Review: Lithuania isn't the first place you would associate with deep house, but it's where Few Nolder comes from and it's true that the Vilnius-based producer makes a compelling take on this established form. Like his other releases, the tracks on Moli have a fragility to them, like they are about to fall apart at every bar. Thankfully none of them do, and the listener is able to enjoy the slurred vocals and nagging percussion on "Twin" and the warm melodies of "Sonar". Few Nolder leaves the best to last though, and the title track's epic synth crescendos and played on the fly groove make for the perfect soundtrack to a midsummer's Baltic party.
Review: Clouded Vision boss Matt Walsh's first mix CD, The Clouded Vision Experiment, gained plenty of praise on its 2012 release. Three years on, he's finally got round to putting together a follow-up. As with its predecessor, The Clouded Vision Experiment Level 2 aims to join the dots between bouncy, electro-influenced techno, warehouse-friendly tech-house, glistening nu-disco (see the Eskimo Twins' "Elegy") and hard-to-define, dancefloor-friendly electronica (Richard Norris's "Dim The Lights" being a great example). The unmixed portion of the collection is full of gems, including tracks and remixes from The Hacker, Pulp Disco & The Outcasts (whose P-funk goes-acid banger "3.142" stands out) and the brilliantly named Forty Fingers Dynamo.
Review: The Future Disco brand has long since stopped releasing anything vaguely disco related; these days, it's all about shimmering deep house and tactile, tech-tinged flavours. All Day Dancing is a concept album of sorts, gathering together a selection of warm, breezy tunes that have rocked open-air parties and beachside festivals the World over this summer. As such, it's a strong collection, showcasing such well-regarded gems as Vimes' "Celestial (Reprise)", Ten Walls' picturesque, string and synth trombone-laden "Walking With Elephants", and Tale of Us' chiming, melancholic remix of Mano Le Tough's "Primative People". Throw in further contributions from Dixon & Guy Gerber, Maya Jane Coles and Booka Shade, and you have a sterling selection.
Review: Livingroom Techno is an interesting concept. As the title suggests, it's Connaisseur Recordings' choice of "techno" records (think tech-house, deep minimal and tech-tinged deep house) that they think are particularly suitable for home listening - not just lounging on the sofa, mind, but also shuffling round your living room like a modern-day house lover. This fourth instalment in the series is as sumptuous, sinewy and sensual as previous instalments, variously delivering breezy sunrise goodness (Chymera), bubbly tech-jazz (Koett), melody rich groovery (Lake People's delicious "Stepwise") and Latin-tinged deep carnival fare (Ian O'Donovan).
Review: The fifth installment in this series sees German label Connaisseur compile some of the finest deep house in circulation. Thankfully, nothing here has that mushy sameness that has become so pervasive; instead artists like Timelapse, Distortion and Musumeci bring fragile, floaty melodies and chiming chords to their reduced rhythms and dubby grooves. Few Nolder and Lehar up the ante somewhat and the booming bass and cacophony of chilling strings on the latter's "Sarga" is a thing of wonder. Overall though, it's the reflective approach that impresses most; Sam K's "Elido", with its dreamy pattern of chords and vocal that swoons "I will build a castle with a tower high" is worth the price of this compilation alone
Review: Ibiza institution Cafe Mambo needs little introduction. Starting as a sunset hangout, it soon became a perfect venue for the island's pre-parties and has developed an iconic status worldwide. It has served up thousands of sunsets since it first opened it's doors in 1994 and here's Sunset to Afterdark: an expertly crafted collection compiled by the team behind the successful Future Disco series and Needwant label. This one takes you from those unforgettable sunsets to, like the name suggests, the nighttime where things really heat up. If there is one essential soundtrack required this summer, this is it. Highlights not limited to: Zero 7's sublime drifter "Last Light", Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak's emotive and bittersweet little ditty "Stumble" (Blue Hotel Mix) through to the gorgeous remix of Tempelhof & Gigi Masin's "Blue 13" by Declasse main man Steve Coby. There's even a bit of slinky and uptempo tech house from hot UK duo Dusky. Comes with two continuous mixes for your convenience: Sunset and Afterdark, naturally.