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Reviewed this week
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Aroop Roy - London based soul boy 'of many dimensions' - has been pretty silent for nearly a year. Perhaps he just went on holiday in some exotic far-flung dimension, but he's back now, all guns blazing. Brazil Breakdown Part 2 features three spicy cuts of feverish retro Latin funk, all boasting irresistible beach party grooves and seductively catchy vocals.
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Given the rising popularity of contemporary house records influenced by classic Italian house, it's perhaps unsurprising that Dave Lee has chosen to release a collection of classic Italo house cuts. Here, three of that compilation's best-loved cuts get the re-edit treatment. Lee dons his familiar Joey Negro alias for two perfectly pitched reworks; a shuffling and melodious rendition of Shafty's deliciously wide-eyed 1991 cut "Deep Inside of You (Soul Trance Mix)", and an undulating, electric piano-laden tweak of D-Rail's breakbeat-driven "Bring It On Down". If that wasn't enough to get you salivating, there's also a rolling, piano-laden rearrangement of Keytonics Ensemble's 1990 anthem "House of Calypso" (not to be confused with the record's better known flipside, "Calypso of House").
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Mr Scruff's Friendly Bacteria album was something of a return to form; a sprawling, soul-flecked concoction full of broken beat, jazz, dub and classic house influences. Here, two of the album's highlights get the remix treatment. On the A, "We Are Coming" - a bumpin', basement-bothering bruk cut in its' original form - is turned into a warm and wide-eyed deep house shuffler by Berlin-based Max Graef. It's an excellent revision, which weaves the original samples and keys into a fuzzy, analogue-sounding groover. On the flip, Scruff himself extends and reworks "Feel Free", turning in a hazy nu-jazz rub built around rubbery double bass and snaking, muted horns.
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It's been a fair few years now since Italian producer Massimiliano Pagliara, famed for his analogue-heavy blends of bright synthesizer melodies, pop hooks, Chicago house grooves and robust acid lines, relocated from Italy to Berlin. It's obviously been a fruitful move, as this second full-length - his first dropped in 2011 - is mostly made up of collaborations with locally based producers. Norwegian exile Telephones lends a hand on the deliciously Balearic "Long Distance Call", with one-time NYC resident Lee Douglas recalling his TBD work with Justin Vandervolgen on the murky acid assault that is "Fall Again". Elsewhere, you'll find a range of moods, ranging from the enveloping power house of "Native Tribes of Jupiter" (a hook-up with Credit 00), to the dreamy synth-pop of "With One Another".
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Marco Dionigi tends to give buyers a lot of bang for their buck. That's certainly the case here, with seven decidedly cosmic disco jams to choose from. The title track - a chugging, exotic chunk of atmospheric dub disco with lashings of Indian style instrumentation - is available in three different flavours. Of these, it's a toss up between the Dub and the Original Mix for us, with the former just shading it. Elsewhere, "Roccia Antica" layers backwards effects and pianos over a spiraling, wall-of-sound groove, while "Malinconia" is slow, dubby and pleasingly out-there. "Onde", a hazy ambient excursion featuring more droning sitars and "Tomorrow Never Knows" style backwards loops, is also worth a listen.
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There's much to admire on Todd Osborn's latest release for Gerd Jansen's Running Back Imprint, not least the Michigan-based producer's impressive eclecticism. While the "Frankfurt Mix" of "Put Your Weight On It" has a distinct Motorik bent - admittedly with the addition of some angular acid lines - the alternative "Chicago Mix" turns the same track into a Phuture style jacker. It's after this that Osborn really lets his hair down, though. "Medium" is a wide-eyed blast of shimmering synthesizer goodness - like some E'd-up late '80s/early '90s instrumental synth-pop gem - while "Market" has all the warmth and melodic flourishes of a classic Mood Hut or Future Times release.
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Tomorrow Is Now, Kid! returns just in time for summer with a collection of tracks taken from a reel of tape. In My Ghetto is the debut EP of Anthony Brooklyn, who has crafted four jams in spirit of the roughness of New York City's famous borough, Brooklyn.
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Jennifer Cardini's label has developed an in-house style with its low-slung, rumbling electronic grooves - and Cornetto will only serve to enhance its identity. The work of a new Mexican artist, Cornetto revolves around heavy, pitched down beats, visceral percussion and on the title track, screeching, deranged horns. "LMM" sees Jones veer towards the kind of dark, EBM house that Tiefschwaz used to excel at during the early '00s, but it can't compare to the stand out track, "Slow". Underpinned by a spiky, new wave rhythm, vocalist Mijo contemptuously spits out an incoherent rant over wave upon wave of icy synths.
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Big release for both artist and label here as London-based Australian producer Francis Inferno Orchestra comes through with A New Way Of Living, a debut album on the Voyeurhythm operation, which doubles up as its first full-length project. Having first surfaced in 2010 and dropped numerous 12"s along the way, you feel now is the right time for Griffin James to show what he's capable of over the length of an album and this is a very confident set. The dusty, sample laden house sound Francis Inferno Orchestra is known for is very much in evidence here but there's plenty of diversity shown over the seven cuts to keep you coming back for more. The daisy age goes house vibes of "The More You Like" and the weighty beat down "Rap Beef" are immediate standouts.
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Vibes New & Rare Music 2 reaches its conclusion here as Rush Hour drop the second and final helping of the Rick Wilhite-curated compilation with a suitably high profile cast of contributors involved. If you checked Part One which dropped earlier this year, you'll know Wilhite has expanded the remit to include producers from Chicago and New York - and if you didn't check it what's wrong with you! Any compilation that starts with an exclusive cut from Moodymann is gonna be good, and the dusty, disjointed "Momma" sets the tone quality wise for what follows. The Godson himself delivers a thunderous, stripped back take on "A Matter of Honour" by Sean Tate and this dukes it out with the apocalyptic electro of DJ Stingray and the rugged beatdown of Orlando Voorn as our favourites from this great collection.
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Toolroom Live 01 is a behemoth. At 61 tracks large, inclusive of three continues DJ mixes, this new concept by Toolroom, as they say, is to highlight key artists, present new tracks, and give their fans a taste of the live experience. On here there's music from Harvey Mckay, Gary Beck and Maison Sky, to Bat For Lashes, Hot Since 82 and label owner Mark Knight, and if you're looking to grasp the Toolroom Live concept (and other oddities you might not expect), while getting some bang from your buck, this release is a well informed start.
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Danny Tenaglia is a stone cold legend, but his profile has waned significantly over recent years. Given that it's 25 years since the release of his first production, this first contribution to the Balance series - is well timed. Pleasingly, it seems Tengalia still "has it it". Throughout the collection, the veteran NYC DJ maintains a fearsome energy level, mixing things up via a track list that spans chunky tech-house, darkroom tribal, heavily percussive fare (see Michel Cleis' dub of Basement Jaxx's "Mermaid of Salinas") and intelligent techno revivalism (Dax J's brilliant "Dreamscape" and Ho's "Deletion 3"). It is, of course, an impeccable selection, as you'd expect from a man with Tengalia's undoubted pedigree.
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After two years of blood, sweat and tears, Spanish re-edit producer Fernando "Nelue" Gomez is finally in a position to present to us his debut LP, "Both Sides". The first thing to notice about the record is that (in his own words) it's "100% original disco/funk/Balearic/soulful/house". There are 11 tracks in all, featuring guest appearances from the likes of Max Essa, Cavaliers Of Fun, Ribal Rayees, Angie Cervantes and Ryan Peel. Highlights include the sizzling electro-house of "Right Through You", the portentous space-disco of "Tired Of Your Lack Of Empathy" and the low key synthy Balearica of "John & Mary".
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Too Dramatic is glassy-eyed dance-pop combo No Regular Play's first new material for longtime home Wolf + Lamb for two years. The title track sets the tone, lacing droning vocals, occasional stabs, subdued electric pianos and woozy electronic noises over a shuffling, tech-tinged groove. Former Rong Music man Woolfy provides the obligatory remix, utilizing classic disco beats and bouncy melodies to give the original a much more energetic feel. Elsewhere, "Swim On" is a fine chunk of fluorescent synth-funk with a slightly blazed feel, while "Fire Alright" fixes smooth pianos and hazy vocals to skittering Chicago house handclaps and 808 electro rhythms.
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Over the last few months Jalepeno have been carefully building the hype around their recent signing, West London soul sensation Alexia Coley. "Drive Me Wild" marks the final push before the big arrival of much anticipated album Keep The Faith. It's a rip-roaring lead single too - all swaggering brass sections, Stax records and vintage American sounding vocals. There's loads of remixes too, the best of which include Valique sumptuous house remix and Marcus Jakes's Ayia Napa-friendly retro garage dub.
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Amazingly, it's 20 years since the release of Ian Pooley's breakthrough club hit, "Roller Skate Disco". In the years since, he's shifted focus numerous times, releasing material on such labels as NRK, Force Tracks, Simple Records and Innervisions. Here he returns to Dixon's acclaimed imprint with two more tracks of woozy, heavily electronic deep tech-house. "The Beginning (Dub)" kicks things off, lacing simple electronic melodies and synth bleeps over a moody, atmospheric, late night groove. Pooley ratchets up the tension throughout, with long, drawn-out chords pushing us towards a glassy-eyed conclusion. "Floris" is a little deeper, with organ chords and melodies that seem to creep up on you slowly from behind. With a similarly hypnotic, shuffling groove to "The Beginning (Dub)", it feels like an early morning gem.
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MOS Deep travel into the uncharted waters of Glasgow on their latest release, securing The Haggis Trap from rising production talent Stephen Lopkin. Some four tracks deep, this EP sees an approach seems perfectly in line with Aroy Dee's label. Take for example "The Haggis Trap" which fluctuates superbly between moments of calm and acid drenched chaos or the superb hi tech jazz stylings of "Catherine's Track". Meanwhile, the superbly titled "Let's All Talk About Me" shows Lopkin can lay down dusty kicks with the best of them whilst "Mugs Alley" expertly demonstrates his talent for melody.
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In between Marcel Dettmann and Erol Alkan Fabric mixes the London club and institution help Terry Francis, Nathan Coles and Eddie Richards' Wiggle brand celebrate their 20th anniversary. They've done so by putting together a 20-track compilation that includes music from Just Be, (aka Bushwacka), Berkson & What, D'Julz and Jay Tripwire. Just because it's minimal in sound doesn't mean it's minimal by nature and this Wiggle For 20 Years compilation presents 74 minutes of grooving rhythms with material from recent Wiggle guests Alex Arnout, Saytek and Dachshund, as well as some fresh cuts from long running Wiggle affiliates like Gideon Jackson.
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Given how prolific he's been across multiple aliases these past few years, you can forgive Boris Bunnik for the lack of output that's characterised his year so far, with just the sole Versalife 12" for Clone's Store Only Series issued. A return to his main creative concern Conforce is most welcome then and the Depth Over Distance EP suggests the Dutchman's production powers are fully recharged. Opening with the title track, Conforce's talent for captivating spacious lines and crisp refreshing drum programming is on full display whilst "Plateau" veers off into abstract territory. Powered by supple arpeggios and powerful kicks, "Rendez-vous" feels like Conforce at his most floor focused whilst "Closer" ends proceedings on a haunting, ambient note.
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XL are always 100 per cent on the money when it comes to remix duties. This time, Hot Chip's Joe Goddard turns in a splendid, house-driven remix of Jungle's now infamous "Time" tune. Whereas the original is more sparse and less floor-centred, Goddard heads straight to the DJ booth on this one - sweet atmospherics, tense beats and one hell of a bassline make this into an all-out weapon for all you head-nodding record spinners. It's great to see Goddard back on top form, too!
Exclusives
WILDBLOOD, Seb - Come Into My House EP (Church) - exclusive 22-09-2014
OSBORN, Todd - Put Your Weight On It (Running Back Germany)
MERMAIDS - Welcome To Sunset (A Friend In Need) - exclusive 29-09-2014
Exclusives
BAR F6 - A Photo Frame (Kraak Greece) - exclusive 22-09-2014
WEISS UK/MARK KNIGHT/ADRIAN HOUR/VARIOUS - Toolroom Live 01 (Toolroom)
MOSHER, Brooks - Don't Say Goodbye (Dolly)
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