Review: On their latest release, Catz N Dogz team up with a true house legend. Robert Owens has been the voice of many classics over the years and on "Fine Feeling", he lends his breathy tones to a deeper than usual approach from the Polish pair. Underpinned by rasping percussion and organ keys, Owens' velvety vocals imbue the track with a real soul. On "Factory Settings", the pair hook up with Joseph Ashworth for quite a different collaboration. Stripping back the rhythm and laying down an insistent, tracky arrangement that is full of reverberating percussion, it sees Catz N Dogz at their minimal best.
Review: Anjunadeep and Needwant regular Joseph Ashworth returns to Pets Recordings following a near two year hiatus. "Sienna" is impressively woozy and tactile, with rich, lo-fi riffs, drifting chords and seductive electronics wrapping themselves around a loose but locked-in drum machine rhythm. While impressive, Earth Trax's remix - which introduces some tasty New Jersey style organs and a genuinely saucer-eyed Balearic house feel - is arguably even better. Perhaps best of all, though, is "Vitamins", a pleasingly analogue-sounding chunk of rolling deep house positivity that boasts some seriously juicy piano riffs amongst its many musical charms. Expect to hear all three tracks a lot in coming months.
Review: Brit Joseph Ashworth's sudden rise to the top has been noticed on top labels such as Dirtybird, Pets Recordings and Tessellate (as Firmin) and if this new one for Italian powerhouse Life & Death demonstrates - his time is truly now. The Londoner delivers a glassy-eyed and life-affirming journey on "Trooper", that sits somewhere between modern deep house and shoegaze with its spangling drones. But this is an afterthought compared to Windy City legend Ron Trent's emotive rendition, which will leave you breathless! This is followed by the tunneling tech-house cut "Laminated" which is also full of reliable dancefloor dynamics.
Review: Joseph Ashworth is known as a house and techno producer, but his latest outing on Disco Halal finds him exploring more downtempo/leftfield territory. Imagine getting Burial to produce a 1980s Kate Bush track in the style of those "chill-out" mixes you used to get of fluffy Eurotrance records in the late 90s, and you're somewhere close to an idea of what the Original Mix of 'Breathe' (feat Vanity Fairy) sounds like. Dropping the female vocal (well, mostly) gives the Instrumental a slightly darker feel, but for dancefloor play head for the Tunnelvisions Remix, which makes great use of an old school breakbeat and a dubby bassline.
Review: It can be a tricky task keeping up with Pets Recordings jam-packed release schedule. That's why the imprint's "My Favourite Pets" compilation series, which gathers together brilliant bits from the catalogue you may have missed, is essential listening. Volume six is naturally full to bursting with tried-and-tested treats from Catz 'N' Dogz excellent imprint. Highlights are plentiful throughout, of course, but our favourites include Kassian's exclusive rework of recent Catz 'N' Dogs single "Wave" (a bumpin' chunk of peak-time brilliance), the exotic dancefloor hypnotism of Sei A's fine remix of "This Time" by Adam Port and Jennifer Touch, the low-slung sleaze of Jonathan Kaspar's "Cicatrice", the classic West Coast deep house bump of Beesmunt Soundsystem's "Searchin (Borrowed Identity Remix)" and the mid-tempo Balearic house beauty of Kamp's "Azure".
Review: 2019 marks a decade since the Needwant label first sprung into life. Those ten years have been action packed to say the least, as this epic anniversary compilation proves. What's on offer is a mixture of label highlights from Needwant's bulging back catalogue, a handful of previously unheard tracks and the odd exclusive remix. There's much to admire throughout, from the spacey deep house goodness of Kim Ann Foxman's "Return It" and the delay-laden late night retro-futurism of Tuff City Kids' acid-fired rework of VIMES' "Minds", to the throbbing, Italo-influenced brilliance of Res Mo's "Train To Kyoto", Octa Octa's atmospheric early morning tweak of Few Nolder's "Porcelain" and the Revenge's slo-mo, glassy eyed cover of SOS Band classic "Just Be Good To Me".