Review: When Gilles Peterson gets excited about something, chances are it'll be rather good. That's certainly the case here, as German veterans Christian "Drumlesson" Prommer and Alex "Jazzanova" Barck join forces for a first collaborative full-length. Peterson has described Alex & The Grizzly as "intoxicating", and he's not wrong. As exquisitely produced, densely layered and musically accomplished as you'd expect, it's an album that effortlessly fuses smoky, soft-centred deep house with a myriad of complimentary influences; from African percussion jams, folksy ballads (Barck's vocals provide a neat focal point throughout) and simmering jazz to modern classical, Detroit techno, 80s blue-eyed soul, bubbly snyth disco, old skool piano house, dewy-eyed Balearica and even synth-pop. It'll take you a few listens to fully comprehend its breadth and depth, but it's well worth it - at times, it's nothing short of staggering.
Review: Newly ensconced down south in Auckland, Magik Johnson launches his new Neat Music imprint in a dust off with those twisted sisters from New Zealand known as MayaVanya. Echoing the current clubbing climate, "Don't Need No One" is an infectious post UK F rattler, chopping up diwali style handclap beats over layered bass undulations. Add vocals from Silva MC and Rugged Techniques and it's a perfect match. Johnson dons his Magik J alias for a rerub that transforms the track into Dirtybird territory whilst Nightshifters stalwart Rob Threezy adds his own futuristic Chi Town club angle to proceedings. Watch out for those hoover bass washes!