Review: It's amazing to think that Jay Daniel is still only 25. Since making his debut five years ago, the producer has been responsible for some of the finest house music to emerge from Detroit in recent times. Interestingly, he's slightly modified his woozy and gently soul-flecked blueprint on this hotly anticipated debut album. For starters, many of the tracks - standouts "Paradise Valley" and "Knowledge of Selfie" included - feature live drums, played and recorded in his mother's basement. This rhythmic adjustment gives Broken Knowz a far looser and warmer feel than his previous work, in the process elevating his deliciously rich and musical deep house to a whole new level. In other words, it's an impressively assured and entertaining debut album.
Original Nairobi Afro Band - "Soul Makossa (No 1)" (7") (4:20)
Sir Victor Uwaifo & His Melody Maestroes - "Jungle Beat (Mutaba)" (3:05)
Review: Jump 'N' Funk started life as a small event in New York, organized by Rich Medina in order to pay tribute to the genius of Fela Kuti. Since then, parties have been held across the world, with Medina and guests showcasing music by, or inspired by, the Nigerian Afrobeat legend. This debut Jump N Funk compilation follows a similar formula, delivering both purist Afrobeat cuts (see Fela's punchy "Stalemate", and "Na Oil" by son Seun and his band, Egypt 80), and tracks in other styles that draw heavily on the style. Highlights in the latter category include the hazy Afro hip-hop of Aquil, a tasty Afro-house dub of River Ocean's cover of Timmy Thomas' classic "Why Can't We Live Together", and the lazy, sun-kissed glory of Kutiman's "Bango Fields".
Review: Anthony Nicholson is something of an unheralded hero. He's been releasing variations on melodious, soul-flecked deep house since the turn of the 1990s, delivering material for such labels as Prescription, NIte Grooves and Peacefrog. 22 years after releasing his first 12", Nicholson returns to action with Four, his first albium since 2011. It's a sensual and atmospheric set packed with musically expansive material. While rooted in house, it offers so much more than simple, functional dancefloor material. It will no doubt draw comparisons with the work of Ron Trent, to whom Nicholson shares an impressive attention to detail and positive musical outlook.
Review: Since meeting, and subsequently working with, Ron Trent in the early 1990s, Anthony Nicholson has produced some seriously sublime deep house. These days, his releases are less frequent than many would wish, but retain the kind of high quality threshold associated with the very best house producers. Gravity is his fifth full-length, and delivers a swathe of gorgeously rich and musically expansive tracks shot through with serious amounts of soul. While he rarely strays from the dancefloor, tracks are layered with delicious musical flourishes - twinkling piano playing, live percussion, guitars and bass, for starters - while you'll a range of complimentary influences (African rhythms, modern soul, jazz-funk, boogie, and so on). In other words, it's a proper, grown-up house album.
Review: Six brand new shakers from Omar S...This is the sh*t! Never confined to one particular genre, Omar is again blending house, techno and even minimal styles into one big pot of deep Detroit underground funk. There's even some Basic Channel / Deep Chord vibes going on there somewhere. Simply killer.
Review: ** 4LP Red vinyl edition ** Alex "Omar" Smith has never been one for modesty, so we shouldn't be too surprised that he's called his latest full-length - his fifth in total - The Best. To be fair, he is rather good at producing high-grade deep house, and here unveils another eleven gems. Interestingly, he's recruited an impressive cast-list of collaborators and guests, including Norman Talley, Kyle Hall, OB Ignitt and, most surprisingly of all, Bristol-based Tom Bug. Highlights are plentiful, from the dusty afro and blues influences of the tribal "Chama Piru's", and hazy, Rhodes-heavy vocal cut "AhRevolution", to the hip-wigglin' disco-house influences of "Seen Was Set", and retro-futurist, Inner City style Divinity hook-up "On Your Way".