Review: Enjoying a brief sojourn away from then 2000 Black label he's long called home, sometime 4hero member Dego pops up on Neroli with a two-tracker that blends his usual jazz-funk inspired instrumentation with warm and fragrant, dancefloor-focused grooves. The jazz-funk influence is strongest on flipside "Just Give It A Long Shot", a more languid affair rich in squiggly synth lines, toasty bass guitar, slack-tuned drum breaks and the kind of group vocals that would have once sent rare groove heads into a spin. A-side "Twelve Steps" is arguably even better, with whispered vocals, jazzy synth lines and sunny guitars wrapping around a pleasingly rubbery Brit-funk groove.
What Do You Prefer? (feat Vernard Burton - Deep & Raw mix) (5:02)
What Do You Prefer? (feat Vernard Burton - Lee & David Orchestrated mix) (5:13)
Bye Bye (feat K LaDawn - vocal mix) (5:34)
Bye Bye (feat K LaDawn - instrumental) (5:33)
Review: Shawtyshank returns under his Lee Pearson Jr Collective with two collaborative slabs of evangelistic soulful house. First up is "What Do You Prefer" with New Black Renaissance man Vernard Burton. Staccato lines over a horn-parping jack, both versions provide inner fulfilment. Flip for a hook-up with RC Groove affiliate K LaDawn for a softer shuffle where smoky sultries play a seductive lead role. Stunning.
Review: Whether operating within house or techno, Motor City producer Patrice Scott's productions are always shot through with the warmth of machine soul. "Chasing Dreams", the lead cut from the producer's first outing on Italian imprint Neroli, is a perfect example. Dancefloor chops are provided by a rolling drum machine rhythm, while life-affirming positivity comes via Scott's canny use of spacey chord sequences and fluid, Larry Heard style piano motifs. It's a simply sumptuous track. It comes accompanied on side B by the deeper and woozier "Remember When?", where gentle pianos cluster around a bubbly electronic bassline and brilliantly stereo panned percussion, and the lingering synth solos and spacey electronics of hip-hop tempo slow jam "New Day".
Review: The analogue love continues... Hot in pursuit of "All The Little Things", Detroit OG Alton Miller delivers more fresh soul. And we mean soul; "She Don't Want To Be" is an exquisite dreamy percussive house cut that sits somewhere between Faze-O and MAW. "In Spring" maintains the woozy daydream feel while shuffling up the groove into more of a party-minded affair while "Can't Get Enough" is pure, uncut Detroit house funk. Beyond authentic.
Trinidadian Deep & Lars Bartkuhn - "The Parish" (Full Experience) (10:10)
Trinidadian Deep & Lars Bartkuhn - "The Parish" (dub) (4:32)
Review: Given that Ron Trent was once his musical mentor, it's perhaps unsurprising that Trinidadian Deep is capable of producing spellbinding spiritual deep house. His former mentor's influence can be heard within the layered African percussion, lilting synthesizer melodies and spacey riffs of "Native Palo", the opening track from the New York-based producer's latest EP. There's no doubt that Trent would also love the Osunlade style beats, drowsy chords and steel drum solos of "The People". On the flip, "Trini Deep" joins forces with like-minded deep house stalwart Lars Bartkuhn for two passes of "The Parish". There's the "Full Experience" mix, an organic, warm and enveloping chunk of deep house bliss smothered in syntheszier and piano solos, and a trippy, percussion-rich late night "Dub".
DJ Man X & Albert Sterling Menendez - "Consequences" (feat Blaze - Blaze vocal mix) (8:16)
Lee Pearson Jr Collective - "Tell Me What It Is" (feat Terry Yancy - Abicah Soul remix) (7:04)
Lee Van Kleef - "In The Wrong" (feat Lifford - Manoo dublove mix) (6:01)
Review: Esteemed selector Volcov's latest compilation series, Inside, focuses on tracks that have never appeared on vinyl before. The first EP in the series is wonderfully soulful and sultry, and contains a trio of grown-up dancefloor cuts. On the A-side you'll find Blaze's revision of DJ Man X and Albert Sterling Menendez's effortlessly soulful "Consequences", an impeccable fusion of Osunlade style broken house rhythms and rich, organic instrumentation. There's a similar feel to the Abicah Soul remix of Lee Pearson Jr Collective's brilliant "Tell Me What It is", while Manoo's fine rub of Lee Van Kleef's "In The Wrong" encases a steppy, Latin-tinged house groove in jazzy piano solos, spacey electronics and lilting synth-strings.
Review: A quick google search of "Blake Hall" results in links to an Essex community hall, a disused tube station and a Pokemon character from Bulbapedia. It's fun to imagine that somehow all three inspired Soul 223 aka Steve Pickton's latest Blake Hall Boogie missive on Italian imprint Neroil (a possible nod to Eno's 1993 hour long instrumental opus?). The title track seats modulating synths next to fluted bass tonks and metallics, replacing wonted Roland hi-hats. "Epiphany" is a quickened and shuffly groove with a fuzzy synth line as its centrepiece, whereas "From The Dirt" enters drowsy balearic territory via slower BPMs and off kilter sonics. The upbeat Nite Life mix to "The City Never Sleeps" caps off an EP perfect for the future boogie tip.