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11 Dec 12
Review: Hitting a strong current of creativity with his relationship to Clone, Arttu is once again dishing out warm analogue goodness rooted in soul and grittiness, and it sure is purdy. "Tune In" is bolstered no end by the authoritative speech from Diamondancer, a righteous soul sister if ever there was one. Meanwhile the track itself rolls on a restrained kind of electro beat matched with soothing chords and smatterings of machine wobbles for decoration. It's simple and utterly devastating. The "Cellar" mix of "Move" on the flip is an instant ramp up in energy, hitting a fizzing and popping spring of old-school Chicago traits expressed in vital new ways, while the "Field" mix opens up the space without lessening the impact of the powerful drums.
14 Jun 12
Review: Dexter and A Made Up Sound get the Clone call to mess with the material from Arttu's great debut on the Royal Oak label, and naturally the results are a must have. In their original form both "Nuclear Funk" and "Get Up Off It" were the improvised results of a studio session between the 4Lux artist and Detroit vocalist Jerry The Cat. It's a bit of a genius stroke from Clone to enlist two well respected audio technicians like Dexter and Dave Huisman to bend them further out of shape, with the latter's take on "Nuclear Funk" a particular demented delight. Operating under his alias A Made Up Sound, this remix typically smudges the boundaries between genre and rhythm to suit his own needs, reworking the synths to sound like a faltering dot matrix printer over incessantly stumbling drums. Dexter indulges his love of 303 patterns on a remix of "Get Up Off It" that stays closer to the original's origins and makes for a nice contrast to the preceding onslaught.
09 Dec 11
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Shadow Dancer, Henri Kohn, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, Cottam, Tom Trago
Review: Sometime Philpot and 4lux artist Arttu arises on the Clone imprint for the first time - and the results are just as good as the Rotterdam label's preceding output this year. Presented as the results of some spontaneous studio jams with Detroit artist Jerry The Cat, there's an undeniable sense of fun to both tracks here. Lead track "Nuclear Funk" is loose limbed analogue house at its finest, with rough hewn drums and a delightfully elastic bassline soon joined by Jerry's inimitable improvised refrain and lolloping percussive textures. "Get Up Off It" is altogether more scattergun, with gleefully disjointed drum machine rhythms raining down on the gloopy analogue bass line before a heavily delayed Jerry The Cat comes to the fore.
16 Mar 11
Played by: Lee Daley:contentmcr/Beef/Huddtraxx, Julian Sanza, Tomson, The Revenge, St Plomb, Shadow Dancer, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Dirt Crew, Alkalino, Sound Black / Lady Blacktronika, Juno Recommends Deep House, Seuil, Sven Tasnadi (Cargo Edition), Phasen, Weedyman, Julien Sandre, Mosaik
Review: After two auspicious releases on the Swedish label Aniara Recordings, production duo Genius Of Time step up to Clone's Royal Oak series, previously graced by the likes of Space Dimension Controller, Reggie Dokes and Gerd. Taking this esteemed company into account, we don't take it lightly when we say this record is as good as anything we've heard in the Royal Oak series, with "Drifting Back" a jazzy house delight with softly pumping chords making for a jam that wouldn't seem out of place in the KDJ back cat. It's the two following tracks, however, that contain the real heat. "Houston We Have A Problem" combines calming synths, vocal moans and rolling percussion to breathtaking effect, while "Juxtapose" could almost be David Kennedy in house mode such is the tough, raw drum programming, but Genius Of Time add some softly soaring strings, thus imbuing the track with a nice classicist bent.
29 Jun 10
11 Oct 11
Review: Gerd continues to dig into his archive of previously unfinished material for the esteemed Clone imprint, returning to their fun house Royal Oak offshoot with the quite superb "Palm Leaves". What begins with a nice dusty house groove bursts into life when the superb vocal talents of Mr Oliver Day Soul rise to the surface on top of some driving chords and glistening textures. These elements combine adroitly and then Gerd throws in this thick gloopy square analogue bassline which lends the track a really winning je ne sais quoi. A stripped down mix from Clone boss Serge in cahoots with Mr Alden Tyrell occupies the flip, bringing the analogue throb to the fore whilst subjecting the rest to some cavernous filtration.
21 Nov 11
Played by: Owain Kimber (Owain K), Ralf Gum, Mauricio U.m, Kisk, Chris Coco, The Warm Signal, Mike O'mara(Development Music), Paul Deighton, Mathew Bandy (Souldier), Freddy Love, Fredeverything, Distortion, William Wild (Mindreaders)
Review: With Larry Heard and Deetron on the remix, you'd be hard pressed to find fault with this superb remix package. Heard is typically at his melodic, soulful best, offering up two epic reworks that wrap heart-aching piano figures, jazz organs, acid tweaks and darting synths around a faultlessly deep groove. While his instrumental version is good, it's the full vocal version that really hits the spot. Deetron, meanwhile, ups the tempo and the percussive pressure on a pair of chiming, stargazing versions that just ooze Detroit techno flavour. This is perhaps most successful on the Dub, which gets just the right balance between build, melody and straightforward dancefloor oomph.
16 Jun 10
07 Jul 10
Played by: Juno Recommends Funky House
Review: If the title of this tune doesn't get you suitably excited then maybe the identity of the "brothers" will - none other than the legendary Blake Baxter and Orlando Voorn. Originally made in 1993, these two tunes sound as fresh as ever today, slotting in nicely with the current resurgence of house-orientated 2-step and future garage. While "Ghetto Disco" makes great use of chanking guitar samples, 808 snares and a proto-Baltimore skank, "Ghetto Blues" is even more urgent, complete with a deliriously upbeat synth melody. A great choice for a reissue, these are two very worthy slabs of underground house.
08 Apr 13
Played by: Alkalino, Roberto Rodriguez, Juno Recommends Deep House, Pablo Contraband (Disco Deviant), Resident Advisor, Two Charming Men, Ben Pearce
Review: Ripperton dons his Headless Ghost alias for three tracks of what he describes as "intuitive house". By this he presumably means that he made the tracks intuitively, laying them down quickly, using a mix of analogue and digital gear. Certainly, there's a freshness and fluidity to "Basik Fire", a basement-friendly fusion of hypnotic acid revivalism and intergalactic, Italo-influenced riffery. The fuzzier "SP3" - all vintage synth strings, drum machine rhythms and wonky melodies - is decidedly warmer and deeper (despite the ghostly melodies that pop up in the second half of the track), while "Yeeaahhhh" does a fine job mixing up crystalline synth appregios and cranky analogue piano house. Impressive stuff, all told.
10 Jul 12
Review: Last seen dropping the humongous Klinsfrar Melodies on Creme Org back in 2010, Glaswegian producer Marco Bernardi makes a triumphant return on Clone's Royal Oak initiative with The Burning Love Ensemble, a 12" replete with three potent examples of drenching simple, raw drum machine rhythms with endless layers of emotional melodies. The contemplatively titled "Days Gone By" infers what is to unfold as the track's ruff edged drum groove is driven ever backwards in the mix by layer upon layer of intricate sonic detail which is finely poised at the point of full meltdown. The title track seems like a more streamlined affair initially, all melodic elements aimed squarely for the stars before Bernardi lets loose with a thick square analogue bass tone and the drums start to go mental. Finally, "La Montagne De Reves" delves swiftly into immersive dream like territory, dragging you down willingly!
15 Jun 11
Played by: Martin Haberland, Shadow Dancer, Dirt Crew, Alkalino, Juno Recommends Deep House, Cottam, Sccucci Manucci, Musumeci, Bilanez Music
Review: Clone's Royal Oak offshoot has barely put a foot wrong since launching in 2009, providing open-minded deep house/disco/electrofunk heads with quality material from the likes of Space Dimension Controller and the hotly tipped Genius of Time. Here they give a Royal Oak debut to Dutch duo Morning Factory, who previously impressed on 2020 Vision. "Fantasy Check" is something of a slow-burning delight - an emotion-rich soup of gently cascading jazz pianos and sparkling chords that sounds like a long-lost Ron Trent production. "Diane's Love" is more densely layered percussion-wise, but still finds space in the building mix for some cute melodic touches and a delightful spoken word vocal.
11 Mar 13
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Chris Coco, Sw, Dan Mela, Dairmount (Room With A View Recs), Juno Recommends Funky House, Round Table Knights, Numoment
Review: Randee Jean sees the very exciting prospect of Chicken Lips' Dean Meredith and Andrew Meecham on Clone's Royal Oak imprint, albeit under the new Randee Jean moniker. Given that the name sounds like a long-forgotten New York house producer, it's not surprising "You Got It" provides as glorious a pastiche of Paradise Garage era house as you'd expect, with a strong vocal, jazzy Rhodes and tumbling percussive swing. As ever with Clone, the remix choices prove inspired; Arttu puts his own tweaks on the track to give it a heavier, leaden stomp and thick soupy bass lifted up with its flute melody. Dexter and Awanto3 also team up to deliver two further mixes, one dubbed out funky roller with a spring in its step, and the other with a surprising ghetto flavour. As ever with Clone Royal Oak this is about 100% better than almost all other house records out there, and comes highly recommended!
06 Jul 10
Played by: Alphabet City, Gareth Cheshire, Sean Gormally (Sean And Dev), Yam Who?, Maelstrom, Shadow Dancer, Deepchild, Tr-One, Juno Recommends Disco, Chamboche, Cottam, Spring Chart
Review: If young Belfast producer Space Dimension Controller aka Jack Hamill is yet to wander across your musical radar it's likely you will be paying attention after listening to Journey To The Core Of The Unknown Sphere. Vintage Warp sounds collide harmoniously with g-funk vibes and early 90s Detroit melodies on music Hamill refers to as "Galactic Funk". The many elements of opening track "Journey" are so bewitching it requires several repeat listens to fully appreciate the richness. "Cosmo30 Travel Duration" combines gargling elastic bass with soft Detroit kicks which are slowly digested by Hamill's increasingly wigged out synth melodies. SDC is currently working on tracks with Kyle Hall, and ahead of that the Detroit wunderkind remixes "Journey" into a fuzzy discotheque groover which sounds nothing like any of his other remixes. The slo mo future boogie of "BD Alignment" and journey into ethereal chord expression on "Fluorescent Trails" make this an astounding EP.