Review: Germany's A Friend In Need have begun to develop a strong reputation for championing their own unique blend of deep house-not-deep-house. Here we get a new label comp featuring four different takes from four different artists: stop-start loopy funk (78 Edits' "Keep It Up"), deep and spacey jack-fests (Lootbeg & M Ono's "About You"), 303 fizz-outs (Gregory Dub's "Acid Spacejam") and the slow, raw and romantic depth charges of "Acaya" by Zacharias. Boom!
Review: Forget Berlin: it's all about neighbouring Leipzig these days and local imprint A Friend In Need are here to prove it on Leipzig Only 02. "Blinds" is up first with the classic Larry Heard vibe of "Cloud City" which was a pretty awesome exercise in deepness if we do say. There's nothing daggy about Napoleon Dynamite's uplifting nu-disco jam "Altei" which would make even Jay Shepheard stand up and notice. Label head honchos Lootbeg & Nova Casa serve up what could be the EPs finest moment on "Introduction" which was wonderfully emotive and bittersweet, with its life affirming strings, melancholic keys and dusty drums. Finally Zacharias goes chasing the ghosts in the analogue machines to stunning effect on "Across The Cosmic Gardens".
Review: Hailing from Leipzig, DJ Lootbeg is the man behind the 'house gems and deep vibes' label, A Friend In Need. Here he presents a sizzling selection of up and coming names from the roster. Highlights include the deep n' jazzy sleek houser "The Trip" by Blinds, the cloudy electro-pop of "Kalsarikaennit" by Lootbeg & Iami and the quirky, squelched-out acid house of "Silver Shiver" by Zacharias.
Simon Sunset - "Outer Banks" (Lootbeg's New Jersey edit) - (6:22) 114 BPM
Dsant - "Restless" (Lootbeg's raw remix) - (5:32) 115 BPM
Review: There's a rather simple idea behind A Friend In Need's latest audio missive, which gathers together founder Lootbeg's best-loved tracks and remixes on one handy EP. The Leipzig-based producer excels at delivering fluid, heartwarming deep house that offers the right balance between Floating Points style synthesizer looseness, tactile nu-disco influences and classically dreamy grooves. Highlights include an eyes-closed, acid-flecked rework of Dasant's "Spread Love", the sun-kissed breeziness of "Without Ur Love", and a New Jersey style classic garage-meets-deep house rub of Simon Sunset's "Outer Banks". Best of all, though, is "Acd4/303", a straight-up acid house throbber doused in rough 303 lines and jackin' percussive hits.
Review: There's no denying that Lootbeg has been in fine form of late, with 12" singles on Tieffrequent and Tooman Records only enhancing his reputation as a producer on the rise. Predictably, the Leipzig man is at the top of his game on this EP for A Friend in Need. Opener "Cheeeers" offers the perfect balance between raw, distorted drums, wiggly acid lines and the lilting, string-laden sheen of classic deep house, though acid-fired electro cut "Goodbye Galaxy - Gg17428" - all filtered late night stabs and thrillingly rough rhythms - is arguably even better. Elsewhere, he serves up a thrillingly muscular chunk of TB-303 techno (the fittingly titled "Mental") and does his best Drexciya impression on the heavy-but-poignant "Goodbye Galaxy - Gg17421".
Review: Six years on from the release of his debut EP, Lootbeg has finally got round to delivering a debut album. Wisely, the Leipzig-based producer has used the opportunity to serve up cuts that look skywards for inspiration, placing spacey melodies and intergalactic chords at the heart of the action. In practice, that means a mixture of smooth and slick deep house cuts doused in vintage Motor City techno sounds, enjoyable, synthesizer-heavy electronic soundscapes, sparse electro cuts smothered in tape hiss, Larry Heard inspired Chicago warmth and the kind of swirling, sunrise-friendly fare that would once have been described as "dream house". In other words, it's a superb set packed to the rafters with deliciously glassy-eyed moments.
Review: Last time he appeared on local label A Friend In Need, Lootbeg was operating in cahoots with fellow Leipzig resident Bajazo. Here he returns to solo action with his seventh missive for the popular and reliable imprint. He begins with a dash of shimmering, sci-fi flavoured deep house/tech-house fusion (the ear-pleasing melodiousness of "The Illusion of Gravity"), before wrapping deep synth-pop melodies and chords around a rolling house beat on "Make A Change". Sleazy but deep house retro-futurism is the order of the day on immersive treat "Towards The Dreams", while "Salat Live" is a tactile slab of undulating deep house acid. Also similarly impressive is bumping closing cut "Sem", where dubbed-out synth riffs and stirring chords ride sweaty drums and a headline-grabbing bassline.
Review: Like its two predecessors, this third EP from the Ourselves label gathers together tracks from a handful of hugely talented producers. Sello kicks things off with the sparkling Latin disco/Balearic deep house fusion of "Loop My Ass", before Jan Kettel and Siggatunez provide a chunkier slab of melodious deep house goodness ("Today is the Past of Tomorrow", which also includes some superb Rhodes flourishes and wobbly acid lines). Jammed-out electric piano lines come to the fore on the brilliant nu-disco/deep house fusion that is "Walnuss Express" by M.Ono and Luvless, while Lootbeg's blissfully melodious and starry "Rememberin" is by far and away the EP's standout moment. Even by his high standards, it's rather special.
Review: While it has become increasingly fashionable to champion hissing, crackle-heavy deep house, Leipzig label A Friend In Need has been repping the style longer than most. Here they enhance their credentials via a fine nine-track compilation. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the pitched-down Detroit techno/hazy deep house futurism of AEZKVLAP's "Ande" and the acid-flecked Balearic house hiss of Lootbeg's "Cheeeers" [sic], to the Larry Heard-on-happy pills bliss of Rowvn's "Is It Real", to the dirt-encrusted, redlined fuzz of Blinds' "South Memphis", which reminded us a little of Shall Not Fade's most memorable moments.
Review: Lepizig crew A Friend In Need regular serve up compilation style EPs featuring tasty tracks from a select group of like-minded local and international producers. Here they go further, delivering an expansive, 11-track collection that could well be the imprint's strongest release to date. After beginning with a chunk of sparkling ambient brilliance by Afinns, the set flits between deliciously dreamy, groovy and tactile mid-tempo fare (mostly courtesy of slo-mo specialists such as Heion, loop-master 78 Edits, MermaidS, La Tumerie and Buzz Compass) and more peak-time-friendly tackle that similarly fuses elements of swirling deep house, rubbery disco and glassy-eyed boogie. These cuts are particularly potent, with the contributions by Mono & Luvless, Lootbeg and Quadrakey standing out.