Review: Way back in 1992, John Mateo and Eddie Matos - then in the flush of youth and still establishing themselves as top-drawer deep house producers - donned the Raw Elements alias and released Back 2 Bay Six. 25 years on, the EP has been given the reissue treatment by the on-point Flash Forward camp. Musically, it remains one of the deepest, dubbiest and most alluring EPs in the duo's epic back catalogue. For proof, check the rolling organs, stripped-back percussion, huggable bass and impassioned vocal samples of "Back 2 Day Six", the jazzy swing of "Sax 5th Avenue" and the breezy basement bounce of standout closer "On The Train", whose off-kilter rhythm is particularly inviting.
Review: John Mateo and Eddie Matos, the duo first appeared back in the early 90s under the Raw Elements alias, have both been involved in a significant number of projects over the years; 2 Trax, Division 1, House Faze and Mateo & Matos are just some of the monikers they've used, and it's no wonder they've been so successful given just how future-proof their strain of house music is. Flash Forward, the nifty Italian reissue stable, drops their debut EP from 1992, the timelessly sublime Raw Basics, a powerful three-tracker that cannot be improved on by any new form of house. The title tune, "Raw Elements", carries a painfully addictive groove with only subtle nods to the 'soulful' sound, and it's just one of those chunky bangers that will please any dancefloor goer. On the flip things are equally delightful, with "Deep Inside" offering a dubbier shade of 4/4, charged by ethereal synths and heartical percussion, while "Lost In Time" bangs out a garage-friendly house blast with all sorts of watery influences coming through. If you're looking for THE House EP to churn out this summer then you've struck gold.
Review: Absolute Italian gold from 1990. Peeping right over into the house canyon while retaining all of Italo's sophistication, Ricky Montanari's Key Tronics Ensemble was a driving force in the sound during the early 90s. "House Of Calypso" was their debut, and it came with finessed, emotional key-stroking hook that lifts relentlessly. The remix version features a dizzying solo on the peak, the softhouse version is a little more spacious and lighter in the drums. For most, though, it's straight to the Paradise version - an out-and-out Balearic anthem that's still enraptures 27 years later. Its first repress in 10 years, this is long overdue.