Katzenmusik - A Tape of Two Cities
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“A Tape of Two Cities” is the mixtape debut of Kat Southerland, aka Katzenmusik, for Argot. Each 30 minute side soundtracks bus journeys, to New York in 1997–98 and Minneapolis in 2012. The cover artwork features a hand-stitched collage and accompanying text, both by Kat Southerland. The limited edition tape includes a download code, as well.
Turtle Bugg - Performance Counts
Argot's second mixtape, Performance Counts, is by Tajh Morris aka Turtle Bugg. Presently based in Detroit, Tajh is a partner in the long-running New York party series Sublimate and Smangtasia festival and one of our favorite American DJs. Both of his roughly 45 minute mixes capture his love for soulful, creative dance music with groove and spirit to spare. The tape features a collage and writing by Tajh, as well as a free download of the cover and audio. Limited to 50 copies.
Flora FM - Discovery in the
Atomic Garden
Buy on Bandcamp
Like changing the channel, changes in one’s life can suddenly bring about a new perspective. After moving from Detroit to Seattle, producer Taylor Hawkins suddenly found himself on Flora FM. Previously recording as Community Corporation, this fresh beginning in Emerald City brought new sounds into Hawkins’ repertoire. It’s as if his music has come alive, each song a new sound world abuzz with fluttering synths, nimble percussion, and soaring melodies. Flora FM's debut album, Discovery in the Atomic Garden, documents his experience finding his way in Seattle and in life, all through the lens of a fantastic and somehow futuristic musical viewpoint.
Flora FM - Atomic Garden
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Atomic Garden is the four track vinyl sampler of Flora FM's debut album, Discovery in the Atomic Garden. It features stunning design by Patrick Savile and includes a download code for the full eight track album.
Unscented DJ - Late Understanding
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Argot offers the first entry in their mixtape series highlighting DJs who don't produce music. "Late Understanding" by Unscented DJ is a mix of inter-genre downtempo, composed entirely of records he's come across while away from his computer's keyboard. Each tape in the series will include a piece of writing by the DJ, which in this case is a single poem. The tape was designed by Bryce Wilner and includes a download code for the full mix.
V/A - 5 Years In
This limited edition cassette includes two 45-minute mixes of all-Argot tracks from the first five years, mixed by label founder Steve Mizek. It features one never-before-released Argot track and is limited to 50 copies. It was exclusively available at Argot's five year anniversary party and to Argot artists and subscribers.
V/A - American Dance Music Vol. 1
To celebrate Argot’s fifth year of releases, we’re launching a series of compilations boldly entitled American Dance Music. Argot’s first ever various artists compilation continues its mission of showcasing homegrown talents, assembling a cast of familiar faces and welcome compatriots for the inaugural edition. With future volumes we aspire to look even further afield and cast the spotlight on many diverse talents who make up American dance music.
Gianpaolo Dieli - JIL
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“JIL” was born in the spring of 2013 from an iPhone voice memo. Vulnerable after a year strewn with heartbreaks, Gianpaolo Dieli suddenly found himself animating feelings of loss and ruminations on ego with his own sung vocals. This surge of creativity -- fostered by a then-recent fascination with singer/songwriters and nurtured by deep roots in hip-hop and soul -- lasted about a year and yielded four tracks. By the summer of 2014 Gianpaolo had wrung himself out of singer-songwriting ideas; and when no labels responded to anonymous demos he shelved the project and refocused on making house and techno as Savile. Upon revisiting the material in 2017, we feel this nearly overlooked chapter in his musical development is still worth sharing.

“JIL” is an homage to Jil Sander, whose stark colors, sculptural fits, and bold logo inspired Gianpaolo to musically interpret how her brand’s aesthetic made him feel. It starts with the attention to detail threaded throughout the release, emulating the great care put into her garments, while the lean, effective drums mimic the clean lines in her collections.

“JIL” is a time capsule of Gianpaolo’s mindset and his experiments with production during that period. Yet the strength of the songwriting and depth of detail assures the release is more than merely of its time. Most songs are led by his weary tenor, stretched and pulled with considered effort over drum machined rhythms in swinging, hip-hop patterns. Soft, pearly synth lines, scowling bass lines, and quivering arpeggios are a plush bed for Gianpaolo’s swooning vocals. Between nooks are sonic details enriching each moment: From the call-and-response of tap-danced grooves and room-filling bass blasts on “Gilded Splinters”, to the demented trailing vocals skittering out of view in “China Cabinet”, the production is sumptuous for home listening and booming enough for the jeep (or bus).

“JIL” is the first Argot release without a tone-carrier. It's important to push the boundaries of what a release can be when records, CDs, and tapes aren't necessary to deliver it. Since fashion is the focus with “JIL”, we're offering the release as digital files and as bundle with a limited edition t-shirt, featuring cover artwork drawn by Molly Smith and designed by Brian Okarski. “JIL” was mastered by Dietrich Schoenemann and will be available September 22, 2017. “I am both extremely excited and quite nervous for everyone to see so deeply into a fairly dark time in my life”, Gianpaolo adds, “But in this quest to produce honest, vulnerable work, I think that's a key part of the picture”.
Hippie Priest - See It Through
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Hippie Priest returns to Argot to release his second album, See It Through. Having made great strides at dialing in his production and strengthening his songwriting since the release of “Gaia Variants” in 2016, the young Champaign-based producer focuses his sophomore longplayer around a narrative approach. “See It Through is a day in the life of a lioness”, says Hippie Priest, “Beginning with the soft ambience of waking up in the morning, leading up to an intense hunt in the middle, and into evening revelry and eventual slumber”.
Todd Osborn - Elastic 68
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It is our distinct honor and pleasure to welcome Todd Osborn to the Argot family with his stunning new single, Elastic 68. This double A sider came together over the last four years thanks to regular communication between the Michigan-based savant and label founder Steve Mizek. Its two tracks exemplify Argot’s musical direction and check a major item off the label’s bucket list of releasing a record by Todd. With nearly mythical finesse, the title track finds Osborn presides over a marriage of sassy, gleaming motifs and invigorating acid lines. Its assertive bass line grabs dancers by the scruff before the unleashing a torrent of churning acid riffs that could stir even the most jaded chin-scratcher. “Authorized Dealer” is tougher and even more acid-forward, stomping and squelching as it drags the dancefloor into the dungeon for beating it won’t soon forget.
Octo Octa - New Paths
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Octo Octa returns to Argot for her second 12” release, entitled New Paths. Following the release of her second album, this two tracker takes aim at dancefloors while reminding listeners of Octo Octa’s ear for clever, ear-catching melodies. Both tracks were written in 2015 just as Octo Octa was on the cusp of coming out as transgender, reflecting this period of imminent change. Smooth and spacious, the title tune soars along the horizon as it soundtracks the first few tentative steps into the next chapter in life. On the flipside, “Hidden Truth” is a two part saga, at first pensive and glowing before flowering into a bass-line led dancefloor-filler. “I believe this was the last music I finished before [coming out], so it has a special place in my heart,” adds Octo Octa.
Savile - Share Power
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Chicago producer Savile returns to his home base, Argot, for his second release of 2016—Share Power. Here, Savile skirts the bleeding edge of American dance music, proving without a doubt that he's mastered his own minimal sound. Lean, hypnotic, and syncopated. Share Power is an ode to collaboration, kindness, and making space, distilled through his vision for Midwestern house and techno.

Share Power is dedicated to two parties Savile played in Ohio during 2015—In Training in Cleveland and Midwest Fresh in Columbus. On "Three Hours In The Meat Sink," Savile wrests maximum impact from the barest elements—a sparse, moaning bass line is the track's backbone, upon which rippling synth, hypnotic hi-hats, and a carefully placed call to arms roll out in stride. Flip the record over for "Effort Won't Betray You," where explosive chord stabs fill a sharp, syncopated skeleton of percussion—that's all there is, and that's all there needs to be.
Lab Work 91-96
Buy on Bandcamp
Lab Work 91-96 collects the work of Chris Ike and John Kardaras, two Chicago producers with few records to their names but a wealth of compelling unreleased material waiting in their archives. The compilation highlights the pair’s particular vision and musical breadth across 14 tracks, drawn from a CD-R given to Steve Mizek in 2010 that was recently rediscovered. Lab Work was remastered in its entirety by Dietrich Schoenemann, sounding much at home today yet intimately connected to a formative time in Chicago house history.
Versions For Modern Dancefloors
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Versions For Modern Dancefloors contains four edits of Shifty Science tracks by Savile and Steve Mizek that reshape the raw materials to fit the needs of DJs. Savile and Steve rebuilt and road tested these edits over a series of tour dates in 2016, working closely with mixing engineer Brian Labycz to update the original DAT recordings for peak fidelity and performance. Included with the purchase of Versions For Modern Dancefloors is a zine-like booklet featuring liner notes by Steve Mizek and a download code for Lab Work 91-96 that includes all 14 tracks plus a bundle of digital extras.
Hippie Priest - Gaia Variants
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Since its inception in 2012, Argot's mission statement has remained the same: to promote, showcase, and support American electronic music. Four years and numerous 12" singles later, Argot proudly presents Hippie Priest's Gaia Variants, the first full-length album released on the label. The debut work of 21-year-old Illinoisan Will Justice, Gaia Variants is a 50-minute long psychedelic journey that pairs cosmic textures and moods with a warm dancefloor sensibility.

Although Gaia Variants is Justice's first release, it possesses a maturity and a coherent vision that belies the youth of its author. In writing the album, Justice explains: “I liked the idea of writing music about a feeling—or a moment, for everything,” he says. “Gaia Variants is about finding the right sounds to suit a mood and expanding on that.” Each track is a world unto itself: “There's a lot of contemplation throughout the album,” says Justice, “Focusing on a theme or an idea and letting it expand.”

From its first minute, the album plays with mood and motif. "Einn" is sunny and lively. "Field Hats (Reflection Mix)" is grand, a contemporary vision of Tangerine Dream built from arpeggiated synthesizers. The lighthearted "Interdimensional Traveler" tweaks expectations, highlighting the album's playful sense of humor. "Into The Gangway," which closes the album's first side, is its most arresting work, written in a pentatonic scale with a driving deep house beat—like Philip Glass meets Mr. Fingers. The second side features some contemporary R&B flavor, most notably on "Vibe Uuu," featuring a warped, rubberized vocal sample. It ends with "He's Drifting" and "Windowed Ceiling," two spectral, emotional works that become one.
Stefan Ringer - bossa grv
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Stefan Ringer's music is undeniably soul rousing. Across a short but muscular clutch of releases on labels like Kai Alce's NDATL and Mike Simonetti's 2MR, Stefan has employed a kind of primal swing and exuberance that's as referential to his childhood in the church as his love of rap. This is dance music lifted by curiosity and refined by gut instinct. It's with this in mind that Argot proudly announces Stefan as the artist behind our next release: a slab of sweat-out-your-work-week house music entitled bossa grv.

Across two originals and a drum track, Stefan's lethal aptitude for programming is obvious—as is his sense of wit. On the title track, a plucked harp threads delicate notes alongside hi-hats that fall forwards in endless spirals, encouraging movement and lightness. On B side "to the bone," oboe notes mingle with crushed snares, dubbed chords, and a vocal that's as classically absurd as it is completely irresistible. As we share this work with dancefloors and selectors alike, we are struck by just how much FUN the record is. On today's head-down dancefloor that is often caught up in the idea of "depth" and "darkness", the youthful curiosity of this record cuts through like a knife.
Amir Alexander - The Butterfly
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Amir Alexander makes his triumphant return to Argot with an exceptional and enigmatic new record, The Butterfly. Since providing the label's inaugural release in 2012 with his Gutter Flex EP, Alexander's music has graced the catalogues of respected labels like Secretsundaze, Finale Sessions, and Hype_LTD, and expanded his Vanguard Sounds and Anunnaki Cartel imprints. The Butterfly finds Alexander picking up the conversation where Gutter Flex left off, but now he's speaking it in a new language.

"This EP name-drops many subjects and themes for those who are truly interested in 'lifting the veil' in order to fully understand what we're up against. It's also just a nice deep house record for those who only want a good beat to party to. Like life, it is what you make it."—Amir Alexander

The Butterfly is a seductive record. Its supple grooves and unique textures are earcatching whether or not you notice the twisted lyrics of "Butterfly (The Monarch)" or the read into titles like "Many False Prophets". Yet close observers are rewarded with bread crumbs that bring Alexander's perspective into focus.

The haunting vocals on "Butterfly (The Monarch)" reference Monarch mind control techniques, intermixing comforting familiar phrases with dark, affected passages. They seem surreal threaded through limber bass licks and bold organ patterns, Alexander's signature 909 hi-hats cutting through the fray. "Black Mass" engages audiences in deeply hypnotic patterns that grow to a near frenzy before falling back into ritualesque patterns. And "Many False Prophets" is a lament for the easily misled, encircling listeners with gorgeously evolving percussion patterns and gently waltzing organ lines. "Deep, dark, and brooding," as Alexander puts it. That's an apt description of the whole record, as well.
Maxine & Cleo - Mad Blanc
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Philadelphia-based producer Maxine & Cleo joins the Argot fold with his Mad Blanc EP. The follow up to his Pendergast EP for Material Image arose from a few weeks of feverish production during the spring of 2014 and represent the duality of the Kansas native's sound. Side A is full of gifts for DJs in the form of "Flynn Rhythm"'s relentlessly jacking house grooves and the blurry-eyed deep house pleasures of the title track. Flipping the record reveals the more fragile side of Maxine & Cleo, courting home listeners and after hours crowds on the spirit-conjuring spectral house cut "Mind Is Spinnin" and the dreamy "Proto", gliding on thrumming pads and gilded with vocal slivers.
Policy - The Disconekt EP
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Policy returns to Argot with a mature and joyful record entitled The Disconekt EP. This time around the New York-based producer integrates an array of organic sounds into his refined palette, adding further depth to meticulously written tunes. Plucked guitars pop out of the cinematic "We Are Connected"; rotund floor tom beats set the pace for charmingly interwoven melodies on "Moleskine"; and closer "His Meaningful Breath" is Flügel-esque in its zig-zagging synth leads and deliberate pace. The record's varied, confident nature makes it a pleasure to enjoy at home and then pop in your bag for that night's DJ gig.
T.B. Arthur - Dubs From The DAT
Enigmatic producer T.B. Arthur makes his Argot debut with Dubs From the DAT. Following four scene-stealing, acid-fed EPs rescued from DAT tapes by Hard Wax, this record focuses on T.B. Arthur's meticulous percussion work. Making judicious use of delay and reverb, all three tracks evoke sublime environments in which hand drums burble, snare hits ring out like thunderclaps, and darkness creeps into every detail. Dubs From the DAT was mastered by Helmut Erler at Dubplates & Mastering.
John Barera & Will Martin -
1,2,3 (Feels Right)
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Argot is excited to welcome John Barera & Will Martin to the label with their spectacular EP, 1,2,3 (Feels Right). Still aglow after the warm reception to their Dolly-released debut album, "Grace", the Boston/NYC duo deliver a versatile record whose four house cuts burn no matter where you put the needle down. John and Will flex their skills on anthemic hardware jams like the title track and "High Tide", the rhythmic whirlwind of "Spin Cycle", and sublime deep house groove, "The Bog".
Contakt - Eve Of Gentrification
Argot steps outside its usual catalog numbers for a vinyl-only release by Contakt. You can feel the drum beat of uneasy change in the Brooklyn-based producer's “Eve Of Gentrification”, its eager hand drums, bass throbs, and stalking synth stabs turning up the tension like rents in a hip neighborhood. Detroit veteran Terrence Parker is more optimistic and melodic on his “Deeep Detroit Heat” remix, rolling out lush pads and rollicking piano/organ interplay across a bed of hand drums. The hand stamped record features designs by Chicago artist Steven Vainberg and is limited to 200 copies in black vinyl and 100 copies in marbled grey vinyl.
Olin & Savile - Thanks, Karl
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Olin returns to Argot with fellow Smart Bar resident Savile in tow for our first release of 2015. The vinyl-only "Thanks, Karl" is a loving tribute to one of Smart Bar's biggest and best bouncers, the swaggering confidence of its guitar-led groove and bombastic drum break emulating his many charms. Savile's version reduces the track to a dubbed out floor-filler, swollen bass notes adding bruised funk vibes to the mix. Meanwhile, Olin's version shakes dance floors with suffocating bass, massive kicks, and relentless drum programming, as if putting dancers on the receiving end of Karl's huge fists. The record's B-side features an illustration of Karl by Minneapolis artist Jamie Kinroy.
Community Corporation -
Aquifer EP
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For the benefit of all Clubland's residents, Argot is releasing Community Corporation's latest development, the Aquifer EP. This deluxe, four track record from the Detroit producer provides DJs and home listeners a diverse selection of musical amenities: the playful, live-wire antics of "Crystalis"; jaunty, arpeggiated techno flows across "Patent Lies"; a gorgeously evolving banger in "Subterranean Limestone"; and the swirling, almost jazzy romp through "Sunken Water Table".
Eamon Harkin - Back Down
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After two quiet years release-wise, Eamon Harkin returns with the Back Down single for Argot. The Brooklyn-based producer best known as half of the DJ/party-throwing/label-owning duo Mister Saturday Night offers a saber-toothed, bass-heavy take on techno with an unexpected tender side. On the flip, "Species Of Comedy" is a trance-like stomper sporting stirring strings, hypnotizing with its barrage of primary color melodies.
Paul Levack - Lower Wacker
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Argot's first foray into the world of tape is a complete departure sonically as well. ARGOTAPE001 is by Paul Levack, a Chicago-based artist whose manipulated field recordings of Lower Wacker Drive expose the city's dark heartbeat. Listeners are immersed in unearthly roars, distant cries, piercing feedback, and a trembling pulse that go unnoticed by Chicago's millions of denizens every day. The B-side "Stereo Mix" reveals more of "Lower Wacker"'s source material but is equally fascinating and unsettling. ARGOTAPE001 is limited to 35 cassettes featuring original artwork by Chicago artist Olivia Coran, but can also be bought in digital formats. Copies purchased through the Argot Store come with a download code for a free digital copy.
Octo Octa - Where Did You Go? /
Through The Haze
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Argot's ninth release, Where Did You Go? / Through The Haze, is by Brooklyn-based producer Octo Octa. It's the first single she's released on a label besides 100% Silk, the home of her two full-lengths and three EPs. This shift is embodied in the tracks, too, as Octo Octa sharpens her effervescent sound to a harder, more floor-focused edge.
Chase Smith - Stay
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Argot starts out 2014 with the help of Pittsburgh's Chase Smith and his new single, Stay. Following releases for W.T. Records and Pittsburgh Tracks, the up-and-coming producer hits new songwriting heights with "Stay", an impassioned modern disco tune featuring Lauren Ojanpa's smoldering vocals and a live bass line courtesy of Karl Ojanpa. Smith also provides the swift charge of "27 Summers", a rave-influenced house jam whose banged out piano chords and brass fanfare will stir the dance floor.
Gunnar Haslam - Bera Range EP
Gunnar Haslam's Bera Range EP is Argot's seventh release. The unknown NYC denizen arrives fresh off a stunning, singular album for L.I.E.S to deliver three tracks showcasing his swift growth as a producer. Snares thumping like jungle rabbits' feet across widescreen techno melodies, "Bera Range" crackles with occultish energy. "Optional" is more hopeful but equally stern, cracking house percussion upon its purring bass line and chase-scene synth interplay. That purr becomes a benevolent growl in "Nevenoe," a feel good house track whose stoned, spectral accents leave trails all over jacking drum work.
The Black Madonna -
Lady Of Sorrows EP
Argot's sixth release is a long awaited dispatch from the Black Madonna. Lady of Sorrows EP is the Chicago-based producer's most fully realized work to date—a leap forward from the sample-clad disco house of her records for Home Taping Is Killing Music and Stripped & Chewed. Weaving live orchestration and irresistible synth lines through tough percussive frames, both tracks bare their souls to listeners with enough muscle to command dancers' attention. Argot is proud to release such stirring, emotional music born from the trials and tribulations Black Madonna has bravely faced.
Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson -
Urban Off Road
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Argot's fifth release calls upon Elizabeth Merrick-Jefferson, an enigmatic lady lurking in the shadows of Detroit, to reveal her three track debut record. On Urban Off Road, her muscular take on techno dashes across dancefloors bearing a distinct twinge of vulnerability, courtesy of the gorgeous bell melodies nestled between heartburning bass lines, brisk piano chords, and precisely arranged cascades of vintage percussion.
Policy - Hit Gone Bad
Argot's fourth release is the Hit Gone Bad EP by NYC-based producer Policy. Let the title track prowl through soundsystems, stabbed with cavernous horns and dogged by the most infectious woodblock in recent memory. Employ the ebullient "Walk Up" to add some fizz with dizzy organ riffs and jaunty brass notes. Or perhaps conjure a reflective mood with the tensely plucked bass lines, bittersweet melodies, and live percussion of "Thick Nostalgia". The choice is yours.
Pittsburgh Track Authority - Giza
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If you thought Pittsburgh Track Authority's production prowess ended at techno and house, prepare for Argot's third release. The single finds the trio stretching into luminous, pulse quickening 2-step on "Giza" and booty bumping, aquamarine electro with "Crosstown Blvd".
Olin - Finally
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Argot's second release is the Finally single by Chicago-based producer Olin. Splashed with exultant synth stabs and nudged along by a persistent bass line and hooked vocals, the title track is well placed to kick a party into next gear. B-side "Tomorrow's News" is unabashedly playful, creating a space where dotted techno melodies chase after each other and dancers rush the booth to figure out what's playing.
Amir Alexander - Gutter Flex EP
Argot's first release is the Gutter Flex EP by Amir Alexander. Its four tracks reveal a startlingly rich and complete aesthetic inspired by the history of American house while avoiding merely emulating its forefathers. Alexander's commanding melodies are carried on hard-bitten beats and often guided by deeply resonant bass lines befitting of this trained bassist.