Review: Following the Chance Is Our Greatest Ally release on their Faux Poly label earlier this year, Kassian return with this varied EP. "The Machine" is a mellow affair, with a stepping groove and skipping drums underpinning woozy chords and a mysterious vocal sample. The combination of these elements makes for a heady, hypnotic track. On "Offworld Vehicles", the pair pivot to a leaner, more direct dance floor sound; while repetitive vocals still feature prominently, they are realised against the backdrop of resonating bass and a clanging rhythm. "Actions" represents another change in style, with Kassian mining the influence of Basic Channel to deliver a dubbed out, soulful techno track.
Review: Following a string of well-regarded releases for the likes of Shall Not Fade, Heist and Phonica White, Kassian pop up on a brand new label, Faux Poly. They're in fine form from the off, merrily manipulating machines on the analogue-rich, arpeggio-driven tech-house/deep house fusion of 'San Junipero' - all dreamy chords, druggy bass and crispy percussion - before opting for a deep two-step-meets-peak-time-tech-house vibe on 'Akhala Falls'. The Hackney-based duo continues to impress on closing cut 'Metropolis', where early '90s style Orbital electronics (think raw, jumpy riffs, bold hooks and trippy motifs) bounce above a driving, all-action groove.
Review: Earlier in the year, Hackney twosome Kassian joined Shall Not Fade following a few years spent hopping between labels including Phonica White, Heist and Groovence. There's a more forthright, peak-time-ready feel to the pair's second Shall Not Fade outing, with opener 'Breathe' offering an alluring amalgamation of driving beats, stabbing bass, trippy female vocal samples and echoing, warehouse-ready motifs. They opt for a cheery, sparkling and sun-kissed sound on the bouncy, melody-rich 'Aerial', before wrapping shimmering synth sounds around a crunchy breakbeat, glassy-eyed deep house chords and UKG organ riffs on excellent closing cut 'London Orbital'.
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from Heist Recordings' annual Round Up releases - label artists remixing each other, basically - so we'll crack on and talk about the music on offer. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, with our picks including Alma Negra's deliciously percussive and groovy take on Scan 7's gospel-tinged Motor City gem 'All For Me', Scan 7's breezy, Latin-tinged Detroit house revision of Crackazat's 'Class One', Crackazat's Ethio-jazz-goes-sunshine house rework of Alma Negra's 'Dakar Disco', and Kassian's driving, warehouse-ready remix of Nebraska's 'Dip & Flip', which makes great use of thumping beats, undulating electronics and a seriously dirty analogue bassline. As the old saying goes, this seventh volume in The Round Up series really is "all killer, no filler".
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: 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: 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: 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: 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...