Review: Kevin Griffiths' Tsuba imprint came back with a bang in 2012, as this digital-only round up of label highlights proves. There are plenty of hot producers present - Sascha Dive, Huxley, Moodtrap, Mike Newman etc - as well as remixes by the likes of Gerd and Matthew Styles. Musically, it takes a broad approach to house and tech-house, flitting between groovesome late night moods (Hector's "Hide", Dive's formidably murky "Deja vu"), jaunty deepness (Moodtrap's excellent "Out of Time") and balls-out roughness (the jackin' sweatiness of Tazz and Bacanito's "Workin It"). Throw in a few pleasing surprises (6th Borough Project's heady rework of "Workin It") and you've got yourself a formidable collection.
Review: Amazingly, it's been eight long years since the release of Freerange's first Colour Series compilation ("Yellow"). A few things have changed in that time for Jimpster's label, but his commitment to musically rich deep house remains. That's much in evidence here, particularly on the contributions from Andre Lodemann, fast-rising starlet Mic Newman and Jimpster himself (whose woozy "Late Night Blues" is his best for some time). There's also a distinct old skool feel to some of the cuts, with Alexkid's percussive "Class of 95" and Milton Jackson's robust "DS1" offering plenty of vintage US house flavour. The real standout, though, is Arithmetic's' "Time", which sounds like a long lost deep house anthem.
Review: The title track on Mic Newman's latest release has a truly contemporary flavour, as tribal beats underpin a humming, acidic bass and muffled vocals are put through a filter. The end result is a a trippy excursion, but when Newman turns his attention to the past, he really impresses. "Recorded In The Garage" uses more organic sounding drums, but it's the soulful female vocal that gradually dominates the arrangement which makes it so memorable - and evocative of late 90s UK deep house. "Systems & A Diana" follows a similar trajectory, albeit with looser beats, but when the combination of fat bassline, woozy chords a vocal intoning 'think' kick in together, it sounds like a forgotten classic from Pagan's back catalogue.