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Better Listen

Elevator Connoisseur EP
Summa Kardemumma - (1:40) 96 BPM
Elevator Connoisseur - (5:30) 122 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Tom's Foolery - (4:55) 117 BPM
Direct Number - (5:25) 118 BPM
Call It What You Want - (5:17) 121 BPM
Review: Honey Butter head honcho Sune may have released some of his most celebrated material on Brooklyn's Let's Play House, but his relationship with the Better Listen label goes back much further. In fact, the Malmo-based studio buff first featured on Better Listen in 2018 and this fine EP marks the Swede's return to the imprint after almost four years. There's much to admire, from the jazzy, sun-ripened, sample-heavy deep house sweetness of the title track - all warming bass, bongo-laced beats, jazzy keys and glistening guitars - to the warming, trumpet-sporting jazz-house haziness of 'Tom's Foolery' and the slick, late-night deep house warmth of 'Call It What You Want'. Throw in a fine downtempo head-nodder ('Summa Kardemumma') and you have a rock-solid EP of warming musical treats.
BLR 017
07 Jan 22
Deep House
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Silver Linings
Fade - (7:12) 120 BPM
Come Around - (7:10) 112 BPM
Movin' - (6:14) 118 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Jangle - (3:02) 116 BPM
Review: Finnish producer Lauri Saine first appeared on our radar a little while back with an excellent contribution to Quintessenials' Enjoy Your Cuppa series. This week he's in equally impressive form for Washington DC's Better Listen with four ultra deep jams on the Silver Linings EP. Starting off with the vocal-led and sensual shuffle of "Fade" before the drummer gets wicked on the chilled Sunday urban breakbeats of "Come Around". Saine then gets straight down to business with some four-to-the floor-club action on the emotive late night groove of "Movin'" and ending with the low slung disco funk of "Jangle".
BLR 019
10 Sep 21
Deep House
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Mintology EP
Sade Not Sade - (4:15) 100 BPM
Club Members Only - (5:43) 56 BPM
Pristine Clean - (5:06) 100 BPM
Buenos Notches - (7:05) 55 BPM
2 Slow - (3:29) 112 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Review: Based outta Washington DC, Better Listen Records are giving everyone in the American capital something to sing and dance about on this Mintology EP. Keeping it instrumental big time the five tracks on offer tracks here cruise through a high street of neon-lit disco, funk, electro and Baeleric blues like bright lights peeling off a car's windscreen on Las Vegas boulevard. Find deeper, cool jazz in "Sade Not Sade" alongside the spacier funk of "Pristine Clean" - soo fresh. Old school rhodes and yacht rock guitars creep into the arrangements of "2 Slow" with the undeniable jam here the sultry and seductive "Club Members Only".
BLR 018
28 Aug 20
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Adjust Your Love
Adjust Your Love - (5:58) 118 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Easy Love Dub - (6:19) 118 BPM
Horizons - (5:03) 119 BPM
BLR 015
06 Dec 19
Deep House
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Fourth Base EP
The First Time - (5:44) 118 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Lula - (7:04) 122 BPM
Fourth Base - (5:44) 121 BPM
Oh Lord - (5:44) 124 BPM
Review: Joe Corti's first appearance on Better Listen, last year's superb "From London With Love", was something of a belter, but remarkably this swift sequel is arguably even better. First point your mouse towards the languid, sun-kissed bounce of "The First Time", where super-sweet disco and soul samples gather around a chunky house groove, before turning your attention to the heavyweight disco-house pump of "Lula". Corti offers up some sweatiness via the dense drums, restless bass and jammed-out musical flourishes of peak-time bumper "Fourth Base", while "Oh Lord" is an inspired slab of lolloping deep house smothered in fuzzy synth stabs, swirling orchestral samples and just the right amount of sampled vocal sweetness.
BLR 014
07 Jun 19
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I Survived Barcelona - (6:18) 122 BPM
Ellioth's Cucumber Goggles - (6:43) 119 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Karlaplan - (6:25) 122 BPM
N64 Nights - (5:58) 118 BPM
Played by: Javi Frias, Sould Out
Review: After a year spent flitting between lesser-known labels, Ari Bald returns to Better Listen with another quartet of sun-kissed cuts that excitably blur the boundaries between re-edits and sample-heavy original production. Our pick of the bunch is wonderfully warm, woozy and glassy-eyed deep house shuffler "Karlaplan", where positive electronic riffs, sweet female vocal snippets and dreamy chords wrap around a pliable groove, though chunky sample-house jam "N64 Nights" is equally impressive. Elsewhere, celebratory disco pressure is provided via the soaring orchestration, bouncy beats and looped vocal phrases of "I Survived Barcelona", not to mention the filter-sporting, slow build loop house of "Elioth's Cucumber Goggles".
BLR 013
29 Apr 19
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Tack Farsan
Tack Farsan - (5:34) 121 BPM
Grapefruit Dreams (feat Sune) - (5:45) 123 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Make Sure You Mean That Shit - (6:31) 120 BPM
Besitos - (5:42) 124 BPM
Played by: Sould Out
Review: A four-tracker here from the Scandinavian producer who's also one-fifth of the LOVESTOMP crew. 'Tack Farsan' itself blends influences from deep house and retro funk/soul, and hence could prove a very useful bridging track in DJ sets, while the brilliantly titled 'Grapefruit Dreams' is a disco-fied midtempo houser probably best served poolside in Ibiza, Rimini or Miami. If it's a rawer, more Chi-town style of deep house that floats your boat then 'Make Sure You Mean That Shit' is the one to head for, with the unhurried, Latin-infused number 'Besitos' completing a pleasingly eclectic EP.
BLR 012
18 Mar 19
Deep House
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Naturist Behavior EP
Naturist Behavior - (5:36) 121 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
A Hawaiian Trip - (6:26) 120 BPM
Tell Me - (6:35) 120 BPM
Feels Good - (5:31) 122 BPM
Review: First released on vinyl last summer, Saint Paul's superb "Naturist Behaviour EP" finally comes to digital download - and not a moment too soon. The four-track salvo builds on the producer's previously releases for Moonrise Hill Material, offering cut dusty, disco-flecked deep house jams just crying out to be played under a baking afternoon sun. Check first the lilting horns, fluttering flute loops and Brazilian disco-flecked deep house shuffle of "Naturist Behaviour", before wallowing in the elongated, alien-sounding synth lines of deep house/jazz-funk fusion workout "A Hawaian Trip". Elsewhere, "Feels Good" is warm, soulful and deep, while "Tell Me" is a pitch-perfect glassy-eyed boogie revision.
BLR 011
25 Feb 19
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From London With Love
Thinkin' - (6:20) 120 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Fulham Broadway - (6:03) 118 BPM
Mr. Kuti - (7:08) 120 BPM
Review: London-based deep house producer and occasional Morrissey lookalike Joe Corti made his debut back in 2015, but has been surprisingly quiet since then. Happily, Better Listen has given him the opportunity to re-invigorate his career via a first ever appearance on the label. There's much to enjoy throughout, from the style drums and disco-funk party samples of "Special People", to the spiraling disco-house heaviness of "Thinkin". Elsewhere, he peppers an Afro-house groove with swirling Afrobeat samples on "Fela" and brilliantly cuts-up a lesser-known version of a genuine disco classic on the rubbery release of "Fulham Broadway".
BLR 009
04 Jun 18
Deep House
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Feels Trip To The District
The Assassinator - (5:15) 116 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Sweetiez Fresh - (5:25) 124 BPM
Thirstin' - (5:48) 120 BPM
Review: Sheffield's Thatmanmonkz returns with the Feels Trip To The District EP, where he teams up with his good pal Martin Miguel. The record is inspired by several trips to dope parties in the District of Columbia, home of the quickly rising label Better Listen Records. Starting off with a funky and soulful turn with that familiar vocal on "The Assassinator", to moves to the lo-slung disco deepness of "Sweetiez Fresh", a dusty and looped up jam that will appeal to fans of the Robsoul sound. Thatmanmonkz closes this impressive EP with Thirstin' coupled with sun kissed female vocal.
BLR 007
02 Apr 18
Deep House
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Moonshiner EP
That Lonely Night - (4:51) 119 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Enchantress - (5:27) 118 BPM
Moonshiner - (6:57) 120 BPM
Are You Mesmerized - (7:08) 120 BPM
Review: Stockholm based Ari Bald is up next for Better Listen after inaugurating Honey Butter Records last year with that great release. He keeps on with that deep disco spirit with these four funky and lo-slung jams. First, we have two ergonomic edits in the form of "That Lonely Night" and "Enchantress" respectively which are looped to perfection with some somewhat familiar hooks that gradually build up to that drop! That's where the thumping kick comes charging in and it's sure geared for maximum dancefloor dynamics. Then, get ready for the funk explosion that is "Moonshiner" or what could be your First Choice (mind the pun!) in the form of the smooth and sexy late night groove of "Are You Mesmerized?"
BLR 006
19 Feb 18
Funky/Club House
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Playin' With Fire
Why My Love (feat Folamour) - (6:10) 105 BPM
Loneliness Of The Shadow Dancer - (6:06) 108 BPM
Playin' With Fire - (6:15) 108 BPM
I Sold Yayo To Buy Kicks - (6:19) 112 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Review: Ethyene is a producer, DJ and label manager from Lyon in France, delivering house music that finds its roots in the sounds of Detroit, Chicago and Manchester. He has had releases on top labels such as Moonrise Hill Material, Kolour LTD and Editorial to name but a few. He has patented a certain style of mid-tempo house music; applying a french touch aesthetic to disco, r&b and hip-hop sample references. He teams up with Moonrise main man Folamour on the neon-lit boogie down jam "Why My Love", some lo-slung soulful hip-hop on the lush "Why My Love", super sexy deep house for the late night (with an R'n'B edge) on "Loneliness Of The Shadow Dancer" and a sultry nu-jazz beauty to close out the fine EP affectionately titled "I Sold Yayo To Buy Kicks". Washington DC based Better Listen had a great run of releases back in 2017 with Thatmanmonkz, Chevals and Closed Paradise all appearing, and being particular standouts.
BLR 005
15 Jan 18
Deep House
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Everlast - (6:05) 117 BPM
You're Solid As Fuck - (6:30) 118 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Fool's Gold - (5:42) 124 BPM
Babesonite - (5:19) 122 BPM
Review: District of Columbia-based deep house imprint Better Listen has barely put a foot wrong since launching late last year. Predictably, their latest missive, which comes courtesy of rising star Dorsi Plantar, is another beauty. Title track "Everlast" opens proceedings via jazzy, jammed-out pino riffs, dewy-eyed electronic flourishes and dusty deep house beats, before "You're Solid as Fuck" re-focuses attention on a chopped-and-looped deep house/jazz-funk fusion. Then for the grandiose orchestration of disco-house pumper "Fool's Gold" and the near-Balearic sweetness of sun-soaked chunky house closer "Babesonite", which comes on like a disco-house enthusiast's tribute to Pepe Bradock's "Deep Burnt".
BLR 004
18 Dec 17
Deep House
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Beer Machine
Hearty & Healthy - (5:50) 117 BPM
Heineken 04 - (5:26) 118 BPM
Dynamite! (Beer mix) - (5:40) 117 BPM
Beer Machine - (6:21) 117 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Review: Cody Currie's self-titled EP on Pusic Records was one of the better deep house debuts of 2016. This follow-up for Better Listen is similarly impressive. It sees him showcase a range of tracks that fuse a hip-hop, sample-digging mentality with the dusty, soul-flecked deep house swing of Chicago and Detroit's jazzier producers. The rich and organic sounding opener "Hearty & Healthy"- all hip-hop vocal samples, spacey boogie synth breakdowns and MPC-driven deep house beats - is particularly alluring, though the 'Disco Mix' of "Dynamite" is also superb. The liquid deep house funk of "Beer Machine", where disco samples pop in and out of a rich backing track, feels like a late night anthem in waiting.
BLR 003
25 Sep 17
Deep House
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House For Sale EP
Checkmate - (6:31) 118 BPM
Ekuseni - (5:11) 118 BPM
House For Sale - (5:22) 122 BPM
Breakchu - (5:15) 114 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Review: Ponty Mython is a good fit for Better Listen, a fledgling deep house label that has so far delivered the goods. The imprint's love of jazzy, musically rich workouts built around dusty old samples matches the Russian's long-held production ethos and shines through loud and clear on quirky, marimba-laden opener "Checkmate". No doubt the Better Listen crew was also delighted with the rolling, life-affirming vibe of "Ekueseni", a kind of Afro-disco/deep house hybrid that's as atmospheric and groovy as they come, and the jaunty, guitar solo-laden cheeriness of Afrobeat-goes-house shuffler "Breakchu". We'd also wager that they signed the EP based on the brilliant title track, which is little less than a hedonistic chunk of spiraling disco-house brilliance.
BLR 002
28 Aug 17
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Echoes Of Paradise
Bartz Groove - (6:04) 116 BPM
Over Paradise - (6:47) 122 BPM
Share My Love - (6:41) 122 BPM
Profound Experience - (6:40) 120 BPM Biggest-selling track on this release
Review: Early 2016, Ashley "Arthur Jr" Stevenson debuted a new alias, The Last Trip To Gandahar, by contributing a track to the In House EP on City Fly (a label he co-founded many years back). This four-track outing is the project's first full outing, and also marks the debut of Washington DC-based label Better Listen. It's a confident and fun-packed affair, with Stevenson delivering tracks that sit somewhere between house-friendly re-edits, and sample-heavy original productions. As you'd probably expect, all four cuts are warm and groovy, making excellent use of elements of soul-soaked disco and jazz-funk tracks. It's all impeccably playable, with the flute-laden "Over Paradise" and righteous "Profound Experience" being our picks.
BLR 001
10 Jul 17
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