Review: Definitely not your standard issue deep house EP, this one! Life On Planets is a pseudonym for Baltimore-based singer-guitarist Phill Celeste, a soul/house/R&B fusionist whose unique style sits somewhere in-between Black Coffee, Thundercat and a modern-day Bill Withers. 'Only You' itself is distinctly Afro-influenced, 'Move It Forward' nudges towards jazz fusion, Chas Bronze collab 'Friends In High Places' has catchy pop appeal and comes with a tougher, clubbier remix, and finally 'Brother' is a soulful house civil rights anthem in waiting. It might all take a listen or two to sink in, but when it does you'll be hooked.
Review: Veteran Brit-soul hero Omar is on a roll following the success of his recent comeback album, The Man. There has been some killer remixes already, but here Scratch Professer has reworked the entire LP. It's a tough job but the Prof has come through, keeping faithful to the originals but adding a little of his own magic too. Highlights include the cutup stop/start future-soul of "Eenie Meeni Myni Mo", the hazy urban jam "Treat You" and the jazzy late 80s vibe of "I Can Listen". Also included is a bonus mix of Omar's biggest hit, "There's Nothing Like This".
Review: Nottingham's finest Origin One comes correct with his debut album. And if so much as your little toe loves rootsical flavours then you need to tune in. A heady melting pot of dub, reggae, dancehall, soul, afrobeat and hip hop, all wrapped up with strong beats and features from the likes of Spyda, Irah, XL Mad, Peppery, Parly B, Gardna, Nanci Correia, double-O badman Origin One has cooked up something special. From the flabby bass of "Where You Come From" to the juiced up jungle skanks of "Tribute" via the system-melting skanks of dubstep stamper "Dread & Buried", sitting somewhere between The Bug and Dub Pistols, this is serious piece of work right here. Listen up. Nice Up.
Review: Big band swing and electronic music have always made great bedfellows, especially when it's delivered with the impact of a full live band and contemporary production. Swiftly gaining acclaim with their slow and steady releases on Freshly Squeezed and cover of "Crazy In Love", Swing Republic serve up their debut that glistens with a Kraak & Smaak sheen and oozes organic quirkiness. From the muted trumpet toots on the sultry "Sugar Bubble" to the Dixie land jazz scribbles of "My Baby Bad" to the jitterbug jive of "On The Rooftop", there's no better homage to dance music's most formative time that's almost 100 years old.
Review: Deep in the Jungle continue their onwards march with this, the seventh edition in their widely acclaimed Anthems series, a compilation that always finds the ideal mix of current and future talent to showcase. In the case of the former, well-travelled producers Epicentre and Kumarachi roll things out and tear them down on 'Light Em Up', which features a gnarly array of interlinked bass nodes and torn low frequency sonics, al underpinned by a percussion section that's the perfect blend of rusty and sharp. New talent emerges in the form of Trobe and Mirage, who have their first label release with '89', although you wouldn't have guessed it based off this tune's razor clean percussive edge and expert use of space, a hard thing to get right and one this pair blow out the water here. Rave samples, expansive basslines and a synth arrangement you won't be able to shake - unmissable. 34 tracks later and Deep in the Jungle have nailed every single one of them - big ups.