How to Build a House — a playlist by The Hoof
The Building blocks of House
featuring artists like
Lady Alma • Ten City • Moon Rocket • Art of Tones • Kathy Brown • Ron Trent • Kink • Opolopo
About this playlist
My first few years using streaming service were looking back into all the music I’d missed from the 60’s though to the 80’s, then 90’s up to current day, but not seriously focusing on the present and then in 2019 I decided to search out more new music, the start of this playlist features a selection of tracks from that year and some favourites from 2018 when I discovered the exhaustive discography on Spotify of all the elements of dance music.
I’ve been listening to dance music since the early days of electro, early house music when I didn’t even know that’s what it was and then really caught the bug with the purchase of the seminal compilation ‘House sounds of Chicago’ an LP that introduced many folks of the era to the joys of a new kind of electronic music.
I’ve definitely fallen in and out of love with the genre over the years and can’t claim to be an expert but I’ve been listening to all lot over the last few years, sadly this music sounds best in a nightclub/party environment and I can count on one hand the number of times I set foot in a club last year, but still believe I can pick out a good tune, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
This write up is essentially me going through the tracks selected from 2019, so feel free to miss out on all my waffle and just listen to the playlist above, it’s a small selection of the 1000’s of dance tracks released that year, I know there will be so much music I will have missed but as the tag line goes for our Facebook group ‘They Reminisce’ ‘You Can Never Know Everything, Have Everything Or Hear Everything’.
Starting with a track from Folamour from the LP ‘Ordinary Drugs’ the first of a few dance albums worth bringing to your attention released in a strong year for LP’s, it’s a right mixed bag, full of jazzy downtempo beats, dark moody trip-hop and full-on vocal-driven songs and then there’s ‘These Are Just Places To Me’ early doors downtempo house with a wicked old school vibe to it.
Then picking things straight-up ‘Dumplings Over Flowers’ by Moodena the type of track the label ‘Tropical Disco’ do so well, jazz-funk disco with a driving house beat, an easy genre to lose your way in and just keep using tired samples but this is a bit special.
‘Believe’ by Re-Tide drives us forward with a catchy spoken word vocal not dissimilar to the classic Eddie Amador track ‘House Music’.
Next up the only inclusion from a label I’ve shared a lot of music this year Glitterbox and one of the tunes of the year, the ever wonderful Qwestlife with a good old fashioned part tune ‘Fever’ with a little help from The Sugarhill Gang what an inspired collaboration.
Then another artist we’ve shared on shake a hoof before The Funk District gives us some ‘Freaky Stuff’ kept a close watch on Fernando Mendoza over the last year and his productions keep getting better and better, I’m expecting big things from him in 2020.
Going a bit deeper now with Fred Everything and 7 am in Tisno Dub of ‘Barbarella’ taken from the Montreal natives fourth album ‘Long Way Home’ representing his relocation from 8 years in San Fransisco back home to Montreal but the tracks have certainly got influences of his time spent in the summer dance festivals of Ibiza and Croatia.
Yet another artist that I’ve shared here before and listened to their progression, the music of Italian Vito Lalinga has got deeper and there’s a lot more use of jazz and afrobeat sounds over the last few years and this is a great funky afro influenced workout on ‘The Frequency’.
‘Find Your Way’ by Flamingo Pier keeps the afro vibes going but takes it up a notch with some acid rhythms thrown in the mix, I do love this track.
First release on Peggy Gou’s own label Gudu records from the EP ‘Moment’ continuing the winning formula from last years releases on Ninja Tune, vocal-heavy acid-tinged house, ‘Starry Night’ it’s got a more disco influence with Peggy singing in both English and Korean.
Onto the first bit of soulful house, I could of filled the whole playlist with music like this, as so many great songs released this year, but as I wanted to include lots of different styles of house, I’ve got to make do with just a few and no better vocalist to bring the soul than Ann Nesby with Soulmagic and the wonderfully uplifting ‘Get Your Thing Together’.
Another great dance album of 2019 Ralf Gum with ‘Progressions’ back to back quality songs, featuring some a who’s who of guest vocalists including Monique Bingham, Lady Alma and Tony Momrelle listen to some dreamy house, aptly titled ‘Dreamstate’.
Probably my favourite dance album of the year was Lady Alma’s solo effort with a producer who always brings something different to his music Mark de Clive-Lowe, ‘Hold Your Head Up’ is soulful house at its best, check out the album ‘Twilight’.
There is a theme with a lot of tracks featured, my love of old school flavours in the music, none bettered than this by Soulphiction with ‘80’s standard’ can give no better accolade than to say it sounds like Mr Fingers the legendary 80’s house pioneer.
‘I Don’t Have Drum Machine’ by Yukse takes his influence even further back through time using the words of Earl Young the MFSB and Trammps drummer who invented the 4X4 disco beat that basically became house music.
What a musical legacy Quantic in his various guises has already left behind and then to add his latest album ‘Atlantic Oscillations’ to that canon, we are truly blessed.
Phil Weeks is a house music purist, whether DJing or producing, the Parisian with the huge personality delivers raw beats influenced in equal measure by classic Chicago house and nu-school French flair, underpinned with a hip-hop attitude. His long-running Robsoul Recordings also defines him as one of the most skilled label heads in underground house music, the latest release ‘I Want You’ joining the dots with the very foundations of this music and remind everyone where some of the strongest ingredients came from. And this time he’s gone straight back to 82 for a synth riff that sparks up any situation (ahem) You’ll know it the second it drops. That crisp riff, that reverb, the shimmering loopiness and plucked synth bassline; Weeks has captured the essence of the seminal Mute release and added a whole new chapter with a little wry, tongue in cheek wit from Joe Le Groove who’s so on point he even warns you when the bassline drops.
‘We’ve ‘Got To Keep On’ and what better way than with the Chemical Brothers if there was one performance I would have loved to see this year it was the ‘Chem’s’ appearance at Glastonbury.
2019 was a great year for the North East native (like me) but London based producer Alan Dixon with numerous releases on a multitude of record labels, he was featured on our review of 2018, on our Glitterbox feature and a few other posts for some of the quality music he has released this year, my personal favourite ‘La Danza’ follows on from the Chemicals Brothers and high praise indeed that it sounds like it could be another one of their tracks.
Yuksek (again) and Queen Rose with an amusing but essential message for all the creeps on the dancefloor, ‘G.F.Y’, watch the video to see what that means.
Dancefloor anthem, it’s a statement thrown around a lot, but Sophie Lloyd knows how to make them, the latest single ‘Raise Me Up’ follows the anthem from 2018 ‘Calling Out’ and that man Alan Dixon is back again on the remix.
‘RAW’ by Kink is exactly what it say’s it is pure raw piano driven house music, simple but so effective and the Honey Dijon remix of ‘I’m Not Defeated Pt 2’ by Fiorious is an uplifting raw powerhouse LGBT protest tune.
Onto a song I call the Brexit song, it’s actually called ‘Club Cotton’ and I’ve no idea what Moullinex is leaving and why he chooses to remain but boy does he go on a funky, quirky, jazzed up ride along the way so if remaining is this good I’m staying put, worth checking out the video is a quirky as the song.
‘Show Yuh Right’ by Moon Rocket another perfect hypnotic house groove, a record I would love to see the reaction of the crowd on a dancefloor, It’s definitely got the ‘shake a hoof’ ingredients all over it.
More old school vibes with ‘Catch Me’ by Dirty Channels, followed by deep jazzy acid from DJ Fudge with ‘Ponta Negra’.
Acid House anyone? One of London’s prolific resident DJ’s and all-round nice guy; Steve Lee delivers this head nod to the Rave Generation with an Inner City twist. ‘Get on This’.
Eddie C and Mister Joshooa get down and dirty, not literally but ‘Bad Words’ isn’t just a few choice words but a sultry deeper acid wobbler, one of the smoke-filled basement club.
‘Sunspear’ by O’Flynn starts the journey into a more afro sound, starting slowly and then ‘boosh’ we’re off, sublime electronic music.
Afrobeat legend Ebo Taylor gets the Ron Trent treatment on ‘Krumandey’ a track from his 2018 album ‘Yen Ara’ a great piece of work from one of the last living working artists of that generation, this is from the deluxe version, lots of other tasty remixes worth checking out on it.
Not heard much from Faze Action for quite some time, the seminal album ‘Plans and Designs’ is still a favourite of mine, on this release they’ve gone with a more laid back style African rhythms and melodies and vocals from Zeke Manyika once of the Uk band Orange Juice and performed on ‘Rip It Up’.
Finishing up with French producer Art of Tones one of my favourite remixers of the year, made a great version of ‘Who’s Got Me’ by Flevans this track is full of more African flavours, descriptively titled ‘At a Club in Lagos’.
I love jazz and I love house, so I’m in musical nirvana when they are put together in a track as well made as this ‘Set Me Free’ by Kevin Yost simply masterful, whole LP worth checking out ‘Ky Funk n Stuff’.
The Hoof has laid the foundations with music from 2019 and 2018, see however finishes the project with tunes discovered in 2020 here
Yes I know with the amount of new releases every week and the music I’ve left out, I could have built a skyscraper rather than this more modest terraced house, but you’ve got to start somewhere on the ‘housing’ ladder