Review: Representing Californian house music culture with its heart on its sleeve, 12 Inches Deep return for a second volume of "West Coast Dance Traxx" that features four up and comers from the underground. Ricky Tinez captures a perfect hazy summer mood on the dub mix of "That Day" - a true product of his environment. Akumen brings a sweatier vibe to "Inner Life (All Of Music)" which captures a little Chi-town pressure and then blows it wide open with some choice organ licks. Le Smoove is on a serious garage tip with "G Groovez" and Urbanite reaches skywards with the utterly infectious "Triple Filtered", spilling good vibes out from every angle.
Review: Ever-dependable hero of deep house since the good old days, Glenn Underground is back with fresh goodies for his Strictly Jazz Unit imprint, and if you liked what he's done before then there's no doubt you'll like this as well. "Shiloh (A King's Return)" is a steady roller, defined by the synth-sax freestyling over the top of a crisp beat and bluesy chord workout. "We, The Party (Let's Get Down)" is a more soaring affair, with some neat kinks in the drums and a sumptuous spread of Rhodes action all delivered in that quintessentially Blue Note GU flavour.
Review: Just 4 The Beat's first release of the year was well worth waiting for. It comes from Eastern Europe's Urban Haven, who is now based in London but clearly takes great inspiration from deep and soulful Chicago house masters like Glenn Underground and Ron Trent. His first ever EP is an impossibly classy one, and "Roots (Reprise)" is a glorious highlight that starts with luxurious synth puddles and a romantic, conversational sax line. After a three minute build, you sink into a Latin flecked deep house groove of the highest order. This is as musical as house gets and is, unsurprisingly, already big with Mike Huckaby and Kai Alce.