Andrew Ashong - "The Way She Moves" (short version)
Review: At first glance, the pairing of Forest Hill resident Andrew Ashong and Sound Signature boss Theo Parrish would seem strange. But the duo have worked together previously with the Ghanaian born vocalist (and supposed owner of a vinyl collection that would make most record shops look like a car boot sale) lending his soulful tones to Parrish's excellent nine minute plus translation of the Hot Chip and Spiritualised affiliated About Group. Whereas that collaboration was more about Ashong's voice being just one element of a production that was undoubtedly Parrish, the three tracks present on the Flowers EP look to showcase what a talent the Londoner is. Those trademark dust filled stacatto rhythms are present in the opening title track, but they never swamp Ashong's killer vocal delivery, while "Take It Slow" is bonafide D funk of the highest order. After the brutal, divisive nature of Theo's kung fu experimentalism on the Any Other Styles EP, these three tracks show him in a wholly new light and hopefully Parrish and Ashong will be making much more music together.
Review: Thomas Bangalter's 12"s on Roule remain the most potent examples of the early 90s French Touch sound, and some two decades after their first release the Frenchman is re-releasing some of the prize picks from his formidable oeuvre. Trax On Da Rox Vol 2 follows the reissue of the first volume last month, and for what it's worth we reckon this instalment is even more essential. Tracks like "Club Soda" - perhaps the smoothest example of filter house ever committed to wax - as well as the abrasive ripples of "Extra Dry" and b-boy cut ups of "Shuffle" set a blueprint for a generation of producers who tried (and largely failed) to replicate the pumping, visceral energy displayed here, while Bangalter moved on, donned a mask and took over the world.
Dreaming Of Paradise (Oracy Leaving Eden dub) (9:26)
Review: Fresh from Utrecht, Blue Closet makes his debut on Mojuba with two startling originals; "To The Ocean Floor" lives up to its name with big pad washes and beats that shuffle like an old Rolando joint. Immersive and captivating, it's the perfect set opener that allows you to take any direction you wish. Flip for "Dreaming Of Paradise", a yearning, barbed soul cut that's reminiscent of Lee Burridge 15 years ago but at around half the tempo. Powerful and dreamy, it's complemented by a bubbling version from Oracy that blows Closet's doors off. More please, Bluey.
Review: Romanian Native Bog has had a great run of releases of late on some of electronic music's most compelling labels, including Crosstown Rebels, Bedrock and Diynamic. He has steadily forged his reputation as one to watch. Following his contribution to Adana Twins' Watergate 25 compilation, he returns to the esteemed Berlin label - this time teaming up with exciting new vocal-led French trio LKF Project (Sapiens/Atlant). "Her Song" is a pop-inflected and evocative deep house anthem for the main room - you can expect to hear this a lot in 2019. This is backed up by the tension and suspense of "Discrete Class" that's sure to fuel those heads down moments under the strobelight.
Review: Pepe Bradock's recent album "What A Mess!" might have been a cut-and-paste collage of weirdo track fragments, occasional rhythms and spaced-out ambient aesthetics, but the veteran Parisian producer is still capable of crafting killer dancefloor cuts when he feels like it. This weirdo deep house two-tracker proves as much, with A-side "Peeped Booths" offering a near perfect fusion of hypnotic bass, locked-in grooves, ultra-deep riffs, angular electronic noises and strange vocal samples that have been manipulated within an inch of their lives. It's more than a bit good. "Klezmorim Telepathique" sees Bradock raise the tempo and intensity via a bumpin' fusion of panicked electronic motifs, paranoid bass and fizzing synthesizer flashes.
Review: Ever reliable Berlin duo Cab Drivers are back on Cabinet with more boompty minimal house business you've come to expect from the legendary duo. Powered by analogue soul throughout, Daniel Paul and ZKY go deep into the night with the emotive, bass-driven title track before getting freakier and darker on the flip with "Quotes". Well suited for the after-hours, this 12" is packed full of vintage drum machine flair and intoxicating electronics.
Review: The Swedish deep house duo of Alexander Berg (Dorisburg) and Nils Krogh (Arkajo) aka Genius Of Time are back outside of their established Aniara imprint for the second time on Running Back since 2014's Juno Jam EP. It has been a long time between drinks, with Krogh pursuing some great solo stuff as Arkajo and Berg performing in Sebastian Mullaert's Circle Of Live. This terrific new EP features the bittersweet "Peace Bird" that follows through with warm Rhodes keys, woody percussion and an all-round lo-slung swagger. The spacey and understated "Smiling Into Eternity" follows through on the B side, followed by the reduced and emotive disco of "Rymd01". Great stuff once again by the Gothenburg-based duo.
Review: The inimitable Matthew Herbert presents some much needed reissues from the Phono back catalogue's 'Parts' series here, on Accidental's third volume of remastered classics. The series was part of an early wave of exploratory dance music, that paved the way for a style of deep house that still works its magic on dancefloors some 25 years later. Featuring the reduced boompty-funk of "Butt-Head" or "Thinking Of You" which will no doubt appeal to the new generation of minimal heads, to moments of sublime and evocative deepness as heard on "People That Make The Music" which is up there with other such classics like "See You On Monday" and many others featured in upcoming editions.
Review: More fuzzy and tripped-out techno on the old school tip, from Swiss wunderkind (and one third of Les points) LOUH - making his debut for Berlin-based retroverts Libertine. He's certainly found a fitting home with this bunch, who follow up some wicked releases by legends like Luke Vibert and Phil Merrall. For the second installment of their new Libertine Industries, get a taste for the acid life on the dity bass driven shenanigans of "Azeed Dualism" and likewise "K.T.P." ( Insane Dogma Version). On the flip, the frantic and hyperaware shuffle of "Lupus Vice" will give you your much needed fix of electro breaks.
Review: Scottish producer Ross McMillan aka Carlos Nilmmns has for nearly two decades been releasing on well-known electronic music labels. His most notable tracks can be found on labels like Planet E Communications, TRAX Records, King Street Sounds, Circus Company and Character. He returns to Ornaments with another slice of artful songwriting, ranging from classic deep house ("Blue Room"), Detroit inspired techno ("Efflorescence") and cavernous dub techno ("Iris"), through to acid inflected grooves as heard on "Older Wiser", New York style downbeat jazz of "Copa" and stunning soundtracks like on "December In New York"
Beo Dat May Troi - "Ho Chi Min" (feat HCMC Students) (7:19)
Co Doi Thuong Ngan - "Hanoi" (feat Viet Rice Band) (5:10)
Phu Quoc (feat Minh Duong) (6:13)
Hue (feat music Acadamy Students) (5:38)
Review: Thanks to the globe trotting "Trips" series in which they collaborate with local musicians in far-flung locations, Red Axes are clocking up plenty of air miles. Volume two in the series contains more exotic, cross-cultural treats, this time made in collaboration with Vietnamese musicians. They begin with the spacey dub disco shuffle of "Ho Chi Min", where ear-catching Vietnamese vocals and South East Asian string instruments ride a chunky groove, before stripping things back on the bass-heavy late night exoticism of "Hanoi". "Phu Quoc" sees them brilliantly chopping up, mangling and manipulating vocals and snaking solos over a druggy groove, while "Hue" is warm, deep, groovy and almost Balearic in its deliciously loved-up way.
Review: With this four-track EP, Alex 'Omar' Smith welcomes fellow Detroiter Norm Talley back to his FXHE label for the first time since the release of his 2017 debut album "Norm-A-Lize". The quality threshold remains high throughout, from the brilliantly bass-heavy Motor City deep house futurism of EP opener "The Runner" - all booming sub, swinging machine drums and looped space synths - to the jazzy deep house bliss of closing cut "Starz". In between you'll find the similarly enjoyable, Theo Parrish-esque jazz-house drums and glassy-eyed musicality of "I'm Feelin' Hot" and the sparse dancefloor dreaminess of "Twi-Lite".