Review: Moonrise Hill Material has an interesting mission statement. The French label says that it is dedicated to "poetic house music", a deliciously open-ended concept that's open to all sorts of interpretations. In the case of this EP - a multi-artist affair featuring label regulars and newcomers - that largely means chunky club tracks that doff a cap to classic disco and boogie. There are deviations from the blueprint, of course - see the dub-flecked tropical house slinkiness of Tochigi Canopy's "Gulf Ressac", or the Andres-ish loop jazziness of LB aka Labat's "Your Ass Gotta Go" - but it's likely most DJs will reach for the celebratory positivity of Ethyene and Folamour's party-starting A-side cuts.
Review: There's a case to say that Folamour has yet to put a foot wrong. Recently, he's released killer EPs on Classic, Moonrise Hill Material and Cracki, as well as contributing fine tracks to a number of other EPs . Predictably, this outing on Church is also hotter than the sun. "Jazz Session For Future People" is a killer chunk of life-affirming jazz-house bounciness that offers a near perfect balance between rolling dancefloor funk and intricate musicality, while "Melophrenia" is a supremely smoky slab of ultra-deep wooziness. Arguably best of all, though, is the hip-hop tempo synthesizer Balearica of "Janvier In Bed", which may well be his most tactile and glassy-eyed cut to date.
Review: The seemingly unstoppable rise of Bruno "Folamour" Boumendil continues apace, as the Moonrise Hill Material co-founder makes his bow on Defected offshoot Glitterbox. Predictably, he's in fine form throughout, delivering a trio of musically expansive outings that sit somewhere between soundscape deep house and sun-kissed disco. There's a little of the "Patchworks" about opener "The Power & Blessing of Unity", where punchy, Afrobeat style horns, starry chords, hazy jazz-funk vocals and squelchy electrofunk flourishes wrap themselves around a rich disco-house groove. "Home Beyond The Clouds", meanwhile, is a loose and languid, filter-sporting disco-house workout (here presented in seven-minute edit form, rather than the near 14-minute vinyl version), while "Island of Recent Father" is a loved-up chunk of sunrise positivity.
Review: Moonrise Hill Material co-founder Folamour makes his first appearance on Dublin's All City imprint, in the process delivering one of the most pleasingly positive deep house cuts we've heard for some time. "Shakkei" is marked out by wonderfully flowing piano lines of the kind that once turned "Strings of Life" into an all-time anthem. These combine wonderfully with the producer's loose-but-heavy, drum machine rich groove and near Balearic chord progressions. It's something of a stunner, all told. Elsewhere, Folamour explores deeper and dreamier pastures on "Maybe I Did Burn Ya Place", before reaching for the Roy Ayers style vibraphone, cheeky jazz-funk samples and Andres-esque grooves on "Each Day Is A Frist Day"
Review: Having previously popped up on the Defected's Glitterbox imprint, it was probably only a matter of time before Folamour made his bow on Classic, another imprint under the ownership of Simon Dunmore's company. In its' original form, "Devoted To You" is a stunning slice of sun-baked deep house positivity that will sound spectacular at open-air parties this summer. While underpinned by a snappy and relatively weighty rhythm track, it's the classic musicality - all swirling synth motifs, dewy-eyed vocal samples and finely filtered disco orchestration - and pitched-down breakdown that really makes the senses tingle. Session Victim moves the track further towards loose and languid disco territory on their "Extended Remix", which hits the filters a touch harder, ups the piano factor and adds even more live-sounding percussion.
Review: Many thought that Moonrise Hill Material co-founder Folamour's acclaimed second album, Umami, would only ever appear on vinyl. Happily, Classic has licensed it and here makes it available as a digital download for the very first time. The album boasts few surprises to those who know his catalogue and sees the hyped producer accompany dusty, sample-heavy deep house club jams with a smattering of soulful, MPC style beat workouts. There's naturally little in the way of flabby filler, just a wealth of good grooves heavily influenced by soul, jazz and disco. Highlights include the Theo Parrish/Andres style jazzy deep house of "Look At Me Or I'll Steal Your Eyes", the head-nodding hip-hop soul of "Kickflippin' That Stuff" and the full-throttle disco-house of "Ivoire".
Review: It could be argued that Folamour's Shakkei EP is one of the most mood enhancing deep house EPs of the year so far. Nights Over You, which adds a little more party flavour to his dreamy deep house blueprint, is almost as essential. Folamour sets the tone on the title track, a bouncy and energy-packed number that melds snippets of vocals by a global megastar to a disco-tinged dream house groove. There's more looped up vocal samples to be found on the heavier, dustier disco-house pump of "The Morning", while "$O$" has all the jazzy deep house exuberance of Andres's best moments. A superb EP is completed by Jamie Trench's re-edit of "Nights Over You", which successfully teases dancers via a string of rush-inducing drops and breakdowns.
Review: Noire & Blanche is a new sub-label from long established French imprint Delicieuse Records, whose catalogue is full of slinky deep house gems. EP number one comes from sometime Fauxpas Musik and Moonrise Hill Material producer Folamour, and features five loose, toasty tracks. Folamour excels at combining live instrumentation, choice samples, and swinging deep house beats. This is particularly evident on the glistening "You Never Told Me I'll Miss U That Much" (check the evocative guitar parts and hazy chords), but can also be heard on the soulful loop-jam "When U Come Into My Life", and superb opener "Lampadaire". Arguably best of all, though, is "Just Another Lonely Night Eating Sushi", which manages to be both bittersweet and strangely heartwarming.
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.
Review: The latest Glitterbox compilation is something of an epic, featuring two all action DJ mixes from bossman Simon Dunmore, and 40-odd unmixed, DJ-friendly tracks. Naturally, the emphasis is on celebratory, feel-good workouts, with Dunmore's superb selections taking in classic disco and boogie (Change, Shirley Lites, the Originals), contemporary disco-fired workouts (Purple Disco Machine, BB Boogie's soul-fired "Sweating and Shaking"), cheery disco-house anthems (95 North, Reverendos of Soul) and all-out peak-time house gems (see the contributions from Eli Escobar, KiNK and Dj Chus and the Groove Foundation). Highlights are plentiful throughout, though it's hard to beat Louie Vega's 12-minute rework of Sylvester disco classic "Dance".
Review: French compilation label Nova's output has ranged from reggae to jazz to world music, and this club-oriented collection ploughs a similarly eclectic furrough. There's a strong African flavour to much of the album (check Onipa's 'Open My Eyes', in particular, for some fine contemporary Afrobeat), but there's plenty of variety on offer too: Polymod's 'No Other' comes on like an early Orbital off-cut, Folamour's 'Can't Live Without You' is a dusty slice of 70s-style soulful disco, Zerolex's 'Paradise', Puzupuzu's 'Treo' combines Afro-house beats with some fine acid squiggles, and on it goes. Dive in and explore!
Review: Not content with serving up regular doses of ear-pleasing nu-disco, the Future Disco crew has decided to start sound-tracking days spent lounging on the beach. Somewhat predictably, this second Beach Life selection is packed with seriously steamy, sun-kissed grooves. While this epic digital package does contain two (un-credited) DJ mixes, the real joy is the expansive - not to mention eclectic - selection of DJ-friendly, unmixed tracks. Check, for example, the sun-down, jazz-funk influenced bliss of Folamour's "L'homme Loup", the head-nodding lounge warmth of Snacks' "Daydream", the gentle Balearic nu-disco of Sirs, the lo-fi deep house haziness of DJ Boring and COEO, and the sand-in-the-shoes shuffle of Eli Escobar's delicious remix of Kraak and Smaak's "U R Freak". Throw in a swathe of tasty, laidback but floor-friendly deep house jams and you have a solid collection of serious summer jams.
Review: For as long as we can remember, Defected's annual Miami Music Week compilation has done a brilliant job showcasing tracks that we'll be dancing to a lot in the following weeks and months. Predictably, this year's volume is no different. There's the usual mixture of alternative remixes of familiar favourites from the previous 12 months (see David Penn's remix of Sophie Lloyd's gospel disco anthem "Calling Out" and I:Cube's brilliant revision of Peggy Gou's "It Makes You Forget"), previously released anthems (Horse Meat Disco and Amy Douglas's "Let's Go Dancing" and Ray Mang's delicious disco mix of Phenomenal Handclap Band's "Judge Not") and suitably big tunes that will soon become peak-time staples the world over (see the tracks by Bawrut, Low Steppa, Bsicits and Mighty Mouse).