French legend Ludovic Llorca is back under the Art Of Tones guise for the always impressive Local Talk. Acid soul funk? You bet! Take a listen to I "Just Can't (Get Over It)" and you'll believe there is such a thing. On the flip, the smooth and soulful groove continues on "Dirty Stories" which has an undeniably French touch about it, with good use wonky synths, emotive strings and SP1200 style vocal cut ups. Deepness in the vein of Pepe Braddock or Chateau Flight.
Ever since their last release, we've been preoccupied with what really does do go on deep within the mind of a dragon. It turns out that beneath all the scales and firey breath they tend to think a lot about holidaying in Ayia Napa circa 2001. Wonder if Saint George knew this. Anyway, "Too Much" is a delicious mix of catchy distant vocals snippets and perky 130bpm beats and warm, undulating bass waves. Remix-wise Mike Millrain brings the '90s house fire - all slammin' New York garage vibes and closer than close synthy goodness. Summer is officially here!
Chicago's Kenya is a housewife who became an esteemed Christian soul singer following a 'cosmic enlightenment' that showed her the way. Having heard "Let Me" (from her My Own Skin album), Joey Negro has signed her up, enlisting Sean McCabe to rework the tune for the right kind of dancefloors. Clocking in around nine minutes, the "vocal mix" a smooth and luxurious ride through vintage jazzy house, dripping in golden-toned Fender Rhodes chords. Elsewhere there's the aquatic sounding '90s retro house of the "Let Me Out Dub" and the Brand New Heavies-esqe organic jazz-funk of the "Classic Soul Mix". Chic.
Saucy have dubbed Dosage as being 'one of the most technically gifted blossoming producers the UK has to offer' and they're not wrong. Here we get to find out, starting with the celebratory fizz of the totally funky disco-house jam "Panama Peppers". The latter quickly gets disfigured for life by evil genius Kursa who brings some scary bass fire to the tune. "Reaper" continues the dark vibes with more of a dubby ghetto sound which is turned into a sleazy after-hours classic by Echoes & Knight. Finally Dosage teams up with Ricin for the harder bass and breaks attack of "Ishmael".
Auslander is a collective that's arisen from Melbourne's killer party scene. Comprising Fantastic Man, Tom Lally and (the recently relocated to Berlin) Andy Hart, together they pursue an agenda of pure, hard, jackin machine music. "Auslander" is a carouseling slice of Moroder-style argpeggiated electro-disco that rinses the 808s for extra badness. It's the "PM Dub" however, that wins in the badass stakes, being seven minutes of cold, hard body music complete with new wave noise and trippy interruptions. The Jean Michele Jarre-isms come to the fore on the 70s BBC workshop -style "First Contact" version. Essential.
Grecian DJ/producer C Da Afro is beginning to build up an impressive discography. Impressively, Midnight Riot is the 20th label he's released on to date. Soul Grooves is his first EP for the imprint, and contains a quartet of floor-friendly tracks that sit somewhere between remixes, re-edits and original productions. So while "Soul Groove" is based heavily on Matsubara's Paradise Garage fave "S.O.S (Society Of Soul)", C Da Afro has added a swathe of new synthesizer parts to compliment the original's killer jazz-funk guitars. We must presume the same process has been followed on the tactile electrofunk bomb "I've Got This Feeling", and the almost overpowering synthesizer bliss of Balearic boogie closer "You Mae Me Feel So Good".
An Australian based in London, producer Frankee More gives the occasional instalment of frothy party fun. There's no fear of groundbreaking sounds here or deep navel gazing, it's all about cheeky giggles on the dancefloor. Here we have another two such sizzlers to enjoy. First up, "This Feeling" fuses a laid-back electro-funk bassline with an impassioned soul vocal and a sax solo. On the digital flipside lurks "Dance Now", basically an update of C&C Music Factory's Everybody Dance Now that, if played at the right time, will blow the roof off any self-respecting house party. Job done.
Defected's ongoing House Masters series should be essential listening for anyone keen to discover more about the recording careers of some of the scene's most iconic producers. Certainly, this latest installment, chronicling NYC legend Todd Terry's finest moments, contains far more hits than misses. At 35 tracks deep, it's a bit of a beast, but features not only all of his best-known productions ("Weekend", "Can You Party", "I'll House You", "Bango (To The Batmobile)", his remix of Everything But The Girl's "Missing"), but also a swathe of lesser-known remixes (A slammin' version of Bizarre Inc's "I'm Gonna Get You"), Dubs (a brilliantly stripped-back version of Hardrive's "Voices Inside My House") and original productions (the hip-house era madness of Black Riot's "Warlock").
Fresh from producing Craig David's latest single, big room house maestro and bass fan White N3rd pops up on Ministry of Sound with arguably his biggest track to date. "Freaky With You" ticks all the right boxes - throbbing bassline, undulating EBM noises, bouncy beats, mind-altering riffs, vocals that are alternately sleazy and soulful, and occasional blasts of hardcore/hip-house era breakbeats - and sounds ready-made for weighty car stereos, music festivals, and Radio One. It will almost certainly be bigger than... well, something suitably gargantuan.
Anthem prediction for this summer "So Much In Love" by London's Owen Westlake is pure dancefloor energy with its uplifting vocals, soulful strings and pianos plus super tight rhythm, The remixes really shine too, such as Harry Ley's high octane tech house remix for the later hours and Max Venus' dark progressive house rendition (particularly!) which will cause some hotflushes on early morning dancefloors! Just wait 'til that epic humming bassline comes rushing in; talk about maximum dancefloor impact!
According to his SoundCloud account, Iceland born, Oslo-based, B.G. Baarregaard has accomplished many a milestone in his meteoric rise to modern disco fame and we'll take his word for it! The infectious and uplifting nu-disco of "AMR" is executed like only the Scandinavians can. "Kulturhuset" reminds us of another local legend such as Lindstrom; not at all a bad thing. Finally "Mestringkatten" (whatever that means!) is the smoothest and most deep offering on here; perfect for late hot summer nights when disco retroverts wanna get their groove on: look no further than this.
Berlin hero Phon.o is back! After a horde of releases on 50Weapons and most recently Bristol institution Tectonic with the Afterglow EP, Carsten Aermes turns up on B Pitch Control. First offering "Run" gallops away aggressively with its fierce bass pulsations and booming beat supported by Middle Eastern string samples. "Brooklyn Shuffle" starts off smooth, with a pop inflected vibe until the four to the floor beat comes rushing in beneath that funky house keyboard melody. It creates such a wonderful contradiction. Finally "Fractions" is straight up house with its dusty swing fuelled beat keeping pace with a killer breakbeat plus pop vocals and of course, no compromise on the bass!
Lincoln duo Andrenachrome (Steve Eyre & Sam Souls) have formed with the sole purpose of conceiving sun-kissed tunes to 'soundtrack the summer for any conscious house heads' who like to go a 'bit deeper than just the beats'. Already getting considerable support from the likes of Eddy Temple Morris, debut single "Trip With Me" is five minute slice of live and warm sounding rolling house pop, complete golden Fender Rhodes chords and analogue bass all set to an addictive funky shuffle. The future's so bright, these guys gotta wear shades.
Last year, British experimental duo Public Service Broadcasting (J. Willgoose, Esq. and Wrigglesworth), released their hugely successful album, The Race For Space. The LP saw the pair both tell and explore the story of the race between Russia and America to conquer space via the medium of samples from the British Film Institute. Even when composing the record though, Willgoose was already envisioning remixes, and now we have a whole album's-worth. Highlights here include Copy Paste Soul's maudlin disco, the rich, Junior Boys-style dream pop of Kauf and the brooding late beats of the Boxed In remix. No filler allowed!