Review: Some four months after he lost his battle with cancer, BBE is releasing Paul 'Trouble' Anderson's final production - a fittingly joyous, upbeat and life-affirming cover of gospel standard "Happy Day" featuring the impassioned vocals of soul singer John Redmond. On the A-side of this 12" edition you'll find the "Classic Main Mix", a bouncy and rubbery fusion of soaring gospel vocals, bumping house beats, mazy organ solos, rubbery disco bass and clipped guitar riffs. It's superb all told, and a fitting final hurrah from one of the UK's most significant DJs of the past 40 years. Over on the flip you'll find the slightly more stripped-back "Classic Dub", where impassioned vocal snippets ride Anderson's killer groove, bouncy pianos and spacey synths.
Review: Stockholm based Ari Bald is up next for Better Listen after inaugurating Honey Butter Records last year with that great release. He keeps on with that deep disco spirit with these four funky and lo-slung jams. On the A side, we have two ergonomic edits in the form of "That Lonely Night" and "Enchantress" respectively which are looped to perfection with some somewhat familiar hooks that gradually build up to that drop! That's where the thumping kick comes charging in and it's sure geared for maximum dancefloor dynamics. On the flip, get ready for the funk explosion that is "Moonshiner" or what could be your First Choice (mind the pun!) in the form of the smooth and sexy late night groove of "Are You Mesmerized?"
Review: Lemmy Ashton made quite a splash with his first outing on his own TNC label last year, and now he's back to follow up with another salvo of premium heaters geared towards disco-friendly dancers. There's a chunky, looped up quality to "Silver Suitcase" with its insistent bass lick and slamming drums, but there's equal space for soul thanks to the string-loaded sample hook. By way of contrast "Lunaire" fires up the acid flare and heads straight into a babbling brook of 303-related goodness. "Amsterdam" rounds the EP off on a stomp, whipping up the kind of bombastic disco drama that would get Studio 54 moving were it in action today.
Review: There are a lot of much-loved Kerri Chandler records, but it would be fair to say that 1998's "Rain" - originally tucked away on the flipside of "The Mood EP" - is one of the most celebrated. Here it gets given the re-edit treatment by arguably the world's most celebrated editor, Danny Krivit. The veteran New Yorker gets busy with the original version on the A-side, focusing on the soulful, improvised vocals, tasty minor key melodies, skipping drums and warm, rich synth bassline. Over on the flip, Krivit turns his attention to Atjazz's later remix, which re-imagines the track as a breezy chunk of Latin house rich in live pianos, bossa-driven beats, hissing cymbals and some choice vocal snippets.
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Timo Garcia & The Chesire Catz remix)
Walk A Mile In My Shoes (Tom Belton S Ssl Re-rub)
Review: Coldcut return with the stand-out single from their critically-acclaimed album, "Sound Mirrors". The pioneering duo take Joe South's classic 70s hit "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" and re-work it in the tradition which started with their own "Autumn Leaves" and incorporates Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" amongst others. And, as usual, Coldcut know how to pick a collaborator. Robert Owens should need no introduction. One of the true legends of house music, his career as a musical innovator (as well as the possessor of an all-time great voice) runs from pioneer days as one half of Fingers Inc in Chicago in the 80s right up to collaborations with Photek and London Elektricity, via any number of classic tunes including "Tears", "I'll Be Your Friend" and "Ordinary Son". The version of the tune included on the single ties the epic nature of Coldcut's production to a skipping, swinging house rhythm and the kind of anthemic build that leaves you exhausted. It's a truly beautiful piece of music, the contrast between the delicacy of Owens' voice and the weight of the orchestration perfectly realised. And that's before you've even reached the mixes. Tiga takes the original, strips out the music and replaces it with technoid pulses and a harder dancefloor rhythm, with the sweetness of Owens' voice cutting through the intensity. Henrik Schwarz (of Berlin-based Sonar Kollektiv) builds the original into a melancholy, jazzy number which still sets the foot tapping. Tom Belton goes straight for the disco-funk hands-in-the-air jugular, before Timo Garcia hardens up the kick for a full-on club odyssey.
All You Need Is House (Milty Evans Whitebeard mix)
All You Need Is House (Ty'z classic dub)
Review: Tyree Cooper's All You Need Is House EP is a proud celebration of the genre, done Chicago style and rammed home by Marco's wailing vocals. Through solid drums and strong vocal hooks, Cooper's original beats down hard justifying the need for a 180g pressing. It rattles and hums until dropping into a tom-drum and snare solo similar to Runaway's "Brooklyn Club Jam". Bobby Starr's mix brings Marco's Teddy Pendergrass-sung vocals to the fore, while Milty Evans gets a little techier with a cut up approach, adding white noise flashes and lots of filterwerk. Cooper second take comes via a "classic dub" which draws a link between squelchy baile funk and a Masters At Work drum track.
Cody Currie - "ACE, At The Point Of Collapse" (5:14)
Sebb Junior - "Greatest Feelings" (5:54)
Demuir - "Let's Get In It" (7:16)
Black Loops - "French Affair" (6:24)
Hotmood - "Voyage To The Onda" (6:41)
COEO - "Azzurro" (7:37)
Review: The team behind upstart imprint De La Groove has done a fine job on this compilation style extravaganza, which features tracks from an impressive selection of hotly tipped producers. Highlights include the bouncy, shirts-off loop-disco of Cody Currie's "ACE, At The Point of Collapse", the super-groovy, jazz-flecked deep house warmth of Demuir's "Let's Get In It", the effervescent sweetness of Black Loops' summery roller "French Affair", and the fluttering flute solos of Hotmood's goodtime jazz-funk revision "Voyage To The Onda". The purest expression of jazzy, smoky deep house is provided by COEO, whose clarinet-sporting "Azzurro" is probably our pick of a very strong bunch.
Review: Manchester label Natural Sciences launches its new sub label Dolphin Traxx with a sterling effort by Durham-based D. Futers. As the label best describe themselves it's "a pounding two tracker of aqueous goo, molecular body deposits and corrosive laser stains, pressed up loud + harddd (sic)." On the A side we have "I Care" which is a gorgeous serving of feelgood classic house reminiscent of classic Strictly Rhythm or King Street with its pitched up vocals and uplifting pianos over a soulful groove. There is a bit of a curveball on the B side with the liquid junglist roller "Never Givin' Up" which likewise is brazen in its retroverted style tributes; think early Peshay or Alex Reece.
Review: As one of the earliest Chez Damier cuts to see the light of day, "I Never Knew Love" is more than welcome to a reissue to reach a fresh set of ears needing schooling in the ways of true deep house. It's an all-star cast here from artists in their youth, from MK's club mix of the star title in all its unmistakable MIDI Sax-ing glory, through to Carl Craig in a breezy piano breakbeat mood that's utterly charming in its simplicity. The real pick though is the "Change Up" mix of "I Never Knew Love" with its stripped back drums and spellbinding chord-led breakdown.
Review: One of the world's premier DJ Duo's, Chus & Ceballos are well known for their uniquely energetic sets that feature hard hitting techno influences but still retain an essential connection to pure American house Music. Their music shines particularly bright in the summer, when their driving percussions impact even bigger during outdoor festivals and in the European summer clubbing markets. For their new release on Nervous, they have found a song initially released by DJ Michael Flume in 2001 called Agolele. While the release had limited exposure in its initial release, Chus & Ceballos were inspired by the authentic tribal flavor and inspired instrumentation, and saw a vision of how they could turn this into a 2019 summer club anthem. The result is out now exclusively on a Nervous Records vinyl release.
Review: DJ Octopus has been busy in the last few years, appearing often alongside Steve Murphy on labels like Love Notes, Chiwax, Hot Haus and Shall Not Fade. On this new double pack for House Crime he goes it alone, bringing the kind of raw, off-kilter but ultimately fun vibe that the label seems to plump for. "Born In 86" is an absolute head driller of a track, looped up but utterly addictive, while "Diastemia" offers a very different kind of disco-infused groove. This personality split runs throughout, ensuring there's never a dull moment diving into any of these sides of wax. Check "The Toy Is Mine" if you need proof that Octopus knows how to throw it down.