Review: Having previously only appeared on WotNot Music in the past couple of years, K15 now slides over to Wild Oats to deliver a wholly appropriate slab of fluttering house romanticism rich in Detroit dreams and Chicago cheekiness, wherever the music might have been conceived. The cheekiness is no doubt most noticeable on "GWRH" with its homage to "Gypsy Woman", turning it into a fluttering Latino house jam, but before that comes the plush bump n rub of "The Story Of Her Life". "Insecurities" gets into a sexier kind of deep house funk, which "Gratitude" dutifully carries on until "Yellow" can round the record out with some largely beatless piano business.
Review: Kimochi Sound introduces a new artist for their 30th release. This debut record is all deep beats and breaks and it's full of the fuzzy feels and swollen atmospheres we've come to expect from the imprint. It's a bit of a mini album, moving from Ilian Tape techno influences to a closing number reminiscent of Ulrich Schnauss.
David Tapfuma - "Magamba" (Esa Zimtronix Direct mix) (5:19)
Review: This compilation style outing from Southern African music enthusiasts Nyami Nyami is billed as "an ode to the music of Zimbabwe past and future". Side A boasts cuts from two Bulawayo-based "Kwela" outfits: a terrific, heavily percussive future dub interpretation of Bulawayo Kwela's "Mysterious Africa" by The Comet Is Coming producer Danalogue, and the sparse, sun-kissed acoustic bliss of Elliot Phiri's "Nomalanga". Turn to the flip for two versions of Hararre-based David Tapfuma's beautiful "Magumba". There's the original version, where Tapfuma sings over a solo mbira melody, and a superbly glassy-eyed, synth-heavy 21st century club version by Auntie Flo collaborator (and hugely talented producer) Esa Williams. As good as the rest of the EP is, his version is worth the admission price on its own.
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: Well know for his remix marathons and as the one and only party-hard guy. He brings us another full effect peak time guaranteed floor-filler. Big support from Kiki (Bpitch control) who remixed this tune, more minimal but also more than DJ friendly.
Review: Until recently, it was rare to see early Chicago house anthems on seven-inch single. Get Down Records is on a mission to change this and has been pumping out dinky TRAX reissues at a furious rate. Here they serve up a fresh pressing of Frankie Knuckles' most celebrated single: 1987's double A-side "Baby Wants To Ride/Your Love". Really, you should know both by now - they're amongst the most played and written-about house tracks of all time - but if not, check the sound clips. Remarkably, both the sleazy "Baby Wants To Ride" and luscious, rush-inducing house-soul of "Your Love" sound as fresh and inspiring now as they did 31 years ago.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: Gravity Graffiti has been doing great things with its series of split 12"s already, but now the Italian label goes one better for its tenth release with this mighty double pack of heavy hitters. First up is the ever-untouchable Yoshinori Hayashi, who gets as straight up as he possibly could with the freaky house burner "Dissociative." Telephones is feeling particularly dubbed out and groovy on "Kalimbalimbo", while DB.Source and Riccardo Schiro take things strung out and textural on "Montevago". Dynamo Dreesen is in rave mode for the pepped up and delightfully weird "Reactivate", leaving the final side to Oyvind Morken & Kaman Leung's chugging "Tunnel Visjon" and the rubbery side swipes of Acidboychair's "The End (At Any Speed)".
Do You Love Me Too (Barry Helafonte Love You Too mix) (5:09)
Review: Following his last hoorah on E-Beamz, Ray Kandinski makes his debut on the evergreen jam house Arcane with two hazy, loose-limbed slabs of house music. "Faking Love" places the slapping drums right in the centre and lets the soulful chords and yearning vocals flutter and fall around the edges. "Do You Love Me Too" tips more towards a Detroitian palette but once again with a sedated, dreamy sheen. Finally fellow E-Beamer Barry Helafonte jumps in on the rub for an even slower, lucid and sensual take on "Do You Love Me Too". Lovely.
Review: A White Bear's Heaven... Is A Black Bear's Hell is something of a departure from the smooth, deep and undulating sound we've come to expect from Omar-S's FXHE label. It signals experienced producer Brian Kage's first outing for four years. While that release for Beretta Red paid tribute to atmospheric techno, this outing is far more inspired by late '80s Chicago house and acid. The standout is undoubtedly "Shut Your Eyes", a co-production with Omar-S that wraps James Garcia's soulful, heartfelt vocals around classic synth-strings, tactile stabs and pared-down, '80s style drum machine hits. He switches off the lights and signals more of a heads-down mood on the First Choice-sampling "It's Not Over" - a thrillingly tactile, synth-laden jacker - while "Bear Gonna Getcha" sounds like a warehouse anthem in waiting.
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: 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: Inaugurating new imprint Doxall is Russian enfant terrible Denis Kaznacheev with his idiosyncratic brand of reductionist minimal funk. The Nervmusic co-head (and one half of Easy Changes) does what he truly does best on his new offering "Jelly Dancing". It's a boompty and shuffling minimal house jam that's perfect tackle for messing with minds at a Sunday morning afterhours. On the flip, the always impressive Bed Vedren from Paris (Reduce/Minibar/Prospector) delivers a more energetic and hi-tech rendition suited to the main room, but nonetheless harnessing that same understated feel of the original. Tip!
Review: Noble Square celebrates its 10 year anniversary with a repress of Chicago's Ricardo Miranda & K Joy's 2011 EP. This 12" features the dusty, deep and soulful blues of "Do You Want Me" which is in the vein of masters like Nick Holder and Kenny Dixon Jr. On the flip we have the dirty late night acid jack of "The DJ Knows What I Like" featuring squeaky synths, rusty rhythm patterns and Joy's sultry come hither vocals. According to the label, 'the original master reels were lost so the YONURICAN SOUL Brotha made all new music.' Noble Square Recordings is a showcase of memorable dance music that seeks to stay grounded in the strong foundation of Chicago's roots. A foundation that includes many forms/styles of underground music, but without the burden of useless labels. Noble Square presents 'not only sonic love but also sonic statements.'
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.