Junior Fairplay - "End Of Love" (Roy Of The Ravers remix 2) (4:46)
Freeform Five - "Throwing Stones" (Jamie Paton remix) (7:23)
Red Axes - "Waiting For A Surprise" (Kris Baha remix) (7:21)
Bal5000 - "Kids" (7:26)
Review: (Emotional) Especial heralds its 30th release with a killer package from an all-star cast that takes in label regulars and newcomers alike. The vibe starts heated and heavy with modern acid champ Roy Of The Ravers taking a blunt instrument or two to Junior Fairplay's "End Of Love," firing off the kind of bludgeoning b-line and fizzing drums that makes his direct approach to the dancefloor so potent. It's somewhat surprising to see Freeform Five pop up on this 12", but Jamie Paton's remix of "Throwing Stones" sounds utterly natural in the habitat - a brooding, simmering trip shot through with noirish synths. Kris Baha gets busy with Red Axes' "Waiting For A Surprise," twisting out an exotic bubbler perfect for the low tempo chugging crowd, and then Bal5000 wraps things up with the gorgeous electro-disco delights of "Kids".
Review: A new concept here for Berlin based disco/house label founded by Deep88: 12Records. On Underground Is The New Upperclass EP, the title says it all: here are four emerging artists with their fresh and natural idea of house music that's keeping it real: no pictures, no posers. From Rhythm 2 Soul's tribute to 808 State on "Soul Catcher" and the gritty lo-slung acid of Colkin's "Boston Illegal" on the A side. The flip features the sensual and evocative deepness of Modena's MHCrew with "I Remember Aus" (featuring Krabah) and lastly PTR Zoo with the neon-lit "Lombok" taking its cues from hip-house and new jack swing.
Review: 124 Recordings know how to put together a deep house compilation, and they're sounding fierce on this latest, appropriately titled Levels Up. The jams come heavy and funky from a range of on-point operators, leading in with Tom Jay's quintessential New Jersey bump n grind on "Hanging On". David Moran is a little more shadowy but no less groovesome, while Nicola Brusegan takes things on a sweet and smooth tip. Across the whole double pack there are classically informed jams to satisfy the most weary deep house heads, but keep an ear out for the old-school flavoured heft of Freak D's "Power Of Bass", which should get some seriously jacking airtime in the right kind of dance.
Review: Harlem NYC based 13th Hour return with more music for the witching hour on their third release, after having previously shown off great grooves by Belgian Ricky Razu, Tbilisi's Hamatsuki and local lad M. Vaughan. This time round they have decided to focus on two select talents, with the A side being taken care of by Colombia's Felipe Gordon. He takes a break from the three-piece Mercury to deliver the Jazzmatazz inspired cut "I'll Become Blue" and the dusty, emotive deepness of "The Last Time I Saw You". On the flip, things start to heat up with Australian Loure (Apparel/Slothboogie Jamz) who serves up some sexy late mood lighting on "So Dive" and vocal-led cut "Club Shade".
Review: Sometimes the road gets too rough. Sometimes you just have to annihilate a punching bag due to the high levels of gully coming into your ears. Whatever you do when things get too stinky, however you deal with the body-blowing pressure of absolutely foul tracks, we know you're going to do it to this new EP from Perez who is on such a roll right now it's crazy. Following his dubstep EP "Last Rites" comes this awesome back-to-dnb-grit session. Opener "Trinity" is just utter high voltage darkness, "Phantonym" takes things even deeper with some proper gruesome bass bubbles while "SWRV" takes us back to Alix's soulful side and "Vibrations" plays the perfect game of contrasts and shade. What an EP.
Review: 18 year-old Marvin Jupiter makes his bow on 2000 Black, serving up a track that effortlessly joins the dots between the bass-heavy weight of trap, indigenous South African rhythms, bustling West London broken beat and the synth-fired jazz-funk goodness of Herbie Hancock. The fact that such a young debutant is able to distill these influences into a brilliant, futurist house cut is, quite frankly, incredible. Dego and Lord's flipside revision is equally as tasty, too. Drawing on the track's bruk and jazz-funk inspirations while adding funky new Clavinet and guitar motifs, the West London stalwarts serve up a loose and groovy peak-time interpretation that should excite all those who like their beats broken and their basslines chunky.
Review: It's already been a great year for Kaidi Tatham, whose summer album "It's A World Before You" on First Word remains one of our favourite full-length sets of 2018. He's in great form once again on this follow-up EP for the 2000 Black imprint he co-helms with pal Dego. All four tracks bristle with his signature jazz-funk focused synthesizer solos and Herbie Hancock style flourishes, as well as plenty of sweaty, floor-friendly broken beats. Killer dancefloor thrills come in the shape of opener "Freddie Can't Run Away" (it's very reminiscent of his 2000s work as Agent K) and "Is Crimbo Really Here", while "But You Bring It Up" and standout "In My Life" both explore slower, deeper and more musically intricate pastures.