Review: 18 months have passed since Quintessentials introduced us to the Enjoy Your Cuppa series of multi-artist EPs. This second selection of armchair/sofa/hot beverage-friendly tunes is undoubtedly long overdue, though we won't be too critical as the music on offer is as potent as strong black coffee and as relaxing as a nice pot of herbal tea. For proof, check out Saine's jazzy, musically intricate and sample-rich opener, 'Love Music', or the analogue-heavy hypnotism of Andy Ash's deep-and-dark 'Bread'. Those looking for something a little more enveloping and comforting should head for the bluesy, laidback jazz-house sweetness of Jank's 'All Be Free', while Decent Rides' 'Low Grav' sounds like a beefed-up tribute to Floating Points' early deep house works with a dash of Pepe Bradock's 'Deep Burnt' mixed in.
Review: 2020 marks the 25th year of !K7's acclaimed DJ-Kicks series with Mr Scruff following contributions of late from Leon Vynehall, Laurel Halo, Peggy Gou and Kamaal Williams! Mr Scruff's adventures in sound brings to DJ-Kicks more than 30 tracks of wildly varying styles featuring highlighted music from Equiknoxx, Tiger, Errorsmith, Max Graef and Zongamin. Scruff brings to his edition an exclusive collaboration with CyberPunkJazz ("3001: A Space Disco Remix") and an unreleased track from Andy Ash to boot. Alexander Robotnik makes in there with the wild New York post-funk of "Love Supreme" alongside a heavy Tony Allen percussion session in "Gbedu B". DJ Nervoso for the win too!
Review: Whisky Disco invite a trio of fresh faces to their ever-growing talent troupe for the Disco Darling EP. Andy Ash takes the lead with a loopy, strutting slice of sample-laced house that wouldn't go amiss in a Mark Farina set while Vincenzo De Bull & Halve Soul lower the tempo, invite us on a Balearic picnic and insist we gobble up huge chunks of Sade's "Cherry Pie". Deeper into the EP we find firm label friends Rabo & Snob laying down a velvet bed of Rhodes and vocal harmonies before the final label newcomer JP Source plays a slo-mo game of sample patty-cake with loopy disco mischief.
Review: Few deep house producers seem to work quite as hard as Andy Ash. Over the last few years, he's released on a plethora of labels, including On The Prowl, Foto, StilLove4Music, Scenery and Quintessentials. Here, he pops up on Steve Bug's Dessous imprint with three more perfectly pitched doses of melodic deepness. "Workin" - a dreamy, techno-tempo fusion of swirling chords, bold stabs and evocative melodies propelled forwards by hissing ride cymbals - is arguably the pick of the bunch, though it faces stiff competition. The slower, baggier but no less emotion rich "Mindflow" - seemingly a tribute to early '90s Chicago deep house - runs it close, while the bustling keys, smooth bassline and darting electronics of "Release and Check (Part 1)" are a joy to behold.
Review: Liverpool-based deep house imprint Scenery is usually on the money. This split EP, featuring two tracks apiece from regular Andy Ash and newcomer Circular Rhythms, is another strong prospect. Ash offers two distinctly different cuts; the intoxicating, bubbling "Dub 2" - a delightful fusion of twinkling, wide-eyed synth melodies, toasty chords and shuffling dub-house drums - and the piano sporting, upbeat "Distribution Theory", which sounds like some long forgotten early '90s Italian deep house gem (think Keytronic Ensemble). Cicrcular Rhythms goes deeper into after-party territory with the becalmed and hypnotic "Untitled Document", before indulging in some analogue fetishism on the wonky, acid-tinged "Circumflex".
Review: The latest OTP Party Breaks release, offered up by Marcos Cabral and Jacques Renault's On The Prowl label, sees Andy Ash rock some very meaty disco edit work on the sophisticated funk of "Get Loose", while "You Show Me" and "Love Me Straight" bear more of a sparse, strictly studio sound with the latter especially sporting some very wide-eyed, Detroit influenced pad chords. With a Deep Space Orchestra mix also included, this is as ever an OTP release not to be missed.
Review: Now an established member of the UK's deep house cognoscenti, Boogie Originals co-owner Andy Ash pops up on Black Key with one of his strongest cuts to date. "Broken" is typically of Ash's recent work, all druggy, hissing grooves, voodoo percussion, pin-sharp pianos and drowsy vocal samples. It's a startling combination that works beautifully. The Liverpudlian explores his jazzier side on "Distro Yet", which sounds like a sleepy UK take on Detroit deep house. The package also includes a couple of tasty remixes of "Broken"; a wonky house rub from Ugly Drums and a sweet, bongo-laden tweak from Tom Sevinski.
Review: Liverpool-based producer Andy Ash has something of a rising reputation within deep house circles, thanks largely to a string of crackly, low-end heavy releases for the likes of FOTO and Boogie Originals. This new EP for Runaway's On The Prowl follows a similar formula to his previous releases, fusing heavyweight bass, acid-influenced percussion and dark, nocturnal atmospherics. The murky "Another World" just edges out the sharper "Focus", but both provide solid deep house thrills. Nicholas and Runaway man Marcos Cabral remix "Another World", with the latter's ghostly take just edging out the former's slo-mo rework.