Review: There's much to admire on this second remix EP from rising label Black Key, not least Moodtrap's delightfully rubbery, synth-laden deep house tweak of Giovanni Damico's "Love Me". It's fluid and tactile - all warm chords and bluesy vocal samples - but with enough rhythmic pulse to keep a dancefloor interested throughout. The rest of the EP features reworks of Milton Jackson's "5 Cities". The reliable Andy Ash delivers the best version, layering deep garage chords and liquid melodies on top of booming drums and a sub-bothering bassline. Tom Sevinski's super-deep tweak is also worth a listen.
Milton Jackson - "Requisite Vocal Science" - (5:05) 120 BPM
Zoo Look - "I Can't Deny" - (6:49) 122 BPM
Review: Tsuba's occasional Night Trax series continues, this time delivering cuts from label regular Milton Jackson and newcomers Zoo Look (previously seen on Join The Dots and Morris Audio). Glaswegian veteran Jackson goes deep and fluid on "Requisite Vocal Science", layering simple but pretty melodies over woozy chords, shuffling beats and tech-house touches. Zoo Look's "I Can't Deny" is an altogether breezier affair, with a dancing bassline and skipping, garage-influenced beats underpinning hazy chord progressions, distant vocal samples and watery electronics. It's the kind of track that will slip into lots of different sets, from deep house and UK bass, to tech-house and late night sleaze.
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: Kevin Griffiths is a wag. Having previously decided to press up just 100 copies of his latest Tsuba Limited compilation, he then had the masterstroke of calling it One Per Customer. Now it's available digitally the joke is slightly less amusing, but it's still a bit of a belter. Made up of previously vinyl-only jams (Italo Johnson's rather fine remix of Spencer Parker's "Show Him You're The One" being the most obvious example) and a smattering of new cuts (including a bassy chunk of low-slung basement house from Milton Jackson and a near Balearic rush of eyes-shut goodness from Rio Padice) this compilation comes highly recommended.
Review: Consistently strong purveyors of quality house music, Freerange are back with another of their colour-based compilations. The Makam remix of Attica kicks things off in style, as breezy drums bolster a Rhodes riff that sounds uncannily like the intro of Roy Ayres "We Live In Brooklyn Baby".
Mr Morning's Slave takes things a little deeper, using some expansive Techy pads to build a huge sound around some minimal Afro-beat drums.
Freerange head honcho Jimpster contributes a mix of Milton Jackson's The Rhythm Track and the effect is similarly deep and devastating.
Pezzner also gets the remix treatment, this time from Justin Martin, who peppers his slow-building Brooklyn New York with cut-up vocals and subtle, whisper quiet sirens.
There's so much quality on show here, it's hard to pick a favourite from the 12 tracks. Two standouts though are Nikola Gala's I Get U, which builds with a timeless female vocal loop, and then swaps it for percussion to set the groove off perfectly. And closing track I Wanna Love You by Elmar Schubert and Vincenzo also deserves checking out - a heart-stopping slow Balearic number with a cloying vocal and tons of warm synth tones. All in all, another quality comp from Freerange.
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: Man (or woman) of mystery Hyenah is the latest DJ to contribute to the digital only Focus on Freerange compilation series. Like previous volumes, this features a selection of unmixed personal favourites from the Freerange Records catalogue, plus a continuous DJ mix. While the mix is entertaining, it's the quality of the unmixed cuts that make this an essential purchase. There's a smattering of deliciously soulful, bleary-eyed deep house treats (Andreas Saag, Swell Session vs Mark De Clive-Lowe), a swathe of chugging, late night tech-house treats (Dixon remixing Jimpster, Manoo remixing compiler Hyenah), and one of the most overlooked reworks of recent times (Genius of Time's fantastic rub of Kyodai's "Mi Rumba").