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EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE #003 – ALINKA

2015 March 2

EXCLUSIVE MIXTAPE #003 – ALINKA

Ahead of her trip to Europe for spring, we caught up with Chicago based Alinka and asked her to provide us with the third in our exclusive mixtape series, where we deliver you exclusive DJ mixes from the finest female DJ talent across the globe.

Alinka recently came on to our rader when we discovered her productions on her own label Twirl, which she set up with ex Hercules & Love Affair vocalist Shaun J Wright off the back of their clubnight in Chicago of the same name.   We spoke to Alinka about her label, productions, influences and plans for her trip.

Can you describe your sound in 5 words?
House music sounds like Chicago

What first inspired you to take to the decks and how did you get your first set?
I listened to dance music on the radio in High School but didn’t really get into the DJ scene or know much about it until 1999 when I and went away to college. I accidentally stumbled into a club called Orchid in Champaign where I was going to school. It’s only 2 hours south of Chicago so they had DJ’s from Chicago coming down to play regularly. I quickly fell in love with House music and became pretty obsessed with it. I started doing research, buying lots of music, and going up to Chicago to go to raves regularly. After a year of being an eager fan I finally decided to try DJ’ing. I went back home that summer and worked at the local pool as a lifeguard, double shifts all summer, and at the end of the summer got my Technics and Pioneer Mixer and went back to school fully geared up. I then basically stopped going to class so I could practice 8 hours a day which was probably not the best decision (sorry mom) but I really didn’t want to be doing anything else with my time once I discovered my passion for DJ’ing. About 6 months later I got my first gig at that same club Orchid opening for DJ Colette of Superjane and then went on to play there regularly before moving back to Chicago at the end of the school year and continuing the pursuit from there.

What’s been the most difficult part of establishing yourself as a DJ?
I didn’t really have a hard time in that sense because I had an amazing support system of artists and mentors in Chicago that really helped me when I was starting out.  Back then we all played vinyl and there were far less DJ’s in the game, so if you were good and a nice person you earned people’s respect and support. I was fortunate to have people like Justin Long and the Superjane girls believe in me and support me early on, as well as everyone at Smart Bar. I think the difficult part for me was not recognizing the importance of the business side of the industry early on. I got to play some amazing gigs, and started touring in Europe when I was 24 and only 4 years into my career. I was really young and just eager to play, I didn’t really think about developing myself as an artist and making it into a proper career. I didn’t think about the next step or have the proper guidance, which led to me getting really burned-out and eventually having to take a break from dance music.  I think that it was a necessary growth period though, and luckily I’ve gotten a chance to do it right the second time around.

You’re based in Chicago arguably the birthplace of house music, has this influenced your music and how is the scene in Chicago today?
It’s definitely been my biggest influence. It’s such an epic city and full of so many inspiring people. It’s impossible to grow up here or be involved in the music scene in Chicago without being greatly influenced by it. I’ve definitely cried on the dance floor a few times haha. I think the scene today is thriving. There’s really something for everyone. There are lot of people in different circles doing great things from festivals to clubs to loft parties. We have it all here thanks to a lot of hard working people and their relentless efforts and passion for dance music.

You’re heading to Europe for a couple of months, what are you most looking forward to about your trip?
There are so many things! Catching up with old friends is always amazing. There are a lot of online friends I’ve yet to meet in real life so this trip will be the time for that.  I’m really looking forward to seeing new places and meeting new people that’s always been one of my favourite parts of this whole music thing, its ability to connect us. I’m still great friends with the people I’ve met the past 14 years around the globe because of dance music and that’s pretty magical to me.

What’s your favourite club to play in Europe? And one on your hit list you’ve yet to conquer?
Dalston Superstore is my new favourite club it’s pretty fantastic! It reminds me of home. Everyone involved is really wonderful and they’re like a family. I really love it there. They made me feel very welcomed when I was over in December and I look forward to my return.

I don’t really have a hit list as I’d like to play everywhere but if I had to choose I’d go with Sub Club. Got to see Derrick Carter there on my 25th birthday and I thought it was the best club ever.

How does playing in Europe differ from Chicago?
I think the appreciation for the Chicago sound is sometimes more apparent when you leave Chicago and realize the affect it’s had on the rest of the world. I used to mainly know my records from the album art on the sleeve but when I’d come play in Europe the kids would recite the artists name, label, the story behind the record, when it was made, and etc. They really knew and loved the music and it always blew me away. It’s obviously progressed even more since then. I think we’re so spoiled in Chicago it’s easy to forget how lucky we are at times. I love playing in Europe and seeing people react to House music, how much they love it, and how well versed they are in it. It’s very inspiring.

Tell us about Twirl, your night and label and your collaboration with ex Hercules and Love Affair vocalist Shaun J Wright, how did it all come about?
Shaun and I met in 2012 through my band manager at the time, Scott Cramer. He knew I was a big fan of Hercules & Love Affair so he made the introduction after Shaun had moved back to Chicago.  We bonded instantly over our love for Cajual records and Dajae, and became fast friends. This was in the period I had taken a break from dance music so it was a really life changing moment for me. When I quit Dj’ing a few years prior I was really down and feeling unsure of my place in the world. After discovering Hercules & Love Affair I listened to their music and it got me through all that, it was really inspiring to me.  Everything about it felt fresh and unique. Also I know this may sound strange but I didn’t really know any other queer kids that were into House music at the time and seeing them was like whoa there’s this whole amazing world out there, and it sort of made me feel like I belong. Shaun inspired me to make the music I’ve always wanted to make. He gave me the confidence I needed to get there. It was like the pieces finally fit, and though I’ve got a long way to go and am always learning I feel like I’ve finally reached a level where I can communicate through sound. He’s been the most inspiring person in my life and an amazing friend and music partner.  I really owe him the world.

Twirl started out as a monthly party in 2013 at Berlin Night Club in Chicago. Our residents were Mr. White, Shaun J. Wright, and myself. We had a lovely host named Sissy Spastik and Scott Cramer of Stardust helping us organise everything. We got to bring in some of our favourite DJ’s like Derrick Carter, JD Samson, Eli Escobar, The Black Madonna, and Tiffany of Midnight Magic. It was a great time! 

We stopped it as a monthly party last August in order to focus our attention on the label. We spoke of starting a label as we were finishing so much new music and wanted to have more creative control over it, and so Twirl Recordings was born.  Our first release ‘Journey Into The Deep’ had remixes from Kim Ann Foxman and Stereogamous. It really helped launch Twirl into full gear. We were fortunate to have a great review from DJ Mag and features from Annie Mac and Heidi on their shows on BBC Radio 1, as well as lots of great DJ’s behind it. Since then we’ve had Eli Escobar, Newbody, Lil’ Mark, and No Dial Tone on the label so it’s been a really great start for Twirl and a dream come true for me.

So far the releases on Twirl have been yours and Shaun’s tracks, do you have plans to release other artists work label and what’s your plans for it’s future?
We would definitely like to feature other artists’ original work on the label in the future. I think it’s just been great to have an outlet to get our music out in the world at our own pace and also feature people we love as remixers for that material.  We hand pick people for every release based on the music and it brings a whole other sense of creativity when you get to be involved in the entire process. I know we’re both looking forward to selecting original music from other artists for the label in the future so I’m sure that time will come soon.

Do you have any exciting releases or remixes scheduled we should look out for?
I just had a remix come out for one of my favourite producers Joshia Iz featuring the lovely Marissa Guzman on his label Vizual Records, it’s called Like Gold. 

I have another remix for my friends in Spain, Zulos Club Records, for Gaol’s track Everywhere that will be out April 30th.  The next Twirl release ‘ Love Songs ‘ will be out March 30th with remixes from The Carry Nation and Harry Cross of Men’s Room. We have our follow up EP for Classic Music Company, Twirl Volume 2 coming out this year. We’ve also got Twirl releases lined up every 2 months and they’re all pretty exciting so stay tuned!

Here at Lipstick disco we like to give the girls a shout, so tell us who’s you’re favourite and most inspiring fellow female DJ?
Kim Ann Foxman! The best.

And finally, What’s your drink of choice?
In the studio red wine,  in the club vodka soda or Redbull if I’ve been naughty.

So there you have it, sit back, enjoy the mix and if you get a chance to come along to one of Alinkas sets, grab her a Vodka and soda!!

FOLLOW ALINKA: Website / Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter

FOLLOW TWIRL: Website / Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter

blogged by Michelle Manetti

Whitney Fierce – The Night Air (Eric Sharp Remix)

2015 March 2

LA’s Whitney Fierce recently released her debut solo EP  entitled The Broken Car Window EP on Rock It Science Labs.  Whitney describes the main single off the EP The Night Air as “dream house” which she further elaborates as subtle, sexy, and deep.  In addition to this single, the EP release also comes with a brighter house remix by Eric Sharp.  Stream both the original and Eric Sharp’s remix below.

 

Follow Whitney Fierce

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Buscabulla – Metele (Cesare Remix)

2015 March 2

From the coast of Brazil where warmth and sunshine are plentiful, comes the talented producer Cesare with this stunning remix of Metele by Buscabulla.  The remix brings summer in an instant with the right balance of Buscabulla’s mesmerizing vocals, sparkling arpeggios, and guitar.  Cesare’s remix of Metele will be out March 9th via Kitsuné as part of his ‘Ipanema Beach House Remixes’ EP! bit.ly/1DIoHmK

Follow Cesare

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Dirtytalks – Keep On Walkin’ Ft. Give In

2015 March 2

House duo based in LA/Boulder known as Dirtytalks just released their latest single Keep on Walkin’ ft. Give In that is the perfect winter warmer.  The soulful and sensual vocals of Give In  paired with driving synths and bassline give us a taste of the warmer weather to come.  The DJ friendly track starts off with a solid percussion lead in, building with layers of synths eventually bringing us to the main chorus with vocals of Give In.  Now with their first release of the year under their belt, we’re looking forward to hearing what they have in store for 2015.

Follow Dirtytalks

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FIVE FOR FRIDAY #002

2015 February 27

FIVE FOR FRIDAY

Every Friday we bring you five big tracks to set your weekend off with a bang
So last weeks Five For Friday we bought you five banging remixes, but this week we’re bringing you five original and fresh tracks. Kicking off with Just Kiddin and their new track, ‘Always There’ a dreamy tropical house number to get things started. Next up we’ve got the Toyboy & Robin remix of Gotsome’s latest track Featuring Wiley, the duo deliver a laid back future house remix, perfect for warming us up. Stepping things up a little Herve & Trevor Lovelys team up for ‘Jackin’ With Your Mum’ we love the tongue-in-cheek vocals laid over a melodic Garage House groove. Taking it a little heavier Arman Van Heldon’s Bass House remix of Twin Shadows ‘One Love’ with a hands-in-the-air breakdown and heavy bassline, it’s perfect Friday night fodder. Finally a mega heavy hitter from Moonbootica starting with ghetto beats and sirens, with old skool vibes, two baddass breakdowns, the second with heavy 303 vibes reminiscent of Josh Wink classic ‘Higher State of consciousnesses’ this is Jackin house perfection.

Happy Friday!!

blogged by Michelle Manetti

THROWBACK THURSDAY #4 MD X-Spress – God Made Me Phunky

2015 February 26

THROWBACK THURSDAY

Every Thursday we bring you a classic track from the musical vaults.

I’m gonna take you on a nostalgia trip back to the early 90′s, my early days of club land, an excitable young raver heading up to London town with my big sis & my fake ID to dance away the night in a sweaty basement. The music was the soundtrack to my adolescence, it was fresh and raw and I was falling in Love, an affair that would become an obsession, a necessity, an addiction, my career and my one true Love. That first taste of house music was sweet and I was hooked. I wanted to listen to house music all the time, but I didn’t know where to find it, apart from in the lazer caves and dirty raves; then a wannabe DJ gave me a mixtape, recorded onto a memorex DBS c90, it was see-through with neon pink, blue & yellow shapes and it was the coolest thing I’d ever owned. I played that Cassette backwards and forwards a billion times and it was my first inspiration to want to become a DJ. It was a mash-up of house, garage and New Jack Swing, but by far my favorite song, that I used to re-wind again and again, was MD X-Spress AKA Mike Dunn – God Made Me Phunky. The shuffle of garage beats, that simple yet addictive bass and synth loop and the cool as fuck vocals, this was the baddest thing I’d ever heard. Fast Forward 20 years and it still sounds fresh as ever. Big love for this classic jam.

God made me funky, and I’m glad he blessed me that way!

Après – Chicago

2015 February 26

‘In the beginning there was Jack and Jack had a groove’ Chuck Roberts spoken preaching vocal about house music that was famously sampled over MR Fingers aka Larry Heard – Can You Feel It in the 80s, is possibly the most Iconic house music accapella of all time, mix that with the intro of Frankie Knuckles ‘Your Love’ and you’ve got the ultimate homage to Chicago house. But not just a simple mash-up, Apres has laid the iconic vocal over a modern Future House track, with pulsating rhythms and emotive syncopated stabbing synth chords, underpinned with Frankie Knuckles’ finest loop. It’s an instant anthem and I’m hooked.

Follow Apres: Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter

Fraems – Drones

2015 February 25

For the past few days, I had been having some trouble finding good techno to post. And there came Fraems to the rescue!

Fraems is the new project of Italian producer and visual artist F. D’Abbraccio – a founder member of the electronic act Aucan. Having supported the likes of Pearson Sound, Ame and Dead Heat, he is now ready to release his debut EP ‘Atlas’ on Lost Tribe, the Brighton based label of the production genius Ambassadeurs.

D’Abbraccio describes his music as being ‘immersed in deep atmospherics, deftly mixing analog synths and ethereal vocals with precise, mesmerising broken beat percussion.’ For me it is Moderat‘s eager underage brother who wants to go to the club. And that is a compliment.

Atlas is out on 16 March 2015 but until then you can grab a free download of the track Drones below. A small tip, I have been lucky to hear the EP in advance and it will be one of the best piece of music you will hear all year. So be in the know now.

Follow Fraems on Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter.

Will Smith – Men In Black (PINEO & LOEB Remix)

2015 February 24

Halifax based producers PINEO & LOEB have come together again to bring back the Men In Black.  What’s not to love about this remix features not only Will Smith, but samples from Patrice Rushen’s Forget Me Nots?  We’re swooning over the killer sax solo and live recorded guitar too.

Follow PINEO

Soundcloud // Facebook // Twitter

Follow LOEB

Soundcloud // Facebook // Twitter

 

Mr. Big – To Be With You ft. Alexandra Govere (Mark Chill Remix)

2015 February 24

We’re riding the summer wave with Mark Chill’s latest remix of Mr. Big’s To Be With You ft. Alexandra Govere.  Mark spices up the original with a thumping kick and tropical percussion that has me bobbing my head from start to end.  The new synth melodies give a new uplifting vibe to the song that’s true to Mark Chill’s production style.  Now all we need is that warm weather to come!  Free Download Here.

Mark Chill Socials

Soundcloud
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

 

The Sick Pitch – Horizons EP

2015 February 24

 


Here’s another great EP release from collective and blog The Sick Pitch.  The Horizons EP is a compilation of electronic music from around the world that’s sure to tickle your senses.  We picked out a couple tracks to share with you, but make sure to take a listen to the whole EP.  Inside the compilation EP you’ll find everything from nu disco and indie dance to deep house and some experimental.

FactuelStranger

Soleil SoleilHow Do You Love Me

You can hear all nine tracks from the Horizon’s EP here:

Follow The Sick Pitch on

Facebook // Soundcloud // Twitter

Roman Kouder – Just Try/Moon Lover (+ Remixes)

2015 February 24

 

We can’t stop listening to these two new tracks from France based Roman Kouder.   If you love nu disco, then you’ll really enjoy these two tracks;  Just Try ft. Damon Trueitt and Moon Lover ft. Emilie Deutsh, released on Germany based label Nu Disco Your Disco .  The first track, Just Try is a journey through life and love; smooth R&B vocals blend with synths and a funky bass line resulting in quite the stunning production.  Moon Lover is just as funky with a little more of an indie dance feel narrating a lover‘s passion for the moonlight.  As if the two releases wasn’t enough, remixes from Mogul, Le Flex, and Bösser & Wohde are also included in the release.

Links:
Roman Kouder
https://soundcloud.com/roman-kouder
https://www.facebook.com/romankouder3000

Nu Disco Your Disco
www.nudiscoyourdisco.com
https://soundcloud.com/nudiscoyourdisco
https://www.facebook.com/NuDiscoYourDisco

Mogul
https://soundcloud.com/itsmogul

Le Flex
https://soundcloud.com/le-flex

Bösser & Wohde
https://soundcloud.com/boesser-wohde

Damon Trueitt
https://soundcloud.com/5112damom

SlOW JAM SUNDAY #002 – Cherokee – Teenage Fantasy (Glen Check Remix)

2015 February 22
by Michelle Manetti

SLOW JAM SUNDAY #002

Every Sunday, we bring you a Slow Jam to help you wind down on a Sunday after a hectic weekend, breathe deep and enjoy.

This week our slow Jam comes from Glen Chek and his remix of ‘Teenage Fantasy’ by Cherokee, which came out this week as part of Cherokee’s Teenage Fantasy EP of the same name, we recommend some other cuts on there too, check out the rest of the EP HERE

blogged by Michelle Manetti

FIVE FOR FRIDAY #001

2015 February 20

FIVE FOR FRIDAY

Every Friday we bring you five big tracks to set your weekend off with a bang.

We’re kickstarting our Five For Friday series with a set of remixes of some classics. Starting things gently, with a laid back Nu Disco remix of Simon and Garfunkles ‘Sound Of Silence’ by J-Art & Madan. then Prizm provides a superb Nu Disco – Piano House remix of classic old skool Kelis jam ‘Trick Me’. Taking us back to the 90s is Røse with a future house remix of Prodigy’s ‘No Good’. DeBoer steps up the heat with this Bass House remix of Justin Timberlake classic cut ‘My Love’ and finally back to the 90s again for some heavy Bass vibes from LO’99 and this banging remix of Speed Garage gem ‘Dooms Night’ by Azzido Da Bass. And all these come as free Downloads, so fill ya boots.

 

AND one extra one for good measure, for those of you who haven’t already checked it out, our first Lipstick Disco premiere comes from FooR and their remix of 90s Dance classic ‘Free’ from Gala.

blogged by Michelle Manetti

 

The Wombats – Greek Tragedy (Oliver Nelson Remix)

2015 February 20

With his ability to turn anything he touches into nu disco gold, Oliver Nelson‘s remix of The Wombats’ “Greek Tragedy” has us weak at the knees.  His musicality is always on point with his signature blend of bouncy yet playful percussion and layered synths which compliment this The Wombat’s vocals so nicely.  And can we please also talk about the live sax solo?  Stay tuned for more from Oliver Nelson this year as he’s currently at work on is debut original.

Follow Oliver Nelson:
Facebook
/ Soundcloud / Twitter / YouTube

Follow Perfect Havoc:
Facebook
/ Soundcloud / Twitter / YouTube

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