Review: OYE crew and Berlin purveyors of dusty, hip-hop inspired deep house make their major label debut for Ninja Tune and good on them. It really is their time at present, what with their Money $ex and Box Aus Holz imprints going from strength to strength. "Magic Johnson" inspires the greatness of the song's namesake. All dusty jazz breaks, dreamy rhodes and xylophones and whirring organs are the perfect soundtrack for a Sunday stroll through Prenzlauer Berg after a night of clubbing on no sleep, finishing off in Mauerpark for falafel and record digging. Want something moodier and sleeker? The pair are on hand with the dubbed up "Tape Johnson" take on the B Side.
Review: Berlin-based Korean Peggy Gou has been surprisingly quiet since first bursting onto the scene back in 2016. Here, she returns to action having graduated from Technicolour to parent label Ninja Tune. Many may already have heard EP standout "It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)", a percussively ambidextrous beast based around a bouncy, off-skilter, snare-heavy rhythm track. It has been much discussed online after Gou included it her recent Resident Advisor podcast. On the B-side you'll find tracks representative of her developing style, which draws together elements of European deep house, electro, early '90s U.S house, the rubbery disco eccentricity of Maurice Fulton and the instinctive polyrhythms more often found in traditional African music.
Review: Genius Of Time and Running Back seems like such a perfect fit you wonder why the Swedish duo haven't graced Gerd Janson's label before now. It might be because Alexander Berg and Nils Krough aren't exactly the most prolific of duos when it comes to original material with only three EPs to their name since they inaugurated the Aniara project in such sublime fashion back in 2010. Fans of Genius of Time and John Talabot's DJ Kicks mix have added reason to engage in some vociferous rejoicing as the former's sublime offbeat number "Juno Jam" contribution to the latter release is centre stage on this 12". In addition to the A Side bliss of that Berg and Krough slip in two more percussive numbers on the flip which Running Back quite rightly point out would make "Joe Claussell proud".
Review: Fresh off a 12" appearance on Dirt Crew alongside Harry Wolfman, Manchester-based DJ and producer Loz Goddard is back on a solo flex with the Drunken Monk EP for the Reserve sublabel from NYC edit crew Razor N Tape. Four tracks deep, this 12" has that slinky, glossy feel to it that sounds just right on Razor N Tape, with the Love Unlimited Orchestra does disco house shuffle of "Lovin'" the pick of the A-side cuts. Flip over and "Moovish" sees young Loz veer off into heavily filtered house territory, throwing in what sounds like some nifty RAMP sampling while he's at it. The appropriately-titled "Something Special" rounds out the 12" in fine style with a bit of a French Touch.
Review: Peggy Gou has had a busy debut year thanks to her opener on Phonica's white offshoot, and now two EP's out on Rekids in quick succession. Her sound is a subtle, minimalistic blend of house and techno, exactly the sort of tech-minded groovers that have appeared on Radio Slave's label in the past. "Jen High", for instance, takes a dusty being of drums and wraps them around delicate blends of chimes, whereas "When Round, They Go" heads deeper into space with the help of a sublimely cosmic swarm of sonics. The special piece comes from Terekke's remix of the latter, and the LIES man adds his signature touch to an already very deep house tune, making his version that one toke over the line!
Review: This year, Theo Parrish seems to be doing his best to breathe new life into the careers of broken beat-era producers and musicians. Having previously released an excellent EP from Dego and Kaidi Tatham on Sound Signature, his latest missive comes from one-time conscious hip-hop producer Ge ology and one-time go-to jazz keys-man Mark De Clive-Lowe. The latter's brilliant synthesizer and piano work is arguably the highlight of both tracks here. On the spacey, P-funk influenced space-house swing of "Moon Circuitry" he does his best impression of Herbie Hancock, while "Escape On The Lodge Freeway" boasts intricate jazz solos atop a slightly tougher, chunkier deep house groove. Both tracks are, of course, impeccable.
The Rotating Assembly - "Seasons Of My Life" (feat Billy Lo)
Green Pickles - "Feedback" (feat Billy Lo & M Pittman)
Review: Sound Signature kick off the new year with a pleasing reissue of some smoky soul from Theo Parrish's outlet for his most jazzy tendencies. On "Seasons Of My Life" Billy Lo croons over a muted trumpet while a surprisingly rough stomp gets hammered out of a live kit. It's a dreamy, sunkissed jam with all the loose, free-flowing elements you would expect from something with Parrish's stamp on it. Marcellus Pittman helps out on "Feedback", as a sparser, meandering groove does the nasty with some restrained keys. For that Detroit beatdown flavour away from the dancefloor, this is as good as it gets.
Jerrald James feat Genevieve Marantette - "I Only Have Eyes For You"
Jerrald James - "Vanished"
Review: New from Sound Signature is "I Only Have Eyes For You", from the multi talented percussionist Jerrald James (aka Jerry The Cat). Jerry aptly demonstrates his own production prowess in covering the Flamingos' "I only Have Eyes For You". He smartly chose Genevieve Marantette to provide vocals on this piece, and she gives her best recorded performance to date.
Review: Laurent Garnier began the LBS (Live Booth Sessions or Loud Bass & Samples) concept in 2010, as a means of experimenting with live techniques. The crew incorporates Garnier himself, as well as Benjamin Rippert on keyboards and Scan X on machines. The Timeless EP begins with "Jacques In The Box" delivering a full-impact slice of techno sprinkled with surging synthesisers and climbing polyphonic key strokes. The percussion seems to melt into one element as the kick drum drives this fast, hard and slightly euphoric techno jam. Loud Disco's mix of "Our Futur" will surely capture the ears of any large crowd caught in the reverie of a darkened nightclub, with a notable chord progression and sharp, saturated snare drum.
Set Your Mind To It (Mr Fingers Jazzy instrumental) (7:13)
Set Your Mind To It (radio vocal) (3:12)
Set Your Mind To It (Gallifre Drums & club) (9:51)
Set Your Mind To It (Winelight instrumental) (3:22)
Review: Quintessential Chicago deep house; Brett Wilcots' last release as Gallifre landed in 1990 and came with a sublime Mr Fingers edit. Reissued for the first time ever, the whole EP surges with soul and feeling as we're treated to versions for every occasion. Fingers gets his jazz on with a hypnotic, slightly dubby take (and an arousing sax solo), Gallifre provides a powerful percussion heavy dancefloor twist and a peppy original that really brings Jimmie Lee's vocals to life while the Winelight mix adds a soft sunset filter for a sensual finale. Timeless.
Don't Walk Out On Love (Frankie Knuckles club remix) (7:28)
Don't Walk Out On Love (Frankie Knuckles Dream version) (4:08)
Don't Walk Out On Love (Latin remix) (6:21)
Don't Walk Out On Love (radio edit) (4:22)
Review: While the original mixes of Gallifre's Larry Heard co-produced '89 deep house groover were naturally superb, it was always the remix 12" that the majority of DJs reached for. That's because it contained a pair of brilliant Frankie Knuckles remixes in his distinctively luscious, loved-up style. As this timely reissue proves, those reworks have lost none of their allure. Knuckles' "Club Remix", which is built around warm and tactile analogue bass, rich chords and Mondee Oliver's sublime vocal, is undoubtedly the stronger of the two for club plays, though the shorter "Dream Remix", with its rush-inducing ambient sections and nods towards contemporaneous Italian deep house, is arguably even better. Simply essential.
Review: Russian tech house hero Tripmastaz is back with more adventures in swing, making a surprising appearance for PETS Recordings with his new jam "R U Happy". This rolling and hypnotic groove with its infectious vocal refrain and tunnelling melody ticks all the right boxes - expect to hear this everywhere from Hoppetosse to Club Guesthouse this year. On the flip, there's a tougher, funkier and breaks driven rework by Bass Culture main man and all round Parisian legend D'Julz which is equally worthy of playtime. The Plant 74 main man continues to impress us after some great releases this year on No. 19 Music, Tartouffe and Berg Audio.
Review: You should know by now that Plastik People is the go-to spot for the most upfront garage house done in a classic style, and they're spelling it out good and proper with The Sound Of Garage House. Marc Cotterell leads the way with the jazzy vibes and deliciously liquid chords of "Those Days" before Ed The Spread brings a nagging shuffle and sharp string stabs to hard-stepping bumper "The Bauhaus Movement". Grant Nelson keeps things tuff with the natty piano hooks and diva slices of "Move Close" while Rocket Dubz ups the funk to 11 for hands in the air party starter "Dirty Bath".
Review: Chiwax inaugurate a series of ten planned releases from Mr Spencer Kincy aka Gemini with this timely reissue of one of the producer's most sought after releases. Quite where Kincy has been for the past 12 years or so isn't exactly clear but the potential prospect of some new Gemini material should be salivating for any self proclaimed fan of Chicago house. Traxx Vol 1 features all the tracks from Untitled, the EP Kincy released as Gemini on Cajual back in 1995 though not in the same order as that original pressing. Regardless, the chance to own the brilliant percussion workout that is "Joker" or the mind bending "Psychosis" should not be passed up.
Review: Guti is arguably one of dance music's most enthusiastic collaborators. To date, the Argentine producer has released joint productions with an impressive list of house and techno talent, including Martin Buttrich, Shlomi Aber, Benny Rodriguez, Morgan and Guy Gerber. On this 12", he's joined in the studio by Romanian rising star Cristi Cons. The like-minded pair hit the ground running with "Volver", a stomping tech-house floor-filler whose tough, acid-flecked groove and metronomic bassline come wrapped in ghostly chords and trippy electronics. Over on the B-side, "Nuevo" is a chunky but spacey deep house affair. That track is given the remix treatment by Enzo Siragusa, who brilliantly toughens it up and drags it further towards peak-time techno territory.
Review: Ensuring they keep things pushing forwards while also celebrating their past, Vibraphone call upon rising talent Gemil to deliver an EP that is purely fresh material. "Forces & Gravity" is perfectly honed to get the maximum response from the dance with its muscular production and catchy vocal sample, but if you want an even more focused affair the remix strips things down to the bare necessities and works just as effectively. On the B side "Horizon" gets a touch more playful in its synth work with interplaying riffs creating a dazzling whole, and then "Solar Storm" brings the heads-down, hard-swinging heaviness into the mix in a devastating finishing blow.
Review: Loz Goddard, formerly of Outplay, Dirt Crew and Quintessentials, has a new deep house parish: Seb Wildblood's immaculate Church imprint. The Manchester producer's label debut is really rather good, though we didn't expect anything less. He begins with the pulsing space funk synthesizer chords, lilting melodies and dusty drums of "Gluttony Bay" before wrapping fluid harp motifs, eyes-closed electronics and thickset bass around a crunchy rhythm track on "Anomaly". Arguably the best of the bunch, though, is the energetic but dreamy dancefloor bliss that is "Find Me", a track whose inherent jazziness is further explored on Session Victim's superb accompanying remix.
Review: Church has certainly grown into one of London's most dependable house music outlets these past few years across their various interlinked label divisions. The emergence of Laurence Guy is testament to that - last year he debuted on Church with the well-received Kojak EP, and has gone on to prove his worth across a number of 12" releases and V/A contributions. Bamboo sees him back in the Church fold for their ninth White Label release and it's a confident four-track display of measured deep house. From the warbling melodies of the title track to the Smallville stylings of "Knotweed" and "Lotus", Guy is clearly improving with each release!
Get Up To Get Down (feat Erik Rico - Art Of Tones remix)
The Love Is Gone
The Dub Is Gone
Review: That Hudd Traxx powerhouse keeps on pumping out the jams, with regular Hudd hood Goshawk back in the saddle with some of his most assured beats to date. "Get Up To Get Down" channels a limber, Prince indebted funk, straps it to a simmering house beat and then drafts Erik Rico in for a killer vocal that takes you right back to the best of '90s vocal house. Then Art Of Tones jumps on for a remix that beefs the original up with some more big room elements, as one might well expect from the French titan. "The Love Is Gone" gets into a spaced out disco house frame of mind, which "The Dub Is Gone" then shuffles up into a slinky little groover.
Review: Juan Ramos and Luca Trentini AKA Trent have had a couple of prior outings as Greenvision, especially impressing with their excellent 12" on ESP Institute last year. Now they're back to where it all began, Cocktail d'Amore, with the lurid, pysched out freakery of "Mountain Of Madness". It's a truly devilish track, coming on heavy like a dangerous incantation, which is of course a good thing. On the flip, things stay firmly out on the wild frontier with the Sativa mix of "Rolling 2 Joints". The message is clear - this is music to lose your mind to, and you'll have a thoroughly wonderful time doing it.
Review: Inside Out is a brand new series from Aus Music label head Will Saul. It invites DJs and producers to blur the boundaries between traditional artist albums and mix compilations. The concept encourages them to showcase their own music, or the music of those in their own individual circles. Depending on who is curating, it will take different forms. The idea stems from Saul's own approach in the club, which often finds him seeking out brand new and unheard music to play for the first time. There's a strong Detroit techno aesthetic throughout his inaugural release for the series: from the emotive hi-tech soul of his own collaboration with Komon entitled "Positive", Amsterdam legend Gerd had no problem channeling similarly timeless retro vibes either, as heard on the funky techno-soul of "Echoes". They save the best for last on the flip, with the legendary Floorplan's riveting rendition of Primitive Trust's "Little Love" - perfect to get that 3AM style strobe-lit tunnel vision in effect.
Review: Manchester's Garth Be is up next on esteemed London based imprint Wolf Music. This is his latest release since last year's Law Of Fives EP on Ruf Kutz. Much like fellow homeboy and elder statesman Trus'Me, he channels the dusty, soulful and emotive sounds of the Motor City like that of Kenny Dixon Jr and Theo Parrish et al and even sneaks in a few cheeky disco edits like on the intro "Feelin To Be". On the evocative "Pashun" we have a right wicked jam packed full of tight and dusty rhythms, neon-lit synths and emotive chord progressions. The late night deepness of "Allens" is another worthy addition to this collection of fine tunes, as is the off-kilter minimal electro of "Jodisho" and the absolutely saturated lo-fi/slo-mo bliss of "Jonse".
Review: Chicago veterans Glenn Underground and Boo Williams are old studio buddies, having first collaborated on vinyl way back in 1995. For their latest hook-up, they've come up with a new joint alias: Guboo. As you'd expect from such experienced and high quality house producers, the three tracks on offer are top notch. They begin with a superb chunk of swinging disco-house, where spacey synth solos, rich chords and select spoken word snippets dance around a killer disco groove. After delivering a chunkier, vocal-free dub of the (track 2), they offer a deeper, more stripped-back interpretation on the flip, allowing greater space for the groove, disco strings and spacey synths to do their thing.
Review: Geena is Frenchman Nicolas Molina, who appears for Parisian purveyors of obscure and exotic oddball grooves Antinote for his fifth album. The album will appeal to fans of retro flavoured balearic house made popular at the moment by the likes of Black Spuma, Tuff City Kids or stuff on Paramida's Love On The Rocks imprint. The '80s pan-pipe preset on the groovy "KG Voice" is a great example, or the funk, Amazonian acid house vibes of "Blue Transfer" more particularly; think 808 State. "Keep" goes for some thumping early' 90s UK techno vibes but lush ambient passages like "Natural High" and "La Isla" balance out the EP nicely.
Review: We at Finale Sessions are glad to have Grey People aka Alex Michalski raining from Chicago he is one of the new up and coming producers from the windy city that has flavor that Finale Sessions really likes and we present you with his first track called "Feeling Strange" with its weird but funky bassline and its dark synths gives it a peak time feel with its spooky chords that sets this track apart from the rest, Then we have the track called " Defeated"which really has this Depeche Mode feel with its wicked bassline and its solid claps but we also dig the pads and synths also. Then last but not least is the track " Forget The Peak" is my favorite track of the ep its solid chords and pads give this track a melodic feel and very dancefloor friendly vibe ..We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your on going support of Finale Sessions ....We Love You
Review: Simone Gatto has been working tirelessly to build up his catalogue of deep, thoughtfully crafted techno expressions - with albums on Out-Er, Pregnant Void and Sheik N' Beik, not to mention plenty of singles and EPs too, he's done a fine job of establishing himself as a singular voice in the techno thoroughfare. This latest 12" comes courtesy of Finale Sessions, who coax out some of the deeper material in Gatto's arsenal. There's heads down dubbiness to immerse yourself in on "Melodies From The Hearth," craftily filtered house abstractions on "Foot Tapping Mix" and the very Finale-esque smooth out of "How Can I Get To Sleep."
Review: "We are happy to welcome Ghosts of the Sky in the family, 65th & Lawndale is a deep and strong track sitting in A side, magical chords, stomping bass and lush drums are the secret of this beauty, a future classic. On the other side, Melanin is a bit darker with its flowing pads and acidic bassline, really personnal. Acieeed, like you might imagine is a pure acid jam in its most classical form. A fantastic EP we are proud of."
Review: Leo Gunn is an artist that has been truly dedicated to the cause of Deep Explorer. To date all the artist's music has come to light on Dubbyman's bastion of Spanish deep house, and it's no wonder when you listen to the illustrious tones of his productions. Ahead of a new album, this 7" of mystery and wonder starts off in the utterly enchanting world of "Voodoo", a spaced out lullaby of expressive pads and the softest house tick buffeting along the aqueous sounds. There's a slight change of mood on the flip as "Moondub" lives up to its name with a spacious soundworld marked out by echoing piano notes and a rock solid bassline, but still that inimitable Deep Explorer mood prevails.
Review: Rhythm Plate's Goshawk project is the best thing to come out of Matlock Bath since the opening of child-friendly theme park Gulliver's Kingdom in 1978. Here the veteran East Midlands house duo pitches up on Bristol imprint Boogie Cafe, enlists the services of Erik Rico's honeyed tonsils and serves up "Piano" and "Percussion" variants of the rather fine "Home". It's the former versions that reside on the A, with the vocal and Dub variations both making great use of an elastic, rubbery rhythm, jaunty piano riffs and occasional organs. As the title suggests, the "Percussion" versions boast tons of additional drum hits, though it's the smart, old school U.S garage vibe that's really getting our blood pumping.