Review: Under the Akufen alias, Marc Leclair was one of the undoubted deep house stars of the early 2000s - a "micro-house" and "digital disco" pioneer who served up a swathe of killer releases. Since returning from a near decade hiatus in 2012 Leclair has not consistently hit those highs, but he's still capable of crafting quality cuts - as this fine EP proves. Check first the breezy bounce of "My Blue House", where sun-kissed piano riffs and sweet synth-strings dance jauntily above a typically swinging groove, before turning your attention to the smooth micro-house deepness of "Forever In Love With You". "You Look Delicious" sees Leclair add spacey jazz electric piano solos to a deep and glitchy groove, while the Surface-sampling "Play" sits somewhere between digital disco and skittish electro.
Review: The first release on Musique Risquee this year sees Marc 'Akufen' Leclair embark on a cosmic journey. The title track is one of his typically detailed arrangements, with insane screeching violins, drunken piano lines and off-kilter xylophone riffs appearing at various stages. By contrast, "Bos Indicus" is more straightforward with hissing percussion and driving drums providing a more dancefloor-based approach - but here too Leclair can't resist the urge to add in some woozy jazz chords and chiming bells. "T'es Con, T'es Content" sees him adopt a more seductive approach, with a husky singer wittering on en Francais over a shuffling groove. Meanwhile "You like Red Beans! (We go Together)" and "Chocolate, Strawberry, Peach, Vanilla, Banana, Pistachio, Peppermint, Lemon, Orange, Butterscotch, Ice Cream Cone" are fun tracks, with the latter lifting the vocal sample from Sesame Street.
Review: After his welcome return to the long-player format for Crosstown Rebels in the shape of Her Blurry Pictures, three of Mathew Jonson's creations from the record have been given over to a fine selection of remixers to bring their own interpretations to bear on the plush electronic soul the Canadian champ peddles. Dixon makes for a snug fit on "Level 7", simmering the original down without losing any of the celestial magic of those trademark Jonson synths. Tale Of Us bring a live, skippy feel to "Kissing Your Eyes" with some hands-on drums and warbling keys a plenty. Akufen meanwhile seems to be reaching more towards his Horror Inc project as he muses on "Body In Motion" in a low-slung, jazz-inflected style with a healthy dose of micro shuffle thrown in for good measure.
Review: This is the first EP from label co-chief Ryan Crosson as Theoretical Speed, joined by the instrumentation of Brooklyn's John Camp (on keys) and St Paul-based producer/DJ/trumpeter Greg Paulus - the latter rising up on the scene in the early 2010's around the same time as the Visionquest crew as one half of No Regular Play. The result is '40 Grams Of Latency", a wonky and off-kilter expression in minimal house, reminiscent of early experiments by Quebecois legend Marc le Clair. Coincidentally, the man himself pops up next for a remix under his renowned Akufen alias, with a typically glitched-out and sensual dub house rework. Then All In Records head honcho Norbert Dunai aka Pola delivers a splintered and acid-washed perspective, that will have you tunnelling into the aether. Another fantastic release on the imprint now made available on digital after its much lauded release last year.