Eight years since A Short Introduction To The House Sounds Of Terre Thaemlitz, and a long, fruitful relationship thereafter, DJ Sprinkles and Hardrock Striker begin a new project, teaming up as SKYLAX HOUSE EXPLOSION (S.H.E.)
A nod to Thaemlitz’ work as Kami-Sakunobe House Explosion (K-S.H.E.) that started in 2006 – the critically acclaimed album for which, Routes Not Roots, was reissued on Skylax in 2011 – S.H.E. presents a compilation celebrating the run of Skylax Records which started in 2004 by DJ and producer Hardrock Striker. Constantly ahead of the curve, whether pre-empting the revival of balearic, poolside vibes, or proto house and electro boogie, he and the Skylax crew have cultivated a sound that looks forward with a respectful nod to the histories of Chicago, Detroit, NYC, and other vital dance cities. The two members of S.H.E. take on a mix either side of the CD, which accompanies a three-piece vinyl compilation featuring previously unreleased music curated by DJ Sprinkles and Hardrock Striker, owner of the label. The compilation will form a template for future projects under S.H.E., which is one in a number of outings partnering Skylax Records and Comatonse Recordings, the label run by Terre Thaemlitz since 1993.
Over the years, Skylax has supported trans house producers such as Lady Blacktronika, most recently, Octo Octa and has reissued a series of Terre Thaemlitz records that were previously hard to come by - and in some cases, unknown. Queerifications & Ruins, the collection of DJ Sprinkles remixes released on Mule Musiq in 2013, also features Hardrock Striker’s Motorik Life; the DJ Sprinkles remix making an ominous twist on Martin Luther King’s famous words at the Washington Monument.
For years DJ Sprinkles been synonymous with the finest mixes of deep house in existence; setting the absolute bar for early 90s NYC joints on the Sally’s II Tribute Mixtape, revealing the incredibly broad Sprinkles range in the Module Party mix series and most recently in 2013, Where Dancefloors Stand Still, shining a nuanced light on the fuzoku laws in Japan. On the first disc of this mix CD, Sprinkles channels an all at once energetic and subdued sonic pallet – much like her work as Kami-Sakunobe House Explosion (K-S.H.E) – presenting a mix that leans heavily on the sound of SKYLAX RECORDS. Very much the straight up house that the label is known for, but saturated in references to Paradise Garage, The Loft and the ballrooms of Midtown Manhattan – the lens through which DJ Sprinkles has always conveyed the material realities of domination, discrimination and violence. In parts, the mix belies the insistently deeper mood of Sprinkles shows in recent years, but this is by no means an unfamiliar approach; Terre Thaemlitz has always maintained varying guises, genres, dynamics and styles at once, often standing in opposition to one another.
On disc two, Hardrock Striker draws from his label signees of the more recent past, such as Jason Grove, Octo Octa, Fuckthegovernment.Ltd and Urban Inc. In complimenting the mix from DJ Sprinkles, Striker packs more of a bag for the upbeat parties he is known for in Paris,while not straying to far from “deep” sounds that are allied with his label. The mix features friends from the back catalogue of Skylax as well unheard tracks coming soon on one of three exclusive vinyl releases. Having been a dedicated producer and label-head for two decades – first with Parisonic - collaborating with a vast array of producers, he introduced many of them in the music game such as Simoncino, Nick Beringer, FTG, and Sameed. Here he unearths some overlooked gems from the last two decades, before ending with his work on the Peter Black & Hardrock Striker record, Dreamtime.
House music is ubiquitous in clubs around the world. Few institutions and imprints have stayed afloat in its short lifetime, so for a label to be celebrating with such an ambitious and extensive project, it’s fair to say: Stay underground, it pays.
DJ Support : Dixon, Ame, Marcel Dettmann, Sasha, DVS1, Mano le tough, Gilles Peterson, Groove Armada, Raresh, Erol Alkan, Charlotte de witte, Tim Sweeney, Dubfire, Tiefschwarz, Soul Clap, Etapp Kyle, Barker & Baumecker, Pional, Francis Harris & More.
GROOVE MAGAZIN "Album of the month"
RANSOM NOTE "One of the most definitive records in house music of 2018"
THE WIRE "With their new four part project, DJ Sprinkles & Hardrock Striker adress the liberatory potential of deep house"
RESIDENT ADVISOR "Two excellent house mixes sourced exclusively from the Skylax Records catalogue"
STAMP THE WAX "Brother to brother : A Retrospective with Hardrock Striker & DJ Sprinkles"
BOILER ROOM "Ambassador of the new wave, Italo disco and Chicago sounds in Paris, Hardrock Striker has become a key reference among true house music connoisseurs over the past decade"
LES INROCKUPTIBLES "Skylax, beau labo techno"
SOURDOREILLE "Tout ce que vous avez toujours voulu savoir sur le plus poignant label de house français SKYLAX RECORDS"
TSUGI "100% queer"
XLR8R "DJ Sprinkles & Hardrock Striker team up as SKYLAX HOUSE EXPLOSION (S.H.E)"
DJ MAG "Two lauded DJ/producers join forces as ‘Skylax House Explosion’ (S.H.E.) to celebrate Hardrock Striker’s Skylax Records label’s past, present and future - 9/10"
DJ MAG ITALY "State underground, paga - 9/10"
INVERTED AUDIO "DJ Sprinkles & Hardrock Striker forge a new collaborative project Skylax House Explosion"
TRUANTS "spanning almost two decades, it moved seamlessly from emotive, political music to carefree party sounds"
TITEL MAGAZIN "if you only buy one mix CD this year, this is the one. 9/10"
Mixmag, Delicieuse Musique, Greenroom, Houseum, XLR8R, Juno best seller.
"A la grand braderie des médailles de la french touch, Hardrock Striker a été l'oublié de service : avec son look méchant, on l'a peut-être pris pour un membre de la sécurité ou un roadie. Ce qui va comme un gant de motard à sa musique, étalée depuis vingt ans dans les sillons déchiquetés de son label Skylax. Car si Hardrock Striker vénère la techno de Detroit, il sait que la ville a aussi fourni au rock quelques-uns de ses plus fulminants furibonds, des Stooges au MC5. Et s'il rend régulièrement hommage à Manchester, c'est autant à Joy Division qu'aux bambocheurs de l'acid-house. Label de house sexuelle et torride, Skylax est tenu depuis 1998 par des rockeurs, sans oeillères et sans laisse. Paris Ville Lumière, Paris ville des élégances : mon cul. Sur la centaine de maxis sortis par Skylax, c'est une scène plus crade, affranchie des codes, teigneuse et frénétique qui est mise en valeur. Sur ces titres infinis, ces tranches d'hédonisme dépravé, ça sent le stupre, la sueur et le teen spirit. Ça sent bon. Il fallait une party à la hauteur de la chanson des beastie boys pour fêter les noces des éléctroniques et de l'électricité. Avec trois maxis fêtards montés par Hardrock Striker & la légende DJ Sprinkles, le label uppercute ou caresse, systématiquement en-dessous de la ceinture, là où les infrabasses ordonnent le désordre. Hommage au clubbing new-yorkais, la triplette Under the garage / Under the loft / Under the ballroom permet de saluer l'agitation de New York qui fut son acte de naissance. Pour celles et ceux qui seraient trop pris par les ébats sexuels pour changer les maxis de face, le label a sorti un double CD de mix, peu avares en montées orgasmiques. "Stay underground it pays" crâne-t-il. "Stay sous la couette", ça marche aussi." (JD Beauvallet / Les Inrockuptibles / 2018)
"At the big sale of medals of the french touch, Hardrock Striker was the forgotten one: with his nasty look, he was perhaps taken for a member of the security or a roadie. What fits like a biker glove to his music, spread for twenty years in the jagged grooves of his label Skylax. Because if Hardrock Striker reveres Detroit techno, he knows that the city has also provided rock some of its most fulminant furious, from the Stooges to MC5. And if he regularly pays homage to Manchester, it is as much to Joy Division as to the acid-house bambocheurs. Sexual and torrid house label, Skylax has been held since 1998 by rockers, without blinkers and without a leash. Paris City of Light, Paris city of elegance: my ass. Out of the hundred or so EPs released by Skylax, it is a more dirty scene, freed from codes, nasty and frenzied that is highlighted. On these endless titles, these slices of depraved hedonism, it smells of stupor, sweat and teen spirit. It smells good. It took a party up to the song of the beastie boys to celebrate the marriage of electronics and electricity. With three maxi revelers ridden by Hardrock Striker & the legend DJ Sprinkles, the label uppercute or caress, systematically below the belt, where the infrabasses order the disorder. A tribute to New York clubbing, the Under the garage / Under the loft / Under the ballroom triplet salutes the bustle of New York which was his birth certificate. For those who would be too taken by the sexual frolics to change the 12 inches' sides, the label released a double mix CD, little stingy in orgasmic climbs. "Stay underground it pays" he skulls. "Stay under the duvet" also works."
Stay Underground It Pays I
1-1.Garage Shelter - Soul 2 Soul (An Outro)
1-2.An Expresso - Club Called The Garage
1-3.Jason Grove - John Blue
1-4.Nick Beringer - Gasp
1-5.Simoncino - Inga's Creme (Chez Damier Morning After Mix Part One)
1-6.Soul System Aka Nicholas - Everything Must Change
1-7.Sameed - Bad You
1-8.Damien Zala - Shake Vibration
1-9.F.T.G. & Belfie & Alex Tea - Public Enemy
1-10.Joey Kay - All Night
1-11.Lady Blacktronika - Right Direction
1-12.Carlos Nilmmns - Gwen's Song
1-13.Violence FM & The Underground Soulsavers - Soleil Mauve
Stay Underground It Pays II
2-1.Lady Blacktronika - Again See Spring
2-2.Sinan Kaya - What's Mine
2-3.Urban Inc. - Beatdown
2-4.Jason Grove - Streets
2-5.Love Island - A Feelin'
2-6.Octo Octa - We Will Be Together Forever
2-7.Rosenhaft - Voyager
2-8.Octo Octa - We Will Be Together Forever
2-9.Concept e25 - What Did You Say
2-10.Kuba Sojka - Walk On Moon
2-11.Groove Riddim Featuring Nathaniel X Project - The Difference
2-12.Niko Marks- Real Funk Don't Die
2-13.Signal ST - Bongo Trax
2-14.Mike Sharon - Free Your Mind
2-15.Garage Shelter - Attempt (Lonely Heart Dub)
2-16.Peter Black & Hardrock Striker - Dreamtime