Review: Last year, Hugo Mari made his debut on Heist Recordings via an expansive EP of high quality deep house cuts. Here the steps it up further via a first outing on Freerange. Title track "Unalloyed Pleasure" more than lives up to its name, with Mari creating a wonderfully loved-up, glassy-eyed mood via rubbery analogue bass, loose-limbed deep house drums, trippy vocal samples and rising synth-strings that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls". "Raise It Up" is a smile-inducing slab of heady disco-house positivity (think choice sample loops and well placed filter sweeps) while "Just a Memory" adds drifting chords, watery melodies and heartfelt jazz vocal samples to a skittish, sped-up deep house rhythm.
Review: Having previously impressed under the Books alias via quality EPs on Omena and XVI, Hugo Mari pops up on Heist Recordings under his given name. The resultant five-tracl EP is something of a blockbuster, with Mari delivering a perfectly pitched chunk of jazz-funk-fired vocal deep house brilliance ("Get Loose", featuring the sublime vocals of Zodiac), some vintage Todd Edwards-influenced deep house bump (the bluesy warmth of "Change Ur Ways") and a woozier, warmer slab of organic and loose-sounding deep house cheeriness ("Can You Feel Your Senses"). NDTL man Kai Alce does delivers vocal and instrumental revisions of "Get Loose", both of which are slick, soulful, warm and rolling; classic deep house vibes to warm the senses on chilly winter nights
Review: Heist's annual "Round Up" release, in which label artists remix each other, is becoming something of a tradition. This fifth volume is, of course, every bit as essential as its predecessors. All six tracks hit the spot, though we're particularly enjoying the bumpin', bass-heavy and driving take on Hugo Mari's deep and bluesy "Change Ur Ways" by label chiefs Detroit Swindle, not to mention Adriyano's effortlessly celebratory and swinging revision of the Swindlers' own "Cut U Loose". Elsewhere, Hugo Mari brilliantly joins the dots between tribal house and tactile, loved-up grooves on a stellar rework of Alma Negra's "This Is The Place", while the Kassian revision of Pitto's "You Treat Me Like A Fool" sounds like a 21st century update of Todd Edwards' legendary remix of St Germain's "Alabama Blues".