Reviewed this week
This expansive eight track EP/MIni album from the consistent Running Back label arrives with no information about the identity of the previously unknown Younger Rebinds. What we can tell you, though, is that it's really rather good. As the title hints, it's something of a retro-futurist treat, with the mystery outfit laying down a range of club-ready jams inspired by the rich history of house music. Highlights include the hands-aloft piano house simplicity of "Hite", the proto-house-meets-acid-house hum of the decidedly druggy and psychedelic "Retro7", the bounding, heavily electronic deep house bounce of "Oorgel" and the pitched-down, saucer-eyed Balearic house bliss of "Moonday". Those who enjoying playing around with percussion should also check the sweaty drum workout that is "7Beat".
Alistair Gibbs takes time out from churning out dancefloor gold on his Friends & Relations imprint to make a welcome return to Heist Recordings. Predictably, he's in fine fettle throughout. Opener "Affirmation" is an almost overwhelmingly positive chunk of loose and baggy disco house that's similar in feel - if not sound - to Tom Trago classic "Use Me Again". "Agilo E Olio", on the other hand, is a much more driving and low-slung affair, with key wickedly rubbery bass, cowbell-heavy percussion and fuzzy Clavinet lines providing heaps of dancefloor energy. Laurence Guy gives that track a warm, woozy and dreamy deep house makeover, before Nebraska rounds things off via the jaunty dub-house-meets-Maurice Fulton brilliance of EP standout "Big Plate Chicken".
Many thought that Moonrise Hill Material co-founder Folamour's acclaimed second album, Umami, would only ever appear on vinyl. Happily, Classic has licensed it and here makes it available as a digital download for the very first time. The album boasts few surprises to those who know his catalogue and sees the hyped producer accompany dusty, sample-heavy deep house club jams with a smattering of soulful, MPC style beat workouts. There's naturally little in the way of flabby filler, just a wealth of good grooves heavily influenced by soul, jazz and disco. Highlights include the Theo Parrish/Andres style jazzy deep house of "Look At Me Or I'll Steal Your Eyes", the head-nodding hip-hop soul of "Kickflippin' That Stuff" and the full-throttle disco-house of "Ivoire".
Having previously impressed via a series of fine releases on Monologue Recordings, Leon Revol continues to hit all the right notes. There's plenty to get the juices flowing on this first Beats of No Nation outing, not least a couple of fantastic cuts ("If Terry Was in D" and "Soundtrack To Charlie") that pepper sturdy disco-house style grooves with all manner of jazzy samples and instrument solos. The EP also boasts a sumptuous chunk of drowsy and dreamy deep house ("9 to 9"), a head-nodding trip into blazed instrumental hip-hop territory (the horizontal brilliance of "Lou Bet Sou") and a remix of "If Terry Was in D" by Jad Lee (as Jad & The) that fantastically fuses sun-kissed deep house dreaminess with the rhythmic punch of two-step garage.
It would be fair to say that Niall Mannion's first EP for Pampa is amongst the Irish producer's most eccentric releases to date. While both "Your Heavy Head" and "Kitedub" are underpinned by bubbly, tech-house drums and electronics, neither is your average peak-time club cut. "Your Heavy Head" is smothered in eccentric noises and musical elements - think accordion riffs, wind chimes and snippets of Mannion's own weary vocals - while "Kitedub" is deep, drowsy and quietly picturesque with the Tough one's teary singing rising to the forefront at regular intervals. Speaking of vocal tearjerkers, Mannion does a good job manipulating his own contemplative lyrics on ambient closer "Ahsure".



Sol Selectas Records specializes in deep tribal dance music, incorporating folkloric sounds and ancient rhythms, bringing them into a future electronic realm of deep house. Label boss Sabo released his album entitled 'Vibe Quest' back in 2016 and it now makes a return in the form of this remix package: which is rather impressive and worthy of your attention. Highlights on here include German tech house hero Acid Pauli's Singing Sequencer remix of "Singing Game" which is a woozy mid-noughties style minimal groove that's suited perfectly for the after hours. Multi Culti boss man Thomas Von Party's esoteric acid remix of "Drop That" is perfect for the raindance! Elsewhere, Los Angeles power duo Nadastrom return with a brooding remix of the title track and the legendary Alexi Delano makes a surprising appearance: the Swedish NYC transplant provides a hypnotic techno rework of "Force 4 Movement" while another legend in the form of Miami's Oscar G (who teams up with Lazaro Casanova) with a jacking remix of "Afro Fuego"



Manageby hails from France, but this release on Apparel could have come from Detroit or New York. On the title track, he mines jazz and soul influences to deliver a groove laden down with cosmic keys and vocal utterances. "GLQ" is more upbeat and likely to cross over to house DJs thanks to its infectious disco loops, piano keys and vocal samples. Manageby returns to soul and jazz influences for "You Don't Stop". While it's more dance floor friendly than "Feel", its combination of guitar chimes, brass and keys make it a sublime piece of house music, essential for those who like the musical flair of KDJ or Byron the Aquarius.
By the sounds of "Into The Wild", Ponty Mython was in a particularly loved-up and nostalgic mood when he made it. A cheery breakbeat-house cut that features nods to both Balearic-era UK house and the intelligent techno work of acts such as B12 and the Black Dog, it's one of his most memorable productions for some time. Elsewhere on the EP, he brilliantly fuses rubbery P-funk and melodious, dewy-eyed deep house on "So What Did You Expect", drifts into warm and woozy Balearic deep house territory via "Tropic of Capricorn" and re-visits his love of Boards of Canada and Motor City futurism on rush-inducing closer "Turkish Bath".
Before finally establishing himself as a neo-soul star in the mid-2000s (he'd been going for decades before that, of course), Joseph 'Amp' Fiddler recorded a couple of singles for fellow Detroiter Moodymann's Mahogani Music imprint as Amp Dog Knight. It's perhaps fitting, then, that his new album for the label is named in honour of that alias. Interestingly, while those EPs saw him turning his hand to deep, organic and soulful house, this album is packed with superior quality "proper" soul. Of course, you'll find a range of influences dotted throughout - fuzzy soul-rock, R&B, hip-hop, dub, jazz-funk and even a dash of Detroit deep house (see the Moodymann-ish "I'm Feeling You") - but by and large these are incorporated into Fiddler's trademark slinky and soulful audio soup.
Highly respected Frenchman Alexandre Gouyette makes his debut on Berlin institution Cabinet Records with two perfectly contrasting grooves: "Soothing" naturally lives up to its name with soft focus dubby synth ripples and a classic drum arrangement while "Visions" rolls and punches like a Kenny Dope beats track. Broken, spacious, dubbed-out and physical, Brawther's reputation for rough finesse is so strong you can properly feel it.
Quintessentials has assembled a fine cast of rising talents for the third volume in their ongoing Gentlemen Cuts series. Sometime Secret Reels and Toy Tonics producer Kian T kicks things off with the woozy, Folamour style number "Disco Savage", which brilliantly flits between deep and dusty grooves and mazy, disco-fired synth solos. Replika serves up more jazz-funk influenced deep house positivity in the shape of the synth-bass-propelled roller "Hollowgram", before Giovanni Damico does a brilliant job editing bustling dream breaks on the warm and sensual "KitKat". Finally, Kolja Grestenberg doffs a cap towards Andres and Local Talk on the swinging, soul-powered bump of brilliant closer "Get Your Ass Up". Stellar stuff, all told.
Avotre is a label based in Berlin, founded in 2012 by Philip Maier aka Sante. Following up great releases by Russ Yallop, wAFF and Citizen they've now got Tring's finest Huxley onboard with the brilliant "Clunk" where he displays his penchant for slinky tech house grooves. Then we get treated to a bunch of absolutely wicked remixes. Milanese duo Proudly People deliver a truly stomping remix that has that rolling peak time feel (for fans of Gruuv or Saved) while Hungarian Reelow takes you back to the mid noughties minimal techno vibe with his druggy after hours style remix. The Elrow affiliated Toni Varga steps in to deliver an absolutely electric early Detroit inspired rendition. Following up some great releases of late on DFTD, Moda Black and of course Aus Music, Huxley's No Idea's Original imprint has certainly impressed us of late also.



Danny "Moodymanc" Ward is known for Balaphonic and Vault amongst others and of course as a part of 2020 soundsystem with good pal Ralph Lawson until they called it quits a few years ago. He revisits his Dubble D alias up next on his Well Cut label delivering three equally epic cuts in the process. Starting off with the lush deep house late night jam "Well Oh", next up "Black 'N Gold" goes for a more soulful and jazzy and slightly disco vibe that had us reminiscing of early Boo Williams and Glenn Underground. Adding some real variety to the release is final track "Grande Piazza" which shows ward has an equally deft hand at creating some smooth nu-disco flavoured grooves and this one features some gorgeously shimmering synth work.
Blind Jacks Journey is a genuinely fresh and provocative UK house label that stands apart from the rest of the material coming out of the British Isles. Curiously, the name is based on John Metclaf, a famous engineer from Yorkshire who also went by the name of Blind Jack of Knaresborough, and that's exactly the sort of humorous edge that runs through the label...something that we're always find of. It's all about chilled, placid house here, and RNR drops two stellar doses of the stuff in "Moments" and "Moments Vox Tool", a pair of sensual dance scorchers that sound improvisational yet perfectly happy and balanced in their minimalism. Mr Fiel's "Sunset On The Moon" is a similar sort of lick except that here the percussion is more tribal and the sounds less solitary, but the flipside by Gnork and Luv Jam, named "Troppppixxxx", is what we would call an 'utter winner'; it's the sort of house tune with that subtle acid sway and just the right amount of balearic charm. Jimini's "Back To Reality" completes the picture with a deep and dubby missile for those after-hour sets. Tip!
It's been a long time between drinks for Lorenz Rhode. Remarkably, this is the former Exploited regular's first EP in nearly five years. As usual, the emphasis is on classy, party-starting fare, from the jammed-out electric piano keys, synth bass and sampled '80s soul vocals of "And I Said" to the big builds, jaunty synth riffs and crispy drums of "Xpandau". Heavier workouts come in the shape of "Risa", where druggy electronic motifs ride a sleazy, Chicago jack-influenced backing track, and K.98's "Rubbadub" mix of "And I Said", a warehouse-friendly romp fired by bombastic kick-drums, DJ Sneak style stabs and Todd Edwards-esque vocal cut-ups.
Here's something to set the pulse racing: a surprise joint EP from experienced Finnish producers Jimi Tenor (still best-known for his eccentric lounge-jazz escapades on Warp) and Klas-Henrik Lindblad (AKA Sasse and, here, Freestyle Man). Tenor's drowsy and distinctive vocals - as well as his fuzzy old synthesizer melodies - come to the fore on the first two tracks, with dusty deep house opener "Power of Love" impressing slightly more than the tongue-in-cheek "Pyjama Party" (which, incidentally, reminded us of Tenor's late '90s material). Elsewhere, Lindblad's love of Metro Area style nu-disco is explored on "Turku Airport", while "Temple of Music" sees jazz-man Tenor layering solos over a slick and sumptuous deep house groove.
Unknown To The Unknown sub label Hot Haus have been doing great things of late with fine releases by Steve Murphy, Red Light and Marlon Hoffstadt. Next up is Jacy Bozzi, an Italian DJ, composer and arranger. He is the founder of Home Of House Records. Deeply devoted to the old school sound of classic Italian house between 1989 and 1994, he was picked up to feature on both of Young Marco's Welcome To Paradise compilations and released the Somewhere In The Tapes EP on the Kalahari Oyster Cult label. DJ Haus had access to a world of lost DATS and dug out four super deep Italian house masterpieces. Real composition, no lazy sampling, just pure MIDI house music from Italy.
Bristol-based Kemback (AKA jazz-loving house producer Geoff Wright) impressed earlier this year with a tasty contribution to Don't Be Afraid's DBA Dubs series. A year earlier, he'd released his debut EP on Omena, the fabulous Good Night. Here, that set appears on digital download for the first time. The title track sees Wright brilliantly wrapping sampled jazz instrumentation (double bass, grand piano, hissing cymbals) and dawdling, Floating Points style synthesizer solos around a hypnotic, Innervisions style groove, while "For You Today" is a liltng deep house shuffler full of Sweeping strings, dusty samples and rich Rhodes chords. There are also two fine remixes of "Good Night": a woozy deep house revision by Local Talk co-founder Tooli and a sumptuous, electronic-Afro-jazz-in-deep-space take from the reliable Auntie Flo.



As you'd probably expect, Ouie has done a good job selecting remixers to work their magic on tracks from Acid Pauli's recent sophomore album, BLD. We were initially drawn to Red Axes' superb take on "Ayam", which oozes psychedelic, head-turning intent (much like the Israeli duo's original productions, in fact) and thrilling changes direction a number of times whilst retaining a heavy, dub-inspired groove. There's no doubt this remix stands out, but there are also impressive turns from Nico Stojan, whose gently unfurling version of "Majid" achieves a fine balance between club-ready punch and head-in-the-clouds attractiveness, and hypnotic tech-house/deep house fusionist Sainte Vie.



Gerd's Frame of Mind label aims to reissue classic older tracks as well as fresh new house sounds. Here are seven exquisite deep house cuts for you by producer Toyin Agbetu. A forgotten hero of the UK underground responsible for some of the most exquisite music out there. Between 1990 - 1992 this veteran producer made everything from street soul and hip-hop to moody Chicago and Detroit inspired house and soulful garage cuts. All crafted with passion, love and devotion. With this EP Frame Of Mind introduces you to some of his finest works recorded under the Shades Of Black alias, where Gerd has selected several out of print releases from the Intrique label. A must have for fans of classic house such as Larry Heard. Since quitting the music business, Agbetu is these days a writer, educator, artist-activist and Pan African community worker.
Exclusives
LORENZ RHODE - Risa EP (Dirt Crew Germany)
MANO LE TOUGH - Ahsure EP (Pampa Germany0
DJ AAKMAEL - Take It Back (Scissor & Thread)
Exclusives
BUTCH/C VOGT - Bliss (Rebirth)
LEON REVOL - Lou Bet Sou EP (Beats Of No Nation)
VARIOUS - Shir Khan Presents Exploited Ghetto Trax Vol 3 (Exploited Germany)
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