'Thug Houz' champion and Unknown To The Unknown founder, DJ Haus, has whipped up a storm with club nights, releases and DJ sets all over. Now he properly introduces himself with a long player, "Burnin' Up", on London's Rinse. There's 11 cuts on here, all of which reveal his fondness for all things 90s. Highlights include the hard, uncompromising acid of the title track, the short nostalgic burst of rave-organ fun that is "Hypnotizin'" and the dark body music vibes of the moody "Houz Musik".
Redlight isn't messing around, that's for damn sure. The Bristolian has already released on Mercury and Polydor, two major majors, and now he's back up on Lobster Boy with a new album! The "Intro" sets the scene perfectly to an LP that explores the various shades of house and club music, a start that falls neatly into a funky, seductive bassline house number in "Gold Teeth". "Lessons" offers listeners a bit more of a classic house sound, while cuts such as "Lion Jungle" - which features none other than Prodigy - verge onto more UK-centric, hip-hop-filtered sounds, and others like "Threshold" drop us into pop / r&b territories. The latter is particularly suited to radio playback, and it's no wonder why this guy has been released on such big labels.
Retro-minded Londoner Charlie Beale takes his time with his releases. However he's finally back with three new sizzlers that sound like they're straight outta 1941. That's not strictly true of course as Beale also has one foot in the present, and so "The Gal From Joes" has a sassy old skool-swing but plenty of 4/4 thump too. Elsewhere "Diggin' My Potatoes" and "Tale Of AG Smith" both take some mournful bluesy laments and injects them with some accelerated dancefloor adrenaline.
Established house DJs Ralston and Henderson have individually received much support in the past from the likes of Radio1 and Rinse FM as well as many top DJs. Now they've teamed up for the commercial-orientated Makes Sense EP. There are three collabs to enjoy - the poppy and upbeat title track, the piano breakdown-laden rolling garage of "Get Ya" and the tougher afterhours pounder "Feel The Hurt".
Dark tech house journey tracks for lovers of Life & Death et al, and done damn well for Hamburg's Jeudi imprint. One of the Harbour City's own young guns steps up in the form of Monte Cito. The original version of "Radical" features one of 'those' awesome wonky basslines that modulate and resonate to a climax over a tough, sparse beat and dark atmospherics. The Man Power remix is a great version in the way that it doesn't deviate too much from the original, instead just creating a deeper, slow-mo version more suited to the after-hours. Second track "Simpler" ups the ante on this peak time monster which keeps 'that' bassline (of course!) beneath a mesmerising melody and furious beat. It's an epic expedition towards right dancefloor euphoria. The Washerman remix gives the track a funk injection with a sharper bassline, syncopated wooden percussion and generous smatterings of white noise.
EleFlight Records continues to impress with its bight, breezy, jazz and disco-flecked take deep house. Following fine releases from Shur-I-Khan and Darias Vaikas, the London label turns to Erik Ellman, who recently impressed with a solid single on Large Music. "People Say" is something of a sun-kissed treat, with distinctive jazz guitar loops and woozy vocal samples riding a chunky, rolling deep house groove. Helsinki's Lauri Saine provides the remix, offering up a sumptuously warm and jazzy re-make that makes great use of swirling, easy listening strings (think "Deep Burnt", and you're close), dusty jazz samples, dubbed-out vocal cuts and a head-nodding bassline.
Waze & Odyssey have sustained an impressive dancefloor assault for quite some years now, delivering muscular blow after blow of perfectly honed house. Their latest right hook is "On The Downlow", a bobbing and weaving slice of low-slung thumping retro house. One spin of this and you'll be seeing stars!
Proper, after-hours deep techno here by one half of Arto Mwabe and the artist formerly known as The Citizens Band, Chris Beiswenger. "Uptown Slice" is a dark slow burner with its tunnelling arpeggio and layers of rich strings leading you into the abyss. The funkier and more high tech "Z Gnal" is equally as mysterious with its minimal arrangement, sounding like a less dusty Kassem Mosse track. Fellow Frankfurter Roman Flugel gets on board for a wicked remix of "2nd Touch" giving the track his midas touch: a truly majestic and melodic masterpiece. Finally, the ultra low slung, subterranean deepness of "Excerpt" is just made for drifting. Tip!
Here we have the latest installment in Defected's famous series of upfront house music collections. They promise 'a comprehensive collection of the very finest house music of 2015 and 2016's future necessities", there is a massive amount of tracks included covering soulful house: (Purple Disco Machine & Boris Dlugosch' "L.O.V.E.", Kings Of Tomorrow's "Burn So Deep (Sandy's Deep Burn)" and Tim Deluxe "Tryin' Find A Way (Club Mix)". Tech fans also get tracks like "Suga" by Technasia & Green Velvet and Denney's "Low Frequency". Further bombs by Tiga and Damian Lazarus and three bonus mixes are also included. Lucky us!
Probably best known for the soulful house anthem Finally, Sandy Rivera's Kings Of Tomorrow is back with the Fall For You EP in stem-form. With access to the individual parts of the song, you can now do what you like with them. However if you want some tips Rivera's own classic mix is featured here to show you how the masters do it.
Berlin tech house hero Daniel Steinberg returns with another sure-fire groove in the form of "Let Me Down", on the legendary Defected, no less. It's about time for Steinberg, who has been at it for over a decade now. It's the killer remix by fellow Germans and rising stars Tube & Berger here though, who give the track a truly massive, stadium size remix which has the potential to be one of this year's house anthems. With that huge bassline, soaring diva vocals and absolutely mental synth solo in the middle, it's gonna be one of the those tracks you're gonna be hearing a lot of: trust us!
Since making his debut on Stereo Productions ten years ago, Sean Miller has proved something of a master at fusing tribal, deep house and tech-house influences. Here, he delivers his first single for Tsuba, following successful releases on Viva Music, Area Remote, Mobilee and Toolroom Trax. Opener "Tribute" is a perfect example of his trademark style, with rolling, Africanism-style drums, heavy bass and a mangled, tribal vocal sample coming together on a thrillingly percussive, big room beast. He tries his hand at rolling, acid-flecked dark room house on the exotic "One More", before going on DJ Technic on the "Elle"-inspired, tribal-meets-UK funky chug of "Malabar".
Buffalo Boots, Britpop, Alcopops and Chris Evans; the '90s were a mixed bag indeed. One thing that the final decade of the 20th century did do well was dance music and here we get a selection of 36 more underground tracks from that time. Highlights include the sizzling nu-NRG of "To The Rhythm" by Divine Dance Experience, the bizarre, randy trance of "I'm A Sex Maniac" by Dick, the stabby vogue jam "Cauz I'm Learn" by Old Skool and the deep early Red Zone (aka David Morales) remix of System 3 Request "Desafinado".
Lou Lou Player's eponymous label is still going strong, now hitting their 12th installment. The mood is tough and the energy high over these four prime cuts with the Green Velvet-esque moody acid of Pimpo Gama's "Acid Party Trip" leading the pack. Elsewhere we get the funky-tech shuffle of "Love Your Happiness" by Atom E, sleazy late night electro-house on Audio Tapes' "Baby Back' and the bouncy boogie fizz of closer "Don't Stop" by 2night & 2907.
Italy's DJ Rocca has been at it for over a decade now, previously releasing on the likes of Gomma and Slow Motion and turns in some classic first wave Chicago house sounds for Manchester's El Diablos Social Club. "Lets Go Party" is a jacking, early evening groove with soaring synths, cowbells and church organ stabs; all the good stuff basically. The Brioski remix is pretty wicked, working those cowbells a lot more and injecting a kick ass arpeggio into it. "Slumber" is a smooth, downbeat chiller with some trippy and immersive synth leads flying about the place, quite cosmic actually. The remix of it by label boss Neil Diablo is quite impressive, giving it a lovely Balearic touch that transcends the astral plane.
Despite the season that's in it, there is little on this mini comp that's particularly Christmas party fodder, and frankly we're not complaining. Instead the vibe is all about depth and dancefloor contemplation. John Kaseta starts by remixing DJ Assam's "Rowdy Hope" into a moody house grind complete with atmospheric effects. Elsewhere the pair team up the deep, skippy shuffle of "Back Quality" (also remixed into a raw, minimal warehouse slammer by Times Are Ruff) and the spaced-out techy jam, "Kord Dreyer".
Ministry Of Sound can always spot a hit from a mile off. One listen to "Chunky" by Format:B and it's clear that they haven't lost their touch yet. Fusing funky tech-house with vintage blues vocals, "Chunky" is a classic pop-house anthem in the making.
A compilation of early '90s house gems by a London legend. A protege of the revered Paul 'Trouble" Anderson (DJing alongside him at the fondly remembered Loft Sessions in Camden) and aspiring to the likes of Tony Humphries, Newall compiles the best of an era; when, as BBE say, "house music was having perhaps its most fertile and creative period." Rest assured there's a lot of power vocals, spangling piano rolls, funky grooves and hell of a lot of soul featured here. Starting out with the soul heaven of Sean Grant "Keep On Pressing" (KOT original mix), the uplifting vibes and falsetto vocals on Jimi Polo's "Take Me Higher" and the deeper vibes of UBQ Project's "We Can Make It" or Tribal House's "Mainline" (Roger S Ego Trip mix). Elsewhere Soul Dhamma's "Don't Run Away" is an exclusive to the compilation, previously unreleased, while the legend himself Tony Humphries appears with his wicked remix of Johanna's "Freak It!" All killer, no filler on here. Highly recommended.
Still high on the success of recent rave-tastic single Fall Down, veteran breakbeaters Freestylers now unveil some choice remixes. The job has been handed to the anonymous Pirate Jams who turn in two killer reworks. First up, "Fall Down" gets boosted with chunky beats with the original's rave stab stabs and diva vocals on top. Next "Falling" sees break beats, poppy keyboards and melodies colliding in fine style.
Despite the Germanic name, Florian Muller is a French funk fella through and through. Here on his second installment of Etait Une Fois (twice upon a time?) he delivers more of the deep and ambient techy beats that he's known for. Standouts of the four jams featured here, include the trippy, demented Whitney Houston rework "Sach's And Pap's", the touchy-feely haze-house of "Amor" and the snappy synth-funk fun of "For Eva".