Following hot on the heels from outings on 1978 Music Co, Logical and La Talacha, Lemon Mint transfers to Hotbox Recordings for his latest trip into hazy, disco-sampling deep house territory. He smartly explores different moods and tempos across the six original tracks, from the paring horns, woozy loops and head-nodding bump of opener "Just Like You", to the beachside bump and glistening guitars of "Maximino", the EP's most up-tempo moment. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, with the '80s house-goes-Latin bliss of "Esmerelda" standing out. There's also a tasty bonus in the shape of a Funk District remix of "Just Like You", which somehow manages to make the groovy original even sunnier.
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".
Reflective of the atmosphere that prevails at party organisers All Day I Dream's daytime events, this collection eschews mushy ambience and plodding deep house in favour of a more sophisticated, adventurous selection. Powel's "Hor" is all abstract percussion and soothing melodies, while Lauren Ritter's "Glass Hours" is a sublime deep techno groove, brittle, beautiful and reminiscent of artists like As One. Meanwhile, Bedouin's "Flight of Birds" sees the compilation veer into mystical territories with wonderfully evocative fiddle playing unraveling over a pulsing groove and bongo drums. On Summer Compilation, All Day I Dream show that down-tempo dance music need not be synonymous with birdsong and dull sax solos.
For the first decade of its' existence, Jalapeno Records largely concerned itself with cheeky, funk-fuelled breakbeat outings. In recent years, though, the imprint has widened its' repertoire considerably, and here presents a fourth collection of house-leaning highlights from its' bulging back catalogue. There's naturally much to enjoy, from the hazy, Naked Music style West Coast deep house warmth of Bo Geste's "Give It Up" and the cheery, synth-heavy bounce of Budakid's "Invisible Violet", to the Todd Edwards-influenced cut-up garage revivalism of Markus Jakes' "Up To Me". Throw in a wealth of high grade remixes of Kraak & Smaak tracks from the likes of Psychemagik and Hot Toddy, and you have a hugely enjoyable collection of floor-friendly cuts.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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!
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".
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.
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!
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.
Kolour Recordings, the Undertones sublabel for the deeper moments, makes its way back to the top of our house lists, and after a series of heavy-hitters that included cuts by the likes of Kink and Delano Smith, the imprint goes in for the win with a new artist on the scene, Funkdamentalist. This bad boy has only released a few EP's to date, but his wonky shade of house is already taking its form and place. "Gravy" is a sublime, Balearic fuelled house monster with a slow tempo and a mean lean - a serous tip! The nugget is followed swiftly by "I See" and "Real Woman", two tamer but nonetheless masterful and sublimely executed deep house swingers. Recommended!
Shadowy downtempo deviant Nuage takes a break from his drum and bass servings, and switched to house mode with this latest EP for the prolific Project Mooncircle, this being the producer's debut for the label. "Nulla" opens the doors to a odd but wonderful planet made up of subtle melodic tones, caressing beats and soothing pads. "Spring Ghosts" is another majestic moments amid the tracks, a laid-back jam charged with a slow house tempo and fluttering breaks. Nuage's music is a true breath of fresh air, combining contrasting elements with a singular precision and an open mind. Something we can all enjoy.
The latest Ornate Music offering sees the welcome return of HomePark duo Rob Glassett and Sam Fussell, last seen on the label with the Fill Emptiness EP in 2012. Since then, HomePark have gone on to issue just the one release, Untitled for Courtesy Of Balance, whilst Glassett developed his Fold project, making this return to Ornate most welcome. The style Glassett and Fussell deal in remains ever consistent, fusing crisp machine rhythms with plush chords and strings, using the finest ingredients to whip up impeccable house music to burrow comfortably into any number of nocturnal situations. With melodic soul at its core, this EP carries the Ornate message on perfectly from previous flag-bearers Ka One & St-Sene and Jordan in a blissful blur of blue-hued synths and bumping drums.
Lowriot are a German 'ambient chill-step' act formed in 2011. Here we have their latest sizzling release - The Sea, a three-tracker courtesy of Audaz. The title track is a lugubrious downtempo slice of blues-house. Elsewhere "Mama" is gentle folk-beat and "Autonomy" wraps things up in synthetic sheets of brittle glitch and chimes.
Wazi Wazi is usually the label on which we hear Nils Penner's productions, but the dude has also released on Freerange before, and he comes through on the label with a handsomely hand-picked compilation of the label's best from recent months. On the beautifully presented thirteen-tracker you'll find a selection of different forms of house, ranging from the deeper territories to more jacking and pumped up house cuts. The highlights include "My Man" by Lovebirds, Detroit Swindle's "Brother Man", and label head Jimpster with "Distant Light". You also get a continuous mix for good measure. Get in there.
Having appeared on various compilations and provided many remixes for others, Leigh D Oliver now drops "Through Muck & Mud", his first solo EP of the year. Released via his own Sordid label, there are two original cuts here - the deep and thumping diva-house of the title track and the slammin' jazz-house of "Sex, Lies & Bullshit". The former is also given a skippy speed-garage overhaul by Nick Beringer.
Having previously championed the "fruitier end of nu-disco", no to mention slo-mo chuggers, Fruit of Life moves further towards deep house via a debut from D*A*S*H. In its' original form, "Anamnesis" combines the woozy, dreamy feel of wall-of-sound deep house with the sparkling synths of nu-disco, and the starlight appeal of nu-Balearica. DrGoFast provides the first remix, beefing up the bottom end considerably whilst introducing some sparkling, Italo-disco influenced synthesizer arpeggios to push the action forwards at a pulsating pace. Wish & Consyn take a different approach on their melodious deep house remix, concentrating more on the original's picturesque elements with decidedly ear-pleasing results.