Reviewed this week
Having only released occasional EPs over the last few years, Home Taping is Killing Music appears to behave got its mojo back. This EP from recent G.A.M.M contributor Love Drop appears a few months after a fine single from Klic ("Disco Music", which was backed by killer re-rubs by Dicky Trisco and Tuff City Kids). The original version of "Don't Look Back" is a dubby and hypnotic affair, with delay-laden synths, Clavinet lines and disco snippets riding a metronomic mid-tempo house groove. Dicky Trisco does his best Revenge impression via a smooth, groovy and deep revision, before Dan Shake throws everything but the kitchen sink at the track on a killer "Dancefloor Dub "laden with layered percussion hits and mazy Moog solos.
According to our meticulous records, "My Hood" is the first collaborative single from sometime Relief Records and Monologue Music producer LEON, and recent Hot Creations signing Dennis Cruz. It sees them drag hip-house into the 21st century, layering a swaggering half rapped, half sung vocal atop a rubbery, driving backing track rich in fuzzy bass, rolling percussion and deliciously odd electronic noises. While good, we'd argue that Ewan Pearson's accompanying reworks are even better. Both the "Remix" and "Dub" versions operate at a slower, more chugging tempo, with the experienced producer wrapping mind-altering, psychedelic electronics and delay-laden dub-disco guitars atop a chunky, Italo-disco influenced groove. The "Dub" is naturally the more intoxicating of the two, though it's a close run thing.
For those who like their house deep, groovy and emotion-rich, Dessous's back catalogue is a veritable goldmine. It is rather vast, though, so it's good to see the Steve Bug-helmed imprint giving us a few pointers via this excellent compilation. Check, for example, the drowsy chords, undulating bass and jazzy drums of Thierry Tomas's "Piu Piu", the basement-bothering tech-tinged chunkiness of James Dexter's "120" and the ultra-deep late night hyonotism of Chocky's "Self-Knowledge (Dub)", where hazy and trippy synthesizer motifs ebb and flow over a locked-in groove. Further highlights come in the shape of Tom Flynn's fuzzy and far-out "Pluck" and a brilliant mid-tempo Genius of Time rub of Vincenzo's "106 Downtown" full of gentle acid lines and freaky electronic noises.
The Night Bass rampage continues to rage as they bring in Bijou for this exciting four track selection, packing a serious punch. The title track 'Super Phat' is a heavyweight collaboration with Ushi Qute, working her impactful vocals into a high pressure build up, landing on a synth driven madness of a breakdown. To follow we have the super punchy drum work of 'Do Not Disturb' alongside the distorted devisings of 'Expert'. The EP is rounded off with some major flare as the shuffling synths and hard hitting drum designs of 'Better Than That' run riot.
Welshman Tom Demac makes his debut for Cologne institution Kompakt and describes it as an honour. From his early days going to Sonar and attending the original Kompakt Records beach parties back in the mid-noughties - it's always been considered a dream to release with this legendary label he's stated. Presented here is a collaboration with the band Real Lies, who Demac has been in the studio with for the last few months, producing their album. 'White Flowers' was a special nugget that came from their studio sessions together. It's a melancholic and bittersweet journey with pop-inflections, which nails the labels aesthetic just perfectly. "Felix" is just as emotive, and fuelled by some late '90s style breaks beneath its tapestry of rich pads and vibrant synths.
Hot Creations are back with veteran Italian producer Danny Minchella. The former Flashmob member now dons the Rogue D alias, which has thus fair served up two hot releases for Defected sublabel DFTD recently and "Chains" takes up from where those EPs have left off. A loose and funky affair with looped-up diva vocals in its original form, it's all about Newcastle hero Patrick Topping's deep down and dirty rendition on the flip - which goes for that second wave Chicago style of 'percolator jack' in the vein of legend Cajmere.
Lodemann has put out music on some of the world's finest house labels, including Freerange and

Innervisions. However, for his latest album, he returns to his own imprint. Designed to be listened to at home or played in a club, Deeper moves from the techy title track and the growling bass of "Voices From The Past" into more flowing, musical expressions such as "Emptiness" and reflective, down tempo arrangements such as "Lost In Your Eyes", the folksy guitar twang of "Connected" and the wonderfully hypnotic ambience of album closer "Misty Road". You'll be hard pressed to find a more articulate expression of the deep house sound this year.
We were very happy to see the legendary Bomb Strikes imprint make their return to releasing after a brief break away, returning to the fray with this fabulously groovy number from The Niceguys. The EP begins with 'That Ass', a smooth funkadelic jam session, featuring scattered vocal slices, exciting keyboard riffs and of course some wicked drum work. We are also gifted the more 4x4 infused sounds of 'Valley Hacienda', a soulful bag of harmonies, working wonders between the spaces in the 4x4 rhythms. A very pleasing project to say the least!
Nobody really knows where Kotelett & Zadak originated from, but rumour has it that a shared fondness for fishing led to a fateful encounter somewhere on the North German coast. Kotelett lost his pants in a raid by the fishing authority, while Zadak, due to an overdose, burned both his driver's and fishing licenses - losing his livelihood. All tall tales aside, the zany duo have released on top labels like Hommage, Katermukke and Exploited, so they definitely had the credentials which led to a release on legendary Hanseatic imprint Poker Flat. Here they present you with the moody and melodic dancefloor drama of "Clovis", some dark 'n groovy tech house for trancing out under the strobe on "Syntax", or for something a bit more mellow and dreamier - you could try the rather lush "I LFO You".
Notching up a decade of releases requires something suitably celebratory. That's exactly what Germany's admired Quintessentials has served up on this tenth birthday compilation. It comes packed with previously unheard cuts of the highest quality, from the sun-bright swing of Borrowed Identity's UK garage-meets-deep house opener "For You", to the atmospheric, synth-heavy chug of Ooft's "Freak-E-Groove", the smoky late night jazz-house of Loz Goddard's "Leaves", and the foreboding, jazz-funk-biting sample-house dustiness of S3A's "Searching". Also worth checking are the drowst chords and bumpin' beats of KRL's "Baltimore" and the low-slung, gospel-influenced deep house pump of 4004's "Continuous Dialogue".
Los Lagos is Orb member Thomas Fehlmann's first solo album in eight years. Like his collaborations with Alex Patterson, it is a sprawling affair that sees the veteran producer head "wherever my heart drives me". This approach yields a multiple of different directions; there's the scuffled, offbeat techno of "Lowenzahnzimmer" and "Triggerism"; the jerky, jazzy "Window" and the digital dub on "Morrislouis". The album also sees Fehlmann team up with Max Loderbauer, another long-term collaborator, to create the jarring, stepping "Tempelhof". At the other end of the spectrum, his creativity focuses on sun-kissed abandon articulated on the effervescent, layered groove that is "Freiluft" - the most impressive embodiment of the freewheeling approach that pervades Los Lagos.
The Alma Negra collective are based in Basel, Switzerland and are made up of Miajica, Dario Rohrbach and Dersu Figueria. They have appeared on some great labels such as Lumberjacks In Hell, Basic Fingers and of course Heist - this will be their second appearance for Detroit Swindle's imprint since last year's Endless Summer EP. The new Conversation EP features more sweltering grooves by the trio: from the soulful and entrancing title track which is rich on the hypnotic tribal polyrhythms - it also receives a wonderful rework by Amsterdam's Awanto 3 later on too. Not to mention the sultry deep house of "This Is The Place" which takes it cues from the mighty Kenny Dixon Jr or the sexy late-night groove of "From The Heart" which is perfect to enjoy on what is left of these long summer evenings.
Tokyo Dawn says that this third volume in their deep house-flavoured compilation series, "The Move", was designed to "free your mind, body and soul". It's certainly packed with suitably soothing, sensual and life-affirming fare, from the dancing saxophones, organic grooves and sumptuous vocals of Goldiva's "Strangers Tonight" and the ultra-deep, broken house brilliance of Lyric L's "There You Stand", to the shuffling tech-house/soulful house fusion of Budda Sage, Walkman and Exorbiant DJ's "Supernova (featuring Paul B)". Other highlights include the neo soul-influenced bliss of The Grey Area's "Sorry" and the Posse's tasty remix of Inskwel's sublime J to the C hook-up "Edible Pyramid".
Fresh from turning in a killer remix of the Soup Dragons "I'm Free" alongside Midnight Riot boss Yam Who, Alan Dixon returns to the label with a feisty four-track missive. He fires from the word go, with bounding, energy-packed opener "All We Need Is Dance" delivering a brilliantly bouncy revision of a shirts-off, turn-of-the-'80s San Francisco disco smasher. The thrills don't stop there, either. "Let Ya Feet Rock" is a thrilling combination of elastic slap bass, synth-fired disco-boogie instrumentation and sturdy beats, "Dance Across The Floor" is a seductive 129 BPM deep disco workout, and "Forever" is a riotous re-edit of a stone cold classic that sounds like an end-of-night anthem in the making.
Following the inauguration of his new imprint The Brane last year, Ewan Smith returns with a new EP on Aus Music - his first for them in a couple of years since 2016's brilliant There Is No Right Time LP. The Berliner by way of Scotland serves up some flavours that are very much a product of his new environment, and will appeal to followers of minimal techno new wave - as heard on the retro flavoured mini-funk of the title track. We can't quite pronounce "Thewizzwasfordillysmissus" but can best describe its vibe similar to what labels like Traffic or Time Passages are pushing at present, while the aptly titled "Sicko" is deeply beeping and glitching groove that's for perfect afterhours dancing at Club Der Visionaere - a club he frequently DJ's at.
Three cheers for Stefan Riesen's Morris Audio imprint, which has now notched up a century of releases after two decades in the game. By way of celebration, Riesen has decided to release a clutch of EPs containing a wealth of previously unheard gems. Part one begins with the Motor City influenced deep house jack of Iron Curtis's "Ultraviolett [100 Mix]", where shimmering chords slowly rise above sturdy beats and a wonderfully raw analogue bassline. Anna Wall and Corbi join forces for the sinewy deep house sensuality of "Tower of Babble" - all dreamy chords, lilting melodies and fuzzy analogue bass - before Repika serves up the hypnotic deep space chords and bustling bottom end grooves of "Don't Break". Arguably best of all, though, is the all-action contemporary Chicago house funkiness of Elvis Cassetta's "Lethargy Zero".
You couldn't wish for a more expert duo than Fred Everything and Crazy P mainstay Chris "Hot Toddy" Todd. Either solo or in collaboration with others, they've been responsible for too many fine records to mention over the last two decades. This collaborative affair is rather good, too. "Same Old Sound", a deep, slow-motion nu-boogie number rich in sparkling, glassy-eyed chords, catchy synth-bass, tasty jazz-funk guitars and head-nodding drum machine beats, sounds like a particularly loved-up tribute to Dayton classic "The Sound of Music". This is particularly evident on the original mix, which also boasts a robotic vocoder/talkbox vocal reminiscent of the 1983 classic, but the influence can also be heard on the drowsy, sunshine-friendly "Guitare Dub" version.
By now, we should all know what to expect from Toolroom's "Poolside Ibiza" compilation strand, namely groovy nu-disco, house and laidback Balearic beats inspired by afternoons spent lounging by the water in stonking White Isle heat. Naturally, there are plenty of gems to be found amongst the 40 unmixed tunes selected by chosen DJs Moullinex and Xinobi, from their own collaborative post-punk/dub number "X Marks The Spot", to the slick '80s synth-pop dreaminess of Tensnake's fine remix of Xinobi's "Far Away Place" and the drowsy, Morricone-influenced soundscape weirdness of Simple Symmetry's remix of Moscoman's "I Ran". Throw in some seriously good cuts from Felipe Gordon, Donald Dust, Pin Up Club and Meera (whose carnival-ready boogie jam "Fine Without You" stands out), and you have a fine collection of summery cuts.
Magic Feet boss Craig Bratley is not the most prolific producer in the world, but his sporadic EPs are usually excellent. Certainly, this outing on Futureboogie Recordings contains some superb music. Pulsating opener "99.9" - a body-jacking, Italo-influenced throb-job high on horror-influenced synthesizer melodies and foreboding riffs - is particularly potent, though wholehearted Italo-disco tribute "Italo Love" and the slo-mo chug-fest "Take Me To Bedford or Lose Me Forever" are almost as good. The EP also includes a sublime interpretation of "99.9%" by Andrew Weatherall, whose stretched-out take places exotic, snaking synth lines and yelping vocal samples over a Love From Outer Space-ready pitched-down groove.
On their Deep Love 2018 compilation, you'll find label stalwarts to newcomers alike for respected Berlin imprint Dirt Crew. Their seventh compilation in the series, the label claims that it is the most complete in terms of sound and flow - and will blend in perfectly with that laid back, late summer mood. From moments of dusty and chilled-out deepness courtesy of Lorenz Rhode or Felix Leifur, lo-slung acid jams like Ponty Mython's "It's All Understood" or funked-up disco house like Frenchman S3A's "Modern Soul". Elsewhere, we have got the kind of slinky and sensual tech-house you've come to expect from the label - best exemplified by Canadian Dan Only or Jaxx Madicine's particularly sublime "Blue Bird". Essentially, it's more of the fine quality you've come to expect from this house music institution.
COLLECTIVE MACHINE - Shaker (Knee Deep In Sound)
MALL GRAB - How The Dogs Chill Vol 1 (Looking For Trouble)
ALMA NEGRA - Conversation EP (Heist Recordings)
ART ALFIE - The Bo Allan EP (Toy Tonics)
VARIOUS - Deep Love 2018 (Dirt Crew Germany)
LAWRENCE HART/CASUALLY HERE - Wanderlust (Hotflush Recordings)
Top Labels
permanent vacation
hotflush recordings
Hed Kandi