Review: Few artists have balanced the characteristics of bass, UKG and house quite so sweetly as this artist in 2014. For As I Am's Defected debut he flexes one step closer to straight up deep house as we're washed gently with blissed out vocals, warm synths and a bassline that punches softly-but-sternly. File under lockdown: "Saving Grace" guarantees full floor hypnosis and elevation.
Review: Absent for a long time on Defected's roster, ATFC's Aydin is back finally with the disco-main room stomp of "Dazzle". Fusing some chopped, orchestral disco hits to a driving tech beat is a masterstroke, but it just gets better and better as he slyly loops parts from the sequence until they engulf the entire mix and rise to a huge, delirious climax. Backing "Dazzle" up is the samba-house of "Can You Feel It" which keeps the bass low and moody while cowbells and Latin percussion hits rattle away gloriously to keep things driving along nicely. Good to see a long-term funky-house don back on great form.
Review: American house/garage legend Benji Candelario returns with his new single "Higher" (Benji Candelario Thump Mix), a deep and slinky tech house number with a truly bumping bass, euphoric arpeggios and head rush inducing atmospherics. All off course optimised for maximum dancefloor drama. To top it all off, it also features some awe inspiring vocal work by Arnold Jarvis and Nina Lares. Expect to hear this detonating a dancefloor near you soon. To quote his bio "Candelarios signature soulful house/garage/tech sound is the embodiment of his Manhattan upbringing during the culturally vibrant late 70s and 80s" in addition to cutting his teeth at the legendary Shakedown Studios. We're glad to see the return of such a legend.
Review: Further proof of the rude health of South Africa's house scene arrives in the form of a fine EP from Black Motion. The title track is something of a softly spun gem, with gentle acoustic guitars, fluid pianos, rich horns and emotion-rich soul vocals (provided by fellow South African Xoli M) clustering around organic sounding house percussion. It has the feel of a summer anthem in waiting. DJ Spen joins forces with Michele Chiavarini to provide vocal and dub remixes, both of which smartly emphasize the original's pianos and strings while adding chunky new beats. The result is a pair of revisions that drag the track further towards classic house territory. The EP also includes a neat bonus cut in the shape of Miss P collaboration "It's You", a track that's every bit as soulful, breezy and sumptuous as "Rainbow".
Review: Chilly's magnificent late-70s cover of The Yardbirds' "For Your Love" gets an overhaul here by Dutch duo Chocolate Puma. Essentially a cover of a cover (keep up!), CP rework the 10+ minute disco odyssey into a belting funky house tune, replaying the guitars, wild-eyed synths and funky bassline perfectly. Stefano Noferini takes CP's version out for an even wilder time - stretching out the thunderous riffage with some slow filter work. Epic stuff.
Review: Berlin's masked crusader returns! In an effort to resimulate his nightlife experiences with recent audiences as seen at his new event series The Masquerade, he's been led to create these delightful mixes featuring a collection of edits, exclusives and remixes which come as two parts: day and night. In the Berlin based producer's own words: "The night mix is one for your perfect club night. The day mix is the ice cubes in your cocktail". With that in mind, highlights on the former came in the form of some great remixes by the man himself, such as Ultra Nate vs Roland Clark with the rather bittersweet "The First Time Free", Simion vs MD X-Spress' "God Made Me Feel It" and Subb-An's slinky hit from a few years back "This Place (Nic Fanciulli Remix)". On the latter, chill or cruise to Canadian deep house godfather Nick Holder's remix of Daniel Steinberg's "No One Can Change Me" or Kapote's "Fuck Music" given one funky and lo-slung makeover by Berlin-Hamburg connection Session Victim.
Review: A huge summer hit - and one that marks the return of both Copyright and Donae'O - here we find DJullian Gomes subvert the well-rounded classic house motifs of the original and present them in a more progressive tech dynamic. Donae'O's presence can still be felt clearly while the original melody has been eschewed for a moodier, loopier stomp. Fans of "Swimming Places" or anything Ame has ever written will certainly enjoy this.
Review: Hitting the summer with a two-pronged attack, Copyright have certainly left their mark on 2012's sunny season. Igniting the vibe in May with "You Got Me", they're keeping it burning with this beautiful slice of electronic soul. Ann Saunderson's vocals work perfectly over the simple-but-effective three chord riff, armed with striking, sing-along lyrics her dulcet tones have echoed around the walls of Pacha long after they close the doors on another sexy night. Perhaps a tiny bit more synth-driven and less organic than Copyright's previous, this is a most refreshing moment in house music.