Review: Whether they're operating on Toy Tonics, Freerange, Madhouse or NeoVinyl, Black Loops rarely fail to deliver the deep house goods. Predictably, the Italian duo's Shall Not Fade label debut is another quality collection of cuts. Our pick of a very strong bunch is probably "Badmanthing", a quirky chunk of rubbery deep house-funk built around a bold, memorable bassline, eccentric electronics and tipsy chords, though the skipping drums, meaty bass and tweaked New Jersey garage motifs of "Plastikhaus" are also hugely alluring. Elsewhere, "No Fear" is a notable fusion of bounding house beats, darting jazz-funk synth sounds and simmering synth-strings, while EP opener "I Know You" is a more classic-sounding slab of deep house cheeriness.
Review: Given that Tom "Contours" Burford has spent much of the last year making collaborative cuts for Banana Hill that draw on tropical rhythms and native African musicianship, it's probably unsurprising that his return to Shall Not Fade should also feature some of the same influences. It's nominally a deep house EP, but the set's three original tracks are much more nuanced and open-minded than that. Check, for example, the layered hand percussion and polyrhythmic instrumentation on the jazz-funk influenced deep house brilliance of "Lisbon" and the tropical-tinged, intergalactic sci-fi house of "5th Planet". The B-side boasts two versions of "North West": the lilting horns, music box melodies and soft-touch percussion of Burford's original, and the Herbie Hancock inspired bruk-up business of Kaidi Tatham's superb revision.