Review: Manchester label Natural Sciences launches its new sub label Dolphin Traxx with a sterling effort by Durham-based D. Futers. As the label best describe themselves it's "a pounding two tracker of aqueous goo, molecular body deposits and corrosive laser stains, pressed up loud + harddd (sic)." On the A side we have "I Care" which is a gorgeous serving of feelgood classic house reminiscent of classic Strictly Rhythm or King Street with its pitched up vocals and uplifting pianos over a soulful groove. There is a bit of a curveball on the B side with the liquid junglist roller "Never Givin' Up" which likewise is brazen in its retroverted style tributes; think early Peshay or Alex Reece.
Review: As one of the earliest Chez Damier cuts to see the light of day, "I Never Knew Love" is more than welcome to a reissue to reach a fresh set of ears needing schooling in the ways of true deep house. It's an all-star cast here from artists in their youth, from MK's club mix of the star title in all its unmistakable MIDI Sax-ing glory, through to Carl Craig in a breezy piano breakbeat mood that's utterly charming in its simplicity. The real pick though is the "Change Up" mix of "I Never Knew Love" with its stripped back drums and spellbinding chord-led breakdown.
Review: The latest Hands Off joint features three artists making waves in intriguing corners of the deep house firmament. Desos opens up the A side with the dreamy groove of "Dubs", before Space Age lays down the classic, Mr Fingers-flavoured haze of "Sunday Rain". Desos returns on the flip with another subtle yet punchy cut, keeping the melodies submerged and sublime on "Jaaa" before Common Mode takes things in a distinctly dubby direction with "Beauty Queens".
Review: One of the world's premier DJ Duo's, Chus & Ceballos are well known for their uniquely energetic sets that feature hard hitting techno influences but still retain an essential connection to pure American house Music. Their music shines particularly bright in the summer, when their driving percussions impact even bigger during outdoor festivals and in the European summer clubbing markets. For their new release on Nervous, they have found a song initially released by DJ Michael Flume in 2001 called Agolele. While the release had limited exposure in its initial release, Chus & Ceballos were inspired by the authentic tribal flavor and inspired instrumentation, and saw a vision of how they could turn this into a 2019 summer club anthem. The result is out now exclusively on a Nervous Records vinyl release.
Review: For those who dig dancefloor-friendly takes on World Music classics, the Sterns Edits label - a collaboration between producer Ben Gomori and long-serving African and Brazilian music specialists Sterns Music - should be an imprint to watch. The label's latest must-have EP boasts fresh revisions of killer cuts from the epic back catalogue of Malian artist Nahawa Doumbia. Gomori works his magic on 1987 cut "Sige Sele", first sticking rolling house beats beneath the original's cut-glass strings, funky bass, storming horns and superb vocals (the A-side "Edit"), before opening the flipside with a largely vocal free "Disco Dub" that's arguably even better. To round things off, Tom Jay offers a similarly tooled up take on the more synthesizer-heavy "Djina Mousso".
I Don't Want You Anymore (Dr Packer extended remix) (6:38)
When Love Breaks Down (Dr Packer extended remix) (8:24)
No Price (Dr Packer extended remix) (8:09)
Boogie 2nite (Dr Packer extended remix) (6:55)
Review: Legendary edit master Dr. Packer digs deeper for part three of his "Different Strokes" series and churns out four more tasteful reworks of soul, house and disco classics. His take on The MuthaFunkaz's "I Don't Want You Anymore" is big in every department - bass, instrumentation and vocals as well as The Shapeshifters' "When Love Breaks Down" which gets reworked into a sumptuous vocal disco anthem. Flip over for "No Price" and "Boogie 2nite", both extended remixes that soar to the heavens with plenty of glorious strings and irresistible diva vocals. For lovers of all forms of disco, this is another vital release from scene leaders Packer and Glitterbox.
Prince Dred & Bunny Sigler - "Freak Like Me" (DJ Dan mix) (7:06)
DJ Homewrecker - "New World In My View" (Saison remix) (6:06)
DJ Mes - "90s Groove" (6:18)
Rescue - "Here & Now" (6:49)
Review: Of the many threads to the excellent Oakland-based deep house stable Guesthouse, the Super Secret Squirrel Trax series is one of the surefire highlights. Loaded with choice operators locked into some serious West Coast funk, things kick off in fine style with the infectious party starting antics of Prince Dred and Bunny Sigler, who get the remix treatment from DJ Dan on "Freak Like Me". Saison takes a more mainline approach when reworking DJ Homewrecker, while DJ Mes is in heads down mode on the tracky but addictive "90s Groove". Rescue's "Here & Now" serves up a cheeky R&B re-rub for the peak time crowd.
Review: Spinna's double-decade document on BBE is an essential lesson in the dark art of remix craft. And here are five perfect examples. His take on "The Power" by Karizma subverts from the off as we're washed with a waterfall of bitter sweet acid. The remix of Bah Samba's "Moonlight" shows Spinna at his most cosmic and reflective while "Got To Let It Go" is straight up jazz church music. Deeper again we find him in straight up bassline soul mode on the Wonder-esque "I Remember Love" while his take on "You Can't Lie", a hookup between Kerri Chandler and Harley & Muscle, is more street soul than it is house music. Truly timeless.
Loftsoul - "Dear Friend" (feat Lisa Millet - DJ Spinna remix)
Tone Control - "Without Your Love" (DJ Spinna Galactic soul vocal mix)
Groove Addix - "Faith" (feat Annette Taylor - DJ Spinna Galactic soul remix)
Animal House - "Dirty Mind" (DJ Spinna Full 13 Minuters remix)
Review: Looking back over 20 years in the game, Spinna handpicks some of his favourite re-rubs and reversions for The Sound Beyond The Stars, a retrospective issued through the trusted hands of BBE. The full album contains 18. four of which can be found on this stunning gatefold double 12"... From the psychedelic spirals and soulful yearns of "Without Your Love" to the overwhelming warmth, depth and length of the 13 minute long synth-focussed take on Animal House's "Dirty Mind", Spinna's signature is deeply scribed into each reversion with serious soul sentiment.