Nick Chandler has been listening to, dancing to, and in love with house music for nearly half his (admittedly short) life. Describing his mixing skills as “a bit shit, really”, Nick has been in and out of Phnom Penh for a little under ten years, returning in early 2013. Picking up the decks in earnest at the start of 2014, his musical style tends to gravitate towards “Anything that includes the word ‘house’. Except “tropical house”. What does that even mean?!”.
More often found on the floor than behind the decks (or behind the booth talking shit), Nick was introduced to the Chicago sound by his brother when he departed Tasmania (Australia’s Alaska) for Melbourne at 17, where he lived in St. Kilda, cutting his teeth in (in)famous nightspots like the now-defunct Honkytonks and Revolver (aka “Revolting”). Converted, inducted, and ordained into the church of House Music at a Ron Carroll gig he can’t actually remember the exact location of (though there was a moment where he assumed mic duties, albeit briefly).
He first moved to Phnom Penh in 2005, lured over by Pontoon creator and then owner Karl Misch. Retaining fond memories of Pontoon when it was actually a *pontoon* — not least of which was the moment it sank — he reveled in the city’s absolutely non-existent music scene. Departing for San Francisco in 2009, he was surprisingly underwhelmed, excepting an evening where he unintentionally stumbled into a Miguel Migs set with 20 other unsuspecting punters. Upon his return to Phnom Penh last year he was “f—king blown away” by the energy of the city’s electronic music scene and the quality of its DJs.
1. UNKLE/James Lavelle: Gi | Do Androids Dream of Electric Beats
I first heard this not long after it was released in 2001, and I’ve listened to it at least once or twice a month ever since. It is — cue subjective opinion — the greatest sixty-something minutes of electronic music ever recorded.
One of three companion mixes on a mix recorded for Radio Ape in Japan, it has some of the best sampling I’ve ever heard, and Lavelle somehow throws in deep classics from the likes of FC Kahuna and Layo and Bushwacka! alongside reworks of classic rock and new wave, most notably the epic closer of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’. Best part? Everybody thinks there’s something wrong when ‘Breaking the Girl’ opens and it starts skipping. As good as it gets.
2.krankbrother : Recollective
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This is a ten-minute preview of their recent Defected effort (highly recommended) and is, in my opinion, one of the releases of the year. Awesome percussion, deep grooves, and, in a word (or three) *cool as shit*. It’s silky smooth, funky as hell, makes you want to dance, and these two guys out of London are going big places.
3.Kolombo & Sharam Jey – Nonstop!
Two more guys absolutely killing it in 2014 (albeit as independent artists). I was never really into the nu-disco sound, but Kolombo has been putting out quality for years and the consistency of quality on the Bunny Tiger label is just off the charts. Bursting with energy, it’s a total crowd pleaser in the best possible way.