Review: Canadian legend Fred Everything has been heading up the esteemed Lazy Days imprint for the last decade and a half. 'LZD XV' sees the Montreal-based operation deservedly celebrating this milestone across - you guessed it - 15 tracks. Features more mood music than you'll ever need in one place, with some right classics from a who's who of industry talent: Danish stalwart Trentemoller appears with his glitchy electro house remix of Everything's "Friday" featuring Vanessa Baker, the worthy addition of Bananza Music boss Marko Miltano's smooth vocal deep house number "Down So Low", and then Everything notably teams up with Windy City legend JT Donaldson on "I Said". Elsewhere, heroes of the Dallas underground Brett Johnson & Dave Barker get down with some boompty business on "On The Highway" and closing it out is the label chief, once more, with Mantis Recordings chief Atjazz on the sensual "Back Together".
You Got Me Going Crazy (Berlin dub) - (7:23) 126 BPM
You Got Me Going Crazy - (7:07) 126 BPM
You Got Me Going Crazy (Acapella) - (0:52) 116 BPM
Review: By now Holic Trax is one of the most assured house labels of the day. As such it makes sense that they turn to another well regarded house producer in Brett Johnson for their next EP. Johnson is an American who has excelled at every dance style over the years. With a classical bent to his tunes, he likes bump and groove and always serves up no nonsense jams on labels like Classic, Housewax and Visionquest. Here he excels with three new tracks as well as one collaboration with tech house legend CPEN. Sumptuous "Slow Tide" is the slick opener and is the sort of soulful, expertly produced jam only a veteran could come up with. Smooth synths have a real sense of feeling, skipping drums bring the groove and a rich bassline recalls the work of Chi town great, Boo Williams. The delicious "Music" is then more direct and physical, with scratchy perc and epic drums punching out a busy pattern. Glass tinkles and smeared pads soften the edges of this deep but jacking track The standout "You Got Me Going Crazy (Berlin Dub)" then finds Brett teaming up with cult figure CPEN to excellent effect. It is a trippy and freaky late night tech cut with slinky lines, spooky vocals and real electronic funk in its bones. Sure to set ?floors on fire, it gets followed up by the joyous house skip, modern soul and bendy machine funk of "Don't Forget to Smile".
E Is For Edible (continuous DJ mix) - (58:56) 126 BPM
Review: Despite being just two years old, Nick Harris and Eats Everything's label has established itself as one of modern house music's most promising imprints. This collection, which features tracks from Edible's first ten releases, shows why. It begins with the jerky groove, prowling bass and vocal screeches of Lord Leopard's "Mark of Passion", while Lauren Lane's "Diary of a Madwoman" documents a darker, less party-focused take on Edible's rhythm-heavy, off-beat sound. Brett Johnson, whose work has undoubtedly inspired many of the artists on the label, makes an appearance with the driving, heads-down "Jack", while Rhythm Masters deliver a disco-heavy take on the sound with "Feel Your Love". All in all, this compilation is good enough to eat.
Review: Brett Johnson was always one of the most innovative house producers and this release for the re-launched Classic shows that he hasn't lost his signature sound. On the OG Demo mix of "Mr Johnson's Talk'n Now", he lays down a gritty, stripped back house groove, replete with lo fi blips and bursts of noise that accompany wired, weird vocal samples. The 'Luke's Video Games Rework' is just as off-beat, with the vocals deeper in the mix and a furious stab taking centre stage, while the 'BJ Revamp' remix swings back towards Johnson's wild, stripped back sound. Only on "Give It To Them" does he opt for a more conventional approach, with a disco stab riding the relentlessly jacking groove.
Review: One of Ibiza's biggest tickets, Defected throw parties in the same spirit as they release music. With full force and serious knowhow. Here they've curated 40 perfected positioned tacks that don't just represent their vibe, or the spirit of their parties, but also a fitting snapshot of what's going on in house music right now. From Low Steppa to Damian Lazarus, Skream to Claude VonStroke, Josh Butler to The Shapeshifters, the entire tracklist reads (and sounds) like a who's who in house music 2015. Delivered with two mixes and whole host of exclusives, Defected aren't messing around right now.
Review: Australia's Balance Music is known for its quality mixes by the very finest in the underground music circuit. With previous compilations by the likes of New York's Danny Tenaglia, Deetron and Funk D'Void, among others, this is as close to a Fabric mix as you can get without those shiny tin cases. Ex-minimal legend turned all-out techno queen Magda steps up for number 27 in the series, and it's nothing but vibes on this one. Amalgamating shreds of stripped back techno - Marcel Dettmann, DVS1, Samuli Kemppi - together with newer, more underground sounds from some of the most cutting-edge labels around - Marco Bernardi's Sandman project, TTT's Minor Science, XDB and Shackleton - the Minus legend shows why she's still one of the best in the game and a true expert at evolving her aesthetic. A great mix, dig in.