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".
Put Your Spirit Up (Joaquin Joe Claussell edit & Overdub)
Other Souls & Things - "Mundo De Agua" (The Psychdelic Transfusion remix)
Afrikan Basement - "Sangre"
ITU High (interlude)
The Brooklyn Heat & Soul Band - "Come & Fly With Me" (Joaquin Improvisational remix mix)
Review: The undisputed master of spiritual house music Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell presents Cosmicdelic Afrika: a collection of demos that the New York City based visionary is currently working on in the studio. The idea for the compilation was inspired by the concept of his event Share: the upcoming Share Afrika will see Claussell digging through his archives and bringing out compositions exploring Afrika, African Diaspora, dub and more. Beginning with the deeply magical and meditative vibe of "African Drug" (Joaquin's Drugged Out Sketch mix) by Bob Holroyd, the soulful and uplifting deepness of "Emarofo Tech" (Joaquin's Demo Sketch Mix) by Mampo or Cosmic Ritual's "Abraxas" (Joaquin demo Sketch mix) which is classic Claussell - reminiscent of work on his seminal Language album from the turn of the millennium.
Review: Ace London via Glasgow operation Huntleys & Palmers return with a second Chapter, their irregular series of split releases. Whereas the first one issued almost a year ago drew for some crazy club material from artists closely associated with the label, this second edition seeks out contributions from outside talent. Any record that features contributions from both Optimo Music Golden Teacher and Wolf Muller is going to get our seal of approval and both are highlights. The latter opens proceedings with the wonderfully off kilter "Rudeltanz", whilst Golden Teacher's "What Time Is it" comes off like a pitched down Charles Manier cut. Further contributions from Comeme artist Sano, Studio Barnhus act Usio, and Discos Capablanca associate Oklo Gabon will all nice up the dance too!
Review: Detroit Swindle's Heist imprint now presents Kassian, the brainchild of Joe Danvers-McCabe (Danvers) and Warren Cummings (Warren Xclnce). Both are regulars in the underground and wider reaching London scenes, with Warren being a co-founder of Abouttoblow and a previous studio producer at Worldwide FM, while Joe came through DJing and running nights in the eclectic world of Bristol nightlife before moving to London. The Premise EP features the deep and sulty late night groove of the title track - a perfect match for the Amsterdam based imprint, while "Bad Habit" goes for an energetic disco- acid vibe. Finally "Love 4:2" was decent enough in its original form, but the man DJ Nature works his magic as always by taking the track down even deeper and more emotive territory.
Review: Anthony Nicholson is something of an unheralded hero. He's been releasing variations on melodious, soul-flecked deep house since the turn of the 1990s, delivering material for such labels as Prescription, NIte Grooves and Peacefrog. 22 years after releasing his first 12", Nicholson returns to action with Four, his first albium since 2011. It's a sensual and atmospheric set packed with musically expansive material. While rooted in house, it offers so much more than simple, functional dancefloor material. It will no doubt draw comparisons with the work of Ron Trent, to whom Nicholson shares an impressive attention to detail and positive musical outlook.
Review: In the 11 years since he made his debut on a split 12" of techno productions, Melchior Sultana has developed into a fine producer of smoky, evocative deep house. Here, he more than proves that point, returning to Jus-Ed's Underground Quality imprint with his fourth solo full length. Seemingly inspired by his Maltese roots, Mediterran is chock full of the kind of warm, mature, impeccably produced deep house that sounds like it was designed to soundtrack dusky St Julian's sunsets and baking hot afternoons amidst the ancient walls of Valetta. There are nods towards the bluesy jazz-house of St Germain (see "One Take"), classic Balearic deep house ("Paradise") and the emotion-rich grooves of Jus-Ed ("Lead The Way"), with the overall feel being lazy, relaxed and groovy.
Review: "Salmon Spungcake" was one of the last things Claremont 56 super-group Bison recorded before the sad passing of two of its' founder members, Holger Czukay and Ursula Kloss in the summer of 2017. Two years on from its initial release, Bison members Ben Smith and Paul 'Mudd' Murphy (also label boss) have decided to get it remixed, with original producer Conrad McDonnell (he of Idjut Boys fame) providing two suitably heavy dub disco interpretations, making this the band's first release since the passing of Czukay and Kloss. Check first the spacey A-side hypnotism of the "Zip It Shrimpy Mix", where melancholic chords and spaced-out vocal snippets wrap around a particularly percussive dub disco groove. Arguably even better is the stripped-back, bass-heavy and reverb-rich "I Think I've Got Gout Mix", which sounds like it was tailor-made to manipulate mangled minds at four in the morning.
Review: Since meeting, and subsequently working with, Ron Trent in the early 1990s, Anthony Nicholson has produced some seriously sublime deep house. These days, his releases are less frequent than many would wish, but retain the kind of high quality threshold associated with the very best house producers. Gravity is his fifth full-length, and delivers a swathe of gorgeously rich and musically expansive tracks shot through with serious amounts of soul. While he rarely strays from the dancefloor, tracks are layered with delicious musical flourishes - twinkling piano playing, live percussion, guitars and bass, for starters - while you'll a range of complimentary influences (African rhythms, modern soul, jazz-funk, boogie, and so on). In other words, it's a proper, grown-up house album.
Let Them Come (Greg Gauthier dance Culture remix) (5:43)
Let Them Come (Greg Gauthier dance Culture remix - instrumental) (5:43)
Let Them Come (Gokin vocal remix) (6:34)
Let Them Come (Gokin instrumental remix) (6:32)
Review: Second time around for Dan Electro's "Let Them Come", an extra-percussive chunk toe-tapping, hip-shaking gospel house brilliance that first surfaced on the producer's 2009 album "Bite The Hand That Feeds You". Sadly his superb original version isn't present, though the fresh remixes are more than up to scratch. Greg Gauthier handles Side A, serving up vocal and instrumental takes built around Church organ stabs, restless deep house drums and a killer electronic bassline. They're rather good all told, though Gokin's flipside vocal and instrumental revisions are arguably even better. Re-imagining the track as a gospel-fired slab of dreamy deep house, Gokin smothers a driving beat in hazy chords and the kind of insatiable electric piano solos usually associated with classic 1970s jazz-funk wig-outs.
Review: Following the summer-sizzled "LOVE Song" comes another smooth soul schooling from Victor Lavender. Smoking keys and a lolloping bassline set the scene as Diviniti's vocals cause a spell-binding ear roadblock to great effect. For something deeper and more percussive jump on ReelSoul's drum-heavy instrumental while Josh Milan Honeycomb extends the soul aspects and injects a tiny bit of jazz to recipe giving it a confident MAW-like polish. "1929" completes the set with more jazzed out leanings thanks to the dreamy keys and piano work, tied together neatly with a funky squidgy bassline and subtle percussion elements.
Jazz Carnival (Space Jazz mix - Global Communication remix) (11:15)
Review: We hear on the grapevine that there could be some seriously desirable Global Communication vinyl reissues on the way in 2020. To tide us over until then, Far Out has decided to reissue one of the legendary West Country duo's most celebrated and sought-after remixes: their 1996 "Space Jazz" remix of Azymuth classic "Jazz Carnival". Pritchard and Middleton's version is a spacey deep house epic of intergalactic proportions, with subtle elements of the Brazilian band's loose and languid '90s re-recording of the track (the B-side "LP Mix") weaving in and out of a warm, rich and hypnotic groove. It's one of the most dancefloor-friendly of all Global Communication remixes - many were straight ambient or downtempo rubs - but also one of Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton's finest.
Johnick - "Play The World" (Johnick 7" edit) (3:22)
Mike Delgado - "Byrdman's Revenge" (Johnick 7" edit) (4:49)
Review: Henry Street is one of the foundational US house and disco labels and amongst its many, many gems are the two tracks presented here. Both are more than two decades old but still blow plenty of modern tracks out of the water: Johnick's "Play The World" is drenched in heart-wrenching soul and packed up with driving, organic house beats, while Mike Delgado's stone cold classic "Byrdman's Revenge" has those big chord loops and rooted train-track drums charging forwards with all the bristling energy of a young pup. Timeless stuff.
Review: Pal Joey is a legendary New York house producer. Whatever alias he assumes - and there are many - you can be sure of real quality, and this 7" features two of his best: As Soho he offers the jazzy keys and funked up house loops of "Hot Music" which samples Wynton Marsalis's "Skain's Domain". On the flip, he becomes Earth People and serves up pure house joy on "Dance" with its ebullient vocal yelps, party starting sax lines and timeless chords. It's the sort of celebratory, end of the night weapon that will send people home in absolute raptures.
Review: Italy has long been a hotbed of dreamy and melodic house, and young DJ and producer Il Flaco Scivola of Terra Sonora and Play Crew keeps that tradition alive. Here, he offers slick, spaced out tracks that are shiny and spacious. "My House" is the enticing opener with its frictionless drums and hi hats before "Move By Water" then bumps a little more freely with clipped kicks and smart vocal samples. "Wet Floor" is all melodic droplets, fluid synths and warped bass that will twist your melon and "Obsession" continues with a dubbed out but kicking vibe that the heads will love.
Review: Innsbruck's Pusic Records is hardly prolific, averaging just one or two 12" singles a year, but what they do put out tends to be very good. The label's latest missive - its first vinyl outing of 2020 - maintains this impressive track record. It features two tracks apiece from Madcat and Joe Corti. The former impresses on side A with the driving, bass-heavy jazz-house strut of "In The Morning", before exploring deeper, dustier and more laidback deep house pastures on acid-flecked flipside cut "House of Gods". Corti, meanwhile, opens his account with swirling, beefed up, loopy disco-jack ("I Just"), before returning to round off the EP via a more hypnotic, deep and dusty take on jazz-house ("Mitchell").
Review: Maltese deep house dude Melchior Sultana becomes the latest addition to Jus-Ed's bulging list of collaborators, which also includes Levon Vincent, Fred P, Nina Kraviz, DJ Qu, Move D, Mr G, Lawrence and Son of Sound. The resultant jams are sweet, sticky and undeniably Moorish. Check, for example, the shuffling Afro-house beats, sumptuous electric piano solos, leisurely jazz guitars and spoken word vocals of "Choices", the piano and synth-bass driven breeziness of "Outside" and the classic deep house warmth of closing cut "Press It". "Now Scat", an ultra-deep, acid-flecked treat, is also top notch.
Review: Five years after he contributed a track to Rutilance Recordings' double-vinyl "Volume 11" compilation, the label has finally given Kicks the chance to release an EP of his own. It's a rather good EP, too, with the French producer offering up a quartet of chunky cuts in the Phil Weeks style that add spacey tech-house sounds and retro-futurist motifs to bumpin' deep house grooves. Picking favourites is touch, though we're particularly enjoying the driving, funk-fuelled goodness of "Marvin C", and the intergalactic headiness of "Once There Was a Dream" - a track rich in deep space chords and starry-eyed lead lines. Elsewhere, "Sinister 9001" smashes together bombastic speed garage beats, weighty bass and Yorkshire bleeps, while "Amadeus" is a lusciously spacey romp in the French producer's now trademark style.
Review: Chaos In The CBD have quietly been building an impressive reputation for some time, with releases on Hot Haus, Amadeus and Needwant all hitting the spot. Here they transfer to Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International with what's arguably their most mature and musically expansive EP to date. There's a decidedly dusty, eyes-closed deep house feel throughout, with hypnotic grooves laden with all manner of neat, often jazz inspired touches. This is perhaps most obvious on the St Germain style jazz-house goodness of "Observe" - all skipping cymbals, bouncy grooves and killer pianos - but can also be found on the deeper "Observe". It's there, too, on the lilting brilliance of "Midnight In Peckham" - think yearning trumpets and twinkling piano motifs - and the blissful "Luxury Motivation".
Review: In a recent online poll hosted by acid evangelist Posthuman, Adonis's "No Way Back" was voted the greatest acid house track of all time. It's hard to argue - though we'd have opted for Phuture's pioneering "Acid Trax" - as the Chicago classic sounds every bit as fresh, futuristic and otherworldly now as it did when it was first released in 1986. This tasty red vinyl reissue from TRAX pairs the much-loved vocal version - in which the late, great Gary B talks about losing control over fiendishly sweaty, ultra-jacking drums and one of the sleaziest, most addictive acid basslines of all time - with the lesser-celebrated, but equally heavy, instrumental mix. If you don't already own a copy, don't sleep.
Chaos In The CBD - "Emotional Intelligence" (feat Nathan Haines & Dave Koor) (6:21)
Chaos In The CBD & Lee Pearson Jnr Collectiv - "It's Up To Me" (feat K LaDawn & Joe Armon Jones) (5:08)
Chaos In The CBD & Lee Pearson Jnr Collectiv - "It's Up To Me" (feat K LaDawn & Joe Armon Jones - instrumental) (6:07)
Review: On this rare outing on Neroli, Chaos In The CBD has been joined by a wealth of friends and like-minded musicians. They first join forces with saxophonist and fellow kiwi jazz legend Nathan Haines and talented South London keys player Dave Koor aka Modified Man on A-side "Emotional Intelligence", a deliciously deep, positive and melodious affair rich in jaunty Clavinet riffs, simmering strings, smile-inducing chords and groovy, bongo-laden drums. On side B they offer up vocal and instrumental versions of "It's Up To Me". K. LaDawn, Joe Armon-Jones and Lee Pearson Jnr Collective are the guests this time round, and their contributions - hazy, soulful vocals, mazy electric piano solos, jaunty jazz-house drums and so on - help make the track a sensual, slow-burn dancefloor delight. Almost all Chaos In The CBD EPs are worth checking, but this one is extra-special.
Review: Deep Transportation don Mike Huckaby teams up with Downbeat label gaffer Jose Rico for this EP made with a Waldorf WAVE Synthesizer. Rico's two efforts that adorn the A-Side have clearly been produced with intricate poise, making it all the more surprising that this is his debut release. Both "Restructure Again" and "About It" are lathered in subtle jazzy deep house chords and subtle yet immediate percussion. Flip over for "Mathematics From The Jazz Rebulic" from Mr Huckaby, who really gives the Waldorf what for. Killer release for the deep house purists.