Review: It was only a matter of time before Henry Wu and K15 would link up with London's Eglo, and their respective prior releases for the likes of Wild Oats, Rhythm Section and 22a have earned them a spot in one of the finest house and broken beat labels around. "Love's Gambit" is a perfect example of the latter genre, a sublime blend of jazzy percussion swings and smooth melodic drifts, followed by the even more soulful bounces of the gentle "Space & Time" - one for the jazz fusion heads! "The Anthem" heads towards more housey spheres thanks to its stable beat pattern - it-s an absolute peach of a tune, by the way - but it's "Shahada" that governs the dancefloor with its rough MPC drum programming and finger-licking synth rotations. A beautiful and fitting addition to the catalogue.
Review: UK legend Dego and killer keys-man Kaidi Tatham have been in a rich vein of form of late, dropping brilliant EPs on Eglo, Sound Signature and Rush Hour (the latter under their 2000Black alias). Here, they return to Eglo with four more slices of warm, rich, soul-flecked fluidity. As with previous outings, much of the material has a laidback jazz-funk feel, particularly "Orbiting Uhara" and the delicious "The Vault Descends" (think bustling bruk rhythms and darting boogie synths). They also offer up some tougher, synth-laden bruk-funk in the shape of "Man Made", while "Black Is Key" sees them unfurl a head-nodding vocal roller.
Review: Commonly found rocking out on Unison Wax, Constant Sound and Pleasure Zone, Diego Krause is a certified mover and shaker in the minimal house scene, and he's on fire with this latest round of missives for Blind Box. "Malice" leads the charge with a plethora of eerie synth textures flexing organically round the sturdy beat, while "Monolith" slips into a slinkier groove while keeping the tripped out tone tweaking at the forefront of our minds. "Return" brings a tougher, fist-pumping rhythm section with a snaking syn-cussion tones trickling throughout, providing Blind Box with plenty of material to sink their gnashers into on the remix.
Review: Seeking to sum up the sound of his burgeoning label, Mario Castillo pulls in a selection of artists to assist him in his Kastil guise. Soul Notes is a label clearly in love with a more vibe-laden kind of deep house, whether it comes in the form of a bumping garage shuffle as in Fulbert's "Untitled", or Kastil's own more aquatic excursion. The unifying atmosphere is a blue note one, coming out of dreamy chords steeped in the legacy of black music that permeate each of the tracks on offer. Look no further than the feel-good roll of Jefferson Belmondo's "Booty Groove" for an exercise in understated funk that knows how to pay its dues.
Review: From Kon's forthcoming compilation on BBE entitled Kon & The Gang, this 12? sampler features two cuts taken from the LP and an exclusive remix from Boston producer and mix engineer Caserta, namely "Timeless" (Caserta mix)" a tasty serving of super deep and low slung disco goodness. A more functional edit for DJ use follows on "Timeless" (remix - Caserta mix)". On the flip Truccy (better known as Compost's Rainer Truby and Corrado Bucci) present "Closer", a gorgeous slo-mo house jam with a rolling groove fetauring all the good stuff: swirling Rhodes keys, groovy congas and hypnotic vox.
Review: The unstoppable Vogel machine is back on Lumberjacks with another serving of soul-soaked house goodness to warm the cockles as we step into Spring. This time around he's called on one of the great house vocalists of our times, Khalil Anthony, to lay down a vocal on "Brown Curls" that melts over Vogel's peppy, organic production. Nebraska bring a deeper, chunkier flavour to the track with their remix, and the results are just as captivating. Anthony's also on hand to croon over "You Are A Star", an equally simmering jam with more of that dusty house pressure from the deep end of the pool, while "Those Moments" finishes the record off on a funky, instrumental tip.
Review: On the latest Lumberjacks missive Marcel Vogel invites one of the strongest house vocalists of modern times, Khalil Anthony, to lend his distinctive croon to a loose-limbed slice of low-riding funk. "Dance The Blues Away" is a gutsy, full-bodied production that shows off Vogel's instrumental skills at their strongest, and Anthony's vocal rolls on in the many-layered mix perfectly. BB Boogie injects a little disco stomp to the track for the first remix on the 12", while Julien Dyne gets to turn out a remix and a dub. Both Dyne's efforts tap into a Detroit house feeling, all dusty sample loops and a laid back, smoky mood. It's a record made up of killer soul-soaked house music from start to finish.
Review: Singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Rakei is a talented chap. Not content with pulling up trees under his given name, he's decided to debut a new alias via a killer new EP for Rhythm Section International. All four tracks are deliciously hazy, effortlessly soulful and hugely groovy, as Rakei deftly showcases his many talents. He begins with the Prince-tinged purple funk of "Change", before fusing clipped funk guitars, broken house beats and confident vocals on the superb "Like You Wanna". "Tolle" sees him slip further towards toasty, low-slung deep house territory, before he breaks up the beats and fires up the Rhodes on deliciously jazzy closer "Ligo".
Review: Having recently appeared on Bosconi Records and Altzmusica, Daisuke Kondo is a producer on the rise at present. This outing on Vibraphone adds fuel to that particular fire with four distinctive cuts that push to the outer edges of house music without losing sight of the groove. "Hold On To Love" is, on the surface, an upbeat, disco-infused house jam, but there's a certain trippy approach Kondo takes in the processing department that edges the music into a different head space. "Life" meanwhile gets gritty and bass heavy at one end of the frequency range, and airy and melodic at the other. "Feelin Blue" gets even dustier and scratchier with its sample treatment, and then "Fallen Star" lays down some unflinching machine beats with wonky, distant piano licks.
Review: The journey back into the vaults of seminal Italian house music label Vibraphone Records continues apace with this gem from 1993. K2 was a one-off project for central label figures The True Underground Sound of Rome, and this Loss Of Gravity 12" represents one of the most sought after rarities from the Vibraphone catalogue. The on-point breakbeats of "The Journey", the wistful tones of "In My Garden", the plush ambient refrains of "Lirica" - every inch of this record is steeped in class that belies the age of the music. Need we say more - this is a buy on sight reissue that won't stick around for long.
Review: Sensoramic is a new label on a mission of sensory expansion. For the debut release the UK based imprint drafts new producer Karousel to deliver two cuts of machine driven house. S.A.M., the Danish Oscillat/Delaphine favourite appears on the remix fresh from delivering a slew of killer originals and remixes as well as his most recent Mandar collaboration with Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie. On this Reshape, he is at his most sublime best delivering an emotive retake on the original that stretches heady organs and melodies alongside a beat that refuses to let up.
Review: Jack's House is back with another wedge of crucial cuts from a spread of big hitters, kicking off with Alex Arnout and the tightly wound roller "Hypersomnia." Tuccillo is in a heads down mood on "Another Day," letting the drums and the bassline do the brunt of the work. Terry Francis favours a heavy, smoky sound palette that has a bassline that will do some serious damage on a decent system - "Jua" is easily the strongest track on the record. Killan Vega closes the record with a smart deep house jam peppered with crafty sound design elements that lift the track beyond the average chord-led workout.
Review: Back to 2006: Chris Clayton's mid-noughties lesson in deep house class still hits home with precision. Subtle, jazzy but heavy and insistent, it now comes complete with fresh updates from Atjazz and Yoruba Soul. The former adds more atmospheric layers and percussion that compounds the sense of hypnosis while the latter takes us right back to the NYC 1990 with a lavish 10+ min, subtly dubbed excursion. Tech no imitations.
Review: Hot on the heels of "Mission" earlier this year, Shuya Okino's Kyoto Jazz Sextet troupe present another gem from last year's Unity album complete with a remix of the highest calibre. This time the cascading, Latin rhythm and frenetic horn leads of "Rising" are given the midas dancefloor touch by none other than Ron Trent. Maintaining the wily spirit of the original while coating in warm organ blasts and subtly bumping kicks, it's a precision translation that brings the original into a whole new context.
Kid Sublime - "Wings Of Love" (feat Han Litz) (6:21)
Review: Set up as a continuation of their podcast back in 2008, this Russian label joins the dots between jazz various genres. Footwork House Jam no.1 is a homage to the global house culture and the eponymous Moscow-based club night in particular. The idea behind this compilation 'is to provide the fuel for house dance culture and house movement to expand further on' the label claims. Starting off on the A side with Baltimore legend Karizma and his jagged groove therapy session titled "Church Chords" there's more quality with Brit Nubian Mindz with the glitched out disco house of "Check Da Discotheque" which will contort you even more with its nifty beat repeat effects. On the flip is Intr0beatz with the sexy late night deep house of "That DUB" where he goes for that timeless formula of emotive chords, swing fuelled rhythms and sampled diva vocals to full effect.. but wait for that bassline to drop, like seriously! Finally, Dopeness Galore darling Jacob Otten aka Kid Sublime drops the soulful and life affirming broken beat nu-jazz experiment "Wings Of Love".
Review: KNLB first appeared with the Initialize 12" on Vibraphone in July of this year, and it's not taken them long to return with another slab of on-point, upfront house music loaded with flair and imagination. "Up Again" is a heavy, chugging and bumping jam that should inspire all manner of screwed up faces of appreciation on the floor, and then "Fog Machine Smell" simmers things down to a more measured house groove. "Half Life" brings a few more dubby elements into the mix, and then the club mix of "SIN" sends the record spinning off in a wonderfully dusty reverie of detuned pianos and late-hitting drums.
Review: The second offering from Brooklyn-based Let's Play House offshoot, Room Service, is, like the first one, a four-track solo EP by one of the most exciting house music talent's around. RECORDS features four originals by Spanish producer Kresy, who's already released a few 12"s on the esteemed Hivern Discs as well as Retrofit, Freerange, and his own Discomaths. The songs included here vacillate between hands-in-the-air feel good disco and jittery, shuffling house, though they're all unified by an inherent grooviness and bright tonality.
Review: The second installment of Multi-Culti's Moon Faze Sun Gaze series is a typically psychedelic affair, with an impressive cast of producers delivering a quintet of trippy workouts. Von Party & Dreems join forces to present "Wet Raga", a spaced-out combination of delay-laden drums, space disco electronics, and Eastern mysticism. The ever-reliable Red Axes fuses heavy post-punk bass, with punchy percussion and minimal wave melodies on the excellent "Boosha Gdola", while Dreems go solo on the weirdo acid-electro bubbler "Sine O'The Tymes". Nick Murray and Kris Baha underpin psychedelic disco electronics with the heavyweight throb of house on "Say Something", before Cocolo draws proceedings to a close with the pitched-down shuffle of analogue wobbler "F33lings".
Review: French artist Kool Vibe is back on his own Paris-based label KV Records with a new 4 track EP. True to the mission assigned to the label, this release brings us back to the early 90s through basics sounds and elements which have defined deep house since then : fat syncopated rhythms, heavy and groovy basslines, warm chopped vocals. There is something raw and genuine about this record. 'Basics' and 'Back To The RealA' definitely emphasize the minimal and raw side of deep house. 'Tribute' is humbly dedicated to the legendary Todd Terry, whose ultimate knowledge of the art of sampling contributed to shape house music in the early days . At last,'Sleazy Joint (Touch It, Suck it') closes the record with a nasty and sexy touch . Anyway, the whole EP is meant for the dancefloor and the simple pleasure of partying. So forget about the pressure and enjoy !
Review: Purism leaps into action once more, this time welcoming a strong cast of lesser known characters that fit right into the adventurous approach to house and techno that the label has forged its reputation on. All these producers make their first appearances here, but you wouldn't know it listening to the quality of the tracks on offer. Rafael Kasma's "Static Rope" is a quintessential grooving house jam with some killer filtered chords, while Munir Nadir brings the twitchy minimalism vibes on "Milagro". Jackie is on a sultry, jazzy deep house tip with "Lune" and Mag0 rounds things off with the cheeky, quirky funk of "Spectrum".
Following the successful reception of klodio's debut EP, the Tokyo-based producer spent the year playing shows in Japan with various upcoming artists like Fulbert and label co-founder Alixkun, and taking part in disruptive events such as Pow Wow School of Music.
When klodio decided it was time to start recording his second EP, he took a slightly different direction, going from Techno-influenced Detroit House to House-influenced Detroit Techno. "Shinagawa Sunrise" is a fast-paced retro-futuristic Jazz jam which climaxes on a fantastic sax solo by the young and talented Ilia Skibinsky. Daiba goes a step further in this Techno journey, flowing from glowing, light, syncopated chords to a dark and aggressive atmosphere, and back again to the relaxing chords.
More polished, singular, deep, and yet aggressive than "Toktroit", "Rainbow Bridge EP" brings another stone in the Asia-infused universe that the French producer is bringing to the world of electronic music.
Review: Reno Ka first appeared alongside the Prince of Chicago house, Terrence Parker, on the mighty Planet E back in 2013 and, although we only heard her vocal talents on the particular EP, we knew that we'd somehow see her soon again. Here she is on the sixth outing from Music and Power with "Where Is The Love?", a smooth and silky house warmer that hangs in the balance between soulful and classic Chicago beatdown; it's one of those for the lovers, and a track that can be appreciated by both DJs and straight-up Saturday evening dancers. There's a dub version on the flipside where, of course, the vocals are stripped back to give more room to the sonics, a gentle sway of cooling synths and echoing flurries of harmonics. A wonderful EP that sits just right with us.
Review: Prince of eclectic boogie Kasra V will release his sophomore EP 'Atlantis' through vinylonly house imprint LIPS this September 28th. Tehran-born Kasra has already built a solid reputation as a selector across London's underground circuit, with his bi-weekly 'Paradise' show on NTS Radio, plus various residencies and 22Tracks playlists. Flipping his focus onto production, his newest creations are a fusion of his own killer tastes with experimental techniques; the result being an intelligent melding of purist house, funky Balearic rhythms and synth heavy disco, all with a distinct middle-Eastern edge.
Review: Given the popularity of volumes one and two in the superb Rhythms Of The Pacific series, you can bet your bottom dollar that this third installment will fly off the shelves. Happily, the standard remains high throughout, with debutant Slim Media Player particularly impressing. The artist with the superbly-current name offers up a pair of fine tracks; the low-slung jazz bass, new age pads and bumpin' beats of "Dappled Love", and the decidedly horizontal, loved-up shuffle of "Pink Hues, Bad News". On the flip, Electric Sound Broadcast melds yearning, sun-kissed electronics to freshly beaked house breaks on the delightful "WaveRunner", before 1080p regular Khotin delivers a dash of dreamy, acid-flecked brilliance in the shape of EP standout "Nimbus (Tomi's Pad Mix)".
Review: Theo Parrish's Gentrified Love series seems to be a collaborative affair. Part two, available separately, contained hook-ups with fellow Detroiters Wajeed and Duminie Deporres. "Ghetto Proposal", which is available in Vocal and Instrumental versions, features sublime contributions from another Motor City legend, veteran modern soul man Amp Fiddler. It's something of a deliciously trippy affair, underpinned by a freaky, delay-heavy groove, fireside-warm Rhodes keys, meandering trumpet lines and - on the vocal version, at least, drowsy female vocals. Both artists jazz influence is clear, particularly in the crunchy percussion hits that begin to dominate as the track progresses. Interestingly, the instrumental moves a little further towards jazzy broken beat territory.
Review: Kolsch gets his freak on with this latest release on for the Kompakt Extra label which represents the Danish producer's fourth Speicher in total. We are not sure what Rune Reilly Kolsch was on when he was in the studio making "Papageno" but we sure would like some, as the production is bugged out to the extreme! Detuned synths and malfunctioning electronics collide magnificently with manipulated basslines and stripped back percussion before Kolsch introduces a most pleasant detour into a more melodic plane blessed by fluttering vocals from When Saints Go Machine's Waa Industry. On the flip, Kolsch teams up with pianist Gregor Schwellenbach for the sublime "Cassiopeia" which surely ranks as one of Kompakt's most affecting B Sides of recent memory.
Review: After their last release under the labels Ornate Music (UK) and Finale Sessions (US), Ka One & St-Sene are back with a special Flyance Records release. REWORK: the action of redoing, correcting or rebuilding"; that is the spirit they put in this Ep with those four House music anthems of those consider today as the father figures of this music. Without sampling, replaying all the keyboards and arpeggio, they turned thoses anthems into modern acid and techno vibe. From 1989 to 2015 Ka One & St-Sene give great tribute at Lil Louis, Mr Fingers, Kerri Chandler and Laurent Garnier.
Review: Following a strong cast including Myles Serge, John Barera, DJ Skull and Hakim Murphy, Mentha continues its strong run of form with a various artists 12" that broadens the horizons of the high-grade deep house label. Michael Lovatt keeps things groovy and understated on "Tides", while Kareen Ali gets into a slow and trippy mood on "Arnaldo Tamayo Mendez". Anaxander's "Unspoken" brings some neo-soul synth lines to the table, and Michael Zucker turns out a brooding, introspective workout. Each track may have its own traits, but the whole record hangs together as a fine next step for a promising label.
Review: Little seems to be known about Detroit native Marc King, whose introduction to most listeners came via Rick Wilhite's 2010 compilation, Vibes: New & Rare, on Rush Hour. King is something of a veteran, and had previously released 12" singles under a variety of pseudonyms during the mid to late 1990s. Here he pops up on Omar-S's FXHE imprint with a belated debut single under his given name. There's a classic house feel about opener "Equality", which boasts bold organs, synth strings and twinkling piano solos riding a vintage groove. There's a similar mid-to-late-90s feel to the deep, bass-heavy and intoxicating "Loquious", while "Water Of Life" sees King move further towards gnarled techno territory whilst retaining his trademark melodious warmth.
Review: Rothmans is back with there 7th release and this time they pay homage to German playmaker Paul Breitner . The EP comes in the form of rising Manchester producer Ste Spandex , fresh off the back of his remix of Coyote our on Rothmans 6 , and has been recorded 100% live on analogue eqiupment , not a computer in sight !!!! . The EP finds Rothmans taking a slightly different and more up tempo vibe to it but still retains the psychadelic Nu Disco feel of many of there Earlier releases. Spandex has had a little help from his friends in the form of Kickin' Pigeon and Metrodome , both fresh out of the Manchester underground. This is Rothmans first all Manchester release and sees them really cemeting the label in there surroundings.
One More Round (86 House mix By Frankie Knuckles) (8:10)
Walkman (86 House mix By Brett Wilcots) (7:17)
Review: Best turn their attention to that sweet mid 80s spot when the petri dish of party music was shaken up between disco, boogie, Italo and the emergent house sound from Chicago. Claudio Simonetti was a titan of the Italian groove, but his monster jam as Kasso, "One More Round", reached the stratosphere when Windy City godfather Frankie Knuckles gave the track his Midas touch. No more justification is needed for this pressing, but don't overlook the flip which finds 80s remix supremo Brett Wilcots taking on "Walkman" and whipping up a boogie frenzy of the highest order.
Review: London-based, Italian-born duo Konstress may have first appeared with the Blind Box Series in 2015, but now they're really hitting their stride with their own self-titled label. This second installment sees the pair charging out into exciting territory on the experimental fringe of the minimal techno scene. The influence of the Boogizm label weighs heavy across all these tracks as intensely detailed sound design meets with chunky basslines and snappy, electro-informed grooves. This is not party music for the conformists out there, but any mutant dancers will find it hard to resist getting their freak on to these adventurous sounds.
Paul Randolph, Kathy Kosins & Theo Parrish - "Be Like Me" (SS translation) (9:41)
John Douglas, Amp Fiddler, Ideeyah & Theo Parrish - "Leave The Funk To Us" (full mix) (6:37)
Review: Theo Parrish's "Gentrified Love" series hits its fourth instalment with two stunning extensions/takes. First up is a powerful expansion of "Leave The Funk To Us". First spotted on the second edition of the series, it's now full length with the golden touch of Amp Fiddler. "Be Like Me", meanwhile, takes Paul Randolph & Kathy Kosins' Brownswood Bubbler to a whole new cosmos with lavish twists and cleverly subverted layers. Yet another precision trip from Parrish.
Review: Grow returns with the record Isotelus Rex by Denis Kaznacheev, complete with a remix by Daze Maxim. The title track Isotelus Rex, a 14 minute work, true to grow's eccentric nature, a track at once playful and deeply neurally stimulating, sure to shake one's body and intrigue one's mind. Wonderful decaying tones, subtly jazzy, intricate electronic communications interrelate over an irresistible bass and percussive performance, a groove which will make your swing. B1 is Daze Maxim's remix, with a more ethereal approach to Isotelus Rex, it begins through a beautiful synth. Then grows a fast and intricate bass arrangement, providing a confidently vibed way though the cosmic landscape, also another great track for the dance floor, as the same physical swing as in original is felt strong. B2 Proetida, the second original work by Denis Kaznacheev of the release, is of raw, almost rude, attitude, a strong bass descends in steps, a determined momentum, the driving force of an industrious process.
Review: The resurgence of Icelandic techno continues with the latest release on AE Recordings, seeing Bjarnar Jonsson returning to his long standing Ohm project alongside emergent talent Kvadrant. The pair were last seen on Kvadarant's Kontakt label, and their production partnership is clearly still yielding quality, dubbed out techno in the finest Scandinavian tradition. Even if all the tracks are built with a steely techno focus to them, the synth work and sound design scattered throughout the tracks elevates this to a higher level, not least on the bubbling geisers of signal processing that course through the middle of "Grip".
Review: Karousel is the new alias from Irish producer Gavin Herlihy. Forged in the fires of house and determined by a steely dedication to timeless deep dancefloor theory, the alias begins life on one of the UK's most trusted vinyl labels, Illusion Recordings. Gavin started learning to produce in 2005 and less than a year in scored one of the tracks of the year in 2006 with Machine A Homework, a techno opus hailed by Laurent Garnier and DJ Hell as one of the tracks of the year. Over the next few years a move to Berlin lead to gigs at clubs like Panorama Bar, Fabric and later Circo Loco while his productions took root in a variety of different genres and big labels. Karousel is the expression of Gavin's house leanings rooted in the sampling of dusty old jazz and disco records and the use of hardware.
Lou Rawls - "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" (Kenny Summit, Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper unreleased remix) (7:43)
Kenny Summit, Frankie Knuckles & Eric Kupper - "Loving You" (feat Yasmeen) (6:50)
Review: Apparently made in tribute to the legendary Paradise Garage club some years ago, these two previously unreleased workouts are the work of Kenny Summit, Eric Kupper and the late, great Frankie Knuckles. Side A boasts the trio's near legendary (and previously unavailable) remix of Lou Rawls classic "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine". It's a wonderfully positive and life-affirming affair, with the three legendary producers wrapping echoing guitars, warming disco orchestration and Rawls' sublime lead vocal around a deliciously percussive Afro-house groove. The flip features another unseen and unheard gem from the vaults: a loose, groovy and positive soulful house wiggler featuring the seductive vocals of Yasmeen. Terrific stuff.
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