Key To The Underground (original mix) - (6:58) 126 BPM
Fire (original mix) - (6:18) 123 BPM
Like so many producers operating at the electronic music coalface previously called mnml, 3 Deep is audibly sick of making glitchy, stripped back rhythms. Retaining a predilection for effects, "Swamped" is based on a soaring buzz saw bass. The same general approach applies on "Walls With Ears"; here the beats are more pared back and have an early-00s clickety clack feeling, but the mean bassline has more in common with Resse's early 90s proto-jungle. Finally, "Fire" opts for a radically different tact: using the panning sound common to modern-day 'faceless' techno, it also boasts a lush melodic hook that many Detroit-influenced producers would kill for.
Warmer Days (original Liquatech mix) - (6:40) 125 BPM
Warmer Days (Mark Holmes remix) - (7:48) 125 BPM
Warmer Days (Spin Science remix) - (7:50) 125 BPM
Warmer Days (DJ Meris Liquatech instrumental) - (6:41) 125 BPM
Warmer Days (radio edit) - (3:38) 126 BPM
Estonian producer DJ Meri started his career on Bristol-based house imprint NRK, offering up the sort of cosy deep house that appeals to home listeners just as much as sweat-drenched clubbers. Here he unveils his second release for Manchester Underground Music, a drifting vocal deep houser full of icy melodies and twittering electronics. The radio-friendly original is joined by notable remixes from Mark Holmes and Spin Science. The former opts for a big, warm bassline and chunky, snare-heavy beats on his very San Francisco-sounding rub, while the latter throws down a sprightly, heavily electronic rub that rhythmically flits between house and breaks.
"Overdrive", the lead cut on this 97th - count 'em - Manchester Underground Music release, is formidably dark. Almost charcoal black in its outlook, it fixes twisted, D&B/dubstep-influenced synths to sturdy but glitchy techno rhythms. Although at a house tempo, it should appeal to those who like to effortlessly mix it up between techno and house at a rapid tempo. "Wait" opts for a revivalist tribal flex, sounding not unlike some of the claustrophobic, low-end heavy groovers played by Danny Tenaglia at the tail end of the 1990s. A solid package is completed by Nik Feral's pumping rework of "Overdrive" - a bouncy remix that injects a little tech-funk into Eric D's original template.
Formatiique make a triumphant return to the Manchester Underground Music label after smashing it with the Ibizan cognoscenti with the debut sounds of the inimitable Fuck Off. Choosing an altogether less risible titular approach, "Ping Pong" is a master class in bouncing tech house utilising well placed vocal samples that ensures it is as fun as it is effective. Complementing the original, MUM have commissioned two well chosen remixers with Ukrainian Justy adding to his glowering reputation on a typically strong minimal revision, whilst Form/Definitive's H2 retains core elements of the original and flushes them with his own distinct style.
Boasting track titles like "Cialis" and "Viagra", it's clear that Gabriel has got just one thing on his mind. Thankfully, he can back up his lustiness with house grooves that ooze sensuality. The aforementioned "Cialis" teases the listener with its dense, shuffling drums and 'come on baby' vocal sample, while "Viagra" is darker and less playful; over an insistent, tracky groove, dark chords climax. Gabriel rounds off the EP with "F U I Can Feel It". Its jarring groove seems to document a rougher experience - but the hushed vocals in the background confirm that Gabriel is a romantic at heart.
The UK's late 90s deep house scene is still a source of inspiration for modern producers, if this collaboration between L'Ateliers and Flavourables is anything to go by. "Sense Of Magic" is a rolling groove, adorned with spacey synths and plaintive keys. It recalls the finest moments from Paper Music's back catalogue. "What I See" is also inspired by the same period, but it opts for a different tact; like Drop Music's dubby, disco sound, it focuses on a tracky groove and the use of an insistent vocal snippet adds to its DJ-friendly feel. Finally, the modestly titled "The Perfect B Side" brings the sound up to date. Featuring a stepping rhythm fused with mournful dubby chords, it sounds like a more introverted take on the approach of new school artists like AnD.