Review: Synth-bothering indie-popsters Friendly Fires are the latest contributors to the uniformly excellent Late Night Tales series, and they seem desperate to prove just how diverse their tastes are. Oh, and their underground credentials. So, we get fuzzy stoner disco (Renee), curious French electro-disco oddness (Space), shirts-off end of night goodness (the much-played but still ace "Like An Eagle" by Dennis Parker), krautrock-inspired indie pop (Stereolab, Cocteau Twins), classic US garage (Iron Galaxy), future anthems (SBTRKT), dream-pop (Junior Boys, Lauren Halo), folksy musings (Grouper), and even a dash of Olivia Newton-John (the decidedly Balearic "Love Song"). While a cynic may raise a surprised eyebrow at some of the selections, there's no denying their quality.
Review: Galaxy were leading lights of the Nigerian funk and Afrobeat scene in the late 70s, delivering nine albums in the years 1976-1983, no fewer than four of which were, somewhat confusingly, simply titled 'Galaxy'. What we have here is a single-track reissue of the closing cut from their 1977 long player of that name, which starts out as a languid, horn-led Afro-jazz jam, then gets progressively more frenetic as it builds into a fast and furious dancefloor workout that'll put even the most dedicated b-boys and jazz dancers to the test.
Review: Few deep house labels are quite as consistent as Germany's Room With A View. There's little in the way of following fads, either, just a desire to release high quality deep house from a range of established and little-known artists. This fourth label compilation more than proves our point. Across the 20 tracks, there's little ill-advised filler, just tracks full of seductive grooves and melodic positivity. Predictably, highlights are plentiful, from the hypnotic throb of Taron Trekka's "NennDas" and the joyous, piano-laden blast of Roberto Rodriguez's "Sixth Non Sense", to the spine-tingling soundscapes of Sahin Meyer's "Zulu Beer" and electrofunk-meets-piano house flex of Marlow's "Need U".
Review: The always reliable Drumpoet Community return with a Swiss army knife (of sorts) for deep house music, in the form of Drum Union Vol 1. The Akjoya Circles label boss Look Like appears first, first fresh off appearances on the likes of Mistress with the neon-lit, tropical balearicisms of "Full Moon Rhythm", Manuel Fischer returns to the label after last year's great Iris EP with the boogie-down acid antics of "Galactic Manhunt" and Wah-Chu-Ku delivers what is probably the EP's standout moment on the deeply emotive futurism of "Humble Beginnings". An honourable mention deserved to Mitsubishi Galaxy also, whose contribution "Metadroen" keeps the rest of the release on a techy and moody trip.
Review: There's no denying that Lootbeg has been in fine form of late, with 12" singles on Tieffrequent and Tooman Records only enhancing his reputation as a producer on the rise. Predictably, the Leipzig man is at the top of his game on this EP for A Friend in Need. Opener "Cheeeers" offers the perfect balance between raw, distorted drums, wiggly acid lines and the lilting, string-laden sheen of classic deep house, though acid-fired electro cut "Goodbye Galaxy - Gg17428" - all filtered late night stabs and thrillingly rough rhythms - is arguably even better. Elsewhere, he serves up a thrillingly muscular chunk of TB-303 techno (the fittingly titled "Mental") and does his best Drexciya impression on the heavy-but-poignant "Goodbye Galaxy - Gg17421".