“Sticks and stones may break my bones/but whips and chains excite me” — excerpted, Miss Jennifer
“Are you the man who comes to sweep my yard? I like that broomstick that you’re carryin.” –– excerpted, Saeed Younan
While we barely maintain a presence on the periphery of the club scene, our love and appreciation for the music, if anything, has grown deeper. This could not be possible, or as easily possible, without iTunes podcasts, where you can find live sets and regular programs by the top performers in all genres of House. Now advanced podcast navigators might counter that some giants like our beloved Danny Tenaglia, Steve Lawler, and John Creamer do not podcast. True enough. But there is little if anything that those guys spin aside from completely original cuts that you could not find elsewhere. In fact, we’d dare say that at this point, the genre’s truest and most cutting edge performer is Saeed Younan, formerly of the Tribal/Progressive duo Saeed and Palash.
We thought for a bit, after the duo split back in 2003-4, that Saeed had become a little too industrial, mechanical. But having the benefit of hearing more than 50 podcasts that include both live and pre-recorded sessions over the past 4 years, we’d say that Saeed is a true innovator, a megaforce in the genre, and that his catalog would rival anyone’s. And, he so kindly and wisely makes his music available to the public, and offers the track listings to his sets. Not exactly the done thing by all, considering some performers only make themselves available for a price. Saeed, in his programmed sets, often goes so far as to describe track origins, providing technical details when it comes to his own edits, discussing his lyrics, loops, and drops in great detail.
In that sense, Saeed may be the most fan friendly performer in the genre as well, going so far as to guest list fans at his gigs and at his monthly residence at Lima Lounge in Washington, D.C., who email him or message him on Facebook. Saeed, who does many gigs in South America, often plays heavily to latin influenced drum beats, and with his Middle Eastern background, even goes sort of Arabesque. And native. He produces and reproduces lyrics that often embody classic tribal elements (“I’ve seen you do it/I know you can”) while also mixing in the completely avant garde. You should especially check out his ‘Secret Weapons’ podcast, and would be wise to subscribe to his “Spotlight” series. Spotlight was just updated this month, and the latest addition starts with an interesting rendition of Goldtrix’s classic, “Trippin.”
We’ve noticed a trend in the genre away from tracks like “Trippin”, Diva driven tracks, and in fact, away from female vocals on the whole. So it’s great hearing one get dropped like that, especially that one–the proud anthem of true heads. Of course, if you’ve been listening to the lovely Miss Jennifer, if anything, you are hearing more female vocals. The lady has a classic house style, prefers the tribal rhythms, and like Saeed, is refreshing for her eclectic depth. We are ready to crown her the Queen of the Tribal/House/Progressive genres, and frankly, she leaves us wanting. Shame on you, Miss Jennifer, for not updating the Miss Jennifer podcast series since April. We’re sure she’s a very busy girl though. We also obviously love her association with the WTA, spinning this past summer in Toronto at a well publicized house party for tennis. Right on, Miss J.
Miss Jennifer has made it in an almost exclusively male dominated field because the beats are hard, and the vocals are classic, unexpected, and diverse. She’s as likely to spin a fresh mix of Sound Garden as she is big band vocals, tailored to a custom beat. Dropping “Hey Big Spender” over layers of bass–more than just a change of pace. The Miss Jennifer podcast series is also a must subscription. Saeed and Ms. Jennifer are so hot that Shazam only accurately tags one out of every 20 or so of their plays. While we’re at it, we’d like to make mention of another female deejay, Lauren Lane, a local product and Danny Tenaglia disciple, who, while not in the class of Miss Jennifer, can still get you on your feet. Hopefully she can arrange an iTunes podcast series soon.
Cedric Gervais’ Miamification podcast series is also a necessary download. The Frenchman by way of Miami’s Club Space has quite a catalog in his own right, and though he doesn’t match the consistent excellence or dominance of Saeed or the classic and diverse standard of Miss Jennifer, but every cast has a track or two that calls you forward to dance. If you’ve only got time for one of his sets, check out podcast # 48. You can’t go wrong.
And if you’re up late tonight and feeling festive, and in the boroughs, you might want to check out Danny at Club Glo in Long Island City.