The collaborative rotating door of personalities that makes up Hercules and Love Affair has always been a broad church. Ringmaster Andy Butler says he has only one consideration when assembling a new line-up for a pristine phase of his epic musical journey through the dynamics of past, present and future night-life. “The key to the Hercules project is that I don’t want people coming to the table with nothing to say.”
The new Hercules cast is impeccable. John Grant was first into the fold and unearthed a new way for Andy to record. His sexy tomcat voice and lyrical ability for translating hardship into elegance lent themselves greatly to the new album and the collaboration ʻI Try To Talk To Youʼ is an album highlight, future single and uniquely Hercules.. Another tremendous voice was found in the chameleon Rouge Mary, backstage at a Hercules show in Paris, looking “like a member of Fields of the Nephilim” in a floor length trenchcoat, wide-brimmed hat and heels. Rouge showcases a deep, fierce, spiritual voice found through a gospel education, with a look found through a degree in New Romanticism. Similarly Andy encountered Belgian singer Gustaph at a live gig. He has that perfect mezzo soprano voice that can handle a whole Sylvester vibe. On the first EP from the new album, Gustav heralds the acid pop house masterpiece, ‘Do You Feel The Same?’. And rounding out the vocalists is the smoky voiced virtuoso Krystle Warren. John Grant had introduced Andy to Krystle’s voice on a Youtube clip of her singing her own immortal heartbreak classic ‘Circles’. Tears ensued, with an inquiry as to who this crooner was. In Andy’s words, “Two months later Krystle was in Vienna and we were working together in what has been one of the most loaded musical relationships of my life.”
This aesthetic coupled with substantial tales of emotional triumph makes for something that does not happen in dance music very much anymore. Put actual songwriting into the mix, and you have the goal of Hercules 3.0: meaningful house music that IS pop music and can speak to the most musically adept of tastes. More now than ever it is about delivering something deeper to the hedonistic precept of Hercules & Love Affair. “I am fascinated by belief,” Andy says, “Maybe the nightclub isn’t just decadent and meaningless.” His words resonate past memories of hearing the gospel house tones of Sounds of Blackness, Ten City and Mass Order under a mirror-ball. Andy lived and wowed through Francois Kevorkian and Danny Krivit’s pivotal Millennial Sunday night secular/spiritual nightclub transcendence, Body&Soul, in New York. Every house fanatic saves a special place for the gospel spiritual ‘Stand on the Word’ revitalised by Larry Levan. If they had done Greek Mythology already, why not God? So pay attention to the decree: let the party begin, once more with meaning!
TENSNAKE, aka German DJ and producer Marco Niemerski, made his name with the huge 2010 dancefloor smash hit ‘Coma Cat’, and since then has been in ever increasing demand. Seemingly effortlessly managing the elusive feat of marrying classic disco and house influences to a contemporary sound, Marco is in that very rare position where his music appeals equally to the biggest dancefloors, from Ibiza and Miami, and real chin-stroking aficionados. All of which has gained him a solid reputation as a producer’s producer. His music effortlessly transcends genres, and the release of his eagerly anticipated debut album Glow looks set to cement his reputation as a major talent.