Review: Digweed's label may have tipped its toes in mainstream dance with the recent Japanese Popstars album, but this release from long-time associate Jimmy Van M shows that its staple remains drum-heavy house. The tribal groove of 'Dreams' rolls in like thunder clouds on a clear sky, its rhythm breaking to reveal tantalising, tripped out vocals. "Lucid" is even more twisted, with a cacophony of horns threatening to drown out the chord-heavy breakdown. Just when the track threatens to spiral out of control, the dark drums kick back in. Finally, "Dreams (Dub)" is a more pulsing affair, its sleek riffs and throbbing bass speeding past like a nightdrive along Las Vegas' main drag.
Review: Smallville has clearly been paying attention to the output of Cosmic Rhythm, the Bari-based imprint renowned for its' futurist infusions of vintage Italian dream house sounds, tropical melodies and the far-sighted ethos of Detroit techno. Here, they've served up an EP from one of the label's rising stars, Rhythm of Paradise, who particularly impresses with the skittish Motor City percussion and swirling deep house aesthetics of "Dreams". Elsewhere, "Into Your Eyes" doffs a cap to Calypso Records on the chunky but loved-up "Into Your Eyes" and wonderfully wavy, sunset-friendly warmth of "U". Fittingly, Cosmic Rhythm boss Cosmic Garden steps up to remix "Dreams", delivering a deliciously glassy-eyed take that sits somewhere between early Italian ambient house and the analogue-rich swing of classic Larry Heard productions.
Review: Unknown To The Unknown sub label Hot Haus have been doing great things of late with fine releases by Steve Murphy, Red Light and Marlon Hoffstadt. Next up is Jacy Bozzi, an Italian DJ, composer and arranger. He is the founder of Home Of House Records. Deeply devoted to the old school sound of classic Italian house between 1989 and 1994, he was picked up to feature on both of Young Marco's Welcome To Paradise compilations and released the Somewhere In The Tapes EP on the Kalahari Oyster Cult label. DJ Haus had access to a world of lost DATS and dug out four super deep Italian house masterpieces. Real composition, no lazy sampling, just pure MIDI house music from Italy.
Review: Aside from a string of successful EP's on the steady ship known as Toy Tonics, Berliners Black Loops have been nomadic in terms labels, and that just suits them down to the bone given their eccentric strain of house. We love "Cassette 5.1", it's a traditionally driving house tune with big chords and a begrime mentality, remixed here by Ed Herbst into a deeper, more gentle beast. Then there's "Rue De La Paix", a kick-heavy chugger that sits under the deep house umbrella but that does a lot more in terms of style and swagger; Baldo is on the remix duties for this one, dropping a beautiful woozing bass into the mix, accompanied by a Mr Fingers-style synth wormhole.