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Reviewed this week
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.
Editorial are back with another mini compilation: hallelujah! It's more on the deeper tip than the disco one this time around, but it's all the same quality you expect from this camp as always! Jus Tadi's dreamy and lush deep house vibes come courtesy of "Peaches", Matt Hughes serves up some deep down and dirty funk on "Do Your Thing", plus there's some chilled-out balearic business covered also by P SOL on "Come On". A Salsoul sounding re-edit by Serge Gamesbourg (!) on "Burning" is a worthy addition and some sexy deep house to close out proceedings courtesy of Long Island Sound and The Owl respectively. All killer no filler!
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.
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.
Italian house producer Riva Starr arrived towards the end of the fidget boom and has been slaying dancefloors ever since. He's not been afraid to tackle different styles too and this bravado has captured the attention of Defected how have signed him up for this latest three tracker. "Raw Feel" is very much that - a low-slung, raw, vintage groove with hypnotic vocals (can you guess the classic sample?). Elsewhere the title track recalls Groove Armada at their moodiest and finally "Body Movin" is all about rolling, almost tribal, funky house fun.
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.
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.
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".
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!
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.
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?
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".
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".
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.
In what we hope to be the beginning of a very fruitful relationship, the Whiskey Pickle crew brings us two original jams from super-chilled German groove merchant Mac-K-Cee. "Temptation" is a mid-paced slice of slinky cocktail house, peppered with diva vocals, and "Step Outside", rather than being an invitation to fight, is in fact an invitation to dance to some seriously deep and jackin' funk. Elsewhere the title track gets remixed by Walter Jones (DFA) into sleepy, bleepy Balearic acid and dubbed out yacht rock by The Funk District.
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!
Dutch producer Simon Weiss has been steadily releasing since 2010 and now presents us with a great new one for the Voyage Direct label helmed by celebrated compatriot Tom Trago. Leading the way is "Tele-Vision", a funky and rolling retro techno jam whose melody is vaguely reminiscent of an old Suburban Knight classic. There's then a remix of this track by Klakson head honcho Dexter, who does a good job by not diverting a great deal from the original, just turning it into a more reliable tool version with some sublime analogue synth textures over the top: oh so typical of his style. Moving on, "Ghost" will totally bang the party with its epic arpeggios that gallop away eloquently while there's more throwback sounds on "Super Sub" which is reminiscent of classic Virgo 4.
Having previously plied his trade on Internasjonal Spesial, Tom Tom Disco and Spare Change Disco, Frank Agrario pops up on Glasgow's Maxi Discs. As usual, there's a pleasing looseness about the Bologna-based boffin's productions, with both the percussive, Afro-influenced nu-disco chugger "Balfonic", and altogether bolder "The Later The Better" making great use of analogue synths and live-sounding percussion. The latter features some musical elements that really shouldn't work together - most notably some sleazy, rave-era riffs, tasty piano solo and wonky drum hits - but somehow come together to create a really special track. Pete Herbert offers a smoother, cheerier rework to round off another solid EP from the Italian.
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.
CLEVELAND - Atlas (Hivern Discs)
HUNTER/GAME - Adaptation (Kompakt Germany)
MOOMIN - A Minor Thought (Smallville Germany)
KELLERKIND - Breath Me In EP (Katermukke)
APES - Mosaic (Church)
EAGLES/BUTTERFLIES feat JUDGE - We Get High Remix EP (Get Physical Germany)
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