Disco DJ Marty Mars Found a Trance Record He Actually Likes

The Last Record: Chicago-based DJ Marty Mars selects Adesse Versions, Shrimp Traxx and more.

by Britt Julious
Oct 30 2016, 5:35pm

Photo of Marty Mars courtesy of Kerrilyn Walsh.

Whether it's for playing out at a club or listening at home, DJs and producers typically have an encyclopedic hoard of music, new and old. In The Last Record, they tell us about the last three songs or albums they've purchased, and why these were important additions to their music collection.

This week, we spoke with Marty Mars (aka Martin Kouba), a Chicago-based DJ specializing in disco. Mars plays in popular clubs like Smartbar, at underground venues throughout the city, and during his residencies at Celeste and Disco, a new throwback venue in the heart of the city.

Adesse Versions - "Explain It"

I found Adesse Versions through his release on Numbers. I've been following him for a little bit. This is one of those artists that I set a reminder for at one of my favorite record stores, Gramaphone. Every time they come out with a new release, I get a little email. It's one of those things where if I have a bunch of other records I want to buy at the same time, I decide to buy it now or pass on it.

The one came out on Toy Tonics for their 58th release. The track that I love on here is called "Explain It." Adesse Versions has a great ability to his sound around other musical influences that resonate with me. It definitely sounds like he wanted to make a track that referenced Discovery-era Daft Punk. It has a French house feel to it that I really, really love immediately. It even sounds like it might use one or two of the same samples from Discovery. And so when you listen to it, about halfway through the track, you think, "Does this have a Daft Punk sample in it?" It jumps out to me. I've been playing it a lot and had to buy it when it was on record.

The track that most people know about is called "Pride." I have no idea where the vocal samples come from, but it's sort of like a deep house track that felt familiar to me when I first heard it. This is a song I've heard played out in a lot of mixes. It's got a haunting vocal sample. The track is simple, but the sample just grabs you.

Shrimp Traxx - "Jersey Trade"

The second one came about from digging through Soundcloud. I was looking for random disco edits and I came upon the label called Decks Records. They're really cool and they had a bunch of edits of these uncommon disco tracks. The original material the label put out was completely different than the disco edits.

The record I ended up buying direct from them is by an artist named Shrimp Traxx. I'd never really heard of the artist. It's sort of like a grimy, deep house/acid track. The other side of the record has really banging acid techno on it. I just thought the record was really good. I had just downloaded about 20 freebies from them and I thought, "Well, why don't I support them with this record that's really cool?"

I do buy a lot of disco records and disco edits. I'm always trying to find a new take on an old, classic track. Some of them don't get digital releases because of a lack of sample clearance.

Unknown - Trance 1

At first I thought it was a joke. Then I really liked it the more I listened to it. It's a trance record.

I was trying to dig up information about it. The label is called Trance Wax. Four unknown trance cuts have been reworked to make them either less ridiculous or put them in a deep house setting. It's a really cool record that combines a break beat with trance. I couldn't find out what the original was for a while, but I guess it's called "Greece 2000." It's something I could imagine sounding really good played late at night or early in the morning as the sun comes through the windows of a big loft party or a gallery party. Even though a lot of the sounds it's based on sound dated, it still holds up.