Review: The inimitable Theo Parrish is in a class of one. His brand of music is impossible to categorise as it draws on so many unique sounds in so many unique ways. This new album is another spellbinding affair that takes scuffed up house rhythms and intertwines them with freeform percussive patterns and off-grid synths that get pulled apart then rebuilt before your very ears. It is experimental music with an improvised jazz mindset that can range from complex and dense tapestries like 'Radar Detector' to the more upbeat and playful 'Hennyweed Buckdance' via fucked up drum sketches like 'All Your Boys Are Biters.'
Review: Much loved UK underground stalwart Truly Madly kicks off his new label with a trip to the outer edges of the dancefloor. It's a various artist affair drawing on some of the most interesting producers round right now. It's the much hyped Gene On Earth who kicks off with a cosmic tech workout for mind, body and soul, and Kepler keeps the uplifting vibes alive with his high speed and slick acid cracker. The flip side is taken care of firstly by Jhobei with his deeper, more spacious 'Grande Sultry' which erupts on fanatical sci-fi synths and Noiro cloys out with a gritty head-wrecker.
Review: Atalanta's Byron The Aquarius has established himself as one of electronic music's most interesting artists. The super skill musician is a virtuoso on the keys and dab hand with making beats. He's got a wide range of sounds in his arsenal and is a perfect fit for the raw, MPC loving Apron label run by Funkineven, which is where lands now. This fulsome EP takes you on a jazz tinged house trip to the edges of the galaxy with far-sighted chords and reflective moods one minute and noodling, funk laced beat pieces the next. It's as high in quality as it is timeless.
Review: Planisphere is exactly the kind of cult deep house and techno producer that For Those That Knoe are all over. David Swatten's last release was 20 years ago, and that one now fetches sky-high prices online, but fortunately the good ship Knoe has taken charge of the situation and commissioned this full-length release of sumptuous electronics. As you would expect for the label, the vibe is primarily classic ambient techno with a spread of different energies from heads down club grooves to blissful back room excursions, all expressed through vintage synth tones. Consistently brilliant throughout, this is the kind of album you could happily melt into from start to finish, as well as having plenty for the mix-minded to get busy with.
I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Timmy Regisford original version) (5:48)
I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know (Joaquin edit & Overdub version) (7:06)
Review: Second time around for Timmy Regisford's inspired rework of Donny Hathaway's 1972 classic "I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know", an unofficial revision that first slipped out on white label a couple of years ago. Regisford's revision is inspired, with the veteran New York producer layering Hathaway's heartfelt vocals and select instrumental elements from the original mix (guitar, orchestration) over a bed of rolling house beats and layered percussion. It's an emotional, life-affirming affair that re-casts the melancholic original as a stirring house classic. Over on side B, Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell offers an equally fine "Edits and Overdubs" version that adds some brand-new synth solos, spacey electronics and sweat-soaked percussion to Regisford's impressive revision.
Review: Detroit's Jay Daniel can no longer be referred to as a protegee. The Watusi High boss is very much a talent unto his own after forming a small but superb discography in the last few years. His latest outing is another exquisite mixture of his very real drum playing skills and an ability to coax real feeling out of his lush synths. After the ambiance of 'Muse,' 'Solo' sinks into a late night vibe with glowing pads and wooden hits making for a perfectly reflective mood. 'Dew' cuts more loose into ticketing drum work that is raw and off-grid, but again soften but those gaze-inducing pads, and 'Cherry' closes out with crunchy, dance floor ready grooves.
Review: The Neroli label is now onto its 51st release and the quality levels remain as high as ever thanks to these four fantastic cuts from Deenamic. 'Out Of My Mind' is scuffed up deep house with dragging kick drums and astro pads pulling in different directions to great effect. 'Sambu' brings Latin drum skips to the fore, with more swirling and celestial pad work, and it is a stunning fusion. The voodooistic 'The Bitter Truth' channels Theo Parrish in its busy arrangement and fizzing synths while last of all, 'Dayride' is a slow paced, jazz tinged workout that encourage you to sit bat and stare at the heavens.
Marcel Vogel & Tim Jules - "Just Because (feat Javonntte)" (5:22)
Detroit Swindle - "Time" (5:49)
The Message - "Feel The Love" (7:44)
PBR Streetgang - "Madame Z" (6:18)
James Curd - "Lets Get Get Get It" (7:21)
Review: Lumberjacks in Hell comes out with a milestone compilation to celebrate 10 years in business with an all star line up made of the likes of Detroit Swindle, Waajeed, PBR Streetgang and Lumberjacks founder Marcel Vogel himself, alongside Tim Jules and Javonntte. You are used to quality from this label and quality it is.
Review: Belarus' Iner launches a new label with a strong cast of international names all pushing a deep and distinguished strain of house music for those who want soul and invention in equal measure. Tilman is up first with 'Sweet Dreamer', a mellow, looped up roller. Sune's 'Flutes' takes a breezier approach shaped out by fluttering jazz funk motifs. Yann Polewka celebrates the sweetest Philly strings and some classic vocal licks for a disco-infused burner you can't help but love. Iner himself keeps things loose and organic on the wonderful 'Respectfull Kind Music', while Scruscru goes for a sleek approach to chopped up funky house. That leaves it to Buzz Compass to get heady and hazy with the bass-leaning cuts coursing through 'That Nighter'.
Review: It's time for a serious slice of dance music history. Roberto Ferrante scored an international hit with 'Come On Closer', a bombastic slice of high energy Italo disco which became a staple on the nascent Chicago house scene before house music itself was defined and produced to a set of standards. Played by hand in lieu of access to a sequencer, there's a loose feel to the groove but the space age synths speak to the waves of electronic dance music that were to come. Now this holy grail of party fuel is given the reissue treatment it deserves, with both the extended mix and dub version given a plush remaster and a loud pressing to alight any dancefloor it has the chance to grace.
Review: Stockholm label Omena raise a glass to celebrate one year of business with this special RSD 7" from the ubiquitous HNNY. Johan Cederberg was responsible for the label's debut release so it seems quite fitting he's back with more sweet HNNY business to usher in the second year of Omena. Up top, "Cheer Up My Brother" finds HNNY in laid back form, adding some subtle downbeat funk touches to the lazy afternoon groove of "Farther Along", transforming the gospel staple into an essential summer sizzler. It's complemented well by the B-side track "There Is No One Else" which ups both the tempo and temperature into something of a French Touch stunner.
Review: Nebraska's Friends & Relations label continues to yield the finest club tackle for those who need the real deal in their DJ sets. 'Deep Tune' casts its net as low as the Mariana Trench while riding a sweet disco loop, setting the scene for a teasing, dramatic drum throwdown with nimble synth flourishes on 'Drum Track 01'. 'Shift' takes things on a more interstellar trajectory with a heady beat elevated by star-strafing lead lines, and then 'Drum Track 02' whips up another killer percussive workout that keeps the organic intensity of the beat intact while still making it totally workable for the floor.
Review: The Crue label comes through with two huge remixers on this lovely marled 10". On the A-side is none other than Wild Oats label boss and Detroit innovator Kyle Hall. He kicks off with a frazzled analogue synth and crisp, raw drum grooves before layering in more dreamy and warm hearted pads. Distant vocals add the detail which allow this one to roll and roll and keep you locked. Running Back boss Gerd Janson then steps up with another punchy deep house cut, this time driven by a bulbous bassline and huge, oversized claps. It's an immediately classic cut.
Review: Take It Easy are a Milan-based crew who love nothing better than the sweet fusion between classic disco sounds and upfront house music energy. Dirty Channels capture that spirit perfectly on this third release on the label, opening up this split 12" with the crisp and strutting "Guava Juice". DJLMP takes things in a more psychedelic, tripped out direction for the more adventurous groove hounds before longstanding champion Memoryman Aka Uovo gets dusty and woozy with "I Wonder". Bugsy completes the set with the feisty stomp and sizzling tension of "Pomiri Dan".
Review: Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream label keeps on taking us away from this weird situation in which we find ourselves with perfectly dreamy and escapist house beats that roll on for days. His A&R skills constantly turn up new names for the label and this time out Pippi Ciez and Idd Aziz link for a worldly new single, 'Riziki.' The drums roll deep and the percussion flutters up top to soothing effect. Key to it all is an impassioned vocal chant that brings afro flavours. A Lost Desert remix is much deeper on the flip, with plaintive pianos added into the most cathartic mix. t.
Review: Deep house might not be getting the headlines it did a few years ago, but that actually means those who jumped on the hype train have all alighted once again and now only those truly devoted to the form remain. That means we get high quality EPs like this one from Visions Inc. Aleqs Notal takes us on a spiritual trip littered with toms and jazz-chords to kick things off before Meftah gets more experimental with a broken beat, tripped out keys and rubbery bass all sinking you into a state of trance. For those who like it more straight up, Taelue obliges, and as with all Afrikan Sciences tunes, the closer is a masterfully deep concoction.
Review: Gerd Janson's Running Back has rarely made a missteps in its many years of business. Whether serving up camp disco, rugged techno or the sweetest of deep house, you can always be assured of quality music from quality artists. This time out the boss looks to reissue the 1990 Love Club single 'Das Rote Jaar.' It's a mournful piece with a closely mined, whispering male vocal that makes for an intimate vibe, with the deep and dusty drums are for sensuous late night dancing. The dub is a subtle one that removes the vocal and lets the drums roll, and the instrumental is that bit more upbeat, though the mood remains pensive and alluring.
Gbagada, Gbagada, Gbogodo, Gbogodo (feat Francis Mbappe) (8:58)
G-Force (feat EOL Soul Brothers) (4:52)
Aquilas Coisas Todas (8:35)
Play For Me (feat EOL Soul Brothers) (5:03)
Review: For his next album project, the Master at Work that is Louie Vega links with Luisito Quintero, a veteran percussionist who has played with La India and others in the New York scene. He is as creative and original as they come and fuses afro-Latin rhythms and bossa nova sounds into fresh new forms and now serves up Part One of his Percussion Madness album. It ranges from seductive deep house to swaggering Stevie Wonder style funk via irresistible afro beats. Luisito has shared the stage with Robert Plant, Lauryn Hill, Alicia Keys and more, but deserves just as many plaudits for his own solo work.
Felipe Gordon & Will Buck - "Back Into Time" (5:49)
Will Buck - "I Think It's Too Late" (6:31)
Will Buck - "I'll B Right There" (6:11)
Review: Off Track's second EP is a masterclass in tough and ready house that is jam packed with musicality. The kicks of Felipe Gordon's 'We All Got The Time' are scuffed up and heart felt, and the noodling keys are pure joy. 'Back Into Time' then brings even more jazz-funk vibes to a languid beat perfect for sundown and Will Buck then goes solo after that collab with a soul drenched tune Moodymann would be proud of. The vibe is totally switched up for 'I'll B Right There,' which pairs the classic sample with sustained pads and hardcore house drums designed purely to make you sweat.
Cage & Aviary - "Lean On Me" (Felix Dickinson Foolish dub)
Posthuman - "Make More Man"
Review: Just as the new football season settles into it's groove, the fourth edition of the highly collectable Rothmans arrives sporting some high profile signings! Leading the way on The Claudio Gentile Release is a Foolish Felix dub of Cage & Aviary's "Lean On Me" whose deranged acid gurglings provide a nice contrast to the thrusting Escape From East London stylings of Posthuman's "Make More Men". On the flip Ali Renault returns for Rothmans duty with the Weatherall worthy "The Black Heart" whilst Iron Blu is loaned from Flight Recorder for the synthy swamp of orchestral drama that is "Oiche Shamhna"
Review: Ant Plate's Vinyl Only ventures continue unabated, taking a break from the Yse Saint Laur'ant releases and turning to Minus The Majors instead. Whether it's just Plate in another one of his guises or not is unclear, but the music certainly fits in with the more exploratory, downtempo nature of previous Vinyl Only releases. "He Looked" is an especially funky number that revolves around crafty beats and warm Moog-esque synth ripples. Things get more broken on "Jizz Jazz", and then "Drongo" manages to go even further out to sea in its quest for the perfect balance between funk and freakiness.
Pushing On (Jesse Rose 'live From The Villa' remix) (6:25)
Pushing On (Tchami remix) (5:03)
Review: Oliver Dollar sure knows how to make dance floor bait. His rough edged and lo-fi house is infused with plenty of funk, soul and disco cues, as well as plenty of well found samples. He is a perfect mix for Defected and here link with Jimi Jules for the easy to love and heart felt grooves of "Pushing On." As well as a dub, Jesse Rose serves up a 'live From The Villa' remix that has big, bouncy kicks and hard edge claps softened by a big diva vocal. Tchami then closes out with the most peak time and pumping of the lot.
Review: Marcel Vogel's Lumberjacks In Hell label shows no signs of slowing as it ramps up a killer new salvo from debutant artist C Scott. "Climb On" is an uptempo workout to capture the absolute peak of the party in the funkiest of ways, while "Hands Free" provides an apt alternative with its slow, organ-led whimsy. Disco remains the backbone of the sound here, whatever tempo the track rolls at and wherever it may head. "Stuttering" demonstrates this perfectly with its heavily treated, head-spinning FX still capturing that classic good-time mood, while "At Ease" finishes on a life-affirming canter of Rhodes led celebration.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: relik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. "Overcome" and "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)" need little introduction, and now come sporting the new TR11:11 matrix number. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999. On the A Side "Overcome" is stripped back and energetic, driven by rolling and shuffling garage style beats, tight bubbling bass and atmospheric synth pads. The intermittent vocal samples and the release's signature organ set you up for the flip, "Lady Science (NYC Sunrise)". Possibly one of house music's most emotive pieces, the track builds slowly with the introduction of each part building a story of soulful optimism based around a sparse palette of deep synths, uplifting keys and warm analogue bass. The understated beauty of the main vocal riff never seems to grow old or tired with the track lending itself perfectly to either main room, peak-time play or after-hours sessions alike. Remastered by Rashad at D & M.
Review: Last time out, Stefan Ringer came well and truly correct for People of Earth, so the follow up EP was always going to be a tough challenge. French producer Hugo LX proves himself more than worthy of the job, however with this superb deep and spaced out four tracker. 'Freedom House Dance' is the opener, and rides on waves of cosmic synths and deft pads. 'Catching Thunder' is more business like thanks to the chattering claps and more direct and purposeful bassline. 'Track three layers in some doleful trumpets to a taught baseline to make for stylish jazz vibe and lastly, you're cast off into the universe on a wave of infinite pads and meandering leads.
Review: The SHAG Edits hits Volume 4 welcoming David Glass, Timmy P and Two's Tones to the Roots For Bloom roster. David brings a big hitter with Tape Deck with its MC sampled vocal, Timmy's is drenched in sunshine for all the day parties this is sure to go off at and Two's Tones takes things on a jazz twist, with clever sampling but always that underlying groove that the Roots For Bloom label is known for. Fans of the previous releases wont be dissapointed.
Review: The first release on Kamarads pulls together a solid mix of established tech house figureheads for a classy, versatile set of club tracks. Politics Of Dancing goes up first with 'Ote', a deep and rugged groover geared towards hypnotism and total immersion. Djebali follows up with an equally stealthy roller that will appeal to those who like it stripped back. Terence: Terry takes things in a swirling, trippy direction with the afters-ready 'Eastern Boy' and Stephan Bazbaz finishes up with a gorgeous, lilting deep house lullaby to soothe the weary raver's soul.
Dan Mela - "Tenuta Ken" (feat Stefano Calzolari) (10:09)
Review: Ten releases it is now for Batti Batti Records and to mark this milestone we are delighted to present the second in our Atmospheres series. Featuring once again artists old and new to the label, the EP very much takes its cue from the spirit of the first Atmospheres release.
Young Berlin-based Italian producer Saverio Celestri, who shined on BBR05, the Crossover EP, sets the tone beautifully with the haunting and emotionally-charged Detroit Feeling. Having previously collaborated with Fred P for Deep Explorer, Brooklyn-based artist Jordan (Finale Sessions/Ornate) debuts alone here for us with the wonderfully dark, twitchy and yet persistently funky, Device.
Another Batti Batti newcomer, the vastly-experienced Dan Mela, rounds off proceedings with the stunning 10-minute tour de force that is Tenuta Ken (featuring acclaimed Italian jazz pianist Stefano Calzolari), which showcases to perfection the producer's passion for soul, funk and jazz.
Review: For some reason, Alton Miller never seems to quite get the headlines of many of his Chicago peers. Maybe this expressive new album on the Music Institute label will go some way to correct that. It's as lush and musical as house gets, with bumping vocal tunes that are laced with golden chords to percussive workouts like 'Long Time Comin' sure to work floors into a lather. There are even slow jams like the seductive 'Time Is On Your Side' showing off another side to Miller's sound. Whatever he does, there is s sense of spirituality and inescapable emotion that makes every cut here a thing of beauty.
Review: Italian duo Rufus and Mass_prod are back once again as Nightdrivers, shoring up to Holic Trax with more of their infectious club-ready material. Beyond the functionality of their drums, where the Nightdrivers excel is in their choice of samples and textures to add a psychoactive twist to their craft. "A Funny Thang" is a delightfully unhinged workout, while "Stressedout" does a fine job of digging into a heads down, RnB inflected groove. "Rising" switches things up with a broken beat groove that loads up sunkissed soul samples to great effect, and then the record rounds out with a dub mix of "A Funny Thang".
Review: North London deep house dons Saison are back on No Fuss Records with some sumptuous, discofied grooves that strike the perfect balance between heads-down, no-nonsense dance music and warm musicality. "Cut The Gas" rides on plenty of artfully chopped up disco licks, arranged, filtered and dropped in all the right places. "Wax On Wax Off" has a rich synth palette at its heart, clearly sporting a little Italo flavour in its bones with the smatterings of vocoder and throbbing arpeggios nestled amongst the more organic ingredients. "Top Bunk Boogie" and "What Are We Gonna Do" keep the pressure up on the B side, with the party energy in full force across both tracks and maintaining the same tasteful approach to the source material.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: 'Something From Nothing' is a four tracker that fuses techno sensibility with house swagger, a voice calling to Detroit's Second Wave while a hand beckons the shadowy waters of house.
Hearts Of Darkness are immersed in late nights and smoke-filled basements, with past form seeing them play Fabric and Bugged Out!. An unhealthy loyalty to vintage hardware and long forgotten code means their music is analogue, not for fashion, but because it feels right.
On the A, 'Sequential Circus' is purest machine funk as a driving bass bubbles into self-oscillation. Next, 'Just On For The Ride' bounces to a millennial deep house swing. Flip it for a dense future dub workout in 'Charlie Don't Surf,' then 'Hotshot' closes with a pad soaked vibe for the discerning warm up. A melting pot EP with all the right ingredients.
'Something From Nothing' opens the door to Hearts Of Darkness. Step inside.
Review: 'Wanna Dance' is the new jam by deep house heavyweight Sean McCabe (Good Vibrations) and Last Forever chief Turbojazz. Said to be conceived during the lockdown period, the track recalls the energy of classic Detroit deep house and even features one of the city's favourite voices in the form of Javonntte. On the flip, the spiritual vibe of Moondance's rework calls to mind the work of Motor City legend Alton Miller, while EVM128 aka Evermean Beats really soaks up the vibe of his new hometown - London - on his nu-jazz broken beat perspective that would make even Kaidi Tatham stand up and notice.
Review: Running Back's Super Sound Singles hits fantastic number five with another steamy power dance offering that looks back to go forwards. Enzo Elia is an Italian edit maestro who offers three different take son a stomping disco cut with stark synth sounds and a vocal that brings the attitude. The vocal version is a real stomping gem, the dub is all about cutting your body loose and the bonus beats is pure filth. Label boss Gerd Janson serves up two of his own bristling, speaker busting mixes to round out a package of real dance floor dynamite.
Review: Having impressed with his drop on Aesthetic earlier this year, rising minimal house talent Nolga returns to the label with another batch of sprightly, springy bumpers to fire up your limbs and feed your brain. 'Motion To Delay' matches cascading melodic threads with a crisp, lightly swung rhythm section, while 'Conspiracy' follows a similar thread of wiggy lead lines and curvy bass. 'Fez' takes the template of the first two tracks and tips the balance towards a sumptuous palette of synth tones flitting around the sharp but snaking groove. If you need some smart but playful club tracks in your bag, look no further.
You're Leaving But I'll Still Love You (Saine remix) (6:05)
Review: Honey Butter is back with another slab of was as sweet and seductive as the name suggests. Cassettes For Kids takes care of this one with more than one eye on a golden period of mid nineties house and tech. The grooves on the opener are quick but deep, the train-track percussion locking you in while lush, heart melting chords are draped over the top. 'Growing Frustration' is a more peak time cut that never lets up and the first mix of 'You're Leaving But I'll Still Love You' is built on big break beats and a fat, tumbling bassline. Saine remixes with a more playful mood to send you home with a big old smile on your face.
Review: The man behind the End Of Level Boss label, Cyclonix, delivers 2 club tracks just the way we like them. Already tried and tested in the clubs by our man Cottam, who fell in love with the tracks on first listen. They demand to be played in the early hours of the morning in dark basements from Nottingham to Leyland and beyond.
Label boss Cottam takes over the B side with a leisurely walk back from the supermarket taking the scenic route for no apparent reason.
Review: Bush is a new project from a wandering musical mind and it all kicks off with a seriously deep and otherworldly house EP that ditches the usual tired tropes and fawning fads, and instead fully submerges listeners in an uncompromisingly serene and seductive world miles below the surface.
Opening up label's account is 'Peckings,' initially a deep and spacious bit of beatless atmospheric sound that eventually turns into a propulsive house jam with icy hi hats, swathes of reverb and oodles of late night mysticism. 'OG18' is another devilishly deep and spiritual bit of house with luxurious amounts of open space in which various pads float and drift about. It's seductive and spaced out stuff before 'Legome' toys with raw claps, swelling chords and undulating drums in louche fashion. There's a restraint and musicality to this track that betrays a real production mastery and, lastly, 'Lockdown' is again a hugely subterranean affair with snaking pads, watery textures and muffled drums all coalescing into a nocturnal dreamscape that gets subtle driven along by rubbery kick drums.
This is seriously deep, classy music that is richly atmospheric and effortlessly cerebral, and the EP overall marks a fine way to inaugurate a new label.
Review: We've become accustomed to Andres Ordonez AKA Specter offering up deep house that's simultaneously warming, hazy and quietly positive. Even so, his first outing on French label Into The Deep Recordings is particularly drowsy and delicious, more than living up to its "Dreamscape" title. He begins by wrapping sparkling, life-affirming synthesizer motifs, starry chords and lilting lead lines around unfussy machine drums and groovy bass and summery opener "Rolling With Tops", before burying old school piano stabs beneath bubbly, acid-style electronics and off-kilter, post-electro drums on "Pitchin' Quarters". He brilliantly dips the tempo on quality flipside cut "Play The Myth", successfully joining the dots between ultra-deep house, Detroit beatdown and outer-space boogie.
Review: Flumo and ANMA Records link forces for this one, a collaborative project between UK-based Contours and Yadava. The music comes from various jam sessions and melds live percussion and floating keys with lush synth arpeggios. Add in drum machine, synthesizers and field recordings and you have a live and dynamic record. The whole thing flows smoothly and takes in beat driven jams that go deep with more scoring, emotionally charged tracks. Elements of the rich UK jazz scene, house, funk and more besides make this a fantastic exercise in musical warmth and soul.
Review: American label Beyond The Speaker made an impression with their first release "Angels Against Dust" two years ago, a tasty 12" split between Legowelt & Willie Burns. For the latest outing, Canadian mastermind Michael Silver aka CFCF (RVNG, Ghostly, 1080p) celebrates the soul and grooves of house, electro, and techno. Three tracks that balance dancefloor hustle, intricate detail and flourishing melodies. Lead track "Head Up" is a poignant call to the dancefloor, a peak hour house cut with an emergent vocal sample that rallies all for a blissful groove excursion. The B-side is a moodier affair, with "Mossy Wall" submerging the listener with potent rhythms as ominous bass intersects with a waking metropolis of melody. And the classic techno sound of "Sea of Love" deftly lulls us with gentle vocals and a looping guitar phrase.