When not rocking the globe with his own band, Buraka Som Sistema, member Branko is rocking the world with his own label, Enchufada. The imprint's latest release is from the king of 'gypsy groove', Castro, and it's a sizzler! Four tracks of raucous tropical jams are featured - the deep and tribal "Cobwebs", the peak time Diplo-style hoedown "Ring Ring", the carnival-tastic percussion-abusing slammer "Let Me Go" and the slow-groove cumbia weird-beat of "Bam Bam". World, get rocked.
Slovenian photographer-turned-producer Ichisan enjoyed his most prolific year to date in 2014, with releases appearing on Internasjonal, Catune and Danny Was A Drag King. Here he pops up on Yam Who's ISM label with more bouncy, synth-laden nu-disco fare. That's arguably best represented by the jammed out keys and rich chords of bubbling bonus cut "Veg Out", though there's more of a shamelessly Adriatic vibe about the cascading melodies and laidback disco shuffle of "Bela Ljubljana". That track gets treated to a pair of remixes; a chunkier, analogue-heavy dub disco interpretation from Yam Who, and an acid-flecked, pleasingly trippy take from Kalidasa.
Shiny-assed contemporary house flavours from Toyboy & Robin's ever-reliable Cool Kid imprint. "Lost In Here" is a twinkling strutter that nods mildly at progressive pastures while retaining a certain timeless house feel. Dig deeper for "Turn It Up", an evangelistic roof-raiser that guarantees some absurd late night air piano action and "Comin' Back", a funkier, bass-friendly jam session that showcases great use of a vocal sample and builds up with a tasty full-bodied synth hook. Trust us... You'll be coming back for more.
The ISM label has been known to bring out new talent and deliver the goods each and every time they drop an EP, and from disco edits to nu jazz, these guys constantly put out quality output. This time it's The Hinge Project who come through with "Brand New Day", a soulful future jazz piece featuring the vocal talents of Mandel Turner. You also get a housier Deep Dub Mix for all you DJ in the place, and a handsome remix roster in the form of Joe Black and Yam Who. Top notch stuff, really.
With three months already gone on this year's calendar, we were wondering what was taking rising UK producer Onza so long in returning with new material. Well, he's finally resurfaced with "Gonna Be Me", a cast iron commercial anthem full of big room melodies, piano stabs and thumping kicks. Remix-wise Rafterman delivers a large slice of a high-end piano house and Freefall drops an immense, almost apocalyptic, dubstep-tinged rework. A Teflon strength club package if ever there was one.
Bass = Win equals guaranteed funky house delight and this time it's a right showdown with a full remix EP of the "Baby" track by Orkidea, Rico Tubbs and Heavyweight, three label regulars who know all about body-rocking goodness. Jayceooh, Rare Candy, Desto and Daddy Flix all turn in the goods, ranging from housier to more half-step territories, but our favourite has to be Desto's neo-jungle reinterpretation, a cut which glides between footwork and d&b with pure ease and utter grace. Tight little bag, this one!
On the intermittent and somewhat shadowy Hoss'd imprint, Gerry Read makes another appearance after last year's Been A Lot Of Places, Seen A Lot Of Faces 12". This time around, it's a short and sweet single track affair that of course ripples with the bizarre energy that Read always worms into his productions. It takes a very unusual intro section to pass on by before the actual beat comes through in a dusty, tumbling fashion in line with previous releases from the young producer. The distinctive hook however is a sun-kissed afrobeat horn break that sounds positively friendly and recognisable considering the sounds that often get thrown at you from this maverick producer, to the point where it could well become something of a summer banger in more adventurous places.
A Franco-British duo less than a year old, Loframes have already earned a reputation for quality synthpop via releases on labels such as Chess Club and Moshi Moshi. Individually James Yuill has been hyped by The Guardian and the BBC, whilst Franck Russo has released on labels like Bpitch Control. Here we have two newies: the bouncy '80s-style sophisti-pop (yes there's even a sax!) of "Get Real" and the retro poppy piano house of "1996". Kartell also gently houses up the title track whilst Aashton turns it into deeper arpeggiated territory.
House music has reached such maturity that we now see productions from the fully-grown offspring of DJ legends. Dantiez Saunderson, son of Kevin has some immense shoes to fill, but the 23-year-old does a sterling job here for Defected, delivering "Place Called Home". It's an epic seven-minute slice of deep and slow velvety house embellished with the vocal tones of Larae Starr. Dear old dad also pops up to provide an even more linear "Deep Edit Dub". Finally the melodic tribal grind of "The Harp" wraps things up on a lighter note. Classy!
The build up to the Winter Music Conference in Miami is almost upon us and Dextrous Mix 2015 has arrived to bring the ultimate collection of party anthems straight from Dextrous's dancefloor. Featuring some absolute club favourites as well as 2015's future anthems and broken down into two delicious discs you can shimmy bar to club to the after hours with no fuss. It's a full tour through Dextrous Records' finest, featuring tracks and remixes from Emil Croff & Junior Croff, Nosta and remixes from up and coming producers Supacooks, Cave Sedem,Igor Voevodin, Dandy aka Peter Makto & Gregory S, Freza and The Confusion. Specifically dedicated to the WMC 2015, even if you're not making it out to Florida, you can still soak up the vibes from the comfort of your own palace.
It's been a while since there has been any fresh material from indie-dance crossover act Joy Wellboy, so this new joint for BPitch Control should sate the appetites of fans who have been left wanting. Infused with the spirit of Factory-centric new wave, "I'm Waiting For You" is rich with synth-pop bombast and forlorn guitar, making for a seductively dark atmosphere that has a great chance of crossing over into more mainstream charts while satisfying the critical atmosphere of a deeper kind of dancefloor. Here's hoping this single points the way for more material to come from the pairing of Joy Adegoke and Wim Janssens.
Grown men of a certain age will be very confused by this new release from house heroes Todd Terry and DJ Spen, as they tackle '70s classic "Stone Fox Chase", better known as the theme to BBC music show The Old Grey Whistle Test. The famous harmonica riff is present and correct as is most of the original with just some subtle beefing up going on. Terry's own mix adds some seriously slammin' jack master beats to the equation though, whilst other highlights include Damond Ramsey's techy excursion and Mannoo's swampy beat-fest.