Review: 14 years have passed since Benji B and Judah established their monthly Deviation parties in London. This fine compilation celebrates the club's legacy and sound, which famously touched on all manner of soul-fired musical styles whilst keeping one eye (and both feet) on the dancefloor, with Benj B selecting cuts that never failed to rock the party. Expect a mixture of skewed, bass-heavy beats (Dorian Concept, James Blake, 00Genesis), heady instrumental hip-hop (Waajeed, Damn Funk remixing Baron Zen), Afro-funk (K Fimpong), peak-time UK bass mutations (Pearson Sound, Martyn, Mala), high-grade deep house (Gilb'r remixing Rick Wilhite, Theo Parrish) and a smattering of genuine scene anthems (Detroit Experiment, Maurice Fulton's remix of Alice Smith, DJ SPen presents DJ Technic).
Review: Over the course of the last decade, Swiss stalwart Deetron has been responsible for a string of impressive remixes. Happily, these - and many others you may have missed - have now been collected together on the decidedly epic Re-Creation: Remixes Compiled. As you'd expect, the 25-track set flits between full-throttle, peak-time friendly techno futurism, bustling deep house goodness and more downbeat explorations that defy his reputation as a maker of killer club cuts. Highlights include the loved-up synth breakdowns and jacking, Chicago-style groove of his Juan MacLean remix, a wonderfully retro-futurist take on George Fitzgerald's "Every Inch", a thrusting, stab-happy revision of Quarion and a lusciously jazzy take on Todd Terje's "Alfonso Muskedender". That said, on another day we could have listed another five or six highlights: it really is that good.
Review: Deepest soul, spiritual house and new age music coming at you again from the genre's very own shaman, Osunlade. Released on Yoruba Soul once more, the label Osunlade established in '99, it presents a second album in 2020 already for the artist following Basic Sketches For Beginners earlier this year. Very much a folk and spiritual affair, strings, voice and percussion come together in acoustic glory on Iamone, with deeper piano and guitar fusions to be found in "Ruda", to the trippy gypsy and reverse piano effects in "Spanish Lake". With slight touches of ambient pop, Kompakt-style, to be heard in "Geometric Shapes", there's also touches of the '90s and Enya to be found in "Underneath The Willow" amid earthly percussion and harpsichords. A new commune for all.
Review: Although famed for making spiritual, soulful, musically rich deep house rich in African style polyrhythms, Osunlade has always been capable of making similarly minded music that cares not one jot for the demands of the dancefloor. It's this side of his output that comes to the fore on "The Quieter You Become, The More You Hear", the U.S producer's first full-length in four years. While there are one or two more up-tempo, floor-friendly moments - not least the jaunty, life-affirming bounce of Flamenco guitar-laden workout "Syrundipetty" - the vast majority of the LP operates at a more sedate pace, with Osunlade successfully turning his hand to sweet modern soul, dusty downtempo grooves, sticky tropical soundscapes and sumptuous, World Music-inspired jazz-funk.
Review: House music's premier spiritualist pops up on Innervisions, as label stalwarts Ame and Dixon have a crack at reworking "Envision" from his recent Yoruba LP Pyrography. The Ame Remix in particular is a bit of a doozy, turning the shuffling original into a quietly anthemic epic - all darting synth melodies, warm chords, sparse percussion and delicious riffs wrapped around Osunlade's original vocal. Ame also provide a more stripped down, soft focus Acoustic Remix, while bossman Dixon stays fairly faithful to the original on his ear-pleasing rework. All three versions have that mix of accessible and underground, soulful and electronic that should prove popular on dancefloors this summer.