Review: There's something pleasingly old-fashioned about Luke Solomon's latest missive for the re-born Classic imprint. Lead cut "The Acid Games", for example, sounds like something Solomon himself may have put out with one-time partner in crime Justin Harris on their Music for Freaks label back in the mid-noughties. Nick Maurer's quirky spoken vocal perfectly compliments Solomon's boompty-light beats and a typically snaking acid line. The eccentric title track - all wild vocals, hustling guitar licks and low-end pressure - feels like a long-lost Greens Keepers record (circa their career-defining What's My Man Got To Do With Gan? release), while "Second Hand Blues" sounds like an unlikely studio hoedown between Derrick Carter and Jimi Hendrix, with Soundstream on the edits.
Review: Throughout his long and distinguished career, Luke Solomon has not made a record quite as disco-fired as "Light You Up". In its' original form, the track wraps spoken word verses from beat poet Queen Rose and chorus vocals from bourbon-loving Brooklyn singer Amy Douglas around a killer Blaxploitation-era disco-funk groove. Here Louie Vega is giving the honour to remix it with an extended disco revision that's breezier, groovier and full of superb musicianship.
Dance Electric (Borrowed Identity remix) - (7:06) 124 BPM
The Acid Games (Jordan (IE) remix) - (7:10) 121 BPM
Review: Six months on from the release of Luke Solomon and Nick Maurer's Body Movement EP on Classic, three tracks from that set get the remix treatment. There's a vintage feel about Jordan's heavy, acid-and-boompty influenced take on "The Acid Games", which sounds like vintage Classic or Dotbleep Recordings material from the mid 2000s (this is a good thing, by the way). Psychedelic acid lines come to the fore even more on Denney's remix of "Body Movement", which also features some suitably snappy drum machine hits and a suitably wild spoken word vocal from Maurer. Borrowed Identity do their best DJ Sneak impression on their version of "Dance Electric" - all thunderous, sub-heavy funk basslines, restless rhythms and drowsy deep house chords.
Review: Label boss Luke Solomon returns to Classic with his first original offering in three years. On "Light You Up", Solomon recruits the poetic talents of Queen Rose and his recent disco cohort Amy Douglas - who's no stranger to Classic having collaborated with Juan Maclean on the Peach Melba project. For its live and loose feel, Solomon brings in long-time friend Andy Neal on bass and guitar and Powerdance bandmate Danny Ward aka Moodymanc behind the drums. With its sleazy guitar lick and absolutely fine vocal work over those snaking rhythms and liquid bass: it's already being championed by the likes of Horse Meat Disco. The track was mixed down by West Coast deep house legend Lance DeSardi for Builders Of Paradise.
Review: Given their extensive shared musical history and influences, you'd expect this hook-up between former Classic/Music For Freaks types Luke Solomon and Jonny Rock to contain some belting cuts. Predictably, it does. Dancefloor sweatiness is guaranteed from the start, via the undulating, Moroder-inspired bass guitar, spacey electronics, clipped guitars and dense disco percussion of "Luca Frangipan", and its' suitably trippy, more heavily electronic companion Dub. There's a breezier, looser feel to "Groovin' To La", which expertly teases out soulful vocal samples and soaring strings atop a bouncy Italo-disco/deep house/classic disco fusion groove. The accompanying Dub mix is, if anything, even stronger. Sadly, this digital version of the EP doesn't feature DJ Fett Burger & Jayda G's killer remix, so you'll have to buy the 12" to get that.
Review: According to JD Twitch's sales notes, Luke Solomon and former Greenskeepers man Nick Maurer decided to join forces as Powerdance in reaction to "the bland, soulless dance music that's infiltrating clubs the world over". Certainly, there's little bland or soulless about opener "Mysterious Space Plane", which not only jacks harder than Ron Hardy after a face full of amphetamines, but also boasts a typically eccentric vocal from Maurer (this, incidentally, is given additional prominence on the accompanying, beat-less Reprise version). Elsewhere, "More Fire" takes TB-303-driven acid house into deep space, while "Fire Beat" offers a stripped-back, percussion heavy take on the same cut.
Review: As of this week, most of the Eclectic Avenue back catalogue is available on Juno Download. That should be a cause for celebration, for the label has released some fantastic material over the last year or so. This three-tracker from Luke Solomon is among their best. Sitting somewhere between breezy dub disco, deep house and formidable Brazilian beats, "Say Something" is one of Solomon's most attractive productions to date - all parping, dubbed-out horns, life-affirming vocals and Amazonian percussion. "Dub Something" cuts back on the vocals whilst retaining the killer elements of the original, while "Do Something" turns the original into a mutant electronic house jam full of electro-marimbas. Boss.
Review: Just in time for carnival season, Eclectic Avenue unleash a pair of fine, floor-filling remixes of Luke Solomon's 2011 single "Say Something". Ashley Beedle reads the brief perfectly, turning in a version that joyously dances between boompty bounce, dubbed-out genius (check the reverb-laden horn stabs), celebratory cheekiness (a vocal that teases people towards the dancefloor) and genuine Latin flavour (some fine bongos and marimbas). It's arguably Beedle's best mix for some time. Negghead, meanwhile, offers up a version that sits somewhere between muggy Latin jazz and melancholic deep house - all hissing cymbals, sun-bright pianos and thick organs. Recommended.
Review: For those who lack the time and willpower to keep track of Local Talk's frenetic release schedule, the popular deep house label's Talking House series is something of a lifesaver. Like its' predecessors, this fourth installment was compiled by label bosses Mad Mats and Tooli, and gathers together 13 more highlights from their rapidly-expanding catalogue. Naturally, highlights come thick and fast, from the hip-hop meets classic deep house flex of Zoe Zoe's "Bust Them Wifes" and the classic Balearic house revivalism of Luke Solomon's "Lost Channels (Live Piano Version)", to the hustling percussion hits and constantly-rising electronics of Kyodai's "Konbanwa" and the delicious jazz-house bounce of Moodymanc's "Morning".