Review: Mancunian legend and former Sankeys resident Darius Syrossian has been in the game for 20 years, so you can trust the DJ on this one. He appears on close associate DJ Sneak's I'm A House Gangster imprint and stays true to its meaning on these three tough and proper house jams. The stomping groove of "Dombak" comes at you complete with steel drums and a triangle that rings out like a siren over a rough, swing fuelled beat. "Body Talk" is classic mid noughties minimal with its reductionist groove, but still packs enough punch with its rolling bass and shuffling rhythm. Finally "Zaptrak" is a furious, peak time tech house killer that focuses most of the energy on a kick-ass rhythm with tough stabs plus diva vocals; but just wait for that early 90's rave breakdown!
Review: Canadian producer Demuir is a versatile talent and his latest release sees him mainly focus on a lighter house sound. Inspired by the swinging drums of UK garage, he starts the release with "Whatchuwhoooooant-!" The combination of buzzing, bouncing bass and loose, shuffling rhythms provide a basis for some high-pitched vocal lines. "Drama Untied" is more light-hearted, but uses the same backing; over tight drums, Demuir delivers infectious keys and a hail fellow well met vocal sample that proclaims 'no matter where we come from, we are all brothers'. A radically different tone is audible on "The Cheerleader"; lifting a sample from Goodfellas - the scene where Joe Pesci kills a made guy who had insulted him by demanding he shine his shoes - the cold-blooded killing narrative mixed with deft cut-ups and bouncy bass makes for an unusual combination.
Review: When a label is called I'm A House Gangster you just know they don't take any prisoners. Seems like Demuir will fit right in then, being an equally no nonsense kinda guy and all. Here he serves up three new disco sizzlers: the speedy jazz vibes of "Rise Of The Sagittarian", "Talk'n Bout Gangsta" is hypnotic proggy funk and things wrap on a campy tip with the deep disco house of "Raw N Crazy". Slick.
Review: Apparently, China-born, UK-raised El Chino was given his distinctive moniker by none other than DJ Sneak, during a five-year spell living in Ibiza. It's not surprising that Sneak has been supportive of the producer's work, as all four tracks here swing with the bass-heavy bump associated with the legendary Chicagoan. "I Won't Fall" is a bumpin', boompty-era take on hip-house, while "New Jack Hustler" sounds like El Chino's take on '89-style Chicago jack - all undulating bass, sharp stabs and James Brown samples. As for "That Shit You Do" and "Dabbers Dub", both sound like long lost Derrick Carter productions from his years running Classic.
Review: Mikey Velazquez is a DJ, Producer & Vocalist from Los Angeles, California, who has been a staple on the West Coast underground house scene since 2006. Following up wicked releases for like likes of Cajual and Classic, he appears here for DJ Sneak's always wicked I'm A House Gangster with the Can't Fight The Feeling EP. The title track is a tough and rolling cut that is more intense than the label's usual fair but impressive nonetheless; this one wouldn't be out of place on a label like Knee Deep In Sound or Lost. "Candy Flip" is a druggy afterhours cut bordering on minimal and electro house and those woozy pitch shifted vocals really help hammer the message home. "Crazy" featuring Mena is yet more loopy tech house business reminiscent of Terrence:Terry or Dyed Soundorom's earlier sound which is coming back in vogue on labels like Apollonia.
Review: Hot Creations signing Jesse Perez returns to the I'm A House Gangster imprint with another devilish bundle of tech-house melters for strict DJ tool use. The title lead "This Ain't No Rave" is a swinging affair, mashed up with twisted vocal shots, mutant bass and an abrasive percussion knot, while "Too Many DJs, Not Enough Hoes" is undeniably more 'gangstah' and a lil' more tribal. "Learn How To Spin" goes for an old-school flavour thanks to its quasi-breaks and circling rave sonics. Jackin'!
Review: London based producer Riki Innocente is fast rising up the ranks and what better way to announce it than a release on DJ Sneak's I'm A House Gangster. "I've Heard That Dreams Are Illegal" is rolling funky tech house for main room dance floors and will appeal to fans of labels like Gruuv or Saved. "Eye" goes deeper on this minimal jam with deep house inflections which is more suited to those sleazy and delirious afterhours moments: just wait until those house organs come rushing in! "Dark Minds' gets back in to the pumping tech house side of things with its bumping and adrenalised groove perfect for pre-peak time transitions. Finally "You Come Anytime" merges all said sensibilities together perfectly on this slinky, sexy tech house jam with cut up diva vocals and MK style keys over a swing fuelled groove.
True Definition (Sneak Defined Rub) - (8:19) 124 BPM
Motion (original mix) - (6:54) 124 BPM
Barrydubb (original mix) - (6:15) 126 BPM
Review: Belgian house producer Ramon Tapia has done plenty since first coming to light in 2002, snapping up releases on all the essential labels from Strictly Rhythm and 100% Pure to Remote Area, We Play House and Monique Musique. After 2013's Intense EP, Tapia returns to I'm A House Gangster with a fresh salvo of upfront party-rocking house music that should easily worm its way into all manner of sets. The original mix of "True Definition" rocks a few tightly wound disco licks around a steady bump, which Sneak shuffles up and filters out further for his "Defined Rub". "Motion" gets a little more feverish with its high frequency vocal moans, while "Barrydubb" takes things a little deeper.