Ames Henry & Paul Kav - "Business In Hasenheide" - (6:00) 131 BPM
Ames Henry - "Tribute" - (6:22) 123 BPM
Fanu - "Dubia" - (6:50) 124 BPM
Octo Octa - "For My Girls" - (3:27) 85 BPM
Review: After a hiatus of two years, Kellam Matthews has decided to reignite his Frendzone label via a multi-artist EP packed to the rafters with retro-futurist dancefloor treats. Ames Henry and Paul Kav get things going in stellar fashion with "Business in Hasenhide", an urgent fusion of two-step drums, thrusting acid bass and jumpy synth stabs, before Ames goes solo via the breezy bounce of "Tribute". Fania successfully roughs things up via the mutant sub-bass, dystopian noises and distorted breakbeats of "Dubia", while Octo Octa offers up a wonderfully spooky and hectic jungle roller that's guaranteed to set pulses racing out on the dancefloor.
Review: Deep house from the atmospheric and abstract side is the order of the day on this three-tracker from fast-rising Octo Octa. 'I Need You' alternates extended beatless passages with a fast n' furious (but quite light-touch) breakbeat, augmented both with wordless vox, a melancholy "I need you", shimmering synths and the occasional woodwind toot. 'Bodies Meld Together' is a driftaway, late-night affair made for weary 6am floors, and is again lavishly layered with synth washes and twitchy sounds, while 'Loops For Healing' is a more traditional, Balearic kinda groove with cut-up female vocal snips and piano chords so lush you could bathe in 'em.
Review: Maya Bouldry-Morrison's first joined the Honey Soundsystem crew earlier this year via fine full-length Where Are We Going? Here, one of the standout cuts from that set is given a deserved single release. The producer's original version, a rolling, deep space chunk of hypnotic deep house laden with echoing analogue synth lines and drowsy, intergalactic electronics, naturally kicks things off before Dorisburg and Avalon Emerson deliver their own interpretations. The former opts for a darker, early-morning-in-Berlin style take - think bold analogue bass, intricately programmed beats and foreboding aural textures - while the latter gives the cut a more "live" feel via layered new drum hits and oodles of outboard hardware effects.
Review: Recently found laying down exquisite jams for HNYTRX, Skylax and others, Octo Octa is continuing her productive run of 2017 with this refined slice of business for Love Notes. "Eyes Low" is a stirring melting pot of styles, using a bumping house groove as a basis for adventurous string stabs, rolling percussion and lots more that comes on with a Herbert-esque touch of finesse. "Touch Formation" takes a more intimate approach, using warm acidic bass and lingering chords to set up a vintage slice of Heard inspired house music. "I Feel" maintains the introspective flavour with more poignant keys and an understated beat, making this a well-rounded EP for the summer months.
Review: Having spent the last few years delivering pleasingly melodious, far-sighted singles on Argot, Skylax, Deepblak and Running Back, Maya Bouldry-Morrison has joined the Honey Soundsystem family. Where Are We Going Is the Brooklyn-based artist's first album since 2013, when she was regarded as one of 100% Silk's most talented producers. As full-length adventures go, it's undeniably enjoyable, with Bouldry-Morrison delivering warm, retro-futurist cuts that cannily combine elements of vintage Chicago deep house and Italian dream house tropes with the breakbeat-driven shuffle of rave-era British dance records and occasional Motor City style flourishes. While there's naturally plenty of club-ready material throughout, it's also the sort of album that you can comfortably listen to in the comfort of your own home.
Review: Aybee's Deepblak imprint in Berlin via Oakland is sure fire when it comes to the proper deep stuff. Brooklyn's Octo Octa steps up this time and delivers the goods in fine fashion. "Body Drift" is a powerfully melancholic and soulful house affair that can create one of those rare divine moments of truth on the dancefloor. The sound is equally as heartfelt but more uplifting on next track "Further Out" with its soaring and immersive analogue strings supporting gentle piano notes and a seriously bumpy bassline; it could almost be mistaken for a DJ Sprinkles track. It doesn't let up on this EP; you've also got a smooth deep house number in the form of "Keep" with its sultry vocals above a suitably sparse arrangement; this one is thumpin'! Finally, the artist known as Maya Bouldry-Morrison provides us with a sombre after hours cut, aptly titled "House Of Snakes". Tip!
Review: 100 Silk continue their unstoppable run of fine hazy house jams in brilliant style with this EP from Brooklyn based producer Octo Octa, who works through a number of styles to fantastic effect. "Let Me See You" is an interesting mix of slo-mo piano driven house, booty rhythms and vocals and arpeggiated Italo pop, while "High Reflection" takes the direction into more expansive territory with its breathy synths and billowing vocals building up to a beautiful crescendo of saw waves and icy melody. "Coldwaves" is a similarly roomy production, focusing on deep bass and glacial organ tones which give the track a frosty appeal. The undisputed highlight however is "I'm Trying", which takes a sample from an already well reworked Amerie track and filters it through some New Jersey house production with deftly handled classic synth stabs with an undeniably jacking quality.
Review: Some two years after Kellam Matthews launched his rave-era inspired Frendzone label with a limited vinyl release, the imprint's first EP - a split affair featuring cuts from Octo Octa and Ames Henry - has finally been made available as a digital download. That's something of a bonus for digital DJs, because all four tracks are superb. Octo Octa offers up the poignant pianos, spacey electronics and hip-house breakbeats of "Move On (Frendzone Remix)", as well as the pitched-down jungle breaks, ethereal vocal samples and enveloping chords of "Daylight". Ames Henry takes a slightly different approach with his two contributions, first dishing up the ultra-deep late night house stomp of "Trust Me On This" before reaching for crispy two-step drums, rumbling bass and dubbed-out electronics on EP highlight "Working In Noir".
Review: Munich's Permanent Vacation have always danced to the beat of their own Linndrum; consistently delivering killer off-kilter house music fused with Italo disco, electro, funk and occasional new beat. The "If This Is House..." series captures this unique sound perfectly and for Vol 3 they have asked "friends, Permanent Vacation regulars, and other good-looking producers famous for dancing around the edges of house" for an exclusive cut. The results are impressive, highlights including Drifter's crystalline synth house ("We See Us"), Willie Burns' muted electro ("Lost In The Clouds") and the depressed acid of "Tape 4 Fears".