Review: We've come accustomed to the Helliker-Hales brothers delivering dusty, musically intricate deep house that tends towards the jazzier and more dub-flecked end of the spectrum. It's therefore something of a surprise to find that their latest two-tracker is an altogether bolder and more warehouse-ready affair. Title track "Come Together" features distinctive, alien-sounding lead lines, trance-like female vocal snippets and stabbing, warehouse-ready riffs rising over forthright drums and a chunky, retro-futurist bassline. If anything, "Digital Sound" is even heavier, with dub-wise vocal snippets, bleeping electronics and foreboding chords dancing around heavy tribal drums and the kind of muscular riffs that were once a hallmark of Junior Vasquez and Danny Tenaglia's mid-90s productions. In other words, it's a suitably sizable "big room" record.
Review: The fifth release on the ever-improving Church label comes from Chaos In The CBD, a duo who switched from sweatier, bumpin' flavours to deeper, jazzier pastures via a fine recent EP on Rhythm Section International. The three tracks here are similarly blazed and musically expansive, beginning with the stargazing chords, intergalactic melodies and zippy rhythms of "Constraints of Time Travel". It's a little different to what we've come to expect, but no less thrilling. The duo cover more familiar ground with the Theo Parrish influenced bossa-house loveliness of "Phantom Melodies", and the deep, Rhodes-laden broken-house haziness of "Similar Stories".
Review: Amadeus sees its catalog graced yet again by New Zealand outfit Chaos In The CBD. The Kiwi brothers, birthed Ben & Louis Helliker-Hales, are no new faces to the label, or the wide variety of genre-bending acronyms they encompass. Having recently relocated from tropical Auckland to damp London earlier this year, the two take their productions along with them in their latest efforts, 816 To Nunhead. Title track "816 To Nunhead," is tinged with memories of summer. A nostalgic tune built for the sun and soaked in funk. It's a track reminiscent of early french disco, almost as if built for the two robots themselves. What emotion of freedom and escape evoked on that track can be contrasted with "78 To Stanley Bay," a tune built behind the every looming theme of loneliness. Accompanied by a live trumpet courtesy of Isaac Aseeli, '78 To Stanley Bay' tells us a story, or rather a journey, built behind dirty hats and delayed keys.
Review: A scintillating trio of tunes on Southern Fried here from Kashii, which are deep, emotive and achingly subtle. The eponymous track of the EP, "Waves" is an exercise in meditation, with lapping waves washing around deftly placed beats, bleepy SFX and a hushed whispering vocal. "Never Do" continues the narrative with firm 4/4 rhythms, sweeping atmospherics, lush layers of sound and more than a hint of wistful sadness. Finally, "Take You Away" does just what it says on the tin with an epic, beautiful tone, delicate synth washes and soft, tripping beats.
Review: After some impressive turns for ClekClekBoom and Needwant, Chaos In The CBD are moving over to Hot Haus for some more of their old-skool styled house offerings with a focus on lo-fi charm and pure hearted groove. "Delorean Dreams" has a dystopian electro tone at its core, as defined by the warbling synth line and punchy bassline, although it still moves with the strict instruction of a house beat. "Okinawa" likewise has its own raw edge to it, as though it were lifted from an early KMS record, warts and all. Legowelt gets beamed in for a remix of "Delorean Dreams" that heads into a nightmarish swirl of lurid sci-fi synths and subtle breaks.
Review: Another week, another killer release from Kiwi deep house sorts Chaos in the CBD. This one, a two-tracker on the In Dust We Trust label that they set up with pal John Sable earlier this year, is undoubtedly one of their strongest EPs to date. first you'll find the typically drowsy and atmospheric "Zona Del Silencio", a tactile and humid chunk of early morning deep house built around languid synth-bass and rolling, carnival-friendly percussion. The rolling bongo hits return on creepier "Unsound Mind", the musical equivalent of stumbling through a rainforest at 3am while high on herbal remedies. As with many of the duo's productions, it subtly builds throughout, offering movement despite the hypnotic, slow-build nature of the track's construction.
Chaos In The CBD - "False Awakening" - (8:14) 126 BPM
Jon Sable - "Scumbag Unity" - (6:00) 125 BPM
Review: It's perhaps fitting that the second release on In Dust We Trust should come from the label's founders, Chaos In The CBD and fellow New Zealander Jon Sable. The latter chips in with "Scumbag Unity", an ultra-deep roller whose deep space chords, lilting sax licks and undulating jazz-house beats help create an intoxicating early morning mood. As befits their status as modern deep house heroes, Chaos in the CBD steals the show with "False Awakening", a similarly deep but slightly more driving chunk of dub house/deep house fusion full of layered tropical percussion, swirling pads and hypnotic loops.
Review: By now we should know that Chaos In The CBD barely gets it wrong. In fact, we can't think of one duff moment in their rapidly expanding discography. Certainly, there's much to set the pulse racing throughout the Multiverse EP, which happens to be their first missive of 2018. We're particularly enjoying the Adonis-goes-deep bassline, becalmed chords, druggy acid lines and bongo-laden beats of opener "Multiverse" and the humid tropical house hustle of B-side opener "Kaitaia Fire" - deep and woozy, yet percussively adventurous - but the whole EP is superb. The other two cuts, "Double Dribble" and "Drum Therapy", are altogether deeper and calmer, with the latter also feeling wonderfully hypnotic in tone, too.
Review: The enigmatic Amadeus label present a tight little remix EP from a number of new mystery figures and a few known names in the deep house game. With a real melting pot of talent in here, it doesn't get much better than this - deranged 4/4 deviations and seductive electronic landscapes make up the entirety of the release but be sure to check Broke One's remix of "In My Life" by Urulu and the Youandewan version of "Being" by Savile.
Review: Kiwi duo Chaos In The CBD are gaining more of a profile by the release. They've already grounded themselves by landing EP deals with ClekClekBoom and Hot Haus and now they return to what could be consider their home label, Amadeus Records. Here the pair deliver two distinctive cuts; the first "No Signal Found", is a strong as a Len Faki track from the late 2000s and it sounds like a plane taking over inside of a tunnel, however there are emotive bleep sequences laced throughout. "Stationary Condition" sees the pair throw down some beat down house as tough as what John Swing and the Relative crew once made while layering a fluttering synth over the top. Big music.
Review: ClekClekBoom once again prove themselves to be one of France's most reliable bass labels with the latest release from New Zealand duo Chaos In The CBD. Already affiliated to the Gallic branch of the genre thanks to a release on Youngunz, the duo's heavy, swung sound is right at home on the imprint - "Rolling 84's" combines the electro acid styles of Boddika with some druggy atmospherics and crisp snares, "Slab" combines some demented ghetto vocals with a heavy house vibe, while "Trunk Music" goes in with some restless syncopation and UKF inspired melodies, coming across like Bambounou jamming with Claude VonStroke. Big tip!
Review: Mercury Prize-nominated act, The Invisible, recently dropped their acclaimed LP, Patience. The album offered a glimpse into their more uplifting side and featured a host of collaborators. Here we get a remix EP of certain album tracks with "Love Me Again (feat Anna Calvi)" appearing twice - first as a loose and swaggering form in the "Chaos In The CBD remix" and again as a bleepy cosmic opus in the Chris FYI mix. "The Darkstar remix of "So Well" is infectious leftfield synth-funk and lastly Conan Moccasin hook-up "K Town Sunset" becomes a dreamy, distant analogue white-out in the "Tee Mango Summer Daze Revision".
Review: The Annual Fundraiser courtesy of Scottish imprint Craigie Knowles is back! They've recruited another bunch of heavy hitters to light up the clubs, with a cause to lighten the burden of war that's placed on the shoulders of children. Kiwi duo Chaos In The CBD throw down the Afro influenced, spiritual life music of "Natural Taboo", BRSTL's finest Shanti Celeste gives us the booming electro-funk of "Dolphin Chant" and Den Haag's legend Legowelt gives us the shimmering analogue soul of "At Delphi". Elsewhere, UK hardware maverick Neville Watson throws down the rather first wave Detroit sounding "Hazing" while the Going Good and Lovers Rock affiliated Yoshinori Hayashi serves us a wonderful, Erased Tapes style classical ambient journey titled "Pogado Tower"