Review: Kevin Griffiths is a wag. Having previously decided to press up just 100 copies of his latest Tsuba Limited compilation, he then had the masterstroke of calling it One Per Customer. Now it's available digitally the joke is slightly less amusing, but it's still a bit of a belter. Made up of previously vinyl-only jams (Italo Johnson's rather fine remix of Spencer Parker's "Show Him You're The One" being the most obvious example) and a smattering of new cuts (including a bassy chunk of low-slung basement house from Milton Jackson and a near Balearic rush of eyes-shut goodness from Rio Padice) this compilation comes highly recommended.
Review: Kevin Griffiths' Tsuba label arguably had its strongest year to date in 2011, as this handy 12-track round up of highlights shows. Inhabiting the no-man's-land between deep and tech-house, Tsuba's 2011 output ranged from sturdy and acid-flecked (Subb-Ann) to intensely beautiful (Aybee's delicious, Nu Groove-ish rework of Ethyl & Huxley's "Reflexions") via straight-up late night floorfillers (Mic Newman, Spencer Parker & Ian Pooley, a notable remix from Sebo K). This collection also includes a terrific Larry Heard remix of Moodymanc's "Black Paint", which is as well crafted and undulating as you'd expect from the great man.
Review: Following news that Ben Watt no longer intends to put out new music on Buzzin' Fly, the compiling and re-releasing of some of the highlights from the label's back catalogue is timely. This third volume focuses on the high point of the label's output, the golden period from 2007 to 2008. The dominant sound here is trancey and melodic, with synth sweeps combined with sensuous strings and woodwind samples. Manoo & Francois A embody this approach on the windswept "Magnetic", where epic, acid-led hooks build over dubbed out drums, while Pedro Madeira's "Long Shadows" moves from lush strings into an epic break down. Despite this approach, there is still space for classic US house, as the dubby drums of Dennis Ferrer & Steve Martinez' version of Ben Watt's "Lone Cat (Holding On)" demonstrates.