After flitting between aliases and styles over the last few years, Aki "Neuroxcyde" Bergen finally releases his debut full length. That it's a cultured, well-crafted, beautifully structured set of finely honed deep house is the first of many surprises. Via the use of cute interludes, live instrumentation, sultry vocals, carefully chosen samples and (in true Italian house style) lots of organs, Bergen offers up a groove-laden journey that will entertain both home listeners and late night dancers. While it works best in context - i.e. listened to from start to finish - there are still stand out dancefloor moments - not least the melodic hip-house deepness of the title track.
Summation is Dejan Milicevic's follow up to his 2012 album on Plastic City, Just Keep Talking Girl, and it showcases the diversity of his sound palette. The album features stripped down drum tracks like "Elephants On Parade" and "Hommage to Good Life" alongside grinding electro house bangers like "Acid Saucisse", but at the heart of this album is the Serbian producer's passion for melodies. This is audible on the summer piano lines of "Belgrade Tune" and Mina's soulful vocal samples on "Music Got the Funny Ways". Even the acid-led "Dtt" is delivered against a deeply melodic backdrop and his take on Chain Reaction / Basic Channel style dub techno, "Double K", is nothing short of mesmerising.
DJ Yellow releases are something of a rarity these days. That reason gives this release a special feel instantly but in actual fact, it's a special one in its own right that begs the simple question - why don't we see more of his productions out there anymore? "No Way You Can Sleep" proves in one crisp swoop that he has still got what it takes by showcasing three original tracks of deep, soulful house with a purely irresistible grooves.
Alain Ho is a man who has seen genres grow and evolve around him over the years. During the 80s he played a large part within the French hip hop scene before becoming an instrumental figure within French house music.
Renowned for being forward thinking and clearly still influential today, we can only hope that this will be the first in a string of new productions from the Frenchman.
Opening with the title track, the release is off to an emphatic start. Effortlessly blending deep, funky and tech house into just over seven and a half minutes, the track keeps both a deep and driving vibe courtesy of a relentless groove and also a lighter, funkier side through some intricate percussion techniques. "I Know What You Need" maintains much of the energy of its predecessor but delves in darker territory with barely audible, slow male vocals and a pulsating bassline. "Reflection on the Self" is much more playful. Groovy throughout and with swirling synths, the track takes on a warm feel that is further accentuated by the hushed, French vocal.
What makes this such a strong release is DJ Yellow's clever combination of the deep and the funky. These can be difficult disciplines to merge at times but he manages it throughout and whilst always keeping the focus very much on the dancefloor. Well done Plastic City for bringing DJ Yellow back once again - long may he stay.