Review: Given her current popularity, it's no surprise to see all-conquering house hero Maya Jane Coles mixing the latest instalment of !K7's long-running DJ Kicks series. The diminutive DJ/producer is in fine form, too, mixing up typically atmospheric house cuts and clandestine deepness with saucer-eyed late night faves and forgotten B-sides (see Bozzwell's surprisingly emotional "In My Cocoon"). As a mix it's as deep, melodic and groovy as you'd expect, with a strong vocal theme running throughout. As it progresses, it tiptoes further into bleary-eyed darkroom territory, via stand-out cuts from Marcel Dettmann, Caribou (his thrilling remix of Virgo Four), Gerry Read and T Williams. Available digitally as individual tracks or one continuous mix!
Review: A new mix from perennial party faves Soul Clap is always a cause for celebration, but there's something extra-special about this particular exercise in dancefloor nostalgia. Nice 'N' Ripe Allstars sees them revisit the bulging back catalogue of Grant Nelson's Nice 'N' Ripe label, an imprint that has tracked the rise, fall and subsequent rebirth of UK garage since its' birth in 1993. Soul Clap's mix - an action-packed 30-track affair featuring some of their own edits and remixes of classic cuts - does a great job in showcasing the best the label has to offer, flitting between early US garage style jams, loose soulful house, sturdy two-step, bass-heavy speed garage and the kind of long-lost jams which should be bitten by today's retro-minded house producers. In doing so, it offers an impeccable history lesson.
Review: A new sampler here from Herve's London-based label Cheap Thrills, showcasing new and emerging talent. Sample 1.0 features Standard Issue from Nottingham delivering some dark UK bassline vibes on the very Roska Kicks & Snares sounding "Hear This" and the wonky late night groove of "Seen Enough", Huff gives you a taste of the acid life on "Not Again" and the electrifying party starter "Everybody", while London's ascendant CutWires (Perfect Driver / Youth Control) gets deep down and dirty on the gritty street sound of "Guhnz". Looking forward to what else is in store for this promising new series.
Review: UK label Bear Fresh have carved a niche for themselves by sourcing and releasing some of the cleanest, crispest beats drizzled with '90s retro goodness. Here on Rural Vol 2, their second label compilation, they keep the good times coming. The overall vibe is still sharp, blingy deep house but with lots of twists, including the luxuriantly smooth rhythms of Jaquo George's "Luv Song", the melodic 4 x 4 of Paul Dobson's "In My Heart" and the deep tropical percussion of "Alright" by So Standard. Top notch!