Review: Aix en Provence-based imprint STRCTR first tickled our fancy last year with a trio of ear-pleasing, floor-friendly EPs. Since two of those were multi-artist, compilation style affairs, it's little surprise to find that release number four is similarly structured. First up, Alva wraps jaunty, jazzy synth riffs and sun-kissed guitars around a bouncy and swinging deep house groove ("The Wall"), before Armless Kid delivers the kind of smooth and quietly soulful instrumental deep house number that could once have graced the B-side of a Prescription release. Thanks to some ear-catching acid motifs and fluid, near fluttering chords, Mara Lakour's "Timecode" has a much more futurist, deep space feel, while Ortella's "Digital Detox" wraps decidedly intergalactic, dub techno style motifs around a thumping, peak-time ready rhythm track.
Review: French producer Armless Kid is set to have a big year in 2017, reaching a global audience with his productions thanks to a helping hand from his friends at Classic. A young self-taught artist who has been working the Paris scene for only a short time, Xavier is right at home on Justin Solomon's label with his inventive approach to producing. Over just three tracks on the EP, he covers synth-enhanced jacking grooves featuring the diva tones of Queen Rose on "Loubar's Stars" and heady BPM cranked wildness on "BDX Biches Gang". Finally he finds a glorious middle ground with heavy syncopated beats and tight chords on "Road To Grand Champ".
Sense Of Love (Black Loops 1 AM remix) - (7:27) 131 BPM
Sense Of Love - (5:05) 134 BPM
Dans Le Living Room - (6:43) 83 BPM
An Ad Some (Commercial Use Only) - (4:43) 117 BPM
Sense Of Love (Black Loops 6 AM remix) - (6:52) 128 BPM
Review: Armless Kid's previous releases have been "must-check" affairs so it's little surprise to find that his third single of 2019 is another quality collection of cuts. He begins in confident fashion via the brilliantly mangled samples and joyously bouncy beats of "Hardos Sampling", while "Sense of Love" is a kaleidoscopic fusion of shimmering, future R&B style synths, psychedelic acid lines and snappy, snare-heavy club beats. Black Loops provides two reworks of that cut: a "1am Mix" the re-wires it as a warming slab of two-step/deep house fusion and a more driving and hypnotic "6am Mix". Arguably best of all, though, is "Dans Le Living Room", a chunky and sub-heavy slab of heady earning morning deep house for those that like to get locked into the groove.
Review: Young producer Armless Kid was one of the underground deep house success stories of 2017. While he's not yet quite as well known as some of his fellow new wave French deep house contemporaries, he already has releases on Classic, Hustler Trax and Fina White to his name. There's naturally plenty of fine fare to be found on this Rekids label debut, from the bumpin', jazz-wise stomp of opener "Troisieme Act" and the slick, ultra-deep warmth of glassy-eyed highlight "Jojo On The Moon", to the far-sighted Motor City techno/crunchy deep house fusion of "Air" and retro-futurist breeze that is lovable, stab-heavy closer "This Generation". If that lot's not enough to excite you (and, let's face it, it should be), then take a listen to the jazzy, 144BPM madness of the suitably bonkers "Abdos Fessier".
B3a (feat Louis Dauvergne - Burritos As An Art) - (7:42) 125 BPM
Flirting With Regrets - (7:25) 123 BPM
Review: Armless Kid has been relatively quiet since gate crashing the deep house scene in 2017, a year in which he released some of the most essential underground club tracks of the year. In fact, this outing in Vertv is only his second solo release in 18 months. It naturally finds him in fine form, seductively shuffling between dreamy, jazz-flecked late night club workouts ("Internet Love (Z.A.V Mix)"), dusty, sample-heavy deepness (the amusingly titled "B3A - Burritos As An Art") and breakbeat-driven numbers rich in glassy-eyed, loved up intent. Of these, it's the retro-futurist dreaminess of "Flirting With Regret" that most impresses, though plenty of DJs will enjoy the more energetic and bass-heavy "Deep Energy".
Review: Last year hotly tipped deep house producer Armless Kid returned to action after a lengthy lay-off via must-check EPs on Vertv and Let's Play House. Here the rising star delivers another essential four-tracker, this time for Simon Morrell's reliable label FINA Records. There's a pleasingly "classic" deep house feel to opener "Shadows" - think swinging beats and warm, summery chords - and the track that follows it, "Lost Days", a more bumpin' and bass-heavy affair that makes use of extensive samples from Minnie Ripperton's "Inside My Love". Elsewhere, "Brute Factor Disco" turns a rubbery and colourful synth boogie jam into a jaunty house workout, while "Natural FL Groove" is a chunky deep disco-house workout tailor-made for outdoor dancing sessions.
Review: Espace X is the debut release on Fina White from Armless Kid & Tour-Maubourg a duo from France. Based on this excellent three-tracker, are we about to witness another wave of French house music? Certainly, "Paranormal Experiments" raises expectations that this could be the case; it's jazzy, tripped out deep house at its finest, centred on a rolling groove and acidic undercurrents. On "Lamentations Du Prophete (Villette mix)", the pair opt for an even more musical approach, with Larry Heard-style bass and rolling drums supporting mournful keys. Completing a release that is sure to gain attention outside of underground circles is "The Rebirth", a feel-good disco house belter.
Review: Like many of its contemporaries within the French deep house scene, fast-rising label Copie Blanche has barely put a foot wrong since launching back in 2015. Saint Julien, the imprint's latest multi-artist extravaganza, is predictably enjoyable. Check first Pierre Moritz's bouncy and tuneful opener, where glassy-eyed synthesizer lines and heartfelt soul vocal samples cluster around a bumpin' bassline and bustling, U.S garage inspired beats, before wallowing in the stretched-out deep space chords, tactile bass and jammed-out electric piano motifs of Kicks' "Turn Off The Light". Richu M flips the script with the wonderfully weird - but also superb - off-kilter jazz house shuffle of "Tapass", while Armless Kid & Tour-Maubourg "New Stuff" is a techno-tempo house romp rich in rubbery drums, filtered disco vocal samples and bendable bass.
Review: One of the trends of 2017 was the seemingly unstoppable rise of dusty, jazzy and melodious French deep house. If this EP from Gallic imprint Copie Blanche is anything to go buy, it looks like the trend is set to continue in 2018. Young French producer Rochenoire handles the A-side, first peppering a crispy deep house groove with held-note strings and poignant pianos on "La Beaute", before opting for a thicker set bassline and fluid Rhodes keys on languid deep house roller "Wanna Tell U" (which, incidentally, also boasts a short vocal sample from a blazed Motown-era classic). Armless Kid handles the B-side, offering a dreamier and jazzier take on chunky deep house on "Joel, T'es Mon Jackpot" and the more percussive "Peter Tosh".