Review: Foto comes through once more with 3 tracks from label boss OOFT! Dub 4 Daze gets the delay units set to long to create a trippy house number, whilst on the flip Enter The Dragon is a more direct jam targeted at the floor with plenty of stabs and hihats. Rounding things off Father Father pitches things down for the erection section.
Review: Any chef will tell you that tasty dishes can be made from offal, so it's little surprise to find that the quartet of "Off Cuts" served up on this Ooft! EP tend towards the delicious. Check, for example, the loved-up, riff-heavy house bliss of "High Hopes", where a marrow-rich chord sauce is lightly drizzled over a sparse and unfussy machine groove, or the retro-futurist sweetbread that is low-slung late night throb-job "Inner Space". Arguably even better is the sugary-sweet slo-mo bliss of tropical dream house shuffler "Choogles", while standout opener "Erotic Ashtray" layers saucer-eyed spoken word samples over an intensely blissful and dreamy deep house groove. It sounds like a long-lost Dream II Science track, which is no bad thing in our book.
Review: Ali "Ooft" Herron usually operates out of his own FOTO Recordings label, so it's a pleasant surprise to see the Scottish producer pop up on Hot Digits. Naturally, there's no dip in quality, with Herron expertly exploring slo-mo deep house/ disco fusion (bubbly opener "Remote Lover" and the swirling Barry White style purr of "One Thing", before pushing up the tempo in pursuit of peak-time glory. In this category you'll find the layered hand percussion and spacey bass of glassy-eyed '80s soul rework "Keep Running" and the snappy, riff-heavy bounce of turn-of-the-'90s NY house workout "Indy Thinking". The latter is also given a bonus going over by label chief Fingerman, who adds swirling effects and trippy synths to make it sound like an alternate take on Lil' Louis's "French Kiss".
Review: Ooft! has been plenty busy over the years, both as an artist and label manager, and so it seems crazy that it's taken up until now for him to release his debut album. Whatever the case, the wait for Intricacies Of Modern Life has been well worth it, as the FOTO Recordings main man lets his imagination run wild in all the most fruitful corners of the deep house spectrum. There are bombastic moments like "Proteus Maximus", low slung Balearic chuggery a la "DSRV", peppy Motor City-flavoured beatdowns like "Keep On Pushin" and plenty more besides. Favouring the heady, warm up mood over anything too peak time, this is a record to be savoured like a fine wine.
Review: Glasgow's OOFT! are definitely on to a winner in their disco-reviving love of sample-tastic house music, not least with EPs released for the excellent Instruments of Rapture and Wolf Music stables. They're back on the case with this sleek two-tracker for their own FOTO Recordings, and it's a game of two distinct halves. "Memories" serves as a functional tech-house number, but the real treat is in the filtered, looped vocal hooks and drawn out build-ups on "Billy" - the chord change is a timely move to lift the track out of the fog, creating a genuine slice of easy-grooving euphoria along the way.
Review: There's plenty to set the pulse racing on Ali "Ooft" Herron's first outing on Leeds label Clandestino. The headline attraction is arguably opener "Reclaim Landscape", a gorgeous, sun-bright chunk of revivalist sunrise house brilliance rich in positive chords, undulating acid lines, whispered vocals and bustling, late '80s house beats. Label bosses Clandestino deliver two tidy reworks: a straight-up breakbeat driven "Remix" that tips a wink to 808 State classic "Pacific", and a near nine-minute "Beach Version" that dips the tempo, layers up the sci-fi synths and impatiently waits for sunrise. Elsewhere, "Obligatory Consumption" is a chunk of synth-driven jacking house/deep nu-disco fusion, "El Chinco Magnifico" is a head-nodding slow-house treat, and "21 Processes" is a sparkling slab of intergalactic house bliss.
Review: One year in and the 'House of Disco' label continues to move from strength to strength. The label, spawned from a blog to which is shares it's name, has risen majestically to the top of an ever increasing pile of disco imprints. There is no real mystery surrounding its success, only the best productions and edits find their way onto the labels releases, carefully hand picked with due care and attention. The digital age has made owning a label no longer the pastime of millionaire playboys with a penchant for cylindrical percussive instruments, any Tom, Dick & Harry can claim to own a label these days, and often all three do... it would be churlish to suggest there are no decent digital only imprints out there, a couple of labels spring to mind, however, the discerning jock understands that any label willing to take the time, effort and risk of pressing up some vinyl must really believe in what they are doing and have a deep understanding of the scene's DJs and fans. This, the fourth release on the label entitled 'Busy Tone EP' is a great example of the complimentary A&R which is a mainstay of the label. First up we have a slo-mo looper from Scottish producer (Ali) OOFT! The track respectfully uses a synth and vocal sample from disco group 'Maze', slowly building into a real crowd pleaser. Next up we have German duo Daniel Solar & Andi De Luxe, taking time out from running their own label (Dikso) to drop the string led dance floor bomb 'Seventh'. 'Debonair' makes his second outing on the 'House of Disco' this time turning in an impeccable rework of the Garage classic 'Just How Sweet is Your Love'. And last up we have loop master 'Late Nite Tuff Guy' who brings the EP to a chugging finale, amazing strings and a hypnotic beat make this one of the highlights of the EP. Collectively; this is a great package, individually; all the tracks are must haves.
Review: Daniel Solar's Dikso imprint hits the spot on their fourth Super Sound release, with some multi national discoid business that reaches from Germany to NYC via Glasgow. It's the latter that reps first with FOTO boss Ooft dropping the constantly building elastic analogue mid tempo tribalist bump of "Hit For Six", which sets the tone nice and deep. Burrowing further is "Make You Mine" from Autodeep and RoMorri which kind of sounds what you' expect the unholy union of Prince, R Kelly and flexing 303 minimalist bump to sound like. Solar meanwhile drops the insistent slick loopy disco house of "Baby's Tears" which aptly demonstrates the producer's talent for slicing up arrangements. Proceedings slow down for the closing gambit from New York producer Soho808 with the sultry twilight disco chug of "Get Up Disco" a gentle cacophony of late night strings, liquid melodies and heart melting vocal harmonies.
Review: Notching up a decade of releases requires something suitably celebratory. That's exactly what Germany's admired Quintessentials has served up on this tenth birthday compilation. It comes packed with previously unheard cuts of the highest quality, from the sun-bright swing of Borrowed Identity's UK garage-meets-deep house opener "For You", to the atmospheric, synth-heavy chug of Ooft's "Freak-E-Groove", the smoky late night jazz-house of Loz Goddard's "Leaves", and the foreboding, jazz-funk-biting sample-house dustiness of S3A's "Searching". Also worth checking are the drowst chords and bumpin' beats of KRL's "Baltimore" and the low-slung, gospel-influenced deep house pump of 4004's "Continuous Dialogue".
Review: The first "Masterworks Legends" compilation saw label boss Danny Worrall giving digital debuts to a whole host of previously vinyl-only cuts. We're not sure whether he's taken the same approach this time round, but the quality of the material remains pleasingly high. Beginning with Dr Packer's hot-to-trot revision of Kiu D's Blaxploitation disco workout "Dynamite", Worrall offers up a swathe of hypnotic, disco-tinged house head-nodders (Ooft's "I Am Love" being a glassy-eyed standout), tasty '80s electrofunk revisions (Woodhead, The Silver Rider, Coutel, his own '80s Child project), thumping disco club cuts (Natasha Kitty Kat, Kiu D, James Rod, Ponchartrain) and sparkling nu-disco box jams (Gradient Logic). If you're looking for more tried-and-tested treats to pep up your sets, you should add this to your cart right now.
Review: You're only five years old once, so why not celebrate in style? And here Warrington lad Danny Worrall's disco and re-edits label Masterworks Music do just that, with an anniversary collection packing a whopping 50 back catalogue nuggets. You'll excuse us the full track-by-track, then, but suffice to say that this is the label that helped launch the careers of Dr Packer and Natasha Kitty Katt, both of whom feature here, and with names like Ziggy Phunk, Rayko, Alkalino, Chuggin' Edits and Fabiolous Barker also on bill, you should already have a pretty good idea what to expect. Classy stuff all round, and a great VFM package - here's to five more years!