Review: Jeremy Greenspan and Taraval have been floating around in the Caribou / Four Tet domains over the last few years, with the former having released a sequence of EPs on Jialong and the latter making an appearance on the mighty Text imprint. This new collaboration on Geej, however, is an ambitious mission that neither artist has been in before; each tune on Greenspan & Taraval has been recorded live and direct, with no overdubs or lengthy editing. These analogue synth-drum experiments have simply been cut down to fit onto vinyl format, but this is about as improvisational as you can get with club music, and the results spread out across minimalistic strains of techno, beat-heavy swarms of electronica, and even a little bass science for good measure. A highly recommended affair...
Review: On this second album from his Ancient Moons project, Damian Lazarus has decided to switch focus. Whereas the outfit's debut album, Message From The Other World, combined global music influences with Lazarus's usual tech-house rhythms and a touch of psychedelia, Heart of Sky is much more heavily influenced by the Crosstown Rebels' chief's rarely discussed soul boy roots. Of course, the beats and basslines still largely stick to the powder house script, it's just that this time they come accompanied by starry-eyed soul vocals, 1960s dream pop influences, bold piano flourishes, gospel choruses and, on rare occasions, smoky trip-hop aesthetics. As a result, it's undoubtedly a much more "human" album, and one with far more crossover potential than its predecessor.
International Smoke Signal (feat Manu Dibango) (6:06)
Oh Yes (Freedom) (5:08)
Ai Shi Temasu (Japanese Love) (4:28)
Show Them (4:00)
Review: Tony 'Addis', the man behind the Warriors Dance label and No Smoke project (amongst many other things) is undeniably one of British dance music's unsung heroes. That much is proved by this re-mastered reissue of 1990 LP "International Smoke Signal", an album so ahead of the game at the time of its release that it still sounds like the future. Most will know acid house anthem "Koro Koro" (here in altered, slightly more downtempo form), but it's the quality of the lesser-known cuts - the sub-heavy, UK steppas-influenced Afro-house of "East of Eden", the bleep-meets-Dream II Science deep house bliss of "OAU In Music", acid-fired "Anti Galactic Devotion" and "Pacific State" style E-rush of "Oh Yes (Freedom)" - that makes it such an impressive and essential set.
Review: Perpetual Rhythms continue to offer up fresh variations on the deep house formula with this classy new drop from Taelue. Crooked electro experiment "The 4th Dimension" opens the record up to any number of possibilities, before the forthright pump of "Twin Flame" locks things into a haunting workout. "Rage Against Oppression" takes things in an angrier direction, all ragged and snarling production values with an acid-techno leaning. "A Bleak Moment" provides more space for exploration away from the floor, and then "The Sunken Place" sinks into sinister soundwaves driven by a nervy arpeggio. "Reflections" finishes the EP off with a trip into slow, spaced-out, acidic ambience.
Review: Although not as celebrated as many of his Motor City contemporaries, Norm Talley has been a key figure on the Detroit deep house scene for the best part of 25 years. Here he presents his debut album, a set that appears exactly 20 years on from the release of his debut 12". It's a largely warm, rich and inviting affair, with Talley combining samples from classic disco, soul and boogie jams with his own drums, keys and chords. The results are uniformly superb, with highlights including the beatdown style hypnotism of "Dub Station", the disco-house bounce of "Alright", the deep and percussive dreaminess of "Earth Vibrations" and the brilliantly jazzy "Paradise Garage", where Talley cuts-up killer electric piano solos over a sumptuous, jazz-funk inspired house groove.
Review: The word 'legend' gets banded about rather a lot, but it is certainly applicable to West London scene stalwart Kaidi Tatham. Further confirmation of this elevated status can be found throughout "It's A World Before You", a staggeringly good album that marks the musician-producer's first solo set for some seven years. While rooted in the kind of warm, rich and life-affirming jazz-funk-fuelled broken beat workouts with which Tatham is most readily associated (and they're naturally superb), there's plenty of killer diversions dotted throughout. These include a couple of spacey, soul-flecked ambient rubs, a sublime collaboration with hip-hop/modern soul fusionists Children of Zeus, and a fine head-nodding hip-hop jam featuring rapper Uhmeer. In a word: essential.
Holding Back (My Love) (Tiger & Woods remix) (9:49)
In The End (I Want You To Cry) (Lone remix) (6:00)
The Then Unknown (Prins Thomas Diskomiks) (7:21)
Holding Back (My Love) (Shan Funhouse mix) (6:35)
Holding Back (My Love) (Pete Herbert & Dicky Trisco version) (6:28)
Holding Back (My Love) (Shan Warehouse mix) (6:29)
Holding Back (My Love) (DJ Oyster mix) (6:53)
Review: While he'd been building a reputation for a few years already, it was 2009's In The End (I Want You To Cry) EP for Running Back that first thrust Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski towards the spotlight. Some six years on, Gerd Janson has decided to put together an expansive new package of remixes. There's plenty to enjoy, from Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco's breezy, guitar-laden boogie rework of "Holdin' Back (My Love") and Prins Thomas's dense-but-wonky, Scandolearic disco revision of the same cut, to the bright-and-breezy, rush-inducing melodiousness of Lone's sublime rework of "In The End (I Want You To Cry)". Tiger & Woods' remix of "Holding Back (My Love)" - all relentless build followed by thrilling boogie-meets-house release - is also pretty darn special.
Review: For deep house diggers, Soichi Terada has long been a source of inspiration. While he's still active, it's the early '90s material he released on the Far East Recordings label - an imprint he founded soon after his graduation in 1990 - that most excites. Following the 2014 re-release of his sublime hook-up with Nami Shimada, "Sunshower", Rush Hour has decided to put together this excellent retrospective. Compiled by self-confessed fan Hunee, Sounds From The Far East contains a mixture of hard-to-find Terada originals, collaborations, and tracks by fellow Far East Recordings artist Shinichiro Yokota, all in the label's trademark melody-rich, evocative deep house style.
Review: The most impressive thing about Thatmanmonkz debut album, 2016's "Columbusing" on Delusions Of Grandeur, was the Sheffield-based producer's seemingly innate ability to fuse elements of deep house, jazz, hip-hop, Detroit techno and broken beat. That distinctive grasp of dusty, soul-fired fusion once again comes to the fore on this belated follow-up. There's much to enjoy from start to finish, with highlights including the jazzy, sax and organ-heavy deep house of "Easy Still (with A Brother Is)", the raw and off-kilter acid insanity of "Chai Tea", the samba-house soul of Ms Fae hook-up "Them Thangs", the dancefloor jazz-funk bounce of "WhatUThinkIDo" and the Moodymann style Malik Ameer collaboration, "Thee Others".
Medley: Rej/The Man With The Red Face/Yeke Yeke (11:02)
La Ritournelle (feat Will Heard) (3:20)
Promised Land (feat Disciples) (4:29)
Out Of Space (feat Assassin) (5:03)
You Got The Love (feat Candi Staton) (3:27)
Review: There's something of an "all-star" feel to this latest collaboration between Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra. It boasts a stellar line-up of guest vocalists, whose presence compliments the superb orchestral arrangements by conductor Jules Buckley and the thumping beats and samples provided by the veteran Radio 1 DJ. For those of a certain vintage, there's something wonderful about hearing soaring, orchestrated versions of such White Isle anthems as "Body Language", "Rej" (presented in a brilliant medley alongside killer renditions of "The Man With The Red Face" and "Yeke Yeke") and "You Got The Love" (the latter featuring a guest spot from original vocalist Candi Staton).
Review: Since shifting his focus more towards atmospheric, Balearic-minded sounds a few years back, Tornado Wallace has delivered some of the most deliciously humid and glassy-eyed music around. Hopes are naturally high, then, for this long-anticipated debut album. It picks up from where his sublime ESP Institute, Beats In Space and Second Circle releases left off, delivering a warm, evocative, sun kissed blend of shuffling Balearic grooves, horizontal soundscapes, gentle tropical workouts, and rich, synth-laden explorations. There's a pleasing haziness throughout, with live percussion and instrumentation rubbing shoulders with glistening synthesizers, ear-pleasing electronics and pulsing drum machine hits. In other words, it's a fine debut album.
Review: Berlin's Office Recordings has always released sparingly, and this is perhaps what has saved them from becoming too attached to one genre or trend, and instead travelling at their own pace and on their own agenda. The label introduces newcomer Trux to the scene, a mystery artist who props up out of nowhere armed with eight pellets of ambient and drum experimentation - we're listening. Aside from the lo-fi, over-layered patterns of abstract pieces such as "Aziol" or "Pattern" itself, other tunes like "Ada" or Skarb" recall the Actress sort of dynasty, and the artist manages to conjure airy grooves made up of drone plates and intangible drum circles. It's an alchemistic sort of sound, and one that is surely set to earn Trux plenty of fans. Tip!
Review: It's certainly not easy keeping up with Tuccillo. The relentlessly productive producer has been constantly firing off dancefloor bombs on labels as respected as Visionquest, One, Holic Trax and 8bit for years, but never before has he turned his hand to an album. Finally, he's decided to do the right thing and give us a deeper insight into his sound, and he's doing it on his own Unblock label. Fans will get everything they crave on A Part Of 20, as Tuccillo indulges his dancefloor sound and keeps the quality level as high as ever. There are some choice guest turns from vocalists on "Tonight", "Feeling Hot" and "Again", but throughout the album Tuccillo's commitment to the stripped down, emotive house groove remains constant.