This week our ears have been treated to a WWLTTW playlist put together by our first special guest curator, Vincent Reinders. Vincent is the founder of 22tracks, a unique music discovery service, and he recently gave a talk in our Amsterdam Studio (read all about that here). Here’s Vincent to tell us what he (and we) are listening to and why…
I’m a bit of an extremist when it comes to music. I will walk away from stores and restaurants when the music sucks. I hate going out to clubs and constantly hearing songs I already know. I don’t even like concerts because most people can’t shut up during the performance. I prefer to be the opening DJ so I don’t get requests and I can play the tunes that I want: new or unknown tunes.
In my opinion that’s what makes a great DJ: to surprise people, to make people fall in love with sounds they’ve never heard of. My ultimate dream bar would be one where people would just gather to hear a collector play rare music all night long. I know these bars existed before I was born, especially in the sixties and seventies. Listening to some funky disco records totally takes me back to this era. The unfortunate reality nowadays is that most crowds want to sing a long and force DJs to transform into karaoke machines. You can hardly blame the DJs: it’s way easier to make a decent living off music if you get bigger and more frequent bookings. Only a handful of DJs can do this without making concessions. That’s why I want to take you back to that special era for this Design Bridge special.
I’m addicted to music discovery and follow every relevant blog, newsletter and record label to not miss anything new. But you need other selectors to dig into forgotten classics or songs that never got in the public eye. I just really love the parties where DJs do whatever they want and share all their findings. Rush Hour’s Somewhere in Amsterdam is my favorite example in town, happening every two months or so at OT301. Current collectors that are able to amaze every single time: Antal, Sadar Bahar, Hunee, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Nick V, Kong. Guys who can visit flea markets to find weird records that can suddenly become an instant underground hit in some local scenes. The need for music discovery is also one of the biggest reasons why 22tracks still exists: lots of people want to hear something new! It doesn’t have to be new music per se. You’ve got tons of teenagers that are totally into 70s disco music. How amazing is that?
These five tracks are my biggest ‘very disco discoveries’ in the last years, thanks to the collectors:
Risqué – Starlight:
DJ Harvey opened his Boiler Room set in Milan with this one. I was in love with every single sound of this tune rightaway. Later I found out it was a Dutch girl band from the 80s and it even managed to get in the Top 40 charts for three weeks in 1982. Who would’ve thought!
Carmen – Throw Down:
Even top DJs like Hunee and Antal encounter crowds that find their tunes too obscure. Hunee recently shared that they’ve got this vinyl in the bag as rescue record to boost the energy level when it’s really needed.
Bileo – You Can Win:
Motor City Drum Ensemble played this during Dekmantel festival. It’s pure bliss and has been originally released in 1979. If you happen to own an original copy it’s worth at least €300 nowadays. More recently it has been re-issued, which happens sometimes when the original master copies are still found intact.
Chilly – For Your Love (Todd Terje Edit):
This tune was my personal highlight from our very own first festival this summer: 22fest. The edit was played by SHMLSS and created by Norwegian disco king Todd Terje some years ago. The guitars have been removed from Chilly’s hit from 1978 to underline all disco flavors and some extra drums turn this original song in an 8 minute dancefloor filler.
Javaroo – Breakin’ In:
Red Light Radio’s founder Orpheu turned me to this amazing tune from 1980. It’s a perfect example of a wonderful track that will never be available on a streaming service like Spotify. Honestly, there’s so much good stuff missing on official platforms, unfortunately. If you want to travel back in time and dive into a world of crate diggers and vinyl findings, you should definitely pay Red Light Records a visit too.
If you want to discover the best new discoveries, I of course recommend the 22tracks platform. I curate the hip hop and downtempo electronic sections. All tunes are released in the last weeks. Go and listen to some stuff you’ve never heard before!
Main image by Hitchster on Flickr.