Review: Encrypted make a south west connection as they bring Napes and Elbi together on one absolutely firing six tracker. The EP bulges with solo tunes from both acts including an outrageous remix from Napes on Elbi's 'Chess & Rollies', a diesel powered VIP of Elbi's 'Rabbit Hole' and Napes' crucial 'Come Try Test'. But the highlight for most will be the truly blazing collaboration 'Pon Di Attack'. Jungle by nature but dancefloor by muscle, the way the vocals take the lead like a live event gives it a real spirit we're all missing right now.
Review: Feeling fine for Northern Line! Rantik and JAK's fledgling young label comes correct with their first full paid release. It's a VA and it's a beauty. Continuing the exceeding weight and exciting breadth of the sound they've built up through free downloads, these nine tracks rep the Newcastle label's parameters with deadly intent and features some very exciting new-gen names. Highlights include Hexa's pranged-out swinger 'Shanghai Knights', the volcanic bombastic bounces and blazes of Stompz' 'Funk Accelerator' and the Metal Work's gritty punisher 'Changes'. And that's just the tip of this northern iceberg. Firing.
Review: What better way to celebrate a decade in business than by getting Chicago deep house legend Larry Heard to select and mix a double-disc compilation of label highlights? Hats off, then, to Rebirth, who managed to persuade Mr Fingers himself to deliver his first commercially available DJ mix. As you'd expect from both label and DJ, it's a wonderfully atmospheric and melodious affair, with Heard selecting and blending emotion-rich tracks and mixes from Chromatic Filters, Bocca Grande, NuFrequency, Tevo Howard, Motor City Drum Ensemble and James Teej. The first disc, in which Heard races through 28 tracks in just over 70 minutes, is particularly memorable.
Review: The rising Parisian duo who have previously released on labels like My Favourite Robot and Rework's Loveyeah now appear on Italy's Rebirth. "On The Loose" is a cut of sultry, late night deep house with jazz inflections reminiscent of Moodymann's Black Mahogani. Elbi's vocals add a gorgeous touch too. It gets three remixes by the deep house don himself, no not Moodymann, rather Larry Heard! The "Trybalambient mix" is a dark journey track with tribal drums and immersive layers of pads and strings. Naturally, the "Trybalambient instrumental" forgoes Elbi's vocals and the "Teknospheric Mix" nails the sound more typical of Heard but uses a lot of the original source material such as rich grand piano notes and lush strings.