Review: Paul SG's Jazzsticks returns to their irregularly regular Hidden Tunes series with a second instalment of restrained rollers from understated up-and-comers and friends of the label alike. If you know the Jazzsticks sound, you'll already know the sterling vibe: dusty, soulful, warm and organic from some of the sharpest talents in the game. Highlights include the big jazz whirlwind of Soul Deep founder Scott Allen's "Soul Desire", a 97-style horn-melting stepper from Decon ("Cool Breeze") and Pulsaar's dreamweaving shakedown "Room For Two". What once was hidden is now found... And will remain in your playlist until the next instalment lands in years to come.
Review: Cologne-based craftsman and one quarter of the Jazzassins, Decon delivers his debut LP on SG's Jazzsticks. Covering the deeper, slinkier and soulful styles in great detail and character, highlights across this accomplished set include the hazy, cloudy textures and dubby bass of "Rough & Fast", the incredible drum work of "Simple As That", the lolloping jazz majesty of "Sugar Drop", the early 2000s liquid style string swoops of "Heavy On Your Head", the classic breaks and gully jungle wriggles and spills of "The Jam".... The list goes on.
Review: Decon's "Rareties" doesn't mess around. There's no subtle build-up or calming introduction; instead, it goes for the jugular straight away, launching into a jump-up inspired rolling jungle breakbeat, soaring strings, paring horns and what sounds like a piano sample from Patti-Jo's disco-soul classic "Make Me Believe in You". It's a whirlwind of jazz-flecked "disco drum and bass", clearly designed to please dancefloors at summer festivals. Paul SG offers brief respite, choosing to begin "Vienna Melange (VIP)" with 70 seconds of calming, atmospheric build before dropping into another funk-fuelled junglist rhythm. While not as instantly adorable as its predecessor, it's every bit as likeable, not least because the bongo-laden drums are just that little bit funkier.
Paul SG & Salem - "Jazzstrophobia" - (5:13) 174 BPM
Locksmith - "Jahseh" - (6:10) 176 BPM
Review: Seek and you shall find... Paul SG's Jazzsticks returns with another superb five-piece suite of rich soulful drum & bass in the form of "Hidden Tunes". Decon sets the bar high with the Brazilian charm and energy of "How It Is", Pulsaar brings us right back to the bedroom with lush pianos and just a touch of disco finesse on the stabs, Tryangle whips up a beautiful contrast between the lavish soulful intro and powerful main rolling groove. Elsewhere we find Carter getting his filtered freak on with "Traveller", we see Paul SG & Salem jamming out over a killer swing sample on "Jazzstophobia" before Locksmith shuts us down with the bendiest double-bass bassline Jazzsticks have ever blessed us with. There's no hiding the majesty at play here.
Review: Longstanding Swiss representer, Flowrian steps over to Jazzsticks for a fluid five-piece. If you're familiar with his output on Fokuz then you'll know the level of groove weight at play... Anchored liquid that fires rather than floats. Highlights include the bravado horns and slinky bass of "Point Of No Return" and the tightly plucked, infinitesimally edited jazz sample on "Tennenbaum". "Breakup With The Past", his cobweb-blasting, organ hammering vocal jam with Paul SG, shouldn't be sniffed at either. Solid.
Paul SG & Carter - "Telly's Theme" - (5:33) 174 BPM
Review: Beautiful deep and intelligent drum & bass from some of the industry's most inspiring producers. Kicking off with the fresh sounds of Flowrian "Unusual Order", there's a tint of the far east influencing the melody lines while each note seems to drip delicately into a deep pool of bass. Big, interesting layers are at play and it all sounds incredibly cinematic. Jazzier and with the type of rolling rhythm that brings club floors to critical mass, Paul SG and Carter's gorgeous contribution "Telly's Theme" brings a touch of class. How D&B should be.
Review: Swiss deep jazz drum & bass aficionado Flowrian returns to the studio for Jazzsticks, and yes, it's rather jazzy. Teaming up with critically-acclaimed soulful D&B producer Paul SG and Jazzsticks favourite Decon, all three producers have pitched in to create a beautifully smooth, flowing pair of tracks. Capturing the heart and soul of jazz-influenced drum & bass, both tunes bring live brass and orchestral sampling into the mix while retaining that all important kick from hard-hitting drums and driving basslines. Two summer anthems on the same release, what more could you ask for?
Review: From a glorious rolling start to shimmering, euphoria-high end, this various artist EP exudes the sort of good time feelings that usually only come with hearing liquid drum and bass on a gorgeous beach somewhere. In lieu of that scenario, this release offers sunny sounds and vibes that are enough to fool you into being there. Which is just perfect. "Blue" kicks us off with beautiful piano and sax, Flowrian's remix of "Rarities" is a flowing, bass-driven romp around funky brass and Pulsaar's "Maximillian" remix takes an edgier detour through junglist bass and percussion. Finally Rhodesomes gets a Soul Structure overhaul complete with sexy brass and an even more sultry vibe. Liquid perfection.
Review: First up Furney teams up with Paul SG and Locksmith for the title track "Musho" on Jazzsticks Recordings. A minimal intro, dominated only by light percussion and hypnotic spoken word vocal sample, starts things off before the track develops with rolling beats and dreamy, mellifluous SFX, punctuated by the occasional chirrup or instrumental flourish. Things continue to be interesting when Paul SG goes solo on the accompanying venture "Just A Theory" which is another minimal, experimental piece characterized by a chopped up vocal snippet, punchy beats and a blissed out soundscape.
Macca & Scott Allen - "Life's Complex" - (4:33) 174 BPM
Paul SG & Carter - "Untake" - (7:45) 174 BPM
Rowpieces - "Cool Jazz" - (4:01) 145 BPM
Review: Next up and Influenza Media bring us another cracking four-track EP from Lapse, Macca, Scott Allen, Paul SG, Carter and Rowpieces. Kicking off with the title track "What Lies Ahead" its all swooning instrumentals in the manner of Hospital, rolling breaks and lilting, mellifluous melodies galore. Moving through this blissful haze to "Life's Complex", Macca & Scott Allen's collab is an infectiously fun little romp with punchy breaks and echoing vocal element. Next we have "Untake" which takes things on a slightly tougher tip with pummeling drums and booming subs, before the lovely "Cool Jazz" rounds things off in style.
Review: As one of the scene's leading perpetrators in swooning, lyrical jazz and soul-influenced drum & bass, Jazzsticks Recordings have played a blinder with this pairing from burgeoning breakbeat obsessive Madcap and rising Austrian D&B star Paul SG. Rolling in with vintage sounds straight from drum & bass' heyday, Madcap runs things with a deep groove and plenty of hi-hat smashing breaks. "Toxic Cloud" follows the pace with jazzy percussion and dub-influenced sampling to create a bouncing unique sound. Both demand big, bassy systems and the largest of nights.
Start A Fire (feat Danny Wheeler) - (6:26) 174 BPM
Phunk Phenomenon - (5:19) 172 BPM
Soul Asylum - (6:02) 172 BPM
Forever VIP - (5:42) 174 BPM
Review: It's about time! Jazzsticks bossman and one of Vienna's finest soul operators Paul SG has been a little quiet on the release front this year. Following a few one-offs on EPs such as "Hidden Gems" and "Best Friends", this dreamy five-tracker is his most substantial release in a long time. Highlights include the smoky guitar twangs and pneumatic percussion of "Walking Notes", the near-Bristolian badness and ravey mischief of "Phunk Phenomenon" and the dreamboat jazz flare of "Soul Asylum". SG stands for sick guy: this is a fact.
Review: Let's say it now: it's about time! Vienna's Paul SG has been quietly donning the currently massive Austrian D&B scene for much longer than some of his more hyped peers. No drama, no ego or fanfare....just a consistent stream of soulful groove for almost 10 years; a full length release has been expected, hoped and longed for years. Naturally he hasn't disappointed. Highlights include the brilliant juddering funk of "Lefthanded", the spacey jazzy Bingo Beats bass phrasing, the absolute soul of Angelina Dove on "Cherry Blossom", the TRAC-fronted Breakbeat Era style "Poverty" and the fluttering aesthetic of "You All Never Know". With Conrad on the vocals, it's the timeless cherry on a truly authentic D&B cake. Delicious.
Review: The serene stylings of Austrian drum and bass maestro Paul SG have been soothing thousands across the world and on his latest release for Jazzsticks, there's a definite sense of the good old days returning to his sound. "Deegee" starts the EP off a rolling tip with bass straight from the old school, followed closely by "This Is Jazz" which, as expected, lifts things up with soulful jazzy vibes. "Chief Grand Master" takes that old James Brown sample to new levels of old school introspection and "Ballad of a Nubian Princess" is as sultry as they come, rolling out smooth and lush. Final track "Love Theme" is dramatic and deep with a bassy kick, just how we like it. Get some emotive rollers in your collection, you definitely won't regret it.
Review: It's been 18 months since Paul SG last hopped across the pond to LA's Soul Deep. During that time he's continued to ramp up Jazzsticks as one of the most reliable soulful drum & bass labels and released his debut album This Is Me. Here we find him getting back to his roots with three floor-primed tracks underpinned by deep barbed bass. "Ways" plucks at the heart strings with its instrumentation while punching you in the gut with its subs, "Rhodissimo" rolls with serious class as horns waft over some incredible Detroitian key textures and just the right amount of gully while "Never Care" closes with more of a dreamy jazz feel with drifting voices and lush fretless bass. Bellissimo.
Review: Paul SG's latest release for Liquid V can be described as one simple word - sexy. "Stay Classy" is a hip-hop-influenced honey-toned roller bringing out the best of the big man's styles, smooth, effortless and very, very stylish. Moving into a more dancefloor-driven sound with second track "Lady", the mood becomes more serious as a devastatingly depth-charged bassline takes full control of the lower end. Adding more sparkle to the hi-hats was a good move, and the balance between sub and treble is a gorgeous thing to hear, especially when it's so pristinely put-together by a master. Don't sleep on this one, it's a beauty.
Review: Jazzstick-snapping funk: Paul SG returns to LA's Soul Deep for the second time this year with three more timeless lessons in rolling soul. "Xamplo" is charged by deft, brushed drums and a filtered sample that tickles and tickles as it plays the long reveal. "Nothing Leads Nowhere" is straight out of the Creative Source playbook; delicate pianos, layers of sparkling instrumentation and a ghostly vocal texture playing the consummate cherry on the top. Finally we hit "Unusually Agitated". An ironic title for a track so jazzy and funk-riddled, watch out for the sudden switches in drum momentum.
Greekboy - "Deep In The Middle East" (Paul SG remix) - (6:00) 172 BPM
Review: Viennese whirling dervish SG returns to Soul Deep with three immaculate constructions. "In My Life" has a really distinct early 2000s feel thanks to rolling momentum-driving drums and widescreen early-Hospital style vocal texture that rides throughout. You could picture this on High Contrast's seminal fabriclive mix. "Wonder Why" is a little more contemporary thanks to its sharper punctuation as quirky piano rolls create the main hook over the pin-point two-step while horns waft woozily into oblivion. Finally we hit his remix of fellow Soul Deep fam Greekboy: stripping out the jungle and building up the feels, it's a lesson in total remix subversion. Life-affirming.
Review: Jazzsticks Recordings is without a doubt one of the most underrated liquid labels around because, with Paul SG at the helm, they're genuinely committed to rolling out funk in the most infectious manner possible. This single is exactly that, but with an added dose of lounging nonchalance. Title track 'Dizzy' is as laidback as they come, with crisp drum hits and an oozing bassline that squirms underneath in a wonderfully subtle display of production finesse. 'Mesmeriser' goes for more of an introduction and it works great, that long intro prepping you nicely for the tracks wisping pads and ghostly string sections. Lovely stuff.
Review: Paul SG brings his caramel-smooth sounds back to Soul Deep Exclusives just in time for peak summer vibes. Rolling out "Dusty Smoke" with sizzling brass and wandering bass, "Nowhere Near" follows the sophisticated sax route, with added jazz percussion for good measure. Who doesn't love a vibraphone? It sounds magical, but also deep and inherently danceable, which is what the world needs. Last, Mr SG fits up Phase 2's "Loosen Up" with a fresh new remix to deliberate upon. Lovely.
Review: Expect mature sounds and subtle rhythms from this four-track EP on Fokuz. Kicking things off in style, Paul SG introduces us to his sound with "Time Flies" which is all gently tripping breaks, punctuated by delicate hi hats and a rumbling b-line below. "Moments", up next, adds in a bit of a jaunty twist, whilst "Not The End" strips things back again with sinuous sounds and concluding cut "Disfluted" brings in the talents of Grimm for a vocal driven, dreamy outro.
Review: A true master of the soulful D&B genre, Paul SG makes it to Jazzsticks for an outing of beautiful, effervescent rolling tunes. Picking up some sultry saxophone in "Gone Too Far" to complement a lush, rounded bass, he then moves to sophisticated jazz influences in the lounge-esque piano loops of "Destination Unknown". "Never Knew It Was You" adds jazz flute and sound effects from a long since forgotten stylish '60s film, and "A lot To Talk About" uses skipped breaks to add a touch of edge to an otherwise sleek and sedentary roller. Finally, romantically-titled "Completely Mine" puts a crisper edge on the proceedings, taking things down a touch with minor chords and wistful, drawn-out vocals. Gorgeous work from Mr Paul SG.
Review: Viennese producer and Jazzsticks Recordings founder Paul SG seems to approach D&B as a blank musical canvas, onto which he can project all manner of deep, soulful and jazzy touches. This three track EP for Soul Deep Exclusives contains some of his most enjoyable material of recent times. The package's highlight is probably opener "Winter's Chill", where SG turns Payback's original into a rush-inducing chunk of melodic dancefloor bliss. While the groove recalls classic jungle, the hazy horns and intricate melodies are thrillingly picturesque. There's a more excitable - but still delightfully deep - feel about Carter hook-up "Elder", while the piano-laden "Shantrila" is a classic example of SG's jazz-flecked trademark sound. By the time the beats return after the first trumpet-laden breakdown, you'll be buzzing.
Review: Jazzy and fast-paced is the only way to describe the corking opening track of this twin release, as "Extract of the Essence" rolls out effortlessly with grooving bass and tons of real instrumentation and character brought in from vintage samples. The class continues in "Domino" as tabla and sustained strings bring a sense of mystery to hollow drums before launching into a truly old school full-bodied skank-out. All you have to do is whack this on and close your eyes and it's '96 again.