Will Saul's tech house power house Aus Music is back with Marquis Hawkes' Sweet Temptation EP that follows up last year's much awaited debut LP entitled Social Housing. The British producer now based in Berlin starts off with the classic house aesthetic of "Eivissa" taking you back to New York circa 92 with its hands in the air piano, pitch bent synth solos and dusty analogue drums: it's all quite euphoric really. Likewise, the title track does some percolator jack business much like The Windy City's favourite son Green Velvet and is completed by some soaring diva vocals atop. Finally, the bumpy vintage acid jack of "Zapper Buesky" calls to mind the sounds of proper yesteryear anthems by Round One or Ten City.
Well Cut Records return with another deluxe release with Dubble D presenting under his "Moodymanc" monniker. He opens with "Comfort Me", a deep and gritty sounding soulful jam, followed by a 're-touch' of "War and Peace", a deep and dirty disco dance floor monster which has done serious damage in the past. Luke Solomun continues with his "Love and Death re-make", toughening up the drums and adding some analogue twists to take the energy levels up to the point of frenzy! The record closes with "Hashtag", a no nonsense, tough Chicago inspired groove which plays backdrop to a conversation between Snoop Dog and G Unit about the music game today which we thought said a lot about the state of play in House music today! A "beatapella" is an addition to the digital version of the release for those DJs who want to get more creative with the message!
San Francisco deep house don Miguel Migs is still at it; but he never stopped really. The man synonymous with popularising a distinct sound at the turn of the millennium as a regular staple on the now legendary Naked Music imprint (alongside such other acts as Aquanote, Blue Six and Lisa Shaw), Migs also presented other variations on the deeper shades of music under such aliases as Petalpusher. Running his own Salted Music imprint since 2004, he's presented works by Julius Papp, Soul Drifter and Lisa Shaw, not to mention his own productions. It's business as usual on "Broken Barriers", a deep disco-tinged and soulful affair for lovers on the dancefloor. Another sultry groove comes in the form of the sexy and slinky tech house energiser "Backdrop" (Classic Club Rub) with its hypnotic chords, tough enough rhythms and razor sharp bassline geared for some late night sweat.
Newcastle in New South Wales is perhaps not the Australian paradise most would assume. In actuality, it's a mining town north of Sydney that's far from the most picturesque of places. This general grimness may explain why Mall Grab, the town's most famous musical export, is so fond of deep house daydreaming. He's at it again on this latest Hot Haus excursion, inviting us round for a Pool Party. Title track "Pool Party Music" is clearly where it's at, with the Aussie adventurer clustering manipulated synthesizer horn stabs around a pounding, no-holds-barred rhythm track. Elsewhere, he combines chopped and screwed hip-hop vocal samples, sweet loops and bumping beats on "BFODAAS", before placing a bustling rhythm track with twinkling melodies on closer "Catching Feelings".
Local Talk has pulled off something of a coup here, somehow persuading legendary Detroit house producer Terrence Parker to contribute a predictably hot two-tracker. "Gratiot Avenue Piano" is a thrillingly celebratory workout, all told, with Parker layering bold, hammered-out piano riffs and rich gospel organs atop a punchy, cymbal-heavy drum machine groove. It feels like the kind of track that will inspire spontaneous acts of clothes removal - tops off, boys - when dropped at the right time. Parker continues the stab-heavy approach on slightly deeper, groovier B-side "Unconditional", which wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Strictly Rhythm 12" from 1993.
A veteran of labels like Southern Fried and Toolroom, here London's Vanilla Ace (aka Sam Young) hooks up with Cosella for the mighty "Funk To The Brain". This production is by far the housiest thing on the Punks label for quite a while and it's no bad thing either. The original sees ravey Ten City style synth stabs blend beautifully with tech house rhythms, whilst the Treasure Fingers rework lends a sleazier afterhours vibe to proceedings. Elsewhere Marten Hurger turns in some nasty ghetto action with sparse trap leanings. Lastly bonus original track "Jigglin" is a cheeky stepper with plenty of bounce.
Sounds of Blackness' Ann Nesby teamed up with Baltimore legend DJ Spen on "I Feel" back in 2014 but here come the remixes courtesy of New York City don David Morales so you know you're in good hands here. The darkly euphoric dancefloor drama of "David Morales Def mix" is executed in with all the expertise that only this man can, while the "David Morales Kings Of House remix" does exactly what it says on the tin: this one is the most uplifting of the bunch by one of the true master's with Nesby's gospel vocals soaring gloriously above a funky, deep and sexy groove. The "David Morales Red Zone mix" also comes with a handy instrumental version; its latin drums working well against its razor sharp, Innervisions style arpeggio and like the name suggests will take you all the way back to the early '90s for a night at its very namesake: when the city's nightlife was at its raw finest.
With a name like Giorgio Rodgers, you can tell that this artist is a pure disco lovechild of the masters. Here we have a new jam, "I Wanna Know", on the ever-delicious Tasty Recordings. The track is an almost six-minute chugger that snakes along at 120bpm, with catchy 70s funk vocals filtering in and out around driving hi-hats and warm organ murmurs. Beyond that we get a dub version to which really harks back to the deep funk cuts of yesteryear.
London producer Ossie has appeared everywhere from 2020 Midnight Visions through to Wolf Music and even Hyperdub over the years. He is back with more stylish and surefire electro house on "Space Odyssey" (which inaugurates his new Supercali imprint) where tight rhythms ride a razor-sharp bassline and trippy robot vocals. On next track "Wires" it's more on the UK bass tip circa 2009, with its rolling lo end antics, spangling synths and loopy vocal chop-ups. Finally, the sexy deep house of "Round The Way" is slinky and seductive enough for the warm up or the late night alike.
H.I.M.W.OL is apparently short for "House Is My Way Of Life", a statement that clearly rings true for the producer behind the project, Australian Glen Dichiera. Genesis sees him get some recognition for his previous, low-key endeavours, with mighty New York imprint King Street Sounds taking a punt on the Melbourne man's brand of seductive, soul-fired deep house. He begins with the breezy soulful house of "Breathe", where a passionate female vocal, sweeping strings and cascading piano lines tumble down over a shuffling rhythm track. Dichiera plumps for more densely layered drums on the similarly sultry and sun-blushed "Your Love", before ramping up the sub-bass on the late night hustle of "Shake It".
Sometimes, as classic as it may well be, disco production fails to fully deliver on modern dancefloors. That's why we have people like Bonetti on hand, expert scalpel-wielders who are more than eager to beef up a vintage jam. Here a gorgeously loose and euphoric 70s boogie joint finds its sax and elastic bass elements complimented by some new tough and jackin' drums and rechristened "Boogie Medicine". Also included is the less fussy "City Soul Project mix', which reduces the tune down to its most essential elements turning it into an excellent slice of linear, filtered French Touch-style disco house. On your marks, get set, boogie!
OK one more time: he's back! Brighton's favourite son Norman Cook (The Housemartins/Pizzaman) dons the Fatboy Slim alias once again for his new hit single "Where U Iz" on his esteemed Southern Fried imprint. Its release earlier back in 2017 came with some handy (not to mention nifty) remixes but here's one more to tide you over: courtesy of London's KDA (KDA Music/Ministry Of Sound) who injects the track with some sexy and entrancing latin drums, while working the dirty funky loops of the original into the mix rather nicely indeed.
Afro Warriors are Angolan duo Dr.Renas (Renato Silva) and DJ Braulio Silva (Braulio Teixeira Soares da Silva), who together will launch a label of the same name focusing on house of the Afro, deep and soulful variety. "Uyankenteza" (Hyenah remix vocal) is the kind of evocative and life affirming spiritual life music that Joe Claussell or Osunlade would drop in the middle of their DJ sets; and you can't give a better compliment than that! With its tough drums, moody atmosphere fuelled by dramatic strings and rolling bass: it ticks all the right boxes. Likewise the Hyenah remix instrumental up next foregoes the esoteric and trance inducing tribal chants of the original, yet channels an equally worthy vibe
The first hook-up between Groove Junkies and Scott K, AfriAcid, was something of a success, so it's no surprise to see the two producers join forces once more. "Higher" comes in two forms: the 'Main Mix' and 'Dubstrumental'. The former boasts an Ursula Rucker style spoken word vocal - a poetic piece focusing on artistic inspiration and looking after each other in troubled times - over a simmering, string-laden tech-house groove. The strings, bassline and fizzing tech-house sounds come to the fore on the Dubstrumental, which also includes some sweaty drum machine fills, drawn-out builds, and all manner of dubbed-out vocal snippets
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Taylor Bense dropped his debut joint Caught Up, about a year ago on revered nu-disco label, Wolf + Lamb. He's been intriguingly quiet ever since, but now he's resurfaced with two new ace tunes for us, the hungry and devoted, to devour. "Feels Good To Be Loved" is a pacey but deep, fusion of early Jamie Principle-style Chicago house pop and James Blake-esque warbling. The digital flip, meanwhile reveals a different beast altogether with distorted, clattering Burundi beats forming the foundation of a cool alternative stomper called "Let Me Know".
Amongst connoisseurs of soulful deep house, Namy (AKA Japanese producer Yutaka Takanami) is highly regarded. Given that he's delivered a string of singles on leading New York label King Street Sounds - a bastion of the soulful sound since the '90s - that's hardly surprising. "Colors Of The Universe" is his first outing on Unquantize, and sees him wrapping jaunty piano riffs, sweeping synth-strings and puncy horn lines on top of the kind of bouncy, funk-fuelled rhythm track that recalls the halcyon days of soulful New York house. Thrillingly, legendary Basement Boys man DJ Spen provides the remixes, delivering a sax solo-laden rework and a "Multi-Colored Remix" that doffs a cap to electrofunk whilst retaining Namy's pleasingly bustling, snare-heavy beats.
Danny '80s Child' Worrall's nu-disco Masterworks Music imprint regularly drops quality re-edits that are crafted for maximum dancefloor destruction. Here we have some 80s jams reworked for the pleasure of our dancing feet. First up a very famous South London boogie trio have one of their biggest hits tweaked by Mike Woods into "Muzik" featuring that signature twangy electronic bass line coupled with tougher drums. Elsewhere we get filtered, glittery synth soul courtesy of the Shit Hot Soundsystem's "Spinnin", "Stay With Me" adds some killer freestyle drums patterns and "Let You Go" by Ruben & Ra is pure, nasty electro-funk at its finest.
Originally a duo, Crookers continues as a solo mainstream dance act with Francesco "Phra" Barbaglia at the helm. He recently dropped a killer white label vinyl, CRKRS 001, which featured lead track "Innocent". Now Defected have jumped on it, re-releasing the tune with a batch of new mixes. The "Milano mix" is a sultry, smooth and soulful electro-house joint that really showcases Baxter's epic vocals. Elsewhere Kai Alce provides both the jazzy Balearic house "DISTINCTIVE Groove Dub" and the more song based "DISTINCTIVE Retouch". Lastly the "More Than A Dub" is an edgy return to the raw fidget vibes of 2008.
Dutch producer and Nightbird Musik/Kinky Vinyl boss Sebastian Davison is back with more sexy late night deep house on German institution Peppermint Jam and it's a fitting home really. On Flavour of The Old Skool 2 he starts out with the sultry and rather Dessous/HFN sounding "Questionmark", while the late-night sexiness continues on the sax driven flirtations of "Body Beats" assisted by one super slinky groove. Finally, there's good advice on "Love A Freak", not to mention it bearing many similarities to a certain house music classic by Larry Heard, from that Juno bassline to those FM synth strings; nice one!
They say music is a timeless, international language and this EP proves it. Veteran Italian house producer Square Factory (aka Emanuele Carocci) has teamed up with fresh Los Angeles label Straight Up! Music for this meeting of minds and generations. "Jiffy" sees a looped breathy vocal sample lead a swinging, techy groove that opens out into an infectious disco-house banger. "Come Back" meanwhile is total monster with rolling progressive bass undulations and lots of hiss and cowbells. Lastly the title track is an electric pulsation of hi-NRG basslines and ecstatic drum rolls.