Review: Having lit up the summer of 2012 with his single-sided white label, "Kerri", Rob Amboule gets a deserved debut EP on 20:20 Vision. Fittingly, it's "Kerri" - a tribute to US house master Kerri Chandler complete with intoxicating synth melodies and trademark Chandler shuffle - that kicks things off, but there are plenty of next-level thrills to be found elsewhere. "Pushin' On" (yep, it samples Alice Russell's vocal from the Quantic Soul Orchestra record of the same name) is as touchy-feely and wide-eyed as deep house gets, while "Part 3" impresses with its tactile chords, sturdy grooves and wild '90s US garage organs.
Review: With previous releases on Hudd Traxx, Dessous and Poker Flat, Andrade has firmly established himself as a reliable source of floor-friendly fodder. Here, the Parisian producer drops a trio of tasty tracks for 20:20 Vision. With its stomping drums, booming funk bassline and relentless organs, opener "Dark Message" packs a punch. While similarly energetic, there's something a little sweeter and groovier about "Clouds Up" (which, with its sinewy strings and disco samples, recalls Andres's "New For You"). The EP's third and final track, "Rush Minute", offers some respite in the form of tactile chords, subtle melodies and warm deep house grooves.
Review: Mainstays of 20:20 Vision, Audiojack return with a full-bodied three tracker of tech house delights, starting with aplomb on the peak-time belter "No Equal Sides". There's a sugary-sweet melodic hook that rises and falls in the comparatively dark mix of raw drum hits and throbbing sub bass to create an alluring nocturnal blend which begs for you to raise your hands in appreciation. Changing shape as the track ploughs on, the brief moments of daylight make this an unstoppable club smasher. On "Tunnel Vision" the pair enlist Stee Downes for some assistance and opt for a more mellow, broken beat affair, while "In Principle" embraces that broken flavour further with another restrained but devoutly cheeky party juicer.
Review: Leeds label 20/20 Vision may have risen to prominence with a deep, US house sound, but over the years that has evolved into something more stripped back and European. Local lads Audiojack are part of this shift and on Mouth, they show exactly why they have become one of the label's key acts. "Fluent" is based on insistent rhythms, repetitive, breathy vocal samples and ticking percussion that will insinuate itself into the listener's cranium. "Stutter" is based on a similar premise, the only difference is that this time the vocals are reduced down to grunts and murmurs as the pair fire off a tracky rhythm. The last track, "Vowels", features a French vocalist intoning words over hypnotic organ riffs, but has lost none of the out there appeal that the other tracks have in spades.
Review: Given the 1990s style 20:20 Vision label artwork employed on this release, it would be safe to say that Audiojack have gained plenty of inspiration from the Leeds' imprint's now distant past. From start to finish, the Get Serious EP sounds like the sort of record that could have been made in the 1990s by the label's trio of founders - Huggy, Ralph Lawson and Carl Finlow. With clear influences from Prescription Records, early tech-house, bumpin' New York grooves and dubby Nottingham deep house, Audiojack have made an EP that sounds both curiously current and decidedly old. It certainly makes for an entertaining four-tracker.
Review: We can clearly hear signs of musical development in "Grey Area", the latest single from long-time 2020 Vision producer Simon Baker. Rather than the simple-but-effective, electrofunk-influenced grooves of old, "Grey Area" offers carefully sculpted deep house laden with emotion-rich piano loops, jazz breakdowns and teary vocal samples. It's both pleasantly surprising and, well, rather good - certainly one of his best to date. Remix-wise, Steve Bug emphasizes the jazz elements on his alien-sounding rework (check those sci-fi synths), whilst Burnski & Robert James provide a bumpin' late night rework that should tickle the tastebuds of regular 2020-watchers. Recommended.
Review: Rising star on the European tech house circuit Jay Bliss makes the leap to 20:20 Vision for this sturdy workout that keeps the beat pared down to a crisp strut, letting a warm bassline take the lead for the track's hook. The real treat is in the remix, as Sweden's finest Skudge dissemble the original and re-emerge with a thoroughly immersive slice of industrial tinted deep techno. The wriggling beat doesn't let up throughout, while the degraded pad morphs and mutates over the duration to an utterly devastating end. There's an organic beating heart at work in this version, and it lets a whole lot of light into the murky basement of the Skudge sound.
Review: 20:20 Vision has always been astute when it comes to signings, picking up fast-rising producers on the cusp of making it big. Whether Jonny Cade - who has releases on Kolour Recordings and Black Key to his name - fits into that category remains to be seen, but from the sound of "Find My Way", the signs are good. The title track is something of an underground hit in waiting; an intoxicating chunk of deliciously deep house with just the right amount of fluidity and tech-house influences. The EP's other three tracks are pretty good, too, delivering a two heavyweight, garage-influenced late night bangers and a chunky trip into Huxley territory ("Truffles at Dawn").
Review: Carl Finlow is one of the UK's greatest electronic music producers, as this compilation demonstrates. Issued on 20:20 Vision, the label he co-founded with Back 2 Basics' Ralph Lawson, it features some of his finest electro work. On the deeper tip, there's the wonderfully mournful synths of "Anomaly" and "Equilibrium", while he veers into synth pop with the irresistibly catchy hooks and nerdy vocals on "Broken Mirror". However, that's not to detract from the weight of Finlow's catalogue, and tracks like the menacing "Nanotech" or the dense electro funk of "Mr Machine"- the title track of the bench mark 2002 album he recorded under the Silicon Scally guise - put him right up there with electro's greats.
Review: Having previously moonlighted on Love Fever Records and 20:20 Vision, Citizen is back in action and he's packing a fresh salvo of upfront tech house treats. "Be" in its original form burrows through squishy square wave basslines and soulful vocals that will slip into any heated nocturnal situation, while the accompanying "Warehouse Mix" taps up a Carl Craig flavour of big-room techno with choice slices of the original vocal kept in for good measure. For a touch of diversity, Hercules & Love Affair drop a typically sassy remix that bumps up the groove and weaves playful snippets of the original around a more overtly melodic construction.
Review: Although Citizenn has only released the "Be" single on 20:20 Vision, that track alone has been enough to cause quite the commotion...enough commotion to spur a whole remix EP dedicated to the tune! There's the sleek, late night 20:20 remix, a bumping Ralph Lawson dub for the head-nodders, a wildly progressive dub by Citizenn himself, and two Forrest 12:00 cuts - a remix and a dub for your oral pleasure. Big movements from this massively successful outlet for club music.
Review: Cynics will tell you that remix albums are a bit of a con - an exercise in repackaging previously released reworks - but occasionally they're worth picking up. This collection of recent and vintage reworks of Crazy P tracks thankfully falls into the latter category, delivering a mix of classic re-cuts, previously unheard tweaks and previously promo-only mixes. Some of the more Balearic and quietly downtempo tweaks stand out, not least Appleblim's woozily soulful touch-up of "Changes" and Wolf + Lamb's deliciously wide-eyed, downtempo take on "Wecanonlybewhoweare". There's also a chance to revisit some Grade-A club re-fixes from Still Going (whose tough-but-grandiose nu-disco take on "Caught Up" still sounds fresh), Huxley and Bonar Bradberry.
Review: This debut album from Glasgow-based DJ, producer and vocalist Debukas feels like the start of something big. Debukas clearly has talent, and his trademark sound - a variant on smart electronic pop with clear influences from tech-house, deep house and leftfield electronic disco - is well thought out and immaculately produced. I Am Machinery is an impressive debut, all told, sounding not unlike Junior Boys jamming with Jamie Jones and Random Factor. It is atmospheric - particularly the likes of "Hold Back The Sea" and "I Am Machinery" - but bubbles with positive intent and more than a little dancefloor swing. He's not the finished article just yet, but this is an excellent start.
Review: Prolific French producer DJ W!ild makes his debut on 20:20 Vision. The only real surprise here is that it took him so long to put something out on Ralph Lawson's label. Indeed, as Feel Me demonstrates, W!ld sounds at home on 20:20. "Rendez Vous Love" is a dense, tribal roller with tripped out synths and vocals phased in and out at will. By contrast, "Boys Don't Cry" is stripped back and acidic, like fellow Frenchman Phil Weeks on a bad trip. The title track reveals a different side to his sound; littered with Spanish vocals and icy synths, its stepping, jagged rhythm marks a welcome sea change for a producer known for his functional dance floor sound.
London Nights (Ralph Lawson dub remix) - (7:26) 122 BPM
London Nights (Jason Heath remix) - (2:56) 80 BPM
Review: Dokta has been seen lurking around 20:20 Vision with a curious take on that label's particular brand of house. That step to the left becomes more pronounced on this record, where Dokta gets to call on a wealth of live instrumentation to animate his sound. On "London Nights" he interweaves vocal, ambling keys and crooked basslines into a curious and utterly inspired cocktail of cool-headed pressure, which Jason Heath then simmers down to a purely instrumental refrain. Burnski goes to the other extreme and beefs the track up for a firm and functional ride, while Ralph Lawson dubs the track out and gives it a low slung swagger.