Review: Johannes Albert's Berlin based imprint Frank Music is on a roll right now. Its new compilation celebrates five years in business and what a way to celebrate, drafting NYC deep house legend Fred P with the sublime "Energy Cloud" (which is one of his best tracks of late in our opinion), Berliner Iron Curtis with the ultra-smooth deepness of "Operater 123" (live mix) and the epic dancefloor drama of "Got The Juice" showcasing Freer and Reilling's typical studio magic as always. The most upbeat offering is by Jena's Tim Toh (who has previously released on Philpot and Ornaments) with "Hidden Beauty" a late noughties style journey in the vein of classic Innervisions, Buzzin Fly or Freerange.
Review: To celebrate hitting half a century of releases, Delusions of Grandeur has decided to release a couple of split EPs, featuring contributions from label regulars and invited guests. This first part starts in strong fashion, with recent signing Nebraska delivering a loose, evocative chunk of saucer-eyed, late night deep house full of fuzzy analogue bass, sparse drum machine rhythms and spine-tingling synthesizer arpeggios. Ugly Drums supply some jazzier deep house fare in the shape of "Like Its OK", before Session Victim finish things off in fine style with "Came To Be Alive". While slightly chunkier and denser than its' predecessors, the track bristles with sun-kissed warmth thanks to lazy electric pianos, killer vocal samples and subtle, beachside sound effects.
Review: It's been three years since Session Victim's last album, the rather fine "Listen To Your Heart" on Delusions of Grandeur, so this fourth full-length excursion is definitely well overdue. As you'd expect, the music contained in it is as warm, musically rich and intricately detailed as ever, though there are fewer nods to disco, boogie and Balearica than we've come to expect. Instead, they've delivered a smoky, atmospheric and intoxicating collection of cuts that attractively shimmies between drowsy late night house, dreamy electronica, jazz-fired downtempo jams, dusty breakbeat shufflers and the kind of stoned, ultra-deep fare that used to get showcased on F Communications' ace "Mega Soft Office" compilations back in the 2000s.
Review: Four quite varied tracks make up this latest offering from London-based deep house stable Delusions Of Grandeur. 'Dawn' itself, in its Original Mix form, is a mellow cut with a hint of influences from west coast jazz-funk, while 'Taste Of Life' is a more percussive affair with a very 70s-sounding vocoder/talkbox vocal backing a second, spoken male one. 'Hear The Sun' maintains the laidback feel but operates at a more danceable tempo, while completing the EP is Sven Weissman's ReDawn Inbassed Mix of the title track, which is the one to head for if more traditionally styled deep, dubby house is your bag.
Review: Apologies for banging on about this, But Session Victim's recent Listen To Your Heart album is one of the best Balearic-minded house sets we've heard this year. It goes without saying, then, that this third sampler EP is packed full of playable goodness. While they've naturally included an obligatory slow jam (wonderfully dreamy Balearic beats cut "Castle For Sale") and a rush inducing, gradually building Balearic soundscape (EP highlight "Thermal Explorer"), the other two tracks jostle for position in the "best for peak-time plays" stakes. Choose between the tactile nu-disco/deep house fusion of "Head Over Heels" - all sweeping strings, bubbly synth bass and twinkling piano flourishes - and "Almost Midnight", a wonderful trip into disco deep house territory that's as rich and musically expansive as they come.
Review: Session Victim's recent album, Listen to Your Heart, may well be the acclaimed German duo's strongest to date - and that's saying something. This second sampler EP boasts a quartet of cuts that perfectly encapsulate the album's sun-kissed warmth and heady Balearic ethos. Those seeking club-ready thrills should first head for "Shadows", a rolling fusion of rolling house grooves, disco strings and dusty samples, before checking the jazz-fuelled deep house hustle of "Up To Rise (LP Mix)". While naturally impeccable, there's an argument to say that the EP's downtempo moments are arguably even better. "Unchained", a sublime fusion of head-nodding beats, drowsy instrumentation and head-in-the-clouds electronics, is particularly alluring.
Review: Although they've delivered plenty of fine singles over the years, it's invariably Session Victim's albums that get us hot under the collar. This is primarily because it gives them a chance to showcase a wider range of grooves, tempos and instrumentations amongst the ear-pleasing dancefloor workouts. Their sunny disposition, noted sample-spotting ability and varied inspirations are all in evidence on the German duo's third full-length excursion. It's a deliciously evocative, enjoyable and mood enhancing affair that smilingly meanders between dreamy jazz-house bliss, Bossa-Balearic fusion, disco-sampling cheeriness, glistening slow jams, Afro-tinged deep house warmth and humid dub riddims (the impeccable "Castle For Sale"). In other words, it's another hugely enjoyable romp packed full of winning moments.
Review: At the beginning of June 2017, Session Victim will release their third album, Listen To Your Heart. This taster EP - the first of a series of digital releases containing cuts from the set - offers a tantalizing glimpse of what's to come. Predictably, there's plenty to set the pulse racing, from the cowbells and timbales-laden deep house blues of opener "Bring It Back" to the drowsy, pitched-down dreaminess of closer "The Hatch", a colourful and atmospheric chunk of Balearic electronica. Sandwiched in between you'll find the EP's standout moment, the Afro-house meets synth-disco gem "If We Can Make It Here", and the dusty, head-in-the-clouds deep house shuffler "Moons & Flowers".
Review: Matthias Reiling and Hauke Freer return with the Matching Half EP. The Berlin-Hamburg connection present two cuts of feelgood deep house with a loose and live feel, no doubt inspired by their energetic live performances. The title track features some funky disco style drumming beneath some emotive strings, jazzy Rhodes keys and xylophones; all working in perfect harmony. There's also a killer remix of said track by Detroit's finest: Byron The Aquarius, who has appeared recently on Wild Oats and S3A. His version gets well funkier and injects a truckload of soul into it, naturally! Second original offering "Up To Rise" is the deepest journey on offer and has a definite summertime vibe about it.
Review: If you've not invested in a physical copy of Session Victim's excellent sophomore set, See You When You Get There, you probably should. Alternatively, you could pick and choose between the various digital samplers on offer. There's tons of high quality material on this third EP. Throughout, the German duo expertly tiptoe the fine line between disco and house, variously delivering warm, rolling, Rhodes-heavy deep house (the brilliant "The Most Beautiful Divorce Ever"), loose and organic disco-house ("Under Your Spell"), eyes-closed slow jams (the seductive and becalmed "Eeo's Place") and cut-up Balearic beats (the picturesque "Crystal Maze"). Throughout, the production remains warm, smart and endearingly dusty.
Review: Delusions of Grandeur present a second selection of tracks from Session Victim's superb sophomore set See You When You Get There, the German duo's acclaimed follow-up to 2012 debut The Haunted House of House. Predictably, there's much to admire, from the jazz keys and skewed deep house swing of opener "Do It Now", to the rubbery disco bass, smoky atmospherics and Moodymann style, jazz-flecked grooves of "Make People Dance". There's also a hip-hop tempo excursion in the form of the heady title track, and - best of all - a deep, bluesy disco-house jam in the shape of the brilliant "Hey Stranger".
Review: Given the quality of Session Victim's 2012 debut album, Haunted House of House, expectations are naturally high for this follow-up. Like its predecessor, See You When You Get There takes a widescreen approach to deep house, with the German duo drawing on a myriad of influences, from jazz ("Hey Stranger"), soundtracks ("Crystal Maze") and evocative downtempo beats (the impeccable title track), to Atmosfear-ish jazz-funk ("The Most Beautiful Divorce In The World") and, most notably, classic Balearica (see the druggy pop of "Hyuwee" and deliciously slow "EOS Place". Best of all, though, is "Never Forget", a glorious blues-house epic laden with smoky vocal samples and thrilling piano motifs.
Review: Session Victim's 2012 debut full-length The Haunted House of House was arguably one of the best deep house albums of the year, and this EP provides the equally fine follow up. Opener "Yes I Know" features their trademark loose, swinging drums, warm chords and classic deep house sheen, alongside a healthy amount of what sounds like organic instrumentation. With the addition of a delicious disco vocal sample, it makes for wonderful listening. Max Graef remixes, turning in a version that sounds like a deeper take on 6th Borough Project. "Glow In The Dark", meanwhile, is wholeheartedly Balearic - a blindingly sunny slice of semi-live disco-house bagginess that should get maximum rotations in warmer climes this summer.
Review: Having already treated us to a trio of samplers, the German deep house duo Session Victim finally deliver their debut full-length for Delusions of Grandeur. Given their impressive credentials, it's no surprise to find that The Haunted House Of House is a bit good. Almost overflowing with ideas, it serves up 11 slabs of deep house that do their best to sidestep the genre's many pitfalls. Sure, there's plenty of comfy, melodic goodness (see "Push Comes To Shove" and "Zoinks"), but also forays into disco-flecked jazz-funk-house ("Alpine Glow"), slick disco-house ("The Haunted House"), groovy slo-mo electronica ("Bilson"), dewy-eyed Balearica ("The Light Scent of Decay") and even Clyde-ish broken hip-hop ("Fine"). Impeccable, and this ultra special Juno edition includes an exclusive bonus track in the shape of "Spellbound"!
Review: Comprising the second half of their hotly anticipated album, this latest release from the widely celebrated house duo Session Victim showcases just why their groove is so well liked. Far from trying to be cool in their music, instead the kind of funk the German duo conjure up in their sample-heavy sound is pure and addictive, not least on "Push Come To Shove". It's not all party rockers mind you, as well demonstrated in the low slung hip-hop leaning of "Fine". With the summer looming this is a strongly advised addition to your sun-compatible arsenal.
Review: Comprising the second half of their hotly anticipated album, this latest slab of wax from the widely celebrated house duo Session Victim showcases just why their groove is so well liked. Far from trying to be cool in their music, instead the kind of funk the German duo conjure up in their sample-heavy sound is pure and addictive, not least on "Push Come To Shove". It's not all party rockers mind you, as well demonstrated in the low slung hip-hop leaning of "Fine". With the summer looming this is a strongly advised addition to your sun-compatible arsenal.
Review: New on the Delusions of Grandeur label (a sub label of Jimpster's excellent Freerange imprint), Berlin based duo Session Victim have made a gem of an EP that would find a good home in the racks of any nu-disco fans. "The Keyboarder" sounds like something Treasure Fingers would drop, as it's both full of groove and heavy on the silky string stabs. The clean, live sounding drums on "Tomorrow Night" alone are worth getting excited about, underpinning a corking deep rhythm that becomes infectious. Well worth checking out.
Review: Some DJs use the opportunity of a DJ Kicks mix to showcase the eclectic nature of their record collections, while others see it as a chance to give an airing to the dancefloor records that have inspired them over the years. Seth Troxler's selection sits somewhere in between. On the one hand, there are impeccable jazz and downtempo moments from the likes of Sun Ra, Herbert (as remixed by Phil Parnell) and DJ Koze, whose "Bodenweich" is an undeniably atmospheric, off-kilter delight. On the other hand, Troxler has picked out some genuinely brilliant, mostly US-centric house selections; deep, soulful and bumpin' fare from the likes of Butch, Kerri Chandler, Jasper Street Company, Mood II Swing and Derrick Carter.
Review: As the title suggests, this surprise compilation of exclusive material from Gerd Janson's Running Back label was put together in response to the killing of George Floyd, and in order to raise funds for the National Association for the NAACP's Legal Defence Fund. Given his connections, it's perhaps unsurprising that Janson has managed to tease out terrific tracks from the likes of KiNK (the sparkling, synth-laden goodness of 'Machine Funk'), Genius of Time (a fine dub of the dusty, ultra-deep late night hypnotism of 'Network Labyrinth'), Roman Flugel (the snappy analogue heaviness of 'Feel The Heat (String Mix)' and Tiger & Woods (rainbow-coloured deep Italo-disco jam 'Lonely Toad').
Review: Permanent Vacation's Safari series has previously done a great job in mixing overlooked gems and forgotten highlights from the label's expansive back catalogue, with previously unreleased material. Two years on from the release of the second volume, the Munich-based imprint revives the (successful) formula for a third selection. With a rather grandiose 29 tracks to choose from, there's plenty to enjoy, with Permanent Vacation's usual dancefloor-minded eclecticism providing all manner of stylistic shifts throughout. Standout tracks include Kool DJ Dust's brilliant 808-electro workout, "Platonic Lover", the Balearic wooziness of Candyblasta's "The Ocean", a suitably big and bouncy rework of House of Wallenburg by Marcos Cabral, and a stunning chunk of vintage Chicago house revivalism from Beautiful Swimmers (the excellent "Excited").