Yorkshire's Ewan Ewan (drum roll!) has relocated to Europe's new capital of electronic music; Berlin, like most ambitious young producers do these days. Despite being on a roll previous to his relocation, there's no doubt that the vibes and sounds of the German capital have rubbed off on him, as clearly heard on his new LP entitled There Is No Right Time. The dusty and lo-fi sounds of hip-hop inspired/disco-fied Berlin deep house are aplenty on this fine EP which covers a wide variety of moods and grooves. Highlights not limited to: the emotive deepness of "10405", the rusty and vintage lo-tech soul of "Waiting For L" or "Left On Lucy" (featuring fellow expat Steve Huerta) and the wonderful "Earnest Kelly" which you could imagine playing during a car chase in an '80s action film.
Rinse FM resident and Food Music co-owner Shadow Child returns with a full length and boy are we excited! According to the label, the Connected LP takes inspiration from "small warehouses, basements of buildings, abandoned places" and sees the UK based producer collaborate with an all-star cast of UK house and tech-house that is truly impressive. There's a lot of quality tunes on here and many to choose from, but for our money we'd bet on his collaborations with: T Williams on the funky and swinging "Do You", his teaming up with UK house hero Ben Pearce on the deeply emotive "Nothing Ever Hurts" (feat Laurel) and with Tring's finest Huxley on the dark and slinky wobble of "Err". Let's not forget his killer remixes too: There's his take on Jaydee's legendary "Plastic Dreams" and of the classic "Papua New Guinea" by Future Sound Of London.
Henning "Telephones" Severud has repeatedly pointed out that Vibe Telemetry, his debut album, was an attempt to capture a very particular, hard-to-define feeling. Whether or not he succeeded is hard to know, but it's certainly a hugely atmospheric album. It's easy to pick out influences - the jangling, wide-eyed bliss of vintage Italian deep house, the comforting warmth of Balearic disco, the masculine throb of Italo, the blissful melodiousness of new age, and the loved-up colours of early '90s ambient house, for starters - but the resultant tracks don't specifically sound like any of these things. They're warm, colourful, spacey, tactile and hugely atmospheric, with dancefloor ready-cuts - "Sierra", "See Hex & Moon", the hectic "Mezcal Eclipse" - being joined by more hazy, horizontal fare.
Matthias Reiling and Hauke Freer return with the Matching Half EP. The Berlin-Hamburg connection present two cuts of feelgood deep house with a loose and live feel, no doubt inspired by their energetic live performances. The title track features some funky disco style drumming beneath some emotive strings, jazzy Rhodes keys and xylophones; all working in perfect harmony. There's also a killer remix of said track by Detroit's finest: Byron The Aquarius, who has appeared recently on Wild Oats and S3A. His version gets well funkier and injects a truckload of soul into it, naturally! Second original offering "Up To Rise" is the deepest journey on offer and has a definite summertime vibe about it.
Mancunian Kevin Gorman is back with some more lo-slung soul excursions as Adesse Versions. Although usually appearing on his own eponymous imprint or for Glasgow's Numbers, he appears this time for Berlin's Toy Tonics. Starting out with the emotive and dusty deepness of "After Hours" (which soon introduces the most phased and psyched out guitar lick ever) there's then the thumping yet soulful vocal house of "Radio Rahman" with some seriously Kerri Chandler style keys. Closing out this EP in style are the filtered disco loops of "Explain It" which is so infectious and would make even DJ Sneak or Phil Weeks stand up and notice!
Hard Ton are the fun loving Venetian duo comprised of DJ Wawashi and heavy metal singer Max. Soaring falsettos "conjure up memories of smoky dancefloors during the heady days of HI-NRG" and are behind such fabulous titles titles like "I'm Your Machine" and "We Came Here (To Jack)". Their new track "Queer Nation" is a buzzing and grinding all analogue techno jam featuring a massive roll call, name dropping everyone that matters! There's a hot remix by Classic Recordings man man Luke Solomon too, which gives it that early noughties west coast tribal house vibe. Brazilian via Berlin Rotciv steps in to lend a helping hand on the deep acid groover "Style Ga Galore" plus they offer up something a bit more lo-slung and dusty on the deep disco of "The Way You Rock".
Hubert Clarke Jr's debut EP, a very limited 12" on 100% Silk released in February 2016, marked him out as a talent to watch. Happily, this follow-up, which sees him pop up on British deep house imprint Wolf Music, is equally as impressive. The Sydney-based producer begins with the jazzy piano riffs, tumbling analogue bass and bustling deep house drums of "Paradiso", before moving further towards classic U.S deep house territory on the warm and toasty "No Look For Trouble". The loose, rich and jazzy "Midday at Sudek's" sounds like the kind of organic deep house fare that\s regularly championed by Rhythm Section International, while "With River At The Lounge" adds a little synth-boogie swing to Clarke's hazy deep house template.
The Paper Recordings household keeps coming up with the goods; each new month brings a whole heap of quality house material, and this time they've grouped together a truly special crew of producers. Futureboogie and 20:20 Vision causual, Crazy P, kicks things off by delivering a magnetic slice of slo-mo, funk house in "Last Knockers", a true gem for the boogie heads, and just a great dance tune all-round. Paper Recordings associate, Flash Atkins, goes into more progressive mood on his "Rivers Of Jordan", a house nugget with a fine layer of arpeggios for maximum club damage, and Steve Cobby's "Boule De Suif" ties this stunning little three-tracker off with some gentle, balearic house waves that push the dust into the beat - check those vintage video game sonics, too!
This time last year Tel Aviv indie dance duo Red Axes made a huge splash with their killer track "Waiting For A Surprise" and now it is time for some equally fun loving remixes. First up Matthew Dear aka Audion steps up to deliver a typically massive rework for the techno crowd, while fellow Israeli homeboy Moscoman follows up and injects some woozy psychedelic rock vibes into it. The man from Vilnius, Manfredas, appears in addition; the Multi Culti tour poster boy going for something on the lo-slung tip and label head honcho Thomas Von Party lends a hand for the boys to remix themselves, for a rather explosive punky/funky conclusion.
We've come accustomed to Nein founders Tronik Youth serving up electronic music that's on the psychedelic end of the spectrum. "Rope Dancer" configures to this stereotype, and sees the duo lace bold, alien synthesizer riffs, spiraling electronics and wonky vocal samples atop a forthright, mid-tempo cosmic disco groove. The duo's accompanying Dark Dub wanders further into skewed, late night territory, largely by further emphasizing their bold synth-work. While Curses continue the trend on their slightly pitched-down remix - check the clicking percussion and hypnotic, looped-up synthesizer motifs - Ron Basejam flips the script entirely, turning the track into a warm, feel good, disco tinged deep house shuffler.
Swiss producer Jimi Jules has a small but perfectly formed discography. Within it, you'll find collaborations with Berlin-based big hitter Oliver $, as well as releases on both Defected and Watergate. Equinox is his debut album, and sees him successfully expand his musical repertoire beyond the club-ready deep house he's known for. Thanks to the use of musicians - drummers, guitarists and such-like - there's a loose, warm and quietly soulful feel throughout. Highlights include the dusty, tech-tinged deep house shuffle of the effortlessly soulful "Lost Love", the head-nodding, trumpet-laden modern soul warmth of "Too Young For Me", the Innervisions style atmosphere of "Truth Light", and the dubby, dusty-eyed stumble of immaculate closer "Sirup".
German label Auraz has been predominantly guided by its founder and bossman, Alkaline. The nimble and versatile producer has made sure that his label encompasses the full spectrum of house sounds, and his own productions have been there to led the cause. This time, however, he acts solely as A&R man in this tight, thirteen-track compilation names Audaz Heroes. All shades of house are included here, and there's not much we don't like the sound of. From the mechanical tech-house swings of "Give A Message" by Micka Blaster, to the deeper, more esoteric harmonics of the excellent "The Way" by Trobar, and the nutty, spaced-out nu-jazz of "Groove 1" by 54th Street Hustler, this compilation is not to be underestimated. Instead of relying on your usual, perhaps more hyped labels and artists, you should do yourself a favour and check this bad boy of a comp. Tipped and recommended!
Earlier this year, Finn-in-Berlin Klas-Henrik Lindblad released his first solo single for some time. While that slipped out on My Favourite Robot, the Vincent EP sees him return home to the Moodmusic label he founded some 20 years ago. He begins by slamming together spacey melody lines, trippy electronic and Italo-disco influenced bottom end on disco-tech earthmover "Gino", before moving further towards dreamy, Motor City-influenced deep house territory on the ear-pleasing "Vincent". Closer "Gloria" is a more distant, far-out affair, with fuzzy, spaced-out chords and undulating, occasionally wild synthesizer melodies smothering a hypnotic rhythm track. A fine E.P is completed by the Lanzarote Remix of "Gino", which offers a more Norwegian nu-disco flavoured interpretation of the original.
Kian T, AKA fast-rising producer Andrea Pedra, first showcased his wares via a quietly impressive E.P on ToyTonics back in 2015. Here, he's been handed a further chance to prove his deep house credentials thanks to the Secret Reels imprint. He starts in confident fashion, offering subtle nods to Mood Hut style dreaminess on the hushed, late night deep house bump of "Flughafen" (later remixed in rubbery, deep disco-meets-deep house fashion by Daniel Leseman). The track that follows, "Deepah", sees him layer bluesy vocal samples, twinkling Rhodes keys and wild synth solos atop a slinky, off-kilter house groove, while "Dub Diva" - all heavy bass, Herbie Hancock keys-work and drifting electronic chords - sits somewhere between the two approaches.
Only those with long memories will remember David 'Move D' Moufang's short-lived Housegrooves alias. It was only used for a single 1993 release, Volume 1, a 12" that has long been in-demand amongst deep house diggers. Misfit Melodies have decided to give it the reissue treatment, partnering two of the EP's most lauded cuts with fresh remixes and edits. In the former category you'll find the low-slung analogue bass, rolling beats and spacey synth melodies of "I Gave My Love", and the more bumpin', New Jersey influenced Seebase collaboration "Deep", which here gets a slight edit from DJ Oyster. The most impressive rework comes from Shan and Gerd Janson, who turn "I Gave My Love" into a saucer-eyed chunk of piano-heavy, rave-era breakbeat-house bliss.
Bay Area buddies Homero Espinosa and Mark Farina are old studio buddies, producing a string of collaborative singles for Moulton Music. Here, they recuit the services of smooth vocalist Ori Kawa and pitch up on Classic. "It's All Right" effortlessly combines the duo's usual hazy, soul-flecked deepness with the jazz-fired rhythmic swing and low-end bump more often associated with Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon's imprint. This latter aspect - and its' sneaky bassline borrowed from a David Joseph/Larry Levan classic - is explored further on the superb accompanying Dub, which also includes some life-affirming piano solo business.
Thanks to two superb EPs, Quartet Series - so-called because each release features a track each from four different artists - has already established itself as a must-check label. Predictably, there's more sonic gold to be found on the imprint's third EP. Tell kicks things off with "Hope Springs Eternal", a woozy, kaleidoscopic, garage-inspired bumper smothered in electronic positivity, before Darko Kustura moves further towards early Floating Points territory with the loose, warm, fluid and spacey "Messier Object". Loz Goddard's fine "Home" successfully melds crispy drum hits, undulating melody lines and rich chords with a bluesy vocal sample, while Bal 5000 impresses with the psychedelic, outer-space madness of "The Acid Is Mine But I Share".
Uffe Christensen doesn't dawdle. Less than 18 months has passed since the release of his widely acclaimed debut album, Radio Days, and he's already laid down a follow-up. Like its' predecessor, No! is a varied affair, with Christensen using the opportunity to showcase not only his skill at fusing a wide range of influences, but also the way he can work with a variety of acoustic and electronic instruments. After opening with the ESG-inspired disco-punk-meets deep-house madness of "No", he variously serves up spaced-out afro-jazz ("I Care For You"), skewed blue-eyed soul ("Keep Smiles On The Side"), mutant jazz-house ("Black Hole"), dreamy broken beat ("Solo, So Loud"), and atmospheric downtempo pop (the superb "You Seem Happy").
If you're looking for Brooks Mosher, you'll find him Here. It's the Cinematic 74 producer's first release under his own name since 2014's Don't Say Goodbye - which was also released by Dolly - and contains four more club-ready cuts. While there's something undeniably forthright and off-kilter about the hard-edged, Italo-style arpeggio lines, creepy synths and snappy drums of "Entrenched', the rest of the E.P is far groovier and hazier. He's something of an expert at crafting analogue-rich deep house tracks that look to Detroit futurism for inspiration, as can be heard on the stellar "Gordito" and sweltering "Airwaves". The more robust and gently sweaty "No Place You'd Rather Be", is also rather fine.
Like many imprints RePublik started off as a club night. Based in Ireland, it hosted big names like Ben Klock and Maceo Plex over the course of the past ten years. Branching out into the label world they have tapped German producer Patlac for their latest release. The title track is a rolling minimal house affair led by dramatic chord stabs and clicking percussion and "Celer" is in a similar vein albeit with more trancey hooks. RePublik has also commissioned some high-quality remixers; Mathias Schober delivers two versions of the title track that alternate between the frazzled dub of the 'Raw version' and the chiming bells and brittle rhythm of the 'Polished version' while the Never More take on "Celer" ends the release in eerie evocative techno mode.