Review: The sound of Jerome Sydenham's Ibadan imprint has noticeably changed since he relocated to Berlin. Where it once bristled with African rhythms and spiritual deep house jams, recent releases have focused more on hypnotic, occasionally dark, tech-tinged rhythms. While this EP does include one life-affirming blast of constantly rising spiritual house - see Sydenham's edit of Toto Chiavetta's "Become One" - for the most part it's suitably murky. There's a genuine looseness and swing to the Martinez Brothers' tracky Dub of The Angry Kids' "Lullaby", while Sydenham and Sally's "Lady MacBeth Strategy" is a twisted chunk of acid-flecked techno designed to tease and titillate dark, sweaty after-parties. Lo Hype's "Something Special" is tasty, too, with bouncy samples and weird noises riding a shuffling, cowbell-laden groove.
Review: Hot on the heels of 2020's Time Collapse release, Ibadan boss Jerome Sydenham teams up again with Fatima Njai. "Pigeon from the Hood" is a dubbed-out house track, soaked in grimy acid and populated by ponderous vocals. It's a logical musical progression of Sydenham's tough NY club sound. The title track sees the pair go for a more techno-influenced approach; while swathed in swirling synths, it sees them combine tough kicks and insistent percussion which will find favour with fans of Ibadan's more techy output. "Morning Star" meanwhile occupies a sort of middle ground, with resonating vocal samples underpinned by a chugging groove and powerful hi-hats, while on "We Gotta Be Really Happy" the pair combine a vocal sample with a driving, steely rhythm.
Review: On this must-check EP, Madhouse offers up another selection of 21st century revisions of vintage productions by label head honcho (and all round US deep house legend) Kerri Chandler. Henrik Schwarz kicks things off in fine style with a warm, groovy and melody driven soft-touch deep house rework of Chandler and Jerome Sydenham's superb "Powder", before D'Julz gets dreamy and gently intoxicated on a hypnotic, locked-in version of "Peace of Mind". Kettama raises the dancefloor pressure version with a bumpin', late '90s U.S garage style take on Lafayette's "Better Late Than Never", while Marquis Hawkes also takes a trip to New Jersey via a skipping, life-affirming "Classic Club Mix" of Jiletta Riley's "The Way Things Were" (think late 90s David Morales and Frankie Knuckles remixes and you're close).
Christopher McCray - "Get It Right" (Mad mix - Kerri Chandler Remaster) - (6:43) 124 BPM
Kerri Chandler & Arnold Jarvis - "Music Is My Friend" (Kerri Chandler Remaster) - (5:14) 125 BPM
Review: Launched in 1992, Madhouse Records was a joint venture between NYC legend Kerri Chandler and Mel Medalie of Champion Records. It became predominantly an outlet for Chandler's music, alongside tracks he discovered from peers while DJing around the globe. Today marks a quarter of a century pioneering the true sound of house music and they are proud to finally reveal their celebratory compilation. Mixed by Chandler - one of the most respected DJs on the planet - 25 Years Of Madhouse is a reminder of the imprint's considerable contribution to the house music canon and of a legacy that continues to shape electronic music in 2018 and beyond. Highlights not limited to: the swingin' "Don't Stop" (25th Anniversary Re-Edit) by Sebb Junior, Californian veteran CPEN's deep and sexy "I'm Searching" feat. Bluey Robinson, French rising star DJ Steaw's emotive and hypnotic "Bel Air" and Freerange boss Jimpster's rendition of Chandler's "Powder".
Review: Ibadan drop another excellent split here. Jerome Sydenham remixes Motorcitysoul and then joins Dennis Ferrer to continue their acclaimed run of collaborations. "Mbali" is classic New York style deep house where as "Jero"steps into driving dub territory. Extra delights include extended and dub versions. Do not miss!
Review: Chris Liebing's label unveils the second release of their 10 Years cycle with a storming techno effort from South American producer Pfirter, an original Function Vs Mr Ibadan, a Jerome Sydenham number and accompanying remix from Liebing himself. With a nod to the techno of old, this release also ploughs its acclaimed cast head-first into the future.
Review: Greek deep house producer Quell has been around the scene for some time, impressing with releases on the likes of Tsuba, 2020 Vision and Ibadan. The latter label have been particularly supportive - head honcho Jerome Sydenham is a big fan - and here present his debut full length, Them Crowd Kids. It's a typically impressive set, variously touching on classic US deep house ("Some Time"), mid '90s Mood II Swing style late night beefiness ("All I Have", "Them Crowd Kids"), deep afro-tech ("Forgive Me (Club Mix)"), jaunty afro-house ("Root Effect", with Sydenham), and fluid, heavily electronic dancefloor anthems ("Regret").
Review: While it might be tricky in these open-minded times for Scuba to shatter preconceptions the way that he did with his Sub:Stance mix a few years ago, this compilation should be seen really as a celebration of the man himself as a DJ. After launching with a decidedly minimalist approach, the mix meanders between pacey techno, bluesy broken beat and rolling dubstep tempos. At times the flow feels unsteady, but then it just rings true that he put this mix together for himself. Without a dancefloor to look after, who knows where many of our favourite DJs might take us?
Review: Ibadan boss Sydenham shows four different sides of his repertoire on the Canine EP. "Bad Dog" sets the tone for most of the release as heavy drums and firing percussion underpin dank acid lines. Given its title, it comes as no surprise that "Rabid Dog" also leans on the heavier side of Sydenham's sound, with harsh beats and snappy percussion providing the basis for a heavy bassline, while "Stray Dog" sees him ramp up the intensity with huge bursts of white noise combined with a slamming rhythm. There is of course a flipside to these harder tracks and on "Good Dog", Sydenham opts for a deeper sound, as sensuous chords are combined with evocative vocal samples.
Review: Few producers are placed so strategically at the interface between house and techno as Ibadan owner Jerome Sydenham - something that is obvious on "Spray". The title track is a driving club jam, but the bassline has an intangible melancholic feeling, which its evocative filter sweeps augment. "Daphne" is tougher, with tight claps and a rougher bassline providing a superbly weighted unison, while the Brooklyn dub take veers towards the techno end of Sydenham's canon. On that version, the bass is more droning and menacing and evil bleeps lap up against it, while razor sharp, snapping percussion that wouldn't sound out of place on Klockworks provide the killer blow.