5 Artists You Need To Check Out This Month: May
At Data Transmission we’re firm believers that the essence of the beautiful is unity in variety and in that variety we always look to broaden our horizons with new music, DJs & parties!
Starting today, each month, we are asking our staff, writers & contributors to look ahead at the coming months events and look a little beyond the obvious headline acts to find some interesting, new and exciting DJs, that you must check out and get on your radar.
This month Stephen Hunt picks his 5 artists for May.
1. Jane Fitz – Bloom Disco, Southampton 20th May
Jane Fitz is a musical chameleon. In a DJ career spanning 2 decades, Fitz’s diverse tastes flowered amidst the early days of rave. Her no boundaries attitude moulded by a melting-pot of Acid, 4×4, DNB, hardcore and psychedelia. She can regularly be found spinning at Bethnal Green’s The Pickle Factory. Indeed, it is East London she calls home. For an idea of what you can expect from a Jane Fitz set, we can’t recommend the live recording of her closing set from Rural last year enough. The set recounts the early-morning sunrise – a musical journey in the truest sense. You can find this and many more on her artist soundcloud page. This June Jane tops the bill for London promoters Into the Woods’ outdoor stage at Junction 2. But before then you can catch her on the south coast for Bloom Disco.
2. Jeff Fader – Fade to Funk, The Lane, Deal 28th May
Jeff Fader is the alter-ego of Kent-based DJ/producer Jake Miller. Fade to Funk is the label and party series of the same name, which he overseas. Playing in bands since his early teens, it was 2008 when his latest project dissolved and a friend presented him with a set of decks. He hasn’t looked back since. The burgeoning label has only come into fruition in the past 6-months, proceeded by the club night. The story behind it is an all too familiar one. “I got to the stage where I was producing lots of music but the labels I approached said “this is awesome, but we don’t know what to do with it.” So it got to the point where I thought I need to start my own label.”
The USP is pretty simple: raw club music fit for the 21st century, but with more than a knowing nod to yesteryear. “We’re putting a modern twist on classic Chicago house” as Jake himself puts it. Even the label’s retro-looking artwork harks back to a bygone era. Under 6-months old – it may be – but with 3 impressive deep house cuts already released, the future’s looking bright for FTF. Their fourth release – ‘All Is One’ by TapeOut – is due for release in early May. The package also includes remixes from Spok Da Rok & Quadrakey. The night itself returns to its spiritual home The Lane in Deal at the end of May. As ever it’ll be Jeff Fader – open-to-close, and you can expect to hear anything from 70s funk & soul, progressing to more uptempo underground sounds. “You’ll hear hard-to-find records. Tracks which might sound familiar, but don’t know. It just has to be groovy.” We’re sold.
3. Aidan Doherty, Jorge Martins & Gus Emmett – Warm Up
Perhaps it is a bit of cop-out choosing three artists under a single selection, but hear us out! In this circumstance the three acts come as one: they are the residents and people-behind Warm Up. Purveyors of melodica, the result being to connect to their audience on a higher level. Their summer off-shot series – WUITW – aims to recapture the lost era of rave. The outdoor locations are always idyllic, and always secret! No advanced tickets sold; no location disclosed. Those interested call a mobile number a few hours before the event and listen to instructions given on the voicemail.
Through this unique concept a community has spawned. In the past 12-months alone they have drafted in guest acts which reflect their own musical tastes. Artists like Lee Burridge, Guy J, Minilogue & Ruede Hagelstein. In spite of the heavyweight guests, it is the three residents whose stars have shone brightest. Their programming and auteur philosophy has not gone unnoticed. In addition to a growing legion of fans, Aidan, Jorge & Gus have also been rewarded with prominent roles at this year’s Noisily Festival in Leicestershire. Before that all three can be found providing the sonic soundscapes at their own daytime 4th Birthday celebrations.
4. Wax Hands – House of Clubs Ibiza Special, Ramsgate Music Hall 20th May
It has already been a busy year for John Ricketts AKA Wax Hands. His album ‘Bad First Impressions’ – his sophomore offering – was released on 9G in February. A real mixed-bag of dance music spanning electronica to techno, and dabbling in everything inbetween. “It’s a collection of tracks from the past 4 years. Tracks which didn’t necessarily feel right to release as singles, but work together as a collective.”
“With ‘Suitable Company’ (Truespin, 2013) I was making music within the existing parameters of established genres. Whereas now I’m writing music for myself.” With a remix for Skint record’s big beat legend Cut La Roc out imminently, Wax Hands shows no signs of slowing down.
A few weeks later epic prog house number ‘Cerro Solo’ drops on Iconyc, complete with remixes from Phat Pilgrim & Tom Norton.
Over May Day weekend he spun at City Sound Project festival in his hometown of Canterbury. “Canterbury is a bit like the dead end of the world as far as dance music is concerned, so CSP is great for the city for getting bigger names here. But the organisers are also super good with getting local talent on board. It gets bigger every year. I’ve been involved at nearly all of them.”
Next-up he’s bringing his live show to Ramsgate Music Hall. A venue which Ben UFO recently described as a “purpose built 125-capacity room, with killer sound system and lovely acoustics!” John is clearly relishing the prospect of performing his own music. “The set-up is a launch pad, a couple of midi controllers, live synths, a keyboard for some impro-live jammin’ and my laptop – running everything through Ableton. I have pre-recorded tracks – the main body, and also tracks which are chopped-up. I’ll add li’l bits to it on the cuff. Basically it’ll be a mash-up of all my own stuff.
“They’ll be tracks from the album, for sure. But I’ve been writing loads of stuff since then, so a lot of it will actually be quite new. I’ll even be road-testing material I haven’t played out before. It’ll be a nice mix of everything. I have an idea of how it will start, and how it will end. But what happens in the middle is anyone’s guess!” We can’t wait! Also on the bill is Ulybug’s Jonathan Ulysses, Leon Vega & Dom Johnson.
5. Third Son, TA3, Gauss, Barcelona, Spain 5th May
With releases on Einmusika, Selador & Parquet Records already, Third Son is a producer on the cusp of blowing up. He’s still riding a high off his mammoth ‘Anno Domino’ released as part of Noir’s latest ‘Dark Stars’ compilation. He makes the kind of electronica that fits alongside the likes of Tale Of Us and Fur Coat. It’s cinematic in nature. Emotive, transcendal music which is both beautiful and haunting in equal-measure. Music which works in a clubbing environment; yet can be appreciated in downtime too. It’s a vein which flows through his own Polymath imprint. Third Son has just completed a tour down under, “I love playing there. Australian clubbers are less-reserved than UK clubbers, and just in life generally. My favourite gig was probably Revolver in Melbourne.”
Back on UK shores, he recently performed an epic Live Show at Avant Garde London, sharing the bill with another live maestro, Stephan Bodzin. “I’d been considering playing live for a while. But the process takes a lot of time. A lot of consideration. I felt like I had to have enough of a varied catalogue keep an interesting dynamic. And this year was the first time I really felt I’d reached that point. I’d like to play-out live more often” There’s an album in the pipeline, although Third Son is keen to stress the project is still very much a work in progress at the early stages of development. The long-term vision is clear, though. Release the album, and then tour the live show. “I’d love to take 2-3 months off, lock myself away and record the album. Do what bands do – all in one block. Tell a story. But with all the playing-out, it just isn’t feasible.” To get a real feel for what the artist is about, we highly recommend you check-out his cuts ‘Autodidact’, ‘Zimmer’, ‘Melancholia’ & ‘Refuge’.
Our International readers can catch Third Son playing for TA3 at Gauss, Barcelona, ES this coming Friday 5th May.