Having spent the last two years building up his reputation via a series of superb cuts on Sccucci Manucci, Much Love and Retrospective, Filip Jankovic continues his impressive rise with an excellent EP on Luvbug Recordings. In many ways it's typical of his work, offering a fuzzy but appetizing blend of '90s nostalgia, deep house sassiness, warm atmospherics and tough rhythms. Opener "Full Range" sounds like a vintage fusion of '90s US garage, East Midlands deep house and rolling techno-funk - all hypnotic, floor-friendly rhythms, garage vocal stabs and cheeky organs. The loose-limbed "Good Love" adds a bit of swing to a similar formula, before "Control" proves that bass-centric Hypercolour house can still be warm and inviting.
Given the re-emergence of good old-fashioned house music in the last couple of years, it's little surprise to find another disco/electrofunk imprint abandoning filter-heavy discoid edits in favour of piano-laden old skool goodness. "Soul Brother" is spine-tingling stuff - all early-90s pianos, snappy beats and hazy, sampled vocals. Label bosses Ruben & Ra employ a delicious jazz break on their woozy remix, which turns the anthemic original into a lovingly crafted chunk of mid-90s deep house groovery. "Chord Cracker" offers a starry-eyed take on deep house (with, it should be said, more than a touch of 80s soul), while "Shiver & Breeze" slows things down impressively. Recommended.
This third EP from Alkalino and Alphabet City's occasional MuchLove label gathers together more bright and breezy deep house gems from up and coming producers. Fil Lavin leads the way with "Feel As I Do", a typically bold and beautiful combination of atmospheric synths, big chords and classic vocal samples. Linntronix & Samm's "Musique Concrete" ups the ante with the sort of bold strings and melodies that will have you reaching for the strobes, before Mike Gill offers some deep and dirty midtempo bump in the shape of "Prankstar". A solid EP is completed by Debonair's "Trans Express", a decidedly Balearic fusion of clattering electro rhythms, disco samples and deep house chic.
The Sccucci Manucci label has done a fine job of handpicking artists on the rise for their releases to date, collaring the likes of Casino Times, Francis Inferno Orchestra and Toomydisco as well as the odd established name like Jacques Renault. The label's fourth release Forza Quattro is still grounded in the disco/house sensibility that has served them so well, though the presence of Waze & Oddysey demonstrates the Sccucci A & R team are willing to deviate. The elusive US pair are in the midst of a hot patch right now with releases already burning on Body Work and Southern Fried and plenty more due over the coming months, so their presence here is a real coup. "I Can't Hear You" sounds vaguely like a extra bouncy cover of the classic "RIP Groove" and definitely ranks alongside their output to date. The EP also has tempo traversing contributions from Fil Lavin, Sellouts and Deadly Sins, with the latter's slow and chuggy "Don't You Know" a particular highlight.
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