Review: There's much to admire about Bastian Volker's follow-up to 2012's What About Talk About, which recently dropped for the first time on digital download. Whereas the first volume frequently flipped styles, retaining a smoky, late night vibe throughout, this follow-up largely ploughs a deep hose furrow. That's not a criticism, though; the three deep house cuts here (and particularly the hazy, wide-eyed loveliness of "Those Things") all get just the right balance between crackling atmospherics, melodic warmth and floor-friendly rhythms. "KMS", co-produced with Iron Curtis and reworked by Soulphiction, is particularly beautiful The EP's one non-house moment, the horizontal downtempo jam "Whatabouttalkabout", is also very impressive.
Review: When it came to celebrating their first five years, Uncanny Valley decided to do things differently. So, alongside a retrospective (Five Years On Parole - What Happened), they've delivered an EP of previously unheard material from the archives (Five Years On Parole - Gems From The Vaults), and this selection of brand new cuts. There's naturally much to enjoy, with Chinaski and Panthera Krause both delivering wonderfully deep and dreamy analogue house workouts. There's something particularly impressive about Derive's krautrock, Kraftwerk and proto-techno inspired contribution - think modular synthesizers and pulsing drum machine rhythms - while Iron Curtis' "En Suite" is a clandestine acid jacker build around ragged 303 lines, metronomic percussion and trippy synthesizer motifs.
Review: Iron Curtis's "Horses", released last year on his "Small Wide Waist Band" full-length, is a glorious example of why there's still plenty of invention left in house. Managing to be both ludicrously tough and gorgeously intricate, it threw a lot of unusual and eccentric sounds into the mix with impressive effect. If you missed out, you can get it here, alongside a trio of equally impressive remixes. Top prize goes to deep house veteran (and all round legend) Move D, whose stripped-back but intensely beautiful take will make your ears feel like they're wallowing in a Radox-infused bath. Nu-disco types the KDMS provide a wonky, off-kilter rework that sits somewhere between organic deep house and wide-eyed electronic disco.
Review: It has been a productive time for Office Recordings with the recent release of Baaz's Red Souvenirs double album being followed up by this high-grade 12" from Iron Curtis. With his Care single for Hudd Traxx only just out, The KMS Years is the second single of 2015 for the prolific German and it finds him on sublime form as ever. Lead track "Magnet" trades in the dulcet deep house tones that Curtis has built his name on, with a sizzling drum set buffeting along just the right balance of pads and more snappy melodic elements. "What Happened Happened" however represents more of a departure into downtempo broken beat territory which sounds like a comfortable place for Curtis to find himself, before Berg issues a "Reduktion" on the track which actually seems to beef it up into a more floor-ready jam.
Chubby Dubz - "The Way It Used To Be" - (5:17) 122 BPM
Loz Goddard - "Your Last Lover" - (7:28) 122 BPM
Review: Detroit label Kolour Recordings pack in some heavy weight artists with this three-track release and first up is Iron Curtis who takes a break from his Achterbahn D'Amour collaboration to return to the label first the first time since 2011. He delivers a chord progressive house jam that pitched up could qualify as hiNRG, while Firecracker artist Chubby Dubs goes all out woozy with dreamy Rhodes that give way to a plodding bassline and smoky male vocal. Enter Loz Goddard with "Your Last Lover", a jazz flecked house tip reminiscent of Mic Newman and Francis Inferno's earlier work.
Review: Johannes Albert's Berlin based imprint Frank Music is on a roll right now. Its new compilation celebrates five years in business and what a way to celebrate, drafting NYC deep house legend Fred P with the sublime "Energy Cloud" (which is one of his best tracks of late in our opinion), Berliner Iron Curtis with the ultra-smooth deepness of "Operater 123" (live mix) and the epic dancefloor drama of "Got The Juice" showcasing Freer and Reilling's typical studio magic as always. The most upbeat offering is by Jena's Tim Toh (who has previously released on Philpot and Ornaments) with "Hidden Beauty" a late noughties style journey in the vein of classic Innervisions, Buzzin Fly or Freerange.
Review: Predictably, Suol has gathered together tracks from an impressive list of deep house producers for this expansive first volume in the Hallo Montag 2018 series. German veteran Ian Pooley sets the tone with the jacking, acid-tinged deep house bounce of "Time", before M Ono shows off his synthesizer soloing skills via the glassy-eyed Balearic house brilliance of "Waffelhaus". Iron Curtis's contribution, "The Further You Look", sounds simultaneously low-slung and gently dreamy (it's a fine combination), while Black Loops doff a cap to the greats of disco-house via the funk-fuelled, sample-heavy stomp of "Is This A Banger?" If you're in the mood for something a bit more bumping, the boompty-inspired stomp that is Carlo's "Lluvia" should be right up your alley.
Review: For his label's tenth edition, Switzerland's Baaz serves up a fine release by German deep house purveyor Iron Curtis on the Maple EP. Starting off with the raw, minimal and cyclical techno jack of the title track (wicked!), it's a bit of a change of pace from the label's usual preference for ultra deep or dubby aesthetics: but equally subterranean and hypnotic all the same. Speaking of which, "Collision" indeed gets with the program on this absolutely lush downtime journey, while on the flip we've got two short but sweet offerings: "Entago Entery" and the blissful "Reset Me" providing the mandatory ambient track that has been known to close out the label's recent offerings. More quality from undoubtedly one of the top labels in deep house of the moment.
Review: Having appeared on an impressive range of labels over the past three years - Kolour Recordings, 4Lux, Mule Electronic and Retreat amongst them - Iron Curtis returns to his original home, Mirau, to deliver a debut album jam-packed with retro-futurist analogue deep house jams. As he's previously proved, Iron Curtis is a dab hand at many different styles of deep and jacking house music, making Soft Wide Waist Band an entertaining listen. So, we get joyously melodic, string-laden Detroitisms (see "Hurts"), soft focus bass music (the title track), other-wordly acid house (The Sun), heavenly, Mr Beatnick-ish deepness ("O'Hare") and even some spiralling wonk-hop ("To The Liv") - all blessed with the delicate electronic sheen of machine soul.
Review: Having released well received EPs on Tensnake's Mirau label and Mule Electronic in recent few years, as well as numerous others, Iron Curtis here finds himself on Kolour Recordings for this similarly fantastic EP. "Goma" is a warm piece of deep house that utilises a curious pitched down vocal sample which is particularly dark in its execution, whilst "You" is a slow moving piece of foggy disco, with a bassline so low it's almost melodically imperceptible, whilst synth chords undulate beneath the surface. The San Soda remix of "Goma" lightens the mood by sharpening up the percussion and adding some rippling keys, whilst the Mano Le Tough remix of "You" removes the haze and adds some virtuoso piano over the original's deep groove.
Review: Iron Curtis delivers his second 4 track EP for Hudd Traxx following up the huge 'Stansfield EP' in 2010. The opening track 'Care' demonstrates IC's diversity as a producer as he lays down a killer bassline with melodic keys which will find it's way into many big hitters bags. 'Sing Along With Your Friends' has deep laid keys and an MCDE esk feel to it accompanied by some heavy snares for good measure. 'Shouting & Screaming' is a dark driving track that even Spencer Kinsey would be proud of, whilst the EP is rounded off with a solid groovy little number entitled 'Lasga's Return' .
Review: Iron Curtis is back on Hudd Traxx with the second installment of his Lights EP. Much like the first round that dropped earlier in the year, the man like Johannes Paluka is on sterling form, dealing in the kind of refined yet earthen, deep but punchy house music he's built his name on to date. "Spectral" is the consummate opener, deft piano chords and rock solid drums with additional dubby FX pulsing through the mix. "Well Well Well" is a sunnier affair aiming for that euphoric terrace moment, while "See Ya" brings a rough swing to the party with a cosy, intimate line in soulful sample licks. "L&P" finishes the EP off with a warm, acidic bassline and more of that deep diving beatdown business.
Review: Confirmed label-hopper Iron Curtis last popped up on Uncanny Valley in 2015, contributing a fine cut to the Dresden imprint's fifth anniversary compilation. Here he finally unleashes his first EP for the imprint, serving up a predictably impressive four-track missive. He begins with the Larry Heard style deep, jacking grooves and ethereal synthesizer melodies of "Sweet Romancer", before upping the intensity of the beats on the drowsy pump of "Nixdorf Danse". Those looking for life-affirming release should check the rush-inducing dancefloor bliss of "Triroom", while closer "Take Me Home" is an altogether woozier, dreamier and more Balearic affair, with jangling guitars and cut-up vocal samples sashaying from the speakers.
Review: Iron Curtis' back catalogue is a formidable beast within the realms of deep and tech house, touching on labels like Morris Audio, Jackoff, Sudden Drop and Mule Electronique. He's intermittently popped up on Hudd Traxx as well, and he returns with a fulsome new EP that hints at a forthcoming second part. "Lights" is a bold, chiseled peak timer with some emphatic string stabs coursing through it, while "Captured" takes a slinkier route without dulling the impact of the Curtis studio approach. "22 Days" is a funkier concern that lets the low end synths do the brunt of the work, and then "My Humming Machines" rounds the EP off with a warm and bubbling deep house roller for a cosier part of the night.
Review: Three cheers for Stefan Riesen's Morris Audio imprint, which has now notched up a century of releases after two decades in the game. By way of celebration, Riesen has decided to release a clutch of EPs containing a wealth of previously unheard gems. Part one begins with the Motor City influenced deep house jack of Iron Curtis's "Ultraviolett [100 Mix]", where shimmering chords slowly rise above sturdy beats and a wonderfully raw analogue bassline. Anna Wall and Corbi join forces for the sinewy deep house sensuality of "Tower of Babble" - all dreamy chords, lilting melodies and fuzzy analogue bass - before Repika serves up the hypnotic deep space chords and bustling bottom end grooves of "Don't Break". Arguably best of all, though, is the all-action contemporary Chicago house funkiness of Elvis Cassetta's "Lethargy Zero".
Review: Boutique beat outlet Black Key Records return with an eighth release, welcoming the SMPL pairing of German deep house don Iron Curtis, and Leaves into the fold for the Hello Ada! EP which comes brandishing a remix from AUS and Secretsundaze talent Youandewan. "Hello Ada!" is a nicely driven jam with louche hi hats racing atop nimble beats and bass which duck and dive as they bobble along deep below the surface. Fleshing out the nicely roughed up framework are synth hooks, more smeared pads and the occasion vocal yelp as well as some cute trumpet motifs that are oh so subtly stitched into the overall arrangement. It's archetypal deep house with a kick and is sure to be one the label's biggest to date. The remix from insular soundsmith, Youandewan, is just as good but for different reasons. His version has more emphasis on the big rubbery kick drum blobs, uses the vocal more frequently, and abstractly, but glows in the same way thanks to the aqueous, shiny and reflective synths that rise up and up through the mix. It's as elastic as it is fantastic and contains possibly his finest breakdown to date.
Review: As you'd expect, there's plenty of treats to be found on the fifth colour-coded EP in Uncanny Valley's 50th release series. Iron Curtis steps up first with an enveloping and hypnotic chunk of deep house headiness ("Against My Window (Dazed Mix)", which boasts a particularly strong bassline), before Perm peppers a hybrid ghetto-house/electro beat with starry synth chords and pin-sharp TB-303 style acid lines on "VLIW". CVBox tiptoes the fine line between spaced-out deep house, acid and electro on the formidably fuzzy "Cat Cut Claps", while Dispo 5000 crafts a sturdy electro cut out of stabbing acid bass, ethereal new age chords and crunchy machine drums ("Klinkenberg").
Synthcast, Pagal & Eddie Leader - "The Bass" (Agnes Knees Down Mixx) - (6:46) 122 BPM
Iron Curtis - "You Are" - (6:43) 118 BPM
Review: Hudd Traxx celebrate their 10th Anniversary and 50th Release in style with a four-part Compilation called 'Now & Then'. The first part includes tracks from Chez Damier, Tomson, Agnes & Iron Curtis. Over the years Hudd have released music from the likes of Matthew Herbert, DJ Sneak, Rolando, Rick Wade, Iz & Diz, JT Donaldson and a whole load more. The concept behind the release celebrates both new & classic tracks on the 'Now' & 'Then' sides respectively. Man of the moment Tomson kicks things off with a typically straight up House number entitled 'On The Buttons', and definitely is right on them with this one. Chicago legend Chez Damier steps up to the plate next with an Epic Deep House groover with elements of soulful Jazz, which will be well received for those late night or early morning sets. Flip for the 'Then' Side & find two Classic tracks with Agnes remix of 'The Bass' & Iron Curtis' 'You Are'. Both still sound as good as they did on their initial release, and prove that buying Hudd Traxx music now will still sound as fresh in another 10 Years time.