Review: Heist's annual "Round Up" release, in which label artists remix each other, is becoming something of a tradition. This fifth volume is, of course, every bit as essential as its predecessors. All six tracks hit the spot, though we're particularly enjoying the bumpin', bass-heavy and driving take on Hugo Mari's deep and bluesy "Change Ur Ways" by label chiefs Detroit Swindle, not to mention Adriyano's effortlessly celebratory and swinging revision of the Swindlers' own "Cut U Loose". Elsewhere, Hugo Mari brilliantly joins the dots between tribal house and tactile, loved-up grooves on a stellar rework of Alma Negra's "This Is The Place", while the Kassian revision of Pitto's "You Treat Me Like A Fool" sounds like a 21st century update of Todd Edwards' legendary remix of St Germain's "Alabama Blues".
Review: UK house music love childs Kassian make their way to Shall Not Fade with the Crush EP. Securing each of the tracks here with the pair's undeniable skipping rhythms, grooves and hi-hats, a sumptuous kick drum in "All I Know" squeezes its woozy atmosphere that bit more - with a soulful vocal to boot! The title-track throws down a techy set drums next to a melodically influenced bassline and percolating set of synths. With freestyle cosmic jazz taking effect in "Nuances", breathy vocals snippets are furthermore thrown into into a warm mix of cascading chimes and doubled up kick drums perfect for that next sun-glazed and mecholic trip to the dancefloor.
Review: When they first appeared on Heist Recordings in 2018, Kassian were considered raw but promising talents. Since then, the Hackney-based duo has gone on to release a string of fine EPs for the likes of Groovence and Phonica White. There's plenty to set the pulse racing on their return to Detroit Swindle's label too, starting with the 'walking' disco bass, sparkling synth sounds, tactile chords and bustling grooves of lead cut "Apollo" - a track that's later given a classic-sounding deep house makeover by Leo Pol (check the jazzy solos and Afro-tinged beats). Elsewhere, "8th Movement" is a bounding chunk of U.S style deep house that sounds like it could have been recorded sometime in the late '90s, while closing cut "Brass Hammer" is a slightly more muscular chunk of peak-time deep house.
Review: The London-based duo of Danvers and Warren Xclnce, better known as Kassian, return to Phonica White, who put out their 2018 sophomore EP Faux Polynesia, with three brand new house/garage slammers. 'Shufflin' Words' itself tops what are indeed shufflin' drums with a spoken male vocal snip, warping keys and a horn-like synth stab, while 'Ex-Culture' rides a muted 4/4 kick with reversed-sounding keys and all manner of micro-sounds, the dubby bassline not arriving till nearly five minutes in. The sparser 'U Make Me', with its Bobien/Stingily/Dajae-like vocal, then completes an EP whose stripped, off-kilter thump all round suggests there might be quite a lot of early Madhouse records in Kassian's collections...
Review: Detroit Swindle's Heist imprint now presents Kassian, the brainchild of Joe Danvers-McCabe (Danvers) and Warren Cummings (Warren Xclnce). Both are regulars in the underground and wider reaching London scenes, with Warren being a co-founder of Abouttoblow and a previous studio producer at Worldwide FM, while Joe came through DJing and running nights in the eclectic world of Bristol nightlife before moving to London. The Premise EP features the deep and sulty late night groove of the title track - a perfect match for the Amsterdam based imprint, while "Bad Habit" goes for an energetic disco- acid vibe. Finally "Love 4:2" was decent enough in its original form, but the man DJ Nature works his magic as always by taking the track down even deeper and more emotive territory...
Review: To celebrate notching up ten years in the game, London blog and party-turned-record label SlothBoogie has decided to offer-up their most ambitious release to date: an epic collection of previously unheard cuts from a mixture of imprint regulars and like-minded friends. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, with highlights including the sparkling jazz-funk-meets-deep house sunshine of Levan's "U R Beautiful In The Face", the deep, breakbeat-driven dreaminess of Philippa's "That's What I Mean By Free", the piano solo-heavy disco-house bump of Leatherette's "Your Love", and the dub disco-meets-acid house heaviness of "Rewind Run" by Pablot. Throw in similarly impressive contributions from Kassian, Luvless, Casino Times and Soul Wun (the classic jazz-house of "Thank You, St Germain") and you have a must-have collection.
Review: Hamburg based label Dial Records shot to fame in the second half of the 00s with their high brow approach to deep, minimal house and techno. Founded in 2000, they now celebrate their tenth birthday with a new compilation featuring all their usual suspects, aptly titled 2010.
Set up at the turn of the millennium by Carsten Jost and Peter M, better known as Lawrence, Dial remained largely unnoticed at first. It was only the last five or so years that the imprint famed for its sophisticated and emotionally evocative style of deep and minimal house came to the wider attention. Releases such as Efdemin's "Bergwein" EP and Pantha Du Prince This Bliss have garnered them the most attention leading up to today's celebratory compilation. But rather than just collecting the finest moments from those ten years, such is Dial's ethos, that they celebrate with entirely new material, including previously unreleased tracks from the likes of Rndm, Pigon and John Roberts.
Opening the compilation in typically refined style, Phantom Ghost embark on a fittingly theatrical ode to the pleasures of the highlife with the twilight keys of "My Secret Europe." Cultivated 4/4s then take over, starting with John Roberts who brings a classical element into the mix on "Lines." Efdemin explores sensuously deep tribalism on "Time," whereas Kassian Troyer uses layers of sub bass on "Tourist" to get into the groove. Isolee makes a rare appearance with some trippier house moments on "Black Lodge" before Pigon take it unfeasibly deep on "Koto." One of the label's starlets, Pantha Du Prince adds one of the highlights of the release with the enveloping masterpiece of "Fountain Drive."
Dial celebrate their tenth year, and twentieth release, the only way they know how - with a selection of tracks that look unreservedly forward, proving their need to do more than simply sit back on their previous successes. I'm just looking forward to their 2020 compilation.