Danish deep house talent Paxton Fettel unleashes three disco-infused house cuts through disco specialists Apersonal Music. Fettel joins the family of the label's fine roster of retro-tone music makers backed up with a Jimpster remix. Always in the search of timeless music pieces the Spanish imprint sure found a fine exponent of their unique trippy melodic universe with Fettel's offer on this EP. "She's All Right", "Sundown, as the Beat Gently Skips" and "Tripped Out" make a solid statement of nu-disco editing in a house fashion, new to the artist but with a solid experience on the label's trajectory. To push the boundaries of Fettel's sound no other than high-fi music creator Jimpster to remix "She's All Right", opening a special space for the track on any dance floor filled with raving house lovers.
Amsterdam's Detroit Swindle duo head back to the Heist imprint after an impressive string of releases on labels such as Tsuba Records and Dirt Crew Recordings, and classy, tech-ready house is the order. "Allright (We'll Be)" is a disco-fuelled house gem with one of those vocal samples that'll log itself in your brain, while "Pursuit" is stranger, more wonky and a right burner when it comes to its percussion. "Heads Down", as the name suggests, is nuttin' but a club bomb and one hell of a DJ tool!
M-1 synth sounds, thick bass, beats so sturdy you could hang a truck off them and sugar-sweet vocals sprinkled over the top. This timeless slice of foundation house has potential to tickle as many airwaves as it does dancefloors. Remix-wise we're in for a treat as Champion murks up the hook with a muddy rainbow of dark basses, Chris DS gets his organic D&B drum swing on and PVC looks back to the late '90s garage rudiments a la Matt Jam Lamont. TG Groove completes the set with a widescreen cosmic chugger that will suit house, garage and disco DJs. "All Mine"? All yours!
Ninja Tune's relentless release schedule continues apace here with the much anticipated debut album from Romare. Under the name, London producer Archie Fairhurst first made waves with a couple of excellent 12" releases for the Black Acre label which revealed a quite distinct approach to production. Inspired by the collages of noted US artist Romare Bearden, Fairhurst's fascination with African-American culture is explored through his productions which deftly weaved in untold amounts of samples in an illuminating fashion. How Romare applies this approach to the album format is one of the most compelling thoughts you will have when listening to Projections. The resultant 11 tracks suggest Fairhurst has achieved it with aplomb.
Earlier this year, Rush Hour announced the focus of their archival attentions would fall on Vincent Floyd, a producer with a small clutch of releases in the mid-90s for Dance Mania, Relief and Gherkin Records offshoot Resound Records. Having reissued Floyd's 1990 Dance Mania release Your Eyes back in February, Amsterdam outpost Rush Hour return to the Chicago artist's canon of work with Moonlight Fantasy, a six track missive filled with unreleased material. Sourced from Floyd's personal DAT tapes, Moonlight Fantasy focuses on his earliest productions and a time when his sumptuous sound was very much in the classic deep house mould of Larry Heard. House music historians will find this a most compelling document!
The enigmatic Thatmanmonkz parachutes back onto Delusions Of Grandeur - one of the most consistent deep house driven labels out there - with three retro joints. "In The Trees" is pure Chicago magic and features the vocal talent of Khalil Anthony in the mix, while "Make It Now" is a jazzy house piece a-la Moody. Last but by no means the least, "Sad N Blue" goes for chunky beats, gorgeous piano keys and a stunning backdrop of seductive R&B vocals. This is for HOUSE music lovers and it's massive.
Germany's A Friend In Need have begun to develop a strong reputation for championing their own unique blend of deep house-not-deep-house. Here we get a new label comp featuring four different takes from four different artists: stop-start loopy funk (78 Edits' "Keep It Up"), deep and spacey jack-fests (Lootbeg & M Ono's "About You"), 303 fizz-outs (Gregory Dub's "Acid Spacejam") and the slow, raw and romantic depth charges of "Acaya" by Zacharias. Boom!
Iron Curtis delivers his second 4 track EP for Hudd Traxx following up the huge 'Stansfield EP' in 2010. The opening track 'Care' demonstrates IC's diversity as a producer as he lays down a killer bassline with melodic keys which will find it's way into many big hitters bags. 'Sing Along With Your Friends' has deep laid keys and an MCDE esk feel to it accompanied by some heavy snares for good measure. 'Shouting & Screaming' is a dark driving track that even Spencer Kinsey would be proud of, whilst the EP is rounded off with a solid groovy little number entitled 'Lasga's Return' .
Despite impressing with releases on Missive in the mid 2000s, Philippe Juven had been all but forgotten until Jennifer Cardini resurrected his career with an EP on her Correspondant label in 2012. Here he returns - for the first time since - with "Disturbed", a cheery, cosmically inclined chunk of jaunty, late night nu-disco. While tasty - and accompanied by a typically grandiose and even cheerier rework from Full Pupp man Jarle Bruthen - it's the EP's more intense moments that really excite. "Wolf Pack" is the standout, moving as it does from wide-eyed nu-disco chugginess to psychedelic acid, over the course of nine action-packed minutes.
After recently notching up three years in the business, HFN Music offshoot Hafendisko is in celebratory mood. So much so they've put together this first split EP - trailed as a "mini compilation" - featuring a trio of new cuts and another chance to savour Ewan Pearson's epic, Italo-influenced electro-disco reinterpretation of Kaspar Bjorke's "Apart". Of the new material it's Snacks' deep and rolling, warm and soul-flecked house jam "Easy" that stands out. That said, there's something deliciously sweet about the lolloping synth bass, cut-up vocals and drowsy chords of Unkwon's "Everything", while Deo & Z-Man's "Penelope" is a breezy, bongo-laden delight.
Clouded Vision boss Matt Walsh's first mix CD, The Clouded Vision Experiment, gained plenty of praise on its 2012 release. Three years on, he's finally got round to putting together a follow-up. As with its predecessor, The Clouded Vision Experiment Level 2 aims to join the dots between bouncy, electro-influenced techno, warehouse-friendly tech-house, glistening nu-disco (see the Eskimo Twins' "Elegy") and hard-to-define, dancefloor-friendly electronica (Richard Norris's "Dim The Lights" being a great example). The unmixed portion of the collection is full of gems, including tracks and remixes from The Hacker, Pulp Disco & The Outcasts (whose P-funk goes-acid banger "3.142" stands out) and the brilliantly named Forty Fingers Dynamo.
California's foremost John Candy lookalike Vin Sol has enjoyed a productive couple of years, delivering well-received solo and collaborative releases (mostly alongside regular sparring partner Matrixxman) for Unknown To The Unknown and his own So Wavey imprint. Here he pops up on Clone's Jack For Daze offshoot with four blasts of dancefloor-centric machine music. "Off The Chain" expertly blends the energy of original Chicago jack with metallic electronics and a touch of deep house warmth, while the sweatier "Sox" makes merry with restless percussive builds and a nagging electro hook. "House Freaks" sounds like a long lost Jungle Wonz classic, while "Trac" offers some stripped-back drum machine abuse for charged-up late night 'floors.
One can safely say that Berlin-based Mark Henning is something of a nomad when it comes to his catalogue. He's released consistently high quality output on everything from Soma to Hypercolour and now even Steve Bug's Poker Flat Recordings. The title track "Pusher" is a no nonsense tech burner boasting a mean-as-hell bassline, and even "Swingers" is no push-over with regards to its potent low-ends. There's more peak-time bombardments on "Triple 13", but also a change of mood on "Satin", a deeper and more chimerical excursion across wondrous chords and steady percussion
Channeling the spirit of electro swing into a lively party concoction, The Gentlemen Callers of LA come from the sterling lineage of Los Angeles production team Atom Smith and Buck Down. On this particularly fiery cut the pair turn to a track made famous through Moby's canny sampling, and whip up a sure fire hit in the process. In terms of remixes, the Skeleton Bay remix gets into a straight up electro house shaker without losing the key vocal elements, while Sound Nomaden remix works in a slight reggae skank. The Dutty Moonshine remix meanwhile is the trippiest version of the bunch without losing that all important hooky groove.
Set up to shine a light on exciting new producers as well as his solo productions, Sasha's Last Night on Earth label has earned kudos as an emerging underground label. Certainly, the addition of Joel Mull to the roster will do its reputation no harm. On "Pale Reich", a track produced with Sasha, the Swedish producer unleashes wave upon wave of loopy drums before tranced out synths take hold. The rest of the release sees Mull fly solo; "Sending Probe" is a drum-heavy track shot through with dubby hiss and interference, while "Never Dwell On That " takes that sound to its logical conclusion with its heavy drums and razor sharp claps. "The Last One" sees Mull return, albeit in solo mode, to the dreamy tribal sound of "Pale Reich".
Somewhat surprisingly, it's been three years since Spanish deep house veteran Pablo Bolivar popped up on Maurice Aymard's Galaktika imprint. "Drop It" is a fine return to the label, with the title-track delivering a woozy, spacey chunk of deep house blessed with delightfully loose drums, undulating chords and intergalactic melodies. Bonus cut "Question of Time" continues on a similar theme, with Bolivar peppering a military groove with wild synthesizers, bold chords and an almost jazz-like, freestyle feel. John Tejada takes care of the remixes, offering a smooth, deep and rolling main rework, plus a jaunty, piano laden alternative.
Already supported by Laurent Garnier, Josh Wink and Stacey Pullen, this four-tracker pulls apart the tool house template and plugs the gaps with unexpected elements. Marcos In Dub's "Luos Onhcet" is based on broken beats , while icy synths and a mysterious vocal sweep through the arrangement vying for the listener's attention. Astin's "Tale of a Trip" and Kydus' "50 States" are more conventional rolling tribal affairs, but both contain imaginative vocal samples, the former using a deranged preacher screeching that "it came down from New Orleans" and the latter using a Barack Obama speech to great effect. Best of all though is Deelo's "Mr House", which features jazzy, staccato drums and a rumbling bass.
If you thought UTTU offshoot Hot Haus were in pretty unrelenting form last year, get ready for more of the same this year if the brief-but to the point sales notes for this Steve Murphy release are any indication. To quote DJ Haus in all caps "THE FIRST OF MANY HOT HAUS RECS IN EFFEKT RELEASES TO COME THIS YEAR!" Murphy is of course a key cog in the circle of Italian hardware enthusiasts that includes Restoration, and The Analogue Cops with last year's Relax EP for Lobster Theremin something of a breakthrough. If you liked that release you will love the Climax EP, with the surging intensity of "Something Around The Sun" standing out.
Ready for a strange soul sensation? Say hello to Henry Wu. After a smattering of outings on 22a and XVI, the Londoner jumps aboard Ho Tep with his first extensive extended document. "Don't Want The Regular" is a hazy twist on slo-mo broken beat, all dreamy and just the right amount of abstract. "Expensive Ghetto" takes the abstract even further with a jazz trumpet that wanders so free it's nearly off the page. "Black Rigsby" is more floor-focused as it looks towards the likes of Detroit with strange filtered synth wriggles and spacy overtones, "Just Negotiate" sits somewhere between Andrew Ashong and Amp Fiddler with its yearning lyrics and hugely enveloping synths and finally "Joint September" closes the show on a reflective jazzy note. Dreamy.
Vienna-based imprint Luv Shack has started 2015 in positive fashion. After dropping a single from Italian nu-disco/deep house heavyweights Hard Ton, they've now turned to German producer Daso, a man who earned his stripes creating techno. Here, he offers up something far more disco-centric. Lead cut "I Seek" brilliantly combines rubbery nu-disco bottom-end with Italo-influenced synthesizers, cut-up vocals and chords seemingly inspired by Balearic deep house. The Italo influences are even more obvious on virtual flipside "Your Room", which peppers an arpeggio-heavy groove with soaring synth-strings, lazy melodies and just the right amount of baggy, sun-kissed charm.