Review: Finding his music wedged between the likes of Rick Wade, Byron The Aquarius and Ejeca, Glasgow's Big Miz takes up residence again on Shall Not Fade, delivering six six-minute numbers that dive into the depths of house and techno tipped by its Detroit electro mainframe. Classic strands of epic electro find their place in the acid reflections of "HMS Jawside" with upbeat Italo flavours making their way into "Glass Sandwiches" alongside the stripped-back bassline funk of "Pay Me". Some more tongue in cheek material makes its way to frenetic rhythms and disorientating synths of "Downloaded For R Hawtin", with the slightest of acknowledgements in it arrangement going to Lil Louis' "French Kiss". Pucker up.
Review: With a burgeoning discography to his name Big Miz producer Chris Mcfarlene is best known most recently for his work with Dixon Ave Basement Jams. His 2018 album Build/Destroy saw the artist's housey and deeply electronic sound revealed to a wider audience now allowing Big Miz to commit a second release to the upstart Soft Computing label. With synths reminiscent of early Space Dimension Controller music, Big Miz uploads some cosmic electro, snapping with crispy snares and busy acid melodies in "Opia". On the flip is the slower BPMs, time signatures and sweet double kick drums of "Sonder", a track pumping with bass, outer space disco pings and huge, siren squealing synths. Upgrade to Soft Computing now!
Review: Last year, Big Miz delivered one of the most overlooked albums of the year - a rugged full-length debut full of wild machine music for dancefloors that like it raw and ragged. The Dixon Avenue Basement Jams regular treads similar territory on "Short Stories", an acid-fired four-tracker that marks his first appearance on Shall Not Fade. Choose between the twisted acid eletcro of "Barn Shot", the dark neo-trance throb of "Primordial Soup", the rubbery but alien-sounding deep house haziness of "Dance MF" and "Awake", a surprisingly bright and breezy affair that places restless, expansive and all-action classical style piano and synthesizer motifs atop a subtle but sturdy beat.
Review: The big man on campus returns! Fast becoming a staple on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, the Glaswegian producer throws down an impressive full length demonstrating the diversity within his musical repertoire - and count us in as fans. From the deep and soulful late night house of "Our House" which will have you 'doin' the wiggly worm', Afrobeat meets Innervisions styled melodic house on "Hammond Groove" while "High Heavens" explores classic neon-lit electro aesthetics from the '80s. There's even some harder stuff in there, like demonstrated on "The Great Beast" that's a slow burning early '90s style techno jam (which blows the bloody doors off!) and "Gear Tension" which throws in more hallmarks of the golden era such as 303 acid and Joey Beltran styled menstasms.
Review: Big Miz left the cherished bosom of the Dixon Avenue Basement Jams crew to guest on friend Wheelman's new Stereotone label. Here he returns to DABJ with his second solo single. Title track "The Bomb" is something of a killer, with Miz lacing a bouncy, funk-fuelled drum machine rhythm with wild but jazzy synth lines, warehouse-friendly stabs and bleep style electronics. Elsewhere, "Sponk 900" is a breathless, ghetto-house inspired slammer, while "You Lose" is a raw and wonky fusion of noisy but funky electronics and thrusting machine drums. "Break The Law", a more hypnotic but no less guttural jack-track reminiscent of early 2000s Chicago tech-house, completes a fine package.
Review: Dixon Avenue Basement Jams: accept no substitute. The Glasgow label brings back local lad Big Miz on Safari Park Nonsense, following up last year's brilliant Midnight Man Handle. First track "Foundations" is a snarling acid house jam with booming 808 rhythms and a vocal repeating the titles very refrain. "Morse Dance" is more traditional deep house fare that fits in with the current status quo while "Urgent" returns to the fierce 808 heavy house with US influences with some absolutely smashing male vocals. Finally "Winger" goes out all guns blazing and reintroducing some 303 groove and a shed load of swing and shuffle to boot.
Review: Glasgow's Dixon Avenue Basement Jams offer us some more of their proper straight up house vibes; the way they were intended! Big Miz is up this time around with Midnight Man Handle. "Good Things" gets straight down to business with its stomping, swing fuelled beat and buzzing organ leads, proudly proclaiming "I don't play around with girls like that!" Enough said. Next up the soulful deepness of "Electrolites" still packs a hefty punch and you'll need your fill of said enzymes after dancing up a sweat to this one. On the B side there's no more Mr. Nice Guy; "Solange" throws together nasty 303 acid, a manic cowbell and some truly disturbed samples. Finally "Wurx" sounds like more of a restrained warehouse techno jam with its huge synth line, booming and hissing 909 and truly dark atmosphere.
Review: After 30 releases, label owners Kenny Wasp and Dan Monox aka DABJ team up with Big Miz to finally put out their own material. "CYT" is a bruising, jacking affair, littered with vocal snatches and dropping into a psychedelic synth. "Dalm Right" pays homage to Chicago house, with a gurgling acid line underpinning raw kettle drums and an indistinct male vocal, but a similarly tripped out synth lurks in the background. "Eternal Damnation" is more stripped back, but this time a deranged preacher man-style vocal rains down damnation over a warbling acid line. On "Do The Damn Thing", the collaborators pick up the pace, for a slinky, linear groove that sits somewhere between Chicago jack and the sleek, linear rhythms of early Detroit techno.
Review: Up next for Defected's In The House series is the UK's DJ Haus, 'a decidedly untraditional DJ, producer, originator and DIY label innovator.' The Unknown To The Unknown and Hot Haus Recs boss has received big props from the underground house community and in Defected's opinion: he's an ambassador for the future of house music. Quite a compliment there! Serving up a a wicked collection of raw and jacking sounds that encompass electro, Chicago house, disco, techno and UK garage: and all very much on the lo-fi tip. The supporting cast on DJ Haus In The Haus is quite a remarkable one and musical highlights are not limited to: NYC hero X-Coast (who is fresh off a killer release on Underthesea) with last year's sleeper hit "Mango Bay", Aussie larrikin and Steel City Dance Discs boss Mall Grab with the wicked "Pool Party" through to stateside jams by Justin Cudmore - who gives us a taste of the acid life on "Forget It" and so does the master Matrixxman on the epic "The Spell" (Original Mix).
Review: This is not the first compilation to drop whose sole aim is to raise funds for NHS Chartities Together - R&S Records and Bass Agenda both delivered similarly epic sets - but "Care4Life" may well be the strongest and most diverse. As you'd expect, each one of the 45 tracks is previously unreleased, and the cast list reads like a who's who of dance music culture. Notable highlights include an ultra-deep, saucer-eyed number from Daniel Avery, an unheard rework of the Chemical Brothers' "Catch Me I'm Falling", a superb revision of Harvey's Locussolus project by Kiwi, Matthew Herbert in jazzy broken beat mode, a rare solo outing from Optimo's JD Twitch, a rip-roaring rave workout from Jas Shaw, and thumping peak-time bangers from Dusky, Eats Everything and Patrick Topping.
Review: Now into its fifth year, KGW's Shall Not Fade imprint has long been a reliable source of dusty deep house and rugged, warehouse-ready workouts. To kick-start 2020, the label has decided to celebrate this facet of their output via an expansive compilation of previously released highlights. There's a peak-time ready feel from start to finish, with our picks of a very impressive bunch including the bustling, riff-heavy techno pump of KETTAMA's "In The Garage", the sunrise-ready, melody-heavy bliss of Harrison BDP's epic "Watching The World Go By", the sleazy, acid-fired growl of Big Miz's "Primordial Soup" and the dusty-but-sparkling, emotive rich broken house brilliance of Contours' "Fifth Planet". In a word: essential.
Harry Griffiths - "Since We're Here" - (5:57) 120 BPM
Big Miz - "Sun" - (5:50) 128 BPM
LK - "Unified Love Machine" - (5:57) 123 BPM
Black Loops & Ruff Stuff - "La Progressive" - (7:03) 128 BPM
Harrison BDP - "Interference" - (8:14) 126 BPM
Review: Dub techno progressions, digital techy beats and minimal makes a comeback on Shall Not Fade's 4 Years Of Service, with this various artist comp bringing in new names and label members alike. Biz Miz throws in a huge glowing number with a deep progressive flow in "Sun", while a bangin' combo of chords and beats rain down furthermore in KETTAMA's "Sundance". Deeper still there's the melliflow of Harrison BDP's "Interfearance", while more abstract numbers come from Harry Griffiths alongside a touch of ironical candy cane in 1-800 Girls' "My Speedos". Bring in some bleep, electro Italo from LK's "Unified Love Machine" and we're saying more like 4 Years of Class.