Dirt Crew started out in 2004 and since then has been on the forefront of underground House and Techno, by releasing some of the first records by artists such as "Mano Le Tough", "Chymera", "Till von Sein" and "Tigerskin" they gained a massive following in the House community. They just recently celebrated their 10th Birthday.
After many years of changing music styles and hypes they are very happy to be stronger as ever and still up and running. With the recent success of “Detroit Swindle” whose debut album they released last year they took yet another big leap. This year the label will see more fine new releases from a lot of upcoming young talent like “Nachtbraker”, “Brame & Hamo”, “25 Places”, “Urulu & Steve Huerta”, “Kito Jempere” and now this new EP by “Ponty Mython Feat Sebastien Vorhaus”.
Thanks for taking time to talk to us, should we let you introduce yourself?
My Name is Alex, Ponty Mython. Love Monty Python shows, hate winter. I'm Russian but I've spent my recent years in Vilnius, Lithuania. Changes are necessary, so we moved here with my brother a year ago. Love that city, green & fresh, a lot of good parties in Vilnius, just played on a good techno festival, Supynes here in Lithuania, splendid event!
So it will be your second collaboration with Sebastien Vorhaus after this excellent release “Lux or Cairo EP” under Quintessentials. How guys did you got together? Did you decide to collaborate on 2 releases closed together at first or after the first you though “let’s give it another go”?
Yes, fun thing it was. I brought Sebastien in St Petersburg two years ago on a party as part of his small European tour. We had few more days and tried to make some stuff but nothing got out of it even though there was that feeling: we should push it. So we've tried to do it online (thanks God we are both Logic guys). Sebastien has a great feeling for the sampling groove, every project he sent I would finished them in studio adding stuff: bass from Novation BSII, 707 drums, cowbells. We still do this, every month, he sent me something and I finish it with cowbells. Quite good team we are. And I' still crazy about it, you can team up with somebody from other continents, no borders for music.
So you are with Sebastien Vorhaus on the 90th release for Dirt Crew, quite a mark! Can you tell us a bit more on this new release with Sebastien Vorhaus please?
Oh, that should be a great EP! The first track we did is called "Face Down", deep and dirty. And few more tunes from me. "Mila, It's Not Over" has bubbling bass from Novation and nasty piano stabs, as for "Narcolepsy" I've chopped folk flute, then "Paulette! is about marimba arp. Crazy mix, that's how I like it in house music.
I’ve read a year or so ago you were really inspired with the possibilities with distortion and reverb effect, is it still the case? Have you got any particular favorite equipment or recent kit?
Distortion and reverb, yes I still learn how to treat them right. Tricky bastards! Gonna finish with them by the time I'm 50. To be honest, I couldn't spot any fav device, every new one has a new sound palette. Some people can stuck on MPC for years, I can't. Every month, a new synth. Live is too short to stick to the same machine!
So you have releases under Tusk Wax, No More Hits, Capital Bass, Dirt Crew, Quintessentials and soon Swedish brandy and launched Beats Delivery with Kirill Sergeev few years ago – what is next on your radar?
Around autumn, a few cool tunes will come on 124 Recordings and Simple Things, strong EP on Moscow based label Capital Bass then Swedish Brandy. What else, going to play Ponty Mython's stuff live finally. Also I'm really excited with the new live project Umdieecke we did with my brother. Should be sick.
How your summer is so far and what are you looking for in term of forthcoming gigs?
Going to play in the area here in Vilnius, and there should be a lot of private gigs for my girlfriend since we are in different cities, I owe her a lot of them.
We’ve asked you to select your 5 or so favorite tracks in the recent years. Can you give us a couple of words about why you selected these tracks and what significance they have to you?
2015 is fast turning into Henry Wu's year. Having already delivered killer release of baked deep house/instrumental hip-hop fusion for Ho-Tep and Odd Socks, he now pops up on Rhythm Section International with another brilliant EP. While as deep and blazed as previous excursions, there's a sun-bright freshness to the pleasingly varied selections on offer. Contrast, for example, the deep space, boogie-house slickness of "Yellow Brick", the bruk revivalism of "Neezy (Wok)" - think I.G Culture after a few too many bongs) - and the brilliant deep house/jazz-funk fusion of "Dubplate Special". Arguably best of all, though, is the Latin jazz-goes-deep house warmth of "Croydon Depot". Everyone will have a different personal favourite, though; it's that kind of EP.
"Ambience" from the creatively restless Mele surfaces courtesy of yet another new home, Lobster Boy. The reluctance to be held down to one style is also pleasingly present too, with Mele delivering two new bass bombs, with the title track's carnival-esque fusion of deep tribal beats, diva vocals and absurd breakdown, as well as the quirky, helium laser attack of "UFOZ". Typical Mele - always ahead of the pack.
Few are better at saucer-eyed, rave revivalism than Victor Shan. He's made a habit of successfully doffing a cap to the early '90s, primarily via collaborations with Tuff City Kids and the booming Chord Memories 12" on Running Back. Here he's at it again, kicking off with a "Piano Mix" of "Work It" that sounds like a long lost collaboration between Inner City and Tyree Cooper. There's a more flustered, UK hardcore feel about "Bassline Party", even if it does contain a classic Chicago house bassline and a swinging, boompty style groove. Flip for a ghetto style "Miami Mix" of work it, plus a couple of handy DJ tools (the hip-house-goes-rave groove of the "Rave Beats" version being particularly potent).
It's Italian club maverick and disco twister Kiu D back in business for the prolific Hotbox label, and you know that means only one thing: party-time. The dude serves up a whopping six new cuts on this devilish little EP, all of them well-suited to a Saturday evening spin on the ol' decks, at prime time. The title track "Surrender" is a lovely, slo-mo boogie attack with a house sensitivity, while "Touch" is our favourite due to its grizzly bottom end, jazzy piano keys and organic percussion swing. Make sure that you also check "New Air", a funky-as-hell house bombshell for the summer months. All in all, a fine blend of house and disco groovers.
Here, Vienna's Luv Shack label delivers its' first compilation - a riotously good collection of previously unheard gems from label favourites and selected guests. As usual, the quality threshold is high, and the included music a blend of melodious deep house, disco-influenced party jams, synth-heavy workouts and acid-tinged basement fare. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, from the quirky, summery madness of Full Pupp man Jarle Bruthen's "Italo Mullet", and Space Echo's Afrobeat influenced disco-house jam "Got It", to the yearning, melancholic deepness of Jakobin & Domino's superb set closer, "Retronome".
It looks like All Good Funk Alliance's Super HiFi label has struck gold with this cheery, electrofunk influenced summer jam from Rory Hoy and former Freak Power vocalist Ashley Slater. The original, which benefits greatly from Slater's distinctive vocals, is the kind of cheery, Chic-influenced mid-tempo jam that sounds like it would cause commotion on festival dancefloors. The remix package is hefty, too. All Good Funk Alliance lead the way with a rubbery electrofunk-meets-nu disco slammer, while House of Phonk turn it into a French Touch influenced house banger. Best of all, though, is DJ Bone's rework, with re-casts the original as a choppy slab of slap bass-heavy P-funk revivalism.
American DJ and producer Kevin Knapp steps up to Jamie Jones and Lee Foss's Hot Creations via Berlin, the man's current place of residence, and drops some of his bumpy, techy house vibes. "Heft" is all jittery and wonked-out thanks to its wavy vocals chops and swirling mutant low-end, whereas "Not Your House" is contains more of a classic house structure with a heavy succession of high hats, snares and a banging kick, to boot!
Well, the UK's Shifting Peaks have really gone and done it with this latest leviathan of a compilation, an anthology of their best and most wanted from 2010 until now. Inside, there's talent and plenty of club antics bouncing off the wall left, right and centre; with over fifty cuts there's enough to go around and satisfy a whole artillery of bass-heads. Some of the stand-outs for us are Tessela's "Yes You Can", Hackman's "Always", "Put You Down" by Odessa, and OM Unit's remix of "Reach Out" by Nphonix. What a belter,
It seems Paul Rose can do no wrong. With a successful career that has gone from strength to strength through its many phases in the last several years he returns with another masterclass, peak time production taken from his new album Claustrophobia. "Black On Black" goes back to his trance inspired explorations of a few years ago, hypnotising you into submission with its epic synth lead while doom laden Carl Craig style synth stabs lurk in the background. Speaking of all things dark and apocalyptic, who better than getting Berghain and Figure main man Len Faki in for a remix. No surprises here; he turns in a version just as epic than the original.
Chart bothering pop-DnB duo Sigma (aka Cameron Edwards and Joe Lenzie), are on a roll with two recent megahits (Nobody To Love, Changing). The latter was a collaboration with none other than Paloma Faith, and here on "Glitterball" they're aiming for third time lucky by roping in former X Factor contestant Ella Henderson. There's also a very generous selection of mixes of this melodramatic piano-beat anthem too. Highlights include the sinister, 2-step "Not So Glittery" remix by SPY, Hollaphonics' shiny, chromium-plated electro-house version and the 80s arpeggiated joy of Lucas Maverick's "Disco Rack remix".
Lithuania-based Russian Ponty Mython has quietly been building an impressive discography over the last few years, with releases on No More Hits, Royal B-Sides and Quintessentials emphasizing his growing credentials. Here he pops up on Dirt Crew with an impressive EP of loose, winding and spacey deep house/future disco fusion. "Apple Arp" sounds like Floating Points jamming with Todd Terje and Axel Boman, while "Mila, It's Not Over" fixes stargazing electronics and hazy deep house chords to a fluid, jazz-flecked groove. Elsewhere, there's a classic, Nu Groove era deep house feel about "Narcolepsy", and Paulette feels like an aural tribute to some chilly Eastern European sunrise. The sweet, disco-influenced melodiousness of "Face Down", a hook-up with Sebastien Vorhaus, is also pretty tasty.
Given the infrequency of their releases these days, any new 12" from Dego, Akwasi Mensah and Kaidi Tatham's 2000 Black project is cause for celebration. "Make It Hard", their first collaborative missive of note since 2008's A Next Set of Rockers on Third Ear, is predictably. The title track itself is killer; a classic, dancefloor-friendly broken beat roller complete with dense, Latin-tinged percussion and loads of brilliant synth touches from Tatham. It's the kind of record that would be been massive at the turn of the millennium. Even now, it should be. The other cuts are pretty tasty too, with some jazzier, deeper bruk in the shape of "Counter Attack", and a dash of sensual, Herbie Hancock does deep house niceness ("Steady Jam").
Although Cliff Lothar's music has been in demand ever since his first EP on Viewlexx back in 2013, the producer hasn't been outing out tonnes of music. Instead, he's opted to stick close to home and has only released on a handful of labels including Skudge White and the present Riverette out of Spain. The Old Jams Die Hard EP is the first volume of a likely series and its classic Lothar, where the grooves of "Tugeda" are tightly packed and hard-hitting. There's also some funkier moments in "Don't Need Nobody, raw and jacking drum machines oddities on "Going Dutch", and a deeper, meaner kinda vibe on "The Snow Is Falling". Killer.
It wouldn't be a proper summer without Sven Vath's Cocoon imprint delivering the goods, and the man has put together another tight little monster in this collaborative EP by Germany's Dana Ruh and Cocoon resident Tini. Ruh delivers a heavy groove on her mix of "Cocoon Ibiza", the kick drums pouncing the tune forwards with might and class. Tini's version is deeper and more minimal, chucking in a load of subtle, wailing vocal samples amid lo-fi piano keys and intricate percussion twists. Both of the tunes are bound to cause a stir in the Balearics for the next couple of months!
Do you have any regrets in life? You will once you've heard this... XXXY continues his deep tech Rinse sermons with this powerful-yet-understated trio of brooding, reflective tracks. "Regrets" burns low-and-slow like a Henrik Schwarz cut, all strings and soft pads. "12049" follows suit with tightly clipped synth patterns over another insistent but subtle drum arrangement (think Ame's "Rej") while "Over Peover" joyrides New Horizons' slipstream and takes us to the further reaches of the solar system by way of twinkling arpeggios and lush, life-affirming synth chords. Beautiful.
As resident at hot Milan club Le Cannibale, Uabos has made some friends in high places. When the time came for a new release he called up his buddy Munk and wrangled a single on Gomma offshoot, Toy Tronics. Not bad going and the music's pretty good too. There are three originals here, the percolating analogue jack-jam "Hard T", the warped and loopy house of "A Spirtual Thing" and the long, cosmically pulsating title track. The latter also gets a remix by Danny 'Legowelt' Wolfer, who delivers a trippier, linear excursion into electro and disco-fied waters.
"No Promises" was originally a 1990 B-side by The MacKenzie, a long forgotten outfit who would later go on to define the sound of Belgian trance. Back then, their sound was harder to define, and while "No Promises" features some melodious, hypnotic, trance-like elements, these sit alongside choral vocals (similar, in style, to those used on Orbital's "Belfast"), a smattering of Chicago house influences and an undeniably Balearic vibe. Here, the original version is joined by two new interpretations from Lauer; a rougher, more jackin', Chicago-meets-Ghent "remix", and a breezy "cover" that's more Balearic than being carried out of Pacha in a face-chewing daze. As if that wasn't enough to get the juices flowing, there's also a tasty edit of proto-trance-meets-deep-house cut "The Right Side" from Locked Groove and Red D.
The Shir Khan-helmed Black Jukebox series has always been a reliable source of groovy house tracks built around extensive disco samples and a strong desire to get dancefloors moving. This 13th volume in the series once again ticks all the right boxes. Newcomer Onsra handles the virtual A-side, first delivering a 13-minute, conga-laced fusion of chunky disco-house grooves and sweltering Latin pianos, before brilliantly turning an Imagination classic into a sweaty house roller on "Burning Up". On his two contributions, Kiko Navarro heads towards Soundstream and Tiger & Woods territory, creating throbbing, pulsating disco-house smashers by relentlessly working a handful of killer loops. Of the two, it's the Bohannon-biting "Good Intention" that most impresses.
Lerosa finds himself in good company on the Photic Fields label run by Micha Venderbos from Nijmegen with Perseus Traxx, Aroy Dee and fellow Ireland-based acts Leonid and Automatic Tasty having previously contributed. The Woman Flew Home EP follows the template laid down over Lerosa's long and celebrated production career in that the four track's represent the Italian producer's rich palette of sounds. Contrast the crunchy Faltemeyer-esque drums and plaintive melodics of "Some Things Endure" with the subtle acid undertones and punchy percussion of "Nebula Rider". On the flip, the appropriately titled "Dream Of Flight" will appeal to Legowelt fans whilst "Postmodern" is a perfect example of Leo's capacity for rich and emotive house music.
In his quest to master the art of 'wonky' house, Dutch dweller Frits Wentink has set up the Bobby Donny label, and it's a rule-free home for his 'hardware jams on the Rhodes, Juno 60s or a MPC'. "Dwayne Young" kicks things off with a distorted soul sample held down by some raw, slammin' house for a truly warped dancefloor jam. Elsewhere "Rio" is a swirly interlude, "Guacamole" is a sparse 4/4 workout, "Q&A" is an extra terrestrial lo-fi garage joint and "Aquarelle" sounds like an easy listening record plunging to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.