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: 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: Thatman Monkz is Scott Moncrieff to be precise, a Sheffield based producer who's been making house music since around 1997 but more recently on Kolour LTD and of course Delusions Of Grandeur: where he's recognised as a label mainstay. His new album Colombusing is a mighty effort; 14 tracks to be precise and there's a wide variety of moods and grooves, not to mention collaborations! Some of those very hook-ups are the highlights on here, we must say. There's a couple of tracks with San Francisco minimalist/human beatbox Dave Aju; "Turn It Out" is a deep and sleazy funk jam with Cameo-ish vocals, while "Boogie Down" features the sweet lungs of Erik Rico whose Curtis Mayfield impressions suit this feel-good soul jam just perfectly. "Baked" features the deep poetry of NYC's Malik Ameer on this on this dope jam full of urban flavour. There's music to dance to too, rest assured: "Take U 2 My House" featuring Khalil Anthony is surefire deep house aimed squarely at the dancefloor.
Review: Having already treated us to a trio of samplers, the German deep house duo Session Victim finally deliver their debut full-length for Delusions of Grandeur. Given their impressive credentials, it's no surprise to find that The Haunted House Of House is a bit good. Almost overflowing with ideas, it serves up 11 slabs of deep house that do their best to sidestep the genre's many pitfalls. Sure, there's plenty of comfy, melodic goodness (see "Push Comes To Shove" and "Zoinks"), but also forays into disco-flecked jazz-funk-house ("Alpine Glow"), slick disco-house ("The Haunted House"), groovy slo-mo electronica ("Bilson"), dewy-eyed Balearica ("The Light Scent of Decay") and even Clyde-ish broken hip-hop ("Fine"). Impeccable, and this ultra special Juno edition includes an exclusive bonus track in the shape of "Spellbound"!
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: 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.
Review: It's been seven years since Toby Tobias dropped his debut album on Rekids, Space Shuffle. This sophomore set, then, is long overdue. Seemingly more reliant on hardware - and, in particular, analogue synths and drum machines - Rising Son is an altogether more mature, tightly executed album than its' predecessor. The London producer includes nods to many of his familiar influences - think saucer-eyed Balearica, Italo-disco, acid house, Larry Heard style '80s deepness, modern boogie, Detroit techno and Chicago jack, capturing just the right balance between downtempo curiosities, fuzzy mid-tempo grooves and bona fide dancefloor hits. There are also a couple of impeccable forays into the world of early '90s ambience, with the odd "Broken Computer" standing out.
Review: Since dropping his debut release on Hi-Phen in 2005, Toby Tobias has built up an impressive body of work, with EPs on Rekids, Hector Works, Let's Play House and his own Late Night Audio imprint. This EP for Delusions of Grandeur is another slow-burn winner. Lead cut "Pathfinder" gets just the right balance between heavy drum machine programming - think old skool electro or '80s boogie - and contemporary deep house smoothness. Fabrizio Mammarella's hypnotic remix is pretty tasty, too. "Backbeat" provides a hazy tip into Balearic boogie territory, while "Abergon" - with its lazy jazz guitars and Harvey-ish bump - is impeccable wide-eyed White Isle fodder.
Review: Comprising the second half of their hotly anticipated album, this latest slab of wax from the widely celebrated house duo Session Victim showcases just why their groove is so well liked. Far from trying to be cool in their music, instead the kind of funk the German duo conjure up in their sample-heavy sound is pure and addictive, not least on "Push Come To Shove". It's not all party rockers mind you, as well demonstrated in the low slung hip-hop leaning of "Fine". With the summer looming this is a strongly advised addition to your sun-compatible arsenal.
Review: Comprising the second half of their hotly anticipated album, this latest release from the widely celebrated house duo Session Victim showcases just why their groove is so well liked. Far from trying to be cool in their music, instead the kind of funk the German duo conjure up in their sample-heavy sound is pure and addictive, not least on "Push Come To Shove". It's not all party rockers mind you, as well demonstrated in the low slung hip-hop leaning of "Fine". With the summer looming this is a strongly advised addition to your sun-compatible arsenal.
Review: If you missed Soul 223's previous exploits - and given that he's released on Delsin and Soul Jazz, you shouldn't have done - this tidy EP for Delusions of Grandeur offers an excellent introduction. His influences - Detroit techno, soul, disco and hip-hop, mainly - can all be heard on "Fear of Shopping", a tight-but- swinging deep house gem built around tropical soul rhythms and Detroit-influenced chords and melodies. It's really quite excellent, as is the deeper, quirkier, Mr Beatnick style "Birdbrook Rain". The shuffling European futurism of the Max Mill Remix of "Fear of Shopping" really impresses, though the spine-tingling breakdowns and rising chords throughout Hoist Covert's mix of "Walberswick" are a Balearic delight.
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: Session Victim's recent album, Listen to Your Heart, may well be the acclaimed German duo's strongest to date - and that's saying something. This second sampler EP boasts a quartet of cuts that perfectly encapsulate the album's sun-kissed warmth and heady Balearic ethos. Those seeking club-ready thrills should first head for "Shadows", a rolling fusion of rolling house grooves, disco strings and dusty samples, before checking the jazz-fuelled deep house hustle of "Up To Rise (LP Mix)". While naturally impeccable, there's an argument to say that the EP's downtempo moments are arguably even better. "Unchained", a sublime fusion of head-nodding beats, drowsy instrumentation and head-in-the-clouds electronics, is particularly alluring.
Review: Toby Tobias' comeback gathers pace. Here, two tracks from his fine sophomore set Rising Son get a single release, backed with a pair of fine remixes. I:Cube remixes "Love Affair", turning Tobias' deep, woozy and glassy-eyed Italo-disco chugger into a spacey, expansive chunk of Detroit techno-influenced deep house. Full of deep space electronics and chunky, rolling grooves, it feels like a love survivor from the early '90s. Label-mates Session Victim delivers an interpretation of the dreamy Balearic slow jam "Sloflava". Their version is impressively floor-friendly, using Tobias' original elements - plus some carnival-leaning percussion - to deliver a delicious chunk of soul-flecked, ultra-positive deep house.
Review: More discerning discotheque cuts for the cowbell connoisseur from the Delusion of Grandeur imprint, this time calling on Australian playboy Tornado Wallace. The Melbourne resident has impressed with previous pitched down mutant discoid cuts for the Sleazy Beats and Murmur imprints, but the Paddlin' EP sees Tornado Wallace go deep. The title track has a main groove that throbs away underneath fizzling Detroit pads whilst funk grunts fight for your attention with soaring synth washes. "Swimmin" reworks proceedings, switching down the tempo slightly but bringing the groove topside for a splendid sun kissed chugger. Firecracker/Prime Numbers don Linkwood jumps on board to deliver a soaring seven minute remix that brings to mind the Pepe Bradock classic "Deep Burnt".
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: Session Victim's 2012 debut full-length The Haunted House of House was arguably one of the best deep house albums of the year, and this EP provides the equally fine follow up. Opener "Yes I Know" features their trademark loose, swinging drums, warm chords and classic deep house sheen, alongside a healthy amount of what sounds like organic instrumentation. With the addition of a delicious disco vocal sample, it makes for wonderful listening. Max Graef remixes, turning in a version that sounds like a deeper take on 6th Borough Project. "Glow In The Dark", meanwhile, is wholeheartedly Balearic - a blindingly sunny slice of semi-live disco-house bagginess that should get maximum rotations in warmer climes this summer.
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: 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: 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.