Review: The big man on campus returns! Fast becoming a staple on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, the Glaswegian producer throws down an impressive full length demonstrating the diversity within his musical repertoire - and count us in as fans. From the deep and soulful late night house of "Our House" which will have you 'doin' the wiggly worm', Afrobeat meets Innervisions styled melodic house on "Hammond Groove" while "High Heavens" explores classic neon-lit electro aesthetics from the '80s. There's even some harder stuff in there, like demonstrated on "The Great Beast" that's a slow burning early '90s style techno jam (which blows the bloody doors off!) and "Gear Tension" which throws in more hallmarks of the golden era such as 303 acid and Joey Beltram styled mentasms.
Review: Brian Cullen's Bjak project provides the learned house producer with a chance to reach dizzying, transcendental heights through a hazy, soul and jazz indebted approach as spiritual as it is groove-oriented. Having previously charmed the likes of Deep Explorer and Eargasmic, the debut Bjak album now lands on sympathetic Swiss outpost deepArtSounds, where Cullen will be keeping fine company with the likes of Ron Trent, Above Smoke, Trinidadian Deep and many more. It's a sumptuous listen overflowing with buttery keys, smoky trumpets and expressive, organic rhythms to get all true-school deep house heads nodding with approval. Just check the beatbox flow of "Groove Train" with its canny fusion of ear-catching sampling and accomplished musicianship.
Review: Swedish producer Axel Boman seems to have been around forever, delivering solid and occasionally sensational deep house. In fact, he first emerged in 2009, and somewhat surprisingly Family Vacation is his debut album. It's a rather impressive beast, if truth be told, offering a whirlwind trip through his inspirations, from the downtempo analogue wooziness of "Let's Get Nervous" and jaunty, jazz-wise, US-influenced deep house of "Son of a Plumber", to the dreamy electronics and off-kilter rhythms of "No! No! No! No!", and the Theo Parrish-goes-Calypso vibes of "Bottoms Up". Most impressive of all, though, is the dark, humid, tropical pagan flex of "Kings & Emperors". Its' African voodoo atmosphere offers a startling alternative to the quiet positivity found elsewhere.