Review: After two years away in which they offered up a wealth of releases on other top-tier labels (Pets Recordings, Ton Tonics and Madhouse included), Italian twosome Black Loops returns to Freerange Recordings with another must-check EP. As usual, there's far more hits than misses. We're particularly enjoying the loose-limbed deep house funk of opener "Fresh 16", a canny combination of chunky, funky grooves, classic Italian house chords and synthesizer melodies so sunny they might burn your skin if you wallow in the track's majesty too long. Elsewhere, "Something Special" - named in honour of the Peech Boys track it sneakily samples - is a pitch-perfect chunk of swinging New Jersey deep house warmth, while "Blue Pill" adds a tech-house touch to a vintage Italian style chunk of glassy-eyed, loved-up deepness.
Review: Berlin-based twosome Black Loops give the impression of being committed party animals. Certainly, their balls-out, bass-heavy approach to house - part Mosca, part Huxley, part Futureboogie Recordings - should find favour with those whose approach to dance music is shaped by too many messy afterparties. On this EP for Toy Tonics, there's plenty of robust, hip-wigglin' fare powered by bowel-bothering sub action. "Right Now" itself is probably the pick - thanks, in no small part, to heavy bass, dreamy breakdowns and some choice vocal samples - but the shinier "LGB" runs it close. Double Dash goes all "powder house" on his revivalist tech-house twist.
Review: Since starting their career with a couple of well-regarded EPs on Toy Tonics in 2013, Black Loops has been label hopping. This return to the German imprint follows four years spent churning out EPs for Gruuv, Neovinyl and, most recently, Pets Recordings. Opener "Le Mirage" is a bustling and bass-heavy affair, with melodic deep house pleasantries wrapping themselves around a chunky, U.S-garage influenced groove. The rhythmic skip and bass-heavy bounce continues on "Red Light", where fuzzy electric piano parts come to the fore, while "Sex (Part 2)" effortlessly joins the dots between the hazy loveliness of Italian dream house and the bustle of classic Kerri Chandler records. 'Sex", which boasts a wonderfully sleazy spoken vocal, completes another ear-pleasing package.
Review: For The Lovers marks a first appearance on Pets Recordings for longtime Toy Tronics and GRUUV sorts Black Loops. The Berlin-based Italian twosome start in confident fashion with "4 The Lovers", a near perfect fusion of dreamy, meandering chord progressions, punchy beats, mournful piano and bold, mind-altering sub-bass movements. It's pleasingly robust, but also delicate and attractive. Elsewhere, "Where My Girls At" sees them doff a cap to the bustling, swinging beats and cosmic electronics of classic Prescription Records material, while "Blomst" is a glistening, saucer-eyed shuffle into sunrise-friendly deep house pastures in the company of a dub-loving bassline freak.
Review: Toy Tonics regular Black Loops (real name Riccardo Paffetti) comes to Catz N' Dogz' label Pets Recordings with a four-tracker operating in that band of the musical spectrum where deep house and garage collide. The opening title cut is a sparse affair, essentially deep house in nature but with steppy, garage-y beats and vocal bites that sound suspiciously MC Neat-ish. 'Unity' is more heads-down with slamming, almost techno-style kicks and otherworldly synths, 'Keep A Secret' has the bumpin' feel of classic west coast deepness and finally 'Born In The 80s' is a pacier cut with more of those freaky-deeky synth sounds.
Review: Berlin/Milan based Italian twosome Riccardo Paffetti and Gabriele Micheli have previously impressed with their chunky blends of bass-heavy deep house, classic Italian house and basement-friendly Berlin techno. Here they once again the Black Loops alias for their first single on Toy Tonics since 2013. They begin with the classic bump of "No Questions" - all warm chords, heavyweight sub, US house shuffle and Todd Edwards style vocal cut-ups. One-time Dirtybird regular Ardalan provides the obligatory remix, roughening up the edges via murkier basslines, wild electronics and rolling, post-fidget grooves. Finally, the duo offers up something altogether deeper and more melodious in the shape of "Suki", a picturesque roller blessed with a particularly spellbinding breakdown.
Review: Hardworking Italian duo Riccardo Paffetti and Gabriele Michelli have enjoyed a relatively low-key career to date, despite the obvious quality of their chunky, bass-heavy deep house releases. This latest EP for Toy Tronics - their first for a year - is once again packed full of tried-and-tested dancefloor fare. They begin with the hazy, jazz-flecked bump of "Cassette 2", where sparkly keys and delay-laden vocal samples ride a deep and chunky groove, before ramping up the pressure with the robust analogue beats and bleep-era sub-bass of "Cassette 7". COEO adds even more swing to "Cassette 2" on a toe-tapping, hip-wiggling revision, while Carlo turns "Cassette 7" into a low-slung, Derrick Carter style boompty thumper.
Review: Aside from a string of successful EP's on the steady ship known as Toy Tonics, Berliners Black Loops have been nomadic in terms labels, and that just suits them down to the bone given their eccentric strain of house. We love "Cassette 5.1", it's a traditionally driving house tune with big chords and a begrime mentality, remixed here by Ed Herbst into a deeper, more gentle beast. Then there's "Rue De La Paix", a kick-heavy chugger that sits under the deep house umbrella but that does a lot more in terms of style and swagger; Baldo is on the remix duties for this one, dropping a beautiful woozing bass into the mix, accompanied by a Mr Fingers-style synth wormhole.
Black Loops & Ruff Stuff - "Is Electro Still A Thing" - (6:29) 130 BPM
Review: Given their track record, it's no surprise that Black Loops' first outing on Shall Not Fade delivers the deep house goods. Our pick of a very strong bunch is "Badmanthing", a quirky chunk of rubbery deep house-funk built around a bold, memorable bassline, though the skipping drums, meaty bass and tweaked New Jersey garage motifs of "Plastikhaus" are also hugely alluring. Elsewhere, "No Fear" is a notable fusion of bounding house beats, darting jazz-funk synth sounds and simmering synth-strings, while EP opener "I Know You" is a more classic-sounding slab of deep house cheeriness. This expanded digital edition also contains two collaborations with Ruff Stuff: the thickset, acid-fired bounce of "Rock and Roll", and the colourful deep house/electrofunk fusion of "Is Electro Still A Thing".
Review: Since making tehur debut in 2013, Black Loops has been one of the most consistent deep house duos around. It's no doubt due to this fine track record, which includes a string of killer singles on Toy Tonics and Neovinyl, that the Italian twosome has been snapped up by Jimpster's Freerange label. They predictably hit the ground running with "7Hills", a tribute to Rome (or, at a push, Sheffield) that peppers a sturdy but swinging rhythm track with elongated organ chords, alien electronics and some suitably jazzy electric piano riffs. It comes accompanied by a slamming May Rey remix, which sounded to us like a deeper and dreamier take on Terrence Parker's bouncy techno sound, and suitably chunky, deep and picturesque bonus cut "King Paul".
Review: The second volume in Toy Tonics' occasional Jockey Jams series is something of a gift to DJs. Although naturally rooted in deep house, each of the showcased tracks offers something distinctively different. So, while Felipe Gordon's "Rinogal" is an funk-fuelled house bumper built around an elastic, acid-fired synth bassline and trippy late night effects, Metropolitan Soul Museum's "Saab" is a delicate, warm-up friendly fusion of lilting synths, bubbly electronics and the kind of twinkling pianos frequently found on vintage Italian dream house records. The eclecticism continues elsewhere, too, from the Adonis-via-Rimini thrills of Jacky Mingo's wonderfully positive "Brothers Cup", to the jazzy warmth of Black Loops and analogue house bleeps of Jad's "Overpriced Kaiser Chips".
Review: Berlin's Toy Tonics latest trick is Jockey Jams, the first in an 'irregular series of various artist EPs'. They've rustled up an interesting mix too, starting with the warm mid-paced throb of "Sex' by Black Loops, which features the voice of Scarlett Johansen (from the movie Her). Elsewhere "Waterfalls" by Moritz Butschek, which has that sleazy DJ Hell sound, Portugal's Pixel82 sees his diva house jam Going On given a choppy, hypnotic rework by Australian surfer dude Jad & The Ladyboy. Lastly New York's Doug Gomez wraps things up nicely with the clavinet-driven old school funk joint "Make Your Body Move".
Review: Carlos "Carlo" Alvarez returns to Good Ratio Music for the first time since 2015, and this time he's got company. All three tracks on Intermission were co-produced by Black Loops, a Berlin-based Italian who has previously released solo material on Toy Tronics and Gruuv. All three cuts here are rich, loose and funk-fuelled, with the duo doing their best to combine carefully chosen disco and jazz-funk samples with their own beats and basslines. The real killer is arguably "Venerdi", in which swirling strings and clipped guitars ride a loose-but-bumpin' disco-house groove. If you're after something altogether deeper, check the clicking drum machine percussion, gentle chords and bubbly electronics of closer "Domenica".
Review: Predictably, Suol has gathered together tracks from an impressive list of deep house producers for this expansive first volume in the Hallo Montag 2018 series. German veteran Ian Pooley sets the tone with the jacking, acid-tinged deep house bounce of "Time", before M Ono shows off his synthesizer soloing skills via the glassy-eyed Balearic house brilliance of "Waffelhaus". Iron Curtis's contribution, "The Further You Look", sounds simultaneously low-slung and gently dreamy (it's a fine combination), while Black Loops doff a cap to the greats of disco-house via the funk-fuelled, sample-heavy stomp of "Is This A Banger?" If you're in the mood for something a bit more bumping, the boompty-inspired stomp that is Carlo's "Lluvia" should be right up your alley.
Review: It sounds like Ibiza 2013 will be remembered as the year that the piano returned. At least that's the sense one gets from listening to the latest Toolroom compilation. From C2's edit of new school house act Bicep's "Vision of Love" to the trance meets old school techno of Kaiserdisco's "Night & Day", the plaintive ivory keys loom large. Of course there are exceptions, like Breach's stripped back, abrasive remix of Jamie Jones' "Tonight In Tokyo", but when even the darker tracks, like Ejeca's "Witchdokta" sampling, break beat house monster "Rosario", drops into an evocative piano break down, you know that it's the dominant sound of the season.