Review: The joy of the digital download editions of the DJ Kicks series is not so much the included DJ mix - which, of course, is invariably excellent - but the accompanying full-length, DJ friendly tracks gathered by that edition's selector, in this case Elevate Berlin record store owner (and fine producer) Cinthie Christl. Her mostly club-friendly selections are little less than superb, moving from driving, organ-and-bass-rich U.S-style house (Terrence Parker, Niles Cooper, Sandil, her own exclusive 'Organ (DJ Kicks)') and life-affirming piano-house (Ruff Stuff), to deep two-step (Camion Bazar), slamming techno-funk (Anil Aras), dusty techno (Adriyano), deep breakbeat wooziness (Ben Hauke) and deep, dreamy acid jack ('Anna Wall'). In other words, it's a blindingly good selection - and Cinthie's DJ mix is wildly entertaining, too.
Review: The latest artist to join Razor N Tape's original production-focused Reserve imprint is UC Beatz, a storied deep house producer whose bulging discography contains all manner of warming, club-ready treats. There's plenty of subtle variety to be found on the Midnight Swing EP, with the Brussels-born artist flitting between hazy, organ-sporting late-night chunkiness (the classic-sounding title track, which makes use of some vintage vocal snippets), airy colourfulness (the ultra-positive electronic melodies, lo-fi machine drums and tactile chords of 'Blue Ciel', and revivalist, mid-90s New Jersey garage/New York deep house fusion ('Broken Idyll'). Label regular Cody Currie provides the sole remix: a gorgeously airy, warm and sun-kissed revision of 'Blue Ciel' that's simply sublime.
Review: Two years have passed since the last Masterworks Music label compilation, so this fourth volume is long overdue. It's another expansive affair, with boss man Danny "80s Child" Worrall offering up no less than 20 exclusives from a mixture of label regulars and new recruits. As you'd expect, there's much to enjoy, with highlights including the rubbery and celebratory disco goodness of Surgery Edits' 'Get Up and Boogie', the hazy house pleasure of Dirtytwo's 'Desire', the string-laden peak-time rush of Chris Grubinza's 'Feel The Rush', the revivalist 80s boogie brilliance of Slync and Evie Adams' 'Fantasy', and the wonderfully loved-up 80s soul-meets-nu-disco warmth of Paper Street Soul's 'Fwok!'.