Dortmund based producer Mr. Fries returns to Wolf Music for his third outing for the London label, with yet more sample heavy/MPC saturated cuts that follows up a terrific EP on Philpot. WOLFEP 045 opens with the sexy late night mood lighting of "Nocturnal" with its creamy Rhodes melody and dusty drums, the funky "Work" and its bass driven/Moodymann influenced groove, and the sunny open-air deepness of "Getright" which you could imagine hearing at a outdoor party on a summer Sunday in Berlin. Speaking of which, the fine EP closes out in blissed-out style with the very Money $ex/Tartelet sounding urban blues of "Thesimplethings" nailing that deep sound of the German capital.
Following a lauded appearance on Particle Zoo Recordings, Rich Hall (no, not the grizzled American comedian) and Megan Jones bring their Cuz Electric project back to Midnight Riot. As label boss Yam Who is a big fan of their work, it's little surprise to see him deliver a brilliant remix of "Wonda's Revenge" that sounds like a nine-minute tribute to Odyssey with added kaleidoscopic synth flourishes. The duo's original version of the same track - an electric guitar sporting, arpeggio-driven nu-disco throb-job - follows, before we're treated to two versions of "Holding On". While the duo's original version is a dreamy, rush-inducing Balearic disco treat full of spine-tingling '80s synth-pop chords and jaunty piano riffs, it's Bachgenaur's slap bass-boasting boogie revision that hits home hardest.
Jeremy Sylvester continues to churn out the hits at a furious rate. "That Vibe", featuring the vocal talents of Kayeleigh Gibson, is the veteran UK garage and funk-fuelled house producer's sixth release of 2018. In its original form, the track is a deliciously summery roller, where looped and cut-up sections of Gibson's classic house vocal ride a skipping, bass-heavy UK garage groove, positive chords and glistening melodies. It comes accompanied by a dizzying array of remixes, most of which hit the spot. Highlights include DEM2's deep two-step garage re-rub, the thrill-a-minute excitement of Rude Jude's bouncy, piano-heavy interpretation, the deep UK-funky-meets-Afro-tech flex of the Concinity Remix and the raw, wobble bass-propelled swing of the Skyjoose Shadow Mix.
Billy Bogus debuted his Caribbean House project on Bearfunk last autumn, serving up a sumptuous single ("Gong Bong") that brilliantly joined the dots between dub disco, string-laden Balearica and picturesque nu-disco. This follow-up debut album naturally contains that superb track, plus seven more hard-to-pigeonhole cuts that variously doff a cap to '80s new wave pop dubs ("Night Drive"), distorted, techno-tempo analogue wonkiness ("Lonely Man"), Scandolearic space disco headiness ("Love By Proxy"), flash-fried dub disco ("Jesus Freaks"), Chicago jack-tracks ("Nature Nature") and blissful, delay-laden pop oddities ("Streets Like Noodles"). There's a lot going on throughout, but that's no criticism; it's simply one of those albums where you'll hear something new on each successive listen.
Next up on German imprint Suol is Berlin legend Till Von Sein. He doesn't need a big introduction ahead of them telling you about his brand new EP called 1977 Love. What you perhaps don't know is that 1977 is the year Till was born - and this release is number 077 in the label's catalogue. He's back with more of his distinct blend of dusty and urban flavoured deep house on the jazzy tip. From the soul/funk inflected swagger of "Curtis" with its infectious breakbeats, the straight-ahead four-to-the-floor deep groove of "Stevie" and the emotive "Pepe" which goes for a more emotive, nu-jazz kind of feel that further demonstrates the diversity in this underrated producer's repertoire.
While many of the expansive reissues on Defected's 4 To The Floor sub-label have focused on U.S house hits, here they serve up a genuine UK house classic: original Junior Boys Own anthem "There But For The Grace of God" by Terry Farley and Pete Heller under the Fire Island guise. Their cheery, sing-along soulful house original version (the "Live 'n' Funky Mix") comes accompanied by pretty much every remix there's been to date. Amongst the highlights are a bustling U.S garage dub by Roger Sanchez, a sublime ten-minute vocal take by Joey Negro, a wonderfully loved-up "Super-Dub" by X-Press 2 (which, funnily enough, reminded us of Black Science Orchestra jam "Save Us") and a thrillingly muscular, Sound Factory-friendly dub by Farley and Heller under the alternative Roach Motel alias.
As Hot Since 82 is in the midst of the second season of his Labyrinth residency at Pacha Ibiza, his Knee Deep In Sound label present their annual sampler inspired by the island. As always these albums are an opportunity to showcase up and coming talent, with the remit being tracks that are working on the dancefloor for the label boss both in Ibiza and beyond. Highlights include Spanish power duo Chus & Ceballos' dub laden hypnotism on "Ain't Nobody", French legend Oxia's electrifying peak time tool "Instinct" and even a bit of German-style dancefloor drama on the suspense filled "Night Crawler" by Hauswerks. Fellow German (speakers!) Dennes Deen and Philipp Strab from Austria contribute also, with the sexy and slinky prog house groove of "Haunted Drums".
Jackson Almond is from the north of England and hosts a show on Hoxton FM, and has released on BBE, Warner, Studio Rockers and Cavendish Music. His new one for open minded London label WotNot is the Open Your Head EP which features four deep and sunny cuts: from the groovy disco/balearic swagger of the title track, the bittersweet deepness of "People, Places, Things In Spaces" (with its irresistible melody) and the swing-fuelled Afro house of "Ee Ye" which has that Money $ex/D.KO style of MPC dustiness about it - which we are huge fans of!
The legendary Tony Allen released the Black Voices LP almost two decades ago and it is timeless enough in its original format. But with these two stellar remixes keeping its spirit alive: it gets a fresh and more modern perspective. French deep house hero Folamour steps up first to give "Get Together" a funked-up, sunkissed and soulful rendition that is just perfect for this time of year. Next up NIT which is the alias of the French musician Corentin Kerdraon serves up a great remix. A keyboard player and producer, he has just recorded an EP for the American singer Cola Boy. "The Same Blood" gets his smooth nu-jazz broken beat perspective that's in the vein of greats like Atjazz or Mark De Clive Lowe.
Italian retroverts in Berlin Slow Motion are back (after great releases by Gallo and Francisco & Cosmo) with Capofortuna: a Rimini based project bridging the Italian house tradition with a touch of modern funk. Davide Santandrea, better known as Rame, and the brothers Riccardo and Francesco Cardelli, are making a name for themselves nowadays under the moniker. There's some neon-lit boogie down action on "Crush On You", lo-slung funk on "Working For Who" and the uplifting nu-disco odyssey "Playzone" which will propel you into the stratosphere.
Dirty, druggy swing-fuelled tech house for beach parties on The White Isle and beyond: courtesy of Argentinian producer Jay De Lys (Elrow/Material Series) and British DJ Jamie Roy (Of Unsound Mind/Viva Warriors/Glasgow Underground) on "The Floor" - punchy tech-house with a heap of bounce to rock the house on any occasion. "Pump" is even more adrenalised and fierce with its jacked vocals, funk bassline and pumping rhythms, while "Fever" pushes the threshold even more on this tough rolling groove for the main room at peak-time - there's a killer bassline on this one which is sure to get the hands in the air!
Danny Kane is becoming a true master when it comes to producing the funkier side of club house, and this new joint on ISM is just in time for the mid-summer thrills, making for the perfect EP to smash out at the beach parties. "Go" is a fun, playful slice of nu-disco complete with magical strings, a heavy bass tone, and that early 80s funk sound that is made to get people moving. "Do It Right" is nothing but a sweet-ass boogie ride with a sweltering elector bass to get it truly pumping; the Yam Who? remix takes that one step further, adding more guts and panache to an already killer bassline!
Following up their terrific debut on Strictly Rhythm earlier in 2018, the Zagreb based duo of Blacksoul and Mark de Line aka PEZNT return with more dirty deep house on "What's Ya Number". This time the prolific pair spread the love by bringing in lovable Swede Brown Sneakers (not his birth name) to add his own flourishes to the PEZNT groove machine. Featuring lo-slung bass and hip-hop vocals over swing-fuelled rhythms and groovy Wurlitzer lines - this one ticks all the right boxes. Second offering "Hey" is more straight ahead, on this boompty and drugged-up tech house jam for the main room. If that funky cowbell action and jacked vocals doesn't do it for you - just wait for that drop!
According to London label New State, Paul Harris and Steve Smith of Dirty Vegas have really enjoyed the process of putting together Days Go By (The Retrospective). They have gone back over their work and picked out some of their favourites over the years - a whopping 18 tracks, 19 remixes and a continuous mix by Harris. Speaking of the remixes: the Dumont & Wagener remix of "Human Love" gets onto an emotive and Balearic tinged trip, the remix of "Electric Love" by NYC house hero Eli Escobar remix gets well funky, and the always impressive Parisian Fred Falke delivers a typically neon-lit rendition of "Emma" from several years back. Along the way, while searching through music, video and photographic archives it has brought back lots of memories for the duo - and given them new energy and inspiration for their future music plans.
French label Tealer are back with a stellar various artists compilation that displays their fascination with the many shades of house music. Workerz, who have appeared on the label previously, serve up the sexy late night deepness of "Casa Del Amor", Moms' neon-lit number "Butte Aux Cailles" calls to mind the Parisian sounds of Pont Neuf, VDK get into some proper swinging business of the dusty "Minute Maid" and Lawron displays his distinctly French Touch on the smooth groove of "Paris Plage". Following up great releases on the label by Fuza, Botobo and Jean Jacques Aka 1980 - this sure is one label to watch in 2018.