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03 Apr 09
27 Nov 09
14 May 10
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Wil Milton, Lee Fraged, Tom Lown (Acryl/Um Records/Lmd), Juno Recommends Deep House, Sleazy Beats Recordings
Review: Alex Agore returns to 4Lux following the success of his "I Remember House" on the imprint at the end of last year. With "Victory", the German delivers an EP of four super deep, groove-led house tracks that touch on disco, dub, tech, jazz and the jacking sound of Detroit. The title track begins in a reggae influenced mood but switches to twinkling house. "The Dayz of Wayback" is slow, liquid disco infused house and "Skyraider" is vintage soul with a pumping house twist. "Jazz Thing", a continually building jazz-house jam completes a release that is sure to further enhance Agore's fast rising rep.
05 Oct 12
13 Apr 12
Played by: Krl, Scenery Records, Kid Who, Enthousiaste Gasten, Juno Recommends Deep House, Giorgio Luceri
Review: 2011 was a great year for Arttu Snellman, with acclaimed releases dropping on both Royal Oak and Philpot. Here he starts 2012 with another couple of impressive tracks, this time for Gerd's 4Lux imprint. "Attic House" (chuckle) has a suitably retro feel, with treacle-thick bass, beats and synth motifs sparring with hissing, Detroit-influenced hi-hats and a classic vocal sample. "Soul Stream" is arguably even more impressive, a kind of tooled-up version of classic Mr Fingers with the addition of Burrell Brothers strings and melodies. Remix wise, Gerd's stripped-down version of "Attic House" is solid enough, but it's the two suitably old skool basement bumpers from Snuff Crew that most impress; the dub, in particular, is decidedly raw.
27 Jul 12
19 Oct 12
12 Apr 13
Review: It would be fair to describe Italian producer Enrico Mantini as a "veteran", given that he put out his first 12" way back in 1992. In fact, one of the highlights of that EP - "What You Like" - is featured here, alongside another superb chunk of Italian deep house/garage fusion, "I'll Be There", from 1993. Both tracks have stood the test of time well, and their original '90s flex is the perfect antidote to today's retro-futurist house culture. The undisputed quality of these tracks is put into sharp focus by the EP's two new Mantini cuts, which while solid and playable don't quite have the same unpolished appeal as his original '90s work.
03 Dec 10
20 May 09
07 Sep 12
Played by: Nowakowski
Review: Second time around for Gerd's "House", a track originally recorded many years back with Nu Groove legend Lamont "Elbee Bad" Booker (a compilation of whose classic moments is imminent on Rush Hour). This is in many ways an accompaniment to last year's release, and features instrumental versions of the excellent reworks by Attu and Jacob Korn. The latter's woozy deep house take arguably works better without Booker's rambling vocal, sounding like a future underground house classic. Best of all, though, is Gerd's own New Vox Mix, which is so raw, analogue and uncompromising that the mix actually distorts on several occasions. Proper house music, and no mistake.
29 Jun 12
24 Dec 10
25 Jun 10
Played by: Gerd, Carlos Nilmmns - Ornaments Berlin, Juno Recommends Deep House, Amplified Orchestra, James Johnston (No Matter What)
Review: After impressing Jimpster and Moodymanc with Honesty, his debut EP on the Undertones imprint last year, James Johnston returns with more deep house cuts on "Missed The Party" for the 4 Lux Black label. The Glaswegian has only just returned to the house music he grew up on after several years of delving into experimental music as part of a guitar noise duo and playing squat parties throughout Europe (Thurston Moore was a fan) but Johnston clearly has a talent for crafting impressive deep house. The title track takes the plaudits here - a bumping percussive rhythm wrapped in neat vocal edits and extra warm bass line where the hypnotic groove early on is transformed into Romanthony sampling deep house bliss. Johnston opts for a jazzier feel on "In The Dream Count To Three", drenching the lolloping beats in an exquisite synth melody and submerged atmospherics. "The Day We Expanded" brings you out of the mist with a slow building mix of uptight hi hats, Detroit-esque synth work and squiggly acid bass stabs.
03 May 13
23 Nov 12
Review: Deep house badboy Joe Drive makes his debut on Gerd's, 4Lux Records. We're so happy to see him release on such a prolific imprint and these four tracks are nothing short of amazing..."Rain Dance" is a slow-moving house bomb riddled with short, chopped-up vocal samples and a seriously twisted melody riding beneath its crispy percussion elements. The title track, "Junopolis" is a classic Chicago number, where luscious Juno chords bounce proudly amid that classic fist-pumping beat style, but Alden Tyrell's remix of "Tefnut" is some serious business. A gnarly bass line is torn inside out and left to growl uncontrollably next to a menacing snare which cuts straight through the core of the track. The original of "Tefnut" is comparatively milder; soft bongos meet with outrageously addictive chords, but Drive never loses that darker edge that make his tracks so enticing. Big release!
4 LUX 031
24 Apr 09
Played by: Alex Agore
22 Mar 13
02 Nov 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show)
18 Feb 10
Review: For the uninitiated, Kazuki Yamaguchi is a rising deep house producer from Japan. His first single on the Dutch label famed for their distinct future jazz groves, 4lux, was a huge success both on the dancefloor and in the record shops. Now he returns to the label with a specially commissioned remix EP of his debut release, the highly acclaimed "Sweetly Confused|."
Whilst hosting his own club night in Tokyo, Kez YM plays alongside the likes of Ame, Jazzanova and Giles Peterson. You can hear the kind of deep house groove that is associated with those producers In his original "Sweetly Confused." With deep basslines combined with solid keys and atmospheric synths and then dreamy leads over a catchy vocal sample, the track could lend itself to any of the aforementioned highly established acts, such is the talent of this up and coming producer.
Here though, the original track finds itself in between two stomping house mixes from fellow 4lux mover Alex Agore and one bouncy, dubby offering from the label's head honcho, Gerd. Opening with Alex Agore's re-edit, we are plunged into peak-time territory with a pure and simple house track. His Beatdown Version though is a much hazier affair, with warm bass and a cosy and intimate feel throughout. Such is its popularity that the original track is included in the EP, it comes in here before Gerd reveals his funked up, dub version. With pristine chords and warm melodies, it sounds playful but in perfect keeping with the depth of Kez YM's original effort.
All four tracks on here are more than worthy releases. Full of warmth and soul, they all radiate a positive energy but at the same time hold the ability to get the dancefloor jacking.
21 Sep 12
08 Jun 12
Review: Given 4Lux's early history as a home for deep, soulful broken beat and jazzier flavours, this EP from Low Line Relay could be seen as something of a blast from the past. Sure, the production style is decidedly contemporary (check the crackly wooziness throughout), and there's an atmospheric trip into deep house territory (see the sunrise vibes of "Crooked Sun"), but for the most part it sounds like a cross between classic "bruk", wonk-hop and Moodymann-ish jazziness. For proof, check the Mr Beatnick-ish "In The Gutter", or the Rhodes-laden deepness of "Over". "Super Love" doffs a cap to classic house, but its cosy shuffle and muted rave sirens tell a different story.
04 Feb 11
Review: There are numerous approaches to deep house around, but few are quite as spellbinding as that offered by Gerd's 4 Lux Black label. Since setting up a couple of years back, the Dutch label has quietly set its stall out as a 'must check' imprint for those who like their music deep, subtle and oozing with unfussy emotion. So far, the label's clear stand out release has to be Erdbeerschnitzel's brilliant Suave EP, but this new three-tracker from label stalwart Johan Brandes - aka Native Rush - pushes it mighty close. It's a concept EP of sorts, with the 'American Studies' title referring to the various spoken word and vocal samples - all from vintage US sources - that litter the release. These are invariably well chosen and add an extra dimension - a cinematic sweep, perhaps - to Brandes deep and meaningful compositions. This is perhaps most obvious on "Cigarbox", which slowly bobs and weaves for eight timeless minutes. The grooves are wearily sub-aquatic, the melodies chilly and otherworldly. When the poetic, extended vocal sample kicks in, it adds another dimension to an already impressive composition. Then there's "My Obsession", a rolling, low-end heavy groove that pits well-chosen spoken word samples ("America, I refuse to give up my obsession") against relentless organ riffs, bowel-bothering bass and a classic US house finish. It's a fittingly American-centric ending to an EP that delights and entertains in equal measure.
03 Jun 11
Review: Johan Brandes' most recent EP for Gerd's 4Lux Black imprint, American Studies, was something of a slow-burning deep house delight. While this EP hasn't quite got the same instant impact, it may have greater longevity. Certainly, there's something distinctly classic about the drifting, emotion-rich deepness on offer here. Tracks like "St Johns" - with its spoken word samples and glassy-eyed glaze - and "Landing Lights" are perfectly pitched, offering both head-nodding grooves and heart-stopping musicality. "Gloomy Stacks", meanwhile, sounds like a lost track from the glory days of Naked Music. Such a soft-focus approach to deep house rarely works, but Landing Lights is a treat.
08 Oct 10
20 May 11
Played by: Giom, Juno Recommends Deep House, Seuil, James Johnston (No Matter What), Electric Boogie (Ism Midnight Riot), Gerd, Matthew Kyle, Roy Gilles, Nicc Johnson, Embryo
Review: Having impressed with a few sultry slo-mo re-edits and the odd well-received remix, Nicholas pops up on Gerd's 4Lux label with a five-track EP of head-nodding house grooves. While fans of his loopy, disco-centric vibe will still find plenty to entertain (not least the pleasingly snug "All I Need"), All Night Long should appeal to anyone who likes their house bumpin' and groovesome. The title track itself is arguably Nicholas's best yet, a kind of fusion of classic US garage and 90s New York deep house - all hip-wigglin' bass, expansive piano solos and bluesy vocal snippets. Label boss Gerd remixes, dusting down the 808s and 909s for a vintage jack attack.
13 Jan 12
Played by: Visti, James Fox, Kisk, Sw, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Juno Recommends Deep House, Alessandro Otiz, Gitchell Moore, Leg Jazz
Review: Fresh from delivering an album's worth of Nu Groove remixes, Italian producer Nicholas pops up on Gerd's 4Lux Black imprint. The title track sets the tone for what follows, delivering a cockle-warming mix of old skool NYC house riffage, Italian house ambience and skippy, New Jersey garage percussion. If it was any more "classic", it would actually have been made 20 years ago. "Down To Nothing" and "Familiar Path" tread similar ground, offering wide-eyed, early 90s house for the permanently nostalgic. Hunee's remix of "Free To Be" offers a rougher, chunkier, late night take on the slick original, offering a delicious combination of rave riffage, acid bass and clattering 808 percussion.
13 Jul 12
Played by: Lee Daley:contentmcr/Beef/Huddtraxx, Juno Recommends Deep House, Shota Tanaka (Beaten Space Probe)
Review: Since he reworked big chunks of the Nu Groove catalogue for Needwant last year, Nicholas has shown signs of wanting to make his own intoxicating deep house influenced by the early '90s sound of New York. "Life Goes On" very much fits this remit, offering a heady blend of tactile deepness featuring samples from some familiar disco and soul favourites ("Rock Creek Park" being the most obvious source). "All I Can Give" sounds like a vintage New York-Chicago soundclash - all heavy analogue bass, trad garage chords and late night vocal snippets - while "Messed Up Generation" flits between spoken word iciness and Big Apple grooviness.
16 Mar 12
08 Mar 13
Played by: Grant Nelson, J.cub - E.a.r / Cub Records, Sw, Juno Recommends Deep House, S22, Freddy Love, Jakobin&domino
Review: Italian producer Nicholas has a well established working relationships with Gerd's 4Lux imprint, gracing them with numerous 12"s and his Still Playing House LP in recent times. His return to the label sees a development in production, forgoing the reliance on vocal samples that have been a staple of his rise to prominence in favour of working with a vocalist. Stee Downes, said vocalist, will be familiar to anyone who keeps abreast of contemporary house, having worked with Lovebirds and MCDE previously. Both the original and NYC Club versions of their collaboration "Things Of The Past" are superbly crafted deep house movers, with the latter Jersey style bumper one for the Bicep fans. Check "Forever Feel It" too for some sublime funk sampling.
10 Aug 12
Played by: Willo
Review: A new series from Gerd's usually reliable 4 Lux imprint opens with three tracks of claustrophobic deepness from Club Lonely man and sometime Kolour Recordings artist Quell. All three tracks are typical not just of his productions, but also the warm, late night fare promoted by 4 Lux. Opener "Glengoyne" sets the tone, delivering a hypnotic shuffler built around sweaty percussion and a notably dubby bassline. "Disregard" goes deeper still, carefully working an intoxicating dub house groove and melancholic pads for seven spellbinding minutes. "Self Proclaimed", meanwhile, is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day - all lazy slo-mo beats, sweet chords, occasional electrofunk synths and deliriously Balearic riffs.
24 Aug 12
Played by: Superbreak
Review: There are echoes of classic Parisian deep house moments in this bluesy EP from current Paris resident S3A (Sampling as an Art). "Holdin' On", for example, evokes memories of both loopy filter house and, more pertinently, the early works of St Germain (circa Boulevard). "Homage", particularly in its "Ravy Bonus Beat" guise, goes further towards classic French disco-house territory, sounding not unlike a grown up take on early Casius or Stardust. Meanwhile, "For The Girlz" expertly loops up some disco-funk grooves and soulful scat vocals, throwing in some additional percussion and classic US garage stabs to keep the party moving.
16 Nov 12
Review: Aussie producer Johnny Herring brings his Sellouts project to 4Lux Black. As with previous excursions, Second Game ripples with deep, midtempo disco intent - all hypnotic grooves, barely-audible vocal samples, warm cords and touchy-feely soul samples. It's a relatively common sound - think early Nicholas or Ooft's edit-inclined work - but one that Herring does better than most. Opener "Still Standing"- all head-nodding disco-soul grooves and filtered vocal loops - is probably the standout, though the far deeper title track and near-Balearic bliss of "She Knows" are almost as good.
18 Jan 13
Review: Catapault Records' regular The Organ Grinder brings his particular brand of hustlin' garage revivalism to Gerd's 4Lux Black label. In many ways, it's a bit of a curveball from Gerd; The Organ Grinder's fuzzy, funtime jams are a far cry from the considered deepness usually found on the imprint. It could be a masterstroke, though; certainly, the bold chords, vocal cut-ups and booming low-end pressure of "Smiley Face" suggests so. There's some deeper revivalist US garage business in the shape of the sinewy "Project", while "Universe" is thrillingly rush-inducing - all big riffs, acid bass and bumpin' beats. "Heaven", meanwhile, gets just the right balance of distorted grooves, MDMA builds and seductive vocal hooks.
04 Dec 09
Played by: Tomoki Tamura