Review: Like its' predecessors, the fifth installment in Freerange's ongoing 20th anniversary EP series contains some killer new cuts. Fittingly, it's label boss Jimpster who leads the charge, encouraging us to sway in the afternoon sunshine on the deep, tactile and woozy "Ceilings" (which also features evocative vocals from Laura Barrick). The water-side, alfresco dancing vibe is accentuated by Shur-I-Kan on "Beach Life", a hazy, wide-eyed trip into symphonic deep house territory that ranks amongst his finest productions to date. Elsewhere, Brian Ring melds Mascara-clad '80s new wave and early Chicago house on the fine "Love Taken Over", while Clavis layers dreamy marimba melodies on top of huggable deep house grooves on the delightful "Cydalise".
Review: Freerange Records kick off the first part of their Double Century vinyl edition with four finely honed cuts of prime contemporary deep house that reflect the ever evolving tastes of the label. Boss man Jimpster takes the lead spot with the cyclical and spiritual "Head Spin" while by way of contrast Matt Masters and Pippo Ceretti bring a much more minimal approach to their tribal-flavoured "Xenophilia". Andy Hart has a more classic, smooth deep house approach on "MYLNY" which comes on rousing and romantic with its heartfelt string lines, and then Shur-I-Khan throws down a moody beat track to get you loose and limbered up.
Review: Wazi Wazi is usually the label on which we hear Nils Penner's productions, but the dude has also released on Freerange before, and he comes through on the label with a handsomely hand-picked compilation of the label's best from recent months. On the beautifully presented thirteen-tracker you'll find a selection of different forms of house, ranging from the deeper territories to more jacking and pumped up house cuts. The highlights include "My Man" by Lovebirds, Detroit Swindle's "Brother Man", and label head Jimpster with "Distant Light". You also get a continuous mix for good measure. Get in there.
Review: Given his background in nu-jazz, broken beat and deep house, you'd expect any jazz-themed production from former Freerange regular Tom Szirtes to be pretty tasty. Predictably, "Jazz Club" is. Packed with hissing cymbals, low-slung bass, undulating grooves, tasty samples and particularly smoky atmospherics, "Jazz Club" sounds like a welcome update of "Rose Rouge"-era St Germain. It's got dancefloor chops, but enough musicality and neat production touches to impress the heads. The accompanying remixes are solid, too, with Antanas A's bumpin' rework just edging out Max Graef's chugging, deeper effort.
Review: UK house veteran Tom Szirtes aka Shur-i-kan shows his signature love of jazz on "Afrodisiac Intro". There, squealing jazz chords unfold over hyperactive breaks until it gets to a point where the sax squalls morph into the sound of a woman in the throes of an orgasm. Szirtes performs some more sonic alchemy on "The Fly"; the central melody line sounds like a buzzing insect, which then changes into a humming bassline before giving way to an insistent, acid-soaked groove. He returns to a more typical Shur - I- kan approach on "In the Groove" and "Cats on Crack", where clipped beats, low slung grooves and rich disco samples prevail.
Review: Over the course of the last decade, Shur-I-Kan's development from shuffly broken beat maestro to deep house stalwart has mirrored the shift in emphasis of his regular home, Freerange Records. Here he shifts focus again, popping up on Lazy Days with a reliably solid three-tracker that should please old fans and newcomers alike. While "Staying In" and the particularly gorgeous "One 10" are typical chunks of melody-driven deepness, lead cut "Life Live" is thicker, funkier and altogether more hurried than his usual output. With its copious use of filters, sweet vocal samples and thick, disco-centric bottom end, it should find favour well beyond deep house clubs.
Review: To celebrate ten years of Lazy Days, boss men Fred Everything and Mike Fresco have come up with a novel concept: a series of five EPs containing ten new tracks from ten different artists. This first volume in the series features label regulars Shur I Kan and Pezzner, with the former opening proceedings. "Something In The Air" is one of the sometime Freerange man's best tracks for a while, getting just the right balance between chunky deep house bounce, sweet melodiousness and sweaty, late night goodness. Pezzner takes a different tack on "Thug Rock", delivering all the cut-up thrills of boompty-era Classic releases with all the melodious warmth of contemporary deep house.
Review: The simply titled Shur-I-Kan collection gathers together material released by veteran deep house producer Tom Szirtes on Fred Everything's Lazy Days Recordings imprint, throwing in a few previously unheard tracks for good measure. If you like your deep house warm, rich, soulful and musically expansive, it's well worth a listen. Highlights are pleasingly plentiful, from the sweeping, soulful funkiness of Alexander East collaboration "Simply Yes", and the low-slung, late night throb of "Right Now", to the starburst lusciousness of "Away", and the hazy Balearic sweetness of closer "One Ten". Other notable cuts include a superb collaboration with Dan D'Nell (the effortlessly soulful, boogie-house jam "I Like It"), and a sun-kissed remix of Kruse/Nuremburg.
Crimea X - "Yev" (Prins Thomas Diskomiks remix) - (6:01) 122 BPM
Crimea X - "Dream Is Gone" (Prins Thomas Diskomiks remix) - (6:26) 122 BPM
Jagwar Ma - "Four" - (6:33) 129 BPM
Sandrien - "Haters" - (9:37) 126 BPM
Review: By now, we should all know what to expect from both the Balance series and Danny Howells, namely slick, atmospheric, spine-tingling electronic music of both an uptempo and downbeat bent. This bumper digital version of his latest double CD mix features some exceptionally good tracks, from the exotic, psychedelic techno of Will Saul and October's rework of Michael Mayer's "Mantasy" and the evocative Balearic deep house of Joakim's "Another Light", to the dreamy fluidity of Matthias Voigt's remix of Ian Pooley's "I Got You", and the crystalline electronics and wide-eyed beauty of Maricopa's ambient delight "Neon Shoals". It is, then, a sizzling hot collection of evocative electronic music for dancers and dreamers. Don't sleep.