Review: Paul Cottam's Ruff Draft label enjoyed a great first year in 2014, delivering white-hot material from the man himself, LK and Romansoff, amongst others. For the imprint's first missive of 2015, Cottam has recruited Cardiff-based rising star Chesus, who previously impressed via releases on Local Talk, 4 Lux and Catapult. There's naturally much to admire, from the acid-era electronics, delicate synth strings and shimmering chords of opener "Orbicular", to the DJ Gregory-ish stabs, wonky electronics and dense, organic-sounding percussion of "WYW". Bristol-based producer Owain K - best known for his hook-ups with Jamie Anderson on Dessous - lends a hand on "Let It Happen", a rather fine slice of warm, immersive, Balearic deep house goodness seemingly inspired by the Vangelis classic of the same name.
Review: Baby Ford's minimal minded label is back in action with some psyched-out goodness from Alex Celler. The long-serving Greek producer has many strings to his bow, but this release finds him tapping into his foundational sound as a steady ticking groove carries a richly produced bed of chimes and tones for the deepest moments in the dance. Where "Feudade" is a lilting, soothing trip, "Vis A Vis" heads into a more mysterious headspace peppered with nagging rhythmic trysts, crafty licks and fulsome bass to get the synapses popping. It's exactly how stripped down house music should be done, inventive to the last and yet utterly danceable.
Review: In addition to his work as one half of Mista Men, London via Doncaster producer Ryan Aitchison has been making solo moves under his Mella Dee guise these past few years with appearances in all the right places (think Wolf Music, Shabby Doll and Sccucci Manucci). In fact Mella Dee's featured on two of the latter label's releases so it's little surprise to find the producer popping up on the affiliated Manucci's Mistress operation. The Feel It Out EP sits snugly between house, techno and bass music with the lead cut featuring a rather vicious sub bass line and some superb vocal edits, whilst "Raptor" opts for a moodier UKG meets snapping techno flex. Do check the smudged out bass refix from Will Berridge too.