WHAT: Debut full-length studio album “Flapjackin'” is a showcase of his prowess and versatility as an artist and House Music producer.
WHERE: InHouse records
“You know The first time you heard House music, where was you at? What was you doin’?”
This album starts out with a bang. The first track, Remember House is what we call a “floor burner.” The track has a straight up no nonsense “Chicago House” sound and is guaranteed to move bodies. It’s like as soon as you hit “Play,” it’s instant party. At 3:50 it breaks into that sweet and funky disco sound and this is the part where, if you weren’t dancing already, you will bust out some moves. Prediction: This is going to be a big favorite for a lot of folks.
Another Night is my personal favorite track on the album, although it’s incredibly hard to choose. This song just embodies everything I love about House music. The funkiness, the disco element, the jackin’ tempo; and it features a vocal that gets stuck in your head for hours at a time; long after you’ve shut it off. What makes this song my favorite is because it makes the listener feel like it’s 3:00 a.m. at The Smart Bar in Chicago; which just so happens to be the best feeling in the entire world. “Don’t wait ANOTHER NIGHT” to listen to this track; it will turn even the biggest frown into grin and cause uncontrollable dancing fits.
LSD – “Let us observe the effects…” You don’t have to be on it or have ever used it to appreciate this track. The beat, the horn-type sounds, the vocal sample that sounds like a scary underwater scientist, explodes into a jackin/tech-house explosion of sound, wonderment and hard beats.
Knockin’ Boots – This song is very melodic and is on that sexy deep house tip. The high hats, along with that “handclap” beat makes you want to move, but not in a turnt up jackin, way, in a sensual, chill way. This song represents everything I enjoy about “Deep House.”
Make Me Melt starts out almost almost techno’ish. “I want to get into your world…sexy vocal. I want to be vulnerable with you. I want it to be submissive to you… (SEXY BEAT) Giving you anything you want. You make me melt…” This song has a deep, sexy vibe and makes the listener feel like makin’ babies. I foresee a lot of hot, sweaty sexually tense dancing when this track gets dropped in the club.
Feel Like I’m on Dope – starts with a BEAT. The song’s title is an accurate reflection. Not to say you would know what it felt like to “be on dope” because we’re all upstanding, law abiding citizens who would never engage in such activities, but if we use our imaginations, we can imagine that this song actually does, or what we’d imagine does, feel like to be high. It is happy, mellow, calm and just very chill. Some very sweet deep house. Prediction: Some reputable Deep House producers are going to remix the hell out of this track; someone like Golf Clap would be dope!
Thoughts of Charlotte I know from one of E’s Facebook posts is his personal favorite track on the album, and it is because it has the most emotional significance to him. This track is in honor of E’s grandmother, who unfortunately passed away just a few months ago. E-Clyps shows off his R&B/hip hop production skills beautifully on this track. The song does an excellent job of conveying a feeling in the brief 2:00.
Here is an excerpt from E-Clyps on what this song–and this album–mean to him: “My grandmother passed away April 30th of this year and was the inspiration for this album. She was the one who made me pancakes in cast iron skillets and when she died, she had every piece of music I ever made in a box for safe keeping. She was a stern woman who loved through action and not with words. She is a woman that taught me to be mentally tough and always work hard for what you want in life. It’s sad that this album is coming out post-mortem, but I know she is listening to it loud in heaven and stood over my shoulder as I made it. The track “Thoughts Of Charlotte” is dedicated to her, and although it is the shortest one, it’s the most meaningful to me because it has her name on it.”
De’Moscato- Although not deep as in the sexy deep house from earlier in the album, De’Moscato starts out with a sort of peak hour deep house tease, into a nu disco celebration in your ears and everyone you ever thought was cool is there. It makes me feel like I’m a beach at a party at 7 p.m. that’s been going on since 2:00 because it’s an island, and that’s just how we do it… ok, snap out of the daydream. But that’s what this song does. It makes you feel like you’re somewhere else, and you’re having a damn good time, wherever it is. This song, when listened to repeatedly, actually does improve moods and increase happiness. I’m predicting big things for this song.
Party’s Still Not Over: This song steps it way up in tempo and sounds like what a good, classic old-school House track should. First there’s the claps, and then in comes the bass, then the high hats, the vocal samples start and then…wait for it… “The Party’s Not Over!” is sang, and the track explodes into a frenzy as the involuntary dancing ensues. E-Clyps really shows off his all-around prowess on this track. Not just production; although the quality DOES sound absolutely crystal clear and perfect, but the intensity he builds at the proper times throughout the song. The ability to completely manipulate a dance floor with his actions, while everyone thinks it is actually their own idea; that’s talent. Party’s Still Not Over makes you feel like it is 20 minutes before the club is going to close but you are having such an amazing time that you never want it to end, and you dance like crazy in a futile attempt to “get it out of your system” before they turn the lights on.
Drunk as Phuck – “Everybody with me, drunk as fuck.” This describes a typical evening for me, so I really relate to and enjoy this song. It’s very upbeat and fast paced; I love the almost tribal sounding percussion at times throughout the track and the filter sound he uses at 2:21 are all ingredients in this audible celebration. I foresee a lot of booty shaking all over the world to this track in the near future.
In addition to being awesome enough to let me hear an advance copy of Flapjackin’, E-Clyps was also generous enough to take the time to answer some questions about the album and music in general.
AmyMojo: Tell me how long you’ve been working on this album, and where did the inspiration for the making of it come from?
E-Clyps: The inspiration of the album honestly came from the passing of my Grandmother. It was a really difficult loss for me and I never properly dealt with it, still haven’t. But it also really hit home that we don’t last forever and tomorrow is not always in the cards. So I asked Todd Terry what the next open release date was which also happened to be my birthday (September 24th). I booked a “blackout session” and just went non-stop until it was done.
AmyMojo: Do you want to talk about any special efforts you put into the album production wise? What are you most proud of, or wanting to stick out about that aspect of the album?
E-Clyps: I ventured to make an album to wasn’t an endless run of the same. Many albums don’t do well because it usually sounds like a bunch of versions of the same style. I listened to the people and took their feedback of what kinds of albums they liked the most and used that as the blueprint. To make an album that appealed to a wide variety of people, because House as a whole is vast… so many styles to choose from and I love them all. Deep, Jackin, Funky, Tech, etc… I didn’t want to be the “one trick pony” who you always knew what was going to happen musically. I’m most proud of the fact that everyone has a favorite tune, or have multiple favorites. The US DJ’s have embraced different ones from the UK and so on… that was the goal and glad it was received that way, so I’m pleased.
AmyMojo: This album is extremely highly anticipated by a lot of big time producers and dj’s; Do you know of any of those reputable folks doing any forthcoming remixes of any of the tracks off your album? Are you allowed to tell us?
E-Clyps: I was honored to see Artists/DJ’s like DJ Mes, Bear Who, Maurice Tamraz, Colette, Midnite Jackers, and others who had heard the advance album and loved it. Funny part is when Todd Terry says nothing, that’s your indicator you actually did it right. I’ve learned to never ask, because he’s not going to tell you, but then one day you hear him playing your record on Boiler Room TV, Ibiza, or something: and there’s your answer. I can say there may be remixes. Who is doing remixes if there will be any, I can’t tell you: I’ve taken the oath of silence.
AmyMojo: Speaking of Midnite Jackers, another one of my favorite up-and-coming artists, when I asked them what they thought about your album they said, “We think it’s a great album from start to finish. Non stop dance floor mayhem,” and I couldn’t agree more! *Smiles *Back to business* Is there a favorite track on this album for you, and if so, why?
E-Clyps: It’s hard to pick a favorite… they all have a different feelings/vibes to me so it’s hard to pick one.
AmyMojo: Do you see a potential tour following the release and subsequent blowing up of this album? If so, there better be an Indy date!
E-Clyps: I have been a nervous wreck just waiting for the album to come out and see how it is received by the people. They will determine what is going to happen. I would love to tour but cannot say that it is for certain, but it has been talked about.
AmyMojo: Favorite show you’ve ever seen live?
E-clyps: Best DJ I ever saw live? Which genre? LOL! Best live band? The Roots. Hip-Hop? KRS-One. Best DJ Performance? Kid Capri, Q-Bert, Scratch Picklez, Jazzy Jeff. Best House DJ performance? Todd Terry and DJ Dan… those dudes lay down clinics!
AmyMojo: Favorite show or venue you personally have ever played? Or, any particularly unique gig that sticks out in your memory?
E-Clyps: My residency at Nocturnal back in the day as well as the Get and Kingpin parties in Chicago/Indy. Those moments really helped me define my sound as a DJ and I will never forget them.
AmyMojo: What are some of your favorite things you’re listening to right now?
E-Clyps: Wow, so much stuff… but lately I’ve been a big listener of the classics… Old Crydamoure releases, Rhythm Masters, Todd Edwards, Todd Terry, Olav Basoski, Green Velvet, Lil Louis, Azuli, stuff like that. All were rule-breakers.. game changers. When I worked on the album I made it a point to not listen to anything recent, so right now i’m playing catch up.
AmyMojo: Who have you NOT had an opportunity to see live that you’d like to?
E-Clyps: Carl Cox, hands down. Seen a ton of videos and heard a lot of mixtapes, but never the privilege to hear in person.
AmyMojo: Where is a venue that you’ve not gotten the opportunity to play that you want to some day?
E-Clyps-Ministry of Sound, Circus, ADE.
AmyMojo: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions and I’m excited for the world to hear Flapjackin‘ and wish you the best of success with it!
1. Remember House – House – 125bpm
2.Another Night – House – 126.7bpm
3.LSD – Tech-House – 127bpm
4.Knockin’ Boots – Deep House – 122bpm
5.Make Me Melt – House – 124bpm
6.Feel Like I’m on Dope – Deep House 122
7.Thoughts Of Charlotte – Hip Hop and R&B – 91bpm
8.De’Moscato – Nu Disco – 125bpm
9.Party’s Still Not Over – Jackin House – 127bpm
10.Drunk As Phuck – House – 130bpm
Label: InHouse Records
Release Date: Sept. 24, 2013
Fans of the widely popular progressive rock jam band Umphrey’s McGee were given a special evening of UM-latent side projects. Most notably, Digital Tape Machine, the seven-piece electronic dance rock supergroup from Chicago and also the side project of UM members, Joel Cummins(keys and synth) and Kris Myers(drums). The rest of DTM’s members are: Joe Hettinga(Strange Arrangement) on the keys, Bryan Doherty on bass guitar, Marcus Rezak(The Hue) on guitar, Dan Rucinski(Land of Atlantis) on guitar and production, and David Arrendondo on turntables and production. Cosby Sweater was the opening act for the evening. You can read my review of their set here. In addition to DTM and Cosby, Dexterous Roy, another side project of Kris Myers’, also featured producer Arrendondo. The drum-n-bass duo played a nice mini set sandwiched between Cosby Sweater and Digital Tape Machine. Honestly, I hadn’t heard anything by Dexterous Roy and didn’t know what was going on when only two of the seven members of DTM were on stage. It didn’t take me long to realize the duo was something separate from the seven-piece supergroup. Dexterous Roy began, presenting the dance groove hungry crowd with smooth basslines and up tempo break beats. It was definitely different from most DnB I’ve heard, possibly containing elements of deep house music. It sounded very good, was well-layered, and far more exploratory than most of the DnB music I’ve heard. I was quite impressed with the duo’s ability to craft such harmonious sounds with such rapid beat breaks. The music wound down and the duo exited the stage, signaling the end to Dexterous Roy’s set.
After a very brief break, all seven members of Digital Tape Machine entered the stage, each funneling to their respected posts. They opened the set with, “White Light”, bringing the funk right to the energetic crowd. The song featured deep house dance grooves meshing perfectly with analog sounds produced by the guitars, bass, and drums. With the group’s roots being in Chicago, the birthplace of house music, it was no surprise DTM was producing house driven electronic dance music. “Be Here Now”, was the next song played, featuring crisply popping beats and fun dance infusing melodies. DTM jammed straight into “Ragestick”, which I do believe is a new song in DTM’s arsenal, introducing far out spacey down tempo jams and video game sounding electronic elements to the mix of genre bending music. The new track sounded excellent until the emergence of edgy guitar shreds began to drive up the tempo. I will say this, the group to maintain the fun dance grooves during the progressive rock guitar shredding. “Electric ET” followed the new song, continuing with heavy and in your face guitar riffs, clearly containing elements of UM’s edgy progressive rock style. Myers high energy drum play, Doherty’s up tempo bass slapping, Cummins and Arrendondo’s production of rapid electro house electronic grooves, and Hettinga’s well timed use of the keys overshadowed the typically loved face melting guitar play. It worked, and allowed for interesting up tempo soundscapes to be created.
The next part of DTM’s set was easily my favorite, featuring an epic jam of “Circus Pets>Beep Bot>Great Dane”. The jam out featured a perfect mixture of house driven electronic music, beautiful melodies, guitar overtones, drum-n-bass grooves, hip hop beats, tribal beats and even psychedelic rock elements. This portion reminded me of the Umphrey’s McGee years ago, exploring musical avenues with funky improvisations. The “Beep Bot>Great Dane” transition contained tribal drum beats with the heavy electro house sounds, creating more intricate soundscapes. Heavy guitar shredding soon emerged, injecting the crowd with a much needed boost of energy. The fun and high energy dance music had the members of the band bouncing around just like the crowd. Next, the crowd was given a special treat when Digital Tape Machine covered LCD Soundsystem’s, “Tribulations”, a fun track by the EDM legend. The cover was crisp, fresh, and a perfect choice to balance the flow the set. The fun and funky dance grooves soon faded, with edgy prog rock guitar jams and electro house dance reemerging during “Pinwheeling” and “Hop on Scotch”. The crowd was in awe of the heavy combination of dance music. DTM’s eclectic mixtures of genres were definitely working, the crowd cheering the group as “Scotch” ended.
The last jam of the set brought the bass, drums, keys, and production fused funky dance grooves back with the “Northwest Dance>David v. Nick” jam. Melodic grooves pulsated through the crowd, but were kept tight with crisp bass popping. I was glad to see the funky space jams come back. The portions of the set containing these far out jams were by far my favorite. The electronic house beats and analog improvisation were perfect matches. Myers wound the music down, pleasantly “ending” DTM’s set. The band and crowd went through the typical self-fulfilling encore motions, with the band members obviously coming out for one more. “I Am You Are Me”, was chosen to truly end the evening. The song was a nice ending to their masterful set. Even in the back shadows of the rest of the group, Joe Hettinga was still my favorite member on stage. I’ve seen him play with Strange Arrangement and he’s always smiling and bouncing around. He always makes things really fun. Personally, I could have done without the progressive rock guitar play, but it clearly worked and delivered more genre blending music to the crowd. I had a lot of fun at The Vogue, and was treated with three excellent musical acts.
Photos by: Aaron Lingenfelter, Wide Aperture Images