Review: The eighth release on Sccucci Manucci sees the imprint pack a hefty eight productions that traverse various house sounds from around the world onto two slabs of handstamped wax. From Coeo's bouncy and vocal track through to Mella Dee's dark and distinctively UK-centric track the label has tried to explore the sheer wealth of production talent on offer at the moment.
Review: Another set of Waze & Odyssey's always reliable Street Tracks served up again on their Autumn Sampler. On offer here is Colombian producer Felipe Gordon's deep and bouncy "Rola Frita", Liverpool's Deep Space Orchestra with the hi-tech soul of "Quarterly Report" which follows in the tradition of local legends Stephen Brown or Vince Watson then My Cat Snoop: otherwise known as Brighton's Gregg Ashley, who throws down the tough and gutsy techno stomp of "Ghetto Child" that sounds like a Hot Creations track on steroids. London's Mella Dee closes out the compilation with the early '90's techno zeitgeist of "Franco" complete with a gnarly Reese bassline for good measure.
Deep Space Orchestra - "Quartley Report" - (6:19) 126 BPM
My Cat Snoop - "Ghetto Child" - (6:28) 124 BPM
Mella Dee - "Franco" - (5:31) 128 BPM
Review: As temperatures in the UK begin to plummet quicker than the leaves falling off the trees, W&O Street Tracks serves up something to warm even the chilliest of dancefloors. Their Autumn Sampler is an all-star affair, featuring four fresh cuts from friends and family. Felippe Gordon impresses with the cut-up, broken house strut of "Rola Frita" - all Syclops style wonky bass and sharply edited vocal samples - before Deep Space Orchestra deliver the thrusting, intergalactic house hustle of "Quarterly Report". Those looking for bombastic weightiness should check the boompty-influenced bounce of My Cat Snoop's "Ghetto Child", while Mella D's "Franco" fixes spacey synthesizer motifs to a surging, floor-friendly drum rhythm.
Review: Arriving at a fifteenth release in little more than three years is no mean feat, and the Wolf Music crew have retained a standard of quality throughout that a few other labels could learn from. Once again switching the emphasis from artist release to a quartet of contributors, WOLF 15 opens with a killer Ron Basejam refix of recent Wolf anthem "Nowt" by James Welsh. Originally a louche slice of beatdown, "Nowt" stays at an even tempo in the hands of the Crazy P artist though there are all new levels of seductive funk added. Complementing this are three label debuts of varying style but equal quality, with Squarehead & Mella Dee (one half of Mista Men no less) opting for a brazen concoction of ruffed up garage rhythms and deep house emotions on "Get Together". Next up, breakout house duo Waze & Odyssey add Wolf to their growing CV with the effervescent cut up house rowdiness of "Feel My Voices" whilst South African producer Terrence Pearce might just steal our affections with the skippy, smudged delights of "Magic".
Review: Swerving somewhere between deep, pulsating Italian techno done Donato Dozzy style and up tempo percussive bass music something like early Livity Sound...Warehouse Music delivers a third EP for Mella Dee in 2020 not including his split release with Subradeon on Hardgroove from earlier this year. "Minimal Loopy Pumper" says it all in the title really, with some extra percussion thrown in alongside a cut-up vocal snippet and bleepy melody line that's expanded on in bell tones through the pressurized and booming basslines of "Mexicanas". Surfs up!
Review: Long before he became one of British dance music's most admired techno party-starters, Mella Dee was educated on the dancefloors of South Yorkshire's bassline clubs, and in particular notorious Sheffield venue Niche. Here he pays tribute to the iconic club in fine fashion on "Sidney Street" (the title is a reference to the club's most famous location). The title track may use thumping techno drums, but the rest of the cut's musical elements - memorable female vocal samples, echoing piano riffs and, most importantly, serious sub-bass pressure - come straight from the bassline playbook. He continues to pay tribute to the sound that shaped him elsewhere on the EP, too, from the bustling beats and memorable riffs of "Dev Green", to the deeper vibes of the dark garage bass-propelled "Copley Road".
Review: In an artistic change of direction, Mella Dee moves from his typical tough techno sound towards a somewhat more accessible style. "Sidney Street" was recorded in honour of Niche, a Sheffield nightclub that is credited with pioneering the bassline sound. It also underlines his flexibility as an artist; revolving around a rolling garage bass and tight drums, he drops a high-pitched vocal loop that has echoes of old school hardcore, a sound that was also once popular in the north of England. While "Sidney Street" is sure to open up Mella Dee to a whole new audience, it also showcases his diversity as an artist.
Review: Mella Dee bounces back on his Warehouse Music label with this club-primed release. The title track leads the listener on a journey through 90s minimal techno, with chattering percussion accompanying analogue yelps and a wiry rhythm. The tempo moves up a few gears on "Toast" and "Sidewalk Surfer", with Dee applying roughly the same hardware-driven approach, albeit set to more pace-y backing tracks. "Maplins" resounds to grainy kicks and raw percussive ticks, sounding like it was inspired by Neil Landstrumm's 90s work for Tresor, while on "Rockport Xcs", the singular techno producer delivers detuned chords against a skippy, rolling groove.
Review: Despite its name, Mella Dee's new release isn't a mindlessly banging, peak-time affair. The title track resounds to hypnotic chimes and bells, as he lays down a rolling, streamlined groove. Similarly, "Silver Street" revolves around a lithe, frenetic rhythm that features skipping percussion and a subtle aesthetic, even though it clocks in at close to 140bpm. On "Jack U Later (Floatation Device Mix)", the UK producer maintains a similar tempo but goes deeper, with hypnotic electronic hooks unravelling over solid drums. Dee's approach makes for a complex, masterfully crafted EP, as the sample-heavy, wiry minimalism of "Stack Select" further demonstrates.
Review: Although he has been releasing music since 2012, Mella Dee aka Ryan Aitchison has really gained attention with material on his own Warehouse Music label. The title track is a firing, driving affair, led by a surging chord sequence and percussive volleys. "Natural Unrefined" sees Aitchison take a step back to the 90s with a pounding, steely rhythm that has echoes of Lost Recordings and Planetary Assault Systems. There's a similar approach on "Truffle (Don Mix)", albeit with Aitchison dropping a more wiry, jacking groove, while the 'Dam Mix' of the same track is a wonderfully, tripped out acid version, underpinned by shuffling, grainy drums.
Review: Whether or not he spent his youth dancing in South Yorkshire warehouses with pupils the size of dinner plates, Mella Dee certainly makes music that sounds like he did. Check, for example, the swirling spoken word samples, rushing piano loops and bombastic beats of "Passing Me By", the cut that opens the producer's latest EP on his own excellent Warehouse Music imprint. Similarly muscular and peak-time friendly is the mind-bending "Club Vibe" - all twisted, acid style electronics and restless grooves - and the Dennis Sulta style disco-pump of "Out Of Love", whose dreamy chords come straight from an old Salsoul classic. "Exactly Mate" caps a pretty flawless year for Mella Dee and follows his recent BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix and a couple of stand out contributions to the always killer Shall Not Fade label.
Review: Warehouse Music boss Ryan Aitchison aka Mella Dee has previously stated that the early days of South Yorkshire's rave scene in the '90s - particularly around his hometown of Doncaster - has had a lasting influence. It is this dedication to preserving the zetigets of UK electronic music's heyday which has found him a fitting home on current 'it' label Shall Not Fade - the London based operation being absolutely obsessed with all things retro. For the Not Here To Make Friends EP, Mella Dee channels the spirit of Jeff Mills seminal early releases on the banging techno of "Heavy Coupla Weeks" and particularly The Wizard's Waveform Transmissions series on the strobe lit energy of "Spring" (420 mix) while "Run That" heads further south by looking to Birmingham's influence (namely that of Regis and Surgeon) with its pounding cyclicality.
Review: Ryan Aitchison aka Mella Dee is back on the fuming Warehouse Music imprint with three boiling-hot, golden era house cuts for the headz! In fact, the opening "Techno Disco Tool", as the name suggests, is a wondrous loop of high-powered soul, backed by an electrifying shade of FX filtering. On the flip, "Cloud One" is driven by a strong disco sample loop, taking it to some seriously euphoric lavels on the dancefloor, and "World Dance" dives right into the middle of the rave with its hypnotic techno sonics and harsh, intricate percussion loops. Three full-blown BOMBS!
Review: The second offering from Warehouse Music: the new imprint brought by London based DJ Mella Dee. Growing up in South Yorkshire, Dee (real name Ryan Aitchison) developed early musical influences originating from the warehouse sounds of the northern region. With a respectful nod to the influence this had on him, Aitchison strives to create his own take on warehouse music with his new project. Starting off with the hard hitting yet euphoric disco loops of "Take It" that's reminiscent of Robert Hood's Floorplan project, then we've got the classic rave business of "Paul & Shark" with its trippy acid style synths, Orbital style strings and hammering beats geared for some some retroactive/strobed out shenanigans on the dancefloor. WM002 is pressed to neon pink vinyl with a bespoke hand-stamp design of the infamous Doncaster Warehouse.
Review: Sometime Mista Men member Mella Dee has a reputation for delivering bustling house cuts that look to UK garage and big room friendly bass music for inspiration. This first W&O Street Tracks outing follows successful appearances on Lobster Boy, Shabby Doll and Scucci Manucci. His trademark heavy sub-bass is present and correct on shimmering, piano-laden opener "Massimo", which clearly looks towards vintage Italo-house for inspiration. That influence feels even stronger on the breakbeat driven, saucer-eyed giddiness of Horns Cru's peak-time remix. Also worth checking is "Head Rush", which sees Mella Dee dive headlong into the world of rave-era revivalism via a cheeky combination of hardcore synth stabs, bustling breaks and reggae vocal samples.
Review: It's been a while since we've been graced with the presence of some bass science from Mella Dee, his last appearance coming from Scucci Manucci's household, and we were heavily impressed with those particular excursions. "Here" sets the scene nicely with its subtle, distant pseudo breaks in the intro, beats that become unleashed after the first drop, and gel into a heavy bass groove. The title track "Trellick" is like a rework of an old-school jungle tune - more bass and more high-tec, of course - whereas "Keep On" has grime running through its system, and although the jungle breaks are still very much alive, the texture and sequence of the low-ends tells another story. Recommended!
Review: In addition to his work as one half of Mista Men, London via Doncaster producer Ryan Aitchison has been making solo moves under his Mella Dee guise these past few years with appearances in all the right places (think Wolf Music, Shabby Doll and Sccucci Manucci). In fact Mella Dee's featured on two of the latter label's releases so it's little surprise to find the producer popping up on the affiliated Manucci's Mistress operation. The Feel It Out EP sits snugly between house, techno and bass music with the lead cut featuring a rather vicious sub bass line and some superb vocal edits, whilst "Raptor" opts for a moodier UKG meets snapping techno flex. Do check the smudged out bass refix from Will Berridge too.
Review: Ben Sims' label celebrates twenty years in business with this split release from Mella Dee and the Subradeon duo. Dee kick-starts the release with the chord-heavy groove of "01302". The "999" mix of the track sees the Warehouse boss drop a frazzled chord build and a rolling, steely rhythm, punctuated by one-note piano drops. The 'OG mix' is deeper and more stripped back, with Dee focusing on the hypnotic chords, looped and underpinned by a solid rhythm. Things take a somewhat darker turn on Subradeon's "A New Sun Is Rising", where brooding organ riffs and ominous vocals are combined over a looped groove, while "The Light" is a leaner iteration of this sound.
Review: The 7th Sccucci Manucci EP kicks off in moustache curling style with a Scandinavian slice of four/four action from Tarjei Nygard. On loan from his own Untz Untz Records, Tarjei Nygard weaves his way way through beautifully recorded synth bleeps and bass lines on "TOGO," culminating in a piano breakdown which will have any party reaching for the lasers. The Scandinavian vibe continues as Dane Brian Logstrup comes correct with the classic slab of deep house sound that is "I Can Do" whilst we return to the UK and the sounds of London producer Mella Dee whose UK Garage and Bass influences shine through on the peak time monster "Love Is". Last seen debuting on Buzzin' Fly, Alex Blaxx rounds off proceedings with the wonderfully insouciant house of "It's A Race Thing".
Review: If a week is a long time in politics, then a decade is the equivalent of a lifetime in dance music terms. It's for this reason that so many labels are keen to mark their tenth birthday with a special release, just as Wolf Music - one of the UK's most reliable deep house imprints of recent times - has done here. Instead of opting for all new material, the imprint has decided to gather together some of their favourite "Wolf slammers" - cuts that have always done the business on the dancefloor. There's naturally plenty to set the pulse racing throughout, from the loopy R&B/disco/deep house fusion of Fantastic Man's "Look This Way" and the fabulously analogue Chicago retro-futurism of KRL's "Nothing You Can Teach Me", to the sample-heavy, riff-happy bounce of Red Rack'em's "Do Or Die" and the bass-heavy stomp of K98's warehouse-ready revision of Thrilogy's "Heaven".
Review: Project Allout are back with their second release of the weekend as they unveil yet another powerful compilation project in 'Krampus Volume 1'. This project plays home to a number of PAR regulars, including Mr Dubz, J69 and DSL, as well as introducing some newer faces such as Ethan Ryan and Ste W. For us the highlights of the project have to include the wobbling broken garage themes of Mella Dee's 'Tighten Up', along with the super grimey textures and enigmatic strings of 'Mardy' from Mister Marf.
Review: 10 years of US/UK grime feedback: Slit Jockey celebrate a decade of dirt with this extensive collection of classics, currents and previously unheard cuts. There might be 10 years between some of the tracks but you'd never tell; such is the solid signature and high quality control of the label. Every track is a highlight but cuts like Lenkemz savage club shredder "Can't See U", Blak Twang & Conrank's midnight murker "Go Getter" and Mr Mitch's eerie moon-bouncing trapisms are essential staples for any grime and bass connoisseur's collection. Here's to another 10 years.