Review: Having released a debut album in 2017 via the GAMM label, Riddim Research Lab reveals itself again as some kind of enigmatic dub tribe with a curveball release finding its way to Swedish label Local Talk. This we can assume comes through Berlin duo Kyodai - who have collaborated with the likes of Basic Soul Unit, Mule Musiq, Freerange and Local Talk before. Together the pair deliver a largely instrumental number, strummed and dubbed out by warmer reggae vibes, a touch of disco and that tropicana flavour oozing from those sweet splashes of space echo and guitar. Get yer dubs, Local Talk.
Review: L'Aroye is Thomas Arroyo, a DJ and producer from Paris who is now living in Brighton. He's had some releases previously for the likes of Visions Inc., Tiff's Joints and Magic Black. He is back for another appearance on Mad Mats & Tooli's ever reliable Local Talk imprint with this one titled "Keep On" featuring two tracks that go down separate paths. The deep, evocative and altogether spiritual energy of the title track captures the very best elements of legends such as Kerri Chandler or Ron Trent, while the 6 A.M dub mix is a worthy addition too. On this version he streamline the groove for DJ use in fine fashion.
Review: Local Talk's packed release schedule means that keeping up with the label's releases can be tough. Happily, founders Mad Mats and Tooli found a solution long ago: the best-of style Talking House compilation series, which here notches up its 11th instalment. Packed to the rafters with high-quality deep, dusty, jazzy and soul-fired house, the collection's highlights are plentiful. Our picks include the hazy gospel-house hustle of Soulphiction's 'Niederbeat Gospel Dub', the jazzy Afro-house warmth of 'One Less (Main Send)' by Urban Sound Lab presents Miss Yankey, the extra-percussive, organic deep house positivity of Vick Lavender's spacey 'Shifting Gears', the bruk-up breeze that is Anthony Nicholson and Mark De Clive-Lowe's 'Another Story', and the sunset-ready, bossa-house breeze of Shaka's'New Relationship'.
Review: Over the years, Local Talk bosses Mad Mats and Tooli have proved to be shrewd operators when it comes to commissioning remixes. As a result, the label's vaults are full of killer re-rubs, as this fourth collection of reworked highlights proves. Beginning with an inspired Ron Trent jazz-dance revision of Kyoto Jazz Sextet's 'Rising', the set smoothly moves between life-affirming, musically rich Latin house (Anthony Nicholson reworking DASCO), jazz-funk flavoured 4/4 smoothness (Kaidi Tatham tweaking Coflo), soul-fired organic house jazziness (Waajeed remixing Crackazat), analogue-rich late might hypnotism (a show-stopping Jamie 3:26 re-wire of Soulphiction) and sunset-ready tropical house (TRinidadiandeep's inspired re-frame of DASCO's 'African Power').
Review: First released via a trilogy of EPs, Sickla is Peter 'Opolopo' Major's first album in five years. As befitting an artist famed for the soulfulness, aural colour and expansive musicality of his productions, the set's X tracks are piled high with infectious rhythms, organic instrumentation, vibrant synth sounds and electric piano solos so jazzy they could have been the work of Herbie Hancock. Musically, the album is rooted in deep house, jazz-funk, boogie and dancefloor soul, bult also includes nods towards broken beat, Latin house and head-nodding downtempo beats. It's a stunning, sparkling set all told, and easily Major's most accomplished and enjoyable work to date.
Review: Local Talk's latest recruit Shaka (real name Kurt Spichiger) is something of an unsung hero - a Swiss house producer who has periodically served up deep and seductive slabs of musical goodness since the mid 1990s. His first EP for Mad Mats and Tooli naturally has a classic feel, with title track 'Theme From Riverwalk' layering luscious electric piano motifs and spacey chords atop a bouncy groove rich in tough drums, jazzy synth-bass and hazy, US garage style organ stabs. He opts for a far jazzier and more uplifting sound on 'New Relationship', where fluid piano solos and sparkling, Herbie Hancock style jazz-funk synths rise above a jaunty Latin-house groove. Both tracks come accompanied by solid, club-focused Dub mixes.
Review: There's something of a stylistic shift from Opolopo here, as he tones down his usual broken beat/nu-jazz/Afro leanings and instead serves up four cuts that can best be described as late 70s/early 80s jazz-funk viewed through a deep/disco house filter. There are floors out there where these will make great warm-up material, and others where they'll create memorable peaktime 'moments', but either way there's no doubting the quality of the production. The meandering Rhodes on 'Crab Sticks' make it the standout for this reviewer, but it's a close-run thing because there's not a duff cut in sight!
Review: Given that Peter Major AKA Opolopo has a proven track record of making inspired, hard-to-pigeonhole dance music awash with colour and soul, Local Talk's recent announcement that they're releasing a series of EPs from him is very good news indeed. There's naturally much to get the blood pumping and the juices flowing on this second (of three) EPs, from the carnival-ready Latin percussion, Roy Ayers-esque jazz-funk instrumentation and sparkling synthesizer melodies of opener "Silkworms", to the Rhodes-heavy, organic jazz-house lusciousness of closing cut "The Sluggard". Sandwiched in between you'll find the oddly swung but undeniably brilliant jazz-funk jam "Triplet Limp". In a word: essential!
Review: Four cuts from Opolopo here that plough exactly the kind of deep, soulful, jazzy furrow we've come to expect. 'Loose Limbs' gets the ball rolling and has something of a late 70s/early 80s jazz-funk feel - if you know who Mike Mandel or Wilbert Longmire are, you'll dig this one for sure! Take the same recipe, stir in a little Afro-house flava in the drums department and you'll end up with 'Chocolate Liquorice', while 'Moonwalk' comes on like Dave Lee in his most dreamy, spaced-out moments and 'You Can Make It' takes us closer to straight-up soul territory.
Review: Last year Local Talk offered up Soulphiction's latest album (his first for almost ten years), a superb, soul-fired set of bluesy, sample-rich deep house treats. Here they complete the package via a "VIP Edition" single featuring a brand new cut and a previously unheard revision of album highlight "Feelin' Good". The simply titled "Version" mix of that (track two on this digital edition) is delicious, with the Philpot founder layering expansive piano motifs and dizzying solos over skippy, U.S garage-influenced beats and a warm, toasty bassline. Arguably even better though is the fresh cut, "Niederbeat Gospel (Dub)". Living up to its title, the track is a thickset chunk of bluesy gospel house dustiness built around swinging beats, beefy bass and layered vocal samples from a crackly old gospel recording.
Review: Colombian producer Felipe Gordon's profile has risen considerably over the last 18 months, with rock solid releases on Quintessentials, Toy Tonics, Razor 'N' Tape Reserve and Exploited Ghetto only enhancing his credentials. Now some of his tracks have been snaffled up by another highly regarded imprint, the bastion of quality house that is Local Talk. Title track "For A Bright & Acid Future" hits the spot from the word go, with Gordon wrapping twisted, rough-neck acid lines around a bustling backing track rich in fuzzy synth stabs, jazzy bass guitar and crunchy beats. Kear lends a hand on the sun-kissed, soft focus brilliance of jazz-funk/Jazz/deep Latin house fusion of "Son Esquivias", before Gordon goes solo via the woozy, summery and squelchy deep house lusciousness of "icking Fuzzed Personality".
Review: Local Talk's periodic round-up of classic cuts from the label's bulging back catalogue returns for an eighth time, with imprint founders Mad Mats and Tooli gathering together a predictably fine selection of tracks. Most bases are covered - house-wise, at least - from trumpet-laden Afro-house brilliance (Dasco's "African Power"), and ultra-soulful, Atjazz-esque broken house deepness (Wipe The Needle's super-smooth "Enchanted"), to "French Kiss"-inspired house hypnotism (Soulphiction's "Believe"), 21st century jazz-funk/deep house fusion (Crackazat's fine rework of Art of Tones' "The Rainbow Song") and ultra-deep, Nina Simone-sampling dancefloor bliss (Emvee's "Brotherman"). In a word: essential.
Review: Given his roots in San Francisco's Bay Area, it's perhaps unsurprising that COFLO makes warm, gently breezy and sun-kissed music that joins the dots between the hippyish, dub-flecked deep house of Dubtribe Soundsystem and jazz-funk fired broken beat. His latest single, "Lux", is a particularly good example of his tactile and wavy fusion of styles, particularly in the EP-opening "Extended Mix" form (which also includes some tidy Latin percussion). The Latin, deep house and jazz-funk influences also come to the fore on "Coflo's Mix", while the rock solid vocal and dub revisions by Kaidi Tatham are more house-flavoured than you may expect, even if they do boast the kind of colourful jazz-funk synthesizer flourishes we've come to expect from the 2000 Black artist.
Review: Vick Lavender in the house and it smells good! Shifting up the gears is Local Talk, the Swedish label celebrating its second record of the year with two epic, jazzy and melodic throw downs of undeniable house instrumentation. Deep and soulful, penetrating tribal dance drums hold down the rhythm track in Rick Lavender's "Here In Spirit Sid" that sees all matter of keys, strings, horns and bells light up its 11-minute count. Equal to that is Lavender's bassline driven hoochimama "Shifting Gears". Exotic cocktail tropicana seduction to turn you loose!
Review: If you like your deep house on the soulful, jazzy and dreamy side then you're in for a treat with this two-track EP, which sees Prescription veteran Nicholson teaming up with in-demand keyboardist de Clive-Lowe. 'Yeah Yeah' sadly isn't a Georgie Fame/Matt Bianco cover but instead a freeform excursion that uses filtered piano chords as the foundation for an ultra-jazzy workout with shufflin' drums and a wigged-out (Farfisa?) organ line, while 'Another Story', with its squelchy bassline and gently tinkling ivories, is perhaps more one for late-night play than the dancefloor, but equally impressive. A fine team-up from two very respected players.
Review: We were rather astonished to discover that "24/7 Love Affair" is Michael Baumann's first album as Soulphiction for 11 years. We were a little less surprised to find that it's superb. In fact, we'd go as far as to say that it could be considered a "best practice" example of the kind of loose, sample-heavy, soul-fired deep house that is all the rage right now. Yet the album's epic length - it comprises no less than 17 tracks - also allows Baumann to mix it up a little too, with a swathe of ocean-deep club jams being joined by search diversions as the morning-fresh broken beat loveliness of "Jus Listen", the stomping disco-funk of "The Mood", the bustling breakbeats of "A Freak" and the blazed instrumental hip-hop of "Good Night Ema".
Review: Israeli and Berlin-based DJ/producer Dasco has put out a fair number of singles over the last few years, but none are anywhere near as good as "African Power", their first outing on Local Talk. The title track is superb: a wonderfully jaunty, atmospheric, evocative and positive fusion of Afro-house, jazz, deep house and calypso that boasts layered percussion, a brilliant bassline and some lusciously lilting trumpet solos. "Keep Moving", meanwhile, is a heavily percussive deep house workout full of spacey synths and heavy South American drums. Trinidadian Deep does a fine job making "African Power" deeper, dreamier and even more melodic, while Anthony Nicholson joins the dots between Latin house and deep nu-disco on a suitably Balearic revision of "Keep Moving".
Review: The Swedish duo of Einar Christoffersson and Marco Gegenheimer, better known as MLIR (Modern Life Is Rubbish), join forces with Barcelona's Arnau Obiols on this latest despatch from Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk camp, which is supplied in two very different mixes. In its original form, 'Lajbans' is a rather jaunty, prog-leaning houser with a sci-fi edge to the synth sounds, some great space disco stabs and a smiley, summery feel. The accompanying Bellaterra Dub is no mere instrumental re-edit: instead, it flips the script completely and takes us deep into actual (digi) dub territory.
Review: Germany's Michael Buchanan, AKA Soulphiction, serves up a 'French Kiss'-ish throbber on Mad Mats' Local Talk label. There are three mixes to choose from: the HiPhife and Classic mixes don't vary hugely, except that the former has bigger, boomier drums while the latter has a little more swing in its step. But it's the Jamie 3:26 Windy City Bump Mix that stands out: as the name suggests, the Chicago producer has drawn heavily on his home town's musical heritage, making for a rub that could snuggle up quite comfortably alongside the classics it's worked so hard to emulate.
Review: Detroit veteran Miller, whose 25+ year production CV takes in the likes of Guidance, Distance, Nite Grooves and Planet E, is in African-inspired mode on this three-tracker for Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk. Opener 'Afro Grey' blends Afro, jazz and cosmic elements with classic house beats to create a 4am, eyes-wide-shut journey of a track. 'By The Way She Moves', which follows, is a more contemplative slice of electronic soul best suited to warm-up or post-club play, while closer 'One Way Back' treads similar ground to 'Afro Grey' musically but rides a tribal rhythm that leans towards broken beat.
Review: If you like your deep house delivered with a lil' extra garage-y bump, this two-tracker from Mad Mats and Tooli's Stockholm-based Local Talk imprint needs to go into your basket right now! 'Brotherman (Part 1)' marries a soulful male vocal to a huge organ bassline - think one part Naked Music to one part Tuff Jam and you're somewhere in the right ballpark. But taking the gold here is 'Brotherman (Dub - Part 2)', where the vocal's stripped right back while the organ's swapped out for a nagging keyboard riff, augmented by monumental synth sweeps.
Review: Following on from Unbreakable, his 2016 debut on Local Talk, Tommaso Garofalo aka Turbojazz returns to the UK label. Inspired by Detroit techno and broken beat / nu jazz in equal measures, "Two" sees Garofalo focus on the dance floor in his own inimitable fashion. Scuffled drums are combined with ticking percussion and warbling synth lines to crate a vivid, expansive sound. "The Joint" is just as distinctive; centred on a disco filter and dusty melodies that are looped as a back drop to mischievous acid lines, it is one of the finest interpretations of modern deep house that you'll hear this year.
Review: Some three years on from his last outing on Groove Odyssey - a fine hook-up with veteran vocalist Michelle Weeks - Wipe The Needle man Lee Gomez returns to action. This time round, it's the effortlessly soulful vocals of Alex Lattimore that catch the ear. On the original version of "Enchanted", Lattimore's slick, laidback vocals offer a perfect foil for Gomez's bossa-tinged gentle Latin house beats, fluid pianos, rich bass and sumptuous chords. Gomez successfully ups the tempo on the sparkling, Vibraphone-laden swirl of the "North London Dub", while the producer has also included Instrumental and Acapella versions to appease DJs who like to get creative in the mix.
Review: When it comes to fusions of modern house music and indigenous music from around the world - most prominently the African continent - few are quite as skilful as "ancestral soul" innovator Boddhi Satva. It's for this reason that we're not surprised that Local Talk has snapped up this single from the long-serving producer, though "Basic Knowledge" is a far more straightforward proposition than many of his house tracks. It's available in two distinctive versions: the Ron Trent style loose-but-groovy drums, drifting chords and glassy-eyed synth riffs of the "00's Mix" and the bass-heavy, analogue-rich breakbeat-house shuffle of the "90s Mix". Arguably best of all, though, is the ultra-deep Afro-house delight that is "Together" - a wonderfully atmospheric number that's available in both vocal and instrumental formats.
Review: The latest volume in Local Talk's occasional reworks series comes from label regular Crackazat, who duly serves up a fine collection of mostly fresh remixes of back catalogue tracks. There's naturally much to admire throughout, from the rubbery electrofunk bass, drowsy piano riffs and cut-up vocal samples of the producer's revision of Art of Tones classic "The Rainbow Song" and a sparkling, riff-driven peak-time tweak of HNNY's loved-up "Tears", to wonderfully retro-futurist reworks of Deymare's "1990" and "Unconditional" by Terrence Parker, a re-imagining that's the epitome of feelgood deep house. Throw in a string of slightly jazzier revisions and you have a rock solid collection of cuts.
Review: Mad Mats' Swedish label release their seventh annual label compilation, and suffice to say that whatever particular sub-shade of deep house floats your boat, you're unlikely to come away unsatisfied here. Like it soulful? Then check for Trevor Lawrence Jr's 'Tiptoe'. Like it jazzy? Try Prequel's 'Lefty'. Fiending for those old skool Jersey organ jams? Jamie 326 & Masalo's 'Red Light' will thrill you. Or if it's stripped-back 3am tracky shizzle you're after, allow us to point you in the direction of First Floor's 'You Dubn't Know', with its throbbing bass and hauntingly familiar vocal sample. Now you're talking!
Review: It's taken a while, but S3A is back on Local Talk, a label he last graced in 2013. He's produced many killer EPs in that time, taking his brand of dusty, sample-laden deep house goodness to such labels as Quintessentials, Quartet Series, Times Are Ruff and Soundofspeed. We can happily report that he's on top form throughout, from the rubbery, layered, disco-deep house roll of EP opener "Premiere Rexidence", to the slick, Chez Damier style chunky deep house warmth of closing cut "Deep Mood Vol. 4". In between, you'll find the cheery blast that is "Searching Force" (a bustling house rework of an old Real Thing disco-funk classic) and the rushing old school house bounce of "End Track For A DJ".
Review: Although Ludovic Llorca has released albums under his other production aliases (the most recent being 2017's jazz-funk set "The Garden" under his longest-running pseudonym, Llorca), "Unbalanced" marks his first full-length outing as Art of Tones - some 13 years after he launched the project on 20:20 Vision. It's naturally a wonderfully warm and positive set, with the veteran French producer making great use of dusty jazz, soul, funk and disco samples throughout. There's plenty of breezy, feel good club tracks to be found dotted throughout - see "Keep On Having Fun", the electric piano-fired drive of "Where One Is", the hypnotic "Grow" and classic gospel deep house of "Grow", for starters - alongside a handful of hazier downtempo cuts that recall the early days of his production career in the mid 1990s.
Review: Philpot co-founder Soulphiction has been MIA for a while now, making it an utter pleasure to have him back on our charts with some effective new house swingers. He's landed on Local Talk, one of the very best in its class, and "Bizzness" kicks off with a funky-ass bassline and some freaky vocal chops, while "Cart People" lingers at a steadier sort of tempo, filtered through mounds of dubbed-out haze. "Slow Glow" is an experiment in percussion, also meandering its wavy synths on an off-kilter mode, and "Sweet Dreams" works the drum-machine in and out of the groove, ending up with another off-balance house experiment for the deeper minds out there on the floor!
Review: Trevor Lawrence Jr impresses us on a constant basis, with his debut album paving a new way for funk and soul music all around the world, subtly swinging to the delicate touch of deep house at its core. This time, however, the imprint is Local Talk, and they've decided to make available digitally the 7" format "Tiptoe"; there's a DJ Spinna remix, on top of Lawrence's magnificent single, with the experienced producer coming through smooth and effective thanks to some elegant beat-work and plenty of soulful vibes. Killer!
Review: "Where The One Is", the lead cut from Art of Tones' latest Local Talk release, sounds like a peak-time anthem in the making. Seemingly crafted using a mixture of cut-up Philadelphia soul samples, jammed-out new disco instrumentation and jazzy, ambidextrous house beats, it feels a little like a tooled-up, slightly more low-slung version of Blackjoy classic "Moustache". You'll find more low-slung, disco-fired, Clavinet-sporting heaviness where "Double Wheelin" provides further guaranteed peak-time pressure. As for "Reprise Du Fonk", it appears to be a quick-fire dub of "Where The One Is" featuring even more elastic bass guitar, jazz-wise guitar licks and life-affirming electro piano solos.
Review: "Holding You Close" was one of the undoubted highlights of Crackazat's sublime sophomore album, Rainbow Fantazia, which dropped to much critical acclaim last autumn. Here the track gets a deserved single release, with the fantastic original version - a deliciously tactile, eyes-closed vocal number underpinned by elastic acid bass and fluttering synthesizer motifs- being joined by a fresh rub from Detroit heavyweight Waajeed. The former Platinum Pied Pipers and Slum Village man naturally teases out the tracks more soulful elements, adding new female backing vocals to a sumptupus, partly electronic, partly organic deep house groove. It's a superb rework and arguably far more club-friendly than Crackazat's original version.
Review: With previous releases on Technicolour, Saft and Shadeleaf under his belt, it would be fair to say that NY*AK is a deep house producer on the rise. Here he pops up on Local Talk for the first time, in the process delivering a quartet of high quality dancefloor treats. The Newcastle-based producer kicks things off with the lolloping disco-house goodness of "Bound (featuring Franc Syx)", before wrapping deliciously wide-eyed and Balearic chords and soulful vocal samples around a low-slung analogue house groove on "Dancing". Those seeking the distinctively wiggly sounds of TB-303 "acid" lines should check the intergalactic jack-track "See More", while ESP Institute regular Ian Blevins lends a hand on the soul-flecked, bass-heavy deep house shuffle of closer "Sandwiches". Superb stuff all told.
Review: Mad Mats and Tooli's Local Talk return with the second single from Crackazat's new album entitled Rainbow Fantasia. Ben Jacobs is a musician based in Sweden who grew up in Bristol, moved to London in 2007 (to study jazz at university) and has since then teached, played and composed electronic music. Here "Sundial" gets the remix treatment by Groove Assassin aka Nick Moss of Things May Change and Delve Deeper Records fame. He performs a respectful rendition of Jacob's deep and soulful track, but injects a little more looseness and flow in to counteract the very loopy original - sounding like classic Masters At Work in the process. Nice one!
Review: This two-tracker from Local Talk - originally released in limited numbers on vinyl - appears to be the result of some smart thinking on behalf of the Swedish label. It sees ordained minister and all-round Detroit house and techno legend Terrence Parker put his slant on two of the most gospel-influenced cuts in the imprint's sizeable back catalogue. Parker first works his magic on Jamie 326 and Masalo's "Testify", serving up a bouncy, all-action peak-time house rub full of crunchy Clavinet lines, bold piano riffs, heavy organ stabs and inspiring gospel vocal snippets. Arguably even better is the Detroiter's interpretation of Art of Tones' "I Just", which looks to classic piano house for inspiration with predictably fine results.