Review: A collaborative LP from two of Soul Deep's most loved artists only means one thing - listeners are going to be looking for perfection. Luckily for these two debonair producers, there's enough talent and perfectionism to go around, as each track delivers something different for the discerning listener. From the sparkling liquid rollout of Down Under" to funky skankathon "Hey Girl"; the blissful, peaceful vibes of "Moonlight" or the impeccably assembled and arranged "Brussels To Athens" (the pair's hometowns) to the rusty, vintage darkness of "Self Confusion" this is an LP of different shades and colours. Not content with finding a formula and sticking with it, they've grown as individuals and made music they want to hear themselves.
Review: Athens crew Liquid Drops have been keeping it deep and soulful since 2012, across countless compilations and dedicated artist releases. Their intermittent Liquid Bangers series offers label artists the chance to flush a bit more dancefloor immediacy in their productions and this third edition brings contributions from DJ Clart and MSDOS. London-based DJ Clart has a wealth of experience to his name and it tells on the classy, jazz flecked roller "Disco Inferno" which has a delightful phased sax running through the deeper recesses. Complementing this, MSDOS channels a similar vibe on the rhythmically-intricate "Funk Incentive."
Review: With a mission statement to only release the finest quality funk, intelligent and neurofunk, Belgian label Influenza Media have only one thing on their minds: is it funky enough? This compilation EP is a snapshot into their world of rolling liquid and soulful vocals. First track "Transitions" by DJ Clart & mSdoS features the cut glass vocals of LaMeduza and is a stunningly lovely example of how soulful drum and bass is still relevant in 2013. "Don't Stop" by Brazillian liquid producer Simplification is a chilled journey through sunkissed sounds and a killer beat. "Lazy Days" by - you guessed it - another South American, has a cheeky swagger and plenty of character. Producer Pixel adds interest with sound fragments and pieces of samples, creating a scrapbook of sounds, while Mojo's "Summer Lovin'" adds beautiful glimmers of Piano to a satisfyingly full-sounding track featuring wistful vocals from Anastasia. Worth its weight in liquid gold.
Review: Longstanding Brazilian vibe merchant Duoscience delivers his first album in four years and it's every bit as golden, soulful and detailed as you'd hope it to be. Ranging from the Roy Ayers style vibe flavour and rich double bass of "Only The Truth" to the Potential Badboy style subby mid 90s roller "Liked It" via the dreamy jazz roll-out with Soul Deep's Scott Allen "I Found You", the disco string/horn salvo of "Symphony Of Angels", the cloud-chowing funk of "Lazy Lover", if you've followed his work since emerging in 2010 you'll already be aware of how good this is. If not, get to know now.
Review: Dynamic brings us a truly enchanting album in the shape of Modal Lounge. "Feel The Way You Do" gets things started with a flurry of rattling breaks, chirpy instrumentals and muffled song, before we move through the lush, lilting rhythms of the aptly named "Fade Away" to woozy, soulful laidback loveliness in cuts like "Manhattan Love Theme" and "Softly Spoken Night". "Nighttrain To Montmartre" continues the romantic theme, with gorgeous, breezy atmospherics. Elsewhere we have the sultry "Modal Lounge" and concluding cut "Old Brooklyn Thing". A great album to unwind to of a summer's evening.
Review: Expect sparkling melodies, shimmying synth work and plenty of lovely percussion from this three-track offering on the Celsius imprint. First up is Flame & Against - "Last Prayer" with its gently tripping drums, cooing SFX, sweeping atmospherics and curious, cut up vocal snippet. Progressing into a low slung roller with light percussion and spaced out sounds, it's a subtle one for the heads. Up next is Duoscience - "Sincere Friendship" with warm, undulating bass and throbbing subs, the shimmying instrumentals and clapping beats make for a lilting lullaby effect before MsDos - "Interlude" completes the EP with a sultry little number to round things off.
Dramatic - "Diamond In The Rough" - (6:48) 175 BPM
Malaky & MSdoS - "Long Distance" - (5:42) 174 BPM
Review: Whilst LA label Soul Deep Recordings may have come a long way, one thing has remained a constant; a dedication to the best in drum and bass regardless of style. On this latest single, Soul Deep regular Dramatic brings his signature style of life affirming melodies, liquid breaks and undeniably rude basslines hard with the superb roller "Diamond In The Rough" which features some great vocal phasing. Not to be outdone, the flip finds Malaky & Msdos laying down a brisk exercise in Goodlookin' style D&B funk.
Enea - "Metropolitan" (feat MC Fava) - (6:18) 174 BPM
Review: A two-track EP that promises us a good time - what more could you want? First up, Mottwa & MsDos step up with title track "Good Times" with MC Fava providing a soulful, spirited and vocal lyrical narrative. Expect gentle, tripping breaks, rolling b-line and gentle, shimmying SFX simmering away in the background. Then there's "Rebel At Heart" from MOW & Global, which is a lush, rolling cut with whirring bass and lilting atmospherics. One for the liquid funk fans.
Review: With an EP released every month since May, unGoogleable Greek producer MSDOS is firing on all soulful cylinders right now. Following a string of releases on Liquid Drops he returns to Soul Deep with four more heart/floor/soul-warmers: "Cosmic Flow" is the epitome of subtle jazzy rollers, all filtered and fluctuating. "Joint" is a big car-chase piece with classic ravey synth stabs used to dramatic effect. "Leicester" rolls with some excitingly unusual drums, piano shimmers and sporadic, Marky-style bass tones. "Fingertip" brings us to a jazzy climax with Latin touches on the sample and granular drum work created from the beaches of Rio itself.
Review: Greek roller merchant MSDOS returns to Soul Deep with two string-powered drama bombs: "Undercover" uses to two orchestral lines to devastatingly great effect as a staccato string line creates intense tension while "70s Entry" takes us on much more of a Lalo Schifrin car chase style of funk where the horns take much more of a central position and are flanked by soaking wet wah wahs guitars. Liquid with beef, both of these are guaranteed to hit the spot.
Review: MSDoS returns to Soul Deep for some fresh material to see in Great British Summertime 2015. Crisp and soulful, each tune is an instant classic and the type of quality we've all come to expect from this prolific producer. Especially stunning is "Straits", which takes vintage breaks and repurposes them into a deeper than deep roller that manages to be weighty and beautiful in equal measures. "Such A Thing" sees a Malaky and MSDoS pairing, bringing forward the sunshine vibes, leaving us wanting a bit more from these two. Future collabs imminent? Stay tuned.