Review: Enjoying a brief sojourn away from then 2000 Black label he's long called home, sometime 4hero member Dego pops up on Neroli with a two-tracker that blends his usual jazz-funk inspired instrumentation with warm and fragrant, dancefloor-focused grooves. The jazz-funk influence is strongest on flipside "Just Give It A Long Shot", a more languid affair rich in squiggly synth lines, toasty bass guitar, slack-tuned drum breaks and the kind of group vocals that would have once sent rare groove heads into a spin. A-side "Twelve Steps" is arguably even better, with whispered vocals, jazzy synth lines and sunny guitars wrapping around a pleasingly rubbery Brit-funk groove.
Review: Another single-sided sizzler from the Digwah camp, whose irregular tech-house reworks of well-loved old cuts are rarely less than excellent. This time round, they've turned their attention to a sprightly, memorable chunk of '80s soul - an American club cut of the period that has been re-edited numerous times by disco diggers. The Digwah version, though, is an almost complete overhaul; while snippets of the original version's vocals and guitars are present in the mix, they largely play second fiddle to chunky tech-house beats and a bold, huggable bassline that propels the revision forward towards peak-time dancefloors. It's decent and scintillating like most Digwah remixes.
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: Following releases from Huerta, Mandar and Makcim & Levi last year, Oscillat kicks off 2019 with an assured, brooding club 12" from long-serving producer Matthew Dekay.
Since surfacing in 2001, Dutch producer Dekay has put out a formidable body of work under a variety of aliases and in collaboration with producers including Lee Burridge and Maher Daniel. His sultry tech house approach has graced labels as highly regarded as Innervisions, Cecille, Aras and Maeve, and now he comes to Oscillat with "Spellbound," a track that finds him diving deeper than ever before into hypnotic, swinging rhythms loaded with atmosphere and longing.
On the B side, Oscillat bosses Mandar (Lazare Hoche, Malin Genie and Samuel Andre Madsen) take Dekay's original and inject it with an infectious peak time energy, creating a straight-up, acid-flecked workout that sits in neat contrast with the immersive shuffle of the original.
I'll Take You There (Directors cut Classic Signature remix) (7:48)
I'll Take You There (Dimitri From Paris re-edit) (7:48)
I'll Take You There (The Shapeshifters remix) (7:42)
Review: Back in 2011, Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kupper debuted their Director's Cut project by teaming up with old pal Jamie Principle on "I'll Take You There". Here it gets the reissue treatment, with a trio of classic mixes being joined by a fresh revision from scalpel maestro Moplen. His version is delicious, with Principle's loved-up vocal rising above bubbly synth-bass, evocative organ lines, swirling synthesizer motifs and sunrise chords. There's another chance to enjoy Director's Cut's own warm and glassy-eyed "Signature Remix", a second spin for Dimitri From Paris's slightly breezier (but no less loved-up) re-edit and a boisterous funky house rework from the Shapeshifters that some may have missed first time around.
Review: Thanks to a string of fine disco and gospel-fired releases and remixes for the likes of Midnight Riot and Lumberjacks in Hell, Alan Dixon has become a must-check artist. Here he makes his bow on Running Back with arguably his most arresting and inspired EP to date. The real star of the show is co-producer Darren Morris (a regular Ashley Beedle collaborator), whose dazzling solos surge from the speakers on the driving, 1989 style piano house rush of "Moments" (reminiscent of his work on Beedle's peerless remix of Bent's "Always" in the early 2000s) and the Balearic house brilliance of "Star Dance" (think Phillip Lauer/Tuff City Kids). The fun continues on muscular, Italo-disco influenced opener "La Danza" and the colourful, sunrise-ready soundscape "Ambient Braindisk".
Review: Benjamin Brunn and Dave Wheels are old studio buddies, having worked together on and off since 2006. "2000", though, is their most ambitious joint project yet: a collaborative album for Sushitech that offers up breezy, melodious and cheery fusions of heady dub techno, gentle electronica, chugging sofa-friendly haziness and glitchy late night hypnotism. It's an interesting blend but one that certainly hits the spot. Highlights include the horizontal pulse of "Orainge", the wonderfully hypnotic after-hours throb of "Iratamoto (Version)", the bold and sun-kissed undulations of "In The Club" and the pie-eyed warmth of "Waldeck".
Review: A mysterious white label from a mysterious source with no details or even track titles. All we know is that there are only 200 copies and that they absolutely bump. "Track 1" is a real heads down driver with a well-known female vocal ghosting through the groove while "Track 2" brings home a job lot of funk with a much looser, off-grid groove and a breakdown to melt into. Get lifted.
Review: It's always a treat to spot Edward donning his Desert Sky guise for another trip into the hinterland of minimal techno, where expression reigns free and all kinds of sound sources tumble into a truly exotic mix. On this album for PAL SL, all bets are off as we get whisked down a mysterious and meandering path where organic and electronic matter merge in the shadows, all strapped to subliminal but pronounced grooves that make this some of the most potent, intriguing club material in circulation right now. Buy the ticket, take the ride and dance out under that Desert Sky.
Fred P - "119 Black Key Experiment" (Continuation interlude) (2:33)
Review: The inimitable Fred Peterkin presents yet more incredible adventures on his newly inaugurated Perpetual Sound imprint. Following up the incredible EP from Black Jazz Consortium back in December, this sophomore effort sees the head honcho co-present some fine tracks with veteran Swiss producer Sam Geiser aka Deetron via the Lush Culture EP. It's all about Captain P on the A side, featuring the deep and moody tribal entrancement of "Liquidity" followed by the soulful title track - which features his trademark use of emotive synth sounds and immaculately programmed rhythms. On the flip, Deetron goes well deep and smooth on his offering "Sweet Science" which sees him deliver hi-tech soul in his usual idiosyncratic style before P returns to conclude the release with the retro-futurist, ambient "119 Black Key Experiment".
Review: On the A1 Chekov follows up their moves on Peach Discs and Timedance with a proper peak timer, they've been described by Ben UFO as 'king of the build up' and that's evident on this one. At the A2 London's Doppelate makes their Cong Burn debut with an elegant tech-house roller. Fresh from Russia's underground is Camin, on this, his debut 12" release he drops a useful tool which squeezes between electro and techno. Cong Burn founder Howes closes the B side with some warm hypnosis that could have landed in the golden era of Workshop.
Review: Resurgent Welsh techno wizard DJ Guy launches his own label with a fresh batch of deep diving jams that put the soul back in the machine. From the twinkling, starry-eyed delights of "Music Is Life" to the horizontal meditation of "Interplanetary," this is immaculately executed electronica in the fine tradition of UK trailblazers like B12 that sounds as fresh as it did in the 90s. "Warmth In Rhythm" sports a nagging house groove to suck you in with ease, while "Propulsion State" fires off a dazzling arpeggio that heads skywards with a twitchy electro backbone for company. Top shelf tackle from a seriously talented cat.
Review: Earlier in the year DJ Seinfeld returned to action with the "Galazy EP", a wonderfully spacey, breakbeat-driven affair that arguably contained some of his most mature and developed productions yet. There's more of the same on the "Lilium EP". The title track boasts serious percussive weight - a result of the producer's layering of bongos and congas above a sturdy kick drum pattern - with a trance-inducing synth bassline, fluid electric piano lines and flowery chords providing the loved-up musical accompaniment. He doffs a cap towards both mid 1980s NYC freestyle and Italo-disco on the Bobby Orlando-influenced brilliance of "Lovejoy", whose drums and synth sounds are impressively authentic in their style and execution, while "Exterrestial" is a pleasingly fluid fusion of breakbeat-driven deep house and late '90s style NYC "dark garage".
Review: New label Nuances de Nuit kick off in fine style with a various artists 12" that draws on some emergent names to lay out a vision of cross-style dance music that favours the deeper end of the pool. Things get going with an organ-rich house bumper from DJ Steaw that pumps in all the right places, before Armless Kid switches things up with an untitled slice of dynamic, richly layered electro. T. Jacques thumps out a crafty, swinging cut with techy inclinations and oodles of groove, and E. Wan takes things in a more linear, deep techno direction laden with gorgeous synth work and plenty of artful effects processing.
Review: For those who dig dancefloor-friendly takes on World Music classics, the Sterns Edits label - a collaboration between producer Ben Gomori and long-serving African and Brazilian music specialists Sterns Music - should be an imprint to watch. The label's latest must-have EP boasts fresh revisions of killer cuts from the epic back catalogue of Malian artist Nahawa Doumbia. Gomori works his magic on 1987 cut "Sige Sele", first sticking rolling house beats beneath the original's cut-glass strings, funky bass, storming horns and superb vocals (the A-side "Edit"), before opening the flipside with a largely vocal free "Disco Dub" that's arguably even better. To round things off, Tom Jay offers a similarly tooled up take on the more synthesizer-heavy "Djina Mousso".
Bongneck - "The Robber's Daughter" (Ghiz Retouch) (6:06)
Makebo - "Unknown Beauty" (9:09)
Review: Moscow's Shanti Radio imprint has been on fine form of late, offering up must-check 12s from DSF, Lost Desert, Volen Sentir and many more. Here they offer up their first multi-artist EP of 2019, an undeniably attractive and ear-pleasing affair that effortlessly joins the dots between deep house, tech-house and more percussive tribal flavours. Highlights are plentiful throughout, with our picks including the string-drenched, bittersweet brilliance of Makebo's "Unknown Beauty", the sub-heavy throb of Ghiz's tasty rework of Bongbeck's "The Robber's Daughter" - all rolling hand percussion, insanely weighty bass and picturesque melodic flourishes - and the sunset-ready dancefloor bliss of Cornucopia's impeccable "Nature Boy".
Review: Originally active around the turn of the century, Difusion are back in action with a mission to champion real songwriting in the deep house scene. "Playin' With Fire" rides a funky disco groove and works around some seriously catchy vocals, while Daniel Maunick dubs the track out and rides the filter to deadly effect. "Shining" rounds the EP off with a sweet, sensitive jam that strikes the kind of melancholic tone that wistful dancefloor memories are made of. Once again the vocals lift to the track to another stratosphere of heartfelt expression - this is sure to go down a storm with the late summer crowd.
Jamie Jones & Darius Syrossian - "Rushing" (extended mix) (5:43)
Jamie Jones & Darius Syrossian - "Rushing" (Afterparty Basement mix) (5:36)
Darius Syrossian - "Come On Come On" (extended mix) (6:33)
Darius Syrossian - "Kouka" (Warehouse Basement mix) (6:17)
Review: Jamie Jones and Darius Syrossian are both house heavyweights, but with very different vibes. It's fascinating that they have come together on this EP then, with their collaborative "Rushing" opening the EP in steamy fashion. It features a well worn vocal repackaged on bulky, bass driven house drums that are designed to get the crowd pumping their fists. The "Afterparty Basement Mix" is even harder hitting with some chords layered in for extra fun, then Darius goes solo on the flip for "Come On Come On", which fits in with his rolling, well sampled house style and is a sure fire crowd pleaser. The more stripped back and hypotonic "Kouka" is perfect for big spaces and bringing crowds together to march to a beat.
Yes, No, Maybe (feat Tom Misch - Sterac Electronics remix) (6:26)
Call Of The Wild (feat Jungle By Night - Cinthie remix) (6:05)
High Life (feat Lorenz Rhode - Jura Soundsystem remix) (4:50)
Ketama Gold (Matt Karmil remix) (7:36)
Ex Machina (Gari Romalis Detroit On The Move remix) (6:03)
Review: In our opinion, the best remix EPs are those that don't plough a narrow dancefloor furrow, but instead offer up reworks that touch on different styles and sounds. That's what you get here as an invited cast re-interprets tracks from Detroit Swindle's "Highlife" LP. The star attractions are arguably twinfold: a killer electro-soul take on "Yes, No Maybe" by Dutch veteran Sterac Electronics and a bustling revision of "Call of the Wild" by Cinthie that sounds like a mid-90s NYC basement house jam. That said, we're also big fans of Jura Soundsystem's dubbed-out Balearic electro mix of "High Life" and the formidably floor-friendly tweaks by Matt Karmil and Gari Romalis on side B. In other words, it's a very strong EP.
Review: Between 2014 and 2017, DJ Slyngshot's Yappin label delivered some of the most interesting, off-kilter dancefloor excursions around. The imprint has been dormant since, so it's great to see Slyngshot bring it back to life via this 12" from close pal DJ Neewt. There's something particularly inspired about opener "Hymn", where an increasingly intense acid bassline, raygun electronics and trippy electronic motifs wrap around a skewed breakbeat groove. Slyngshot joins in the fun on the deep, tribal and quietly psychedelic thump of "Pearls For Knives" - all dense drums, dub delays and mind-altering motifs - before Neewt finishes things off via the meandering lo-fi synth lines and chugging deep house grooves of "Mud Voices". It's good to have Yappin back, that's for sure.
Review: Tomoki Tamura and Tuccillo first fired up their Doublet collaboration back in 2015, and after a brief hiatus they've reignited the project with another three delicate and dynamic excursions. "Chotto Complications" is a crafty construction that works around an electro framework, with intricate beat programming and nimble synth lines anchored by fulsome chord drops. "Big Moon" takes things into a more hypnotic headspace, using hushed tones to mark out the atmosphere around an undulating deep house groove. "Tiger Nuts (dub)" is the feistiest track on the record, using a punchy rhythm section and nagging sample daggers to create an insistent groove that will do the damage for the tech house cognoscenti.
Review: DJ Slyngshot's resurgent Yappin label is back with a second sizzling EP of 2019 after lying dormant from 2014 to 2017. We couldn't be happier about its return when it is unearthing the mind behind deep house like this latest one from Deesigner. Unsettling opener "Bringin The Funk" is a spaced-out late night rhythm with hints of jungle, and "Too Many LFOs" is a lumpy dub cut with muted, woolly synths sending you all gooey inside. "CY-39" cloys things out with some deft drum work and percolating rhythms that are clean, crisp and weirdly pleasing.
Review: "Der Say Ah" has long been a banger on dance floors tuned into international sounds. It's the sort of bouncy afrobeat and sax-laced classic that has been fetching huge amounts online. DJs like Gilles Peterson and Nightmare on Wax have been playing it for yonks and now, after many years of it being out of print, it is back courtesy of Push The Fader. The Akoya Re-Rub mix here was mixed by Ben Kane who worked on D'Angelo's Black Messiah, so this sounds beyond good. The 7" version comes from DJ Spinna with extra keys from Ticklah, psyched out bass and extra dub feelings.
Review: Having announced the first part of his new trilogy only a month ago, Dang-Khoa Chau presents yet another EP for Parisian imprint Antinote. "Riding For A Fall" is the follow up to the neon-lit and celestial ethno-house expressed on his recent Mystic Warrior EP. From the majestic acid freefall of "Voices", to the shimmering "Shoubuari" (Battle Mix) which reaches near tribal moments (and calls to mind his work under the 45ACP alias a little while back) and finally the title track with its shamanic new age vibe, this second instalment will take you deep into the rainforest for ritual rites.