Review: Ready for a strange soul sensation? Say hello to Henry Wu. After a smattering of outings on 22a and XVI, the Londoner jumps aboard Ho Tep with his first extensive extended document. "Don't Want The Regular" is a hazy twist on slo-mo broken beat, all dreamy and just the right amount of abstract. "Expensive Ghetto" takes the abstract even further with a jazz trumpet that wanders so free it's nearly off the page. "Black Rigsby" is more floor-focused as it looks towards the likes of Detroit with strange filtered synth wriggles and spacy overtones, "Just Negotiate" sits somewhere between Andrew Ashong and Amp Fiddler with its yearning lyrics and hugely enveloping synths and finally "Joint September" closes the show on a reflective jazzy note. Dreamy.
Review: Henry Wu's capacity for funked up productions wedged in the BPMs between beatdown and house was on full display with the fine release for Alex Nut's Ho Tep label earlier this year. It's an approach that clearly seduced the cats over at Berlin label Odd Socks! The four cuts on Motions of Wu Vol 1 sound every bit as vital as the previous Wu transmission and make the Juno review team want to seek out the nearest park with a portable turntable and some BBQ tackle. This is the sort of 12" DJs adore such is the variety of mood and tempo explored across both sides. Up top, the chunky shine of "Midtour" is complemented by the sweeter, deeper bump of "Sumner Road" whilst Wu veers off into house mode on the excellent "117 Careplan". Best of all is the supple broken vibes of "Back To Brukka" which would not look out of place on a 2000 Black record.
Just Negotiate (feat Simeon Jones - Kaidi Tatham remix) (6:41)
Century (feat Hardhouse Banton) (4:32)
Review: Fresh from the runaway success of his Yussef Kamaal project with Yussef Dayes, Henry Wu returns to Eglo Records for the first time since 2015. While it's jazzy broken beat opener "Deep In The Mudd" - co-produced by Hardhouse Banton - that's naturally getting most attention, there's plenty to get excited about elsewhere on the EP. Check, for example, the hissing jazz of "Boards & Skins", Kaidi Tatham's deep, sparkling and effortlessly soulful re-make of "Just Negotiate", and the ultra-deep, Rhodes-laden bliss of "Reflections", a beat-less treat. Also worth checking is the EP's other Hardhouse Banton hook-up, "Century", which charges off on a high-tempo, mutant P-funk tip.
Review: 2015 is fast turning into Henry Wu's year. Having already delivered killer 12s of baked deep house/instrumental hip-hop fusion for Ho-Tep and Odd Socks, he now pops up on Rhythm Section International with another brilliant EP. While as deep and blazed as previous excursions, there's a sun-bright freshness to the pleasingly varied selections on offer. Contrast, for example, the deep space, boogie-house slickness of "Yellow Brick", the bruk revivalism of "Neezy (Wok)" - think I.G Culture after a few too many bongs) - and the brilliant deep house/jazz-funk fusion of "Dubplate Special". Arguably best of all, though, is the Latin jazz-goes-deep house warmth of "Croydon Depot". Everyone will have a different personal favourite, though; it's that kind of EP.
Review: 22a/Eglo alumni, Henry Wu and Jamal Banton complement each other with every spacious, measured groove. The power is evident from the supreme jazz funk of "T-Slap Biz" - show us a body that isn't popping when this drops and you're playing the wrong parties. "2011" techs us up to a notch with an UR style pace and trippiness while "Natural" is 100% 22a soul, all loose limbed, warm, harmonic and fuzzy. "Dutty Dubz" tips a nod to the deep foundations of Dego and Marc Mac with its jazzy breakbeat introspection and "Street Brukka" brings us home with woozy far-away trumpets, shuffling swinging drums and chord washes that are up there with Iz & Diz's legendary "Mouth." Stunning.
Henry Wu - "Substance" (IG Culture & Alex Phountzi remix) (4:36)
Son Of Scientist - "Spartan Riddim" (4:52)
NameBrandSound & Sonar's Ghost - "Can't Hold It" (4:43)
Alex Phountzi - "2nd Intention" (feat IG Culture & Henry Wu) (4:39)
IG Culture & Seiji - "Gangz" (4:26)
Review: Bruk bastions, the CoOp collective were one of the brightest, most exciting musical movements in the early to mid 2000s with their barbed, broken soul take on bass music emanating from Plastic People playing a heavy role in the forms of contemporary house music, dubstep and all things in between. Freshly reformed since a Boiler Room comeback in 2015 and loaded with new affiliates, the ensemble, First Word proudly present their first collective EP. Ranging from the jittering soundclash bashment of "Spartan Riddim" to the sensual Bias-like harp heaven of "Can't Hold It" via the technoid stutters of "2nd Intention", this marks the start of a very exciting new chapter for the CoOp crew.
Review: It was only a matter of time before Henry Wu and K15 would link up with London's Eglo, and their respective prior releases for the likes of Wild Oats, Rhythm Section and 22a have earned them a spot in one of the finest house and broken beat labels around. "Love's Gambit" is a perfect example of the latter genre, a sublime blend of jazzy percussion swings and smooth melodic drifts, followed by the even more soulful bounces of the gentle "Space & Time" - one for the jazz fusion heads! "The Anthem" heads towards more housey spheres thanks to its stable beat pattern - it-s an absolute peach of a tune, by the way - but it's "Shahada" that governs the dancefloor with its rough MPC drum programming and finger-licking synth rotations. A beautiful and fitting addition to the catalogue.