Review: Why wait to till the weekend when you can have Acid on a Monday? It's certainly true upon hearing these two bangers. First up "Blazelnuts" features a pounding kick drum and tripped-out warped vocals, but it's the more sensual grind of deep, hypnotic grinder "Interstellar Cake" that really has us ascending to planet boogie.
Review: It's not so much a case of Acid Mondays but happy, Summery Mondays on the original version of Svenkins. Over a drummy, rolling backing, deep chords and shimmering keys make for an effortlessly upbeat deep house affair, with not a hint of menace audible. Chicago's DJ Sneak maintains a similar mood on his "BBQ Beats" version. The longer evenings and warmer temperatures ensure that this disco-infused, deep chord groover is the perfect accompaniment to al fresco dining and dancing. Finally, the dub version is tailor made for DJs, with its tribal beats, rolling rhythm and strategically placed 'ah hey' vocal samples.
Review: Liverpool institution Circus returns for the seventh edition of its Selector Series and it could be the most impressive installment yet. Label chief/local legend Yousef claims that this collection of certified bangers have been burning up dancefloors at the world's best clubs and festivals recently and are guaranteed to make their way into the collections of all decent DJs - to pump out throughout the summer of 2019. Ascendant Italian Alex Kennon has the main room in mind on the tough rolling and bass-driven groove of "Dimension", CJ Jeff delivers some moody heads-down tackle on the stomping "Caged Animal", Joe Red serves up the slick minimal back room dub of "Beast" and Siege channels the blistering drum machine attack of a certain Plastikman classic on "Robalo".
Review: Well, we all know by now that Circus Recordings was set up by the legendary Yousef and named after his world-renowned club event Circus, in his hometown of Liverpool. The in-house label has been doing the business for a while now, presenting us future British heroes in the form of Lewis Boardman, Krankbrother and Ki Creighton in recent times. It's now over to their newest recruits on Selector pt 5 where young gun Bontan gets straight into it with the funky and sexy tech house of "C'est Moi" which is reminiscent of classic Greg Fenton or D'julz. Next up, Lee Walker presents "2am At Medicine Bar" which does exactly what it says on the tin; taking you to a sweaty dancefloor in the legendary Middleborough club. Adrenalised tech house aimed squarely at the last night once again from Napoli's DJ Dep on "Hot Vibe", while Glasgow's finest Illyus & Barrientos give us the hands in the air anthem "Galvanized" complete with diva vocals, cowbells and euphoric house organs galore.
Review: Formerly masked duo Camelphat are back with more anthemic main room fodder on new hit "The Solution". Indeed, it is like its name suggests and we can imagine this percussion driven chugger rocking the peak time slot. Second orginal offering "DMT" is a more moody and tunnelling affair for those build-up moments, when the strobelight and smoke machine get turned on. Following up their terrific remix of Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now" which is being caned everywhere at the moment - it seems this dynamic duo can seriously do no wrong.
Review: Dark Alleys is Carl Cox's first EP in a number of years, but it's been worth the wait. Proving that he remains the 'people's DJ', Coxy's own take on the title track is an unforgettable techno-house hybrid, its muscular bass supporting a funky techno rhythm and uplifting rave stabs. As befits a DJ of Cox's status, this version is full of deft filters and drops, making it prime dance floor material. Saved boss Nic Fanciulli turns the track into a gritty, acid-soaked affair with his reshape, with the building siren sound only adding to the sense of drama as it reaches a huge crescendo. Circus has also tapped Deetron for a rework, with the Swiss DJ's grungy bass and rave break downs also sure to illicit a massive reaction.
Review: Yousef's Circus Recordings welcomes the pulsing majesty of "Time For House Music", the Carl Cox masterpiece du jour. Pumping out bass and continuing the hedonistic Ibiza vibes late into the night, there's no doubt that right now, there's not a hotter tune to be closing your Balearic beach party down to. With a minimal remix from Davide Squallace that takes it down to another level of squalid glamour and debauchery and a hard-edged re-suturing from David Glass, there's more than enough here to recreate the perfect night.
Review: Newcastle Upon Tyne's Christoph is back after some killer releases on the likes of Warung, Truesoul and Knee Deep In sound: who released his brilliant Closer LP last year. Now for Liverpool's finest Circus Recordings is The Skedaddle EP where he delivers some bouncy and slinky tech house that's just as dark and suspense filled as you like on "Cozen" (original mix). The title track is a brooding tribal workout that rolls deep and is perfect moodlighting for Ibiza dancefloors during the morning shift. Finally "Boundless" is the most mellow and evocative affair: this sublime progressive house workout with some seductive vocals atop is pure magic.
Review: Liverpudlian institution Circus Recordings is back following up some great releases in 2017 by the likes of Catz 'N' Dogz, Ki Creighton and Leonardo Gonnelli. It's now the turn of Danny Serrano from Madrid: a rising star with hot hits on top labels recently such as Relief, Moon Harbour and Knee Deep In Sound. Kicking off with the tough roll and shuffle of "Never Alone" (feat Nukkah) which is just as suited to the label's club namesake itself as it is to Summer mischief on The White Isle. "Twisted" (original mix) is a tad deeper and well funkier - this one has a sense of swing that even original house gangster DJ Sneak could appreciate. Big time bassline in this one! Finally "Never Alone" (feat Nukkah - Secondcity Da Groove remix) differs from the original with its smooth tribal rhythms and sultry type of groove. We wouldn't be surprised to be hearing this one a lot on The Island still in a few months to come.
Gimme Love (Lee Walker's Paradise remix) - (6:54) 125 BPM
Gimme Love (Mihalis Safras remix) - (6:15) 124 BPM
Gimme Love (Pirupa remix) - (6:41) 125 BPM
Review: Liverpool's David Glass finds a fitting home on local imprint Circus, in-house label of the infamous superclub run by resident Yousef. "Gimme Love" is rolling, funky tech house with enough adrenaline and sleaze to burn up dance-floors on The White Isle and London alike this Spring. Moji's vocals by the way are hot! Middlesborough based up and comer Lee Walker steps up to deliver a pretty super progressive house remix. Great Stuff's Mihalis Safras likewise delivers a killer remix, just his version is definitely made for peak time dancefloors at Space and Ushuaia particularly in mind. Finally Italian Pirupa's remix saves the best for last on this tough techno monster no doubt honed by his releases on the likes of Drumcode or Kling Klong.
Review: White Drum is proof that some producers are still capable of squeezing new shapes and sounds from minimal house. The title track is based on rolling drums and a shuffling rhythm, while Tom Flynn's trancey hooks set it apart from the slew of hiccupping grooves. "You & Me" is darker and more tripped out, with a surging bassline providing the basis for a repetitive vocal sample that veers its way in and out of the arrangement. "Stunning" has a more slinky, stripped back groove, but that doesn't deter Flynn from deploying discordant riffs, eerie synths and an acidic bass, while "Warm Keys" sees him evoke the spirit of mid-90s deep house as evocative chords build in the backrgound and a soulful vocal sample soars its way through the arrangement.
Review: Flynn delivers two different but equally compelling interpretations of the tribal house sound on Argentina. The title track adopts the more conventional approach; it is powered by a surging bassline and features an insistent disco filter yet other elements, like the sample of a cheering crowd, mark it out as different to the glut of rolling club tracks. Flynn gets more inventive on "Tiger Square". Loose drums dominate the arrangement, while stuttering vocal samples, jazzy stabs and claps that ignore rigid quantization make it sound compelling. On the evidence of this release, Flynn is pushing an established sound into new directions.
Review: Second time around for Green Velvet's typically strutting "Bigger Than Prince", which first dropped last year on Yousef's Circus Recordings imprint. Here it gets a new lease of life thanks to a quartet of previously unheard remixes. Jay Lumen provides a dark, throbbing, swinging rework that should find favour with the after-party crew, while Leeds native Darius Syrossian flits between glacial synth motifs, twirling acid and bassline-driven bump on his notable rework. There's a typically bumpin', drum-heavy onslaught from Coyu, while label boss Yousef drops an undulating tech-house remix that's arguably the EP's strongest moment.
Review: It's been some time since Curtis Jones slipped into his Green Velvet nom de plume, but as Prince demonstrates, this comeback has been worth the wait. In its original format, its drums are rickety and sparse, but the bass grinds seductively and the vocal, claiming that an unidentified person is 'bigger than Prince', makes the track sound even more bugged out. Hot Since 82 add some beefed up, rolling drums and pitch the vocals way down, while the Martinez Brothers version is rooted in steely drums, shaking percussion and coated in a layer of grimy acid. Irrespective of whether it will be bigger than Prince, it certainly makes for a compelling comeback.
Review: Originally released back in 2013, Green Velvet's "Bigger Than Prince" is now made available in remixed format. Jamie Jones and Darius Syrossian's version adds wild rave stabs and splurging acid lines to the original version, while Alan Fitzpatrick's take is quite different; stripping the original back to tough drums and putting the focus on the original version's out there vocal narrative. Last but by no means least is the Siege take. It's closest in sound to the original Chicago house sound that inspired "Prince...". Boasting searing, bleeding acid lines and rolling snares, these elements are the perfect accompaniment to Green Velvet's out there vocal narrative.
Review: Huxley is synonymous with house music, but his latest outing has a rave tinge. On the title track, this is is down to the vocal contribution of Lazarusman, who talks about the concept of power, as much as it is due to the dramatic chord stabs. Marco Lys' remix makes "Power" more unusual-sounding, with rolling toms and a dramatic, filtered breakdown pushing the arrangement towards other unexpected elements such as hip-hop scratches and pitch bent vocal effects. The Demuir version is darker and more visceral, with a gurgling, acid-soaked bass powering the arrangement and underpinning Lazarusman's narrative.
Review: Michael Jansons has released on labels like Knee Deep In Sound, and recently 8-bit. He's back in action but this time on Yousef's Circus Recordings out of Liverpool with the tough rolling main-room tech house of "Switch", featuring some infectious female rap vocals atop. The Funk Dub up next is more sunny and uplifting, with its sexy latin flair and finally "Octave" hammers the message home in Motor City inspired hi-tech soul fashion - mad chord progression on this one. Top!
Review: New York City legend Junior Sanchez is up next on Circus. The man has worked on both the underground and mainstream side of the spectrum throughout his extensive career, collaborating with everyone from Armand Van Helden and Roger Sanchez to Azealia Banks and Stuart Price. Following up great releases of late on Kontor, Relief and Robsoul - and not to mention last year's terrific long player Under The Influence - Sanchez is still in top form here for Liverpool's hottest label. He nails that classic sound of disco house that's synonymous with The Big Apple on the uplifting "Strong Enough" complete with roaring diva vocals, while "We Found It" goes for a deeper, smoother and hypnotic vibe that's perfectly suited for early night mood lighting.
Review: Carlisle's Ki Creighton is back on Liverpool institution Circus with The Journey EP, having previously appeared on Under No Illusion, Elrow and New Violence. This is peak time tech house for party animals on offer here, so be prepared. The funky and stomping opener "Acid Rain" gets off to a good start, while "The Journey" lives up to its title on this adrenalised progressive house odyssey with rich melodies and a humming sub bass. Finally "Jam Hot" is tough and rolling energy that will appeal to fans of Gruuv, Saved or Material Series.
Review: After recent releases on Sola, Kaluki & Resonance, Carlisle-based DJ Ki Creighton - resident and booker at the mighty UBER - returns to his home label Circus Recordings. "Rendezvous" is a welcomed side step in Creighton's catalogue: this atmospheric and melodic house track features haunting yet sensual vocals over its slinky and hypnotic groove. Nasser Baker steps up for a remix, following on from the global success of "Say Something" last year - this remix could be as big. Be prepared for this slick, bouncy electro house stomper that oozes attitude. Also featured is "Jessies Jam" which is an ode to his daughter on this tough rolling main room groove aimed squarely at peak time dancefloors.
Review: Annan's Ki Creighton has been DJing since the '90s and on the production front has released on some serious labels down the years - including Elrow, Snatch, Circus, 8bit, Lost Recordings and more. He collaborates with London based singer/songwriter Jem Cooke on the sexy and slinky tech house of "Love Is Here" (original mix), the dub version up next allows for a more driving and hypnotic perspective with more dancefloor dynamic. Then, the remix by Dutch rising star Franky Rizardo will mesmerize you with its hypnotic use of melody, lush assortment of soft synth leads and sturdy rhythm action - all supporting Cooke's seductive vocal contribution.
Review: Yousef's Circus Recordings isn't perhaps best known for releasing luscious vocal fare, but that's exactly what Yost Koen and vocalist Leroy deliver here. "In A Bad Way" is delightfully soulful, but in that understated way that marks out the best vocal deep house. The grooves are contemporary and fluid, perfectly complimenting Leroy's vocal. Remix-wise, label boss Yousef leads the way with a slightly darker, more heavily percussive version, whilst M-In and Chriss Vogt go for a groovier, bigger feel via the addition of some tasty reverb and hooky pianos. Sweaty bonus cut "Mathematical" is excellent, too, all loose beats, wonky builds and tribal ethos.
Review: Krankbrother: Brothers, DJ's, promoters and if that wasn't enough: promoters and producers out of London. Just modern day supermen really.. and all in a day's work for this mighty duo. This time appearing on Yousef's esteemed Circus Recordings out of Liverpool, "Circular Thing" is a rolling and booming tech house cut that has the right amount of suspense and perfect to lead into the peak time shift with its early Detroit techno style melody. It also gets a bunch of seriously kick -ass remixes, such as by Knee Deep In Sound main man Hot Since '82, whose explosive peak time slammer of a makeover would make even Carlo Lio stand up and notice. German hero Kiki also serves up a version which is more restrained, darker and deeper with its humming sub bassline and overall druggy aesthetic. Dresden duo Raumakustik throw in a rendition which is more percussive and funky, not bad either!