Review: With previous releases on Blind Jack's Journey and Tessellate, London via Istanbul's Aleksandir returns with this great new six tracker courtesy of Seb Wildblood's Church imprint. Shades of jazz, soul, broken beat and house linger throughout these lush and dusty downbeat selections. Take for instance the smooth opener "Before, After" with its seductive leads, airy pads and reduced polyrhythms, the late night deepness of "Gone Swimming" (which is so sensual) or the simply evocative mood lighting of "Between Summers" which respectfully recreates the vibe of UK greats such as 4hero or At jazz's classic nu-jazz antics.
Review: London bass night and label Church return with their first offering of 2014 and the first original material from resident Apes. Putting into practice the methods learnt on a bunch of remixes for Church, "Two Thousand Six" finds Apes ploughing the kind of weighty, heavily swung techno that is so popular right now, and is complemented well by the warmth and subtlety brought to the table on Chaos In The CDB's subsequent remix. If the main track is all about immediacy and power, then the other Apes original "Cold Love" shows a calmer side to his production palette, and is notable for some orgasmic male vocal sampling. Fellow Churchman Seb Wildblood ends proceedings with a doleful, melodically driven remix of "Cold Love".
Review: London producer Apes is back and showing off his ever evolving style, this time exploring the deep house vibe and impressively so, just like his last release on Skint in 2015. The dreamy Larry Heard influence of "Horizon" is bittersweet, melancholic and just the way we like it! "Equinox" experiments a bit more with a broken beat, ethereal atmosphere and rich synth tapestries on this talented effort while finally the title track closes things out with a bit of a stomp on this gorgeous U.S. influenced jam with a dusty edge for added character.
Review: When Beesmunt Soundsystem release an EP, it isn't just for show or for the sake of it. No, these guys prefer to keep it quality over quantity and we respect them for it. They're up on London's Church imprint this time with three deep and expansive house swervers that'll appeal to all sorts of house and bass lovers around. "Afterglow" is a gorgeous closing tune that is stripped right down by Sort Of into a sparse ambient rhythm - excellent. "Opium" is a warm, pulsating glow that won't stop growing and developing, while the original to "First Timer" introduces a heavy, growling bassline followed by Mosey's tech-house version. Suave is the word we're looking for.
Review: There's little information floating around about the identity of Biodive, other than he, she or they hail from Cape Town. It would be nice to know more, because this debut EP for Church's "Marble" series is faultless. Melodious, fluid, seductive and atmospheric, all four tracks combine intergalactic, ear-pleasing musical elements with inventive, off-kilter rhythms that flit between up-tempo and club-focused (see opener "Solution" and the breakbeat-driven shuffle of "40 Now") to spacious (the deep electro flex of closing cut "Intimacy") and relaxed ("Feign", a pleasingly warm, humid and tropical affair rich in stretched-out chords and intricate synthesizer solos). It's a tricky EP to pigeonhole, so we'll just say that it's exceptional electronic music that suits both home listening and clubs that like it deep.
Review: The fifth release on the ever-improving Church label comes from Chaos In The CBD, a duo who switched from sweatier, bumpin' flavours to deeper, jazzier pastures via a fine recent EP on Rhythm Section International. The three tracks here are similarly blazed and musically expansive, beginning with the stargazing chords, intergalactic melodies and zippy rhythms of "Constraints of Time Travel". It's a little different to what we've come to expect, but no less thrilling. The duo cover more familiar ground with the Theo Parrish influenced bossa-house loveliness of "Phantom Melodies", and the deep, Rhodes-laden broken-house haziness of "Similar Stories".
Review: Church has been responsible for some fantastic 12" singles of late, delivering killer EPs from rising stars Ishmael, Mall Grab and Wolfey & Project Pablo. Here they change tack, serving up a four-track missive from experienced underground deep house producer DJ Aakmael. He begins with the chunky, bumpin' beats, twinkling melodies and drifting vocal samples of "Beautiphul" [sic], before exploring jazzier, looser pastures on the classic summery deep house flex of "13th Mood". "Bloo Again" blends sweeping strings, Roy Ayers style vibraphone solos and a tactile groove to excellent effect, while closer "Space" smartly works a swinging groove and tasty chords for maximum dancefloor pleasure.
Review: We're absolutely loving the deep and soulful grooves of Richmond, Virginia's DJ Aakmael of late. Whether it's on his own Unxposd imprint or London keepers of the new garde Church; who presented us his brilliant Beautiphul EP back a couple of months ago. On Church Volumes 002, he gives us "Just A Track (Part 7)", a dusty deep house jam with soul samples reminiscent of classic Nick Holder. Speaking of which, Laurence Guy goes for the same vibe on "Wish I Knew"; we really liked this smooth, summery and low-slung groove. Honourable mention to Debukas also; on "Gas & Air" he offers up something a bit more on the techy lo-fi tip influenced by early Chicago/Detroit.
Review: There's a case to say that Folamour has yet to put a foot wrong. Recently, he's released killer EPs on Classic, Moonrise Hill Material and Cracki, as well as contributing fine tracks to a number of other EPs . Predictably, this outing on Church is also hotter than the sun. "Jazz Session For Future People" is a killer chunk of life-affirming jazz-house bounciness that offers a near perfect balance between rolling dancefloor funk and intricate musicality, while "Melophrenia" is a supremely smoky slab of ultra-deep wooziness. Arguably best of all, though, is the hip-hop tempo synthesizer Balearica of "Janvier In Bed", which may well be his most tactile and glassy-eyed cut to date.
Review: Four months after it first landed on vinyl, FYI Chris's brilliant Home Alone EP finally gets a digital download release. It's principally notable for the superb title track, in which lilting trumpet lines dance around swirling soulful vocal samples, clicking percussion and a killer analogue bassline. That said, there's plenty more playable material elsewhere, from the trippy late night voodoo of "Oort Cloud" and superior deep house warmth of "House Dog" (extra marks to the producer for including both jazzy keys and music box style melodies), to the driving, Motor City influenced deep space-meets-deep house throb of closer "Courtyard".
Review: Having previously offered up his deep house wares on Outplay, Dirt Crew and Quintessentials, amongst others, Loz Goddard has taken his place in Seb Wildblood's Church congregation. In return, the Manchester producer has chucked a trio of quality productions into the collection plate. He begins with the pulsing space funk synthesizer chords, lilting melodies and dusty drums of "Gluttony Bay", before wrapping fluid harp motifs, eyes-closed electronics and thickset bass around a crunchy rhythm track on "Anomaly". Arguably the best of the bunch, though, is the energetic but dreamy dancefloor bliss that is "Find Me", a track whose inherent jazziness is further explored on Session Victim's superb accompanying remix.
Review: Heralding the start of the newly minted Church imprint, Happa makes a strong case for the buzz he has received with but a smattering of appearances before now. "Beat Of The Drum" is as percussion-centric as you might hope, and what percussion it is. Ostensibly based around a 2-step wiggle, the monolithic hits that fall with deft swing are infallible in their guaranteed dance-levelling power. Throwing Snow takes said beats into a frantic, juked-out territory on his remix, firing off that instantly identifiable jerky rhythm and a considerable tempo jump. "Bring It Back" is a considerable shift in style, as Happa delves into a menacing electro house well, leaving it to Apes & Seb Wildblood to drop a more casual deep house cut.
Words Can't Explain (instrumental) - (5:09) 117 BPM
Words Can't Explain (Yu Su remix) - (6:59) 126 BPM
Review: 2018 was a significant one for Tom Harris AKA Hidden Spheres. As well as establishing the Fruit Merchant imprint to house his most tropical and dreamy productions, Harris also managed to deliver a delightfully trippy and intergalactic EP of acid, electro and deep house jams on Lobster Theremin offshoot Lobster UNDR. "Words Can't Explain" is another deft change of direction, with honey-voiced guest Oscar Jerome offering a superb soul vocal over a warm and woozy backing track rich in broken house drums, toasty synth bass, drowsy Rhodes chords and effortlessly jazzy guitar solos. It's superb, all told, and one of Harris's best tracks to date. Also worth checking is the club-ready revision by Yu Su, which not only utilizes heavy sub bass but also some crunchy drum machine percussion.
Review: After taking a break for nearly three years, the Church Volumes series of multi-artist EPs roars back into life. Fittingly, "Volume Four" begins with something rather special: a wonderfully woozy, breezy and ear-pleasing chunk of hypnotic deep house bliss by Igor B entitled "Turtle Cove" (a fitting title given its warm, humid and tropical vibe). Wasserfall and Vaage successfully join forces on the drowsy, sample-heavy warmth of "Namely You", before Leon Revol reaches for elongated dream house chords, hushed bass and mangled '90s modem noises on the ultra-deep "Analog In Transit". Finally, U-I steals the show with an impeccable chunk of dub-flecked, chill out room friendly bliss entitled "Duo Decim".
Review: Rising house singer Ishmael presents us with a great full length offering for London's Church. We had to double check that he's actually from Bristol because these tracks have a distinct U.S. Midwest flavour about them they're that convincing! "Stamp The Wax" however does have a lot of bass in it; but that's where the West country vibes end, leaving way for a soulful and emotive number with bittersweet piano notes that evoke classic early nineties Chicago. "Leviathan" somehow merges dub techno and acid house sensibilities quite consistently on this dark little epic. "That Piano Track" and "Desiderata" are dusty, jazzy hip-hop inspired deep house jams: Berlin style, that fans of Money $ex will dig but our favourites are the proper deep house of "In Sun" reminiscent of classic Fresh 'N Low or Mood II Swing and the brilliant closer "Titan, My Friend" that has that Body & Soul NYC vibe about, so uplifting!
Review: James Booth's wayward variety of house music has been largely restricted to the 100%Silk label, until now. That is certainly not a bad thing - we love the LA-based imprint - but it's refreshing to see him land on London's own Church crew. The promoters-turned-label-owners have got a good thing going, and it's equally exciting to see them broadening their reach by landing some more homegrown talent. This four-tracker is deep and effective for floor use: "Silver Blaze" is a placid slice of chord-heavy house, ""Soup" stretches the percussion and lands on a two-step territory, "Vanish" goes all Chicago on us, and "Why Would You Not" goes deeper and murkier than any other track on this fine house excursion. Digital tip for ya!
Review: Having recently made his CHURCH debut on the multi-artist Volumes 003 EP, Jesse Futerman makes a rapid return to the hyped London imprint. Rather impressively, opener "My Favourite Merchant" sees him join forces with Byron The Aqarius for a fluid, rich and musically expansive trip into liquid deep house territory. Futerman shows his skills as a boogie-influenced hip-hop producer on the mazy bump of "See Me Ride", before layering aquatic synths and shimmering chords atop a slamming house rhythm on "Gem". Recent Rhythm Section International signing Hidden Spheres handles remix duties, turning "Gem" into a swirling fusion of hustling deep house and grandiose Balearica.
Review: Curiously, Julio Victoria has previously contributed tracks to several compilations but has never released an EP of his own. Top marks to Church then for giving him a belated opportunity to showcase his wares via a much-deserved debut EP. Title track "Astrolabe" is particularly wonderful: a languid, shuffling exercise in softly-spun deep house dreaminess rich in ambient chords, clicking top-end percussion, groovy beats and ghostly electronics. Elsewhere, "Evasion" is a raw and sleazy chunk of Latin-influenced tribal house blessed with metallic stabs, while closing cut "Tres" is a gently jazzy, ultra-deep house track that's as enveloping as a bear hug from Phil Jupitus and infinitely more seductive.
Review: On his first outing on Church, Smallville regular Julius Steinhoff has invited us to take a stroll in his "Forgotten Garden", a slightly overgrown but pleasingly becalmed place full of beautiful blooms and fragrant herbs. The title track sets the tone, with evocative spoken word samples, soft-touch pianos and echoing electronics straining to peer over the producer's huggable bassline and crunchy beats. "To Your Care" sees smother another great deep house groove in sustained chords and twinkling melodic touches, while "So Very Close" sees him brilliantly join the dots between dusty deep house, dub and new age bliss. Arguably best of all, though, is "Gonna Be With You", a locked-in chunk of deep house hypnotism rich in crackling samples, intergalactic electronics and bubbly bass.
Review: The strength of Church continues to build with a fine back catalogue covering the likes of Happa and Seb Wildblood amongst many others, and now they follow up Ishmael's release with this selection from new London hopeful Laurence Guy. The funk gets laid on nice and thick on this spread of deep house delectations, with the title track heading out into blissful downtempo territory before kicking into simmering disco groove. "W.L.Y.B" plies a trade in delicate keys and sizzling drums of the highest order while a cheeky bump amps up the appeal of "Stavros". "Rizzo" finishes the EP off with another wistful ride through all kinds of soul signifiers that pack a mean punch.
Review: Church has certainly grown into one of London's most dependable house music outlets these past few years across their various interlinked label divisions. The emergence of Laurence Guy is testament to that - last year he debuted on Church with the well-received Kojak EP, and has gone on to prove his worth across a number of 12" releases and V/A contributions. Bamboo sees him back in the Church fold for their ninth White Label release and it's a confident four-track display of measured deep house. From the warbling melodies of the title track to the Smallville stylings of "Knotweed" and "Lotus", Guy is clearly improving with each release!
Review: Having set his stall out via a string of quietly impressive singles over the last two years, deep house producer Laurence Guy is ready to unleash his debut album. Saw You For The First Time is a typically rich and hazy affair, with the Church regular making use of various dusty, jazz-flecked samples and analogue-sounding electronic instruments across a ten-track set that mixes rolling, club-ready fare with occasional bouts of downtempo introspection (see "Claudi", "Into" and the deliciously saucer-eyed "Orchard Road"). Guy makes great use of guest vocalist Steve Spacek on the sumptuous space jazz warmth of "Drum is a Woman", while Ishmael makes his presence felt on "Anchor", where twinkling pianos and dreamy chords ride a fluid, floor-friendly deep house groove.
Review: Storied producer Nicholas, whose bulging discography boasts both slo-mo disco-house chuggers and Nu Groove inspired treats, seems like a neat fit for the hyped Church label. Interestingly, the six tracks on offer are closer to the usual Church sound - think dusty, hazy, sample-heavy deep house with clear jazz influences - tha the producer's previous work. They're all rather good, though, with the bustling and bluesy "The Answer" and jaunty, bongo-laden dancefloor warmth of "Dahlia" immediately catching the ear. Killer keys-man Paul Cut provides headline-grabbing solos on two of the EP's best moments ("Black Juniper" and the jazz-house opus "Resolution"), while "Lonnie's Reprise" is similar in tone and vibe to fellow Church contributors FYI Chris and Chaos in the CBD.
Review: Church has assembled an all-star cast for the third installment of their semi-regular Volumes series. As a result, the material is every bit as deep, jazzy, smoky and evocative as you'd expect. U.S deep house revivalist Nicholas steps up first, joining forces with Paul Tap for the Rhodes-laden, percussion-heavy, Latin-tinged shuffle of "Alma". Jesse Futerman delves deeper with the head-nodding, instrumental hip-hop goodness of "A Tribute To Horace" - all bluesy chord progressions, swirling orchestration and meandering trumpet solos - before Seb Wildblood pays tribute to Boulevard-era St Germain on the dreamy jazz-house of "Open Up". Finally, Philip Budny doffs a cap to the humid, tropical-tinged wooziness of the Mood Hut and Pacific Rhythms catalogues on the thrillingly wide-eyed "Eclipses".
Review: Pacific Coliseum is Canadian artist Jamison Isaak aka Jon Baerg (aka Little Chords/Teen Daze/The Tremulance) who lends his craft to Church under new alias PC. Featuring the dusty and evocative deep house of "Sproti Feel" first up, featuring hypnotic and shimmering tones throughout, plus some super sexy diva vocals to boot. Some equally deep business next up, with a crafty edit of a deep jazzy number on the balearic tip: it's totally bittersweet and life affirming (whatever the original was) and it sure as hell needed an edit - if this is any indication!
Review: London's Church expand operations with a new offshoot called Church Volumes. They kick things off with an all-star EP featuring "friends from Vancouver, Peckham and L.A". 1080p regulars Project Pablo continue their fine run of form with the brilliant "Hiber Nation", a dreamy chunk of melodious, synth-heavy deep house that's as fluid and blissful as it is warm and evocative. Darnum Stamp's "Them 2" explores similar territory, with delay-laden beats and early Pal Joey style synthesizers adding to the groovy, new age house mood, while Apes' "Vanilla Ice" is the kind of glacial deep house workout that should send shivers down the spines' of saucer-eyed dancers. FYI Chris takes a different approach on his contribution, "Happy Edward", with sparse but ear-pleasing synth lines bubbling atop a hazy, bass-heavy rhythm.
Review: Although it has only one release to its name - Happa's Beat Of The Drum - London club night turned record label Church is looking to be an imprint to keep close tabs on, especially on the strength of this second EP, from young London producer Rumah. Although his debut from last year demonstrated an atmospheric, syncopated style of bass music, "Stutter" shows a marked progression into swung techno styles, with a weighty track full of concrete rhythms and glassy synths; "Murmur" is similarly powerful, throwing acid flecks and sunken vocals into the mix. Meanwhile, Apes & Seb Wildblood offer their own take on "Stutter", tempering some of the original's more ferocious attributes with some subtle dub techno elements, while James Fox refixes "Murmur" into a slinky, mid-tempo house groover, whose swelling synths offer something considerably deeper.
Review: Seb Wildblood is back on London imprint Church with Jazz Vol. 1. It's some sultry and soulful deepness on offer that's no doubt influenced from a lot of Moodymann listening sessions and we can appreciate that, like on the smooth opener that is the title track. "Seal Of Approval" carries on with this sentiment quite gloriously with those sampled jazz vocals and piano over a seriously dusty arrangement being such a nice touch. He goes for more of the early nineties Chicago vibe of Larry Heard on the bittersweet and emotive "Nothing". Finally Medlar of Wolf Music fame steps in to give Seal Of Approval" a funky and upbeat makeover that's just perfect for an open air party this Summer.
Review: The Church crew return with more fresh off the press techno, this time with Viers, a hotly tipped new producer with his heart firmly set on minimal, futuristic sounds. Apes & Seb Wildblood add their own atmospheric sound to the track, taking that hard edge and blurring the lines between techno and ambient house. "Your Body" is Viers' nightmare hard techno track and it sounds fantastic as loud as it can go. Heavy pulsating rhythms take the fore as the track progresses into industrial territory. Lastly, Squarehead pushes up the off-beats, adding a lighter house feel to the track, fading up shimmering melodies as a newly colourful bassline kicks in. Perfect 2013 sounds.
Review: Jordon Saxton aka Viers drops his first long-player. Given his small but well-rounded catalogue of 12s for labels like Naked Naked and Church, it's no surprise that it's a smartly executed collection of underground techno. It starts in atmospheric mode with the tripped out ambience of "Enter" before moving into the spacey dub techno of "Finding Work" and "Jiro". By the time that Saxton reaches "Moonlighting", he is clearly in the mood for harder fare and it's a firing, percussive affair, led by tough kicks and firing claps. "Haruka" and "Yamada" follow at a similar pace, but the intensity levels are offset by tranced out melodies, while Saxton finishes as he started in sombre mode with the reflective, swinging "Hiroshi Kano".
Review: London label Church enjoyed a productive 2015, unleashing quality EPs from FYI Chris, Chaos In The CBD and Ishmael, amongst others. Here, they kick-start 2016 by unveiling a deep house collaboration between 1080p man Project Pablo, and the lesser-known Wolfey. All three tracks are arguably a little bolder and tougher than the former's previous output, but still retain the warmth and dreaminess associated with his superb 1080p 12". The duo begins with the chunky beats, undulating electronics and blissful chords of "Jervis Pump Station", before blending low-slung, bass-heavy grooves with spacey musical elements on the equally fine "Duateng". Best of all, though, is closer "Whatitis", which sounds like a cross between the glassy-eyed hazy house of Jack J, and bumpin', garage-influenced US deep house.
Review: Courtesy of Seb Wildblood's London based Church imprint, we have "It Rains Here" the debut album from Yadava. The Manchester based producer has appeared previously on Bristol's Banoffee Pies Records, AdHoc Records and is co-founder of the So Flute label. He also hosts a show on NTS Radio. A charming and colourful album across the various moods it presents in around a dozen or so tracks. From the sublime urban blues of "Weightless", the soulful nu-jazz broken beat explosion of "All The Fills', the latin-infused polyrhythmic deepness of "Saudade" and "All Is Well" where he nails a straight up, four- to-the-floor, dusty deep house groove in the vein of Berlin's Money $ex crew - it's all killer no filler here from an emerging talent.