Review: Germany's A Friend In Need have begun to develop a strong reputation for championing their own unique blend of deep house-not-deep-house. Here we get a new label comp featuring four different takes from four different artists: stop-start loopy funk (78 Edits' "Keep It Up"), deep and spacey jack-fests (Lootbeg & M Ono's "About You"), 303 fizz-outs (Gregory Dub's "Acid Spacejam") and the slow, raw and romantic depth charges of "Acaya" by Zacharias. Boom!
Review: Forget Berlin: it's all about neighbouring Leipzig these days and local imprint A Friend In Need are here to prove it on Leipzig Only 02. "Blinds" is up first with the classic Larry Heard vibe of "Cloud City" which was a pretty awesome exercise in deepness if we do say. There's nothing daggy about Napoleon Dynamite's uplifting nu-disco jam "Altei" which would make even Jay Shepheard stand up and notice. Label head honchos Lootbeg & Nova Casa serve up what could be the EPs finest moment on "Introduction" which was wonderfully emotive and bittersweet, with its life affirming strings, melancholic keys and dusty drums. Finally Zacharias goes chasing the ghosts in the analogue machines to stunning effect on "Across The Cosmic Gardens".
Review: Hailing from Leipzig, DJ Lootbeg is the man behind the 'house gems and deep vibes' label, A Friend In Need. Here he presents a sizzling selection of up and coming names from the roster. Highlights include the deep n' jazzy sleek houser "The Trip" by Blinds, the cloudy electro-pop of "Kalsarikaennit" by Lootbeg & Iami and the quirky, squelched-out acid house of "Silver Shiver" by Zacharias.
Review: Switzerland-based producer Gregory Dub - arguably better known under his Pressure Mode alias - doesn't mess around. The original material presented on this EP for A Friend In Need is a good case in point. While blessed with hazy, fluid chords and plenty of soulful touches, there's a bumpin' feel to the beats throughout, while vintage US garage style vocal cut-ups help push the action forward at a rate of knotts. This is particularly noticeable on "Rawstuff", though the same formula underpins the deeper and more expansive "Nightlife". Happily, the remix package is solid, too, with Blinds' acid-flecked, ultra-deep take on "Rawstuff" and the booming Riddim Jersey Keys mix of "Nightlife" impressing most.
Review: Fledgling label A Friend In Need are all a flutter, proudly presenting their second signing, Amsterdam-based outfit Kumquat. There are three sensual and deep jazzy groove jams here: the title track being a little housier with a sampled female monologue, "The Honeymoon" is a sugary lounge house with similar samples and "Times Like These" references 90s downbeat/trip-hop to great effect. M Ono also appears delivering an upbeat trancey shuffle rework.
Simon Sunset - "Outer Banks" (Lootbeg's New Jersey edit) - (6:22) 114 BPM
Dsant - "Restless" (Lootbeg's raw remix) - (5:32) 115 BPM
Review: There's a rather simple idea behind A Friend In Need's latest audio missive, which gathers together founder Lootbeg's best-loved tracks and remixes on one handy EP. The Leipzig-based producer excels at delivering fluid, heartwarming deep house that offers the right balance between Floating Points style synthesizer looseness, tactile nu-disco influences and classically dreamy grooves. Highlights include an eyes-closed, acid-flecked rework of Dasant's "Spread Love", the sun-kissed breeziness of "Without Ur Love", and a New Jersey style classic garage-meets-deep house rub of Simon Sunset's "Outer Banks". Best of all, though, is "Acd4/303", a straight-up acid house throbber doused in rough 303 lines and jackin' percussive hits.
Review: There's no denying that Lootbeg has been in fine form of late, with 12" singles on Tieffrequent and Tooman Records only enhancing his reputation as a producer on the rise. Predictably, the Leipzig man is at the top of his game on this EP for A Friend in Need. Opener "Cheeeers" offers the perfect balance between raw, distorted drums, wiggly acid lines and the lilting, string-laden sheen of classic deep house, though acid-fired electro cut "Goodbye Galaxy - Gg17428" - all filtered late night stabs and thrillingly rough rhythms - is arguably even better. Elsewhere, he serves up a thrillingly muscular chunk of TB-303 techno (the fittingly titled "Mental") and does his best Drexciya impression on the heavy-but-poignant "Goodbye Galaxy - Gg17421".
Review: There's always been something a little Balearic about the toasty, picturesque works of Glasgow-based deep house duo MermaidS. Even so, Welcome to Sunset seems to be a conscious attempt to enhance those Balearic credentials. While the EP does include some particularly warm and hazy deep house - see "Some Daze" and the loopy, electrofunk-influenced sunshine surge of "Hearts & Oceans" - the two most impressive tracks here are a little harder to pigeonhole. Opener "Two Moons Rising" - all enveloping chords, alien electronics, chugging, Italo-influenced bottom end and woozy melodies - sounds a little like Seahawks or some of Chris Carter's more atmospheric 1980s work, while "I Wish You Didn't Dub Me So Much" has all the wide-eyed charm of an obscure 1980s European synth-pop B-side.
Review: It is Roberta up next on esteemed German imprint A Friend In Need with the Fatty Cutz EP. Some sublime deep house on offer such as on the the sexy and slinky title track. "Disco 3 2 1" carries on with the same vibe but definitely gets some Afro-spiritual leanings going on in the vein of Joe Claussell or Osunlade. It gets a more upbeat and straight ahead remix by Hamburg's Deo & Z-Man for some sweaty dancefloor action complete with some sick 303 acid action. Finally "Feel It" gets all deep and loungy again taking its cues from some of the harbour city's finest like Vincenzo or early Steve Bug.
Review: German label A Friend In Need, has amassed a very strong back catalogue of deep house/disco fusion jams in a just two years. Here they present new works by a variety of artists and again quality is paramount. Toefflinger delivers some smooth and emotional vintage sax-garage vibes on "That's The Way", Thomas Steiler drops some rumbling bass and hazy synth layers "Keep Dancin" and "Instellar" by Ciro De Gais is all about the suspended strings and Pettibone-style machine gun snares. Lastly Gregory Dub's "Closer" literally closes the EP with a kind of fusion of elements from all the above.
Review: A Friend In Need/Afin is a Leipzig-based label pushing 'house gems & deep vibes", run by Lootbeg and Nova Casa. Next up is local producer Elisa Rost aka Tsorn who serves up some emotive techno journeys on Technoafin Vol 1. "Capsule In Space" is a dark and melodic journey track that fit in well with the current trend of tech house at the moment but definitely has a bit more originality than the rest of the pack at present. "Lithium" is a pounding and dystopian industrial techno cut that really packs a punch for Institut fuer Zukunft at peak time. It also gets two killer remixes by locals Jens Porath and Oliver Rosemann; but it;s the latter's ferocious and tunneling makeover which really does for us; think Modularz!
Review: Since launching last spring, Lootbeg's A Friend In Need label has established itself as a reliable source of deep house/disco fusion, delivering the kind of heady, loopy material that was once the preserve of the Dikso and Instruments of Rapture imprints. No Jacket Required, the Leipzig-based label's first compilation, tells the story so far. There's plenty to get excited about throughout, from the smooth, Balearic-inclined grooves of MermaidS, and the sumptuous loop disco deepness of 78 Edits' "I'll Be Here For You", to the fluttering acid lines, enveloping pads and eyes-closed grooves of Gregory Dub's "Acid Spacejam". Even more impressive is the contribution from Buzz Compass, which offers a decidedly summery deep house revision of a Terry Callier classic.
Review: Lepizig crew A Friend In Need regular serve up compilation style EPs featuring tasty tracks from a select group of like-minded local and international producers. Here they go further, delivering an expansive, 11-track collection that could well be the imprint's strongest release to date. After beginning with a chunk of sparkling ambient brilliance by Afinns, the set flits between deliciously dreamy, groovy and tactile mid-tempo fare (mostly courtesy of slo-mo specialists such as Heion, loop-master 78 Edits, MermaidS, La Tumerie and Buzz Compass) and more peak-time-friendly tackle that similarly fuses elements of swirling deep house, rubbery disco and glassy-eyed boogie. These cuts are particularly potent, with the contributions by Mono & Luvless, Lootbeg and Quadrakey standing out.
Review: While it has become increasingly fashionable to champion hissing, crackle-heavy deep house, Leipzig label A Friend In Need has been repping the style longer than most. Here they enhance their credentials via a fine nine-track compilation. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the pitched-down Detroit techno/hazy deep house futurism of AEZKVLAP's "Ande" and the acid-flecked Balearic house hiss of Lootbeg's "Cheeeers" [sic], to the Larry Heard-on-happy pills bliss of Rowvn's "Is It Real", to the dirt-encrusted, redlined fuzz of Blinds' "South Memphis", which reminded us a little of Shall Not Fade's most memorable moments.