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Reviewed this week
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While he'd been building a reputation for a few years already, it was 2009's In The End (I Want You To Cry) EP for Running Back that first thrust Marco 'Tensnake' Niemerski towards the spotlight. Some six years on, Gerd Janson has decided to put together an expansive new package of remixes. There's plenty to enjoy, from Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco's breezy, guitar-laden boogie rework of "Holdin' Back (My Love") and Prins Thomas's dense-but-wonky, Scandolearic disco revision of the same cut, to the bright-and-breezy, rush-inducing melodiousness of Lone's sublime rework of "In The End (I Want You To Cry)". Tiger & Woods' remix of "Holding Back (My Love)" - all relentless build followed by thrilling boogie-meets-house release - is also pretty darn special.
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Bristol's Futureboogie return with some sure fire nu-disco grooves to get any party started. London's Jay Shepheard is on board with "Henry's Theme" sporting an early nineties house vibe. Next up is PBR Streetgang from Leeds doing their thing with a nice journey via a progressive house sound on "Suel Baril". There's also local Bristolian Lukas doing more of his low slung slo mo disco business and Phil Gerus with "Never Coming Back".
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Chaos In The CBD have quietly been building an impressive reputation for some time, with releases on Hot Haus, Amadeus and Needwant all hitting the spot. Here they transfer to Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International with what's arguably their most mature and musically expansive EP to date. There's a decidedly dusty, eyes-closed deep house feel throughout, with hypnotic grooves laden with all manner of neat, often jazz inspired touches. This is perhaps most obvious on the St Germain style jazz-house goodness of "Observe" - all skipping cymbals, bouncy grooves and killer pianos - but can also be found on the deeper "Observe". It's there, too, on the lilting brilliance of "Midnight In Peckham" - think yearning trumpets and twinkling piano motifs - and the blissful "Luxury Motivation".
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Two years on from his last outing on Eskimo Recordings, Vita 'Aeroplane' De Luca returns with a pair of tracks that pay tribute to the uncomplicated, life-affirming cheeriness of early piano house. "Page One Is Love", featuring a vocal sample from Chicago pioneer Jamie Principle, sounds like an attempt to fuse together as many classic house influences and references - plus vintage US garage organs - as possible. "Dancing With Each Other" inhibits similar territory, with the addition of sparkling nu-disco synths, early Daft Punk melodies and a heavy bassline. The pick of the accompanying remixes comes from Cassara, who re-casts "Page One Is Love" as an intoxicating chunk of baggy, Balearic house.
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Originally arriving in the midst of the noughties electro-house mania, Daniel Dexter has matured into a respected purveyor of deep and jacking house. Here he's rustled up a euphoric diva house anthem with heavy nods to the sunkissed rave sounds of late 80s Ten City. Alexkid whips the tune into and eight-minute linear laser-house attack, but it's the slow and hazy Vogue-on-downers vibes of "Heroine" which is the real winner here.
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Given the label's longevity and consistently on-point releases - in a variety of styles, it should be noted - it's somewhat surprising that Gilb'r's Versatile Records imprint is not more celebrated. Here, they welcome back Zoot Records founder The Maghreban (AKA Dr Zygote), who goes all Idjut Boys with a trio of heavyweight dub disco workouts. The title track - all booming punk-funk bass, horror-influenced synth flourishes and dense, live-sounding disco percussion - sets the tone, before he pushes things up a notch with the relentless, low slung synthesizer gooks and sweaty house beats of "Frenetique". Finally, he presses the button marked "weird-out" on the lolloping, jazz-flecked dub disco madness of "Kung Fu".
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Aside from a couple of EP's for Shadeleaf Music and Delusions Of Grandeur, respectively, the enigmatic ThatmanMonkz prefers to ride undercover. However, his latest record comes courtesy of Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon's infamous Classic imprint - which is run out of the Defected HQ these days - so it's clear that he's talking business. This four-tracker is all house vibes and no messing around: "In Bed With You" features the charismatic and soulful vocals of Pete Simpson over a deep but driving groove, and "Miss You So Badly" ups both the tempo and the hypnotics. On the B-side, "Kickin's It" is a Detroit house kinda' number, boasting ingenious little sample shots and anthemic melodies, something which can also be said for "Vainglorious Style" - another slice of Detroit-fueled soul.
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Jaymo and Andy George's Moda Black returns with another one from Hot Creations crewman Hot Since 82. He's got Habischman on board for "Leave Me" and it gets the remix treatment by the legend that is Dubfire, taking the said track on a dark journey through progressive house. Secondly we have "Sundown" remixed by Audiofly aka Luca Saporito and Anthony Middleton who take things on more of a sublime, afterhours tech house tip on the "All Day I Dream" vibe.
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On this 32nd release, DJ Nibc's Trunkfunk label hands a debut to fellow Swede Ishivu. There's much to admire, beginning with the title track's epic, stretched-out, minor key chords, bubbling melodies, layered sound effects and tactile deep house grooves. The woozier, dreamier "Skymning" - all heavy, analogue-sounding bass, twittering bird noises, barely audible vocal snatches and humid melodies - is arguably even better, with its' deeper approach really hitting the spot. There are two remixes of the title track, too. First, Matt Karmil strips it back to a delay-laden, percussion heavy late night groove, before Shakarchi & Straneous deliver a fuzzier, jazzier deep house interpretation full of spooky effects and spacey electronic melodies.
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Golf Clap pair Bryan Jones and Hugh Cleal man the controls for the fifth volume of the Sinna Black series, compiling a hefty 21 tracks of peak hour deep house featuring the likes of Ben Mono, Low Steppa and more. Dave Fogg's "Taking Me Over" and Maur's "Dossa" both channel a very late nineties UK garage, sitting nicely alongside the contribution of the legend that is Matt "Jam" Lamont whose collaboration Scott Diaz on "The Theme" is not so garage, more on the Hot Creations tip. Tracks like Newbie Nerdz "Speechless" unashamedly present their dubstep influence while DJ Capsa & Mike Millrain's "Free Your Mind" reeks of Todd Edwards.
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Music label, artist agency and DJ collective MN2S celebrates 20 years of existence with this new compilation, a sixteen track showdown featuring some of its best work from the past two decades. Among the stand-outs, you got Todd Terry and Sound Design's "Bounce To The Beat", Robert Owens' "I'll Be Your Friend", Mark Knight and MTV's early single "A New Reality", and even Subb An's remix of "Get Away" by Maya Jane Coles. A big 'un!
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Whilst Marquis Hawkes is off being wooed by the likes of Creme Organization and Houndstooth, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams keep their sights squared on the lesser known names with their latest release a debut for Denis Sulta. Apparently an alias for a long time friend of Glasgow institution Rubadub, Sulta's cuts have been soundtracking the summer sets from the DABJ label bosses, Jackmaster and JD Twitch and the chance to scoop them up should not be missed. There's an element of cheek present from the off here, with the mangled treatment of an Oliver Cheatam classic on "Saturday Nite" our personal favourite.
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Brighton-based Ed Lee is the latest producer to contribute to the occasional Compost Disco series, teaming up with experienced chanteuse Alison David on "I Am Someone". As you may expect from someone who has previously been featured on Quadraphonic and Stripped Recordings, "I Am Someone" is a smooth, deep house-influenced affair, with rich, live instrumentation supplementing David's attractive vocals. Lee's accompanying Dub, which wisely gives the rubbery slap bassline greater prominence, is arguably even better. Most impressive, though, is Damiano Von Eckert's remix, which turns the original into a fuzzy chunk of jazz-funk influenced, lo-fi deep house.
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The second part in the Hudd Traxx 10th Anniversary 'Now & Then' compilation sees tracks from Luna City Express, Sek, Iz & Diz and Rick Wade. Berlin duo Luna City Express serve up a lush deep house groove that builds throughout the track, and will bring a smile to the faces of those who follow them on their beloved Moon Habour Recordings. Sek uses slick beats, trippy leads, a driving bassline and some 'Thug life' vocals to ensure this one has 'future classic' written all over it. Go back in time (to 2006 to be precise) on the 'Then' side to find Iz & Diz's 'Happy'. The words 'epic' & 'journey' are often misused in music but both can be mentioned about this track. It had devastating effect on first release and is set to do the same again nearly 10 years later. Rick Wade closes things out in fine style to fly the Detroit flag on an all Chicago / Detroit side.
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Having previously released gems from Lerosa, Move D, Pittsburgh Track Authority and Vakula, amongst others, it would be fair to say that Uzuri Recordings knows a thing or two about quality deep house. Happily, the quality threshold remains high throughout this single from Italian production unit Stump Valley who have already scored fine releases for Off Minor and Rush Hour No 'Label'. While the opening track, "Searching (MTRPLS British Hustle Mix)", impressively joins the dots between analogue deep house, jazz and two-step, the majority of the EP is dedicated to the sort of melodious, hazy deep house that sounds like it was recorded in the midst of a foggy forest. That's not a criticism, though; in fact, this atmospheric approach merely emphasizes the quality of Stump Valley's musicianship.
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Yam Who's ISM imprint has been in fine form of late, delivering excellent EPs from Alena, Bubblegum, The Drive and Ilija Rudman. Here that run continues, as the veteran producer unleashes an impressive debut album from I Gemin, AKA newcomer Mike Popov. There's much to admire from the off, with "Can't Nobody" offering a deliciously loose and jazzy fusion of pulsating garage bass, two-step influenced beats, lilting deep house chords and evocative vocal samples. Elsewhere, he delivers some Floating Points-esque deep house lusciousness (the superb, boogie-influenced "Private Life") and - best of all - a carnival-friendly chunk of woozy, horn-laden, 21st century dancefloor soul ("Next 2 Me"). Yam Who and Leebo Freeman deliver killer remixes, with the latter's dub-flecked deep house take on "Next 2 Me" standing out.
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Comprising Ravi Brunsvik and Marius Sommerfeldt, De Fantastiske To, are a modern house duo hailing from Oslo. They are known for their slick and chic house, and the "Fire Flate EP" is no different. The first of two new juicy cuts here is the retro jackin' house of the title track, which is halfway between Pump Up The Jam and the kind of joint Tiga tends to drop these days. "Kule Bonner" meanwhile, goes deeper and more intricate with its rhythm and melody patterns. Classy!
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In recent times, Alkalino's Audaz imprint has focused more on the Munich-based producer's fine disco and boogie re-edits. Here, it switches back to original production, offering up a track each from boss man Alkalino and pal David Marsical. The latter steals the show with "Luz", a rolling dose of soft-touch deep house hypnotism blessed with some rather lovely looped marimba melodies. It features some vintage tech-house touches, too, resulting in an intriguing, early 2000s feel. Alkalino's "Bowl" is a slightly bolder affair, with woozy pitched-down vocals riding a dubby deep house groove reminiscent of classic West Coast productions by the likes of Onionz, Hipp-E and Halo.
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The tried and tested DABJ formula of banging house sounds from unknown quantities perfect for sweaty little basement spaces is adhered to here - if it's aint broke don't fix it right? Who O.D.D. is remains unclear, but the four tracks on his/her/their (delete as appropriate) Drum Patter EP demonstrate an appreciation of slanted and slamming ghetto house music similar to previous DABJ contributor Marquis Hawkes. "Foam Suit" stands out as a detuned, unhinged delight and alongside "Pols" is reminiscent of Gerd's recent modern take on the classic Dancemania sound as Geeeman.
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Having just coaxed more killer material out of that man from Marseille VernoN, Dixon Ave Basement Jams affect a swift return with a similarly hefty package from key artist Marquis Hawkes. The brashly titled Sex, Drugs & House EP maintains Dixon Avenue Basement Jams' position as the sole outlet for original Marquis Hawkes material, despite dalliances with Creme and the excellent Crow Castle Cuts in a remix capacity. The familial bond felt between DABJ and Hawkes evidently continues to inspire the masked producer as this EP contains some of his best work so far! "Get Yo Ass Off My Grass" is a particular highlight and already stands aside "Sealion Woman" as our favourite production in the Marquis Hawkes canon.
Exclusives
ISHIVU - Gryning (Trunkfunk) - exclusive 07-09-2015
CHAOS IN THE CBD - Midnight In Peckham (Rhythm Section International)
GOLF CLAP/VARIOUS - Simma Black Volume Five (Simma Black)
Exclusives
PADICE, Rio - Rio Padice Presents The Luchador: The Return Of The Luchador (Tsuba)
ALKALINO/DAVID MARISCAL - Turbo Coaster (Audaz) - exclusive 31-09-2015
AEROPLANE - Page One Is Love (Eskimo Belgium)
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