Artist: Mature Minds Feat Rankin Youth
Title: Concrete Castles
Release: May 24, 2011
Style: House, Deep House, Broken Beat
1. Miguel Graca Rub
2. Original Vocal Mix
3. Halo Varga Surface Dub Mix
4. Rise Ashen Remix
5. Original Dub Mix
6. Radio Edit
High-powered deep house anthem featuring vocals from Rankin Youth and mixes by Halo, Miguel Graca and Rise Ashen. Upfront support from Kenny Dope, Mark Knight, Luciano, Robert Owens, Kaskade, The Revenge, Nic Fanciulli, Mr V, Yass, Giom, Lars B, Nacho Marco, Dino & Terry, Tommy Largo, Jeannie Hopper, Demarkus Lewis, Atnarko, Nikola Batalya & many more.
Mature Minds is a collaboration that has been slowly brewing between Trevor Walker and Nordic Trax label boss Luke McKeehan since early 2010. After a vocal session with soul and reggae singer Gary Moore, aka Rankin Youth of Soul Jazz Orchestra fame, the ‘Concrete Castles’ song was born. The final mixdown involved Montreal-based producer Miguel Graca who completes the Mature Minds line-up and also contributes his own version. Nordic Trax enlisted the services of long-time musical friends Halo Vargo and Rise Ashen both of whom delivered deadly interpretations of the original. The end result: 6 sparkling versions of this high-powered anthem which glide easily between deep, tech house and broken beat, all the while carrying a heavy message for those whose minds are open enough to hear it.
The year is 2011 and the global dance music scene has reached a pinnacle not seen since the disco heyday of the late ‘70s. Previously ‘underground’ acts now regularly wind up in the mainstream Top 40 charts and pop stars of all types are enlisting the services of dance producers to make them sound contemporary. Any notion of an underground seems a distant memory amidst the current climate of swash-buckling deal-makers, entertainment lawyers and novelty acts who dominate mainstream club music ….
Enter Mature Minds -- a collaboration slowly brewing between Trevor Walker & Luke McKeehan; two renowned figures in the Canadian scene with over 40 years collective experience. While based on opposite coasts (Ottawa and Vancouver respectively) and separated by thousands of kilometres of Canadian prairie in between, Walker and McKeehan have a shared love and deep passion for House and underground dance music culture.
‘Concrete Castles’ began as a studio session in early 2010, followed by further production elements, including a vocal session with soul & reggae singer Gary Moore, a/k/a Rankin Youth of Soul Jazz Orchestra fame. Final mix-down involved Montreal producer (and Juno award-winner) Miguel Graca, who also contributed his own versions to the project. Once complete, Nordic Trax enlisted the services of long-time musical friends Halo Varga & Rise Ashen, both of whom delivered deadly interpretations of the original. The end result: 6 sparkling versions of this high-powered anthem which glide easily between deep tech house and broken beat, all the while carrying a heavy message for those whose minds are open enough to hear it.
Trevor Walker is credited as the primary catalyst and pioneer of the jazz/funk and House music movement in Ottawa. Trevor has been in the business since 1989, a regular fixture on local radio since 1994 and a long-time resident at Mercury Lounge Ottawa since it opened in 1998 – more importantly he’s been record-collecting even longer. His own extensive discography includes various solo productions and collaborations with the likes of Rise Ashen, Miguel Graca, Shawn Escoffery & Soul Jazz Orchestra on some legendary labels including: Hi-Bias, Bombay, Afro Art, Gotsoul, Balanced and Do Right.
Producer, deejay and club promoter Luke McKeehan is the owner and A&R for Nordic Trax. From 1996 – 2003 he ran two ground-breaking nightclubs in Vancouver (Chameleon Lounge & Sonar) and has continued to deejay hundreds of gigs around the world including opening for icons David Bowie, Jamiroquai and Kaskade among many others. Vancouver Magazine named him among the Top 50 Artists & Entertainers in the rainy city. On top of a busy schedule with Nordic Trax he also regularly consults for major brands including Nike, H&M and Live Nation.
Chicago-native Halo Varga relocated West in the ‘90s and -- with partner Hipp-E and San Diego’s Siesta records -- shaped what eventually became knows as the ‘West Coast’ sound. Responsible for many any anthem as part of H-Foundation, his solo track 'The Future' ended up on Resident Advisor's Top 100 tracks of the '00s, alongside other iconic selections from the likes of Bassment Jaxx, Metro Area, Kerri Chandler. A busy producer, in 2004 Halo re-focused on his passion for the deeper side of things and founded his own label Citydeep. Since then the label has had steady string of quality releases from a ‘who’s who’ of deep House royalty, including Dennis Ferrer, Marlon D, Franck Roger, Rocco, DJ Deep, Julius Papp, and most recently the South African rising star Black Coffee.
Miguel Graca is an icon in the Montreal club scene and produced his first club hit ‘There 4 U’ in 1991, which was promptly bootlegged in NYC and ended up charting in the UK with heavy support from the infamous Kiss FM. His track ‘Thankful’ on the legendary Hi-Bias record label won the 1994 Juno Award for Best Original Dance song, and he’s done remixes for A-list House names Masters At Work, Jestofunk, Roy Davis Jr and Llorca to name only a few. An extremely talented creator, he’s recently turned his attention to documentary film-making, including projects for The National Film Board of Canada and the worldwide sensation Cirque De Soleil.
Ottawa based b-boy, producer and deejay Rise Ashen has devoted his life to the study of sound and movement, focusing his knowledge of high fidelity production to underground music. A student of music & production, it’s easy to hear world music elements take form in his productions, which are predominantly nu-jazz, broken-beat and House. He’s remixed and/or collaborated with the likes of Bebel Gilberto, Fred Everything, John Beltran and Angel Moraes. Taste-making deejays Roger Sanchez and Rainer Truby have licensed his tracks, and he’s shared the stage as a performer with K’Nan, Kid Koala and Jully Black among many others.
Written by Trevor Walker, Luke McKeehan & Gary Moore
Produced by Trevor Walker, Luke McKeehan & Miguel Graca
Engineered by Miguel Graca. Mastered by Chris Alexander
Published by Nordic Trax [Socan]. Copyright 2010-2011 Nordic Trax.
Track 1 & 6 remix and additional production by Miguel Graca for Pronto Musique.
Track 3 remix and additional production by Halo Varga, keys by Adam Pickrell & Halo Varga for CityDeep.
Track 4 remix and additional production by Rise Ashen.