Review: Having contributed a stellar track to Gerd Janson's Musik For Autobahns 2 compilation, it's little surprise to see Leon Vynehall pop up on Running Back. Rojus (Designed To Dance) is an expansive eight trackaffair thati s likely to be as popular as 2014's Music For The Uninvited LP for Martyn's 3024 label. It's also predictably varied; contrast, for example, the drowsy ambient chords and twinkling electronics of opener "Beyond This", and the deep-jack-goes-rave sweatiness of "Beau Sovereign". Vynehall also finds space for the Balearic jazz-house swing of "Paradisea", the wall-of-sound Detroit deep house of "Blush", and the African influenced drum workout "...There Is You". In other words, it's a versatile cracker.
Review: Leon Vynehall's "Midnight On Rainbow Road" was one of the undoubted highlights of last year's Musik For Autobahns 2 compilation, so it's no surprise to see it getting a deserved single release. The original version, which sat somewhere between the guitar-laden ambient textures of early System 7 releases and the hypnotic pulse of Detroit beatdown, is here joined by an all new "Beat Edit", designed with club play in mind. Vynehall has done a terrific job with the rework, all told, which underpins his glistening melodic refrains and dreamy chords with a rolling, pitched-down rhythm that makes great use of live-sounding drums. The result is a beatdown/ambient house hybrid that recalls the glory days of the early '90s chill-out room.
Review: In the info accompanying this single-track release, Leon Vynehall explains that "I, Cavallo" is "aimed squarely at soundsystems", adding that he wanted to explore "psychedelic corners of the dancefloor". It would be fair to say that the track achieves both of those aims, building from an extended, beat-free start - all slowly shifting electronics and pretty synth lines - towards locked-in techno hypnotism via a gargantuan bass drop and all manner of strange, effects-laden noises. It's cleverly constructed and by the time the track really hits its stride midway through, it feels like a dark and hallucinatory experience tailor made for dark spaces early in the morning. Top stuff!
Review: The choice of Tony Humphries to mix Running Back's first label compilation is a significant one. Getting his big break in the early '80s as an understudy for the legendary Shep Pettibone's Kiss FM show, Humphries went on to become one of the defining DJs of house music's formative years, with residencies at New Jersey's Club Zanzibar and London's Ministry of Sound. His previous mixes illustrate his continuing ability to bridge dance music's past and present and his new one for Gerd Janson's imprint will mark its fifteenth anniversary. It is a timely reminder of what has made the Frankfurt powerhouse remain on many favourite label lists for over a decade. It's a mix of golden oldies and recent classics alike: from Todd Terje's smash hit from several years ago "Ragysh" and the anthemic "The Voice From Planet Love" by Precious System, through to more recent bombs. Two by Running back alumnus Shan ("Bassline Party"/"Work It") and the legendary Mr G's Motor City ode "Ben & Gerd" (Killin It M Day).
Review: Rush Hour's annual, digital-only Best Of collections are rarely anything less than superb, and this year's offering is no different. Featuring tracks from a variety of 2015 releases - singles, albums, comps and obscure re-issues - it offers a near constant stream of hits, and very little misses. Highlights include the undulating, Detroit-influenced hypno-house of Joy Orbison's "A213", the faintly unsettling, impassioned deep house stomp of No Pain's "No More Pain Mix", the expansive jazz-funk-meets-disco of James Mason's rescued "Dance Of Life", and the rave era-inspired techno pump of Awanto 3's "Fat Ass Pigeons". Oh, and 2000Black's "Make It Hard", arguably one of the left-of-centre underground anthems of the year.
Review: Gerd Jansen's first collection of autobahn-inspired "ambient-not-ambient" cuts, released back in 2012, was something of an overlooked triumph. If anything, this second volume in the series - once again packed with exclusive, never-before-heard material - is even better. There are glistening, far-sighted excursions from Leon Vynehall, Shan and Orson Wells, a brilliant chunk of shuffling dancefloor hypnotism from Joy Orbison, and some vintage, low-slung ambient fare from Dutch veteran Orlando Voorn. Meanwhile, Disco Nihilist's "Melancholy" is formidable emotive - unsurprising, given the Detroit and deep synth-pop influences - while Lauer's "Autofahrn" is a thrillingly authentic Kraftwerk tribute.
Review: The latest installment in !K7's esteemed DJ-Kicks mix series is by Brighton based Leon Vynehall, following up 2018's acclaimed album Nothing Is Still on Ninja Tune. Although this edition presents the unmixed tracks, his aim was to approach it more like a compilation rather than a standalone mix anyway - one that blurs the boundaries between genres. Features highlights and exclusives by the likes of: Ploy who delivers the hypnotic and bass-driven techno of "Pressure", the deeply flanged tribal funk of Pavillion's "Happy Track" or the breakneck IDM shenanigans of the AFX classic "Children Talking" and not forgetting two evocative and sensual cuts by Vynehall himself.
Review: Portsmouth-based bass-goes-deep house adventurer Leon Vynehall has yet to emulate the success of fellow Well Rounded Housing Project graduates James Fox and Outboxx, but you can tell he's destined for big things. The Rosalind EP is a perfect fit on WRHP, delivering tracks that offer the perfect balance between bass-heavy swing, Detroit-influenced crackliness and emotion-rich deepness. "Untitled 017" sets the tone, layering pitched-down R&B vocal samples over a tumbling groove. "Title No. 7" adds some Outboxx-ish organ warmth to proceedings whilst retaining a similar sonic approach, while the startling "Rosalind" delivers a dreamy dowmtempo delight.
Review: Originally debuting on Well Rounded Records' Housing Project sub-label in 2012, Leon Vynehall has since become one of the UK's most in-demand of the new wave of young house producers. He's released subsequent records for George Fitzgerald's ManMakeMusic and Will Saul's Aus, and most recently an album on Martyn's 3024. Vynehall is now in cruise control and he lays back on Clone's Royal Oak with what will prove to be a favourite with DJs this summer. "Butterflies" is this record's piano-driven house jam, but really it's all about "This Is The Place", a loved up peach of a production with the strength to appease the underground and crossover into the mainstream.
Review: The ascendant production career of Brighton's Leon Vynehall is demonstrated once more with a debut release on Martyn's 3024 label. According to the DC dwelling Dutchman, the genesis of the Open EP dates back to the pair sharing a gig in Bristol, with Martyn impressed by Vynehall's Djing skills but not fully aware of his talent as a producer. Requesting Vynehall send him some new music, four of the five tracks Martyn received feature on the Open EP with three present on this 12" edition. If you're familiar with Vynehall's previous output for Aus, Well Rounded and Manmakemusic you'll be eager to wrap your senses around this release, yet the trademark rugged swagger is complemented by an increased attention to detail that hints Vynehall should no longer be cast as a mere 'up and comer'.
Review: Martyn's 3024 label returns with an extensive collection of works from rising UK house man Leon Vynehall. Originally debuting on Well Rounded Records' Housing Project sub-label back in 2012 with the Mauve EP, Vynehall has since become one of the UK's most in-demand of the new wave of young house producers, releasing subsequent records for George Fitzgerald's ManMakeMusic and Will Saul's Aus as well as collaborating with blog house survivor A1 Bassline under the Laszlo Dancehall alias. Having debuted on 3024 with last year's Open platter, Vynehall is back with Music For The Uninvited, a seven-track collection of tracks supposedly inspired by rides to school in his mother's car as a child in which he would listen to "mixed hip-hop, funk & electro tapes, Janet Jackson albums, Style Council and Stiff Little Fingers". Whilst there is plenty of the individual house sound Vynehall has developed on offer here ("It's Just (House Of Dupree)" is a certified jam) there are also more tranquil moments to bask in such as "Inside The Deku Tree" and "St Sinclair" which bookend this excellent release.