Review: Bobby Cazanova does a fine job of putting together an expressive and expansive trip on his new EP for young but already impressive label Hen & Goose. 'A Romance Of Many Dimensions' brings fantastic synth sounds and more than a sprinkling of cosmic dust to a crisp and transportational beat. For deeper thrills, check the introverted loops of 'Recognition By Sight'. 'Irregular Figures' is like being trapped in a half mirrors, with melody firing around you in all direction. Some of them eventually break free on 'Vision Of Lineland' which is a sick, punchy house track that has spaced aged vibes to spare.
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: Stay Current stalwart D Briggs pitches up on DJ Monchan's Dailysession Records for the very first time, bringing with him a melodious and positive trademark sound that should appeal to both nu-disco DJs and confirmed house heads. 'Dreamin', which he's presented in instrumental and vocal mix forms, is fundamentally a summery deep house record, but many of its cheery musical elements (bubbly synth sounds, happy-go-lucky melodies and a D-Train style bassline) are more often heard in retro-futurist boogie and proto-house inspired nu-disco records. Those who want a hazier deep house interpretation should check Cedar Sound Workshop's wonderfully warm flipside remix, while label boss Monchan's take is a spacey, two-step electro delight.
Review: Thus far in her career, Oona Dahl has made a habit of delivering melody-driven, often intoxicating tracks that seem to draw as much inspiration from 90s trance and progressive house as they do contemporary deep house and techno. Her first single for Watergate, 'Godtripper', ploughs a similar sonic furrow. Her original mix (A1) bubbles away impressively, with psychedelic, acid-style flourishes and grandiose, rising-and-falling melodies riding unfussy drums and an impressively undulating bassline. Patrice Baumel's accompanying remix is, if anything, even more rushing and trance-inducing, with the Dutch producer making great use of an epic, suitably spine-tingling breakdown. Over on the B-side you'll find the equally impressive 'Manic Space', a hypnotic, spaced-out tech-house excursion full of psychedelic acid lines, booming sub bass and crispy drums.
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: 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".
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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
Review: London deep house experts Quintessentials are back, doing what they do best by giving a platform to new and established artists from all over the world. On the second edition of Enjoy Your Cuppa are two new artists and another two label staples. Newcomer Saine delivers the smoky late night jam 'Love Music', while fellow debutante Andy Ash provides emotive mood music in the form of 'Bread'. On the flip, seasoned producer Jank has got you covered for life affirming soul power on the chill-out vibe of 'All Be Free' and another curveball comes in the form of 'Low Grav' by Decent Rides - a deep, down and dirty minimal house groove that is perfect for the afterhours.
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.
Metro - "Here For The Love" (Metropolitan Acid mix) (8:20)
Vitess - "133cc" (6:20)
Review: REPRESS ALERT: The third trip out on Nuances De Nuit brings together another killer selection of ear-snagging club cuts that appeal to the deep-digging community. Kolter's "Don't Kill My Groove" has already been drawing plenty of favourable attention from the likes of Moxie with its deft breaks and electro-funk stylings. T. Jacques' "Control" is a peppy tech house jam with a sleek garage bump that should go down a treat with serious heads and passing trade alike. The real treat here though is Metro's "Here For The Love", a seriously in-demand jam from 1994 finally getting the repress treatment to take it out of the hands of the sharks. Vitess completes the package with "133cc", a dynamic wiggler with enough tripped out elements to take out a tank.
Review: Villete is the alias of Amsterdam based producer Anne Korteweg, who returns to Scissor & Thread to follow up her debut effort in the fall of 2016 - which quickly sold out. On the new EP we are treated to seven tracks of deep and understated beauty. Amongst many floating ambient journeys, there are moments equally suited to reflection as they are the dancefloor. Take for instance the glacial and cavernous dub of the title track, or the Balearic-tinged downbeat chill of 'Myst' and the emotive mood music of 'Show Me'. All in all, Korteweg's new release explores the more abstract sides of electronic music in sophisticated fashion.
Review: If you were judging Kieran Hebden's 11th Four Tet studio album merely on the way it's presented, you'd immediately think he'd spent the last two years immersed in early '90s ambient house albums. While it's unlikely he's done that, it's fair to say that New Energy does owe a debt to classic electronica sets from that period. For all the exotic instrumentation and subtle nods to post-dubstep "aquacrunk" experimentalism and chiming, head-in-the-clouds sunrise house, the album feels like a relic of a lost era. That's not meant as a criticism - New Energy is superb - but it is true that his choice of neo-classical strings, gentle new age melodies, sweeping synthesizer chords and disconnected vocal samples would not sound out of place on a Global Communication album.
Review: The Art Of Us (TAOU) begins with the story of Blair French, a cosmic messenger raised in a house of 7 on the outskirts of a historic city. From dancing at mom's disco parties at a young age, to releasing rap tapes in middle school, winning best soundtrack for the multi-award-winning film DETROPIA and hitting the Billboard charts with his Pure Sounds of Michigan compilation; ultimately French found a home in the world of all things Detroit, Pan-African, Balearic, and ambient. TAOU is his first instrumental LP under his own name, (despite a 25 year career), bringing together his closest musical compatriots.
Review: To date, Joe Newham has released a couple of decent EPs on Houseum Records, both of which showcased a soon-to-be trademark blend of deep house grooves and Acid Jazz-inspired instrumentation. Down & Out, his debut album, expands on this formula, offering up a collection of cuts that emphasizes warmth, jazziness and musical expansiveness whilst keeping the grooves dancefloor-focused throughout. As a result, much of the material sounds like a sunnier take on the bluesy jazz-house first unveiled by St Germain on his ground-breaking Boulevard album in the 1990s. Highlights are plentiful, from the rolling title track and piano-laden 'Divines', to the breakbeat-driven dreaminess of 'Beat Generation' and ultra-deep 'Saint Luz'.
Review: The music of Maltese producer Rudi Agius aka Jupiter Jax has become a staple of 100% Silk's catalogue over the last several years. His new LP No Such Thing is inspired by notions of escape and the unknown, incorporating the dexterous live instrumentation of flutes, trumpets, voices and percussion, with elements of electronica, downtempo, jazz, house and Balearic. From the cinematic brilliance 'No Such Thing pt. 1', the early Chicago house vibe on 'Moods No Grooves', to the particularly emotive 'Breathing You Out' or the glassy-eyed and bittersweet dancefloor drama of 'Solace' - overall, it is what the label best described themselves as a "Mediterranean midnight of the mind."
Review: Over the last few years, Damian Lazarus' albums, made in cahoots with the ever-changing Ancient Moons collective, have got progressively more exotic and infused with all manner of global sounds and rhythms. You can still hear some of those haunting and otherworldly sounds (think drifting vocals, plucked Middle Eastern strings, hazy chords etc) on his new solo album, Flourish, though this time they act as musical toppings for a range of smooth tech-house, breakbeat and electro grooves. It's a successful musical fusion that will certainly appeal to the Crosstown Rebels founder's many fans, with highlights including recent single 'Mountain', surprise ambient cut 'Bas' and picturesque vocal number 'Into the Sun' (with sometime Hot Since 82 and CamelPhat collaborator Jem Cooke).
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.
Review: Some 20 years have passed since obscure German producer Kai Kroker AKA Rawell made his first appearance on Ewan Jansen's Red Ember Records imprint. Back then, he earned his chance after sending the Australian producer a box full of demo tapes. It's the material on those tapes - and others he subsequently sent Jansen around the turn of the millennium - that forms the basis of this surprise debut album. Deep, attractive and undeniably intergalactic, the eight tracks on show frequently blur the boundaries between electro, techno, ambient, electronica and Move D style deep house. It's fitting, then, that Move D - an old friend of Kroker's - provides a bouncy and sonically sparkling remix of 'Tailwind' that's undeniably one of the album's standout moments.
Review: If your musical tastes tend towards the more melodic and dreamily deep end of the dance music spectrum, we'd highly recommend this expansive, three-disc Summer Sampler compilation from All Day I Dream, an imprint that has long championed emotive, tuneful blends of deep house, progressive house and tech-house. There's no filler amongst the 12 tracks on show, just good quality cuts that combine solid grooves with ear-pleasing electronic instrumentation. Highlights include the slow burn, delay-laden late night hypnotism of Double Touch's 'Circles', the bass-heavy beats and fluid piano motifs of Makebo's 'Just a Dream', the ultra-deep bliss of Death on a Balcony's bittersweet 'The Source', and the simmering strings and subtle Middle Eastern influences on Nebula's tech-house shuffler 'Once Upon a Time'.