Reviewed this week
Within the UK Bass scene, there are few who can be held in higher acclaim that Brighton's own Taiki Nulight, who has been at the forefront of bass music for pretty much the entirety of the scene's modern existence. This album showcases everything that the man is about, from the UKG inspired flavours of the title track 'Murky Manor', to the more futuristic and experimental stylings of 'Iconic', alongside Dread MC. Other highlights include the circular percussive movements of the 'The Business', the tearout tones of 'Primal' and of course the three high profile collaborations alongside fellow bass heavyweights: AC Slater, Chris Lorenzo and Cause & Affect.
Like fictional super-spy James Bond, Chewy Rubs prefers his re-edits "Shaken Not Stirred". "Took My Love Away (Chewy Rubs Deep Disco Vox"), the opening cut from the Star Wars-loving producer's latest EP, is every bit as potent and tipsy as a pint of Vodka Martini, with deliciously glassy-eyed female vocal snippets rising above a loopy disco-house groove. Similarly impressive is chugging, mind-altering throb-job "Love A Groove (Chewy Rubs Extend-it)", where spacey synthesizer arpeggio lines and quirky vocal samples rise above a pulsating, mid-'80s dancefloor groove. Elsewhere, "Garage Disco III" is a electric piano-heavy revision of a mid-80s NYC house jam rearranged in cahoots with pal Moke, while "Rake The Moon (Chewy Rubs Space Dust Rub)" is a creepy, ever-growing, house-friendly tweak of a weirdo space disco workout.
Eleven years have passed since Wajeed released his most recent solo album, the instrumental hip-hop focused "The War LP". In that time, the Detroiter has expanded his musical repertoire somewhat, drawing greater influence from the Motor City's illustrious deep house scene. It's this side of his output that he explores on "For The Dirt", giddily flitting between acid-fired piano house ("From The Dirt"), Omar-S style tech-house/deep house fusion ("After You Left"), disco and funk-influenced vocal workouts (see "Things About You"), tasty tech-soul songs ("I Ain't Safe", the wonderful "Make It Happen") and jazz-flecked deep house dustiness (the percussive and swinging, "My Father's Rhythm").
There's a fine line between the re-edit and the sample track, and it's a line that gets notably blurred on this latest Chewy Rubs EP from Re-Loved, though the latter tag probably fits slightly better. 'Everybody' is a stuttery nu-disco/disco-house jam topped with familiar diva vocal snippets, the rolling, bass-y Seamus Haji Remix of 'It's Not Over' impressively breathes new life into the well-worn First Choice vocal, 'Too Much, You Know' operates at the jazzier end of the contemporary funk spectrum and will likely prove the connoisseurs' choice, while 'Doing It' is straight-up Euro dancefloor exuberance, late 70s-style.
Here, a quartet of producers step up to offer their interpretations of "Neutron Dance", the throbbing, Italo-disco-fired lead cut from Krystal Klear's "Division EP". Paul Woolford pays tribute to early Eddie Richards project Jolly Roger on his jaunty, early UK house style rework - all squidgy TB-303 bass, drum machine cowbells and fluid house pianos - before Fango re-imagines the track as a sprightly chunk of New York freestyle/breakbeat house fusion. Fellow Irishman Mano Le Tough takes to the mic on his hybrid Italo-disco/throbbing house take, before Running Back chief Gerd Jansen straps on his "Birkies" and re-imagines the Dublin producer's original as a breezy blast of dub-wise, retro-futurist house.
Earlier in the year, U.S disco and house legend Danny Krivit took his scalpel to Emilie Nana's super single "I Rise", a warm and woozy fusion of shuffling beats, visions of Shiva chords, blissful electronic melodies and stylish spoken word vocals. Now Compost has turned the track over to another bona fide U.S legend, Wave Music man and former Prelude remixer Francois Kevorkian. Predictably, he does a superb job, re-casting Nana's original as a constantly building cosmic house epic on his superb, near 12-minute "Journey Vocal" version. His subtle percussive changes and ear for atmosphere come to the fore on the suitably trippy and head-in-the-clouds dancefloor Dub, while the "Bonus Beats" take sees him layering up the drums and effects with incredibly impressive results.
Earlier this year, Irish producer Marcus Lambkin delivered his first new material for two years as part of Me Me Me's second all-star "We We We" EP. Here the former DFA man returns to Man Power's label with a typically solid single. There are three original cuts to choose from: the gently spacey, funked-up deep house throb of "Cubed", the deep Chicago jack-meets-Balearic acid rush of "Rotation" and the sleepy warmth of "The Life To Come", where elongated chords and rich electric piano motifs ride a chunky, bass-heavy house groove. Edmundson re-imagines "Cubed" as a blissful chunk of deep house/two-step fusion, while Vin Sol wraps "Rotation" in raw analogue bass, mind-altering stabs and undulating acid lines.
For the seventh edition of Ostgut Ton?s acclaimed Panorama Bar mix, they have reeled in one of their finest and hard working sectors in the from of ND Baumecker - and it's about time! The Frankfurt native's compilation features a varied selection of moods and grooves, including exclusive tracks from FaltyDL, Gen Ludd and Jinje - as heard on volume one. The second one featured here is where you are treated to British deep house sensation Ross From Friends' trippy yet absolutely evocative "High Energy", Bay Area human beatbox Dave Aju getting into some deeply exotic microhouse on "Wayahed" and Rotterdam based electro heads Duplex delivering the ultra smooth "Isolator".
The Sound Of Benny EP Running Back Germany

It can be tricky keeping up with the many aliases of Benny Rodrigues Alves Fortes Monteiro, a Rotterdam-based producer whose output tends towards the prolific. Happily, Gerd Janson is here to help, bringing four of his pseudonyms together on one must-have EP. Rodrigues first dons the Younger Rebinds alias to deliver arpeggio-driven Italo-acid chugger "Tim's Symphony", before changing into his ROD clothes for "MOOG", a mind-altering chunk of late night techno psychedelia. Under his given name you'll find "Sad Piano", a fluid and stripped back piano house workout, while Obob Akim cut "Hausbreak" sees him brilliantly wrap old school U.S garage synth stabs and rising Italo-disco electronics around a punchy, electro style breakbeat.
Since making tehur debut in 2013, Black Loops has been one of the most consistent deep house duos around. It's no doubt due to this fine track record, which includes a string of killer singles on Toy Tonics and Neovinyl, that the Italian twosome has been snapped up by Jimpster's Freerange label. They predictably hit the ground running with "7Hills", a tribute to Rome (or, at a push, Sheffield) that peppers a sturdy but swinging rhythm track with elongated organ chords, alien electronics and some suitably jazzy electric piano riffs. It comes accompanied by a slamming May Rey remix, which sounded to us like a deeper and dreamier take on Terrence Parker's bouncy techno sound, and suitably chunky, deep and picturesque bonus cut "King Paul".
Mangabey lets you know what his newest release is about from the outset, the pounding kick drum on 'Joy Kill' leaving nothing to the imagination. As loping funk underpins the power beneath, retro synths edge in as the track progresses, turning it into a real head nodder. Fouk pops up on the remix, ramping up the percussion and pairing it with some floating pads, the retro feel is amped up and a tinkling Rhodes piano turns this one into a proper journey of relaxation. Back to Mangabey and 'Broken Dub', a steppier interpretation of house music that injects some broken funk as well as dub - darker, moodier and a nice switch up. Glenn Astro brings up the rear on the remix and, with his gentle, warping pads, creates a rich tapestry of lowkey ambience from the start. An atmospheric take on the original that drops heaviness for lightness. A quality EP that any house lover will be into.
Long-serving DJ Justin Cudmore has put out releases on labels that have been affiliated with his DJing such as Interdimensional Transmissions and the Bunker. However, he now widens his gaze with this debut on Phonica's White offshoot. Like those previous Eps and his own DJing, the sound of Chicago and in particular acid, looms large here. "Twisted Love" resounds to a rolling , drum-heavy backing, breathy vocal samples and some of the most tweaked, tripped out 303 lines known to humanity. On "About to Burst", the mood is not as intense, but Cudmore still manages to imbue the spiky, percussive arrangement with the type of wired acid action that will get spines tingling and pulses racing.
Despite having a steady revival movement over the past couple of years, UK Funky has exploded onto the UK Bass scene over the past few months, influencing a large amount of underground music. Here we see one of the genre's leading lights in Murder He Wrote put forward a flavoursome four tracker, courtesy of Rhythm Athletic. We begin our journey on this one on a vibrant collaboration with Maddie Ellerby by the name of 'Expectations', which lays the blueprints for the rest of the EP with its classic funky flavours. Next up, 'Circles', a bluesy stripped back roller, packed with organic drum energy, before landing on the futuristic synth play of 'All I Ever Needed'. Finally we finish up the EP on the playful dub mix of 'Expectations'.
Israeli tech house hero Guy Gerber returns on his esteemed Rumors imprint with remixes of his latest hit "What To Do" that caused a hot fuss earlier this year. The Los Angeles based live performer here receives remixes from Berliner &ME giving the track the deep and seductive Keinemusik style of treatment, while the Chicago underground hero DJ Jes also steps in to deliver a tough and swing fuelled deep house rendition.
For those of you lucky enough to witness it, seeing Andreas Baumecker own the room at one of his acclaimed sets at Berlin's Panorama Bar is an absolute privelege. A resident since 2004, he's what Ostgut Ton best described as 'a foundational part of the club's identity.' For those of you that can't get past the notorious bouncers, be assured that Panorama Bar 07 will no doubt distill the experience into one riveting continuous mix - that brings the experience to you. Featuring exclusives by the likes of Falty DL - the New Yorker going for a proper old school vibe on the sensual "Paradox Garage 01", Jinje (of Vessels fame) nailing some slinky and hypnotic nu-disco antics on "Big Skies" and Glasweigian duo Gen Ludd serving up some deep techno perfect for those heads down moments on the dancefloor with "Bloods Avalanche".
Ever-eclectic What Ever Not label boss Dodi Palese comes to Compost Black Label with a fine three-track EP. 'Erika' is up first, a shuffle-y, warm-up friendly cut with a dense, dusty feel, arpeggiated keys and just a hint of prog... which paves the way nicely for 'Rain Dance', a languid track that sits right on the deep house/progressive house cusp, and as such could find favour with a wide range of DJs and dancefloors. A more urgent, throbby remix of the latter by Lehar & Musumeci completes the EP which, like much of Palese's (and indeed the label's) output, is one for the connoisseurs rather than mass consumption.
Well isn't this quite the pairing - progressive house legend Sasha teams up with established Berlin DJ La Fleur (Watergate) for an awe-inspiring collaboration on the former's esteemed Last Night On Earth imprint. The result is "Forbindelse" a swing-fuelled and emotive expression in deep house that employs classic and timeless elements all the way for definite dancefloor euphoria. The Berlin based Swede La Fleur then flies solo on the terrific "Rooned" a woozy and hypnotic tech house cut that mixes elements both driving and ethereal to wonderful effect.
If you're a lover of hip-house vocals then the Sweet Tee-esque title track here will definitely give you a 'Happy Feeling'! Elsewhere on the EP, 'Corrupt' is a looping, Latin-tinged affair with chorused female vox, there are more Latino flavas on 'You Choose', 'Arab Money' is an uptempo, brassy joint atop which another rapped vocal (a male one this time) and some Middle Eastern chanting go head-to-head, while 'Heartbeat' is essentially a rework of Jimmy 'Bo' Horne's 'Is It In?' from 1980. Five sample-tastic cuts that'll keep disco floors moving for sure.
The drum and bass pioneer Marcus Intalex (real name Marcus Kaye) passed away unexpectedly in 2017 aged 45. This posthumous three tracker is released under his undercover Art Vandelay alias intended for release on - naturally - Vandelay Industries (but coming out through his Birdie imprint) which will appeal to all the Seinfeld fans out there. From the tough and dusty swing-fuelled deepness of "Ballin" to the gutsy acid jack of "Dirty Thirty" and the soulful melancholic first wave Chicago vibe of "Olde Rotary" - it seemed that the best was yet to come from this true legend of the UK underground.
Banana Hill's latest musical missive is indicative of the label's global dancefloor fusion approach. It sees in-house producers Contours and Cervo join forces with Ugandan "percussion troupe" Fonkodelis Arkestra as Kawuku Sound. The resultant seven-track set is superb, with the group's brilliant Ugandan drum rhythms variously being fused with dub style production, spacey synth lines, gentle electronic ambience (see the sublime closing track "Niloctica's Yard"), dusty spoken word samples and fluid melodies. It's a hybrid mixture that works very well. The genius lies in the "soft touch" nature of Contours and Cervo's production, which largely pushes Fonkodelis Arkestra's brilliant percussion to the fore.
GUY GERBER - What To Do (Remixes) (Rumors)
MARC ROMBOY - Moonface/Zukunft (Systematic Recordings)
SASHA & LA FLEUR - Forbindelse (Last Night On Earth)
RIVA STARR - Curveballs (Truesoul)
MASON COLLECTIVE & RENKO - Feelin' Ugly EP (Hottrax)
ART VANDELAY - VDI001 (Birdie)
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