One of the finest artists whose work’s come into the KEXP studios in 2011 is Manchester producer-DJ Star Slinger. Star Slinger (a.k.a Darren Williams) is one of those guys you see in your local record store digging through the crates. He works at an arthouse theater and went to school for music technology at Leeds Metropolitan University. His style is stripped-down and spare, mixing warm hip-hop beats with funk, reggae, R&B and soul samples. The style is fresh, with slightly experimental use of the samples but it’s all geared for you to dance. In 2007, he put out a couple vinyl dance records under his regular name, and in 2010 became Star Slinger with the release of his debut record, Volume 1.
After hearing Star Slinger’s work the first time in the KEXP studios, I went home and downloaded his whole first album for free. Since then, it’s been on constant rotation on my headphones and at home. The album opens with the track “Mornin”:
What is most amazing is that a talented digger (the DJ term for one who searches through record stores for obscure samples) can take an soul song like Black Pepper’s “Running Out of Gas”...
and make it into a modern dance track. The original is a great song. But the Star Slinger version seems to jump out of the speakers:
Currently on European Tour, Star Slinger has just canceled his U.S. tour and plans to reschedule. To hear more from Star Slinger, check out the show this Saturday. Meanwhile, if you want to get the album for free you can do that here.
Michele Myers spins every Saturday on KEXP from 3-6pm. It’s a high-energy show that is geared to ramp you up for Saturday night... Every week she plays 3-in-a-row from the Saturday Afternoon Artist. She is the creator of KEXP Documentaries and hosts Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays 6-9am on WNYE 91.5FM in New York City.