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Not quite house, not quite disco, Fouk (aka Daniel Leseman and Hans 'Junktion' Peeman) straddle both worlds, utlising the best of both in their quest for the ultimate groove. Here they present the gruff EP, comprising a set of three truly accomplished recordings - the loungey shimmer of "Gruff", the filtered loop boogie of "Freebooter" and the live sounding jazz-funk of "Orchard". The best remix is Snacks' rework of the title track - all squelchy disco synths.
Midnight Riot's latest recruit, the wonderfully named His Dirty Secrets, hails from the steamy, sleazy surrounds of Miami. His music is similarly saucy, with this debut EP offering a sextet of tracks that effortlessly blend soul, disco, funk and boogie samples with his own warm, goodtime house sounds. There's naturally much to admire, from the funk-goes-house hustle of "When You Get The Groove" and bouncy, string-laden disco-house stomp of "Real Love" (built around an oh-so familiar classic), to the loved-up, slo-mo chug of "Sylvia", and rich deep house opener "Thug Life". All told, it's a strong collection of tried-and-tested dancefloor grooves.
While Moomin may have been one of Smallville's most consistent artists, he's not released that much for the Hamburg imprint in recent times. A Minor Thought is his second full-length, and first since acclaimed 2011 debut The Story About You. Fans of that album will be pleased to discover A Minor Thought picks up where it's predecessor left off, with the producer laying down a series of opaque deep house jams rich with live instrumentation, jazzy samples, delicious musical touches and interesting ideas. Highlights are plentiful, from the loose-limbed grooves, dreamy pads and snaking clarinet lines of "Morning Groove" and effortlessly whimsical "Alone", to the tech-tinged loveliness of "Chemistry" and jazz-flecked bliss of "You Neva Know".
Delusions Of Grandeur, easily one of the most consistent deep house labels to come out of the post-minimal era, returns with that guy we all love, Thatmanmonkz. Himself and Chicago's Khalil Anthony are remixed by the equally consistent Jimpster, who delivers the goods by laying down some utter tech house quality on "Take U 2 My House", while Detroit's Ge-ology takes on "Jus Anutha Wunna Deez", and comes out the other end with a murky, beat-heavy house monster that bumps so perfectly along. The originals are sexier, chunkier in the mix, and backed by some killer vocals, particularly "Take U 2 My House" - what a beaut! Recommended and tipped!
You have to admire the work ethic of Smart Bar resident Chrissy, whose reputation as a house and disco DJ/producer has recently grown following years championing Juke under the Chrissy Murderbot guise. Here he pops up on Freerange with an EP of perfectly pitched deep house grooves. "Growl", featuring the unfussy vocals of Shaun J Wright, offers a great balance between quiet soulfulness and frayed, analogue-inspired deep house sleaze. The producer's love of wobbly, analogue sounding riffs and classic drum sounds comes to the fore on "Presidential Astrologer" (which is also smartly remixed by Savile), while "Loudness Wars" is a Classic Music-style stomper that's guaranteed to get 'em sweating out on the dancefloor.
Hamburg's Diynamic are back with some pretty fierce tracks on Four To The Floor 06, quite a departure from the label's usual deep house sound. Pig&Dan's "Growler" is a storming peak time techno weapon with a furious beat, slamming synth stabs and a big drop: all you need really. Israeli progressive house hero Guy Mantzur appears too with "Trees Of Eden" which goes more for the Life & Death style moody and melodic journey track style. Brazil's ANNA serves up a driving, tunnelling and restrained groove on cruise control with "Odd Concept" while Jonas Rathsman serves up one of the most epic arpeggiations of the year on his monster "Cobalt".
Having initially impressed with two fine singles on Lobster Theremin, Jay "Palms Trax" Donaldson joined the growing Dekmantel with 2015's In Gold. Here, he delivers his second EP for the acclaimed Amsterdam imprint. Opener "High Point On Low Ground" is a cheery, life-affirming delight, with layers of glistening, analogue-sounding synthesizer lines riding a rubbery electronic bassline and breezy deep house beats. You'll find nods to Giorgio Moroder, grandiose Italian piano house and spine-tingling Balearica on the notably large "Cloud City", while "Pause" is a punchy electro-meets-acid track with a sunny, melodic twist. He rarely fails, and this is another ear catching three-tracker.
Rekids' first 12" of 2016 comes from a previously untapped talent, Berlin-based producer Peggy Gou. The South Korea-born DJ/producer's sound has been influenced, in part at least, by that of her mentors and piano tutors Nu Guinea (a duo whose releases for Early Sounds have been superb). Certainly, you can hear their tropical take on deep house in opener "Troop", whose Afro-influenced beats combine brilliantly with Gou's humid melodies and beautiful chords. She flips the script slightly on "In Sum", where spacey, Detroit-influenced electronics envelop a snappy deep house rhythm. A fine debut EP is brought to a close by Galcher Lustwerk's remix of "Troop", which takes the track further towards Detroit techno territory via deep space electronics and cymbal-heavy beats.
New Hivern signing Cleveland - AKA up-and-coming producer Andrea Mancini - is living proof that there's more to Luxembourg than tax-dodging corporations and trilingual residents. Certainly, this is an assured label debut, packed full of atmospheric, off-kilter compositions and ear pleasing, analogue-sounding deep house. He begins with the starry synths, bubbly electronics and scattergun drums of the colourful "Shine", before melding electro sounds and breakbeat drum patterns on the similarly melodious "Mercury". He successfully strips back that track on the superb "Early Dub" - think Wolf Mueller on anti-depressants - while "Atlas" sounds like a deep house tribute to vintage Detroit futurism. It's the finest moment on a pleasingly strong EP.
Manchester hero Chris Massey is back with the Pink Flamingo EP. He serves up some high octane disco on "You Are Devine" featuring none other than The Emperor Machine aka Andy Meecham of Chicken Lips fame. "Floor To the Four" is pretty jacking electro house for the peak time hour. Berlin's ROTCIV steps us to deliver an even more acidified take on things also with his killer remix.
Here we have a juicy debut from re-edit man Mike Woods. Boasting five tracks, we quickly can see that he is all about squeezing the grooves out of classic disco, teasing each samples until it pops. "Hot Your Hot" kicks things off with six-minutes of extended funky riffage that occasionally gives way to some vocal joy. Elsewhere "It Seems To Hang On" is more vocal-orientated with a vintage Curtis Mayfield-style singer lost in painful rapture, "She's A Groovy Freak" is taught boogie fun, "That Dexter Thing" is a hypnotic, low-slung groove loop and "Right In The Socket" is an accelerated keyboard disco jam.
KRL's latest release - his first since 2013, coincidentally - is not so much an EP as a mini-album. Featuring a trio of hazy, quick fix interludes and a quartet of dancefloor-friendly house jams, WOLFEP032 sees the Wolf Music regular in fine form. "Manchester Beat" is a loose, oven-fresh groover built around looped, warehouse-friendly riffs, Lone style electronics and cut-up hip-hop vocal samples, while "You Roll Me" continues the late night, old skool vibe by way of gospel vocal snatches, bold chords and Balearic synthesizer flourishes. KRL joins forces with vocalist Janine Small on the tactile, groovy and luscious "So Far", but it's the retro-futurist pianos and classic US garage bump of "Tell Me Why" that really steals the show.
Colin McBean originally rose to prominence as the B-boy member of The Advent, but as this compilation shows, his Mr G project is his most valuable work. The premise behind it is simple but deadly effective; create a rolling groove, bolster it with tough kicks and nagging percussion and throw in some vocal samples to give it an edge. On "Pepsi" and "Did You Know", he impresses with just these elements, with the latter's wailing soul vocal impressing most. On other occasions, he throws a squealing sax and churning chords ( "Jet Black") or acrid acid ("Zam Zam") into the mix, but the result is nearly always the same - peerless DJ tools with a killer punch.
To date, Bavarian duo Coeo has released a number of quietly impressive deep house singles on a variety of labels, including Let's Play House, Seven Music and Dabit. Back In The Days sees them return to the Toy Tonics imprint they last graced back in 2014. There's a classic disco-house-meets-contemporary deep house feel to the groovy and attractive title track, while "Jugendstil" adds hazy jazz influences to the same successful formula. The bizarrely titled "+++" throws African vocal and drum samples into the mix, combining them with bold string riffs and unfussy house beats to excellent effect. Finally, bonus track "Humbled" sees the duo return to their filter-sporting best, with the results sounding like a fusion of Soundstream and Tom Trago.
Monaberry is a label run by Halle-based tech house hooligans Super Flu, who also appeared on Herbert's Best 06. There they collaborated with Viktor Takling Machine on "Plastik" which samples Lil' Louis' classic "French Kiss" on this epic Innervisions style house excursion. The bittersweet and glitchy deep house jam "Number's Station" by Robot Love sounds like classic Stimming, not bad! Martin Waslewski's "Kwaiet" or Parra For Cuva's "Borneo" are the kind of dreamy and ethereal journey music you'd expect to hear at one of Lee Burridge's All Day I Dream parties. Nice one fellas!
They say that the devil has all the best music, but some would say that Immoral have him well and truly beat. Here they present 16 of them, with highlights of these fresh cuts including the ominous synthwork on "Shake That Ass" by Dark Truth, the buzzy low end thrust of "The Heist" by DJ Jayne and the tropical laser-fest "Three Sided" by LDFR. Lucifer who again?
The first Let's Play House single of 2016 comes from 20-something producer Klaves, a Polish starlet whose previous releases have doffed a cap to classic UK garage, '90s US house, and contemporary bass music. "Say It", the title track from this EP, boasts all the ingredients of classic US garage, including rolling organ riffs, skipping beats, soulful vocal samples and occasional jazzy flourishes. Studio Barnhus regular Baba Stiltz emphasizes Klaves' jazzier stylings on his dusty, warm deep house revision, which makes great use of vintage vinyl crackle and some new piano motifs. Finally, Klaves delivers one more chunk of well-lit USG revivalism, offering up the looser and more organic sounding "Awake".
On this fine release, Kompakt has recruited a crack team of high profile remixers to rework tracks from Dave DK's 2015 album, Val Maira. First to step up to the plate is German veteran Isolee, who delivers a woozy, hypnotic version of "We Mix At Six" full of his trademark percussion, minor key melodies and typically teutonic attitude - plus, of course, some rather odd but endearing, dubbed-out synthesizer refrains. Ulrich Schauss reaches for the grandiose, wall-of-sound chords and glistening guitars on his picturesque, deep tech-house interpretation of "Kronsee", before Portable pays tribute to long Ibizan sunsets on his beautifully poignant - if likeably tipsy - deep house-goes-synth wave remix of "Nueva Cancion".
One modest man known as Das Komplex has been steadily producing music for almost a decade now in his quiet hometown of Koszalin in Western Pomerania region of Poland. It could have stayed like this if not for Maciek Sienkiewicz (veteran DJ and promoter, one of the pioneers of Polish electronic music scene), who picked some tunes for his new label FASRAT. As the artist himself prefers to stay out of the spotlight, let the music speak for itself: from sun-drenched, guitar-driven "Like A Fish" (remixes coming from some key players in modern disco/Balearic scene), through futuristic disco of "Narkoleptyczni Troche" and hazy deepness of "Nowadays", towards epic, over 13 minutes long, jazzy, dreamy, but no less energetic "Siren". Elegant, original, infectious grooves for club play and home listening alike. Limited edition with cover art by acclaimed contemporary painter Aleksandra Waliszewska.
Hot on the heels of his 2015 debut album come these remixes of tracks from Matrixxman's Homesick. Charles 'Matrixxman' Duff and frequent collaborator Vin Sol's take on "Necronomicon" is a typical acid-heavy affair, but the other reshapes follow an unpredictable path. The Instance reshape of "Earth Like Conditions" is a breathy deep techno jam, while Mike Parker applies a dense wall of bleep bass to "Opium Den". The real coup here is Spectral persuading Larry Heard to provide three remixes as Gherkin Jerks of "Augmented". There's the melancholy 'Bass Vibe' version, and better still, two old school acid-fried 'Lab Chaos' takes.
MOOMIN - A Minor Thought (Smallville Germany)
AUDIOJACK - Phenomena (Tsuba)
HUNTER/GAME - Adaptation (Kompakt Germany)
KLAVES - Say It (Let's Play House US)
APES - Mosaic (Church)
LOW STEPPA - Sleepless Nights EP (Food Music - exclusive 13-02-2016
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