New DJ On The Block – Kele Okereke

If you have found your self here on this site there is only one reason:  you love House music!  Maybe you’re the Godfather of House parties.  Maybe you’re an aspiring DJ.  Maybe you are a DJ.  Or maybe, you’ve just got really good taste!  We love House music of all sounds, shapes, and sizes here on HouseSongs and we are committed to keeping you in the loop of all things great!  Some days we bring you classics, some days the new, but today I’ve got something that really threw me for a loop when I first heard.  For some this may not be a surprise, ‘I’ve known about this for years,’ you might say, and fair enough because this little gem has flown right under my radar!

However, for those may not know let me clue you in.

Amazing ‘New’ Deep House DJ

First of all, let me clarify that you know the British indie rock come post-punk revival band, Bloc Party (it kinda kills the whole surprise if you don’t, though not House, I would still highly recommend checking them out), I know, not House related at all, right?  But that is exactly it, lead singer and guitarist, Kele Okereke, has made a fantastic transition into the world of House music!

Like I said, I am a few years behind on this, but that cannot take away this mans talent nor the importance of sharing this news with the blogsphere.  Below you’ll find I’ve conveniently left you a link to check out Kele’s latest track ‘Candy Flip’ due for release the 14th of April (just a few days away!) and then I’m going to run you though a bit of information about this man and his awesome reincarnation into House!

Kele was born in 1981 in Liverpool, England, but grew up in London where he lives to this day.   When he was 17 he met Russell Lissack and a year later the pair met at the Reading Festival where they formed the first incarnation of the band that would bring them to fame, known as ‘The Angel Range’.  A few years later into the early 2000’s Kele met the next two members of his future band, Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong, and after a brief stint under the name Union, Bloc Party finally emerged.

The new bands debut album, Silent Alarm, was released way back in 2005 and became a massive success, reaching number three in the UK album charts – an incredible feat so early in their career.  While this was being produced however, Kele was in the middle of University studying English Literature; the difficulty of balancing both I can assume is not lost on any of you.  In 2007 Bloc Party’s second studio album, A Weekend in the City, was an even greater sensation reaching still higher in the UK charts and going on to the Billboard 200, debuting at number 12.  The Prayer, the first track from this album is perhaps one of the bands most popular tracks, and remaining it’s highest placing, reached number 4 in the UK singles chart in the same year.

The next year, in 2008, Kele and the band released their third album, this time called Intimacy, which again charted very well on both sides of the Atlantic.  Despite their success, the band went on Hiatus in 2009 and this is where I can start bringing this story back into House.  Kele had this to say about the genre:

“I’ve always loved the inclusive and spiritual nature of House music.”

How could you not like a guy with such a high respect for House?

During his time away from the rest of the band, Kele began to spread his musical wings doing work with some of the biggest names in Electronic House Music such as Tiësto and Martin Solveig.  In 2010 we heard Kele’s first solo album, titled The Boxer, an entire album of alternative dance/electro house, totally different from anything we had yet heard from him before.  The name, The Boxer, was explained by Kele, saying:

“…as a boxer, you have to rely on nobody else but yourself to achieve what it is you want to achieve. Even though you take hits, you have to keep focus on your priorities and keep going. I thought that was an inspiring image.”

Since then, Bloc Party has reformed for one more Album, Four, and an EP but are now known to be on an indefinite hiatus.  This has pretty much left our man to delve deeper into the House genre though he has released no more albums.  Instead, in 2011, a follow up to The Boxer was released, an EP entitled The Hunter.  This has since been followed by several minor releases where Kele has featured on a track, but no serious chart topping endeavours.  This remained the case until 2012 when we heard from him again with yet another EP, this time called Heartbreaker, featuring three new tracks and one remix.   Now we have just about caught up with the present and it seems that once again Mr Okereke is still marching onwards under the House banner with a brand spanking new A-side, Candy Flip!

To finish off I can only say that I am seriously looking forward to hearing what the rest of this new EP will sound like and I can’t wait to see where Kele is going to be going in the future.  If you are enjoying what I’m giving you here then I can highly recommend checking out Top 100 Deep House Tracks Out Now in 2014 or his souncloud where you’ll find all kinds of sets he has mixed as well as a number of remixes: you don’t want to miss out on what this guy has to offer!

Keep busy,

MC Keatley

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How To Choose Your New Speakers

For any one who loves music quality of sound is always important.  Whether you prefer vinyl recordings or digital, or you refuse to compress your music into 128mb format for the sake of space, it is the single most important part of the music (excluding the music itself, of course).  However, it ‘s those that listen to House music that I’ve found who pay most particular attention to sound quality and there are many factors that contribute to it.  Perhaps the most important aspect is the quality of your speakers.  As a bonus, we have also supplied you with a great track to test your speakers with!

New Speakers: Sound With Clout!

When we go looking for your new speakers a lot of us aren’t too sure what it is that they’re actually looking for.  Does bigger mean better?  Is it the price tag?  Or perhaps the size of the cone?  Well, I suppose all of these might contribute something to the sound a set will produce, but what I’m going to being talking about are the tech specs that maybe you wouldn’t normally look for.  Frequency range?  Impedance?  Power handling?  Not familiar with any of these?  That’s where we come in.

The first thing you can look for while you’re browsing all those flashy new speaker sets is the frequency range (sometimes called frequency response) which is what essentially determines the highest and lowest pitches it can reach.  It’s obvious that since all of us here like our House, deep and bassy, we will want a very good low pitch range and then again we want it high reaching for those funky high notes on the trumpets, but this is quite an easy want to quell.  The pitch of sound is measured in hertz (Hz) or kilohertz (kHz), a single hertz representing a single sound cycle per second, the more hertz produced the higher pitch a sound will be, the less the lower obviously.  To give all this science talk some context the average human is 20Hz to 20kHz (20,000Hz) and your average apple earphones can give somewhere in the area of 30Hz to 16kHz, however just little up the price ladder and your looking at earphones with a range of 5Hz to 21kHz.  More than enough!  But that just earphones, for a cheaper option speaker like say the Logitech Z323 (£50 new) you’ll be looking at a frequency response of 55Hz to 20kHz, not bad for lower end stock, no?  Well range is not exactly something many speakers will lack but if you do want that extra range, you’re certainly not going to have to break the bank.

Next we’ll cover impedance, this, you will find, is measured in ohms and is complex issue and a pain in the arse to understand, particularly when all you want to do is listen to good music.  But it is important.  Impedance is the measure of how much a speaker impedes, or restricts, electrical current and ultimately, in the simplest way I can describe, determines how much power they can give out.  For instance, an 8ohm speaker can provide less power than a 4ohm speaker since it restricts a greater amount of current.  This may cause you to think that a lower impedance is always going to be better and that you should go out now and buy a 2ohm speaker, but like I said this is a complex issue.  As a matter of fact you will get a much better quality of sound if the impedance of you speakers matches the rest of whatever system you may have since you’ll either lose sound quality or run the risk of damaging your speakers.  If your speakers have an impedance of 4ohms but you have an input at 8ohms then you are going to have signal reflection and lose some of that precious quality.  Reverse this however and you speaker will actually be receiving more power than they can deal with, meaning you’ll just find yourself back on amazon again.

Finishing up impedance all I’ll say is that, basically, lower ohms means better quality, but only if the rest of your gear is spec similarly.  Also, adding more speakers will reduce the power going to each and is not directly proportional, but for more detail on that you may be best to talk to the shop assistant about your personal setup.  Again price wise, you will probably find 8 ohms to be a pretty standard set of speakers, then again, going back to the Z323 and you’ll be looking at 4 ohms on each satellite.

One more thing you might look at is the power handling.  Usually seen as ‘up to xyz watts’ or something equally big and impressive, but really this is simply ‘how loud you can play good House music’.  So this really depends on how loud you like your House (or maybe how loud do your neighbours not like it).  Volume is, in case you didn’t already know, measured in decibels (dB) so we are looking at a case of more power (watts) means more volume (dB).  Below you can see a simple chart giving you an idea how decibels are translated by our ears.

Now if you are like me then you’ll be wanting your speaker system to reach the very loud to extremely loud level, maybe 90-100dB, but how the hell does that tell you what power rating you need?  Its simple: dB=20xLog^10(V1/V2)… Okay, I lied, even I don’t get that gibberish.  But in actual fact there is one more factor to consider before we convert power to volume: sensitivity.  Speakers sensitivity may range from 85dB (no good) up to 105dB (very good).  A speaker with 85 dB sensitivity rating will take twice the power to reach to same volume as a speaker rated at 88 dB.  Then again, a speaker rated at 88 dB will need ten times the power of a speaker with a 98 dB sensitivity rating to play at the same level.

What this ultimately means is that to get a speaker set with the volume capability you want at a price you can afford, you may have to do some private digging into those speakers you have already been looking at.  Trust the manufacturers not to make it easy, hey?

That’s pretty much all the big stuff you need to worry about, but now it’s time to consider a couple of minor things, or things that may or may not suit you lifestyle so well.

  • Sealed or ported?  Since ported speakers allow airflow in and out of them they tend to add a bit more boom to sound and reverberance, since less pressure is put on the cone.  In contrast, sealed boxes will produce a crisper sound since the cone is more tightly controlled, yet this does have the effect of increasing the power needed to reach the same volume as its ported cousin.
  • Venue.  Are you looking for something to hook up to your office computer, or perhaps something big for your living room.  Either way, the shape and size of your venue will affect the sound heard in ways you will not be able to replicate in the store or any other place.  Thankfully, stores will often allow you to take a system to demo in your own home before you buy.  Problem solved.
  • Finally, portability.  This might seem a very minor consideration compared to the others I’ve listed and it definitely stays from the track of sound quality, but I feel it is definitely worth a mention.  This is mainly aimed at our more transient readers, students or frequent travellers for example, but in your mad excitement to get your brand new set of speakers don’t overlook this simple issue.  The bigger you system the harder it will be to move each time and the risk of damage will increase with that.  Don’t let yourself drop your precious music box!

At the end of the day after you’ve done all these calculations and considered all those considerations what it come down to is what sounds great to you.  Don’t be fooled into believing speaker X is better than speaker Y just because some of its numbers are a bit better, there are dozens more factors that no-one could possibly account for (material is a prime example), if you think speaker Y sounds like the dogs bollocks* then you go ahead and get speaker Y!

Keep busy,

MC Keatley

*If you were previously unaware of this term then I’ll tell now that it means something is fantastic!  Don’t ask me why, I don’t know.  It just does.

For more on sound quality check out Analogue Vs Digital!


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Deep & Dirty Vol. 5 Exclusive Guest Mix @

Exclusive Guest Mix @ HouseSongs

Say hello to out new cookie section: “Exclusive Guest Mix” This is the last and final volume of the series, some really amazing tunes in here showcasing labels such as Toolroom, Desolat, Anjunadeep, Defected, and Many others. Get ready to get funky, down, deep, & dirty…

exclusive guest mix

exclusive guest mix

Tracklist: Exclusively Available on 1)   Shadows (Original Album Mix) – Hot Since 82, Alex Mills 2)   Sunseeker (Original Mix) – Martin Buttrich & Mousse T. (Desolat) 3)   Requiem (Orignal Mix) – Ten Walls 4)   Sinnerman (Sharam Jey & Jon Sine Edit) – Nina Simone 5)   Turn It Around (MK Remix) – Sub Focus 6)   Help Me Lose My Mind (Paul Woolford Remix) – Disclosure 7)   My Love (Original Mix) – Route 94 ft. Jess Glyme 8)   Look Right Through (Route 94 Remix) – Storm queen (Defected) 9)   Can’t Stop This Feeling (ft. Rae) (Original Mix) – Doorly (Toolroom) 10)  Love Ain’t Free (Original Mix) – Kruse & Nuernberg vs. Teenage Mutants 11)   Maybe (Original Mix) – Meramek (Anjunadeep) 12)   Finder (Supernova Remix) – NineToes   Follow Merrick: @merrickofficial

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