Review: For their latest foray into deep house territory, Italian imprint DaBit has recruited fast-rising Manchester-based producer Hidden Spheres, who confusingly has decided to credit three of the tracks to the previously unseen HBN alias. Predictably, there's much to enjoy, from the classic, piano-flecked US house breeziness of "Need Your Love", and Rhodes-laden warmth of "No House" (which, incidentally, comes complete with a familiar string sample), to the jaunty basement bump of "Control" (think warehouse-friendly US garage dubs, circa 1993). Die Roh's notably woozy rework of "Need Your Love" is pretty darn tasty, too.
Review: Earlier in the year, Hidden Spheres launched his own label, Fruit Merchant, offering up his most colourful, dreamy and tropical tracks to date. Naturally, there's an altogether different feel to this EP on Lobster Theremin (his second for Jimmy Asquith's lauded label). It's similarly melodious and analogue-rich, of course, with the cultured retro-futurist house warmth of 'This Is 4U" and bleeping deep house/electro fusion cut "McKenna's Mind" setting the tone perfectly. Elsewhere, he joins the dots between Chicago jack-tracks, organ-heavy '90s U.S garage and New Jersey deep house on "Lazer Beam", before rounding things off with a looped vocal DJ tool ("Talking Headz").
Review: Previously on Distant Hawaii, UK producer Tom Harris aka Hidden Spheres appears now on Lobster Theremin with four servings of his soothing, late night house. "It Ain't Easy" is a deep, jazzy and loungey joint, reminiscent of early Atjazz, as is the sexy and evocative "IshOnSax" featuring 'some of the most contagious saxophone ever laid to wax' courtesy of Ishmael. Then it is the Moodymann-ish "The Feels", a raw house number full of heart warming pads, dusty rhythms and soulful vocals. Closing out the release is the melting pot of swirling sounds, field recordings and playful drum programming on "It's Gonna Last".
Review: Since contributing Distant Hawaii's debut release back in 2015, Tom 'Hidden Spheres' Harris has showcased his dusty, musically expansive take on deep house on Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International imprint. On this return to Distant Hawaii, he infuses MPC-driven deep house grooves with elements borrowed from synth boogie, Italian deep house, and tropical jazz. There's plenty to get the juices flowing, from the fluid jazz breaks, tumbling pianos and layered synth doodles of the barely-titled opener, to the saucer-eyed bliss of dream house shuffler "By & Bye" and sun-baked warmth of "Beachy". Closer "Movin", a jazzy deep house outing blessed with some killer keys, is also superb.
Review: ondon's irrepressible Lobster Theremin label launches its new offshoot, Distant Hawaii, with Moods & Grooves signee Hidden Spheres. The mood is summery and the vibes are housey; "Waiting" kicks things into motion with a pseudo tribal beat and some lovely deep house action, while "Upsn Downs" goes a little off-kilter thanks to its rattling percussion samples and sporadic beat. "Be A Man" enters the Detroit house territories thanks to its gorgeous pads and lo-fi vocal samples, and "Bill Loves You" chuck groovy jazz instrumentation over a slick groove.
Review: Many happy returns to Germany's Dirt Crew Recordings imprint, which this year celebrates a decade of deep and tech-house releases. For this celebratory collection, they've decided to take a slightly different approach, eschewing label classics and forgotten gems in favour of new cuts from familiar and lesser-known artists. There's naturally much to admire, from the heavy, Soundstream-do-deep house loopiness of Yosa's "Love Me" and the surging deep house funk of Timothy Blake's "The Town is Quiet", to the woozy, Ame-ish rush of Matt Masters' "6&3 Twos". Tigerskin does his bit for the label's old guard with "Ad Lib Robot", a bouncy, soul-flecked acid jam that's one of the compilation's genuine highlights.