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The kind of names and quality of releases that Brooklyn's Razor N Tape has supported puts them in the disco premier league. Here they enlist Jkriv to provide us with dancing fodder that isn't throwaway stuff. First is his rework of "Bukom Mashie" by Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band. The latter, his "King Mashie edit", is a raucous slice of bassy and brassy percussive Afrobeat. Elsewhere an O'Jays classic gets stretched out into eight minutes of slow bump bliss on "The Queen On Her Throne" and resurfaces in a deliciously spare dub called "The Queens Beats". Top notch!
It would be fair to refer to Dino Lenny as a "veteran": the Italian producer has been churning out dancefloor hits since the dawn of the '90s. This release sees him join forces with Cajual and Hot Creations regular Doorly for a loving tribute to the joys of club culture. The action centres on a meandering, largely spoken vocal describing a mesmerizing late night dancing experience in "The Magic Room". On the lead version - a tasty re-edit by Lenny and Seth Troxler - this is accompanied by "Lazy" style pianos, and a chunky, disco-tinged house groove. The low-slung guitars and bass are pushed to the fore on Doorly's energy-packed remix, while Luke Solomon doffs a cap to the jazz-flecked boompty sounds of Chicago on his busy rework.
Even by his usual high standards, this EP from Melbourne producer Fantastic Man is pretty darn special. It begins with the tactile, loved-up brilliance of "Galactic Ecstasy", where glistening, intergalactic synthesizer lines and chiming melodies tumble down over restless acid lines and a hustling rhythm track. "Acid Martin" boasts a little more jacking intent, whilst retaining the new age influenced melodies and humid textures more associated with Young Marco's work. He closes proceedings with the superb "Legoman", where winding, intelligent techno style melodies rub shoulders with lusciously deep chords and Project Pablo style deep house breakbeats.
Having put out their last release on Chez Damier's Balance imprint (the rather fine Tried & Tested EP), 25 Places return to their previous home, Dirt Crew Recordings. As you'd expect, the Party In The Hills EP contains another clutch of floor-friendly deep house explorations. The title track, which successfully blends chopped-up Brazilian vocal samples, sustained note chords, dirty analogue bass and a hustling deep house groove, is undeniably the EP's strongest moment, though the bold and fizzing "Closing Title Song" and chiming, riff-heavy "Backyard Stories" aren't far behind. Those who fancy something a little more ragged should check Laurence Guy's disco-house-meets-acid rework of "Closing Title Song".
Nightmares on Wax main man George Evelyn cut his teeth at soul and funk all-dayers in the 1980s - he was a teenage breakdancer - before falling in love with house and techno. Both of these aspects of his heritage are reflected on Ground Floor, which he's trailed as an attempt to go back to his roots. The EP opens with the stretched-out, soulful deep house of "World Inside", which not only boasts a wonderful vocal from Andrew Ashong, but also snappy, dub-influenced rhythm patterns reminiscent of some of his early bleep productions. That aspect of his career is also referenced on "Reclaim The Balcony", a breakbeat-driven house bumper that boasts some seriously heavy sub, and electro-tinged wobbler "Dirty Triumphant", which was co-produced by Acid Mondays.
Los Goddard continues his steady rise up the deep house ranks. He's delivered some excellent material this year already, via EPs on Razor 'N' Tape Reserve and Dirt Crew Recordings (the latter in cahoots with Harry Wolfman). This EP on Quintessential may be his strongest to date. There's naturally much to admire, from the woozy, pitched down vocals, rich keys, woozy chord progressions and crunchy drums of "Slap Dancer", to the sensual dreaminess of rolling groover "Flavour". The EP's title track, a pitched-down shuffler complete with sustained note strings, bubbly acid lines, crispy drum machine handclaps and sumptuous chords, is also excellent.
Some three years on from the release of their acclaimed, self-titled debut album, Letherette's Andy Harber and Richard Roberts are finally ready to share the follow-up. Happily, it's another sublime set. Over the course of 10 impeccably produced tracks, the duo shimmies between dreamy instrumental hip-hop (the traditional Ninja Tune grooves of opener "Momma"), loose-limbed, jazz-flecked electronica, spacey Dam Funk style electrofunk (the brilliant "Shanel"), garage-influenced UK house ("Wootera"), blazed downtempo pop (the claustrophobic "Bad Sign"), and various strains of imaginative, colourful deep house ("Dog Brush", "Soulette"). They even find time to squeeze in one of the most beautiful cuts of the year, the crystalline "Rubu".
U-Dee is a fresh alias from Uffe Christensen, whose two fine albums for Denmark's Tartelet Recordings portrayed him as a man who doesn't like to settle on one groove or stylistic idea for too long. The deep house material showcased on this Delusions of Grandeur outing is notably warmer, richer, and looser than we've come to expect, with an in-built jazziness and quiet soulfulness that's rarely less than impressive. Of course, there are tougher moments - see the fizzing, sweat-soaked drum machine workout "MTV Cars", and the delay-heavy madness of "Sleep" - but for the most part Christensen keeps things rich, organic and lo-fi. Highlights include the breezy, Afro-tinged warmth of "Wa I O", and the jazzy, pared-down soulfulness of "Love Is Gone".
Field Theory is undoubtedly a producer on the rise. His debut track, the acid-propelled "Rituals", was the standout cut on Futureboogie's Summer Riot V EP, while his recent Europa single on Secret Life was packed with saucer-eyed treats. The two original tracks showcased on this Sprechen outing are superb, too. He continues his obsession with psychedelic TB-303 lines on the rolling, floor-friendly strut of "What's Going On", before diving into deeper waters on the contemporary Chicago hip-house/acid house fusion of "KRS Acid". Alinka delivers a metallic, everything-but-the-kitchen sink rework of "What's Going On", while Dorsia turns "KRS Acid" into a melodious, melancholic chunk of lilting deep house.
It's amazing to think that Jay Daniel is still only 25. Since making his debut five years ago, the producer has been responsible for some of the finest house music to emerge from Detroit in recent times. Interestingly, he's slightly modified his woozy and gently soul-flecked blueprint on this hotly anticipated debut album. For starters, many of the tracks - standouts "Paradise Valley" and "Knowledge of Selfie" included - feature live drums, played and recorded in his mother's basement. This rhythmic adjustment gives Broken Knowz a far looser and warmer feel than his previous work, in the process elevating his deliciously rich and musical deep house to a whole new level. In other words, it's an impressively assured and entertaining debut album.
Since the tail end of the noughties, Alex Agore has sporadically used The Shake Up Connection alias to deliver deliciously hazy deep house cuts built around original disco, soul and boogie samples. Live At The Basement was originally released back in 2009, and here gets a deserved reissue on 4 Lux Black. There's naturally much to admire, from the cheery, horn-wielding disco-house positivity of "I Know", and vibraphone-laden deep house bounce of "Righteous Men", to the sun-kissed warmth of "Shake Up Theme", and drowsy, boogie-driven "Uh La La". He also delivers some tasty jazz-house in the shape of "Jazz 4 Ya", and goes all Gospel on album closer "You".
Ralf Fabian Laumer is no nu-comer (sorry) to music production, boasting a discography that stretches back to releases on Daniel Offermann's White imprint at the tail end of the noughties. This, though, is his first EP for well over a year, and sees him showcase a warmer sound than we've come to expect. He gets off to a flying start with "Endup", an attractive 112 BPM riff on Afro-house that sits somewhere between the humid, new-age influenced deep house goodness of Young Marco and the comforting haziness of Balearic nu-disco. He dips the tempo significantly on the EP's other two tracks, first laying down some hypnotic, dub-influenced slow house on "Cosa Mia", before repeating the trick with the quietly disco-influenced Balearic chug of "Palomita".
David Platzdasch has enjoyed a productive 2016, releasing a string of quietly impressive singles on Manuscript and Gents & Dandys. Here he rounds off the year via an appearance on '80s Child's Masterworks Music. First, he heads into loose, loopy, peak-time disco-house territory with "First Step", before diving into deeper, warmer and groovier territory via the mid-tempo deep house shuffler, "Gleichtsicht". The German aims deeper still on "Free At Last", where swirling strings, dreamy chords and a dense analogue bassline smother a bongo-rich disco drum track. Finally, he wraps up proceedings with "Strimpulse", a spacey deep house number blessed with twinkling electric pianos and warm, sun-kissed chord progressions.
London based producer Leon Oziel makes his debut and inaugurates the Outer Steppes imprint and it is a promising debut if we do say so ourselves! Starting out with the tunnelling hypnotic techno of "Bayesian" (or later "Orakel") which is sure to induce a trance state on the dancefloor in the same fashion as guys like Deepbass or Evigt Morker, he then goes for something a bit more lush and dreamy on "Lost Language", a deep tech house cut that you could imagine Lee Burridge playing on a sunny rooftop party downtown. This is a great debut.
Brooklyn's Tape Hiss is back with more retro house shenanigans on his latest release for the always reliable Love Letters From Brooklyn label. Starting out with the dusty and emotive acid of "Angelinian War Storm", there's yet more grooves reminiscent of the early Chicago aesthetic; like on "The Vivian Girls", a lovely homage to such classics by Mr Fingers and his Alleviated imprint. Detroit's finest Patrice Scott also delivers a wonderful remix of said track up next, before "Realms Of The Unreal" throws down one more brilliant 303 acid workout.
Frustrated Funk, Shopwrec and Central Processing Unit are just some of the quality labels on which the enigmatic 214 has delivered his wayward strains of electro and techno on. This new single for Lunar Disko is straight-up, high calibre business, as per usual, starting with the mesmerising pads and alluring soundscapes of "The Breakfast Club", a beat-driven escapade through a wave of majestic synths. "Lunar Landing" is more on the Dutch electro side of things, thanks to its sub-aquatic beats and general demeanour while , "Jade" injects some Chicago house live through an industrial filter, and "Hurley" liquifies its synths down to a thick pool of sonics and subtle beats. Gorgeous music.
Somewhat remarkably, it's now 20 years since Paul Flynn first donned the DJ Q alias. Since then, he's delivered a string of loopy, tracky, disco-tinged house bumpers for labels including Filter, Glasgow Underground, Go! Beat and NRK Sound Division. Surprisingly, this two-tracker marks his first appearance on the similarly vintage Robsoul Recordings. There are few surprises, but then few make this kind of muscular, energy-packed deep house quite so well. Choose between the hard-worked vocal loops, thumping beats and heavy bass of disco-jacker "Feelin' Moody", and the low-slung, basement-bothering deep house funk of "Inner Groove", where Flynn gleefully makes merry with darting, rave-era stabs and cut-up hip-hop vocals.
Permanent Vacation co-founder Bejnamin Frohlich is at the controls on this latest EP from Californian dreamers Woolfy vs Projections. He's chosen to serve up a pair of remixes of two different tracks: the previously unheard "Not My Lover", and Stations album track "Walkaway". He begins with a delay-laden, atmospheric "Downtown" remix of "Not My Lover" - think head-in-the-clouds, tech-tinged deep house - before moving further towards dub disco territory with a fantastic "Uptown" version of the same track. His "Rockers Riddim" remix of "Walkaway" blends authentically blazed dub vibes with a splash of Innervisions style tech-house, while the accompanying "Rockers To Rockers" rework is a heady, soul-flecked dub-house workout.
Nuendo clearly likes to keep himself busy. This outing on Ultra Bass is the "mysterious Australian" producer's seventh - and presumably final - E.P of 2016. "Secrets" is a UK bass-house influenced affair, with cascading electronics, electro-influenced riffs, deep house chords and an attention-grabbing vocal crowding around pulverizing sub-bass thrusts and bouncy, garage-influenced drums. Nuendo's original is accompanied by a quartet of remixes, which veer from turn-of-the-millennium two-step revivalism (Adam Hyjek's tasty rework) to bouncy UK funky (Lewis Low's bass-heavy tweak), via jaunty broken beats (Thorn's interpretation). Michael Luke's piano-heavy re-fix is pretty darn tasty, too.
Mainz duo Teenage Mutants team up with Spain's EdOne for Chapter Two, giving us four servings of dark house for Oliver Koletzki's famed Berlin imprint. Starting out in fine form with the fierce and moody energy of "Alive" which will appeal to progressive house fans while "The Question" is a brooding journey track that would make even Jonas Saalbach stand up and notice! Proving there is more diversity in their arsenal yet, "Unchartered" is a rather stomping and direct techno banger that is more suited to Tresor than Ritte Butzke, if you catch our drift?
25 PLACES - Party In The Hills EP (Dirt Crew Germany)
CHRIS CARRIER - Flying Sausage EP (Hudd Traxx) - exclusive 13-12-2016
GNORK - No Gravity (Magic Wire)
TAPE_HISS - In The Realms Of The Unreal (Love Notes From Brooklyn) - exclusive 05-12-2016
CATZ 'N DOGZ - It's Happening/Our Crazy (Pets Recordings Germany)
U-DEE - Love Is Gone (Delusions Of Grandeur)
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