Given the rising popularity of contemporary house records influenced by classic Italian house, it's perhaps unsurprising that Dave Lee has chosen to release a collection of classic Italo house cuts. Here, three of that compilation's best-loved cuts get the re-edit treatment. Lee dons his familiar Joey Negro alias for two perfectly pitched reworks; a shuffling and melodious rendition of Shafty's deliciously wide-eyed 1991 cut "Deep Inside of You (Soul Trance Mix)", and an undulating, electric piano-laden tweak of D-Rail's breakbeat-driven "Bring It On Down". If that wasn't enough to get you salivating, there's also a rolling, piano-laden rearrangement of Keytonics Ensemble's 1990 anthem "House of Calypso" (not to be confused with the record's better known flipside, "Calypso of House").
Mr Scruff's Friendly Bacteria album was something of a return to form; a sprawling, soul-flecked concoction full of broken beat, jazz, dub and classic house influences. Here, two of the album's highlights get the remix treatment. On the A, "We Are Coming" - a bumpin', basement-bothering bruk cut in its' original form - is turned into a warm and wide-eyed deep house shuffler by Berlin-based Max Graef. It's an excellent revision, which weaves the original samples and keys into a fuzzy, analogue-sounding groover. On the flip, Scruff himself extends and reworks "Feel Free", turning in a hazy nu-jazz rub built around rubbery double bass and snaking, muted horns.
It's been a fair few years now since Italian producer Massimiliano Pagliara, famed for his analogue-heavy blends of bright synthesizer melodies, pop hooks, Chicago house grooves and robust acid lines, relocated from Italy to Berlin. It's obviously been a fruitful move, as this second full-length - his first dropped in 2011 - is mostly made up of collaborations with locally based producers. Norwegian exile Telephones lends a hand on the deliciously Balearic "Long Distance Call", with one-time NYC resident Lee Douglas recalling his TBD work with Justin Vandervolgen on the murky acid assault that is "Fall Again". Elsewhere, you'll find a range of moods, ranging from the enveloping power house of "Native Tribes of Jupiter" (a hook-up with Credit 00), to the dreamy synth-pop of "With One Another".
Marco Dionigi tends to give buyers a lot of bang for their buck. That's certainly the case here, with seven decidedly cosmic disco jams to choose from. The title track - a chugging, exotic chunk of atmospheric dub disco with lashings of Indian style instrumentation - is available in three different flavours. Of these, it's a toss up between the Dub and the Original Mix for us, with the former just shading it. Elsewhere, "Roccia Antica" layers backwards effects and pianos over a spiraling, wall-of-sound groove, while "Malinconia" is slow, dubby and pleasingly out-there. "Onde", a hazy ambient excursion featuring more droning sitars and "Tomorrow Never Knows" style backwards loops, is also worth a listen.
Tomorrow Is Now, Kid! returns just in time for summer with a collection of tracks taken from a reel of tape. In My Ghetto is the debut EP of Anthony Brooklyn, who has crafted four jams in spirit of the roughness of New York City's famous borough, Brooklyn.
Big release for both artist and label here as London-based Australian producer Francis Inferno Orchestra comes through with A New Way Of Living, a debut album on the Voyeurhythm operation, which doubles up as its first full-length project. Having first surfaced in 2010 and dropped numerous 12"s along the way, you feel now is the right time for Griffin James to show what he's capable of over the length of an album and this is a very confident set. The dusty, sample laden house sound Francis Inferno Orchestra is known for is very much in evidence here but there's plenty of diversity shown over the seven cuts to keep you coming back for more. The daisy age goes house vibes of "The More You Like" and the weighty beat down "Rap Beef" are immediate standouts.
Vibes New & Rare Music 2 reaches its conclusion here as Rush Hour drop the second and final helping of the Rick Wilhite-curated compilation with a suitably high profile cast of contributors involved. If you checked Part One which dropped earlier this year, you'll know Wilhite has expanded the remit to include producers from Chicago and New York - and if you didn't check it what's wrong with you! Any compilation that starts with an exclusive cut from Moodymann is gonna be good, and the dusty, disjointed "Momma" sets the tone quality wise for what follows. The Godson himself delivers a thunderous, stripped back take on "A Matter of Honour" by Sean Tate and this dukes it out with the apocalyptic electro of DJ Stingray and the rugged beatdown of Orlando Voorn as our favourites from this great collection.
Too Dramatic is glassy-eyed dance-pop combo No Regular Play's first new material for longtime home Wolf + Lamb for two years. The title track sets the tone, lacing droning vocals, occasional stabs, subdued electric pianos and woozy electronic noises over a shuffling, tech-tinged groove. Former Rong Music man Woolfy provides the obligatory remix, utilizing classic disco beats and bouncy melodies to give the original a much more energetic feel. Elsewhere, "Swim On" is a fine chunk of fluorescent synth-funk with a slightly blazed feel, while "Fire Alright" fixes smooth pianos and hazy vocals to skittering Chicago house handclaps and 808 electro rhythms.
Amazingly, it's 20 years since the release of Ian Pooley's breakthrough club hit, "Roller Skate Disco". In the years since, he's shifted focus numerous times, releasing material on such labels as NRK, Force Tracks, Simple Records and Innervisions. Here he returns to Dixon's acclaimed imprint with two more tracks of woozy, heavily electronic deep tech-house. "The Beginning (Dub)" kicks things off, lacing simple electronic melodies and synth bleeps over a moody, atmospheric, late night groove. Pooley ratchets up the tension throughout, with long, drawn-out chords pushing us towards a glassy-eyed conclusion. "Floris" is a little deeper, with organ chords and melodies that seem to creep up on you slowly from behind. With a similarly hypnotic, shuffling groove to "The Beginning (Dub)", it feels like an early morning gem.
Given the combined talents of Brighton-based powder house stars Maxxi Soundsystem and Bristol-dwelling house veteran Lee 'Thrilogy' Pattison, you'd expect "300 Vows" to be a bit of a killer. It's certainly rather good, with easy listening vocal samples riding a lolloping, tech-tinged Balearic house groove. It sounds like the sort of thing you'd expect to soundtrack sweltering Adriatic sunsets. Wolf + Lamb affiliates No Regular Play provide the headline remix, playing on the original's Balearic elements by way of hazy trumpets and spine-tingling chords. Elsewhere, there's a chunkier Dub for those who dislike the vocal sample, and a bass-driven, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Bells & Whistles remix.
MOS Deep travel into the uncharted waters of Glasgow on their latest release, securing The Haggis Trap from rising production talent Stephen Lopkin. Some four tracks deep, this EP sees an approach seems perfectly in line with Aroy Dee's label. Take for example "The Haggis Trap" which fluctuates superbly between moments of calm and acid drenched chaos or the superb hi tech jazz stylings of "Catherine's Track". Meanwhile, the superbly titled "Let's All Talk About Me" shows Lopkin can lay down dusty kicks with the best of them whilst "Mugs Alley" expertly demonstrates his talent for melody.
In between Marcel Dettmann and Erol Alkan Fabric mixes the London club and institution help Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and Eddie Richards' Wiggle brand celebrate their 20th anniversary. They've done so by putting together a 20-track compilation that includes music from Just Be, (aka Bushwacka), Berkson & What, D'Julz and Jay Tripwire. Just because it's minimal in sound doesn't mean it's minimal by nature and this Wiggle For 20 Years compilation presents 74 minutes of grooving rhythms with material from recent Wiggle guests Alex Arnout, Saytek and Dachshund, as well as some fresh cuts from long running Wiggle affiliates like Gideon Jackson.
Graeme Clark has spent much of 2014 building up his Roar Groove label, dropping excellent 12" singles from some of his Glaswegian pals. Here, he finally returns to the imprint with his first single of the year, featuring three different flavours to enjoy. "Incredible Shellsuit" is one of his most picturesque and expansive productions to date, with decidedly Balearic, rush-inducing synthesizer lines wrapping their way around a loose, analogue-rich '80s house groove. "Loss Angeles Times" is denser and more intense, with foreboding chords and heavy, African-influenced tribal percussion. Finally, "Vorderman" keeps up the African theme, sounding like an unheard Auntie Flo production - all heavy percussion, nagging rave stabs and wild electronics.
If you are a fan of 2020 Vision with a keen understanding of the online electronic music community you will probably be content with the content that's preceded the release of Content, the label's 20th anniversary compilation. Yet how does the multi-format release shape up against the pre-release hype? Well this second sampler features a brand new cut from Simian Mobile Disco as well as fresh remixes of 2020 classics from Matthew Herbert and Cassy, which says it all really! SMD lead the way with "Parson's Nose" which is Jas and James at their most melodically languid and involving, whilst Cassy adds some notable chunkiness to "Get On Down," David Duriez's 2002 release on Ralph Lawson's label. The idea alone of Herbert remixing Maya Jane Coles is filled with intrigue and his resultant take on "Senseless" is resolutely strange without losing any dancefloor impact.
XL are always 100 per cent on the money when it comes to remix duties. This time, Hot Chip's Joe Goddard turns in a splendid, house-driven remix of Jungle's now infamous "Time" tune. Whereas the original is more sparse and less floor-centred, Goddard heads straight to the DJ booth on this one - sweet atmospherics, tense beats and one hell of a bassline make this into an all-out weapon for all you head-nodding record spinners. It's great to see Goddard back on top form, too!
Following a recent spate of singles compilations, Spain's A2C is now delivering a new selection of UK-influenced sizzlers. The You House EP is the latest and, although boasting only two tracks, is packed with the solid quality production that he's known for. Both tracks have a UKF bounce but the title track adds some raw fuzz to the sparse 4/4 beats and doomy synths. "The Hole" on the other hand, is livelier with skippy pumping garage vibes, snippets of MC vocals and some big hands-in-the-air swooshes.
There's always been something a little Balearic about the toasty, picturesque works of Glasgow-based deep house duo MermaidS. Even so, Welcome to Sunset seems to be a conscious attempt to enhance those Balearic credentials. While the EP does include some particularly warm and hazy deep house - see "Some Daze" and the loopy, electrofunk-influenced sunshine surge of "Hearts & Oceans" - the two most impressive tracks here are a little harder to pigeonhole. Opener "Two Moons Rising" - all enveloping chords, alien electronics, chugging, Italo-influenced bottom end and woozy melodies - sounds a little like Seahawks or some of Chris Carter's more atmospheric 1980s work, while "I Wish You Didn't Dub Me So Much" has all the wide-eyed charm of an obscure 1980s European synth-pop B-side.
Modeselektor's Monkeytown label has never shied away from releasing music that's a little eccentric and left-of-centre. Even so, few would have expected them to release a minimal techno-inspired atmospheric deep house cover of Nirvana's grunge classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The men responsible are - somewhat surprisingly - RY X and Ame's Frank Wiedemann, who don the Howling alias for the first time since their eponymous debut on Transmodern. Their interpretation is one of those records that will divide opinions; those who love it will claim it's a nine-minute chunk of winding, atmospheric house with a beguiling, haunting vocal atop. Certainly, you can feel the pain and anguish in the vocal.
The man from Detroit known as Brooks Mosher reports for duty on Dolly for a third time, brandishing a quartet of signature cuts! As with output on Steffi's label as a whole, there is little extra that needs saying about Don't Say Goodbye, with Mosher perfectly calibrating each of the four productions for optimum usage by any self respecting house DJ. The barrage of percussion and wonderfully uplifting pads that characterise lead track "Phoenix" sets the tone nicely, and is a considered highlight of the release along with the dark and sweaty vibes of "Falling". Another one for the box from Dolly!
Given that his productions have found favour with the likes of Seth Troxler and Maya Jane Coles, Church label boss Seb Wildblood is clearly in the ascendency. This expansive EP is likely to enhance his rising reputation. Opener "Hunney" is something of an immersive deep house treat, with all manner of pleasingly melodious elements riding a shuffling, loose-limbed rhythm. "Come Into My House" is deeper and slower, with bluesy vocal samples and crackly breakdowns enhancing the glassy-eyed mood. "Warm", meanwhile, is almost claustrophobic in its combination of suffocating chords, undulating grooves and tear-jerking melodies. As if that lot wasn't enough to tingle the tastebuds, you'll also find a trio of remixes, with Kommune1's garage-deep house-techno fusion version of "Come Into My House" standing out.