Review: Fresh from a fine EP on Razor N Tape Reserve, Voyeurism founder and Delusions of Grandeur regular Ben Sun pops up on Phonica's in-house label for the very first time. The 'Alluvial Sketches' on offer showcase four differing tweaks of the house music template from the talented, London-based Australian. There's 'The Trip', a slowly building, sun-splashed, glassy-eyed disco-house loop jam; a chugging, dream house-influenced shuffle through hybrid analogue deep house/nu-disco territory ('Mellow Madness'); a drift through ultra-deep, ultra-dreamy, tribal-tinged sunrise house ('Glow'); and a bleeping slab of Sir James-sampling proto-house-goes-early UK house excellence ('Siren').
Review: Here's an EP that's been on fairly constant rotation since landing in this reviewer's inbox on Monday morning - and if your tastes lean towards the deepest and spaciest of house grooves, your experience of it may be very similar! 'Transmission' will provide the perfect accompaniment to those late-night, sofa-bound excursions into inner space, while 'Sable Sun' has a mellower vibe and 'Red Light' takes us into the 4am deep jackin' zone. The real killer, though, is 'Tremors', which rocks the kind of bassline (so sumptuous and warm you could swim in it) not often heard since all those classic Italian dub house records on Irma and Antima 30 years ago. Absolutely outstanding.
Review: It's taken a while, but Razor N Tape has finally decided to drop a compilation after years spent serving up tasty EPs. Made up entirely of previously unheard fodder, Family Affair Volume 1 giddily flits between delay-laden proto-house brilliance (Dimiti From Paris and DJ Rocca, JKriv dubbng out Sentimental Animals), slo-mo deep house/deep nu-disco fusion (Clive From Accounts), jazzy head-nodders (Ben Sun), dubby hypno-house (Misiu), string-drenched peak-time house creepiness (Eli Escobar and Lauren Flax), Escort style disco-boogie revivalism (Saucy Lady), Afrobeat (Jungle Fire), extra-percussive tropical disco (Daniel T in re-edit mode) and loopy, acid-fired breakbeat house deepness (Lay-Far). In other words, it's a fantastic collection of cuts tailor-made for sweaty dancefloors.
Review: Place Of Worship is Ben 'Sun' Davidson's fifth release on Delusions Of Grandeur and, true to form, it's an effortless, sun-kissed affair. It starts with the wonderfully uplifting "See It Come Shining", where Davidson combines raw beats with sensuous, stirring strings and soulful piano lines. "Oceanways T150" is similarly cosmic and upbeat, with the UK producer laying down a cacophony of found sound samples and cosmic bleeps over a gentle drum track. The mood throughout the release is sensuous and unhurried, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the blissed-out "Atlantis Transfer", where Davidson combines a plunging house bass with atmospheric ambient textures.
Review: Ben Sun made his debut back in 2013, delivering a chunk of life-affirming deep house for Quintessentials' Thanks You Freaks compilation. Three years on, Delusions of Grandeur has handed him the opportunity to showcase his talents over a three-track E.P. His style, which blends elements of electronic disco, deep house and glassy-eyed Balearica, is perfectly suited to the Freerange offshoot. Particularly enjoyable is "Star Ritual", where trippy, delay-laden boogie vocal samples ride a reverb-heavy, African-influenced drum rhythm and undulating, analogue bassline. Elsewhere, shirts may be removed for the bleep-heavy nu-disco/deep house fusion of "Full Moon", while the overwhelmingly tactile "Glass Waves" is little less than a piano-heavy chunk of early Italian deep house revivalism.
Review: It's been a while since we've seen Voyeurhythm turn to their co-founder Ben Sun, with the London-based producer most recently spotted flirting with the likes of Quintessentials, Delusions of Grandeur and Love Fever. This Phantoms 12" is a most welcome sight then, and seems to continue the approach Ben Sun took on that Love Fever twelve, implementing a degree of roughness to his grooves yet still retaining those trademark swollen textures. The hazy, almost languid title track is a nice counterpoint to the breathy, rolling urgency of the excellent B Side track "Remote Release".
Review: Well, it's safe to say that Delusions Of Grandeur has become something of a house institution by now. The imprint has put out a vast amount of material since the late noughties, all by an impressive collection of talents including Session Victim, Tornado Wallace, 6th Borough Project, Recloose and many others. Benjamin 'Ben Sun' returns to the label for his third appearance with "Tricks On Wax", an utterly funky and bass-heavy sample-house number reminiscent of the Moodymann school of sound. "Seven Sisters" is more spacey and futuristic in its melodic structure, while "Special 4U" winds things down to near hip-hop levels...chuggy beats, subtle breaks and smoked-out swirls of electronics.
Review: For those who like to dig a little deeper, Ben Sun has long been a name to keep a hawkish eye on in deep house circles. Although "Salty Tears" is considered by most to be the London based producer's breakthrough track, his potential was first seen on the ephemeral delights of 2009's "When You Looked". Both of those tracks were released on the Voyeurhythm imprint he runs with Tyson Ballard and Megadon Betamax, and his arrival on Delusions Of Grandeur feels like a significant step towards wider appreciation. The Love Momentum EP sees "You Should Know Better" sprawled across the A Side, and it's hard not to think of KDJ when soaking in the jazzy key samples that form the backbone of the track alongside a deliciously clipped vocal sample, strings, horns and the dustiest of beats. "Yesterlife" on the flip is all about the 909 hats and hanging chords, while "Love Hotel", featuring Wolf + Lamb affiliated producer Slow Hands, features the kind of low slung bassline that has been the hallmark of many a Ben Sun jam.
Review: While London-based Australian Ben Sun is a key member of the Voyeurhythm fam, this is his first solo EP proper, having previously shared vinyl space with a variety of label-mates. "Path of Non Attachment" is arguably his strongest track to date, too (although "When You Looked" still gets regular plays on the Juno office stereo). It eschews the loopy disco/house fusions of the past in favour of a formidably old skool sound that borrows heavily from classic Chicago and New York deep house - Mr Fingers or the Burrell Brothers re-imagined, if you will. It's backed by a couple of formidable remixes, too, with Manchester-based Detroit/Chicago fusionists Deep Space Orchestra offering up a decidedly analogue interpretation and Tyson Ballard and Vincenzo's delivering a contemporary deep house slow-burner. Highly recommended.