Review: The first compilation on Albert's Favourites is almost exclusively a family affair, featuring contributions from all of the label's key artists. Hector Plimmer's "Eastern System" kick starts the release with a sprawling broken beat workout, while Jonny Drop's "Flash Light" is also led by clipped beats, but features complex guitar fret work and soulful vocals. Moving into a much smoother direction are the Expansions, who include "Cannonball", one of the fine jazz cuts from their debut album Murmuration. Meanwhile, Modified Man takes the compilation in an electronic direction with the electro funk of "Kingswood Drive" and Jonny Drop completes the diverse approach with the soulful hip-hop of "This Is The One".
Review: Albert's Favourites co-founder Jonny Drop returns to action, this time with boogie-obsessed duo Lucid Paradise, AKA E Da Boss and Ishtar. "32 Degrees" is a wonderfully warm and groovy affair, with Lucid Paradise providing slick, Cromeo-esque vocals and synth squiggles over a head-nodding, neo-soul-influenced groove. Remixer Modified Man decides to drag the track further towards the dancefloor, upping the tempo to 113 BPM and opting for a bubbly, '80s boogie-meets-nu-disco vibe. Of the three versions, it's his Extended Remix, which boasts a deliciously warm and loved-up intro that subtly builds anticipation, that hits home hardest.
Review: Dave Koor and Adam Scrimshire return to the scene of the crime and continue to assault our groove senses and emotions with the long-awaited follow up to Set 1, the sophomore release on Albert's Favourites (which will already be turning three later this year) Once again we're hurled into a rippling pool that's heated by boogie and treated by synths. Instrumental, confidently loose, a little freeform and fully immersive, the generous EP breezes through the hip-slinking motions from flighty bruk bliss ("Croydon Rooftop Caf? Culture" and "Accidental Return") whirlwind cinematic odysseys ("Thorns") and smooth deep house and many other dreamy locations along the way. Another fave from Albert's Favourites.
Hector Plimmer/Soothsayers/Wu-Lu - "Bossa B" (live At The Hideaway with Soothsayers & Wu-Lu) - (5:12) 99 BPM
Review: Born and raised in South London, Hector Plimmer is a designer, producer and DJ, who has been making some considerable waves in recent times. Beginning with an appearance on 2011's Brownswood Bubblers compilation, Hector proved his talent when he was selected as the winner of the PRS Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award. Originally released in early 2017, his Sunshine LP now gets a series of hot remixes. Some blunted urban hip-hop flavour on Reginald Omas Mamode IV's remix of "Sunshine", that dusty MPC deep house sound of Berlin courtesy of their city's finest Glenn Astro, on his remix of Bossa while Mr Beatnick turns in an utterly hypnotic remix of Kalimba 2.
Review: From the moment the trembling keys and swirling breaks of opener "Let's Stay" hit you, you know Hector is onto something special here. A subtle hurricane of atmospheres and emotions, it's the perfect introduction to his hazy, lefthanded cosmic soul (if you haven't already become acquainted from his previous Albert's Favourites dispatches) The languid smoky blues and soothing spoken charms of And Is Phi of the title track, the alien dancehall and fizzy keys of "Bossa B", the broken steeple soul and pitched vocal warps of "Lonely Man", Hector is carving a genuinely singular sound that complements everything that's currently going on musically while pushing in a completely new way. This really does shine.