For the first Magic Feet single of 2015, label boss Craig Bratley has decided to showcase the work of two relatively little-known producers; Correspondant contributor Paresse, and Clouded Vision associate Markus Gibb. The former kicks things off with "Nada", a stylish Italo chugger that makes great use of reverb, delay, foreboding electronics and sparkling synthesizers. The Swedish producer also offers up "Little Wanderer", a surprisingly grandiose chunk of fluttering Balearic disco. Gibb flips the script a little on "Prey", a slightly dark, post-punk influenced chugger blessed with fuzzy, atmospheric guitars, before rounding things off with the moody, mid-tempo rave revivalism-meets-new wave throb of "Whistler" (which, incidentally, does feature whistling).
Hailing from unlikely new bass capital Denver, Colorado, Ultra Bass have already made quite an impression internationally and to mark their 10th release they have unveiled another label compilation. Boasting '19 monster house and garage tracks straight from underground scenes across the globe', this collection really does perfectly capture the temperature of the scene right now. Highlights include the merciless big bass house steamroller "Feel It", the tropical doom-house tip of "2015 Crew 4 Real" and the bonkers hypo-step of "Magical".
It's no surprise to see Amsterdam man Fritz Wentink issuing his debut album through Wolf Music, as the London label have been staunch supporters of his work with two 12" contributions over the past two years. The wonderfully named Rarely Pure, Never Simple adds to Wolf Music's growing artist album profile following long players from main men Medlar and Greymatter and further develops the all encompassing production style Wentink has displayed so eloquently for Detroit Swindle's Heist Recordings and others. He seems most impressive on the more downbeat tracks done in collaboration with Loes Jongerling who possesses a quite astounding vocal delivery, though those craving some proper house will totally dig on cuts like "The Excitement Happens At Page 320".
Berlin/Milan based Italian twosome Riccardo Paffetti and Gabriele Micheli have previously impressed with their chunky blends of bass-heavy deep house, classic Italian house and basement-friendly Berlin techno. Here they once again the Black Loops alias for their first single on Toy Tonics since 2013. They begin with the classic bump of "No Questions" - all warm chords, heavyweight sub, US house shuffle and Todd Edwards style vocal cut-ups. One-time Dirtybird regular Ardalan provides the obligatory remix, roughening up the edges via murkier basslines, wild electronics and rolling, post-fidget grooves. Finally, the duo offers up something altogether deeper and more melodious in the shape of "Suki", a picturesque roller blessed with a particularly spellbinding breakdown.
The masterful Lazy Flow has cooked up a rather special compilation for France's Folistar, showcasing the French capital's best and brightest house music stars. Although you get a mixed and continuous version of this comp, you can also cop the singles. All centred around the 4/4 continuum and the Chicago dynasty, it's up to you to hear what you require for your weekend evening sets...bumping, deep, hard and dubby, its all in here. Comprehensive to say the least!
Making their mark on Smalltown Supersound, the nine-piece Norwegian Jaga Jazzist ensemble have earned their place on Ninja Tune by supplying the label with five albums and a clutch EPs over the course of five years. It's clear the collective hold a special over at Ninja Tune which perhaps explains why the label have commissioned a remix from fellow countryman Todd Terje who keeps the original's classical theatrics in tow, while also adding his trademark disco touch in a 10-minute production that traverses many genres - and cosmic galaxies.
Ahead of a forthcoming appearance on Clouded Vision, Marseille-based producers Dawad and Mokic join forces for this EP on Nein. "Pink Pants" is undeniably dirty and, at times, dark, with twisted acid lines, discordant electronics, ghostly chords and intergalactic melodies riding a shuffling nu-disco-meets-acid-house groove. "Fake", on the other hand, is an altogether looser and cheerier proposition, with hints of Italo-disco and tech-house amongst the big builds, bold synth lines and bouncy rhythms. These originals are joined by a string of remixes, with the Two Mamarrachos' post-punk disco take on "Pink Pants", and Dynamicron's Headman style rework of the same track, standing out.
By now, we should all know exactly what to expect from Unknown To The Unknown founder DJ Haus, namely strobe-lit, floor-friendly smashers that doff a cap to the best bits of early '90s rave culture. This expansive EP for Rinse sees him touching on many of his usual themes, from Chicago acid ("Another Place"), ghetto-house and basement-friendly US house ("Make It Hot"), to breakbeat-driven summer-of-88 smashers ("High Voltage Houz"), and ragged, sub-heavy Yorkshire bleep and bass ("Bleep Phreak", "Crystal Houz"). As usual, each of the tracks - little more than superb DJ tools, really - is immaculately produced and thoroughly dancefloor-focused. In other words, he's delivered yet again.
Here's something of a surprise: an EP of fluid but forceful deep house cuts from Matthew Harvey, previously best known as one half of New Zealand based D&B outfit Concord Dawn. While there are a few nods to his junglist past throughout - think heavy basslines and clear bass music influences - there's otherwise little to suggest this is his first foray into house. There's much to admire, from the bold pianos, dusty vocal cut-ups and shuffling rhythms of "Barrow" and pleasingly dirty "Farlington", to the woozy chords, low-end wobble and skippy percussion of opener "Dirty Organs".
Permanent Vacation co-founder Tom Bioly first served notice of his production talents with a contribution to Hivern Disc's highly prized Hiverned series, with the Twin Peaks theme riffing "Invitation to Love" a mainstay in the record boxes of Optimo and ND Baumecker. Fast forward a few years and Bioly is back as TB with his first full release, issued on home turf and every bit as potent as that Hiverned cut. Across the four tracks on City Girl, Bioly reveals a real diversity to his production palette with the dreamy title cut complemented well by the more stripped back minimalist thrust of "Nothing Is" and the fluffy "Domino".
"Reach Out", a swinging, shuffling, bruk-influenced soulful house gem featuring the sumptuous vocals of Hannah Khemoh, is the latest single to be taken from Bristol-based Welshman Sean McCabe's excellent debut album, It's Time. Alongside McCabe's extended version, there's a headline rework from Atjazz and an all-new edit from the original producer. The Atjazz version will get most of the attention, featuring as it does the perfect blend of European style tech-house chords, insatiable vocal loops and percussion that's suitably sturdy whilst retaining an element of swing. McCabe's Paradise Edit is excellent, too, with key vocal phrases being paired with melodious keys, dreamy chords and beats that shuffle majestically.
It would be fair to say that Hackney's London Housing Trust make digital DJs wait a while to get hold of their material. This fourth, multiple-artist EP first landed on wax way back in 2013. It's great that they've finally made it available on download, because it's one of their strongest packages to date. FX Mchn's "Dunn", a thrillingly trippy, low-slung chunk of bouncy, alien-sounding acid-funk, leads the way, before Alphonse investigates the potential of wonky effects, backwards percussion and mind-bending bass on the intense "No Tomorrow". Facade delivers a pair of cuts on the flip; the classic US garage influences and heady basement hustle of "Sarana", and the Dam Funk-ish MPC boogie-meets-analogue Italo wonkiness of "Take It Slow".
Munich-dwelling Portuguese producer Alkalino likes to switch from original productions to deftly executed scalpel edits all the time. However, lately his fingers have been doing more of their surgical ballet on old disco tracks than flicking the faders on his own tunes. Well here's something to redress the balance - "Portuguese Hustler" is an almost seven minute long, slinky afternoon pool party jazzy house joint: all soft chords, chiming piano keys and smooth, sunny vibes.
For their latest outing, regular studio partners Jaymo and Andy George have joined forces with Hamburg-based producer Sidney Charles (himself a regular contributor to their Moda Black imprint). "Caution Your Blast" is tough and chunky, building slowly via sharp synthesizer motifs, bubbling electronic melodies and classic tech-house percussion. There's a little vintage boompty bump to the Derrick Carter-ish beats underpinning virtual flipside "Hip Shots". The cut-up vocal stabs and heavy bass recall the mid-to-late noughties heyday of Carter's Classic imprint, too, making the track a real retro-futurist blast from the past.
The York label Alpaca Edits has swiftly earned themselves a spot in the hearts of digital selectors everywhere thanks to their canny edits that span the crawlspace between deep house and disco. Founders Alfa Flite have played an integral role in this rise with their own work and get another chance to shine on the latest Alpaca Edits release In/Out Boogie. We're not sure if the title is a sly homage to West coast burger joint In & Out Burger but the cut itself is a prime slice of disco with a bassline that really hugs your hips.
La Mverte first EP for Her Majesty's Ship, last year's Through The Circles, was packed full of dark-wave, post-punk, Italo and slo-mo house influences. This follow-up offers more of the same, with a side order of quirky, Blackstrobe-ish techno-funk. The title track leads the way, with vintage synth melodies and pitched-down spoken word vocals riding an uptempo, Italo-meets-glam rock groove (or, in the case of Alejandro Paz's fuzzy and heavyweight remix of the same track, a nicely cheap drum machine rhythm). Elsewhere, "This Wicked Game" gets the right balance between analogue fetishism and contemporary nu-disco, while "The Wheel of Fortune" adds sparse, alien synthesizer melodies to a relentless Italo-influenced groove.
Hypercolour sub label Losing Suki has been quietly doing its thing while its big brother deals in the more high profile cases within the realms of deep and tech house. However there have been some underground smashes within the sixteen releases thus far, including Last Magpie's "Roots" which fittingly kicks off this retrospective compilation of the strongest slammers on the label to date. Fusing low end pressure and polished modern house dynamics at one turn, and then reaching for delicate deep soul tones at the next, the Suki sound is a diverse one but it all sits comfortably together on this compilation. Huxley brings the choppy garage firepower, while Robert Cashin heads into tripped out minimal territory, and the good wagon Losing Suki keeps on rolling.
Germany's Dirt Crew have always put out top quality house and techno over the years, with the likes of Adultnapper and Ricardo Villalobos sprouting up on their catalogue from time to time. However, they're also experts in delivering music by new and interesting talent out there in the field such as this latest collaborative EP by Urulu and Steve Huerta, who between them have seen an impressive run of form over the last few years. If you're into swinging, percussive-fuelled dub house the this is the ticket for you, and these guys mean business when it comes to the dancefloor. We're particularly find of Urulu's "Laura Don't Touch That", a discofried house bomb that just keeps on givin'.
Having used last year's Four To The Floor series to introduce a few new artists to their long running Diynamic label, Solumun and Adrian Trolio have decided to give a few of them a second chance. Duologue begins with a pair of tracks from Italian pair Undercatt; the rolling, slightly foreboding, big room tech-house of "Camargo", and "Gemini", a deliciously deep, melancholic and string-laden concoction produced in partnership with former Sound Brothers man Luca Luperini. Dutch duo Roberto Calzetta and Twin Soul handle the virtual flip, unleashing waves of picturesque synthesizers and Innervisions style builds on "Carpo", before delivering a spine-tingling blend of drawn-out strings, bittersweet chords and rush-inducing breakdowns on "Inmost Sense".
For their latest foray into deep house territory, Italian imprint DaBit has recruited fast-rising Manchester-based producer Hidden Spheres, who confusingly has decided to credit three of the tracks to the previously unseen HBN alias. Predictably, there's much to enjoy, from the classic, piano-flecked US house breeziness of "Need Your Love", and Rhodes-laden warmth of "No House" (which, incidentally, comes complete with a familiar string sample), to the jaunty basement bump of "Control" (think warehouse-friendly US garage dubs, circa 1993). Die Roh's notably woozy rework of "Need Your Love" is pretty darn tasty, too.