Review: German imprint Quintessentials' mission statement is to keep underground house music on the map. It claims to hold a candle to those old house records: they love that raw yet soulful vibe. For their 56th (!) release they have tapped Mexican producer 4004, who has had releases also of late on FACES, Poetry In Motion and Late Night Jackin'. Smoky late night groove "No Dreams" gets things off to a good start with its smooth Rhodes, bumpy bassline and hypnotic bongo action. We particularly enjoyed the pumping NYC basement vibe of "Fanta Club" while "Black Alley Shuffle" gets back to the program in sexy and dusky fashion complete with some dusty rhythms, diva vocals and further mood lighting with the impressive use of filter sweeps.
Review: It's been almost a year since the last EP from Fabricio "4004" Tepetitlan, meaning that this outing on occasional home Quintessentials is more than welcome. As usual, the California-based producer delivers the goods. He begins with the rich electric piano chords, drifting soul vocal samples and rolling deep house grooves of "In The Mood", before slapping down a head-nodding instrumental hip-hip interlude (the undeniably baked "Detroyt Loves You"). He returns to seducing deep house dancefloors on the Motor City influenced smoothness of "Guilt Is My Shadow", while closer "House Calisthenics" is brilliantly moody, warm and atmospheric.
Review: Gianni Siravo and Sven Lacoste have been making a bit of a name for themselves under the Azuni moniker, not least with last year's excellent "Here You Come" 12" on Drumpoet Community. Here they pop up on the usually reliable Quintessentials with more high calibre material. Lead cut "Do It To Me" is a beaut - a delicious, oven-ready mix of sugary NY house organs, buttery bass and crunchy beats. The spoken word jam "Feel It" (featuring Bolo) cranks out some classic strings and pianos, whilst "How Wonderful" offers another woozy but ultimately thrilling slice of organ deepness. Rob Mello remixes "Do It To Me", too, delivering a typically chunky interpretation.
Review: Berlin based deep house merchant Baaz returns to the Quintessential imprint after last year's well received Pass It On EP. All The Way sees Baaz in familiar territory, exploring the lower echelons of syncopated drums and hypnotic melody. "Paean For The Masters" is Baaz in peak time mood - with heavily percussive rhythms sitting atop soft pads and submerged chords. The tempo is slowed down on "Are You" with punchy drums infiltrated by burning vocal dubs and subtle synth melodies. Motor City retroism abounds on "Black Pattern" and "Drive Thru", where proper house patterns are melded with delicate basslines and understated synth flourishes.
Review: Si Murray and Chris Barker aka Deep Space Orchestra have been making some serious waves since they first began producing together in 2005. Releasing on a set of reputable labels such as Delusions of Grandeur and Drumpoet Community over the following few years, they now hold a stellar rep for their raw and groove ridden deep house. This time round, the pair have been snapped up by Quintessentials and frankly, we can't think of a more suitable artist-label partnership. The Bucktown Fever EP kick starts with the smooth and sophisticated "Bucktown"; rich, pumping and analogue, its driving rhythm and vintage charm make the EP a winner before we've even flipped over. Once we do however, "Arrakis" holds its own with delicate strings, simple chord sequences and sensual vocal snippets, bound together by tight hi-hats and a deep round bass. Lastly, "Don't Move" and its intriguing field recordings and expertly executed percussion tips an already outstanding EP into a timeless, classy piece of wax that we highly recommend.
Review: They may sound like the main characters of a forgotten kids TV show from the 80s, but British deep house types Ethyl & Flori are definitely letting their productions do the talking. Their EP for Freerange last year was a late night trip into low slung house territory which was stamped with their love of Detroit techno. Quintessentials Recordings, one of 2010's finest imprints for deep house business, have secured three more cuts of smooth warm house from the duo on this Paisley Riffs EP. "Malmoe" will get the plaudits here, deep jackin house for the early hours with what sounds like a cheeky K Dixon Jnr sample. "Those Eyes" is compelled along by an entrancing raw chord melody underpinned by simple drums. "Lenox Ave" gives Ethyl the chance to delve into his love for jazz, with a skittering percussion pattern playing off perfectly against warm pads and a deep piano melody.
Review: Colombian producer Felipe Gordon rarely fails to impress, as anyone who's checked his releases on Nomada, W&O Street Tracks, Nein and Toy Tonics will attest. It's perhaps not surprising, then, that this outing on Quintessentials is pretty darn tasty, too. It sees him confidently flitting between skewed, sample-rich, jazz-fuelled deepness (see Andres style opener "Su Casa, Mi Casa" and admirably wonky closer "Gangster Fass", which includes some mind-altering vari-speed flourishes) and more forthright cuts. Of these, it's the stripped-back, hip-house boompty of "Arpeggios Extendedos" that most impresses, though the Floating Points-meets-Red Rack'em vibe of "Ella VA" is also alluring.
Girl U Don't Know How Beautiful U Actually Are - (7:21) 118 BPM
The Quint Garage - (5:48) 122 BPM
For Those Who Enjoy Being Alone - (5:01) 115 BPM
Review: Since making his first appearance on Quintessentials last year, Felipe Gordon has released even more impressive EPs on Toy Tonics, Exploited Ghetto and Razor 'N' Tape. The Colombian producer is naturally in tip-top form on this return to the long-running German label. He hits the ground running with "Sick Ass Chords", a fine fusion of loose-limbed, jazz-tinged deep house beats, hazy chords, dusty old samples and toasty bass, before getting deeper, woozier and even sweeter on the lolloping goodness of "Girl U Don't Know How Beautiful You Actually Are". "The Quint Garage" is a hazy slab of peak-time deep house warmth, while closing cut "For Those Who Enjoy Being Alone" sees Gordon pepper a shuffling jazz-house groove with sampled piano solos, drowsy electronics and jaunty electronic bass.
Review: Goshawk is the latest solo alias of Rhythm Plate man Matt Hunt and over the last few years he's offered up some suitably solid fare for labels including Boogie Caf?, Hudd Traxx and Pressed For Time. Here he debuts on Quintessentials with four cuts of "Strictly Bungalow" - deep house that keeps the party on the ground floor. Begin by checking the bluesy bump of "Never Let Me Go", where twinkling pianos and hazy female vocal samples ride snappy beats and a chunky synth bassline, before admiring the spacey synths, dubbed-out vocal snippets and head-nodding house beats of "Why I Sing". "All I Have To Give" is an odd and trippy late night affair, while "Time Is Just A Loop" is a classic slab of quirky, bass-heavy goodness.
Review: If grown-up deep house with oodles of dancefloor grunt is your thing, there's a fair chance that you already own a fair few EPs by Graham Luckhurst AKA Greymatter. His latest outing for Quintessentials naturally ticks similar boxes, even if it does open with two deliciously pitched-down workouts. "Sans Rouge" sounds like a jazz-flecked fusion of The Revenge's slow house jams and the cut-up sample-house antics of S3A, while "Royale" is a loopy, sharply edited head-nodder built around samples from a dewy-eyed disco-soul number. Peak-time thrills arrive via the thumping beats and heavily manipulated disco-soul loops of "Move Slow (12" Mix)" and Billy O, a tipsy but groovy slab of choppy MPC house that once again leans heavily on short, occasionally filtered loops from a sugary soul track.
Review: A warm welcome to Detroit producer Javonntte for his first Quintessentials release. Javonntte has been releasing his blend of pure deep house quality for years, and his new release How Is Club246 is another fine example of his great talent. First of all, the title is an homage to a club in Detroit, circa 1996. Javonntte's interpretation of this zeitgeist is quite diverse - from the opening track "Remember" which takes its cues from Kerri Chandler or Jovonn, whereas the title rack is a funk and bumpin' club tool for all you Chicago fans out there. The B-side goes deeper with "Worldmix" which is a deep, smoky and lo-slung groove for the late night and "Citylights" is a classic vocal deep house track. Club246 means proper house music - all night long.
Review: Detroit deep house producer Javonntte returns to German label Quintessentials with a four-track EP. '20 Million On The Planet' marries pounding drums to a Cevin Fisher-like "I wanna make 'em all dance" vocal, 'Detroit 9' is a jazzy, lounge-y affair underpinned by more of those whomping 4/4s, 'And We Vibe' - arguably the standout of the four tracks here - has strands of both jazz-funk and 80s boogie in its DNA, while the slightly pacier 'In My Soul' combines a dubwise bassline, a soulful one-line vocal and flamenco strains into a blissed-out cut that's got 'Ibiza sundown' written all over it.
Review: Quintessentials has assembled a fine cast of rising talents for the third volume in their ongoing Gentlemen Cuts series. Sometime Secret Reels and Toy Tonics producer Kian T kicks things off with the woozy, Folamour style number "Disco Savage", which brilliantly flits between deep and dusty grooves and mazy, disco-fired synth solos. Replika serves up more jazz-funk influenced deep house positivity in the shape of the synth-bass-propelled roller "Hollowgram", before Giovanni Damico does a brilliant job editing bustling dream breaks on the warm and sensual "KitKat". Finally, Kolja Grestenberg doffs a cap towards Andres and Local Talk on the swinging, soul-powered bump of brilliant closer "Get Your Ass Up". Stellar stuff, all told.
Review: After laying low for a few years, Kevin "KRL" Luckhurst returns to Quintessentials with his first EP since joining forces with fellow Brighton resident Greymatter on 2017's "Straight Billin' EP". There's an attractive brightness to Luckhurst's jaunty synth riffs and Janine Small's quietly soulful vocal on top notch lead cut "Never Leave", while the track that follows, "Rhodes To Nowhere", is a warm, rich and toasty deep house box jam straight from the top drawer. Elsewhere, "Confusion Beat" sees our hero work punchy jazz-funk samples around a loose-but-locked in house rhythm, while closing cut "Glacier" is a blissfully brilliant fusion of soft house rhythms, drifting vocal samples, twinkling pianos and glassy-eyed synthesizer motifs.
Review: In its original form, KRL's hook-up with vocalist Janine Small, the bright and breezy "Never Leave", was the standout track on last year's superb "Third" EP on Quintessentials. Here the track is given a little spit and polish by pal Greymatter and recent Church signee Loz Goddard. The former makes the most of KLR's gorgeous synth riffs and Small's superb vocal, wrapping both around metronomic kick drums, crunchy TR-909 style snares and a formidably heavy, life-affirming analogue bassline. It is, like much of Greymatter's work, a warehouse-ready workout. As for Goddard, he opts for a loose and languid broken beat vibe, adding his own liquid synth flourishes, rumbling bass and jazzy percussion.
Review: Los Goddard continues his steady rise up the deep house ranks. He's delivered some excellent material this year already, via EPs on Razor 'N' Tape Reserve and Dirt Crew Recordings (the latter in cahoots with Harry Wolfman). This EP on Quintessential may be his strongest to date. There's naturally much to admire, from the woozy, pitched down vocals, rich keys, woozy chord progressions and crunchy drums of "Slap Dancer", to the sensual dreaminess of rolling groover "Flavour". The EP's title track, a pitched-down shuffler complete with sustained note strings, bubbly acid lines, crispy drum machine handclaps and sumptuous chords, is also excellent.
Review: Quintessentials return to their infrequent Deep Raw & Real series of global house with a typically stellar line up. Musical Freak Luke Solomon revisits his Lukatron pseudonym for some simple, no nonsense jacking business on "Aspect Ratio", little more than multiple layers of percussion and toasty bass patterns from which a spectral machine funk melody steadily emanates. Philpot type Radiq follows with the crisp future funk of "Lovin Pain" which finds its feet as soon as those hi-hats lock into groove with the heavy synth flourishes. Preston's finest Cottam gives us a taste of what to expect on his forthcoming Aus release with the liquid bump of "Work It" which finds the space to work in a cheeky R&B sample to great effect. Rising Finnish producer Deymare switches down the mood on "So Real", a saunter through slick bottom heavy beatdownisms which only serves to highlight the different shades of house music that characterise this impressive release.
Review: In order to enjoy Quintessentials' latest multi-artist effort, they recommend grabbing a steaming hot beverage and placing your behind in the comfiest armchair available." Of course, accidental spillage could be an issue as your limbs start moving to the bumpin' beats, trippy female vocals and spacey synth motifs of Walking Shoes' "Heroes (Chelly K Vox Mix)", or the bustling drums, dewy-eyed soul samples and heavy bass of "Feel Like Ding" by Effgee. Sinking into the armchair is likely when you hear the blissful Rhodes solos, woozy chords and MC house style beats of Marc Bianco's "Wet Scott" and the swinging, early Floating Points style warmth of Roy Vision's "Walking Trail".
Review: Last year, Mat Chiavaroli popped up on Quintessentials with his first EP since 2012, a collection of tasty deep house cuts titled Swan. It turns out that the well-received EP was merely a taster for No Stranger To Madness, a debut album almost six years in the making. While there occasional downtempo moments - see the Balearic ambience of opener "Introduzione", gentle beatdown grooves of "Storia Losca" and smoky R&B shuffle of P-Lok hook-up "Latexxxnite Enemy" - for the most part the material is groovy and club-ready, with Chiavaroli drawing on all manner of classic U.S deep house tropes. Highlights include the sun-kissed jazziness of "Whoja Vu" and the Chez Damier style goodness of "Jeep Ridaz".
Review: This follow-up to last year's Gentleman Cuts EP is a significant release for Quintessentials. It's their 50th release in total, and contains material from some very familiar faces. There's Nachtbraker, whose "Bronco" is a lesson in fuzzy electro/deep house fusion, and Ponty Mython, who predictably steals the show with a rock solid chunk of funky disco/deep house fusion. Similarly, impressive is the contribution from rising star Soul of Hex, with the Mexican brilliantly joining the dots between punk-funk, dub disco, punk-funk and deep house on the sweaty dancefloor hustle of "Body Shine". Those looking for more straightforward deep house flavours should check the Andres style dusty beats, soulful vocal samples and chiming melodies of Mat Chiavorolo's "Breakfast At Mat's Bar".
Review: Who said clearing samples was a nightmare? Skipson - being a the good chap he is - sent the final version of "K's Editspot pt.1", which used Rob Mello samples, to the man himself for his blessing. Rob - also being a good chap - liked the new version so much he offered up a remix! And so the Mel Skipson Project was born, and thanks to Quintessentials both versions are now available to the public. Mello's tweak is pure sweat-drenched peak time fodder with killer vocals pressed up against an acidic Chi-town bassline - big tip. Skipson's version is not as incendiary, opting instead for sampled crowd noises, deep Motor City chords and a straight up house bump. Killer release!
Review: Obas Nenor has released music on some seriously good labels over the years, not least Strictly Rhythm, Heist and Moodymann's Mahogani Music. Herre the Israeli producer debuts on German label Quintessentials via a typically tidy three-tracker. He hits the ground running with "Your Love Is Mine", a deep and drowsy but surprisingly driving vocal number featuring the seductive voice of Omri Smadar, some suitably dreamy chords and the grooviest of clipped guitar riffs. Title track "Carefree" lives up to its name by wrapping soulful vocal snippets and chopped-up piano riffs around a sun-kissed deep house groove, while "December Day" is a jazzier, looser and altogether dustier take on the producer's attractive deep house template.
Review: Italian duo Nicholas & Simoncino continue their ascent from limited white label edits to further recognition with this split release for the Quintessentials imprint. If you've kept an ear near their recent endeavours, you'll be smart to the decidedly old school 90s vocal house flex that runs deep through the four tracks here. Nicholas takes the lead with two tracks which commence with "Holdin On" - heavy on the resplendent piano vibes, with big ivory flourishes sweeping across the bumping rhythm before an almighty vocal comes swooping in with Queenish aplomb. "On The Streets" is just as accomplished, leaning on some annoyingly familiar source material and containing a killer gospel breakdown. In contrast to the NJ garage style of the A Side, Simoncino serves up a double helping of Muzic Box worthy warehouse jams, with proto drum machine rhythms, big melodic washes and heavy analogue bass movements pervading both "Unknown" and "All Night".
Review: German deep house label Quintessentials celebrate their fifth birthday in 2019, and their first release of what will hopefully be a landmark year is this four-tracker from UK producer Andrew Scott, better known as NY*AK. 'After The Sun' is a soulful deep houser that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Om or Naked in the early 00s, 'Mind' is a slow-building, warm-up friendly affair with swirling pads, drifty vocal fragments and analogue keys, 'Vice' itself is a much livelier workout with drums from 80s Chicago and nods to early 90s ambient/dream house, while finally 'Onions' ploughs a jazzier furrow.
Review: Alexander Pietnev aka Ponty Mython, is originally from Russia but is currently settled in Vilnius, Lithuania. He had his very first release in 2012 on Beats Delivery which gave a solid impression of what was to come. He went on with outings on Tusk Wax, Arma, Dirt Crew and of course Quintessentials. This was originally released on the Quintessentials 50 compilation; it's "Grooff Machine" and it gets some remix treatment from some more 'dope grooffs' (label's words, not ours!). Chicago hotshot Chrissy (The Nite Owl Diner, Classic, Razor n' Tape) throws some sick and gnarly 303 acid business over this loopy disco number. His Mexican buddy Soul of Hex (who he's collaborated with previously) delivers a deep and lo-slung rendition too, just the way you like it!
Review: Few artists are quite as good as S3A at turning dusty, obscure samples into soulful deep house gold. Here, the French producer makes his first appearance on Quintessentials with four more sample-heavy dancefloor workouts. There's naturally plenty to get excited about, from the dirt-encrusted, disco-sampling deep house grooves of "Dick Jones Track" and warm, loved-up piano house vibes of "Feels Like Garage" (of the U.S variety, of course), to the brilliantly bombastic, hip-hop style quick-fix "Massive Horns (Interlude)". Arguably most impressive, though, is the hard-boiled, boogie-era disco-meets-21st century house bump of "Rush". It sounds like a guaranteed party-starting, peak-time smasher.
Review: Sometime Shadeleaf and Intimate Friends artist Simba has been responsible for some suitably warm and atmospheric deep house releases over the years, so hopes are naturally high for his latest EP - a first outing on Germany's long-running Quintessentials imprint. The key cut is "Can You Free Me", a jazzy chunk of deep house/bumping U.S garage fusion available in two distinctively different mixes. Singer Maddie Ellerby delivers a suitably distinctive, ear-pleasing vocal on the producer's EP-opening original mix, while the tougher, stripped-back Dub Mix is a bass-heavy delight. Speaking of weighty bass, you'll find plenty underpinning the off-kilter deep house/broken beat fusion of the equally as impressive "True".
Review: Back on Quintessentials, Knarf Skipson merges the disciplines of house and hip-hop into two fresh and innovative tracks. "Dirty South" sees a tribal sentiment fighting its way into the amalgamation, whereas "Upper East" is a dub-lined appropriation of hip-hop. Sascha Dive, one of kings of raw, stripped back house music, turns in a killer mix here, with one eye firmly trained on the dancefloor.
Review: Following a high-profile diversion on DFTD earlier in the year, Soul of Hex returns to the welcoming arms of regular home Quintessentials. Surprisingly, the Mexican producer begins with a dash of Jazzamatazz-style instrumental hip-hop beat science ("Far Beyond The Sun") before settling into his usual tactile, jazz-flecked deep house grooves. While the opening head-nodder is quietly impressive, it's these club-ready box jams that stand out. Choose between the warped analogue bass, dusty electric piano stabs and hazy jazz vocal samples of "Helipop", the late '80s, basement bothering Chicago warehouse flavours of "Roundhouse Kick" and the similarly inclined, piano-heavy bounce of "Hardchord", which sounds like Mr Lee's "Get Busy" for the Twitter generation.
Review: If you like your deep house lovingly crafted and exquisitely musical, Quintessentials' Deep & Raw & Real rarely disappoints. This latest installment features four more fabulous cuts to contend with, each delivering a distinctly different take on deep house. Ricardo Miranda's "Rush Hour" is wonderfully sleepy, offering hissing cymbals and super-deep chords. Toby Tobias, meanwhile, works the filters and backwards effects on "Love Papers", a real string-drenched sweetie. NO MILK's "Bubble People" ups the atmosphere again thanks to some choice double bass loops and distant jazz piano, while Marcello Nepoltano's "All My Things" brilliantly recalls early St Germain and Aqua Bassino.
Review: Notching up a decade of releases requires something suitably celebratory. That's exactly what Germany's admired Quintessentials has served up on this tenth birthday compilation. It comes packed with previously unheard cuts of the highest quality, from the sun-bright swing of Borrowed Identity's UK garage-meets-deep house opener "For You", to the atmospheric, synth-heavy chug of Ooft's "Freak-E-Groove", the smoky late night jazz-house of Loz Goddard's "Leaves", and the foreboding, jazz-funk-biting sample-house dustiness of S3A's "Searching". Also worth checking are the drowst chords and bumpin' beats of KRL's "Baltimore" and the low-slung, gospel-influenced deep house pump of 4004's "Continuous Dialogue".
Review: 18 months after his first 12" release caused a bit of a commotion amongst deep house heads, mysterious producer Ibrahim dons The Zohar mask for another three-track exploration of late night pastures. The real killer here is "M.F.B.S (You Know)", a superbly crafted piano house jam that borrows heavily from the O'Jays "Backstabber". It's the production that impresses most. While others would have been tempted to gravitate towards filters, Ibrahim keeps it clean, building a sweet, swinging groove out of simple loop progressions and judicious use of samples. "Another Damn One" and "Second Chance" successfully explore deeper territory, coming on like Trus'me after a heavy night on prozac.