Review: Blind Jacks Journey is a genuinely fresh and provocative UK house label that stands apart from the rest of the material coming out of the British Isles. Curiously, the name is based on John Metclaf, a famous engineer from Yorkshire who also went by the name of Blind Jack of Knaresborough, and that's exactly the sort of humorous edge that runs through the label...something that we're always find of. It's all about chilled, placid house here, and RNR drops two stellar doses of the stuff in "Moments" and "Moments Vox Tool", a pair of sensual dance scorchers that sound improvisational yet perfectly happy and balanced in their minimalism. Mr Fiel's "Sunset On The Moon" is a similar sort of lick except that here the percussion is more tribal and the sounds less solitary, but the flipside by Gnork and Luv Jam, named "Troppppixxxx", is what we would call an 'utter winner'; it's the sort of house tune with that subtle acid sway and just the right amount of balearic charm. Jimini's "Back To Reality" completes the picture with a deep and dubby missile for those after-hour sets. Tip!
Schmitt Trigger - "Bethesda Bison" (Gnork's First Bison In Space mix) - (6:12) 122 BPM
Review: A change in the regular modus operandi for Crow Castle Cuts here as the excellent label introducer the CCCRAW series; tracks from the CCC archives are reworked in a live and raw fashion from a stellar cast of outsiders in Marquis Hawkes, In Fields and Zoovox. Hawkes is up first, paying homage to the label that's served him so well on a tuff 'Dixon Avenue Basement Jam mix of "Falcon Pass" by Studio Swiss - killer wubwub bassline on this one. London duo In Fields turn in a typically hypnotic acid drone 'Nip Replacement' version of Flypost's "Niple" whilst Lectric Sands duo Zoovox go all proto house on their excellent remix of Luv Jam's CCC classic "Romeo". Finally, Burek's rising talent Gnork lends the release some considered deep house caress with a 'First Bison In Space" rework of Schmitt Trigger's "Bethesda Bison".
Review: The typically packed Owain's Lagoon EP marks the final chapter in Crow Castle Cuts hugely enjoyable series which have touched on all corners of the techno and house spectrum. Luv Jam maintains his 100% appearance record on the series, opening up with "Turnipple" a sublime dusty house production that sets the tone nicely, with Schmitt Finger's "Bethsedia Bison" offering slightly more punch whilst still resolutely deep in its approach. Mr Tophat & Adam Stromstedt go star gazing on the expansive analogue cosmiche of "Tingeling," whilst "Valley Crucis Radio Party" demonstrates Cy in equally esoteric mood.
Yasmin Lebonque - "The Castle Ooibonck" - (5:29) 130 BPM
Good Guy Mikesh & Filburt - "Place Of Love" - (5:30) 120 BPM
Dunder Karlsson - "Fet" - (7:15) 106 BPM
Review: Welsh label Crow Castle Cuts just about cram all the talent onto this release - the third in a series of four releases that has to date proved popular with fans of highly limited twelve inches that come replete with slick design and excellent house tracks. Now availabel on digital, Ap Gruffydd EP is no different, joining the dots on the many corners of the house and techno spectrum with aplomb. First you get wiggling acid techno from the ever excellent Luv Jam, explorations of mind scraping alien techno from the mysterious WAFF and sumptuously poised sampledelic analogue beatdown on Cy's brilliant "Queensbridge Chatta". The tempo veers even further south but the temperature remains ever warm with Yasmin Lebonque's "The Castle Ooibonck" whilst Good Guy Mikesh & Filburt introduce an off kilter tone with the heavenly "Place Of Love" dominated by the constant waves of epic chords. Tip!
Review: San Soda, Luv Jam and the wonderfully named Schmitt Trigger team up for the King Elisedd EP on Crow Classic Cuts. We Play House starlet San Soda opens up with the understated euphoria of "Do It Like This", all pleasing late night chords, swirling synths and barely-there vocal cuts. It's one of his oldest tracks, and those who have witnessed a FCL or San Soda set in the past four years will know it well and no doubt be delighted to see it appears on digital. Then Luv Jam, who lays down reverberating chords and a ridiculously good bass line on "Fairytale Melody". It's stripped back, raw business that will please fans of Levon Vincent and the like. Finally, it's left to Schmitt Trigger on "Speichreich" to bathe a granite hard kick in white noise swooshes and deftly arranged clicks and clacks for a late night jam that strays cheekily into techno territory.
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.
Jimpster - "Ceilings" (feat Laura Barrick) - (6:31) 124 BPM
Brian Ring - "Love Taken Over" - (7:21) 123 BPM
Clavis - "Cydalise" - (6:32) 123 BPM
Shur-i-kan - "Beach Life" - (5:59) 122 BPM
Review: Its 20 years of Jamie Odell aka Jimpster's revered deep house imprint and he's celebrating in great style with this 20 track compilation that demonstrates that business is as good as ever and they're testament to how much the label has remained relevant. The label head honcho himself appears of course; first with Luv Jam on the smooth and dubby "We Play Pads" and the sombre and emotive "Ceilings" featuring Laura Barrick. Other highlights include Bulgarian hardware maverick KiNK's "Roads", Detroit Swindle's fiercely bumpin' "Race Against The Machine" and Pittsburgh Track Authority's magnificent high tech soul jam "Oculus Sinister".
Review: This year marks two decades since Jamie 'Jimpster' Odell founded Freerange Records. To celebrate 20 years in the game, Odell has put together a five-disc vinyl boxset of previously unheard material, which is also being released on a number of digital EPs. There's much to admire on this first volume, from the hazy deep house chug of KiNK's "Roads", and the glitchy, broken-house thrills of Odell's Jimpster remix of Tim Toh & Ranavalona's "All I See", to the loose, jazzy deepness of The New Tower Generation's "Eyes Can See". Best of all, though, is "We Play Pads", a wonderfully deep, melodious, hazy and evocative chunk of boogie-influenced deep house from Luv Jam & Jimpster.
Review: The legacy of Throne In Blood is certainly not insignificant in the annals of recent dance music history, but they're reaching into new ground with this series of compilations. The first two volumes of Moon Rock were already highly worthy of attention, and so it continues on this new installment, where further investigations of ambient, new age and downright mellow techno are brought together by a host of top shelf characters. Steve Moore opens up proceedings in suitably epic fashion, while elsewhere Tempelhof, Pittsburgh Track Authority and Tim Love Lee all excel in various shades of chill-out with guts.
Review: In the second round of surefire house goodness from a celebratory Freerange Recordings, your ears and record decks get treated to four slices of contemporary tackle from a spread of artists committed to pushing things forwards. Luv Jam kicks up the dust with a playful sensibility on the bouncy "Hamburglar" before Esa & Mervin Granger take a more fluid approach to deepest house with "Goema Heat". On the flip Freerange mainstay Manuel Tur brings some serious emotion to his piano notes without losing the funk on "Laguenesie", and Kito Jempere slides into squishy dub tones with a little help from Jerry The Cat and Ruslan Gadzhimuradov for "This Is Why We Do This".
Review: Wales-based deep house stalwart Andrew 'Luv Jam' Cole rarely puts a foot wrong. Predictably, this EP for the equally reliable We Play House label is as strong as ever. While it's the deep shuffle and bold house pianos of "Californian Freestyler" that immediately catch the ear, it's the EP's more intriguing offerings that really impress. "Panta Relics", a melodious chunk of xylophone-heavy Balearic deep house featuring extensive samples from a vintage John Lennon interview, is particularly good, though the analogue synth jam "BMX Bandito" pushes it close. Uncanny Valley man Jacob Korn delivers the obligatory remixes, offering a fuzzy, late night piano house interpretation (the "Vinyl Mix"), and a synth-and-acid styled feelgood chugger (the "Digital Mix").
Review: It's the House music equivalent of Gareth Bale versus Mario Goetze on the 19th We Play House transmission (not including the limited colour prints) as Welsh wonder Luv Jam pairs off with rising German talent Dynamodyse, appearing here as SRF Inc. The appropriately titled Wales vs Germany: 2-2 EP sees both producers contribute two tracks, and it marks a welcome return for Luv Jam whose rise has been fully justified since he first surfaced on LPH almost three years ago. Both his productions are stamped with that unique Luv Jam style; the way "We Play Mouse" woozily sways between obscure and classicist moments is particularly delightful. German Wunderkind Dynamodyse continues his work under the SRF Inc banner with two equally unique house tools, with the bassline to "How To Eat Music" truly hard to resist.
Review: In the 18 months since his brilliant debut release for We Play House, Luv Jam has been steadily building his profile with a number of releases, and now he returns on Vibrations with his first full EP of material since that auspicious first record. The EP's first track is a typically lush foray into stripped back, slo-mo house, with opener Tough Future utilizing little more than a 303 bassline and 909 kick to slowly build up to its raindrop crescendo, and "Rubber Band" employing a number a dreamy synths atop its tense, gurgling bass. The pace picks up with "Last Floor Hotel (mega mix)" upping the tempo and going into full on acid mode, with its furious pace accented with frenetic cowbell hits and industrial textures. The EP closes with "Elastic Band" a deeper excursion into jacking house, characterized by its flurry of handclaps, weighed up by its rubbery bassline.
Review: More crisp adventures into weird melodic deep house on Belgian imprint We Play House Recordings courtesy of Welsh producer Luv Jam. Known to familials as Andy Cole, Luv Jam is right at home on WPH with The Pitch Black EP. "Black Moon" rides a deep organ groove with synth lines intermittently soaring through the ether of a growling bassline barely touched by soft pads. WPH mainstay San Soda takes the track into deeper yet more danceable territory, sculpting a real hypnotic groove from the stems. Lush Detroit atmospherics abound on "Black Panther" where future abstract syncopation is complemented by Blade Runner-esque synth washes and flushed piano stabs. Four tracks of excellent future retro house that have already garnered support from the likes of Simbad and Jimpster.