Review: Now an established member of the UK's deep house cognoscenti, Boogie Originals co-owner Andy Ash pops up on Black Key with one of his strongest cuts to date. "Broken" is typically of Ash's recent work, all druggy, hissing grooves, voodoo percussion, pin-sharp pianos and drowsy vocal samples. It's a startling combination that works beautifully. The Liverpudlian explores his jazzier side on "Distro Yet", which sounds like a sleepy UK take on Detroit deep house. The package also includes a couple of tasty remixes of "Broken"; a wonky house rub from Ugly Drums and a sweet, bongo-laden tweak from Tom Sevinski.
Review: Over the last two years, Brighton-based Black Key Records has proved a reliable source of high-grade deep house. Proper deep house, too - the kind you can get lost in while dancing like a lunatic at four in the morning. This EP features three more reasons to be cheerful. There's the tumbling electronics, tipsy chords, moody atmospherics and clattering drum machine rhythms of Ethyl & Flori's "Technology Pavilion", the deep, dubby and delightfully spacious groovery of BLM's "Tough Times", and the multicoloured boogie synths and filter-heavy rhythms of Pawas' liquid house gem "Nokickfunk". All three tracks are strong in their own right, making this one very tempting EP.
Review: The newly minted Brighton label Black Key Records follows that stellar Andy Ash record with some new material from the excellent Chamboche. The London based producer is fresh from releasing Smoke Screen, a quite beefy turnout on regular haunt Under The Shade, and the two tracks on this Metacoma EP find Chamboche moving further away from the disco flecked territory of his early material into the deep house murk. The way lead track "Mello" rigidly slips into action doesn't prepare you for how delightfully rich in smoky colour the track is in full flight, with typical attention to melodic detail. Fear Of Flying regular BLM drops two remixes of this track, with the "Lofi" version a particular effective revision, all stripped down rattling drums and thick bass line. Do check the last track "Show It" which demonstrates Chamboche's talent for crafting dubbier excursions through house deepness - just wait for those chords to come filtering through.
Review: There's much to admire on this second remix EP from rising label Black Key, not least Moodtrap's delightfully rubbery, synth-laden deep house tweak of Giovanni Damico's "Love Me". It's fluid and tactile - all warm chords and bluesy vocal samples - but with enough rhythmic pulse to keep a dancefloor interested throughout. The rest of the EP features reworks of Milton Jackson's "5 Cities". The reliable Andy Ash delivers the best version, layering deep garage chords and liquid melodies on top of booming drums and a sub-bothering bassline. Tom Sevinski's super-deep tweak is also worth a listen.
Review: Boutique beat outlet Black Key Records return with an eighth release, welcoming the SMPL pairing of German deep house don Iron Curtis, and Leaves into the fold for the Hello Ada! EP which comes brandishing a remix from AUS and Secretsundaze talent Youandewan. "Hello Ada!" is a nicely driven jam with louche hi hats racing atop nimble beats and bass which duck and dive as they bobble along deep below the surface. Fleshing out the nicely roughed up framework are synth hooks, more smeared pads and the occasion vocal yelp as well as some cute trumpet motifs that are oh so subtly stitched into the overall arrangement. It's archetypal deep house with a kick and is sure to be one the label's biggest to date. The remix from insular soundsmith, Youandewan, is just as good but for different reasons. His version has more emphasis on the big rubbery kick drum blobs, uses the vocal more frequently, and abstractly, but glows in the same way thanks to the aqueous, shiny and reflective synths that rise up and up through the mix. It's as elastic as it is fantastic and contains possibly his finest breakdown to date.
Review: Black Key Records continue their run of top-notch releases, this time in the form of the well establish, and highly sort after James Johnston. This four-track EP features three stunning originals, plus a sterling remix from Back To You Records boss, Dudely Strangeways. The "Hang Up' EP lays down four sublime cuts of low-slung, deep house music, with the unmistakable character that Johnston creates within his music. Strangeways' remix delves into deeper, late night territory, with a definite "heads dow" feel to his rework. This is another essential release from a label which is consistently on-point - a rare thing these days.
Review: Brighton-based Black Key continues to churn out the hits. Having previously focused on atmospheric deep house, this three-tracker from little-known production outfit Latona ploughs a more obviously tech-tinged furrow. "Old Timer" is particularly hypnotic, focusing the attention around an immaculately programmed groove, a throbbing, sub-heavy bassline, murky soundscapes and glitchy, hissing samples. Label boss Tom Sevinski opts for a slower tempo, lighter mood and ear-pleasing melodies on his pleasingly atmospheric remix. As for bonus cut "Hant", it sits somewhere between wonky deep house, hypnotic tech-house and the sample-based soundscapes of Nicolas Jaar.
Review: India's Pawas Gupta is back with the Slow Roll EP on Brighton's Black Key Records, following up some great releases on Night Drive Music and Compost Black Label in recent times. He now resides in Berlin after a move from Cologne and the influence can really be heard on his latest effort. We particularly enjoyed the glacial dub techno tones of "Filtechno" which is chilling as much as it is captivating. The title track and closer "Aired" are the kind of mellowed and sultry deep house jams that fans of Dessous and Hafendisko will well appreciate.