Welcome to Level Headed. I’ve reviewed some recordings of the “electronic” nature on the site recently but wanted to provide you with a little bit more coverage in the way of interviews, commentary, news, and vinyl reviews. Level Headed will have a lot of artists featured on the site and will be discussing plenty of incredible music with good stories and new features every month. I’d love to hear your thoughts so you feel free to drop me a line. Hopefully everyone that attended WMC schmooze-fest this year had a great time. I’d love to hear from anyone with some good stories.

I’m sure you’ve already seen the racks of crap releases that are shoveled into your local record stores so I won’t waste your time slamming them. There are so many quality releases out that I feel it is pointless to spend time covering the bad ones. Unless of course some long waited album finally comes along and ends up terrible. This technically is a news section but I’ll try and offer a little more than your typical gossip and release dates.

New Chemical Brothers Single
"It Began In Afrika" will be the first single from the forthcoming Chemical Brother's album set for a limited release September 11, 2001. The material was originally released as a limited white label test pressing under the alias 'Electronic Battle Weapon 5' and has been in heavy rotation by such DJs as Pete Tong, Danny Tenaglia, Francios K, Fatboy Slim, and Roger Sanchez. The overwhelming demand for the track prompted the limited release but will sure to sell out quick.

A New Aphex Twin Album?
It was believed that after his last album, Aphex Twin AKA Richard James was done producing any more material and was quitting the music industry all altogether. However, it has been confirmed by Warp records that he has just wrapped up a 30 track double album entitled 'DRUKQS' in London last week due. No release date has been confirmed but a fall release next year is most likely and may be followed up by UK appearances.

Luke Slater Mix Album
UK producer and DJ, Luke Slater will be releasing his first two CD mix album on the React label in September. Much like the aggressive nature of his last album, Wireless, the first CD will feature tracks from artists like Ben Simms, James Ruskin, and Regis while CD two will be more chilled out with tracks from Two Lone Swordsmen, Youngsters and Felix Da Housecat. Details of a supporting tour will be coming soon

Artful Dodger Split
The hugely successful UK garage duo, Artful Dodger have parted ways coming just before the release of their new single 'Twentyfourseven' featuring the guest vocals of All Saint's Melanie Blatt. Mark Hill will continue to write and remix under the Artful Dodger name while Pete Devereux will write and produce for his own projects and continue his work as a DJ. Devereux wishes to continue a radio career, which won a Sony award earlier this year for the Dodger's Capital Radio show.

A new Artful Dodger album is scheduled for tentative release in the summer of next year.

DJ Vadim Censored
The FCC proposed a $7,000 fine against non-commercial KBOO-FM in Portland, OR for broadcasting the song "Your Revolution," a collaboration between Ninja Tune recording artist DJ Vadim and spoken word artist Sarah Jones. The song comes from the DJ Vadim album USSR: Life >From The Other Side released in 1999.

The commission claims that is contains "unmistakable patently offensive sexual references." KBOO-FM counters that its mission is to provide a forum for "unpopular, controversial neglected perspective," and that "Your Revolution" is "a feminist attack on attempts to equate political revolution with promiscuous sex" - the opening lyric is, "Your revolution will not happen between these thighs" - and thus is not indecent. The FCC rejected that argument and has given KBOO-FM 30 days to respond.

The move has, of course, forced other non commercial and otherwise progressive radio broadcasters to ban their programmers from playing the song. Thus, permanently silencing one of the most important feminist hip-hop songs of the last decade from ever reaching FM listeners.

This is a heavy-handed blow from the FCC against the First Ammendment rights of the citizens of the United States, positive hip-hop artists, and anyone striving for increased equality for women in this country or worldwide.

Listeners of the song will note that Jones in no way endorses or promotes any "patently offensive sexual references." Quite the opposite. Hear the song for yourself and read the FCC filing.

We ask that you contact FCC Chairman Micheal Powell at or 1-888-225-5322 to voice your concern and support independent music and free speech.

Sound Design V.2 Tour
Following the success of sold out dates for the 1st Sounds of Om Tour (feat. Marques Wyatt) at such venerable venues as The Metro (Chicago), Centro-Fly (NY), Motor (Detroit), Eleven 50 (Atlanta) and The Grand (LA), comes Om Record¹s quintessential round two in the continuing saga of bringing deep soulful house music to the nation! The Sound Design 2001 Tour will follow the July 17th release of Chicago deep house legend Mark Grant 's long awaited "perfect mix", Sound Design v. 2, and will visit over 25 cities throughout North America throughout July & August.


July 30th Cleveland, OH Fantasy Night Club
July 14th Miami, FL GODDESS
July 15th Key West WAX
July 17th Tampa, FL Hyde Park Cafe
July 21st Atlanta, GA Club 1050
July 27th Seattle, WA I Spy
Aug 4th San Francisco, CA SFO & ESDJCO
Aug 5th Los Angeles, CA Deep
Aug 11th Detroit, MI Motor
Aug 15th Chicago, IL 3 Degrees/Ultra Lounge
Aug 17th New York, NY Manhattan Center
Aug 18th Washington DC The Edge
Aug 24th Portland, OR OHM
Aug 25th Vancouver SONAR
Aug 30th Houston, TX Club Diesel - "Community"
Aug 31st Austin, TX Element Night Club

Tricky Diagnosed With Rare Illness
According to, during a recent interview with Uncut magazine, Tricky spoke about being diagnosed with Candida, a rare disease which creates imbalance within the body and according to Tricky, will break down the immune system and can cause "paranoia, stress, and insomnia." He even considered shooting someone in the leg so he would be forced to go to jail and seek treatment. Evidently the illness is caused by an allergic reaction to sugar and breads. Tricky has since made the necessary adjustments to his diet. His new album, Blowback will be available on June 25th on Epitaph.
Waiting for that big break?
The Warp label is currently on the lookout for new music for a compilation series showcasing the best electronic music from around the globe. You can send your best two tracks on CD or Minidisc to Warp records (Compilations Warehouse) P.O. Box 25378 London NW5 1GL UK. Also, check out Warp artists and friends like Squarepusher, Anti-Pop Consortium, Richard Devine, and Chris Clark in New York on June 22nd. More details to come.

Twilo Closes Its Doors
Bad news clubbers. New York's Twilo club has lost its battle and has been revoked of its cabaret license. For a few years Twilo has been under a close eye from city officials over assorted legal issues including overdose-related deaths. Twilo recently launched a record label, playing host to a number of top DJ's including Sasha, John Digweed and Carl Cox.

Carl Craig Honored
Even though Carl Craig was fired from his position as creative director for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, he received honors for his work as a Detroit artists. On Monday, May 28th, just before Inner City performed on the DEMF main stage, Craig was presented a special commendation from the offices of Detroit Mayor Dennis W. Archer:

The Proclamation read:

Carl Craig has endeared himself to an international audience of electronic music lovers with his artistic vision, intellectual curiosity, and his willingness to identify with and promote the work of other artists. These qualities made Craig an ideal choice for Creative Director of the inaugural Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and its successor, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Craig's worldwide reputation, international network, and experience as a recording artist and producer have served him well. He has put the DEMF on the map and enhanced the image of the City of Detroit by assembling a superb lineup of veteran artists and relative newcomers. The performers Craig has attracted both years reflect the music's wide range of styles, featuring not only Detroit techno, but also house, hip-hop and jazz influences. Craig, a Detroit native and resident, attended Detroit’s Cooley High. He entered the electronic music world after sharing tapes of his music experiments with Detroit techno legend Derrick May. Craig, performing as Psyche assisted May as May developed his Transmat label. Craig, branched out on his own by forming his Planet E label in November 1991. At Planet E, Craig has performed as 69, as Paperclip People, as leader of the Innerzone Orchestra and under his own name. His most influential tracks include "Jam the Box," "My Machines," "The Floor," and "Bug in the Bassbin." Craig has also signed and developed other electronic artists at the Planet E label. Craig, has been an articulate spokesman for electronic music and for the redevelopment of Detroit, as well. He worked with Carol Marvin of Pop Culture Media to develop the vision of a successful DEMF.

Therefore, I, Dennis W. Archer, Mayor of the City of Detroit, issue this Proclamation saluting Carl Craig for his leadership of the DEMF and dedication to the artistic advancement of electronic music. Signed Dennis W. Archer and sealed with the Mayor's seal.

Other Recent Levelheaded Headlines

I have recently received some incredible material from our Canadian neighbors so why you are so hungrily fixed on the U.K., Vienna, and U.S. scenes, don’t forget about the folks creating great material elsewhere. Vancouver based Upstairs Recordings has released Volume 2 of their ‘Hedlands’ compilation featuring tracks from producers Ian Duke a.k.a. E.D. Swankz, and Pat Dodds (Telefuzz, TheVerbrilli Sound). Clearly these two are connoisseurs of dubbed out breaks and warm climate down-tempo. You’ll find their tracks ideal for those hazy Sunday morning hangovers or to entertain your guests for kick back party use in front of the Hi-fi. Many of the tracks unleash some dizzying atmospheres and morphine induced breaks that are topped with some hilarious dialogue samples.

There’s also some strong material coming out of Montréal via Haute Couture Records. DJ Maüs pieces together some wicked drum and bass selections on her mix compilation ‘Intersections’ featuring storming tracks by the like of Amon Tobin, Phoneheads, Tee Bee, Omni Trio, and Plug just to name a few. Her mixing skills are flawless and her selections are a refreshing and diverse. If you like the bleeps and blips of retro Electro check out David Scott and his debut ‘Sex Machine’ (reviewed last month) or try the Tech- House material from Les Jardiniers. Their album ‘Cafeteria’ is an ass-shaking assortment of effect filtered House tracks outfitted with disco samples, vocal snippets and those rolling bass lines.

Back here in New York, ISM RECORDS and their sub-label Agriculture have released a couple dubbed out heavy hitters by artists Sub Dub as well as Lloop. Originally recorded in ‘93-’95, the source material on Sub Dub’s ‘Original Masters’ are from three EP’s (coming soon on vinyl) that are comprised of the duo’s heavy dub style blended with traditional instruments from around the world. The wonderfully intoxicating combination of the chants, strings, horns, slow-mo breaks with the racks of effects they pipe them trough is enough to knock you out on your ass for a couple of days. In the same sort of style, Lloop’s ‘Bulbbs’ CD is a re-release of a mix-tape DJ Olive created for some friends in 1994 and good thing he did. Like the ‘Original Masters’ release, ‘Bulbbs’ combines the same sort of worldly and otherworldly sounds into abstract and cinematic proportions. References to the Orb have been made and rightfully deserve the comparison. Both of these releases are a must for anyone doing a little soul searching.

As far as current music news goes, Moonshine Music has announced that in addition to their DJ mix roster of artists like Carl Cox, Frankie Bones, Keoki and others, DMC champ and Beastie Boy affiliate, Mixmaster Mike is set to release his first-ever (commercial) mixed CD on July 24th.

You can expect another release on the horizon from Howie B. He has just wrapped up his third album for Polydor last month in New York. There are supposed to be some "fascinating collaborations" but no names have been released. On a side note Mercury France commissioned Howie to remix French pop legend, Serge Gainsbourg for 'I Love Serge: Electronicagainsbourg,' a remix album to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death.

Goldie announced this month that he will be re-launching his Metalheadz label with a new single “Stormtroopa VIP” under his Rufige Cru moniker. However, a couple of days later, London records dropped him and Armand Van Helden as the result of a new merger. While Goldie will not be releasing his solo material through London, the Metalheadz deal should remain the same.

DJ Krush has finished his sixth album ‘Zen’ featuring collaborations with Black Thought if the Roots, EI-P of Company Flow (R.I.P.) in addition to vocalist N'Dea Davenport. The album has been released in Japan currently and is set for U.S. release in early July followed up with some live dates. Another abstract hip-hop act, New York's own Anti-Pop Consortium has signed to the honorable Warp label and they've headed off to Europe for a number of live dates.

Orbital is working on their new album ‘The Altogether’, which will feature vocal collaborations with David Gray as well as ex-Doctor Who, Tom Baker. Stereo MC’s we be making their return with a new album ‘Deep, Down, & Dirty’ on June 12th and Massive Attack and David Bowie have collaborated on a cover of Nat King Cole’s ‘Nature Boy’ for the Baz Luhrmann film, ‘Moulin Rouge’, starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. Another collaboration to look out for, the Dub Pistols have brought on Specials frontman, Terry Hall to record vocals for a track on their upcoming album.

Thievery Corporation’s ESL Music label have a number of upcoming releases to check out, one of the recent 12” by Farid is in covered in the Vinyl reviews section. Here are some dates:

May 29...Various Artists - Modular Systems - CD

May 29...Nicola Conte - Souno Jet - CD

June 26...Various Artists - Bossa Nova - CD

June 26…Ursula 1000 - Beatbox Cha Cha - 12"

June 26…See-I - Why Not Tonight - 7"

July 10...Thunderball - Penthouse Soul - CD, LP

If you’re thinking of checking out the Berlin Love Parade this summer, forget it. The event was canceled to due complaints about environmental damage being done during the event because of the ever increasing number of attendees but you can check out Moby’s U.S. tour this summer with guests New Order, Outkast, and The Roots.

Those of you eagerly awaiting Bjork’s new album ‘Vespertine’ will have to wait a little longer. Work won’t be completed in time for the original May 22nd release date and has been pushed back to late August.

There were a couple of injuries to report recently. Sasha was injured in a cab accident in London but made out with some bad bruises and a ruptured eardrum, leaving him no choice but to cancel his appearance at Fabric. I’m sure his fans were disappointed but at least he made it out alive. Amon Tobin took a spill snowboarding and busted his wrist but still managed to DJ at his scheduled appearances.

Tricky’s new album, ‘Blowback’ will be released June 25 on Epitaph and will feature guests such as Alanis Morissette, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kowalzyk on vocals. This seems like an odd line up but Tricky always seems to pull it off.

-Justin Hardison

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