Review: New York's JoVonn arrived on the worldwide house scene in the early 90s. He's released hundreds of jams but the Dutch crew at Clone are all about the vintage cuts. Here they present an EP of tunes that date from around 1992, newly remastered by the mighty Alden Tyrell. "Basics 4 Love" sounds like a female Prince protege philosophising over campy New York garage, complete with suspended strings and cool bleepy riff that arrives halfway through. From there "Jus Luv" is deep and jazzy with a Bobby Konders vibe and "Show You Luv" features slammin kicks and snares and Nightcrawlers melodies.
Review: Clone Royal Oak's latest outing is a simple idea, beautifully executed. It sees a trio of experienced producers offering up scalpel style reworks of classic cuts from Jovonn's early '89s Goldtone Records stable. Ian Pooley steps up first, delivering a chunky revision of sought-after 1993 cut "Pianos of Gold" that builds energy via a stripped-back, bass-heavy section before unleashing Jovonn's superb organ riffs, glassy-eyed deep house chords and sweaty vocal cut-ups. Next, DJ Deep delivers a snappy and perfectly pitched rearrangement of vibraphone-laden 1992 cut "Show U Love", before Detroit legend Mike Huckaby gets to work on Jovonn's 1991 debut "Be Free", brilliantly utilizing the breezy and soulful vocal on a version that subtly enhances the producer's classic New Jersey deep house original.
Review: 1990s deep house survivor Jovonn is set to release a new album in the autumn. Before that, he's decided to let us tale a peak inside his bulging vaults via a six-track set of "Lost Traxx". His love of fluttering, new age house style synth lines comes to the fore on beautiful, organ-rich opener "Work", while "Lost in Bass" is a heads-down, basement-ready roller from the point when New York and New Jersey producers were looking to the North of England for inspiration. Ultra-positivity is provided via the jazz piano solos of "Movin Pianos", the Roy Ayers style vibraphone work on "Not The Way", while closer "The Deepest Moov", all tactile, synth-driven grooves and jammed-out electric piano solos, more than lives up to its name.
Review: On his latest outing, New Jersey deep house stalwart Jovonn has decided to pay tribute to the Peak Hour. Predictably, he gets straight to the point with "Body 'N' Deep (Fabric Mix)", doffing a cap to a certain Farringdon basement by way of rolling riffs, quick-fire soulful vocal samples, crashing cymbal builds and the kind of toasty-but-restless groove that has always marked out his greatest productions. "Can't Make My Mind Up (Dubba Dub)" is deeper and groovier with looser machine drums and the producer's usual rich melodic progressions, while closer "Stomp The Ground" is rougher and darker as usual, with wiggly acid lines and a hushed spoken word vocal wrapping themselves around a Red Zone style basement groove.
Review: Here's something to set the pulse racing: a digital-only roundup of some of the best 2014 releases from Amsterdam heavyweights Rush Hour, and their associated labels. As you'd expect, there's a mix of fresh material, reissues (see Push/Pull's ace "Bang The Drums" and "Africa", and the sinewy deep house of Vincent Floyd's 1990 gem "Your Eyes") and lesser-known album tracks (the undulating jazz-house brilliance of Awanto3's "Bubbles Made Me Cry"). It makes for a great listen, of course, with plenty of top-notch dancefloor moments for DJs willing to mix it up. Contrast, for example, the Detroit electro of DJ Stingray's "Temporary Bond", the picturesque, sub-aquatic techno of Population One, and the glitchy, midtempo warmth of Joris Voorn's "The Recipe".
Review: Yes, The Godson is back doing his thing for Rush Hour! Detroit legend Rick Wilhite first put his compiling skills to play for the Amsterdam empire back in 2010 with the excellent Vibes New & Rare Music, an 11-track release that celebrated the role the esteemed selector and producer played in moulding local Detroit tastes as the head of the Vibes New & Rare Music record store. Theo Parrish, Glenn Underground and Marcellus Pittman all contributed, whilst the compilation also worked as a platform to introduce newer names such as Kyle Hall and Ricardo Miranda. A second volume is most welcome and expands Wilhite's remit to include music by producers from Detroit, Chicago and New York. The first of two double editions kicks off with a sublime production from Blaze's Josh Milan and doesn't let up on the heat, with Jovonn, K Alexi and a collaborative cut from Wilhite and Norm Talley amongst the highlights.