"Mind Biscuit": Something tasty for your brain to chew on while your feet mulch up the dancefloor. Manchester crew Monkey Boots lay down two jack-slapping originals that dig deep into the true deep house psyche. "Impossible Need" comes with smoky vocal and smouldering bass vibes on the groove while "Yearning For You" slaps with a lighter sensation, all wafty minor key organs and soul-stirring vocals. Remix-wise Reed & Radley subvert "Yearning For You" with a little more space and reverbed magic while The Phantom Flan Flinger gets all reflective and shimmering on the Balearic bomb "Lullaby For Spiderman". Beautiful.
The London crew who've given us the likes of Rudimental, Clean Bandit, Gorgon City and many other acts, Black Butter have been spreading love for four years now. Judging by this sumptuous set, they're not stopping any time soon. Arguably the darkest collection of the series to date, it ranges from sinewy, waspy bass jackers (DVWLX's - "When I'm Alone") to late night tech funk Berlin-style lazer-fests (BNRY's "Something North") via slinky somnambulant hazy techno (Troy Gunner's "Chain Reaction") and twisted, paranoid UKG hybrid (Jaded's "Gully Creeper"). Each one primed for total dancefloor destruction, Black Butter have delivered a premium package right here.
This is a special EP because it marks the first results of the recent collaboration between Parisian Afro-beat label, Comet, and Danish deep house imprint, Tartelet. The music reflects this unique fusion by pairing the remarkable vocals of Nigerian-born songwriter Wayne Snow to soulful house. It's a sublime release with the Metro Area-esque soulful punk-funk-disco house of "Red Runner" leading the charge. Remixes come courtesy of Glenn Astro & INMYRMIND (raw, off kilter house) and Session Victim (trance-ish prog euphoria). "Under The Moon", however, is a deep and eerie skewed-funk grind.
Originally debuting on Well Rounded Records' Housing Project sub-label in 2012, Leon Vynehall has since become one of the UK's most in-demand of the new wave of young house producers. He's released subsequent records for George Fitzgerald's ManMakeMusic and Will Saul's Aus, and most recently an album on Martyn's 3024. Vynehall is now in cruise control and he lays back on Clone's Royal Oak with what will prove to be a favourite with DJs this summer. "Butterflies" is this record's piano-driven house jam, but really it's all about "This Is The Place", a loved up peach of a production with the strength to appease the underground and crossover into the mainstream.
Thanks to a string of well-received releases on Wolf Music, Dutch deep house producer Frits Wentink is a man in demand. Here he builds on his growing reputation with a typically bass-heavy, floor-friendly four-tracker for Heist Recordings. Wentink's production style - eccentric but danceable, and prone to blending fuzzy, analogue-rich bottom end with all manner of curious musical flourishes - is unique, and all four tracks come blessed with his usual intriguing touches. "Ligament" is the most obvious deep house killer, though we're particularly fond of the rubbery bass, watery vocals and jazz keys of "Sauce" - though the bouncy "Shrewd" has the most cross-over potential. Either way, it's another excellent EP from the Dutchman.
Having built an impressive reputation via releases on Aus Music and Naked Naked, British house duo Dusky have decided to launch their own label, 17 Steps. This first release - from the duo themselves, naturally - suggests the label could be a force to be reckoned with in coming years. There's a thrillingly saucer-eyed feel about "Love Taking Over", which peppers a robust, sub-heavy groove with drifting alien synths, wonky pads and choice vocal samples. "Inta" is more obviously accessible, with classic house pianos and spoken vocal stabs providing the track with bags of energy. "Expectations" sees the duo return to familiar influences, with acid bass and attractive hooks riding a bustling, US garage-influenced groove.
Last year saw French label ClekClekBoom cement its burgeoning reputation with a compilation showcasing the local talent it had been championing since starting up in 2011, including such luminaries in wild-card bass music as French Fries and The Town. There has been a swarm of left-leaning club bangers issued out since the first volume of Paris Club Music, and so it doesn't feel rushed to be welcoming the second volume with a stack of choice cuts from the past twelve months. There's a strong unified vibe to ClekClekBoom, from the tight but slippery electro of Manare to the off-kilter techno of NSDOS, while 50Weapons staple Bambounou sounds right at home with his primal and utterly head-spinning "Idem".
NY disco from Japan via England... Max Essa continues to rule the disco roots in the far east, and he does so with a highly distinctive yet super authentic sound that digs deep into the roots while looking into the future. At once dreamy, Balearic and glamorous, "Runnin' Out Of Night" is coated with crystalline pianos and wafty pads before we drop into a slick, thick guitar and bass groove. For added measure File Under Disco have commissioned two remixes; JKriv gets spacy and dubby on "Love Beyond" while Ray Mang adds a little jazz-flecked perk to "Runnin' Out Of Night". The only thing you'll be running out of is time to play all three in one set.
Much has changed for Ali Love since the release of his Love Harder in 2010. For starters, he's fallen in with the Hot Creations camp, scored a massive chart hit ("Benediction", with Hot Natured) and seen his reputation soar. This latest full length - the belated follow-up to Love Harder - shows how far he's come. While the bright electrofunk synths, '80s soul vocals and Italo-influenced rhythms of old remain, P.U.M.P contains far more tactile, wide-eyed deep house moments than we've come to expect. It's a subtle evolution - there are still plenty of near Balearic synth-pop moments - but a successful one. The result is an effortlessly sweet and accessible album that blends throbbing dancefloor moments with baggier, more laidback fare.
Given the "contemporary classic" status of Danilo Plessow's Raw Cuts series - arguably a string of 12" singles that helped redefine deep house for a new generation - the announcement of a surprise remix release is enough to make even the most level-headed DJs go weak at the knees. Pleasingly, said remixers more than live up to the hype. Marcellus Pittman's version - smooth and deep, but with enough raw disco cut-ups and wonky Detroit swing to impress those who like it raw - is particularly good, though Mike Huckaby's locked-in deep house groover is not far behind. There's also a superb version from Recloose, whose crackly, shuffling beats, sweeping pads and soulful vocal samples recall his earliest productions for Planet E.
By diligently releasing quality underground jams, Stockholm's Local Talk continue to prove that the Scandinavians aren't just all about the stadium-filling jock-house of Swedish House Mafia. Here in typically reasonable Scandi style they divide this EP equally between two talented acts. First up Chesus & Timmy P serve up some pretty serious tackle in the form of "Vitamin C" - all New York claps and rolls, diva vocals, retro organ riffs and trippy stereo-panned loops. Zoe Zoe, on the other hand, opts for deep US garage married to relentless hip-hop samples on the slammin' "Bust Them Wifes".
Kalabrese is an intriguing character; his 2013 album, Independent Dancer, delivered a brilliantly loose, eccentric blend of live grooves, disco influences, deep house sounds and curious leftfield pop. Here, tracks from that set get the remix treatment. Matthew Herbert goes fuzzy and discordant on his decidedly left-of-centre, stomping outsider house version of "Desperate Man", while hirsute German producer Acid Pauli turns "Wanzka" into an ultra-deep chunk of glitchy but atmospheric late night house. There's more organic-electronic fusion to be found on Ame man Frank Wiedemann's atmospheric re-imaging of "Shoes on Your Back", while the Ray of Hope remix of "Desperate Man" sounds like an unlikely studio hook-up between Metro Area, Axel Boman and Michael Mayer.
It's fair to say that when a record has the word 'clouds' in the title, you can have a pretty good idea of how it's going to sound. "Clouds" - by Lithuanaian producer Few Nolder - doesn't exactly buck this particular trend, but with its seductive floaty synth bounce (think the Williams version of "Love On A Fast Train"), who cares! The vaporised vibes continue on the proggy light trance of "Chall" but also on the trippy "Chesnut" and the disco-ish "Woody".
Blamma! Blamma! Have made a name for themselves by making long, linear disco belters, and here they arrive on the mighty Eskimo for more of their if-it-ain't-broke disco formula. "Zsa Zsa" is an eight-minute deep headnodder based on an extremely catchy sampled piano riff and a diva mantra. Eelke Klein Filter shake things up a bit, delivering a lively funky house rework that's sure to invoke dancing on tabletops wherever it's played.
It's hard to believe that the electro-house revolution is actually old enough now to warrant a sort of revival. With their Who Gives A Fuck EP, French outfit The Beatangers provide three unashamed bangers that echo the glory days of DJ T, The Subs, M.A.N.D.Y and Black Strobe. "Nigga House" features a low-slung electro bassline, jacking drums, sleazy vocals and a killer nagging synth line. The expletive-ridden title track sounds like Fedde Le Grand thoroughly frazzled after a good weekend-long bender, while"Gossip" ends things on a chirpy hip-house high that recalls Indeep's "Last Night A DJ Saved My Life".
A special DJ double pack from Emotional Rescue brings together a collection of Razormaid remixes, plus unreleased originals, of two projects from Georg Kajanus, the founder of 70s pop group, Sailor and 80s synth poppers, DATA. With a career spanning late 60s psychedelic folk-rock in Eclection, through to chart success as a member of 70s pop group, Sailor, before embracing the synthesised sound of early 80s new wave and synth pop via the excellent DATA, Georg Kajunas music has covered a lot of ground. This collection features previously released remixes of his Fatima and The Mamluks outfits together with the unheard originals, making this a compilation not to miss.
The next release on Dolly finds Panorama Bar staple Steffi joining forces with her fellow Klakson captain Dexter for a salvo of forthright jams with plenty of electro attitude rubbed into their muscles. The pad notes in "Rosser" in particular shimmer with the vibrancy of classic Drexciya while the bottom end is no slouch in the funk department either. "We're Not Alone" takes on a lighter, optimistic tone with its soaring melodic refrain reaching skywards with the euphoria of a set closer at sunrise. It's left to the title track to finish the EP off with similar sonic characteristics channelled into a deeper house persuasion, although there's no holding back on the rich and snaking synth lines that run through the centre of the tune.
Wolf + Lamb lothario Monaco steps over to his second home Dirtybird with two delicious slices of low-swung organic house. "5 Feet" lollops and sways with a slinky bass groove and heavily reverbed drums. Complete with subtle shades of his own falsetto vocal, it's as cool as it is funky. "American Holiday" takes the vibe deeper again as weaves of percussion build and strip back over a heavily processed guitar line.
After launching the D3 Recordings label to a great reception, the man behind Vibes And Pepper is launches his second new label, D3 Elements. The artist behind the three track EP is Raymond Funnye aka Strong Souls, who back in the mid-nineties released on still much mythologised Chicago label Dance Mania as well as the UK's Black Market, which also saw him work with the legendary Larry Heard. The music he offers here is of a high pedigree from start to finish. "The Beast" opens the EP with a stripped out percussive hook running right up its core as widescreen pads extended out around it in all directions. When the humming bassline and pronounced kick drums drop into the mix result is pure and propulsive house heaven. Following this, "Remember When" goes a little deeper and less direct, with well swung drums stretched beneath golden chords and delightfully rough percussion. Simple yet effective, it's both classic and relevant at the same time. Finally, "Don't You Know" is the most intimate and romantic, with delicate and subtle keys, far off percussion jacking ever so slightly and spiralling pads adding a sense that you are constantly in free fall. It's gimmick free deep house of the highest order and closes out a classy EP.
The latest release on Ibadan sublabel Apotek finds label boss Jerome Sydenham teaming up with Sally, perhaps better known under his alias Moire Patterns. "My Normal Usual Far" leads the way with a leaden thump that stalks at an easy pace considering the weight of the kick, working some vocal and acid elements into the techno momentum to make for a powerful set builder. "Encouragement" meanwhile takes a lighter approach in some respects, letting solid rushes of chord charge upwards without sacrificing the fist-shaking techno M.O. of the rhythm section. For those needing stout and sturdy workhorses for bigger spaces, look no further.