Review: Three tracks, coming from three different artists and served up in a total of five mixes, make up this V/A offering from Manchester-based Balearic stable Sprechen. Lena C kicks us off in laidback, languid fashion with 'Pelago', which blends African and Indian influences as it chugs along at a druggy, almost raga-like pace. Reeta's 'Strangers To Lovers' is a poppier and sweetly female-sung affair - think Crazy P or Moloko - while Breakfast In Berlin's 'I Had A Dream About You Last Night' takes us into out-and-out contemporary (albeit 80s-inspired) pop territory, so it's fitting that these latter two come with matching Radio Edits.
Review: So far in his career, St Petersburg-based Nikita Kropachev AKA Diskette has done his thing almost entirely for Russian stable SOVIETT. Now though, following recent excursions on Rare Wiri and Silhouette Music, he comes to Manchester's Sprechen with a three-tracker from the dreamy, Balearic side. The title track is a hazy, synth-y affair built for slow groovin' in the afternoon sun, the slightly more upbeat 'That's Not True' throws together Italo synths, muted piano chords, a looped, reverb-heavy "love me, love me" female vocal and more, while 'Honey Melts' drops the tempo right down and is one for the morning after...
Review: Sean Delahay is a lad from Stroud in Gloucestershire who moved to the regional metropolis of Bristol around five years and has never looked back since, releasing a string of house and disco EPs on labels including King Street and Future Disco. Here, he comes to Stretford stable Sprechen with two Italo/cosmic-leaning cuts that'll appeal to fans of arists like Prins Thomas and Todd Terje and labels such as Palms Trax and Running Back, while remix duties are taken care of by a couple of certified local heroes - label boss (Chris) Massey and A Certain Ratio legend Martin Moscrop.
Review: My first thoughts on hearing this distinctive-sounding nugget from Manchester's Sprechen were, "This doesn't really sound like anything else, except maybe A Certain Ratio". Then a bit of digging revealed that Sir Horatio is actually an alias for... guess who?! Which makes me either clever or stoopid, I guess... either way if you're a fan of late 70s punk-funk, mixed with a dash of Belgian new beat, EBM and other midtempo rock-electronic hybrids, this is one for you, while remixes from See Thru Hands and Sink Ya Teeth rework the track for nu-disco and house floors, respectively.
Review: Elliott Lion is the DJing and dance music production alias of Editors keyboard player and guitarist Elliott Williams, and here he comes to leftfeld Manchester label Sprechen with three tracks that draw heavily on early 80s synth-disco for inspiration. 'Together Free (Disco)' has hints too of boogie and early 90s-style Italo-house, title track 'The Creeps' itself takes us down a more cinematic, coldwave-like path, while 'Parrot' is more in-your-face and driving, riding a motorik drum beat with multiple layers of synthesizer chuggery. It's all very angular and indie-dance in feel... but then what did you expect?!
Review: Paper boss Ben Davis once more dons a cape and, as his Flash Atkins alter ego, comes to Paper-affiliated Sprechen with two tracks that are best summarised as "deep house and disco collide in the leftfield". 'Love You Again' tops rolling, Afro/tribal-inspired drums with a jaunty lil' synth riff and the merest hints of a treated reggae-style vocal, while 'Die Kiste' leans even more heavily towards the experimental side of the street with its complex, fractured rhythms and squelchy analogue synth-bass. The latter's one for the more leftfield floors only, but 'Love You Again' may have slightly broader appeal.
Review: Releasing mainly through his own Oddball Records imprint, Liverpool producer Dan Wainwright's stock-in-trade are meandering, hypnotic excursions that meld together influences from disco, Balearica and global music. He serves up more of the same on this four-tracker for Paper-affiliated Sprechen, with 'I Love You' having a singer-songwriter-ish feel, 'Nothing...' coming on like an early 90s The Beloved out-take, 'Feel' taking something of a Balearic kitchen sink approach and the almost folk-y 'I Hope That Joy Will Come To You' closing the EP on a more chilled-out note. Saturday night peaktime stompers these are not, but if you dig all things downtempo and leftfield then dive right on in...
Review: Way back in the early 2000s, the Unambombers released a swathe of their own fine re-edits - all prepared to detonate the dancefloor at their long-running Electric Chair night - via a limited, vinyl only label called Electric Souls. This fine EP offers up some of those killer cut-jobs on digital download for the very first time, concentrating on those crafted by Justin Unabomber AKA Only Child. 'Cut #1' and 'Cutz #2' are heavy, driving and life-affirming stomps through electrified disco-funk territory, rich in heady horn blasts, low-slung bass and gnarled guitar riffs. 'Cutz #3' breathes new life into a Parliament/Funkadelic style P-funk number by a highly obscure artist, while 'Cutz #4' is another heavy stomper that joins the dots between disco-funk and synth-funk. Simply essential.
Review: Hailing from Leeds, the Night Giants are by their own admission a melting pot of The Chemical Brothers, Underworld, Bonobo and Caribou - and they bring all the aforementioned influences to their incredible live sets. They return to Manchester's Sprechen label with their new Selector EP featuring the chugging and hypnotic energy of the title track (which receives an awesome liquid drum 'n' bass remix by Eskimoh), the blissed-out sunset breaks of "Tremble" and the funky party starter "Twist & Drop" which also receives a low slung nu-disco remix by Paper Street Soul (Ever After / Redlight). More great stuff from Chris Massey's label.
Review: Muddy Feet is the relatively new DJ and production alias of Kirby, a Manchester scene veteran who has been playing in the city's clubs and bars for years. Harmonising marks her first production outing on local label Sprechen. Our pick of a very strong bunch is 'Nothing I Need', where a hazy vocal snippets and what sound like Madchester-era guitar sounds rise above a chunky, Italo-influenced nu-disco groove. Sprechen main man Chris Massey provides the accompanying remix, brilliantly re-imagining the cut as a sparklingl acid-fired chunk of colourful Balearic electro bliss. The EP also boasts two other strong cuts: the off-kilter, broken beat-meets-nu-disco sparkle of 'Take Flight' and the surging, life-affirming cheeriness of 'Learning', whose freestyle-influenced synth sounds are undeniably joyous.
Review: Danny Russell and Ronald Christoph - two Berlin-based producers who both record separately, but also operate as something of an on-off duo - join forces once more on this stylistically varied disco three-tracker for Manchester's ever-checkable Sprechen label. If it's authentically 70s-sounding vibes you're after, then you'll find them in abundance on the title track, with a soulful male vocal backed by Brass Construction-esque horns, chorused female BV's and a warm, velvet-y bassline. Elsewhere, 'You Can Do It' is a tuffer, looping disco-houser, while 'Night Dancer' is a pacier peaktime workout with more of an early 80s feel.
Review: Last Night Bill Brewster saved my life, Sprechen Sie? Legendary UK musicologist, DJ and scribe Billy B returns to Chris Massey's Sprechen label following his Frottage Cheese EP from last year. Laced with the right kind of fromage a second time around, BB let's loose with some wild rhodes and heavy struck piano chords and mumba percussion in "Macumba Espanol", with some starlight bassline funk and cosmic instrumental disco in "Gone East (Version Deux)" - zing! FInd some high street soul-jazz in "Where There's Muck, There's Brass" with some spacey UK dub and post punk funk in "Wake Up (Dub Disco)". Tell 'em Elton sent ya. A good Brew.
Review: Having made their debut last year on Ruf Dug's Ruf Kutz label via the superb "Hot City" EP, hard-to-pigeonhole sextet See Thru Hands could well be on the verge of a major breakthrough. "Connectivity", the Manchester fusionist's follow-up and Sprechen label debut, is certainly impressive. In its original form, the song sounds like an off-kilter, low-key tribute to Prince rich in emotive group vocals, rubbery slap bass, eyes-closed guitar solos and colourful synthesizer sounds. The headline-grabbing remix comes from Skream, who continues his move towards house and disco pastures via a sweet synth-pop-meets-Italo-disco revision that's every bit as essential as See Thru Hands' original version. Also worth checking is Jorja Chalmers' fiendishly dubbed-out, spaced-out and slowed-down remix, which sounds like something the late, great Andrew Weatherall would have come up with.
Review: Manchester's Indigo Jung returns to Sprechen, the leftfield house/disco/Balearic label headed up by Paper A&R Chris Massey. 'Mean World' takes a proper 60s/70s soul diva vocal and places it atop a backdrop that marries fluttery disco geetars and Balearic-style atmospherics to a bassline that's hefty and resonant to the point of being almost junglistic in feel, the end result being a surging, looping cut that'll keep bodies moving nicely. The accompanying 'Aldi' is a more traditional-style, string-drenched disco-houser that could have come out at any point in the past 25 years, but still packs plenty of dancefloor punch with its intricate slap bassline, chopped string stabs and layers of white noise.
Review: Since debuting under his given name in 2017 (before that he delivered solo productions as Heretic), Eskimo Twins member Timothy Clerkin has released must-check music on Ransom Note Records, Insult To Injury, Throne of Blood, and now Sprechen. His brand of psychedelic nu-disco tends towards the cosmic and otherworldly, and that's exactly what opener "War Wolf" delivers: think tumbling analogue synthesizer melodies, chugging grooves, raw bass and Enigma-style synth-flute lead lines. In contrast, "Acid Drive" is a bold and bright affair build around wild TB-303 acid lines, baggy piano riffs and bleeping, eyes-closed melodies, while closing cut "Bleak House (Clerkin's Reprise Mix)" - made in collaboration with "Night Giants" - is a moody, pitched-down take on dreamy, acid-flecked breakbeat house.
Review: Chris Massey's Manchester-based Sprechen label serve up a seven-track collection that, taken as a whole, sits somewhere between house, nu-disco and Balearica. If it's moments of spine-tingling euphoria you're after, then allow us to point you in the direction of Ivan Fabra's 'Incursions' or DJ Steevo's 'Heroes Funk' - the latter being a clear standout, as is reflected by the inclusion of both vocal and instrumental passes. For more contemplative pleasures, try Ed Mahon's piano-led, MLK-sampling 'A Brighter Day' or Indigo Jung's soulful 'For Real', while Trudee Nite's bumpin', garage-y 'Dreams Of Revenge' adds some welcome dancefloor bite. Classy stuff.
Review: Chris Massey's Manchester-based Sprechen serve up a four-tracker that touches on a range of leftfield electronic styles. 'Altered Beats', in its Original form, sits somewhere between Italo, electro and footwork, and features a distinctly Carpenter-esque synth topline as well as a hint of 303 squelch, while 'Future Express' suggests an unhealthy obsession with Kraftwerk. Timothy Clerkin and Massey himself then take the title track into full-on acid house territory with a remix that recalls the output of Urban Records back in the day, while Rolf Royce & Oddvar Bra?k drag 'Future Express' onto deep house and nu-disco floors.
Review: What we have here is only the second ever release from Paper Street Soul, something of a nu-disco supergroup formed from the union of Cuz Electric (Rich Hall and Megan Jones) and Slync (Ian Stanford). Both sides of the equation have respectable nu-disco CVs already, so fans of the genre will be expecting good things, and they're unlikely to be disappointed. The three originals come on like Crazy P having a bout of 90s handbag nostalgia and Chris Massey's Murky Mix of 'Colour' is nice 'n' sleazy, but it's the stripped-down strut of Hard Ton's take on 'True' that snatches the gold.
Review: If you're looking for some mixed-up disco-tech goodies to allieviate boredom and spread vibes during these troubled times, we'd heartily recommend this EP from former Paper Disco and Fatty Fatty Phonographics artists Pablo & Shoey. Check first the EP-opening "Vocal Mix" of "Do It Backwards", a gloriously kaleidoscopic affair that flits between bursts of disco-sampling joy and percussion-laden, acid house-inspired nu-disco wonkiness. The EP also includes an alternative "Air Raid Dub" from Pablo which expertly tools up the more trippy and acid-fired elements of the track while retaining some of the disco cheeriness present in the pair's original mix. The release's other cut, "Shoey's Acid Trip", lives up to its name by sounding like a Maurice Fulton outing as Syclops after a sweaty fight with a Roland TB-303.
Review: Last May Ben Arnold popped-up on Paper Recordings with "I Can't Control Myself", a prime slice of dubbed-out late night deep house wonkiness that marked his debut as Lovebreak. Here he transfers to Sprechen, an imprint helmed by Paper family member Chris Massey. Our pick of the bunch is "Love Me Love You", a thrusting slab of lo-fi sweatiness that sees Lovebreak pepper a sturdy drum machine groove with alien electronics, gnarly analogue stabs and acid-style motifs. "Ecstasy" is as saucer eyed and retro-futurist as you'd expect given the title - think bold, shimmering chords, bustling beats and hazy female vocal samples - while "Who Knows Where Your Love Goes" sticks a deliciously deep and dubby bassline beneath more clicking machine drums and deep space pads.
Review: Manchester's Chris Massey (not to be confused with Newcastle D&B producer Dan Masseye) serves up two tracks on local label Sprechen that were produced in collaboration with Indonesian artists. 'City Affairs' (featuring Dita) is a dark, techy houser topped with a whistle line and an Afro-style vocal, while on the funked-up 'Two 2 Tango' (feat KimoKai), with its poppy female vocal, fat-ass basline and cheeky lifts from Dupree's classic 'Brass Disk', Massey hits that sweet spot where 'credible' and 'commercial' are in perfect balance, and as such could have a summer hit on his hands. A dub of the latter, 'Put It On (Two Less Tango), completes a fine package.
Review: Sprechen may be based in the North West of England, but their latest missive is all about showcasing rising musical talents from Indonesia, and specifically some of the artists involved in Jakarta's "Coming Together" studio project. There's much to set the pulse racing throughout, from the wide-eyed, morning fresh Balearic chug of Kimo's blissful and melodic "Daydream", to the spaced-out, late night deep house hypnotism of Harvy Abdurcharman's "Gargantuan" and the drowsy shoegaze disco shuffle of Gizpel's "Eyes On The Street". Best of all though is Logic Lost's 12-minute epic "Heliconia", an inspired journey through orchestrated ambient house and The Field style pastoral techno.
Review: The Anglo-German duo who made a splash with the funky, percussive 'Rolling Jazz' earlier this year return with a two-tracker on the Manchester-based label Sprechen. 'One Two One' is another deep funker, centring around a hefty, lolloping bassline that's paired with brass fanfares, disco strings and a filtered female "let's get onto a one-to-one situation" vocal, while the accompanying 'Got To Have Your Dub' is a livelier affair with saxophone and trumpets much in evidence, a funk guitar squiggle that loops throughout and a "baby, got to have your love" male vocal snip. The latter nudges towards disco-house, but in pleasingly non-cheesy fashion.
Review: UK house veteran and former Hacienda resident Jon Da Silva's production CV is a lot shorter than you might expect! Here, though, he comes to Chris Massey's Manchester-based Sprechen with four solid jams that blend house, disco and electro influences. Opener 'Mutebird' is the missing link between Balearica and Detroit techno, 'Dub Is All We Need' looks to the classic sound of mid-80s Chicago for inspiration, 'Mancunian Way' is a floor-friendly deep houser with bright chords/stabs and buzzy, rave-y bass, and finally 'Drones In The Key Of Chi' is an instrumental nu-disco workout, with subtle production nods to the likes of Moroder and Robotnick.
Review: Disco from the far side is the order of the day here, as Italian producer Luca Vera looks to the cosmic/Italo era for inspiration. 'Red M' opens with chugging drums, then drops some big techno stabs to get your attention before settling down into a sparkling, Carpenter-esque synth groove that mutates constantly as the track progresses. The Space-like 'Trashtrem' is a more eyes-down affair that could work on nu-disco, progressive and even tech-house floors, and that gets more and more 'epic' as it goes, paving the way nicely for the more cinematic closer 'Race 83'.
Review: It was way back in 2016 when DJ Steevo made his first appearance on Manchester-based Sprechen. Here he returns to the imprint for the first time since with two tracks of house-friendly nu-disco science. First up is "Giagirat", a warm and groovy affair that smothers a toasty deep disco groove with spacey chords, jaunty Rhodes stabs, glassy-eyed piano riffs and intergalactic electronics. Steevo switches to synth-heavy mode on "Once In A Lifetime", where his lazy, sun-kissed guitar motifs and comorting chords offer a perfect accompaniment to mazy synth solos, echoing machine drums and a gently pulsing, Italo-disco style arpeggio line. By the time the dreamy breakdown homes into view you'll be having a glassy-eyed "moment" or two.
Review: Hailing from Manchester, Gina Breeze is a DJ and producer whose sound captures the creativity and innovative spirit of her home city - a true staple of the European electronic music scene. For local imprint Sprechen, she serves up her new one called "1am" which is an acid house era influenced jam with a charismatic vocal from Jakarta's Kallula of KimoKal. This is followed by the hypnotic tribal house groove of "Mantra" with its powerful polyrhythms hammering the message home. Fitting then that the final track is entitled "Hypnotic" which goes back to the late '80s with its jacking warehouse vibe of The Windy City.
Review: It's been nearly three years since lesser-celebrated Norwegian producer Kohib delivered the Itchy Kitchy People EP. Here he returns to the Manchester-based label with two more chunks of peak-time Scandolearic disco. As its title suggests, "Italovest" sees him pay tribute to the muscular throb of arpeggio-driven 1980s Italo-disco, though it's non-stop nature, foreboding feel and druggy intensity is arguably more in keeping with later Dutch interpretations of the sound (as well as the space disco works of Hans-Peter Lindstrom). He takes a slightly different approach on mid-tempo bonus cut "Parlais Vous Francais", peppering a mid-tempo electronic disco groove with ricocheting drum hits, glacial '80s synth-pop melodies and glassy-eyed chords.
Review: Sprechen's latest release is something of a doozy, all told. It comes from font-of-all-musical-knowledge and top notch DJ Bill Brewster, who shares four killer cuts from his personal stash of re-edits. It really is all killer, no filler, with "Love Hard" - a brilliant revision of a spacey, throbbing, tongue-in-cheek classic that dispenses with almost all of the most familiar bits and concentrates on the track's sleazy groove and intergalactic synths - hitting home particularly hard. Opener "Carpet Warehouse" offers more spacey synths, camp vocals and killer grooves, while "SOS" is a near perfect revision of a low-slung, post punk-era dub disco obscurity. Speaking of post-punk era goodness, we'd suggest checking out EP closer "Wide Awake Club", which could well be the strongest edit on a very strong collection of reworks.
Review: For the latest release on his growing Sprechen label, boss man Chris Massey - who also co-curates Paper Recordings' excellent Trash The Wax series - joins forces with Spanish nu-disco don James Rod. The experienced duo begins with the arpeggio-heavy Cerrone tribute "Supernature Sunday", which is in turn given a deeper, woozier and more melodious makeover by Mike Simonetti. The EP's other original Rod/Massey production, "The Disco Sound", is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink affair, with crunchy guitar riffs and razor sharp string stabs clustering around a mutant disco groove. The EP also boasts two contrasting reworks: an even heavier, piano-fired rub from Harvy (no relation to DJ Harvey) and a breathlessly blissful deep house take by Kimo.
Review: Since debuting on Futureboogie's fifth Summer Riot EP back in 2016, Field Theory has delivered a handful of quietly impressive releases. Here he returns to Sprechen, a label he last graced in the winter of 2016, with another rock solid collection of club-ready cuts. Opener "Acid Party", a bustling late night jack track where waves of psychedelic TB-303 lines crash over bustling machine drums and foreboding synth stabs, is probably the pick for peak-time plays, though the more angular and trippy "Wobble" is not far behind. For more all-out acid thrills check the bumping and low-slung Gina Breeze remix of "Acid Party", while Mitch Davis's sub-heavy remix of "Wobble" is a bouncy, stripped-back treat.
Review: Sprechen is a Manchester based platform to showcase electronic music with a passion for melody, groove, soul and energy. There are no limitations of style and a diverse release policy. For their latest label compilation, the gang celebrates two years in the business - label boss Chris Massey teams up with Spain's James Rod on the funked up nu-disco of "Spanglish" featuring vocals by Danielle Moore, homegirl Gina Breeze serves up some bouncy late night tech house on "Make Me Feel" while Norway's Kohib delivers some true Italo style business on "Hot Pants And Dance Shoes" and Australia's Planet Jumper bring da funk on "Before The Diamond Turns To Dust". Sprechen was launched by former Electric Elephant booker and manager Massey as a side project, alongside his A&R role at Paper Recordings.
Review: Following EPs from a range of upcoming producers, the 13th Sprechen release sees its boss back at the reins. Massey starts off the release with the jittery, rhythm and searing acid of "Beatdrum", before he moves into more commercial territory with "Record Spins". Sampling a stuttering vocal loop, he drops a menacing but infectious bass line, making for an accessible tune. On "Beatdub", he retreats back underground, accompanied by the sound of chilling sirens, dubbed out beats and jittery percussion, while this approach continues on "Beatdrum (Homeboy Redrum)", where organic percussion and stabbing riffs prevail. However, the EP concludes with the positively upbeat, summery Rave Enka remix of "Record Spins."
Review: 'Funkabilla' is a hot, steamy hunk of a track, its low end is so strong and intoxicating with the shakers and that groovy guitar you'll be hard pushed not to get down. 'Momento Latino' is another cut which will get you moving, another set of funky guitar chords and rattling shakers are living up with the pounding beat which drops at the same point as the exciting vox, the low omnipresent sub is the star of the track. Verona Dub has huge a techno overtone to it, the bass is patterned as is essentially the entire track, while the snare and other echoing elements seem to dance eloquently on top. 'Symptomatic' is a brooding and forward moving 80's influenced beast with a dark undertone gently laced with euphoria.
Review: After a short hiatus, Sprechen is back with some quality music to soundtrack your Summer. Planet Jumper hosts the Manchester label's tenth release and they get things bubbling and chugging away with "And Here My Troubles Began", a bass heavy stomper with disco licks and kicks, alongside some twanging bass guitar action and stabby Rhode chords. "Beware The Beast In We" is cosmo-disco funk that will take you straight up into the stratosphere! Remixes come courtesy of James Rod; who turns "And Here My Troubles Began" into an epic 303 acid odyssey, while Audaz main man Alkalino takes the party into a lo-slung and very slo-mo deep house direction.
Review: London based DJ & Production duo Dorsia are back with more jacking house shenanigans on "FM Dreams" where spangling vintage synth textures bleep and grind away in properly bumping fashion, supported by some real lush and textured moments. The club mix of "Mephi" goes for some nice retro flavour on this Italo disco homage with live drums and soaring analogue arpeggios. But the remix later by Curses is where it really shines on this slow burning EBM style makeover with dirty synth funk bass added for great measure. Also worthy of mention, remix wise; is Norwegian guy Karl Fraunhofer's one of the aforementioned "FM Dreams" where he takes it down early '80's style electronic disco avenue rather reminiscent of Giorgio Moroder or Gino Soccio.
Review: For the latest EP on his fast-rising Sprechen imprint, Chris Massey has joined forces with Spanish producer James Rodriguez. As the title makes clear, the two original productions showcased here were inspired by the druggy, off-kilter world of early '80s mutant disco. They begin with "Take Me Higher", where effects-laden vocal samples and disco string stabs rise above a trippy, Italo-disco style arpeggio, before dipping the tempo on the spaced-out, proto-techno era electronic shuffle of "Spanglish". Gina Breeze provides a chunkier, heavier, dubbed-out interpretation of "Take Me Higher", before Rave-Enka turns "Spanglish" into a new beat-meets-early UK rave smasher.
Review: Field Theory is undoubtedly a producer on the rise. His debut track, the acid-propelled "Rituals", was the standout cut on Futureboogie's Summer Riot V EP, while his recent Europa single on Secret Life was packed with saucer-eyed treats. The two original tracks showcased on this Sprechen outing are superb, too. He continues his obsession with psychedelic TB-303 lines on the rolling, floor-friendly strut of "What's Going On", before diving into deeper waters on the contemporary Chicago hip-house/acid house fusion of "KRS Acid". Alinka delivers a metallic, everything-but-the-kitchen sink rework of "What's Going On", while Dorsia turns "KRS Acid" into a melodious, melancholic chunk of lilting deep house.