Over the last couple of weeks, music lovers have been torn up over the passing of Prince. Somewhat unexpectedly, the remorse has resonated throughout the electronic music sphere with many DJs and Producers citing the certified Prince of Pop as an influence, and DJ Mag even publishing an article entitled ‘8 Ways Prince Shaped Dance Music’. This theory boils down to the fact that Prince was an innovator way ahead of his time and was one of the first artists to technologize music. In 1982, he started using the Linn LM-1 drum machine as a means of efficiency, unaware that over thirty years later synthesised beats would be commonplace. Even Pete Tong noted that ‘Prince had a precursor for house music and didn’t even know it’ and tweeted that dropping Prince tracks made him the coolest DJ in his town. There’s no wonder then that ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ is still a strong selection amongst DJs of many genres, regardless of whether it’s the Dimitri From Paris re-edit. Electronic dance music needed an artist who could make your muscles itch the way Prince did.
Listen To: Prince – 'Erotic City (B-side)'
You need to hear: Marcus Marr
Multi-instrumentalist Marcus Marr is one of the most versatile producers to emerge in the last couple of years. Whilst his 2015 track ‘Brown Sauce’ combines synthetic sound with an electronic jittery hi-hat beat, his collaborative EP Work with Aussie dreamboat Chet Faker makes its melodies with real instruments. With Chet on vocals, ‘The Trouble With Us’ has been dubbed an “intergalactic funk-tinged track” which replaces the synth of previous Marr tracks with a twangy guitar pattern. ‘Learning For Your Love’ is the duo’s most well-known offering and exists in a similar vein, with a spindly guitar motif throughout. ‘Birthday Card’ can probably be described as the most electronic on the release but there is definitely a feel of this throughout the 4 tracks. It’s been reported that Faker and Marr first connected through social media and the EP is a product of the fusing of their two styles – Marr’s DJ and producing skill and Chet’s affiliation with jazz and alternative music. This venture shouldn’t be regarded as a sharp swerve away from electronic music for Marr however, as he remains a regular DJ at Berghain.
Listen To: Marcus Marr & Chet Faker – 'The Trouble With Us'
Preview: Pirate Material w/ Ms Dynamite, 5th May, World Headquarters
This week, MC majesty Ms Dynamite is returning to the North East for the most exciting Pirate Material of the year. It’s become somewhat of a tradition for the Mercury prize-winning artist to see in summer, as she did last May at Unity Fest in Leazes Park. Along with Natty and Panjabi MC, Ms Dynamite was an adequate act for a celebration of racial diversity as someone of Jamaican-Scottish parentage. This event took place on a rare sunny day, and it just happened to be one day I wasn’t in the city. My friends tortured me with cries of ‘it was right up your street!’ when I returned, but although I missed out majorly then, I’m grateful to get the chance to wile out in front of the garage and grime goddess in an intimate club setting. Also on the bill downstairs is Spooky who is familiar with the WHQ decks from his recent Lively Up appearance, and Pirate Material’s Manchester resident, Hyphen. There’s no doubt that upstairs will be rammed for the headliner, but there’s some decent options downstairs if you need a breather in between ‘Booo’ and ‘Dy-Na-Mi-Tee’.
Listen to : Sticky ft. Ms Dynamite - 'Boo'