Review: This expansive charity compilation marks the debut of Mostly Cozy, a new sub-label from Honey Butter Records. It's a pleasing confident first outing, with the showcased music - most of which comes from up-and-coming or under-appreciated artists - flitting between sun-kissed warm-up warmth, jazzy, sample-heavy deep house, melodic bumpers and heavily electronic dancefloor goodness. The album's many highlights include the filter-heavy, disto-tinged chunkiness of Justin Jay's 'Red Dress', the boompty-influenced heaviness of 'Just Breathe' by Cassettes For Kids, the ultra-deep house jazziness of Jehan's 'All You Got' and the drowsy dreaminess of Iner's 'Kali Laska'. A fine selection that should help keep us all entertained while we patiently wait for clubs to re-open.
Review: After a year spent flitting between lesser-known labels, Ari Bald returns to Better Listen with another quartet of sun-kissed cuts that excitably blur the boundaries between re-edits and sample-heavy original production. Our pick of the bunch is wonderfully warm, woozy and glassy-eyed deep house shuffler "Karlaplan", where positive electronic riffs, sweet female vocal snippets and dreamy chords wrap around a pliable groove, though chunky sample-house jam "N64 Nights" is equally impressive. Elsewhere, celebratory disco pressure is provided via the soaring orchestration, bouncy beats and looped vocal phrases of "I Survived Barcelona", not to mention the filter-sporting, slow build loop house of "Elioth's Cucumber Goggles".
Review: Stockholm based Ari Bald is up next for Better Listen after inaugurating Honey Butter Records last year with that great release. He keeps on with that deep disco spirit with these four funky and lo-slung jams. First, we have two ergonomic edits in the form of "That Lonely Night" and "Enchantress" respectively which are looped to perfection with some somewhat familiar hooks that gradually build up to that drop! That's where the thumping kick comes charging in and it's sure geared for maximum dancefloor dynamics. Then, get ready for the funk explosion that is "Moonshiner" or what could be your First Choice (mind the pun!) in the form of the smooth and sexy late night groove of "Are You Mesmerized?"