Sheffield-based BubbleTease Communications is the brainchild of the legendary house artist, Maurice Fulton, who, according to The Wire, is ‘probably the most rhythmically inventive producer working in electronic dance music’. BubbleTease is both a recording studio and label, founded in 2003. The label has so far delivered raw house and disco delights, as well some darker, leftfield creations from the likes of: DJ Nori, Syclops, Mim Suleiman, Boof, Mutsumi and Maurice Fulton himself.
Review: Maurice Fulton has made plenty of awesome records over the years, including a string of superb full-length sets as Boof. Here he returns with his first album under the alias for five years, and as you'd expect it's a belter. In line with its predecessors, Fulton delivers a swathe of ear-pleasing numbers laden with colourful synthesizer sounds, jazzy electric piano stabs, opaque chords and rubbery bass guitar. There are of course interesting and oddball diversions amongst the more straightforward house jams that are tricky to accurately describe - see "Ana's F Is Chillin", the intoxicating and exotic "Japanese Indian Shrimp Curry" and the kaleidoscopic space jazz that is the brilliant title track - and a handful of ultra-percussive peak-time beasts (see "Luam Has Found Her Z").
Review: Janette "Jnett" Pitruzzello is considered something of a legend in her home city of Melbourne, where she's been DJing for well over two decades. Here, she delivers her debut solo EP, featuring a quartet of tracks co-produced by Maurice Fulton. The latter also delivers a solo mix of opener "Reflection", which adds a little leftfield disco sparkle and percussive sweatiness to an otherwise organ-heavy deep house groove. There's a similarly cheery, funky and disco-tinged feel to the rolling, cut-up house goodness of "Swangzipani". Elsewhere, the duo gets a little stranger in pursuit of dancefloor thrills; "Bubbles Away" is deliciously dark, wonky and intergalactic, while "Judge Not" wanders off into head-nodding, instrumental hip-hop territory.
Review: Even if you followed the media for a few seconds over the past few months, you will have seen that the concept of two worlds colliding often causes problems. On this new album by Mim Suleiman, they live in sweet harmony. Dera revolves around the concept of mixing Maurice Fulton's studio prowess with the Tanzanian singer's startling vocal range. From the DJ QU-style dense percussive house of "Tutapona" and "Uvivu", where Suleiman warbles seductively over wailing violins, into the high-paced electro funk and nattering vocal samples of "Wazanzibari" and "Furahi" and the appropriation of Chicago house on "Yako Nde", Adera Dera is a heady serving of social and sonic engineering.
Review: There are few house producers as innovative or adventurous as Maurice Fulton and on his latest Boof album, he shows just how far-out he can get. "Tomoko's O" is an easy-listening affair with searing guitars and cosmic keys, while in contrast, "Just On The Swings" sees Fulton experiment with Cameo-style electro funk. These are just two of the many different moods that Boof embraces. On the title track, Fulton veers into white noise ambience and "Cat Soulcat Strut" is a tasty boogie / jazz-funk affair. There are also a few nods to Fulton's dance floor approach, especially on the deep techno "Backlash", but as the mellow "Birgit Boogie" and the jittery pianos of "Emi's M" demonstrate, this is as cosmic as a trip to Mars and back.
Review: Many will know Maurice Fulton's most frequently used alter egos (Boof, Syclops, Ladyvipb, Eddie & The Eggs, Dr Scratch etc), but it's unlikely many will remember his brief stint under the Javen Souls moniker. To date, only four tracks have appeared under the pseudonym, all back in 1997, when he was just beginning his career. Here, Fulton dusts down two of those and gives them a timely re-release as part of his popular Bubbletease Communications Classics series. "The Future (Maurice Fulton Mix)" is particularly startling, sounding as it does like the sort of driving, murky, heads-down gear that Danny Tenalgia may have played at Twilo during that period. That said, there's something extra-special about the bouncing steel drum melodies, deep house chords and jazz drums of "Where We Are"; it sounds like a more Balearic version of the skuzzy, oddball Syclops sound.
Review: Bubbletease Communications' releases are defiantly infrequent, reflecting boss man Maurice Fulton's desire to only release personal projects and those he's somehow had a hand in. Given Fulton's track record, this approach guarantees a high quality threshold; in truth, Bubbletease releases are rarely less than excellent. This four-tracker from Tokyo-based DJ Nori, co-produced by Fulton, is predictably impressive. There's a touch of melancholic, acid-flecked stargazing in the shape of "Spaceg" (all heady synth melodies, fuzzy bass and 808 cowbells), some out-there, beatless space calypso (the unwieldy "We Don't Know"), and a mighty chunk of Syclops-ish wonk-jack ("80s Drugs"). Oh, and a moody, Detroit-influenced Fulton remix of "Happy Sunday" that breaks into a space disco jam near the end.
Review: Trust Maurice Fulton to surprise us. Having seemingly abandoned his Syclops pseudonym following the critical and commercial success of the superb 2008 full-length, I've Got My Eye On You, he's resurrected it for a surprise sophomore album. Predictably, A Blink of An Eye is a bit good. Picking up where the previous album left off, it delivers a warped fusion of titanium-plated electronics, leftfield acid jack, freestyle jazz flourishes and intergalactic mutant disco. Formidably twisted but hugely enjoyable, it gleefully charges off in many different directions, mixing shirts-off anthems (see the brilliant "Sarah's E with Extra P"), with curious percussion jams (the afro-centric "Jump Bugs") and curiously blissful, Boof-ish excursions ("5 In"). Stellar stuff.
Review: With little in the way of fanfare, Maurice Fulton's masterful Bubbletease Communications releases Umbeya, a second Fulton produced album from Sheffield dwelling Tanzanian singer Mim Suleiman. The singer was introduced to the world via a couple of Fulton produced 12?s and the full lengthTungi - all released on Gerd Janson's esteemed Running Back imprint in 2010. If the combination of Mim and Maurice sounded strange on paper, it sounded glorious in full flow, with her distinctive singing voice ducking between English and Swahili over some of Fulton's most effortlessly effervescent productions which veered in typically diverse directions. Umbeya follows in this manner, with the deep basement vibes of "Chuki" and the flatulent disco of "Msimamo" standouts among the ten track set, while the title track evokes the rhythmic spirit of some of Fulton's work as Ladyvipb for Nuphonic. Highly recommended.
Review: In the dim and distant past, Tamara Barnett-Herrin formed part of Freeform Five, Anu Pilai's "anything goes" freaky funkateers. Since those days, she's fallen off the radar a little - presumably because she was penning this debut solo full-length in cahoots with BubbleTease main man Maurice Fulton. Born To Burn will please those who enjoyed Barnett-Herrin's work with Freeform Five. Musically, it places her evocative, emotion-rich vocals at the centre of an unusual and interesting mix of sounds and styles. There are delay-laden moments of downtempo brilliance, squishy synth-funk workouts, jazz-flecked contemporary trip-hop hits, smooth jazz-funk cuts and fuzzy, dancefloor-focused jams - all bearing the sonic trademarks of that most innovative of producers, Maurice Fulton.
Review: For the latest chapter in Maurice Fulton's BubbleTease Communications Classics series, the Sheffield-based maverick unfurls a pair of previously unheard remixes of soul chanteuse Nicole Willis. Unlike his shamelessly celebratory remixes of Willis' previous single, "Holding On", these "Feeling Free" versions offer deeper, more dubbed-out thrills. Where those were built around one of Fulton's typically rubbery electric bass riffs, these versions wrap dub-laden soul guitars and dreamy organ chords around hefty analogue bass pulses. It's the combination of sub-bothering analogue bass and the tight, cowbell-heavy percussion that makes these mixes so attractive - check the Dub for the full wonky dub disco effect.