Lately it seems as if Mother Nature is taking a metaphorical Cleveland Steamer on the chest of New York City. As if Hurricane (née Superstorm) Sandy wasn’t enough, last week NYC got snow, a visit from the dreaded nor’easter, and what felt like subzero temperatures, all telling us none-too-subtly that fall was over.
So now that winter is all “Oh hai, rememba me!? I iz here for AWHILE. Hope u haz snow boots LOL!!” here are 10 tracks of Melodic Forest Techno, as we here at DJZ have dubbed this sound, to gently ease you out of fall, something Mother Nature herself could not do.
Here’s a perfectly named, perfectly played track to demonstrate what we mean by “Melodic Forest Techno.” This is the latest single from album-of-the-year contender The Salton Sea, Thomas Barfod’s first solo foray. That’s right: On break from his day job in Danish party-starters WhoMadeWho, Barford’s summer job is making winter music. No rest for the Danish.
Prolific house producer Martin Dawson passed away on Monday from complications from a brain aneurysm. What better way to pay him tribute than to listen to his song, which translated means “Garden of Life.” Rest in peace.
Kompakt duo Coma released this slice of bliss pop in 2011. It samples “Fine Day” by Erlend Øye, of Kings of Convenience, from his instant-classic DJ Kicks mix in 2004… which itself was a take on Orbital’s 1993 classic “Halcyon”… which sampled Opus III’s ’92 rave standard “It’s a Fine Day”… which was actually a cover of the haunting 1983 Jane single of the same name. Got it?
You know that bumper sticker that says “Drum Machines Have No Soul”? And you know the heavyset mouth-breathers that drive the cars attached to them? This is the song you play as you hand them a razor to scrape off the sticker. Another year-end-best contender.
Any track from Free School’s excellent Tender Administration LP from earlier this year would fit on this top 10 list. This track, put out by Tirk Recordings, is organic dance music created live by actual musicians on stage. Get into it now: ODM will be everywhere in 2013.
Germans do not mess around with their forests. Gas was inspired by Kompakt boss Wolfgang Voigt’s youthful LSD experiences in the German Königsforst and aims to “bring the forest to the disco, or vice-versa.” In what other country can you ask about an amnesiac “forest boy” who mysteriously emerges from the woods after five years, and have people say “Which one?” The one who was faking it. “Which one??” Yet ask any American if they’ve heard of Germany’s Forest Boy (myself included until ten minutes ago) and they’ll probably say, “I don’t really keep up with progressive trance anymore.”
Hungarian San Laurentino‘s first EP for NY disco merchants Let’s Play House was just released yesterday and is, as advertised, “ideal for the winter ahead.” For music likely created indoors with a computer, Lóránt Talpai’s music lives solidly in Mother Nature’s outdoors. “Better Living Through Forestry,” indeed.
If Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure had been more realistic, the futuristic utopia the duo time-travels to would have been based on this guy, rather than Wyld Stallyns. According to his bio on Resident Advisor, By 2257, Jack Hamill (aka Mr. 8040 aka Space Dimension Controller) will have been one of the biggest names in dance music for 243 years. But to us… it’s only been about three. Recently appearing on the mellower side of Erol Alkan‘s terrific Another Bugged Out Mix & Bugged In Selection, “The Love Quadrant” is what sentient human-bots will seduce each other with after watching the classic past-future comedy Back to the Future II on Blu-raserdisc goggles.
Danish DJ Rosa Lux takes her name from Rosa Luxemburg, a revolutionary German Jew, while Alberte is a Danish children’s TV actress who was (wisely) excised in this extended instrumental of their mega-selling collaboration. By dropping the lyrics about “Fisher Price clubbing” and intensifying the trippy, wooded claustrophobia, they bring the forest to the foreground. Still, no rest for the Danish.
Our “closing classic” entry is a song that predates all of the above and kickstarted the entirely made-up genre of Melodic Forest Techno. Deep Forest’s uplifting music always showcases a foreign country’s indigenous people (sometimes even without their knowledge), and eventually spearheaded a dreadfully named genre known as “Ethnic Electronica” — or, as no one referred to it, “Ethnonica.” Despite selling six million records, Deep Forest has somehow become completely forgotten (but the new album drops in January, y’all!).
Imagine it is 1992, and, like everyone else in the free world, you enjoy Enigma, but find their “overt parochialism preachy” and their music “not socially conscious enough.” Then all you would have needed was this Deep Forest cassette single (or cassingle) and a hemp hacky sack to show the ladies what you really were (i.e., deep).
(Photo Source: Mourner’s Flickr Stream)
The DJZ/10 is a collection of ten DJs that we think you should know about now. Some of them are already familiar to you, others you may have never heard of. The list is not based on (1) a secret computer algorithm, (2) social media popularity, or (3) payola. Every month or so we get together to decide if somebody from the broader A…Z directory is about to break out and should be included in the DJZ/10, or if somebody already on the list, for that matter, is “phoning it in” and deserved to be replaced by another DJ who is more worthy.×