Reviewed this week
KiNK's taster for his up and coming album on Running Back is here. We don't know if the title is inspired by the Scottish town that techno larrikins Clouds are from, or the sleepy mining town in Western Australia: it's anyone's guess! The Bulgarian hardware maverick brings us some funked up disco loops, reminiscent of DJ Sneak's Sneaky Trax imprint back in the day. "Perth" is a prime example of his unstoppable knack for good times. Taken from the new Playground LP, the three versions here are dripping with grease. Split between the original, a chord mix (which is brooding and epic) and a funky beat version full of sultry latin percussion: it's all you ever wanted from a single. Perfect house music for techno DJs and techno music for disco DJs.



The choice of Tony Humphries to mix Running Back's first label compilation is a significant one. Getting his big break in the early '80s as an understudy for the legendary Shep Pettibone's Kiss FM show, Humphries went on to become one of the defining DJs of house music's formative years, with residencies at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar and London's Ministry of Sound. His previous mixes illustrate his continuing ability to bridge dance music's past and present and his new one for Gerd Janson's imprint will mark its fifteenth anniversary. It is a timely reminder of what has made the Frankfurt powerhouse remain on many favourite label lists for over a decade. It's a mix of golden oldies and recent classics alike: from Todd Terje's smash hit from several years ago "Ragysh" and the anthemic "The Voice From Planet Love" by Precious System, through to more recent bombs. Two by Running back alumnus Shan ("Bassline Party"/"Work It") and the legendary Mr G's Motor City ode "Ben & Gerd" (Killin It M Day).



Story has it that a bunch of Amsterdam's current scene heroes had studios in the basement of a hotel opposite the former iconic Trouw nightclub (RIP). One morning, local enfant terrible San Proper happened to cross paths with Nachtbraker (early on a Tuesday morning) and that's how this collaboration of sorts came about. More specifically, San Proper "casually grabbed a microphone.. Nachtbraker pressed record, Dr. Proper got his inner Mick Jagger on, and behold: Misses, madame, mademoiselle was born". Hear the cowboy of minimal house croon over Nachtbraker's funky disco loops on "M.m.m" (feat San Proper's Elegy), while Hamburg's finest Session Victim remix the track next: giving it more dancefloor dynamic. Second original offering "Hamdi" is a hammering disco house joint that will really rock the house, while the remix up next by Bli takes it down a couple of notches, plus a slight Afro touch into something deeper to mood light the early evening.
A chilled Brazilian-tinged boogie cut from the recent Joey Negro epic entitled Produced With Love gets transformed into a piano fuelled, peaktime banger by Swedish jazz musician/producer Crackazat. He retains the Latino flavour of the original but 'adds bags of dance floor energy.' Dave Lee has been one of the most prolific producers in dance music over the last three decades and we would highly recommend the album to anyone who considers themselves a fan of proper house, disco or soul music. It features collaborations with such legends as Diane Charlemagne, Linda Clifford and Alex Mills. In addition to remixes of recent heroes of the scene such as Horse Meat Disco and Peven Everett.
Given that this is Ben Worrall's fourth Crackazat 12" for Local Talk in less than three years, it would be fair to say the project now has a regular home. As with many of his recent tracks, "Proton Blue" looks to classic US garage for inspiration, peppering a bouncy groove with rich organ stabs and jazzy synthesizer melodies. It's accompanied by the alternative "Deep Orbit" version, a more hypnotic and slightly more spacey interpretation that gives greater prominence to the producer's jazzy synthesizer riffs. "Called My Name", meanwhile, is a soulful, jazzy and fluid affair blessed with a hazy vocal and some luscious jazz guitar. The cut's loose and languid jazz-funk influences are explored further on the arguably superior "Meet the Band" remix.
Hot Digits enjoyed Kellini's last EP so much that they asked him to come back and this time he's brought fellow Norwegian Saskin S: who follows his The Game EP from last year. The two bring some serious heat with this bunch of energetic nu-disco cuts. Starting off with the neon-lit boogie of "Break A Leg" followed by the low slung groove of "In Doubt" which really takes things deep. It comes alongside remixes from rising Irish producer Stephen Richards, whose rendition of "In Doubt" gets some groovy summertime vibes happening (to get any decent Disco Stu in the mood) while Chewy Rubs' From The Deep dub of "Resaca" takes things down a darker and headier route: which would be perfect for late night mood lighting on the dancefloor.



Matt Edwards marked the 100th release in Rekids earlier this year with a release that featured "Feel the Same", and now he is putting out the debut Radio Slave album using the same title. It's a real mixed bag; "2nd Home" starts with gentle ambience and the dreamy breaks of "Forana", before the UK producer changes pace and drops the album version of the title track in all its vocal-heavy, driving glory. If its insistent riffs get too much, then there is the low-slung bass-heavy groove of "Trans" and the dubbed out abstractions of "Draw" to keep his audience guessing. Rekids may now be a house music institution, but as "Feel the Same" shows, it doesn't slide into predictability.
Our butts haven't stopped shaking since "Hotmood Volume 4" earlier this year and already the respected Mexican vibe maestro/edit king/groove sculptor Hotmood is teasing us with another sweet disco dispatch. As yet untitled, each of the four cuts sparkle and shimmy with his signature warm flare. From the belting vocal harmonies on "Track 1" to the loose-limbed percussive and wonked-out bassline of "Track 4", Hotmood has cooked up another superlative vibration fest. Start counting down the days...
First in a three part series by Dutch producer Frits Wentink, presented in a hand stamped picture sleeve. Wentink has been one of The Netherlands' most steady artists since his first release in 2012. As the head honcho of both Will & Ink and Bobby Donny, he is known for pushing quality house music. Starting off with with the neon-lit late night groove of "Theme 01", the slo-mo boogie down groove of "Theme 02" is equally impressive and had us reminiscing of classic Metro Area. "Theme 03" is the EP's most straight up moment: this kind of dusty deep house with sexy retro synths and sleek vox samples are right up our street. "Theme 04" is a woozy and disjointed groove, with its broken beats and skittering melodies getting and inventive groove on: that's for sure.
SBM is a new collaboration between Philpot co-founder Micahel Baumann (AKA Soulphiction) and the mysterious Blunted Monkz (an artist who has made just a handful of appearances on EPs and compilations since debuting in 2011). Happily, the quality threshold remains high throughout. Opener "Gotta Have It" sets the tone, serving up a rolling deep house cut built around low-slung dub disco bass, echoing vocal samples and layered percussion. "Tripolis Jam" is an even sweatier and more intensely percussive affair, with restless cowbells and heavier drum hits working in unison with a fuzzy, punk-funk bassline. Finally, they unveil the EP's undisputed banger, "Criticize", a woozy but energy-packed, jazzy deep house jam featuring vocal snippets from the Alexander O'Neal classic of the same name.



Nicola Cruz returns with another spellbinding fusion of Afro Brazilian charm in the form of "Folha De Jurema". With the dusky dulcets of Arteria FM, the dusty strums of Spaniol and sultry plucks of Salvador Arguaya, Cruz commands a decorated cast as they explore a mystical new vision of a traditional Brazilian folk standard. The remixes are just as warm and alluring as Xique Xique adds a little steel string tension, Crussen maps out a chugging Scandinavian odyssey and Rio's Carrot Green brings us back home to the motherland with a poignant, hazy flutter of house soul. Stunning.
Fred Everything's Lazy Days label is a veritable institution by this stage in the game, and it's no surprise to see a label of such stature reaching out to an artist as highly regarded as Atjazz. Martin Iveson, as he's also known, ditches the alias here but the mood is consistent with his reputation. "Leave Me Here" is a jazz-soaked beauty in its original form and when Jimpster takes the controls for a remix. On the flip comes Art Of Tones, whose "Koniokola" gets not one but two versions from Fred Everything. Both the remix and "re dub" deal in masterful tech house from a true champion of the genre.
Eleven years after he introduced us to his Mr White alias with the acidic bliss of "The Sun Can't Compare", Heard returns with two more extensive, immersive and stylised slices of house. "Virtual Emotion" is a breath-taking progressive odyssey that resonates in that perfect sweet spot between house and techno. "Supernova" takes a much more structured route with full nagging vocals and a sense of proto house theatre running throughout. With promise of a new album (his first in over 12 years), it's an exciting time to be a Larry Heard fan.
Compost Records launched a remix contest for Brexit Jazz's "Brexit Jazz": one of the spontaneously jammed gems created by Beanfield, Roberto Di Gioia (Marsmobil) and Compost head Michael Reinboth the day after the Brexit plebiscite. The Brexit will be a long story, that's why the remix contest was launched. Of the 80 submissions, here are the winners and they sure made a great effort. Konvex & The Shadow + Melokolektiv's remix goes for that progressive deep house sound that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Compost Black several years ago. Letryp or CRS + BRG's remixes, respectively, are soulful nu-jazz renditions calling to mind the work of the Mantis Recordings label.
Jeals comes from 'Poland via the USA' according to Lobster Theremin, but as Flux demonstrates, his sound encompasses many strands. Opening track "W Scape" is a dreamy ambient affair, while "What It's All About" sees him deliver a delightful oddball house affair, combing the London label's in-house jerkiness with some early Dan Curtin-style jazz influences. On "Gentle Chain", Jeals moves into warm, downtempo electro, but picks up the pace again for the US house of "Flexx". Rounding off what is a deeply impressive debut release is "Up There", where the newcomer combines blips and frequency tones with crashing claps and a jerky rhythm.



Casino Times is the project of producers Joseph Spencer and Nicholas Church that was born out of a love for disco and odd electronics. Since first starting in 2010, the duo has steadily been crafting a back catalogue that reflects their varied tastes and unique approach to music. This has seen them release on a wealth of respected labels such as Wolf Music, Futureboogie Recordings & Permanent Vacation, just to name a few. The Decoded EP consists of four tracks highlighting a distinct development of their musical style. Starting off with the off-kilter retro sci-fi vibe of "System Translator" which then leads into the seductive classic house of "Keyboard Warrior". "Simulation Bamboo" is absolutely lush: this serving of neon-lit deep house was definitely a highlight. Finally "Man Machine Interface" really has attitude: in an '80s experimental pop kind of format.
Despite being just two years old, Nick Harris and Eats Everything's label has established itself as one of modern house music's most promising imprints. This collection, which features tracks from Edible's first ten releases, shows why. It begins with the jerky groove, prowling bass and vocal screeches of Lord Leopard's "Mark of Passion", while Lauren Lane's "Diary of a Madwoman" documents a darker, less party-focused take on Edible's rhythm-heavy, off-beat sound. Brett Johnson, whose work has undoubtedly inspired many of the artists on the label, makes an appearance with the driving, heads-down "Jack", while Rhythm Masters deliver a disco-heavy take on the sound with "Feel Your Love". All in all, this compilation is good enough to eat.
With a background crafting hazy ambient cuts and woozy, dark techno shufflers, it would be fair to say that Armen Miran's productions are rarely less than atmospheric. That's certainly the case here, as the American producer joins forces with fellow sonic explorer Hraach for a three-track missive on Earthly Delights. All three cuts are rich, melodious and evocative, with becalmed musical elements rising above Innervisions style tech-house grooves. There are, of course, subtle differences through; contrast, for example, the breathy female vocals samples and snaking synthesizer lines of "Traveller" and the extended breakdowns and sweeping chord sequences of standout opener "Nervous Layers".
Following up the Cold Heart EP by label bosses Dusky, 17 Steps present a new one by Kiwi: the London producer's debut on the label. Having recently released on labels such as Futureboogie, Correspondant and Optimo Music, his distinctive sound is a mix of Italo, techno and electro. The uplifting epic "Marmora's Theme" is powered by a razor sharp arpeggio and balanced out by those hands in the air style piano loops. We were about to draw comparisons to scene heroes Tuff City Kids, but whaddya know: they're up next on the remix! They work their magic as always with a retro flavoured piece of dancefloor drama: they found it fitting to throw in a gnarly Reese bassline too. Epic!
Tale Of Us have revolutionised their Afterlife label over the last few years. Once upon a time, their imprints were about their specific music, a minimalistic take on deep house and soul-ridden tech. This new EP, however, is a perfect example of their recent branching out, with the opening remix of "Monument" being carefully re-stylised by Magazine's head honcho, the ever-impressive Barnt (recently of Hinge Finger recruitment). European techno veteran Stephan Bodzin comes through with a comparatively deeper, dreamier wave of sleek techno, guided here by melancholic male vocals, whereas the moodier Adriatique hands in a much colder, more calculated techno reinterpretation. Solid.
Exclusives
YOUANDEWAN - Luna Via (Voyage Recordings)
TOBY TOBIAS - The Rain (Delusions Of Grandeur)
SOUL OF HEX - Helipop EP (Quintessentials Germany)
Exclusives
LEE VAN DOWSKI/BASTIAN BUX - Nine Lives (Bedrock)
BALAPHONIC - Balinese Saints (Well Cut)
FRITS WENTINK - Two Bar House Music & Chord Stuff Vol 1 (Wolf Music Recordings) - exclusive 29-09-2017
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