Huge DJ Alerts!
UR's Retail Site, Submerge, Resurfaces & Reissues You Actually Want
A few big pieces of news from the DJ-verse have come on my radar this month. First and foremost is the relaunching of Submerge, Underground Resistance’s online retail site and (offline) wholesale arm. It’s been roughly 10 years since the sad day when I pulled up Submerge.us to do a little stateside gripping and found the site offline. Before then, Submerge was the go-to outlet for not only Underground Resistance releases, back-stock, reissues and merch, but a slew of other Submerge-distributed Detroit labels like Teknotika, Planet E, Detroit Techno Militia, Local-3000, Yaxteq and many more. Records, even from Detroit artists, are generally hard to come by in the states as almost the entirely of vinyl production and distribution is EU-based. This made Submerge a crucial direct-to-DJ retailer chucking titles at $7 or less. I found this ludicrous receipt from 2013 in my inbox.
My copies of other legendary UR plates like Final Frontier, Transition and Red Planet 12”s all came from Submerge. The icing on the cake was that UR would sell test presses of new releases – like Alone’s Has God Left This City – that wouldn’t get worldwide release for several years. It was a golden moment in time and the relaunching of Submerge promises equally golden grips. There’s backstock copies of UR essentials like Nation 2 Nation, Galaxy 2 Galaxy, Hardlife, Knights of the Jaguar, Nocturbulous Behavior and more for sale. But the best news of all is the resurfacing of Submerge accompanies the resurgence of UR as a critical label releasing new music. The three new UR 12”s that dropped in 2022 (including the killer Wavejumper’s 12” from James Stinson’s brother, Tyree) are available along with releases on Aux-88’s new label, Electrostatic. It’s second release, Jessbeats’ Decoding Numbers, is a stunner and a high-point in recent Detroit electro.
Submerge and UR have always had a touch-and-go relationship with the greater dance music industry. In the last two decades this resulted in periods of dormancy, false-start white labels that never saw full release and a general retreat back into UR HQ. UR’s importance cannot be overstated. Their reemergence was the biggest thing to hit dance music in 2022 and should be supported wholeheartedly by anyone with the means to. Cop some wax, buy a tee or nab a record bag and show the realest to ever do it some love: https://shop.submerge.com/
Reissues You Actually Want
Reissue Mania has gripped dance music for the past decade. It started with low-hanging fruit – essential cuts from the founders of house and techno. Rush Hour and Clone lead the charge with in-house reissue labels making music from Drexciya, Larry Heard, Mike Dunn and more available to a new generation. By the mid-teens, a new culture arose that emphasized previously unknown and obscure plates and a deluge of such reissues followed. The results have been mixed. Acts like An Alien (who’ve received many a digital inch here) received the attention they deserve for the first time via reissues of their back catalog. But the standards haven’t always been kept as high. Every week there are reissues of records that were rightly ignored upon original release, but now have shrill Discogers frothing at the mouth for reasons of obscurity or rarity. In other words: a lot of not great stuff has entered the space.
Fear not, for the powers that be have blessed us with a veritable cornucopia of absolute essentials in the past month. An account of the offerings is below:
Soul Capsule - Law of Grace [Trelik]
The goat’d, grailed, white whale of tech house and crowning gem of Baby Ford and Thomas Melchior’s Soul Capsule project. This is the one plate I’ve most hoped to dig up for over a decade. Law of Grace originally dropped on Melchior’s now-defunct Aspect Music in 2001 and is being reissued via Baby Ford’s Trelik along with two other classics from the label.
Minimal Man - Make a Move [Trelik]
More swinging, steppin’ haus from Trelik. This one comes from Baby Ford and Ian Loveday’s E’d-up Minimal Man project. Minimal Man began to live up to their name in the project’s later days, but there’s still plenty of serotonin on this one thanks to the “Make Your Body Move!” sample. I finished my first ever club-headlining set with Part 2 as a nod to Trelik’s immense influence on my DJ’ing.
Soul Capsule - Las Ramblas [Trelik]
Wonky floating haus / house from BB Ford and TM. Three different mixes from eerie to elevating.
Ron Trent & Chez Damier - Hip To Be Disillusioned [Prescription]
Stripped and minimized garage house from the Prescription golden era. A lot (all?) of these tracks have been reissued elsewhere but you know I love a verbatim repress.
Various - MASK 500 [Skam]
The MASK series was a limited run of five VA comps featuring tracks, edits and unlicensed remixes from Autechre, Boards of Canada, Gescom, Metamatics and more from the UK IDM-sphere. MASK 500 was the last in the series and features sometimes club-friendly, sometimes obtuse remixes of everything from Duran Duran to David Bowie and Van Halen. Boards of Canada’s remix of “The Midas Touch” under their Hell Interface alias is the most accessible of the lot and a certified club anthem.
Glenn Underground and Cei-Bei - House Music Will Never Die [Groovin’ Recordings]
Sometimes it feels like house music is dying, but house will live on as long as DJ’s are playing this record. Brought to you by Groovin’ Records, whose benevolent reissues are keeping the dust from settling on the records that built house music. Check their sublabel, Dark Grooves, for reissues of house’s harder-edged, tracky classics.
Metro Area - Metro Area 1, 2, 3, 4 [Metro Area]
The four original volumes of Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani’s disco revivalist project are back on the block. Essential plates that primed a generation for the sounds of the 70’s.
Kenlou - The Bounce [MAW Records]
“Gimme Groove” on the B-side is my fav MAW cut, periodt. It’s a heart-melter and heads-down groover of the highest order spanning 9.5 minutes of tender glory.
Riviera Traxx – Vol. 1 [Groovin Records]
Foundational Italian house excursions from 1991 that took house production to new levels of sophistication and polish. An all-killer plate of deepness for mellow and peak moments alike.
All of these records are widely available. My copies are coming courtesy of Redeye. Head there if you want to find them all in one place.
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