Review: Brilliantly, this has one of the oddest concepts we've ever come across - a deep house cover of ESG's "Moody" with added Neneh Cherry vocal samples - yet it works magnificently. Musically, it's structured around a groove that recalls classic MK-era US garage - all shuffling beats and rolling organ riffage - on to which all manner of subtle samples and acid tweaks are added. It's simple but devilishly effective - think deep, driving and emotion-rich. The Butt Jackin' Remix adds some more late night riffage and boompty-influenced beats, while the Short Edit (not so short at nearly 9 minutes) shaves off all of 90 seconds. Still, stellar stuff all told.
Review: Bringing on carefully polished and honed modern old-skool house vibes aplenty, Dirtytwo deliver their second single for Swedish Local Talk. "Trapped" is full of surefire dancefloor success, not least as it revolves around some powerful deployment of vocals from Colonel Abrams' seminal proto-house banger "Trapped", except here the soulful croon is stitched to a Chi-town deep house jam with easygoing organ chords and measured drum machine patterns. "I'm Feelin'" keeps the same mellow vibe over bumping beats, albeit in a more cheeky early garage style that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Strictly Rhythm, not least when Frosche's bold vocal hook comes in.
Review: You can always count on Local Talk to bring the heat where pumping New Jersey house action is concerned, and it's no different on this offering from label mainstays Dirtytwo. "Waisted" sounds as though it looks to a certain Mr Vandross for some soulful crooning, but he's surrounded by a wealth of romantic string blasts and cheeky DX7 lines to round out a peppy belter. "Talkin' 2 U" gets sassier thanks to a crazily addictive lead synth line that bounces like the most uplifting of peak time jams. If that wasn't enough, there's a "Hard On edit" of that second cut that lets some squelchy acid in on the action amidst more wistful synth lines.
Review: Given how prolific they've been in the past, it's rather surprising to find that this is Dirtytwo's first single since 2015. It marks the Local Talk and Razor 'N' Tape Reserve regulars' first appearance on legendary deep house label Large Music. They begin with "Time & Space (Enter The Void Mix)", where bubbly synthesizer motifs and rock solid house beats vie for attention with chord progressions that are eerily reminiscent of Oliver Cheetham's boogie classic "Get Down Saturday Night". The looser, richer and more organic sounding original version of the same track follows, before the Swedish pair reaches for the heavyweight sub-bass and dubbed out horns on the superb "Ooo, aaa". The horizontal, dub-wise hip-hop of "Deep Sensation" completes a fine package.
Review: Having first dropped on fluorescent yellow vinyl back in November, Dirtytwo's baggy, string-laden Razor 'N' Tape debut, "The Remedy", finally makes it to digital download. The original - a tactile US garage-influenced deep house take on Diana Ross's disco classic "Love Hangover" - is joined by a quartet of similarly classic-sounding remixes. DirtyTwo throw in a few more original disco elements on their TwoDirty Remix (which, incidentally, also comes in instrumental form), Caserta drops some piano house riffs and booming garage bass on his rework, while Grey Area go all Balearic on their deliciously saucer-eyed version. Finally, Duu Ben sprints back towards the disco on his chunky, percussive interpretation.
Review: Back In The Day marks the second appearance from Local Talk regulars Dirtytwo on J Kriv and Aaron Dae's Razor 'N' Tape imprint. Like their last outing, Back In The Day sees them offering up an impressive blend of bumpin' house and filter-heavy re-edits with a heavy emphasis on party starting. While the murky, basement-bothering title track, and Daniel Leeseman's baggier, disco-house rework, are impressive, it's the EP's other two tracks that are really floating our boat. Check, in particular, the string-laden, bass-heavy sleaze of "Last Night", which boasts a spine-tingling breakdown and some decidedly sweaty female vocals. That said, the slower "Estrelar" - a chopped-up, looped, filter-fiddling rework of the Marcos Valle track of the same name - is also rather fine.
Review: We might still be in the depths of winter, but the outdoor temperature seems to have had little effect on DirtyTwo. The Norwegian pair, who have previously released on Local Talk and Large, deliver a sun-kissed two tracker. "Slingan" resounds to seductive, woozy organ playing and crisp, punchy drums and is sure to become the ideal soundtrack at Adriatic beach bars. "DiscoDisco!", as its name suggests, is influenced by the sounds of the 70s. Drawing on the same disco hook used in Armand Van Helden's "You Don't Know Me", albeit with a slower backing tempo, DirtyTwo's use of a Moog makes it feel spacier than the US producer's 90s smash.
Review: Johan Cederberg, or otherwise known as HNNY (and strictly pronounced "honey"!), is Sweden's new house don and he's been at the forefront of Local Talk's impressive run of form as of late. For this latest release, Local Talk has put together nine edits by the man himself, all loosely based around the old-school Chicago house sound. You got slick, modernised edits of none other than Dj Steak, DJ Duke, Purple Velvet and Lee Webster, among others. In a nutshell, this is simply a bundle of great dance floor tracks, effective as either DJ tools or as stand-alone songs. Large up!
Review: It's a sign of the ludicrously prolific nature of Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk imprint that this is their third compilation of label highlights this year. That the quality threshold remains impressively high is credit to their A&R skills. Encompassing revivalist US garage, twinkle-eyed deep house and enveloping groovery, Talking House Volume 3 is packed full of distinctive dancefloor highlights. Check, for example, the fearsome acid tweakery of Anaxander's breathless "My Aniseed Lollipop", the wide-eyed, piano-laden rush of Deep Space Orchestra's brilliant remix of The True Rebels' "Bitter Love", and the baggy, organ-heavy samba-house warmth of Tommy Rawson's "Don't Lose It". And that's just for starters. In a word: essential.
Review: It's not all that long since Local Talk's first Talking House compilation dropped. Given the sheer volume of 12" singles from the label - there seems to be one every week these days - it's little surprise to see this follow-up dropping in double-quick time. The label's best material has always been superb, and there are some real gems here. Check, for example, Dirtytwo's clever (and exceptionally well executed) fusion of HNNY's "For The Very First Time" and Midnight Star's "Midas Touch", John Mood's "Basement Romance" (clearly inspired by classic Mood II Swing), and Cle's colossal piano house bomb "The Jam". Oh, and the thrill-packed blast of Balearic magic that is Fred Everything's "Brothers & Sisters (AM Pacific)".
Review: Given the runaway success of Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk imprint - one of the first labels to go all-out on the '90s garage revival tip - it was probably inevitable that a compilation would appear at some point. Talking House Volume One presents a pleasing selection of label favourites (HNNY's "For The Very First Time", Will Maddams' "Stand In For Love", Gerd's remix of Mateo & Matos' "Maw Basics") and lesser-known gems (Fulbert's brilliantly uplifting "First Time House", Dirtytwo's Mood II Swing tribute "Moody", Andreas Saag's jazzy, string-laden "Back To Life"), with the odd unheard cut thrown in. Taken in context, it's excellent, and touches on many more vintage house and garage strands, whilst remaining current, than many similar releases.
Review: Back in the 80s, re-edit heroes Razormaid literally cut and spliced tapes of popular tunes into new shapes and sounds. Thirty years on and although the formats have changed the philosophy remains the same. Aaron Dae and JKriv's label Razor 'N' Tape specialises in chopped up disco but here they looked to house instead. There are ten wondrous jams on this album, our favourites including the smooth Balearic work out "Free" (Loverbirds' clever Donald Fagen rework), the skippy afterhours garage of "Music Overflow" and the cool and deep "Dynamics".
Review: Although famed for delivering killer cuts of vintage disco and boogie jams, Razor-N-Tape has released plenty of life-affirming house jams, too. As if to prove the point, JKriv and Aaron Dae's Brooklyn-based imprint has decided to release a second selection of back catalogue house highlights. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the bluesy bounce of JKriv and Free Magic's "Eunice" and the classic deep house warmth of Jimpster's killer remix of Mr V's "Something Wit Jazz", to the fizzing synth riffs and life-affirming percussive shuffle of "Stretchin" by Luvless and the groovy, jammed-out musical headiness of Lay-Far's tidy remix of "Just One" by Body Music. Also worth plenty of peak-time plays is Chrissy's chunky revision of Ragtyme's rap-laced 1987 Chicago jam "Fix It Man".
Review: In a bid to celebrate 16 years in business, Mallorca-based Garito Cade Bar has joined forces with the like-minded souls from Sweden's Local Talk imprint. The result is a collection compiled and mixed by resident DJ Nacho Velasco, featuring both well-known and previously unheard gems from Mad Mats and Tooli's well-loved label. While many people will have some of the better known material here - think Fred Everything's excellent "Brothers & Sisters (PM Atlantic)", HNNY's "Fr The Very Forst Time" and Kyodai's "Something Special" - it's the previously unheard selections that make it Music Joined Us worth investigating. Of these new cuts, it's Tommy Rawson's lusciously loose "7 Days" and Jesse Futerman's smouldering "Life Is A Gamble" - smoky soul re-made as Latin-tinged deep house - that stand out.