Review: Tsuba's ten year anniversary - that's right, it has been that long already - has been marked with hit after hit from a wide selection of artists from across the house kingdom. In fact, for this 2nd instalment of the festivities, we have White Material frontman Galcher Lustwerk remixed by the inimitable Jimpster, with the latter putting a more starry-eyed mechanic onto the original; For Romeau complete the A-side with a vintage-sounding remix of "Pinball" by Williams. On the flip, Roy Comanchero drops the Chicago bass over a minimal sort of percussion groove on "Hypba". Kevin Griffiths adds a little acid to the jingly 707 beat of "Satori", and completes a stellar EP from the magnetic Tsuba.
Review: Having masterminded Tsuba's renaissance in recent years, it's nice to see that label boss Kevin Griffiths has found some space in the schedule for his own productions. This EP typifies his approach to house and techno. Lead cut "Twenty Mids" stands out, layering vocal samples, marimba melodies and head-nodding electronics over a bongo-laden tech-house groove. There's not much going on, but it's expertly arranged to guarantee maximum dancefloor thrills. "Acid Splash" is altogether deeper and more melodic than the title suggests, and is built around some particularly cosmic chords. The Breaking Bad-referencing "Los Pollos Hermanos", meanwhile, delivers a smooth take on '90s deep house - all child-like garage melodies and alien electronics.
Review: Having previously given Justin Drake and Sascha Dive the Tsuba Loves... anthology treatment, it was probably only a matter of time before label boss Kevin Griffiths compiled an instalment featuring his greatest production moments to date. Featuring a mix of both original productions and a handful of Griffiths' best remixes, Tsuba Loves... is an enjoyable jog through the veteran DJ and producer's distinct, tech-tinged deep house sound. Highlights are naturally plentiful, from the Circulation-style tech-house fluidity of Justin Drake hook-up "Midnight Special" and bongo-laden liquid house of "Lucky Three", to the downright spooky late night fare of "Jaguar Shoes".
Review: Kevin Griffiths' Tsuba label arguably had its strongest year to date in 2011, as this handy 12-track round up of highlights shows. Inhabiting the no-man's-land between deep and tech-house, Tsuba's 2011 output ranged from sturdy and acid-flecked (Subb-Ann) to intensely beautiful (Aybee's delicious, Nu Groove-ish rework of Ethyl & Huxley's "Reflexions") via straight-up late night floorfillers (Mic Newman, Spencer Parker & Ian Pooley, a notable remix from Sebo K). This collection also includes a terrific Larry Heard remix of Moodymanc's "Black Paint", which is as well crafted and undulating as you'd expect from the great man.
Review: Esteemed British house/disco imprint Tsuba has since moved to the sunny shores of Adelaide in Australia, but it has not diminished founder Kevin Griffiths ear for quality. He recently presented the whopper compilation entitled The Deep House Drop. Now, it's quite fitting that at the peak of Summer they should serve up The Balearic Disco Drop, right? London nu-disco hero Pete Herbert works his magic as always on the slo-mo boogie of Elaborate Hoax's "Happy Valley" (Reverso 68 mix), the acclaimed British producer Fort Romeau delivers a stunning rework of William's "Pinball" that's deeply evocative as ever. Gruuv head honchos Audiojack remixed by the one and only Lauer, you say? You betcha, from back in 2014, actually, and it's pretty darn magical. Magic Feet's Craig Bratley appears here several times, but it's all about Ewan Pearson's darkside/smack electro rework of "Mannequin" that almost reaches the same depths of Carl Finlow.