Review: One Night In The Borough, the debut full-length from Scottish disco/house fusionists Craig Smith and Graeme "The Revenge" Clark, is arguably the best thing either producer has done yet (and certainly collectively). This first sampler 12" showcases four of the album's many highlights, offering plenty of loopy, floor-friendly grooves for those who like their house with more than a dash of original disco flava. Choose between the slo-mo MDMA soul of "If The Feeling's Wrong" (our pick), the urgent stomp of "Find A Way", the smart retro house vibes of "Changin" and "Iznae", a delightfully stripped-back chunk of late night deep house bliss.
Review: This second sampler for Craig Smith and Graeme Clark's excellent debut album once again sees them in fine form. While three of the four tracks stick to their tried-and-tested formula - rock-solid deep house built on heavy, head-nodding loops, long, lazy builds and cute, killer hooks - there's plenty to get excited about. The distinctly old skool "Back To Me" (check that analogue bassline) and hynotic head-nodder "Deep C" stand out, with "BURT (The Journey)" not far behind. The most revelatory moment, though, is "Settle", a dreamy downtempo concoction crafted from syrupy soul samples, echo-laden beats and sinewy strings that sounds like an updated version of Minnie Ripperton's more sensuous moments.
Review: Scottish duo Graeme Smith and Craig Smith aka 6th Borough Project present the third and final sampler ahead of the release of their debut album, kicking off with two surprisingly house dominated cuts, "B.U.R.T" and "The Fool", whose intro does indeed fool via a standard tech house first half. Abruptly, the music cuts and from nowhere an immense disco accapella cuts in - the beat returns as a disco fuelled funk attack, 6th Borough Project as we know (and love) them!
Review: Thanks to three previous 12" and digital samplers, most of you will have a fair idea what to expect from this debut full-length from Scottish house-disco fusionists Graeme Clark and Craig Smith. It's still very much worth listening to the album in its entirety, though. Clearly designed as a proper album to be listened to in sequence, it's beautifully programmed and packs a whole skipload of great ideas (not to mention brilliant samples) into a thoroughly entertaining 90-miniute journey. While it only occasionally strays from house - check the downtempo delight "Settle" - there's plenty of variety within that, touching on classic NYC deepness, loopy disco/house heaviness, sensual slo-mo grooves and string-laden tech-house builders.
Review: A long-awaited taste of what to expect from their forthcoming sophomore set Borough 2 Borough, this trio of deep, groove-laden treats from Craig Smith and The Revenge's 6Th Borough Project have been long-awaited. "In Your Arms" has Balearica stamped all over it; concentrated house euphoria with sun-splashed keys and a perfectly executed disco vocal sample, it will melt the heart of everyone in a three mile radius of the club. "U Know U" is just as slow and steady but comes with a more electronic make-up that's almost Italo in its delivery. Gradually developing momentum with classy drama, it's instantly timeless. "Read My Mind" closes this spectacular show with a nagging, hooky tech piece that drives with a sharply edited piano riff, hushed vocals and an ever-morphing rhythm. Beautiful.
Review: It's three years since Craig Smith and Graeme Clark impressed with One Night In The Borough, a landmark album that epitomized all that was good about the cut-and-paste, disco-sampling deep house scene of the time. This sophomore set offers more of the same, delivering tracks that ride a range of tempos in their trademark deep, loopy, hypnotic and pleasingly baggy style. While there are plenty of surprisingly supple, heavily electronic uptempo cuts on offer (see "Feel", the disco rush of "In Your Arms" and the classic, Frankie Knuckles-ish US house of "Read My Mind"), they're still at their best when operating at a slower tempo, as the deliciously jazzy "Walk Away" and sensual throb of "Through The Night" neatly prove.
Review: Having put their Instruments of Rapture label to sleep, Craig Smith and Graeme Clark return to Delusions of Grandeur. With its shuffling, late night groove, delay-laden atmospherics and sub-bothering, bleep-era bassline, "The Vibes" is arguably their darkest and toughest release to date. It's predictably good, though, sitting somewhere between Morales' darker Red Zone moments and early '90s UK techno. Chicago Damn joins in the fun with a thumping, edit-heavy remix, all fuzzy chords, vintage percussion and old skool vocal stabs. Bluesy bonus track "New Day" - a kind of 6th Borough take on "Deep Burnt" with balls - is pretty tasty, too.
Review: Here, Graeme Clark and Craig Smith hand over tracks from their recent sophomore album, Borough 2 Borough, to a trio of fast-rising deep house starlets. The results are predictably fine, with Dutch producer Ben La Desh providing the real standout. His version of "Walk Away", all tactile rhythms, wide-eyed electronics, smooth chords and blissful melodies, is unflinchingly Balearic despite its obvious deep house roots. Wolf Music regular Fantastic Man offers up a more upbeat but similarly fluid and melodic take on "Read My Mind", while Uncanny Valley's Cuthead delves into his box of tricks to deliver a warm, humid, scratchy and cowbell-laden interpretation of "Back 2 Black".
Review: Although still best known for delivering high grade reworks and re-edits, Adesse Versions has previously released some killer original productions, too. Predictably, the three sample-heavy house jams included on this debut Delusions of Grandeur experience are pretty darn hot. Check, in particular, the Clavinet-heavy Blaxploitation bounce of "Pulp Fusion", where sampled '70s instrumentation rides a bouncy, filter-flaunting house groove. Or, for that matter, the lolloping, undulating, glassy-eyed sweetness of the sun-kissed, extra percussive "Fade Out", which makes use of elements from a particularly Balearic disco record. Flip to the B-side for "Raw (Live Edit), a bustling, big room friendly jack-track that sounds like a long lost David Morales Red Zone Dub.
Review: Word of mouth is spreading fast about Scotland's Austin Ato and his unique productions: creating a blend of disco and house with elements of techno. He's up next on Jimpster's Delusions Of Grandeur, following up some great grooves previously on Phonica White, Me Me Me and Futureboogie. "Putting It My Way" is an energetic classic house jam that's in the vein of classic Ron Trent - spiritual house music done proper. "Ella" gets off on the disco tip and is one seriously lo-slung and funked-up jam for the late night.
Review: Ben Sun made his debut back in 2013, delivering a chunk of life-affirming deep house for Quintessentials' Thanks You Freaks compilation. Three years on, Delusions of Grandeur has handed him the opportunity to showcase his talents over a three-track E.P. His style, which blends elements of electronic disco, deep house and glassy-eyed Balearica, is perfectly suited to the Freerange offshoot. Particularly enjoyable is "Star Ritual", where trippy, delay-laden boogie vocal samples ride a reverb-heavy, African-influenced drum rhythm and undulating, analogue bassline. Elsewhere, shirts may be removed for the bleep-heavy nu-disco/deep house fusion of "Full Moon", while the overwhelmingly tactile "Glass Waves" is little less than a piano-heavy chunk of early Italian deep house revivalism.
Review: Well, it's safe to say that Delusions Of Grandeur has become something of a house institution by now. The imprint has put out a vast amount of material since the late noughties, all by an impressive collection of talents including Session Victim, Tornado Wallace, 6th Borough Project, Recloose and many others. Benjamin 'Ben Sun' returns to the label for his third appearance with "Tricks On Wax", an utterly funky and bass-heavy sample-house number reminiscent of the Moodymann school of sound. "Seven Sisters" is more spacey and futuristic in its melodic structure, while "Special 4U" winds things down to near hip-hop levels...chuggy beats, subtle breaks and smoked-out swirls of electronics.
Review: Place Of Worship is Ben 'Sun' Davidson's fifth release on Delusions Of Grandeur and, true to form, it's an effortless, sun-kissed affair. It starts with the wonderfully uplifting "See It Come Shining", where Davidson combines raw beats with sensuous, stirring strings and soulful piano lines. "Oceanways T150" is similarly cosmic and upbeat, with the UK producer laying down a cacophony of found sound samples and cosmic bleeps over a gentle drum track. The mood throughout the release is sensuous and unhurried, and nowhere is this more apparent than on the blissed-out "Atlantis Transfer", where Davidson combines a plunging house bass with atmospheric ambient textures.
Review: Following a fine debut on Pont Neuf earlier in the year, Parisian producer Cosmonection makes his bow on Freerange offshoot Delusions of Grandeur. Like its predecessor, the "Menorca EP" is deliciously deep, spacey and synth-heavy, with the fast-rising producer effortlessly joining the dots between intergalactic electronic soundscapes, glassy-eyed late night house and particularly intergalactic nu-disco. We're particularly enjoying the sustained spacey chords, bubbling melody lines and effortlessly groovy drums of "Menorca", though some may prefer the glitchy, low-slung, garage-influenced swing of "You" and the Balearic-minded, sunrise-ready bliss of "Light". There's also a fine bonus in the shape of Session Victim's hypnotic, floor-focused deep house rub of "You".
Review: Delusions Of Grandeur have been relatively quiet on the release front this year, but they're back with a bang thanks to this latest collaborative effort from Dan Shake and Medlar. The former has gotten a name thanks to being the first non-Detroiter on Moodymann's Mahogani Music, while the latter has been pushing his disco-friendly take on house music largely via the Wolf Music imprint. They got two cuts on here, the first one being a boogie-leaning, hazy summer club jam in the form of "Walk", and the second one a jazzier affair with plenty of soulful vocals and tribal drums called "I On You". Philpot bossman Soulphiction takes care of transforming "Walk" into a pot of filter-licking madness, where the percussion is stretched and freaked out further out into the ether compared to the original. What a package!
Review: Having already impressed with outings on Foto, ARP and their own Use Of Weapons, Deep Space Orchestra add Delusions Of Grandeur to their CV and deliver perhaps their most refined work to date. "Lo Pan" weaves between flourishes of Rhodes and analogue arps with a confidence that fully demonstrates their progression as a production unit. Underpinning all this is the constant groove of 808 kicks and Detroit that provides the all important rawness and momentum. The accompanying remix from Berlin duo Trickski drags "Lo Pan" into the lower reaches of muscular house movements, stripping proceedings back to a dramatic synth lead and neck crunching beat before unfolding into a groove that really gets under your skin - thanks in no small part to the added vocals. Deep Space Orchestra end proceedings on the hazed out "Disarm" which accrues a delightfully ethereal quality as it floats towards its conclusion. Fine work all round!
Review: In the canon of EPs that require little in the way of additional prompting from the Juno review staff, the latest release from Delusions of Grandeur must surely rank high. Pairing We Play House duo FCL with VFB, the latest alias from Dani 'MCDE' Plessow proves to be a smart choice, securing Delusions perhaps their finest release to date! Love Prescription is nominally formed around three variations on the title track from Plessow's new VFB moniker (yet another smart ode to his hometown) introducing the yearning soulful tone of Stef Gustaph amidst a nicely stripped down take on house music which is perhaps best utilised on the bubbling Dirt Dub version. FCL appear with the masterful "Matrix Plus" full of bouncing rhythms and high rise chords dipped with Mr Fingers style emotion.
Review: First unleashed on vinyl this time last year, Flight Mode and Joel Brittain's first collaborative EP has finally made it to digital download. This is undoubtedly a good thing, because "Burn This" is superb. In its' original form, the track is a near perfect fusion of dub disco heaviness - chunky bass guitar, delay-laden horn snuppets, crunchy drums - and the kind of electronic instrumentation and mood-enhancing chords more often found in straight-up deep house cuts. There are two tidy accompanying remixes: a sparkling, synth-heavy Balearic house revision by Medlar and a suitably trippy, spaced out Flight Mode dub that's arguably even more driving and floor-friendly than the original mix.
Review: Warm and chugging disco-tinged house is on offer once again from the imperious Delusions of Grandeur, with the Foolin EP arriving with Germany's Manuel Tur at the wheel. Sticking with his usual synth heavy and sultry style, Tur strikes an immediately gritty tone of funk with tightly plucked guitar riffs, swooning brass and soulful vocals on the title track. Up next, an instrumental version of "Foolin" is accompanied by "The Traveller", which treads percussive realms with a heartbeat drum platform that pushes this otherwise orchestral and ambient track ever forward. Piano keys dance gently as string beds ascend against scatterings of brass and tinny crashes; our pick of the bunch.
Review: The recent reappearance of "Green Marimbas" on a Mister Saturday Night release had us remembering with fondness how great a producer Ali 'Nebraska' Gibbs is - especially that Rush Hour LP Displacement. It's been a while since we last saw some new Nebraska in the trollies at Juno so kudos to Delusions of Grandeur for coaxing some new cuts out of Gibbs for this fine Rye Lane Rhythms slice of nice. From the moment "Aw-rite (Mute version)" slips into action it's like Nebraska has never been away, that attention to percussive and rhythmic detail still dead eyed and the musicality tight as ever. "Warp & Weft" veers off into fuzzy, minimalist beatdown territory that will appeal to fans of obscure Sound Signature tracks whilst "Eighty Eights" is the sort of loop heavy house cut that you can tease dancefloors with.
Review: To celebrate hitting half a century of releases, Delusions of Grandeur has decided to release a couple of split EPs, featuring contributions from label regulars and invited guests. This first part starts in strong fashion, with recent signing Nebraska delivering a loose, evocative chunk of saucer-eyed, late night deep house full of fuzzy analogue bass, sparse drum machine rhythms and spine-tingling synthesizer arpeggios. Ugly Drums supply some jazzier deep house fare in the shape of "Like Its OK", before Session Victim finish things off in fine style with "Came To Be Alive". While slightly chunkier and denser than its' predecessors, the track bristles with sun-kissed warmth thanks to lazy electric pianos, killer vocal samples and subtle, beachside sound effects.
Review: Bari-based Nico Lahs has proved to be something of a musical chameleon over the last 10 years, subtly shifting between various strains of house and techno whilst striving to develop his own trademark style. Got Me Coming Back, his Delusions of Grandeur debut, is equally as diverse, with the producer utilising the EP format to showcase the breadth and depth of his club-ready cuts. He begins with the warming chords, thickset grooves, spacey electronics and fluid jazz-funk bass of 'Got Me Coming Back', before adding sweet melodic flourishes to a bustling, cymbal-heavy house beat on 'Deep Down in My Soul'. Shirts-off peak-time pump is provided by via the retro-futurist deep house throb of 'Your Sweet Lovin', while 'How's Life' is a jazzier and sunnier slab of sample-house goodness.
Review: While his chosen moniker may be mildly amusing, there's nothing silly, cheeky or throwaway about the music of Sydney-based Londoner Norm De Plume. "Squarker", his first EP of any sort for nigh on two years, is full of detailed, mood-enhancing, musically rich deep house treats. Check first deliciously glassy-eyed opener "Squarker", where rising synthesizer lead lines, swirling chords and funk-fuelled synth flourishes rise above a sturdy bed of disco-house beats and rubbery jazz-funk bass, before admiring the bustling beats, sustained chords and breathless hustle of "Love Me So". If that lot's not enough to set your pulse racing, "A Stone Thing" should impress with its crunchy drums and classic deep house warmth.
Review: Pattern Select is Milton Jackson's new endeavour with Show B and the results of their first collaborative work together finds a suitable home at Delusions Of Grandeur. Tale Of The Tape is both an auspicious glance at what the duo have up their sleeve and perhaps the finest EP on the DoG imprint to date. Ploughing a decidedly subterranean path through the rawer excesses of house music, what is really a selection of simple elements - vocal hooks, crafty drums, ever rising pads and satisfying crashes - are combined excellently and infiltrated by the wormiest of arpeggiated synth lines. The accompanying dub version does what all good dub versions are supposed to do and there is the bonus of a flipside revision from man like Cottam that completely rewires the track along some next century utopian galactic house tip - you'll love the smudged rhythms that come floating in. Just to switch up the vibe, Pattern Select end on the dusty fingered brilliance of "Matrix" - full on beat down head nod vibes soaked in Detroit atmospherics.
Review: Since making his debut in 2011, Paxton Fettel has proven adept at delivering jazz-funk-fuelled house and downtempo releases that fuse expert musicianship with a keen knowledge of what makes dancefloors tick. "Night Waves" marks his first appearance on Freerange offshoot Delusions of Grandeur and is every bit as alluring as his previous work. The title track is bold and brassy, with Fettel hammering out life-affirming piano riffs over a throbbing, full-throttle house groove rich in rubbery bass guitar, booming beats and disco-house style filter tricks. It's utterly joyous and something of a serious stomper. "Pacifica 399 To Freedom" is a breezier but no less rush-inducing chunk of Balearic house positivity, while "It's Clear" sees him dip his toe in deeper, more electronic house waters with predictably impressive - and jazzy - results.
Review: Man like Recloose returns to Delusions of Grandeur, having debuted on the label in fine style with last year's Don't Get Me Wrong EP, and it's a welcome one as It's Too Late is the New Zealand dwelling producer's first EP of 2013! Despite this prolonged absence, Recloose has clearly lost none of the energy that drove his DoG debut, with all three tracks here demonstrating a real vibrancy that will immediately provide a lift for any dancefloor experiencing an element of lag. The title cut bounces along with the sort of finesse you'd expect from a producer of Recloose's calibre, whilst the heavy slab of filter disco "You Just Love You" highlights his arrangement skills. Fans of Cardiology era Recloose should head right to "Backtrack" and bask in its brilliance.
Review: Recloose on Delusions of Grandeur? Yes please! "Don't Get Me Wrong" is classic Matt Cicioine, packed full of his usual musicality and dense, melodic production. It sounds like an unlikely fusion of distant, long-forgotten disco and spine-tingling deep house, with more atmospheric vocal samples and live instruments than you can shake a smelly stick at. It's heady and intoxicating, coming on like a classic house production made somewhere between Detroit and New York. The driving "Shimmy" continues the murky, retro-futurist trend and is just as engaging. As if that wasn't enough, there's also a lovingly fluid, decidedly Balearic rework of the title track from Melbournite Tornado Wallace that's quite possibly the best thing he's done to date. Splendid!
Review: Nottingham based Ron Basejam is the anagrammed alter-ego of Crazy P co-founder James Baron who creates music with feelings on labels such as Futureboogie and Wolf Music and now for Freerange sister label Delusions Of Grandeur. On the fittingly titled The Sound Of A Feeling EP he serves up the charmingly titled "Shit Wizard" a soulful, nu-disco boogie-down jam. "We Walk To War" in its original form is the kind of lo-slung/slo-mo disco that really floats our boat, but the remix up next by Tee Mango really injects it with some Stevie Wonder style soul-funk that'll help get your shine on. The title track is the deepest and most emotive offering here, with its sublime and hypnotic qualities being pushed along by a tight groove.
Review: New on the Delusions of Grandeur label (a sub label of Jimpster's excellent Freerange imprint), Berlin based duo Session Victim have made a gem of an EP that would find a good home in the racks of any nu-disco fans. "The Keyboarder" sounds like something Treasure Fingers would drop, as it's both full of groove and heavy on the silky string stabs. The clean, live sounding drums on "Tomorrow Night" alone are worth getting excited about, underpinning a corking deep rhythm that becomes infectious. Well worth checking out.
Review: Delusions of Grandeur present a second selection of tracks from Session Victim's superb sophomore set See You When You Get There, the German duo's acclaimed follow-up to 2012 debut The Haunted House of House. Predictably, there's much to admire, from the jazz keys and skewed deep house swing of opener "Do It Now", to the rubbery disco bass, smoky atmospherics and Moodymann style, jazz-flecked grooves of "Make People Dance". There's also a hip-hop tempo excursion in the form of the heady title track, and - best of all - a deep, bluesy disco-house jam in the shape of the brilliant "Hey Stranger".
Review: If you've not invested in a physical copy of Session Victim's excellent sophomore set, See You When You Get There, you probably should. Alternatively, you could pick and choose between the various digital samplers on offer. There's tons of high quality material on this third EP. Throughout, the German duo expertly tiptoe the fine line between disco and house, variously delivering warm, rolling, Rhodes-heavy deep house (the brilliant "The Most Beautiful Divorce Ever"), loose and organic disco-house ("Under Your Spell"), eyes-closed slow jams (the seductive and becalmed "Eeo's Place") and cut-up Balearic beats (the picturesque "Crystal Maze"). Throughout, the production remains warm, smart and endearingly dusty.
Review: Given the quality of Session Victim's 2012 debut album, Haunted House of House, expectations are naturally high for this follow-up. Like its predecessor, See You When You Get There takes a widescreen approach to deep house, with the German duo drawing on a myriad of influences, from jazz ("Hey Stranger"), soundtracks ("Crystal Maze") and evocative downtempo beats (the impeccable title track), to Atmosfear-ish jazz-funk ("The Most Beautiful Divorce In The World") and, most notably, classic Balearica (see the druggy pop of "Hyuwee" and deliciously slow "EOS Place". Best of all, though, is "Never Forget", a glorious blues-house epic laden with smoky vocal samples and thrilling piano motifs.
Review: Matthias Reiling and Hauke Freer return with the Matching Half EP. The Berlin-Hamburg connection present two cuts of feelgood deep house with a loose and live feel, no doubt inspired by their energetic live performances. The title track features some funky disco style drumming beneath some emotive strings, jazzy Rhodes keys and xylophones; all working in perfect harmony. There's also a killer remix of said track by Detroit's finest: Byron The Aquarius, who has appeared recently on Wild Oats and S3A. His version gets well funkier and injects a truckload of soul into it, naturally! Second original offering "Up To Rise" is the deepest journey on offer and has a definite summertime vibe about it.
Review: Apologies for banging on about this, But Session Victim's recent Listen To Your Heart album is one of the best Balearic-minded house sets we've heard this year. It goes without saying, then, that this third sampler EP is packed full of playable goodness. While they've naturally included an obligatory slow jam (wonderfully dreamy Balearic beats cut "Castle For Sale") and a rush inducing, gradually building Balearic soundscape (EP highlight "Thermal Explorer"), the other two tracks jostle for position in the "best for peak-time plays" stakes. Choose between the tactile nu-disco/deep house fusion of "Head Over Heels" - all sweeping strings, bubbly synth bass and twinkling piano flourishes - and "Almost Midnight", a wonderful trip into disco deep house territory that's as rich and musically expansive as they come.
Review: Although they've delivered plenty of fine singles over the years, it's invariably Session Victim's albums that get us hot under the collar. This is primarily because it gives them a chance to showcase a wider range of grooves, tempos and instrumentations amongst the ear-pleasing dancefloor workouts. Their sunny disposition, noted sample-spotting ability and varied inspirations are all in evidence on the German duo's third full-length excursion. It's a deliciously evocative, enjoyable and mood enhancing affair that smilingly meanders between dreamy jazz-house bliss, Bossa-Balearic fusion, disco-sampling cheeriness, glistening slow jams, Afro-tinged deep house warmth and humid dub riddims (the impeccable "Castle For Sale"). In other words, it's another hugely enjoyable romp packed full of winning moments.