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: There's a serious amount of musical heat to be found on the latest edition of Public Release's occasional multi-artist EP series. It's the San Francisco-based imprint's first exercise of this sort since 2016 and contains a sextet of must-check tunes. Amongst the many highlights are a creepy, sub-heavy, bleep-influenced number from Richard Sen (the rather good 'Abstract Dance'), a typically dreamy and positive trip into immersive deep house territory from Earth Boys ('EBoys 2020'), Fran-Key's throbbing, Italo-influenced late night hypnotism ('Summer Into Winter'), and the enveloping, opaque electronics and dusty, all-action grooves of Metropolitan Soul Museum's 'Stoneman'. An impressive snapshot of where the label's at, which is a place we'd like to be.
Review: Having already unleashed a killer full-length excursion, "Earth Tones", earlier in the year, it would be fair to say that former 1080p and Public Release duo Earth Boys are in the musical form of their lives. There's certainly plenty of high-quality fare to be found on this surprise mini album for Wolf Music. Check first the tipsy sub-bass, Latin house percussion and ultra-dreamy chords of "Piff Party", before admiring the breakbeat-fuelled, loved-up house of "LSD", and the Larry Heard style deep house beauty of "Love Yourself". "Upstate" is a slightly sweaty chunk of analogue deep house haziness, while "A Deal With The Devil" is tough, late-'90s US garage groover. Fittingly, closing cut "Earth Song" is pleasingly woozy, dreamy and tactile: a sunrise-ready excursion that lingers long in the memory.
Review: Barely a month has passed since Earth Boys delivered the saucer-eyed delight that was the "Earth Tones" album, but already Shall Not Fade has offered up a fully remixed, feature length set of alternative versions. That's no criticism though, because there's plenty to set the pulse racing from start to finish. Our highlights include the '90s drum & bass goes Balearic sweetness of Baltra's "White Cherry Gelato" mix of "Battery Boys", Interplanetary Criminal's stunningly dreamy late night UKG rework of "Amazon Prime", Soela's deliciously deep, hazy and life-affirming house take on "Los Angeles" - which incidentally reminded us of '90s Scottish deep house producer Aqua Bassino), and J Albert's bonkers-but-brilliant re-fix of "On a Limb", which is frankly impossible to accurately describe.
Review: Since making their debut on 1080p five years ago, Earth Boys (AKA producers Julian C Duron and Michael Sherburn) have carved themselves a niche as creators of dreamy, humid and often psychedelic electronic retro-futurism. They continue to mine this richly mixed-up, saucer-eyed musical seam on "Earth Tones", an album-length excursion that marks their first appearance on Shall Not Fade. Across the eight tracks, the pair treats us to dubby, Motor City-influenced deep space house (the sax-sporting "Sonama"), sub-heavy, breakbeat-driven U.S garage revivalism ("I Just Love It"), weighty early UK hardcore revivalism (standout "Amazon Prime"), jazzy dream house lusciousness ("Earth Tones"), turn-of-the-90s deep house revivalism ("Los Angeles") and immersive, late night dancefloor bliss ("Got It To Work").
Review: Predictably, Public Release has assembled a crack crew of remixers to tackle tracks from former 1080p sorts Earth Boys' decidedly cosmic Trail Mix EP. The title track is given two goings over with suitably impressive results. First, Tim Sweeney and Phillip Lauer join forces as T&P to turn the cut into a wild chunk of peak-time acid madness, before Mike Simonetti delivers a take that alternates between saucer-eyed Balearic loveliness and stripped-back, late night drum machine abuse. Elsewhere, Khotin's version of "Big Time" is a glistening and bass-heavy delight, while Earth Boys themselves deliver a colourful, loved-up and insatiably groovy interpretation of "Highway 1". To use a well-worn cliche, this is all killer and no filler.
Review: As this EP for Public Release shows, Earth Boys are experts at creating cosmic house music. It's no coincidence that they are putting out music on the Californian imprint or that their small catalogue also features a record for Canadian space cadets 1080p. Fittingly, the title track is a dreamy, teased out break beat affair that grooves along just below the 120 bpm mark. Featuring stoned vocal samples and tropical textures, it sets the tone for the release. "Big Time" is more direct, but it resounds to dreamy chimes and a loose rhythm, while on "Put me On" has a tighter backing track without forsaking Earth Boys' deep approach. Finally, "Highway 1" brings the listener back to where they started with a jazz sax-infused breaker that conjures up images of marine drives and summer sunsets along the US West Coast.