Celebrating International Feel’s Super Bespoke Output

Every week or thereabouts, Mutant Dance Moves takes you to the shadowy corners of the dancefloor and the fringes of contemporary electronic music, where new strains and dance moves are evolving.

Back in 2009, UK exile Harvey Bassett was down and out in Venice Beach. While Harvey was revered in DJ circles (he was a resident at Ministry of Sound and his oft-booted Sarcastic Study Masters mix CD influenced the eclectic DJing styles of everyone from James Murphy to Prins Thomas) he hadn’t released any new music since the late ’90s. It was then that he received an email from Mark Barrott, who had once been a member of the Future Loop Foundation and was now residing in Uruguay. He asked Harvey for some tracks and Harvey returned to the studio, coming out with his Locussolus project in 2010.

Barrott himself was a willful exile as well, having stepped away from the British dance music scene for a minute, living in Berlin and Italy before winding up in South America. And he had finally gotten to cooking some new tracks as Rocha. “I sat at kitchen table in Uruguay with laptop and keyboard waiting for the shipping container and wrote ‘Hands of Love,’” Barrott said. “But I couldn’t get a deal for it anywhere, so I decided ‘Screw this, I’ll start my own label and do it better than anyone else would anyway’ and thus the monster was born.”

That monster (named for Todd Rundrgen’s noisy pop classic) is the much-respected dance label International Feel, which celebrates its third birthday this month with a handy two-disc compendium of the label’s output. The label’s output has ranged from the aforementioned DJ Harvey to Todd Terje remixes, with cuts featuring Theo Parrish and unknown entities named Hungry Ghost and Boys from Patagonia. Needless to say, two discs can’t hold all the weird wooly music they’ve released in that timespan, but it still provides quite the trip.

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