Review: Next up on Lost Palms is 1-800 Girls aka Jake Stewart. Dancing is an atmospheric affair that is sure to appeal to fans of more esoteric techno. "3am Central Line" opens the release with a gentle, stepping groove and squelchy acid lines, while in a similar style is "Latin Tongue": the 303s have been replaced with breathy, billowing synths, but the punchy drums remain. On "Don't Wanna Stop", Stewart ups the tempo to deliver rolling break beats, but they deliver jazzy keys, while the EP concludes with "Minds Nature", an evocative piece of music that has echoes of 90s ambient.
Review: Selby Soul is a fresh label from Manchester. If this debut release is anything to go by we can expect to be talking about the imprint a lot in the months and years ahead. The EP comes courtesy of Alps 2, a similarly fresh outfit that contains a mixture of DJs and multi-instrumentalists "from both ends of the UK". Their trademark sound is warm and woozy, offering a blissful and glassy-eyed take on the manipulated, post-bass music and experimental house sounds preferred by Sepalcure, Burial and Baba Stiltz. We're particularly enjoying the colourful and melodious dreaminess of lead track "Remember To Feel Something" and the ambient/new age/Balearic fusion of closing cut "I Wonder", though some will prefer the more dancefloor-focused broken deep house flex of "Thank Yous".
Review: With their Superfriends label stronger than ever German duo andhim were first spotted coming through the ranks via releases on Terminal M and a hatrick of releases for Get Physical in the mid-2010s. Much like when their track "Hausch" was spliced up by a cast of Kompakt, Strictly Rhythm and Pampa Records elite, this time for their own label andhim seek remixes from the fresh talents of Innervisions' Toto Chiavetta's, some gnarly techno from genre everlong Niel Landstrumm in addition to Frank Music's Johannes Albert with the huge house keys in "Aires". Exotic percussion and rhythms keep the EP cosmic with newcomer Kalupke's take on "Buenos" as does the exotic chiptune and Italo cof Chiavetta's Retro Mono remix to "Windows 85". An EP highlight. Save Landstrumm for the Tiga-toting rave remix of "Duno".
Review: Andrew Edward Brown has been around for a while, though his discography is a little thin. Given the quality of this single on Codek, that's something of a surprise. His version is available in both vocal and instrumental flavours, and it's the former that really stands out. Brown is a great songwriter and vocalist, and his lead vocal works perfectly with the warm and woozy backing track - a heady blend of deep house grooves, rich chords, squelchy nu-disco synth bass and a few nods towards '80s boogie. Label bosses In Flagranti handle remix duties, turning in vocal and instrumental takes that brilliantly re-imagine the track as a flash-fried chunk of guitar-laden dub disco goodness tailor made for peak-time dancefloors.
BTs Happiness (dub - feat Tina B) - (6:17) 120 BPM
Review: US legend Baker teams up with Cuban producer Casanova for a three-track, five-mix EP that operates largely in tribal/Afro territory. Opener 'Makossa' rides an insistent, stuttering tribal rhythm, topped with a chanted male vocal: as the track progresses, horns are added and the backbeat gets ever more electronic-sounding as they ramp up the FX. 'Dale!' is another tribal jam served with or without another male vocal chant, which leaves just 'BT's Happiness' to flip the script, being a full-phat disco-houser that borrows a snatch of vocal from Cuba Gooding classic 'Happiness Is Just Around The Bend', and that's available in vocal or dub form as you see fit.
Review: Fresh from their fine collaborative single on Running Back - the rather heavy "Desire" - Butch and C.Vogt join forces once more for an outing on another admirable house imprint, long-running London label Freerange. In its original form, "Vogue" is undulating and gently mind-altering, with the pair wrapping angular electronic motifs, soft-touch chords and dreamy synth sweeps around crunchy, drum machine style percussion. Label co-founder Jimpster provides the headline remix, opting for deeper bass, warmer chords and oodles of layered tribal percussion, which Butch provides a "Bonus Edit" that seems even dreamier than the original mix. The EP includes another tasty bonus in the shape of Vogt's edit of saucer-eyed retro-futurism gem "Windeck".
Review: Last seen (and heard) collaborating with Hesselberg on Nazca, Dandara is a Switzerland-based producer best known for combining heavily electronic deep house with live percussion and elements of tropical music from Africa and South America. His latest EP for Sol Selectas follows a similar trajectory, moving between Innervisions-esque fare (fine opening cut "Atumbe"), looser and more percussive vibes (the warm and toasty "Caracal", which includes some rather nice electronic melodies) and the kind of spiritual house warmth more often associated with "Moja". Each cut comes with an accompanying remix. They're all strong, though our pick is Kilk and Frik's wonderfully tropical deep house take on "Caracal". It's a touch slower than Dandara's original mix but arguably twice as good.
The 3nity Returneth (instrumental mix) - (9:37) 126 BPM
Review: Since making his debut on Peetah Music in 2001, Demuir has built up a rock solid catalogue of club-ready deep house jams. Here the Toronto-based producer follows up recent outings on Robsoul, Hot Creations and Desolat with a first appearance on Heist Recordings. He hits the ground running with a muscular deep house loop jam weighty enough for peak-time plays ("Werq Feel Gruv Love"), before layering up spacey synths, heady string samples and rubbery house beats on "The 3nity Returneth (Dub Mix)"."Philippine Sunrise" is arguably the best of a strong bunch: a melodious, warm and intoxicating deep house workout full of intricate musical detail and colourful electronics. That comes back by a tasty revision by Lady Blaktronika that sounds like it was designed for locked-in, late night dancefloors.
Review: With his strong penchant for emotive and euphoric dancefloor narratives as heard on Exit Strategy, Afterlife and Aeon - it was only a matter of time until Denis Horvat's sound became appreciated by Berlin imprint Innervisions. Since appearing on the label's Secret Weapons compilations a couple of times in the past, the rising Dane now makes his debut proper for the label - for the third and final installment of this trio of EPs. From the reflective mood music of opener "Tajna", to the soulful and evocative dancefloor drama of "Fragmental" or the moody futurist groove of "Pure Distance" - hammering the message home with that bit of power.
Emergency Delivery (Archie Hamilton remix) - (7:14) 126 BPM
Emergency Delivery (Politics Of Dancing remix) - (6:40) 126 BPM
Review: French house vet DJ Freddy steps up on Politics Of Dancing with a surefire party starter with "Emergency Delivery". From the disco blips to the snappy vocal slices, it's everything a peak time belter should be, marking the seasoned producer's first trip out in nearly 10 years in style. Archie Hamilton steps up for a sophisticated remix that subtly dubs out the original, while the Politics Of Dancing crew turn in a version that strips everything back to the rhythm core with a mean acid rub tooled up for the deeper end of the dance.
Review: Earthboogie is currently on a break, so it's likely that this fine single is the last we'll hear from them for a year or two. First up is "Creepy Steve", a previously unheard workout that wraps lashings of Latin style percussion, spacey synthesizer noises, fuzzy guitar solos and African style vocals around a mid-tempo dub disco influenced groove. Arguably even better is Joel Harrison's remix of the title track from the band's superb debut album "Human Call". He retains some of the Afro-centric elements and live instrumentation but also adds dreamy, Larry Heard style chords, thrusting drums and some suitably wide-eyed musical touches. The result is a spacey deep house gem that's as warm and comforting as it is dancefloor friendly.
Review: Earlier in the year Fahrland self-released his debut album "Oneness", an "electrified soul hybrid mixed with peaks of beats, hints of beats, interwoven in cloudy spaces". The Pachanga Boys certainly enjoyed it, because they decided to commission and release a swathe of dancefloor-focused remixes. Cherokee collaboration "All That I Need" is first to undergo a makeover, with Dave DK brilliantly joining the dots between languid tropical soul, lazy Balearic disco and shuffling deep house, before Fahrland re-imagines "In Oneness" as a jangling, sun-bright slab of glistening loop-house. Superpitcher delivers similar sounding "Magic Mix" and instrumental versions of "Spanish Castle Magic", underpinning Fahrland's glassy-eyed tropical guitar motifs and chiming synthesizer melodies with a slow motion dub disco groove.
Review: Drew Lustman has been relatively quiet by his standards this year, though he's still found time to offer up a couple of quality singles on Blueberry Records and Unknown To The Unknown. Here he makes his first appearance on Studio Barnhus with an EP that showcases two distinctly different sides to his multi-faceted musical persona. Title track "Flechazo" is a veritable drizzle of melodic positivity, with eyes-closed synthesizer motifs, sun-bright electronics and dreamy chords cloaking a crunchy, off-kilter deep house rhythm and suitably heavy bassline. In contrast, "New Lover" is a fair more warehouse-ready affair, with Lustman reaching for the mid-90s U.S garage riffs (think "Show Me Love"), bustling breakbeats, booming bass, sweaty female vocal samples and twinkling melodies.
Invisible Skills (feat Emil Abramyan) - (6:34) 126 BPM
Lucent Eyes - (5:04) 122 BPM
The Road In Front Of Me (feat Jenifa Mayanja) - (5:26) 130 BPM
Review: Sometime mystery deep house producer Grant - now revealed to be an alias of Frank & Tony member Anthony Collins -has a track record that many of his peers surely envy. To date, he's barely put a foot wrong and "Fantasy Blues", his first full-length outing on Lobster Theremin, is another superb set. Warm, melodious, musically detailed and far more imaginative than most deep house albums you'll hear this, the set sees Collins slip between oven-hot, jazz-funk influenced electronica ("Ephemeral Chase"), revivalist early '90s NYC deep house ("Mind & Space", "Finite Elements"), loose-and-languid ultra-deep goodness ("Amaranthine Profundity", "Blurred Harmony") and the kind of relaxed, intergalactic fare that sits somewhere between ambient techno and ocean-deep dream house. In other words, it's superb.
Review: Storied Spanish producer Hurlee made his first appearance on Tilly Jam earlier in the year with an EP that we described as having a "cocktail hour vibe". The Mallorca-based artist's second salvo on the label is an altogether more up-tempo affair, though the ear pleasing musicality, sunny warmth and inherent cheeriness remains centre stage throughout. He begins in fine fashion with "Breakfast With Eliza", a colourful chunk of tactile disco/deep house fusion laden with melodic positivity and killer bass guitar lines, before joining the dots between boogie, 80s soul and morning-fresh deep house and EP standout "Gimme Some Groove". To round things off, he successfully cuts up a classic underground disco track and re-tools it for house dancefloors ("Dance Together").
Review: German percussionist Kolja Gerstenberg makes no attempt to hide his love for the drums on this razor sharp drop for Lumberjacks In Hell, building on his previous outings on Suol and Smile For A While. The drums are sizzling hot on "Feel Yo", tastefully overdriven and embellished with some MPC-style sample juggling that should satisfy those who like their house tracks hot as Dante's inferno. "Where They're From" is no slouch either, keeping the pressure up with a liberal dose of soul poured in for good measure. The keys and live bass on "Want You" add to the feverish mood, and then "Get Over" sends things spiraling out on a Latin-spiced cosmic journey.
Fabio Me Llaman Soltero - "Rutina De Core" - (4:48) 115 BPM
Review: Mexican imprint Duro may have walked steadfast down the left hand path of late, with their knack for moody industrial influenced music, but the first installment in their new 'Muy' compilation series sees them celebrate their 4th birthday in fine fashion - with the label and its cohorts returning to their nu-disco roots in delightful fashion. Kubebe delves deep into lo-slung territory on the mesmerizing groove of "Lagomar", Lithuanian Roe Deers offers up some cut-up classic house shenanigans on "Florida", Wolfstram does deep into the exotic (Disco Halal style) on "Ritual Of Nothing" and Hanzo & Yaman deliver the neon-lit body music of "Supergeil".
Review: The Mysticisms label serves up a valuable reissue of the very first release from Nail, the long-serving UK house veteran as prolific now as he was back in the heyday of legendary Nottingham soundsystem DiY. "Cassiopeia" originally appeared on a compilation on Warp, but now it gets a full side of vinyl over which to unfurl its arcane 90s magic. Entrancing synth cascades and stuttering sampler mantras, throbbing b-lines and jacking claps all make for a holy grail deep techno track from the good old days, and Nail has given it a 2019 remix which brings the spiritual shenanigans of the original into a different kind of meditative, house-oriented context.
Review: For the best part of a decade, Nicholas Lammatteo has offered up warm and atmospheric deep house that draws inspiration from great European and American dancefloor records of the 1990s. He's at it again on his second outing for Shall Not Fade. Much of the EP is informed by the glassy-eyed, sunrise-ready wonder of turn-of-the-90s Italian dream house, particularly the Key-Tronic Ensemble style closer "Meditation" and the utterly gorgeous and dreamy "Rainforest", which is so authentic some dancers might believe it was released on DFC in 1990. Equally impressive are "Message From The East", a bass-heavy workout that layers typically dreamy synthesizer chords and gentle, eyes-closed melodies atop rolling breakbeats and tactile bass, and the flute-sampling, acid-bass-sporting breakbeat house shuffle of "Meridian Dream".
Review: We were rather astonished to discover that "24/7 Love Affair" is Michael Baumann's first album as Soulphiction for 11 years. We were a little less surprised to find that it's superb. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that it could be considered a "best practice" example of the kind of loose, sample-heavy, soul-fired deep house that is all the rage right now. Yet the album's epic length - it comprises no less than 17 tracks - also allows Baumann to mix it up a little too, with a swathe of ocean-deep club jams being joined by search diversions as the morning-fresh broken beat loveliness of "Jus Listen", the stomping disco-funk of "The Mood", the bustling breakbeats of "A Freak" and the blazed instrumental hip-hop of "Good Night Ema".
Review: With "Rhythm & Waves", Russian producer Sunner Soul seems to be daydreaming of sunnier and warmer times. There's certainly something suitably sun-kissed about the title track, which gently beefs up and re-arranges a bouncy, Clavinet-heavy chunk of groovy disco-funk that comes smothered in atmospheric party sounds. The tighter, slap bass-sporting "Universal Disco" explores similar sonic territory, while "Red Hot Disco" sees him layer up the percussion and filter sweeps on a joyful, mid-set workout. Elsewhere, "Let's Somebody Love" is a soaring slice up tooled-up disco-soul and "Get ready With Me" is a fine slab of string-laden boogie brilliance that sounds like it was beamed down from a distant disco planet.
Review: The mysterious Unyuko - he/she/they seemingly have no online presence whatsoever - return to Huntleys + Palmers offshoot Highlife with four deep Afro-house jams. 'Sisiseko Somphefumlo' gets the ball rolling in a laidback mood, with complex rhythms, drawn-out string sweeps and disembodied female 'aahs'. 'Afrika' is in a similar vein but with a male vocal chant and harder-hitting drums, 'Start Of Everything' veers closer to straight-up deep prog territory but is still underpinned by Afro-tinged percussion, and then 'Vela Ujaive', a track that could slot into all manner of downtempo/Balearic sets, plays us out on a hypnotic, shimmering, headnodding note.
Review: Vagabundo Club Social are the Colombian duo of Jaime Tuiran and Juan Pablo Pinedo, but the overall vibe of this latest EP is more Afro than Latin. 'Pambele' itself opens with hand percussion and breathy vocal stabs before developing into a Hammond-tastic Afro-jazz workout topped with a lengthier male vocal loop in an unidentified language. 'Esclavo 29' does have more of a Latin feel but we're back in Afro territory for 'Angayusa', which is the pick for house lovers with its solid 4/4s, chanted vox, lingering keys and mournful sax parps. Dancefloors that like their beats on the more exotic side should lap it up.
Studio Gruppe 1 - "Vereinte Herzen" - (3:36) 81 BPM
Review: New German label Dedicate debut with a 12-track compilation they describe as "a soundsphere from smooth, laidback grooves to funky uptempo beats". Studio Gruppe 1's opener 'Teletechnik Titelmelodie' - a fierce electro workout underpinned by organic funk drums - kicks off the collection in Chemical Brothers-like territory; Hans Nieswandt's 'Gl?cklich' is a dusty, Lemon Jelly-esque looper, Phonk D brings the uptempo soul vibes on 'Way Up', Kollege Schnurschuh's 'Fretless' joint will delight the jazzbos, and if you like the sound of all that so far then there are seven more leftfield funk jams to choose from before Studio Gruppe 1 play us out on a lounge-y tip with 'Vereinte Herzen'.
Special Request - "Codename Turbo Nutter" - (5:38) 85 BPM
Source Direct - "Vigilante" - (7:23) 113 BPM
J. Majik - "The Lost Tribe" - (5:14) 162 BPM
Shackleton - "Drawn And Quartered" - (8:09) 136 BPM
Pinch & Trim - "That Wasn't It" - (2:43) 128 BPM
Daniel Avery - "Whilst We've Got Metal In Our Blood" - (4:00) 144 BPM
Mantra - "Embers" - (5:22) 127 BPM
B.Traits - "Mameya" - (6:06) 126 BPM
Groove Armada - "Wesley Nightshade" - (6:09) 118 BPM
UNKLE - "Catch Me When I Fall" (Fabric Club mix) - (10:46) 115 BPM
Review: Take a look down the tracklist of Fabric 20th anniversary release and you'll be met with a generation of artists that have helped shape the institution in all manner of ways, be it legendary DJ sets or residencies to previous releases to the FabricLive mix compilations and so on. Inside you'll find a who's who of genre influencers, be they Margaret Dygas and Marcel Dettmann with their European minimal and techno connection, to the more left field and UK-centralised club sounds from Pinch & Trim, Call Super and Special Request. Classics have been leafed from Source Direct, UNKLE and Shackleton, with B.Traits, Maya Jane Coles and Daniel Avery rankable alongside Sascha, Nina Kraviz and Groove Armada in filling a most influential time capsule of club music and DJ culture history.