Review: If you enjoyed Andras Fox and Oscar S Thorn's brilliant sophomore album, Cafe Romantica, this release should be essential listening. The EP's title track picks up where that set left off, with the duo once again conjuring a perfect balance between soulful synth-pop, lilting Balearica, and the kind of sumptuous deep house on which Larry Heard made his name. On the flip you'll find some fine remixes of album highlight "Looking Back". While Tornado Wallace's deep Balearic house take is rather wonderful, it's Zanzibar Channel's interpretation that stands out. Somehow, they've re-cast the deep and dreamy original as a madcap chunk of lo-fi P-funk.
Review: Earth Trax is Bartosz Kruczynski who presented a fantastic debut release earlier in the year on Bradley Zero's Rhythm Section International with Newborn Jr. and now appears for Amsterdam's Dopeness Galore with the Los Conquistadores EP. Starting out with the deeply spiritual and emotive balearic vibes of "Flowers" with its rich tapestry of soaring and floaty pads, there's more quality on the title track; its romantic retro vibes reminiscent of Lauer or Tuff City kids alike. We really enjoyed the track "Electricity", a deep electro number with snappy vintage drum machine breaks and classic analogue synth presets working their magic. I will certainly appeal to all throwback romantics, we guarantee it!
Where There's A Will, There's A Way - (6:10) 123 BPM
Acid Burn - (4:51) 83 BPM
TechNoir - (3:50) 82 BPM
Diamond Edge - (4:38) 121 BPM
Review: Polish producers Earth Trax and Newborn Jr are regular collaborators, with their previous joint releases for Rhythm Section International, Les Yeux Orange and Echovolt offering dreamy, loved-up deep house thrills by the bucket-load. Interestingly, this first EP for Dopeness Galore sees them take a slightly different approach, combining ultra-deep and dubbed-out cuts (see the dub techno meets dream house flex of "Tech Noir" and rhythmic ambient rush of "Diamond Edge") with much more forthright and robust club workouts. Check, in particular, the bustling breakbeats, heavy sub-bass and spaced-out riffs of "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" and opener "Maze", where '80s Euro-disco stabs and trance-like electronics rise above a delay-laden deep house groove.
Review: Jorge Cortes has a rock solid track record when it comes to producing attractive, occasionally minimalist deep house, so you'd expect this first appearance on Dutch label Dopeness Galore to be rather good. It is, of course, delivering eight attractive and musically rich cuts that various draw inspiration from the likes of Rick Wade, DJ Sprinkles and, perhaps more surprisingly, Ricardo VIllalbos (see the Chilean percussion and ultra-deep grooves of "Shake". Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the album is the producer's ability to strike a balance between melodious jazziness and darker, more forthright material. For proof, compare and contrast the jazzy, dexterous deepness of skewed-but jazzy closer "Refugees Welcome" (or, for that matter, the ultra-deep "En Espiritu") with the bustling, soul-flecked drum machine weird-out "Dando Notas".
Review: Wouda's Dopeness Galore label has previously built strong links with the Melbourne music scene, putting out killer material from Inkswel and Andras Fox & Oscar S. Thorn. Here, he turns to another Victorian producer, Voyage and Melbourne Deepcast regular M5K. He begins with the blazed-but-floor-friendly throb of "We Got It", which does a great job layering thickset chords and undulating electronics atop an analogue-sounding groove. "Shawty Is A Ten" is, if anything, even better, combining an X-rated spoken word vocal with snappy electro beats and classic Chicago house touches. As if that wasn't enough to get the blood pumping, he then delivers "Healin Feelin", an ultra-positive, piano-laden deep house jam that simply bristles with goodtime vibes.
Review: The Netherlands' Dopeness Galore can always be relied upon to deliver singles that blur the boundaries between evocative electrofunk, deep house, disco, and saucer-eyed Balearic electronica. That's exactly what's delivered on this solo debut from Midnight Runners man Munir Septiandry. Bristling with rich and colourful synthesizers, undulating basslines, and tactile drum machine beats, Ritmo Echo is a superb collection of sticky, summery grooves. Highlights are frequent and numerous; check the Andras & Oscar-meets-Moon B loveliness of "Good Morning Lunar", the bold, analogue synth-disco of "Under The Sea" and the sensual, piano-laden, sun-down feel of standout "Kaze No Dansu". If that's not enough to get the juices flowing, the title track is a fluttering, slo-mo synthesizer gem.
Review: Amsterdam's San Proper has been responsible for some great releases over the years, though few have managed to capture the anything-goes eccentricity of his DJ sets. Happily, that's where San Proper presents L.O.V.E comes in. While informed by his rubbery, off-kilter style of deep house, most of the tracks offer a deliciously, quirky, left-of-centre take on styles that have influenced him over the years. So, "Brazil" twists samba rhythms into new, dirt-encrusted analogue house shapes, "Bring It On Back" and "Grace" put electro and P-funk through the shredder, "Change Yo Ways" doffs a cap to ghetto-tech and Miami booty (albeit in a deeper, smokier setting), and "It's Here" is blue-eyed soul for the lo-fi Balearic generation. Best of all, though, is the title track, which delivers a devilishly low-slung boogie/leftfield disco hybrid.
Monkeys Play With Fire (San & Wouda dub) - (6:26) 133 BPM
Review: Effective new tech bullets from the utterly on-point San Proper, a contemporary king of the dance circuit, and an artist that we always love to hear new material from. The producer is up on his native Dopeness Galore, a Dutch label whose material ranges from the jazz of Chet Baker, to Pharaoh, Sanders, and through to Kid Sublime or Inkswel. "Lovesick" is one of those tunes that you leave the club humming, a memorable house banger fuelled by sexy vocals with a romantic twist. Dope. "Monkeys Play With Fire" comes in a remix version by San Proper himself and Wouda, and this is the killer here, a trip dub experiment with lovely tribal drums and wild samples. Recommended!
Review: To date, Stump Valley has impressed with a string of EPs for the likes of Uzuri and Off Minor, most of which feature the kind of hazy, head-in-the-clouds house goodness that offers a 21st century revision of the late '80s dream house movement. There's plenty to get excited about on the Italian combo's Dopeness Galore debut, too, from the acid bass, languid bongos and dreamy chords of opener "Monkey Flute" and Mystic Jungle Tribe style analogue Balearica of "Tales Of Heike", to the saucer-eyed shuffle of "Pagoda Forest" and the Larry Heard-on-anti-depressants bliss of "Black Sun (Above Japan)". The Mtrpls Shibuya mix of "Tokio Robot Rise", a distorted and dubbed out chunk of experimental hip-hop, is also superb.
Review: Weirdest Dream is a new project from Stockholm-based Daniel Fagerstrom and Luciano Leiva, experienced producers who have previously starred - individually, and as part of other outfits - on such labels as RVNG INTL and Permanent Vacation. This outing on Dopeness Galore marks their collaborative debut. It's a wonderfully atmospheric and quietly colourful collection of tracks, all told, with the duo teasing undeniably spacey and evocative sounds out of a collection of vintage analogue synthesizers and drum computers. Stylistically, it's something of an inspired and hard-to-pigeonhole mish-mash of Tangerine Dream motifs, sparking Steve Moore synthesizer chords, hazy acid lines and bustling Motor City futurism (albeit twisted into decidedly Balearic new shapes).