DJ George Lee

"The House of Vynehall" - a Leon Vynehall tribute mix

I know it’s dating my fixation on house music, but after a lifetime of enjoying electronic and dance music in the periphery of my musical experience, Leon Vynehall and Christian Sibthorpe’s “Gave Up” is the first tune that really snared me into House Music as a centering, commanding love. It’s one of the first four tracks I bought on random blog suggestions and spent time mixing back and forth in and out of on some iPad app, seeing possibilities expand before me. 

The track is insanely good.

I don’t mean to totally discredit half of Laszlo Dancehall by giving Vynehall all the credit for this, as I’ve truly liked quite a few of Sibthorpe’s tracks as A1 Bassline. But after Gave Up, I tracked down the Vynehall releases that had come before and everything that came after, and found myself wholly entranced by his sound.

In an interview with XLR8R, Sibthorpe mentioned that Vynehall is “really good at picking out great samples of drum loops and weird obscure stuff,” and it’s evident in his music. He brings textures that sound completely alien to house music from most eras, particularly in his percussion (ESPECIALLY in his hi-hats, from which you can practically hear dust fly), and he can do some truly mesmerizing things with the layering and interplay of little, subtle rhythm parts, pushing things to the boundaries of polymeter without ever deviating from the movement, the relentless flow of house music. 

Most impactful, though, is how drenched his songs are with emotion. This is especially evident in his new Mini-LP, Music For The Uninvited.

An album laudable for its brevity and Vynehall’s keen awareness of dynamics, of ebb and flow and build and scrape, for his sense of what he wants to say and what he needs to say; but more still for the feeling, the inward, jumbled feelings it portrays. He’s said that the album was inspired by his mom’s mix tapes that he listened to on the way to school as a youth. Indeed, just seeing the title “Be Brave, Clench Fists" was transportive, taking me to teenage bike rides soundtracked by delicate, failure-prone hard-drive based MP3 players that were always one curb away from leaving you in silence, teleported by Mike Skinner’s otherworldly beats into a London that still exists only in my imagination. Almost every track here is exploding with that feeling, and other feelings that no matter how insistent and powerful are not always so in-your-face as that, because some feelings can’t be; that’s something that I think his songs encapsulate better than almost anyone else’s.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I’ve enjoyed learning to make it.


Down In It - April 17

Down In It Podcast - April 17 by Dj George Lee on Mixcloud

The April edition of my monthly mix series, bringing you some deep, dreamy techno and dub techno with a sprinkling of deep house. Some of my favorite burners I’ve heard lately are in here, hope you enjoy.

Tracklist:
1.To Retrace - by Colo
2.Are You Ready Ralph - by Prince of Denmark
3.Iscariotic Lips - by L’estasi Dell’oro
4.Backstage - by JC Laurent
5.Not Before - by Doubt
6.DT4 - by Exos / Ruxpin
7.The Darkness - by Juxta Position
8.llbusy - by Jeff Samuel
9.Nailed To The Floor - by DJ Richard
10.GF - by Alex Falk
11.Changes - by Traumprinz
12.Voices In Your Head - by Vril
13.Motion (Benjamin Damage Remix) - by Ratcatcher
14.How Did I Get Here - by The Organ Grinder
15.Unfinished Business (Crue Remix) - by Detroit Swindle
16.For (Yacht) Club Use Only (Vynehall’s Port Side Manoeuver, 130 Knots Remix) - by Midland


Hear Leon Vynehall's New Mini-LP, 'Music for the Uninvited' →

As a big, big Vynehall fan, this is a no-brainer link. This new Vynehall mini-LP is the most vibrant and congruent work that we’ve heard from him yet. These songs ooze feeling, a kind of agonizing nostalgia, while always feeling wholly original, songs so lovely and strange that out of context would be unguessable and yet unmistakable. Don’t miss this one.


DJ Mix: Down In It #2 - March podcast

Just put together this all-vinyl mix, for any wax lovers out there. Some new deep house I’ve been loving, and some great older stuff I’ve dug up. Enjoy!

Tracklist:
01 - Anthony Naples - P O T side B
02 - Juxta Position - Mercy
03 - Mr. G - End Of Day Jam
04 - Local Artist - Mr. Kiwi’s
05 - Omar S - Nelson County
06 - Kerri Chandler - Climax 2
07 - YMC - Tranceatlantic
08 - Nimbus Quartet - Later Lover
09 - Royal Crown of Sweden - Mälaren
10 - Brawther - Hardcore Deep House
11 - Youandewan - You Tired
12 - Chesus - Decisions
13 - Austin Cesear - 1 Year


DJ Mix: On To The Next One

I haven’t posted in a while, as I’ve been playing at The Woods pretty recently, and that’s been occupying a lot of my attention. Since getting a turntable last month, I’ve started accumulating a lot of short-run white label releases, and have found some really lovely stuff. I’ve included a few such tracks in this mix. This mix starts out with some deep, dubby melodic techno, and bleeds into spacey deep house before ending up in organic, groovy deep house. It’s possibly my favorite mix to date, so I hope you enjoy it.

Tracklist:

01. ??? - Floating Back To You (Exclusive Retakes Vol. 1) 
02. Terekke - Piano 
03. Traumprinz - Believe 
04. Ten Walls - Ankaris 
05. Omar S. - Don’t Let Dis Be Hapnin!! 
06. Max Graef - As If 
07. Chesus - Thunder Lightning 
08. Shenoda - O.V.O 
09. Ejeca - Riddim (Waze & Odyssey Street Tracks Remix) 
10. Bicep - Snackbar 
11. Soulphiction - When Radio Was Boss 
12. Detroit Swindle - Under The Spell 
13. Jorge Zamacona - Stacked Team


Traumprinz - Changes: I went back through George Fitzgerald’s Essential Mix from the beginning of this year and this caught my ear. After giving it a few listens, I’m really heartbroken that it’s vinyl-only and currently $55 on Discogs. This may be one of those once-in-a-lifetime heart-wrenching songs, but I don’t know if it’s $55 worth.


Midland - Diving Bell EP

I came into Midland a bit late, as I imagine many others did, with the unforgettable Trace. It’s a favorite of mine for home listening and dancefloor purposes alike, as its unintelligible-until-you-hear-what-it’s-sampled-from vocal hook has always had a way of wriggling around inside my ear. Not to mention that the beat is so catchy that it’s almost always a guaranteed people-mover on the dance floor. His follow-up singles have definitely been catchy, but find him seemingly distancing himself even further from the repeatable spoken word, as his Archive01 featured a voice with its words smoothed into almost pure, asyllabic sound, and now Drumtrak takes it even further. It’s almost more fun than words you can understand and sing along with, because in the case of Drumtrak you can just sort of hum/moan along and really get in the vibe. 

Deeper down the spectrum is the Diving Bell “Drum Dub,” with a relentless garage beat and enough sounds jutting in and out of it to spend hours picking apart. I can’t wait to play this release out and feel it on a proper system.