I'll start by saying thanks to everyone who either wiggled their ass, put their hands in the air or gurned in our general direction at Stealth on Saturday night. A great time was had by all the TAPE disco service crew. It was nice to finally check out the frankly marvelous Stealth, which surely has to be one of the best clubs in the UK. Thanks to Dave, Ben, Boggy and Pete for making us feel very welcome, and cheers to everyone who we spoke to, bumped into or got arrested (don't ask!). Hopefully we'll be allowed back at some point soon...
Anyways, talking to people up in Nottingham made me realise how much people like this blog. It got me thinking that I should really pull my finger out and do a bit more posting. Fired up by this new found spirit I thought it would be apt to share with you my feelings for a certain label that has come to be particularly close to my heart. I had been meaning to write a piece about this label for some time, but due to my usual faffing and procrastination had not found the time to commit pen to paper (or finger to keypad as it is here in the 21st Century).
This is a label that has done much to sustain my faith in house music for well over a year now. It has been putting out 12"s at a fairly regular pace, all of which have been of an extremely high standard. In these days of identikit 'schminimal' and second rate electro house this label has continued to push a deep, innovative and dare I say it, organic house sound. This is the label that when playing out, I get the most ID requests off eager DJ trainspotters and clued up punters. This is also the label that only I seem to own any records on, so without further ado let me announce to you my whole hearted love and devotion to the truly wonderful Kalk Pets.
I first became aware of the label whilst still working at Replay records as the techno/electronica buyer. I had come into contact with the label's 'mother ship' the also rather ace Karaoke Kalk, purveyors of the finest leftfield and electronic sounds, but had never heard anything I could play out. Karaoke Kalk is more in a rockist tradition like say Morr music, in that it is more about the songs with squiggly noises, than shaking your booty.
The first 12" I came across was the second release on the label (I can't find the first one anywhere!), which was a remix package to accompany the release of Roman's 'So Ghost?' LP on Karaoke Kalk. I was primarily drawn to this release because of the Lo-Soul remix, which is quite possibly the best reworking he has done. I'll happily admit this is one of my 'secret' weapons. It is one of those tunes that seems to mix perfectly with anything, even taking into account my own cack handedness on the decks! Lo-Soul utilises the vocal to great effect, creating a dense, emotive piece of house music that never fails to rouse the dance floor. It also has a rather fantastic title in 'True Love Owes Us Shit'. Marvelous stuff.
The label's next release dropped a few months later in the form of Antonelli's 'Esplanda' EP. Once again I was not disappointed, three wonderfully warm house tracks, packing oodles of emotion and a certain childlike innocence. Pick of the bunch would be the super deep 'Surrender' , but the other two cuts are pretty damn fine too. I haven't heard much else from this producer, anyone care to shed some light?
The next EP to come out on the label was delivered by Pascal Schafer, probably my least favourite release on the label, but still very solid, and still very playable. Easily the most straight up deep house release on the label, this none the less refines that genres sonic palette into a sound more ready for a noughties dance floor (jeez, did I just say noughties?!). In a similar way to the Roman remix package, the next 12" release tied in with a Karaoke Kalk release, this time the Wechsel Garland LP. Stepping up to the plate for remix duties was the mighty DJ Koze and the slightly less mighty Lawrence. As you may have guessed it is Koze's effort you want to check out. I don't know what he was smoking the day he did the remix but it must be strong! His remix is on a seriously smokey, slo-mo melodic techno tip, which sounds great down at our fortnightly electronic meltdown session, the ever drunken Normalise, held right here in our beloved Bristol. The Lawrence mix is certainly worth checking, but not being a massive fan of his productions I naturally head straight for the Koze workout. Excitingly the next release came from my favourite Chilean producer. No not Ricardo, or Luciano for that matter, but the master of play full minimal Mr Dandy Jack or in this incarnation, Juction SM. Arguably not a dance floor cut, or certainly not one I could get away with playing on a Saturday night, 'Ma Mere L'Oye' is one of those minimal techno records that is continually changing and evolving without ever giving too much away. A record that shimmers with a subtlety that draws you in, wonks you around a bit and then has done with you. I can remember the Sherbunator waxing lyrical about its delights in the Wire, and I can see why!
Which brings me up to the latest release, the criminally neglected remix package of Leichtmetall. It was with this release that I fully came to understand my deep seated love and fetishistic infatuation with this label. Grinser and James Din on duties this time round, both turning in marvelously wonky remixes. Grinser on a more straight up techy house bounce vibe whilst James Din delivers a Theo Parish holidaying in Cologne sort of vibe.
So, what do you think then? Have I aroused your curiosity in this, one of my most treasured labels? I do hope so. As per usual you can get most of this stuff at Boomkat, they also have the whole catalogue on MP3 as well, for those more digitally savvy amongst you, click here for a direct link. You may also like to have a look at the label's myspace which has everything you would expect from a myspace. See y'all soon...