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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Scott Moncrief's quietly confident debut album Columbising has been one of the sleeper hits of 2016, with the Sheffield-based East Midlander serving up an effortlessly soulful set that joins the dots between hip-hop, broken beat, boogie, and U.S deep house. This follow-up EP showcases one of the album's highlights, Dave Aju collaboration "Turn It Out." Aju takes the deliciously loose and live-sounding original - all jumpy clavinet lines, swinging deep house drums and urgent vocals - and turns it into a stripped-back, heavily electronic broken house gem. Elsewhere, Lawrence Guy delivers a wonderfully warm, rich and soulful deep house interpretation of Erik Rico hook-up "Boogie Down", before Moncrief enlists the honeyed-tonsils and impeccable piano playing skills of regular collaborator Pete Simpson, on the jazzy gospel-house deepness of "For Bae".
Review: Given his production vintage spanning REKIDS, Burek, Under The Shade and Let's Play House there's a sense of inevitability that Toby Tobias would surface on Delusions Of Grandeur sooner or later; indeed it feels strange that it's taken so long but as Burning Love demonstrates, its been worth the wait. Lead track "It's Burning" is notable for the chiming synth that resonates brightly amidst a multiplicity of gurgling analogue grooves, whilst "I Give You Love" opts for a more rugged warehouse vibe, embellished by the yearning vocal hooks. Down below these two cuts get remixed in requisite fashion; the London Housing Trust collective tackle "I Give You Love" morphing it into a tripped out jacking freestyle number, whilst the always excellent Lauer works his magic on "It's Burning" introducing all manner of vivid colour with his melodies and basslines. This Juno Download exclusive version also features the original demo version of "It's Burning".
Review: It's now a decade since Toby Tobias made his debut, and two years since he released a pair of acclaimed EPs on Delusions of Grandeur. Here the London-based producer returns to that imprint with a chunk of deliciously warm, hazy and - whisper it quietly - Balearic deep house. "All Rising" combines subtle deep house percussion with swirling disco string samples and goose-bumps-inducing blue-eyed soul vocal snippets. The results are rather magical, all told. The accompanying Dub takes the track in a sweatier, more heavily percussive direction, while the Jitterbug Dub Remix re-casts "All Rising" as a heady chunk of dreamy European deep house.
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: 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: Pinpointing the exact style of beat-maker Uffe Christensen has always been a little tricky, as anyone who has listened to his recent debut album Radio Days will happily confirm. This first outing for Delusions of Grandeur continues the trend, delivering a range of dusty, quietly soulful workouts that variously doff a cap to Moodymann style deepness, hissing jazz-house and broken beat. There's much to admire, from the jazzy-but-smooth lushness of "Like You Mean It", to the rolling Afro-house rhythms and lilting melodies of "Solid Satin (We Can Do Something)". Arguably best of all, though, is "Good For You", a sumptuous chunk of organic deep house full of live instrumentation, hazy atmospherics and sensual intent.
Review: New school deep house specialists Delusions Of Grandeur return with another solid three-tracker, this time from Seattle-based studio knob-twiddlers Zepp001. It's the duo's second EP for the label, following 2009's warmly received "Don't Sleep". "The Warm" itself has a touch of Deep Space Orchestra about it - all off-key chords, otherworldly noises and alien melodies. "Dearly Beloved" has a slightly warmer feel thanks to a bubbling low-end groove, sneaky carnival percussion flourishes and some excellent, far-out nu-disco synths. Best of all, though, is DJ Nature's remix of the same track, which re-casts the original as a jazz-flecked spacey deep houser.