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: Stuart "Chuggy" Leath continues to churn out the releases on his must-check Emotional Especial label. His latest missive features previously unheard reworks of material featured on the imprint's last nine releases, and predictably there's much to enjoy. Fast-rising production duo Khidja is undoubtedly the star of the show. As well as serving up an extended version of their ultra-deep, oh-so atmospheric "Looki", they also turn Unknown Cases' classic "Masimbele" into a druggy, percussive chugger full of tribal chants, throbbing analogue bass and cut-up guitar riffs. Elsewhere, Cage & Aviary turn their own "Imagination" into a loved-up epic, and Alphonse's rave-inspired "Same For Me" is re-imagined as a psychedelic, dubbed-out masterpiece.
John Vitesse - "Bloom Doom" (Vocals By Oklou) - (3:46) 136 BPM
Review: The (Re)Sources label is still relatively young in terms of releases and artists, but they've already instilled a sense of reliability from our viewpoint, particularly for the diversity AND quality of their output, whether that be house, techno, or straight-up bass. This is their first compilation yet, an eight-track spew of all sorts of forward-thinking beats named Club Hexagon Vol.1. Chaams' opener is a twisted pile of bass and morphing samples, and other stand-outs include the techno-minded "Diamonds Foot" by Sheas Drunk, Tommy Kid's gunshot ride "Shanghai", and the moody, deep bass weight of "Bloom Doom" by John Vitesse. Hold tight for the second chapter!