A bona fide summer smash for every DJ lucky enough to get it before release, this is the result of Benny Page's recent Jamaican adventure. Teaming up with dancehall mic maestro Assassin, Benny lowers his tempo to a rifle-like 140 breakbeat riddim to create an instant sing-along smasher. Anthemic without being over-the-top. Dark without being too heavy, Benny has smashed this one to pieces, and now you can too.
The development of Aussie Tornado Wallace from a promising deep house producer to a masterful maker of Balearic beats has been a joy to behold. Since first hooking up with Beats In Space and the similarly inclined ESP Institute last year, he's begun to develop a trademark sound that's warm, humid and musically rich. He's still capable of laying down chunky dancefloor rhythms, though, as the hypnotic new age house bumper "Soft Light" - the flipside of this second outing for Lovefingers' acclaimed imprint - so deftly proves. Really, though, it's when he gets more adventurous - such as on the wonderfully evocative Jonny Nash collaboration "Time of Nectar" and decidedly tropical lead cut "Circadia" - that he really comes into his own. Highly recommended.
In between Marcel Dettmann and Erol Alkan Fabric mixes the London club and institution help Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and Eddie Richards' Wiggle brand celebrate their 20th anniversary. They've done so by putting together a 20-track compilation that includes music from Just Be, (aka Bushwacka), Berkson & What, D'Julz and Jay Tripwire. Just because it's minimal in sound doesn't mean it's minimal by nature and this Wiggle For 20 Years compilation presents 74 minutes of grooving rhythms with material from recent Wiggle guests Alex Arnout, Saytek and Dachshund, as well as some fresh cuts from long running Wiggle affiliates like Gideon Jackson.
Having previously appeared on DJ Haus's Unknown to the Unknown imprint, Willie Burns pops up on the London-based DJ's Hot Haus label with another strong four-tracker. In typical Burns fashion, pinning down the sound of I Wanna Love You is tricky. Contrast, for example, the ghetto house swing, hazy vocal sample and classic garage organs of the title track, and the dreamy, enveloping downtempo bliss of "Even If It Takes All Night", which mangles the same vocal sample in impressive fashion. Elsewhere, there's some tactile chug in the shape of "Everybody Everybody" (and, yes, it does sample Black Box), and some wide-eyed, hip-house influenced bounce ("Picking Up Promises").
Romanian-in-Berlin Borrowed Identity has built up an impressive discography since making his debut on Traveller Records back in 2012. Following releases on Legendary Sound Research, Quintessentials and Fina, amongst others, Searching Forever marks his debut for Hope Taping is Killing Music. There's typically plenty to enjoy, from the relentless minor key chords and bluesy vocal samples of "Nothing at All", and the hazy, soul-flecked deep shuffle of "Feeling Blue", to the thickset acid bass, shuffling beats and "Deep Burnt" style strings of the standout "Searching Forever". "One Nation Under a Groove", with its hustling chord stabs and hazy vocal samples, is also impressive.
Ah the humble double pack, isn't there something so very satisfying about this format? Sccucci Manucci evidently thinks so as The Nine Bows EP is the label's second release in succession to embrace the double pack. It's another high profile cast that contribute to the eight tracks here, with Montel, Mikki Funk, Jackson Ryland and Aashton all featuring. It's the latter, Brighton-based producer who opens proceedings with "I Can't Shake It", a summer house anthem in the making that showcases his love of a classic RnB vocal. Maverick follows with "Wait For U" which is not only his Sccucci debut but also the Parisian's first production committed to wax - hard to believe! The mood swings through various shades of house from here with "Lemme Hold U" from Montel a mid point highlight thanks to a killer vocal hook.
More original work here from Portuguese disco don Alkalino. There are only two tracks included this time but seeing as they're both seven to eight minutes each we'll forgive him. He's in a moodier mood too this time too, with "Thebe" being a slice of acid-tinged electroclash-inspired disco with a killer psychedelic middle eight. "Pluto" explores the realms of raw and loose house as heard through a proggy punk-funk prism.
Given Nachtbraker's links with fellow Amsterdam deep house producers Detroit Swindle - he made his debut on their Heist Recordings imprint earlier in the year - it was probably only a matter of time before he turned up on Dirt Crew Recordings. As label debuts go, the Janus EP is pretty strong. It does an excellent job of summarizing his particular take on deep house, which tends to be warm, rolling and soul-flekced, with intricate instrumentation and strong grooves. "Alright", for example, laces looped pianos and an organic-sounding bassline over a shuffling rhythm, while both "Warme Kachel" and "Braun" meld jazz-influenced beat patterns with tumbling melodies and toasty chords. As for "Janus", it's a near perfect study in disco-influenced dub house.
Foto continues with its 2014 release schedule with 3 tracks from label boss OOFT! Dub 4 Daze gets the delay units set to long to create a trippy house number, whilst on the flip Enter The Dragon is a more direct jam targeted at the floor with plenty of stabs and hihats. Rounding things off Father Father pitches things down for the erection section.
Munich-based Coeo endured a slow start to their career, with a two-year gap between their 2012 debut on Globelle, and their recent comeback on DaBit. Here they pop up on Brooklyn's Let's Play House imprint with a fine collection of warm, rolling and unfussy US house-influenced tracks. "Be" boasts the hazy swing and cut-up vocal stabs of classic US garage, while "Thinkin' About You" adds some sleazy sax samples and long, drawn out strings to a classic New Jersey rhythm. The title track is a little more driving and energetic, but still retains the Rhodes-powered warmth of Coeo's trademark sound. The package also includes a decent - and rather smooth - Revenge dub of the title track, and "Good Love", a bustling, digital-only bonus cut.
Michigan-based North lake, AKA producer Isaac Delongchamp, has previously impressed with 12" singles that effortlessly join the dots between woozy acid house, alien techno and murky, off-kilter deep house. Here he continues the trend with a pleasingly varied, electronic and analogue-sounding four-tracker for Permanent Vacation. There's much to admire, from the ambient period Aphex Twin melodies and hypnotic rhythms of "Isoteric", to the skittering 808 electro-meets-dub house wooziness of "Prism". Arguably best of all, though, is "Mobius Tapes", a shuffling fusion of tumbling melodies, bulging electronic sub bass and a fine, techno-influenced deep house groove.
The sound of Jerome Sydenham's Ibadan imprint has noticeably changed since he relocated to Berlin. Where it once bristled with African rhythms and spiritual deep house jams, recent releases have focused more on hypnotic, occasionally dark, tech-tinged rhythms. While this EP does include one life-affirming blast of constantly rising spiritual house - see Sydenham's edit of Toto Chiavetta's "Become One" - for the most part it's suitably murky. There's a genuine looseness and swing to the Martinez Brothers' tracky Dub of The Angry Kids' "Lullaby", while Sydenham and Sally's "Lady MacBeth Strategy" is a twisted chunk of acid-flecked techno designed to tease and titillate dark, sweaty after-parties. Lo Hype's "Something Special" is tasty, too, with bouncy samples and weird noises riding a shuffling, cowbell-laden groove.
Fifty Fathoms Deep marks the Houndstooth debut of Dixon Avenue Basement Jams member Marquis Hawkes. Interestingly, it largely eschews his raw and distorted machine funk sound in favour of a range of far smoother and polished cuts. Opener "Can't Find a Reason" is a formidable basement house jam - a '90s-influenced chunk of synth-bass driven garage-house that comes laden with cut-up vocal snippets and exotic melodies. Steve Downes collaboration "The Way" sounds like vintage Mr Fingers, while "Fifty Fathoms" fuses twinkling piano melodies and drifting vocal samples with a shuffling deep house rhythm. Finally, "Fat Man" draws influences from vintage '80s electro and synth-funk, melding them into a squidgy house groover.
In many ways, "Airwaves" is typical of GusGus's recent releases. Like the rest of the album from which it's taken, Mexico, "Airwaves" sees the Icelandic band offering a smooth, atmospheric and slightly melancholic fusion of yearning, deep synth-pop and glacial tech-house. It's deliciously tactile - like much of their catalogue - with Daniel Agust's vocals sounding particularly emotive. The real highlight of this EP, though, is the T World Dub Mix - a nine-minute foray into deep, dubby and immersive tech-house that makes the most of the original's woozy keyboards and enveloping pads. It's tough enough for afterparty plays, but light and dreamy enough for home listening, too.
Lee Mortimer and friends have been making serious waves under the Friend Within moniker, collaborating with Disclosure and receiving plaudits left, right and centre. Here they launch their own He Loves You imprint with a two-track assault. "The Label" has all the makings of a big dancefloor hit - think woozy powder house chords, simple but effective percussion, tight bass, ravey EDM stabs and a pitched-down male spoken vocal. To begin with, virtual flipside "The Hat" sounds a little like Deep Dish's '90s classic "Stay Gold", before morphing into a surging chunk of sub-happy bass house. Neither track is particularly subtle, but both will undoubtedly cause arms-raised commotion on the dancefloor.
Surprisingly, this is the first time Aus Music boss Will Saul has released on the label under his Close moniker, following the eclectic wooziness of his Getting Closer full-length for !K7. It's a bit of an all-star affair, with Second Storey (AKA old pal Al Tourettes) and vocalist Kid A coming along for the ride. While the bonus cuts explore familiar bouncy, off-kilter, heavily electronic house and techno territory, the real killer is "No Love Lost" - a Nicolette style post trip-hop jam which places Kid A's vocal atop heavy post-punk bass, dark textures and jazz-flecked, near jungle tempo rhythms. Man of the moment Seven Davis Junior provides a superb remix, too, re-casting the original as a two-step influenced chunk of loopy deep house.
There's something about house legend Robert Owens' voice that makes you want to hug random strangers, often while spontaneously bursting into tears of joy. It goes without saying that his vocals on "Brighter Day" - the second single from London duo Horixon - turn the track from a solid slice of warm, Balearic deep house into a touchy-feely masterpiece. They arguably sound even better layered over rolling military percussion and long, drawn out chords on Hotflush regular Locked Groove's excellent remix (for the record, the same producer's "Marching Trumpets Dub" is also pretty darn tasty). Another vocalist, the "enigmatic" Jacques Teal (whose voice sounds eerily similar to Alexis from Hot Chip), features on the deeper, bittersweet "Great Things", which is a near perfect chunk of Balearic synth-pop.
It's quite a thing, for an act to deliver a fully formed debut LP less than one year after they formed, but that's exactly what Ten Letters From Home is! Formed on March 10, 2014, Mega Jawns are a duo comprising Philadelphian keyboard player, vocalist and producer Will Brock and veteran UK deep house DJ Will Sumsuch (yep they're both called Will). Completed within seven days of them forming, this album features 10 forays into slick contemporary soul, threaded with light house rhythms and sprinkled with golden harmonies. An impressive debut.
Japanese musician Yuji Takenouchi has a fascinating history. He started work writing music for computer games in 1990, made his debut on R&S Records' Apollo offshoot in 1997 (as Mr YT, with the largely overlooked Southern Paradise EP), and then promptly vanished from sight for 10 years. Somewhere along the way, his music found its way into the hands of Ron Trent, who pestered Future Vision to snap up the two tracks featured here. It's easy to see why "Across Your Mind" so impressed the Chicagoan deep house legend; its' wide-eyed blend of fizzing jazz rhythm, classic ambient-era pads, twinkling melodies and bubbling bass is reminiscent of Trent at his best. "In Your Phantom" is, if anything, even better, with jazz pianos tumbling over an undulating bassline and dense percussion.