While his live appearances are placing him on the radar of ever more enlightened house heads the world over, Kink is showing no signs of slacking on the production front either. The clue is in his name, and as ever there are plenty of subtly shimmying tricks in the Bulgarian mastermind's grooves to keep the stiffest of dancers shaking on the off-beat. "Valentine's Groove" is a masterclass in jazz-inflected deep house, all fuzzy chord stabs and badass bass for the funkiest shape flingers. "Strings" meanwhile reaches for a more emotive feeling, lashing on the Detroit romanticism to a wonderfully bombastic end.
Like its' predecessors, the fifth installment in Freerange's ongoing 20th anniversary EP series contains some killer new cuts. Fittingly, it's label boss Jimpster who leads the charge, encouraging us to sway in the afternoon sunshine on the deep, tactile and woozy "Ceilings" (which also features evocative vocals from Laura Barrick). The water-side, alfresco dancing vibe is accentuated by Shur-I-Kan on "Beach Life", a hazy, wide-eyed trip into symphonic deep house territory that ranks amongst his finest productions to date. Elsewhere, Brian Ring melds Mascara-clad '80s new wave and early Chicago house on the fine "Love Taken Over", while Clavis layers dreamy marimba melodies on top of huggable deep house grooves on the delightful "Cydalise".
Even by Ilija Rudman's immaculate standards, "In Her Eyes" is something special. With the help of a spine-tingling vocal from soul man Andre Esput, Rudman has delivered a breathtakingly evocative chunk of stripped-back Chicago house. While it contains some of his usual aural trademarks - tactile synth bass, sparse production and simple, chiming melodies - it somehow feels extra special. Happily, remixer Charles Webster has stepped up to the challenge of reworking such a cracker, turning Rudman's sparse original into a dreamy, percussive, slowly-building chunk of eyes-closed deep house that brings back memories of his classic late '90s work as Presence.
Nachtbraker's latest expansive EP for Heist Recordings - his first release of 2016 - boasts a host of hot, floor-friendly excursions. The EP's first two missives offer two distinctly different takes on disco-house - the throbbing sub-bass, extra percussion hits and early Daft Punk riffs of "Gotta Act To React", versus the smooth, classic disco-sampling loop-jam "Pollo Con Pollo" - before the woozy, drawn out "Intermezzlow" allows the Dutch producer to showcase the groovy, downtempo side to his work. The accompanying "Intermezzo" is a jazzy, percussive deep house variation on the same sun-kissed theme, while "Gotta Act To React (Float Mix)" re-casts the EP's opening tune as a hazy deep house bumper.
Catz 'N Dogz Pets Recordings are really on a roll at the moment and for their next release they have Mathias Kaden, the tech house hero from Jena is back with more high-octane dancefloor energy with "Polyphonic" which rises and rises in suspense with its tightly programmed groove. "NoKick" does exactly what it says on the tin on this beatless, dark acid house jam which will make an effective DJ tool for the more adventurous DJs or be perfect as an opening track.
Alan Abrahams delivers more splendid and spacey deep house from the future on "Say It's Going To Change" featuring his now trademark haunting vocals. Swiss high tech soul merchant Deetron gets on board for the remix which keeps on with the deep house side of things but gives it an equally advanced and futuristic aesthetic, using a completely insane processing of space delay that twists up your mind before the drop!
Church has certainly grown into one of London's most dependable house music outlets these past few years across their various interlinked label divisions. The emergence of Laurence Guy is testament to that - last year he debuted on Church with the well-received Kojak EP, and has gone on to prove his worth across a number of 12" releases and V/A contributions. Bamboo sees him back in the Church fold for their ninth White Label release and it's a confident four-track display of measured deep house. From the warbling melodies of the title track to the Smallville stylings of "Knotweed" and "Lotus", Guy is clearly improving with each release!
Portuguese expat turned Munich machine Alkalino is back with another bomb for his relentless Audaz imprint. "Gorgol" is a smooth and dreamy deep house excursion with samples from the B-52s classic "Love Shack". Next up is Link with "Da-me Uma Chance (Ze Mig L Chi - House remix)" and it's something a bit different from the Audaz camp on this gutsy EBM flavoured techno chugger for the peak time.
German house duo Hendrik Burkhard and Florian Kruse have become commonplace in Steve Bug's Poker Flat catalogue, and this seems to be firmly on-point given their deep and expansive brand of dance music. "Moments" sits somewhere between house and techno but it's more of a song with a beginning, middle and end, rather than a mere club jacker; "Black Moose", on the other hand, is darker and more punchy in its delivery and, by comparison, "Sirens" is the house pumper that can be mixed with pretty much anything you want. Effective and party-centric, as per usual.
The latest release on Compost's offshoot imprint sees Dini make a return visit with two unusual house tracks. Produced in conjunction with Michael Reinboth and Beanfield, both compositions follow a distinct path. "Pouran" is more understated and less direct, as Dini teases out an off-beat rhythm punctuated by chimes and wooden percussion. In contrast, "Gohar" is sure to get all the DJ attention. Underpinned by a pulsing groove and powerful, purring bass, its veers unexpectedly into dramatic string sequences that makes the listener feel like they are being chased by a hit man down a dark alley. The fact that Dini doesn't miss a beat while all of this is happening makes it all the more impressive.
With this 12" from hyped deep house duo Mount Liberation Unlimited, Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space label notches up a quarter-century of releases. Fittingly, it's rather special. "(Eerie) For Your Love" is particularly potent, with the duo layering up line after line of synthesizer sweetness atop a jazzy and tactile groove. It's positive, atmospheric and thoroughly beguiling, with nods towards classic Floating Points and the 'scandolearic' nu-disco of Prins Thomas's Full Pupp label. The duo's love of loose and snappy drum machine percussion comes to the fore on the similarly blissful and Balearic "Maiden Voyage" which is every bit as delightful as its' predecessor.
For the first time Vibraphone Records is releasing a record by an artist other than The True Underground Sound Of Rome. For such an exclusive event there could have not been a better choice than Italian DJ/Producer, Nick Anthony Simoncino. For the production of this record, Isole Del Tramonto (Sunset Islands) Simoncino uses a selection of strictly old school analog synthesizers, and drum machines, which takes you on a charming magical journey through the Mediterranean Sea with pulsating minimal deep bass lines, oneiric harmonic textures, exotic tom tom patterns, hypnotic sexy and catchy grove beats. Isole Del Tramonto is a record that connects and combines the essential elements and spirit of deep house music along with providing its visionary future.
Somewhat remarkably, it's been two years since the last single from former Get Physical and Crosstown Rebels producer Just Be. Here he re-emerges on Kerri Chandler's tech-house focused Kaoz Theory imprint. "Snakes In The Bed" is an excellent example of the London producer's work. Tiptoeing the fine line between European darkness, Visionquest style powder house and the sort of stretched-out moodiness that was once Danny Tenaglia's trademark, the track quietly rises and falls in all the right places. The accompanying remix comes from Magda, who retains the shuffling percussion while adding a killer, acid-inspired sub-bass line.
The Ibiza/Rome/Berlin connection that is Thallulah, William Medagli & Jose Maria Ramon team up again for the deep dark and dirty progressive house anthem "Calling Your Name" featuring emotive elements, acidic synth leads and angelic vocals. Rodrigo Ferrari's reduced and minimal remix takes it to its bare bones but still packs a wicked groove. Second original track "Misano" goes for more of an eighties synthpop crossing into hi-NRG kind of vibe while "Gianicolense" finishes things off with a dark journey track complete with a wonky synth lead which will fit in the with current status quo just nicely.
UK-based Icelander ILO has a number of underground hits to his name, including a killer rework of New Musik's "Warp", and a notable revision of Grace Jones' classic "Private Life". Here he concentrates on his own production, delivering a trio of tracks tailor-made for dark warehouses, tiny sweatboxes, and illicit rave-ups. First up is the deliciously bass-heavy, early '90s-influenced bump of "Put Of A Jack On It", where sampled, delay-laden vocals weave their way around fizzing percussion and vintage riffs. He delves deeper on the woozy, sleazy and hypnotic "Prayer", before rounding off a fine EP with the thunderous acid bass, hissing Detroit techno cymbals and occasional floatation tank chords of "Hiddenlane".
Neapolitan house heroes Alaia & Gallo team up with vocalist Kevin Haden on the explosive "Who Is He?". The remixes on offer here are totally wicked, starting out with Dario D'Attis' rendition which bounces along smoothly letting Haden's vocals do most of the work effectively. But it's all about The Reflex Who's Who Remix as far as we're concerned, on this funked up, soulful and summery re-take that will really get the party started and definitely bring the heat.
Leigh Morgan is one of the three points on the Fancy Human power triangle (he's one of three label heads) and also has a strong reputation for delivering deep house on other labels too. Here he whips up three new sizzlers for our listening pleasure - the looped, mid pace back and forth grooves of "Dilly Of A Pickle", the distorted and woozy late 80s ecstasy vibes of "Pie On The Sly" and the malfunctioning stop/start electronics of "Almost Champion". The opener also gets a "Dubfloor remix" by Chocky, who turns in a warm and seductive late night '90s house joint.