The Newtown Sessions is a new bi-weekly in-studio series, brought to Noisey by our friends over at Newtown Radio, the Brooklyn-based online radio station.
Chad Valley, the alias of Hugo Manuel, is a pop star from Oxford, UK. For the past two years, Manuel has cut his teeth on silky smooth dance tracks that have garnered the attention of music lovers around the world.
We discovered Chad Valley waaay back in 2011, when he dropped a massive remix of "Money," the hit single by the Drums from their album Portamento. The remix is pitched at a slightly slower speed, allowing the various synths to wash over and harmonize with the vocal samples. The result is a lush and completely danceable groove, like the many other dreamy remixes to his credit, including Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Penguin Prison, and Rush Midnight.
His most recent album to date is Young Hunger, which came out on Cascine in 2012. It showcases Hugo's mastery of the synth palette with a host of collaborators, including: Twin Shadow, Glasser, El Perro Del Mar, Active Child, and more.
To understand Chad Valley is to recognize the influence of 80s pop, leaning towards some of the seminal artists of the era, like Tears for Fears, Thomas Dolby, New Edition, New Jack Swing etc., but there seems to be an deeper connection with a specific kind of dance music, namely the balearic house of the late 80s and early 90s.
Balearic house was the lynchpin for the UK rave scene in the early 1990s. Alfredo, George Morel, and Rene Et Gaston are just a few excellent innovators of this movement, which began in the clubs of the Balearic Islands, just off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean. Chad Valley's sound deploys hints of delicious balearic house combined with shimmering vocal harmonies. It's a rare fusion, guaranteed to blow your brains apart.
For this session, Hugo played three songs from Young Hunger as well as "Now That I'm Real (How Does it Feel?)," from his Equatorial Ultravox EP, on Cascine.
Check out Chad Valley's performance in this Newtown Session video and stream the full session recording, right here.