Review: Having tickled the fancy of a fair few DJs with last autumn's High Praise Edits release, Books is naturally keen to showcase original productions again. Hence this fine EP for the fast-rising Omena label. Title track "Sour Grapes" is our pick of the bunch, offering as it does a fine balance between dreamy, soul-flecked musicality and chunky, fireside-warm deep house grooves. Laurence Guy's remix of the same track, which reminded us of the hybrid deep house/broken beat/jazz-funk fusion tracks of 2000 Black, is also superb. The hits keep on coming elsewhere on the EP, too, with both sample-heavy, deep disco-house workout "Taking Care of Business" and the undulating, electronic audio sunshine of "The Spice Must Flow" both hitting the spot.
Martin Books - "Flitzepulver" (original mix) - (6:35) 128 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 1) - (1:18:53) 124 BPM
Various - "Ibiza 2018 Closing Party" (continuous DJ mix 2) - (1:19:01) 125 BPM
Review: With the same certainty that the leaves will turn brown and fall from the trees, autumn sees the release of Toolroom's closing party album. It's the label's annual state of the (house) nation address and 2018 is no exception. While this year's edition contains a healthy smattering of feel good house - the most impressive exempts being the vocal grooves of Weiss' "Feel My Needs" and Illyus & Barrientos' "MEA" - there are also more adventurous variants on offer. These include Peggy Gou's tweaked acid take on Shakedown's "At Night", the chord heavy Dusky take on KiNK's "Perth" and the cut-up, abstract "Pale Blue Dot" by rising lo-fi house artist Ross From Friends, which demonstrate that this year, Toolroom is thinking outside the box.