Review: Seppuku is a new label to 2014 with its first releases so far coming from two artists in Archane and Australia's Deepchild. This fifth release sees the label put out their first various artists EP; joining the label's regular two is Ashworth & Aggborough who contributed a remix to Archane's mini-LP Rooms Without Walls. Here the duo deliver the track "Fern" which sounds like the night time movements of an indoor glass house that's been frozen, while Archane's "American Idols" is similarly cold, only with more percussive knocks and lost vocals added. Deepchild doesn't heat things up either, instead injecting more cold bursts of breathy, ambient textures in to the EP with his contribution. Cold and lonely, but enjoyable listening.
Review: Londoners Kiwi and Ashworth return to Sneaky for a follow-up to the Dawn EP, with two original tracks, "Alaska" and "Na'am", backed up by a Nicholas & Marcoradi remix of "CUX3" and Ranacat's remix of "Zubr". "Alaska" could be described as an amalgamation of the inspirations that lead to the first Sneaky release, combining the pumping house beats of "CUX3", the comforting Wurlitzer of "Zubr" and the ethereal movie-soundtrack "Dusk". "Na'am is something totally different, existing mainly as a collage of recorded and found sounds, avoiding the usual structure of house music in favour of something reminiscent of the weirder side of the Chemical Brothers. The remixes both hint to dance floors of the '90s, with Nicholas and Marcoradi making you wait and wait before dropping an unforgettable piano hook, whilst Sneaky's Ranacat lifts "Zubr" out of context and into peak time territory.
Review: Sneaky Music maintain the pressure that the label's debut release from Silk 86 built up, welcoming London pairing Ashworth & Kiwi into the fold with the Dawn EP. South London based Kiwi's music combines influences from disco, funk and house and has notable released on Needwant and Deepshit, whilst East Londoner Ashworth debuted on Balsaal, garnering support Dixon, DJ T and Josh Wink and recently teamed up with Citizen for Waze & Odyssey's label W&O Street Trax. Lead track 'UCX3' is a drawn-out, gradually swelling, half-euphoric-half-pumping roller, which the guys would be happy to admit was heavily influenced by Pachanga Boys' "Time." Demonstrating a more mellow side, "Zubr" has Ashworth showing off his prowess with the Wurlitzer whilst "Dusk" is arguably the wild card. Staying clear of the drum machines, this track paints a subtley epic picture with a reverb-drenched piano and folksy violin drones, all being driven forwards by an ominous pulsating Moog bass.
Review: On their latest release, Catz N Dogz team up with a true house legend. Robert Owens has been the voice of many classics over the years and on "Fine Feeling", he lends his breathy tones to a deeper than usual approach from the Polish pair. Underpinned by rasping percussion and organ keys, Owens' velvety vocals imbue the track with a real soul. On "Factory Settings", the pair hook up with Joseph Ashworth for quite a different collaboration. Stripping back the rhythm and laying down an insistent, tracky arrangement that is full of reverberating percussion, it sees Catz N Dogz at their minimal best.
Review: No 6 in the Waze & Odyssey Street Tracks series sees the ubiquitous Citizen team up with the unheralded Ashworth for some upfront house business. Along with the Shona Carmen vocalised title track there is a LDN Warehouse Dub and B-side burner "State".
Review: Future Disco invites you poolside and guides you through the long hot summer days, where the parties begin early and finish late. Taking you from lounging by the pool under the clear blue sky to sunset house, this is perfect for any laidback occasion. an essential summer soundtrack that features key artists such as: Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak who present the sensual lo-slung disco of "Don't Want This To Be Over" (Jean Tonique Remix), U.S. artists David Marston & Life On Planets who team up for the evocative deep house groove of "Contortions" feat. Hannah Noelle & Dan Izco, and Berlin-by-way-of Vancouver artist Jayda G who serves up the hypnotic Detroit vibe of "Rishikesh". Elsewhere, the ever reliable Butch delivers the main room dancefloor drama of "Lale", and Brazilian techno legend Renato Cohen makes his comeback on "Sweet Nightmare" but makes a departure from what we're used to on this funky house anthem. Also comes with a continuous DJ mix.
Review: The boss is back! The legendary UK pioneer and Bedrock head honcho gives us a live set from Canada's second city, complete with crowd noise. Digweed's knack for sniffing out the most cutting edge progressive and tech house grooves is second to none and you can bet that this set is chock block full of narrative, innovative grooves: one journey you'll never forget! Featuring contributions from Germany's Recondite ("Tame"/"Baro"), Glasgow's Sei A ("You Can Bring"), Berlin's Smash TV ("Cascadia"/"God Key") and Los Angeles' Eagles & Butterflies amongst a host of other big names. Also comes as six continuous mixes for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!
Review: It can be a tricky task keeping up with Pets Recordings jam-packed release schedule. That's why the imprint's "My Favourite Pets" compilation series, which gathers together brilliant bits from the catalogue you may have missed, is essential listening. Volume six is naturally full to bursting with tried-and-tested treats from Catz 'N' Dogz excellent imprint. Highlights are plentiful throughout, of course, but our favourites include Kassian's exclusive rework of recent Catz 'N' Dogs single "Wave" (a bumpin' chunk of peak-time brilliance), the exotic dancefloor hypnotism of Sei A's fine remix of "This Time" by Adam Port and Jennifer Touch, the low-slung sleaze of Jonathan Kaspar's "Cicatrice", the classic West Coast deep house bump of Beesmunt Soundsystem's "Searchin (Borrowed Identity Remix)" and the mid-tempo Balearic house beauty of Kamp's "Azure".