Maxine & Cleo - Mad Blanc
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
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)
1,2,3 (Feels Right)
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
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 -
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
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
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
Through The Haze
Argot's ninth release, Where Did You Go? / Through The Haze, is by Brooklyn-based producer Octo Octa. It's the first single he's released on a label besides 100% Silk, the home of his two full-lengths and three EPs. This shift is embodied in the tracks, too, as Octo Octa sharpens his effervescent sound to a harder, more floor-focused edge.
Chase Smith - Stay
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
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
Urban Off Road
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
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
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.