Review: For the latest volume in Quantize Recordings' Quintessential Sessions mix series, DJ Spen has handed over the reins to London scene stalwart Booker T. His mix is naturally hugely entertaining and expertly crafted, but the real boon is the wealth of unmixed tracks. Highlights come thick and fast throughout, from the sprightly piano house soulfulness of Booker T's own rework of 'L.O.V.E' by Beloved and Sheree Hicks, the vibraphone-laden warmth of Sean McCabe's revision of Spencer Morales' M.F.S.B-sampling 'Without Your Love' and the organ-sporting bounce of Manoo's take on Dave Anthony's luscious 'She Don't Know', to the booming big room muscularity of KlavaKeys' 'Power Drive', and the bumpin' late night fizz of Spen & Thommy's re-edit of 'Let It All Go' by Pat Bedeau.
Review: Here's something to cheer you up on miserable winter lockdown nights: a fresh suite of remixes of DJ Spen's lusciously luxurious soulful house collaboration with Cornell CC Carter, 'Keep Your Head to the Sky', courtesy of Emmanuel Kossi AKA Manoo. The long-serving French producer returns to the 'Old Skool' for three of his rubs, offering up a mixture of warm, jazzy bass guitar, snappy machine drums, sustained synth-strings, and some seriously summery piano stabs. We'd recommend checking both the stripped-back, synth solo-laden 'Old Skool Dub' and the killer 'Extended Old Skool Remix'. Elsewhere, his 'Afro Remix' is a deliciously positive blend of Afro-house grooves and soulful house flavours, while Spen and Carter's original extended mix is as musically rich and life-affirming as ever.