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Progressive house don Sasha on Kompakt you say? You'd better believe it! The man known to his Mam as Christopher Coe serves up a deep and slinky tech house cut for the early evening or afterhours alike on "Out Of Time" featuring Minneapolis' Polica on vocals; providing the track with that bit more ethereal edge. There's a handy instrumental and radio edit, but lets not forget Amsterdam's Patrice Baumel on the remix which is geared for just as many, if not more life affirming moments on the dancefloor with his powerful and evocative rendition.
Talamanca System are the unlikely trio of Gerd Janson, Phillip Lauer of Tuff City Kids and International Feel boss Mark Barrott. Their sole release in late 2014 became one of the best selling on the Iabel's imprint. My Past Is Your Future brings them back together for a trio of magical productions that harness the power of their production skills and winks at a forthcoming album coming on the imprint this summer. Its' deep balearica cum ambient house on the wonderfully ethereal "My Past Is Your Future" and in proper ambient style there's a truly wonderful "Beatless Stars In Space" mix which is perfect for drifting. Finally the "Chukka Chukka Dance Mix" has Tuff City Kids written all over this this neon-lit retro house mix which is just totally off the hook in its own right!
Alexander Pietnev aka Ponty Mython, is originally from Russia but is currently settled in Vilnius, Lithuania. He had his very first release in 2012 on Beats Delivery which gave a solid impression of what was to come. He went on with outings on Tusk Wax, Arma, Dirt Crew and of course Quintessentials. This was originally released on the Quintessentials 50 compilation; it's "Grooff Machine" and it gets some remix treatment from some more 'dope grooffs' (label's words, not ours!). Chicago hotshot Chrissy (The Nite Owl Diner, Classic, Razor n' Tape) throws some sick and gnarly 303 acid business over this loopy disco number. His Mexican buddy Soul of Hex (who he's collaborated with previously) delivers a deep and lo-slung rendition too, just the way you like it!
Lauer and Gerd Janson aka Tuff City kids emerged with "Tell Me" featuring Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on vocals back in late 2016 on Permanent Vacation, but now it's time for the remixes and they're pretty sweet on this EP; if we do say so ourselves. Hamburg's finest Tensnake is in fine form as always with his rendtion: a tropical nu-disco explosion! Joe Goddard himself chips in too with a makeover of the track; his one getting some emotive Kompakt vibes going on full of rich and life affirming synths leads happening. After all, he has recently collaboarated with Michael Mayer. Finally they save the best for last with the mighty Roman Fluegel delivering the "Happy Gerdy remix" which very uplifting indeed.
DJ duo Audiojack return to their Gruuv label with a killer house release. The title track is a classic deep affair; based on a wiry but driving rhythm and rasping percussion, it features sensuous melodies and a ponderous, seductive female vocal. "On The Road" is closer in sound to classic 20/20 Vision, with the pair deploying a detuned riff and an organ sequence over a tough, driving rhythm. Reset Robot turns "Senses" into a deep techno track, with chiming chords and a linear groove underpinning the original version's vocal sample, while on the Dubspeeka version of the same track, a more understated, stripped back approach prevails.
Fresh from a fine contribution to Local Talk's fifth anniversary compilation, Sameed Rezayan makes his first appearance on G.A.M.M. It sees him exploring similar sonic territory - think jazzy, loop-based, soul-flecked deep house stompers - while serving up two tried and tested dancefloor treats. First up is "Bun", a bouncy and rolling house revision of a groovy chunk of harmonica and saxophone-laden soul-jazz goodness. It's really rather good, though lacks the sheer weightiness of the EP's other track, "Chao". This is, if anything, even loopier, with Sameed building the pressure throughout via darting electric piano keys, simmering strings and a stomping jazz-house groove.
Mad Mats and Tooli have decided to celebrate five and a half years of their much-loved Local Talk label by gathering together a swathe of fresh cuts that best represent the label's eclectic approach to house music. It's a fine set, moving from the electric bass driven jazz-house of Art Of Tones' "Violation" to the UK garage influenced deep house skip of Hugo LX, via the rich, soulful house warmth of Sean McCabe, the synth-laden Herbie Hancock-isms of DJ Spinna and the celebratory disco-house heaviness of S3A's "Bob Morton". Chuck in superb contributions from Bodhi Satva, Simbad (as SMBD) and newcomer Marcel Lune, and you have a near essential collection of feel-good house moments.
The latest missive on Yam Who's Blackriot label comes from Robjamweb, a Derby-based producer who has recently been in a rich vein of form. Roots & Elements is tinted with more than a hint of rose-tinted nostalgia, with piano-heavy opener "House Muziq" coming on like a vintage Frankie Knuckles remix with Eric Kuper on keys. "Heads Down At Five AM" reaches for the acid bass while paying tribute to the deep and dreamy brilliance of Larry Heard. The latter influence is all but removed from the TrueSelf Dub, which wisely emphasizes the floor-filling potential of Robjamweb's machine groove. Those looking for something a little looser should head for "Ghetto Laureate", where an inspirational spoken word vocal rides a jazz-fuelled Afro-house groove and deliciously heady Rhodes chords.
Jimpster has a new album on the way - his seventh in total - so has decided to serve up this tantalizing taster of what's to come. "Crave", featuring the quietly soulful vocals of Florence Rawlings, is an exercise in sumptuous, musically rich dancefloor deep house in which the Freerange co-founder can showcase his admirable composition and production skills. Khalil Anthony adds his slick vocals to the chunkier and more bass-heavy richness of "Where You Are", which recalls his appearances on Thatmanmonkz's superb Columbising full-length. Meanwhile, the EP also boasts two remixes of "Crave": a wonderfully soulful, tech-tinged shuffler from Atjazz and a rolling, analogue-rich interpretation full of bubbly electronic flourishes by D.KO co-founder Flabaire.
Scott Diaz has a sizeable discography to his name, so it's little surprise that his latest expansive EP for Grand Plans is a mature and superbly produced affair. Check, for example, the grown-up feel of opener "Mistreated", where heart-aching soulful house vocal samples ride a backing track full of jazz-flecked drums, twinkling music box melodies and yearning chords. The same sort of praise could be heaped onto the languid electric pianos, bumping beats and half spoken, half sung vocals of "Take It Back" (where vocalist KE urges us all to focus on the music, rather than the technology DJs now use), as well as the sample-heavy smoothness of "I Sold My Soul". In other words, it's a luscious EP for those who like their house deep and soulful.
Once impressively prolific, Anthony Naples has calmed down a little in recent years. Us Mix is his first missive of 2017, and follows on from a year in which he released just two singles, one of which was a two-track salvo of loved-up rollers on The Trilogy Tapes. There's a similarly dreamy, mood-enhancing feel about much of this EP, particularly hazy opener "Sky Flowers". While it does contain some fizzing electronic motifs, these largely play second fiddle to the kind of colourful riffs that recall the halcyon days of Italian dream house. Elsewhere, "Sahara" is an analogue deep house shuffler with tweaked New Jersey organs, "At Ease" is a tactile Balearic house bubbler, and "Us Mix" is a locked-in, string drenched bumper.
Dedicated to forging links between Hamburg and Berlin artists, it now seems that URSL is casting its gaze further afield. This split release seeks to explore outer space, a task that it commences in relatively low-key form with the mid-tempo acidic pulses of Ninze & Okaxy's "Apollo". The Innellea follow with a more foreboding contribution, "Ivy", which boasts a faster pace and and a bleak, ebm undercurrent. The space exploration mood changes again on Soukie & Windish's "Would You Swallow Your Thoughts?" as the URSL act probes the kind of spaced out deep techno groove that one would expect from Future Beat Alliance. Breky's "O Zi De Mai" is in a similar vein, albeit with a sax solo in the middle, while Jan Mir's "Love Face" is a slow-motion electronic disco workout.
Adesse Versions is undoubtedly a canny fella. Few others would have thought have re-casting Yardborough & Peoples' "Don't Stop The Music" is a sweaty acid jam, but that's exactly what he's done here. It sounds like he's replayed the bassline on a TB-303, accompanying it with clattering drum machine percussion, wonky acid lines and a plethora of delay-laden vocal samples. It's a simple idea, brilliantly executed. Elsewhere, he cuts up a well-known, disco-era soul groover and turns it into a chunky house loop-jam ("Slide"), before beefing up the beats and reaching for the TB-303 once more on disco-acid stomper "Kameleon". File under: guaranteed party-starters
Secret Value Orchestra's "Porta", the track chosen to promote the band's debut album, Unidentified Flying Object, tickled our fancy when it dropped earlier in the year. Happily, we can confirm that the finished set is rather good, too. They have taken a widescreen approach, delivering tracks that combine warm and melodious elements associated with both deep house and disco (rubbery electric bass, Rhodes keys, slick boogie synths, and so on) with a variety of rhythmic approaches. So, while a hazy and quietly soulful fusion of house and disco is their stock-in-trade, they also find space to include a fizzing D&B roller ("The Dog"), a dash of jazz-funk ("Superdriver") and some head-nodding hip-hop soul ("Get Enough").
The original version of "Phases" first appeared on Ninja Tune sub-label Counter, and now Innervisions are putting out new interpretations of it. This is hardly surprising as Howling comprises singer Ry Cuming and Frank Wiedemann, one half of Ame and Innervisions co-owner. The only version that re-appears here is the dub interpretation, where a throbbing low end underscores Cumings' quasi-operatic outpourings. Elsewhere, Alex.Do turns "Phases" into an epic, soaring affair, guided by dramatic organs and a pulsing groove. The other versions, from Toto Chiavetta, explore a less obvious direction. On the "Colour Zero" version, layered drums and an organic rhythm underpin the unraveling vocal, while on the "Colour Two" take, flutes and flowing piano lines make for the most suitable accompaniment to Cumings' vocals.
Lobster Theremin has described this label debut from rising deep house star Brian Abelson AKA See Other as a: "humble mixture of low-slung Smallville-esque warmth, Fred P deepness and playful, tinkering melodies". It's an apt description. Abelson has a knack for balancing the needs of the dancefloor with the right level of attractive musicality, as can be seen on the synth-bass propelled late night positivity of 'Fallin" and the sumptuous, lightly sauteed deepness of "Linda". Elsewhere, "Pushin" successfully combines the rhythmic dexterity of classic broken beat with the drowsiness of deep house and "Change" is so deep and quietly soulful that it could have been written and produced at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
With summer fast approaching, Suol has decided to get ahead of the game with an EP chock full of sweltering, sun-kissed deep house treats. Atjazz kicks things off with the rich chord progressions, lilting synthesizer melodies and bouncy drums of sunset-friendly shuffler "Programme Sunlight", before label regulars Chopstick and Johnjon serve up the similarly positive and breezy "Last Night". Elsewhere, Matthias Vogt cranks out the languid, life-affirming pianos and blissful electronics on Balearic house gem "Chanterelle", M.Ono delivers a loved-up twist on loopy disco house, and Carlo drops a chunk of bumpin', bass-heavy goodness blessed with sun-bright guitar flourishes. Best of all, though, is Meggy and Tigerskin's "Bygone Eras", a slick and sultry chunk of sun-bright modern soul.
Hell Yeah's latest trip into saucer-eyed, loved-up territory comes courtesy of Danny Was A Drag King regular Verdo. The Italian producer is in fine form on title track "Little Blue", enveloping unfussy but crunchy drum machine hits in bubbling electronics, positive melodies, dreamy chords and just a touch of reggae style shuffle. It's undeniably Balearic - I.E summery, breezy and unashamedly melodious - as is the bubbly, life-affirming cheeriness of synth-heavy bonus cut "Sazerac". Previous single "Big Fish" - a tantalizing fusion of acid house aesthetics, wild organ solos, jangling piano riffs and bustling, Latin-influenced drum machine hits - also gets an airing, alongside a vintage Italian house style remake from Phillip Lauer.
Of Norway have enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Conaisseur and Loneliest Man is the pair's third album for the label. As usual, it combines the Norwegian pair's quirky humour with their wide ranging sound palette. Gentle ambient sound tracks like "The Soothing" and "Don't Break The Silence" sit next to the tight electro of "Separation Failure" and the acid-soaked disco of "Bootes Void". On the chilling synths of the John Carpenter meets Goblin "The Life & Death Of Italian Mantrance", Of Norway's ability to replicate distinct styles as well as their wry humour is most obvious, while the dreamy house of "Favourite Mistake", which features Linnea Dale on vocals, shows that they are not afraid of mainstream sounds. It's an accomplished, assured release.
To date, Stump Valley has impressed with a string of EPs for the likes of Uzuri and Off Minor, most of which feature the kind of hazy, head-in-the-clouds house goodness that offers a 21st century revision of the late '80s dream house movement. There's plenty to get excited about on the Italian combo's Dopeness Galore debut, too, from the acid bass, languid bongos and dreamy chords of opener "Monkey Flute" and Mystic Jungle Tribe style analogue Balearica of "Tales Of Heike", to the saucer-eyed shuffle of "Pagoda Forest" and the Larry Heard-on-anti-depressants bliss of "Black Sun (Above Japan)". The Mtrpls Shibuya mix of "Tokio Robot Rise", a distorted and dubbed out chunk of experimental hip-hop, is also superb.
Exclusives
OCTO OCTA - My Feelings Toward You (Love Notes From Brooklyn) - exclusive 08-05-2017
JIMPSTER - Crave (Freerange)
HOWLING - Phases II (Innervisions)
Exclusives
DJ ROCCA - Maccheroni/Aula (Roam Recordings)
THE FAMILIAR - White Poison (Remixes) (Beatservice Norway)
OF NORWAY - The Loneliest Man In Space (Connaisseur Germany)
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