Review: With an EP title like that, you're probably not expecting hi-octane dancefloor stompers here... which is just as well, as Manchester's Loz Goddard brings us four deep house cuts from the downtempo side. 'Far From Home' is a mellow, jazz-tinged affair with a wistful, sampled female vocal that recalls Nicolette's 90s trip-hop output. 'Where You Gone?' rides a stuttered, near-bruk rhythm with piano chords, melancholy brass and more sampled fem vox, 'It Rains Out There' is a jazz-ambient concoction vaguely reminiscent of 'Rose Rouge'-era St Germain, while finally 'Violets' nudges (just a little) closer to classic Heard/Damier-style Chi-town deepness.
Review: Last year hotly tipped deep house producer Armless Kid returned to action after a lengthy lay-off via must-check EPs on Vertv and Let's Play House. Here the rising star delivers another essential four-tracker, this time for Simon Morrell's reliable label FINA Records. There's a pleasingly "classic" deep house feel to opener "Shadows" - think swinging beats and warm, summery chords - and the track that follows it, "Lost Days", a more bumpin' and bass-heavy affair that makes use of extensive samples from Minnie Ripperton's "Inside My Love". Elsewhere, "Brute Factor Disco" turns a rubbery and colourful synth boogie jam into a jaunty house workout, while "Natural FL Groove" is a chunky deep disco-house workout tailor-made for outdoor dancing sessions.
Review: The producer now known as Corbi has enjoyed an eclectic career thus far, with his bulging CV including stints in psychedelic jazz band Syd Arthur and contributions to albums from the likes of Paul Weller, the Heliocentrics and Kate Tempest. "Momento" is his debut solo EP under the Corbi pseudonym and is a neat showcase for his wide-ranging musical talents. Title track "Samurai" is a wonderfully rich and sunny chunk of languid deep house, with evocative electric piano motifs, sundown electronics and choice vocal samples rising above a chunky groove. He goes deeper still on "Access Serenity", where attractively jazzy flourishes recline over a lolloping disco beat, before joining forces with pal J33 on the bustling electronic house fizz of "Ma Warp (Rework)".
Review: The four tracks that make up the 'Seasonal Companion EP' by Canadian producer come from that place on the musical spectrum where deep house and downtempo/chill-out vibes collide. 'At First Sight' could, on first hearing, pass as a Beloved instrumental from the late 80s, while 'Escapade', with its fluttering flamenco guitars, live-sounding house percussion and funk bassline, has something of a west coast-ish feel (think The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan etc). Saine's remix of 'At First Sight' is a housier pass that wouldn't sound out of place on Freerange, while the EP's closed out by 'Solitude', a Latin-tinged downtempo jam.
Disco Hold Down (6th Borough Project dub) - (7:07) 125 BPM
2 Getha (Neva mix) - (6:15) 118 BPM
Review: Jad Lee aka Jad & The follows last year's EPs on Centre Source and his own Beats Of No Nation imprint with this fine melodic record for Fina. Inspired by US deep house, Lee skilfully navigates a path between raw Moodymann disco and Kai Alce depth on the swoon-some "2 Getha (4 Eva Mix)", while on "Twist Club", the Australian artist opts for a deeper path, fusing subtle Chicago drums with jazzy keys. Although "Disco Hold Down" is rougher, with Lee focusing on scatty drums and a live funk bass, the underlying style on Twist Club is deeply melodic and deliciously cosmic.
Review: Two years on from the release of his debut EP on D.KO, Pascal Pamme AKA Paso has finally got round to readying a follow-up. He begins with the meandering, sample-rich goodness of "Idocracy", where hazy Fender Rhodes chords, held-note organ chords and buzzing synth-brass stretch out across a jazzy deep house rhythm, before showcasing his MPC beat-making skills on the house-not-house deepness of "Fuzy" [sic]. Over on the virtual flipside, title track "Limited Perception" swings and struts in all the right places, peppering a head-nodding, hybrid hip-hop/house groove with jaunty jazz-funk bass and warm, butter-rich chords. To conclude, Pamme delivers a slightly more driving mid-tempo number that benefits greatly from a warm and funky bassline.
Review: Praise is the first Fina release from Closed Paradise, a French producer previously best known for serving up tidy re-edits and reworks on Editorial, Kolour Ltd and Whiskey Disco. The producer's smooth nu-disco roots can be heard amongst the swirling synthesizer chords, tactile beats and mutilated Daft Punk synth lines of "Demon Avenue", while acid-flecked closer "Piece of Mind" is a successful attempt to fuse the saucer-eyed spirit of late '80s, warehouse-friendly house anthems and the synth-heavy bounce of 21st century European disco. Best of all, though, is opener "Praise", an ultra-dreamy, ultra-deep chunk of sunrise house brilliance that's guaranteed to melt even the stoniest of hearts.
Review: Long established label-hopper Ponty Mython (AKA Russian producer Alexander Pietnev) adds another imprint to his resume via a rock solid four-tracker for 20:20 Vision offshoot Fina. He begins with "Why Can't We Both Be Right", a bustling but groovy deep house cut full of woozy vocal samples and crunchy drum machine handclaps, before jazzing up the beats and reaching for the swirling orchestral samples on lolloping groover "Morning in a Boing 747". EP highlight "Rejoice" sees him successfully revisit his disco-house roots, while Soul of Hex hook-up "Surf Mode" sits somewhere between humid afternoon disco and chunky deep house.
Review: Since his last solo outing in 2015, Lauri Saine has made fine contributions to all manner of compilations and multi-artist EPs. It's heartening to see that FIna has decided the time is right for a new solo three-tracker from the Helsinki-based producer. He hits the ground running with the bass-heavy shuffle of "Technique", where glistening jazz guitars, twinkling Rhodes and hand picked vocal samples help to create a hazy, summertime mood. Next up is the loved-up hug of "Pastel", whose ambient house style synthesizer motifs are accompanied by jazzy drum fills, distant vocal samples and dream house atmospherics. A fine EP is drawn to a close by the sleazy Italo-disco/horizontal deep house fusion of "Jumble", a hazy shuffler that's as trippy and echo-laden as your average Idjut Boys DJ set.
Review: It's been a while since we've heard new material from former Third Strike and Ornate Music duo Homepark. Somewhat surprisingly, this outing on Fina is Rob Glassett and Sam Fussell's first outing for nearly two years. They begin in confident mood, delivering a tactile chunk of bumpy, basement-bothering dancefloor deepness in the shape of "RFMS". Their love of ultra-dreamy chords, delay-laden percussion hits and delightfully soulful vocal samples is further explored on dub house shuffler "Lost In Days", while "16 Sessions" is a slightly breezier - if still undeniably deep - concoction. Happily, they finish with a flourish, too, via the smile inducing chord progressions, jazzy cymbal patterns and undulating analogue riffs of "Endings".
Review: 2020 Vision sub label Fina is still delivering the goods, this time courtesy of Motor City staple and Black Catalogue main man Monty Luke. There's a whole heap of seriously dark soul jams on here and they all pack some punch. Take for instance the tough, bass driven tech house of "Your Love" or even "Rude Photo" which is deeper and sexier but with equal intensity. But our money is on "Ghostown Traffic": a thumpin', funky, surefire dancefloor bomb that'll do the job any night and very typical of the Monty Luke we know. The glitchy and uplifting broken beat on "Turn Out (FM Mix)" commands your attention too. Nice one!
Review: Japanese producer Takuya Matsumoto first surfaced back in 2001 on a split release with compatriot Kouji Nagahashi (seek out "The Rubicon") but its more recently he's been getting the attention his classy house productions deserve. Matsumoto lands on Fina with the Places Of Colour EP after superb 2014 drops for R&S subsidiary Meda Fury and Clone Royal Oak and if you were a fan of those you will want to check these four cuts! Subtle and warm, opener "Souvenir" sets the tone thanks to Matsumoto's perfectly balanced blend of silky vocals, delicate chords and dusty cymbals. Evocative piano melodies play their role in "Coco" too, easing up alongside poignant strings as the producer shows his flair for rugged, interesting rhythms. Flipside jams "Flio" and "Seasons" veer off into jazzier territory and make it easy to see why Flo Po rates Matsumoto so highly! As do we - Juno recommends this 12"!
Review: FINA Records presents Terrence Pearce's Last Night Lover EP featuring Francis Inferno Orchestra on the rework. Having previously released on a number of prominent labels including Futureboogie, Wolf Music, Petfood, Kolor, Dark Energy and Freshmeat, Cape Town based soul Terrence Pearce has emerged as a talented and sought after artist. The long and drawn out spacey synths of the title track fade in and fade out with subdued strings, while "Come On Yah" provides a warm and effortless disco edged groove, characterized by its infectious low-end throb and clever concoction of playful rhythms, punchy hats, staccato strings and off kilter chords. "Taxi" is wonderfully leftfield amalgamation of horn beeping, door slamming, taxi hollering madness, and Francis Inferno Orchestra returns to FINA by remixing the track with his signature drum machine rhythms, early rave like samples and rainforest atmospherics.
Review: Fina have been putting out some seriously powerful material of late, with releases by the likes of Borrowed Identity and Appian defining its distinct techno sensibility and rougher edge compared to its mother label. A newcomer, Slow Learner, takes the helm for the imprint's eighteenth outing and the shadowy producer comes through with three smooth house cuts on the melodic side. "Honey" is all starry synths and deep pads, "Cupboard Love" takes an itchy percussion roll and drops it above cinematic soundscapes, whereas "The Skin Horse" is the elephant in the room, the weirder brother of the lot and the one whose keys are likely to set your jaw in a twist.
Review: Growing up in Metro-Detroit, and having recently played on the 'Made in Detroit' stage at this year's Movement Festival, you'd have a fair idea of what to expect from Appian. Indeed, the influence of the Motor City's signature sound on much of the burgeoning talent's output is unmistakable. Yet Appian's forthcoming release 'Chatter EP' on FINA Records is a testament to his varied and experimental production style; a distinctive sound borne out of inspirations as varied as funk, experimental electronica, disco, "80s stuff", early house, and Aphex Twin.
Review: For their sixteenth release, 2020 Vision offshoot Fina has turned to Freude am Tanzen and Minor Modern regulars Taron Trekka. The Berlin-based duo offers up a range of swaying, occasionally bumpin' productions in their trademark deep tech-house style. Opener "Alelle Fu" adds sharp blasts of electrofunk style synths to a shuffling, fidget-goes-deep house groove. "Olsen Mosaik" is deeper and techier, with stargazing chords and whispered vocal samples. The Robag Wruhme style "Savant" - all off-kilter deep jazz-house drums, wonky electronics and bluesy vocal samples - is arguably the highlight, though the warm and fuzzy "Straff Affo" - all eyes-wide-shut Rhodes and liquid bass - pushes it close.
Review: Romanian-in-Berlin Borrowed Identity seems like a perfect fit for Fina, 2020 Vision's smoother and groovier little brother. Certainly, there's a smooth-but-jackin feel to the title track - produced in cahoots with long-time production pal Mechanical Soul Brother - which expertly layers choice disco vocal samples and breezy pianos atop a heavy, synth-laden groove. "Mental State" opts for a more ragged acid vibe, whilst retaining an element of cool dreaminess, before "Roboto Moves" takes us on a trip into the far reaches of the galaxy. Finally, "You're Mine" builds a formidably sweaty dancefloor groover out of elements borrowed from an old Inner Life disco classic. It's been done before, but there's something admirable about the sparsity and heaviness of Borrowed Identity's production.
Review: The original deep house don Rick Wade is back in action with yet more of those soul-rooted tones to tickle your emotions and speak to your inner funk. This time he's been snapped up by 20:20 offshoot Fina who know a thing or two about the genre, and Mr. Wade has responded by pushing his sound further into sumptuous sample-laden territory that wakes up his somnambulant sound into something almost feisty. "Sweet Life" rolls on a heartfelt beatdown with romantic string swells and guitar licks, while "The Chateau" gets into a nasty groove with plenty of live drums and dramatic horn blasts before a more typical Wade style emerges on the steady grooving "Jazz Militia". To cap it all off Mr Beatnick delivers a remix of "Sweet Life' that works some fulsome bass into a sparser construction with dazzling results.
Review: Berlin-based producer Paul Chriske is a relative newcomer to the scene, having previously only released one EP under the Powel pseudonym, yet his productions are impressively polished. This second EP - his first for Fina - further develops his wispy, dreamy, ultra-deep sound, a kind of wide-eyed fusion of late night melancholy, tech-tinged shuffle and stargazing soundscapes. He's got a particularly good ear for emotion-rich melodies. As a result, all four tracks - from the drifting haziness of closer "Getting Out", to the soulful shuffle of "I'm Getting Out" and polished, intricate opener "Cloud City" - are effortlessly atmospheric. "Black Hole" - all unfussy rhythms, dubbed-out breakdowns and Detroit-influenced chords - is simply outstanding.
Review: First surfacing on blog come digi label Discobelle, last year saw "Brighton based producer of techno" Guy Andrews (as his Discogs succinctly states) reach a much wider audience with a succession of releases on Hemlock and Hotflush that saw him dabble in various techy and bass flavoured shades of the genre. The four track Annum EP for the FINA label sees Andrews drop the tempo slightly to show off his skills at applying his style to contemporary deep house. Draped in airy reverb, the synths and bass of "Divide" cajole and caress each other into a forlorn and momentous climax, while the appropriately titled and progressive "7AM" introduces tubular and new-age percussion for something equally euphoric. The virtual B-side sees Andrews continue with the inspiring synths that define the EP, while grounding the record with grittiness across "Fixture" and "Tapes".
Review: Echodub bossman Alex Cowles (better known, production-wise, under his DFRNT moniker) can usually be relied on to provide some authentically ocean-deep sounds. That's certainly the case on this varied EP for 2020 Vision offshoot Fina. At times, it sounds as if he's been listening to classic records by fellow Edinburgh native Aqua Bassino (the calming, jazzy "The Way You Look at Me" and intoxicating, super-deep "Start Changing Tempo"), while at others, he seems to have imbued just the right amount of fine single malt (check the sleepy midtempo vibes of "Sugar Free" and the pulsing sub and dreamy vocals of "Nobody Stop Me"). Throughout, there's a delicious musicality at work that's never less than delightful.
Review: Former Electric Press man Tom Taylor returns home, pitching up on 2020 Vision offshoot Fina for an expansive EP of slick contemporary deep house. Given his credentials, it's no surprise that there's plenty to admire, from the strings and piano stabs of the enveloping "Twilight", to the chunky grooves, flowing chords and choice vocal samples of "This World". "Don't Give Up", an eyes-wide-shut deep house chugger featuring Peter Gabriel vocal samples, also impresses. Remix-wise, there's a tasty, garage-influenced rub from hot young thing Jack Dixon, and a suitably wonky rub from late night wrong 'uns Clive Henry (Peace Division) and Rui Da Silva (remember him?).
Review: Following impressive outings on Under The Shade, Kolour and Sleazy Beats, Melbourne-based producer Griffin James brings his Francis Inferno Orchestra project to 2020 Vision offshoot Fina. Thankfully, he's stuck to his usual style, delivering a trio of deliciously wide-eyed cuts. "Astral Breeze" sets the tone, offering a thrillingly touchy-feely fusion of saucer-eyed chords and hands-in-the-air pianos. "Here's To Feeling Good All The Time" retains this retro-futurist feel, combining bumpin' beats and melodic touches with classic old skool samples. A fine EP closes with "Silk & Smoove", a gorgeously sunny disco-house groover built around some classic strings from an oh-so familiar record.
Review: There was a time, a few years back, when Simon Baker seemed to be heading right to the top. In recent years, his production outings have been less frequent, but they're rarely anything less than excellent. Here he returns to action for 2020 Vision offshoot Fina, delivering a pleasingly tactile blend of melodic deep house infused with nu-disco synths. Lead cut "Riker" is particularly good, fluctuating between Moroder-ish bottom end and cascading marimba melodies. "Geo" offers a much more fluid - and some would say traditional - take on deep house, but it's no less attractive. A strong package is completed by Eliphino's rework of "Riker", a formidable late night jam that sits somewhere between British bass music and slick deep house.
Review: Still very much emerging as a potential key player in future deep house and techno, Steffen's really found his groove on this release for 2020 off-shoot Fina. "Cold Water" wears a timeless sheen; the funky 808 bassline screams classic while the cascading, whirling synths and carefully arranged layers keep it firmly set in the now. "Ma Home" flips the switch; a beautiful ballad laced with a soft vocal refrain and a simple but poignant sounding chord hook, it's equally blissful on a dancefloor, headphones, car journey or sun-kissed beach. For added soul power head for Luca C's slower tempo, re-rub. Emotional stuff.
Sultans Of Swing (Cottams Deep End mix) - (7:40) 116 BPM
Review: A sub-label of Ralph Lawson's 20:20 Vision empire, Fina has already dispensed four EPs since they set up shop at the beginning of this year. For their fifth, they invite Dutch duo Morning Factory to the label. Titled "Sultans Of Swing", the EP (thankfully) bears little resemblance to Dire Straits and includes a remix from the UK's very own Cottam. The title track earmarks an instantly soothing edge; its succulent horn-like synths swelling against the percussion and making way for lengthy beds and brass melodies. Cottam's remix however drags "Sultans Of Swing" deeper still as pitches drop and synths slow to a crawl like pace to create a trippy, dream-like remix. "Lady" follows in its predecessor's simmering footsteps, before a looped vocal reminiscent of late nineties R&B lifts the entire track into a melodic heart wrencher.
Review: 2020 Vision offshoot Fina racks up its third release, with veteran house producer Roberto Rodriguez at the helm. While the title track and bonus cut "Fall Night" fit easily within Rodriguez's sophisticated, tech-tinged deep house back catalogue, it's the more disco-leaning "I Got" that really stands out. Pitching up somewhere between vintage Chicken Lips, the early Infant productions of Simon Baker and the live discofunk of Crazy P, "I Got" somehow manages to sound freaky, dubbed-out and weirdly anthemic - all whilst riding a groove that's funkier than a rugby player's jockstrap. It's a perfect late night sound, all told.