Review: Since dropping his debut release on Hi-Phen in 2005, Toby Tobias has built up an impressive body of work, with EPs on Rekids, Hector Works, Let's Play House and his own Late Night Audio imprint. This EP for Delusions of Grandeur is another slow-burn winner. Lead cut "Pathfinder" gets just the right balance between heavy drum machine programming - think old skool electro or '80s boogie - and contemporary deep house smoothness. Fabrizio Mammarella's hypnotic remix is pretty tasty, too. "Backbeat" provides a hazy tip into Balearic boogie territory, while "Abergon" - with its lazy jazz guitars and Harvey-ish bump - is impeccable wide-eyed White Isle fodder.
Review: Toby Tobias' Rising EP, released in May 2015, signaled the forthcoming release of his belated second album, Rising Son. With that set now imminent, Delusions of Grandeur has decided to treat listeners to two more album highlights. Both "The Wonder" and "Only Getting Better" are undeniably spacey, with the emotive, melancholic vocals of Atwell adding extra intensity to the London producer's analogue-rich, Detroit and Chicago influenced, retro-futurist grooves. Of the two, it's arguably the bolder "The Wonder" - all squidgy synth bass, acid flashes and swirling Motor City chords - that's the pick. Franc Spangler provides a tasty dancefloor re-work of "Only Getting Better", focusing the action on a killer, low-slung acid house groove, select vocal snippets and rolling deep house chords.
Review: It's now a decade since Toby Tobias made his debut, and two years since he released a pair of acclaimed EPs on Delusions of Grandeur. Here the London-based producer returns to that imprint with a chunk of deliciously warm, hazy and - whisper it quietly - Balearic deep house. "All Rising" combines subtle deep house percussion with swirling disco string samples and goose-bumps-inducing blue-eyed soul vocal snippets. The results are rather magical, all told. The accompanying Dub takes the track in a sweatier, more heavily percussive direction, while the Jitterbug Dub Remix re-casts "All Rising" as a heady chunk of dreamy European deep house.
Review: Given his production vintage spanning REKIDS, Burek, Under The Shade and Let's Play House there's a sense of inevitability that Toby Tobias would surface on Delusions Of Grandeur sooner or later; indeed it feels strange that it's taken so long but as Burning Love demonstrates, its been worth the wait. Lead track "It's Burning" is notable for the chiming synth that resonates brightly amidst a multiplicity of gurgling analogue grooves, whilst "I Give You Love" opts for a more rugged warehouse vibe, embellished by the yearning vocal hooks. Down below these two cuts get remixed in requisite fashion; the London Housing Trust collective tackle "I Give You Love" morphing it into a tripped out jacking freestyle number, whilst the always excellent Lauer works his magic on "It's Burning" introducing all manner of vivid colour with his melodies and basslines. This Juno Download exclusive version also features the original demo version of "It's Burning".
Review: It's been seven years since Toby Tobias dropped his debut album on Rekids, Space Shuffle. This sophomore set, then, is long overdue. Seemingly more reliant on hardware - and, in particular, analogue synths and drum machines - Rising Son is an altogether more mature, tightly executed album than its' predecessor. The London producer includes nods to many of his familiar influences - think saucer-eyed Balearica, Italo-disco, acid house, Larry Heard style '80s deepness, modern boogie, Detroit techno and Chicago jack, capturing just the right balance between downtempo curiosities, fuzzy mid-tempo grooves and bona fide dancefloor hits. There are also a couple of impeccable forays into the world of early '90s ambience, with the odd "Broken Computer" standing out.
Review: If you like your deep house lovingly crafted and exquisitely musical, Quintessentials' Deep & Raw & Real rarely disappoints. This latest installment features four more fabulous cuts to contend with, each delivering a distinctly different take on deep house. Ricardo Miranda's "Rush Hour" is wonderfully sleepy, offering hissing cymbals and super-deep chords. Toby Tobias, meanwhile, works the filters and backwards effects on "Love Papers", a real string-drenched sweetie. NO MILK's "Bubble People" ups the atmosphere again thanks to some choice double bass loops and distant jazz piano, while Marcello Nepoltano's "All My Things" brilliantly recalls early St Germain and Aqua Bassino.
Review: Toby Tobias' comeback gathers pace. Here, two tracks from his fine sophomore set Rising Son get a single release, backed with a pair of fine remixes. I:Cube remixes "Love Affair", turning Tobias' deep, woozy and glassy-eyed Italo-disco chugger into a spacey, expansive chunk of Detroit techno-influenced deep house. Full of deep space electronics and chunky, rolling grooves, it feels like a love survivor from the early '90s. Label-mates Session Victim delivers an interpretation of the dreamy Balearic slow jam "Sloflava". Their version is impressively floor-friendly, using Tobias' original elements - plus some carnival-leaning percussion - to deliver a delicious chunk of soul-flecked, ultra-positive deep house.
Review: Since making his debut way back in 2005, Toby Tobias has released material on some seriously good labels. Here he adds another fine label to his CV via a first appearance on Lovefingers' ESP Institute. Both tracks here are genuine epics, weighing in at well over ten minutes apiece. Opener "Gravitator" is an atmospheric chunk of woozy, mind altering late night deep house, where fluttering melody lines, drowsy chords, dubbed-out vocal samples and bubbly bass wrap themselves around a relentless groove. "Right Turn To Nowhere" is a little bolder and sleazier, featuring as it does trippy acid lines, hardcore-inspired flourishes, saucer-eyed, held-note chords and layered drum machine percussion. Both tracks are amongst the South Londoner's best productions to date, and that's saying something.
Review: Since his last outing on Delusions of Grandeur a couple of years back, Toby Tobias has released some of his strongest material to date, including fine EPs on Cosmic Pint Glass, Resista and ESP Institute. Predictably, this latest single hits the mark, too, with title track "The Rain" offering an energy-packed sprint into freaky, cut-up, muscular house territory. The London producer's stuttering beat edits and use of short, manipulated disco samples is particularly impressive. Nebraska opts for a more traditional, rolling disco-house feel to his bass-heavy, club-ready rework, while "New Way of Feeling" is a jazzy trip into off-kilter, synth-laden deep house territory that could easily be described as "Balearic".
Review: Second Stimulus is Toby Tobias' second outing on Lovefingers' label, and goes a long way to explain why the UK producer is so revered. The title track is a cosmic affair, with mysterious melodies, tripped out synth sweeps and extra helpings of reverb all unfolding over tight drum breaks. Tobias opts for a different approach on "Synchro Surfer": focusing on the dance floor from the get-go, he delivers a linear rhythm that will be well received by DJs. However, he then proceeds to daub it in bleeps, sirens and the kind of warm and woozy chords that have become his signature.