For our one year anniversary we’re excited to get an exclusive mix from another artist who has shaped and inspired our tastes over the years, which has been one of the most gratifying things about The CONDUIT series looking back at the past year. On #35 we have the pride of Orlando and owner of Eighth Dimension, sublabel EIGHT-TRACKS, and 8DPromo with a special mix comprised entirely of Q-Burns Abstract Message remixes! The most exciting thing here is the diversity in sound and vision, which is why Q-Burns continues to be one of our favorite artists here at The CONDUIT. Here’s to bringing you another 35 mixes in 2012 and thank you for the continuing support of making global music local! - Sean-Michael Yoder
// Bio //
In the realm of dance music, there are few producers that thrive on blurring the boundary between eclectic experimenter and populist ass-shaker as much as Q-Burns Abstract Message. Equally comfortable covering Krautrock legends Faust or dropping his favorite chunky house grooves into the mix, Q-BAM—known to his parents as Michael Donaldson—is indeed the rare auteur. Whether globetrotting as a DJ, co-running the Eighth Dimension Records label, remixing artists like Rabbit in the Moon, Fila Brazillia and Youssou N’Dour, or recording his own original productions, Donaldson is all about the coaxing the maximum soul out of the machine.Based in Orlando since the early-’90s, the former record shop owner and college radio DJ has spent the past two decades developing a sound that is obsessively devoted to the funk. His animated, vodka-soaked DJ sets have won audiences for the well-traveled Donaldson from San Francisco to (literally) Siberia, and landed him primo opening slots for GusGus, Chemical Brothers and Meat Beat Manifesto.However, it’s his playful rhythms, surprising melodic themes and not-so-surprising Eno-esque textures that demand attention. An accomplished indie musician prior to releasing his first single as Q-BAM—the breakbeat noir of “141 Revenge Street” in 1995—Donaldson is first and foremost a songwriter, albeit one that is just as enamored with the sheer power of the groove.With a trusty Roland Juno 106 synth at his side, Q-BAM released three full-length albums via the respected electronic label Astralwerks, including Invisible Airline which featured several collaborations with vocalist Lisa Shaw. He has recorded numerous singles for house-centric imprints such as Brique Rouge, Slip N’ Slide, NRK and of course, Eighth Dimension. Q-BAM was also one of the talented producers on alt-country icon Jim White’s 2001 Luaka Bop release No Such Place. The album cast White’s stark vocals in a wasteland of dusty beats and ghostly slide guitars, with Donaldson’s tracks providing some of its most intoxicating moments.
Though his “endless summer” schedule—more than 100 DJ dates annually—and ongoing production projects would seemingly exhaust a mere mortal, Q-BAM rather enjoys this 120-BPM soundtrack. Accordingly, Donaldson and fellow Orlando producer/DJ Atnarko launched the deep house label EIGHT-TRACKS, dedicated to releasing “strange sounds that you can dance to,” says Q-BAM himself. Additionally, house imprint Agave Records tapped Donaldson to throw down a mix CD titled Agave Nectar Vol. 1, available in fine records shops worldwide..
Currently, Q-BAM is hard at work with his monthly Invisible Airwaves radio show (syndicated to over a dozen stations worldwide) as well as studio and label duties, and his constant DJ touring schedule. Recent Q-Burns Abstract Message singles include the Italian-horror film inspired “Chainsaw” for EIGHT-TRACKS, a collection of remixes by Cole Medina and Presslaboys of the classic Invisible Airline track “Innocent” (featuring the vocals of Lisa Shaw), and a revamped “Balearic Chainsaw” with mixes by Q-BAM pal Scott Hardkiss. As if there wasn’t already enough deliciously warm and gooey queso already piled high on his plate, Q-BAM is also hard at work recording a slew of tracks for an upcoming mystery project, to be launched sometime within the year.
Syphon hails from Illinois and runs the Parity label – an imprint featuring congruent techno sounds and also operates as Antonio Caballero, head of the house label Panama Red. We hope to feature music from Antonio in the near future but for now we offer you some of his congruent techno sounds. We like Parity because they offer a challenging take on the Detroit techno sound that demands your attention and this mix explores many of those elements – from the dance floor to the fringes. - Sean-Michael Yoder
// Tracklistings //
Paperclip People – Untitled- Planet E
Gustavo Lamas – Calles- Parity Records
Paul B Davis – Pretty – Beige Records
Slam – Mode Celestial – Spiritual Life Music
DJ Wally- Japaneez Wine- Liquid Sky Music
Textural Being – Articulate – Unreleased
Dj Wally – At War – Liquid Sky Music
Digital=Divine – Premonition 36 – Unreleased
Satoshi Tomiie – Darkness – Acapella
Gadgets – String Tonic II – Gadgets
Wirik – Revolver – Parity Records
Antonio Caballero – White Blotter – Soul Shift Music
L.A Williams – Old School Track – Kumba Records
JAK & LilRoj – Boozit (Syphon Remix) – 530Techno
Syphon – Dixieland – Forthcoming on 530Techno
Akin Kahn – Memorie Plant – Soleil Records
// Bio //
Antonio Caballero has found himself thrust into a creative life of music making. It was a copy of Santana’s Abraxas that lit the spark, inspiring Antonio to pursue a musical calling. As that album’s diverse mix of cultural influences spoke to Antonio’s Latin American heritage, now deeply embedded in the USA, a combination of genres and styles would later define his own amalgamation of sound. An introduction to the vibrant rave scene in Chicago and several inspirational sets by various house legends coincided with a roommate’s purchase of a Roland synthesizer, and Antonio realized that electronic dance music was the path to follow to reach his musical mission. A style he cheekily refers to as “Posh Latin Moods” and “Congruent Techno” was developed, triggering dance floor reactions through intricate percussion, building melodies, and a decidedly dark ambiance.After much recorded trial-and-error, Antonio finally felt confident enough to send his initial tracks to a handful of labels that he respected and would hope to be aligned with. To his surprise the label that first took interest was DJ legend Francois K’s renowned Wave Music. The result was the The Snowtr_ck EP released under Antonio’s artist pseudonym Syphon. Issued on 12″ vinyl in 2002 this EP of dark tech-house energy marked a promising start for Antonio Caballero, giving him the push he needed to further refine his sound and form his own label, Panama Red Records. As Antonio’s musical dreams developed so did an ambition to launch his own label, and Panama Red has become the major outlet for his prolific output. He’s had a string of well-received singles on the label including “Divina”, “The Pajaro Loko”, and “Next Up” that have established him as a potent force in the US house music scene.In 2010, Antonio launched the sublabel Parity because, as he puts it, “I started listening to old vinyl and tunes on the Internet. I ran into Digital=Divine tunes on the Internet. I listened. The tunes took a hold of me. [It] took me back to that ominous place that I discovered while writing “Trapped”. Between listening to Digital=Divine’s music and listening to my old techno and ambient records I decided that I would like to pursue launching a music label that would capture some of these feelings. Somewhere in between Chicago, Detroit, and ambiance. Sounds to ponder, too.”Since then the label has featured tracks from Gustavo Lamas, Random A, and El Pierro that capture the elements of Chicago, Detroit, and ambiance so crucial to the Parity sound. It has also given Antonio the chance to move away from the uplifting, soulful house sounds of his Panama Red label and explore dark, moody textural spaces as Syphon.“The “unbound” feeling the music leaves coupled with the warm feeling of “art acceptance” is what I lost when I put art on hold. I yearned for it. Now it consumes me.” Things are only just getting started for Antonio Caballero and the future looks very bright for him, his music, and his label.
Andres hails originally from Ecuador but bounces around the world as a professional skateboarder and vagabundo. We love this guy, and we think his label (Anusual) and his music or something special. There are obvious Crosstown Rebels references but as run through a South American blender of rhythms and attitude. We like that Caballero’s music is hard to define – is it nu disco, house, electro? - and we also like that it is the funkiest sound out there right now. Caballero is definitely an artist to watch right now. - Sean-Michael Yoder
// Bio //
Andres Caballero was born in Guayaquil Ecuador in 1979 from a Spanish father and an Ecuadorian mother, since young he was introduced into music through his siblings. At the young age of 6 started taking piano lessons for 3 years.In the age of 12 started realizing, he has singing skills, took lessons and learned to play the guitar and drums. He soon added a sampler and turntable to his equipment and started exploring electronic music. At the same time his brother was producing electronic music, mainly influenced by Depeche Mode and Techno Pop of the 80ís. At the age of 16 he started experimenting in electronic music with his brother and Jose Elias Wated, one of the main influences in the ecuadorian electronic scene; he started learning how to scratch and to mix. By the age of 20 he had the skills to use his brotherís equipment and got together with Alessis Doppler to create a small Project called BBD where he started experimenting with the minimoog in a more focused scale.. From there he also focussed on skateboarding, which came up to ESPN coverage. He moved to Europe, to deepen his connections in the electronic scene and advance his production skills. He went into the studio with Ronald Christoph (Berlin,Germany) and things started to get serious and realizing that there is a path in electronic music for him. Since that day he is working hard on his career. Developing music and experimenting with mixing he catapulted himself to play live without having that much of live experience, therefore developed his own unique style and sound. He took matters in his own hand . Living in Barcelona, Spain now, he founded Anusual Media (Corporate Web/Graphic Design & Visual/Video Production) and Anusual Records to give a platform to talented Artists he has met, and to use his experience and contacts he gathered over the years. This has generated gigs for him in D.f. -Mexico, Graz – Austria, Hotel ME Barcelona and so on. His first E.P. sold on platforms like itunes, Juno, etc. made the music saga get serious, playing from house in all its range, to other sides of electronic music and unlimited on posibilities of story.