This Week in House Music: Bicep, Mark Knight & 808 State
I'm writing you from Berlin—it's my first time in techno's second home, and I love it. It's such a cute and social city in the summer, and the clubs really are top-notch. Tomorrow, I head to London, and for This Week in House, we tap into some Euro house vibes. Enjoy!
Best New Track: Bicep – Meli (II) [Ninja Tune, June 28]
Irish duoBicep have released their first single of 2022, and their first since their stellar 2021 sophomore album, Isles. The ethereal, dreamy seven-minute melodic house track, "Meli (II)," is a follow-up to "Meli (I)," released on the deluxe edition of Isles. Bicepexplains that "'Meli (II)' was formed slowly on the road. Each week we changed the drums a bit, the structure and generally allowed the crowd to inform the process. It was great to grow the track in this way, it felt like a very organic way of working."
Best New Mix: Toolroom Radio EP640 - Presented by Mark Knight
British DJ, producer and Toolroom label head Mark Knight is back with another episode of Toolroom Radio, his weekly showcase of hot new house and techno. The two-hour episode opens with two energetic and joyful house bops: GW Harrison's "Feels Good" (dropped on Toolroom Records) and "Spirit Of House" by Milk & Sugar, CASSIMM and Ron Carroll. Other bangers include James Hurr and Frankco Harris' "It's A Dancehall Thing" and the "Killer Cut" of the week,RETNA and Mark Knight's "What I Need," both of which were released on Toolroom.
The second hour of the show is led by a guest mix from fellow British artist RETNA, who throws down tracks like Fatboy Slim, Carl Cox and Dan Diamond's "Speed Trials On Acid (LF System Remix)" and CID and Will K's "Ooooh." Knight returns to the decks to close out the episode with a "Hot Mix," bookended by Basement Jaxx's "Do Your Thing (David Penn Remix)" and Riva Starr's "Maria (Carl Cox Remix)."
Best Classic Track: 808 State – Pacific State [ZTT, 1989]
Manchester group 808 State—named after the Roland TR-808—channeled Chicago acid house on their jazzy, groovy breakthrough track, "Pacific State." The six-and-a-half-minute classic features a hypnotic drum machine pattern, jingling synths, and even a sultry saxophone and bird sounds. It also channels the Balearic house sound popularized in Ibiza, and made waves both on the island and at Manchester's iconic nightclub The Haçienda. The 808 State project is now led by Graham Massey. Former members include the late Andy Barker, along with Martin Price and Gerald Simpson, the latter left the group in 1989 to form his solo project A Guy Called Gerald, and played a large part in the creation of "Pacific State."