Defkline is one of the alternate monikers used by breakstep pioneer Deekline (of I Don't Smoke fame). This Londoner never rests - running no less than six labels including Hot Cakes. Here on "Push Dat" he's having a bit of throwaway fun taking the riff from '90s superhit Push The Feeling On by Nightcrawlers and mixing it in both 2-step and housey styles. Sure to conjure up smiles in clubs everywhere.
For his latest release UKF super producer Roska shows the likes of Robin Thicke how write a good song about confused signals. "Crossed Wires" sees the Kicks & Snares man pursue a noticeably more luxuriant blend of deep and precise pop-house than ever before, with smooth, emotional pads and silky vocals courtesy of Himal. Elsewhere "Master Of Persuasion" explores laser-heavy soulful garage pop, "Superlemonhaze" goes back to dubstep and EP highlight "Right Here" takes in some seriously creepy percussive underground vibes. Gonna be mega.
Straight up jacking house like momma used to make: Natural Rhythm deal exclusively in timeless Chicago arrangements and this is the perfect example. Don't be fooled by the title; "Cantina Band" isn't an obvious take on the Star Wars classic, rather a horn-fused, highly phased and slightly trippy boomty-boom slapper that references the feel-good vibes of its namesake. Further on we hit "Jazz Boogie" that thunders with Farina-level jacks and more horn fire. Finally "Latin Hustle" takes us into darker, loopier territory. If the other tracks conjure vibes of Derrick Carter, this is more Luke Solomon. Techy soul that simply won't quit. Awesome.
Easily one of the most distinctive house tracks to emerge this summer, Man Without A Clue clearly has got a clue or two. This Green Velvet style hookiness gives this an edge (and a killer acapella) that has caught the Ibiza's clubs imaginations all season. Now for the obligatory remix package. As always with Defected, they've smashed it in all directions; from SChu's angular 90s acid to Eddie Fowlkes's more uplifting use of lush chords. No interruptions!
It's been a long wait since the debut, Step Back, by Graeme Sinden's new project The Crystal System, but the follow-up, "Got Me Moving", is finally here. He's clearly been taking a painstaking approach to production and it shows: the title track being four and a half minutes of exquisitely groomed hypnotic disco-dub. There's loads of remixes too, the best of the bunch including Sonny Fodora's almost electroclashy sleazy funker, the mindblowing warped synth stabs of Odysseus' "dark house mix" and Pilo's haunted-step growler. Mixes with bite.
Kim English was one of the most important voices in the mid-to-late 90s US house movement. And Maurice Joshua is one of the original acid house champions from the late 80s. When the pair got together to write this in 1998, house history was made. As a result, this sounds as timeless, engaging and ultimately rapturous as it did over 15 years ago. Complete with an instrumental, this is essential for all soulful house lovers (if you haven't already got it!)
It's been a while since we heard from UK house act Solaris Heights, but they make a storming return on this release for Glasgow Underground. "Glisten Part 1" is a ponderous affair, led by a cavernous, aching bassline and doomy vocals intoning the line 'when the lights go out, we disappear'. On "Part 2", Solaris Heights put a focus on the musical elements as the vocalist takes a step back, with sub-sonic bleeps and a hoover bassline to the foreground. Finally, there's Illyus & Barrientos' take on "Glisten". Underpinned by tough drums and firing percussion, its chords swell and drop with the malevolence of a grey, churning ocean.
Quintessential introversion... Thyladomid and Mahfoud make the perfect partnership as Thy's Trentemoller-esque sombreness rolls out with resonant nylon string plucks and deep space shrouding every element. Mahfoud's vocal sits sorrowfully in these places, tugging at the heart strings on every opportunity. A moment of genuinely emotional deep house, it's backed up by two more dancefloor-centric rubs: Stimming serves up a chugging, insistent techier vibe while Adriatique goes for a more twisted, dubby house jam that doesn't sound far off a DoP joint. As the title suggests, this is very much the real thing.
Basement Jaxx are about to unleash their seventh album and it's clear they're still wholly on-point. Perhaps even more relevant now than ever (thanks to the massive house revival in recent years), "Never Say Never" is an instant summer sing-along anthem that references the last 25 years of grooves with distinction and character. Remix-wise Gotsome gets dark and twisted with a chugging loopy rub that drops into heavenly chords mid-way while Wayward gets busy on the euphoric synth vibes. Basement Jaxx's never-ending story continues. Bring on the album!