Review: Predictably, the latest volume in Heist's Roundup series, in which label artists remix each other's tracks, is another must-heave collection of club cuts. Check, for example, Fouk's tasty interpretation of Nachtbraker's "Hamdi" - a glorious fusion of rubbery disco, sparkling electrofunk and percussion-laden deep house - the Afro-fired Alma Negra deep house remix of Nebraska's "Big Plate Chicken" and the toasty peak-time warmth of the latter's fine revision of Fouk's "With Lasers". Elsewhere, label bosses Detroit Swindle deliver a lusciously loved-up and melodious, peak-time take on Parker Madicine's "Heartbreaker" and Nachtbraker turns the Swindlers' "Can't Hold It" into a dub-fired chunk of hot-stepping deep house goodness.
Review: Although he delivered two editions of his ongoing, vinyl only "Disco Dubs" re-edit series on Friends & Relations, 2019 was a relatively quiet year for Alistair Gibbs AKA Nebraska. Here he begins 2020 in fine style with his first EP for Heist Recordings in almost three years. Title track "Y'Miss Me Baby" delivers a suitably strong start and see Gibbbs wrap twinkling lead lines, rich electric piano chords, talkbox vocals and P-funk synths around a hazy jazz-funk bassline and unfussy dancefloor drums. Giovanni Damico riffs on the jazz-funk and P-funk influences further on his instrumental boogie style "Jam remix". Elsewhere, "Dip & Flip" is an all-action, filter-heavy disco-house loop jam, while "Xiao Long Bao" is a warm, deep, humid and undeniably jazzy sample-house roller tailor made for sunny afternoons.
Review: First out as a 12-inch only release in 2017, this three-tracker from Nebraska, AKA UK producer Alistair Gibbs, packs funked-up fun by the trunkload. 'Drill Deep' has a looping "deep within it" male vocal sample, brass fanfares, a full-phat bassline and soaring Philly strings. 'Instant Pressure' is a hazy, lazy affair that centres around a muffled, throbbing bassline and chunks of the vocal from Jhelisa Anderson's 'Friendly Pressure' (albeit without the "bada-bada-ba" bit), and finally 'Keep On Keepin' On' is a sumptuous midtempo disco-funker that could've beamed straight in from 1975, complete with full female vocal about suffering in the ghetto.
Review: Alistair Gibbs takes time out from churning out dancefloor gold on his Friends & Relations imprint to make a welcome return to Heist Recordings. Predictably, he's in fine fettle throughout. Opener "Affirmation" is an almost overwhelmingly positive chunk of loose and baggy disco house that's similar in feel - if not sound - to Tom Trago classic "Use Me Again". "Agilo E Olio", on the other hand, is a much more driving and low-slung affair, with key wickedly rubbery bass, cowbell-heavy percussion and fuzzy Clavinet lines providing heaps of dancefloor energy. Laurence Guy gives that track a warm, woozy and dreamy deep house makeover, before Nebraska rounds things off via the jaunty dub-house-meets-Maurice Fulton brilliance of EP standout "Big Plate Chicken".
Review: Nebraska has been a busy boy of late, delivering killer material on both Mister Saturday Night and Delusions of Grandeur. Here he dons his favourite balaclava and joins Detroit Swindle's Heist. He begins with the groovy, loose and low-slung disco-house bump of "Khan's Bargain", which is also brilliantly remixed by obscure boogie specialist Tom Noble. The tempo increases dramatically on the wide-eyed deep house sprint of "The Blues", before Nebraska enhances his Balearic house credentials thanks to the blissful synthesizer arpeggio lines and swirling chords of "It Won't Be Long". The spacey, string-drenched shuffle of "Varkala" draws a fine EP to a close.
Review: Ali "Nebraska" Gibbs last outing on Mister Saturday Night, 2015's Stand Your Ground, saw the producer treating listeners to a quartet of tracks that touched on a multitude of house styles. This follow-up has a similar feel. He begins with the loose-but-bold drums, electric piano solos, disco strings and occasional punchy horns of "Done My Best", before dropping down into slower, deeper, dub-tinged territory via the toasty electric bass, stretched-out chords, mid-tempo grooves and pitched-down horns of "Look What You've Done To Me". He rounds off another fine outing with "S.O.S Dub", a crackling, unfeasibly atmospheric journey through dub house grooves, fluttering chords and creepy electronics.
Review: Having started the year with a mix CD and two samplers celebrating their roots as an acclaimed New York party, Mister Saturday Night returns to the business of building up the label's already impressive catalogue. This time, former Rush Hour associate Nebraska is at the controls. Stand Your Ground is unwaveringly positive throughout, delivering a range of cheery, dancefloor-focused cuts. There's some deliciously summery deep house in the shape of "Little Chan" (check out the superb pianos and acid tweaks), while "The Stoop" is a low-slung chugger built around killer jazz samples. The slower "Stand Your Ground" is nothing less than a slow-motion rush - all positive electronics and twittering melodies - while closer "Emotional Rescue" is a horn-toting romp through peaktime disco house.
Review: The recent reappearance of "Green Marimbas" on a Mister Saturday Night release had us remembering with fondness how great a producer Ali 'Nebraska' Gibbs is - especially that Rush Hour LP Displacement. It's been a while since we last saw some new Nebraska in the trollies at Juno so kudos to Delusions of Grandeur for coaxing some new cuts out of Gibbs for this fine Rye Lane Rhythms slice of nice. From the moment "Aw-rite (Mute version)" slips into action it's like Nebraska has never been away, that attention to percussive and rhythmic detail still dead eyed and the musicality tight as ever. "Warp & Weft" veers off into fuzzy, minimalist beatdown territory that will appeal to fans of obscure Sound Signature tracks whilst "Eighty Eights" is the sort of loop heavy house cut that you can tease dancefloors with.
Review: The Rush Hour backed campaign to secure wider acclaim for the music of Nebraska aka producer Ali Gibbs gathers apace with this digital edition of a long overdue second album. Anyone who has indulged in one or more of the four Nebraska EPs to surface via the Amsterdam based label will have an idea of what to expect here - a canny melding of classic disco elements and dusted house rhythms. From the opening urgency of "Allahabad" expectations are matched and surpassed, with a dizzying liquefied sound modulating in kaleidoscopic fashion around intricately poised percussion and upwardly rippling bass. Focus hard on the track's progression and you are hooked. The subsequent new productions all captivate in a similar fashion and mark Gibbs out as one of house music's most unappreciated purveyors.
Review: US producer Nebraska proves yet again why he's one of the world's greatest house producers. "Green Marimba" could come as a surprise to his fans as it focuses on a more stripped back, tribal rhythm than usual, but in the main this a deep house fan's wet dream. Both "88-89" and "Hi Ya" manage to capture the balance between the traditional soulfulness and machine-driven warmth that original Chicago producers like Larry Heard excelled at. Meanwhile "Tell Me Symmetrical" oozes tripped out acid excess but is underscored by the kind of atmospheric textures that Nebraska is best known for - and rounds off this essential release in style.
Review: To celebrate hitting half a century of releases, Delusions of Grandeur has decided to release a couple of split EPs, featuring contributions from label regulars and invited guests. This first part starts in strong fashion, with recent signing Nebraska delivering a loose, evocative chunk of saucer-eyed, late night deep house full of fuzzy analogue bass, sparse drum machine rhythms and spine-tingling synthesizer arpeggios. Ugly Drums supply some jazzier deep house fare in the shape of "Like Its OK", before Session Victim finish things off in fine style with "Came To Be Alive". While slightly chunkier and denser than its' predecessors, the track bristles with sun-kissed warmth thanks to lazy electric pianos, killer vocal samples and subtle, beachside sound effects.
Review: Heist Recordings brings down the curtain on another successful year with their now traditional Roundup release, an expansive EP featuring "family remixes" of material released over the previous 12 months. As usual, there's much to enjoy, from the cheery, disco-tinged goodtime bump of Detroit Swindle's rework of Obas Nenoor's "Wakee", to Frits Wentink's jazzy, lo-fi, swinging deep house remake of Detroit Swindle's "Future Imperfect". Other highlights include a skuzzy, acid-fired interpretation of Nebraska's "It Won't Be Long" by Nachtbraker, and Nebraska's sunny, jammed-out fix-up of Frits Wentink's "Rising Sun, Falling Coconut". Best of all, though, is Ouer's remix of Nachtbraker's "Pollo Con Pollo", which boasts twinkling electric piano solos riding a thrusting analogue bassline and breezy disco guitars.