Review: Well, when we see releases like this one move into view, it's difficult to describe UKG as anything other than thriving as we are gifted sixteen brand new belters, all stuffed full of nostalgic 2-steppy themes and fantastic vocal leads, showcasing just how strong the scene is looking right about now. We are introduced to a fantastic roster as major UKG players FooR, Soulecta, Blakk Habit, Rico Tubbs, Wittyboy and more are spread throughout the tracklisting, with our personal favourites including the super original, drum heavy grimey twists of 'Where I Wanna Be' from Vital Techniques and CB's super colourful 'Room 931'. Truly excellent work on this one!
Byron The Aquarius & S3A - "Nights In Tokyo" - (6:31) 123 BPM
Spacing Out - (2:08) 127 BPM
Memories Of Kenzu - (4:26) 120 BPM
Review: The seventh release for Parisian label Sampling As An Art comes courtesy of Atlanta's Byron The Aquarius with the Euphoria EP. If you checked Byron's prior 2016 releases for Sound Signature and Wild Oats, you'll know to expect a diverse range of styles all produced with consummate expertise and that's exactly what we have on the Euphoria EP. There's some dusty hip hop joints like on "Intro", Coming To Detroit" and "The Essence" but there's also some real proper deep house. Like when we get treated with the wonderful "The Love Below" which is reminiscent of Fresh 'N Low and the rather KDJ sounding collaboration with S3A "Nights In Tokyo".
Review: Uncanny Valley's split, multi-artist EPs are usually amongst their strongest releases, and Give N Take is no exception. Put together by Cuthead, it features tracks from three of his favourite producers, plus two of his own. Max Graef kicks things off with the sleepy deep house jazz of "Tittenkuschler", while Parisian S3A impresses with the rising disco samples, sturdy grooves and minor key flourishes of "Theuz Hamtaak". Moony Me's contribution, the flashing Chicago bass, woozy chords and choppy disco samples of "Magergarten", is also rather good. As for Cuthead's contributions, they're predictably strong, with the samba-goes-boompty shuffle of "Braziliance" just edging out the deep-off-kilter downtempo MPC jam "Oef Oef" in the "best track" stakes.
Review: Now that we've all had a chance to enjoy S3A's typically dusty and evocative debut album, "Pages", Dirt Crew has decided to offer up a swathe of fresh interpretations of tracks from the set. The standout mixes come from Art of Tones, who offers up 'Remix', 'Beats' and 'Dub' interpretations of "Friends" that brilliantly re-casts it as a synth-sporting chunk of loose-limbed jazz-funk/disco-boogie fusion. Nachtbraker gets his mitts on the same track and opts instead for a bouncy deep house revision rich in booming sub-bass, fluid synth motifs and garage-influenced drums, whole Lorenz Rhode turns "Clarence J Boddicker" into a string laden, synth-heavy house roller. There are also two contrasting takes on "Fever": a gentle, head-in-the-clouds downtempo version by Dampel French and a deep, druggy and driving peak-time deep house team from Felix Leifur.
Review: Fans of sample digging deep house maestro S3A take note: the producer has finally dropped his long-promised debut album on Dirt Crew. While there are a couple of subtle musical references to his hip-hop style beat-making past - see the blunted, off-kilter beat science of "Joint No. 5" and the drowsy mid-tempo dustiness of "Interlude For Marc" - the majority of the album has its sights firmly set on peaktime dancefloors. Amongst the plentiful highlights you'll find the swinging, leftfield jazz-funk/jazz-house fusion of "Greed", the fuzz-bass propelled stomp of "Fever", the funk-sampling heavy house genius of "Clarence J Boddicker" and the heady disco-house warmth of "Friends".
Review: It's taken a while, but S3A is back on Local Talk, a label he last graced in 2013. He's produced many killer EPs in that time, taking his brand of dusty, sample-laden deep house goodness to such labels as Quintessentials, Quartet Series, Times Are Ruff and Soundofspeed. We can happily report that he's on top form throughout, from the rubbery, layered, disco-deep house roll of EP opener "Premiere Rexidence", to the slick, Chez Damier style chunky deep house warmth of closing cut "Deep Mood Vol. 4". In between, you'll find the cheery blast that is "Searching Force" (a bustling house rework of an old Real Thing disco-funk classic) and the rushing old school house bounce of "End Track For A DJ".
Review: Digger doyen S3A makes his debut on Eureka! with three jams tailored for these rare warm months. "Doop Doop" flexes around a brilliantly carved backing vocal hook and a killer funk guitar solo in a way that's reminiscent of early Iz & Diz, "Emotional M1" takes us on deeper trip as an ode to one of house music's most influential and iconic synths while "Denials" brings it all together with a slower midtempo break and jazzy flutters so dreamy you'll swear you're wearing your PJs. Artful.
Review: Props to Quartet Series for recruiting the hugely talented S3A, a sample digging producer whose dusty and quietly soulful take on deep house rarely disappoints. Interestingly, he's in a sleazier and more percussive frame of mind on EP opener "Presentiment (featuring Mikka Blaster)", a bustling and heavy affair which wraps a skipping, tribal-influenced rhythm track in bumping bass, swirling strings and sharply edited orchestral samples. The disco-sampling hustle of "Something More" is similarly chunky and upbeat, while "Wu Impact" remains funky, focused and fearsome despite the presence of glassy-eyed soul vocal snippets and densely layered samples. If that's not enough to set the pulse racing, the 4/4 UK garage influenced bounce of "Influences" should put a spring in your step.
Review: Few artists are quite as good as S3A at turning dusty, obscure samples into soulful deep house gold. Here, the French producer makes his first appearance on Quintessentials with four more sample-heavy dancefloor workouts. There's naturally plenty to get excited about, from the dirt-encrusted, disco-sampling deep house grooves of "Dick Jones Track" and warm, loved-up piano house vibes of "Feels Like Garage" (of the U.S variety, of course), to the brilliantly bombastic, hip-hop style quick-fix "Massive Horns (Interlude)". Arguably most impressive, though, is the hard-boiled, boogie-era disco-meets-21st century house bump of "Rush". It sounds like a guaranteed party-starting, peak-time smasher.
Review: Can you believe that this is S3A's sixth record this year! And with beats like this we'd happily welcome another dozen. "Looping Strings" obviously needs no explanation whereas "The First Year" could easily be re-titled: "Looping Horns". "Seekin' Sunshine" introduces a Stevie Wonder funk to the EP and the French producer winds up a great vamp over the course of the track. S3A's final cut, The 4th" (variation 2)", is a bit of filtered disco house that lovers of early Francis Inferno Orchestra, Mic Newman and The Tortoise will scramble to get their hands on first.
Review: There are echoes of classic Parisian deep house moments in this bluesy EP from current Paris resident S3A (Sampling as an Art). "Holdin' On", for example, evokes memories of both loopy filter house and, more pertinently, the early works of St Germain (circa Boulevard). "Homage", particularly in its "Ravy Bonus Beat" guise, goes further towards classic French disco-house territory, sounding not unlike a grown up take on early Casius or Stardust. Meanwhile, "For The Girlz" expertly loops up some disco-funk grooves and soulful scat vocals, throwing in some additional percussion and classic US garage stabs to keep the party moving.
Review: Complete with superhero comic book cover art, Quartet Series go on to explain that for the second outing in their Series, French fry and Parisian Concrete resident S3A (Sampling As An Art, Faces) infuses the good guys with some positive energy. They're not wrong; this one is reminiscent of MCDE's Raw Cuts series; pure disco cut-up goodness. Ponty Mython's "Lovin' You Is A Pleasure" goes for more of the tropical, low-slung house vibe to fuel exotic daydream fantasies while Newcastle's NY*AK does slo-mo house good a proper covered in the right amount of dust and smokiness.