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.
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: 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: With just one other record consigned to the project it's not often we witness label boss Jimpster turning his hand to his discofied alias on Delusions Of Grandeur. Any keen followers of the label will be more than satisfied with the vibe on offer, as a slower kind of house groove takes hold for three tracks infused with spiritual sampling, starting with the wistful, soulful tones of "Painted Lady". "Lumpsucker" has a stronger electronic vein running through its core, matching Chicago drums and snaking arpeggios with washes of chords to keep the mood mellow, before "Camberwell Beauty" scrubs out the edges and drifts deep down into a sumptuous pillow of laconic house.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: The enigmatic Thatmanmonkz parachutes back onto Delusions Of Grandeur - one of the most consistent deep house driven labels out there - with three retro joints. "In The Trees" is pure Chicago magic and features the vocal talent of Khalil Anthony in the mix, while "Make It Now" is a jazzy house piece a-la Moody. Last but by no means the least, "Sad N Blue" goes for chunky beats, gorgeous piano keys and a stunning backdrop of seductive R&B vocals. This is for HOUSE music lovers and it's massive.
Review: Toby Tobias' Rising EP, released in May 2015, signaled the forthcoming release of his belated second album, Rising Son. With that set now imminent, Delusions of Grandeur has decided to treat listeners to two more album highlights. Both "The Wonder" and "Only Getting Better" are undeniably spacey, with the emotive, melancholic vocals of Atwell adding extra intensity to the London producer's analogue-rich, Detroit and Chicago influenced, retro-futurist grooves. Of the two, it's arguably the bolder "The Wonder" - all squidgy synth bass, acid flashes and swirling Motor City chords - that's the pick. Franc Spangler provides a tasty dancefloor re-work of "Only Getting Better", focusing the action on a killer, low-slung acid house groove, select vocal snippets and rolling deep house chords.
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: 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: Underground Sugar Caves marks a triumphant third waddle through the deepest recesses of rhythmic programming on Delusions of Grandeur for Tornado Wallace. The Australian is a man whose grasp of The Simpson's trivia is more than matched by his rise in the public's estimations since he debuted with Paddlin'. Lead track "Underground Sugar Caves" sees the erstwhile Wallace leave the sanctity of chugging disco for something altogether more thrilling - warehouse ready raw house music. The ease with which Wallace flips the script from the kick drum heavy compressed sound of the opening moments to the stabs and energising strings that dominate the track in full flow will transcend excellently in a small basement space. "Insect Overlords" is a more familiar mid tempo saunter, though there are enough production nuances to separate it from the chaff, whilst the venerable Idjut Boys turn in an excellently dubby transition of "Underground Sugar Caves" which is indelibly stamped with moodiness. Highly recommended.
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: If you missed out on Session Victim's excellent 2011 debut album The Haunted House of House, this third sampler EP gives a tantalising glimpse of what you've been missing. As with the album itself, there are various flavours on show, from the shuffling, string-laden, eyes-wide-shut loveliness of "Zoinks", to the Hammond-laden jazz shuffle of the irrepressibly groovy "Good Intentions" (check out that brilliant walking bassline). Best of all, though, is "Light Scent of Decay", a majestic builder that morphs from a lazy Balearic shuffler into a touchy-feely deep house gem over 10 majestic minutes. Thrilling stuff.
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: 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: Shadeleaf Music founder Thatmanmonkz is arguably one of Sheffield's unheralded heroes, with a spell in soulful bassheads Small Arms Fiya and a residency at the city's anything-goes Join The Dots night amongst his bulging CV. Here he delivers three chunks of deliciously soulful deep house for Freerange offshoot Delusions of Grandeur. The raw, bass-heavy, woozy and bumpin' "Girl I Know" is probably the standout, though the looser, groovier "Blowin' My Mind" - which comes laden with heady Rhodes keys and a lolloping bassline - pushes it close. Dnae collaboration "Be With Me" - a seductive trip into Moodymann-ish deep and soulful territory - is also pretty darn hot.
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: 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: For those who like to dig a little deeper, Ben Sun has long been a name to keep a hawkish eye on in deep house circles. Although "Salty Tears" is considered by most to be the London based producer's breakthrough track, his potential was first seen on the ephemeral delights of 2009's "When You Looked". Both of those tracks were released on the Voyeurhythm imprint he runs with Tyson Ballard and Megadon Betamax, and his arrival on Delusions Of Grandeur feels like a significant step towards wider appreciation. The Love Momentum EP sees "You Should Know Better" sprawled across the A Side, and it's hard not to think of KDJ when soaking in the jazzy key samples that form the backbone of the track alongside a deliciously clipped vocal sample, strings, horns and the dustiest of beats. "Yesterlife" on the flip is all about the 909 hats and hanging chords, while "Love Hotel", featuring Wolf + Lamb affiliated producer Slow Hands, features the kind of low slung bassline that has been the hallmark of many a Ben Sun jam.
Review: New York's Son Of Sound returns to Delusions of Grandeur with two floor-friendly originals plus a remix. To say this guy has history is something of an understatement: as far back as the early 90's this guy was a key figure, involved in seminal releases on Strictly Rhythm, Maxi Records and MAW Records. "New York Iz All I Know" is classic soulful house east side style with neon-lit elements while the funkier "Tight Drop" has that dusty MPC style swing all over it. Aroop Roy steps up for a groovy, sexy and seriously lo-slung remix following a run of fine edits and originals on the likes of Freestyle, Basic Fingers and House Of Disco. More recently Son Of Sound has created magic for Jus Ed's Underground Quality, Classic, Razor n Tape and Local Talk as well as establishing his own District30 imprint. Yet more of Henry Maldonado's sleek and thoughtful style on offer here.
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: 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: Since his last outing on Delusions of Grandeur a couple of years back, Toby Tobias has released some of his strongest material to date, including fine EPs on Cosmic Pint Glass, Resista and ESP Institute. Predictably, this latest single hits the mark, too, with title track "The Rain" offering an energy-packed sprint into freaky, cut-up, muscular house territory. The London producer's stuttering beat edits and use of short, manipulated disco samples is particularly impressive. Nebraska opts for a more traditional, rolling disco-house feel to his bass-heavy, club-ready rework, while "New Way of Feeling" is a jazzy trip into off-kilter, synth-laden deep house territory that could easily be described as "Balearic".
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Delusions of Grandeur are doing a great job marking their 50th release. This second celebratory EP features four more previously unreleased gems from label artists past and present. New York veteran Son of Sound kicks things off with the driving, '90s New Jersey garage influenced pump of "Under The Son", before Sebastien Vorhaus and Ponty Mython join forces on the Theo Parrish influenced, deep jazz-house wiggle of "I'm The Slime". Dave Pezzner dons the Zepp001 guise for the first time in five years and serves up a jazzy nu-disco/deep house fusion (the deliciously tactile "Enemy"), before Norm De Plume closes proceedings with the warm-and-loose, jazz-funk influenced deep house cut "Building Bridges".
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: Four quite varied tracks make up this latest offering from London-based deep house stable Delusions Of Grandeur. 'Dawn' itself, in its Original Mix form, is a mellow cut with a hint of influences from west coast jazz-funk, while 'Taste Of Life' is a more percussive affair with a very 70s-sounding vocoder/talkbox vocal backing a second, spoken male one. 'Hear The Sun' maintains the laidback feel but operates at a more danceable tempo, while completing the EP is Sven Weissman's ReDawn Inbassed Mix of the title track, which is the one to head for if more traditionally styled deep, dubby house is your bag.