Review: Given the recent crackdown on club culture in the capital, it would not be unreasonable to posit that mysterious producer A Sagittariun is referencing London in the title of his latest release. However, to do so would be to ignore the fact that Cities is appearing on the label arm of the Secretsundaze parties. The accompanying soundtrack doesn't exactly conjure up images of a metropolis in lockdown either; "Quartz" is the toughest offering, but even its tight drums give way to liquid chords enveloped in cotton bud filters, while "Landing Pad" and "Different Planet" are lithe grooves with warbling melody lines that suggest a vibrant utopia rather than a lost city.
Review: Everything that comes from John Daly's studio is deeply soulful and melodic - and this release is no exception. The title track recalls the most ethereal strands of Detroit techno, with sweet, wispy melodies and warm, textured chords underpinned by dubby beats and crisp drums. The London label has chosen its remixer wisely and French producer Marcelus provides an expertly weighted version. Retaining Daly's woozy, dreamy textures, he keeps the track on a deeper path than some of his own productions. Yet at the same time, a skipping, metallic rhythm slices through Daly's melodies to keep the focus squarely on the dance floor.
Review: Deep house veteran Ramon Lisandro Quezada AKA DJ QU makes his debut for Giles Smith and James Priestley's Secretsundaze imprint with a fine EP of woozy, off-kilter house. "SS1" is rolling, hypnotic and trance-like in its' dedication to groove, with darting electronics and looped riffs riding a wonky, late night rhythm. "Fearless", on the other hand, is loose and trippy, all curious vocal samples and swirling strings. Finally, "Loveboxx" offers a dose of saucer-eyed late night fun via a pulsating bassline, cascading chords, delay-laden percussion and dusty, sun-baked melodies.
Review: As you'd expect, there's far more hits than misses on this second sampler for Secretsundaze acclaimed Dance 2017 compilation. We're particularly enjoying the deep and spacey shuffle of Jayson Wynters's "Chi Kung", where eyes-closed electronics and intergalactic synthesizer flourishes cluster around a bongo-laden, acid-fired groove. Bastien Carrera's gently bobbing "That Time Again" is also quietly impressive, but it's the opening salvo from DJ Slyngshot that really impresses. Entitled "Hygh Tech", the track doffs a cap to both tactile, loved-up old deep house and chunkier early UK tech-house, while carving its' own breakbeat-driven, rave-for-days old school niche..
Review: Tom Wrankmore AKA Eliphino has released some fabulous material in the past, though little quite as good as this mini-album on Secretsundaze. Melodious, atmospheric and quietly colourful, it sees the former First Word producer offer up a range of deep club cuts and seductive home listening tracks that draw influence from a wide range of styles and rhythms. Those listening attentively will notice nods towards jazz, broken beat, deep house, electro, jungle, Italo-disco, broken beat, acid, Detroit techno and Bleep, though few of the tracks can be easily pigeonholed. In other words, it's a triumphant seven-track trawl through electronic fusion that must surely count as Wrankmore's most adventurous and grown-up release to date.
Review: After previous, if infrequent, transmissions for Electric Minds and Non Plus, Commix producer George Levings returns with some new Endian material for the always impressive Secretsundaze Music. The more attentive out there may well have heard at least one of these tracks in the club or in a mix of late, with Joy Orbison ending his Essential Mix last year on the opening track "Finish Me". Well done to Secretsundaze for facilitating a wider release for them then with "Finish Me" the sort of fiery, low end heavy club track you feel will be heard on dancefloors for some time to come. Don't ignore the B side tracks though as they are equally potent tools for the dancefloor.
Review: Since 2011 George Levings has been living a double life. While best known for his drum & bass work as Commix, he's also impressed with occasional house and techno flavoured outings as Endian. Global is his second outing for Secretsundaze under the latter alias, and begins with the metallic tech-house drums, spacey chords and intergalactic effects of hypnotic shuffler "XS-10". He ratchets things up a notch on the title track, using restless hi-hats to help drive the groove forwards. It's an interesting trick, as it adds a little more dancefloor weight to an otherwise deep, dreamy and melodious backing track.
Review: It would be fair to say that Black Jazz Consortium man Fred P is a reliable source of atmospheric, immaculately produced deep house and techno. We can't think of a duff release to date. Certainly, this first EP for Secretsundaze is full of playable treats. Opener "6AM" uses tribal-influenced drum rhythms, mutilated vocal samples and moody electronics to create a dark and hypnotic early morning mood, while "Herb" is a perfect fusion of trippy broken house rhythms, hazy minor key refrains and weighty dub bass. Arguably best of all, though, is "Mile High", a superbly emotional deep house epic full of crystalline chord progressions, sweeping synth-strings and immaculately programmed percussion.
Review: The third volume in the Dance 2017 series is notable for featuring the first collaborative production from Giles Smith and James Priestley under the Secretsundaze moniker. Given that they delivered their first combined mix CD some ten years ago, "Motorway" has been a long time coming. It's also rather good, offering a hypnotic and wide-eyed blend of urgent, 128 BPM percussion, parping synth stabs, heavy bass and swirling string loops. It's not exactly Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" for the tech-house generation, but we sense the Robots would approve. Less surprising is Palm Trax's "Outflight", a positive and melodious chunk of synthesizer-heavy deep house goodness full of new age melodies, darting synth-bass and crunchy drum machine hits.
Review: Here's The 25th single from the Secretsundaze pair for their eponymous imprint, who after 18 years in the game continue to follow their hearts and not the hype. After an 18 month hiatus, Giles Smith and James Priestley deliver three tracks full of infectious energy of their new Stand Up EP, having previously released a killer split 12' with Palms Trax back in 2017. From the gutsy polyrhythmic stomp of "Mezcal" which reaches near tribal moments, to the soulful and utterly spiritual deepness of the title track to the arcane hypnotism of "Testing" which would really do down well at the afterhours - it's a terrific EP that follows in the tradition of label alumni Fred P or DJ Qu.
Review: After a bit of a hiatus and following up releases on the label from Silvestre, Carista, Eliphino and Joe Claussell, James Priestley & Giles Smith return on their eponymous imprint with the Devious EP. The title track is a deep and mysterious number featuring a bleepy bass, airy pads and subtle rhythms for an overall ethereal effect. This is followed by the emotive broken beat journey "Over The Edge" which will hypnotise you into submission, and closing out the EP is the bittersweet downbeat vibe of "Drifting". More terrific music from Secretsundaze,with the pair having also recently released on esteemed labels such as Live at Robert Johnson, Phonica and Mule Musiq.
Review: 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for Shanti Celeste, the unofficial first lady of Bristol house music. The Chilean-born producer has been in fine form of late, and here delivers another killer 12", this time for Secretsundaze. There's naturally much to admire throughout, from the techno-tempo, synthesizer-heavy deep house shuffle of "Golden" - also available in an extra-percussive, extra-eccentric Dub remix form on the flip - to the bumpin' beats, ethereal pads and dreamy freestyle vocals of "Nu4him". Arguably best of all, though, is "Sun", whose inherent dreaminess is countered by punchy drum machine hits and twisted, alien electronics.
Review: It would be fair to say that Lisbon-born, London-based Silvestre has developed a distinctive and unique trademark sound. Rich in dusty samples, reggaeton references and bustling, club-ready beats, his previous work for Diskotopia and Cr?me Organization is well worth checking. He continues on a similar tip on this Secretsundaze label debut. There's much to enjoy across the EP, from the dreamy tropical heat of "Lights" and melodious, post-dancehall fusion of "Fuego", to the drowsy, manipulated harmony vocals and skittish rhythms of "Paying The Rent". Antinote regular D.K delivers the headline-grabbing remix, turning "Fuego" into a bass-heavy chunk of tribal-tinged deep house.
Review: Secretsundaze has uncovered a rare talent in Etienne Dauta AKA Solune. While his current inspirations are not unique - think tribal drums, the wide-eyed bliss of Italian dream house and the head-in-the-clouds haziness of early ambient house - few others have combined these influences in such an on-point way. Dauta easily steers clear of hollow revivalism on thrilling, delay-laden drum workout "Sacred Smoke" and foreboding opener "The Vision", where darting synth squiggles dance around a hypnotic deep house groove. "Rhythm School" sits somewhere between "Knights of the Jaguar" and a vintage Italian dream house B-side, while closer "Idiom of Peace" is a sun-bright chunk of atmospheric ambient loveliness.
Review: Warren 'Wbeeza' Brown follows artists like DJ Qu and John Daly to deliver an EP on the label arm of the Secretsundaze organisation. The release starts with the grubby, mucky rhythm of "Black Moon", with Brown covering it in layer upon layer of dirty sound effects. "Like Butta" inhabits a totally different place, and has more in common with US garage; the drums and snares are crisp and sharp and the musical elements sound very jazz-influenced. For his final track, "Ferguson" take another turn; this time, it's towards acid trax, with Wbeeza applying his own subtle take on rolling Chicago drums to a bouncy 303 line.