Review: 14 years have passed since Benji B and Judah established their monthly Deviation parties in London. This fine compilation celebrates the club's legacy and sound, which famously touched on all manner of soul-fired musical styles whilst keeping one eye (and both feet) on the dancefloor, with Benj B selecting cuts that never failed to rock the party. Expect a mixture of skewed, bass-heavy beats (Dorian Concept, James Blake, 00Genesis), heady instrumental hip-hop (Waajeed, Damn Funk remixing Baron Zen), Afro-funk (K Fimpong), peak-time UK bass mutations (Pearson Sound, Martyn, Mala), high-grade deep house (Gilb'r remixing Rick Wilhite, Theo Parrish) and a smattering of genuine scene anthems (Detroit Experiment, Maurice Fulton's remix of Alice Smith, DJ SPen presents DJ Technic).
Review: It may have taken eight years, but finally one of Hun Choi's most memorable singles has made it to digital download. Originally released via a limited-edition, double A-side 12", the two-track affair remains one of Hunee's heaviest and most club-ready releases. Check first opener 'Tide', where tough, chopped-up drum machine beats, tribal-tinged percussion and wayward, acid-style motifs provide sturdy support for swirling chords and lo-fi electronic lead lines. The Rush Hour regular continues in a similarly chopped-up, analogue-rich and drum-heavy vein on the slightly funkier but no less raw and weighty 'Minnoch', whose low-slung, lo-fi bassline is particularly addictive.
Review: You'd expect a compilation curated by open-minded DJ/producer Hunee to be eclectic in nature, and Hunchin' All Night is just that and more. Marketed simply as "a collection of his favourite dancefloor cuts from the '70s until modern time", the compilation set is packed with obscure and inspired jams in a variety of styles. Compare, for example, the gentle but tribal rhythms and new age synthesizers of Carlos Maria and Nuno Canavarro's "Blue Terra" with the glistening, mid-80s Balearic jazz-funk brilliance of Stanislas Tohon's "Owhaaou" (as re-edited by French digger Raphael Top-Secret), or even the Clavinet-heavy Highlife brilliance of Pat Thomas's "Yesu San Bra Disco Hi Life". And that's before we get to the acid-flecked techno madness of Villa Abo and Hunee's wonderfully dreamy and dubbed-out pulse of Mappa Mundi's "Trance Fusion".
Review: Two radically different remixers get to grips with tracks from Hunee's 2015 Hunch Music album. In Mick Wills' hands, "Hiding the Moon" becomes a dark, drawn out ebm affair, its pulsing bass and nocturnal synth line leading the Korean producer's sound down a dark, eerie path. In stark contrast is DJ Fett Burger's 'Boss Brain Computer' version of "Crossroads". Crisp, resonant break beats underpin the arrangement, and are bookended by prolonged ambient drops that are full of half-heard vocals and mysterious samples. Even for a producer who specialises in left of centre music this remix is one of Fett Burger's most unusual creations.
Review: It's been some six years since Hun Choi made his debut on William Burnett's WT Records imprint. In that time, he's proved incredibly hard to pin down. This debut album for Rush Hour seems designed to continue that trend, offering a series of warm, melodious and curiously Balearic cuts that defy easy categorization. Sure, there are dancefloor-focused moments - see the cacophonous, Detroit-influenced hustle of "Error of the Average", the deep acid madness of "Silent Sensations" and the classic deep house bounce of "Desire" - but also a range of downtempo and ambient jams that arguably impress more. Of these, it's "The World" - a humid exercise in tropical drums, twittering flutes and looped vocal samples - and the sublime, string-laden "Bruises" that really stand out.
Review: This sampler from Prosumer's Panorama Bar mix should dispel any doubts that the Ostgut stable caters exclusively to jaw-grinding intensity. Hunee's "Leaf for Hand in Hand" sounds like a return to UK house music of the mid to late-90s with a clubbier feel punctuated by a celebratory hook. Fused with a bleeding acid line, it nonetheless serves as a reminder of what a fruitful time that scene enjoyed. "Take U" by Soundstore a is more stripped back affair, focusing mainly on a buzzing bass, edgy beats and heavy claps - although there is some concession towards musicality thanks to some eerie synths - but "Sadness" by Steffi ensures that soul remains on the Ostgut menu. Over understated drums, Steffi lays down a sun-kissed yet somnambulant melody line and the kind of breathy vocals that Tracey Thorn would kill to emulate. These tracks make for one of the most uplifting house releases of 2011 - and reinforce Ostgut's reputation as a purveyor of the best contemporary electronic music.