Review: Bruno E has plenty of history in the field of future jazz and downtempo, and now he's been snapped up by D3 to deliver some of that cold-chilling lounge business with some interesting remixers on board. Pat Van Dyke is up first, creating a blissful version of "Ventos De Outono" that feels as cosy as a warm fire and a glass of whisky on an autumn evening. The original version of the track is actually a peppier affair with a broken beat lilt that wouldn't sound out of place alongside the Dego and Kaidi Tatham crew. Kirk Degiorgio is a natural fit for another remix given his jazzy roots, and his swirling techno treatment is the perfection lotion to pour over Bruno E's excellent original ingredients.
Review: A second edition of the Various Artists Backpack EP, from French house label D3 Elements pulls together some key producers; Detroit soulful house star Terrence Parker is back once again, and joined by D-Knox, Dan Curtin and TechElectro. Curtin gets the ball rolling with "House Spirits," a summery, feel good house roller with trilling keys and organic chords all making for a jazzy vibe. Then comes a more synthetic and abstract cut, "Stars That Never Die", from TechElectro aka the fearsome American techno duo of Solid Gold Playaz, who also release as Dark Matrix. On the flip side, D-Knox aka Groove Man offers "Summer Beach Time," a cool as you like track with breezy chords, radiant pads and wooden sounding percussion flapping along next to the drums. Then it is down to Terrence Parker to close with the laid back, deep and soothing "So Beautiful," a sweet as you like house jam with magic chords and plenty of heart warming grooves.
Review: Demarkus Lewis is a relentless ambassador for the true soulful roots of house music, boasting a two decades deep discography that would make a completist shudder. Here he is on a label that fits him perfectly - D3 Elements. On "Without Pause" he lays out a sturdy bedrock of bubbling synth bass and rich, interwoven layers of keys and chords that charge forth with urgency, while "Lady In Pink" shows his more immersive side with intricate rhythmic trysts and jazzed out keys that would sound at home in an Osunlade set. "Behind Closed Doors (Afro Main Mix)" has pride of place across the whole B side, making the most of the space to build up a subtly broken beatdown with an infectious vocal turn from the man himself.
Review: D3 Elements continues to mine the fertile soil of Midwest inspired house, techno and electro with this fantastic new album from Michael Dykehouse (sometimes found turning out experimental fare on Planet Mu and Ghostly). Here the grooves are immediate and engaging across nine tracks, from the bubbly "Meltdown Morning" to the spooked-out "Clock Division", touching on a range of styles all bound together by a commitment to classic drum machine beats and synthesiser tones. This is far from a throwback record though, instead celebrating Dykehouse's innate musicality through all manner of tempos and moods and coming out as a well-rounded long player in the process.