Take a nostalgic trip back.....The Secret Agency
For several years this was the official website for The Secret Agency.
Content is from the site's 2011-2014 archived pages.
Take a nostalgic trip back.....
About The Secret Agency
The Secret Agency is the latest development of the legendary London party crew secretsundaze. After 10 years of parties and strong relations formed with both artists and promoters across the world this seemed like a logical progression. The agency aims to continue the secretsundaze ethos of openess, honesty and forward thinking musical direction and ultimately delivering results for both the promoter and our artists. The reputation of our artists is based as much on their ability to spin records as to make them. We pride ourselves on looking after artists individual needs and being pro-active in terms of seeking work for our artists as opposed to sitting around waiting for the telephone to ring. With regards to dealing with requests from promoters and bookers we aim to give a professional, reliable, honest and efficient service.
Amir Alexander (Vanguard Sound)
Andy Butler (Hercules & Love Affair) (Mr.intl)
ASOK (Mistress, Creme Organization, Scenery)
Bleak (Delsin, Deeply Rooted House)
Boris Werner (Get Physical, Soweso, Voyage Direct)
Bradley Zero (Rhythm Section Int., NTS)
Casino Times (Casino Edits, Wolf Music, Futureboogie)
Damiano Von Erckert (Ava.)
Daniel Bortz (Suol)
Detroit Swindle (Heist Recordings)
DJ Slyngshot (Yappin)
Eliphino (Joy & Repetition)
Endian (NonPlus+, Electric Minds)
Francis Inferno Orchestra (Superconscious Records)
Frits Wentink (Bobby Donny, Heist, Wolf Music)
Gacha / Bakradze (Apollo, Transfigured Time)
Giles Smith (Secretsundaze, Two Armadillos)
Hidden Spheres (Dirt Crew, Moods & Grooves)
James Priestley (secretsundaze, Simple)
Jamie Trench (Roots For Bloom)
Jayson Wynters (Phoenix G)
John Heckle / Head Front Panel (Mathematics Recordings, Tabernacle Records)
Jon Rust (NTS, Levels)
Michael Serafini (Gramaphone Records, Smart Bar Chicago)
Mount Liberation Unlimited (Junk Yard Connections, Superconscious Records)
Moxie (NTS, BBC Radio 1)
Mr Beatnick (Don't Be Afraid)
Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie (Karlovak)
Nicholas (4lux, Needwant)
Noema (African Shakedown, The Magic Movement, Renate, Magic Jams)
Nummer (Going Good, Nummer Music)
October (Skudge, Tanstaafl, Simple Records)
Okain (Talman Records)
Pablo Valentino (Faces, MCDE Recordings)
Patrice Scott (Sistrum)
Ploy (Hessle Audio, Timedance)
Recloose (Planet E, Rush Hour, Aus)
Trus'me (Prime Numbers)
Valentino Mora (French Fries) (ClekClekBoom, IDO)
Willow (Workshop, 808)
Wolf Music (Wolf Music Recordings)
Biog: Giles Smith is one of the partners in The Secret Agency and indeed one of the founder members of its sister party organisation, secretsundaze. He is one of the residents at secretsundaze, DJs worldwide as both secretsundaze with James and solo as Giles Smith.
He produces under the moniker Two Armadillos with Martin Dawson on a whole host of labels.
Biog: As well as a Director of The Secret Agency, James runs the secretsundaze parties and label here in London, plays records at the best spots around the world, produces music, and owns and runs The City Arts & Music Project venue. James has a soft spot for Italian goods.
Youandewan (Hypercolour, 2nd Drop)
“I’m shy, nervous and anxious about life,” says Youandewan. You can tell that by his music, be it the doleful, dubby remixes of Maya Jane Coles, Gerry Read or Sei A he’s turned in, or the garage-tinged originals he has crafted for Skream’s Disfigured Dubz and London’s non-specific bass hub, 2nd Drop. Of course, there’s also the notable “1988” (the first thing he ever produced and which was never intended to see the light of day) and a remix of Dusky’s “Lost in You” which regularly gets spun in the dusty dungeons of Berlin’s Berghain. But none of these really sum-up the reticent Leeds lad, for his loosely house and bass leaning sound is forever on the move.
John Daly (Feel Music, One Track, Drumpoet)
Hailing from Cork, Ireland, John Daly first surfaced in 2005 on his then newly founded label, Feel Music. Since then he has recorded and remixed for numerous labels, including Plak Records, Drumpoet Community, IRR, Mule Musiq, and Francois K's Wave Music, on which he released the acclaimed album Sea & Sky in 2009.
His music sits somewhere between house music, techno, disco and dub, electronic but still very organic, and extra deep. Starting out playing in bands, he moved quickly on to his natural environment, the recording studio, and to working with machines, a love of which he retains to this day, still preferring to work with real instruments as opposed to virtual ones.
Nicholas (4Lux, Needwant)
Italian native Nicholas Iammatteo has an impressive and extensive sense for deeper dance music. What’s even more impressive is the consistency of his releases and his range. He has releases on many labels including Undertones, Kolour Limited, Ourvision, House is the Cure, Small World Disco Edits, Dikso, & Kojak. Has done remixes for Andy Ash and also Mario Basonov on the super fun label Needwant. His greater accomplishment, which has gained the respect of many enthusiasts, is his vinyl only label “No More Hits”. His emphasis is on content not technology.
Diva samples, commanding soul and warm inviting synthesizers breath heavily in his tracks. His work gives the basic tools he uses room to move and play. His track construction gives life to the forgotten energy that classic underground dance music utilized. Looking into Nicholas’ inspiration isn’t as easy as explaining the sequence of events of a producer or DJ who has been a pioneer to the core that is Chicago, Detroit, and N.Y. Underground sounds. The departure into music for Nicholas occurred at the Red Zone Club in Perugia, Italy. This is where Nicholas took his lessons. He credits that club as the catalyst for him becoming aware.
His top influence of all time is the Chicago label that Chez and Trent released scores of records on, Prescription, parent label to many influential labels and distributed by the power house Cajual. More influences in the house vein include Romanthony, Moodymann (listen to Nicholas’ “Many Shade of the Blues” released on Undertones and see for yourself), Pal Joey & Kerri Chandler. Soul/funk/disco influences include the likes of Patrick Adams and Leroy Burgess, along with influences from the sounds of Motown Records.
Amir Alexander (Vanguard Sound, Argot, Hypercolour)
A DJ since 93. A Producer since 98. A true student of the music/culture. Amir founded Vanguard Sound in February 2006. After making his presence felt in the Chicago club scene via a meteoric rise culminating a Dj watch feature in Chicago’s 5 magazine, he completely disappeared and went beneath the underground to focus solely on advancing his production skills. Soon after linking up with G. Marcell and Hakim Murphy he began to release gritty tracks that have been charted and played by underground DJ’s worldwide. His fourth release was the sleeper classic “Experience EP” a 4 tracker with Amir on side a, and G. Marcell on side b. Encouraged by the feedback, Amir then submitted tracks to New York city’s Plan B Recordings. The rest is history as they say.......
Casino Times (Casino Edits, Wolf Music, Needwant)
It is not often that an artist can be defined by such a distinctive sound whilst still maintaining a varied and extremely open minded approach to music production and DJing.
You will probably have first have heard of Casino Times when their infectious future classic ‘That’s The Truth’. The track was supported and played by many highly regarded tastemakers including Jamie XX, Wolf & Lamb, Bicep and Solomun (who included it in his ‘Watergate Mix’ CD).
The versatility of this track set the bench mark for Joseph Spencer and Nick Church, to constantly push their own personnel boundaries when making music, agreeing not to focus on a certain sound but to carve a path with a sound that they can define as their own.
This sound sits comfortably on that precarious boundary that many artists struggle to sit. While their songs are emotionally charged they are also extremely dance floor friendly and are as fun as they are thought provoking. This fact has not gone unnoticed and has lead the boys onto remix a variety of artists such as Foals, jozif, Greymatter, Totally Enromous Exstinct Dinosaurs, Tythe, Christophe and DJ Nibc with each remix displaying a different slant on the Casino Times sound.
As in their productions, their DJ sets possess a diversity that many consider to be a breathe of fresh air. Taking inspiration from disco, house and techno their DJ sets strike that emotional chord that keeps a captivated audience moving all night long. This skill has earned them a residency at Corsica Studios flagship night 'Tief' where they have played along side the likes of Morgan Geist, Todd Terje, Pepe Braddock, Tim Sweeney and Omar S but to name a few as well as tour schedule taking them everywhere from Bristol to Berlin.
2013 has so far been treating the boys very kindly indeed, with the much anticipated 'I Wanna Know' EP out on Needwant records, 'Heart Strings' on Wolf Music and the inaugural release of their very own ‘Casino Edits’ on white label via Phonica. Their release schedule is as ever healthily and consistent with plenty more material on the way including a brand new EP on Wolf Music set for release in early 2014.
Danton Eeprom (Infine)
Doing things by the book has never been Danton's forte. That might be the reason why the London-based Frenchman's path is so atypical, it's probably why he has never committed to a specific style or musical family either, when pretty much everyone else seems to be in a rush to "belong". Mind you, if he had, he would certainly have bored you to tears a long time ago, and his releases would not be welcomed with a distinctive sense of "what has he done this time".
From the start it was clear Danton was in for a jolly good laugh, and trend-setters got it spot on when they started to embrace his deviant but addictive music, from "Confessions Of An English Opium Eater", to "Face Control", or the wicked in the true sense of the word "Give Me Pain". He was a man on a mission, and a mission he took really seriously at that: giving all he had, sweat, blood, beats and screaming synths, whenever he set foot in the main clubs of pretty much all the countries who have a knack for electronic music. And the word spread fast, so fast he had already toured left right and centre by the time his debut LP "Yes Is More" came out. But Danton saw this as an excellent opportunity to cover his tracks and shuffle the cards again - Just when you thought you had got to grips with his style.
The frontman is also a man in the background on various projects, his years as a studio engineer paying off and allowing him to overtake the producer desk and make good artists better, turn OK tunes into full-on old school hits. In a world of music taylorism he likes to add uniqueness, and install a playful feeling to the music he produces. That's right, if he was to be put in a category, it wouldn't be pop, electronica or house - it would be "playful". And yes, he does the same thing with photography, with the way he dresses up for his performances, erecting the way he sees music to an art de vivre. 2012 is the year of living playfully, to the soundtrack of his upcoming LP "All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go". Ready to go there with him? He'll be more than happy to take you for a ride.
Flori (Quintessentials, Freerange)
Jamie Mark Edward Taylor, or Flori when the creative mood takes him, enjoys nothing more than listening to, playing and making music that doesn't make use of a noisy guitar. He's also not too fond of 808 drum samples. This can get him into trouble when in the company of other house heads but shows his willingness to test the boundaries of his chosen genre - with often unexpected results. Flori's musical know how - gained through a life on the front line - enables him to translate his soul, jazz and funk influences into forward thinking House music for the new decade.
It's difficult to sum up in short Flori's sound but the fact that he enjoys Bluey's horn arrangements, Kerri's basslines, Agnes's beats, the way Kenny uses samples and when Cole's tracks switch from 2-step to 4/4, should give you a rough idea. In other terms, Flori strives to unfurl a highly organic dance floor experience that can change in the blink of an eye yet retain a cohesiveness that belies his 24 years. With such a vast selection of music at his disposal, Flori is able to juxtapose four to the floor beats both old and new to put his own unique stamp on the genre.
Jamie (this was before the transition) has been a resident at and co-promoter of one of the UK's most successful modern soul nights Soul Underground for 8 years. It's a family run night that has provided Jamie with the chance to cut his teeth as a DJ and explore many different musical avenues. With an audience as comfortable on the floor with down-tempo soul and gospel as they are with nu-jazz and house music, Jamie gained a deep understanding of how to move a floor. The success of the party led to a string of bookings and his own internet radio show, The Underground House Sessions which ran live every week for over two years.
Flori's first release, in tandem with Ethyl has already sent pulses racing. Gaining support from deep and soulful heads alike, the Trimley EP on Freerange represented the first of a host of releases including 12's on the acclaimed Quintessentials and Detroit imprint House Is The Cure. At present, Flori can usually be found working on music in his cellar or at Ethyl's house - often flicking through hi-hat samples or drinking gin.
Mr Beatnick (Don't Be Afraid)
Mr. Beatnick is one of the UK’s bonafide musical diamonds in the rough. He is one of few hip-hop producers to newly enter the house and techno fold in the past few years and has really turned heads. During the late 00’s he released on labels like Far Out and Altered Vibes, and contributed remixes for artists like Azymuth and Atjazz, but it was the epic, string-laden house jam “Synthetes”, released on Semtek’s “Don’t Be Afraid” imprint in 2011, which proved the breakthrough moment for this talented beat-smith, receiving widespread critical acclaim and regular support from djs as diverse as Gilles Peterson, Scuba, Jamie XX, Paul Woolford and Deetron. The follow up "Sun Goddess" created a similar stir in summer 2012, and this year he completed his house trilogy to great effect with the off-kilter sounds of the “Savannah” EP. An eclectic and forward-thinking dj, Mr Beatnick’s sets tread a frenetic and diverse path, weaving in influences across the house, techno, hip-hop, and UK underground scenes. His monthly show on NTS radio is a cult favourite amongst the hip and happening London cognescenti.
October (TANSTAAFL, Simple Records)
October (Julian Raymond Smith) is a shining example of a renegade artist, constantly forging his own path rather than following the pack. Based in the musical melting pot of Bristol, he has been steadily rising in profile and creativity, both as a producer and as a DJ, since his first label Caravan Recordings came into being back in 2007. In that short time his brand of off-kilter house and techno has also appeared on, Perspectiv, Misericord, Jack Off and Immerse, championed by the likes of Ewan Pearson, Ripperton and DJ Qu while also collaborating with peers such as Appleblim, Will Saul, Kowton and many more.
His tracks bear the fruits of his musical influences, where the metallic textures of krautrock and curve-ball antics of noise rock collide with the bumping jack of the NYC, Detroit and Chicago originators. One quick search for his many online mixes will reveal wildly imaginative track selections far removed from the Beatport chart topping tracks du jour or the back-patting sycophantism rife in the modern podcast.
When he steps into the club, the same unconventional approach can be expected behind the decks as his deadly record collection gets a rough workout. At his prime in the sweaty, feverish peak of the night but equally adaptable to more hushed tones in the warm-up slot, October is a DJ in the truest sense of the word; sensitive to the crowd he plays to, uncompromising in his artistic vision, and playing vinyl only.
Signed to Skudge Recordings and Simple Records, DJ October has also been the driving force behind his new label 'TANSTAAFL' Records, which has been widely praised by the music press, and sets the course for more of the jacking dancefloor house and techno he is known for.
Written by Oli Warwick
Bleak (Delsin, Deeply Rooted House, Stockholm)
When creating drive as well as Bleak does, not much can be said more clearly than his music itself. By simply putting everything into his tracks, Bleak goes deep into a state where nostalgia, the present and the future dwells, a place and atmosphere being well communicated through his personal style of Techno. When it comes to direction, Bleak is somebody to count on.
"Elias Landberg from Skudge introduced me to Bleak, saying he thought i'd like his music, and he was very right! Bleak's tracks have a unique mixture of Deep Hypnotic and repetitive grooves with a special soul and magic to them. I let you discover the tracks, and i hope you'd like them as much as I do!" - DJ Deep
Monday, 16 January 2012
We have moved!
We have moved, please visit our new tumblr:
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
Having released several records on labels like 4Lux, Quintessentials, Ourvision, and NuGroove (which 'Back On Track' compilation received high critical acclaim), this Italian house producer also runs his own prolific No More Hits vinyl imprint. This podcast is a live performance that features exclusively Nicholas's own remixes, edits and original productions, in which most of them are previously unreleased material. Read the entire interview and download the podcast here.
Monday, 19 December 2011
Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Claudio Lillo)
1. Call Super - And It Was [Five Easy Pieces]
|Dark, haunting, psychedelic and druggy. What more could you ask for in a house record?|
2. Floating Points - Marilyn [Eglo]
|Remember the first time I heard this at Deviation. I went crazy.|
|I've listened to this tune over 200 times this year. Love it.|
|It's amazing when a good friend of yours makes a brilliant tune. Nice work on this one, Tom!|
5. Motor City Drum Ensemble - Basement LOVE [!K7]
|Can't get enough of those kicks.|
6. The Weeknd - House Of Balloons/ Glass Table Girls [self-released]
|The switch up is priceless.|
7. Dirg Gerner - Loose Lights [Ho Tep]
|Vibes upon vibes. No wonder Mr. Peterson is all over this.|
8. Alfabet - Roundabout [Rush Hour]
|Hypnotic bongo loop and crazy keys are all I need.|
9. Daphni - Ye Ye [Text]
|Probably my favourite record of last year. Everything about this tune is amazing. I bought 2 copies when it first came out. Then they repressed it. Haha.|
10. Tune Yards - You Yes You [4AD]
|It was either this or 'Powa' off her new record. Really love the drums on this one though.|
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Ben Start)
1. Recloose - Techcumseh [Rush Hour]
|Stand out track in another strong year for the all conquering collective behind Dutch shop Rush Hour.|
2. Juk Juk - Winter Turns Spring [Text]
|Shimmering electronic folk music that claws at your heart strings.|
3. Life's track - Life's Track 08 [Bosconi]
|Slowish house but with dirty garage toens, picked up the Hessle 116 and upwards mantra and scootered through Italy with it.|
4. Virgo 4 - It's A Crime (Caribou Remix) [Rush Hour]
|An obvious one but the effect on the floor as this one unravels is amazing. Watch out for the Junior Boys remix.|
5. Session Victim - Good Intentions [Retreat]
|Had Move D reaching for his hanky at Freerotation...|
6. Arkist - Fill My Coffee [Apple Pips]
|Low slung Bristol boogie meets bass, at once timeless but a great snapshot of the year that was 2011.|
7. Moodymanc - Black Paint (Larry Heard After Dark Mix) [Tsuba]
|Chugging Larry Heard remix that really puts the Gil-Scott Heron vocal through its paces.|
8. Floating Points - Arp 3 [Eglo]
|I listened to the intro again and again before I let myself hear that bassine. Truely epic.|
9. G. Marcell - Groove With Me [Aesthetic Audio]
|Majestic raw organic sound, cinematic. If Attenborough documentaries turned to techno they'd do a lot worse than this.|
10. Martyn & Mike Slott - All Nights [All City]
|Stark and stripped back urgency with a hefty bass pulse.|
Monday, 12 December 2011
The Secret Agency 3rd Fabric takeover 17/12/2011
With just three weeks left of 2011, here's a heads up of how The Secret Agency will be seeing the year out. We are very pleased to announced our 3rd Fabric takeover, taking place on Saturday, 17th December.
First up, joining us will be Keith Worthy. This Detroit house producer has been releasing some of the strongest deep house music since 2007. Having put out only five EPs on his own Aesthetic Audio label, it isn't hard to understand that Keith emphasises on quality over quantity. Expect some deep-down-the-ocean vibes for his set.
Holding the techno flat will be DJ October, who joined TSA family this year. This Bristolian is the boss of the long-running Caravan label, as well as the head honcho of Tanstaafl, which he co-runs with John Osborn.
DJ October - 'Hyper Space, Human Race' [RawFloorMix - Unmastered] 320 by october
Our final guest is secretsundaze's resident James Priestley. Having been busy with secretsundaze 10th birthday tour around Europe, USA, Japan and Russia, James has also recently compiled a mix CD for the label with partner-in-crime Giles Smith.
Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Karen Ka Ying Chan)
1. Chicago Skyway - Bad Driver (Aroy Dee Edit) [M>O>S Deep]
|Chi-sound is the best sound. Yes, Chicago Skyway (real name Sean Hernandez), as you may have already guessed, is actually from the windy city. He makes deep, raw, and jackin' music. There's so much energy in this track I can't get enough of it. The original version isn't released yet, but M>O>S label boss Aroy Dee has done a pretty amazing job on the edit.|
2. Delta Funktionen - Another Dimension [Ann Aimee]
|What a banger! Heavy, heart-throbbing... it's just BIG. You gotta put this tune on really loud and bounce to it, right now.|
3. Dexter - Great Northern Driver [Clone Basement]
|I couldn't decide if T.H.I.N.G. (featured on the same EP) or this track was better. But I like the heavier, bassier, more acid-y sound of Great Northern Driver. Dexter never disappoints because he doesn't really stick to a certain sound. Check also his Clone Clown-released 'Space Booty/ Fat Skinny People' 12", it's got a completely different, more electro-y and breaks kind of vibe.|
4. Ital - Culture Clubs [Lovers Rock]
|This song sounds really weird, druggy and hypnotic. It's a bit off-key and off-beat too but that's what makes it so special.|
5. Instra:mental - Vicodin (Skudge Warehouse Remix) [Naked Lunch]
|Alex Green (one half of Instra:mental) is one of my favourite producers. Everything he's done this year - whether as Boddika or Instra:mental, is just huge. Not to mention the brilliant Resolution 653 album. The original version of Vicodin is amazing, and Skudge further establishes it into a deeper, darker, bassier track. Grand Prix on the flip is really nice too.|
6. Magic Touch - Clubhouse [100% Silk]
|Not Not Fun imprint 100% Silk have done incredibly well this year. This track samples the vocals from Clubhouse's 1991 track Deep In My Heart. It's exactly the kind of music I wanna dance to in a club. Real house-y, real good.|
7. Pangaea - Hex [Hemlock]
|Super thick and intense percussion. Scary and bizarre vocals. Pangaea has literally transformed words like 'agressive', 'angry', 'dark' and 'scary' into dance music, and it works really well.|
8. Seahawks & Autre Ne Veut - Don's Rainbow [Ocean Moon]
|Seahawks' cosmic yacht rock + Autre Ne Veut's mesmerising, twisted vocals = mindblowing. The melancholic melody sweeps me away like a sadness in life. So good it hurts.|
9. Teeth - Shawty 
|Three words: dark, sultry, and (subtly) provocative. The vocals really add to the whole track as well. The music video is worth checking out too, it's equally seductive. The FaltyDL remix is not bad either.|
10. Unknown Artist - People Of Earth [Amp Art]
|Picked up this record at Phonica at the beginning of the year, I really like the groovy and soulful downtempo electronic/funk sound it's got. Beautiful.|
Friday, 9 December 2011
Juno's Deep House Recommendations Best of 2011