Review: We're absolutely loving the deep and soulful grooves of Richmond, Virginia's DJ Aakmael of late. Whether it's on his own Unxposd imprint or London keepers of the new garde Church; who presented us his brilliant Beautiphul EP back a couple of months ago. On Church Volumes 002, he gives us "Just A Track (Part 7)", a dusty deep house jam with soul samples reminiscent of classic Nick Holder. Speaking of which, Laurence Guy goes for the same vibe on "Wish I Knew"; we really liked this smooth, summery and low-slung groove. Honourable mention to Debukas also; on "Gas & Air" he offers up something a bit more on the techy lo-fi tip influenced by early Chicago/Detroit.
The Sun Is Warm And Directly Above You - (3:42) 121 BPM
This Isn't My Best Light - (4:16) 120 BPM
Review: Man-of-the-moment Laurence Guy has been in a rich vein of form for a while now. In the last three years he's released must-have-music on Church, Monologues, Mule Musiq, Studio Barnhus and now Shall Not Fade. "The Sun Is Warm & Directly Above You" marks his first appearance on the latter imprint and contains three stunning tracks. Our pick of the bunch is undoubtedly the soft focus, slow-burn deep house emotion of the title track, a cut that sees him wrap yearning, high register male vocal samples, atmospheric vocal samples and atmospheric field recordings around a tactile, shuffling groove. "This Isn't My Best Life" offers a more energetic take on the same melancholic, piano-laden idea, while EP opener "Untitled Needs" is jazz-house for the Mall Grab generation.
Review: Church has certainly grown into one of London's most dependable house music outlets these past few years across their various interlinked label divisions. The emergence of Laurence Guy is testament to that - last year he debuted on Church with the well-received Kojak EP, and has gone on to prove his worth across a number of 12" releases and V/A contributions. Bamboo sees him back in the Church fold for their ninth White Label release and it's a confident four-track display of measured deep house. From the warbling melodies of the title track to the Smallville stylings of "Knotweed" and "Lotus", Guy is clearly improving with each release!
Review: The strength of Church continues to build with a fine back catalogue covering the likes of Happa and Seb Wildblood amongst many others, and now they follow up Ishmael's release with this selection from new London hopeful Laurence Guy. The funk gets laid on nice and thick on this spread of deep house delectations, with the title track heading out into blissful downtempo territory before kicking into simmering disco groove. "W.L.Y.B" plies a trade in delicate keys and sizzling drums of the highest order while a cheeky bump amps up the appeal of "Stavros". "Rizzo" finishes the EP off with another wistful ride through all kinds of soul signifiers that pack a mean punch.
Review: Having set his stall out via a string of quietly impressive singles over the last two years, deep house producer Laurence Guy is ready to unleash his debut album. Saw You For The First Time is a typically rich and hazy affair, with the Church regular making use of various dusty, jazz-flecked samples and analogue-sounding electronic instruments across a ten-track set that mixes rolling, club-ready fare with occasional bouts of downtempo introspection (see "Claudi", "Into" and the deliciously saucer-eyed "Orchard Road"). Guy makes great use of guest vocalist Steve Spacek on the sumptuous space jazz warmth of "Drum is a Woman", while Ishmael makes his presence felt on "Anchor", where twinkling pianos and dreamy chords ride a fluid, floor-friendly deep house groove.
Review: It's been almost a year since we last heard from Church, Cin Cin and Outplay regular Laurence Guy. Last time out, he delivered a tasty trio of jazz-fired deep house cuts for Mule Musiq; this time round, the talented producer is showcasing his versatility with predictably picturesque results. Highlights come thick and fast from the off, where "Wildlife" introduces us to Guy's sound world via bustling, hardcore style breakbeats, Aphex Twin style acid lines and bold, life-affirming chords. Club-ready cuts include the dreamy deep house-meets-ambient techno bustle of "Missing In Reaction" and the hot-stepping, stab-happy and bass-heavy rush of "My Brain Is a Scrambled Egg", while the included forays into ambient and IDM - most notably "Are You Fine" and the "Electric Counterpoint"-inspired "It's Good To Try" - are uniformly superb.
Review: Hans Peeman (Junktion) and Daniel Leseman's Outplay is strictly committed to spreading the gospel of deep house music and this sermon comes courtesy of the aforementioned, with a bit of help from Laurence Guy. He appears first with the title track, which samples a pretty breathtaking strings section mixed with a spangling Derrick May style synth melody which fades out and gives way to a pretty wicked arpeggio... and some cowbells; sold already? Next up is Junktion with "Breakfast At Midnight" an offering of deep and dusty late night disco that certainly takes its cues from KDJ, but that's totally fine by us. The Brame & Hamo remix is more dancefloor friendly, slo-mo deep house that fans of Genius of Time or MCDE will appreciate. Finally Leseman's "On My Mind" offers us another deep and dusty house gem that revels in its beautifully sombre Motor City vibes. Not bad for a guy from Utrecht!
Review: The comic book-inspired Quartet Series returns to action, with another four studio superheroes joining the label's unofficial 'League of Extraordinary House Producers'. Returning hero Nachtbraker kicks things off with "Dobie", a quirky foray into percussion rich, jazz-house territory that packs serious dancefloor punch. Laurence Guy successfully breaks up the beats on the deep and woozy "Love & Be Loved", while Tommy Vicardi Jnr works his DJ Sneak style beats and cut-up samples hard on the deliciously energetic "Aplomb". Finally, LK doffs a cap to R&B, hip-hop and Detroit deep house on the pitched-down 4/4 shuffle of closer "Honey", which should appeal to those who enjoy the work of Marcel Vogel, Inkswel and Andres.