Friday Frecknall Bangers

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Tonight will see the Gigantic DJ debut of Dave Frecknall. He is a DJ veteran, and a mainstay of Lavery’s, and he has excellent taste in music. What you might not know, however, is that Dave used to be in a number of notable Northern Irish bands. As a result, today’s quick Friday bangers are tracks from acts that Dave played in.

First up is a song from The Jane Bradfords. I actually didn’t know this cover version existed until about 15 minutes ago, and I’m glad I found it, because it is actually ace.

And next up is a song from the musical project he was involved in after The Jane Bradfords – Nakatomi Towers. Another excellent tune.

You can now catch Dave DJing in Lavery’s near every weekend, but most importantly you can do that tonight at Gigantic. Le woop!

Jonny.

The Craic Was Ninth-ty

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I’ve just about recovered enough from Friday night to write this blog. The 9th Birthday was completely, totally and utterly off the scale. These are the things that I liked most about the night.

  1. So many people getting on board with the Fancy theme and dressing up to the nines. Seriously, we had bowties, fur, braces, suits, amazing dresses and so much more. Everyone looked so damn good it was unreal.
  2. The FAUX DJs being absolutely incredible. Not only did Scott and Mark look like one million pounds, but they also pulled off some of the most insane mixes and genre hopping flourishes of any DJs you will ever see. I mean, who else goes from Daniel Avery into Sugarhill Gang? Or from Alloy Mental into Whitney Houston? Top lads on top form.
  3. The huge contingent of Gigantic regulars who were there giving it stacks on the dancefloor for the whole night. Honestly, seeing so many people that you know through the club dancing and having a good time warms the cockles of your heart. And I’m not jus saying this, but so many people in the club have great music taste, which makes DJing there just the most craic ever.Big big love to Rosie, Nik, Megan, Donal, Lisamarie, Aoife, Orla, Robbie, Teresa, Jenni, Fergal, Megan, Anna, Ciara, Patrick, Laura, Tracy, Hannah, Phil Aidan, Nikki, Rachel, Olivia, Ciaran, Dave, Paul, Jonny, Caroline, Kathy, Victoria, Grainne, Briony, Chris, Emma, Camille, Stu, Filly, Claire, Mark, Roisin, Tree, Conor, Ryan, Shane, Joseph, Owen, Phily, Jamie, Barry, Ryan and every single person who made it such a special night.

And of course massive endless thanks to Lavery’s for being integral in making Gigantic happen, for all their support (especially Michael, Paul, Rona, Tamara, Sarah, Jayne, and all the staff, door persons and managers), plus the DJs from the past year (FAUX, Andy, Niall, EmRo, and Pete), and Tim and Oisin for the design and video work. Cheers to another year!

Jonny.

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Saturday Looks Good To Me #1

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The Gigantic YouTube channel is back in action! Jolting life into it again with a new playlist – Saturday Looks Good To Me. All the videos going up here will be the kind of tracks that I play on a Saturday night. Beat Connection is the club that takes place in the Ballroom and Mister Tom’s in Lavery’s on Saturdays. It’s always a good time, and I play there every two weeks. The Ballroom is a really great space with wicked lights and visuals, so I tend to play more of a dance oriented set to keep it ravey.

All these tracks are the kind of thing I like to usually play to warm the club nicely, before turning up the ridiculous party vibes.

You can’t beat a good piano based tune. You just can’t. Especially when it drives and builds the song like it does here.

You know what else you can’t beat? A good bassline. Kolombo is a master of the funky bassline, and I’ve been digging his productions for a while now. Never fails.

And on a little bit of a tougher tip, here is Purple Disco Machine giving the rework treatment to Dry & Bolinger ‘Feel The Bass’. I just love the way it kicks in. Play loud, and with the bass up full.

As always, if you’re in Belfast tonight, hit Lavery’s up for the guaranteed craic.

Jonny.

Gigantic Recapattack: 3/10/14

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Last week at Gigantic was one of those totally unexpected nights of brilliance. At the start of the night it looked like it was going to be a really quiet night, which was gonna suck. Then all of a sudden the place just filled up. Like, it went from totally empty to completely jumping in a matter of minutes. Quite a lot of old school regulars turned up too, and it ended up being a wicked night. Loads of good requests got made, and this was the pick of the bunch.

First time is Gino Soccio ‘Dancer’, as requested by Oisin ‘DSNT’ O’Brien. When Oisin wants to have fun and let his hair down, he comes to Gigantic and requests lots of camp disco. Good man himself.

I’m not sure who made this next request because it was passed along to me, but whoever it was did good. Tbf, they asked for the original version, but this remix is unstoppable. It builds up like a champ and just keeps giving.

This track was requested by a big group of tourists, so they can take collective credit for it. I hadn’t played this song in absolutely ages, and forgot what a banger it is. So much so that I played it on Saturday night too. Back-to-back biggie!

Big ups to Daniel, Oisin, Niall, Mark, Molly, Cassy, Davey, Nadine, Christina, Kathryn, Teena, Cate, Caoimhe, Megan, Owen, Mark and everyone else who came down and danced.

If you’re in Belfast tonight and looking for some fun, Andy Campbell is DJing at the club. Head to the Facebook page for guest list action.

Friday Bangers: FAUX Rizzle

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The FAUX DJs are going to be ripping into Gigantic tonight, so they have prepped a post of Friday Bangers for your listening pleasure. Here ya go.

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The state of music is in a good place when Alt-J and Aphex Twin are battling it out for the number 1 album spot. If someone tells you that music was better back in the day they just aren’t looking hard enough! There are bangers for days at the minute with loads of good hip-hop and house around, I’m thinking Lil B, Joey Bada$$, Patrick Topping, Special Request. Here’s a taster of what we’re into at the minute starting off with a recent enough one.

I’ve never seen the big draw with London Grammar but this track has been given the Paul Woolford special piano house treatment and sounds amazing.

This is a few years old but we’ve been playing it a lot recently. The kind of song that makes you wish you had a mic and could MC (if you could call it that) like Moodyman, the gent elegantly waffling over the undulating baseline.

Scottish Hip-Hip (or if you prefer your internet genre spotting wonky) insanity from Rustie. From the forthcoming album Green Language on Warp which we cannot wait to get in our ears.

Lost In Translation – Friday Bangers Fresh From Berlin


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Sometimes living in a place where English isn’t the first language really pays off. This week, I received the best text of my life, from a hotty bum botty German. I’m not sure that he didn’t know precisely what he was doing (there’s a good chance he did, to be fair) but yeah. Maybe trying to save characters, who knows, he decided to shorten the word analysis. When life gets you down, remember, you can text someone and ask them to meet up for some anal issues.

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And yeah, of course I told him I was totally down for hanging. Right?

OK, let’s get some sweet tunes on the rip.

SHINDU – Just Go (Reflex Remix)

Ah man, I love a wee bit of disco and this song is pure screaming for some dance moves. The best of the Just Go remixes, the drops and lifts are perfectly timed to keep momentum in this simple but seductive little synth number.

John Talabot – Last Land (Kenton Slash Demon Remix)

I’m cheating a bit – last weekend, this song was played at an incredible party I attended and so, yeah, has a bit of a personal hit in the stomach for me. Nonetheless, it’s a belter! The Danish duo Kenton Slash Demon really worked their magic on the originally pretty ethereal John Talabot track, Last Land. Dark and intense, this tune is simply killer! Find a dark, sweaty club and play this puppy as loud as it’ll go.

Karen Harding – Say Something

This song should come with a warning. One listen, two listens, three – it’s not enough. A real feel-good sassbag number, “Say Something” has a vintage Whitney feel but with the energy and pump to guarantee it’s place on any dancefloor. Check out the remixes on her Soundcloud page, but honestly, the original is a slice of pop gold. She’s a wee newbie, so watch this space – good things will come from this girl!

Cat

There’s Only Juan Maclean

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We’re totally stoked to bring another new contributor into the Gigantic fold this week, and it’s none other than the inimitable Chris Jones. Chris is without a doubt one of the most esteemed music journalists to hail from Northern Ireland. Starting out at Alternative Ulster (of which he became the editor), he now writes for various outlets across Ireland. Chris has an eloquent yet authoritative style, and he’s never afraid to speak his mind.

To kick things off we have tasked him with giving a run down of the best moments from The Juan Maclean to date. His new album, In A Dream, just dropped yesterday, and if you’ve somehow not heard of him yet, here is a list of very good reasons why it deserves your full attention. And over to Chris…

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Give Me Every Little Thing

I’m going to start at the start with the first track I ever heard by The Juan Maclean. It’s Give Me Every Little Thing, and it appeared on DFA Compilation #2, which came out way back in 2004. I was already a big fan of LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture but hadn’t delved too much further into the DFA family, and this 3-disc compilation – which is well worth seeking out, by the way – introduced me to a whole new world of weird dance music by people who didn’t necessarily come from a dance music background; undoubtedly a large part of why my resolutely indie kid 21-year-old self related to it at the time. Give Me Every Little Thing just drips with attitude – it’s an out-and-out club track built around a monumental, bouncing bassline with an indelible vocal hook. Along with The Rapture’s House Of Jealous Lovers and LCD’s Losing My Edge, it defines the sound of DFA in its first few years. New York cool distilled into five-and-a-half minutes.

As a bonus, here’s a tough, metallic remix by Cajmere aka Green Velvet. Nasty!

Feel Like Movin’

I love dance music about dance music. Katy B does it particularly well on Katy On A Mission and What You Came For; so did Thomas Bangalter on Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You. There’s nothing like the feeling of communion on a dancefloor when as tune like that goes off; everyone in the moment, lost in the music, focusing on exactly the same thing. Feel Like Movin’ is Juan and Nancy Whang’s contribution to the genre, as Nancy challenges us to “get your feet on the dancefloor; show me what you’re made of” over a bubbling piano house groove. You don’t want to argue with Nancy. It’s also proof that there’s much more to The Juan Maclean than his three albums. He tends to save his biggest club bangers for one-off singles, so there is plenty more where this one came from.

Happy House

This one is an obvious choice, but you can’t leave Happy House out of any Juan Maclean love-in. It was a bit of a comeback tune in 2008 as a taster for the second album, and (unusually for him) Juan couldn’t resist including it on that record too. Who can blame him? It’s a monstrous 13 minutes long, an odyssey of everything that makes The Juan Maclean great – rock-solid DFA drumming (from Nick Millhiser of Holy Ghost!), a funky-as-shit bassline, joyous keys, little dynamic shifts exactly where they are needed and a great vocal from the inimitable Nancy Whang. And then there’s the “launch me into space” breakdown… God-tier tune.

Sally Shapiro – I Know You’re My Love (Juan Maclean remix)

A confession: I’ve only just come across this in preparing this post, but I’m very glad I did. In 2007 Swedish singer Sally Shapiro released an album called Disco Romance – a gorgeous, entirely swoonsome blend of italo disco and electro-pop – that featured a wonderful track called I Know. Turns out Juan Maclean gave it his own twist for the Remix Romance compilation that came out the following year. As remixes go, this one is pretty faithful, but then you wouldn’t want to fuck with that delicate vocal or the structure of the song. Instead, he’s focused on propulsion, giving it some more oomph with that dry DFA drum sound and sending it to the floor with layers of fluttering synths.

I’ve Waited For So Long

There’s more to The Juan Maclean than club bangers, which is why he has been such a successful album artist as well. That’s where he is able to stretch out and indulge influences away from the dancefloor – The Human League, New Order, even a bit of prog. His new album In A Dream – quite possibly his best so far – includes several fine examples, but I’ve gone for I’ve Waited For So Long, a duet between Juan and Nancy Whang. It includes all the Juan Maclean hallmarks, but at a slower tempo and with the focus on the song – a bit of a tear-jerker – rather than any impulse to make people move. Juan would probably admit that his voice is limited but he takes the first verse with some style, before Nancy takes over for the chorus, imbuing it with her customary character and emotional pull.

Chris.

Two For Tuesdays #2: SOHN

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There is a very good chance that you are all over SOHN already, as he has been around and doing his thing for a while. If he has somehow passed you by, then you need to rectify this immediately and go buy his album Tremors immediately. It’ll be one of the best decisions you have made today. It’s an unforgettable collection of what you could call ‘electronic soul’. The whole album is laced with raw emotion and feeling, simultaneously delicate and powerful. And if you have yet to catch him live, then you need to rectify that also. He’s a captivating and engaging performer that draws you in like a Dyson, and can make even the large festival arenas feel like intimate moments.

Here are two of the best cuts from the album. Give them a listen if you aren’t familiar already, and let yourself be won over.

Jonny.

Friday Bangers #39: Cat ‘International Celebrity’ Anderson

Today the Friday Bangers are being picked out by the inimitable Cat Anderson. Back in the day when Cat used to live in Belfast, I called her ‘Local Celebrity Cat Anderson’, because that is how she kind of behaved. Then she went and [joint] won a Belfast edition of Come Dine With Me, and people started to recognise her in the street and stuff, and it was like the prophecy was fulfilled. Then Cat went and moved to Berlin, where she now works as the Community Manager for the super cool photo sharing start up EyeEm, and now she is becoming ‘International Celebrity Cat Anderson’.

As well as being a great person, Cat also has excellent taste in music (which means she loves electropop, and that’s enough for me). She has kindly agreed to become a regular contributor to the blog, and for her first post she is picking out the Friday Bangers for the week. So off we go…

Jonny.

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Time to live it up, yo!

 

All day, every day, I want to dance. Obviously, this is not quite possible, so I have found an alternative. To create a constant state of club euphoria or disco delight, I simply don some dark glasses and pop on the headphones. Buying some bread – drop the beat! Brush your teeth to an electro pop boogie, boomtown. It’s how I like to roll, yo.

As it’s Friday, that means I have merely turned up the volume to tinnitus-friendly levels. This week, I thought I’d share my happiest, darkest, loudest and favourite tunes of the week.

Dombrance – The Witch

Ohh snap – This song has got it going on. It’s the music equivalent of the hot, hairy and dangerous looking boy in the corner of the club. Honestly, from the toe-tapping dark minor tones, simplistic but heavy bass and monotonic, melancholic voice – I’d be trying to convince this song to dance with me, but of course it’d be having none of it. Cool as hell, and there’s no doubt in my mind that these lyrics were penned with nothing but venom. Oh, and did I mention they are with Kitsune? Natch, darling.

DOMBRANCE – THE WITCH (official video) from PATOX on Vimeo.

Theophilus London – Wine And Chocolate (andhimRemix)

This song has been in my blood this week. I’ve been that girl, nearly cycling into trees whilst pressing skip over and over until I get to hear it again. Citing all sorts of genres as influences, Theophilus London is just too good to miss. Hip hop, pop, soul and funk – it’s all in there. This song is unrelentingly happy – the slightly speeded up remix has added a don’t-stop-never-stop pounding beat, and paired with the celebratory lyrics of modern love, it’s a great song for the weekend. Being cool can mean being happy too.

Axel Le Baron & Kourbatov – Menace (Original Mix)

This song is a little embarrassing for me. The love child of mid-80s Prince and pure Discovery-era Daft punk, it’s an unadulterated pleasure. Stick through the extended vocalised beginning (super reminiscent of “Da Funk”, no?) to jump into some dirty deliciousness, not to mention killer guitar shreds. That’s right – I said “killer guitar shreds”. I told you it was the love child of 80s Prince…

Cat.

* Photo by Raffaele Cavicchi

Friday Bangers #38: Andy ‘Free Hugs’ Campbell

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Since my last Friday Bangers post, there has been a tidal wave of fantastic tunes that I’ve been exposed to, which makes narrowing it down to 3 favourites almost impossible – almost.

I’ve opted for a ‘straight in, no kissing’ approach, not unlike the tracks themselves (or the set I’ll be playing in Gigantic later tonight).
First up, Jessie Ware – Tough Love (Cyril Hahn Remix). This one slipped under the radar somewhat for me, and I’m glad I eventually caught wind of it. Jessie Ware’s ever pleasant vocal over a club-strong indie dance production, what’s not to love?

Next, a great remix of the already esteemed Oliver $ – Pushin’ On by drum and bass veterans Delta Heavy. Everything you already loved about this track just got that extra oomph to transform the original ‘groover’ into a complete banger!

Finally, the crème de la crème… I can’t even begin to explain how excited I’ve been waiting for this song to be in my possession. Arthur Baker teams up Chromeo’s Dave 1, under the alias Slam Dunk’d to grace us with a slice of modern disco perfection – No Price.

Andy ‘Free Hugs’ Campbell