Review: Crew love is true love: Beste Freunde 05 is upon us and it's not likely to hang around. Once again it's a whole new collective of like-minded souls together for a fresh expedition. Anil Aras leads the mission with a rippling Detroitian understated number simply called "Track 1". He's flanked by Paolo Rocco and Moises. The former ups the temperature and gets us in a lather with the insistent pace of "Ill" while the latter sooths our souls and oils our joints with the slippery hypnosis session "Easy Beauty". Finally Esposito & Nadje run point with the heaviest tool of the trip - the bubbling technoid "HBP". Friends till the end!
Review: Having previously blessed us with "Ocean Side" two years back, Benedek and Tom Noble return to Superior Elevation with two more Balearic gems. One for the night time, one for sunrise; "World Gruuv" hits the boogie spot with spiralling keys wandering freely up and down a tight shimmering synth-bass led groove. Meanwhile "Profesora" on the B brings us back into reality softly with its addictive percussive hook, aquatic backing and totally tropical taste. Imagine Art Of Noise on Claremont 56 and you're on the right route.
Review: The Dessert Island Discs series continues with yet more arch remixes from across the disco and boogie spectrum. Bubbles The Pimp kicks off the A side with a tasteful treatment of Gil Scott Heron's "Winter In America," which gets rustled up into a sweet and sassy house number with a cheeky acid b-line underneath. Nelly Wilson whips up a storm on the tightly clipped, peak time-oriented "Trapped & Confused". Pierre Pressure's "Love & Beyond" takes it easy on the B side with plenty of fluttering synth wobbles to offset the choppy funk of the guitar - it's a cosmically enhanced floor burner to get you all astral under the collar.
Review: A big driver behind Mood Hut's success over the last few years has been their willingness to encourage collaboration between their extended crew of producers. Their latest co-produced affair comes from long-serving crewmember C.Z Wang (best known for his People Plus release earlier this year) and Aquarian Foundation's Chad Thiessen AKA Neo Image. "Just Off Wave" is warm, woozy and bass-heavy, with drowsy chords, fizzing electro noises and trippy vocals (courtesy, we think, of guests Seperated At Birth) riding a hybrid analogue house/electro groove. That beat is cut-up, beefed-up and heavily enhanced on flipside "Open Mic Beat", which is a sweaty drum track - with, it should be said, occasional chords - that should appeal to aging B-boys and girls.
DaM-FunK - "Believer" (Fingers deep funk remix) (8:40)
Nite-Funk - "Can U Read Me?" (3:38)
Review: Damon Garrett Riddick offered a fine addition to the DJ Kicks canon with his 19 track DaM-Funk selection earlier this and in time honoured tradition his exclusive contribution gets a vinyl release backed with a rather special remix. In a nod to his cache and love of classic deep house, Riddick has coaxed a Mr Fingers remix out of Larry Heard resulting in a sublime take on "Believer" that would have gone down a treat at Broken Beat haven Co-Op back in the day. Instead of the original version of "Believer," the flip features another Riddick original from the DJ Kicks mix - his killer Nite Funk collaboration with fellow LA synthesizer enthusiast Nite Jewel.
Review: Long-time collaborators Earth Trax & Newborn Jr collide once again for another London/Polish lesson in house music rudiments. Bumping with a classic 1990 feel but 2019 muscle, "Truth" hits home in two different ways; the big room hooky crossover vibe (Main Street remix) and a deeper, acid-tinged introspective twist (Back Alley mix). Flip for two more blasts of foundation magic; "Old Way, New Way" hits with classic synth-pipes and Mr Fingers dreaminess while "And Then" closes the show with a wry Balearic head nod. Turns out you can handle the "Truth".
Review: Interesting things appear to be happening at base camp ClekClekBoom on the evidence of recent releases from Jean Nipon, Chaos In The CDB, and those Fred P and Chevel refixes of French Fries. The mutant brand of bass, techno, ghetto flavours and more that has characterised the Paris label seemed to have taken new shape on those records and continues here with this Various Cuts 12". French Fries teams up with NS DOS for the percussive burn of "8 Hours From Nation" which pulls from Chicago House and NYC ballroom but pushes in all new directions. From here CCB regular Aleqs NOTAL provides perhaps the deepest cut to appear on the label with "Mare Imb" whilst there are shades of Kassem Mosse in Jean Nipon's excellent "Cause Of Action". A label newcomer rounds out the 12" in style with Dutch producer Barbara Ford instigating a mesmerizing exploration of ocean deep acid in "Frostbite".
Review: Here, Descendents of The Deep launches the From Chicago To Detroit series, bringing together a quartet of deep house tracks from Michigan and Illinois-based producers. Jordan Fields kicks things off with the electric piano-laden strut of the surprisingly trippy "Excitement", before Vincent Floyd offers up a masterclass in deep, New Jersey-influenced analogue deepness in the shape of "2gether". Flip for the wonderful blissfulness of Leandre's "Images of Spring" - think starry melodies from Detroit, coupled with the rolling swing of Chicago - and "Detroit Dubz", a killer exercise in spooky beatdown from Norm Talley and Mike Huckaby. With its' heavy, compressed bassline, creepy chords and reverb-laden textures, it sounds like it was tailor-made for Halloween.
Review: Japanese artist Sunao Gonno's idiosyncratic sound has appeared on labels such as Endless Flight, International Feel and Beats In Space over the years, where he's dabbled in shoegaze, kosmische and psychedelia as heard on 2015's breathtaking "Remember The Life Is Beautiful" or on last year's contemporary jazz outing "In Circles" with Kazuhiko Masumura. An accomplished DJ also, he's no stranger to Berlin's Panorama Bar, where Nick Hoppner (Touch From A Distance) has long held a residency. The two artists collaborate for the first time on "Lost", featuring three sublime sonic journeys: go deep into the exotic on "Bangalore" with its world music influence, or chill to the vivid downbeat tones of "Love Lost" until "Start Trying" returns to the program with its neon-lit aesthetic plus breakbeats reminiscent of the rave era.
Karl Hector & Nicolas Tounga - "Ngunga Yeti Fofa" (The Joaquin Joe Claussell Electric Afrika version) (11:36)
Vito & Druzzi - "Night Masquerade" (7:30)
Kapote - "Besamo Fly" (7:03)
Review: There's much to enjoy on the latest volume in Toy Tonics' ongoing hallucinatory house series, regardless of your psychedelic state of mind. The undoubted standout is Joe Clausell's epic version of Karl Hector and Nicolas Tounga's "Ngunga Yeti Fofa", a feverish, dub-flecked deep house interpretation of a track rich in both African and South American vocals and instrumentation. That said, we're also fans of Vito and Druzzi's "Night Masquerade", where Steve Reich style marimba melodies and fizzing synthesizer solos rise about a jaunty, tropical house groove, while Kapote's "Besamo Fly" is a lolloping, mid-tempo romp full of delay-laden African vocal snippets, jaunty Afro-funk horns and sludgy drumbeats.
Review: 124 Recordings know how to put together a deep house compilation, and they're sounding fierce on this latest, appropriately titled Levels Up. The jams come heavy and funky from a range of on-point operators, leading in with Tom Jay's quintessential New Jersey bump n grind on "Hanging On". David Moran is a little more shadowy but no less groovesome, while Nicola Brusegan takes things on a sweet and smooth tip. Across the whole double pack there are classically informed jams to satisfy the most weary deep house heads, but keep an ear out for the old-school flavoured heft of Freak D's "Power Of Bass", which should get some seriously jacking airtime in the right kind of dance.
Review: Having served for eight years as one of the most dependable outlets for deep, thought provoking house in the UK, Boe Recordings recently announced its plans to shut up shop, and it does so in style. Calling on regular artists as well as fresh talent, it's a perfect swansong that demonstrates just how much quality is to be found in the Boe back catalogue. Leif's "That Ice Cream Tune" is a hypnagogic slice of broken beat, while label boss Ben Boe gets into a dreamy 2-step state of mind. That's just the tip of the iceberg on this flawless double-pack from a label that will be sorely missed.
Review: Bobby Pleasure's Needs label continues to gather steam behind a message of togetherness, raising money for worth causes and trying to help those less fortunate in society. On this third instalment Lord Of The Isles leads the way with a typically romantic swoon of analogue bass and gorgeous 80s synth strings, while Mehmet Aslan lays down an earthly prowler powered by organic instrumentation. "Trust The Mountain" introduces Petwo Evans with a daring strain of broken electronica heavy on the crackling signal processing. Bartellow's "1001 (Skrillex Theme)" is a craft machine disco workout, and then N-Gynn takes things tropical with the exotic tones and bold drum machine hits of "Jumanji".
Review: The Purism label has already worked plenty with Enrico Mantini, but this time he's brought a friend along to help represent the Bologna-based team. Flavio Vecchi sounds right at home co-steering "Try To Get Out Of This", a devastatingly simple and deadly deep cut for heavy lidded house heads to get lost in the smoke machine to. Whether early in the evening or very very late, this is a big tune. "What U Do To Me" finds Nudge opening up the B side with a dreamy breakbeat house flavour for the after party crowd, and then "Dub Vandalo" maintains the stripped back but utterly punchy approach that makes this whole record so damn effective.
Review: The comic book-inspired Quartet Series returns to action, with another four studio superheroes joining the label's unofficial 'League of Extraordinary House Producers'. Returning hero Nachtbraker kicks things off with "Dobie", a quirky foray into percussion rich, jazz-house territory that packs serious dancefloor punch. Laurence Guy successfully breaks up the beats on the deep and woozy "Love & Be Loved", while Tommy Vicardi Jnr works his DJ Sneak style beats and cut-up samples hard on the deliciously energetic "Aplomb". Finally, LK doffs a cap to R&B, hip-hop and Detroit deep house on the pitched-down 4/4 shuffle of closer "Honey", which should appeal to those who enjoy the work of Marcel Vogel, Inkswel and Andres.
Review: The unstoppable house machine Nail is back once more on his 89:Ghost label with a grip of killer drops previously only available online. His advice is to "spark up a zug and chew on these meaty badboys", and we'd be inclined to agree. There's a heady, trippy quality to "Happen Dub" that suits all heavy lidded situations, while "Ese Dub" channels a few rugged bleep traits that hark back Nail's roots in DIY Discs and the free party scene. "Feets Dub" channels some sublime funk sampling that would sound right at home amongst the Detroit house grandmasters, and "Be Dub 2" takes things interstellar with some swirling, churning dub techno chords of the highest calibre.
Review: Spain's Slow Town rarely fails to deliver the goods. Split, so called because it contains tracks from numerous artists, more than lives up to the label's rising reputation. It probably helps that the A-side comes from former Bent man and longtime East Midlands deep house stalwart Nail. His "Shake Back" explores similar sonic territory to Pepe Bradock's "Deep Burnt", whilst retaining the chunky, bass-heavy bottom-end recognizable from his releases for Classic, Shabby Doll and Robsoul Recordings. On the flip, there's an equally assured cut from London stalwarts Jonno & Tommo. "Wolf Spirit" is an altogether more tech-tinged affair, built around a restless electronic bassline, hypnotic percussion and woozy, late night chords.
Review: Former Bugz In The Attic crewmember Alex Phountzi first joined forces with fellow broken beat pioneer IG Culture four years ago. Together, they launched the NameBrandSound project with a tidy EP of bass-weight business on Ninja Tune's Technicolour offshoot. Here the experienced twosome return with their first - and presumably only - missive of 2018. A-side "Shrunken Heads" is something of a percussive, off-kilter dancefloor beast, as the duo re-imagines Talking Heads classic "Once In A Lifetime" as a rolling, bruk-up floor-filler. Over on side B, "Bebop" sees them pepper another swinging, house-influenced bruk-up rhythm with lashings of synth-sax and some suitably shimmering chords.
Review: After a string of releases for Omena, Transatlantyk and Studio Barnhus, Wroclaw-based Naphta delivers his first EP for Maciek Sienkiewicz's FASRAT label. This is house music like you've never heard before - loose, freaky, hippie, voodoo machine funk, highly infectious grooves for any modern dancefloor. As always FASRAT delivers also a stunning artwork - this time by renowned graphic designer Ania Goszczynska.
Review: Dat boy u know as Anthony Naples adds The Trilogy Tapes to his growing impressive discography with the superb El Portal EP. It only seems like last week Naples appeared out of nowhere with the modern classic Mad Disrespect EP for Mr Saturday Night and since then his rise has been meteoric, remixing Four Tet, gracing Opal Tapes, founding his own Proibito label and dropping another slayer for Mr Harkin and Mr Carter. Adding Will Bankhead's supreme TTT operation to his arsenal is a true statement and this is impressive stuff; doling out raw abstract deep house that threatens to swell over on the title track, while "Pueblo" provides a rough downtempo rhythm whose scrappy hi-hats come laden with funk and a jazzy piano refrain. On the flip, "Busy Signal" provides house track whose sweet chords are counterbalanced by a particularly driving rhythm. Watch out for the Fleetwood Mac drop too!
Review: The boy Naples hooks up with Bankhead again for what looks and sounds like a sequel to last year's much loved El Portal 12" for The Trilogy Tapes. Apparently named in honour of the hospitable reception young Anthony received whilst playing a party in the Columbian town of Zipacon, this four track release opens with "Perron" which sounds like previous Naples hit "Busy Signal" hollowed out. From here, "Zipacon" feels like a real high point with fizzing, intricate drum patterns and a warbling pad line that really captivates. Flipside cut "More Problem" offers a undeniably booming interlude before Naples gets really bugged out on the excellent "Crazy Spirit".