Review: The tenth release on the consistently impressive TIEF imprint comes from Mr Beatnick, a producer who made his name via a series of sublime releases on Don't Be Afraid a few years back. Happily, the two original cuts here sound like vintage Beatnick productions. Opener "Church Street Blues" offers his usual fusion of swinging, MPC-programmed deep house beats, warm chords and inspired musical flourishes, while the brilliant "Dawn Vapours" layers fluttering, sunrise synth melodies on top of an organic-sounding broken house groove. Mister Saturday Night regular Nebraska delivers a fine interpretation of "Church Street Blues", wrapping Beatnick's fine chord progressions around a rubbery, loved-up deep house groove.
Review: Given the quality of his Synthetes trilogy on Don't Be Afraid the lack of new material from Nick "Mr Beatnick" Wilson in 2014 has been incredibly frustrating. This return, then, is more than welcome. This time he's up on London label TIEF with a typically attractive, soul-flecked four-tracker. Opener "Marshmallows" pits gooey chords and typically loose deep house percussion against picturesque melodies and a subtle acid line. "Ice Cream Strut" is similarly gorgeous, though the beats have a broken feel and the snares doff a cap to his hip-hop past (for the confirmed househeads, there's a solid Francis Inferno Orchestra remix included). Finally, "Oxytonin" is a bubbling foray into melodious, Detroit-influenced deep house soaked through with autumnal sunshine.
Review: The increasingly impressive Don't Be Afraid label drops perhaps their best EP to date - no mean feat given the recent Photonz killer - with London button caresser Mr Beatnick at the helm. The Sun Goddess EP is Beatnick's second outing for the DBA imprint, impressing further on our ears his undeniable talent for crafting housier tackle than the smudged out boogie he came to the fore with for labels like Burntprogress and Altered Vibes. It would take an uneducated ear to not bask in the glory of the title track, which positively reeks of glowering warmth and rhythmic intricacy that's reminiscent of Theo P in his more laidback moments. This approach to programming of subtly introducing track mutations - either melodically or rhythmically - seeps through the rest of the EP ensuring each track reveals all new moments of delight with each listen.
Review: While it might be tricky in these open-minded times for Scuba to shatter preconceptions the way that he did with his Sub:Stance mix a few years ago, this compilation should be seen really as a celebration of the man himself as a DJ. After launching with a decidedly minimalist approach, the mix meanders between pacey techno, bluesy broken beat and rolling dubstep tempos. At times the flow feels unsteady, but then it just rings true that he put this mix together for himself. Without a dancefloor to look after, who knows where many of our favourite DJs might take us?