Review: There's much to admire about Kamaal Williams' contribution to the long running DJ Kicks series, not least the producer, DJ and keyboardist's blend of self-made exclusives (both under his name and his alternative Henry Wu alias) and largely overlooked gems. Highlights in the former category include a stunning live version of "Snitches Brew", the jazzy Latin house of "Projections" (a Henry Wu hook-up with Earl Jeffers) and "Lowrider", a jazz guitar-propelled cut from his collaborative Yusuf Kamaal project. In the latter category, we'd suggest wrapping your ears around Awanto 3's dusty and ultra-deep "Pregnant", the deep jazz-funk bliss of Diggs Duke's "Cause I Love You", the up-tempo dancefloor soul of Peven Everett's "Stuck" and the slow motion wonder that is Steve Spacek's "Hey There".
Review: So what do we have here, we ask ourselves as we unwrap this tasty looking selection from Blackpocket and Steve Spacek, courtesy of the legendary Exit imprint. What we in fact have is a perfect example of soundscaping at its finest, kicking off with the aquatic drips of the title track 'ALAYLY', the stunning, lofi vocal work of 'Footsteps' and crunchy percussive leads of 'In Da Back Room'. Next up, the super trippy synth expanses of 'Organic Tech', followed by the electronic explosions of 'Sho U' alongside Fatima and the smooth soulful harmonies of 'Wake Up Feel Good'. We round this one up with a look at the 80's inspired drumwork and distant vocal presence of 'Worlds Together', polishing up an extremely interesting project from start to finish.
Review: Swiss hi-tech soul legend Sam Gaiser aka Deetron recently made it into the ranks of the revered !K7 DJ-Kicks mix series. In mandatory fashion, the label now presents a exclusive track that was featured in the mix. Featuring British soul futurist Steve Spacek on vocals, the emotive "Choose Me" is a lush and bittersweet number - the future of techno-soul if we've ever heard it. As brilliant as that was, it's all about the Jupiter mix up next, which retains all the evocative qualities of the original, but delves into much deeper and life-affirming vibes.
Review: First he asked us to follow him, then he asked us if we wanted to find to find him. Now he's asking us to move closer... Steve Spacek's Eglo series has been a remarkable trip so far as he continues to illustrate unseen pictures with far-out, unbounded sounds and arrangement. "Mov Clsr" is the steamy dreamy soul number while "Garage Days" unravels the usually tightly wound two-step into a much spacier, dreamy affair, "Boo Boo Step" is a trip into the heart of an old BBC Micro computer while "Nano Nights" closes on a flighty 160BPM step session where lights twinkle and cascade with fluorescent fun. No one makes music like Spacek. Beautiful.
Review: This isn't exactly confidential information but, in case you weren't aware, Steve Spacek is D-Bridge's brother, a man who has helped to shape d&b over the years; it's clear that electronic music runs deep in the family bloodline, and both have achieved something special over the years. Eglo has been pivotal in shaping Spacek's career as of late, positioning him as a leader of the UK house-juke-bass crossover. "If You Want 2 Find Me" is the main tune here, and it leads with a rolling punch of bass dropped over sparse r&b vocals in what is a truly deep and magnetic piece of club music. "Time Is Running Out" is much more house-leaning thanks to its steady 4/4 sway, but the groove is filled with deep harmonics and hazy, spectral sonic aesthetic. There is also an acapella of the title track, and an instrumental for the heads. Big release from Floating Points' stable!
Review: Stuttering off-beat fractured dancehall wizardry, Spacek smashes it once again with "Follow Me". Nothing fits as it should - and that's exactly how we like it. The keys ripple just behind the drums while the bass bumps ahead of them and Steve keeps his own time with his clipped falsetto falling just on the rhythmic sweet spot - but you're never quite sure how he made it in time. Loaded with an instrumental and acapella, there's heaps of creativity to be had right here.