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Reviewed this week
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Given the quality of Session Victim's 2012 debut album, Haunted House of House, expectations are naturally high for this follow-up. Like its predecessor, See You When You Get There takes a widescreen approach to deep house, with the German duo drawing on a myriad of influences, from jazz ("Hey Stranger"), soundtracks ("Crystal Maze") and evocative downtempo beats (the impeccable title track), to Atmosfear-ish jazz-funk ("The Most Beautiful Divorce In The World") and, most notably, classic Balearica (see the druggy pop of "Hyuwee" and deliciously slow "EOS Place". Best of all, though, is "Never Forget", a glorious blues-house epic laden with smoky vocal samples and thrilling piano motifs.
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Having recently impressed with the superb "Flash" on Craig Bratley's admirable Magic Feet label, Rich Lane returns to his Cotton Bud imprint with "New Best Friend", a bubbling chunk of new beat-inspired nu-disco. The original version laces a wonky, pitched-down spoken word vocal over sharp synths, bubbly electronics and a bassline that's reminiscent of some of Chicken Lips' classic productions on Kingsize. It's a kind of hymn to the joys of dancing with strangers, which is no bad thing. There's an alternative Instrumental included, too, which sounds even more like Chicken Lips jamming with the Confettis in Ghent, circa 1989.
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Bambounou again proves he is a reliable source for straight up dancefloor music devoid of pretence and full of quality. The producer's French house side shines through on this fourth release for 50Weapons, but he still holds on to the ghetto vibe he's shown on his ClekClekBoom releases, while keeping it deep. "Feel Like This" features a skipping house beat with a repetitive vocal and evolving background textures, while "Onto This" is a fuller alternative thanks to upfront chords and extra percussion.
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Proper deep house business from two of the most respected long-timers in the UK game. First up Art Of Tones delivers a beautifully clean swinger laced with the perfect amount of jazzy chords and a killer semi-spoken word vocal - so simple but devastatingly effective. "Got 2 Get 2", meanwhile, sees the Shadeleaf bossman Monkz get busy on a Chi-town flex. Rugged, jacking and just the right amount of sleazy, it wouldn't have gone amiss on Classic back in the day. For added weight and late night mischief jump on the dub. Trust us: you've got 2 get this one.
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Given the soul-soaked and generally far-sighted nature of techno veteran Fabrice Lig's music, it's unsurprising to see him popping up on Carl Craig's esteemed Planet E label. Galactic Soul Odyssey more than lives up to its title, too, largely eschewing dancefloor techno rhythms in favour of tracks that bristle with the positivity of P-funk, boogie, broken beat and high class synth-pop (think rubbery slap bass, kaleidoscopic synths, '80s soul vocals and bouncy rhythms). It's a deliciously positive set, all told, with just the right balance between studied retro-futurism and effortlessly melodious atmosphere. Certainly, it's something of a triumph - an accessible romp with enough musical depth to please even the choosiest of heads.
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Roy Comanchero is a bit of a mystery. According to the brief bio accompanying this debut EP for Gerd Janson's Running Back imprint, Comanchero "hates modern production tools like laptops" and travels round looking for beaches to inspire his records. There's certainly a vintage feel to the four tracks showcased here, which combine heavy electrofunk basslines and classic synthesizer lines with Scandolearic melodies and a hazy deep house sensibility. It's a formula that guarantees good fun, from the Terje-does-boogie grooves of "Pugs Life" and bubbling analogue deep house of "The Delete of Society", top the slowly unfurling Balearic bliss of "New Horizons".
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Those who like their deep house warm, organic and blessed with heaps of live instrumentation should already be familiar with Bruno Hovart's Patchworks project; he has, after all, been delivering delicious musical titbits since 2002. This latest EP is predictably luscious. Opener "Time", featuring regular collaborator Mr Day on vocals, is particularly tasty, with organic beats and walking bass wrapped up in clipped guitars and soulful chords. "Let's Spend Some Time" is effectively a dub of the title track, and is in many ways a superior version; it has a denser, more percussive feel, plus some fantastic electric piano solo action. Also worth checking is "Keep On Pushing", a superb blend of thickset synth bass and hazy deep house warmth.
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Antoni Maiovvi joins the Crimes Of The Future family in a perfect match of Italo horror running out of the disco, leaving behind the gentle thud of dark techno in a dark Roman Alleyway. Junior Fairplay's inauguaral remix takes us out of the darkness to a happy ending in sunnier climes on a beach somehere in Portofino.
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When announcing the release of her sophomore set, Steffi Doms told Resident Advisor that it was "much more about how I see the dancefloor these days" than her "conceptual" 2011 debut, Yours & Mine. While there are some IDM and vintage electro influnces - most notably on opener "Pip", throbbing electrofunk jam "Treasure Seeking" (a hook-up with old pals Dexter and Virginia) and the picturesque closing track "Fine Friend" - for the most part Doms sticks rigidly to the kind of club-friendly fodder with which she made her name. By and large, this means vibrant, Detroit-influenced techno, with the throbbing "Bag of Crystals" and sci-fi leaning "Selfhood" standing out.
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Belgian in Berlin Kill Frenzy has been building up to the release of this long player with a succession of murderously good singles on some chief labels. However, it's Claude Von Stroke and his Dirtybird label that has the full length, recently teasing us with lead track "All Night Long". Not quite sure why he's referencing the eponymous country-gone pop star in the title, but we do have a further ten tracks to enjoy. Overall it's a real exercise in deep jackin' joints, with highlights being the space-age slam jam "No Panties", the totally filthy "XXX" and the buzzsaw house of "Bondi".
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Having firmly established himself as a mainstay of the Hotflush family Locked Groove is back on the label once more with some of that ultra-modern 4/4 business. Interestingly "Enigma" points in some way back to the UK bass roots of Scuba's label with its grimey horn stabs, albeit in the context of a haunting house track. "Wandering In A Cage" is a more typically slick tech house jam with a dubby lilt to the synths and a brooding atmosphere for those who find the horns on "Enigma" too much. That said, it's the lead track that gets the remix treatment, first from Scuba who weaves a more wistful arrangement around those hooky stabs, before Locked Groove's own "Dub Mix" shuffles up the samples a touch for a different rhythmic flavour.
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Here's something different from Local Talk: an EP from Cologne-based twosome Hade & Gutta that fuses the imprint's usual classic US house influences with the unmistakable boom of UK bass music. Opener "Nothing Wrong" is the real killer, a rambunctious fusion of speaker-rattling sub, punchy US garage vocal samples and relentless stabs. "In Me" is noticeably deeper, with classic strings and bubbling electronics riding a shuffling but potent groove. Finally, Hade goes solo on "Baphome", an ultra-deep excursion blessed with shimmering chords, sparse-but-heavy rhythms and some choice hip-hop vocal samples. It's the EP's most laidback moment, but it still packs some serious punch.
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Melodic, love torn, inspiring, euphoric and heartfelt are all words to help explain the emotional drive of the music Matthew Dear makes as Audion. They are all certainly applicable to new Kompakt jam "Dem Howl" too, and this is thanks in part to the vocals of Troels Abrahamsen, lead singer of Danish indie rock group VETO, who turns a moody bassline dub into a meaningful house production not too dissimilar to classic Junior Boys material. And who else better to remix a track like this than Kompakt legend Michael Mayer who keeps Abrahamsen's voice up front, adding a slight choral and extra chiming percussion. Kompakt striking all the right notes here.
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The latest UTTU drop sees the first tangible material from RuF Dug and Samrai, two long term fixtures on the Manchester clubbing scene and close friends. Of the two RuF Dug will probably be the more familiar to those outside of MCR, thanks to his Ruf Kutz label and prospering production output for Sud, Porn Wax, Banoffee Pies and more though Swing Ting man Samrai has been cutting his teeth of late with drops on Niche N Bump and Keysound. It's fairly hard to drop genre bombs on their two tracks here with both "1st Observation" and "2nd Observation" throwing various stylistic elements into the mixer and evening them out over some nicely left leaning house rhythms. Mood Hut's Hashman Deejay and rising Aussie production unit Zanzibar Chanel are great picks for remix purposes, adding further sonic personality to a record that stands apart from a lot of current "deep house".
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Anything Eddie Ruscha touches is generally worth checking, and this latest outing for Lectric Sands offshoot It's A Lectric World is no exception. Ruscha kicks things off with the Electric Dub, an untypically funky fusion of his usual vivid psychedelics, exotic vocal samples, crunchy guitars and an undulating disco-rock groove. The Original Rub - all bubbling electronics, muted guitar licks and deep house warmth - adds a little Balearic disco flavour, before Ruscha returns to more familiar territory with the delay-laden and pleasingly out-there Lectric Dub. Finally, he reaches for the marimbas on the Pleasing dub, an afro-influenced blast of wide-eyed Balearic sunshine complete with lilting pedal steel.
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Steve Bug's Poker Flat Recordings imprint hit the ripe old age of 15 this year - an eternity in house music terms - and has been celebrating with the superb Four Jacks series of EPs. This third instalment delivers more thrills in the shape of two previously unheard remixes of label classics, and two brand new jams. Audiofly's remix of Argy's 2005 debut "Love Dose" gets the right balance between locked-in tech-house grooves and gnarled acid jack, while Joeski's dub of Martin Landsky's "Reject" is a throbbing jacker peppered with woozy synths and urgent vocal samples. Berlin-based Brit Mark Henning impresses with the foreboding chords and classic Chicago drums of "Mad Half Hour", before Dario D'Attis steals the show with the hard-wired acid funk of "96000".
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Huntleys & Palmers commitment to showcasing new producers from around the World is admirable. Here, they give a debut "proper" to Family Affairs resident Mehmet Aslan, who previously impressed with a string of reworks on the imprint's Highlife Edits offshoot. Lead track "Mechanical Turk" - a rework of a little-known 2011 cut from Romanian artist Karpov Not Kasparov - is pretty impressive, with Aslan peppering an exotic, off-kilter house groove with spiralling Byzantine scales, heavy Arabic percussion and lashings of vintage synthesizers. "Hidden" flips the script, delivering a woozy, atmospheric, analogue-sounding house track, while "New Africanism" is a little more fragile and poignant than the title suggests, with bittersweet chords and mid-range synth melodies riding a delay-laden, extra-percussive groove.
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Dub Police's MyStyle mix series has become a force to be reckoned with in dubstep, an annual showcase from some of their most exciting artists, each outing appears deeper, more involving and widescreen than the last. The Others has clearly gone to town here with a whole heap of his productions and collaborations. For mix lovers this is a must; 28 tracks all seamed together tightly, it explores the darkest corners of the scene with a brave boldness. Those looking for individual tracks will also be pleased to see the likes of Icicle's techno-like industrial VIP "Need A Job", Sleeper's disturbing "Civil War" and Thelem's tripped out mind-twister "Haunted Harmonics". Stylish, sonically arresting and consummately accomplished, The Others has represented himself with serious skills right here.
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Jennifer Cardini's label continues on its mission to provide a platform for the deeper, more reflective side of electronic music. Fellow French producer Demian's "Lucha Libre" starts off with the kind of frazzled, sonorous textures one would associate with shoegaze acts like My Bloody Valentine, but he fuses these elements with a tight and lean rhythm and subtle filtering that lends it the necessary dance floor clout. "Does Anybody Know Who They Are?" is slightly faster and its beats are heavier, but Demian still brings a lightness and deftness of touch to the arrangement through the use of billowing, tranced-out chords.
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Following three E-Versions EPs for his own Merc label and the Product of Industry album, Mark E returns to regular haunt Spectral Sound with a fresh EP exploring deeper house territory. There are pulsating sessions of throbbing cosmic disco with the futuristic "Molyneaux" and spacey "Avion Central", whereas the gritty rhythm of "Clares Gate" sounds almost like an old Marcel Dettmann production, albeit offset with airy synths and lighter atmospheres. "535" is more classic, laid back Mark E gold, as is the sweet, pumping groove of the Laszlo Dancehall remix of "Being Hiding" and deep revision of "Bog Dance from White Material affiliate Alvin Aronson.
Exclusives
TRENTEMOLLER - Early Worx (Audiomatique Germany)
HAMID - Dolce Vita EP (Minibar France) - exclusive 28-11-2014
DEMIAN - Does Anybody Know (Correspondant Germany)
Exclusives
THATMANMONKZ/ART OF TONES - So Worried/Got 2 Get 2 (Shadeleaf Music)
REED & RADLEY - The Midnight Crisis (Grass Green) - exclusive 08-12-2014
BERKSON, Dan/JAMES WHAT - Worship (Modelmaker) - exclusive 08-12-2014
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