With Jam City set to make his Boston debut at the Good Life this Saturday, Shake resident and Boston DJ Fens shares a few of his go-to tracks of recent. Check out Fens’ picks for Shake Chart 003 and don’t miss his opening set for Jam City this Saturday, alongside Sol Nova and fellow resident Dev/Null.
BRUCE – PETAL PLUCK (HES029)
For anyone who’s been following me as a DJ for some time, it would come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoy everything the Hessle Audio crew has done. Their unique emphasis on the concept of spatial awareness, and focus on low end has made their entire catalogue mainstays in my sets. This track from Bruce accurately summarizes that notion, a great sense of perspective, and space, and is a great track to start things off. I first heard this in Ben UFO’s Essential Mix, and there’s no doubt as to why he started his mix off with it as well. Another mainstay in my sets lately from the Hessle catalogue would be Joe – Slope (HES025).
DJ BONEYARD – IN THE BEGINNING
I first heard of DJ Boneyard from their “GUTTER TRAX” release, and while that release appealed to me as a listener, it didn’t quite translate to me for club use. The intentional low-fi production quality doesn’t translate on every system, and while compositionally quite exciting, I felt it would miss the mark for my non-radio listeners. Then I heard “In The Beginning” on their soundcloud. Everything I loved compositionally from their GUTTER TRAX release, in a very clean sounding track. Similar mood and atmosphere to what I spoke about for Bruce’s track. Great sense of spatial perspective, and a real heater that always finds a place in my opening sets. I highly encourage readers to check out this track and GUTTER TRAX.
BORAI – ANYBODY FROM LONDON (HOTLINE009)
I had first heard of Borai from a promo I got – their NUDES001 release, “Moonlight on the Malago”. That track became a big mainstay in my sets for the amazing synth work, and the light, airy house vibes the track provided. You can imagine my surprise when I stumbled across this release from Borai, and was shocked to find out they were the same producer. Anybody From London capitalizes on what I personally refer to as the UK Rave Revival Sound, as we’ve heard from the likes of Special Request (Paul Woolford). Utilizing classic drum samples and throwback garage trends, this track is a belter, complete with an archived UK MC sample of a guy telling anyone from london to fuck off. Proper, innit m8? The whole release is great, but this gets the most rotation from me.
COOLY G – NOT THE WAY (SELF-RELEASED)
I almost want to present this without comment. Check out the entire GET IT series she released. Cooly G is a straight up boss. Smooth as silk, yet hard as granite. Oh hey is this her bandcamp? Buy the track, and all the other ones too. You now hold the key.
LEMONICK – 4TH FLOOR (CW06)
Let me preface this by saying that the rest of this EP from Lemonick, has what you might call, a sound I suspect is heavily influenced by an iconic UK label whose name rhymes with White Pugs. And while he lends his own unique vision on samples, sonorities, and aesthetic that comes from the aforementioned source, it is only on this track that he really gives the listener something truly his own, in this humble selector’s opinion. Selector’s pro-tip, this sound gets really wet so be ready to commit for a while before it dries up again for dem transitions, or not, I can’t tell you what to do.
JAYBIRD – WORK DAT BOX
This may seem like a non-sequitur, but it deserves an honorable mention because I heard this surprising rarity last week for the first time, thanks to the local selector Scotch-1. The stereo action on the rising synths simply must be experienced on a proper system. The understated 808 work cannot be better. This track from 2012 still has a very relevant appeal. Use sparingly, yet fruitfully.
BASIC RHYTHM – BREAK IT DOWN (4 DA KRU)
The entire Raw Trax EP is an awesome, cohesive release, and serves as a fresh take within the ambiguous realm that is 140. This one is a standout for me. That searing synth line that cuts across the stereo field around 2:20 is remarkable. Though you can’t but notice the drum track seems, borrowed, as well. Talk about an indelible influence. This also makes it highly palatable, compared to their other tracks, for de clurb. So, make of that what you will, this one is a certified setlist staple.
KELELA – REWIND (SPORTING LIFE REMIX)
** SKIP TO 17:30 FOR THE TRACK **
The Hallucinogen Remix EP had a lot of standouts, and this is a standout from those standouts. The original mix of this track was a bubbling, four to the floor track, that was both calm, yet energetic during the chorus, and this remix takes the killer vocal work from Kelela and turns it into a half time, hip-hop vibe that is a breath of fresh air for any set. While this particular remix might be a bit more of an understated transformation from its original than others on the EP, (see, MC Bin Laden’s remix), it is just the right kind of delicate rework that this track could use. It complements the original wholly, takes on a life of its own, and doesn’t overshadow. A great piece from Ratking’s Sporting Life.