Review: This second split EP from deep housers Alex Agore and James Johnston has already proved popular on vinyl, and it's not hard to see why. Both producers have brought their "A" game, delivering strong cuts that bristle with dancefloor intent. Dutch studio don Agore steps up first, delivering two tracks dripping with classic US house flavour; "Take Me", in particular, sounds like a cross between MK and classic Morales. Johnston continues this revivalist theme with "Stand Up & Jump", a bumpin' groover built around a deliciously wicked classic house riff. "Not So Easy" is deeper and woozier, making great use of chopped up party atmospherics and bluesy vocal samples.
Review: This four-tracker from up-and-coming producers Alex Agore and James Johnston signals a promising start for new deep house imprint No Matter What. Agore's "Improper Change" is an intoxicating take on Detroit deep house - all drawn-out one-key chords, bumping low-end bounce and slick vocal snippets. The included Lady Blacktronica remix takes things up a notch thanks to some subtle acid tweakery, Beatdown chords and decidedly snappier beats. James Johnston's "I Know It's Not Time", meanwhile, is arguably his best production yet - a flowing jazz-house builder with a sweet, bluesy edge. The package is completed by a chunkier Rick Wade remix, which cleverly injects some thick, bassline-driven bounce.
Review: Black Key Records continue their run of top-notch releases, this time in the form of the well establish, and highly sort after James Johnston. This four-track EP features three stunning originals, plus a sterling remix from Back To You Records boss, Dudely Strangeways. The "Hang Up' EP lays down four sublime cuts of low-slung, deep house music, with the unmistakable character that Johnston creates within his music. Strangeways' remix delves into deeper, late night territory, with a definite "heads dow" feel to his rework. This is another essential release from a label which is consistently on-point - a rare thing these days.
Review: Currently two of the busiest men in contemporary deep house, Alex Agore and James Johnston have still found the time to establish their joint No Matter What Recordings as a potent outlet. This sixth release sees Johnston at the buttons for sole control after a couple of split releases and the Consumer EP demonstrates a further refinement of his own distinct brand of house music. Lead track "Give Him Prozac" sets the tone with a thick four note synth lead that accrues all manner of dreamlike analogue qualities as it progresses backed by those crisp rolling rhythms Johnston is known for. "Columbo Likes The Nightlife" takes things on a notably deeper path, all dubby chords and intricate skipping percussive touches augmented by epic sweeping textures, whilst "And They Had Cocktails" maintains the same feel if upping the pace somewhat. Johnston ends strongly with the sublime analogue build of "The Sleepwalker".
Review: British deep house producer James Johnston has enjoyed a productive career of late, dropping tracks and remixes on Fine Art, Under The Shade, Boogie Originals and Gerd's 4Lux imprint. Here he returns to No Matter What with arguably his strongest set to date, a four-track onslaught of hip-wigglin' deep house with a distinct old skool US garage twist. While "XTC" and "Get The Feeling Back" are standard Johnson fare - warm, organ-rich deep house with a tidy '90s flex - there's something decidedly rude and sweaty about "Lost The House Keys". Its bone-rattling sub-bass, skippy beats and starlight organs scream "garage", even if the stabs and smooth production try and say otherwise. Nicely done.
Review: After impressing Jimpster and Moodymanc with Honesty, his debut EP on the Undertones imprint last year, James Johnston returns with more deep house cuts on "Missed The Party" for the 4 Lux Black label. The Glaswegian has only just returned to the house music he grew up on after several years of delving into experimental music as part of a guitar noise duo and playing squat parties throughout Europe (Thurston Moore was a fan) but Johnston clearly has a talent for crafting impressive deep house. The title track takes the plaudits here - a bumping percussive rhythm wrapped in neat vocal edits and extra warm bass line where the hypnotic groove early on is transformed into Romanthony sampling deep house bliss. Johnston opts for a jazzier feel on "In The Dream Count To Three", drenching the lolloping beats in an exquisite synth melody and submerged atmospherics. "The Day We Expanded" brings you out of the mist with a slow building mix of uptight hi hats, Detroit-esque synth work and squiggly acid bass stabs.
Review: UK don James Johnston and German champ Alex Agore once again come together on their hot-to-trot No Matter What imprint to lay down the law on their righteous tributes to vintage house music. Johnston delivers some dreamy garage swing on "Think About U Everyday", and takes things deeper on "Do U Understand?" by drawing you in with an alluring chord line that purrs at the heart of the track. Agore is in equally feisty mood with some textbook vocal turns over his "In My Soul" workout, and then switches up for a breezy, carefree wriggler in the form of "In Your Arms".
Review: Killer four track EP of sumptuous deepness here from the Much Love imprint, with James Johnston, Alkalino, Alphabet City, Bartellow and Roman Rauch all stepping up to the plate with uptempo house jams. Johnston's title track takes on an almost proggy hue with a killer titular vocal hook, while Alkalino & Alphabet City's insouciant key-driven "Dolve A La Discoteca" has 'Ibizan terrace party' stamped indelibly across its forehead. Bartellow's loopy, jazz-fuelled slice of house exotica ("Perhaps Strang") leads into the deepest of the lot - just check those chords on Rauch's "Space Places"!
Review: The fourth drop on the fledgling Outernational ensures standards are maintained with James Johnston and Ben La Desh providing a track on each side. Glaswegian producer Johnston is in fine form currently, having established the No Matter What label he runs with Alex Agore in the collective hearts of the deep house cognoscenti, and "That Was Now" is a sublime example of embellishing thick set house music with the spirit and soul of classic disco. Hints of glistening strings and a well plucked bass guitar sit deep in the mix as the packed groove builds effortlessly towards a quite lovely drop and build back into a final movement where the subtle disco elements become more prominent. Not to be outdone, Dutch juvenile delinquent Ben La Desh counters with "Drug Carrier", a quite intoxicating burner that's got several distinct rhythmic movements, with the point where some wide filtering introduces a heavy vibing Baltic disco mid section.