Brand new nu-disco brand from Brazil, Mareh have already established themselves as sonic connoisseurs with their annual festivals, long before this debut release. NYC don Duncan takes the lead with a stately Italo-referencing groover that builds and builds with analogue insistency, twisting, turning and evolving throughout. Pete Herbert and Dicky Trisco follow on a much funkier flex. A nagging synth hook, loopy guitars and a pertinent sense of disco insistency are all tied together with a bold swing and plenty of party panache. Mareh mercy!
The first single to come from the BJs since their album Junto, "Rock This Road" is an emphatic Afro dynamic driven deep with harmony and that nagging buzz that lingers more and more with every listen. It lends itself really well to remixes as well as ears; highlights come from Catz N Dogz (quirky, off-kilter house flavours), Ninetoes (show-stopping breakdown and bold cowbell shimmers), More Than Gold (big dreamy synths) and the basement dub (a Classic-style Chi-town jack fest). Beyond roadworthy.
Few artists have balanced the characteristics of bass, UKG and house quite so sweetly as this artist in 2014. For As I Am's Defected debut he flexes one step closer to straight up deep house as we're washed gently with blissed out vocals, warm synths and a bassline that punches softly-but-sternly. File under lockdown: "Saving Grace" guarantees full floor hypnosis and elevation.
Sassy, well polished funky house Naples-style here, as Ciro lays down two sunshine-vibe originals. "I Need You" puts full focus on the vocal sample craft. Dreamy and warm, they create a rich framework for the sparkling synths beneath. "Underground Vibrations" is all about the synth riff. Straight outta Chicago circa 93, chopped vocal textures are laid deftly over the insistent hook. Remixes from Alex Agore and James Johnston ensure this package is felt in all corners of the house. We need this.
Tender Games return to Suol with a bubbling new single backed by two scorching remixes. "Lost" is a mid-tempo deep house workout complete with silky, seductive melodies and an Eastern vibe to its vocals - perhaps more of a pop hit that dance music track. As for the remixes, Ben Pearce comes through with an anthem in the form of a stepping, piano-led dance bomb, while Chopstick & Johnjon go for the all-out house flex on their version in what is most certainly the most playable of the lot.
NY legend and house pioneer Todd Terry powers through with a hot, new floor-filler on his Inhouse imprint. Terry is responsible for some of the most legendary cuts of the '90s and was chopping beats and samples before most of us were even born. "Hardhouse" is a straight-up house jacker packed with enough punch for a whole artillery of dancers and really takes us back to Terry's finest moments throughout his long career. Dusty beats, grizzled hi-hats, metallic snares and a whole load of funk. Unmissable.
Dutch visionary Franky Rizardo takes the driving seat here to present a set that "showcases all the genres within house music that are possible". This rising star is clearly ambitious - delivering fresh new house releases on a string of hot labels, playing to bigger and bigger crowds and even running his increasingly popular Flow radio show. Actually he's provided two mixes which feature cuts from the likes of Ninetoes, Deetron, Riva Starr and Audiojack. Further still he's included a number of his own exclusive re-edits and remixes including "Troubleman" and "Enzyme" as well as a previously unreleased record "Olympus".
Sun-kissed Aussie bliss, "Loveweights" sees Indian Summer painting a twinkling, cloud-gazing scene for Shaqdi to spray with her distinct, dreamy vocals. Sugary-soft and yearning (think 100 Waters) this is very much late night/morning after material. For clubbier clout head for remixes by Plastic Plate (spring synth-laden funky house), Ape Drums (switch flipping moomba-trap) and Worthy (evangelistic tech-slink). Finally we hit "The Quays", all high-end lazer-stabs and an '80s synth breakdown, it's not dissimilar to the work of fellow countrymen What So Not.
London label Xylo is committed to supporting new talent in the worlds of future house and garage. Both collide here with Tommy MC enrolling the talents of Freddie Franklin for one smooth roller. The jazzy stabs and cocktail house of "Enough Is Enough" is commercial gold, whilst the remixes - including the tough electro-house one by Golf Clap and the cool raw jacker by Jerome Price - will tickle the fancy of more underground listeners.