Review: Is East End Dubz the hardest working producer in the 21st century tech-house scene? He's certainly prolific, as his sprawling discography attests, but what's more impressive is the consistent quality of his releases. He's hit the mark yet again on this EP for his self-titled imprint. A-side "Wobble" is particularly potent, featuring as it does a fizzing fusion of insatiably funky bass, surging acid lines and shoulder-swinging beats. "Slammin" is closer in tone and style to the producer's trademark tech-house glitchiness - all mangled electronic motifs, straightened-out Villalobos drums and deep bass - while "Izit" is a tidy, acid-flecked box jam that increases in weight and intensity as the track progresses.
Review: Madonna, Depeche Mode and Kelis - what do East End Edits have in store for us next? This seventh instalment harks back to the charming deep jazzy house of their inaugural release - think of the legendary St. Germain and that should give you a fairly good idea. The track's smoky, late night jazz bar vibe is complemented by a rolling bass and swinging rhythms that should appeal to the likes of Rhadoo or Petre Inspirescu - legends of the Romanian scene who themselves have lent their deft hand to the French producer's work as remixers in the past, too.
Review: Graded, Regraded and now Intergraded? Label chief Midland has stated that it is a new label intended to focus on releasing music by new artists; whether unknown, emerging or established but working under different aliases. For the sixth release, we have Em and Stav. Well established in the vanguard of Bristol and beyond's electronic music scene, both individually in their own right and as a duo, they are partners in real life and behind the decks. Great stuff on this one: from the hypnotic and bass-driven broken beat of "Afterglow", to the soulful futurist electro of "Inner Space" and the emotive off-kilter IDM of B-side cut "Atmospheric Love" - this is a terrific effort from the promising pair.
Review: We may not be able to gather to dance outdoors under a blazing sun or a blanket of stars, but there's no harm in a little musical daydreaming. That's what the latest multi-artist Ravenelli Disco Club release is all about: summery escapism that comes with a big dollop of rush-inducing disco release. Ethyene sets the tone with the colourful boogie-house fusion of "Let Love" - all twinkling synth motifs, echoing percussion hits, thickset grooves and hazy vocal samples - before Carlo raises the temperature via some jazzy deep house heaviness in the vein of Derrick Carter's "boompty" era. Over on side B, Hotmood's "Magical Flight" is a surging, string-drenched disco-house roller, while Rees' "The Way You Mood" is a tooled-up take on what sounds like a classic Philadelphia International cut.
Review: Lyon might be known as the gastronomical capital of France, but the Undergroove label is doing a fine job of putting the city on the radar of tech house fans. This fourth release is another futuristic trip that kicks off with the punchy drum programming but squelchy synths of Feel the Jam's "UK Breakfast." Keraw gets you in a spin with the quickened and sleek grooves of his "Keutra" then Oden & Fatzo combine to triumphant effect on the high speed tech funk cut that is "Titontesttu" with its gorgeously freeform bassline taking centre stage. Herr Krank's "Fight Your Fears" closes out the adventure with an ever rising acid line that eventually leads to intergalactic tech house lift off. You best strap in!
Review: Sam Shepherd has long been a master of the kind of ultra-deep, rolling, soft focus deep house that raises the spirits and soothes the soul. Even so, there's something incredibly special about "Nuits Sonores", the lead track from this must-have EP. Based around a deep, tactile groove and blessed with rising synth solos, dancing acid lines and his usual fireside Rhodes antics, the track rises magnificently for 12 spellbinding minutes. As it progresses, further elements make their way into the mix, until it reaches the kind of organic deep house climax that makes even the grumpiest souls go weak at the knees. Flip for "Nectarines", the kind of loose-limbed fusion of deep house sassiness, Detroit techno electronics and fluid jazz drumming at which Shepherd has always excelled.
Review: Since 2013 the Florence series of shadowy 12" singles from unknown artists has provided a steady string of contemporary reworks of notable - and in some cases, lesser-known - songs. This time round, the mystery producer involved has set his sights on New Order classic "Blue Monday", with A-side cut "New" delivering a pitched-down, beefed-up revision of the dancefloor classic that comes complete with fresh Clavinet notes and acid style motifs. Over on side B, "Jungle" is a wonderfully sweaty, bass-heavy affair in which the Jungle Brothers Todd Terry-produced hip-house anthem "I'll House You" is turned into a bustling, big room-friendly chunk of arms-aloft messiness.
Review: Here comes something fresh for your ears on Lazare Hoche. The Parisian minimal house bastion is experiementing on this release, as Alex Font collaborates with Nils Weimann for a record that explores the synergy between classical minimalism and contemporary dancefloor reductionism. "Ballets" is a striking track that gets creative with violin strikes falling in polyrhythmic patterns to create something truly bewildering for the dancefloor - after all, that experimental sphere is where the magic happens. "Kefta" takes a more traditional approach to minimal tech house, executed in a classy, understated fashion. On the flip, Lizz comes on board for a remix of "Ballets" that places the emphasis back on the beats.
Blood Moon (Dawl & Sween Tone DropOut remix) (7:17)
Blood Moon (Violet remix) (5:56)
Review: Kim Ann Foxman takes a break from her own Self:Timer label to pop up on [Emotional] Especial. Her track "Blood Moon" hinges around rolling breaks and a globular monosynth bassline, but it's Foxman's vocals that give the track an electric, mystical energy that will cast a spell over the dance. Roza Terenzi takes the original and jacks it up, sharpening the focus of the rhythm section without losing the crunchy breaks. Dawl and Sween channel some bleeps n' breaks vibes of their own with a version that keeps things darkside and wiggy for the old-skool crew. Rounding things off, Violet's remix emphasises the acid as it plunges into the depths of the dungeon in a hooky, hard-edged style.
Get Over U (Mr Director's 'Feels Good' dub) (9:04)
Get Over U (Director's cut mix - Sami Dee edit) (6:15)
Review: SoSure Music have re-released Director's Cut's 2012 funky house anthem "Can't Get Over U" with a couple of modern reshapes for modern dance floors. The duo was comprised of 'Godfather of house music' Frankie Knuckles with veteran producer Eric Kupper. Berlin's Chambray (REKIDS/&Friends/Dirtybird) injects a bouncy lo-fi shuffle into his rework, while industry legend Tedd Patterson keeps that classic vibe alive - like only he can - on his version. On the flip, we have Frankie's own 'Mr Director's 'Feels Good' Dub' (a vinyl exclusive) of which Frenchman Sami Dee serves up a brilliant edit as well.
Review: House music's ability to make you feel good is part of its appeal, and artists like New Jersey majesty Josh Milan of Blaze fame, and London broken beat astro Kaidi Tatham sure know that. They link here with Patrick Gibin for an EP that brims with summer time soul, joyous keys and funky bass riffs that are impossibly sweet. Jazz funk, house and boogie all colour the tracks here with "Don't Be Rude" brining the cosmic vibes and "Groove On" making you want to move for days with its killer b-line and disco energy. Gorgeous stuff, for sure.
Review: The sixth salvo in the Sulta Selects "Silver Service" series comes courtesy of Amsterdam-based Gimbrere, a rising star whose debut single on Future Disco, 2018's "A Thing", became something of a hit in clubs that like their house music to come with a sizable side order of disco. He's in a totally different musical mindset this time round, first peppering a crunchy breakbeat groove with colourful chords and dazzling lo-fi synthesizer melodies ("Breakbeat Passage"), before joining forces with pal Sebastien Robert on the chunky, bass-heavy Afro-house bounce of "Makossa". Gimbrere also makes space for some suitably weighty peak-time house, looping up more disco samples and heavily filtered orchestral sweeps on the celebratory excitement of "On My Mind".
Review: The insatiable rise of Felipe Gordon continues apace. The Colombian has been in a rich vein of form over the last 18 months, chalking up must-check EPs on Quintessentials, Toy Tonics, Lost Palms, and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve. Here he adds another label to his discography: celebrated Swedish house outlet Local Talk. Title track "For A Bright & Acid Future" hits the spot from the word go, with Gordon wrapping twisted, rough-neck acid lines around a bustling backing track rich in fuzzy synth stabs, jazzy bass guitar and crunchy beats. Over on the flip Kear lends a hand on the sun-kissed, soft focus brilliance of jazz-funk/Jazz/deep Latin house fusion of "Son Esquivias", a slab of breezy, percussion-rich goodness that could well be Gordon's most musically expansive track to date.
Review: Iranian-Danish artist Nima Gorji has been consistently busy for over 20 year in the game, and he's sounding as inspired as ever on this exciting release for Melodeum. While knowing how to hold down and sustain a groove with relative ease, there's much more to opener "Opinions" than genre conventions alone. The fluttering acid arps, the subby bassline funk, the teasing analogue wobbles and wriggles, all masterfully deployed for maximum impact. "Beliefs" finds fruitful directions to explore with the minimal house framework, which Christian Burkhardt then magnifies with a driving remix that retains some of the atmospheric invention of the original.
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: It may have taken the best part of six months, but Glenn Underground has finally delivered his first new music of 2020. The Chicago house legend is in fine form on "Shake That Body", a warm and jazzy chunk of deep house/disco fusion rich in tasty instrumentation and topped off by a fine female lead vocal courtesy of newcomer T.H.I.C.K. It's accompanied on the A-side by the superb "Dubbl" version, which sees Glenn Underground strip the track back to a killer dub disco groove before bringing back the keys, acoustic guitars, spacey synths and snippets of T.H.I.C.K's vocal. Over on the flip you'll find a seductive "Remix" that subtly moves the track closer to deep, soulful house territory.
Review: For his first outing of 2020, Kyle Hall returns to the label he founded last year, Forget The Clock, with a suitably strong five-track missive. Check first languid opener "Shark", a splash around in crystal clear waters where simmering chords, luscious pads and glassy-eyed melodic motifs stretch out over bubbly, Latin-tinged drum machine beats and a dubby bassline. Hall makes bolder strides towards the dancefloor on lo-fi house cut "Vexed", before doffing a cap to Larry Heard and Ron Trent on the gorgeous deep house positivity of "Distant". Elsewhere, "Slam Deep" joins the dots between Steve Poindexter and the 2000 Black style of jazzy broken beat, while "Channel & Transmission" is a skewed skip through wonky deep house/jazz-funk fusion.
Now That I Got To Know You (instrumental dub) (8:22)
Review: The honeyed, effortlessly soulful vocals of Reggie Hall have been a feature of Chicago house since the late 1980s, when he appeared on a Dance Mania release by Victor Romeo. He's released plenty of music since then, though this hook-up with Glenn Underground - who produced the music - and fellow house veteran Byron Stingily (who provided backing vocals) is still his first outing for almost 12 years. The A-side full vocal version is simply superb, with Hall's superb, impassioned, gospel-inspired vocals riding a bouncy, Osunlade style groove, jazzy guitars, sustained church organ chords and all manner of intricate musical details. Glenn Underground dons the CVO alias to deliver a slightly tougher, more groove-driven B-side "Dub" that nevertheless includes plenty of sun-bright musical warmth.
Review: Patrick Holland is a new project from Project Pablo. It's actually the Canadian artist's real name so maybe these are tunes that he feels more honestly reflect his own personality. If that is the case, the four-track "Simstim" EP - released via his own his Montreal-based Verdicchio Music Publishing - suggests he's a melody loving groover. These are glistening, shiny tracks of cosmic chords and intergalactic journeys. "Soft Recycle" might be the highlight with its lush rubbery drum programming and dancing, late night synth spirits. Great stuff.
Review: The mysterious Ikuto caused a stir a few years ago when the inaugural Orbitr release surfaced, being highly sought after on the second hand market when it sold out. Subsequent releases have surfaced since and before we knew it, he's on to the fifth release. The A side of 005 is a tough rolling and hypnotic banger which will mix well with any current Rominimal or U.K. tech house record. On the flip, like many others on the modern minimal scene, the Swiss producer now looks to the techno sounds of the early '90s as reference point, with some bleeped-out, party starting machine funk that treads a path similar to what Time Passages and Cabaret are doing of late. Tip!