Review: While they've been part of the Dirt Crew family since contributing to the Deep Love 3 compilation in 2013, Love More marks Rotterdam duo 25 Place's first 'proper' release for the long-established German label. They've gone all out to make it special, too, delivering five tracks of impeccable deep house. There's the string-laden late night hedonism of "Love More", the ultra-deep pulse of the enveloping "Strange Days" - complete with yearning, bluesy vocal samples - and some more rush-inducing fare in the shape of "Sometimes" and the piano-laden "These Moments". Oh, and a dash of ambient house-inspired goodness that's as fluid and picturesque as the Pacific Ocean (the wonderful "Ecstatic States").
Review: Having put out their last release on Chez Damier's Balance imprint (the rather fine Tried & Tested EP), 25 Places return to their previous home, Dirt Crew Recordings. As you'd expect, the Party In The Hills EP contains another clutch of floor-friendly deep house explorations. The title track, which successfully blends chopped-up Brazilian vocal samples, sustained note chords, dirty analogue bass and a hustling deep house groove, is undeniably the EP's strongest moment, though the bold and fizzing "Closing Title Song" and chiming, riff-heavy "Backyard Stories" aren't far behind. Those who fancy something a little more ragged should check Laurence Guy's disco-house-meets-acid rework of "Closing Title Song".
Review: Somewhat confusingly, A Bunch of Guys isn't a group of men, but rather a new solo project from Utrecht producer Rob Scholtens, previously best known for being one half of DJ duo Pablo Discobar Soundsystem. He's clearly a talent, because this Dirt Crew debut is packed with high-grade treats. Our pick of the bunch is the jaunty, piano-laden jazz-house bounce of "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em", a sweaty, percussive, piano-laden treat that comes accompanied by a sleazier, groove-focused rework from Fouk. Also impressive are "Filthy Rhodes", a pumping old school piano house number smothered in electric piano solos, and the drowsier deep house-goes-deep electro haziness of "Launch VII". In a word: excellent!
Review: Holland's Ben La Desh has, in just a short amount of time, notched up some serious ammunition on a selection of upmarket labels. Here though, he returns to his beloved Dirt Crew for the appropriately-named Stellar Talk EP - which features four slices of intergalactic tuneage. All display a certain star quality, but especially so on the deep and pad-heavy Chicagoisms of the title track, the totally wasted cosmic Moroder vibes of "Whiplash" and the proggy Balearica of disco-tinged closer, "Call Her".
Review: Irish producer Chymera has always excelled at fixing twinkling melodies to heavy, club friendly grooves, and this EP for Dirt Crew is no exception. Both "Disc" - with its proto-house synths and crystalline arpeggios - and "Isa" follow a similar path. It's the latter, though, that most impresses, working darting synths and beautifully crisp melodies around robotic drums and a bold bassline. While clearly inspired by techno and deep house, it should also appeal to those who enjoy the "scandolearic" sound of Oslo. Mark E remixes the latter, indulging his passion for vintage analogue house while retaining Chymera's tactile melodies.
Review: Perhaps the most impressive thing about Dampe's second outing on Dirt Crew is its subtle eclecticism. Compare and contrast, for example, the soft focus, ultra-deep electronica of superb opener "A Basement, Ten Years Ago", with the track that follows it, the dubbed-out, spaced-out deep house bliss of "727 And Arp Breaks (Original Mix)". It's a pattern that continues throughout the EP, with the Rhodes-laden ambient jazz of "Live Birds" making way for the synth-laden, two-step tech-jazz of "Garden" and the tropical dub shuffle of "France". The EP also boasts a fine remix of "727 And Arp Breaks" by Liverpool techno type ASOK, whose brilliantly re-imagines it as a hot-stepping slab of deep space dancehall.
Review: Boat-based London producer Dampe has so far impressed with his output on Dirt Crew Recordings, which is crafted using a combination of dusty old hardware, live instrumentation and obscure, hand-picked samples. He's in good form on EP number three, too, kicking off a three-track excursion via the squelchy acid bass, bustling percussion, starry-eyed synth chords and fizzing electronic riffs of "Chak Wakk". The fast-rising producer flips the script entirely on "SE1 Bossa Nova", a deliciously lazy, hazy and relaxed affair in which languid jazz guitar solos ride a lo-fi drum machine bossa-nova groove, before adding steel pan style melodies to a deep two-step garage beat on inventive (and suitably sub-heavy) closing cut "Shadwell".
Review: Debutant Dampe resides in South East London, making tracks that fuse distinctively UK influences - think broken beat, the resurgent British jazz scene, Britfunk and off-kilter bass music - with nods to African music and the comforting sounds and dreamy chords of high quality deep house. You'll find all this and more on this expansive first outing, whose many highlights include the gentle tropical deepness of the Floating Points style brilliance "Zongo Junction, At Night", the beat-less, slowly unfurling bliss of "Move Me" and the drowsy broken house brilliance of "Peach Shuffle". That track is also remixed by Nebraska, who beefs up the beats and adds some jaunty new synths while retaining Dampe's deep and intoxicating vibe.
Review: With this rock-solid EP, Dan Only (real name Danny Voicu) notches up his third annual EP on regular home Dirt Crew Recordings. The hardware-obsessed Toronto Native is naturally in fine form throughout, offering Decidious Dubs that make judicious use of a range of beat patterns, bass textures and colourful melodic refrains. Check first sparkling, dubstep-influenced broken beat number 'Gateway Shuffle', where pin-sharp synth lines dance above crunchy beats and rumbling sub-bass, before admiring the deep space electronics, dubby bass, spacey chords and building deep house drums of 'Terraforming'. Denser but bouncier house grooves are the order of the day on hazy late-night treat 'It's Inside You', while closing cut 'Macrodose' is a deep D&B cut of the sort that Good Lookin' Records once delivered on a regular basis.
Review: More quality deep house from Toronto's Dan Only on Berlin institution Dirt Crew (his second in only six months) and follows up additional releases on top labels like New Kanada and indie label DETH Records. The Wurly Chronicles features four cuts of the more deep and lush variety, from the sensual late night groove "It's Clear" to the bittersweet and emotive deepness of "Be Major...Believe". We particularly enjoyed the dusty and sunkissed MPC-styled jam "Truffles" which calls to mind the work of Berlin based producers such as Glenn Astro and Max Graef of the Money $ex crew. If any of this is an indication: Dan Only is certainly one to watch in 2018!
Review: Toronto resident Dan Only is renowned for the quality of his warm and groovy deep house productions, with the support of German titans Dirt Crew proving his "rising star" status. His latest EP for the long-serving imprint offers a five-track showcase for his trademark sound, where ultra-dreamy chords and dusty samples - think bluesy pianos, jazzy instrumentation and so on - envelop tough but tactile deep house grooves. There's plenty to excite across the five tracks, with highlights including the jaunty synth-bass and lilting Balearic lead lines of "Emulsion", the musically rich deep dancefloor hustle of "Someday (featuring AHKI)" and the sunrise-ready breakbeat/deep house fusion of "Breathe" and "What I Want".
Review: Dutch duo Detroit Swindle are set to release their hotly-anticipated debut album, Boxed Out, on Dirt Crew this March. This EP gives a taste of what's to come, offering three album tracks and a booming Laszlo Dancehall rework of the title track (think '90s Sound Factory-era NYC tribal stomp). There's naturally plenty to enjoy, from the retro-futurist garage keys and bumpin' grooves of "The Fat Rat", and the midtempo Balearic house sweetness of "Monkey Wrench" (think warm keys and swooshing electronics), to the hands-in-the-air, vests-off throb of "Huh, What!", the EP's most rush-inducing moment.
Review: It's been a swift rise for Lars Dales & Maarten Smeets, the Amsterdam-based pair known as Detroit Swindle, since they first appeared together across a clutch of 12"s in 2012. Though Detroit Swindle have graced Tsuba, Heist, Freerange and Murmur over this period, it's Dirt Crew Recordings they are most closely associated with so it makes perfect sense for Dales and Smeets to issue their debut LP on the German label. Boxed Out features some thirteen tracks and features guest spots from Mayer Hawthorne and Sandra Amarie. The horizontal beatdown of "You, Me, Here, Now" and Quantic sampling "Thoughts Of She" are highlights.
Review: Detroit Swindle's debut album, Boxed Out, confirmed Lars Dales and Maarten Smeets' position as one of the most talented deep house duos of recent years. Here, they take a back seat, as tracks from that album are handed over to a quartet of remixers. Perhaps the most ear-catching rub is MRSK's DJ Sneak style loop funk rub of "He's Just The Guy, You Know?", a whirlwind of tough, bumpin' drums and "Red Alert"-esque slap bass. There's plenty to enjoy elsewhere, too, from the warm chords and chunky grooves of Cuthead's take on "Me, Myself & You", to the soulful fluidity of Jimpster's immersive remix of "B.Y.O".
Review: Detroit Swindle have been showing distinct signs of musical development in recent times, filling their debut album Boxed Out with sensual but floor-friendly deep house shot through with classic American influences. 64 Ways, featuring the delicious vocals of Stones Throw-affiliated blue-eyed soul boy Mayer Hawthorne, is a perfect example. Here, the slinky original is joined by a slew of new remixes. The undoubted highlight is Kerri Chandler's vocal take, which ekes even more soul out of Hawthorne's vocal before charging off on a tough, chunky percussive tip. Elsewhere, the Amsterdam duo delivers a tasty piano-heavy late night Dub, before fellow Dutch producers Kraak & Smaak weigh in with a stab-happy retro-futurist late '80s Belgian house take.
Review: Alex Kruger has been releasing electronic music for the past 20 years, and his experience and skills shine through on his latest album. Caves & Cages, his first long player since 2012, moves from the smoky beats of "Ghost Button" into the lush deep house of "King's Cave" and the dubbed out minimalism of "In Air". Kr?ger then moves up the tempo with the deep but angular techno of "Helix" and "Nervana", but it turns out to be only a temporary shift. "Future History" typifies the rich deep house sound that the Dub Taylor project has become synonymous with, and which makes Caves & Cages such a rewarding listen.