Review: Berlin-based twosome Black Loops rarely fail to hit the spot - musically at least - with their various releases for the likes of Toy Tonics, Freerange, NeoVinyl Recordings and Pets Recordings' remaining firm favourites years after they first hit stores. Perdictably, they've done it again with Circulation, their second EP for Kieran Willians' Shall Not Fade label. There's much to admire throughout, from the jazzy instrumentation, warming deep house vibes and loose-limbed breakbeats of 'Mike The Dog', and the deliciously dreamy deep house-goes-two step warmth of 'Circulation', to the cheery, up-beat deep synth-pop/deep house/nu-disco fusion of 'Dream2gether'. Also, rather delicious is closing track 'Sanse Sur L'Hardcore', a techno-tempo number that adds all manner of colourful riffs, melodies and chords to a tactile electronic groove.
Review: While it may have been designed to reflect the evolving nature of the label's sound over the last half-decade, Shall Not Fade's fifth anniversary compilation is nevertheless packed to the rafters with previously unheard treats. It begins with a techno-tempo blast of garage-influenced deep house warmth from DJOKO and ends with the dark, squelching and ghostly bounce of Dart's 'Transformations'; in between, you'll find 19 more reasons to be cheerful with plenty of serious dancefloor chops. Undisputed highlights include the crunchy, head-nodding pleasure of GVRL's instrumental hip-hop jam 'Love Game', the angular and acid spiked tech-breaks of Harrison BDP's 'The Powerful Play', the drowsy deep house dreaminess of Mutual Attraction's 'MPC Live Track 1' and the rushing rave revivalism of Baltra's killer re-fix of Earth Boys' 'I'm Not Afraid'.
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: 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: It's been another great year for Catz 'N' Dogz's Pets Recordings imprint. If you missed any of the Polish imprint's many essential releases, fear not, as help is at hand via this top-notch round up of their biggest cuts of 2019. There are naturally plenty of contributions from the label's popular head honchos, with highlights including Andhim's evocative, acid-sporting vocal remix of "Would You Believe", a suspenseful contemporary dream house rework of "There" by Terr and a deliciously retro-futurist house take on "New Love" by Gerd Janson. Elsewhere, top picks include the warehouse-ready throb of Truncate's "Pressure", the pitched-down darkroom chug of "Rattlesnake" by Psychemagik and the drowsy deep house/UK garage fusion of Black Loops' "Keep A Secret".
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.
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: 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".
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: 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.