Review: Bristol's Jamie Anderson has always been a bit of a musical chameleon. While he has rarely strayed far from house pastures, he's turned his hand to everything from classic tech-house and hypnotic deepness to rough acid and even fidget. Here, he's back on familiar ground with a four-track deep and tech-house excursion on Dessous, this time in collaboration with up-and-coming Cardiff producer Owain Kimber. As you'd expect from Anderson, there's plenty of eyes-wide-shut melodies and twittering Detroitian synths to savour (see "Airwalk" and "Limelight"), alongside some ultra-deep grooves for the afterhours heads. Of these, it's the low-end hustle of "Without Dub" that most impresses.
Review: Bristol tech-house veteran and Cardiff-based DJ/producer Owain K have been working together for some time, with 2012's "Do You Know" being one of the sleeper hits of last summer. Here, Dessous Recordings gives it the remix treatment. Barcelona's Soul Minority kicks things off with a version that gets just the right balance between weighty low-end shuffle, summery brightness and sparse deepness. The Inner Space mix is propelled forward by waves of smooth chords and bubbling electronics, while the Jazz Reprise mix drops layers of twinkling jazz keys over a classic '90s house groove. There's also a Juno exclusive in the shape of the Deep Space mix - a bumpin' deep house tweak with just the right amount of synth-laden futurism.
Review: Akase is Harry Agius aka Midland joined by Robbie Redway on vocals. "Murmur" is a slice of sophisticated modern synth pop reminiscent of Delphic or The Howling. Rather high production values on here with rich and elevating synth textures supporting Redway's brilliantly emotive vocals. Producer extraordinaire Ewan Pearson lends his hand to two tremendous remixes of the track. The main remix keeps Redway's vocals on this dark chugging epic, with a dirty arpeggio backed by some superb science fiction synth zaps, until another more soulful arpeggio lead joins the fray. Brilliant! There's a dub version for those of you less keen on the vocals.
Review: Tsuba bossman Kevin Griffiths has assembled an impressive quartet of talents on this fifth and final edition of the label's well-regarded Last of the Samurai series of EPs. Klasse chief Luca Lozano kicks things off with "Crucificks", a curious and slightly eccentric fusion of winding melodies and heavyweight 303 work that builds to a rough, acid-flecked climax. Cardiff-based Bristolian Owain K goes deep and techy on the basement-ready "Flush", which is reminiscent of his excellent work with Jamie Anderson for Dessous. Nil By Mouth go cowbell crazy on their swinging, loose-limbed tribute to wonky New York alt-disco, "Lumbar", before Little Fritter draws things to a close with the groovy and driving "Fifth Avenue Funk".
Review: It's a sign of the 303's enduring appeal that even ten years into the so-called acid revival, Poker Flat can release a compilation of backward-looking tracks that still sound fresh. Label boss Steve Bug leads the charge here with the sexy swagger of "This is Acid", but he has also surrounded himself with some of the finest proponents of contemporary 303 abuse. These include KiNK and Neville Watson, who contribute the gurgling tones of "Sleepless" and the bleeding 303 of Sven Tasnadi & Juno 6's "Generation A". However, if there is one track that defines the otherworldly, primal jack of the acid sound, it's the repetitive whistles and subtly building tones of Tin Man's "Blown".
Review: While Dessous may have originally laboured under the shadow of being "Steve Bug's other label", in recent times the imprint has really come into its own as an outlet for high quality deep house. This expansive 23-track collection gathers together some of Dessous' best moments from the last couple of years, throwing in a smattering of unreleased cuts from label stalwarts Vincenzo, Tigerskin and Phonique for good measure. As you'd perhaps expect, there's some exemplary deep and tech-house on show throughout, with Steve Bug's "Do It Right", Burnski's "Sometimes Takes Longer" and two superb Jamie Anderson/Owain K collaborations among the many highlights.