his music with a hefty dose of soul. It’s what separates the wheat from the chaff in this game.

Whereas Light Years is bright, brash and jazzy, Slow Walker is much more introspective. A brooding, slow-burning ‘heads down’ of a track fashioned beautifully by Peterson for those darker moments. Take U There is Brad P on something of a jazz-funk tip, albeit within the parameters still of his take on the cosmic deep house oeuvre. Whale Cry, meanwhile, brings the journey to a suitably calming conclusion and augurs well for the man’s forthcoming album.

Various Artists – Sunken Guidance – Appian Sounds

Five releases and counting for Appian Sounds and head-honcho Al Blayney’s A&R skills and powers of persuasion are still sharper than Julie Burchill’s tongue. Having secured highly-desirable releases already from Ethyl & Flori, Eduardo de la Calle, LAAK and others, Appian is bang with a bomb from four more sought-after debutants.

There’s a first time outing for the much-talented and erudite young American Natan H, who has popped up in the last few years on other on-trend labels such as Ethereal Sound, Batti Batti and George Fitzgerald’s ManMakeMusic. Here with VX407 Natan is again on form, this time with a more contemplative Detroit techno offering than of late. Dominated by waves of glistening synths undulating throughout and set against a broken and not too heavy-handed kick, the track is superbly subtle, simple and sublime.

In many respects, Starling Dance is of a similar genus. Produced by the excellent Irish producer Leonid (real name Paul Smith), the cut relies heavily on atmosphere and emotion, the bass a delicately restrained yet much-apparent force resulting in a track that is near-on as good as anything produced by Smith previously. And that’s saying something for a man who has previous with Sistrum and Dolly.

New York starlet Joey Anderson’s Dormency, however, strays into much darker territory. The former dancer’s track creeps, crackles and slithers menacingly and magnificently with little more than a distant bittersweet melody for company. Prima facie evidence of why Levon Vincent, Jus-Ed and DJ Qu rate him so highly.

Fellow New Yorker DJ Spider’s Anticipate The Wolves is, as might be expected of the man, more muscular and direct. Yet there is something decidedly funky about the piece despite the trademark sonic assault, with the plangent bells, reverb and general aural fog very much adding to rather than detracting from the overall vibe. A high five for Appian.

Gauss – Braunschweig – Gauss Ltd.

Contemporary techno can leave me cold. Too often it is just that little too mechanical, soulless and glib. Of course there are many exceptions and, besides, every genre has examples of ill-conceived ideas and projects lacking real integrity. This from newcomers Gauss, however, is my kinda techno.

Gauss are both a new label and production outfit comprising two artists better known by other names and for different styles. They are keeping their identities under wraps. For now. What is clear, however, is that this their two-track introduction is an intriguing, raw and worthy way to make an entrance.

Opener and title-track Braunschweig bounces briskly, moodily and robotically from beginning to end. Deep soulful chords, however, ensure the track remains at all times so much more poetic than prosaic despite its deliberate rough edges and obvious mechanical construction.

The B-side cut Interpolations is much more experimental and angular. A broken and slightly muted kick underlines the cut’s techno heritage whereas the synth work is unexpectedly melodic despite its dirty and off-kilter approach. An accomplished, self-assured and solid debut.

BLM – Spawn Camping- Contrast-Wax

British wunderkind BLM and Contrast-Wax were always going to make a perfect match. The savvy vinyl-only label and the outstanding young producer, who is one half of the incomparable Fear Of Flying imprint, clearly share similar values on aesthetics, quality and style. It was always going to work.

Yet neither party surely could have envisaged that the Spwn Camping EP would actually turn out to be such a thing of beauty. Ten-inch vinyl, 100 copies and two top-rate tracks add up to one formidable release.

From his debut release on FOF back in 2006, BLM was marked out as a talent and it has been a delight to see that early promise realised and blossom with stand-out work not only for his own labels (he is also behind Sudden Drop alongside FOF partner Jay Robinson) but also for Secretsundaze, Tsuba and Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality. That talent is present and correct here for Contrast too.

A tad less chunky and just a touch more restrained too, opening track Range Mod is nonetheless of a similar hue and standard as the young Ben Micklewright’s Roll ‘Em EP for UQ a couple of years back. It really is that tasty. Packing an understated punch, Range Mod is perhaps BLM’s finest moment thus far for these ears and displays all the quality and maturity of an up-and-coming talent now come of age.

All of which may have rendered the b-side a disappointment by comparison. Fear not as though as the bristling and curiously melodic eponymous track Spwn Camping has a shuffling, ethereal and hi-tek charm all of its own thanks to BLM’s undoubted ability.

File under ‘need/want’.

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LAAK – Obsessive Compulsive Desires – Austere

Like Mary, there’s something about LAAK. Perhaps it is the way the production duo go quietly about their business releasing delightfully-constructed Detroit-inspired house and techno with the minimum of fuss. Or perhaps it is because their label Austere is gradually blossoming into a very beautiful thing. Either way, LAAK are becoming a presence on the record shelves of the deeper vibes cognoscenti.

As has been the case with all of the Austere releases thus far, there is an holistic approach to this their sixth and latest package. Each of the tracks jigsaw well together, the standout cut could as easily be the last as the first and there is a distinctive sonic weave that binds the work together. Given that LAAK are both co-owners and the mainstay of the label’s output, it should be expected if there is shared DNA among the imprint’s twelves. Yet even when rated Dublin producers Slowburn took on Austere 04 it was still a tight fit with the label’s blueprint.

LAAK, however, are very much in control here though. Opening track Unbalanced is by an irony far from that and is instead a skilfully crafted and measured joint. Spacey, vacillating, pleasingly rhythmic and perhaps their best work to date.

Talented New York producer DJ Spider is best known for his dark soundscapes and sonic assaults. Yet for his remix of a hitherto unreleased track, Intrusive Thoughts, he keeps his famed sonic warfare tendencies in check and presents a version that is bold, bombastic and brilliant.

At first glance Mental & Emotional could be mistaken for a routine techno-inspired workout albeit a well-produced one. It is much more though and once it shifts into gear bursts brightly and melodically into life. Proving the point that last is as good as first at Austere is closing track The Rituals. A slower groove by design and simply stunning, it is no wonder that LAAK’s and Austere’s growing list of acolytes reads like a who’s who of underground electronica.

A D Bourke – Prelude – Five Fold Records

Intergalactic jazz funk anyone? That’s the tasty fare on offer on the impressive debut release from Five Fold Records, the dance-oriented sub-label of the much-respected and long-running Brazilian specialist Far Out Recordings.

It is an entrance that bodes well. The Five Fold philosophy and aesthetic appear to connect very neatly indeed with the Far Out mothership, while the London-based imprint’s choice of inaugural release could not have been better, coming as it does from the hitherto little-known but clearly talented Italian producer A D Bourke.

Title-track Prelude takes the plaudits here, although to be honest any of the four tracks could have done so on this hugely fresh EP, especially for an old soul boy like me. Deep chords, disco sprinkles and a Level 42-style slap bass married with a house music aesthetic, what’s not to love?

Although the name may imply a leaning more towards the intergalactic rather than the jazz funk, Astral is actually another beautiful piece sculpted from the same raw material as Prelude. Here, however, the vibe is much more laidback and cosmic yet the end result is as glorious.

Equinox rides a similar flight too though with a more robust kick and a slightly more stuttering, mechanical and intense approach. The journey ends in melancholic style with something a little more earthly, the endearing A Night In Almeria. A lonely, off-kilter piano with only limited support from rising waves of synths is so emotional and introspective that it could almost steal the show right at the death. One of the most surprising and rewarding releases of the year. More please.

V/A – Crossover – Batti Batti Records

Light and shade is something Batti Batti Records does extremely well. And even though label owner Owen Jay insists that this the imprint’s fifth release has taken a ‘slightly different direction’ with the inclusion of some darker overtones, with his ear tuned as sharply as ever to quality control, Batti Batti followers will not be disappointed.

Although undoubtedly broodier in parts than previous releases, this is more than balanced by the defter musical tones of Jay and his regular studio partner Melchior Sultana, as well as that of the fab Finnish producer Deymare. The latter’s contribution here, Episode 2, is top draw; a hefty and most-satisfying chunk of deepness. Simple and effective. Jay and Sultana’s divine Moog Mood does what it says on the tin; atmospheric, chord-driven and leisurely.

Young Berlin-based Saverio Celestri may be a newcomer to the label but has pitched his effort perfectly for both the imprint generally and this EP in particular. Session 9 is quality and not dissimilar to the Jay/Sultana track in that mood, vibe and feeling are the order of the day. One to watch.

The enigmatic M.P. provides the release’s darkest contribution with Tension, an analogue-style jam that is still on point especially for those that love their beats of the rough, tough and raw variety and accompanied with a smattering of “nobody fucks with me, man” vocal snippets. Edgy, tense and yet an entirely appropriate addition to yet another outstanding Batti Batti release.

Anthony Nicholson – Pathways & Sidesteps – deepArtSounds

Commitment is in no short supply at burgeoning Swiss label deepArtSounds. Having emerged only last year but with saluted Spanish producers Ernie and Above Smoke already on the roster, the crew are back with acclaimed US veteran Anthony Nicholson.

Moreover, the label has also persuaded Nicholson to follow up his debut EP for the imprint with an album in the first half of next year. And with releases also scheduled from other underground starlets, it really is heady times for the Zurich-based collective.

Pathways & Sidesteps is a one-track two-versions affair. Peak time versus downtime. The original mix of Open Chakras pumps with a minor ‘p’, nothing hardcore here, but is still splendidly soulful and surprisingly smooth for a track with such abundant dance-floor appeal. Old-school jazzy chords and keys trip delicately across the track, almost Herbie Hancock-esque and are entirely fitting for an artist who has worked with the likes of Ron Trent and Brett Dancer.

On the reverse is the dub mix which, as dub mixes often are, is a slowed down, deeper and more expansive version of the original. It is, however, no afterthought or makeweight. The track more than holds its own as Nicholson reveals even more of his jazzier side and allows the track to ebb and flow quite naturally and, indeed, beautifully. So whether you’re one of those folks who like to get down or if you prefer things kind of mellow, as the man once said, look no further.

Jacksonville – The Summer Thief – Doppler

He’s mellowing in his old age is Jacksonville. The signs have always been there amongst his equally accomplished minimal, tech-house and more jacking offerings, tracks such as Volante and Valparaiso on Doppler 01 and 02 respectively, it is just that lately he seems to have settled with distinction into a deeper mindset.

Here’s the evidence, The Summer Thief, the latest EP on his own imprint Doppler. The title track is typical Jacksonville (aka Chris Lyth). Not in a predictable, I-know-what-is-coming-next kind of way, but rather in the sense that he is a producer whose output is consistently above-par and reliable, whose work is exceptionally well-crafted and who right now is at the top of his game. The Summer Thief is a lesson in how to woo a listener rather than make an awkward lunge for their attention. The kick though relentless, enticing and ultimately infectious is nevertheless cushioned and warm rather than being a sonic assault, whilst synth stabs shimmer and fade for added cosmic affect.

On Monochrome Session the Edinburgh-based producer takes matters down a notch, the pads even warmer, the bass even more subtle, more hypnotic and the keys dramatically more iridescent and glittering. Yet as the track builds a head of steam comes the money shot as it only then becomes apparent just how downright groovy it has become.

By his own admission Lyth is not one to court attention, but with a new live set currently being worked on and based on the evidence of The Summer Thief, he may soon be powerless to avoid it.

Jesus Gonsev – Northern Lake – Foliage Records

Both Jesus Gonsev and Foliage Records have been knocking around long enough now to know what it takes when it comes to a cracking release. So no wonder then that the combination of the underrated Spanish producer and the German label that counts Ron Trent, Robert Owens and Roland Clark amongst its alumni has resulted in an EP that is so bang-on.

Curtain-raising cut Northern Lake is menacing and ominous deep house at its finest, executed splendidly, a real tension-builder that is totally uncompromising and even a touch hostile. You probably wouldn’t want to meet it in a dark alley.

By contrast Survivor is way less aggressive. It is nevertheless a muscular take on the genre still and intentionally a little rougher around the edges than some of its kind though with sufficient funk for the floor.

Bringing the EP to a close is the fabulous Flash, by far the most melodic and catchy of the threesome. Gonsev, who also owns the excellent Troubled Kids Records, turns in an infectious little number that wraps up proceedings in style.

Brad Peterson – Visions Beyond – Contrast-Wax

It’s becoming a habit. Fledgling label Contrast-Wax cherry-picking some of the best underground talent for consistently must-have releases on their no-nonsense, 100 units, blink-and-they-are-gone, vinyl-only label.

For EP number four they’ve smartly secured the services of the vastly-experienced and supremely capable Brad Peterson, whose discography includes outings for the likes of Moods & Grooves, Minuendo and his own acclaimed imprint Inner Shift.

Following here in the footsteps of Ernie, Ethyl and Flori as well as Alex Danilov, Peterson more than does justice to both himself and the Contrast-Wax name. Because Visions Beyond is essential.

Opening track Memory Flash works a slow-moving groove to perfection ably assisted by a gorgeous and emotional synth-line. Unhurried, unfettered and mightily effective, the epitome of ‘deep house’ to the aficionados.

Particle Storm has an ethereal and uncluttered approach often found in Peterson’s work and in common with previous productions drifts pleasingly through that grey area between deep house and techno.

Bonus track Infrared has more urgency about it, a more insistent kick that contrasts well with the delicate melodies, something of a Peterson trademark these days, that pepper the track.

by Tim Gibney

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Jocelyn Brown

Jocelyn Brown is one of these larger than life entertainers that has the lungs to blow open the vaults at the Bank of England. Her massive hit ‘Somebody Else’s Guy’ has been killing dancefloors for close on 30 years. She has also sang vocals with great acts such as Change, Salsoul Orchestra, Incognito, Musique, Luther, Inner Life and many others.

Jocelyn is now a native Londoner and can be found performing at the upcoming events in the UK. The first event sees Jocelyn perform live in London on Sunday 20th October for Body and Soul with Francois Kervorkian, Joe Clausell and Danny Krivit. Jocelyn is then the headline finale act at the burgeoning Scottish Soul Weekender in Dumfries on the weekend of  Nov 1st/2nd/3rd. Faith Fanzine highly recommend attendance for both of her shows because live she is phenomenal.

We caught up with Jocelyn recently for a full interview that is due to appear in the Scottish Soulful Weekender programme. Here’s some short extracts.

After your release on the Posse label you had a hit with ‘Somebody Elses Guy’ who you wrote with your sister Annette. You worked with Fred McFarlane and Allen George who both produced it. How did you land that deal?

Vinyl Dreams wasn’t supposed to be the label it was supposed to be called Goody Two Shoes, but it wasn’t. There was a controversial situation between myself and Allen George. You’re right Fred McFarlane did co-produce it with me. I had originally written it with my sister Annette, but I’m also playing the piano on there as well. Everything was involved in the production house between the two of us. Allen George didn’t do too much, he kind of stayed on the outside and he was more of a partner with myself that got very side tracked. It didn’t turn out too well with our relationship. God has a way of doing things where you have to figure out a way of what the plan is. It might not be the plan that you want, but it might be the situation for everybody to learn and understand to get it together.

It must be a very frustrating thing because I’ve read that Loleatta Holloway and you are the most sampled vocalists of all time.

Yes that’s true, but there’s something else there that some people might not be able to understand it that they must realise that if you are not a part of the elite part of this business the advantage that is taken on you is ridiculous. They try and keep you underneath their feet and that’s not the way that it’s supposed to be. I’m an artist, I’m a singer. I didn’t come in here with attitude I came in here for music and for us all to enrich ourselves. No one saw that you’re not supposed to talk, you’re not supposed to have a difference of opinion about anything. You’re supposed to just shut up, sing and no your place. It’s kind of hard to do that when you’re mother, a wife and you have your own life where you have to pay your bills. People can’t just tell you to shut up and sit down. It don’t go down there like that like. I’m one of those sisters that you can’t tell to sit down and shut up to.

Do you have any other projects on the go at the moment that you can talk about?

Well I’m going to try my hands at two things. One is that I have a cartoon idea that i’m trying to get together with a couple of friends of mine. I’m also going to do a pilot for a musical cook show. More than anything else i’m writing with Bluey. I’m writing with Morgan trying to finish off this album. I’ve got a christmas LP that came out last year, that’s coming back out again. I’m going to put my hands to doing a gospel jamboree that’s going to include jazz gospel and house gospel. They’re avenues that most people don’t even know exist.

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Booth Wanker

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Owen Jay & Melchior Sultana – Heat Rising – Minuendo Recordings

Owen Jay really is the daddy right now. Recent fatherhood seems to have coincided with a rich vein of form that a thorough-bred racehorse would be proud of. Winner after winner. And if rumours are to be believed then there is yet more to come from Malta’s very own deep house don.

Here on Heat Rising, Jay is again in cahoots with compatriot and long-time collaborator Melchior Sultana with the talented two-some turning in a tour de force for Spanish artist Ernie’s much-loved label Minuendo.

Featuring the divine vocals of Mykle Anthony, opening track Here For You is soulful, Chicago-inspired deep house at its most exquisite and entirely in keeping with both the imprint’s recent direction and Ernie’s own personal musical background. An achingly beauteous piece of work if ever there was.

Instrumental production Oceanic is almost signature Jay and Sultana these days; contemplative, emotive and sultry. Proper grown-up music with a house leaning. There is even a delightful DJ tool entitled Calm thrown in for good measure.

Hand-stamped, limited edition, must-have. You know the score.

Leo Gunn – Sea Change (Part One) – Deep Explorer

Although with only a couple of releases to his name, Australian producer Leo Gunn is already a name to reckon with. The fact that both those EPs have appeared on the splendid Madrid-based label Deep Explorer speaks volumes for the man’s ability.

Gunn operates squarely within the traditions of deep house with the influences of Chicago and Detroit entirely evident. This is a good thing. As such he is pretty much a model artist for Dubbyman’s imprint.

On Sea Change (Part One) it is all about four tracks of real quality. Any of the tracks could have opened up. As it were they plumped for Dancing With Dreams, wistful, faraway and percussion-driven Larry Heard-style house that meanders enchantingly from first to last bar. Come Down (Deep Explorer edit) is similar in intent save for a touch more jauntiness, whereas Open Spaces is a little more serious and thoughtful by design.

Final cut Quiet (Dubbyman re-make) takes the deep vibe up – or should that be down? – a notch, almost Bobby Konders territory, rounding off what is an entirely accomplished EP.

Various Artists – Analogue Signal – Batti Batti Records

My mad-love for Batti Batti productions is well documented here at Faith. Blind it ain’t though. So it’s just as well that no blinkers are necessary still with the label now four vinyl releases in and every one utterly essential.

On the Analogue Signal EP the modus operandi remains the same; four cuts from invited friends and guests plus work from Batti Batti owner – yes it’s that man again – Owen Jay and his regular studio partner Melchior Sultana.

Opening the show as it were is German-based producer Marco Nega. Although a newer name, Nega already has some pedigree having been picked up previously by Jennifa Mayanja’s label Bu-mako and Malcolm Moore’s Altered Moods imprint. Here with Voodub (Sumbody Is Missin), Nega drops a simple and effective groove drenched in deepness and class.

Label stalwarts Owen Jay and Melchior Sultana do what they have been threatening to do for some time now and that is deliver a track that will be considered one of the finest of its genre and will remain in many a record box for years to come. No hands-in-the-hair screamer is Mist Of Time but merely a beautiful, emotion-wrenching and tenderly-produced cut to immerse yourself in. Simple as that.

Italian beatsmith Nasty Boy is also a regular within the Batti Batti fold and with Walk Alone does what he does best; groovy and techy synth-heavy deep house made for the floor. Nino’s Synthese Cosmique is another perfectly judged addition to the EP and opts for a more techno and ambient influenced approach that rounds of a fine release in style.

Glenn Astro & IMYRMIND – Got Me Shakin’- Outernational

The Dutch dudes behind the Outernational label have definitely got their fingers on the collective pulse. Moving effortlessly between disco, nu-disco, deep house and something a little more bassy if the mood takes them, as it does here on this their seventh outing, everything they touch demonstrates exceptional taste, timing and tenacity.

And so it goes here as they pluck relatively little-known German duo Glenn Astro and IMYRMIND from the backwaters of house music and give them a wider audience.

The duo’s eponymous Got Me Shakin’ does what it says on the tin. An infectious, thumping slab of quality house music that rises above the pack thanks in part to an enchanting earworm of a melody that lifts the entire production. Astro’s solo Do My Thing is in some senses the more direct, bass-heavy sibling of the title track. Some solid synth work, however, renders it a cut above most of its ilk.

Heavy Cruiser from IMYRMIND is a quality tool crafted from the same mould as both Got Me Shakin‘ and Do My Thing. As with many an EP, the best is arguably left til last. Astro’s rather excellent UNLTD is the standout in my humble opinion; chunky, bumping and darn-right funky with more than a sprinkling of the deep stuff about it. Ace.

Sarp Yilmaz – Disintegration – Swink Music

Turkish producer Sarp Yilmaz seems to have a jackdaw-like fascination for classic noughties dance music if his debut release for Dublin’s blossoming Swink Music is anything to go by. But whereas many others might have lazily knocked out something a touch hackneyed, the boy from Istanbul manages to shine new light through old windows.

Borrowing on John Cutler’s It’s Yours, The Knowledge is straight-up dance-floor fodder with a sizeable dose of funk and an irresistible groove. Yilmaz turns to another tried and tested source for Stronger On My Own, this time the Kathy Brown classic, and proffers a more subtle and deeper rendition than the original and is all the better for that.

Acid Swing is more playful but with no less intent, the object of the exercise being to work a dance floor. It will. As with many an EP, it is often the last track that surrenders the most interest and so it proves again here with I Know Baby, a bumping, head-nodding turn that would do the business just as well had it been an instrumental.

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Jack The Box Presents…

Now to be honest im not a fan of albums and especially House ones , far to many fillers sitting uncomfortably alongside a couple of previous releases and the odd hit . However this summer i received a LP that proved my thesis wrong ( NO its not fucking Daft Punk either ) . JACK THE BOX PRESENTS was on repeat play on my big fuck off hire car ( think Westwood meets Snoop Dog in milton keynes ) and considering its a 10 hour round trip and i never felt the need to get angry to Talk Sport once thats surely the sign of good shit . I talked to Bobby Starrr ( one half of Jack the Box alongside Chicago bona fide legend Tyree Cooper ) about how it all came to pass .

“Tyree and myself started to DJ together in 2010 and since then have been doing parties under the Jack The Box label. This collaboration inspired two regular party franchises “” at Tresor and “Lunar Phase” our underground party that is currently with Kater Holzig but about to move to a new secret location. I called my weekly radioshow on Sweatlodge Jack The Box Radio as well. Tyree released a few of my own tracks on his Supa Dupa label and remixed one and when fine-tuning the tracks together, we just fell into a comfortable rhythm and decided we needed to do this more often. Then the obvious choice was to call us “Jack The Box”

The thing that stood out for me alongside the top notch production was the boys choice of collaborators from Mandel Turner who sounds like a real 80’s Soul singer in the vein of D’Train or even Storm Queen to Bam of the Jungle brothers ( thats proper hip house royalty there ).
‘ As for the collaborations with other artists, we as DJs wanted to play out more tracks that have this feeling of a “song”. This means we were intent on making tracks with full vocal lyrics as opposed to tracks with one or two vocal tunes currently are in vogue in Berlin. All of the artists that we approached have a very authentic individuality and strong character and most importantly, they are family and add to our positive vibe. With Lady Blacktronika we’ve been in contact since she was a guest on my very 1st weekly radio show on Sweatlodge back in May 2010. I was listening to loads of Northern Soul at the time and wanted to get that vibe out of her’ .

Did you guys know Bam from the Jungle brothers from back in the day ?
“Tyree was DJing in Stockholm on NYE and noticed this dude who was watching him all night long and Ty’s watching him trying to figure out how he knows this guy. After the show, they had a chat and turns out it was Bam of the Jungle Brothers and within an instant we three were chatting, emailing and suddenly producing a full on track. I’ve then met him at our monthly residency ‘E-MAN-CI-PATE’ and can tell you he is an impressive personality and I’m very glad that we were able to collaborate with him on You Can’t Judge . Mandel Turner is in our close friend circuit. He pulled off a powerful performance while we had the after effects of Kater Holzig running through our brain and he took it and ran with it in one session.
Jean Honeymoon got introduced to us via our Glasgow home boy, James Johnson and DJ Harri gave us great reviews about her before we connected. She is impressive. finally Marco Anderson is one of Tyree’s close collaborators who is recording for Chicago Vinyl Records and his vocals close off perfectly the LP…’This Is Our House

What i also love so much is that its its straight up house … No nod towards fads or fashions . A brave move or do you see things coming home so to speak.

‘ Not quite. You are right in assuming that since Ty and I both have such a strong love for traditional Chicago House, it would have been hard for us to do a Berlin-mainstream skewed album that fits into what everyone else is doing. However, we are no robots, we are humans and we do get influenced by what’s happening around us and that’s a good thing. So “Side A” is definitely also inspired by contemporary music trends. So for us this album is about honouring the origins but also embracing the now. Chicago inspired traditional House music with a fresh and contemporary Berlin feeling.’

The last single ‘ the way we walk ‘ got massive props from the house family while ‘ pon de underground ‘ was picked by loco Dice for his ‘In the House ‘ CD on Defected add to that Tyree’s collaboration with Alex Arnout on ‘one nation ‘ that has been a big festival tune all summer and the time is right for these cats and with a new generation of kids looking for House inspiration JACK THE BOX PRESENTS is perfect food for that hunger .

JACK THE BOX PRESENTS is released on October 14th on Moodmusic

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Louie Balo : The Ride Committee

Niall O’Conghaile aka CNUT TR4XXX interviewed the legendary Louie Balo ahead of the brand new The Ride Committee ft. Roxy EP “Guess Who” out on Batty Bass.

It goes without saying that I love house music. The rhythm, the sounds, the energy, the emotions, everything about it. I love house so much, you can even find me grooving to the background music in a Clairol advert. Sometimes. But beyond what we perceive as being the main tenets of house music, one of the reasons I love it so much that it has validated gay and queer identities in the public consciousness. For real. It may seem outlandish to some, but I am convinced that being shouted at, and sung to, by various drag queens and obviously “queer” vocalists throughout the Nineties is partly responsible for the recent Marriage Equality Bill that passed in the UK (where many of these songs were regularly in the charts).

One of my all-time favourite draggy house vocalists is Roxy, best known for tracks like “Get Huh” and “Accident” with the Ride Committee, released on the legendary Tribal label in the mid 90s. So it came as a very pleasant surprise to find out that the next release in the Batty Bass’ “NY Series” label would be the return of Ride Committee ft Roxy, with the pumping “Guess Who”. It kinda makes sense though, what with 90s house sounds being back in vogue (literally) and also with New York’s current “gay revival” and the re-queering of house music in general. With all that in mind, and also wanting to get the low down on the current NY club scene, the legendary Tribal label, Ms Roxy herself and the Ride Committee’s comeback, I reached out to the man behind the act, DJ/producer Louie Balo, who was kind enough to answer my barrage of questions:

How did you get into djing?

I started djing around the age of 12. My dad owned a social club, and had two complete different stereos, and I would not allow the music to stop. I didn’t even use a mixer, ha ha, and I remember that one set of the speakers on one of the hi-fi stereos sounded better than the other. It was spanish music, but eventually it moved into 80’s r&b, dance, party music, etc… When I finally got two turntables (with a mixer) and a mic, it was popping.

How did you get into music production?

As many dj’s do, I wanted to transition from playing other people’s music to playing my own. So I bought a keyboard, synths, and a drum machine.

What do you use to produce now, and how is that different from what you started producing music on?

When I first started I had external equipment – which means there were no plug-ins, everything was rack mounted equipment. Now everything is computer based. There is a certain quality with analog synths and equipment where you can actually tweek them, I miss that. The original beat makers would understand.

What were your big formative influences?

I had a lot of ndifferent influences growing up, but I would say the big ones were Santana, Curtis Mayfield, Sade, old school break records, and rare underground grooves. I was always drawn to music or tracks that would make me say, “Damn!!!”, ha ha!

What are your all time top 3 favourite records?

“The Bottle” by Gil Scott Heron, “The Message” by Bobby Konders, and a specific mix of an underground gem called ‘Take A Chance On Yourself’. Not sure who made that one, but it’s fly!!!

And what is your own favourite record that you have produced or remixed?

Well I am well known for producing “Love Commandments” by Gisele Jackson on Waako which I dig, ha ha!!!

But I also really like what I do, so it’s hard to pick any individual tracks. Maybe my Boogie Balo E.P. series, my Tribal stuff, and my funky tracks like ‘Activator’. Oh, and the Roxy material!

How did you get hooked up with the Tribal labels?

I worked at a company called Eightball Records in the East Village, NYC. It was a record company and record store, and a lot of people visiting didn’t realize that, while they were in the store, I was upstairs in the studio. I was eventually introduced to Rob Di Stephano through the label (or the store, I don’t remember exactly when or where) but we met, the rest is house music history.

Do you still have any contact with them?

I am in contact with them yes, but their label has transitioned from an actual office space to primarily being in the online world. So it’s not like before when we used to visit each other’s label/offices, grab a bite to eat, and have person to person meetings.

Were you already a fan of theirs? If so what’s your favourite Tribal release?

I was a fan of what Tribal was doing, it was a part of IRS records, but at the time, I felt like I had something different to offer, so when they took a chance on me, I became a big fan of theirs, ha ha!

Roxy seems like quite a character! What is Roxy like in real life?

The same. Roxy is a character, funny, loyal, cool to hang out with!

How did you two meet and what exactly led you to collaborate in the beginning?

We were neighbours. Roxy lived across the street from me in what we call here, the sticks. A group of us lived nearby and we all liked house music and going out, so between the cook-outs, and the beer and cigarette runs, we became friends….

And why the decision to re-team now?

We never really stopped working together. We have so much material that we made throughout the years, we were just (like many other artists), dealing with the whole file sharing thing going on, dealing with shrinking budgets, and record labels closing left and right.

How did you get hooked up with Batty Bass?

My friend DJ Will Automagic from The Carry Nation put me in contact with Hannah Holland, who at the time was working on a song with Josh Caffe called ‘Play with the Maid’. So I asked if they were looking for stuff, and she said yes, and here we are!

Will there be more Ride Committee & Roxy releases coming soon?

Most definitely!!! Yes!!!!

As someone who’s been heavily involved in house music for quite a while now, how do you think club culture has changed since you first started out?

It has changed a lot. People used to be fixed on one club, and you would always see them at the same spot all the time. You became friends with these people and eventually they became your hang out friends. So the scene goes through re-generation, the people may have changed, but the scene itself is the same; music, liquor, and party!

What, do you think, are the good and the bad ways it has changed since the mid- 90s?

The music hasn’t changed much, that is why the 90’s sound is so hot right now. There is only so much you can steer away from the sound of house before it becomes something else. The clubs have become smaller venues now, and the age of the superclub no longer exists, which is fine with me! I always dug tight, smaller, good systems-based clubs, with a great staff and cool promoters. They’re out there!!!

What’s coming up next for Louie Balo?

I own my own label called BATTLEWAX RECORDS, so I have my third album that I am working on and going to be releasing.

Watch this space!

Niall O’Conghaile (CVNT TR4XXX / CVNTY blog)

Batty Bass

Artwork Alex Noble

Pic Ves Pitts

“Guess Who” The Ride Committee ft. Roxy (Batty Bass) out now

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Boy About Town

Boy About Town is autobiographical account of Tony Fletcher’s life growing up in London during the 1970s and focuses in on teenage tales centered around the quick changing musical environment of the capital. As a teenager Tony started a fanzine called Jamming which went on to be one of the most respected punk inspired publications during those times. I must confess to have owned quite a few issues in those times. One of the central characters of the book John Matthews has written a review of the book. For those that have read the book you may know John as the kid that used to take toilet paper to school.

Its very strange reading a book where you’re included as one of the characters. I’d been into music from the age of eight via glam rock, Bowie and Bolan so, thirty five plus years ago when I started secondary school at The Oval in south east London, I counted myself lucky that the 13 year old classmates who I hung around with were into the same bands as me. But never would I have believed that one of them was going to be a best selling music biographer who would write a book about the events that were unfolding in front of me. Tony Fletcher was that school friend and Boy About Town is the story of his growing up in south east London at a time when punk rock was about take the UK by storm. The book is unique because it not only hilariously tells the tale of a bullied teenage adolescent mummy’s boy, who regularly masturbates and is determined to lose his virginity before leaving secondary school but it also recounts how he (along with my other close school friend who was a heavy metal fan) started Jamming fanzine which went from having a run of 50 copies printed on the school Xerox copier to a nationwide distribution of 30,000.

Along the way Tony recalls an obsession with the Who that led a number of his school friends to covering for him when he went missing from class to join the queue for tickets for Who gigs or to interview Pete Townsend and an infatuation with The Jam which amounted to payback time for those of us who had told the odd white lie on his behalf (I accompanied Tony to a number of Jam sound checks, Paul Weller bought me half a lager in the pub even though I was still a good four years shy of the legal drinking age and a group of us got to listen to a preview cassette of Setting Sons way ahead of its release date during a specially arranged lunch hour in our form classroom.)

And even if you weren’t there when all this happened the fast paced narrative ( the chapters follow the format of a chart countdown from number fifty to number one) will make you feel as if you were.

The down side for is that most of my memories of being in school are far from good and I’m given a painful reminder of this when Tony recounts being bullied by some of the idiots whose gang I chose to join for a short while. I regret not having done more to help my friend when he was the target of the bully boy’s aggression.

One of the funniest stories in Boy About Town is when Tony recalls the time he was caught stealing records from the HMV store in Oxford Street. And points the finger at me for putting him up to it!!! And whilst Tony’s implication that I may not have been completely truthful about seeing Eddie and the Hot Rods record their live E.P. is true, his comment that I may have exaggerated stealing records from HMV most certainly isn’t. In fact nicking records from HMV was a major hobby for me and many of my friends at the time. At one point it seemed as if most male youth of south London were spending a large amount of their time liberating HMV of their stock (well at least their stock of 7″ singles by up and coming punk bands.) There was no way of keeping my precious record collection up to date with the small amount of pocket money my parents gave me so an alternative method had to be found although I would never have dreamed of stealing anything other than records and even then I would never had lifted anything from an independent record shop. That would have amounted to nothing short of treachery and therefore the act of stealing vinyl was reserved exclusively for HMV. The pocket money I did have was spent mainly on football matches, going to gigs, parties and buying records from one of the many independent record shops that had sprung up across London. Come to think of it I still spend my cash in much the same way and Boy About Town will certainly appeal to anyone who does likewise.

The Jam were a huge band for me and my school friends (including Tony) and not just because they were fast to becoming the biggest band in the UK. Paul Weller was the coolest man on the planet to most of Britain’s youth and a complete idol to me and my friends. We followed the Jam incessantly and I was fortunate to get see to them live many times, mostly at The Rainbow Theatre, whilst I was still at school. They were a great live band and in the book Tony also recounts the story of how we saw them at he old Marquee Club in Wardour Street where we witnessed scenes of terrifying violence when skinheads tried to fight their way into the venue at the end of the gig. Because of the tribalism that was prevalent in the late seventies, London was a scary place for young kids our age and I still can’t believe that we were going to clubs and gigs in the West End whilst still at school. Unbelievable to think that our parents didn’t seem to mind as long as our home work was done. And that’s one of the most remarkable things about Boy About Town . One minute you’re reading of how the author is running around interviewing the rock stars of the day, producing a best well respected magazine or hanging out with cool indie bands. The next you’re reminded that he’s actually a 14 year old single parent school kid with a squeaky voice who has the curtains in his Mums house set on fire by bullies.

My part in the story tails off towards the end of the book (although I do manage to make late reappearance to ruin Tonys chances of getting his end away). Soon after I gave Tony’s band the awful name The Apocalypse (which he’s never forgiven me for )I broke away from the gang who followed the Jam and started to get into the PIL, Cabaret Voltaire and then even more into The Clash. Tony shunned The Clash due to the influence Paul Weller (he hated them and didn’t take kindly to any of his circle of friends admitting an allegiance to the band) had over him at the time and still regrets never seeing The Clash live even when he had the opportunity to join me and another school friend when saw them at The Lyceum on the Give ‘Em Enough Rope tour. I did however manage to persuade Tony to get me Bill Nelson’s autograph when he interviewed Bill when the Red Noise album was released and Tony and I went to see The Human League, also at the Marquee ( I remember having a bottle thrown at me that night by punks on the other side of Wardour Street because I was wearing a mod style suit.)

The book ends as Tony leaves school but there’s a ready made follow up story to be told as Jamming went from strength to strength, Tony’s journalistic career took off
and The Apocalypse managed to get to get signed (and quickly dropped) by EMI and blag a support slot to the Jam at Wembley Arena.

I’m obviously totally biased in recommending this book as an excellent read and I really would urge anyone with even a passing interest in punk, The Jam, The Who or what it was like being a music mad teenager in London in the late seventies to check it out. And it’s unbelievable to think it all happened to someone so young. Maybe Paul Weller should have called the song “School Boy About Town”.

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Nancy Noise..

1  When did you first visit Ibiza / amnesia – who with ? What music do you remember / what fashions were the Ibiza crowd wearing

After visting there a couple of times before decided to spend the summer in Ibiza 1986, I went with three friends, we were living and hanging out in San Antonio, found Café del Mar and thought it was really cool.  One night we went out with all the workers we all dressed in black, went all around San Antonio to the bars then the Star club, Es paradis.  Then at the end of the night we ended up at Amnesia.

…. last stop, Amnesia …

It was getting light, just before sunrise, we walked in. I just remember standing a little way in and looking around, I saw lots of smiling faces, I instantly fell in love with Amnesia, I didn’t have any idea where i was going, just arrived at this beautiful place. The music was unreal and at the end of the night the Pink Panther Henry Mancini tune came on. I thought … wow ! I remember sitting on the steps looking around in awe at the animated and flamboyant crowd.

From then on the nightly trips to Amnesia started. To get in for free we had to get these tickets but you had to be in there by midnight, there was hardly anyone there, but this was a blessing as I heard all the music the whole night through. Leo Mas would build up the night in such a fantastic way then Alfredo would play later.  I loved the way the night built, the music was such a great eclectic mix, it blew me away, indie, ambient, dance, euro, pop, house, latin and styles of music I hadn’t really heard before, things like ‘Los ninos del parque’ Liaisons Dangereuses was so different, crazy,  I loved it. I was really into The Cure, The Smiths and Japan before Ibiza, but had never been to a club where they played them. So to hear those records mixed with Paco de Lucia, Yello, Colourbox etc was a heady mix, so beautiful, free, no limitations. I think being in there the whole night hearing Leo then Alfredo play, I learnt so much about music and djing not really thinking about it in that way then but I absorbed it. I always thought it was like a playground, open air and warm, we were skipping around dancing, on the swing , laying in the cushions, laughing. Only good things happened in there, I felt totally safe, the mix of people, colourful friendly loving they were young, old, straight, gay, rich, poor, famous from all over the world. What a place to be young, going on a different journey everynight, for the whole summer.

Some of the big tunes were Dizzi Heights ‘ Would I find love’ , It’s immaterial – ‘Driving away from home’,  Art of Noise – ‘Paranomia’   Willie colon ‘Set fire to me’,  Farley Jackmaster ft Darly Pandy Love Can’t Turn Around, David Bowie ‘Underground’, JM Silk ‘Shadows of your love’.

Clothes wise some were wearing a sort of goth look, with these kind of long dresses with padded shoulders and others wearing these really big shoes like huge wedges and lycra, men with little waistcoats and no top under. There were outragous outfits and of course lots of beautiful men and women. In 86 we became friends with these guys from Manchester/Sheffield who travelled around Europe and they spent a lot of time in Ibiza, we hung out with them loads, we became a little tribe always looking out for one another. They were cool, they all wore Chevignon, Converse all stars, vintage levis, lots of it was green and orange colours.

When I left Ibiza in 1986 I could think of nothing else, my bedroom back home was like a shrine to Amnesia, I just dreamt of the next summer.

Next Summer 87, we arrived in Ibiza in May, before Amnesia opened, there was major excitement and anticipation. The opening night arrived, we got in there early, getting ready to hear the tunes we loved from 86. Leo and Alfredo were djing … great, but to our surprise the music was a completely different, we looked at each other shocked, was funny but we soon got over it, the new set was awesome, amazing. 1987 brought a whole new musical journey, it was full of energy, it was something else. Some of the tracks in 87,

Elkin & Nelson ‘Jibaro’ , Thrashing Doves ‘Jesus on a Payroll’, Code 61 ‘Drop the deal’

Mandy Smith ‘I just can’t wait’ , Yello ‘La Haberbera’

Enzo Avitable Blackout,  Raw Liga – The Residents

Woodentops – Why Why Why, Prince – ‘Sign of the Times’ and other tracks from that album.

Cyndi Lauper ‘What’s going on’ was played at the peak of the night and other slower tracks but they worked and sounded incredible.

Rolling Stones  ‘Sympathy fot the devil’ in Amnesia, whoaa what a memory !!!!!

Amnesia had been open a couple of weeks and I was in there every single night early, without fail, I was on a mission did not want to miss any of it, dancing in front of the same speaker everynight. One night Alfredo ran from behind the decks and was suddenly dancing in front of me, I was so shocked, he shouted ‘Who are you?’ I just about got the word out ‘Nancy’, he must have thought who’s this crazy stalker !! Anyway that’s how we became friends, he gave me tapes after that and I hang out more by the dj booth rather than lurking around it which I had done before to see what records Alf and Leo were playing !

2 Alfredo – we owe him a lot don’t we

Of course yeah, so much, I love him, meeting Alfredo, going to Amnesia had a profound effect on my life and  so many others. He’s been a big and important part of my journey, I’ve got total respect and love for him. I think the music played by Alfredo and Leo was sublime and it created the platform for the Future, Shoom and Spectrum and everything else that come after.

3   Future – how did that come about and what music was you playing

When we got back in 87, there were a couple of reunion things on and the Ibiza tribe was getting together either at house parties or other clubs in London, we had a different look than what was going on at the time and of course we had something very special on board that made our dancing styles quite unique, that created many inquisitive on lookers. We desperately wanted to create the feeling of Amnesia in London so Ian and Paul found the venue, Sound Shaft at the back of Heaven. With everyone really up for it, they paid Ian a fiver, the doors opened everyone ran through Heaven to get into the Sound shaft. Paul played and it was a top night. I had been hanging out with Paul a lot after meeting him in Ibiza, when he came to my flat he saw I was really into music, I had lots of Amnesia tunes from 86 and 87. Paul and a few friends said ‘Nance you got the tunes, you play too’ so off I went with my carrier bag of records. My set was so much of what I’d heard Leo and Alfredo play in Amnesia, It’s immaterial , Art of Noise , Yello etc and some things I liked like hip hop, Bowie, Indie stuff, I also played stuff I’d heard Nello play in Glorys, Nello was the resident of Glorys it was a crazy club on for a while in 87 but had a huge impact I loved his music , he played things like ‘Join in the chant’ Nitzer Ebb , Talk Talk It’s my Life. The thing I most remember about the Future was how mad and noisy the crowd were, I would finish playing and then walk down the stairs to dance, get some hugs and kisses from friends and be engulfed in the sounds of friends whistling and areebas etc.

4 female DJs / there was only you n Lisa back then – did you feel pressure…..

No not really, I felt pressure back then only because I wasn’t a DJ all I said was I would play records for all my friends then all of a sudden I’m djing at one of the most buzzing / busiest nights in London ‘The Future’  that was a bit mad at the time but not the female thing no.

5   What new music are you digging in 2013

I like a lot of breaks and beat stuff like Quantic , Bonobo, Nightmares on wax, the new balearic labels have some great music & also house stuff too. Like different music from around the world, like Latin/Brazilian stuff.

It’s really too difficult to make a top 10 as Future was on for a long time and there were so many good tunes , this is a selection that really reminds me of that wonderful place.

WELL THESE REMIND ME OF FUTURE .. Future Top10 and in no particular order !











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Phil Weeks

Phil Weeks, the man behind the long running Robsoul Recordings has dug deep into his collection for a series of mixes called ‘Crate Diggin.’ Each mix will be available for download and will be supported by a limited supply of vinyl samplers. We asked Phil recently to give us some memories of a selection of the tracks featured.

*Lance De Sardi – Freeman (Ian’s Groove)
That was the first release on this amazing label “Panhandle records”. Only 15 releases on the label which I suggest to any House lovers to collect. Each release with some beautiful artwork from Owen. I’ve been playing Lance’s tracks from day one and started playing this out again in 2011. Perfect to bring some fresh energy & drive the dance floor.
*DJ Sneak – I Feel Groove
I’ve been smashing the 4 tracks from his Plumb EP (1997). I could have selected any of those 4 cuts.
Akai S950 sequencer with TR909. Feel the groove.
*Inland Knights – Slummin’ It
I remember the first time I heard this. I was playing in Paris with Tony Hewitt when he dropped a promo. I was like “What the fuck” and make sure he gave it to me. That was early 2004.
*Lawnchair Generals – Stop Frontin’
Since around 2000 each Lawnchair Generals (Peter Christianson & Carlos Mendoza) release was a celebration. Very high quality deep house. This one was on my favorite Belgium label now defunct Aroma (run by Raoul Belmans)
*DJ Rasoul – Bluenote
One of my favorite artists of all time. This was on Large music on a series called “Soul Searching”
each volume, and each track is sick.
*Brett Johnson – You + Me = We
I‘d been following Seasons Recordings from the beginning but this was the first time I heard anything from Brett Johnson (maybe his first release) & that was a big slap. Very proud to present it again 10 years later.
*2nd Shift Feat. Anthony Pearson – It’s Been A Long Time
Been always a fan of JT Donaldson & Tim Shumaker. Add some Chez Damier vocals & you get a nice classic that sticks in your head.
*Miguel Migs – Sol Patrol (Migs Transporters Vibe)
Another West coast classic, Migs & Transport Recordings have always been a big inspiration.
Remind me some good times in San Francisco.
*DJ Sneak – Fear The World
One of the few first releases from DJ Sneak (1994). Ghetto House music. Still sounds very fresh.
*Inland Knights – Long Time
Another Inland Knights Classic. This one was on their own Drop Music label. Will wake up any dance floor. Been killing it a lot lately. Perfect in the mix also.

DJ Rasoul – Night At The Top
DJ Rork ft. C Minos Alexander – I Wanna See You Come Down (RK’s Mix)
DJ Sneak – I Feel Groove
Inland Knights – Slummin It
JT Donaldson – My Belief
Lavish Habits – Dance Wit You
LawnChair Generals – Stop Frontin’
Miles Maeda – Tell You Why
Spencer Kincy – Space Floor
Track Yankers – Good Ol’ (JH Goody Goody Dub)

2nd Shift ft. Anthony Pearson – It’s Been A Long Time
Brett Johnson – You + Me = We
DJ Rasoul – Bluenote
DJ Sneak – Latin Seoul
Inland Knights – Boy
Lance De Sardi – I‘ve Been There (Chicago)
LawnChair Generals – Speechless
Method Men – Disko Biscuit
Sol Patrol (Migs Transporters Vibe)
Rick Wade – I Do Believe

DJ Assassin – A Face In The Crowd (Intellidread Mix)
DJ Bertrand – Fuckin’ Filter (Ivan’s Cube Cleaning Dub)
DJ Rasoul – Visions In Motion
DJ Rasoul – When You Hold Me
DJ Sneak – Fear The World
Inland Knights – Long Time
Mood II Swing – Closer (King Street Moody Club)
Samson – Hear Me (D.C. vs DJ Bang Uptempo Re-Run)
Toka – Jeriko

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