American producer Softmore specialises in the sort of twinkly, laidback, partially horizontal fare that sits somewhere in between slo-mo deep house, hazy Balearica and winding downtempo beats. It's a formula, pepped up with the odd sneaky sample (opener "Got The Power" bites an old Bee Gees favourite), which guarantees fine late night fare. There are neat musical touches all over the place (see the subdued jazz guitars on "The Truth", or the muted horns on "Now It's Jazz", a kind of tribute to Boulevard-era St German), which add to the smoky sense of release. In many ways, it's quite a nostalgic release - this kind of gear was once all the rage - but that only adds to the fun.
Everything in this US producer's world is in slow motion. Very slow motion. However nobody said he'd be a whizz at fixing your drain or mending your fridge, it's his music that we want him for and, in that regard he's very good indeed. This EP collects five beautifully produced, otherworldly cuts that often take synthy '80s soul and balearica to its very stoned logical conclusion ("Ask The Lonely", "Gather Melodies") and sometimes even deliver sublime snails pace chill wave ("Just A Thought", "Long Goodbye"). An awesome release.
Slave To The Rhythm (original mix) - (6:08) 100 BPM
Dropping Down (Softmore remix) - (7:07) 92 BPM
Dropping Down (original mix) - (9:45) 89 BPM
A Dark Day Like Today (original mix) - (5:15) 99 BPM
Since delivering a quartet of sensual, slo-mo house EPs way back in 2011, Mexican producer Joseph Terruel has been surprisingly quiet. In the last four years he's released just one solo single, last year's well-received Tool For Love EP on Hotbox Boogie. Slave To The Rhythm, then, is a welcome return, and sees him further developing the dreamy, tactile, slo-mo and mid-tempo deep house sound we've come to love. The impressive "Dropping Down" (which also gets the remix treatment from Softmore) is the audio equivalent of a tantric sponge bath, and arguably the EP's strongest moment. That said, the darker, slightly uncomfortable "A Day Like Today" is tasty, too, while the title track is as breezy and lovely as you'd expect.
Second time around for Romanian producer Razvan Ghenciu's So Much Soul EP, which gained plenty of plaudits on its 2012 release on Los Grandes. Here, the EP's four original tracks get a good seeing-to from some of the leading lights in the 2013 nu-disco/disco-house scene. There's plenty to enjoy, from the darting P-funk synths and classic house pianos of JKriv's rework of "Circus", to the ultra-deep house smokiness of Softmore's luscious version of "Silk". There are some particularly tasty slow jams, too, of which Rocco Raimundo's suitably sleazy remix of "Circus" stands out. Really, though, it's all good.