Review: For their first release, deep house imprint Intent Recordings has turned to two Berlin-based producers with bags of experience, namely Gene Siewing and Max Graef. The result is a pair of tracks that go deep into the groove, layering smoky vocal samples, warm keys and dreamy, drifting chords over treacle-thick, bass-heavy grooves. Choose between "All My Love", which peppers a loose, low-slung groove with warm chords, hissing cymbals and horizontally inclined soulful vocal snippets, and "Cool Track", a more upbeat and energetic foray into vintage US deepness with an attractive, Moodymann inspired looseness to the groove. Both are immaculately produced, getting just the right balance between dancefloor chops and sleepy musicality.
Review: Riding high on the buzz he has generated in the last twelve months, Max Graef delivers this album to Tartelet as a man very much in demand. His style, fuelled on the foundations of sampling funk and soul to a brilliantly modern end, has more space to breathe on this LP, but still the fundamentals remain. "Itzehoe" struts on a lazy jazzed-out sizzle of drums and beautiful Rhodes notes while "Tamboule Fudgefunk" punches its way through woozy synth work and a righteous beat and "Drums Of Death" struts on a perfect disco groove replete with live instrumentation, but there's a wealth of other tempos and styles all shot through with the homespun jazz charm that Graef has made his own of late.
Review: Uncanny Valley's split, multi-artist EPs are usually amongst their strongest releases, and Give N Take is no exception. Put together by Cuthead, it features tracks from three of his favourite producers, plus two of his own. Max Graef kicks things off with the sleepy deep house jazz of "Tittenkuschler", while Parisian S3A impresses with the rising disco samples, sturdy grooves and minor key flourishes of "Theuz Hamtaak". Moony Me's contribution, the flashing Chicago bass, woozy chords and choppy disco samples of "Magergarten", is also rather good. As for Cuthead's contributions, they're predictably strong, with the samba-goes-boompty shuffle of "Braziliance" just edging out the deep-off-kilter downtempo MPC jam "Oef Oef" in the "best track" stakes.
Review: There's plenty of breezy summer warmth on this split four-tracker from the ever-reliable Melbourne Deepcast camp. Andy Hart joins forces with Max Graef on opener "Super Strain", the aural equivalent of a stroll down the banks of the Yarra River at dusk, all squinting horns, shuffling grooves and woozy party atmos. Graef's "Sensation" continues on a similar theme, thickening the percussion and adding some tipsy, bluesy chords for added humid, late night effect. M5K opts to drop the tempo and prioritize vintage, new age synths on the intoxicating "Moon Vexed", while The Tortoise brilliantly blends deep house, nu-disco and soft-focus soul on "The Real Thing".
Review: After a dalliance with Ninja Tune, Berlin's Max Graef returns to his spiritual stomping ground on Tartlet with a brand new 20 track excursion. A teensy bit more floor focused than his first album on the label (2014's Rivers Of A Red Planet) but still happily lounging far on the left, highlights include the sleazy jazz of "Arcadia", the sprightly eight bit dust of "Y", the bit crushed jungle oddities of "Lozt" and the intergalactic electro pacer "Master Quest" to name but a very few. Entirely in a league of his own.
Review: Max Graef and Glenn Astro's The Yard Work Simulator was a big release for Ninja Tune in 2016, gaining praise from all corners of the dance music world and, although it was largely a deep house affair, there was plenty in it for everyone. Launching 2017 with a remix EP seems like a sensible idea, especially when it's got a magnificent dub version of "W313D" by Max and Glenn themselves at the frontline. Byron The Aquarius delivers a magnetic, live reinterpretation of "Magic Johnson", but the real surprise comes from Greg Beato's version of "Money $ex Theme", with the LIES and Apron affiliate jacking the tune into his trademark style. IMYRMiND finishes off by deconstructing "China Nr 04", and turning the original into a wayward house experiment.
Review: There's no doubt that Berliner's Max Graef and Glenn Astro are some of the biggest success stories to emerge from the deep house sound and creating their own signature style that's often copied of late, but seldom ever matched! Sure, the dusty hip-hop inspired jams are no doubt indebted to Detroit legends such as Theo Parrish or Andres but they've certainly put their own slant on it and created a new sound for the German capital to be synonymous with. Testament to their success is this LP for the legendary Ninja Tune; The Yard Work Simulator. Nearly a dozen tracks of chilled, sampledelic, MPC driven dope jams that are the perfect soundtrack for a misspent youth in Berlin this Summer. In particular check the raggedy junkyard joint that is "Where Fuck Are My Hard Boiled Eggs" or the psychedelic urban soul jam that is the title track.
Review: OYE crew and Berlin purveyors of dusty, hip-hop inspired deep house make their major label debut for Ninja Tune and good on them. It really is their time at present, what with their Money $ex and Box Aus Holz imprints going from strength to strength. "Magic Johnson" inspires the greatness of the song's namesake. All dusty jazz breaks, dreamy rhodes and xylophones and whirring organs are the perfect soundtrack for a Sunday stroll through Prenzlauer Berg after a night of clubbing on no sleep, finishing off in Mauerpark for falafel and record digging. Sweet!
Review: 2020 marks the 25th year of !K7's acclaimed DJ-Kicks series with Mr Scruff following contributions of late from Leon Vynehall, Laurel Halo, Peggy Gou and Kamaal Williams! Mr Scruff's adventures in sound brings to DJ-Kicks more than 30 tracks of wildly varying styles featuring highlighted music from Equiknoxx, Tiger, Errorsmith, Max Graef and Zongamin. Scruff brings to his edition an exclusive collaboration with CyberPunkJazz ("3001: A Space Disco Remix") and an unreleased track from Andy Ash to boot. Alexander Robotnik makes in there with the wild New York post-funk of "Love Supreme" alongside a heavy Tony Allen percussion session in "Gbedu B". DJ Nervoso for the win too!
Review: There's much to admire about Kamaal Williams' contribution to the long running DJ Kicks series, not least the producer, DJ and keyboardist's blend of self-made exclusives (both under his name and his alternative Henry Wu alias) and largely overlooked gems. Highlights in the former category include a stunning live version of "Snitches Brew", the jazzy Latin house of "Projections" (a Henry Wu hook-up with Earl Jeffers) and "Lowrider", a jazz guitar-propelled cut from his collaborative Yusuf Kamaal project. In the latter category, we'd suggest wrapping your ears around Awanto 3's dusty and ultra-deep "Pregnant", the deep jazz-funk bliss of Diggs Duke's "Cause I Love You", the up-tempo dancefloor soul of Peven Everett's "Stuck" and the slow motion wonder that is Steve Spacek's "Hey There".
Review: Tartelet have called upon a serious spread of heads for this sprawling selection of funk-infused, loose and lively house jams. Glenn Astro & Imyrmind are wonderfully dusty and downplayed on "Bochum", while Uffe brings plentiful amounts of Rhodes and other such joyous keys to a thoroughly funky conclusion. Max Graef has an equally shuffling, hand-played time of it, while Damiano Von Erckert gets a tighter groove out to get his own party started. Whichever track you plump for the sounds come on organic and soulful in the extreme, while the arrangements will have bodies popping all over the joint.