Review: Breaking crowns with their smooth, synth-struck melodies since launching in 2012, Jack Fell Down are making some serious waves on the deep house scene right now. With four tracks in total, this EP shows the duo at their most extensive and comprehensive. Boasting the distinctive confident laziness of vocalist Stee Downes throughout, across the EP you'll drift away to a whole new world on the deep, dubby title track, you'll bump and grind to the 2 Bears-style "No Way" and you'll lie back and receive a full mind massage from "Just Begun". Jack Fell Down... and the vibes came tumbling after.
Review: Portuguese house heads John Waynes hook up with singer Stee Downes for this anthemic slice of piano Balearica, out now on Serenades. Keeping things nice and vital with some relentless synths and a tight, mainroom bass "n' drums combo, they take things up and down beautifully on the original mix, while the JW raw mix gets more tribal and dubby, with the vocals stripped back for a Todd Terry-ish extension.
Review: Italian producer Nicholas has a well established working relationships with Gerd's 4Lux imprint, gracing them with numerous 12"s and his Still Playing House LP in recent times. His return to the label sees a development in production, forgoing the reliance on vocal samples that have been a staple of his rise to prominence in favour of working with a vocalist. Stee Downes, said vocalist, will be familiar to anyone who keeps abreast of contemporary house, having worked with Lovebirds and MCDE previously. Both the original and NYC Club versions of their collaboration "Things Of The Past" are superbly crafted deep house movers, with the latter Jersey style bumper one for the Bicep fans. Check "Forever Feel It" too for some sublime funk sampling.
Something To Remember (The Unhottest dub) - (8:36) 121 BPM
Something To Remember (Claus Casper & Jean Philips remix) - (6:43) 121 BPM
Something To Remember (Nvvb remix) - (5:12) 121 BPM
Review: Michael Vater aka Phonique relocated to Berlin ages ago, where the accomplished deep house producer set up a longtime working relationship with Steve Bug's Dessous Recordings. He's since stepped out on his own imprint: Ladies & Gentlemen, which presented his fabulous last single "Something To Remember" and featured the smooth as silk vocal stylings of Irishman Stee Downes. It now gets a bunch of wicked remixes; many of these just as worthy of your attention as the original. Take for instance Greek house hero Argy's "South London' mix" where he goes back to a harder techno sound which we really enjoyed back when he was releasing on Ibadan nine years ago. This one's a dark, late night cruiser with a gnarly sub bass and moody elements over its driving rhythm: top! Also worthy of mention is Claus Casper & Jean Philips' remix where the duo turn in a retro flavoured and pop-inflected rendition which is sure geared for some hands in the air moments and a potential hit prediction!
Something To Remember (radio edit) - (5:14) 121 BPM
Something To Remember (Time (FR) Radio mix) - (3:00) 121 BPM
Something To Remember (original mix) - (9:04) 121 BPM
Something To Remember (Time remix) - (6:18) 121 BPM
Something To Remember (instrumental mix) - (9:04) 121 BPM
Review: Miami legend Phonique is back with Irish hotshot in Amsterdam Stee Downes (Sonar Kollektiv) providing vocals for "Something to Remember". This is a deep and sleazy tech house joint that is surefire moodlighting for the warm up set; that hummer of a bassline is absolutely killer! There are handy instrumental and radio mixes for your convenience, but we can't help but mention the "Time Remix" which goes for a more positive, soulful and emotive vibe which you can be sure to play later on in the set as well. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for further remixes coming very soon!
Review: Having previously blurred the boundaries between disco and house, Daniel Solar returns to Dikso with his most "house" release yet. With its big pianos, relentless synth bassline, bubbling electronics and early Strictly Rhythm grooves, "Someday" sounds like a ready-made peaktime anthem. Kruse and Nuremberg go a little deeper on their rework, but retain the original's old school air of abandon. Steve Downes and Mario Aureo lend a hand on "I Do Believe", a warm deep house vocal cut that has just enough rough hustle to impress. Aureo also provides a pared-down remix that sounds like it was tailor-made for igniting parties in sweaty basements at 4am (deep house finger point at the ready, kids). Finally, "Cookie Dough" sees Solar return to his disco roots with a Soundstream style cut-up of Brenda Taylor's "You Can't Have Your Cake & Eat It Too"). Arguably, it's the EP's strongest moment.
Review: Stee Downes and Lovebirds' are old pals, and first joined forces for a 12" on Winding Road Records five years ago. Their joint effort on this fine EP, "Love's Like Dancing" is something of a cheery, mood-enhancing treat. A slick vocal number that should suit both disco and house floors, it sounds like classic Blackjoy fused with Lovebirds' usual brand of colourful deep house positivity. Crazy P man Jim Baron dons his now familiar Ron Basejam guise on the remix, delivering a bouncy nu-disco/deep house fusion. Lovebirds goes solo on the woozy, Rhodes-laden deep house haziness of "Feel The Bern", while the accompanying Talkbox Edit adds woozy, robotic vocals into the mix whilst retaining the track's original feel and structure.
Adana Twins - "Strange" (Acid Pauli & Nu remix) - (7:25) 120 BPM
Compuphonic - "Metropolis" - (3:17) 116 BPM
Review: Ten years of tech house powerhouse Exploited's exploits - pardon the pun! A born and bred Berliner, Shir Khan started the label in his home city in 2007. The imprint now plays host to a who's who in the current tech-house climate - including Adana Twins, Doctor Dru, Claptone, Joyce Muniz, Urulu and Cocolores to name a few. Its artists have been receiving full support from tastemakers such as Pete Tong, Soul Clap, Wolf & Lamb and Kraak & Smaak. All the usual suspects appear here: many golden oldies and even some newbie surprises too - perfect for the Christmas season and to forecast trends moving forward into 2018. To prove their relevance, they've served up a whopper of a compilation: over five dozen tracks showcasing their illustrious discography. We are certain that these are timeless grooves and will prove to be just as relevant another decade.
Some of these go as far back as 2009! Take for instance Malente & Dex feat. Analogik's "Gipsy Kings" which homed in that whole loopy latin house trend - popularised by similar tunes like "We No Speak Americano". Swedish electro house dons Zoo Brazil appear as well, with their 2012 dancefloor hit "Rock The House", then get deep and slinky with Moodymanc's 2013 sleeper hit "Joy" (Ralph Lawson Dub). They were even doing jazzy/dusty deep house as far back as 2011, like on Homework's "Whipped Cream". Remember Serge Santiago's remix of Murphy Jax's "Let's Get To It" featuring the inimitable Mike Dunn? It's here!
But when best describing the label's success thus far, we'd have to give honorable mentions to the true staples of the label. The legendary Chicagoan James Curd (formerly one half of the Greenskeepers) has kept on going from his new home of Adelaide, Australia and served up some of his best work in years. The emotive and bittersweet "Forever My Friend" is just one example. Likewise, Belgium's Compuphonic appears several times also - his recent hit from earlier this year "Metropolis" appears in all its soulful and evocative glory. Here's to another 10 guys, cheers!