Review: Luca Ferrera made his first appearance as Butch Haynes two years ago on Sistrum Recordings, via a typically intergalactic fusion of deep house ad Motor City techno sounds. There's a similarly far-sighted feel to Ferrera's first Apparel Music outing, with opener 'Sonata Interstellar' offering the perfect blend of slowly shifting synth-strings, spacey chords, languid machine drums and undulating analogue bass. His love of tactile, sci-fi sounding synths also comes to the fore on the chunkier and warmer 'Everybody' (a track accompanied by a wonderful Andres-esque deep house revision courtesy of Kisk) and 'Call313 Detroit 2Back', where star-fall melodies and ghostly pads rub shoulders with smoother beats and another killer analogue bassline. 'The Passage', a gorgeous chunk of beatdown-influenced downtempo bliss, completes a fine EP.
Review: Apparel Music founder Kisk (real name Giuseppe D'Alessandro) has pulled off something of a coup here. The long-serving producer has persuaded Robert Owens, owner of the most distinctive voice in dance music, to provide some effortlessly emotional vocals to his latest single. In its original form, "Your Face" is a subtly Latin-tinged number that adds some gently summery swing and contemplative Robert Owens vocals to the St Germain deep jazz-house template. It comes backed by a high number of largely impressive remixes. Our picks include Mangabey's classic, jazz-flecked deep house revision, Loopazz and Casio Casino's hazy, ultra-deep rework, the even deeper SCSI-9 take, and the extra-percussive, outer-space jazz-house workout that is Hugo Mari's impeccable remix.
Review: A single-track release here from Italian veteran Tuccillo, coming on Kisk's label Apparel Music. 'Hear Me' opens with intricate, toppy percussion before introducing a hefty yet pleasingly understated bassline, which is then further augmented by a meandering and heavily treated guitar part, atmospheric synth sweeps and a chipmunk'd female vocal sample (think Akon's 'Lonely' or The 411's 'On My Knees'). The end result is a delicate, lightly jazz-tinged affair that's still surprisingly floor-friendly, thanks in no small part to that unassuming but heavyweight bass throb: obvious, instant and in-your-face 'Hearme' is not, but it could still turn out to be the sleeper hit of the summer.
Review: The term 'deep house' is applied so freely these days that at times it can seem meaningless, so be grateful that we still have the likes of Goddard around to remind us all what those words really mean! 'Fourth Dimension' is an instrumental jam centred around a squelchy bassline and fluttering, cascading synths, while 'Signals' channels vintage Chi-town deepness from the late 80s/early 90s. 'It's Not Cold In Tromso' is a more leftfield affair with pounding 4/4s and YMO-ish synths, while completing the package is the Jad & The Remix of the latter, a glacial, futuristic pass with acid house and electro influences.
Review: If you like your deep house on the jazzy and organic side, then this collection of tracks from Apparel Music that were previously only available on vinyl should be right up your alley. Opener 'LP001A1' is a looping funk jam with a rousing Ohio Players-esque chorus, 'LP001A2' is a midtempo, shuffling affair, 'LP001B1' is a lively workout with even more of a jazz bent, while 'LP001B2' blends jazz, house, funk and lounge into one glorious, shimmying concoction. 'LP001C1' is a pacier cut for the soulful house floors that bites Julie McKnight's vocal from 'Diamond Life', 'LP001D1' is a fine slice of contemporary boogie, and so it goes on...
Review: If the tongue-in-cheek press release accompanying last year's first Apparel Music release is anything to go by, Apparel Wax is a "vinyl-faced artist" who "tears dancefloors apart". There's certainly no denying the club-ready status of his or her output. For proof, check the artist's fifth release, which begins with a wonderfully celebratory chunk of breezy, sunshine-ready disco which has been slightly pitched up up satisfy the demands of house-loving dancefloors. "005A2" sees our vinyl-faced hero make merry with a chiming chunk of '80s soul rich in slap bass and sweeping strings, while "005B1" is a bouncy, piano-heavy workout crafted from bits of another '80s workout. Closing cut "005B2", on the other hand, is a fairly "straight" edit rich in sweaty drums, jammed-out electric piano solos and bustling bass guitar.
Review: Leon Revel's track record to date is impressive, to say the least, with inspired outings on Secret Reels, Monologue, Kolour Recordings and Beats of No Nation earning him plaudits left, right and centre. There's naturally much to enjoy on this atmospheric, dreamy and sample-rich Apparel Music debut, too, not least the ultra-deep and jazzy shuffle of opener "Green Plus", where twinkling piano solos, drowsy chords and MPC house beats catch the ear. He dips the tempo for the arguably even deeper and more seductive "Realized You Shine", before working his magic with a bunch of jazz-funk and dewy-eyed jazz-fusion samples on mid-tempo gem "Third Rhythm". Speaking of jazz-funk, there are hints of Herbie Hancock and Kaidi Tatham on dreamy, acid-flecked deep jack-track "Warm Pattern".
Review: We last heard from Apparel Wax back in January, when the man (or woman) of mystery unleashed a second scorching EP of high-grade deep house on Apparel Music. For EP number three, the Son of Sleeveface takes a different tack. The untitled opener, for example, is a layered, floor-friendly, jazz dance-friendly sample collage full of vintage funk drum breaks, swinging percussion solos, fluid jazz piano solos and less than subtle nods towards hip-house. While a little messy, it's undeniably enormous fun. Track 2 sees old wax-chops beef up and slightly weird out a jaunty, horn-heavy Afro-funk cut, while the track 3 excursion is a romping deep house revision of a swirling and chiming '80s soul hit.
Review: Inako Hurtado Diaz may not be the hardest-working producer around, but he's certainly building a strong case to take the title. Since 2013, the Palma de Mallorca native has released an impressively high number of quality EPs on a similarly epic list of labels. His latest three-tracker for Apparel Music is, somewhat predictably, pleasingly strong. He begins with the lolloping, piano solo-laden disco-house breeziness of "Beating For You" - all filtered vocal samples, sunshine grooves and swirling effects - before brilliantly turning a slick '80s soul bomb into a cheery chunk of peak-time positivity on "In The Sunshine". To finish, he sticks a rocket under a horn-heavy early soul gem on the similarly smile-inducing goodness of "Love Song".
Review: Australian producer Loure received plenty of props for last year's Westside Movements EP, an impressively dusty, soul-flecked and assured debut EP on Noire & Blanche. Happily, this follow-up for Apparel Music is every bit as strong. He begins with the sumptuously jazzy, eyes-closed New Jersey deep house vibes of "Smooth Talk", before mixing up crackly spoken word samples, muted jazz horns and dreamy, Andres style grooves on "Mutual Motion". Then Saine's "Smooth Talk" remix brings some rubbery, bass-heavy, sample-heavy grooves and immaculate, electric piano-fired breakdowns, before finishing for the life-affirming synth strings on the almost overwhelmingly rush-inducing brilliance of "Needs". Loure is clearly a star in the making so don't sleep on this one.
Review: Apparel Music Introduces the second chapter of their new series, by the Milan based artist 'who tears the dancefloor apart. ' APLWAX002 features groovy beats, catchy melodies and vibrant harmonies that come together to create a solid four track release with soul: the soul of the music they love to dance to. The whole EP moves together in an organic way, from the very first track "002A1" which is a slo-mo and definitely lo-slung late night joint. Then the dusty, late night Rhodes led deepness of "002A2" until the last one "002B2" which is infectious loopy downbeat business in the vein of Moodymann's "Mahogany Brown" era. It all creates an impactful musical story and everyone should be aware that the unknown mystery man is back in town!