Body In The Thames - "Silver Threaded Crystal Beads" (6:02)
Peach - "Silky" (7:13)
Jay - "Balsam Drum" (6:30)
Webstarr - "The Muse" (7:02)
Review: Midland's Graded launches a new diffusion imprint: Intergraded. Featured here are four cuts from emerging producers. With Graded now focusing on the label boss's solo work and ReGraded catering to a different style altogether - the logical progression was to start a new label that could help introduce this music to a wider audience. Body In The Thames kicks things off on the A side - despite the name he's actually Swedish. His track "Silver Threaded Crystal Beads" is an emotive piece that sits somewhere between early Detroit techno and electro, in the vein of the Motor City godfather Juan Atkins. This is followed by the slinky tech house of "Silky" by London's Peach - a sturdy number supported by ethereal elements. On the flip, NTS host Jay (Siren) presents some moody, heads down techno for the late night on "Balsam Drum" while Yorkshire native Webstarr (De Grey/Mistry) goes deep into the afterhours on the darkly hypnotic "The Muse".
Review: Interesting things appear to be happening at base camp ClekClekBoom on the evidence of recent releases from Jean Nipon, Chaos In The CDB, and those Fred P and Chevel refixes of French Fries. The mutant brand of bass, techno, ghetto flavours and more that has characterised the Paris label seemed to have taken new shape on those records and continues here with this Various Cuts 12". French Fries teams up with NS DOS for the percussive burn of "8 Hours From Nation" which pulls from Chicago House and NYC ballroom but pushes in all new directions. From here CCB regular Aleqs NOTAL provides perhaps the deepest cut to appear on the label with "Mare Imb" whilst there are shades of Kassem Mosse in Jean Nipon's excellent "Cause Of Action". A label newcomer rounds out the 12" in style with Dutch producer Barbara Ford instigating a mesmerizing exploration of ocean deep acid in "Frostbite".
Review: Jenifa Mayanja continues on with her pursuit of spiritual deep house on her Bu-Maka Records imprint. This time by recruiting various artists in harmony with her labels mission statement. "Survive" by Introspective is all uplifting pads, sultry afro rhythms and restrained 303 squelch; sounds good enough right? Next up is "Double Thinking" by Berlin's Jay Mond, who goes for more of a Detroit, high tech soul exploration. On the flip we have "Track 3" by Sean Bird providing another raw and tight, yet smooth deep house cut. Finally "Dove Tales" by Wallflower channels the dreamy, early nineties aesthetic of Larry Heard.
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (original mix) (5:23)
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (Appleblim remix) (6:29)
Review: As a follow-up to Will Saul's exclusive-packed - and generally well received - DJ Kicks set, !K7 has decided to reissue two of the most celebrated tracks, with fresh new remixes. On the A-side you'll find Jabru and Joel Culpepper's "Church" - a decidedly organic, soulful chunk of deep house/UK garage fusion - with accompanying Zed Bias rub. The UKG veteran gives it a bouncy, bassy two-step makeover, wisely retaining Culpepper's brilliant vocals. Flip for Will Saul and Komon's spacey "Two For One", where dreamy flourishes rub shoulders with throbbing electronics and delicate house beats. The remix is provided by Appleblim, who adds a new layer of percussive toughness - in a bruk-meets-two-step style - whilst retaining the warmth of the original.
Review: The Sound Warrior label focusses on releasing music by female house and techno producers, an extended collection of women who share a similar vision of dance music. The label is run by Jenifa Mayanja and Dakini 9 - the latter being part of NY's Plan B imprint alongside DJ Spider - and the girls are back with two new faces for the label's fourth outing. Daniela La Luz's "Milkus" is a mid-tempo chugger with evil percussion and a funky chord hook, while "The Only" by Whim EE is darker, more deranged and of a lo-fi nature. On the flip, Mayanja's "Night Walker" is a tribal affair with a deep, growling bassline and "Limbic Resonance" by Dakini 9 is the hardest cut of them all, the certified techno head-nodder among the deeper tracks. Tough.
Review: Beating Heart has shared the late Hugh Tracey's archive at the International Library of African Music (ILAM) with contemporary producers and keeping in line with Tracey's vision, all proceeds will be used to assist people in the areas where the music was originally recorded. This time, Warp Records and all round UK electronica legend Luke Vibert gives us the delightful oddball groove that is "Africable", Italian DJ Clap! Clap! Gives us the African polyrhythms via Detroit high-tech soul on "Kulira" while Los Angeles duo With You give us the sublime "No Resistance". Each 1500 albums sold will feed a school of 500 forever! Support a great cause and feed your ears with some wonderful music while you're at it.
Review: Following the recent dip into the Theo Parrish archives that was The Twin Cities, Phil Weeks' Robsoul imprint looks to another one of Detroit's adopted sons in the form of Rick Wade. Like that recent Parrish reissue, Weeks re-releases another three tracks from Wade's bulging discography. The upbeat disco loops of "Players Theme" was originally released on French label Funky Chocolate in 2002 and still sound fresher than anything being plied by the Soundcloud dwellers today, while "Can't You See" from 2003 provides a more soulful take on house music. On the flip, the tracky funk and cascading string melodies of "I Feel Good" originally graced Wade's own Harmonie Park imprint in 1998, but sound no less vital today. Essential.
Review: The peeps behind the People Of Earth label claim that Rick Wade is on top form on their latest release. While that's undoubtedly true, the Detroiter has incredibly high standards and rarely puts out anything mediocre. The four tracks here are all deliciously deep and fluid, with the Fender Rhodes solos, meandering organ lines, warm bass and chunky beats of "Never Give Up" delivering just the right blend of instrumental goodness and dancefloor-ready weightiness. "Seen At Night" is an even deeper and hazier treat, while "Forever Alone" sees Wade wrap bongo-laden beats and eyes-closed electric piano chords around a ludicrously warm and heavy bassline. Solo-laden closing cut "Rooftop" is also superb - a proper sundown selection of the highest calibre.
Review: Break out Belgian house producer Sjef Wanders follows recent heavily supported appearances on New York's Nurvous Records and 124 Recordings with Don't Front, a two track 12" primed for club play on the Deso Records label. "Don't Front" is deep and dubby house music emboldened by banging low end and it's well complemented by a remix from label owner Desos. The Dane takes things deep in typical fashion, adding a little New Jersey swing and flavour to proceedings .
Review: Swiss based Italian DJ Gianni Siravo continues to excel under his recently established Washerman alias, with an appearance on the newly minted Saft imprint following a superlative drop for Drumpoet earlier in 2012. Whilst that releases focused on no nonsense booming warehouse sounds, the three track Deeper For Me approaches matters from a slightly more classical deep house angle (as you'd expect from the title) Opening track "Just A Touch" hogs the A Side with one of those thick punchy grooves reminiscent of 90s US garage but its complemented by vast washes of subaqueous melody that lend the track some contemporary feeling. On the flip, "Deep Feelin" is rhythmically more clipped, lead by a nagging vocal under tone and slick percussive embellishments that keep you on your toes, whilst Washerman playfully drops drunken keys on top. Finally "Mellow Go" stays true its title, with the straight groove deep in the mix as the woozy keys and incandescent chords are allowed centre stage to work their magic.
Review: Those well versed in ghetto house history should know all about Wax Master Maurice, a Chicago originator who released a string of on-point EPs on Dance Mania throughout the second half of the '90s. This surprise 12" for Super Rhythm Trax marks his first appearance on vinyl since 2008's footwork-inspired Waxmaster Make 'Em Juke EP. The material here is closer in tone to his now-classic releases, though there are some nods to B-more club (see "Otis Ghetto House") and, of course, the juke movement of recent years ("Keep On Jukin"). Naturally, all six tracks are formidably club-focused, brilliantly combining chopped-up samples (snaking sax lines, bits of old funk records, looped vocal snippets) with the kind of boundless, energetic rhythms that send Chicago dancers crazy.
Review: Baby Ford and Dazmos take the limelight on this first release on Nice 1. We Are Syd's original "Gently" is a mellow downtempo roller featuring choice vocals from Shea Seger, but it's the remixes here that get pride of place. Ford and Dazmos lock into an understated drum machine funk draped in hazy pads on the A side "Backroom Mix", while on the flip they push the club elements to the forefront. Riding the rhythm section with intent while still retaining the smoky spirit of the original, the pairing come up with an impeccable "Frontroom" club cut that should nestle comfortably into the bags of all deep digging house heads.
Review: You can always depend on Berlin imprint Mojuba for quality deepness. Sven Weisemann has been a longtime staple of the label and presents his new four tracker. "Interface Jitter" gets things off to a flying start with its catchy melody offset by a tough and shuffling rhythm. He then serves up some proper and utterly sublime early '90s ambient house stylings on "Sparkling". On the flip is "Motion Capture", getting back into the emotive deepness with smooth melodies, dark chords and nice splashes of dub chords for added drama. The dub version "Motion Beats" gets well funky by comparison!
Review: Nat Wendell launches the Depth Of My Soul label with a confident slab of deepness that should draw plenty of heat on the peaks and troughs of the house music landscape. "The Way" is a crisply produced pumper, revolving around a seductive little lead line and the haunting titular vocal hook - there's a whiff of tech in the make up of the track, but the groove is all house. "Theoretics" follows down a similar path, keeping things moody and mechanical without disposing of the funk, and then it's down to "Release Your Soul" to bring a little light into proceedings with some mellow keys and dubby flourishes.