Reviewed this week
It seems as if 15 years have just flown by since Berlin institution Watergate first opened their doors at the base of the famous Oberbaumbrucke, overlooking the River Spree and where long queues run down the street every weekend to get into one of the best clubs in the world. To celebrate their journey over the last decade and a half, they have put together a special anniversary release of 25 new, exclusive and formerly unreleased tracks. Residents of the superclub all appear, such as Hamburg native Matthias Meyer who teams up with Ryan Davis on the evocative "Hope", famed local duo Tiefschwarz deliver the slow burning and moody tech house of "Control", Sweden's La Fleur (of Power Plant fame) delivers the acidic bump and shuffle of "Femton" and former Stattbad resident and Beste Modus boss Cinthie gets deep on the classic house sound of "Hatschi Hatschi" which has a whole heap of swing to it!



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".
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".
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.
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".



Sunner Soul is from Saint Petersburg, but claims that his roots are drawn from Germany. The 30 year old further asserts that disco music was played at home from a young age, so it is about more than just music. Now as a producer, musician, DJ and record label owner, he presents his deep/funky/nu-disco/edits on his label Vintage Music. On the Right Cuts & Parts EP, we have the funky and filtered disco loops of "Soul Drifter" (original mix) or "Right Now" (original mix) which are reminiscent of early Cassius or Motorbass and similarly "Rainbow Set" (original mix) that equally features that distinct 'French Touch' on this dusty DJ tool. The Russian producer has had additional releases on hot disco labels such as Midnight Riot, Editorial and Funky Town in recent times and we expect to be hearing much more from this emerging talent in the months to come.
Dave Whelan and Mike Di Scala aka Camelphat have made their name with releases on Relief and Coyu's Suara, and now take their funky house sound to Lee Foss' recently launched imprint. The title track is a relentless, stab-heavy groove, full of repetitive vocal samples and infectious organ riffs. On "O.M.G.", the pair opt for a tougher sound, with firing percussion and a sleazy, murky bass underpinning a female vocal intoning the track's title that is then filtered repeatedly throughout the arrangement. "Magic Stick" sees Camelphat opt for a more stripped back approach, this time with tonal bleeps and a warm bass providing a backing for a highly suggestive vocal narrative.



In his previous life as a surfer, Paul "Fish" Fisher used to ride waves. Now the Australian producer prefers to make waves of the sonic variety - with devastating effect. Fisher's latest release is on Claude Von Stroke's label and it's not hard to understand why Oi Oi would appeal to Dirtybird's owner. "Stop It" resounds to a powerful, pumping bass, a pitch-bent vocal and even some deftly arranged electro synths. All of these elements add up to the type of track Von Stroke would spin. On "Ya Didn't", he opts for a more classic house sound, with a looped soulful vocal fused with a tracky groove - but then a wall of electronic bass washes over the arrangement, consolidating Fisher's name as a purveyor of party house.
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.
The eleventh edition of Diynamic Music's Four To The Floor series has arrived. Their very own various artists series is always comprised of four dancefloor oriented tracks, that have all been heavily road tested and certified by label boss Solomun on his countless gigs throughout the globe. Beginning with the brooding dancefloor drama of Par-T-One's "I'm So Crazy" (Armonica remix) with its entrancing and tunnelling aesthetic that reaches near tribal moments, plus that Dennis Parker sample never gets old! Spanish producer German Brigante serves up the slinky tech house groove of "Mango", Greek duo Alexandros Djkevingr and Greg Ignatovich (Vagabond) serve up the nefarious afterhours techno of "Choose Life" and Turkey's Serhan Guney serves up the slow burning progressive house thriller "Journey Of The Mind".
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"



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.
As the title suggests, this four-track escapade from Romare features a quartet of straight-to-tape versions of tracks from his live show. According to Ninja Tune, the tracks were recorded using instruments from his live set up, a handful of samples (primarily from previous "studio" versions of the included tracks) and "occasional bass guitar from his brother". As you'd expect, it's a largely fluid and stripped-back affair, with opener "All Night (Live Session 1)" - a kind of warm, boogie-driven deep house shuffler - and the skewed, late night deep house shuffle of "Come Close To Me (Live Session 2)" standing out. He employs some jazzy guitars and extremely fluid keys solos on "Come Close To Me (Live Session 1)" and "Je T'aime", giving both an attractive, hybrid organic/electronic vibe.
Los Angeles techno legend John Tejada released the tech house anthem "Sweat" (On The Walls) back in 2004 on Poker Flat and its success has been enduring - it is one of those tracks you still hear getting played to this day and it always gets a great reaction from the crowd. To prove this track is as relevant as ever and hasn't dated, we've got powerhouse Defected giving it a much welcomed reissue and a bunch of worthy remixes that give the track a modern revision. Dutchman Franky Rizardo gives it a respectful remix that stays true to the original but gives it a different dynamic for today's crowds while Laolu's version was quite interesting: here it takes Qzen's vocal from the original over a deep progressive house groove. It also comes with the 'much slept on' remix by the Mobilee affiliated Sebo K which came with the original 13 years ago.
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.
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.
Moth is John Beltran's follow-up album to his 90s long player Ten Days of Blue, and proves to be a worthy successor. There's the jittery rhythms of "Wet With Rain" and the Detroit techno "Flight", while on "The Returning Dance" and "Nineteen Eighty Nine", the US producer looks to Larry Heard for inspiration as he drops emotive deep house tracks that centre on bleeding basslines and vivid melodies. Beltran's trademark ambient sounds are also present, with "Whatever The Road Brings" delivering chiming melodies over subtle rhythms, while the ethereal "Street Lights" and "My Robot" represents Beltran at his esoteric best.
Exclusives
ACID PAULI - BLD Remixes A (Ouie)
KEMBACK - Good Night (Omena)
VARIOUS - Watergate XV (Watergate)
Exclusives
RHODE & BROWN	B - Tru 2 U (Toy Tonics)
MALLARD/JDEEP - INTLBLACK 003 (International Black)
30/70 - Elevate (Rhythm Section International)
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