Since launching back in 2011 via a fine EP from Julio Bashmore, Bristol’s Futureboogie Recordings has consistently thrilled and surprised in equal measure. Over the six years that have elapsed since, label boss Dave Harvey has maintained a release schedule that giddily joins the dots between a myriad of styles – disco, deep house, electrofunk, tech-house, Balearica and heavier dancefloor tackle – while maintaining an emphasis on, as he puts it, “music with groove”.
This month the label is celebrating a major milestone: its’ 50th release. Fittingly, that comes from the label’s longest serving artist (in more ways than one, since he also provides the imprint’s distinctive artwork), Christophe. To help mark the occasion, we’ve decided to host a Futureboogie takeover. They’ve been kind enough to give us a free track from the vaults – appropriately, it’s Christophe’s first appearance on the label, 2011 classic “The Force” – and have picked out some choice gems from their rapidly-expanding back catalogue.
Lauer and Gerd Janson aka Tuff City kids emerged with "Tell Me" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on vocals back in late 2016 on Permanent Vacation, but now it's time for the remixes and they're pretty sweet on this EP; if we do say so ourselves. Hamburg's finest Tensnake is in fine form as always with his rendtion: a tropical nu-disco explosion! Joe Goddard himself chips in too with a makeover of the track; his one getting some emotive Kompakt vibes going on full of rich and life affirming synths leads happening. After all, he has recently collaboarated with Michael Mayer. Finally they save the best for last with the mighty Roman Fluegel delivering the "Happy Gerdy remix" which very uplifting indeed.
Alexander Pietnev aka Ponty Mython, is originally from Russia but is currently settled in Vilnius, Lithuania. He had his very first release in 2012 on Beats Delivery which gave a solid impression of what was to come. He went on with outings on Tusk Wax, Arma, Dirt Crew and of course Quintessentials. This was originally released on the Quintessentials 50 compilation; it's "Grooff Machine" and it gets some remix treatment from some more 'dope grooffs' (label's words, not ours!). Chicago hotshot Chrissy (The Nite Owl Diner, Classic, Razor n' Tape) throws some sick and gnarly 303 acid business over this loopy disco number. His Mexican buddy Soul of Hex (who he's collaborated with previously) delivers a deep and lo-slung rendition too, just the way you like it!
Mad Mats and Tooli have decided to celebrate five and a half years of their much-loved Local Talk label by gathering together a swathe of fresh cuts that best represent the label's eclectic approach to house music. It's a fine set, moving from the electric bass driven jazz-house of Art Of Tones' "Violation" to the UK garage influenced deep house skip of Hugo LX, via the rich, soulful house warmth of Sean McCabe, the synth-laden Herbie Hancock-isms of DJ Spinna and the celebratory disco-house heaviness of S3A's "Bob Morton". Chuck in superb contributions from Bodhi Satva, Simbad (as SMBD) and newcomer Marcel Lune, and you have a near essential collection of feel-good house moments.
Progressive house don Sasha on Kompakt you say? You'd better believe it! The man known to his Mam as Christopher Coe serves up a deep and slinky tech house cut for the early evening or afterhours alike on "Out Of Time" featuring Minneapolis' Polica on vocals; providing the track with that bit more ethereal edge. There's a handy instrumental and radio edit, but lets not forget Amsterdam's Patrice Baumel on the remix which is geared for just as many, if not more life affirming moments on the dancefloor with his powerful and evocative rendition.
Jimpster has a new album on the way - his seventh in total - so has decided to serve up this tantalizing taster of what's to come. "Crave", featuring the quietly soulful vocals of Florence Rawlings, is an exercise in sumptuous, musically rich dancefloor deep house in which the Freerange co-founder can showcase his admirable composition and production skills. Khalil Anthony adds his slick vocals to the chunkier and more bass-heavy richness of "Where You Are", which recalls his appearances on Thatmanmonkz's superb Columbising full-length. Meanwhile, the EP also boasts two remixes of "Crave": a wonderfully soulful, tech-tinged shuffler from Atjazz and a rolling, analogue-rich interpretation full of bubbly electronic flourishes by D.KO co-founder Flabaire.
Scott Diaz has a sizeable discography to his name, so it's little surprise that his latest expansive EP for Grand Plans is a mature and superbly produced affair. Check, for example, the grown-up feel of opener "Mistreated", where heart-aching soulful house vocal samples ride a backing track full of jazz-flecked drums, twinkling music box melodies and yearning chords. The same sort of praise could be heaped onto the languid electric pianos, bumping beats and half spoken, half sung vocals of "Take It Back" (where vocalist KE urges us all to focus on the music, rather than the technology DJs now use), as well as the sample-heavy smoothness of "I Sold My Soul". In other words, it's a luscious EP for those who like their house deep and soulful.
Once impressively prolific, Anthony Naples has calmed down a little in recent years. Us Mix is his first missive of 2017, and follows on from a year in which he released just two singles, one of which was a two-track salvo of loved-up rollers on The Trilogy Tapes. There's a similarly dreamy, mood-enhancing feel about much of this EP, particularly hazy opener "Sky Flowers". While it does contain some fizzing electronic motifs, these largely play second fiddle to the kind of colourful riffs that recall the halcyon days of Italian dream house. Elsewhere, "Sahara" is an analogue deep house shuffler with tweaked New Jersey organs, "At Ease" is a tactile Balearic house bubbler, and "Us Mix" is a locked-in, string drenched bumper.
The latest missive on Yam Who's Blackriot label comes from Robjamweb, a Derby-based producer who has recently been in a rich vein of form. Roots & Elements is tinted with more than a hint of rose-tinted nostalgia, with piano-heavy opener "House Muziq" coming on like a vintage Frankie Knuckles remix with Eric Kuper on keys. "Heads Down At Five AM" reaches for the acid bass while paying tribute to the deep and dreamy brilliance of Larry Heard. The latter influence is all but removed from the TrueSelf Dub, which wisely emphasizes the floor-filling potential of Robjamweb's machine groove. Those looking for something a little looser should head for "Ghetto Laureate", where an inspirational spoken word vocal rides a jazz-fuelled Afro-house groove and deliciously heady Rhodes chords.
Secret Value Orchestra's "Porta", the track chosen to promote the band's debut album, Unidentified Flying Object, tickled our fancy when it dropped earlier in the year. Happily, we can confirm that the finished set is rather good, too. They have taken a widescreen approach, delivering tracks that combine warm and melodious elements associated with both deep house and disco (rubbery electric bass, Rhodes keys, slick boogie synths, and so on) with a variety of rhythmic approaches. So, while a hazy and quietly soulful fusion of house and disco is their stock-in-trade, they also find space to include a fizzing D&B roller ("The Dog"), a dash of jazz-funk ("Superdriver") and some head-nodding hip-hop soul ("Get Enough").
Fresh from a fine contribution to Local Talk's fifth anniversary compilation, Sameed Rezayan makes his first appearance on G.A.M.M. It sees him exploring similar sonic territory - think jazzy, loop-based, soul-flecked deep house stompers - while serving up two tried and tested dancefloor treats. First up is "Bun", a bouncy and rolling house revision of a groovy chunk of harmonica and saxophone-laden soul-jazz goodness. It's really rather good, though lacks the sheer weightiness of the EP's other track, "Chao". This is, if anything, even loopier, with Sameed building the pressure throughout via darting electric piano keys, simmering strings and a stomping jazz-house groove.
Lobster Theremin has described this label debut from rising deep house star Brian Abelson AKA See Other as a: "humble mixture of low-slung Smallville-esque warmth, Fred P deepness and playful, tinkering melodies". It's an apt description. Abelson has a knack for balancing the needs of the dancefloor with the right level of attractive musicality, as can be seen on the synth-bass propelled late night positivity of 'Fallin" and the sumptuous, lightly sauteed deepness of "Linda". Elsewhere, "Pushin" successfully combines the rhythmic dexterity of classic broken beat with the drowsiness of deep house and "Change" is so deep and quietly soulful that it could have been written and produced at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
Hell Yeah's latest trip into saucer-eyed, loved-up territory comes courtesy of Danny Was A Drag King regular Verdo. The Italian producer is in fine form on title track "Little Blue", enveloping unfussy but crunchy drum machine hits in bubbling electronics, positive melodies, dreamy chords and just a touch of reggae style shuffle. It's undeniably Balearic - I.E summery, breezy and unashamedly melodious - as is the bubbly, life-affirming cheeriness of synth-heavy bonus cut "Sazerac". Previous single "Big Fish" - a tantalizing fusion of acid house aesthetics, wild organ solos, jangling piano riffs and bustling, Latin-influenced drum machine hits - also gets an airing, alongside a vintage Italian house style remake from Phillip Lauer.
With summer fast approaching, Suol has decided to get ahead of the game with an EP chock full of sweltering, sun-kissed deep house treats. Atjazz kicks things off with the rich chord progressions, lilting synthesizer melodies and bouncy drums of sunset-friendly shuffler "Programme Sunlight", before label regulars Chopstick and Johnjon serve up the similarly positive and breezy "Last Night". Elsewhere, Matthias Vogt cranks out the languid, life-affirming pianos and blissful electronics on Balearic house gem "Chanterelle", M.Ono delivers a loved-up twist on loopy disco house, and Carlo drops a chunk of bumpin', bass-heavy goodness blessed with sun-bright guitar flourishes. Best of all, though, is Meggy and Tigerskin's "Bygone Eras", a slick and sultry chunk of sun-bright modern soul.
Given that it was originally released on vinyl and CD way back in 2000, it's something of a surprise to find that this is the first digital download release of Theo Parrish's acclaimed sophomore set. It remains a benchmark in the Detroit legend's fine career and arguably the set in which he fully realized his unique musical vision (think cut-up and manipulated samples, major jazz influences, and hypnotic, stretched-out cuts that quietly build throughout). Highlights are plentiful, from the deep Afro-house of "Serengeti Echoes" and leisurely, slipped jazz warmth of "Summertime Is Here", to the almost Balearic brilliance of the suitably epic and saucer-eyed "Violet Green".
The original version of "Phases" first appeared on Ninja Tune sub-label Counter, and now Innervisions are putting out new interpretations of it. This is hardly surprising as Howling comprises singer Ry Cuming and Frank Wiedemann, one half of Ame and Innervisions co-owner. The only version that re-appears here is the dub interpretation, where a throbbing low end underscores Cumings' quasi-operatic outpourings. Elsewhere, Alex.Do turns "Phases" into an epic, soaring affair, guided by dramatic organs and a pulsing groove. The other versions, from Toto Chiavetta, explore a less obvious direction. On the "Colour Zero" version, layered drums and an organic rhythm underpin the unraveling vocal, while on the "Colour Two" take, flutes and flowing piano lines make for the most suitable accompaniment to Cumings' vocals.
To date, Stump Valley has impressed with a string of EPs for the likes of Uzuri and Off Minor, most of which feature the kind of hazy, head-in-the-clouds house goodness that offers a 21st century revision of the late '80s dream house movement. There's plenty to get excited about on the Italian combo's Dopeness Galore debut, too, from the acid bass, languid bongos and dreamy chords of opener "Monkey Flute" and Mystic Jungle Tribe style analogue Balearica of "Tales Of Heike", to the saucer-eyed shuffle of "Pagoda Forest" and the Larry Heard-on-anti-depressants bliss of "Black Sun (Above Japan)". The Mtrpls Shibuya mix of "Tokio Robot Rise", a distorted and dubbed out chunk of experimental hip-hop, is also superb.
Recently found laying down exquisite jams for HNYTRX, Skylax and others, Octo Octa is continuing her productive run of 2017 with this refined slice of business for Love Notes. "Eyes Low" is a stirring melting pot of styles, using a bumping house groove as a basis for adventurous string stabs, rolling percussion and lots more that comes on with a Herbert-esque touch of finesse. "Touch Formation" takes a more intimate approach, using warm acidic bass and lingering chords to set up a vintage slice of Heard inspired house music. "I Feel" maintains the introspective flavour with more poignant keys and an understated beat, making this a well-rounded EP for the summer months.
136 releases deep, Steve Bug's Dessous label continues to impress with each successive outing. As you'd expect, the four tracks showcased on this James Dexter EP are all club-ready and pleasingly playable. Dexter begins with the echo-laden old school vocal samples, atmospheric chords and swinging deep house groove of "Drift", before adding a touch more bumping New Jersey flavour on the similarly minded "Take Me". "Whose Rules?" is an even deeper and more hypnotic excursion with an altogether more locked-in rhythm track, while "Disco Deep" is a fluttering summer breeze of an outing played out at a tempo that suits al-fresco dancing on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
Earlier this year, Hammer broke loose of his long association with fellow countrymen Bicep with a fine EP of peak-time goodness for the Optimo Disco Plate series. Here the Northern Irishman returns to house pastures via an EP of saucer-eyed loveliness on Loft Records. The dreamy and ultra-positive "Canna" is particularly ear pleasing, featuring as it does a tactile mix of Twin Peaks style chords, hustling acid bass, rave-era whistles and glistening, eight-bit melodies. "Manaka" provides more dreamy positivity - think Adriatic sunsets and Mediterranean sunrises - while "Man Ray" sees him pay tribute to a master of surrealism via poignant electronics, lilting melody lines and some clattering drum machine percussion.
The latest from Get Weird comes in the shape of a three track collaboration between C.Vogt and Patrick Jeremic. Following the recent Purple Hills EP and its subsequent success; the duo's minds continue to work in loopy circles and endless grooves that take you off in to the wild blue. Here, 'Vila' captures that moment where the sun peaks over the horizon in some far off land. Reminiscent of the days when trance wasn't a dirty word. The track is the A side off their eponymous EP, which also features the trippy "Vice" and the self explanatory "Ekstasis".