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Reviewed this week
Editorial are back with another mini compilation: hallelujah! It's more on the deeper tip than the disco one this time around, but it's all the same quality you expect from this camp as always! Jus Tadi's dreamy and lush deep house vibes come courtesy of "Peaches", Matt Hughes serves up some deep down and dirty funk on "Do Your Thing", plus there's some chilled-out balearic business covered also by P SOL on "Come On". A Salsoul sounding re-edit by Serge Gamesbourg (!) on "Burning" is a worthy addition and some sexy deep house to close out proceedings courtesy of Long Island Sound and The Owl respectively. All killer no filler!
Dirt Crew's latest trip into hazy, soft focus deep house territory is an all-UK collaboration between London-based House of Disco regular Harry Wolfman and Manchester's Loz Goddard. They begin with the watery chords, off-kilter samples and eyes-closed grooves of "Uncle Buck", before reaching for the cascading synth solos on the classic New Jersey deep house bump of "Problem Child". You'll find a little more nu-disco influence on the bolder, more heavily electronic bump of "Neck Of The Woods", while the slap-bass boasting "Sundays" is a breezy, sun-flecked treat. If this isn't enough to get the juices flowing, check Brame & Hamo's remix of "Uncle Buck", which brilliantly re-casts the original as a loose chunk of jazz-funk inspired, organic house goodness.
Part of the appeal of Frits Wentink's productions has always been their inherent wonkiness. While his take on deep house has always drawn on classic US house influences, these are often combined with curious synth melodies, off-kilter jazz samples or subtle nods towards UK garage. All of these inspirations can be heard on the Dutch producer's latest outing for Heist Recordings. There's much to admire on the toy-box melodies and bumping beats of "Child Of The Universe", the fluid, late night deepness of "Worldwide Deluxe Edition", and the drunken jazz-house shuffle of closer "Yeah But Maybe Never". Best of all, though, is "Rising Sun, Falling Coconut", a delicious fusion of slipped US garage grooves, heady late night vocal samples and wild, P-funk-on-acid synth lines.
KRL's latest release - his first since 2013, coincidentally - is not so much an EP as a mini-album. Featuring a trio of hazy, quick fix interludes and a quartet of dancefloor-friendly house jams, WOLFEP032 sees the Wolf Music regular in fine form. "Manchester Beat" is a loose, oven-fresh groover built around looped, warehouse-friendly riffs, Lone style electronics and cut-up hip-hop vocal samples, while "You Roll Me" continues the late night, old skool vibe by way of gospel vocal snatches, bold chords and Balearic synthesizer flourishes. KRL joins forces with vocalist Janine Small on the tactile, groovy and luscious "So Far", but it's the retro-futurist pianos and classic US garage bump of "Tell Me Why" that really steals the show.
Having initially impressed with two fine singles on Lobster Theremin, Jay "Palms Trax" Donaldson joined the growing Dekmantel with 2015's In Gold. Here, he delivers his second EP for the acclaimed Amsterdam imprint. Opener "High Point On Low Ground" is a cheery, life-affirming delight, with layers of glistening, analogue-sounding synthesizer lines riding a rubbery electronic bassline and breezy deep house beats. You'll find nods to Giorgio Moroder, grandiose Italian piano house and spine-tingling Balearica on the notably large "Cloud City", while "Pause" is a punchy electro-meets-acid track with a sunny, melodic twist. He rarely fails, and this is another ear catching three-tracker.
You have to admire the work ethic of Smart Bar resident Chrissy, whose reputation as a house and disco DJ/producer has recently grown following years championing Juke under the Chrissy Murderbot guise. Here he pops up on Freerange with an EP of perfectly pitched deep house grooves. "Growl", featuring the unfussy vocals of Shaun J Wright, offers a great balance between quiet soulfulness and frayed, analogue-inspired deep house sleaze. The producer's love of wobbly, analogue sounding riffs and classic drum sounds comes to the fore on "Presidential Astrologer" (which is also smartly remixed by Savile), while "Loudness Wars" is a Classic Music-style stomper that's guaranteed to get 'em sweating out on the dancefloor.
Released last June, Opolopo's Superconductor LP, is the gift that keeps on giving. We've had a string of album tracks remixed ever since and here is the latest batch. First up Nachtbreaker tackles Feels Good 2 Me, delivering a muscular, celebratory house workout in the process. The euphoria escalates on Rhemi's rework of "Spare Me The Details" - all jazzy synths and sing-along vocals. There's even an instrumental in case the latter proves a bit too much for those who don't like to be distracted from the groove.
Delusions Of Grandeur, easily one of the most consistent deep house labels to come out of the post-minimal era, returns with that guy we all love, Thatmanmonkz. Himself and Chicago's Khalil Anthony are remixed by the equally consistent Jimpster, who delivers the goods by laying down some utter tech house quality on "Take U 2 My House", while Detroit's Ge-ology takes on "Jus Anutha Wunna Deez", and comes out the other end with a murky, beat-heavy house monster that bumps so perfectly along. The originals are sexier, chunkier in the mix, and backed by some killer vocals, particularly "Take U 2 My House" - what a beaut! Recommended and tipped!
Last year, Benoit Gagnon sent some tunes to Massimilano Pagliara in order to receive critical feedback. However, the Live At Robert Johnson regular was so inspired by what he heard, though, that he decided to add his own "personal analogue touch". Here, the unusual collaborations get an airing on Jennifer Cardini's Correspondant [sic] label. First up is "In Spirals", a trippy, slowly building groover built around snappy analogue drum hits and a rolling dub disco bassline. The duo reaches for the winding acid lines and drawn-out chords on the hissing "Agamous", before Pagliara's Italo-disco/John Carpenter inspired synthesizer lines come to the fore on the brilliant "Go South" and standout "Don't Push Me".
Dutch producer Simon Weiss has been steadily releasing since 2010 and now presents us with a great new one for the Voyage Direct label helmed by celebrated compatriot Tom Trago. Leading the way is "Tele-Vision", a funky and rolling retro techno jam whose melody is vaguely reminiscent of an old Suburban Knight classic. There's then a remix of this track by Klakson head honcho Dexter, who does a good job by not diverting a great deal from the original, just turning it into a more reliable tool version with some sublime analogue synth textures over the top: oh so typical of his style. Moving on, "Ghost" will totally bang the party with its epic arpeggios that gallop away eloquently while there's more throwback sounds on "Super Sub" which is reminiscent of classic Virgo 4.
Antoine Harispuru, otherwise known as Golden Bug, has been delivering consistently excellent levels of disco-tinged house and electro over the last eight or so years, and it was only a matter of time before he's pop up on Ivan Smagghe and Leon Oakey's eclectic Les Disques De La Mort. The original mix of "Wild Boys" features Yan Wagner drooling over the beats in his familiarly lamenting, 80's reminiscent style, and there's a Lord Tusk mix on the back of it; the Londoner adds a subtle EBM flavour to the song, making harder and more penetrating on the dancefloor. "Ik Voel Je" is the weirdo in the crew, a magnificent piece of lo-fi psychedelia that stutters its guitar riffs amid heavy distortions and delays, while "L'Horloge" enters Kraftwerk territories thanks to its broken chops of mechanical voices and robotic beats. A little tip, indeed!
D.KO records boss Mad Rey is a Paris based producer with further affiliations with Red Lebanese and Babylon Rockers. He inaugurates new label VERTV, imagined by the three Parisian producers and DJs: Neue Grafik, Hybu and EVANS. Opening with "JaJa Californien" which is a dusty, smoked out and sampledelic deep house jam in the vein of Glenn Astro or Max Graef. The same goes for "Song 741" with its playground samples and deep house keys a recurring theme throughout, it sounds great. "Commune (Les Pigeons)" however gets on a much tougher tip and could easily mix/ transition into techno in a DJ set, with its furious drums and sharp saw wave stabs. We're likin' it!
One modest man known as Das Komplex has been steadily producing music for almost a decade now in his quiet hometown of Koszalin in Western Pomerania region of Poland. It could have stayed like this if not for Maciek Sienkiewicz (veteran DJ and promoter, one of the pioneers of Polish electronic music scene), who picked some tunes for his new label FASRAT. As the artist himself prefers to stay out of the spotlight, let the music speak for itself: from sun-drenched, guitar-driven "Like A Fish" (remixes coming from some key players in modern disco/Balearic scene), through futuristic disco of "Narkoleptyczni Troche" and hazy deepness of "Nowadays", towards epic, over 13 minutes long, jazzy, dreamy, but no less energetic "Siren". Elegant, original, infectious grooves for club play and home listening alike. Limited edition with cover art by acclaimed contemporary painter Aleksandra Waliszewska.
We're thrilled to have Polish producer Selvy back following a long absence. His debut, Gotta Have It, arrived nearly two years ago, and now the follow up, Missing The Light, is finally here. There are three examples of exotic grooves this time - the hazy, eight-minute bongo and Fender Rhodes trip, "Tale To The Sky", the perky piano house-goes-rainforest boogie, "Toucan" and the tougher 303-led stomp of "Comb The Bushes".
According to ESP Institute, Damien Lynch is "a gentleman you've met in a past life". That's certainly true for those who checked his previous productions under the obscure Sarsparilla [sic] and Diamond Dagger aliases. Unlike those, which were inspired by classic electro and Italo-disco, the two tracks that make up this ESP Institute debut are deep, woozy, atmospheric and sensory. First up is "The Heights", where fluttering riffs, horizontal chords and luscious melodic flourishes ride a gradually building - and eventually pulsating - groove. "Safe House" is a more melancholic affair, despite the presence of some particularly bold and heavy percussion, with lilting marimba melodies, undulating arpeggio lines and tear-jerking pads catching the ear.
Rekids' first 12" of 2016 comes from a previously untapped talent, Berlin-based producer Peggy Gou. The South Korea-born DJ/producer's sound has been influenced, in part at least, by that of her mentors and piano tutors Nu Guinea (a duo whose releases for Early Sounds have been superb). Certainly, you can hear their tropical take on deep house in opener "Troop", whose Afro-influenced beats combine brilliantly with Gou's humid melodies and beautiful chords. She flips the script slightly on "In Sum", where spacey, Detroit-influenced electronics envelop a snappy deep house rhythm. A fine debut EP is brought to a close by Galcher Lustwerk's remix of "Troop", which takes the track further towards Detroit techno territory via deep space electronics and cymbal-heavy beats.
Glamorous deep house for upmarket cocktail bars in the vein of labels like Dessous and HFN. Pescara's Mat Chiavaroli presents us with The Swan EP featuring "This Is Harmony" a dusty deep house jam with sampled diva vocals (from something you might all know!), swirling Rhodes keys and a killer bassline. The Creative Swing Alliance remix is even more rolling and funky and makes those pad sounds even more immersive and dreamy. On the flip is more dusty and sultry deepness in the form of the bittersweet and melancholic "Swan" and "Areg" respectively.
While Moomin may have been one of Smallville's most consistent artists, he's not released that much for the Hamburg imprint in recent times. A Minor Thought is his second full-length, and first since acclaimed 2011 debut The Story About You. Fans of that album will be pleased to discover A Minor Thought picks up where it's predecessor left off, with the producer laying down a series of opaque deep house jams rich with live instrumentation, jazzy samples, delicious musical touches and interesting ideas. Highlights are plentiful, from the loose-limbed grooves, dreamy pads and snaking clarinet lines of "Morning Groove" and effortlessly whimsical "Alone", to the tech-tinged loveliness of "Chemistry" and jazz-flecked bliss of "You Neva Know".
Bass veterans Fat! recently introduced us to Taim via the anthemic single Blackout Blinds. Here it gets a second wind courtesy of a string of killer remixes - Niko the Kid goes electro-house with added wobble, whilst Dosage mixes escalating synth build ups and breaky beats and Litek reinvents classic south London garage vibes for a new era.
For rising star James Dexter it's business as usual, this time for long running Hamburg institution Dessous. First up is "Have It Like That", which fits right in with Steve Bug's label's modus operandi just fine with this sexy late night deep house journey for sophisticated crowds. He dives deeper on "No time", which is more reminiscent of late '90s U.S. house: think Guidance or Nite Grooves. Finally "Get On To This" ups the ante proper on this sleazy tribal tech house killer equally indebted to the late 90's in a way that Hipp E & Halo would appreciate.
KLAVES - Say It (Let's Play House US)
MOOMIN - A Minor Thought (Smallville Germany)
THATMANMONKZ - Take U 2 My House (Delusions Of Grandeur)
STEVE COOK - Space Case/Wonderwheel (Flight Recorder)
THE SIGHT BELOW/CHAOS - Conversazioni Stellari (Permanent Vacation Germany)
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