Monday, June 11, 2007

This Thursday Night - RADIOCLIT - KENIKA - at the Proletariat
903 Richmond near Montrose

Check out Radioclit this Thursday night here in Houston, TX. Below is the bio of sorts that they sent me.

And get all up on they Myspace to hear some thangs.

Radioclit Myspace

Kenika Myspace

HoustonSoReal MySpace

Witnes Myspace

Rockbox Thursdays

Witnes Blog

LICK IT UP – Radioclit biography 2007

Quickly roll back a year. It’s summer 2006. The sunshine’s bitchin', and there isn’t a better place to be than in the park rolling with Radioclit for a couple of brews. During the afternoon, the Radioclit duo of Johan and Etienne popped away for a swim in one of the local ponds. Yeah, whatever. But since that day, I’ve questioned what super-magical elixir was laced throughout that pond water? It was just starting to happen for the pair, but from that summer’s day, boy, the heat turned up, the thermometers smashed, and shit went hyperbolic for them. Those seeds they’d sown over the past few years bloomed, blossomed, and the juicy fruits they bore. Well everyone wanted to take a bite.

Pause. Pull-up. Reeewind. Where. Did. It. All. Begin. It’s 2002; Etienne Tron has relocated from France to London, his dues fully paid through dj-ing, and working full-time throwing it down with the Big Dada record label. Just prior to his arrival Johan Karlberg, dropped in to L-Town in 2001 from Sweden. He’d steadily been doing his apprenticeship, locked down in the studio, producing tracks since he was 14. Running it all night long, mc-ing with his crew, the legendary Scandinavian rap soldiers: Stacs of Stamina. Along the way, their mutual homies TTC and Tsunami Addiction’s Reiko Underwater had prompted the suggestion that Johan and Etienne totally needed to link up. ASAP. Taking their advice, they organised a power summit. And like rum and coke, gin and tonic, cheese on toast, cigarettes and alcohol, weed and Monster Munch, Johan and Etienne proved to be a winning combination.

The pair were instantly recognisable on the London club scene for tiiiiime: Etienne - the classic, dark French playboy, if he looked anymore French, you’d have to assume the blood pumping through those veins was royally infused with that of Louis XIV and Serge Gainsbourg. And Johan, the down south G-boy, mysteriously born in Sweden. The only kid rocking full gold grillz in London, and with a beard plaited into twin ropes that runs for miles. Ultimate hustlers. You’d only miss the duo, if you walked the streets tapping a white stick on the pavement.

Radioclit had initially been hatched into the world as an internet radio show, strictly for the good times, they’d wanted to do pirate radio but couldn’t afford the equipment, didn’t know how to do it, totally didn’t need the hassle. And then eventually the mix cds began emerging, in 2004 You Godda Lick It, and for 2005 Careful Clit Clit. All distributed freely and spreading the news that Radioclit was in town. Later were the legendary podcasts, and together with a reputation brewing as a ridoinkolous dj prospect, the Radioclit manifesto was emerging with some definition. That manifesto at the time, to leave every club they entered without a goddamn roof. And that’s exactly what they managed to do; loading up one of the first Hollertronix nights in Paris with Diplo, MIA and Roots Manuva, and gave France it’s first taste of grime in 2005 with Jammer, D Double E and Ears.

June 2005 saw them featured in Hip-Hop Connection, promoting the Euro-Crunk onslaught alongside early mentions for Tacteel, Feadz, Modeselektor, Para One and TTC. Euro-crunk may not quite have happened, but each of those names have since become keystones in bridges that have been built across the planet on the global club scene. The mixed up-cross-pollinated sound Radioclit were forging back then pulled up Crime Mob next to DJ Technics and Karen O, David Banner up against Spandau Ballet, and Laurent Garnier’s Crispy Bacon giving Twista’s Dukadonk a piggyback. Their chaotic disregard for genre seemed bananas, yet was always switched into shape by the adroit science, which DJ Tron was dropping in the dj booth.

Around this time, the pair were also pulling though on the production front. Towards the end of 2005 being asked to remix the classic 80's hit, Sound of C by Confetti. Their tracks are never static, tempos flux, and the song never remains the same. Whether it’s drawing for some hyper-future-electro synth shit, or deep traditional world percussion, it’s all thrown together with an infinite knowledge of Baltimore club, juke, grime, ghetto house, baille funk, French touch, screw, snap, crunk, dancehall, grime, techno, trance, and house. For a time they called it ghetto pop. One ear in the hood, another checking out Abba. They’ve gone way beyond that now; they don’t even know what to call it, yet it’s always unmistakably Radioclit.

Now, it’s a testament to Johan and Etienne that over the years, they’ve always managed to hook up friendships throughout the world, which totally make it happen. Collaborations, which are accelerating now and hopping on the escalator to the next level. Most of these friendships established in a world pre-Web 2.0: No myspace, no bloghouse, dj’s were only just tentatively dropping the 1210s and experimenting with cd decks. Alongside the links they already had throughout Europe, Johan and Etienne had also been sharp in establishing a hook-up with the Hollertronix crew in Philly/NY. Chiefly with that inter-planetary sound hunter and power move-maker, Wesley Pentz aka Diplo. And it was through their residency at Vice magazine's Old Blue Last pub, and the sessions that could follow any of those nights back at their Hackney studio, that they began to get known throughout the world. Those nights will always go down in club history. Whether it was David Banner slamming through the crowd, Sinden and Diplo blowing up the spot, or Amanda Blank showing the world why she’s one of the most important mcs spitting today, they were alerting London to some of the heaviest talent to emerge for an age. And together with Switch, Sinden, Diplo and M.I.A, Buraka Som Sistema, Bonde Do Role, Ed Banger and Institubes, there’s now a fervently innovative worldwide scene with arms linked, and Radioclit as an essential part of that chain.

Which kind’ve bring us up to late 2006/07, when it all began to go right. Their first ep featuring Mature Macho Machine finally dropped on Sinden and Switch's Counterfeet label, a track which had been spinning around Johan’s hard drive for a few years and originally made it on to Cuizi’s Pour Les Filles mixtape. Released in its final guise with bars from TTC, Skepta and Tinchy Stryder. Etienne is running his own Uppercuts record label as a subsidiary of Domino records, releasing 12s from Diplo, One-Two, Scottie B and King Tut, and Gant-Man. The remix work has seriously stepped up, with the boys tearing the heart out of tracks from One-Two, Turbulence, Shit Disco, Little Ones, Terry Poison and Macc Mello and bouncing them out as club heaters.

And then there’s those three kids out of Brazil. Marina, Pedro and Gorky. Bonde Do Role. Possibly the most important mutual hook-up of them all? The Radioclit remix of Gasolina killed it in the clubs for an age, with 2manydjs finishing their sets with it on the regular. Their version of Melo de Tobacco, is the essential mix, without a shadow of a doubt. It was their early championing of Bonde Do Role, on the podcasts, hammering the tracks, and putting on London shows with them, which has undoubtedly help put them in the position they are now: ready to blow, with the NME fully powering their cause. It probably comes as no surprise that on their debut album With Lasers, there’s two of the Radioclit productions standing proud as lynchpins. And it's only May 07, and they’ve already been off on their first Summer holiday, to Sao Paolo! To work (sip caiprinhas in the sun) with Amanda Blank and bonde Do Role on upcoming tracks, and quickly throw it all down on the spot at a bunch of live shows in Brazil. Straigh FYAH!

Along the way, they’ve inched out time to ramp up Trim’s and Ears’ incoming mixtapes with a couple of fresh productions, are poised to begin working with Macc Mello; Brooklyn hottie Santogold has been fixed up with a pair of heaters for her upcoming debut album (one a hook-up with M.I.A). And not forgetting there’s a French documentary about them on the way. They’ve kindly compiled an album Hard Working Class Vol. 1, featuring of all those unreleased remixes from Lily Allen to Justin Timberlake and Kano, you heard in the clubs, but never made it into your iTunes. It’s from here that the Radioclit world tour will see them blazing a trail from Sao Paolo through Europe, round the States, through to East Africa, and seeking out an opportunity to experience Kuduro first hand. The adventures don’t just stop with sound.

But probably most unexpected, is the work they’ve set into motion with Esau Mwamwaya. Just through a chance meeting with Esau in his second hand furniture store at the end of their road, they’ve discovered an opportunity to work with a character very much outside of their scene. Singing in a traditional Malawian style, his ecstatically epic bumps of African vocal harmonies are wrapped up in coils of Radioclit’s synth waves. And they’ve done it again, and spread the love by linking him up with a M.I.A collab. It’s definitely not club music, yet it’s another edge you didn’t expect them to have.

And Essau has popped in to the fray at a time, when Johan and Etienne have already begun to steer the dj-ing out in another direction. Two steps ahead of the game, they’ve naturally shifted away from the obvious urban club bangers, toward a deeper version of their take on African/World music. They've been citing the tropical teachings of Malcolm McLaren’s Duck Rock and Bob Sinclar’s constant experiments with Afrohouse as primary inspirations. But, it's a sound which nets the shamanic percussive bounce of Afrodisco/house, funk carioca, soca and kuduro and then gives it that magical Radioclit rub. The way it’s headed, Summer 07 will no doubt see it all going off way down deep in the middle of the Congo. We’ll all lick the hallucinogenic back of a Sonoran Desert toad, and Johan and Etienne will keep the crew frenziedly dancing with the local witchdoctors 'till Autumn creeps upon us. Don’t doubt it!

Further proof they’ll keep fucking with the program. Not letting heads rest. With ambitions to find more artists and roll out a fully realised album projects. Definitely no time for laziness. 2007. Year of the Radioclit. Hold tight.

Thursday Night Houston, TX with Witnes and Dayta and special guest Kenika at Rockbox Thursdays at the Proletariat. 903 Richmond.


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