Review: Here we have a meeting of house minds courtesy of John Wink's Ovum records. Like a musical Blind Date if you will, with the former dreaded one playing Cilla. "Lerchen Und Eulen" has a jazzy, live feel like that of a 1950s Brazilian hip cat trio, only it's married to house hats and 80s-style claps. "In My Head" is more conventional, throbbing and deep house nouveau. Finally Radio Slave steps in to deliver a whopping 11 minute version of the lead track which is extremely sparse and is fuelled by an incessantly swinging rhythm.
A Different Size (Tijana T Rework) - (6:27) 122 BPM
Review: Hot on the heels of Spencer Parker's Different Shapes & Sizes series comes a new set of singles featuring reworks of some of the best tracks. On this first EP, Steffen Laschinski AKA Rising Sun steals the show with two sparkling, floor-filling takes on "Riff Shapes". The first, a swirling and attractive affair that wraps bold electronic motifs around a sweaty, breakbeat-driven groove, is arguably the pick of the pair, though some may prefer the thumping techno bounce of his second interpretation. Then DJ Fett Burger lays down a typically eccentric take on "SIZE: YES" - think bustling hardcore style breakbeats and mind-altering acid lines, before Belgrade-raised Tijana T joins the dots between Patrick Cowley's muscular arpeggio-disco and mind-altering acid techno.
Review: Work Them boss Spencer Parker excels at blurring the boundaries between house and techno, and this latest remix package shows that he extends a similar aesthetic to his choice of remixers. Recruiting DJ Deep to rework "Shape Fascination", the Deeply Rooted House owner turns in two stunning versions. The first is a lithe, understated groove peppered with subtle chord stabs and tonal shifts, while the second dub take is more driving and percussive, with Deep upping the tempo and delivering dense claps over a tight rhythm. Akirahawks is drafted in to rework "Riff Shapes" and delivers disco loops and repetitive organ riffs over a tracky house workout while on the Setaoc Mass version of "Shape Fascination", the balance tips in the favour of techno, courtesy of lead-weight kicks and firing percussion.
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: 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.