With dance music there’s an almost continuous stream of compilations. Some cash in on a style name, some are just an easy way to get the hot tunes of the moment in one place, some are showcases of a DJs’ style or taste, and some are actual reflections of truth, with good music and strong concepts.
A few recent strong ones include Carl Craig’s Abstract Funk Theory on the UK label Obsessive, a collection of some primary influences on the birth of Detroit techno. Included herein are “Atomic Dog,” “Mesopotamia,” “Sharevari” and four defining cuts from Juan Atkins (as part of Cybotron, Model 500, Channel One and X-Ray). A great compilation for those who want to see a part of the original spirit (or those who missed Mojo).
Another inspiring compilation comes from one-time Michigander Tom Simonian (aka Thump) via SF’s Cosmic Flux label entitled Panatone: Warm. You may have seen Tom Thump, who has been DJing for decades, guest at “Family Function” back in the day, or later at “Family.” Intended as tonal evolution of future beats for sensual listening, the music could be described as some of the many sides of nu jazz, but it reaches much further than that. On Panatone, Tom shows that he’s not grounded in trends or rules, but rather displays a fluid understanding of the continuum of good music. What would you expect from the man who founded “Crush Collision” and moved to San Francisco to manage the Groove Merchant? Great compilation for a sunny morning.
Go out and dance
New Year’s Eve was quite a strange night. Among the bizarre things I witnessed was the first “Absinthe & Martin Scorsese” (Sharif & Scott Z) with a cover charge, that was also their first party to get ended by the police. The officers had a very chill tone by the time they reached the booth, casually quoting Was/Not Was on the microphone: “needless to say, the party broke up.” From a crew that handprints their fliers, actions like this don’t stand, so they’re throwing a free “rebate party” for everyone over 21 on Saturday, Jan. 19. The cast features usual suspects Mike Clark and Scott Zacharias (also spinning at a more proper hour at Panacea that night) with some weirdo guest DJ. It’s at midnight, in conjunction with Love in Tokyo at 715 E. Milwaukee (one block south of E. Grand Blvd.), Detroit — third floor, above the Tangent Gallery, entry in rear.
Speaking of Sharif, he’ll be joining the diverse forces on stage at “Audiofold V” in Ann Arbor as Maersk, his experimental laptop project. The night is Wednesday, Jan. 23, also featuring performances from Chicago Hefty Records artist Telefon Tel Aviv and Ypsi’s Bill Van Loo. This “Audiofold” will be run by the Ghostly crew, keeping the focus of balancing electronic music with live performance, from experimental to pop. The Blind Pig is at 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. Check www.ghostly.com.
In Ann Arbor the next evening will be none other than Twonz & Traxx in a rare dual performance at Touch (the Necto). The series recently exploded with a school-year opener with Derrick May. This night should be very special (remember those great “Family” nights with Traxx?). One of the original attractions to Detroit techno and Chicago house was the approach of the DJs. Not many DJs keep these techniques alive today, but Twonz & Traxx breathe life and inspiration into the style. Jan. 24 at the Necto, 516 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor. Check out www.thenecto.com.
Coming up in Hamtramck on Friday, Jan. 25 at Carbon will be “Dump Days Revisited,” a special release party for Out of the Box and Ferrispark records. The night will feature Keith Kemp and Scott Ferguson spinning all kinds of music, with special guest MCs Derek Plaslaiko and Drew Schultz.
Kemp has long been deep in the scene with the Detroit Bachelor DJs, but finally he has a debut record, “Prayer for my Demo EP,” on Boomer’s (aka Omegaman) Out of the Box Records. The record is a good balance of DJ tool club house with the atmospheres and details of the Perlon label sound. Ferguson’s Ferrispark Records (from Highland Park) is only into its third release, but has already been licensed by Classic Records and Gigolo.
The 9-til-2 soiree is only $3 plus a canned good for the homeless. Carbon is at 11474 Joseph Campau, Hamtramck. See www.ferrispark.com.E-mail Pitch'd at firstname.lastname@example.org