We first added Inland Knights to our “listen to every new release by these guys” list back in 2002/2003. It was a time here in DC/Baltimore when their brand of house music was really experiencing a surge. We called it “Chunky House” then, some people might call it “Jacking” now, but whatever it's name it is fun, funky, full of energy and dance-floor-centric. Everyone seemed to be in love with this seemingly new sound, with artists like LawnChair Generals, The Littlemen, Toka Project (an Andy Riley side-project) and DC’s own East Coast Boogiemen all receiving heavy love in most DJ bags, and it made an indelible mark on house music as it spread across the country that is still extremely strong to this day.
Through all the releases coming out during that time, Inland Knights’ always stood out for us. We couldn't put our finger on it then, but for some reason they seemed more mysterious than the rest. Their tracks always seemed to push the envelope, and to be just a little “weird” … but the good side of weird where really cool stuff happens, and where everyone else seems to end up. Now understanding that Inland Knights had already been releasing tracks for over 5 years by 2002 (when most of these other artists were just getting started) it makes a little more sense. These guys were off in Nottingham, UK doing their own thing, founding Drop Music in 1998, releasing steadily through the 2000's, and still putting out new EPs as recently as September of this year. Somehow, they still manage to push the music in interesting directions while keeping that signature sound that makes you just want to tear up the dance floor, and they have never left our list of favorite artists.
This Saturday, Baltimore will have the chance to see for themselves why Inland Knights have become one of the most respected production outfits in house music. Andy Riley (½ of the duo) will be at Red Maple with opening support from Gourmetbeats’ own Tyler Schmith, Dimitri Max (Sampled, Guesthouse Music) and your hosts for the evening, ForQuarters Collective. It is recommended that you wear comfortable yet sexy shoes.
I'll admit, my excitement was tempered when I first heard about Joe Claussell playing tonight at Deep Sugar in Baltimore... and some people might scream "sacrilege" that I could ever doubt the legendary DJ. But we tell it like it is here at Gourmetbeats, and you know, music is an exciting and evolving thing. There are new sounds and artists creating amazing things that are released nearly every day, and as we consume this constant stream of innovation, it's easy to get carried away in the rapids. So, when I heard that Joaquin "Joe" Claussell (a godfather of "world dance" music and soulful house, artist and accomplished musician) was coming to town, part of me was resistant to the idea of getting excited. I think this is a problem that others have experienced, especially those of us that devote so much of our lives listening to the latest tracks, the best "new" sounds, and pushing innovation in dance music. We get caught up in what's new and what's trending, and forget to let go and enjoy what's actually important, namely the music. And besides, it would be remiss to assume that an accomplished and traveled artist like Mr. Claussell isn't evolving in his own right.
What won me over (or more accurately snapped me out of it) was taking a listen to a mix of Joe's from a performance in Rome in 2011. On first listen I would say it's not the greatest mix. But just around the 14:30 mark is when he grabbed me and when I realized my mistake. With a driving beat, syncopated percussion and rising synth, I started to feel it... and then that vocal dropped... and all my dancefloor memories rushed back. I remembered why I loved this music in the first place. I remembered that the music is both the center of attention and a conduit to something greater, many times lost when the night is recorded, digitized, and replayed on a computer. It's been ten years since I last saw Joe Claussell, and I'm excited to see him again tonight. This is an artist that should really be experienced in person, among friends and like-minded individuals, and Deep Sugar @ The Paradox is the ideal venue. His attitude and presence and "vibe" just doesn't come across in a recorded mix, not to mention that he often has live musicians playing along side him. It's something that everyone should experience, either for the first time, or again as a reminder of what house music is really all about.
As an added bonus, our good friends The Elders will be holding it down in the courtyard!
Another stellar booking from the guys at Visionnaire, MANIK has released tracks on such labels as Hot Creations, Ovum and Poker Flat. This Thursday he'll be celebrating his third release on Droog's Culprit imprint with a two-hour set at Baltimore's Red Maple. Support provided by three of the area's finest: Lomez, Danny "Techlove" Elder and Chris Nitti. Check out the MANIK sound below...
This Saturday in Baltimore we've got a special treat as Australia's Tornado Wallace touches down to share some jams from down-under. A man whose name carries with it a buzz sure to attract Charm City's many discerning ears, this will undoubtedly be a not-to-be-missed evening. Gutter Magazine sat down with Tornado earlier today to talk about his influences, inspirations and what he's got planned for 2013.
Catch Tyler Schmith tonight in Baltimore @ Red Maple: 930 N. Charles St!
The dance scene in Baltimore has been more vibrant than ever as of late, and without question one of the major players in the city has been the ForQuarters Collective. Besides their monthly residency at Red Maple and appearances up and down the East Coast, they are also responsible for the irregularly scheduled party branded as "The Gumball". Since May of last year, the event has been thrown every few months and features some of the best talents in the industry, and we're always excited when we hear that another one is coming up.
Never ones to disappoint, this next installment features the one and only Gene Farris, a DJ that needs no introduction as his 100+ productions and worldwide touring has cemented him as a dance music legend. We've been able to catch Gene a few times over the years, and his sets always manage to surprise us with their originality and consistent ability to keep the dance floor packed to capacity. If you can make it to Baltimore this is definitely not one to miss.
By Tyler Schmith | December 20th, 2011
Look up "Dance Music Divas" and you will undoubtedly come across the name Ultra Naté. The Baltimore native has been a powerhouse in the EDM genre for over twenty years, releasing five albums between 1991 and 2007 and an impressive catalogue of singles, 7 of which have hit the number one spot on the U.S. Dance Charts. Now she’s working on her sixth album, the second single of which was released last week as a collaboration with Michelle Williams (formerly of Destiny’s Child). The single, “Waiting on You” is a big-room dance floor stormer; a duet between two commanding female voices that just begs to be played during the peak-hour. “We were brainstorming on who to bring in on it” Ultra says. “Our managers are good friends and thought it would be great to get us together. We thought
Posh Cavern has been the place in Baltimore to hear a steady flow of fresh sounds for a while now, and tonight they are bringing back Joe Nice along with Isaac G (of NYCs Remote Signal Radio) and Ted Dancin for what is sure to be a night of wall-ratteling Bass and Beats. Protect your china and hold tight to your wine glasses!
Also, in case you missed it, Joe Nice was recently mentioned in December's MixMag article "United Bass of America"!