Review: After a hot string of releases this year on labels such as Ovum, CR2 and Azuli, one of Britain's best talents Spencer Parker is back with fresh material for Rekids. "I Think I Love You" reeks of Spencer's years of experience as it delves immediately into first class territory. Tightly produced, the off beat claps, closed hats and bass current are subtle, charismatic and addictive. Up next, Reboot takes the deep chugging record up a notch or two and into the tech house realm. Tinny cow bells and percussive rhythms are added with breezy aplomb by the German.
Review: Spencer Parker is one of the unsung heroes of UK house music, but on this occasion, he hands over the controls to French talent. Rex resident Molly is behind the edit of "The Improvised Minotaur" and she does a fine job, teasing out the flowing piano line to the backdrop of a loose, rolling groove and eerie synth sounds. Fellow countryman DJulz's take on "Romantic" is more direct and less ethereal; the dense drums shuffle in a similar style to Martyn's recent output and are propelled forward with hissing percussion, while the organ riff at its heart lends it a somewhat menacing edge.
Review: Label casual Spencer Parker returns to Radio Slave's Rekids with the first in a new series of EPs! As the title suggests, "No More Silly Club Songs Vol.1" are just a bunch of no nonsense house jackers without all the gimmicks or the hype. While people nowadays are worried about how 'outsider' or 'underground' they are, Mr. Parker is sitting in his studio making slamming dancefloor music for those marathon DJ sets. From No.1 to No.4, this EP contains four highly recommended tools that'll shake up your dancefloor and throw you off piste. Check em' and stop worrying about the image.
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.
Review: In spite of its title, Spencer Parker's latest release on Radioslave's label is a no-nonsense club affair. "Silly Club Song No.5" sees the UK producer in Berlin revisit the harder strains of US house; driving snares, insistent chords and an urgent vocal sample all play out over a tracky groove that has the words 'Junior Vasquez' written all over it. "Silly Club Song No.6" is also heavily indebted to American dance music, only this time the focus is Detroit. A booming, Reese-like bass is combined with Random Noise Generation-style rave stabs to form one of the cleverest techno pastiches of recent years.
Review: Originally released on Parker's 2018 Dance Music long player, "You're Under..." now appears on Rekids in remixed format. Fadi Mohem's take is a shimmering, dubbed out affair, led by churning chords, while Truncate's version sits at the other end of the techno spectrum. Led by a niggling organ riff and cavernous kicks, it's an expertly executed slab of peak time techno. Label owner Radio Slave contributes two versions; working with P.Leone, they deliver a solid, linear groove, replete with pitch bent vocals and ominous riffs. When he flies solo, Radio Slave chooses a radically different route, with a pulsating groove and shrieking vocal samples prevailing.
Review: Different Shapes & Sizes is a new, three part series of EPs from Berlin resident Spencer Parker forthcoming on his Work Them Records imprint over the next few months. Conceived as a neat way of showcasing Parker's love for different shades of house and techno, The third installment takes a walk through the Rekids artist's love for the subtle differences in the genres he tends to focus on in most in his sets. "Size Information" sees Spencer do his tribute to the loopy/steely sounds of early '90s techno by Jeff Mills and Regis, a meticulous, noisy and overdriven 808 drum track/DJ tool is in order on "Shape Fascination" while "Size Devotion" hammers the message home in thunderous fashion on this fierce warehouse techno monster full of wobbly metallic textures.
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: 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.
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: Buzzin' Fly compilations always take on a retrospective feel, looking back at what the label has achieved with a proud (and wholly justified) sense of achievement. They are much like family Christmas cards that fondly round up the year's activities for friends and relatives. As part of their 50th single celebrations this spring, they deliver a compilation of Buzzin' Fly classics as the next instalment of the Focus On series. Penned by Chris Woodward, an integral part of the imprint?s close knit family, this release serves as the audio family newsletter created to celebrate reaching this impressive milestone. All the big moments are there and each family member features, from Ben Watt to Spencer Parker, Justin Martin, Mlle Caro and Franck Garcia.
Like Buzzin Fly: 5 Years in the Wilderness, (and all four Volumes in the Buzzin' Fly series) this compilation digs into the imprint?s revered back catalogue to commemorate its particular achievement. The former was applauding reaching five years whilst the latter celebrates reaching their 50th release. Over seventy-five minutes, Chris Woodward picks out some of Buzzin' Fly's flagship tracks such as label boss Ben Watt?s "Guinea Pig," Spencer Parker's "The Beginning" and Justin Martin?s "The Fugative." As Woodward hones into some deep, intricate, house action, he delves into Buzzin' Fly's trademark mix of deep house, melodic techno and electronic disco. We see cuts like Jay Shepheard?s remix of Glimpse and Martin Eyrir's "Southern Soul" standing shoulder to shoulder with Darkmountaingroup's "Lose Control." Woodward also adheres to the Buzzin' Fly tradition of house that is both sonically ornate and driving in all the right places by including moments like Mlle Caro & Franck Garcia?s beautiful "Dead Souls" and Ame's club fuelled remix of "Insomnia".
Buzzin' Fly specialises in deep and beautiful house music. Their long standing resident has done the admirable job of paying homage to that sound and all the producers that help shape it, in one retrospective compilation that proves just what a force Buzzin? Fly has become over those 50 releases.