We Were Talking About The Space Between Us All - (6:06) 79 BPM
Review: Two years ago, we waxed lyrical about Flabaire's last album-length excursion, a delightfully dusty and atmospheric blend of deep house and instrumental hip-hop cuts entitled 'Bandwidth'. Predictably, we're going to enthuse about this belated follow-up too, which sees the Frenchman add further layers of musical complexity - including some deliciously jazzy instrumentation - to his sample-heavy, MPC-driven production template. Dreamy, immersive and more comforting than a king-size duvet, the set's seven tracks include the French producer's takes on futurist ambient techno ('Mot Rose'), jazz-flecked Balearic soundscapes (the ultra-deep 'Layer 4', 'Layer 5' and glistening 'Layer 7'), drowsy downtempo sounds ('Layer 6'), dub techno ('Echo Park') and echo-drenched guitar textures ('We Were Talking About The Space Between Us All'). Inspired.
Review: D.KO regular Ralph "Flabaire" Maurani returns to the label with his sophomore album. Given the quality of his 2016 debut, It's Just a Silly Phase I'm Going Through, hopes are naturally high for this follow-up. Happily, Bandwith is superb, with Maurani working his way through a range of dusty deep house and blazed, MPC style beat cuts while retaining an attractive rhythmic looseness and dreamy melodiousness throughout. Check, for example, the gentle acid lines, bustling beats and glistening electronic melodies of "Life & Times", the slowly unfurling early morning bliss of ambient techno cut "The Royal Scam", the woozy, Rhodes-laden techno bounce of "AM/PM" and the surprise space-jungle shimmer of "A Storm in Heaven".
Review: Parisian 'emotional house' producer Flabiare is a stalwart of local imprint D.K.O where he's thrown down several fine releases of the deeper and dusty house music variety. Now for South Street out of the UK who have previously brought us great EPs by Yaki Incipient and Urulu. Kerri Chandler vibes abound for energetic opener "Midsummer Blues" while "Tell Me About It" carries on in style too with its evocative early '90s NYC style likewise. "Prime Numbers" (Parlez Vous Francais 2015 rework) serves up some rusty and dusted down deepness; its off kilter rhythm programming a fine touch and "Ecoude" closing out this fine EP in style with those neon lit synths and pitched down groove working a treat.
Review: Hot on the heels of the underrated Memories From Another Planet EP on his D.KO Records imprint, Ralph 'Flabaire' Manauri brings his brand of smooth and groovy deep house to Popcorn. He begins confidently, channeling the atmospheric spirit of Twin Peaks on the swirling, soundscape deep house shuffle of "Laura Palmer". He doffs a cap to the disco-flecked warmth of vintage East Midlands deep house productions on "Shabbat Jam", before fusing gentle acid lines, dreamy textures and bubbly melody lines on the enjoyable "Urquinaona". British techno veteran Aubrey weighs in with a fine remix of "Laura Palmer" that cannily turns the track into a melodious, hypnotic tech-house roller.
Review: Following up his breakthrough EP titled Early Reflections which came out on D.KO in late 2014, young French artist Flabbaire is back with a full length titled It's Just A Silly Phase I'm Going Through, but we hope it's not because we think he's doing an absolutely grand job. Soulful, dusty and emotive Midwest U.S. style of deep house that calls to mind classic Sound Signature or 7 Days Entertainment type stuff. Starting off in truly impressive fashion with some bittersweet, ghost in the machines type journeys like on "Sweet Spot" or "Headspace" there's also some stoned cosmic/balerica kind of stuff too like on "La Greve Des Etoiles" or "Bruxelles" but it's the classic Windy City vibes of "Berggasse 19 (Spiritual mix)" and "Album 5" which are really on the money if you ask us.
Review: Having previously popped up on the first compilation release from Paris label D.KO, Flabaire now gets a whole release over which to impart some flamboyant housey goodness. "Local Control" is a sassy number rich with Moog-esque synths intoning a decidedly funky message, while "I Think You Do" has a more thoughtful temperament that lets delicate piano keys meet with the steady ticking drums and warm bass. "Chartreuse" gets the twitchy funk back in place for all kinds of micro-shuffling goodness, and then "L'Orphee" opens the EP up in a final bow led by illustrious synth strings and a bouncy low end both emotive and eminently groovy in the same instance.
Review: Sexy Parisian deep house: what more can we say? D.KO are the right crew for the job, as we'll explain. Local lad Flabaire has appeared previously on Serie Limitee and Organic Music. "Biblife" is sombre and soulful deep house reminiscent of the emotive style of legends like Pepe Braddock or Schmoove. Paso Music head honcho: Paso, also appears here with the deep and sultry groove of "I Never" which is perfect for the early evening or afterhours alike. Petr Serkin gives the track a pretty decent remix treatment too, retaining the deep funky groove but with some help from some dreamy pads and cowbells which work a treat. Ma Rey's "Quartier Sex" is definitely the fiercest offering on here; tough and thumping peak time house reminiscent of Phil Weeks.
Review: Brussels based Play Label Records step up for the second instalment of their La Parenthese House series. Interstate delivers some irresistibly groovy house vibes, followed by "Dancing Your Heartbeat", an even funkier track by Folamour. The next track is marked by a deeper and slightly more mellow atmosphere: "House Resort" by Siler and Flabaire (who have already been a part of the first La Parenthese House edition) dives into a loungy warmth. The final track comes from San Francisco born, Berlin based producer Yooj (Retrofit). He drops a multi layered journey with a catching balance of emotional and percussion-driven energy.
Flabaire & Siler - "Je Vais Bien Ne T'en Fais Pas" - (5:33) 110 BPM
Mud Deep - "Bill Morray" - (8:26) 80 BPM
Saint-James - "Time Paradox" - (4:07) 115 BPM
Security DJ - "Boaliketool" - (7:12) 130 BPM
Mandigo - "Les Maux De Mud" - (5:22) 140 BPM
Review: Parisian imprint D.KO has put out plenty of multi-artist EPs in the past, but few compilations that are quite as expansive as "Bircavia". We've not been able to assertain whether there's a theme, concept or specific reason for the appearance of the set, but in many ways it doesn't matter; the eight tracks are uniformly superb and that's reason enough to release a compilation. Highlights are plentiful, with standouts including the pulsating, funk-fuelled electro dreaminess of Aurele's "Numbers (featuring Amarou - V45 Vocoder Mix)" and Toke's "Ambavi", the deep and intergalactic drum and bass of Mud Deep's decidedly spacey "Bill Murray", the acid-flecked breakbeat mutations of Saint-James' "Time Paradox" and the ultra-deep and picturesque deep house hypnotism of Flabair & Siler.